Showing posts from October, 2016

Canonical Gospels

The Diatessaon is an attempt at a Harmony of the four canonical Gospels. It was complied by Titian in about AD172, but it contains readings whihc imply that he used versions of the canonical gospels some of which contain pre markan elements.

In an article published in the Back of Helmut Koester's Ancient Christian Gospels, William L. Petersen states:
"Sometimes we stumble across readings which are arguably earlier than the present canonical text. One is Matthew 8:4 (and Parallels) where the canonical text runs "go show yourself to the priests and offer the gift which Moses commanded as a testimony to them" No fewer than 6 Diatessaronic witnesses...give the following (with minor variants) "Go show yourself to the priests and fulfill the law." With eastern and western support and no other known sources from which these Diatessaranic witnesses might have acquired the reading we must conclude that it is the reading of Tatian...The Diatessaronic reading is certa…

Rationalizing Faith or Rationalizing Doubt?

On CARM, (message board) Derrick writes:

It is my opinion that it is rationalizations based upon my perspective of the facts. When a Christian encounters a ridiculous amount of suffering in their life they interpret this through their beliefs that god loves them and is disciplining them, etc. This to me is rationalizing, which does not speak to whether or not it is true, but simply plausible to the person experiencing the suffering.Tralala writes: "What bad things did god do to you? All of them? Just certain ones? How do you know which is which?Could something bad have happened just by chance with no meaning what so ever?."

I've seen these two statements put over in a thousand different says in a thousands different venues. It's quite common to hear this, when good stuff happens we just credit it to God regardless of the evidence for that, when bad stuff happens we refuse to ever blame God. As though blaming God is a real option if you believe he exists. Let's st…

Advice for Christian Introverts at Social Gatherings

While people who meet me may not immediately recognize it, I am an an introvert. Fortunately, I am not the type of introvert who seeks to avoid any type of interaction with people. But at the same time, I don't particularly welcome it. When offered the opportunity to choose between going to a party and staying home with a good book or a movie, unless I am good friends with the people at the party I will always opt to stay home. 
But, of course, that's not the way it works. Being married to a wonderful woman who is much more of an extrovert than I am, I am often forced to go to social gatherings of various types where there are people with whom I am not particularly comfortable. In the past, I would hang around with my wife, but that almost always made me feel like some unwanted bystander to her conversations. So, inevitably, I would move off to a corner where I would happily smile and talk to people who took the time to approach me, but I rarely made any real effort to initia…

Bi-Weekly Report: Im Skeptical

Today, I decided to focus on a certain atheist that seems to take issue with the writings of several Christians on the internet. He has been banned from several sites (like Feser’s and Reppert’s, for example) for excessive trolling. You know him as Im Skeptical (also known as Skep, also known as IMS).

First up, I would like to focus on these posts:

The Skeptic Zone: Religionist Frothing at Mouth

Skeppo is responding to an article that Mikey (from Shadow to Light) did recently:

Shadow to Light: More on the Authoritarian Nature of New Atheism

Mikey is talking about a You Tube video that was made by a 17-year old atheist named Cosmic Skeptic, who had this to say:

I think the most important thing a parent can be in terms of religion and the upbringing of a child is secular. I don’t really care what you believe, as long as you let the children come to their own conclusions when they’re old enough.
Mikey brought up another “Gnu” (a term that atheists coined to call themselves, I think) named T…

Gospel Behind the Gospel part 2

Church of nativity Bethlehem

Non Canonical Gospels (Lost Gospels)
Non canonical Gospels includes those we have in full such as G Peter and G Thomas and "lost Gospels" which tend to be theoretical such as Q or fragmentary such as Egerton 2. Of course a lot of what is found imn non canonical gospels is latter material from second an d third centuries and has less historical value for our purposes. But even in some late material there are traces of early readings, Of this early material we can't really know what reflects truth and what reflects drift from the truth of the events. One thing is certain when this kind of material agrees with the canonical gospels it increases the odds that the canonical gospels represent historical reality at leas in those matters of agreement,

Following I reproduce excerpts from a newspaper story about these lost gospels and non canonical gospels,

Story by Kay Albright, (785) 864-8858

University Relations, the public relations office for the Un…

Discipleship, Economics and Atheism

The law of supply and demand is the bedrock principle of economics. Most often the idea is expressed as a simple function of price: When price decreases, supply decreases while demand increases. When price increases, supply increases while demand decreases. Common experience confirms what economists teach. Every worker wants a job that pays more, for example, so that supply of labor increases as wages increase; just as every consumer wants to pay less for tennis shoes, so that consumers buy more tennis shoes marked down than at regular price. One consequence of the law of supply and demand is that of shortage and surplus: When the price of a good exceeds the market-clearing price, a surplus results, and when the price is below the market-clearing price, a shortage results. Everyone wants the most bang for the buck. The truth of all this holds not just for tangible goods, but for most anything imaginable that could potentially enhance human well-being. As economist Roger Arnold has note…

Gospel Behind the Gospels part 1

Skeptics of the New Testament usually assume a long gap exists between the events in the gospels and the recording of the events in writing, They further tend to assume that the first source of writing about these events was the gospel of Mark. Thus they assume events were exaggerated and miracles were made up and so on during this gap period. In this essay I am going to dispel this myth by demonstrating that there were written records of the gospel events that existed before the writing of Marks gospel. I will further demonstrate that there were multiple sources transmitting the information. Mark's was not the first gospel written but merely the first of the canonical gospels to be written. None of the early works survive in MS form but we find traces of them in copies of latter works.

Traces of Gospel Material in Gap

The circulation of Gospel material can be shown in four areas: 

(1) Oral tradition 

(2) saying source Material 

(3) Non canonical Gospels 

(4) traces of pre Markan redact…