The Curious Silence of the Dog and Paul of Tarsus

Following up my previous post I came across another interesting discussion of the argument from silence. Since I am among those who have compared the argument from silence to the Sherlock Holmes’s famous inference from the dog that did not bark and even spoken of such a nonauditory argument as deafening, after reading Mike Duncan’s … Continue reading “The Curious Silence of the Dog and Paul of Tarsus”


3 Common and 1 Surprising Reason for Paul’s Silence on the Historical Jesus

I recently drew upon a chapter by William O. Walker, Jr. in Some Surprises From the Apostle Paul to argue for the likelihood of interpolations in Paul’s letters: Why Many Interpolations in Paul’s Letters are Very Likely. But that was only one late chapter in Walker’s book. Explanation 4 below is another “surprise” he writes about: Paul on … Continue reading “3 Common and 1 Surprising Reason for Paul’s Silence on the Historical Jesus”


When Is Paul’s Silence Golden?

The Casey-Holding Theory of Pauline High-Context Culture We were treated recently to another dose of apologia run amok in Maurice Casey’s “frightful” diatribe against Earl Doherty. Following in the footsteps of fellow apologist, J.P. Holding, Casey explains away Paul’s silence regarding the earthly Jesus by a misapplication of Edward T. Hall’s cultural context paradigm (ref. … Continue reading “When Is Paul’s Silence Golden?”


Jesus (and Paul) in the Ancient Philosopher Tradition

Think of the world from which Christianity emerged and mystery religions easily come to mind. That may be a mistake. A more relevant context, influencers and rivals were the popular philosophers and their schools in the first and second centuries. The Jew and the Christian offered religions as we understand religion; the others offered cults; … Continue reading “Jesus (and Paul) in the Ancient Philosopher Tradition”


Celestial or Earthly Christ Event? Why So Much Confusion About Paul?

Arthur Droge has made available on his academia.edu page an article in which he presents a strong case for that “rulers of this age … crucified the Lord of Glory” passage in 1 Corinthians not being part of the original letter reasons to think the passage was added to the letter around 140 CE evidence … Continue reading “Celestial or Earthly Christ Event? Why So Much Confusion About Paul?”


Is Luke’s Silence Evidence of Ignorance?

When reading scholars’ arguments about determining the dates of books in the New Testament, I often come away feeling as if I know less than when I started. Their works frequently leave me with a dull headache. Many current scholars have placed all their eggs in the internal evidence basket, admitting that all the external … Continue reading “Is Luke’s Silence Evidence of Ignorance?”


Why Many Interpolations in Paul’s Letters are Very Likely

Some Surprises from the Apostle Paul by William O. Walker, Jr. contains an interesting chapter about interpolations. Walker does not agree that most scholars should remain sceptical regarding many proposed interpolations in Paul’s letters. They see no way to identify such interpolations with any certainty, and they tend to regard arguments for interpolation as highly speculative … Continue reading “Why Many Interpolations in Paul’s Letters are Very Likely”


The Memory Mavens, Part 6: How Did Paul Remember Jesus?

We have covered the subject of the apostle Paul’s silence on Jesus’ life many times on Vridar. But for quite a while now, I’ve been thinking we keep asking the same, misdirected questions. NT scholars have kept us focused on the narrow confines of the debate they want to have. But there are other questions that … Continue reading “The Memory Mavens, Part 6: How Did Paul Remember Jesus?”


Bible Scholars’ Inability to Handle Mythicism: No Meek Messiah by Michael Paulkovich

Recently we have seen on the web more instances of otherwise reputable New Testament scholars demonstrating their apparent inability to actually read with any serious attempt at comprehension or publicly discuss radical views that originate from unwashed outsiders.  (The second case I will discuss here involves a quite unexpected and unexplained banning of comments from me … Continue reading “Bible Scholars’ Inability to Handle Mythicism: No Meek Messiah by Michael Paulkovich”


How a Spurious Letter “From Paul” Inspired the End Time Prophecies of the New Testament

This post is based on the theme of a chapter in St. Paul versus St. Peter: A Tale of Two Missions by Michael Goulder. I depart from Goulder’s own presentation in one significant respect: Goulder wrote as if 2 Thessalonians were a genuine letter by Paul (in which Paul writes about the future in a way he was … Continue reading “How a Spurious Letter “From Paul” Inspired the End Time Prophecies of the New Testament”


Comparing Paul’s Epistles to Augustine’s Letters

The cakemix explodes Reacting to Dr. Richard Carrier’s recent article over at The Bible and Interpretation website, the beloved Doctor of Whoville, James McGrath has offered up yet another dog’s breakfast of red herrings and dead horses. (How’s that for a mixed-metaphor gumbo?) Carrier will likely respond fully to McGrath’s post, especially the headache-inducing section in … Continue reading “Comparing Paul’s Epistles to Augustine’s Letters”


Was Paul Really Persecuted for Preaching a Crucified Christ?

Was Paul persecuted for preaching a crucified messiah? In 1 Corinthians 1:23 we read that the message of “Christ crucified” was a “stumblingblock” or “offence” to the Jews. There is no explanation to inform us exactly why Jews were so offended by Paul preaching that a messiah had been crucified but that hasn’t prevented many readers from knowing the reason … Continue reading “Was Paul Really Persecuted for Preaching a Crucified Christ?”


A Simonian Origin for Christianity, Part 7: The Source of Simon/Paul’s Gospel

Introduction I’ll begin this post by acknowledging my debt to Earl Doherty. It was he who convinced me that the gospel Paul believed and preached was derived only from scripture and visions/revelations, and that it did not include a Son of God who lived a human life on earth. Doherty’s demonstration of those points in … Continue reading “A Simonian Origin for Christianity, Part 7: The Source of Simon/Paul’s Gospel”


Was Paul’s Jesus an Historical Figure? — ‘Is This Not the Carpenter?’ ch. 8

The eight chapter of ‘Is This Not the Carpenter?’ is “Born under the Law: Intertextuality and the Question of the Historicity of the Figure of Jesus in Paul’s Epistles” by Thomas S. Verenna. He takes those passages commonly used to support the claim that Paul’s Jesus was indeed an historical person — his crucifixion, being … Continue reading “Was Paul’s Jesus an Historical Figure? — ‘Is This Not the Carpenter?’ ch. 8”