Trinitarian Formula?

I was asked the following on Facebook, and thought I would share it today: Hey, I have a question from those of us who have to preach on Trinity Sunday. What about the Trinitarian formula in Matthew 28? Original, later addition? Here is my response: I don’t think it is a later addition, although the [Read More…]

Epiphany and History

Having attempted to do away with contradictions between Matthew and Luke for Christmas, Ian Paul has now offered a blog post claiming that Matthew’s story of the arrival of the magi can be treated as historical. I am not persuaded. Infancy stories featuring miracles are a common feature in ancient literature, and are consistently devoid [Read More…]

Straight Outta the Synoptic Problem

Another Straight Outta Compton Bible meme that came to my attention via Joel Watts.   [Read more…]

The Disciples’ Prayer

Several people have been blogging about a book that I mentioned when I read a draft of it about a year ago. The book is by Jeffrey Gibson, and the title is The Disciples’ Prayer: The Prayer Jesus Taught in Its Historical Setting. Jim Spinti offered some brief thoughts on the book, and Loren Rosson offers a [Read More…]

Bake for them Two

An updating of Matthew 5:41 by Jessica Kantrowitz. Click through to her blog to read her further thoughts about that text against the background of its original context, and its application today.   [Read more…]

Unlocking the Gospels

There is no way to “unlock” the Gospel of Matthew. It does not have hidden secrets. It is a text, and it has no underneath, and so no hidden depths. It is all surface. There isn’t some sort of skin that you can peel back and see something more profound underneath. What you see depends [Read More…]

You Have Heard Them Called Antitheses, But I Say To You…

Doug Chaplin has posted about the extraordinary antitheses in Matthew’s Gospel. I disagree with his way of understanding them, and so thought I would write a post in response. I regularly tell my students that it is unlikely that these sayings should be understood as meaning “You heard God say in the past, but I [Read More…]

Last Meal Before Crucifixion

This Cyanide and Happiness cartoon can actually lead to discussion of a serious point (believe it or not). Traditional Christian theology has depicted Jesus as willingly embracing crucifixion. One Gospel has Jesus suggest that he could simply have called a legion of angels to save him had he wanted to. Presumably the Jesus who emphasized [Read More…]

He Shall Be Called a Nazorean: Intertextuality Without an Intertext?

In 2010 I read a conference paper at SBL on the reference in the Gospel of Matthew to something prophets had supposedly said, “He shall be called a Nazorean.” I looked at it from the perspective of intertextuality, and also brought my work on the Mandaeans into the picture. Since I still have not found [Read More…]

Sheep and Goats

Today in my Sunday school class we took a detour from Hebrews. Last time we had reached the phrase “eternal judgment” and the question came up of whom the author of the letter envisaged being judged, and on what basis. And so I suggested that taking a look at the parable of the sheep and [Read More…]


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