"To be clear, some religious people evaluate their subjective experience as a piece of the evidential pie without taking this strong of a stance – but I want to address those who attempt to build atop the 'unshakable' ground of religious experience.  The epistemology illustrated creates a host of problems.  If taken seriously, it is... Continue Reading →

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"The stories of the ancestors of the Israelites do not come from any one period but developed over time. It is best to see the ancestors as composite characters." - John McDermott Bart Ehrman asks and answers the question "Why does it matter if Mark's Gospel was written first?" What it boils down to is... Continue Reading →

Gerd Theissen, The New Testament: A Literary History (Fortress Press, 2012), 43-44. The Gospel of Mark is artfully structured. It consists of individual pericopes, each of which makes its own point. Through their arrangement into a gospel they acquire a "surplus of meaning": in the framework of the story of Jesus they point to the mystery... Continue Reading →

Bart D. Ehrman: Redaction Criticism

Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, sixth edition (OUP, 2016), 120-121. A "redactor" is someone who edits a text; "redaction criticism" is the study of how authors have created a literary work by modifying or editing their sources of information. The underlying theory behind the method is simple. An... Continue Reading →

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