February 6, 2019

    Matthew 4:18-22 Mark 1:16-20 Luke 5:1-11 John 1:35-51   The accounts given by Matthew and Mark of the calling of the first disciples are quite similar, whereas the narratives of Luke and John offer rather different perspectives and details.   I’m struck by the fact that the disciples are said to have responded “immediately” (εὐθέως in Matthew 4:20; εὐθὺς in Mark 1:18) to the Savior’s invitation to follow him.   Latter-day Saints are sometimes criticized for inviting people to… Read more

February 6, 2019

    Every year, at least once, I stand at approximately the place from which the photograph (of Cave 4) that accompanies this article was taken and speak to a tour group about the Dead Sea Scrolls and, sometimes, about the prominent role that Brigham Young University once played in their study and publication:   “Search for undiscovered Dead Sea Scrolls reveals dispute over West Bank artifacts”   ***   This is actually quite remarkable:   “Pilgrims in the Gulf: The… Read more

February 6, 2019

    I’m thrilled to announce that the website for Witnesses, the film project on which we’ve been working, is now up.  I invite you to take a look at it:   Witnesses   I need to explain something, though:   The current “sizzle reel,” as film people call it, is a temporary placeholder.  That is, it isn’t yet really a “trailer,” strictly speaking.  The interviews that are featured represent some of the material that we have recently developed for… Read more

February 6, 2019

    Available via the website of the Interpreter Foundation, a podcast that you might find interesting:   “The Fourth Gospel,” with Joshua Matson   “Even a casual, first-time reader quickly notices that the Fourth Gospel, or the Gospel of John, is different than the other New Testament gospels. From the first verse, the metaphorical language tells readers that this is more than a historical rehearsal; it is scripture written to persuade men that Jesus is the Christ, the promised… Read more

February 6, 2019

    Latter-day Saints in Chicago had a notable opportunity recently when President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed through as a visitor.  There’s special significance in his visit because he lived in Chicago for a number of years, originally as a student at the highly-ranked law school of the University of Chicago and then, among other things, as a member of the law school’s faculty.  Here… Read more

February 5, 2019

    In Kurt Aland’s Synopsis of the Four Gospels, which I’m using as the structural basis (and the Greek text) for my ongoing commentary, Section 19 (Matthew and Luke’s genealogies of Jesus) is equivalent to Section 6, so, for discussion of those name-lists, I simply call your attention to my previous entry:   https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2019/01/new-testament-note-6.html   ***     Let’s move on now to a couple of comments — many, many more could be offered! — on the temptation of Jesus in… Read more

February 5, 2019

    The 20th century gave rise to one of the greatest and most distressing paradoxes of human history: that the greatest intolerance and violence of that century were practiced by those who believed that religion caused intolerance and violence.  (Alister McGrath)   ***   A provocative essay.  I expect that the title alone has already upset some of my secular-minded readers:   The Myth of Religious Violence   *** For several reasons, I think that I need to share… Read more

February 5, 2019

    Every once in a while, I’m asked to explain the difference between the terms Near East and Middle East.   You may not have asked.  You may not even care.  But I’ll attempt an explanation here nonetheless.  My comments aren’t based on specific research, which would be interesting to pursue, but simply on my sense of things after years of being in and around the academic field.   Originally, I think, the terms Near East and Middle East… Read more

February 5, 2019

    An extremely zealous anti-theist who typically comments many times each day on this blog insists that belief in God and in the continuation of personal life after death entails the rejection of every scientific principle, and that one must, accordingly, choose either theism or science.  (He is, himself, no scientist.  How surprising!)   I’ve told him more times than I can count or remember that he’s wrong.  I’ve pointed to numerous examples of prominent scientists (including more than… Read more

February 4, 2019

    Matthew 3:13-17 Mark 1:9-11 Luke 3:21-22 John 1:29-34   All four gospels describe the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River at the hand of John but, in certain regards, they do it rather differently.   Only John 1:29, for example, has the Baptist exclaim to the crowd, when he sees Jesus approaching, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”   Only Matthew 3:13-14 has the Baptist try to persuade Jesus not… Read more

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