What’s Wrong with the World

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December 2017 Archives

December 2, 2017

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

I haven't posted an update here recently about Ken Miller. Here is the tag for my posts about this case.

Those who've followed it will recall that Pastor Ken Miller is the only one so far who has served a lengthy prison sentence in the U.S., though Timo Miller (no relation) languished in a Nicaraguan dungeon (literally) for over a month when the U.S. insisted on extraditing him and the Nicaraguans, for some unknown reason, cooperated. Thus far, Timo Miller has been sentenced to time served, and Philip Zodhiates was convicted but has his case on appeal. Pastor Ken Miller has been in federal prison for "kidnaping" for nearly two years. He is, I say in all seriousness, America's political prisoner.

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December 5, 2017

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

As we have discussed several times in threads here at W4, the infancy narratives in Luke and Matthew come in for a lot of unnecessary doubt from New Testament scholars. Michael Licona has even suggested that whatever is not overlapping in Luke and Matthew might be a "midrash" (aka made up), an embellishment on the far more minimal facts that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of a virgin named Mary espoused to Joseph. The many other facts reported in both Gospels may have been added, he suggests, to "create a more interesting narrative."

At the same time, the Gospel of John is also treated as some kind of a "problem child" for the historicity of the Gospels, because Jesus allegedly "sounds so different" in John and in the synoptic Gospels. But the difference between the presentation of Jesus in John and in the synoptic Gospels is overestimated by critical scholars.

Recently, Esteemed Husband was reading some passages to me from one of those neglected old books: Stanley Leathes, The Witness of St. John to Christ (1870). There are about twenty pages in this book (pp. 300ff) showing parallels between Jesus' manner, his methods, his ways of speaking, his personality, etc., in John and in the synoptic Gospels. It should be required reading for all seminarians, apologetics students, and others interested in New Testament studies. Some of the things Leathes mentions are also discussed in a useful blog post by NT scholar Rob Bowman, here, but Leathes has much more.

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December 15, 2017

Licona wrap-up

This post will wrap up my current series on Why Are There Differences in the Gospels? by Michael Licona. Note: Please scroll down to the second half of this post for a complete, hyperlinked list of the articles in this 2017 series with a short synopsis of each.

There will doubtless be other posts in which I discuss Licona's work, and there are also posts from 2016 in which I discussed his on-line lectures. For those interested in these topics, both the Licona tag are relevant and contain posts from 2016 and 2017. The New Testament and Licona tags at my personal blog have some non-overlapping material, and sometimes stub posts from W4 refer to longer posts at Extra Thoughts (the personal blog) and vice versa.

I'll begin this wrap-up by discussing a portion of an e-interview from this past summer that Bible Gateway did with Dr. Licona.

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December 24, 2017

Christmas: The day as an icon

Nativity%204.jpg As secularists and neo-Puritans alike delight in pointing out, there is no strong reason to believe that Jesus was born "in the cold midwinter." Those silly traditional Christians, celebrating a holy day that is nowhere commanded to be celebrated in the Bible, probably has been attached by mere human convention to the historically incorrect time of year, and wasn't even recognized by the early church until, what?, 200 to 300 years after the time of Christ.

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December 31, 2017

Webinar on What's Wrong With NT Scholarship

Readers of What's Wrong With the World will be interested, I presume, in a webinar on what's wrong with New Testament scholarship! And one is available for free on Epiphany, January 6, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time at this link. That will take you to a Zoom Room, where you can do a very easy sign-up and join the group to listen. The title is "Six Bad Habits of New Testament Scholars and How to Avoid Them."

Apologetics Academy webinars are often rather lengthy, with Q & A going for a while. My talk itself will probably go somewhat over an hour, followed by Q & A. I have a lot of material and am gearing the talk to those who are interested in apologetics and its intersection with evangelical New Testament scholarship. Those who have read my recent Licona series will recognize a lot of the material, but some of it may be new to you.

My thanks to Jonathan McLatchie for the opportunity to give this presentation.