Musings on Mark: Reign of the Demons

Jesus’ first public miracle in the Gospel of Mark is an exorcism (Mark 1:23-26) This is no coincidence; neither is the fact that it is contained within a pericope portraying Jesus as a teacher (vv. 21-28). On a narrative level, the Markan author desires to show how Jesus is the one with unique authority: he... Continue Reading →

Shaily Patel: Postcolonial Criticism

Shaily Patel, "Excursus: Methods of Ideological Criticism," in Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, sixth edition (OUP, 2016), 192. Postcolonial criticism emphasizes the influence that empires and imperial policies, both ancient and modern, have on the texts, history, and scholarship of the New Testament. Postcolonial interpreters analyze how... Continue Reading →

Evangelical Eisegesis: A Dalliance with Daniel, part 1

"Fulfilled prophecies are what distinguish the Bible from other holy texts and are evidence of direct revelations by God." - SJ Thomason.1 In a bid to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity and the significance of Jesus of Nazareth, pop-apologists often appeal to so-called prophecies found in the Hebrew scriptures that are "fulfilled" in the events... Continue Reading →

Bart D. Ehrman: Defining “Greco-Roman Biography”

Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, sixth edition (OUP, 2016), 99-100. If I were to attempt a definition of the Greco-Roman biography, then, it might be something like this: ancient biography was a prose narrative recounting an individual's life, often with a chronological framework, employing numerous subgenres (such as... Continue Reading →

Bart D. Ehrman: What Are the Gospels?

Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, sixth edition (OUP, 2016), 97. What kind of literature is a Gospel? Or, to put it somewhat differently, when ancient persons read or heard one of these books, what kinds of expectations did they have? Until recently, modern scholars generally agreed that... Continue Reading →

Bart Ehrman: Religion in the Ancient World

Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, sixth edition (OUP, 2016), 49-50. For most ancient persons, religion was not the way to guarantee an afterlife; it was a way to secure life in the here and now. For the majority of people in the ancient world, life was constantly... Continue Reading →

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑