The Lego-Scene Demoniac

At the recent “Kingdom Builders” retreat that my church (Crooked Creek Baptist Church) held, it had a LEGO theme. They recreated stories from the Bible with LEGOs, and videoed them. Here is the first one, depicting the story of the Gerasene demoniac: I agree with my pastor, Tom Bartley, that they deserve special praise for [Read More...]

The Sabbath was not Made for Matthew and Luke

In a recent post I mentioned Jesus' statement (recorded in Mark 2:27) about the Sabbath being made for human beings, not vice versa. A commenter asked about the omission of this statement from the other Gospels, and I thought the subject deserved a follow-up post of its own. The other Gospels omit that element from [Read More...]

Gospels and Other Ancient Texts in the Blogosphere

There have been several interesting posts related to the study of the Gospels in recent days. Mike Kok blogged about the old form critical view of the Gospels as sui generis. Tim Lewis mentioned an article by Kyle R. Hughes (available online) about the possibility that the Pericope Adulterae could be from the L source. [Read More...]

Diet Gospels?

Jim West posted the above photo featuring personalized Coke bottles available in the UK. I knew that Jim had really gone off the rails lately, but I had not realized quite how badly. Matthew and John as (according to the label colors) diet Gospels? Hmph!   [Read more...]

Statistics and the Synoptic Problem

Statistics tell us… well, even though they are numbers, statistics do not automatically provide answers to questions. And 73.2% of all statistics are made up on the spot – as that one was. But sometimes statistics can tell us something important. They can quantify what otherwise may seem vague and merely impressionistic. I regularly cite [Read More...]

The Context of the Context of Jesus’ Words

It is not infrequent to hear self-centered pseudo-Christians justifying their lack of concern for the poor by appealing to Jesus’ statement, “The poor you shall always have with you.” The full statement, as those concerned about context know and emphasize, is “The poor you shall always have with you,  and you can help them anytime [Read More...]

Synoptic Length Comparison

I chuckled when I read this in a student assignment today: A common argument,  analyzes the lengths of each of the synoptic writers. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never come across an attempt to compare the lengths of the writers of the Synoptic Gospels. I don’t know how one would go about undertaking such a [Read More...]

The Lost End of Mark

The classic study of The Four Gospels by B. H. Streeter is available online. I am linking to the chapter on the end of Mark’s Gospel because of my longstanding interest in that subject. Streeter drew the conclusion that John 21 was the lost ending of Mark. I think that putting it that way is [Read More...]

Young-Earth Creationists vs. the Parables of Jesus

A commenter pointed out something which I've also said in the past, but which bears repeating. Young-earth creationists are adamant that there must be one creation story in Genesis, and it must be chronologically coherent and factually, historically, and scientifically true. Ironically, Jesus, the one whom most of them claim to follow, taught primarily in [Read More...]

Jesus and Paul were not Literalists when it comes to Genesis 2-3

It is interesting how some modern readers simply assume that ancient individuals and authors shared their supposed literalism, and their focus on facts and history and science, all of which are thoroughly modern concerns. If we look at what Jesus is depicted as saying about Genesis 2 in the Synoptic Gospels, he points to the [Read More...]

Take Up Your Cross

I received a question in an e-mail that seemed worthy of a blog post rather than just a private response. The question was about the depiction in the Gospels of Jesus telling people to not simply follow him, but to take up their cross and follow him. One question is obviously whether Jesus can be [Read More...]


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