What’s Wrong with the World

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

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July 2018 Archives

July 2, 2018

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--the alleged problem

This post inaugurates a sub-series within my series on the Gospel of John. This sub-series will investigate and respond to the claim that there is something suspicious about the similarities between the way that Jesus talks in John and the way that John writes (as narrator and in I John), on the one hand, and, on the other, the differences between the way that Jesus talks in John and the way that he talks in the synoptic Gospels.

These twin comparisons are used to support some rather radical theses. Leon Morris (Studies in the Fourth Gospel, pp. 265ff) points out that some scholars have used these claims about the way that Jesus talks to argue against authorship of John by an eyewitness.

Others, such as Craig Evans, use the alleged problem of the way Jesus talks to support a general doubt about the historicity of John's portrait of Jesus. Here is a quotation (podcast here, searchable transcript here) from the second half of his recent debate with me on the Unbelievable show:

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July 3, 2018

Only one Jesus: The voice of the Master--evidence

In this post I will be laying out some parallels between the way that Jesus speaks in the Gospel of John and in the synoptic Gospels. I am not trying to make an absolutely sharp distinction between verbal and conceptual parallels. When a conceptual parallel is close enough it becomes a type of verbal parallel, and a distinction between verbal and conceptual parallels can become artificial if pressed too hard. My examples will all be chosen, however, to represent at least very close conceptual parallels in Jesus' speech, and several are definitely verbal parallels.

I am not, of course, implying that, in all of the places where a word is translated by the same English word, the same Greek word is used. For example, the word Jesus uses for "Come" in Matt. 11:28 is different from the word he uses when he says that all that the Father gives him will come to him in John 6:37. On the other hand, the same Greek word is used for "believe" when he tells Jairus to believe (Mark 5:36) and when he tells Martha that she will see the glory of God if she believes (John 11:40). Whether or not the same Greek word is used varies, but the parallels are there nonetheless and often quite striking.

Most or all of these were taken from the pages beginning here of Stanley Leathes, The Witness of St. John to Christ, 1870, drawn to my attention by Esteemed Husband. I'm very privileged to bring back to the attention of modern apologists these treasures of the past.

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July 9, 2018

The voice of the Master--More evidence

In this post in my on-going John series, I'm going to talk about places where Jesus sounds distinctly "Johannine" in the synoptic Gospels or "synoptic" in the Gospel of John.

To be sure, there are differences of emphasis, but those differences are exaggerated by scholars, to such a point that Craig Evans says that "you have virtually nothing in Matthew, Mark, and Luke that sounds like and looks like Jesus in the Gospel of John" and that, if we took John's portrait to be just as literally historical as that of the synoptics, we would have to wonder "is there just some other Jesus we just didn't know about?" Of course, all of the posts in this series on John contribute to a rebuttal of Evans's statements. See especially here, here, here, here, and here.

Michael Licona has used the alleged great difference between the way Jesus talks in John and the synoptics to support the idea that John "adapted" the "traditions about Jesus" to such an extent as to change "My God, why have you forsaken me?" to "I thirst" on the cross (Why Are There Differences in the Gospels, p. 166), when the latter was not uttered in an historically recognizable fashion at all.

Mere differences of emphasis are, of course, a completely different matter. John and the synoptics may have recorded different statements by Jesus for reasons of theme and saliency to a particular author. Showing crossovers in Jesus' speech at precisely the points where the Gospels have been alleged to be most different is therefore relevant to the historicity of the gospels and, since John comes under such special doubt, to John in particular.

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July 12, 2018

Kavanaugh: I wish I had more to say

While the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court may be the most important recent event in U.S. politics from the perspective of social conservatives, the final evaluation of its significance will be possible only in hindsight.

As is so often the case, it is necessary for the confirmation of a justice that we know very little about what we are all most interested (not to say anxious) to know: Would he rule to overturn the judicial over-reaches of Roe and Obergefell if he were on SCOTUS? If the Republicans had a stronger Senate majority ("strong," including in the sense that there would not be defectors in the event of a close vote), perhaps we could afford to know more. As it is, we could very easily face an uphill battle for Kavanaugh's appointment simply because of kneejerk opposition by the left, only to discover that he is the new Kennedy or Souter. His record does not say.

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