What’s Wrong with the World

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

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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

September 11th

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 20, 07:41:

A 9/11 story that captures the tragedy in its most wrenching form. Not just the event itself, but the psychological aftermath as well. https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a48031/the-falling-man-tom-junod/ ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 19, 15:14:

*Since* Luke is the one who doesn't give a context for it, it's considered *preferable* to think that the Gospel author who *does* give some kind of appearance of context for it (namely, Matthew) is the one who altered something rather than the author who appears even more unsure of the context. In other words, it's anti-simplicity. This preference for Luke over Matthew on this point could only make sense if the scholar already knew that Matthew could not possibly have access to resources that Luke did not ... [More]

“I was the king of standing alone” -- Rateliff and the Night Sweats

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 18, 17:56:

Cover of a classic blues song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=cEWiJR9qeoc ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 18, 09:25:

There is, in all seriousness, a major lack of understanding of issues of complexity in what is proposed. When looking into the evidence in the o.p., it occurred to me to wonder: "Why does scholar X think that this passage was originally uttered in a different context and then gathered up by Matthew rather than that it was uttered in the Sermon on the Mount and then vaguely placed at a different point in his Gospel by Luke?" I didn't bother to ask why they didn't think Jesus just taught it twice. That, I kn ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Sep 17, 23:58:

Seams and stitches. Scholars of a critical bent see the most minor of apparent discrepancies of grammar, syntax, or vocabulary as evidence of seams in either OT or NT text. And at every seam they see stitches where isolated traditions became composites. Maybe you can't see them, but those in the vaunted academy see them here, there, and everywhere. You have to publish or perish, which involves finding something on which to opine. The NT is a very small body of writing, and after almost two millenia, all th ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by John on Sep 17, 16:10:

Seams and stitches. Scholars of a critical bent see the most minor of apparent discrepancies of grammar, syntax, or vocabulary as evidence of seams in either OT or NT text. And at every seam they see stitches where isolated traditions became composites. Maybe you can't see them, but those in the vaunted academy see them here, there, and everywhere. ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Joe on Sep 16, 11:48:

I have other fish, but just friendly word (I will return) My Fighting Irish beat your Vbilt guys, hahaha ;-) ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 16, 08:42:

I've often thought about that contrast between Luke and Acts but never put it together exactly like that--Luke's personal friendship with Paul in Acts. Very good point. ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by David Madison on Sep 16, 06:34:

It’s interesting that Luke’s Gospel is vague on chronology. It is also vague on geography. Richard Bauckham has made the point that the vagueness on geography in Luke’s Gospel contrasts with the geographical precision in Acts. Suppose that we only had Acts and we were trying to explain the wealth of geographical detail. We might explain it by saying that Luke is a good writer of fiction. He has gone to a lot of trouble to create a detailed background for his story. But why would Luke do that for Acts and no ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by David Houser on Sep 15, 14:46:

Thanks for pointing out the “green grass” Passover reference in your book Hidden in Plain View, and for the labor you invested in writing your book. As for the harvest reference in John 4.35: some parameters to go by would include (a) there is no attested example of ‘there are yet four months and (then) the harvest’ as a proverb, (b) ‘yet’ wouldn’t suit a proverb but fits better with a contemporaneous situation, (c) in Palestine the interval between sowing and harvesting is six months, not four, (paramet ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 15, 13:57:

I would take it a not only plausible, but very nearly a necessary facet of Jesus' ministry that he repeated himself ALL THE TIME. First, he was a great teacher. I don't mean that he was a highly acclaimed person (a "great" person) who was a teacher, he was great at teaching: he had large crowds listening to him for very extended periods, sometimes large blocks of the day. Nobody who is incapable of keeping their attention - indeed, keeping them spellbound - is going to have a crowd staying around for m ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 15, 09:34:

I'm certainly very interested in references to the Passover in the gospels, and for example one of my undesigned coincidences in Hidden in Plain View concerns John's statement that the time of Passover was near at the feeding of the five thousand and that Mark mentions the "green grass." Indicators of spring *might* not all be equally agreed upon (or other seasonal indicators). For example, it can be debated whether, when Jesus said that about "four months until harvest" he actually meant that it really wa ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by David Houser on Sep 15, 01:14:

Greetings, all. I’m drawn to this site because it relates to a project of my own in the Gospels, but I have a comment I’d like to make. I’m neither a troll, nor a son of a troll, but calendar issues seem not to be discussed much in the posts I have read here. If that is so (and it may not be), it seems a pity not to address calendar issues, Passovers in particular. It seems to me that the Gospel materials could be disaggregated by Passovers: Passovers only occur once a year, if (as written, at least) Jesus ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 14, 17:24:

Here's something rather mildly interesting: A month or two ago Esteemed Husband predicted that one response of the literary device school would be to dismiss my work on the grounds that I'm "using math" and that this in some vague way doesn't apply to New Testament studies. So he called it. The silliness of this is amusing on many levels. First of all, I've always considered myself a mathophobe, so on a purely human level my being dismissed as a mathy type, removed from the understanding of an historical ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Sep 14, 16:04:

"Lydia is a smart lady and knows math and smart things like that and I'm not saying she's wrong about everything. I even endorsed one of her books. But it could be that she doesn't actually have the training in the field." Smart lady or no, I see nothing of substance in the claim that you don't "actually have training in the field". So what? Arguments fall or stand on the basis of evidence and rigor, not whether one has a laminated guild membership card. We've seen that people with the membership card some ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 13, 20:57:

The comments by Dr Evans, if the context is correct, are rather pathetic and telling. I spared the readers of the main post the later condescending bits from Dr. Evans in the same interview to the effect (this is only a slight paraphrase) that "Lydia is a smart lady and knows math and smart things like that and I'm not saying she's wrong about everything. I even endorsed one of her books. But it could be that she doesn't actually have the training in the field." ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Sep 13, 17:36:

The comments by Dr Evans, if the context is correct, are rather pathetic and telling. Even though English bishops who have been dead for over a century are not supposed to have seen Star Wars, having what I consider a sane, reasonable view of the gospels today feels like being in the Death Star trash compactor, where the walls on all sides are closing in around you. Unfortunately those walls which used to represent liberal scholarhips are from "our side" or the more "conservative" (or whatever label one wan ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 13, 16:16:

I'm actually working on two books. One is to counter the literary device views. The other will be specifically on the reliability of John's gospel. At some point I may have to slow down in my posting of blog posts in order to focus on book writing (which isn't exactly the same thing, either in research or in style). ... [More]

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

Comment posted by Cameron on Sep 13, 16:03:

Have you considered turning these blog posts into a book of sorts on the historical reliability of the gospels? ... [More]

September 11th

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on Sep 13, 12:11:

Normally it is good advice to ignore trolls. However, as someone with a local connection to one the United States' top civil engineers who investigated the WTC collapse (I'm friends with Dr. Corley's son and was at Dr. Corley's wake) I couldn't resist a quick comment to note that Horvat is just plain wrong: http://911-engineers.blogspot.com/2007/04/dr-w-gene-corley.html What is interesting about this 9/11 conspiracy stuff is that it now seems to have infected Ron Unz. Of course, that's not saying muc ... [More]

September 11th

Comment posted by Matjaž Horvat on Sep 12, 13:38:

Physics is physics. There is simply no way the official story of what happened is true. Stay tuned for the University of Alaska Fairbanks report coming out in the following months. ... [More]

September 11th

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 11, 21:49:

Whatever our foreign policy, whatever the interventions of our military, whatever the skill of our diplomats, whatever the character of our statesmen - still we shall attract, at least for the time being, the boldest stratagems, the cleverest sedition, the cruelest bloodlust of the Jihad. Yes. It must be remembered that the jihadists' hatred for America doesn't come from the fact that America is more evil than any other non-Muslim country: it isn't. It doesn't come from the fact that America hates Islam ... [More]

Truth

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 8, 15:10:

I think an organization has designed T-shirts that say, "I think, therefore I believe" for the upcoming conference here in K'zoo. That wasn't my aphorism, though. https://www.facebook.com/growingdeeperroots/posts/2247965382157059?__xts__[0]=68.ARBc8k2UQGN3rEMUZvnONqE7KbCLxSbCJeAZ_Ux39W15lGeu1aOy_-VEgAJp3OxBcAjifGKkA0GVm5x_OqANnW_EUsaa-at55VClNMQgn9uHy0kM2SR_hVK-SHgEANDsJyZG67l-4TH9PvlEnggPeEZiFgh8LwaiLg9eamIAUMxeQZrPnOklMA&__tn__=-R ... [More]

Truth

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Sep 8, 14:49:

I foresee an entire line of such "McGrewsory" posters coming out. For the walls and hallways of the morale-conscious NT scholar who worries about evidence rather than the fashionable stylish trends of modern scholarship. Next step: getting Dr McGrew's aphorisms onto coffee mugs! ... [More]

Truth

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 8, 10:43:

It's now on Facebook as well. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10160761092395640&set=a.10152134224165640&type=3&theater ... [More]

Truth

Comment posted by Beth on Sep 8, 09:38:

Excellent! ... [More]

Answering the Messianic Secret argument against John

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 8, 08:48:

It is now up on Facebook for those of you who do Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10160761092395640&set=a.10152134224165640&type=3&theater ... [More]

Truth

Comment posted by Nobody special on Sep 8, 04:31:

Best meme ever😊 ... [More]

Answering the Messianic Secret argument against John

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Sep 7, 21:23:

There should be some cheesy "successory" poster for this that every NT scholar can or should hang on their office wall, perhaps with a Hawaiian sunset or waterfall picture motif. This must be done. ... [More]

More on ur-source theories vs. undesigned coincidences

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 6, 13:15:

Yes, I agree. Generally when I think that an apparent undesigned coincidence is plausibly explained some other way, it has nothing to do with sources or redaction or anything but just, "This could just be a coincidence" or "This could very easily be referring to something else." As in the example you gave. One reason in the example you gave is that, if letters of recommendation *were* common as a mechanism, then there could definitely be someone other than Apollos to whom Paul could be referring. Sometimes ... [More]

More on ur-source theories vs. undesigned coincidences

Comment posted by David Madison on Sep 6, 12:33:

I will just clarify my point about false positives with an example. In 2 Cor. 3:1 Paul makes a sarcastic remark about people who need letters of recommendation. This is probably an allusion to Apollos. If so it corresponds to the statement in Acts that a letter of recommendation was sent to Achaia on behalf of Apollos. This would be an undesigned coincidence. However, it *might* just be a coincidence. Paul might not have been thinking of Apollos - although this seems unlikely given the context. But if the ... [More]

Answering the Messianic Secret argument against John

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 6, 11:42:

What's interesting there is that Wrede's idea is that Jesus really didn't think of himself as Messiah and the whole thing was invented. The way it's used against John is apparently that the historical Jesus did think of himself as Messiah but also really did try to keep it a secret, and that this means that he "would not" have said, "Before Abraham was, I am" and "I and the Father are one." On that subject, I don't know what Wright thinks, and the little I've been able to find from him on the subject is i ... [More]

Answering the Messianic Secret argument against John

Comment posted by John DePoe on Sep 6, 11:37:

One of my favorite summaries of the literary theory of the so-called "Messianic Secret" is from N. T. Wright who rightfully points out some of the serious problems with this approach of using the motif of a Messianic Secret as a controlling feature of redacting the text of the Gospels (in this context he is specifically talking about Wrede's theory that the Messianic Secret has been added to the Gospels by "Mark") : First there was Jesus, who in no way thought of himself as Messiah. Then there was the ear ... [More]

More on ur-source theories vs. undesigned coincidences

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 6, 09:01:

I actually pointed out in the main post that sometimes a pericope contains both undesigned coincidences *and* apparent discrepancies. That's part of the reason why the ur-source hypothesis is a poor explanation. Again, see the o.p. for details. So merely talking about "a source of coherence" is too vague. As of course, talking about "the redaction process." If something is to be an alternative theory one must get down to brass tacks, not simply wave one's hand and say, "I'm sure the redaction process is a c ... [More]

More on ur-source theories vs. undesigned coincidences

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 6, 07:57:

Joe, I am not sure what you mean by "redaction". Can you be more specific and more explicit? I think that there is a level of ambiguity in how the word is used in scholarly circles, and that ambiguity is doing some of the "work" of some of the not-quite sound arguments running around. On the one hand, it would be a kind of "redaction" for an author - either a single person or a community, it doesn't matter - to take a series of eyewitness accounts and prepare them, order them, and (to the extent two or m ... [More]

Answering the Messianic Secret argument against John

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 5, 20:36:

I like the idea. ... [More]

Answering the Messianic Secret argument against John

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 5, 20:36:

If he was concerned not to let his Messiahship be widely proclaimed too soon, how much the more would he try to avoid proclaiming his deity in such a clear a manner as we find John reporting? Indeed, Licona's argument says almost precisely that. But that is anachronistic thinking. Nobody was going to rush to proclaim him an earthly king because they heard that he said that he was God. I think there is a little more to it than that. There was considerable confusion about the nature of the Messiah, in part ... [More]

Answering the Messianic Secret argument against John

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Sep 5, 19:15:

Remember: The incident-by-incident approach to Gospel reliability is wrong. Dead wrong. Philosophically wrong. Epistemologically wrong. Historically wrong. When one has evidence for the historical nature and intention of a Gospel overall (as we do have for John), then the specific incidents in it do not need to be individually defended, starting each time from a position of agnosticism, on a case-by-case basis. There should be some cheesy "successory" poster for this that every NT scholar can or should han ... [More]

Answering the Messianic Secret argument against John

Comment posted by Steve on Sep 5, 14:11:

Likes: "The incident-by-incident approach to Gospel reliability is wrong. Dead wrong. Philosophically wrong. Epistemologically wrong. Historically wrong. When one has evidence for the historical nature and intention of a Gospel overall (as we do have for John), then the specific incidents in it do not need to be individually defended, starting each time from a position of agnosticism, on a case-by-case basis." ... [More]

More on ur-source theories vs. undesigned coincidences

Comment posted by David Madison on Sep 5, 05:31:

“They do account for some of the duplication, but not all.” I’m not quite sure what you mean but I’ll have a stab at it. Perhaps you are saying that not every undesigned coincidence is what it appears to be or what Lydia and others claim it to be. Sure. It doesn’t bother me if there are some false positives in the bunch. On the other hand, the person who believes that the Gospels are completely unreliable has to argue that *all* undesigned coincidences are bogus. “There has to be a reason why you are push ... [More]