« The Slippery Slope | Main | Really Bad Movies »

June 09, 2006



DING!DING!DING! Round 2. ;-)

Seriously though, do you feel John scrambled the timeline to make a theological point, and if so, what was the point? I've been told that the Gospels were each written for specific groups of people. Was John attempting to "grab the attention" of the people he was writing to by putting some action at the beginning of his narrative?


I don't think he was doing it just for the sake of action, but he may have been doing it to establish some things about Jesus early on in his narrative.


Aarrgg! The header in my Bible has the Matthew, Mark and Luke account listed as "Jesus clears the temple again". I was actually reading it this morning before your post, so I thought I had you. Then I reread each passage again, and the surounding verses and skimmed the chapters on each side, of each account. There seems to be some possiblity to what you are saying - where Jesus goes next after the account in John matches where he travels in other accounts. Quick, burn Bill before he destroys all of Christianity as we know it!


lol...okay now you're gonna make me feel bad!

The notes in my NIV Study Bible (from Zondervan) list the explanation I gave as one of the alternatives, by the way.


Well, that explains it. It's not KJV, and Zondervan...



Given the common practice of topical biography, I don't think it is necessary to assume that any of the gospels are chronological. If the gospel writers wrote according to the mode of the day, it is likely that the gospels are topical. Thus it is not a problem for the cleansing of the temple to be differently located in John.

I posted more on this over at Laura's Writings.


And there we have it, folks, from the Talbotian herself! ;-)


What can I say...sometimes it just blaps out there...hope I wasn't too much of a smarty-pants ;-)

All that book learnin' has to go somewhere...


I think you might have taken that the wrong way. I just meant it was nice that you were agreeing with my point, being from Talbot and all. ;-)


The burden of proof falls on Dr. Barr....

For years people have tried to discredit the Bible. What's surprising is that they believe that God can create all the universe but cannot author a book the way He wants it written. This silly theory that the Gospels were compiled at later dates by different people is unproven and unfortunately is usually used by people who want to compromise the integrity of the Bible. Usually, (but not always) that's because they want to be able to justify some sin in their lives.

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear". (2 Tim 4:3)

This "Historical Criticism" or Synoptic Problem or whatever current term you want to use to describe it was "founded" by Grotius, Kant, Reimarus, Semler, Spinoza, Tindal and Toland. Only Semler was a theologian, the rest were philosophers. When you add in Bacon, Hume and Hobbes (also philosophers, not theologians) you see how unbalanced this school of thought really is.

The Bible also says of these men... (2John 9-11 NKJV)
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

I'm not saying that there is any evil intent here but we do need to be careful what we choose to believe and why. Why does the Bible warn so strongly against false teaching?

If the Bible was just written by a bunch of guys who adapted it over time why do we bother with it? Isn't it at that point equal in value to any other book? Isn't it reduced to just the opinions of men? If you remove "All Scripture is God Breathed" from your Bible, what authority does it have over your life?

"Here is an excerpt from Dr. James Barr's conclusions on this subject:

The Bible...did not descend from heaven as a perfect document composed by God and communicated in writing by individual writers who wrote without error the truthful words inspired by God. It was the product of the believing community, in which over a long period the traditions of God's words and deeds, and of the sacred norms and associations that surrounded them, were handed down, criticized, refined, altered to fit new conditions, and added to by newer insights and interpretations. (James Barr, Beyond Fundamentalism, p.75)"



No one's trying to discredit the Bible. This series has been about ways in which we misunderstand what scripture is.

Do you believe the Bible "descended from heaven?"

Do you think that Adam wrote an account of creation and of his life? Or that Abraham wrote a book about his travels?

These stories were handed down and eventually became a part of the story of God and his people. These writings eventually became what we call the Old Testament. What's so hard about that to buy into?

We shouldn't feel so threatened by the findings of scholars who have carefully examined the texts of the Bible and observed the way they took shape. It doesn't mean that God had no part in the shaping of our scriptures. It does, however, refuse to start with fundamentalistic presuppositions about how God supposedly HAS to work.


Bill, it is not the credentials of the scholar that make a difference it is the weight of the evidence. The evidence for the accuracy of scripture is overwhelming, to the point that if you are going to question it you'd be required to throw out all of classic literature.

These guys (Dr. Barr, Bishop Spong etc) have no evidence, they have speculation.

I remember when Bishop Spong did all this with "Rescuing the bible from fundamentalism." I read that, I debated Spong many times. I love the guy but he's wrong. He cited the "Book of Q" as a source. I asked him if I could borrow his copy, he admitted he did not have one and told me to purchase his "new" book where he acknowledges that "Q" does not exist.

What should matter most about the Bible is "Are you obeying it?" However, we get all caught up in debating did Moses really right the first five books of the Bible or did he write most of them and include an earlier manuscript? or did someone else write it 400 years later? or whatever.

The Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, all within 50 years of Christ's death and resurrection.

If they do not have the authority of God, then they are just entertainment and are about as useful as the movie reviews you posted. I appreciate them, I agree with some of your choices and disagree with others but in the end (no offense) they will not change my life.

Is the Bible the living word of God or is it a collection of stories about god?


George, you commented that you enjoyed the movie discussions but I don't see you posting anywhere about your choices, only your disagreement with Bill.


Actually Ken, in my post I said that "I appreciate them, I agree with some of your choices and disagree with others..."
So I'm not sure why you're focusing on the word "disagreement". I just don't think that it's truly important. Do you truly care what my favorite movies are? Will it impact your life? Will it impact the culture?

If it will please you, I'll post later.

I can tell you this the best book I ever read was Ishmael by EDEN Southworth and the follow up "Self Raised" They will impact your life.

"You'll be the same 5 years from now as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read." Charlie Tremendous Jones.


I hate to beat the point to death but

Dr. James Barr said...

"The Bible...did not descend from heaven as a perfect document composed by God and communicated in writing by individual writers who wrote without error the truthful words inspired by God."

I say. "Prove it!"


I agree that in the grand scheme of things, the posts on movies are not important (however much fun they are).
My point was not to know what movies you like or don't like, but rather, the fact that you say nothing for months (assuming that you actually read this blog regularly) and the one time you comment, it is to attack Bill.

I read the blog regularly. I comment regularly. Sometimes I agree with Bill, sometimes not. But, I am a consistent poster. I don't wait till Bill says something I don't like and then attack him. We, as Christians are not supposed to be looking for excuses to condemn one another. When the only comment you make on the blog is something negative, I have to question your intentions. And that is important.


George, I have commented in the past that I personally use the Bible as the guide for my life. If I have a question or issue, it is the first place that I look to. I do believe that scripture is God-breathed. At the same time, I have no problem discussing issues/problems/discrepancies with the Bible as we have it. I can remember how I felt when I learned that the phrase at the end of the Lord’s prayer, in the translation I was used to, was not included in the original manuscripts but is actually an addition added as a benediction by the early church. Understanding how scripture has been influenced and changed over the years is as important as understanding the scripture itself.

How, why and when the scriptures were written or translated all influence the way in which we interpret God’s word. I can think of many passages that we don’t follow because we have looked at the context and understand that these were cultural issues, of that time (1 Cor 11:4-16). Bill’s point about Jesus clearing of the temple is another example, did it happen once or twice? That influences our view of Jesus. Each translation has also opened a Pandora’s box of differences in interpretations.

At no point has anything in this discussion led in the direction of false teaching (except, maybe, to point out the errors of people who are actually engaging in false teaching by not taking the history of the Bible into account). No one is throwing out all classical literature. To do so or to think it necessary would be naïve and alarmist.

To be honest, I am concerned about the use of 2 Tim 4:2-4. The charge of false teachers and itching ears is being used far too often to condemn Christians who differ in exact theology, by people who feel threatened. There have been times throughout church history where long-held, non-factual, non-biblical interpretations and actions have had to be reformed. If Christians can not be free to reexamine our own history and historical decisions against what scripture is and says, there is no point in being able to read it ourselves. We may as well go back to listening to it in Latin.

Again, I’ll go back to where I started. I do believe that the Bible is inspired by God and God-breathed. I guess at some point during this conversation we should define what those phrases mean. Nothing in any conversation I have had or read here or anywhere else has in anyway negatively impacted my faith or my salvation. Instead, I have gained an appreciation of how God works through sinful man to achieve his ends.

As Charles Spurgeon once said regarding the Bible: “You are wasting your time defending it. You don’t need to defend the Bible. The Bible is like a lion. Who ever heard of defending a lion? Turn it loose; it will defend itself!”.


First to Ken. Nowhere did I attack Bill. My criticism is of Dr. Barr and even that, all I'm saying is the burden of proof is on him. That's not exactly an attack. I also have not condemned Bill or Dr. Barr.

We should be able to disagree and debate ideas without making it personal. I love Bill. I think Dr. Barr is wrong. That is not a contradiction, nor is it "unChristian". I suppose I could say that your comment to me is "judgmental" but doesn't that make the argument personal. You are free to pursue Dr. Barr's teachings if you choose, I am free, having studied his sources, to disagree with him. His theories are based on false teachings of the past. (no I have not read his book, but I have studied the history of "Historical Criticism" which is what his work is based on.) If necessary I will read his book. I'm not afraid of opposing views. but just from checking what Bill referenced, it's all flashbacks to me of debates I had 10 years ago.

I do believe that God is able to create the entire universe and that includes putting the planets in motion, the tides, etc. It also includes creating things as complex as DNA and as simple as a book.

While I respect Spurgeon didn't Paul say we should always be prepared to give an answer.


I agree, as it says in 1 Peter 3:15: "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason FOR THE HOPE that you have."


Forgive me if I mistook your comments as an attack on Bill.

I look at blogging as entering into someone else's house. You are a guest who has been invited in. If I am at my friend's house and someone who I don't see there on a regular basis walks in and is negative towards my friend, his house, his ideas, I am going to be protective of my friend. That's how I viewed your comments. If you commented on Bill's blog on a regular basis I would be less inclined to see it as a personal attack.

This is all an explanation of where I am coming from, not any sort of attack on you George. I would hope to see you commenting on a regular basis both on important topics like this and the fun/silly ones like the movies.


Ken, no need to ask for forgiveness. I see your analogy about coming into someone's house. My only comment would be that bloggers are people who have decided that what happens inside their house is so important that they have glass walls so everyone can see inside and open doors so anyone can just walk in.

And Deborah, if the Bible is not true, then I have no hope.

Love to all of you.



I'd love to answer any specific comments you have on this new post. I think things have gotten too convoluted here.

I think we need to focus on some specifics.


is god real??


What do you think?

The comments to this entry are closed.