Gary Greenberg's blog on biblical studies and related matters

Slow Posting, Sorry

My posting has slowed down over the last couple of weeks because of a perfect storm of projects crashing down on me. I’ve been feverishly taking advantage of a creative spurt on my Volume 2 follow-up to Genesis Chronology and Egyptian King-Lists, which I would like to get out by the end of the year. I am working on a major revamp of this blog site, which will also add a lot of content to be accessed. I’ve been working an an article for publication, hopefully to be out soon. And I have to prepare a paper for what is now a virtual ASOR Annual Meeting. Oh, and also some time-consuming personal projects. I hope to get over the hump in the next few days. Be patient with me.

The Case for a Proto-Gospel and the Healing of a Blind Man in Bethsaida

I have been doing a series of posts on my new book The Case for a Proto-Gospel. Here are links to previous entries.

Introduction

Standard Source Criticism Theory

The Luke-John Problem

John’s Theological Biases

John’s Editorial Techniques

The Paralytic on the Mat

Mark 8:22-26 tells of Jesus healing a blind man at Bethsaida. According to the story, some people brought a blind man to Jesus  and asked for help. Jesus put saliva in the man’s eye and laid hands upon him. When he finished he asked if the man could see anything. The man indicated that he had some vision but it was not clear. Jesus laid hands on him again, and the man’s vison was restored and he could see clearly. The laying of hands suggests that Jesus healed the blind man through an exorcism.

Scholarly commentaries on this story focus on two elements. First, they are troubled by the allegation that Jesus used saliva to heal the man, and many scholars see this as an indication that the story goes back to an early primitive layer in the Jesus tradition. Matthew and Luke also seem to have been troubled by Jesus’ use of saliva to heal as they both chose not to include this story in their respective gospels. This suggests that as time went by, some Jesus followers were troubled by the way this story portrayed Jesus.

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June 2020 Biblical Studies Carnival

Catch up in the June 2020 Biblical Studies Carnival roundup of some of the interesting bible-oriented posts you may have missed. Just don’t think you arrived at the wrong place when you take a fast look at the header. This month’s host, Jim West.

Interested in hosting a future carnival. Jim posts the following message from Phil Long, the carnival organizer.

Here are the upcoming hosts. No hosts for October 2020 (Due November 1) and after. I am willing to take a later month if someone wants August. July 2020 (Due August 1) – Bob MacDonald  @drmacdonald

August 2020 (Due September 1) – Phillip Long, Reading Acts @plong42

September 2020 (Due October 1) – Brent Niedergall’s blog. https://niedergall.com  @BrentNiedergall

Are you new to blogging? Are you a lapsed biblioblogger? James McGrath has some encouraging words for you.

Would you like to see your posts included in a future carnival? Start by writing a quality academic post, perhaps a book review. Then send the link to the upcoming host. It is entirely their decision to include your post in their carnival, but you can at least nominate yourself for inclusion. Sometimes you have to toot your own horn.

If you have questions about what writing a carnival involves, contact me via email, plong42@gmail.com or twitter DM @plong42. I would be happy to answer any questions.

The Case for a Proto-Gospel and the Paralytic on the Mat

Mark 2 and John 5 both have stories about Jesus healing a paralytic lying on a mat that seem to share some common features. Yet the details of the respective stories are so different that many (most?) scholars question whether the two stories share a common literary heritage. The consensus seems to be that they two accounts are unrelated and evolved from different sources. In The Case for a Proto-Gospel I argue otherwise.

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Was Jesus Born in Bethlehem?

Was Jesus Born in Bethlehem?

Luke and Matthew both place Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. These are the only references in the New Testament to Bethlehem as Jesus’ place of birth. There are problems with those claims and  I’ll come back to them in a moment. First, let’s look at Mark, the first gospel written, and John, the last gospel written.

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