The Gospels convey two types of information to readers: intentional information and unintentional information. Much of what we know about Jesus is represented by this first type; the evangelists intended to inform us that Jesus was a powerful teacher, an awesome wonderworker, and an obedient son. This is biased information but it is still information. … Continue reading Jesus: angel summoner?
Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20/Luke 9:58)Popular perceptions of Jesus' day to day experience are often informed by the above saying. The idea that Jesus was not only poor, but homeless, has become something of an axiom: Jesus … Continue reading Jesus: homeless homeowner
Mary did you know? The Matthean and Lukan infancy stories are the dominant sources for our traditional understanding of Jesus' familial relations. Based on their testimony, we tend to picture the holy family as a harmonious unit; as a family supportive of their son's prophetic and messianic vocation from the very beginning. With the opening … Continue reading Jesus’ family reconsidered
Welcome to the Biblical Studies Carnival and happy new year! I have the privilege of rounding up some of my favorite Bible-related posts and publications from the month of December. Although it took some work, the hosting the Carnival makes me appreciate all the more the blood, sweat, and tears that go into continuing the … Continue reading Biblical Studies Carnival #167: December 2019
What are the parables? Despite their absence in Johannine and Pauline memory, parables epitomized Jesus' ministry to Israel (cf. Mark 4:33-34). In conjunction with casting out demons and healing the sick, Jesus signaled the approach of God's kingdom through parabolic speech, that is, through prophetic stories meant to encapsulate and explicate his central message: "The … Continue reading What did Jesus’ parables mean?
The gospel of the kingdom and the doctrine of the atonement According to the theological models that dominate Christian thought, Jesus came to die as a sacrifice for sin. Although he performed deeds of power, taught concerning the kingdom, and debated issues of Torah observance, such actions were ultimately subordinate to his true mission: to … Continue reading My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Making sense of Jesus’ death
Tactile healing Jesus' cures often involved some sort of physical touch. Although he healed the sick with merely a word on occasion, such was the exception to the rule (cf. Matthew 8:5-13). Rather, the normative practice of both Jesus and his followers involved the laying of hands upon the faithful (Mark 1:31; 41, 7:32-33, 8:23, … Continue reading Sharing spirits: how the spirit moved among the first Christians