Saturday, December 3, 2011
This week a small Free Will Baptist congregation in eastern Kentucky voted to bar an interracial couple from membership. The latest reports indicate that the church may overturn its initial decision, with pressure coming from the national Free Will Baptist association leadership.
The story of this church’s vote hit close to home for me for several reasons. My “people” are
Friday, December 2, 2011
Some unbelievers argue that various pagan religions had stories about virgin births, and dying and rising gods, centuries before the gospels were written, and that the gospel writers simply took those stories and made them about Jesus. This concept was first popularized by German scholars in the early 1900s, in what is usually called the “Old History of Religions School” (Religionsgeschichtliche) of thought.
So far we have shown that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote reliable histories of the life of Jesus. But some object that what they wrote has not been reliably preserved.
In some instances, the very meaning of the text is at stake, depending on how one resolves a textual problem: Was Jesus an angry man? Was he completely distraught in the face of death? Did he tell his disciples that they could drink poison without being harmed? Did he let an adulteress off the hook with nothing but a mild warning? Is the doctrine of the Trinity explicitly taught in the New Testament? Is Jesus actually called “the unique God” there? Does the New Testament indicate that even the Son of God himself does not know when the end will come? The questions go on and on, and all of them are related to how one resolves difficulties in the manuscript tradition as it has come down to us. -Bart Erhman, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why, p. 208
In this lesson we will take a look at the text of the New Testament.