“For all the nations…”: the universality of the Kingdom in Mark

It’s common to come across the well-founded observation that Luke’s Gospel is particularly interested in highlighting the universality of the Kingdom of God. References to the outcast of society abound, including Gentiles, women, the poor, and the sick. So when I heard someone casually mention that in one of the Gospel accounts Jesus’ given rationale […]

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

How well do we know the Gospels?

Take the test as a closed book exam. No open Bibles. This is a test of your retention of gospel stories and sayings (not a test of your ability to look things up!!). This great 50-question test from Yeshua in Context is really something worth looking at. It ranges from fairly easy and innocuous questions: […]

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

No class warfare here: Mark’s Jesus as equal opportunity savior

Keying off a comment from Marc on my last post, I looked at Peter’s response and Jesus’ response to him in the immediately following verses in a slightly different light. Here are the verses immediately following those I quoted in my other post. Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed […]

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Jesus’ astonished disciples in Mark 10

Chalk this one up to staring too closely at the text. It’s not a felicitous scenario when the material you’re analyzing for your dissertation keeps distracting you from the actual subject. Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ […]

Monday, February 14th, 2011

The Gospels as secondary to the gospel

Allan R. Bevere’s blog today posted a quote from C.S. Lewis from Miracles on the general topic of the primacy of the apostolic witness. One part of the quote caught my eye. The Resurrection, and its consequences, were the “gospel” or good news which the Christian brought: what we call the “gospels”, the narratives of […]

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Doubt and certainty: a fork in the road

Conversations with some of my closest fellow sojourners (such as Mike, Cliff, and Matthew) have often included a discussion of the following question: given our radical departure from many tenets of evangelical orthodoxy such as our rejection of inerrancy and acceptance of critical scholarship of the Bible, the theory of evolution, etc., why does our faith remain strong […]

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Translator’s fatigue in the Gothic Bible

Recently I ran across an old article1 in the journal Language and had to smile at its similarity to a recent topic in the redaction criticism of the Gospels for which I previously noted a parallel in the translations I am studying in my dissertation. In the Gothic translation of the Bible, at i Cor. […]

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010