Does Luke Combat a Docetic Christology?

QUESTION:

There are some scholars who believe that the resurrection story found in Luke’s gospel is an antidocetic narrative ( Gerd Ludemann and Charles Talbert, for instance). According to these scholars when the risen Jesus performs acts designed to show his disciples that he has an actual body of flesh and isn’t some phantom or demon, the story is designed to refute the heresy of docetism that existed during the time that Luke wrote his gospel. I have never ...

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Jesus’ Death in Mark and Luke

It is one thing to be able to establish the emphases of both Mark and Luke in their accounts of Jesus going to his death.  (See my previous post).  It is harder, and more speculative, to establish why they chose to portray Jesus in these ways.   But there are some good, plausible views of the matter.  I’ll start with Mark.

In Mark Jesus appears to be in shock, is silent the entire time, seems not to understand ...

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Jesus Going to His Death in Luke

In previous posts I have given some of the reasons for thinking that Luke did not write the account of Jesus “sweating blood” in his prayer before his arrest. A lot more could obviously be said, but anyone who wants more can just look up the discussion in my book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. For the purposes of the blog, two BIG questions remain: why does Luke change Mark’s portrayal of Jesus going to his death so ...

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More on The Bloody Sweat

I mentioned that I first got interested in the textual problem of Luke 22:43-44 (“the bloody sweat”) when I was taking a graduate seminar at Princeton Theological Seminary, my first year in the doctoral program.  The seminar was devoted (the entire semester) to the Greek exegesis of Luke.   My fellow student, Mark Plunkett, presented a seminar paper in which he dealt with the passage.  He was not at all interested in the textual question of whether vv. 43-44 were original.  ...

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Problems with the NRSV (Part 5)

Trust me. I will eventually get back to the question of my relationship with Bruce Metzger. I keep getting sidetracked. But the tracks on the side are interesting. At least I *think* they are!!

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In my last post I pointed out that the famous passage of the so-called “bloody sweat” in Luke 22:43-44 is thought by some scholars not to have been original to the Gospel of Luke. I count myself in that number. One of my very first scholarly ...

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Problems with the NRSV (Part 4)

I will give just one other textual disagreement that I have with the translators of the NRSV: by “textual” disagreement I mean a disagreement over what the original Greek text of a passage was that should have been translated. For this second example I’ll stick with Luke, and again with the Passion narrative. The full passage of Jesus’ prayer in the garden in Luke 24:39-46 reads as follows in the NRSV:

FOR THE REST OF THIS POST, log in ...

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A Virgin Birth? The Importance of Context

I continue to be writing up a storm, making just the progress I’ve wanted on my Bible Introduction. Gods willing, I will finish chapter 8 tomorrow, which is all of the chapters dealing with the Hebrew Bible. I was eager to finish this part of the book before the weekend, because on Monday I head overseas for the rest of the summer (Sarah and I spend a good chunk of every summer in London; she’s a Brit, and has been ...

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Q & A with Ben Witherington: Part 5

Q. Various mythicists have tried to argue that in fact there is only one source, namely Mark, that provides evidence that Jesus existed and presumably he made up the idea? Why is this not a fair representation of the evidence, and why do you think it is that various of them hardly even deal with the evidence from Paul?

A. Most mythicists claim that Paul never mentions the historical Jesus or says anything about him, but that he only speaks of ...

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Q & A with Ben Witherington: Part 4

CONTINUATION!   Ben Witherington, a conservative evangelical Christian New Testament scholar, has asked me to respond to a number of questions about my book Did Jesus Exist, especially in light of criticism I have received for it (not, for the most part, from committed Christians!).   His blog is widely read by conservative evangelicals, and he has agreed to post the questions and my answers without editing, to give his readers a sense of why I wrote the book, what I ...

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Religion in the News: Dating Jesus’ Death by the Earthquake

Geologists claim now that they have established the date of Jesus’ death. It was April 3, 33 CE. Thus:

Jesus ‘died on Friday, April 3, 33AD’, claim researchers, who tie earthquake data with the gospels to find the date
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2149750/Jesus-died-Friday-April-3-33AD-claim-researchers-tie-earthquake-data-gospels-date.html

For those who don’t know, the date of Jesus’ death has long been in dispute. The reality is, we are not sure when Jesus was executed (i.e., what year). It almost certainly happened during a Passover feast during the reign of ...

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