Daily Archives: 20 Jan 2017

Paula White’s Heretical Inauguration Appearance

The Bee does her in.

It’s only day one of Donald Trump’s presidential term, and barriers are already being broken down.

Prosperity gospel preacher and televangelist Paula White became the first female false teacher to pray at a presidential inauguration when she did so at Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony Friday.

White performed a solemn prayer of blessing, favor, and prosperity over the nation at the event, making history as the first openly, egregiously heretical female to “pray in” a new President.

“It’s an exciting day for female charlatans everywhere,” a CNN correspondent said after the ceremony. “At long last, all fake peddlers of the gospel are equally welcome to preside over one of our nation’s most prominent traditional public invocations, no matter their gender.”

Why Are There Differences in the Gospels?

9780190264260Anyone who reads the Gospels carefully will notice that there are differences in the manner in which they report the same events. These differences have led many conservative Christians to resort to harmonization efforts that are often quite strained, sometimes to the point of absurdity. Many people have concluded the Gospels are hopelessly contradictory and therefore historically unreliable as accounts of Jesus. The majority of New Testament scholars now hold that most if not all of the Gospels belong to the genre of Greco-Roman biography and that this genre permitted some flexibility in the way in which historical events were narrated. However, few scholars have undertaken a robust discussion of how this plays out in Gospel pericopes (self-contained passages).

Why Are There Differences in the Gospels? provides a fresh approach to the question by examining the works of Plutarch, a Greek essayist who lived in the first and second centuries CE. Michael R. Licona discovers three-dozen pericopes narrated two or more times in Plutarch’s Lives, identifies differences between the accounts, and analyzes these differences in light of compositional devices identified by classical scholars as commonly employed by ancient authors. The book then applies the same approach to nineteen pericopes that are narrated in two or more Gospels, demonstrating that the major differences found there likely result from the same compositional devices employed by Plutarch.

Showing both the strained harmonizations and the hasty dismissals of the Gospels as reliable accounts to be misguided, Licona invites readers to approach them in light of their biographical genre and in that way to gain a clearer understanding of why they differ.

Oxford have sent a review copy which I’ll get to in the next few weeks.  More anon.

Zwingli: The Most Important Reformer

Enjoy this little essay.

Ulrich Zwingli überlebte die Pest und wurde am Ende für seinen Glauben buchstäblich in Stücke gerissen. Der Zeitgenosse Luthers führte mit Hilfe der Bürger die Reformation in Zürich ein und legte die Grundlage für die Reformierte Kirche.

No

King Nebuchadnezzar had a golden statue made, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, which he set up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
2 King Nebuchadnezzar then summoned the satraps, magistrates, governors, counsellors, treasurers, judges, lawyers, and all the provincial authorities to assemble and attend the dedication of the statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar.
3 Satraps, magistrates, governors, counsellors, treasurers, judges, lawyers and all the provincial authorities then assembled for the dedication of the statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar and stood in front of the statue which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4 A herald then loudly proclaimed: ‘Peoples, nations, languages! Thus are you commanded:
5 the moment you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, zither, harp, bagpipe and every other kind of instrument, you will prostrate yourselves and worship the golden statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar.
6 Anyone who does not prostrate himself and worship will immediately be thrown into the burning fiery furnace.’
7 And so, the instant all the peoples heard the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, zither, harp, bagpipe and all the other instruments, all the peoples, nations and languages prostrated themselves and worshipped the statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar.
8 Some Chaldaeans then came forward and maliciously accused the Jews.
9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘May Your Majesty live for ever!
10 You have issued a decree, Your Majesty, to the effect that everyone on hearing the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, zither, harp, bagpipe and every other kind of instrument is to prostrate himself and worship the golden statue;
11 and that anyone who does not prostrate himself and worship is to be thrown into the burning fiery furnace.
12 Now, there are certain Jews to whom you have entrusted the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego; these men have ignored your command, Your Majesty; they do not serve your gods, and refuse to worship the golden statue you have set up.’
13 Shaking with fury, Nebuchadnezzar sent for Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. The men were immediately brought before the king.
14 Nebuchadnezzar addressed them, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, is it true that you do not serve my gods, and that you refuse to worship the golden statue I have set up?
15 When you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, zither, harp, bagpipe and every other kind of instrument, are you prepared to prostrate yourselves and worship the statue I have made? If you refuse to worship it, you will be thrown forthwith into the burning fiery furnace; then which of the gods could save you from my power?’
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘Your question needs no answer from us:
17 if our God, the one we serve, is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace and from your power, Your Majesty, he will save us;
18 and even if he does not, then you must know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your god or worship the statue you have set up.’  — (Dan. 3:1-18)