Showing posts from July, 2016

Did GosMark's Author Possibly Invent the Empty Tomb? (Nope 7 of 9)

PART 7: DISAPPEARING ACTS OF THE TOMB Part 1 of this series is way back here. Recently I've been looking at curious problems surrounding the empty tomb narratives in the Gospels and how they point away , in one or two categories I think quite decisively, from GosMark's having invented the empty tomb. But enough about the Gospel accounts. How about some disappearing Acts? No, not the Ascension account in Acts. I'm talking about the tomb! 7.) The canonical book of Acts is quite notable, not only for having some seriously primitive(-seeming) language in talking about the risen Jesus, but in a lack of detail during reported preaching about the empty tomb. And by a lack of detail, I mean almost no mention of the tomb at all! To begin with, it's important to notice, and to keep in mind, that regardless of whether Acts and GosLuke were written by the same guy, and regardless of any redactional theories of Acts' composition; whoever put Acts together in its fina

Is Inerrancy a Heresy?

I don't consider inerrancy a hill to die on, and as many will know, I've been on the offensive against certain persons (cough, cough) who refuse to budge from an entirely anachronistic vision of inerrancy which is modeled more after modern precision-literalism than it is any idea of what the Apostles would have said if you'd have asked them whether the text was inerrant. With that in mind, I'm now presenting an essay I wrote a few years back on an author named Rodger Cragun who insisted that inerrancy was not only wrong, it was also a heresy. Sadly, his arguments had more in common with what you might hear from a fundamentalist atheist than what you'd hear from a carefully pondering scholar like a Licona or a Blomberg. *** A reader requested that we examine the book The Ultimate Heresy by Rodger Cragun. The peculiar stance of this book is that the concept of Biblical inerrancy is a heresy. Cragun, not surprisingly, has more than a few problems with his approa

Did GosMark's Author Possibly Invent the Empty Tomb? (Nope 6 of 9)

PART 6: SPECIAL AUTHORITATIVE SNOWFLAKES SHATTERING ON A TOMB In recent parts of this series (which starts back here) , I've been looking at how various subtle problems around the empty tomb in the Gospel narratives, just don't mesh well with the idea that GosMark's author invented the empty tomb. I've passed by the topic of today's entry a couple of times already, but now I'm going to focus a squinty eye on it more closely. (If I sound not that reverent to some parts of the topic, that's because per Part 1 I'm talking about why I would think GosMark's author did not invent the empty tomb even if I was an atheist.) 6.) The canonicals, including GosMark, jump through hoops to make the blundering apostles relevant authorities to their readers, especially thanks to being eyewitnesses to the risen Jesus who posthumously reaffirms their authority, gives them spiritual power, etc. But in none of the accounts, including GosMark, and even including t

The Dusty Web of Gnosticism

[Below is a revised version of an article that originally appeared in the Fall 2004 edition of Vineline: Connecting the Vineyard Churches in Canada, a now-defunct publication . I remain indebted to Dr. Derek Morphew for the instruction I received during my time learning via the Vineyard Bible Institute.]   Though it's been many years, I can still remember as a young Christian moving into our "new" church building (really an old building) in Austin, Texas. The formidable task before us was to clean it up and make it hospitable for our little Pentecostal church family and any prospective converts we could somehow persuade to visit. We had to build new walls, replace an old toilet, add a fresh coat of paint all around, and put up a new sign announcing our arrival. But before doing any of that, we had to clean up the place. A thick layer of dust covered not only the floor, but various papers, folders, coat hangers, soda cans, candy wrappers – and in every corner of

Did GosMark's Author Possibly Invent the Empty Tomb? (Nope 5 of 9)

PART 5: OBLIVION-GUSHING DOES NOT HELP We've been doing this a while, starting back here at Part 1. Currently I'm looking at a number of problems that tend to cluster around the Gospel tomb accounts, and how their existence as problems doesn't follow cleanly from the proposal that GosMark's author simply invented the tomb (or even its emptiness). In the previous Part, that problem was women being the first witnesses to the tomb, in the sense of them being women at all. But there are more subtle problems associated with those women: 4.) GosMark's invention of the tomb, and so of the women being at the tomb (or even his invention of the women, too), does not fit the embarrassing GosLuke material of the apostles deriding the women's report as "oblivion-gush". Peter is a partial exception in GosLuke; but the brief verse about him rushing out to check the tomb is late (and meant to clarify something in the Emmaus story itself about people, plural

Bowen-Hinman Debate historical Jesus part 4:Josephus

In this debate you will see my opponent has some good arguments but they are of a speculative nature. He has no textual evidence in his favor. My side is backed by some textual evidence. My textual evidence: * There no copies of texts of Josephus not containing the TF.  * The brother passage (BP) uses a Greek phrase that means "so-called" or "alleged" in connection with Jesus as messiah: it refers to him as "the so-called messiah." * No one would go to the trouble to fabricate a passage or to alter or doctor it and then fail to make it strong enough to suit his purpose. No Christian would call Jesus the "so called" messiah. * Bowen will argue that the TF does not say "so called" and the same person tweaking the TF would surely Tweak the BP.  But they do actually agree. There are two other versions, Jerome's and Syriac, where the TF says "so called Christ." ( Alice Wealey ) * The best solution is t