Bible

Jesus meets an incredulous group of people from his home town in this Wednesday’s Gospel reading (Mark 6:1-6). It’s a fascinating text, and it has a surprising number of interesting details. Let’s take a look . . .   What Happened? First, here’s the text itself: 1 He went away from there and came to his […]

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The question of how the costs producing the Gospels would have affected the choices that their authors made is almost totally ignored. We will seek to remedy this by looking at the cost that producing the Gospels would have had on the Synoptic problem. Today, when there are ministries that give away Bibles for free, […]

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Bart Ehrman is a smart guy, but he sometimes handles his sources in the most frustrating and misleading manner. For example, in his book Did Jesus Exist? (where he is on the right side for once), he writes: Several significant studies of literacy have appeared in recent years showing just how low literacy rates were […]

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Today we have standardized versions of the words of institution at Mass and of the Lord’s Prayer. At least within a given language group and rite of the Church, you’ll find priests saying the words of institution and the faithful saying the Lord’s Prayer the same way. But in the first century, things were not […]

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According to many scholars, Matthew and Luke based their Gospels principally on two sources: Mark and a now-lost source dubbed “Q.” The reason for the latter is that Matthew and Luke contain about 235 verses that are not paralleled in Mark. This amounts to about a fifth of each of their Gospels, which is too […]

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In this paper we will look at what the Infancy Narratives in Matthew and Luke may tell us about the way these Gospels were composed. Specifically: We will look at an argument (described more fully here) that the two Infancy Narratives are so different that Matthew and Luke did not know each others’ Gospels. This […]

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There is a clear literary relationship between three of the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke. That’s why these three are known as the “synoptic” Gospels—because they offer a “shared view” of Jesus’ life (Greek, sun = “together” + opsis “seeing”). The question of how they are related is known as the Synoptic Problem, and you can read my discussions of […]

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This post presents the results of a test I recently did in my ongoing look at the Synoptic Problem. In what follows, I will be testing the claim that if Matthew used Mark, he abbreviated the material he found in Mark. Note the “if,” because it’s important. I am not here arguing that he did […]

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Wouldn’t it be great if scientists invented a device that enabled us to have a window into the past–so that we wouldn’t just have to read about the past in books? Instead, with the new device–let’s call it a Time Window–we could actually see events occurring in the past in real time, with our own eyes? […]

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A reader writes: Does the Church teach of any parallel between the 12 Apostles and the 12 tribes of Israel? I don’t know of a Church document that stresses this connection off the top of my head, though there probably are some that do. It is generally acknowledged among Bible scholars that the New Testament […]

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