What I Read Online – 03/22/2012 (p.m.)

23 Mar
    • Despite such attacks, as Christians we are delighted that those who consider themselves our opponents are such ardent appreciators of reason. After all, Jesus famously proclaimed that the most important commandment includes loving God “with all of your mind” (Mk. 12:30). So, ironically, we believe that atheists honor God unawares when they reason well. Because we desire to honor God, we want to demonstrate why Christianity provides the most reasonable framework for the existence and use of reason.
    • The contrasts are clear: atheists claim that religion is the main barrier to reason. Christians believe our capacity to reason comes from being created in the image of an all-knowing God, and the active use of reason is an important way to honor him.
    • For me, this royal expectation, more than anything else, provides the basis for understanding how Genesis relates to Jesus Christ.
    • This shift from the tribe of Ephraim to the tribe of Judah accounts for the importance of both Joseph and Judah in Genesis, and why the tribes of Ephraim and Judah are to the fore in the books of Joshua and Judges. These developments help me to understand how Joseph may be viewed as foreshadowing Jesus Christ.
    • Strictly speaking there is no “messianic figure in Genesis,” not just because the term “messiah” is missing, but because Genesis merely anticipates his coming in the future. Although he is not actually present in Genesis, this book provides clues as to what he will be like and what he will achieve.
    • The woman urgently pointed to the ceiling. “Look! The air conditioning isn’t cold enough. You have to fix it.”


      I breathed a sigh of relief and gave her a quick hug. “The air conditioner? I don’t know how to fix the air conditioner. I barely know how to read a Celsius thermostat.”


      She thought about this for a second and chuckled. “But you are the pastor’s wife.”

    • The pastor’s wife should be a pastor’s wife.
    • Textual criticism is the discipline that attempts to determine the original wording of any documents whose original no longer exists.
    • As far as Greek manuscripts, over 5800 have been catalogued
    • the average size for a NT manuscript is more than 450 pages.
    • It was discovered in 1934 by C. H. Roberts. He sent photographs of it to the three leading papyrologists in Europe and got their assessment of the date—each said that it was no later than AD 150 and as early as AD 100. A fourth papyrologist thought it could be from the 90s. Since the discovery of this manuscript, as many as eleven NT papyri from the second century have been discovered.
    • What makes this so astounding is that no manuscripts of Mark even from the second century has surfaced. But here we may have a document written while some of the first-generation Christians were still alive and before the NT was even completed. All seven of these manuscripts will be published by E. J. Brill sometime in 2013 in a multi-author book. Until then, we should all be patient and have a “wait and see” attitude. When the book comes out it will be fully vetted by textual scholars.
    • NT scholars face an embarrassment of riches compared to the data the classical Greek and Latin scholars have to contend with. The average classical author’s literary remains number no more than twenty copies. We have more than 1,000 times the manuscript data for the NT than we do for the average Greco-Roman author. Not only this, but the extant manuscripts of the average classical author are no earlier than 500 years after the time he wrote. For the NT, we are waiting mere decades for surviving copies. The very best classical author in terms of extant copies is Homer: manuscripts of Homer number less than 2,400, compared to the NT manuscripts that are approximately ten times that amount.
    • Spelling and nonsense readings are the vast majority, accounting for at least 75% of all variants.
    • The second largest group, changes that can’t be translated and synonyms, also do not affect the meaning of the text.
    • The third group is meaningful variants that are not viable. By ‘viable’ I mean a variant that can make a good case for reflecting the wording of the original text. This, the third largest group, even though it involves meaningful variants, has no credibility.
    • The smallest category by far is the last category: meaningful and viable variants. These comprise less than 1% of all textual variants. Yet, even here, no cardinal belief is at stake.
    • When it comes to the text of the NT, there are multiple lines of transmission, and the original documents were almost surely copied several times (which would best explain why they wore out by the end of the second century).
    • But to suggest that these alterations change essential affirmations of the NT is going far beyond the evidence. The variants that he produces do not do what he seems to claim. Ever since the 1700s, with Johann Albrecht Bengel who studied the meaningful and viable textual variants, scholars have embraced what is called ‘the orthodoxy of the variants.’ For more than two centuries, most biblical scholars have declared that no essential affirmation has been affected by the variants. Even Ehrman has conceded this point in the three debates I have had with him.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 23/03/2012 in Current Issues


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