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...]

His Testimony is Truthyish

The Gospel of John may be the first Gospel that we know of to bring the question of its author’s credentials into the work itself (the Gospel of Luke does something similar, with its emphasis on the author’s research, but it may or may not be earlier than John). In the period not long after [Read More...]

Decision-Making Dilemma

Frank Viola shared this image: Although there is nothing wrong with asking what someone we admire would do in a particular situation, ultimately we either admire someone because we share their ideals and find inspiration in them, or because we can project our own ideals onto them. And so we really are asking not “What [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...]

Jesus and the Bible

This is the latest cartoon from David Hayward: The first point is explicitly stated within the Bible itself: John 21:25. The second is clearly evidenced for careful readers of the Bible. Each Gospel has distinctive stylistic features, and contains material attributed to Jesus which is not found elsewhere and matches the author’s style and emphases. [Read More...]

The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic

I had it drawn to my attention this morning that John Shelby Spong has a new book coming out soon: The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic. As it is about the Gospel of John, it is obviously of interest. I have a great ambivalence about Spong’s writings. On the one hand, his willingness [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...]

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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