The papacy is 1600 years old, not 2000 years old (Triablogue)

How the post begins:

In news accounts concerning the upcoming retirement of Pope Benedict XVI and a new papal conclave, one way to check to see if the particular news outlet you are watching had actually checked its facts is if it maintains that the papacy is a 2000 year old institution.

In fact, the overwhelming preponderance of scholarship on the topic – both Roman Catholic and Protestant – affirm that “the papacy” was a late development in the history of the church.

Written by John Bugay.

via Triablogue: The papacy is 1600 years old, not 2000 years old.

An Analysis of the Craig-Rosenberg Debate by Dale Tuggy

In this post, philosopher Dale Tuggy analyzes the debate between philosophers William Lane Craig and Alex Rosenberg on “Is Faith in God Reasonable?” held at Purdue University on February 1, 2013.

Dale’s post contains a link to a video of the full debate (which last 2:47:22).

via Craig wins again (Dale) » trinities

I have previously posted two clips from this debate here and here.  (Both deal with “objective moral values” and are best followed if viewed in the order I just gave them.)

The Keryma According to Wikipedia

Wikipedia define “Kerygma” as:

(Greek: κήρυγμα, kérugma)…the Greek word used in the New Testament for preaching (see Luke 4:18-19, Romans 10:14, Matthew 3:1). It is related to the Greek verb κηρύσσω (kērússō), to cry or proclaim as a herald, and means proclamation, announcement, or preaching.

The article goes on to outline just what constituted the New Testament Kerygma.

  1. The promises of God made in the OT have now been fulfilled with the coming of Jesus the Messiah (Book of Acts 2:30; 3:19, 24, 10:43; 26:6-7, 22; Epistle to the Romans 1:2-4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Epistle to the Hebrews 1:1-2; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:18-19).
  2. Jesus was anointed by God at his baptism as Messiah (Acts 10:38).
  3. Jesus began his ministry in Galilee after his baptism (Acts 10:37).
  4. He conducted a beneficent ministry, doing good and performing mighty works by the power of God (Mk 10:45; Acts 2:22; 10:38).
  5. The Messiah was crucified according to the purpose of God (Mk 10:45; Jn 3:16; Acts 2:23; 3:13-15, 18; 4:11; 10:39; 26:23; Ro 8:34; 1 Corinthians 1:17-18; 15:3; Galatians 1:4; Heb 1:3; 1Peter 1:2, 19; 3:18; 1 Jn 4:10).
  6. He was raised from the dead and appeared to his disciples (Acts 2:24, 31-32; 3:15, 26; 10:40-41; 17:31; 26:23; Ro 8:34; 10:9; 1Co 15:4-7, 12ff.; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1Tim 3:16; 1Peter 1:2, 21; 3:18, 21).
  7. Jesus was exalted by God and given the name “Lord” (Acts 2:25-29, 33-36; 3:13; 10:36; Rom 8:34; 10:9; 1Tim 3:16; Heb 1:3; 1Peter 3:22).
  8. He gave the Holy Spirit to form the new community of God (Ac 1:8; 2:14-18, 33, 38-39; 10:44-47; 1Peter 1:12).
  9. He will come again for judgment and the restoration of all things (Ac 3:20-21; 10:42; 17:31; 1Co 15:20-28; 1Th 1:10).
  10. All who hear the message should repent and be baptized (Ac 2:21, 38; 3:19; 10:43, 47-48; 17:30; 26:20; Ro 1:17; 10:9; 1Pe 3:21).

Not bad.

The full article on Kerygma can be found here.

Protestants, Don’t You Get It?

Pope tells faithful God called him to quit – Telegraph.

Protestants can observe the current machinations of institutional Catholocism and easily see that they are a long way from what Jesus intended for us when He preached the kingdom of God.  However, do you not recognize that when a local Protestant church “calls a pastor” it is conducting its own “Papal Conclave”?  The only difference is the size of the organization.

Protestants, wake up and return to the One who called you!  Catholics, wake up and truly serve the One you claim to serve!  Orthodox, turn in your ceremonial garb as well so as to serve your Lord in humility and truth!

Glossary of Terms Relating to First-Century Biblical Matters

The following short list is given only as an introduction to the terms.  You should rely on more substantial reference works for your understanding of these terms.  My purpose here is simply to sensitize you to their importance for understanding how the New Testament and Old Testament mesh.  

Aramaic -The language most common to first-century Jews in and around Jerusalem and Judea.

Greek – the language most common to all peoples living in the Mediterranean world of the first century.

Midrash (singular), Midrashim (plural) – This definition taken entirely from Donald Juel’s Messianic Exegesis:  “The most frequently used term to describe biblical exegesis in the postbiblical era is “midrash”-from the Hebrew darash, “to seek,” “to interpret.” The term is used in several different ways. It refers first to a body of literature, the midrashim, scriptural commentaries or collections of individual reflections on biblical material which began to appear in the fifth century. Second, the term is used to speak of a particular comment on a biblical phrase or verse-a midrash.  Finally, the word is used more loosely to speak of the approach to scriptural interpretation characteristic of”midrashic” literature.”  Later, Juel adds “Midrash was the vehicle by which meaning was actualized in the present.”  [Note: “postbiblical” in this context should be understood as “post-Old Testament; note also that Juel spends p. 35-59 of his book on a section titled “Midrashic Exegesis,” so it is not an easy concept to encapsulate.]

Pesher (singular), Pesherim (plural) – a form of midrash particular to the Qumran community (of the Dead Sea Scrolls) offering, unlike rabbinic midrash, but a single interpretation of the text.  There is “continuous pesherim” which offers commentary on each succeeding verse of a given biblical book (e.g. Habakkuk) or unit (e.g. as psalm), and “thematic pesherim” which pulls together texts from various locations in Scripture when dealing with a common theme.   Donald Juel points out that pesher (given that it existed in a sect) was presented as revelation whereas rabbinic midrash (which allowed a variety of views) was presented as reason.  However, Juel also says, It is possible to overstate the differences between pesherim and midrashim, however, or at least to misunderstand the differences.”

Septuagint – The Old Testament translated from Hebrew to Greek; often referred to by the LXX (an allusion to the 70 original translators).  

Targum (singular), Targumim (plural) – Translation, paraphrases, or interpretation of the biblical text into Aramaic (or perhaps Greek); necessary since Hebrew had fallen out of common use.  This practice is traced to the time of Ezra.  He also says, “In many cases, the Targumim are fairly literal translations. Often, however, the translations-or paraphrases-presuppose creative interpretations of the Hebrew known from other exegetical literature…[and the] Targumim are important as evidence of interpretive traditions…”