How I Will Write My “Graphic Textbook of the New Testament”

Yesterday I began to describe my Graphic Textbook of the New Testament, as I have proposed it to my publisher, Oxford University Press.   In this post I continue, by explaining how I will actually set up the first fascicle (installment), on the Gospels and Jesus.

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Fascicle One: The Gospels and Jesus

The four Gospels are by far the largest section of the New Testament, and any reconstruction of the historical Jesus depends on a critical understanding ...

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Does the Author of Acts Identify Himself?

In this thread I have been discussing whether Luke, the gentile physician, the traveling companion of Paul, wrote the Third Gospel and the book of Acts. The first point I’ve made, over a couple of posts, is that the idea that Paul *had* a gentile physician as a traveling companion is dubious. That notion is derived from the mention of Luke in the book of Colossians, but Paul almost certainly did not *write* Colossians. Paul does mention a companion named ...

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Once More on the Credibility of Miracles: Guest post by Darren Slade

This will be my final post dealing with the recent book, The Case Against Miracles, edited by John Loftus.  As you know, here on the blog we have guest posts from scholars with a wide range of views on the blog, so long as they relate to the issues we are concerned about here, the history and literature of early Christianity, starting with the New Testament.  Our guest contributor now is Darren Slade, author of chapter 4 of the book.  ...

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End of the Year Final Exam!

We are near the end of the year.  What better time for a final exam?

In my classes I normally give essay exams — they are by far the best way to find out how much a student actually knows (as opposed to testing them for what they don’t know) and how well s/he can express thoughts in writing and develop an argument.

I’ve pulled out an exam that I once gave to my students in a class called Jesus in Scholarship ...

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Why Does Matthew Have the Story of the “Wise Men”?

QUESTION:

My Bible group had a good time yesterday comparing Matthew and Luke’s accounts of the Christmas story. One question that came up was why would Matthew relate the story of the Magi?

 

RESPONSE

Ah, it’s a great question and – as it turns out – an important one for understanding the Gospel of Matthew.   The story is found only in this Gospel (But this time of year, who can keep ones mind from jumping to:  “We Three Kings of Orient Are….”), and ...

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Why Are Their Differences in the Gospels? Does it Affect Their Inspiration? Guest Post by Mike Licona

This is Mike’s third and final guest post.  In the earlier post he explained his views about whether the Bible is inspired by God and is inerrant.  He thinks the answers to both are “yes,” though his actual views are not what most people would probably expect.   Here now is the third, and critical post, based on the research he did for his 2017 Oxford University Press book, with the same title:  Why Are There Differences in the Gospels?   

I agree ...

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Is the Bible Inerrant? Guest Post by Mike Licona

This now is the second of three posts by Mike Licona, Associate Professor of Theology at Houston Baptist University.  Mike has a PhD in New Testament studies and is a committed evangelical apologist, who has written a recent book, Why Are There Differences in the Gospels (Oxford University Press, 2016), and is also the author of Evidence for God. He does indeed admit there are differences in the Gospels, which ...

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Setting Dates for the Gospels

One of the questions I often get asked on the blog is how we know when the Gospels were written.   I’ve answer the question at some length before, and thought it might be useful to answer it again. Here’s what I said years ago, and looking at it, I’d say the same thing again.  In fact, I will.  Here:

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QUESTION:

How are the dates that the Gospels were composed determined? I’ve read that Mark is usually dated to 70 or ...

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80

Jesus and Sexual Immorality

I began to discuss yesterday the interesting case that NT scholar Scot McKnight advances for thinking that maybe Jesus *does* speak of same-sex relations in the Gospels.  The last (group) of his three references are the ones he thinks are the most likely instances:

 

Matthew 5:32

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 15:19

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Maybe Jesus DOES Talk about “Homosexuality”?

In my recent post I pointed out that Jesus said nothing – nada! – about same sex relations in any of his surviving teachings.   One blog member pointed out a post on a different blog by New Testament scholar Scot McKnight arguing that there are there passages in the Gospels where in fact Jesus *may* have been referring to homosexuality, in condemnatory terms.  I thought, HUH?  THAT’s interesting!  I better look.  So I did.   I don’t think there’s any way ...

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