Posts tagged ‘Gospels’

June 21st, 2013

How Many Copies of the Gospels?

by Max Andrews

One modern myth is that we don’t know what the people who wrote the Bible’s accounts of Jesus said. Before printing was invented, these accounts were copied by hand, again and again, and mistakes and deliberate distortions have crept in. So how many hand-written copies of these accounts are there? From the series ‘Jesus Myths,’ exploring

May 21st, 2013

Jesus, Transworld Damnation, and Molinism

by Max Andrews

The Matthean account of Jesus pronouncing judgment on the cities of Choarzin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum may be found in Matthew 11.20-24.  This passage of Scripture contains a historical context of six particular cities that were condemned for their depravity.  The following contains a grammatico-historical examination of the text, which is an example of the doctrine of revelatory judgment applied, a verse often used to support the soteriological problem of evil, and is a problem passage for the doctrine of transworld damnation.  The purpose of Jesus’ pronouncement of judgment on these cities was to convey the depravity of man.

Before any critical examination of the text can be made a conclusion on the genre must be established.  The book of Matthew is a Gospel, which is a genre in and of itself.  Many studies performed in modern scholarship of the Gospel literature link the Gospels with Hellenistic biography.[1]  Hellenistic biographers did not feel compelled to include all periods of an individual’s life or to narrate in chronological order.  The selected events were carefully ordered to promote a particular ideology.[2]  In slight contrast to Hellenistic biographies, Robert Guelich proposes formal and particular genera for the Gospels:

Formally, a gospel is a narrative account concerning the public life and teaching of a significant person that is composed of discreet [sic] traditional units placed in the context of Scriptures… Materially, the genre consists of the message that God was at work in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection effecting His promises found in the Scriptures.[3]

April 29th, 2013

Searching for the Historical Jesus

by Max Andrews

The First Search for the Historical Jesus (1778-1906)

  • Distinction between Christ of faith and Jesus of History
  • Accepted Gospel stories in general but rationalized or rejected miracle stories and claims to divinity
  • Jesus as moral example
  • Source criticism; Two document theory
  • Ends with claim we can know nothing of historical Jesus

The Period of No Quest for the Historical Jesus (1906-1953)

  • Nothing can be known of historical Jesus and not ultimately important; Living Christ of Faith is what matters
  • Form Criticism
  • Mark Displaced
  • Bultmann: Need to demythologize Gospels and get to kerygma; Authentic existence
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June 8th, 2012

The Molinism Directory

by Max Andrews

I’ve decided to gather all my posts on Molinism in one post for easy reference.

  1. Middle Knowledge in a Nutshell
  2. A Review of Salvation and Sovereignty (Journal Publication)
  3. Review Essay: Four Views on Divine Providence
  4. Defining Omniscience
  5. Q&A 9: Layering Divine Middle Knowledge
  6. Why I’m Not an Arminian
  7. Why I’m Not a Calvinist
  8. God Controls Everything–Good and Bad
  9. The Incoherence of Theistic Determinism–Moral Responsibility
  10. Overpower–Is God Ultimately Responsible for Everything?
  11. The Pelagian Equivocation
  12. The Singular Redemption View of the Atonement
  13. Does God Ever Literally Change His Mind?–Yes
  14. Is a Molinist Concept of Providence Discomforting?
    read more »

May 30th, 2012

“They Would Have Believed…” – A Molinist Exegesis of Matthew 11:20-24

by Max Andrews

I.  Introduction

The Matthean account of Jesus pronouncing judgment on the cities of Choarzin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum may be found in Matthew 11.20-24.  This passage of Scripture contains a historical context of six particular cities that were condemned for their depravity.  The following contains a grammatico-historical examination of the text, which is an example of the doctrine of revelatory judgment applied, a verse often used to support the soteriological problem of evil, and is a problem passage for the doctrine of transworld damnation.  The purpose of Jesus’ pronouncement of judgment on these cities was to convey the depravity of man.

II.  A Grammatico-Historical Exegesis

Before any critical examination of the text can be made a conclusion on the genre must be established.  The book of Matthew is a Gospel, which is a genre in and of itself.  Many studies performed in modern scholarship of the Gospel literature link the Gospels with Hellenistic biography.[1]  Hellenistic biographers did not feel compelled to include all periods of an individual’s life or to narrate in chronological order.  The selected events were carefully ordered to promote a particular ideology.[2]  In slight contrast to Hellenistic biographies, Robert Guelich proposes formal and particular genera for the Gospels:

April 11th, 2012

Forgiveness as the Central Theme of Christianity

by Max Andrews

The following is a guest blog post by Charlie Tinsley. Charlie is currently studying for a Bachelors of Science and Religion to carry into Christian Ministry. He is married and lives in Virginia. Please feel free to follow his material at his blog, Carry Your Cross.

__________

Forgiveness is a central theme in Christianity. It is one concept that is hard to live. We constantly fight this battle between our emotions and our day to day lives.  The problem is that the battle we are fighting has already been fought and won by God and through Jesus.

There are two main kinds of forgiveness we encounter in our day to day lives. These two types of forgiveness are the forgiveness of ourselves and the forgiveness of others.  But these battles don’t have to run your life.

Forgiving Ourselves

One of the hardest things for us to do is to forgive ourselves. Often times the events that replay in our minds are events from out past.  In order to forgive ourselves, we must realize that we are human beings. We are broken, flawed, and incapable of perfection. Because of our inability to be perfect, our choices always run the chance of being wrong. Especially if we don’t have God in them.

Don’t harp on things that have already occurred. The past is done. Life does not go backwards. We must remember that things we have done in our past do not always define who we are. When we live in the past, we are robbing ourselves of our present and future. We cannot live that way.

Our lives are precious and temporary. We are each put on this earth to fulfill a purpose. That purpose cannot be fulfilled if we are living in the past. Whatever you have done that has you held back in life belongs in the past where it occurred. Each time we make these mistakes that hold us up, we need to look at them positively. We learn from each setback and every action we have in our lives. The only way for us to grow is by making mistakes and making improvements based on them.

April 7th, 2012

Outlining the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth

by Max Andrews

Historicity of the Resurrection and Jesus[1]

1. The Five Facts

  • Jesus’ Death by Crucifixion
  • Disciples’ Beliefs that Jesus Appeared
  • Conversion of the Church Persecutor Paul
  • Conversion of Skeptic James
  • Empty Tomb

2. Jesus died due to crucifixion

  • Josephus
  • Tacitus
  • Lucian
  • Mara Bar-Serapion
  • Talmud

3. Jesus’ disciples sincerely believed Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them

  • They claimed it
  • Paul
  • Oral tradition
  • Creeds (i.e. 1 Cor. 15.3-7)
  • Sermon summaries (i.e. Acts 2
  • Written tradition
    • Gospels
    • Matthew
    • Mark
    • Luke-Acts
    • John
  • Apostolic Fathers
  • April 3rd, 2012

    Why I’m a Christian: Juan

    by Max Andrews

    I am a Christian because I didn’t choose God, rather He chose me.

    I was 18 years old in college. After experiencing the human condition; the lack of love, care, charity and the abundance of pain and suffering in the world and in myself. I realized that although I had a very good life, I was loved and cared for, and suffered comparatively to others very little; my own struggles always took precedence over others and realized that even when I did something good it was often with selfish reasons (It felt good or I will be liked). I looked in the mirror attached to my combination dresser/desk of my small dorm and wondered, why are we the way we are? It was then that I realized that there was something intrinsically wrong with all of us.

    In my search for answers; I engulfed myself in searching for that silver bullet that could explain this predicament. It wasn’t until my second year in college that I really started to get depressed over this seemingly unattainable goal; I saw no explanation in sight. Until one night as I cried on my mother’s lap and she asked me what was wrong. I asked her in the hopes that maybe she knew the answer but she didn’t.

    February 2nd, 2012

    Biblical Principles for Purity in Ministry

    by Max Andrews

    Purity in Ministry:  Biblical Principles

    • Leaders are held to a higher standard (James 3:1)
      • I Tim 4.12- youth (thirty something)
      • II Tim- youth (teenage)
      • Ecc. 8.11- why we still sin (because He doesn’t drop the hammer doesn’t mean He won’t)
      • Eph. 4:17
    • Process of Church discipline—Matt. 18.15-17 (transcending fifth step of judgment on a leader) –group rebuke to safeguard your own self—vv18-20 (controversial) God confirms His support of spiritual Church Leaders who make difficult spiritual decisions!
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