Category: Uncategorized

Bart D. Ehrman: How is Jesus “the Messiah”?

Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, sixth edition (OUP, 2016), 104. Jews in the first century could have meant a range of things by the title messiah, as scholars have come to realize….Many of these meanings, however,… Continue Reading “Bart D. Ehrman: How is Jesus “the Messiah”?”

Michael D. Coogan: Tricking Yahweh

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Literary and Historical Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 99. Following the narrative of the call of Moses in chapters 3.1-4.17 is a short passage (4.24-26) oddly inconsistent with the larger plot. Moses has finally… Continue Reading “Michael D. Coogan: Tricking Yahweh”

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… Continue Reading “Weekly Roundup – 10.5.18”

Kyle Keefer: Utter Dullards

Kyle Keefer, The New Testament as Literature: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2008), 25-26. The characterization of the disciples in Mark’s gospel is shocking in its condescension; the disciples are complete and utter dullards. One scene in particular makes this point. Mark narrates two stories of… Continue Reading “Kyle Keefer: Utter Dullards”

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

Michael D. Coogan: The Quest for Historicity of the Patriarchs

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 89. The further removed biblical writers are from the events they describe, the less secure are modern scholars’ attempts to determine whether these events actually happened.… Continue Reading “Michael D. Coogan: The Quest for Historicity of the Patriarchs”

Musings on Mark: Mark vs Matthew vs John on Jesus Walking on Water

One of the few stories shared by both the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John is the story of Jesus walking upon water. (Well, almost all of the Synoptics – Luke omits it.) Each version is different in one way or another. The… Continue Reading “Musings on Mark: Mark vs Matthew vs John on Jesus Walking on Water”

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… Continue Reading “Bart D. Ehrman: What Are the Gospels?”

Evangelical Eisegesis: SJ Thomason, the Tabernacle, and the Trinity in the Old Testament

Few Christian doctrines are as bizarre as the doctrine of the Trinity. Most people have a vague understanding of what the doctrine entails but far fewer can articulate it without accidentally falling into some cesspool of heterodoxy. Lest I follow suit, I’ll allow the… Continue Reading “Evangelical Eisegesis: SJ Thomason, the Tabernacle, and the Trinity in the Old Testament”

The Synoptic Problem: Presenting the Problem