Biblical Scholarship tagged posts

AA013 – What is a God? with Jaco Gericke

What was a god assumed to be, according to Hebrew scripture? How do our cultural contexts and philosophical assumptions impact the way we conceive of ancient religious concepts today? Can philosophy help us to understand how these issues have served to shape the very question of what a god is down through history? In this episode of the podcast, I speak with Jaco Gericke about these topics and others that raise important issues with much of our contemporary discourse about God. Dr. Gericke is Professor of Biblical Studies at North-West University, South Africa...

Read More
Finding Jesus

Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery (Season 1)

Did Christ leave behind physical evidence of his existence? Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery is a television series that started airing on CNN in 2015, inspired by the book of the same name written by David Gibson. The show presents itself as an investigation of various artifacts allegedly connected with the historical Jesus, such as the Shroud of Turin, the Gospel of Judas, and the James Ossuary. Along the way, scholars, historians, experts, and ministers are interviewed about questions and ideas surrounding the figure of Jesus and the artifacts under study...

Read More
New Testament origins

Origins of the New Testament

The New Testament is one of the most important documents in the history of humankind. It has shaped Western civilization as we know it, serving as the backbone of the Roman Catholic and Protestant faiths, which together account for the most prominent religion in the world.1 The New Testament writings also opened the doors of universality, teaching a message meant for everyone, and so helped to establish Christianity as one of the three main missionary religions of the world...

Read More
Old Testament origins

Origins of the Old Testament

Accept the truth from whatever source it comes.

The Hebrew scriptures tell the epic story of the ancient Israelite people. Many of the tales are already familiar to us, having been imprinted on Western culture over the centuries. There is the garden of Eden, with the first man and woman, the forbidden fruit, and the infamous snake. The burning bush from whence God spoke to Moses, instructing him to lead his people out of Egypt...

Read More

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

For much of the history of Judaism and Christianity, the scriptures of the Bible have been studied in a largely devotional manner. Even though differing views were certainly held on the interpretation of many passages, these differences were often defended by appeals to faith and philosophical teachings, rather than the sciences. However, by the 18th century – and more so by the 19th century – a new approach to biblical study began to emerge, thanks in part to refinements and developments in the fields of history and archaeology...

Read More

Forged: Writing in the Name of God

In the last two to three centuries, the traditional origin stories behind Christianity’s sacred texts have begun to dissolve more and more as biblical scholars have abandoned dogma in favor of objective analysis and critical thinking. It is now widely accepted among New Testament scholars that only seven of the thirteen documents attributed to Paul in the Bible were actually written by Paul. With all four gospels being anonymous, never specifying their author, it is also contested that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not really write the gospels named for them.

With Forged, we are given a g...

Read More

Psalm 22 – Now With Less Jesus!

Alongside Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 is one of the favorite and best known Old Testament passages for Christian apologists. According to Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, and many others, Psalm 22 prophesied the crucifixion of Jesus Christ before crucifixion as a torture method had even been invented...
Read More

Misquoting Jesus

Fundamentalism is by no means a dead strand of Christianity. Still today there are many who believe that the Bible is the inerrant and unchanging word of god, the only book in history to be amazingly preserved in static and unaltered form for nearly 2,000 years. According to a 2006 Gallup poll, 28% of Americans think the Bible is the actual word of god, to be taken literally and word-for-word, while 49% believe it to be inspired, though not always literal, and a mere 19% recognize it as a combination of fables, historical tales, and moral precepts.1 Undoubtedly, a dissenting opinion will stir...

Read More