Christ as Son of God in Mark’s Gospel

In my previous post I indicated that by the early fourth century, the debates over Christ’s divine nature had become extraordinarily sophisticated and complex (though not as sophisticated and complex as in the two centuries to follow!).  At the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE the question was over whether Christ, the God who created the world, was a subordinate divinity to God the Father, one who came into being at some point in time, or if, instead, he was ...

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Weekly Readers’ Mailbag: February 18, 2016

 

Here is the weekly Readers’ Mailbag, three questions this time – one about my  alleged “support of Islam against Christianity,” one about why we think the NT Gospels were originally written in Greek, and one about what I mean when I talk about the views held by the majority of “critical” scholars (as opposed to what other kind of scholar?)?

Feel free to ask questions you have; some I will not be able to get to (either because I don’t know ...

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Weekly Readers’ Mailbag: January 30, 2016

In this installment of the Weekly Readers’ Mailbag, I’ll address two questions, one about the Jewishness of Jesus the other about my personal (bad) experience with editors.  If you have a question, either send it via a comment here or zap me an email.

 

QUESTION:

What is it in the NT portrayal of Jesus that tends to obscure the centrality of his Jewishness?

 

RESPONSE:

The person who asked this question mentioned the fact that it is only in fairly recent times, since the second ...

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Did Jesus Urge People to Repent?

Below is the third guest post by my colleague David Lambert, connected to his book How Repentance Became Biblical.  For many readers of the blog, this will be the most important and interesting of them all.  It deals with the historical Jesus.  Did Jesus tell people that they needed to repent?   You might think the answer is obvious….

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Did Jesus Preach Repentance?

In my past two posts, I argued that the concept of repentance, as we use it ...

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Weekly Readers’ Mailbag: January 24, 2016

A day late, here is this (past) week’s Readers Mailbag.   I will be dealing with two questions this time, one on why Mark includes Aramaic words in his accounts of Jesus’ sayings and the other on where someone might find English versions of the surviving Greek manuscripts of the New Testament.  If you too have a question, simply ask it here as a comment, or send me an email, and I will add it to the list!

 

QUESTION:

Why is Mark sometimes ...

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Jesus and the Son of Man

Over the past few weeks, as I have been talking about the rise of Jewish apocalypticism, in relation to the historical Jesus, a number of readers have asked me to explain what I think about the “Son of Man” in the sayings of Jesus Jesus.  Did Jesus call himself the son of man?  If so, what did he mean?  And if not, what did he mean?

As it turns out, these are some of the most complex, convoluted, and confounding questions ...

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Readers’ Mailbag: December 27, 2015

QUESTION:  [Bart has said:]  “Jesus must have been called the messiah during his lifetime, or it makes no sense that he would be called messiah after his death”:  [Comment:] By this line of reasoning, then surely one would conclude that Jesus was considered divine during his lifetime, else it makes no sense he would be considered divine after his death?

 

RESPONSE:  The first line in the question is a quotation of a view I have elaborated on the blog.  The logic, ...

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The Myth of the First Christmas

Over the years I’ve been asked to write short articles on the meaning of Christmas for various news magazines.  Looking back at some of these articles makes me realize how many different views of the season seem to be competing with each other inside my head.  Or maybe I’ve just been in different moods!

I thought I would reproduce a couple of these articles on the blog.  The following is one I wrote a few years ago for the British journal ...

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The Resurrection of the Son of God

I’m in the midst of the most entangled thread I have yet produced in my well-over-three-years of doing the blog.   It started with orthodox scribes who were altering their texts of Scripture (specifically Luke 22; this was part of a thread I began in April!  I’ll get back to it….) and it has now managed by a number of intricate twists, turns, and interweavings to end up at the resurrection of Jesus.

I have been arguing that the resurrection radically changed ...

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Did Some Disciples Not Believe in the Resurrection?

In my previous post I pointed out that we simply don’t know how many of Jesus’ disciples came to believe that he was raised from the dead.  In my view there is actually some *evidence* that some of them never did believe it.  I lay the evidence out in my book How Jesus Became God.  It has to do with the fact that there is such a strong tradition of “doubt” in the resurrection among Jesus’ followers.  Here is how ...

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