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Mark Goodacre on CBN

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  • Mike Grondin
    Mark s blog posting today contains videos of his recent appearance on the CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) programme* The 700 Club , in a segment
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2013
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      Mark's blog posting today contains videos of his recent appearance on
      the CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) programme* "The 700 Club",
      in a segment discussing the Jesus Wife Fragment:
       
      I think this is worth watching, and not for the Fragment segment alone.
      The first part of the program discusses what we know about the historical
      role of Jesus' family in the Jerusalem center of early Christianity. I think
      that part of the program is pretty well done (as opposed to the last part
      of the program, which promised to explore the linguistic issues behind
      the virginal-conception story, but ended up just telling us what Luke wrote.)
       
      The part about James the Just brought to mind the recent question of
      whether James in fact authored the Letter of James. One could well
      argue, I think, that that letter is authentic in the sense of being consistent
      with what we know from other sources (which, however, are rather paltry)
      about James' opinions. Where I think the question of authorship comes
      in, however, is that there's nothing in the letter to indicate that the
      author had a personal, human relationship with Jesus, let alone such a
      close one as being a blood brother. Indeed, the prologue identifies
      James simply as "a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ." Not that some
      fancy foot-work might not be able to come up with an explanation for
      this felt oddity (such foot-work being capable of explaining any oddity),
      but it's at least a prima facie challenge to genuine authorship.
       
      In a way, this is analogous to the situation with the Gospel of Thomas.
      At the one point (L13) where we might expect that the author - if he
      were in fact the apostle Thomas - would speak in the first person, he
      doesn't. That may suggest, of course, that L13 is a redaction, but there
      is nothing else in the text to suggest that the author knew Jesus. What
      about the prologue? We need to pay attention to the precise wording.
      What it says is that Thomas wrote down the words of the "living Jesus."
      Contrary to what one might think, this isn't a reference to the human
      Jesus, but rather a code-phrase for the supposed spiritual Jesus who
      lives eternally. So this cannot be taken as an assertion that the historical
      Thomas wrote things down during the natural lifetime of Jesus - even if
      such an assertion should be believed at face-value, which it shouldn't.
       
      Cheers, (this plus the Brit spelling 'programme' for Mark :-)
      Mike Grondin
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