New Series: Does the Bible Ever Get it Wrong? Facing Scripture’s Difficult Passages

Mistake

From Christianity’s earliest days, the Scriptures have had their critics. Porphyry, a third-century neoplatonic philosopher, was particularly aggressive in his attacks on the historical veracity of the Gospels, often pointing out what he deemed to be their inconsistencies, contradictions, and historical problems.

For example, he pointed out how Mark 1:2 is not really quoting (just) Isaiah as the passage seems to indicate (frag. 9).  Instead, it is actually a composite quote of Isaiah 40:3 and Mal 3:1 (with a little Ex 23:20 thrown in). Porphyry also attacked the infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke, claiming they contradict one another (frag. 11).

Feeling the weight of Porphyry’s attacks, Christian thinkers began …

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You Don’t Think Learning the Biblical Languages is Worth It? Think Again

Greek

Note:  I posted this article a year ago, but in light of the new seminary semester beginning, it seemed appropriate to post again.

In another month or so, a new crop of seminary students will begin the grueling month-long experience of Summer Greek.   And, like all seminary students before them, they will begin to ask the question of why studying these ancient languages even matters.   After all, a few years after graduation all will be forgotten.   In the midst of a busy pastoral life, who could possibly maintain proficiency in the languages?

As a result of these questions, some students decide (very early on) that the biblical languages are just …

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Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism: A Festschrift for Larry Hurtado

Larry Hurtado

It is now public knowledge that there is a new Festschrift coming out for my friend and doktorvater at the University of Edinburgh, Larry W. Hurtado.  It is entitled: Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism (T&T Clark, 2014). Originally the big announcement was going to be made at SBL this November (with all the contributors present), but the cat was accidentally let out of the bag early.

The collection of essays in this new volume, edited by my fellow Edinburghers, Chris Keith and Dieter Roth, are centered around the themes of the Gospel of Mark, ancient Manuscripts, and early Christology–three subject areas that have dominated Larry’s research. While most of the …

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Where Are They Now? RTS Charlotte Alumnus Joe Holland

Joe Holland

Church planting is all the talk these days (particularly in my denomination, the PCA). And, in many ways, this is a good thing.  However, with any good thing comes pitfalls and challenges.

One of those pitfalls is the near myopic focus of church planting in only large urban contexts.  While we certainly need good churches in such settings, some advocates of urban church planting have come very close to suggesting it is the only kind of church planting that matters (for more, see my prior post “The Arrogance of the Urban“).

For this reason, we are highlighting RTS Charlotte alumnus Joe Holland (class of 2003) in this installment …

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