Did Paul Have a Distinctive Christology? Did He Think of Jesus as a Pre-Existent Human Being?

In a recent blog post, Larry Hurtado noted Morton Smith's observation that Christology never turns up as an issue between Paul and the more conservative Jewish Christian groups that he interacted with directly and indirectly, centered in Jerusalem. And so this seems to confirm that Paul did not take a Jewish Messianic figure and turn [Read More...]

AAR Traditions of East Late Antiquity Session

Here is the lineup for the Traditions of East Late Antiquity Exploratory Session that will take place at AAR in November: From Jerusalem to the Karûn: What can Mandaean Geographies Tell Us? Charles Häberl, Rutgers University “On the Creation of Adam”: A Greek/Syriac “Kephalaion” from Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos Timothy Pettipiece, University of Ottawa [Read More...]

Every Scripture God Breathed?

A question about 2 Timothy 3:16 from a commenter inspired (pun intended) me to think about the text in a different light. One possible background for the rare term θεόπνευστος (theopneustos), sometimes rendered as “God-breathed,” is the story in Genesis 2, in which God breathes the breath of life into the human being he has made, [Read More...]

Young-Earth Creationists vs. the Image of God

The Bible describes human beings as made in the image of God. Although young-earth creationists may claim to be defending that view of human beings, they in fact deny it. I say this because the statement about human beings being made in the image and likeness of God is a statement about human beings in [Read More...]

Adam: Assumed or Accentuated?

The attempt at an alliterative title hopefully will not obscure what this post is about, which is an attempt to clarify my thinking about Adam in Paul’s letters. This is a follow-up to my earlier post, in which I explained some of the reasons for concluding that Jesus and Paul were not literalists, which in turn emerged [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...]

Jesus the Gene Therapist?

I think that one reason some people insist that Adam in the Bible was a literal historical individual, and the genealogies in the Bible are literally factual, is that they understand sin as some sort of genetic defect. This is a terrible distortion of the Bible, not only because its ancient authors did not understand [Read More...]