"When Jesus calls Herod Antipas a 'fox' (Luke 13:32), most modern European readers will automatically think this means he considered Herod to be particularly clever or craft....The same association would naturally have occurred to a Greek reader in the 1st century. In Greek literature, the fox is proverbially a crafty animal. In Jewish literature, however,... Continue Reading →

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"The 'Amalgam Jesus' idea boils down to little more than hand waving. It is a vague and grudging admission that there may be some historical kernels in the story, but a rather muddle-headed attempt to keep this from becoming an acceptance that there was most likely a historical Jesus. As such, it is not so... Continue Reading →

The Weekly Roundup – 12.14.18

"I think we have to allow that John’s Gospel differs from the Synoptic Gospels in this fundamental respect: it is not an attempt to remember the historical Jesus; it is an attempt to restate the significance of the historical Jesus from a later theological vantage point, shaped in particular by a bitter controversy with the... Continue Reading →

Bart D. Ehrman: The Significance of John 9:22

Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, sixth edition (OUP, 2016), 187-188. This verse [i.e. John 9:22] is significant from a socio-historical perspective because we know that there was no official policy against accepting Jesus (or anyone else) as messiah during his lifetime. On the other hand, some Jewish... Continue Reading →

Weekly Roundup – 10.5.18

Here's the Weekly Roundup! (Note: there will be no Roundup next Friday.) Over at bibleinterp.com there is an excerpt from John: Interpreted by Early Christian and Medieval Commentators (Eerdmans, 2018) entitled "The Spiritual Gospel: The Gospel of John in the Early Church." In this excerpt Bryan Stewart discusses the way early Christian writers viewed and used the fourth... Continue Reading →

Bart Ehrman: The Spread of Early Christianity

Bart Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, sixth edition (OUP, 2016), 83-84. Without a doubt, the most important thing that was happening for early Christianity was the spread of the religion from its inauspicious beginnings as a tiny sect of Jesus' Jewish followers in Jerusalem - the Gospels indicate that there... Continue Reading →

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