What’s Wrong with the World

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


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

« June 2018 | Main | August 2018 »

July 2018 Archives

July 2, 2018

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--the alleged problem

This post inaugurates a sub-series within my series on the Gospel of John. This sub-series will investigate and respond to the claim that there is something suspicious about the similarities between the way that Jesus talks in John and the way that John writes (as narrator and in I John), on the one hand, and, on the other, the differences between the way that Jesus talks in John and the way that he talks in the synoptic Gospels.

These twin comparisons are used to support some rather radical theses. Leon Morris (Studies in the Fourth Gospel, pp. 265ff) points out that some scholars have used these claims about the way that Jesus talks to argue against authorship of John by an eyewitness.

Others, such as Craig Evans, use the alleged problem of the way Jesus talks to support a general doubt about the historicity of John's portrait of Jesus. Here is a quotation (podcast here, searchable transcript here) from the second half of his recent debate with me on the Unbelievable show:

Continue reading "Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--the alleged problem" »

July 3, 2018

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

In this post I will be laying out some parallels between the way that Jesus speaks in the Gospel of John and in the synoptic Gospels. I am not trying to make an absolutely sharp distinction between verbal and conceptual parallels. When a conceptual parallel is close enough it becomes a type of verbal parallel, and a distinction between verbal and conceptual parallels can become artificial if pressed too hard. My examples will all be chosen, however, to represent at least very close conceptual parallels in Jesus' speech, and several are definitely verbal parallels.

I am not, of course, implying that, in all of the places where a word is translated by the same English word, the same Greek word is used. For example, the word Jesus uses for "Come" in Matt. 11:28 is different from the word he uses when he says that all that the Father gives him will come to him in John 6:37. On the other hand, the same Greek word is used for "believe" when he tells Jairus to believe (Mark 5:36) and when he tells Martha that she will see the glory of God if she believes (John 11:40). Whether or not the same Greek word is used varies, but the parallels are there nonetheless and often quite striking.

Most or all of these were taken from the pages beginning here of Stanley Leathes, The Witness of St. John to Christ, 1870, drawn to my attention by Esteemed Husband. I'm very privileged to bring back to the attention of modern apologists these treasures of the past.

Continue reading "Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence" »

July 9, 2018

The voice of the Master--More evidence

In this post in my on-going John series, I'm going to talk about places where Jesus sounds distinctly "Johannine" in the synoptic Gospels or "synoptic" in the Gospel of John.

To be sure, there are differences of emphasis, but those differences are exaggerated by scholars, to such a point that Craig Evanson John contribute to a rebuttal of Evans's statements. See especially here, here, here, here, and here.

Michael Licona has used the alleged great difference between the way Jesus talks in John and the synoptics to support the idea that John "adapted" the "traditions about Jesus" to such an extent as to change "My God, why have you forsaken me?" to "I thirst" on the cross (Why Are There Differences in the Gospels, p. 166), when the latter was not uttered in an historically recognizable fashion at all.

Mere differences of emphasis are, of course, a completely different matter. John and the synoptics may have recorded different statements by Jesus for reasons of theme and saliency to a particular author. Showing crossovers in Jesus' speech at precisely the points where the Gospels have been alleged to be most different is therefore relevant to the historicity of the gospels and, since John comes under such special doubt, to John in particular.

Continue reading "The voice of the Master--More evidence" »

July 12, 2018

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

While the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court may be the most important recent event in U.S. politics from the perspective of social conservatives, the final evaluation of its significance will be possible only in hindsight.

As is so often the case, it is necessary for the confirmation of a justice that we know very little about what we are all most interested (not to say anxious) to know: Would he rule to overturn the judicial over-reaches of Roe and Obergefell if he were on SCOTUS? If the Republicans had a stronger Senate majority ("strong," including in the sense that there would not be defectors in the event of a close vote), perhaps we could afford to know more. As it is, we could very easily face an uphill battle for Kavanaugh's appointment simply because of kneejerk opposition by the left, only to discover that he is the new Kennedy or Souter. His record does not say.

Continue reading "Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say" »

July 24, 2018

The beard and the heap

Knox%20beard.jpg What is a sorites paradox, and how does it apply to biblical criticism? The paradox of the sorites or heap arises from the fact that if we add a single grain of sand to others, there is not a sharp line at which we say that we have a heap of sand. If we take one grain away at a time, there is not a sharp line at which it ceases to be a heap. Yet (mark this) there are cases that fall unambiguously on the side of "heap" or "no heap."

We can also think of this as a beard problem. When does a man have a beard, and when does he just have a five-o-clock shadow? There are fuzzy cases (pun intended) where we are unsure what to say. Yet this does not mean that there are no unambiguous beards and no unambiguously clean-shaven men.

Continue reading "The beard and the heap" »

July 26, 2018

The voice of the Master--Pure Style

In several places Michael Licona has pushed for a highly flexible view of John's willingness to change Jesus' words and even the events of Jesus' life. He calls it "adapting the traditions about Jesus" and gives the impression that it is widely granted among all Johannine scholars that John "adapted the traditions about Jesus," without specifying that the extent to which scholars think that John "adapted the traditions" varies widely and that the more controversial claims about John's "adaptations" are by no means universally accepted, especially among conservative, evangelical scholars.

Almost every time he argues for John's "adaptations," he will talk about the way Jesus talks in John, especially in the Greek. I've already quoted some of these statements in earlier posts, but I'm going to re-quote a couple of them here, because this post is going to be about geeky Greek stuff.

Continue reading "The voice of the Master--Pure Style" »