Showing posts from February, 2018

Early Church Mythers, told you they were coming.

Tomb of Philip at  Hierapolis I once observed that with Jesus mythers, Peter Mythers,Paul Mythers, Apostle mythers, the skeptical world would soon get around to denying the very existence of Christianity itself, Now they are just on the verge of doing that, there are both  both Acts mythers and Jerusalem church mythers. There was a group working in 2001 in pulled in the wake o the Jesus Seminar called the "Acts Seminar." Their "findings" were published  in 2013. [1] "The Acts Seminar met twice a year beginning in 2001 and concluded its work at the spring Westar meeting in 2011. Dennis Smith, the seminar chair, compiled a list of the top ten accomplishment of the Acts Seminar:" [2] The use of Acts as a source for history has long needed critical reassessment. Acts was written in the early decades of the second century. The author of Acts used the letters of Paul as sources. Except for the letters of Paul, no other historically reliable source c

Bart Ehrman's "Triumph of Christianity," Part 2

In the past week, I made my way through another 40 pages of this book, and if that seems slow, it's partly because of my limited time to read, yes. But it's also because Ehrman isn't as interesting as he usually is. Credit where due, Ehrman is a decent writer, and he's usually a fast-paced one. But in this tome, he seems a little more ponderous than in the past. It's harder for me to get interested in this one than his past works. But that's a side issue; what about the arguments and facts since last time? Well, Ehrman is still up to some of the usual silliness of his, saying things like, "Clearly we are dealing wit narratives molded for literary reasons, not with disinterested historical reports." [51] Ehrman's skull has yet to be hit by the brick which makes him realize that "molded for literary reasons" and "objective historical report" are not mutually exclusive options. Indeed, in a social setting where so few people coul

Community vs Author?

Richard Bauckham Acknowledges "...the current consensus of Gospels scholarship which assumes  that each of the Gospels was written for a specific church or group  of churches: the So called Matthean Community,Markan community, Lukan community,and Johannine community." [1]  He then goes on to refute this idea. He argues that the gospels were not produced for insular communities that never expected them to circulate but where produced for the Church at large and were meant to be circulated. He argues further that the consensus was based upon no argument  and no concrete evidence and he proceeds to create arguments that are so based to disprove that position. [2] I admire Bauckham and I love his major work Jesus and the Eye Witnesses, [3]  I admire Bauckham he's become my favorite scholar, He has prompted me to re-think form criticism. But I have constructed arguments for community as author, thus I will be both attacking him and defending him. Where I agree with h

Progressive Review: Bart Ehrman's "The Triumph of Christianity," Part 1

I've been waiting for this one for a while; the publication was delayed for reasons unknown, but it finally got to my mailbox early this week. Time doesn't permit me a full read-through these days, so I'll be reviewing it here in spurts.  So far I'm up to page 50, and the main point up to then is one that's going to send the Acharya S crowd into hysterics: No, Bart says, Constantine was not the reason Christianity survived and thrived. Sure, he didn't hurt it any, but Bart also says Christianity "may well have succeeded" [8] without Constantine's help. I'll have more to report next week. For now, keep an eye on this one; it's bound to become the newest totem for the rest of the atheist crowd, even if (as is usually the case with Ehrman) it ends up being more fluff than meat.

Harmonizing Resurrection Accounts

Geotto  Skeptics are always using the differences in the number of women at the tomb and who saw Jesus first and told whom in each of the four gospels to foment confusion and doubt. We have no primordial document that can  be reconstructed to  give us the original event. The acounts we have are irreduceable because they are historical  eye witness accounts and cannot be reduced. We can,however, understand the original event to an extent such that we can be assured there is an understandable event behind the accounts. Each Gospel is the product of a community. Matt for example is the work of a "Matthew community." These communities would have been much like schools or communes. [1] It is my contention that the witnesses broke up and fanned about among these communities, and each Gospel bears the unique perspective of that communitie's band of witnesses. This explains why John focuses on Mary Madeline, she was probably one of the most illustrious witnesses who went