Monthly Archives: March 2007

The Elijah-Elisha Narrative and the Gospel of Mark

Dale and Patricia Miller and Thomas Brodie discuss the Elijah-Elishah Cycle — 1 Kgs 16:292 Kgs 13:25 — as a source of Mark’s gospel.


Brodie does not limit the influences on Mark to the Elijah-Elisha (E-E) narrative. He acknowledges diverse inputs from the broader Hellenistic culture. But in his “Crucial Bridge” he looks closely at the apparent E-E influences. read more »

Mark’s ending and Masada (& Elisha)

This may be nothing but another passing shape in a cloud, but has anyone else passingly wondered if there might be some relationship to Mark’s ending in the way the Jewish war ended at Masada? read more »

The signs of the end in Josephus and Mark

Josephus (War.6.5.3-4) lists 8 astounding signs sent by God to warn the Jews of their impending disaster: read more »

3 more pointers to a late date for Mark? – revised

As per Weeden, the Gospel of Mark was written in response to a strident claim to push Peter’s “primacy” in the church.

1. Written at a time when Peter was proclaimed as leading apostle?

Weeden (in a question and answer session on the “2 Jesuses” dvd avail at Westar) sums up his reasons for viewing the gospel as written at a time when the dominance of Peter was being pushed into the face of the churches. Mark’s intention was to undermine these claims: read more »

Jesus (the man only) on trial

It’s an interesting exercise to look at Jesus the man (sans any theology or christology) on trial and see how he behaves. And equally if not more interesting to see how the apparent psychology resonates with his more dedicated followers throughout history since. read more »

Best explanation I’ve read yet re Alexander and Rufus

JakeJonesIV on the iidb discussion group has offered the most coherent and contextualized explanation of the identity of Alexander and Rufus I’ve heard yet. Check out his posts 4292918 and 4291566. The explanation relates to Robert Price’s comment in his Pre-Nicene New Testament suggesting the possibility that Simon Magus is the figure behind Simon of Cyrene.

The Tree of Wisdom in the Garden of Eden

The best explanation I have read for the meaning of the story of the 2 trees in the Garden of Eden came from Thompson’s The Mythic Past.

The Genesis story warns that wisdom will make Adam and Eve like gods and then they will die.

They eat of wisdom, and the wisdom they learn is that they are naked. That is what their wisdom is: knowledge of their nakedness. Sounds pretty dumb. How can that be called being made “wise”?

But the story continues. Adam and Eve have become as gods (elohim) or God — God himself said this, Gen.3:22 — and then are sentenced to death.

All their wisdom does for them is to cause them to see they are naked, and then die.

The story does not quite flow. This has opened it up for later generations imputing their own pet speculations of what exactly is the meaning of the fruit, etc. read more »

The Young Man in the Tomb in “The Existential Jesus”

Wow, I love it when I read of an idea I have often wondered about being picked up by someone else who has obviously wondered the same things, but then gone on to develop that idea in a way that forces me to start reading the basic text again from scratch.

John Carroll does not allow for the young man who appears in the tomb at the end of Mark’s gospel to be an angel.

He is not an angel, as some have speculated; if we were, Mark would have said so. (p.127 of The Existential Jesus)

Mark reads more like a Greek tragedy in prose than a Christian text: read more »

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 18a

This is going to be a multi-part reply to a most extraordinary chapter. In a bizarre way that Bauckham would not appreciate, B will find himself in league with his post-modernist devil against the intellectual values of the Enlightenment. The main differences between the two are firstly that B will often be arguing against a straw-man Enlightenment, and secondly that he will subtly shift definitions and contextual meanings of his terms as he proceeds. read more »

Does eating a banana backwards disprove the existence of God?

A bit of fun here over GodTube

From the site: read more »

Judas scholar does deal with the Devil (Jeffrey Archer)

So leading Judas scholar Francis Moloney is hoping to preach the gospel of Jesus through the mind of Judas and the pen of Jeffrey Archer.

Moloney says he wants to get the gospel of Jesus out to more hearts and minds so wrote the first draft of a Gospel of Judas, leaving it for novelist and done-his-time Jeffrey Archer to polish up the final product. read more »

Lost Tomb of Jesus (groan!)

Oh boy oh boy, and when I first heard of this my first thought was another one of those “oh boy oh boy, only in america” thoughts and waited for it to disappear as fast as a toilet flush. How can anyone take this so seriously! Is no one raising an eyebrow at the rush of archaeological “proofs” of biblical and political claims in recent decades or batting any eyelid over their coincidence with contemporary prominent religious and political “issues”? read more »

Moving to a more conservative view of Justin

My last post on Bauckham and Justin found myself repeating conclusions I had come to some years ago but with a niggling back of my mind awareness that there is new information that I have read since and that I need to rethink the whole Justin and the gospels thing. And something I wrote in my chapter 17 review hit me as an implicit contradiction of my general view till now. Who knows, I may even find myself accepting that Justin knew not only the gospels but also either Papias or the tradition that Papias recorded! I will have to watch this space to see where I go!

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 17

17. Polycrates and Irenaeus on John

Polycrates on John

Bauckham proceeds to show that Polycrates knew that John the author of the Gospel was not the Son of Zebedee, member of the Twelve, John. He begins with his letter to the bishop of Rome over the ‘correct’ date on which to observe ‘Easter’ (or the ‘Passover/Last Supper’). The extract is from the ccel site (Eusebius, H.E. 5.24.2-7): read more »