Jesus’ Miracles in John and the Synoptics

I’m trying to explain how John is so very different from the other three Gospels in its presentation of Jesus’ words and deeds.  As I have shown, John tells different stories from the others. More striking when it tells the same kinds of stories, there are stark and compelling differences.  Here is how I explain it in my New Testament textbook.

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The differences between John and the Synoptics are perhaps even more striking in stories that they have in ...

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(Birthday) Gifts and (Speaking) Gigs

Two brief blog-related issues, one involving a birthday and the other my speaking gigs.

The birthday – well, it kind-s involves the blog.   This Thursday (October 5) is my birthday.  62.  Who would-a thought?   And who cares?  (Apart from me…)

Well … I bet you’re wondering what you should get me for my birthday.  Here’s an idea, suggested by two blog members already:  How bout you get me a donation to the blog?

None of the money would come to me, of course.  ...

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Differences Between John and the Synoptics

In this sub-thread I’m trying to explain why I do not use the fourth Gospel extensively in trying to decide what Jesus actually taught (specifically about the afterlife, but about much of anything else as well).   One of the main issues involves the differences between John and the three Synoptic Gospels (all of them earlier than John), Matthew, Mark, and Luke.   Here I discuss one aspect of these differences: at the very fundamental level, John simply has Jesus say and ...

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Lunch in Boston?

I’m thinking about arranging a lunch, with anyone on the blog who is interested and will be in Boston on Thursday November 16 for the Biblical Archaeology Society FEST — or who will be there for any other reason!   Would you be interested?

Here’s the deal.  The Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) is a great organization, which brings knowledge about the Bible and especially about relevant archaeological digs to a wider interested public.  Every year – for twenty years now — they ...

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An Introduction to the Gospel of John

I have started to discuss Jesus’ view(s) of the afterlife, and it has occurred to me, based on some readers’ comments, that it may not be clear why I am not appealing to what Jesus says about such things in the Gospel of John.  That raises a very large question (or two) that I don’t recall dealing with head-on on the blog before (though surely some sleuth will point out that I did!): how John differs from the other Gospels ...

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Jesus’ Teaching About the Kingdom of God

I have explained how the idea of resurrection arose within early Judaism, and now I want to talk about the idea of afterlife in the teachings of Jesus.  To begin with, I need to stress that when Jesus talked about the coming kingdom of God – the core of his apocalyptic message – he was *not* referring to what happens to a person’s soul after she or he dies.

Here is how I explain Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom in my ...

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Paul on Trial for the Resurrection

In previous posts I have discussed the different Jewish sects that we know about from the first century, at the dawn of Christianity (Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Fourth Philosophy) in order to show that (a) there were different understandings of the afterlife among them, but (b) there was a belief in a future resurrection of the dead attested in at least two of the groups: the Pharisees and Essenes.   We don’t know what the eschatological views of the Fourth Philosophy were; ...

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Is Luke’s Christology Consistent? A Blast from the Past

I have had several comments about the point I made that in Acts 2 Luke indicates that it was at the resurrection that God “made” Jesus both “Lord” and “Christ.”  Uh, does that fit in with Luke’s views otherwise?  Wasn’t he *born* the Lord and the Messiah, for example?  Then how could it be at his resurrection?

I dealt with the question on the blog a couple of years ago, and after some digging, found the post.  When I discussed the ...

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Did Luke Have a Doctrine of the Atonement? Mailbag September 24, 2017

For this week’s readers’ mailbag I have chosen a question about my claim that the author of Luke-Acts, unlike other writers of the New Testament, does not have a doctrine of the atonement – that Jesus’ death brought about a restored relationship with God (for Luke, it was the *resurrection* that mattered, not the crucifixion).   The questioner sets up the question with an important observation.   I suspect my answer will not be what he expected.

 

 

QUESTION:

 

I have spent a lot of ...

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Does the Book of Acts Underplay the Significance of Jesus’ Death?

One of the things that I have found most interesting about doing the blog over these, lo, past five and a half years is that when I decide to write a post on something, I often realize that I need to provide some background that involves something else that, on the surface, may seem unrelated, but that is crucial for understanding the point I want to make.  Which leads me to a different topic and then to another, and so ...

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