Bock

Semester Starts, Jesus Talk Continues – August 25

Well, our seminary semester launches next week. We still hope to be blogging away. My commentary listing has taken a "kleine Pause" as the Germans call it (a slight pause). 2 Corinthians will resume it next week.

Well, our seminary semester launches next week. We still hope to be blogging away. My commentary listing has taken a "kleine Pause" as the Germans call it (a slight pause). 2 Corinthians will resume it next week. Meanwhile the Jesus talk continues as the OT and NT department at Dallas gave the faculty an update on recent issues tied to the Testaments. Much time was spent on the various Jesus books that have appeared this year and hit the best seller lists. An area people know little about are the claims sometimes made that the story of Jesus is really rooted in mythic parallels from the Greco-Roman gods. This claim is old but is being rehyped in a series of books by a pair of British authors (Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy). The books are frustrating in that they never document precisely the ancient sources they claim the Jesus story comes from (which means dates and sources are not precisely revealed to the reader). They just vaguely summarize the supposed parallels. Their picture is a composite of a variety of pagan sources and their descriptions of Jesus indiscriminately mix biblical and traditional points about Jesus, which allows them to expand their parallels list. In the weeks ahead we will trace these so-called links some more and analyze them, since there are only a few evengelcial works that touch on this. Those that do include a section of REINVENTING JESUS (By Wallace, Sawyer and Komoszewski), as well as works by Ron Nash, THE GOSPEL AND THE GREEKS and Stan Porter, UNMASKING THE PAGAN CHRIST.

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    Magnus Nordlund

    Like mushrooms nowadays!
    Well, the uprising, (thanks to Dan Brown) of numerous attempts to re-write or re-think Jesus has even reached the point of local flavour in Swedish culture by the launching of two swedish contributions:

    *Roger Viklund: “The Jesus who never existed” (my english attempt to translate the title from Swedish)from 2005, 596 pp.
    Viklund sees Jesus as a mytological construction and purely a hellenistic product.

    *Lena Einhorn (a jewish woman and high regarded intellectual and author in Sweden): “What happened on the way to Damascus?: Searching for the real Jesus from Nazareth”

    Einhorn’s book is somewhat unique to the re-thinking litterature: The author laborates and postulates that Jesus and Paul de facto are the same person. I.E. That Paul invented Jesus Christ. (Very strange, hmm!).

    I have not read these books but I probably soon have to, because of ordinary secular swede’s interests in believing these fabels.

    /Magnus

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    bock

    dlb – Mushrooms in Sweden
    Magnus:

    Yes, strange theories abound. Your first is a common cliam that has to ignore a lot of core data, including that of Suetonius, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger (non-Christians who testifies to the impact of Jesus). On the second, one wonders what would have moved Paul to convert without a Jesus?

    DLB

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    probt777

    Re: More on Isis & Morisis
    I find the information quite helpful on the purported parallels between Isis & Orisis myths and Jesus resurrection accounts in the NT. I have a couple of questions. What do you think of NT Wright’s Resurrection of the Son of God? I’ve began reading it, and it seems pretty good. Also, you’ve pointed out the vast differences between the pagan “resurrection” & NT resurrection narratives, but in the end do they share the common feature of a bodily resurrection? Thanks.

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      bock

      dlb – Reply to More on Isis and Osiris
      I very much like Wright’s work on Resurrection. It is well done and goes into parallels to a degree.
      Your other question is more complicated. Greeks as a rule did not believe in a bodily resurrection but in a resuscitation of the soul. This is why Osiris on his return is mostly confined to the underworld. A physical resurrection was prominent as a Jewish hope as 2 Maccabees 7 shows, although other Jews had other views as well.

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