October 28th, 2012
Recently, Dr. Michael Licona (Houston Baptist University) spent time in Canada debating Yale professor Dr. Dale Martin on questions concerning the resurrection and self-understanding of Jesus. Below are links to the videos.
“Did Jesus Rise Physically From the Dead?”
Dr. Michael Licona and Dr. Dale Martin discuss the question “Did Jesus Physically Rise From the Dead?” The first evening of the 2012 Religion Soup discussion took place Oct 18, 2012 at St. Mary’s University.
read more »
September 15th, 2012
Below is just a brief abridged outline of the key distinctions among the four early Jewish groups: Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and the Essenes.
- The Pharisees are the most often mentioned group in the NT. 100 BC to AD. The name means to separate (from the Hasmoneans? From ritually unclean?). They were very emphatic about the need to be clean (i.e. not touching a dead body). They were strict on tithe laws, the Sabbath, and divorce laws. It was voluntary participation to become a Pharisee. They were all over Israel. They wore distinct clothing and were as many as 6,000. They were Am-Haaretz (people of the land). Some were scribes and some were not. They were mentioned 100 times in the NT and were heavily criticized by the NT, rabbis after AD 70 and Qumran.
- Pharisees were strict legalists. They were less into politics and more into religion. They focused on externals and not the heart.
- Pharisaic doctrine
- Immortality of the soul
- Judgment based on works
- Strong Messianic hope
read more »
February 17th, 2012
I’ve seen Dr. Dan Wallace’s article on a possible copy of Mark dating back to the first century float around the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitter.
These fragments now increase our holdings as follows: we have as many as eighteen New Testament manuscripts from the second century and one from the first. Altogether, more than 43% of all New Testament verses are found in these manuscripts. But the most interesting thing is the first-century fragment.
It was dated by one of the world’s leading paleographers. He said he was ‘certain’ that it was from the first century. If this is true, it would be the oldest fragment of the New Testament known to exist. Up until now, no one has discovered any first-century manuscripts of the New Testament. The oldest manuscript of the New Testament has been P52, a small fragment from John’s Gospel, dated to the first half of the second century. It was discovered in 1934.
Not only this, but the first-century fragment is from Mark’s Gospel. Before the discovery of this fragment, the oldest manuscript that had Mark in it was P45, from the early third century (c. AD 200–250). This new fragment would predate that by 100 to 150 years.
This is certainly exciting for Christians but I want to give a word of caution. Many people may have quickly read this sentence in the article: “How do these manuscripts change what we believe the original New Testament to say? We will have to wait until they are published next year… [continues on about what we can know now]” There are certain things we can derive from this manuscript but let’s not get overconfident about this. We need to let this be reviewed over and over. We need to let the scholars write papers, review the work, and debate these things. New information, especially like this, need to be reviewed and go through the process. Let’s use what we can know from it but we need to allow the process to take place before we go wild about it.
February 4th, 2012
Paul’s use of the Old Testament is very evident in the book of Romans. There are 50 references to Old Testament Scriptures from thirteen different books. Paul does not seem to quote Scripture verbatim every time he refers to it. Paul paraphrases and contextualizes the Scriptures. One example of this is in 2:24:
For, “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written. (NASB)
The Old Testament reference is Isaiah 53:5 which states:
Now therefore, what do I have here,” declares the LORD, “seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?” Again the LORD declares, “Those who rule over them bowl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. (NASB)
There are other times where he does give verbatim when he refers to the Ten Commandments and Exodus and Deuteronomy when to not covet, etc. (i.e. Rom 7:7). Paul will refer to certain personalities and books depending on what he is addressing, when he addresses Israel in chapter 9, it is mainly the prophetic books. When dealing with the word of faith and salvation in chapter 10, Paul usually sticks to the historical books. If Paul referred to any one personality the most, it would be Abraham when he is justified in his faith and to the prophet Isaiah as he refers to him thirteen times (tied with the most references with The Psalms).
read more »