Paul's Use Of Psalm 32 In Romans 4

          The Epistle to the Romans is Paul's literary masterpiece on the doctrine of salvation. It is the most elegant of his extant writings. Paul begins his piece by presenting the issue of human depravity and righteousness of God. The apostle goes on to show that both Jew and Gentile have broken God's Law and are deserving of His judgement. Everyone stands guilty before Him but He has presented a means of reconciliation through the atoning work of Jesus Christ.          Paul makes an argument by example when he mentions Abraham who lived prior to the Law being given to the people of God. He does this with the intent of showing that his teaching is compatible with the Old Testament. A system of works righteousness would result in boasting. Romans 4:4 says that if someone earns wages, then it is not a gift. But justification is precisely that. Romans 4:5 says that God declares righteous the ungodly and counts them as such by faith.           The Law required that two or three

On The Historicity And Morality Of The Canaanite Conquests (Part 2 Of 2)

Discussion:           -James Bishop created a series of  posts  explaining what he thinks is problematic with traditional defenses of God commanding the Israelites to kill the Canaanites. The second installment of this series continues on the work of the first by answering a few other objections to this narrative. Following are a few excerpts from the author along with a critique:             "...If we swapped “Canaanites” with “Jews” in the Old Testament, and Joshua with Hitler, we would have Archer defending Hitler on the basis that the Jews cancerous, including their infants and children. If we swapped “Canaanites” with “Jews” in the Old Testament, and Joshua with Hitler, we would have Archer defending Hitler on the basis that the Jews cancerous, including their infants and children."           This is a false analogy. Israel was a theocracy, not a dictatorship. Classes of people were not being eliminated at whim. The context of these battles in the Old Testament relates t

On The Historicity And Morality Of The Canaanite Conquests (Part 1 Of 2)

Discussion:           -James Bishop created a series of  posts  explaining what he thinks is problematic with traditional defenses of God commanding the Israelites to kill the Canaanites. This two part series attempts to show that a number of those objections do not hold water when put under scrutiny. Following are a few excerpts from the author along with a critique:             "...Wesley Morriston agrees writing that there “is nothing uniquely “Canaanite” about them. All, or nearly all, of these practices—from sexual intercourse during a woman’s menstrual period to homosexual behavior to bestiality—are still common. Is there any real reason to believe that these things were more common among the Canaanites in the ancient world?”           Some cultures in the ancient world were worse than others. It is not even claimed that Canaanite culture was the worst that ever existed. There are other instances in the Old Testament of societies that were destroyed by God because of their s

A Textual Critical Analysis Of Mark 16:9-20

          Most modern English translations of the Bible place into brackets or footnotes the text of Mark 16:9-20, which is about Jesus appearing to the disciples and giving them instructions to carry on the work of preaching the gospel. The text records Jesus appearing first to Mary Magdalene who was not believed after telling others the news of Him being resurrected after His crucifixion. He then appears to two other disciples bodily and later for a third time to the eleven while they were supping. Scholars generally do not consider Mark 16:9-20 to be part of the original text of the gospel of Mark.            Two key witnesses consulted in reaching this conclusion would be Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. Their importance lies in them containing the oldest full copies of the Greek New Testament. In regards to textual defects, Randall Price writes, "...there are thousands of variants between them [Sinaiticus and Vaticanus], but where they agree they appear to represent a te

A Textual Critical Analysis Of John 7:53-8:11

          Most modern English translations of the Bible place into brackets or footnotes the story of the woman caught in adultery, which can be found in John chapter seven verse fifty-three through the eleventh verse of the next chapter.           The story of the woman caught in adultery has value because it sets in stone the superiority of Jesus Christ over the Law and portrays the cross as being the fountain of mercy that washes away iniquity. It powerfully emphasizes grace over law; justification rather than condemnation before God. The scribes and Pharisees tried to set up a trap for Christ. If He answered them by saying outright that justice should not be administered to this woman, then that would violate the Law of Moses and cause a negative reaction amongst the Jews against Him. If He were to take the administration of justice into His own hands, then that could have been viewed as a challenge to Caesar's authority. Rather than dong either, Jesus pointed out that all peop

A Critique Of The Secular Humanist Worldview

Discussion:           - Following are a handful of excerpts (in bold) from a classic humanist manifesto titled,  The Philosophy of Humanism , by Corliss Lamont:             "There are, as I see it, ten central propositions in the Humanist philosophy: First, Humanism believes in a naturalistic metaphysics or attitude toward the universe that considers all forms of the supernatural as myth; and that regards Nature as the totality of being and as a constantly changing system of matter and energy which exists independently of any mind or consciousness. Second, Humanism, drawing especially upon the laws and facts of science, believes man is an evolutionary product of the Nature of which he is part; that his mind is indivisibly conjoined with the functioning of his brain; and that as an inseparable unity of body and personality he can have no conscious survival after death.”           It is interesting to note how the author of this book capitalizes the word nature. This could be interp

The Web of Historicity

Most Jesus myther arguments are based upon phony standards that real historians don't use. They expect direct documentation like a birth certificate. They did not have birth cirtificates for rural Jewish pesants in the Gallalee so that is an unrealistic expectation. Using the lack of it as proof that Jesus didn't exist is silly. In the absense of such documentation there are two methods: (1)Demonstarting the historicity of the places and people around Jesus then infurring his existence. (2)Direct attestation by people who knew him or less directly by those who knew people who knew himm. I use both. This article,however, deals with the former. The approach taken is that everything around Jesus, thepeople and places is historical, It's a bog web and Jesusis at thecenter, Why would it be that this web of historicity has as it;s cemteran empty space? We know that the basic story of the manger and the virgin Mary and Jesus himself circlated in the first century. Early on J

An Exegetical Study Of Habakkuk 2:4 As It Relates To Paul's Doctrine Of Justification By Faith

Discussion:           -The Book of Habakkuk is a classic example of what we would call a theodicy. It serves as a defense of the goodness of God in the midst of evil. A theodicy aims to solve the paradox of His general providence in a world of pain and misery. How could an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God allow people to go through bad things? Why do evil people seem to prosper while the righteous suffer, being continually trampled on? Why is perfect justice not always inflicted on evildoers in this world? Questions of this nature plagued Habakkuk's mind in the situation of his day. Countless other people throughout the course of history have asked the same.           Habakkuk was troubled deeply by the corrupt society in which he lived. The laws of the prophet's own nation were not being enforced. Justice was not a thing to be found in that land. Faithlessness toward God abounded. Habakkuk wondered how a righteous God could be silent and allow these things to come to

My New Book Is Out:God. Science, And Ideology

This is a review of the book from Philosophy in Review Vol. 42 no. 2 (May 2022). Joseph Hinman. God Science Ideology: Examining the Role of Ideology in the Religious-Scientific Dialogue. Grand Viaduct 2022. 647 pp. $59.99 USD (Hardcover ISBN 9780982408766). If any area of current philosophy is so incendiary as to teeter on violence, it is argument about an omnipotent divine being’s existence. The ‘debate’—too gentle a term here—becomes so vehement it echoes the doctrinal tree-shaking that led to so many religious wars. Certainly, professional philosophers tend toward protocols of respect and charitability among one another. But the internet has provided history perhaps the most immense battlefield for doctrinal dispute. Hinman’s lengthy, vehement, if generally sober offering to this battle is almost definitive of the field. It is likely one of the most thorough religious apologetics in contemporary times. It merits a serious consideration and is certain to draw some rabid fi

Is there a pre Mark Redaction? part 2

there is a much longer version if this page on the Religious a priori . to see the whole things go here. Non Canonical Gospels (Lost Gospels) Non canonical Gospels include 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 in non canonical gospels is latter material from second and 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