What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

About

What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Recent Comments

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact II

Comment posted by Lydia on Nov 20, 18:56:

I would say that Dale Allison is on the cusp of that kind of thing. He still (as far as I know) identifies himself as some kind of evangelical, but he will not affirm the *bodily* resurrection because he says he doesn't know what bodily resurrection means, or something like that. He accepts all sorts of liberal doubts about the provenance of the resurrection accounts, and he will go up against more bona fide evangelicals on this issue. There was a very interesting symposium in Philosophia Christi in which B ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact II

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Nov 20, 11:31:

It never seems to cross his mind that, if the Gospels are partially fictional, this raises a very serious question as to why we should believe that "God gave them to us." Why not just think of them as higher-quality apocryphal Gospels? IMHO This is a stop-'em-dead sort of question. I have asked this question myself over the years, and never have received any sort of compelling answer. (Maybe one exists, and my search has been by no means exhaustive.) Accepting the gospels "as God gave them to us" is fine ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact II

Comment posted by Lydia on Nov 19, 19:37:

By asserting such a stance about the authorship of John (a "community"), and as well asserting (without principle or proof) the use of fiction, these scholars effectively undermine any real sense of authority in the Gospel at all. Yes, and this is a logical, not just a sociological, truth. Why did the early church care about the apostolic oversight of the Gospels? Because of the idea that apostolic oversight meant that they were historically accurate. If they weren't historically accurate, why should we c ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact II

Comment posted by Lydia on Nov 19, 19:32:

they maintain that the authors of the Gospels came to faith in Christ in an astoundingly strong assurance, somehow, but that these same authors refused to relate to us the means through which they came to have such strong faith. Instead they chose to relate to us stories that THEY made up, which (necessarily) could only be man-made and thus failing of the divine power needed to bring faith. Yes, I think that some of this has arisen through what I call a "minimalist" approach to apologetics. For example: In ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact II

Comment posted by Tony on Nov 19, 13:01:

If Jesus taught by way of a parable that the Gentiles are to be accepted into the people of God, while this would be a new teaching Interestingly, this particular teaching did already have significant preparation in the religious record before Christ taught: The story of Ruth shows a non-Israelite being (or becoming, if you prefer) righteous, and indeed becoming the ancestor of the great line of the Israelite kings from David on. But even earlier, Melchizedek, not descended from Abraham, is accorded the ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact

Comment posted by Avraham Rosenblum on Nov 18, 08:22:

Thanks for the reference. In the meantime I am seeing some other interesting links to apologetics on your site that look very interesting. I already found a good answer to the question seeming difference between the gospel accounts on when the crucifixion was-before or on Passover. Your husband's approach also helped answer a lot of my questions. ... [More]

Answering the Messianic Secret argument against John

Comment posted by Avraham Rosenblum on Nov 18, 07:23:

I am is not the right translation of אהיה אשר אהיה I will be whom I will be. ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact II

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Nov 15, 18:45:

Julius Africanus clearly is not aware of form, redaction, reader-response, and other schools of criticism. He clearly needs re-education from a mainline seminary or divinity school. ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact

Comment posted by Lydia on Nov 15, 16:12:

Do you mean Leon Morris's Studies in the Fourth Gospel? I'm afraid it is still in copyright and hence, as far as I know, the full text is not available electronically. There are some cheap used copies from Amazon merchants, though. https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0853640955/ref=sr_1_1_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1542316284&sr=8-1&keywords=studies+in+the+fourth+gospel+Morris I highly recommend it. ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact

Comment posted by Avraham Rosenblum on Nov 15, 14:47:

The books you link to look interesting [on apologetics] but they are not in PDF. Is there any remedy for that? ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact

Comment posted by Lydia on Nov 4, 09:14:

Those who have liked this post, be sure to share it on Facebook. You can follow my public content on Facebook as well. You can click "share" from there if you want to do it that way, or you can share the link on your own wall. ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact

Comment posted by Scott Cherry on Nov 3, 23:27:

Lydia, thank you for standing our evangelical ground collectively. I greatly respect your thinking and writing for the sake of the gospels' complete historicity. I draw deeper knowledge and courage from you as I likewise endeavor to defend the historical nature of the gospel message. ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact

Comment posted by Lydia on Nov 3, 16:31:

Thank you, all, very much. I note, too (though heaven knows it should not need to be said), that Jesus' parables are not "woven seamlessly and realistically" into the narrative, as if they really happened. Jesus always uses signal phrases, such as "there was a man" or "a certain man went down," which, in conjunction with the non-specific nature of the entire story and its obviously allegorical nature and structure, make it clear to his audience that he is telling a fictional story. I am quite sure (and for ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact

Comment posted by Marcia Montenegro on Nov 3, 14:44:

Thanks for writing this; it is sorely needed in a time when there is an increase in undermining Scripture, and in this case, the Gospels, as factual. It is sad that eminent theologians such as Craig Evans and Craig Keener question certain Gospel accounts as factual. As one who majored in Literature, I especially appreciate your points in this blog. I think your examples are good illustrations of the problem and, as you say, if certain events given as historical in the Gospels did not really occur, then any ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact

Comment posted by Steve on Nov 3, 13:59:

Likes "Let us bear in mind that history and fiction teach in fundamentally different ways; let us never confuse them. And let us remember, too, that God seems to have a bias in favor of teaching by way of history" ... [More]

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact

Comment posted by Beth Impson on Nov 3, 13:10:

Excellent, Lydia! ... [More]

Garcia Plays Dylan

Comment posted by Eric on Nov 2, 13:19:

By textual analysis of his songs from different periods, and also comparing them to those of contemporaries. And in light of his furtiveness about his real intent, etc. I've run these ideas by a couple others I know who are more learned in poetry than I am, and they didn't completely shout me down. We know songwriters 'borrow' liberally from others, and I've had reason to believe Neil Young and others just outright stole some of their song ideas. I think "Like A Rolling Stone" resembles Paul Simon's writin ... [More]

Garcia Plays Dylan

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Nov 2, 02:25:

To the first question, Tony, the answer seems to be yes. Here's quote from an article in Rolling Stone twelve years ago: “The Dead did a lot of my songs, and we’d just take the whole arrangement, because they did it better than me. Jerry Garcia could hear the song in all my bad recordings, the song that was buried there. So if I want to sing something different, I just bring out one of them Dead records and see which one I wanna do. I never do that with my records.” The answer to the second question is far ... [More]

Zippy Catholic: Requiescat in pace

Comment posted by vinteuil on Oct 31, 20:40:

Wow. Zippy died in a bicycle accident, of all things. And nobody told me. He was a better man than me. ... [More]

Garcia Plays Dylan

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 31, 12:22:

Either Dylan wrote it, or someone else with the same name and abilities. Crusty old Bob himself probably acknowledges that some renditions of his songs by the Dead, or by the Jerry Garcia Band, are markedly better than Dylan’s own versions, live or recorded. Question: did Dylan ever publicly own up to his limitations in singing, or are you just surmising? And, same question about "stage presence"? That is to say, did he think of his lack of "catering to" his audience (to put it in a positive light) ... [More]

Garcia Plays Dylan

Comment posted by Paul on Oct 30, 16:16:

Eric, On what basis do you write: "I've come to believe that Dylan wasn't even the writer of a lot of his stuff." ... [More]

Garcia Plays Dylan

Comment posted by Eric on Oct 30, 15:40:

Just curious: what do you disagree with (other than my remark about Dylan's authorship of some of his)? Errata: I meant to say "Weir's lyrical MUSE, Barlow" In light of Dave McGowan and others' researches, we can see the pertinence of your observation that the Dead by design avoided pointed political commentary -- and that in fact most of the 60s rock greats were alike in this. McGowan's point was that this WAS the project behind the corporate sponsorship of otherwise subversive or 'counter-cultural' mus ... [More]

Garcia Plays Dylan

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Oct 30, 14:30:

That was either the best comment on music in this blog's history, or Google's top-line AI "generate a Grateful Dead comment" algorithm. Heh. Thanks, Eric. I disagree with several things in that, but I love the J.P. Barlow mention. ... [More]

Garcia Plays Dylan

Comment posted by Eric on Oct 30, 14:23:

The Dead were a dance band extraordinaire -- in an era that blew up the existing conception of what it meant to 'dance' or to 'have a party.' For Garcia, they were always a bluegrass band too; as Garcia's guitar stylings never lost their banjo-esque angularity, and the whole band coalesced around group improvisation (not the acid-informed 'jamming' that most of their peers did, but something akin to the give-and-take of bluegrass. And around that bass of Phil's (which especially in the earlier improvisa ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Timothy Finlay on Oct 30, 10:11:

Lydia, If you have not already read these books, you may be interested in The Priority of John and Redating of the New Testament by John A. T. Robinson. It is ironic that Robinson, famous for the rather liberal Honest to God, argues for pre-70 A.D. authorship of all four gospels, but concentrating on John. With regard to the central section of Luke (the travel narrative or the great insertion), Luke may have been heavily dependent on a particular source who organized the material thematically. Two important ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 29, 09:44:

Yes, the milieu of the Gospels is very much that of pre-destruction (pre-70) Judaism. It is steeped in that milieu, in fact. Oddly enough, even John has some of this. For example, the famous phrase (famous from the perspective of dating John), "There *is* a pool" with reference to Bethesda, which no longer existed after the destruction. From the perspective of content, *all* of the Gospels give the appearance of being written prior to the destruction, and this is even true of John. It is only because of p ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by David Madison on Oct 29, 05:39:

This is slightly off-topic but still on the subject of inventing speeches and dialogue. Most scholars think that Matthew was written after the destruction of the Temple, say, AD 80. Let’s suppose that is true and also that the author was inventing dialogue. If you are writing after the fall of the Temple but your story is set earlier, then there are certain things you will naturally do. In your story the Temple will still be standing, so people can visit it and talk about it. However, talking about the Temp ... [More]

Zippy Catholic: Requiescat in pace

Comment posted by Vickie on Oct 24, 21:02:

I just found out about Zippy. May he rest in peace. His blog made me think a lot about usury and consequentialism. I will miss getting his thoughts on the various topics of the day. ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 23, 20:59:

The really interesting thing to me is that among the Gospels Luke has a very large section (the famous middle section) that does not even try to present itself as chronological. Presumably his sources did not always give him a definite time when some of the events happened. In many ways John is one of the most chronological of the Gospels, perhaps *the* most chronological, despite being very selective. In this way John's narrative with its many references to feasts provides a useful kind of skeleton for o ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Timothy Finlay on Oct 21, 23:07:

Lydia, I am in large agreement with your original post. Luke is not an eye-witness and mentions other written accounts preceding his in Luke 1:1-4. Luke 1-2 is different from the rest of the Gospel--it is more Septuagintal, and Mary may have been one of Luke's oral sources for this portion of the Gospel. The Gospels of Luke and John give us the authors' own reasons for their respective accounts in Luke 1:1-4 and John 20:30-31. Luke is more concerned with history and producing an orderly account; John is mo ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 20, 11:54:

I always have a strong feeling of encountering Luke himself when I read those verses in Luke 3. It may or may not be a generic hat-tip to Thucydides. Luke is the only one of the traditional authors who may plausibly have had a Hellenistic education. If so, obviously, it's a hat-tip to the idea of historical accuracy that was associated with Thucydides. Luke 1-2 have a somewhat different "feel," and they are two of the chapters in the Gospels for which I think there are really fairly strong signs of another ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Timothy Finlay on Oct 19, 00:22:

Tony, It suggests, at minimum, an author who is at least read in the common HISTORICAL literature of the day. I am fairly sure that there are no known authors earlier than Thucydides that used specifically 6 contemporaneous happenings to date an event. It is possible that Luke is giving a nod to a historian who gave a nod to Thucydides, but I don't know that this is more likely than that Luke tipped his stylistic hat to Thucydides directly. The Greek in Luke 3:1-2 (and also of the prologue in Luke 1:1-4) i ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 18, 16:38:

Tim, I seem to have seen the technique used in plenty of stuff besides Thucydides. At a time when there was no standard calendar or standard year between widely diverse nations, it stands to reason that if naming "X year of ruler 1" nails down the time for the benefit of all those who have ever had contact with THAT nation, then naming it against 6 different rulers will have the benefit of placing it for many more peoples, and do so in a way that further narrows it down to a smaller time frame than a 12-mo ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Timothy Finlay on Oct 18, 00:59:

The peace, which after the winning of Euboea was concluded for thirty years, lasted fourteen years. But in the fifteenth year, being the forty-eighth of the priesthood of Chrysis in Argos, Aenesias being then ephor at Sparta and Pythadorus, archon of Athens, having then two months of his government to come, in the sixth month after the battle at Potidaea and in the beginning of the spring, three hundred and odd Thebans led by Pythangelus the son of Phyleides and Diemporus the son of Onetoridas, Boeotian rul ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 17, 20:48:

That question is absolutely pertinent, Tony, and I intend to bring that out very forcefully in the forthcoming book. It is astonishing to see in one lecture that Michael Licona literally says that "Matthew would have been taught" from ancient rhetorical exercise books similar to Theon's Progymnasmata. Seriously? Matthew? One begins to think that perhaps "Matthew" in that case is a mere placeholder for, "Whoever wrote the Gospel." Burridge's Hellenistic bias and his utter, casual disregard of any of the pa ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 17, 20:39:

One might also have to beef up the arguments about who actually wrote the Gospels. If Matthew the Apostle wrote Matthew, then you would have the issue of whether Matthew ever even read any of the Greco-Roman bioi or anything else in classical literature. He was a tax collector in his former life, i.e. a numerate thug. No particular reason to expect he was a Greek scholar. Mark presumably spent much of his life as a disciple of Peter, in ministry; would he have obtained a classical education in there as ... [More]

Zippy Catholic: Requiescat in pace

Comment posted by Dan on Oct 16, 20:31:

Tragic news. May he be rewarded for his commitment to fighting the good fight. I stumbled across Zippy's blog a few years back and found it immediately arresting. This was something special. His demolition of liberalism is equal to the best I have come across. Many lament its worse manifestations, but very few were as precise in elucidating how it was a lie 'in principle'. Ditto with his work on the philosophy of 'consequentialism'. I also have specific interest in the topic of usury, and Zippy was perh ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 16, 17:18:

It's just supposed to be part of the "atmosphere of the time." His idea is that Lucian is generally part of showing the ancient atmosphere. Oddly, I noticed one footnote using the phrase "the era" for (literally) the entire period from Thucydides to Plutarch. That is not an era. It's quite a few hundred years. I don't myself mind using Julius Africanus (who was interpreting the Gospels and hence wrote after them) to illustrate that "ancient people" had the kinds of views of literal truth that Licona & co. ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Steve on Oct 16, 14:11:

I am sure, Lydia, you have addressed the issue I am bringing up in some other post, but I must ask: how does Licona's understanding of Lucian impact the gospel writers given that Lucian lived after the gospel writers (unless we go back to the 19th century dating of the New Testament gospels)? If the Gospels were finished in the first-century (or early second-century for a more progressive dating) but Lucian who lived in the mid-second century, how can this be used to determine how the Gospel writers "conne ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by Steve on Oct 16, 13:58:

Likes: "Licona does not quote in his entire book a single one of the five separate passages from How to Write History that emphasize the importance of historical accuracy and truthfulness. This despite the fact that he refers six separate times (pp. 90, 110, 150, 185, 191, 196) to his own highly dubious interpretation of paragraph 55, about writing in a connected fashion." ... [More]