Jesus as the Messiah in Mark’s Gospel

In this thread within a thread within a thread I’m discussing the portrayal of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark as the Son of God whom no one knows.  For background, see my preceding post on the topic.  One of my overarching points is that Mark goes out of his way to portray Jesus as the Son of God, even though the title does not occur very often in the Gospel – but only at really crucial points of the ...

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Jesus as the Son of God in Mark

I am set now to return to my thread on the changes in our surviving manuscripts of the New Testament that were made in order to make the text more amenable to the theological agenda of orthodox scribes and to help prevent their use by Christians who had alternative understandings of who Christ was.

I have been arguing, in that vein, that the voice at Jesus’ baptism in Luke’s Gospel originally said “You are my son, today I have begotten you” ...

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Adoptionistic Christologies

For some posts now I have been talking about “docetic” Christologies in the early church – views of Christ that said he was so much divine that he was not really a human – and about how these influenced proto-orthodox scribes who changed their texts of scripture in order to show that, by contrast, Christ really was a flesh and blood human being.   I would now like to shift to the other end of the theological spectrum to discuss Christological ...

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Ehrman Licona Debate – Prove Jesus Rose from Dead

On February 28, 2008 I flew back to (near) my home turf, Kansas City, Missouri where I debated Christian apologist Mike R. Licona on the topic, “Can Historians Prove that Jesus Rose from the Dead?” The event took place on at 7 p.m. held at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  You can guess whose side the crowd was on!

Mike is one person I’ve debated over the years with whom I have a very good relationship.  When we’re not going at ...

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Wine in the Kingdom

Writing my last post on Papias made me think of something that is rather humorous even if it is only very tangentially related.   If you recall, Papias claimed that Jesus taught the following about the future utopian kingdom on earth:

 The days are coming when vines will come forth, each with ten thousand boughs; and on a single bough will be ten thousand branches.  And indeed, on a single branch will be ten thousand shoots and on every shoot ...

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New Boxes on Problematic Social Values in the New Testament

I have been posting some of the new “boxes” that will appear in the sixth edition of my textbook.  These boxes are meant either to raise interesting historical issues that are somewhat tangential to the main discussion or to broach complex issues without easy solution that are meant to force students to think for themselves.     I include two such boxes here in this post – the first is a new one for the sixth edition, but I thought it would ...

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New Boxes on Jesus as God in the NT

Here are two more “boxes” that will now appear in the sixth edition of my New Testament textbook.   If you’ve read my recent book, How Jesus Became God, you’ll see that both of these boxes are based on views that I develop at length there.   One of the tricks in writing a textbook is figuring out how to say something in a way that is succinct and interesting, when there is not much space to cover a topic fully  (so, ...

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Trade Books and Scholarly Books

I indicated in my previous post that I would say a few things about each of the books that I am planning – today at least – to try to write over the next ten years or so.   The very next book will be trade book on Jesus Before the Gospels, a study of what happened to the stories about Jesus as they were altered, and invented, by Christians circulating them word of mouth before the writing of ...

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Josephus and the Burial of Jesus

I have devoted a large number of posts to going carefully through the main arguments that Craig Evans makes in his critique of the position I take in How Jesus Became God with respect to the burial tradition, in his essay, “Getting the Burial Traditions and Evidences Right.”   To this point I have been trying to argue that the accumulation of arguments in and of itself does not constitute a “cumulative argument.”  Each of the accumulated arguments has ...

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Other Options for Paul and Jesus

In my last post I started giving the principal options, as I see them, for why Paul did not mention more about the historical Jesus. Below are two other leading options. As I’ve indicated, there are probably others, and if some occur to you, feel free to comment!

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Option Two: Paul knew more of the traditions of Jesus, but considered them irrelevant to his mission. This option relates closely to the one preceding, with a major difference. In ...

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