“For atheists, I would say your life is not meaningless even if you no longer believe you are for something like a hammer is for hammering nails- or even if you believe the universe is absurd! Just because you are not an instrument of someone else’s will, it does not follow that you cannot live a good or meaningful life. To both atheists and theists, I would say the meaning of life is love and work. Love who you are with and love whatever it is you are doing. If you seek that, then happiness will find you.” – Ben Watkins
- Historian Bart Ehrman has been engaged in a written debate with Matthew Firth on contradictions in the Bible. Here they are:
- Ehrman’s first post focuses on four contradictions: Mark 5:21-24 vs. Matthew 9:18-26 (Jairus’ daughter), the Matthean genealogy vs. the Lukan, the Matthean birth narrative vs. the Lukan, and the Matthean resurrection narrative vs. the Lukan.
- Firth’s response to Ehrman’s explanation of the contradictions.
- Ehrman’s response to Firth.
- Firth’s second response.
- Ehrman’s final response to Firth.
- Firth’s final response to Ehrman.
- Peter Williams of Tyndale House wrote a short piece for the House’s publication on the origin of chapter and verse divisions in the Bible. As he points out, we take for granted that these divisions exist and are helpful in tracking down particular texts. But they didn’t exist in the original manuscripts or in later copies. Though some Hebrew texts use an alphabetic division, it is not uniform across texts. It wasn’t until the Common Era that the numbered system we have today came into existence.
- On a recent episode of the New Testament Review, Ian Mills and Laura Robinson discussed John Burgon’s The Last Twelve Verses of Mark and considered the various possible endings for the Markan Gospel. Burgon, a defender of the “Traditional Text,” believed that the text of Mark 16:9-20 was original to the Gospel of Mark and defended that thesis both in The Last Twelve Verses of Mark and The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels. This was a great episode and is a podcast I highly recommend those interested in New Testament scholarship subscribe to.
- Over at Hellenistic Christendom, Ben Watkins, the host of Real Atheology, was interviewed on issues related to the philosophy of religion. I found helpful his discussion of meaning and purpose, weak arguments for theism, and what his goal is in bridging the gap between academic discussions of the philosophy of religion and that which we find among pop-apologists and pop-atheists.
- Pete Enns and Jared Byas recently hosted Judy Stack on their podcast The Bible For Normal People. Stack discussed the Gospel of Matthew, apocalypticism, and more.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons.