Reader’s Mailbag: 10/29/15

 

Many thanks to everyone who responded to my queries about how we could make the Blog better.  I received some very good ideas, and one in particular that I want to implement, starting with this post.  That involves a weekly Reader’s Mailbag. 

I get a lot of questions each week, and usually can only devote an occasional post to them.  Otherwise, all I can do is give a one-sentence or so response in my Comments.   But the idea that several ...

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An Irritating Criticism: My View of Paul’s View of Christ

QUESTION:

Below is one Christian’s comment about your position on Galatians 4:14.  How would you respond to this criticism:    “The question to ask of this is why make Galatians 4:14, with an interpretation not readily accepted by even non-Christian scholars, the lynchpin? What was it about this verse that made it the focal point, especially when Paul isn’t really making a Christological argument there? Why not statements like Philippians 2 which is quoted? Note also that Philippians ends with every knee ...

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95

Taking the Pulse of the Blog

The blog has now been in existence three and a half years now, and as I like to do a couple of times a year, I would like to take its pulse, to see if it is still alive and well among us, and to find out what, if anything, we can do to make it better.  I don’t think it is sick and in desperate need of hospitalization; in fact, from where I sit, it seems to be doing ...

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87

My Big Day Appeal

I am taking executive privilege today with this posting.  It is a big day, not for the blog, but for me personally.  To my shock and amazement, today is my 60th birthday.  60 years.  How did this happen???  I’m glad it did, but still, I’m just askin’.

So I want to use the occasion to make a shameless appeal.   I had a big birthday bash two nights ago, with friends and family flying in from such far-flung places as California and ...

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27

Do I Have a Grudge against Bruce Metzger?

QUESTION:

A more personal question:  did you have a grudge against Dr. Bruce Metzger? I have always seen conservative textual critics and scholars pit you against Dr. Metzger’s views.

 

RESPONSE:

When I first read this question I was very surprised indeed.  A grudge against Bruce Metzger???

Metzger, as many readers of this blog know, was my teacher and mentor, and I never had anything but the most profound and utmost respect for him, from the moment I first had the ...

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35

Debate in Dallas on Friday

For anyone in the Dallas area:  On Friday (two days!  Sept. 18) I will be having a public debate with Justin Bass, a Christian apologist and pastor with a PhD from Dallas Theological, on the question “Did the Historical Jesus Claim To Be Divine?”   Dr. Bass thinks the answer is YES.  I think the answer is NO. It should be an interesting back and forth.   If you want to hear the arguments, come and see it.  Free admission. ...

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How Jesus Became God on Humanist Hour

OK, here is something different to break up all the discussion of textual criticism.

On May 14th, 2014, I was interviewed by Bo Bennett on the hour long program called The Humanist Hour.  This is a one-hour talk show produced by the American Humanist Association (see : http://americanhumanist.org/ ).  In the interview we discuss my personal background as a believer, some fundamentals of the Bible from a historical perspective, and some comments related to my book, How Jesus Became ...

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18

Why New Testament Textual Criticism Had Grown Moribund

In my previous post I had begun to indicate that the field of New Testament textual criticism had grown notably and depressingly moribund in America by the late 1970s when I began my graduate studies.   But I didn’t explain just *why* most New Testament scholars – let alone scholars in other fields of religious studies or the humanities more broadly – did not find the field interesting and / or important.   The reason has to do with what I laid ...

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20

Fundamentalist Mistakes

When, three days ago, I posted my comments about the discovery of a two-page manuscript fragment of the Qur’an that, according to new reports, can be dated (technically, the parchment on which the text is written can be dated) to the lifetime of the prophet Mohammed or to a decade or so later, I had no idea that the post would be such a big deal.   The Facebook version of the post has had nearly245,000 hits. and counting.   Who would-a ...

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