Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I am delighted to announce that executive Fellowship for Biblical Studies Inc. has granted me permission to place on-line articles from the Australian Biblical Review that are more than five years old. This is subject to individual permission of the authors of the articles. In addition they have agreed to send me almost a complete run of back-issues to work on.
Naturally I am overjoyed to see another journal being made available, not least because it will allow me to add more international balance to the material host by including the works of Australian biblical scholars. I would like to ask your help in tracking down authors of the articles and making this information known to them, as obtaining appropriate copyright permission will be essential. An index of back issues is available here. I will produce my own table of contents in due course.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Last week I had the opportunity to watch again the DVD of the 2009 Bible and Church Conference. For those who were unable to attend here is my brief outline of the contents:
Session 1 – Have We Got the History Right? Dr Peter J. Williams
a) Early non-Christian sources of information about Jesus Christ
ii) Pliny the Younger (c. AD 111)
b) The Gospels as Eye-Witness Testimony (drawing on the work of Richard Bauckham)
i) The evidence of personal names used in the canonical gospels compared with their use in the Apocryphal gospels
ii) The evidence of the corroboration of gospel accounts.
c) The Evidence of the New Testament Epistles for early Christian Practice.
d) The Significance of the Alexamenos Graffito
Session 2 –Have We Got the Text Right? Dr Dirk Jongkind
(An introduction to New Testament textual criticism)
a) Why the text has not changed in any significant way after centuries of copying
i) NT texts were copied rapidly and distributed widely within a very short period
ii) We have many very old manuscripts of parts of the New Testament. 40% of the NT has manuscript evidence within the first 2 centuries. All are found with three centuries.
iii) The large quantity of manuscripts and Church lectionaries allows the tracking of the development of textual variants.
iv) The high quality of the texts indicates that they were copied carefully
v) The books of the New Testament and all complete unlike many classical works
vi) Statistical analysis of NT variants
vii) How NT manuscripts were copied
b) Answering the Arguments of critics against the reliability of the text
i) The Christian church deliberately changed the Bible for theological reasons (Bart Ehrman)
ii) Why weren’t the manuscripts of the NT miraculously protected from variants?
Session 3: Have We Got Jesus Right? Dr. Simon J. Gathercole
a) How Jesus is portrayed in the canonical gospels (AD. 50-90)
i) As the fulfilment of OT prophecy
ii) Jesus is the One who died and rose again for our salvation
b) How the “Other Gospels” compare?
i) Gospel of Thomas (c. AD 120-150) – a collection of Jesus’ secret sayings. Teaches the pre-existence of souls and salvation by secret knowledge. The OT scriptures are rejected.
ii) Gospel of Mary (c.120-125) – only half the gospel survives. Includes much material drawn from Greek philosophy and Egyptian mystery religion. Secret knowledge in the form of passwords allows the soul to ascend to a place of eternal rest.
iii) Gospel of Judas – presents a Jesus who mocks the orthodox church. Only Judas out of the Twelve truly understood Jesus.
iv) The other gospels are not rooted in the Jewish culture of the first century but are rather anti-Jewish.
v) Jesus appeared as a spirit, not as a real man with a physical body.
vi) Written without any connection with the eyewitnesses of Jesus’ ministry.
All three sessions were extremely well done. I particularly enjoyed Pete Williams's analysis of the extra-biblical evidence for the life of Jesus and early Christianity.
2010 Conference - 12th June, St. Helen's Bishopsgate, London
Session 1 - Evidence of Eyewitnesses - Dr. Peter J. Williams
Session 2 - Evidence of Manuscripts - Dr. Dirk Jongkind
Session 3 - Evidence of History - Dr. Simon J. Gathercole
While the titles of the sessions may be similar to those of the 2009 Conference I am assured by Pete Williams that the content will not be a repeat of last year's. Based on last year's experience it will prove to be extremely valuable in equipping Christians with evidence to answer many popular criticisms they will face as they share their faith with others. It would also be helpful to those considering Christianity to come along and hear about some of the evidence supporting the Gospel accounts of Jesus. Click here for more information and an on-line booking form.
In order to "get the word out" about this important conference I am offering a DVD of the 2009 Conference as a Giveaway. To enter just leave a comment below saying how you would use the DVD to tell others about the Conference at your church, college, etc., together with your name and email address (remember to replace the "@" with an (at) in the address. If you can use posters for advertising the conference, please indicate this and I will send you some when they are printed. I will draw a winner at random on the 1st May. Due to the nature of the Giveaway it is only offered to residents of the United Kingdom.
Please tell others about the Conference and let me know if you can use posters [ rob(at)biblicalstudies.org.uk ]
Monday, April 19, 2010
Volumes 11-20 of Bibliotheca Sacra are now online in OCRed PDF format. Sadly a large number of articles scanned by Google were unusable. Still, they should be able to track the culprit down from his hand, which appeared clearly on several pages (not included in my collection)! I hope to fill the gaps myself in sue course.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
A 30 minute film by Firm Foundation Trust shows how our gospels are based on good evidence, significant ancient manuscripts, eyewitness accounts and much more. The premiere of this DVD will be at St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks, Kent on 5th June 2010 at 7.30pm. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali will be the guest speaker.
Here is the trailer:
Here is the trailer: