Category Archives: New Testament

Sabbatum Excerpt: Who Did Luke Think Jesus Was?


Luke indicates his views about Jesus in a speech attributed to Peter on the day of Pentecost – the first point at which Luke reports preaching about Jesus after his exaltation. In addition to the image of Jesus baptizing in the Spirit (which Lk 3:16 presumably derives from “Q”), in Acts 2:33 Jesus “pours out” the Spirit, a clear allusion to God pouring out the Spirit in 2:17-18 (the only other passage in Luke-Acts that uses ekcheo). Jewish texts also speak of God pouring out wisdom (Sir 1:9) as his gift (Sir 1:10; cf. Acts 2:38). But the most obvious source of the language, in view of the allusion to Acts 2:17-18, is Joel 2:28-29, where God pours out the Spirit.

Moreover, Peter interprets the name of the “Lord” (the divine name in Hebrew) in terms of Jesus of Nazareth in Acts 2:21, 38 (interpreting Joel 2:32 by way of Ps 110:1). By concluding that the gift of the Spirit was available to “as many as God would call,” Luke clearly echoes the end of Joel 2:32 (3:5 LXX), completing the quotation interrupted in Acts 2:21. That is, having finished his exposition of “whoever calls on the Lord’s name” (2:21) by showing that the name on which they must call is Jesus’ (2:38), he concludes the quotation in 2:39. The salvific name of God, then, is “Jesus.” That other early Christians interpreted the Joel text similarly in the 50s (Joel 2:32 in Rom 10:9, 13) signals that Luke follows an earlier tradition of interpretation.


Craig S. Keener, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels (Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), 279.

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Sabbatum Excerpt: Daniel Wallace Thanking Bart Ehrman for Wake-up Call


The excerpt is taken from a journal review by Daniel B. Wallace on Dr. Bart D. Ehrman’s : Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.


 

Letting the public in on scholarly secrets about the text of the Bible is not new. Edward Gibbon, in his six-volume bestseller, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, noted that the Comma Johanneum, or Trinitarian formula of 1 John 5.7–8, was not authentic. This scandalized the British public of the eighteenth century, for their only Bible was the Authorized Version, which contained the formula. “Others had done [this] before him, but only in academic and learned circles. Gibbon did so before the general public, in language designed to offend.” Yet by the time the Revised Version appeared in 1885, no trace of the Comma was to be found in it. Today the text is not printed in modern translations, and it hardly raises an eyebrow.

Ehrman has followed in Gibbon’s train by exposing the public to the inauthenticity of Mark 16.9-20 and John 7.53-8.11. The problem here, though, is a bit different. Strong emotional baggage is especially attached to the latter text. For years, it was my favorite passage that was not in the Bible. I would even preach on it as true historical narrative, even after I rejected its literary/canonical authenticity. And we all know of preachers who can’t quite give it up, even though they, too, have doubts about it. But there are two problems with this approach. First, in terms of popularity between these two texts, John 8 is the overwhelming favorite, yet its external credentials are significantly worse than Mark 16’s. The same preacher who declares the Markan passage to be inauthentic extols the virtues of John 8. This inconsistency is appalling. Something is amiss in our theological seminaries when one’s feelings are allowed to be the arbiter of textual problems. Second, the pericope adulterae is most likely not even historically true. It was probably a story conflated from two different accounts. Thus, the excuse that one can proclaim it because the story really happened is apparently not valid.

In retrospect, keeping these two pericopae in our Bibles rather than relegating them to the footnotes seems to have been a bomb just waiting to explode. All Ehrman did was to light the fuse. One lesson we must learn from Misquoting Jesus is that those in ministry need to close the gap between the church and the academy. We have to educate believers. Instead of trying to isolate laypeople from critical scholarship, we need to insulate them. They need to be ready for the barrage, because it is coming. The intentional dumbing down of the church for the sake of filling more pews will ultimately lead to defection from Christ. Ehrman is to be thanked for giving us a wake-up call.


Source: The Gospel According to Bart

 

Inadequate Understanding of Love


Our understanding of God’s love is so raw since it is shaped by our culture we were born in and raised, books that we read, music that we listen to, and movies that we watch. What we understand as love is only what we are capable of ourselves doing it to others. That is utterly inadequate definition of love. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of what love really is. God is love,[1] and His love is actualized and demonstrated in the person of Jesus Christ on the Cross in Calvary. He is no less than the incarnate Son of God, preexisted with the Father, not made but begotten, the fullness of Deity lives in bodily form.[2] Without diminishing his divinity, he voluntarily took a human form to deliver the humanity from the bondage of sin by offering himself as the ultimate sacrifice.[3] For the penalty of sin is death.[4] Jesus paid the price by his own blood even when we were still sinners.[5] And that is love.


Scripture References:

[1] 1 John 4:8

[2] Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:6-8

[3] Hebrews 10:10

[4] Romans 6:23

[5] Romans 5:8

Biblical Nuggets: Coins of the Gospel- A Silver Shekel


A Silver ShekelRome operated a mint in Tyre that produced silver shekels of high purity (94 percent silver or more). These and half-shekels were the only coins accepted by the temple in Jerusalem. The high priests paid Judas with silver shekels like this one to betray Christ (Matt 26:15). This was also the coin Jesus told Peter to find in the fish’s mouth (Matt 17:27).


Source:

Hubbard, Shiloh, Elliot Ritzema, Corbin Watkins, and Lazarus Wentz with Logos Bible Software and KarBel Media. Faithlife Study Bible Infographics. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012.

Biblical Nuggets: Ezekiel’s Temple


Ezekiel's Temple
Ezekiel’s Temple

The prophet Ezekiel was shown a vision of the Third Temple in 572 BC, just years after the First Temple was destroyed and before the Second Temple was built. Though the destruction of the Second Temple occurred in AD 70, a third temple has not yet been constructed.

Source:

Hubbard, Shiloh, Elliot Ritzema, Corbin Watkins, and Lazarus Wentz with Logos Bible Software and KarBel Media. Faithlife Study Bible Infographics. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012.