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The King of Stories-- A Certain Nobleman, and the First Night in a New Home

Introductory note from Jason Pratt: see here for the previous entry; and see here for the first entry of the series. (It explains what I'm doing, and how, and contains the Johannine prologue.)

Since some of the later chapters are long enough that I'll want to break them into two parts, I'm taking the opportunity to consolidate some shorter chapters here.



The Nobleman and the King

When Jesus went on up into Galilee (says the Evangelist; meaning from Sychar in Samaria, via Nazareth as implied the Evangelist’s peculiar callback to Luke 4:16-30), the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He had done in Jerusalem at the (Passover) Feast; for they themselves had also gone to the festival.

And what He preached in Galilee (adds the Follower)--after leaving Nazareth (adds the Disciple)--was: "The time is now fulfilled; the kingdom of God is near! Commit to doing better, and trust in this good news!"


.......

Thus He came again (from Nazareth) to Cana of Galilee (say…

A God by Any Other Name: Part 2 Critique of Hector Avalos's "End of Biblical Studies"

[Editor's note: part 1 of Joe Hinman's critique can be found here. Joe's original critique of an article by Dr. Hector Avalos on the same topic, along with some subsequent commentary discussion, can be found here.]


Dr. Avalos charges that errors have been intentionally made in the standard translations of the Bible to cover up theological difficulties stemming from the Bible's (alleged) irrelevance. In this section I will be exploring some of these charges, and also some of the problems Avalos charges to the sub disciplines. Before going into this, however, I feel it necessary to discuss my views of Biblical revelation. This is because Avalos's criticisms really don't stack up against most theologies except the verbal plenary version--and only a strict interpretation of that!


Biblical Revelation

This issue really cuts to the heart of the relevance issue, because most of Avalos's understanding of "relevance" has to do with an understanding of verbal …

The King of Stories -- A Woman, a Well, and a (semi-)Triumphant Return

Introductory note from Jason Pratt: see here for the previous entry; and see here for the first entry of the series. (It explains what I'm doing, and how, and contains the Johannine prologue.)

Since some of the later chapters are long enough that I'll want to break them into two parts, I'm taking the opportunity to consolidate some shorter chapters here. These have some interesting plot-notes that I'll go ahead and include in the main entry rather than deferring them to comment entries below.


The Woman at the Well

Now Jesus had to pass through Samaria (says the Evangelist, meaning on Jesus' way to the Galilee region). So He came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the freehold which Jacob (one of the Hebrew patriarchs) gave his son Joseph.

[Plotnote: as far as I can tell, Jesus is actually going to Nazareth now, which lies on the border between the Samarian region and the Galilee region; after which, as the storytellers know, He will go up further into Galilee. I…

Relevance is Where You Find it: I don't find it in Hector Avalos's "End of Biblical Studies."

I just finished reading Hector Avalos’s fascinating work, The End of Biblical Studies, in hopes that he will debate me. I will isolate what I think are three major issues that run through the theme of the book, and I will deal with them in three separate essays. These three issues are:


(1) The relevance of the Bible to modern life and culture.
(2) Several examples of the sub disciplines and how he thinks they have contributed to the illusion of relevance.
(3) His chapter “Unhistorical Jesus.”

The topic for this week is “relevance.” Dr. Avalos charges that the Bible has no relevance to modern life. Its value system is ancient and based upon a form of cruel feudalism that no longer applies in a post enlightenment world (my term, not his). The major worldview of the Bible is based upon ritual purity laws that really must be classified as pure superstition. The effect of these two aspects is an oppressive set of presuppositions that have stunted the progress of our own culture. In response to…

How Should I Be A Sceptic -- belief without reason?

[Introductory note from Jason Pratt: the previous entry in this series of posts can be found here. The first entry can be found here.

This entry continues a fourth chapter, begun here. I highly recommend reading at least as far back as this, first.]



It seems to me (as an initial expectation, based on my previous considerations), that every 'real' belief requires an acted inference of some sort on the part of the believer; although the exact inference may not be what the believer claims it is with respect to the belief.

In other words, I question whether there can be any such thing as a real belief that is irrational (in the very limited sense I am using of ‘irrational’.)

As I roll on the ground in delirium after being snakebit, I might be muttering "Snake... in hole..." But that doesn't necessarily mean I actually 'believe' it: because I might not be conscious. The sounds coming out of my mouth might be the same type of non-intended effects-by-association whi…