Albert Schweitzer and the Apocalyptic Jesus

In the current thread I’m trying to establish that Jesus believed he was the messiah.  I have pointed out that his followers would not have considered him the messiah because they believed he had been raised from the dead (since the messiah was not supposed to die and rise again) unless they had already considered him the messiah prior to his death.  But that, of course, does not mean that Jesus *himself* thought he was the messiah.  And so we ...

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The Apocalyptic Context for Jesus’ View of the Messiah

In this thread I am trying to argue that Jesus understood himself to be the messiah.  So far I have made one of my two main arguments, with the understanding that *both* arguments have to be considered in order to have a compelling case.  So the first prong doesn’t prove much on its own.  But in combination with the second argument, it makes a strong case.  The first argument is that Jesus’ followers would not have understood him as the ...

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How Do We Know What Jesus Said About Himself?

Yesterday I started my two-prong argument for why Jesus probably considered himself the messiah.  The first prong is that Jesus must have been called the messiah during his lifetime, or it makes no sense that he would be called messiah after his death – since even if there were Jews who believed that Jesus was raised from the dead after he was crucified (as indeed there were!  Otherwise we wouldn’t have Christianity), the resurrection of a dead person would never ...

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Jesus, the Messiah, and the Resurrection

I have been talking about the early Christian understandings of Jesus as the messiah – not just the messiah, but the “crucified messiah,” a concept that would have seemed not just unusual or bizarre to most Jewish ears in the first century, but absolutely mind-boggling and self-contradictory.  I’ve been arguing that it was precisely the contradictory nature of the claim that led almost all Jews to reject the Christian claims about Jesus.

Several readers have asked me whether I think Jesus ...

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The Jewish Messiah

In my previous post I began to discuss the understanding of Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah, in the Gospel of Mark (this is a thread within a thread within a thread – but it doesn’t matter.  Each of these posts makes sense on their own).  I am trying to show that Mark portrayed Jesus as the Son of God (meaning:  the one who was in a particularly close relationship with God who was chosen by God to ...

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Reader’s Mailbag on Virgin Birth: 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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Really??? Stories of Jesus’ Virgin Birth

COMMENT:

When I bring up the possibility that the original Luke did not have the first two chapters which include the virgin birth narrative, Christians say to me:  “How could such a new twist to the story of Jesus have developed so soon in the first century if some of Jesus’ family, disciples, and friends were still alive to verify its accuracy?  If Jesus had truly been Joseph’s son, wouldn’t SOMEONE have said, “Hey. Wait a minute.  Jesus nor his mother ...

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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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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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Back to the Forgery of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

Some three years ago now I discussed in several posts the newly “discovered” text called “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” (just search for “wife” and you’ll find the posts).  A new development has occurred that makes it almost certain that this text is a modern forgery, done sometime in the last 20 years.  The evidence has been uncovered by Andrew Bernhard, who was one of the first to establish other grounds for seeing the text as something quite fishy, and ...

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