The Diety of Christ – podcast

https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/09/28/the-deity-of-christ

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Biblical Warnings About False Prophets

The number of false prophets has exploded in the last few years, so to prepare you for their deception, here are some powerful Bible verses about false prophets.

Warnings

In Matthew 7:15 Jesus warned us to “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves,” and Jesus prophesied that prior to His second coming, that “many false prophets will arise and lead many astray” (Matt 24:11), and we know that these wolves love “Sheep in a Can” because they can shear the sheep and fleece the flock without their even knowing it. Their goals include these three things (at least):

#1 Money

#2 Absolute Power/Authority

#3 Unquestioned Teachings

Jesus knew their hearts and warned us to “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits” (Matt 7:15-20).

Read the rest: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2018/04/27/biblical-warnings-about-false-prophets/

Understanding Why Many Non-Christians Hate the Bible

By Michael Brown

Many Christians read the Quran (or, at least select quotes from the Quran) with abhorrence. “The God of the Quran is bloodthirsty and cruel!” they exclaim. But many non-Christians read the Bible with the same abhorrence. They come to the same conclusions about the God of the Bible, especially the God of the Old Testament. Is there any justification to their conclusions? And how is it that Christians can read the same Book and see it so differently?

What Do Critics Say?

Critics would point to things like these in the Old Testament:

  • God destroyed the entire world, save just 8 people, with a flood.
  • God tested Abraham by telling him to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice.
  • God gave the Israelites a law that they could purchase slaves from other nations.
  • God gave the Israelites a law that a man who raped a woman was required to marry her and never divorce her.
  • Moses told the Israelites that they should kill every man, woman, and child among the Canaanites.
  • Moses gave the Israelite men permission on one occasion to spare all the virgin women for themselves but to kill everyone else.
  • The psalmist said that those who smash Babylon’s babies on the rocks would be truly happy.
  • In the New Testament, critics would object to the frequent talk about the judgment of hell fire along with the concept that Jesus was the only way to God, among other issues.

How, then, can Christians so highly prize a Book like this? How can they find it to be the epitome of love, compassion, kindness, justice, liberation, and truth?

There is more at: https://stream.org/understanding-why-many-non-christians-hate-the-bible/

What Did Luke Know, And When Did He Know It?

I am struggling with a celebrated New Testament passage, and I’ll use this blogpost as a way of working out my thoughts. It relates to the issue of the origins of the gospels as we have them, a topic about which I have blogged often enough in the past. As in most such cases, the issue at hand has a vast literature attached to it, and my main goal is not to be overwhelmed.

Luke’s Prologue

The text in question opens the Gospel of Luke, and in the NIV, this prologue reads “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,  just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.” My question is: what did he mean by “many,” polloi, and how many of those accounts do we possess in any form? To put this in context, assume that Luke is writing around 90-95. What  narratives were available at or before this time?

The word “many” is open to interpretation, and perhaps it is a rhetorical flourish. Quite possibly, Luke is using a standard rhetorical device in ancient history writing, as exemplified by a scholar like Livy. But as an exercise, assume he means it literally. So what could “many” mean? A dozen? Twenty? Could it just mean five or six? Based on what we have from that era, or what we plausibly can reconstruct, I can think of a fair number of accounts of Jesus that likely did exist by that point, and I will list them shortly. By the way, Luke says that many have put together such accounts, not that he has seen any or all of them personally.

Yet there is a problem. Luke speaks of to compile (anataxasthai) an account (diegesis), and that last word can be translated as narration or declarations. But diegesis is an unusually strong word, which means not just an account, but more like an account that is thorough or comprehensive. At first sight, that would mean something organized in the sense that we think of as a gospel, although with no necessary implication about length.

But what could that term cover? Might the term apply to something like the Gospel of Thomas, which is a collection of sayings without any particular sequence or organization? In fact, Thomas is nothing like this early, and I just use it as a hypothetical. To take an example that Luke assuredly did know, would he apply the term to the reconstructed Q gospel source, which lacks most of the narrative structure we know, not to mention not referring to the crucifixion? On the other hand, could it apply to accounts of the crucifixion, which might have circulated independently of other sayings or narratives? How about a source that described Jesus’s miracles, without much other narrative, or a crucifixion? The answer to any of those questions might be that yes, Luke was indeed applying the term diegesis to such items, but he would be stretching the language.

Read more: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2019/09/what-did-luke-know-and-when-did-he-know-it/

The Bible Is The Word Of God

~ Rebecca Luella Miller

I finished reading the book of Revelation this morning and the plan is to begin reading Genesis tomorrow. It works for me. I don’t need a lot of fancy reading plans—a Psalm a day, a chapter in Proverbs, one from the New Testament and another from the Old, that sort of thing. Those plans can be helpful and I know a number of people that prefer them. I mostly get confused.

I did try to read the Bible in a more linear manner, once matching the various books of prophecy with the appropriate books of history. It worked pretty well, but I don’t really need those kinds of change ups. I happen to like reading books from cover to cover and the Bible is really no exception.

Of course there’s all kinds of criticism about the Bible today, maybe more then at any time in history. I saw a video today that answered some of the big questions, such as, hasn’t the Bible been corrupted down through the ages so that we have no way of knowing what the original actually said.

I never quite understood that point of view, but this video clarified the position and then contrasted it with what has actually happened. The criticism essentially goes this way: the original books of the Bible were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and in Greek. Years later, as the culture changed, someone translated these books into the common language of the day. So one change would be, the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew and Aramaic into everyday Greek. Later, when Rome came to power, the going language was Latin, so both the Old and New Testaments were translated into Latin. The idea, though, is that the ancient manuscripts—the Hebrew and Aramaic ones and the Greek ones—were discarded, no longer used, and no longer available.

Go to: https://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/the-bible-is-the-word-of-god/

5 Examples Why Agnostic Bart Ehrman Is Not A Gospel Expert

https://www.thepoachedegg.net/2018/11/apologetics-5-examples-why-agnostic-bart-ehrman-is-not-a-gospel-expert.html

Do We Have Reason To Doubt The New Testament/Gospel Manuscript Transmission Process?

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The time in which Christ lived there were no printing presses, so documents needed to be hand copied by scribes onto manuscripts, which would then be stored. This was a common method if the ancients wished to keep records of what they felt to be important to them.

One of the charges leveled at the New Testament/Gospel transmission process is something like the “game of telephone.” According to this, a single message is introduced to someone on one end of a chain/line of people, and at the end of it being handed down via the chain, the message which comes out bears no resemblance to what it was at the beginning. In other words, the message became corrupted somewhere within the chain. This corruption of the original message also purportedly applies to the process of manuscript transmission of the New Testament/Gospels. It posits that there was an original message perhaps written on the earliest manuscript(s), and that over time, as it was copied and handed on (from one scribe to the next set of scribes and copyists), it was corrupted, and that this corruption is what we have in our final form (i.e. in the gospels as they are now printed in the New Testament that Christians read). This final form is nothing like the original message, and there is little reason to deem it a reliable witness to the historical Jesus.

However, there is reason to doubt this scenario on grounds that the transmission of New Testament/gospel manuscripts, as it occurred over time, was quite unlike the evolution and corruption of a message one finds in the game of telephone. The ultimate advantage the New Testament/Gospel manuscripts have is in that rather than being transmitted by a single, sole chain (like in the game of telephone) there are multiple chains of transmission. For instance, the original gospel manuscript was copied, and that copy was copied by several scribes, and then that copy was further copied by more several scribes, and so on, until we possess many thousands of these manuscript copies (we will look at the number of manuscripts in a follow up post). This functions as valuable means of comparison, and by comparing them together the textual critic can arrive at a good idea concerning the content the original manuscript would have contained. The results have been successful given that textual critics have been able to identify what words, sentences, and paragraphs were in the earliest manuscripts, and what was likely added later by a scribe for some other purpose. A good example is the ending to Mark’s gospel (the portion running from 16:9 until 16:20) which is not in the earliest manuscripts, and was almost certainly added by a later scribe, possibly in the early 2nd century. Many mainstream Bible translations include footnotes acknowledging the possible lack of originality of these Markan verses. It seems clear that given the views of textual critics combined with the limited number of such footnotes noting unoriginality elsewhere within the gospels, one can be fairly certain that the gospels as they are printed in Bibles are almost exactly the same as the original manuscripts.

Continue at: https://jamesbishopblog.com/2019/08/13/do-we-have-reason-to-doubt-the-new-testament-gospel-manuscript-transmission-process/