The Criterion of Embarrassment has come in for a lot of hard knocks lately, and with good reason. John Meier describes it as follows: “The point of the criterion is that the early Church would hardly have gone
Prof. James Davila, at PaleoJudaica.com links to my essay on Bible and Interpretation about “Roman Days, Jewish Nights and the Gospel Calendar Problem.” He also comments, “I didn’t think it was possible for me to feel more confused about the chronology of the Gospel Passion narratives. But after reading this I am.” Mission accomplished.
Most biblical scholars familiar with the biblical accounts of David’s rise to the throne of Israel recognize that the text has been overlaid with an apologia defending David against charges that he murdered his way to the throne by killing off those who stood in his way. The most significant assassination charged to him was that he arranged for King Saul to be murdered.
I recently submitted an article to Bible and Interpretation titled “Roman Days, Jewish NIghts, and the Gospel Calendar Problem.” It should appear in the latter part of July and I’ll post a link when it is published. The article examines some of the chronological issues affecting the gospel narratives that arise from the fact that the authors of the Gospels used a Roman calendar day (sunrise to sunrise) to describe events unfolding according to the Jewish Calendar day (sunset to sunset.) It discusses the impact on such issues as when the Sabbath started and ended, on what days Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread occurred, and the so-called Day of Preparation.
Prof. James Tabor, the former chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina (2004-2014) and currently Professor of ancient Judaism and early Christianity, had some nice things to say about my new book, Proving Jesus’ Authority in Mark and John: Overlooked evidence of a synoptic relationship. Not quite a review yet, as he hasn’t finished the book, he uses it as a springboard to discuss the issue of John’s relationship to Mark. The book encouraged him to begin a series of posts on “reading John and Mark side by side. You can read his follow-up here.
My latest book, Proving Jesus’ Authority in Mark and John: Overlooked evidence of a synoptic relationship, is now available. The book offers a new theory of John’s composition techniques and his relationship to the other gospels. A picture of the book jacket and links to the book description, jacket blurbs, and a short excerpt are available in the sidebar. I want to thank Paul Anderson, Adam Winn, and Barrie Wilson for their generous book endorsements. This is an academic study and priced accordingly, so if you’re interested you might want to encourage your local library to buy a copy. Here is the book’s description.
In this innovative study of the Fourth Gospel, Greenberg introduces important new perspectives on synoptic problems and challenges many theories about the nature of John’s sources and composition practices. His analysis shows that the author of John knew a written version of Mark’s gospel, had strong theological objections to how Mark depicted the nature and story of Jesus and the gospel message, and composed his gospel as a theologically corrected rewrite of Mark, using the latter’s gospel as a narrative guideline for his own composition.
By focusing on several seemingly different stories in Mark and John that deal with issues relating to how Jesus proved his authority, Greenberg places each of the incidents in their narrative, sequential, and theological context, demonstrating that John knew Mark’s specific stories in the same sequential order that appeared in Mark, and that John’s stories represented theologically altered rewrites of the ones in Mark. The study examines the nature of John’s objections to Mark, what changes John would want to make to Mark, and the formulaic editorial techniques John used to transform Mark’s gospel into John’s gospel. Of particular interest, Greenberg shows how John transformed Mark’s stories about proof through exorcisms into Johannine stories about proof through words.