Around the Blogosphere

Apocryphicity points to an article by Allan J. Pantuck in Biblical Archaeology Review defending the authenticity of the Secret Gospel of Mark.

Remnant of Giants and AWOL point out that the Liddel-Scott-Jones Greek Lexicon is available online.

Joel Watts offers scriptural proof (from Jeremiah 31:35-36) that God would not break the laws of physics in creating – effectively disproving young-earth creationism from the Bible. Hurray!

Theomusings in SoCal follows in the footsteps of Rachel Held Evans (who is also mentioned at Jesus Creed), offering reflections on being a bad progressive and a bad evangelical. I should probably do so as well at some point.

Jim Davila shares an excerpt about Watson meeting St. Jerome.

Awilum links to an ongoing discussion about linguistics and dating of Biblical texts.

Derek Leman continues wrestling with the discrepancy between Mark and John on the dating of the crucifixion in relation to Passover.

Confessions of a Doubting Thomas has an image that I may use when I teach my class on Paul and the Early Church next semester:

The similarity to the description of him in the Acts of Paul is striking…

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  • Rod

    Joel's post was quite definitive. He told me he had something up his sleeve today, and now I know!

  • Speaking of the dating of biblical texts, where's the debate on Deutero-Isaiah going?

  • Anonymous

    Joel Watts is a clever man indeed. I rather like that quote it sounds Godly, like something God would say. But I also don't like it because it could be used by others to deny that miracles could happen.Brian

  • John C. Poirier

    Take another look at Joel's three translations of v. 36: only the NLT (which seems to be the source of all of Joel's theology) supports his conclusion, as it is the only one that generalizes the Hebrew (too far) to say that God will not break "the laws of nature". The other two translations, which are much closer to the Hebrew, only say that God will not intrude upon the order that he established by hanging the sun, stars, moon, etc. — that is, what he did *in* creation, or, more accurately, what he "established" *by* creation. The Hebrew does not imply that God does not break the laws of nature — only that he established the heavenly bodies to do their thing, and that he's not likely to go against them. In fact, it's really hedging on the unlikelihood that God would tear the whole thing down! So, once again, the NLT is making a huge jump from what the Hebrew says.Don't misunderstand me — I'm not a creationist. But I am a stickler a for good Bible translation, and the NLT that ain't!

  • Oh, John…. tisk tisk tisk…Anyway, all the translations essentially say the same, which has been agree. The NLT just says it better. Also, you may check a few journal articles on the matter, which I did. It is part of Jeremiah's rhetorical poetic retorts and yes, it does refer to natural order and the unknown of the universe.

  • John C. Poirier

    Joel,The translations are *not* "essentially say[ing] the same thing". Not at all. (But if you're so constantly willing to give the NLT a pass, then I wouldn't expect you to see the difference.) The Hebrew simply says that God established the world in a particular way, and he's more likely to change that established order than to give up Israel's nationhood. There's nothing implied about God only working within the laws of nature. That's a huge leap.I wonder: when God raised Jesus from the dead, did he go against any laws of nature? And if he did, then does that fulfill the condition that God said would more likely obtain than the demise of Israel's nationhood?What journal articles did you read on the matter? And were they addressing the nuance that I'm talking about?

  • John said, "I wonder: when God raised Jesus from the dead, did he go against any laws of nature? And if he did, then does that fulfill the condition that God said would more likely obtain than the demise of Israel's nationhood?"I'm not arguing anything….just making a few observations. Laws of physics (the original blog title) don't cover resurrection. And convenants, per what I am reading in "Who Wrote the Bible", Friedman, were two. One Mosaic, having to do with the people, and the continuation of Israel, which was conditional (people not worshoping false Gods). And which wasn't met. And one Davidic, which is not conditional, but was, I believe, expressed in a Messiah, and not expressed in the actual uninterrupted/continuation of the Davidic rule (which stopped after the destruction of Jerusalem in ~587 BC). And Jeremiah had ties into the Shiloh priests, who did not sacrifice in the temple, since they got killed/thrown out of the temple by the Aaronic supporters. And the Shiloh priests wrote Dtr1 + Dtr2. So any covenant associated with what Jeremiah said has to be viewed from the history of what actually happened.

  • Thanks, Gary!Still not sure you are getting the point about the whole matter, John, except for allowing to take another dig against the NLT. Regardless, the point is proven. If you take it literally, then it defeats YEC. If you have to dig deeper into the context, of such things (as Walton pointed out) as cosmic decrees or Walter Br. as rhetoric, then one must allow that the idea that a 'plain' reading of Genesis 1 is out of the question.

  • John C. Poirier

    While I admit that I'm taking a dig against the NLT (which I do as a matter of principle, just as you defend it as a matter of principle), I just don't see how an honest appreciation of the force of Jeremiah's rhetoric invalidates YEC. One would have to extrapolate a general decree about "laws of physics" from a decree about cosmology, and I don't think Jeremiah intends to do that. The durability of the cosmological arrangement is one thing — the laws of physics are quite another. God can upset the former without invalidating the latter, and he can invalidate the latter without impinging upon his promise in Jeremiah. They're very different things. God isn't saying he won't break the laws of physics. He's just saying that he's more likely to upset the cosmological arrangement than to reject Israel's nationhood. It's a very different (and unrelated) point than anything that impinges upon the YEC argument.The last thing I'd like to do is play into the hands of the YEC crowd, but it's always right to split hairs when it comes to biblical exegesis.

  • Allan J. Pantuck's article is recommendable not just for the defense of M. Smith, but as a cautionary tale against assuming a literary parallel proves a historicity. The examples he uses are of the extreme coincidence variety, this should give extra pause to those who see Homer or Plato in every biblical story. As I've said before, someone's seeing a parallel between an event and a literary work does not prove dependence.

  • On Awilum's dating of biblical text, obviously meant for bible scholars. S chart with freq vs "old" and "new" text, sure would be nice for the non-bible scholar, if actual dates could be placed on the graphs/charts. But maybe the dates can only be judged relatively, as old and new, as oppose to absolute.