How John Used Mark: Investigating the Methods of the Fourth Evangelist (Part 3)

Part 3: John Displaces and Rewrites the Cleansing of the Temple All four evangelists recount Jesus’ cleansing of the temple at Jerusalem. The Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) place the event during the week before the crucifixion, while John sets it near the very start of Jesus’ ministry. In the ancient church, many, if not … Continue reading “How John Used Mark: Investigating the Methods of the Fourth Evangelist (Part 3)”


How John Used Mark: Investigating the Methods of the Fourth Evangelist (Part 2)

Part 2: A Markan Sandwich in John’s Gospel Scholars have long noted that both the gospel of John and Mark interrupt the story of Peter’s denial with Jesus’ hearing before the Sanhedrin (Mark) or Annas (John). Both authors begin with Peter in the courtyard in the predawn hours, pause the story to describe Jesus’ initial … Continue reading “How John Used Mark: Investigating the Methods of the Fourth Evangelist (Part 2)”


How John Used Mark: Investigating the Methods of the Fourth Evangelist (Part 1)

Part 1: Turning Mark Inside Out In a comment to Neil’s post, Discovering the Sources for the First Gospel, 3 — Criteria, from way back in May of 2012, I introduced a way to explain how the Fourth Evangelist may have used the Gospel of Mark. It might not be a novel approach — there is … Continue reading “How John Used Mark: Investigating the Methods of the Fourth Evangelist (Part 1)”


How (and Why) Jewish Scriptures are used in Mark’s Passion Narrative — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 9

All posts reviewing Nathanael Vette’s Writing With Scripture are archived at Vette : Writing With Scripture With thanks to T&T Clark who forwarded me a review copy. Having “settled” again (this time Thailand) I can resume my discussion of Nathanael Vette’s [NV] Writing With Scripture. We come now to the Passion Narrative in the Gospel … Continue reading “How (and Why) Jewish Scriptures are used in Mark’s Passion Narrative — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 9”


How Queen Esther Influenced the Fate of John the Baptist — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 7

All posts reviewing Nathanael Vette’s Writing With Scripture are archived at Vette : Writing With Scripture With thanks to T&T Clark who forwarded me a review copy. I was fascinated by Nathanael Vette’s (NV) discussion of the highly probable influence of the story of Esther on the Gospel of Mark‘s account of the death of … Continue reading “How Queen Esther Influenced the Fate of John the Baptist — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 7”


Creating the Gospel of Mark — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 5

Previous posts reviewing NV’s Writing With Scripture: How and Why the Gospel of Mark Used Scripture — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 1 Creating New Stories from Scripture — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 2 To What Shall We Compare the Gospels? — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 3 … Continue reading “Creating the Gospel of Mark — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 5”


How and Why the Gospel of Mark Used Scripture — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 1

When I offered to post a comprehensive review of Writing With Scripture by Nathanael Vette the publisher sent me a copy and now I hope this first in a series of reviews will begin to do justice to all concerned and interested. I write primarily as a layman for interested lay readers. Who is Nathanael … Continue reading “How and Why the Gospel of Mark Used Scripture — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 1”


The Two Beasts of Revelation 13; and the Image, Mark and Number of the First Beast

Before Thomas Witulski informs readers of the details of events in the time of the Roman emperor Hadrian and how they enable a contemporary interpretation of Revelation 13 he analyses the meanings of different parts of the chapter itself. I cannot possibly cover every detail of his exegesis (especially the grammar and usage of certain … Continue reading “The Two Beasts of Revelation 13; and the Image, Mark and Number of the First Beast”


Mark: The First Biography of Jesus? (Part 1)

Reviewing The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel by Helen K. Bond. (In which I finally get around to reading Bond’s The First Biography of Jesus.) After the initial trickle of “Gospels Are Biographies!” books, we might have expected a flood of works exploring the implications of such a designation. After all, when … Continue reading “Mark: The First Biography of Jesus? (Part 1)”


John the Baptist — Another Case for Forgery in Josephus (conclusion)

Here is the final post discussing the introductory chapter of Rivka Nir’s The First Christian Believer: In Search of John the Baptist where she sets out her case for the John the Baptist passage in the writings of Josephus being a forgery. For readers with so little time, the TL;DR version: The baptism of John that … Continue reading “John the Baptist — Another Case for Forgery in Josephus (conclusion)”


John the Baptist in Josephus — What was his baptism?

I conclude* continue here my posts presenting Rivka Nir’s case for the John the Baptist passage in the Antiquities of Josephus being a Christian interpolation. All of these posts are archived at Nir: First Christian Believer. (* I had expected to conclude the series with this post but as usual, checking sources and being sure … Continue reading “John the Baptist in Josephus — What was his baptism?”


Early Thoughts on Authenticity of the John the Baptist Passage in Josephus

Continuing Rivka Nir’s case for questioning the authenticity of John the Baptist in Josephus’s Antiquities…. (First post is here.) Nir informs us in The First Christian Believer, By the nineteenth and early twentieth century, historians were suggesting that this passage was a Christian interpolation. (p. 42) As a general rule, I like to follow up … Continue reading “Early Thoughts on Authenticity of the John the Baptist Passage in Josephus”


John the Baptist: Another Case for Forgery in Josephus

Of making many posts about John the Baptist there is no end, and much discussion may weary, or stimulate, the flesh. Here’s another one. This post is the first in a series of perhaps three that intends to raise awareness of Rivka Nir‘s case for the passage about John the Baptist in Josephus being a … Continue reading “John the Baptist: Another Case for Forgery in Josephus”


What Is the Purpose of the Nicodemus Stories in John? (Part 2)

Before returning to the Johannine stories containing the words and deeds of Nicodemus, I must digress briefly to discuss the issue of dependence. The Gospel of John contains countless mysteries, many of which can keep a scholar busy for a lifetime. Who actually wrote the gospel? What were his sources? Who is the Beloved Disciple? … Continue reading “What Is the Purpose of the Nicodemus Stories in John? (Part 2)”

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