Joe Wallack's 10001 Errors in the Christian Bible Refuted

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A few words of preface concerning Joe Wallack:

Extended experience with Wallack on the TheologyWeb forum indicates Wallack to be a singularly unscrupulous individual. Most notably, he had to be reprimanded more than once for making racist (anti-Semitic) puns.

In addition, it is clear that Wallack has no inkling how to rebut responses to his list of "1001 errors." This is shown inasmuch as, as of June 2009 (this editing), his list, thoigh transposed to a new site, has not gone past 737 entries in nearly 5 years -- corresponding with this posting of our refutations. In addition, please note that a very large number of Wallack's listed "errors" consist of one of these three issues:

Because these are very frequently appealed to, and means Wallack commits the same error repeatedly, after a point we will not reprint and answer these in detail, merely referring to them as "exegetical" issues, literary issues, or with reference back to entry #18. (I only counted uses on this last one -- these amount to at least 30 of Wallack's entries.)

Hereafter shall out comments be interspersed in bold, between Wallack's in regular type.

Important!

I checked Wallack's new website for updates and found that he has apparently done some renumbering of these entries. I'm not really "into" the idea of checking back and renumbering my own entries, so please be aware that these may be off by one or two numbers starting somewhere in the 200s. I'll also keep Scripture references Wallack uses past that point to make it more clear where we are in the list, and note now and then what the variations are.

#1

Modern Bible scholarship is in broad agreement that Mark was the first Gospel written yet Matthew is always listed first in Christian Bibles. My claimed error is that because "Mark" was written first it should be presented first in the Christian Bible.

Modern Bible scholarship is mostly following prior work on authorship issue, and seldom critically examines the reasoning behind it. Our full report is here but here are some brief points: 1) the evidence rather suggests that while Matthew in Greek did follow Mark, Mark was preceded by an edition of Matthew in Aramaic; 2) most of the presuppositions of Marcan priority are false, such as that "simpler is earlier"; 3) a collection of secular scholars in the 1970s took a close look at the Marcan priority thesis, and disagreed with it; the favored theory of a literary scholar was the Griesbach hypothesis, while an oral tradition specialist said that common oral tradition was sufficient to explain similarities. Do not expect Wallack to subject these views to critical examination.

The Christian Bible implies that "Mark" and "Matthew" are the testimony of witnesses.

How? Later information tells us directly that Matthew was a witness and Mark was not, but recorded the testimony of a witness, Peter. Where is this "implication" other than in Wallack's imagination?

Readers can see and the Church has always taught that there is dependence between the two.

Vague and superfluous. Of course there is "dependence" but what kind? Oral? Written? Common source?

Common sense and legal procedure require that the testimony which was either relied on to some extent or even just available to another witness be presented first as this is what readers or jurys [sic] will assume if not told otherwise.

"Legal procedure," however, is not what historians use when they have related accounts.

The problem this would create for Christianity with "Mark" being first is why is there no mention of the "virgin birth", any description of a transition from Jesus to the subsequent Church or post resurrection sightings or communications? The Church has always explained that because "Matthew" was written first "Mark" didn't need to cover these topics.

Oh? Where is this "explanation" and who used it? No one I know. While it could be true, it is far more likely than Mark mentions no virgin birth because it was just seen as one of many miracles associated with Jesus, and therefore no more "important" than any other to report, as it had yet to be attributed any specific theological meaning. As for post-resurrection sightings, with the end of Mark actually lost, there is really nothing to say here. And keep in mind that the Gospels were biographies of Jesus written for people who were ALREADY believers -- they were not missionary documents. In fact Mark did not need to cover these topics at all, regardless of Matthew, for his readers would already be Christians and would be expected to know these details from the original kerygmatic presentation. We debated Wallack on this on TWeb and he quit the debate rather quickly.

#2

The first Gospel listed in Christian Bibles, Matthew, was written anonymously. The title "Matthew" was added by the Church long after the Gospel was written.

By the standards of other secular works, the Gospels have more authorial attestation evidence than any other work. See the details here. Not surprisingly, Wallack refused to accept our offer to debate this issue on TWeb.

#3

Christians have added chapter designations to the Bible which were not used by the original authors.

Wallack counts this as "error" in the Bible, but the works of Josephus have also been chopped into chapters that Josephus never imagined. Is that an error?

#4

Matthew 1:(KJV) "4 And Aram begat Aminadab" According to I Chronicles 2:10 it was Ram that begat Aminadab, not Aram. The earliest extant Greek manuscripts have the Greek equivalent of the English "Aram" for Matthew 1:4. (so presumably the KJV is correctly translating Matthew's error). The NIV has changed "Aram" to "Ram" correcting Matthew's error. The LXX states that Aram begat Aminadab so it's likely that Matthew made his error by simply copying from the LXX as he apparently was not fluent in Hebrew and so could not check the original Hebrew language. Some Bible scholars do theorize that the LXX was changed in some places to conform to the Gospels and that this is one of those instances. In any case Matthew's appare "Aramree with any known Hebrew text and in the absence of any evidence that the Hebrew use of "Ram" was the result of any change would be an error by Matthew.

Behind this objection there lies a host of errors. "Ram" and "Aram" are nothing more than legitimate variations of spelling on the same name -- much like "Joe" and "Joseph" or "James" and "Jim." The LXX does indeed use Aram and this is an acceptable, non-erroneous spelling variation, of the sort we also find in Josephus.

The idea that Matthew was not fluent in Hebrew flounders on the simple fact that Matthew regularly uses the Hebrew version of the OT text; it is simply beyond reasonab;e to make based on a spelling variation, which appears in the LXX -- composed by persons who were themselves fluent in Hebrew.

The "LXX was changed" idea is a throwaway without substantiation, of the sort that Wallack frequently offers without documentation or critical examination, much less showing relevance.

#5

Matthew 1:(KJV) "5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab" The only Rachab mentioned in the Tanakh was the Rachab of the Conquest who lived about two hundred years before Boaz. Every significant Church Father who commented on Matthew 1:5 assumed that Matthew was referring to the Rachab of the Conquest.

What of this? Wallack doesn't explain the "error" here -- he often does that, as though the "error" is clear just by reciting something -- but it probably has to do with the 200 years bit, and the idea that, "these guys obviously couldn't have been directly related."

A point, the first of many times it will be needed: Gaps in genealogies were normal for this period. This was predominantly an oral culture. In an oral culture, things had to be memorized. Memory was made easiest by making things as short as possible while still retaining their purpose. Such fluidity in genealogical records is not exclusive of the Bible. "By virtue of its form a linear genealogy can have only one function: it can be used to link the person or group using the genealogy with an earlier ancestor or group. The actual number of names in the genealogy and the order of those names play no role in this function, and for this reason names are frequently lost from linear genealogies, and the order of the names will sometimes change." [I Studied Inscriptions from Before the Flood, 213]

The removal of names and the telescoping of lists is known in other oral cultures -- and it is also known that certain numerical patterns were preferred. R. R. Wilson [ibid., 196n] notes the example of the Luapula people of Rhodesia, who kept a royal genealogy of nine generations; but the genealogies of common people for the same space were telescoped to between four and seven generations. Elsewhere [Genealogy and History in the Biblical World, 33n] he cites the examples of the Bemba, Tallensi, Tiv, Yoruba, and Cyrenician Bedouin. All of these cultures used telescoped genealogies.

And in an oral culture, why not? If Uncle Joe wasn't much to behold, and just sat around doing nothing of note, why keep him once child kid was secure in the line? Why make us remember more? An oral culture had to make such listings as easy as possible to remember. The royal line required more detail; the common lines less.

Wilson [Genealogy and History, 33] notes that names are usually dropped out of the middle of such lineages, since the later people are still alive, while the oldest people say the most about the origins of the lineage and "serve as points of lineage unity.") Thus Glenn Miller rightly answers that this is an example of a "simple pedagogical/rhetorical technique of Matthew (common in his day)".

#6

Matthew 1: (KJV) "7…Abia begat Asa; :8 And Asa begat Josaphat" Generally, the oldest extant Greek manuscripts such as the Sinaitic and Vatican codices have the Greek equivalent of the English "Asaph" instead of "Asa" who according to the Tanakh should be in this location. The NASB has a footnote for Matthew 1:7 indicating that the Greek word was the equivalent of the English "Asaph". Most of the older Greek manuscripts indicating "Asaph" were unknown to the translators of the KJV.

What the point is here is again hard to say. Where's the alleged error? The spelling variation? If so, same as above. Gundry's Matthew commentary [15] suggests a deliberate allusion to Asaph, composer of the 78th Psalm, which Matthew later (13:35) regards as fulfilled.

#7, #8, #9

Matthew 1: (KJV) "8...Joram begat Ozias" According to I Chronicles 3:11 (JPS), Joram begat Ahaziah so Matthew has omitted Ahaziah from his genealogy.

See #5 about genealogy omissions. Normal stuff. Not an error. 8 and 9 are of the same sort.

#10

Matthew 1: (KJV) "10…Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias" Generally, the oldest extant Greek manuscripts such as the Sinaitic and Vatican codices have the Greek equivalent of the English "Amos" instead of "Amon" who according to the Tanakh should be in this location. The NASB has a footnote for Matthew 1:10 indicating that the Greek word was the equivalent of the English "Amos". Most of the older Greek manuscripts indicating "Amos" were unknown to the translators of the KJV.

Whether a spelling variation, or a later scribal blunder (as Wallack admits, this is not a "universal" variation), it's all the same. Gundry suggests an intentional "misspelling" as an allusion to Amos the prophet.

#11

Same objection sort as 7-10.

#12

Matthew 1: (KJV) "11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:" According to the Tanakh Jechonias only had one brother.

Does Wallack think Matthew 7:4, "Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?," means you only talk this way to family? The use of "brethren" here hearkens to the OT use in which it means one's kindred (not just blood brothers, cf. Gen. 31:23 for example). Bauckham in Gospel Women [20] agrees, referring this to his father Jehoiakim's brothers; IOW his uncles.

#13

Same as 7-11.

#14

Matthew 1: (KJV) "17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations" Matthew has omitted four generations from his genealogy between David and the Babylonian exile. Even without them he still has fifteen chronological names.

Same as prior ones. Matthew has split into blocks of 14 so as to match the Hebrew sum for the numerical equivalent to the name David (14), and to match the breaks with significant events in Jewish history, and this is a "pedagogical device" as Glenn Miller has noted.

#15

Same as 7-11 and 13.

#16

Matthew 1: (KJV) "18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:" The Greek word for birth here, "genesis" is exactly the same Greek word used in Matthew 1:1, "a record of the genealogy" and has a wide range of meaning such as "birth", "creation" and "genealogy". Church Fathers generally used the Greek word "gennesis", which has a more limited meaning of "birth" to describe the nativity. Thus, it is extremely unlikely that the same author would have used the exact same Greek word in Matthew 1:1 and 1:18 to describe a genealogy and a birth. The genealogy and birth stories are probably from two different sources.

Where Wallack gets this we can only imagine. If anything it is VERY likely that the same ancient author would use the same exact word to describe two different things. Tacitus uses the same word (trunci) in the different accounts of battles, once to refer to the trunks of bodies, the other to refer to the trunks of trees. This was a sort of artistic method of variation.

But as it happens Wallack is badly in error. The two Greek words are NOT the same, as any interlinear will tell you. English transliteration makes one "genesis" and the other "gennesis".

See the difference? In Greek letters it's even bigger.

As an aside, Bart Ehrman admits that most textual critics prefer a "gennesis" reading, though some mss. say "genesis" -- but suggests that it is a corruption anyway, because he wrongly supposes that Matthew elsewhere has no indication of Jesus as a pre-existent being. No, both the self-identification of Jesus with Wisdom, and his use of the title of the pre-existent Son of Man, put paid to that theory.

#17

Matthew 1: (KJV) "18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:" Most extant manuscripts have this wording but a few don't have "Jesus". The name is omitted in Irenaeus' reference to 1:18. The position of "Jesus" in the sentence varies in Greek manuscripts which is often the sign of a scribal addition. There is no other uncontested instance of an article preceding "Jesus Christ" in the Christian Bible. Thus it is likely that "Jesus" is a scribal addition to Matthew 1:18.

This is speculative. Wallack doesn't tell us what the mss. evidence specifically is and is obviously trying to create a grievance. What is the issue here? Is he trying to argue that "Jesus" and "Christ" were once not identified with each other? Why? The two words are together in 1:1, and Wallack said nothing about that, and there are ample connections between the two like Matt. 16:20, the most obvious.

Maybe it was added; maybe "Jesus" was later subtracted due to scribal influence, but what difference does it make? None.

I checked on this in Ehrman's Orthodox Corruption of Scripture [138] and the fact of the matter is that there are several variations: "birth of Jesus," "birth of Christ," "birth of Christ Jesus," and in most witnesses, as Wallack rightly says, "birth of Jesus Christ." Ehrman admits that this last reading is "attested by the earliest Greek witness" and is "preserved in every Greek manuscript of every textual group and subgroup from every region of early Christendom" while absolutely no Greek mss. supports the reading "birth of Christ" and Ehrman goes on to posit a conspiratorial scenarios to explain the shorter (and in his view, less original) reading. As far as we are concerned it is a tempest in a teapot, and more likely a normal scribal slip.

#18

Matthew 1: (KJV) "18… she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." Literally, the Greek reads "having in the womb" and not "with child". In any case, there is no definite article, "the", in front of "Holy Ghost" in almost all Greek manuscripts. The best translation would be "found to be pregnant through Holy Spirit". Christian translators have provided the "the" in English translations (found to be with child of the Holy Spirit) in order to support their belief that the Holy Spirit is a separate person.

Even assuming this is correct -- which my interlinear does verify -- last I checked, Matthew 1:18 wasn't a substantive "proof" verse for the personhood of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26, yes. Acts 5:3, 9, yes. John 16:13, yes.

In the meantime we also asked an expert on Greek -- a seminary student with a specialty in this area -- for some comments. He said: "The definite article is not the only way that Greek shows definiteness. Wallace, in his grammar Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 243, argues that often times the anarthorous noun (a noun without a definite article) will have the semantic of a definite noun since the article in Greek does not carry just definiteness. The article is just a specific modifier, which is why it is often translated as a possessive pronoun rather than with "the." Often the article is just along to show case, especially with names that are indeclinable, but with declinable names there is no article. Thus, the lack of an article can very well show that the Holy Spirit is considered a person and "Holy Spirit" is considered a name. In other words, this is an argument from English and not from Greek."

Please note that Wallack uses this argument an inordinate number of times in his list.

#19

Matthew 1: (KJV) "18..When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband," Mary has gone from engaged to married after a mere thirteen words, a record that would stand until Liz Taylor two thousand years later.

Number of words tells us nothing about chronology. But as it happens the Greek word here, aner, simply means "man" though whether the ancients distinguished between "fiancee" and "husband" as we do is another matter. Keener in his Matthew commentary [91] notes that legally, the betrothal was as binding as a marriage.

#20

Matthew 1: (KJV) "19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily." The word that KJV has translated as "privily" is normally translated as "quietly". Under Jewish law at the time Joseph would have had to deliver a writ of repudiation before two witnesses so it would have been tough to keep it "quiet" unless the witnesses Joseph had in mind were the blind and mute men of Chapter 9.

Keener [93ff] confirms this, but Wallack first of all has the orientation wrong -- the reference is to how publicly Mary would be exposed to shame in an honor-shame setting, not merely a matter of legal proceedings and witnesses. The certificate before 2 or 3 witnesses was actually a very "quiet" or "private" form of divorce compared to a public taking to court in which Joseph could have demanded his dowry back and made a big public fuss about it.

#21

Matthew 1: (KJV) "20… fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife" The literal translation of the Greek is, "do not be afraid to take Mary your wife" which is an incomplete sentence making the meaning ambiguous. Does it mean take as in sexually, take as in accept or take as in bring home?

Wallack goes on to compare translations of this, but we won't do the same. Why would it mean "take in as in sexually"? What was to be afraid of? What fundamental difference would there be between "accept" and "take home"?

Not that it matters; as Keener [91] notes, a betrothed couple did not live together, and Keener certainly says nothing about this being an "incomplete sentence" in Greek. The Greek word used simply means to associate one's self and would undoubtedly encompass any sort of contact. It is the same word used in v. 24 and it says he "knew her not" until later, so it is obviously not sexual, and given the culture, does not mean "take home".

#22, #23

Same as #18.

#24

Matthew 1: (KJV) 21 "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." False prophecy. Everyone agrees that for two thousand years most Jews have died not believing in Jesus and therefore, according to Christian theology, were not saved from their sins.

If Wallack thinks that this is meant as a predictor of universal salvation for the Jews, rather than implicitly including the idea of their contingent acceptance of a universal offer, maybe he can explain how Pharaoh spoke to all of "his people" (Ex. 1:9) in Egypt at once.

The generalizing target does not imply universal acceptance. If the firefighter says he will "save the people from the burning building" he obviously says so in anticipation of all accepting his offer.

False prophecy? No -- it isn't a "prophecy" at all but a designation of role.

#25

Matthew 1: (KJV) 22 "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." If you're trying to make a list of 1001 errors in the Christian Bible then Matthew 1:22-23 is, as Banta said to Jerry Seinfeld, "Gold, Jerry! Gold!". The "prophecy fulfillment" of sentences 22 and 23 is out of place as the fulfillment happens in the following sentences 24 and 25. Joseph is just dreaming in sentences 20 and 21 and wakes up from this dream in sentence 24. It's likely that sentences 22 and 23 were later additions to the original text. Since the time of Irenaeus Christian commentators have "explained" that the formula citation was spoken by the angel of sentence 21.

Verses 22 and 23 are indeed likely to be insertions into the narrative as a matter of process, but what keeps them from being Matthew's own comments on a story he is relating? Footnotes had yet to be invented; and the order makes perfect sense as is.

What? Wallack's way would apparently have it be: "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

That makes no sense at all. "Knowing her not" didn't fulfill anything and the passage cited from Isaiah refers to a future birth, not one already done, which is why it makes sense to place it before a record of the birth as Matthew has done.

#26

Matthew 1: (KJV) 23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child," It's undisputed that the Hebrew text has the definite article "the" instead of "a" before "young woman" (KJV's "virgin"). A slim majority of major Christian translations now have "the" here instead of "a". The use of the definite article "the" means that the woman in question was known to the speaker of the prophecy, Isaiah, and could not be referring to someone who lived about 700 years later.

This is the first of many examples in which we will appeal to Miller's article here which shows that such use of the text was normal exegetical procedure in the time of Jesus. The rabbis did it, Qumran did it, and they did "worse". For what it is worth Miller also does not report a "the" in the raw word order of the passage -- neither an "a" nor a "the". See here.

#27

Matthew 1: (KJV) 22 "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin" Matthew 1:23 uses the Greek word "parthenos" which has a primary meaning of "virgin". The Hebrew word from Isaiah 7:14 that Matthew is referring to is "almah" which has a primary meaning of "young woman" according to all Jewish Bible scholars, virtually all Hebrew/English dictionaries, most Christian Bible scholars and the majority of modern Christian Bible translations. The Greek word "neanis" has a primary meaning of "young woman".

Let's see Wallack take on the details from Miller:

The linguistic data is fairly straightforward. [Almah], in contradistinction to bethulah, is NEVER used of a non-virgin (either in the OT or in ordinary cognate usage). It STILL GENERALLY means 'young woman' but always includes the notion of virginity and non-marriage.

Let's dredge up a little data on this one, too:

"The rarity of its usage makes determining its meaning very difficult...In no case is it clear that an almah is married: indeed, Cant. 6:8 contrasts the king's wives ("queens" and "concubines") with the "maidens without number.". So possibly almah means "virgin," since all unmarried girls in Israel were expected to be chaste... Elsewhere almah is never used for girls who are definitely married (Prov. 30:19 is equivocal), so this may weigh against interpretations that suppose that Isaiah was thinking of the king's wife of his own wife. But the lexical evidence is not strong enough to rule out such possibilities.

"Third, the term almah is never used in the OT of a married woman, but does refer to a sexually mature woman. There are no texts in the OT where almah clearly means one who is sexually active, but it is possible that Song of Solomon 6:8 (cf. Prov 30:19) implies this. It would appear then that almah normally, if not always, implies a virgin, though the term does not focus on that attribute. Fourth, several of the Greek translations of the OT (i.e., Aq, Sym, Theod) translate almah with neanis; however, the LXX clearly translates it with parthenos. It is probably correct to say that if almah did not normally have overtones of virginity, it is difficult if not impossible to see why the translators of the LXX used parthenos as the Greek equivalent.

"The Hebrew text says almah ("the virgin") suggesting that a definite woman is in view. The Hebrew word almah is used seven or nine times in the Old Testament (Gen. 24:43; Exod. 2:8; Prov. 30:19; Song of Sol. 1:3; 6:8; Isa. 7:14; Ps. 68:26 [1 Chron. 15:20 and the heading of Ps. 46 are uncertain]) and is the only Hebrew word which without qualification means a mature young woman of marriageable age, but unmarried and presumably a virgin. In Song of Sol. 6:8 the word stands in contrast with queens and concubines, and in Prov. 30:19 "the way of a man with an almah" contrasts the infatuation of youthful love with the infatuation of an adulterous woman (v. 20). Some have suggested that the word bethulah would more accurately suggest a virgin, but this term sometimes requires a qualification such as "neither had man known her" so that it cannot merit serious consideration as a quasi-technical term for virgo intacta [The Emmaus Journal-V8 #1-Sum 99- David J. MacLeod]

"The translation virgin (alma) is widely disputed on the ground that the word means only 'young woman' and that the technical word for 'virgin' is bethulah.' Of the nine occurrences of 'alma' those in 1 Chronicles 15:20 and the title of Psalm 46 are presumably a musical direction but no longer understood. In Psalm 68:25; Proverbs 30:19 and Song of Solomon 1:3 the context throws no decisive light on the meaning of the word. In Genesis 24:43 and Exodus 2:8 the reference is unquestionably to an unmarried girl, and in Song of Solomon 6:8 the "alamoth ' contrasted with queens and concubines, are unmarried and virgin. Thus, wherever the context allows a judgment, `alma is not a general term meaning 'young woman' but a specific one meaning 'virgin'. It is worth noting that outside the Bible, 'so far as may be ascertained, 'alma was 'never used of a married woman'. [Motyer, Isaiah]

When the RSV first translated Isaiah 7:14 as "young woman" it was burned in several parts of the country by Christian fundamentalists. On a humorous note, even though the Catholic translators of the NAB had decided to translate Isaiah 7:14 as "young woman", the American Bishops voted to use "virgin" instead. I guess they thought "it was the Christian thing to do."

No, they thought it was the scholarly thing to do. And they were right.

#28

Matthew 1: (KJV) 23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child" In the Hebrew, the verb for "shall be with child", "harah", is in the present tense.

Miller will take care of Wallack one more:

The proper translation of Isaiah 7:14 from Hebrew should be, "Look, the young woman is with child". First of all, there is no Hebrew verb there to begin with--much less one in the "present tense"!

The word translated "with child", "pregnant", "conceives" or "will conceive" is an adjective [hareh, feminine form: harah], not a verb. There IS a verb harah that is used sometimes for "conceiving" but it would have been written haretah (with the h changing to a t, due to the root form being a type III-He; and the 3rd person feminine singular ending -ah) had it been used here. Instead, we have only a derivative form, the adjective "harah" (pregnant). There is no verb form in the first part of the clause.

The 'raw' word order/structure of the verse is like this: "Behold [hinneh], virgin [no verb] pregnant (fem. adjective), and (one) bearing (participle) a son, and she-will-call (perfect, relative weqatalti form)..." Note:

  1. there is NO verb between 'virgin' and 'pregnant', so the context has to supply the tense element.

    a. this use of the adjective "pregnant" occurs in BOTH present and future tenses in other passages:

    "Behold, you (no verb) pregnant and you-will-bear (perfect, relative weqatalti form--see OT:IBHS, 32.2.5a-b) a son and you-will-call his name Ishamel" [Gen 16.11, this is most probably a Present, as in "you ARE NOW pregnant"]

    "Behold, you (no verb) pregnant and you-will-bear (same as above) a son" [Judges 13.5--that this is Future, as in "you WILL BECOME pregant" is clear from the parallel, more explicit, verbal statement in verse 3: "you are sterile and childless, but you-will-conceive (perfect, relative weqatalti form) and you-will-bear (perfect, relative weqatalti form)"]

    b. the most decisive context for determining tense (for such a tense-less construction) is grammatical, and in this case there are several grammatical clues that point to a future translation:

    i. The verb at the end of the clause ("and shall call his name...") is definitely future. Its form is called a "relative weqatalti form", whose general function is to indicate futurity (for the technical discussion, see the standard BH syntax reference, OT:IBHS, 32.2.5a-b).

    ii. The 'behold' (hinneh) when followed by a participle 'bearing' (yoledet) is normally rendered as future, and rarely as a present [OT:IBHS:37.6e, 6f]

    iii. The form of the 'she will bear' construction, conveying futurity, requires the preceding concept ('becoming pregnant') to be future in meaning too. The Jewish scholar H. Ginsberg, in the Ency. Judacia, s.v. "Immanuel" (p. 1294), points out that hara must be 'she will conceive' or else the following verb ('will bear') would have to become a converted imperfect to convey futurity. [It is a participial form instead.]

    c. The next most imporant context is literary--how did Isaiah intend other similar/related phrases.

    In this case we have many, many uses of the 'behold' word (hinneh, hin) by Isaiah for study, and a survey of these reveals that it almost always refers to future action. Indeed, Keil and Delitzsch, in their detailed commentary, state it forcefully:

    "Moreover, the condition of pregnancy, which is here designated by the participial adjective hara (cf. 2 Sam xi.5), was not an already existing one in this instance, but (as in all probability also in Judg. xiii. 5, cf. 4) something future, as well as the act of bearing, since hinneh is always used in Isaiah to introduce a future occurrence. This use of hinneh in Isaiah is a sufficient answer to Gesenius, Knobel, and others, who understand ha almah as referring to the young wife of the prophet himself, who was at that very time with child." (KD, Isaiah, p.216).

    I went through the 46 uses of hinneh (ignoring the related form hin) in Isaiah and find that the data tends to support KD's strong statement. Of the 36 uses that occur at the beginning of a verbal clause, at least 72% of them were clearly future, and of the 13 cases in which it began a participial clause (as in Is 7.14), all but two were clearly future. [The two exceptions (19.1; 30.27) could easily be understood as futures as well, but I tried to be cautious here.]

    This would certainly argue strongly for a future translation of this.

  2. 2. And in fact, the vast majority of the modern translations/translaters consider this best rendered as a FUTURE as well:

    I already listed the Jewish scholar H.L. Ginsberg above, who translates it FUTURE, even though he believes it refers to someone in Ahaz' harem.

    The famous Jewish commentator Rashi, although holding the woman to be Ahaz's wife, nonetheless states that the phrase means FUTURE:

    "The Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign He will give you a sign by Himself, against Your will. is with child This is actually the future, as we find concerning Manoah's wife, that the angel said to her (Judges 13:3): "And you shall conceive and bear a son," and it is written, "Behold, you are with child and shall bear a son." the young woman My wife (tn: Ahaz' wife) will conceive this year. "

    The standard BH syntax work by Waltke and O'Connor (cited above) actually translates the verse in another section of the grammar as "the alma will be pregnant and will bear a son and will call..." (p.536)

    John Watt in WBC ("Isaiah", in.loc.) gives his translation as FUTURE: "Behold, the woman shall conceive and bearing a son-she shall call his name Immanuel.

    The LXX has two different textual traditions for this word, one with eksei (future of echw, "have", Rahlfs text) and one with lapsetai (future of lambano, "receive"), both FUTURE.

    The NAS, NIV, NAB, NKJV translations all render it Future. [The modern translations that I know of with a present tense rendering are the Soncino/JPS and the NRSV.]

    So, your friend got some bad or incomplete information from somewhere, or maybe meant something else by his/her statement. But as for Isaiah 7.14, the data strongly indicates a future tense meaning for the phrase "the almah (will become) pregnant".

    Hmm. I wonder if Wallack's material is the "somewhere"?

#29

Matthew 1: (KJV) 23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel" The phrase above, "they shall call", in the Hebrew is in the third person feminine form and should be translated, "she will call". It's likely that "Matthew" intentionally changed the phrase because in verse 21 Joseph was instructed to "call his name Jesus".

Even if Wallack isn't making this up -- that last bit about tense in Is. 7:14 doesn't bode well for his reliability here -- then yes, it IS likely that Matthew "intentionally changed the phrase" and according to Jewish exegetical practice for the day (see above) there was nothing wrong with it.

#30

Matthew 1: (KJV) 23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." The phrase "call his name", which Matthew has translated from the Tanakh is a Semitic expression meaning to name. The phrase "call his name" would be redundant in Greek or English as one would say either, "call him" or "nameWallackhim". As the phrase in Hebrew refers to an actual name and not a description of someone Matthew has presented a false prophecy as no one ever called Jesus by the name "Emmanuel".

As Glenn Miller puts it: I am surprised this argument is used here--it is quite weak.

A couple of quick pieces of evidence to show this: People and groups in the OT were OFTEN getting special 'place' names and temporary names, to be used for a specific purpose. Solomon, for example, got TWO names at his birth (II Sam 12.25)--Solomon and Jedidiah. No reference is ever made to Jedidiah after that, but it doesn't seem to be an issue. See also the story about Pashur in Jer 20:1-6. Israel and Judah consistently receive 'temporary' and symbolic names in the Prophets (cf. Ezek 23 and Is 62.3-4) Matthew is the one who quotes the 'Immanuel' passage one verse AFTER the he reports the angel's command to name the son JESUS, AND four verses BEFORE reporting that his parents called him 'Jesus'...he doesn't show the SLIGHTEST concern over this "problem"! (in other words, it WASN'T an issue in that culture).

This is even more striking in that Matthew is the one arguing that the passage was fulfilled! --the name issue wasn't an issue. If you had to call the kid 'Immanuel" for the prophecy to be fulfilled, what in the world are we gonna do with Is 9.6--where the child gets 4 names (i.e. wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace)?!

And actually, we don't think it was his mother who had to call him 'Immanuel' anyway. Most modern bibles have a footnote at the 'she shall call him...' text, that explains that in the MSS, we have a couple of variants (he, she, they)...Matthew quotes it as 'they'...This could apply to ANYBODY who acknowledged that Jesus was God walking among his people--even John 1 would qualify for this. This is just not generally considered a problem: "There is no problem in referring the names Jesus and Emmanuel to the same person. This may well be the reason Matthew spells out the meaning of the name Emmanuel..."God with us" (LXX Isa 8:8, 10).

Indeed this is not a personal name but rather a name that is descriptive of the task this person will perform. Bringing the presence of God to man, he brings the promised salvation-which, as Matthew has already explained, is also the meaning of the name Jesus (v 21b). "They" who will call him Emmanuel are those who understand and accept the work he has come to do. Matthew probably intends the words of Jesus at the end of his Gospel-"Behold I am with you always, until the end of the age" (28:20)-to correspond to the meaning of Emmanuel. Jesus is God, among his people to accomplish their salvation (see Fenton, "Matthew," 80-82).

#31

Matthew 2: (KJV) 5 …"for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda," The Greek would translate literally as "And thou Bethlehem, land of Juda.". That would be like saying "And thou Chicago, land of Midwest". According to my third grade Greek teacher, Mrs. Soukoupoopalis, that's bad grammar in Greek, Chicago or anywhere else. Codex Bezae and the Old Latin changed the phrase to "Bethlehem of the land of Judea".

This is a manufactured objection from Wallack, who doesn't know ancient Koine Greek grammar, and neither did Mrs. Soukoupoopalis, if she actually existed.

#32

Matthew 2: (KJV) 5 …"for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda," In addition to bad grammar in the Greek virtually all translations of the Micah verse that "Matthew" is referring to say "Bethlehem Ephratah" such as KJV: Micah 5:2 "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah" So Matthew has chopped off "Ephratah" from the words of the Prophet.

And in so doing, once again followed normal use of the OT for that period. Have a look at Miller's extended presentation here.

#33

Matthew 2: (KJV) 6…"art not the least among the princes of Juda" Instead of "art not the least" the Masoretic text says "small to be". Even the Christian Greek translations of Micah generally say, "are too small to be". "Matthew" has changed the quote in the Tanakh to avoid any description of Bethlehem as insignificant.

Does Wallack really think this alleged "change" is going to convince anyone that Bethlehem is any bigger than it really was at the time? And why would Matthew care how big or small it is? If anything because of the birth Matthew would now be transvaluaing Hosea, once again, in accord with procedure of the day.

#34

Matthew 2: (KJV) 6…"art not the least among the princes of Juda" Instead of "princes" the Masoretic text says "clans" (literally, "thousands"). Christian Greek translations of Micah generally say "thousands". The consonants of the Hebrew word (lpy) can mean "clans" or "rulers" so Matthew could have chosen to ignore the Hebrew tradition of "clans" even though it was accepted by the early Christians. In any case, using "princes" creates an error in Matthew's sentence structure because after deleting "Ephratah" in the first part of the sentence he is then referring to a city, Bethlehem, and not a clan, Bethlehem-Ephratah, so saying a city "is not least among princes of Juda" makes no sense.

Once again see Miller's article, which shows that indeed a city is in mind; beyond that -- you guessed it -- Matthew's choice is again within proper limits for the day.

Not that it matters, because as Keener notes [103], contemporary Judaism DID read Micah's words a prophecy of the Messiah's birthplace; "those who later polemicized against the Christian appeal to the Bethlehem prophecy did so on other grounds" than that the prophecy had been misread or misused.

#35

Matthew 2: (KJV) 6… "for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." The Masoretic text and Christian Greek translations of Micah say, "for out of thee shall come forth for me a ruler". "Matthew" has omitted "for me", apparently so as not to give the appearance that Jesus is ruling on behalf of anyone else.

Hardly. The "Son of Man" title used over a dozen times by Matthew, and the identification of Jesus with the figure of Daniel 7, already says all of that.

Notice that KJV (also NKJV) has capitalized "governor" even though the original Hebrew of Micah gives no indication that this ruler would be divine. I'm not calling this an error because KJV is the only major translation which capitalizes "governor" (or "ruler").

So when we capitalize "President" that means we think George W. Bush is God Almighty?

#36

Matthew 2: (KJV) 6… "for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." The Masoretic text says, "from you there will come forth for me one who is to be a ruler in Israel". (Early Christian Greek translations generally say, ""a leader of Israel"). "Matthew" has changed the prophecy of a leader of the country Israel to a leader of the people Israel. At the time that "Matthew" wrote he likely realized that Jesus was never a ruler or leader of the country Israel.

And once again, even if true, it would be nothing that would not be normal exegesis for the Jews of that era. But it isn't true, because there is no functional difference between being ruler of a people and ruler of their country. Does Wallack think there were rulers who ruled the land and ignored the people living on it?

#37

Matthew 2: (KJV) 9 "When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was." By modern, astrological standards such an event would be impossible (the location of a star identifying the location of an individual house.) But claiming an error here bas would reflect an anti-supernatural bias.

That is correct.

However, according to Matthew, this star moved from the East to Jerusalem, then south to Bethlehem and then stopped over Bethlehem. There were non-Christian astrologers around this time who recorded all unusual astrological phenomena and none of them mention this event which easily would have been the most unusual they would have reported.

Not quite. There are numerous candidates for the phenomenon; see here. It also assumes that interested astrologers were looking the right place at the right time, and that all such phenomena was recorded; for a corrective to that notion, see here.

#38

Matthew 2: (KJV) 15 … "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son." "Matthew" is referring to Hosea 11:1 (JPS): "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son." Hosea chapter 11 is referring to the history of Israel and is not a prophecy. Hosea 11:2 (JPS): "The more they called them, the more they went from them; they sacrificed unto the Baalim, and offered to graven images. 3 And I, I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. 4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love; and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I fed them gently." Christian Greek translations of Hosea 11:1 generally acknowledge the plural subject of Israel by translating: "Out of Egypt have I summoned his children".

Again: normal Jewish exegesis for the era. Glenn Miller adds: This passage is just another case of typology, and so the argument doesn't find the intended target. A simplified version of many of these arguments looks like this: The OT passage is describing a PAST event. -- (PAST events can have NO future messianic pattern-predictive content/implications.) -- Therefore, this OT passage can have NO messianic pattern-predictive content/implications.

The problem is obviously with statement #2 above, for we have demonstrated amply that the very OPPOSITE was true-MOST major past events in Israel's history were ASSUMED to have predictive elements, under the structure of typology. This was NOT a 'Christian Invention', as we demonstrated. Therefore, all such objections are off-target, due to the incorrect middle premise. But this still doesn't answer the question of WHY Matthew used this passage-it DOES look a bit strange to 'Western minds'.

We have seen that typology would be an appropriate vehicle for understanding this connection, but is there something MORE TO IT? Indeed, in this passage we see the peculiar Semitic notion of 'corporate solidarity', that forms an ever-present substrate in biblical teaching, and which goes BEYOND typology.

In what sense can we say that Israel was a type of the Messiah? The 'my son' element in the passage in Matthew tips us off that the element of sonship may be the pivotal concept.

In the OT, YHWH uses the term 'son' in several different settings:

The nation of Israel (Ex 4:22,23-"Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me.")

The promised Son of David (2 Samuel 7: "'The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son." See also Psalm 2, Psalm 89:26f)

Individual Israelites (Dt 32.19-" The LORD saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters." See also Hos 1.10)

Angelic figures (Job 1,2; Psalm 82:6; Dan 3.25)

In this case, the usage of "My son" for BOTH Israel AND the promised Son of David is the crux of the matter. If there is some REAL identification of the two in Israelite thought, then applying a passage ORIGINALLY used on one semantic target, to the OTHER one, in a different context, would be perfectly acceptable, and be even STRONGER of a link than simple typology.

Enter the concept of Corporate Solidarity. (For the seminal work on this topic, see H.W. Robinson, Corporate Personality in Ancient Israel, 1964). This notion is somewhat bizarre to western minds, to be sure, but was part and parcel of the ANE worldview. It is summarized in Reumann's introduction to Robinson's work:

that important Semitic complex of thought in which there is a constant oscillation between the individual and the group-family, tribe, or nation-to which he belongs, so that the king or some other representative figure may be said to embody the group, or the group may be said to sum up the host of individuals.

Eichrodt has one of the better descriptions of how this looked to the individual in Israel (The Theology of the Old Testament, vol II, 175):

With all the unbroken force of primitive vitality men felt their individual lives to be embedded in the great organism of the life of the whole community, without which the individual existence was a nullity, a leaf blown about by the wind, while in the prosperity of the community, on the other hand, the individual could alone find his own fulfillment. His devotion to the great whole was therefore the natural thing, this being bound to the destinies of the totality an axiomatic process of life. This is seen most clearly in the assertion of collective retribution, which feels it to be a completely just ordinance that the individual should be involved in the guilt of the community, and conversely that the action of the individual should react upon the fate of the group.

Even though there are examples of ordinary individuals affecting the community this way (e.g. Joshua 7.1), the three most explicit identifications are 1) father=offspring; 2) king=nation; and 3) Servant of YHWH=nation (or remnant). ...

The relevance of this to our study here should be clear. The identification of Israel-King-Messianic Servant --at the corporate solidarity level-allows NT (and Jewish) writers to see OT passages in the wider messianic complex of concepts. Longnecker (BEAP: 94) states it carefully:

biblical exegesis, the concept of corporate solidarity comes to the fore in the treatment of relationships between the nation or representative figures within the nation, on the one hand, and the elect remnant or the Messiah, on the other. It allows the focus of attention to "pass without explanation or explicit indication from one to the other, in a fluidity of transition which seems to us unnatural" (Reumann)

The Net: Not only would typology allow Matthew to use Hosea 11.1 in reference to Christ, but the pervasive concept of solidarity between the Messiah and the Nation gives even stronger support for the legitimacy of his exegesis.

#39

Matthew 2: (KJV) 15 … "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son." As the KGB agent said to Clint Eastwood in the classic movie, "Firefox", "Your papers, they are not in order." "Matthew" gives a prophecy fulfillment claim that Jesus was called out of Egypt in verse 15. But up to verse 15 Jesus is still in Egypt. Jesus doesn't leave Egypt until verse 21.

Wrong. Check 2:15 in full: "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son."

#40

Matthew 2: (KJV) 16 "Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under" In his excitement to report this dastardly deed "Matthew" neglects to tell us exactly WHAT was sent forth by Herod. Some translations fill in obvious choices such as "orders" and "men". A careless omission by Matthew and also a grammatical error.

Wallack takes the KJV English over literally, mocking a structure also found in Matthew 10:5 and Rev. 5:6. He needs to prove that the lack of an object for "sent forth" would be considered "careless" within the rules of language in the era this was written. English is not the language this was written in.

#41

Matthew 2: (KJV) 16 "Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under" No historian writing close to this time mentions any such massacre. The author of Luke doesn't mention it either. Josephus thoroughly documented the brutal deeds of Herod during Herod's final years yet makes no mention of this incident which easily would have been Herod's worst

See here.

Christian apologists estimate that there would not have been much more than 20 such murders of baby males in Bethlehem by Herod based on assumed population and birth rates thereby arguing that such a low number may have escaped Josephus' attention. Even 20 murders of babies would have been Herod's worst act.

It would? Compared to what other acts? Wallack doesn't tell us, and doesn't compare any of the other acts of Herod, but maybe he thinks 20 babies is worse than hundreds of Jewish notables Herod ordered massacred at his death.

The apologists ignore that the text also says "and the regions all around it" (in all the coasts thereof). The early Church assumed that according to Matthew thousands of male babies were killed in the "massacre".

Wallack doesn't give us a text supporting this from the early Church, but the "borders" all around a small burg like Bethlehem aren't going add more than 10% to the total in a rural area surrounding a village.

Glenn Miller adds these points: It would be silly to expect Josephus to write an EXHAUSTIVE record of Herod's abuses-there aren't enough books in the world! - Although the act was one of heartless cruelty, it must be remembered that probably no more than a dozen infants were killed in this event. Bethlehem was quite a small town in that day. This event would hardly have been recorded in such violent times. (See RT France, Novum Testamentum 21:98ff //1979) - This event is in PERFECT ACCORD with what we know of Herod's character, esp. at the end of his reign.

Barnett has an excellent summary of the data in BSNT:24, which I quote at length here (footnotes are changed to citations, for completeness): - Herod's suspicion bordered on paranoia. He killed his own wife, the Hasmonaean princess Mariamne, and, at a later date, her adult sons Alexander and Aristobuus. At the end of his life he executed another son, Antipater the son of Doris. Augsutus made the grim joke that it was safer to be Herod's pig than Herod's son (Macrobius, "Saturnalia" 2:4:11). The king's pig was safe, due to Herod's studied outward observance of Judaism; his sons were not.

When he realised his death was near Herod ordered the arrest of the leading citizens of all the villages. These were to be killed at the news of the king's death. Tears would then be shed, even if not for him! Mercifully the village notables were released unharmed from the Hippodrome where they had been imprisoned. -Civil wars erupted throughout Herod's kingdom when his violent and repressive rule finally ended. Josephus commented that Herod had "an evil nature, relentless in punishment and unsparing in action against the objects of his hatred" (Antiquites, xix:328).

A decade or so after his death an anonymous author wrote inferring that Herod was "an arrogant king...a reckless and godless man...who will exterminate their chief men...and bury their bodies in unknown places...he will slay the old and the young and show no mercy...terrible fear of him will come over all the land" (Assumption of Moses, 6:2ff) - The BBC:50 tells the story of a young but popular competitor of Herod, who had a 'drowning accident' in a pool that was only a few feet deep!

#42

Matthew 2: (KJV) 17 "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 18 "In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." The real tragedy here is that I can only count this quote as one error. The context of the quote above in Jeremiah is that Rachel is mourning for the captivity of the ten northern tribes in general and the tribe of Ephraim (the main northern tribe) specifically. Rachel was the mother of Joseph who was the father of Ephraim. She is not mourning for anyone's death or for the tribe of Judah which was a southern tribe and not in captivity at the time that Jeremiah wrote the above.

Again: Normal Jewish exegesis for the period.

#43

Matthew 2: (KJV) 19 "But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life." The above states "THEY are dead" but the antecedent is Herod (singular). The excerpt "for they are dead which sought the young child's life" is almost the exact same wording from Christian Greek translations of Exodus 4:19. Apparently it was more important for the author of Matthew here to try and recreate exact wording from the Tanakh than it was to write a grammatically correct narrative.

Same here. From Miller's article, this is most relevant: Midrashic exegesis ostensibly takes its point of departure from the biblical text itself (though psychologically it may have been motivated by other factors) and seeks to explicate the hidden meanings contained therein by means of agreed-upon hermeneutical rules (e.g., Rabbi Hillel's seven Middoth; Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha's later set of thirteen; Rabbi Eliezer ben Jose ha-Galili's thirty-two).

The purpose of midrash exegesis is to contemporize the revelation of God given earlier for the people of God living later in a different situation. What results may be characterized by the maxim: "That has relevance for This"--that is, what is written in Scripture has relevance for our present situation.

In so doing, early Judaism developed what George Foote Moore once aptly defined as "an atomistic exegesis, which interprets sentences, clauses, phrases, and even single words, independently of the context or the historical occasion, as divine oracles; combines them with other similar detached utterances; and makes large use of analogy of expression often by purely verbal association" (Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era, 1.248). See that? "Even single words..."detached." Live and learn, Wallack.

#44

Matthew 2: (KJV) 22 "But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod" "Reign" implies that Archelaus was the King but Josephus and extant coins indicate that Archelaus was an ethnarch and not a king. "Reign" implies no such thing, unless Wallack thinks death is a king (Rom. 5:14), or lust (Rom. 6:12). Not that it matters, since among the popular folk, even the client-kings were called "Kings". Hyrcanus II was called an ethnarch by Rome, but a "king" by the Jews.

#45

Matthew 2: (KJV) 23 "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." This prophecy fulfillment claim is unique in that Christian Bible scholars generally agree that there is no such prophecy in the Tanakh. Christian apologists are reduced to guessing what the author of Matthew meant. Wallack is calling detailed scholarship "guesses"? Again, Miller's report: ...the first major clue is the use of the plural 'prophets'. Matthew has 11 formulaic fulfillment passages (1.23; 2.15; 2.18; 2.23; 3.3; 4.15f; 8.17; 12.18-21; 13.35; 21.5; 27.9f), but this is the ONLY passage with the plural-EVEN in those passages which are 'compound prophecies' from MULTIPLE prophets (i.e. 21.5; 27.9) attributed to only one of them.

When we begin to study passages in which 'prophets' (or equivalent collective nouns such as 'law' or 'scripture') are 'quoted' we notice a peculiar pattern-the 'quote' turns out to be a summary that finds NO explicit word-for-word occurrence. It seems to work as a summary or a conclusion. Consider some of these:

Jer 35.15: 15 Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, "Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your fathers."

Jer 44.4: Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, `Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!'

Zech 1.4: 4 Do not be like your forefathers, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the LORD Almighty says: `Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.'

Mt 7.12: 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

John 7.38: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

Gal 3.22: But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

In each of these cases, we have a collective reference, with a 'quote' that has no close parallels in the OT. The quotes seem to be summaries of multiple passages...

What this suggests to us is that Matthew is making a summary statement of OT teaching, which we could not find the 'proof-text' for in ANY SINGLE OT passage. His summary is a pattern-statement, something recognizable to the readers of his day, but something that might elude those of us without their shared backgrounds.

But let's try anyway! What might be the import of the phrase 'Nazarene' to Matthew's readers? (We have seen that the exact word doesn't have to be in the OT, just as the phrase 'prisoner of sin' didn't have to be in the OT for Paul's usage to be correct in Gal 3). What data do we have about Nazareth and "Nazarene" from those times that would suggest a 'content' for this summary phrase?

First, there is no mention of Nazareth in the OT, the Talmuds, or Josephus. In fact, there is only ONE literary reference to N. outside of the Christian scriptures-an inscription discovered in 1962 in Caesarea Maritema (Meyers and Strange, Archeology, the Rabbis and Early Christianity, SCM: 1981, p. 56). It was a small town, of no particular fame or stature.

Second, Nazareth was in Galilee, of which the prophecy Matthew uses from Isaiah 9 (in Mt 4.15f) describes as 'dwelling in darkness and in the shadow of death' and a land 'of the Gentiles'. The land of Galilee (which Jesus is also associated with-cf. "Jesus of Galilee" in Mt 26.69) was accordingly "2nd or 3rd class citizens" from the standpoint of Jerusalem! .

Third, this portion of the land (i.e. Galilee) was originally given by King Solomon to Hiriam, king of Tyre, as a gift but the OT records his appraisal: "King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and pine and gold he wanted. 12 But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. 13 'What kind of towns are these you have given me, my brother?' he asked. And he called them the Land of Cabul, a name they have to this day.[I Kings 9]." [ "Cabul" sounds like the Hebrew for "good-for-nothing"!]

Fourth, the most important information we have about Nazareth is the exchange in John 1: Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote -- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 46 "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. The implication is QUITE clear from this derisive comment-Nazareth was a place of low-esteem, contempt, and the LAST PLACE in which one would look for a messiah! (Sounds like the 'good-for-nothing' passage above, doesn't it?!) And this dispersion was by a fellow-Galilean (Nathaniel was from Cana of Galilee), which would have made Nazareth the 'worst of a bad lot'!

Fifth, Jesus' experiences in Nazareth illustrate the rather 'low caliber' of many of its citizenry. In Luke 4, they try to kill him (minutes after 'speaking well of him'!), and in Mrk 6.6 it records that Jesus was 'amazed at their lack of faith'.

Sixth, not only did the Gentiles reject Nazareth in King Solomon's day, but they apparently didn't find it 'good-for-anything' later either. After the Jewish war with the Romans from AD 66-70, it was necessary to re-settle Jewish priests and their families. Such groups would ONLY move to un-mixed towns--towns WITHOUT Gentile inhabitants. The ONE extra-biblical literary reference to Nazareth (cited above) is to such a moving of the priests of the order of Elkalir to Nazareth. The implication is that Gentile populations avoided Nazareth well past the time of Jesus...It still was Cabul-"good for nothing".

What emerges from this look at the data about Nazareth is that the term "Nazarene" would have been quite a disparaging remark, conveying contempt and pointing to the insignificance of the community. As such, it would have been the perfect moniker for conveying the pervasive OT witness to Christ's humble origins and despised status (cf Is 53: "he was despised and rejected of men"). And, in this case, the plural 'prophets' were a constant witness.

[Even after Christ, the term 'Nazarene' (i.e. from Nazareth) remained a contemptuous term for Christians. The first Christians were, of course, Jewish and to their fellow-Jews they were known as Nazoreans (of the Nazarene), although they called themselves 'followers of the Way' and later, "Christians". (see BNTH: 213-215.) As such, the original notion of 'contempt' would have been present in the very name they called the Christians. Indeed, after the fall of Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin had the synagogue prayers changed to SPECIFICALLY exclude the Nazarenes. The twelfth of the Eighteen Benedictions in the Jewish prayer book, towards the end of the first century (it is different now), was changed to read: For apostates let there be no hope, and the kingdom of arrogance do Thou speedily uproot in our days; and let Nazarenes and heretics perish as in a moment; let them be blotted out of the book of life and not be enrolled with the righteous. Blessed are Thou, O Lord, who humblest the arrogant. "This revised edition of the prayer was authorized by the Sanhedrin and adopted in the synagogues, so that Jewish Christians, by keeping silence at this point, might give themselves away and be excommunicated." (BNTH: 386)...

The NET of this: Matthew knew the OT witness to Jesus' insignificant human origins, AND knew how his audience would understand his use of the term "Nazarene". While not as specific a fulfillment as Micah 5.2, it did express a broader pattern in the messianic matrix. Try your hands at refuting that "guess", Wallack. A reader adds: The name Nazareth is derived from the Hebrew word netzer ("branch"), and is a synonym for tzemech. Therefore, let me submit that Matthew is alluding to the numerous passages which call Messiah by the title, the Branch: Isa. 11:1 ( netzer), Jer. 23:5 & 33:15, and Zec. 3:8 & 6:12 (tzemech); cf. Rev. 5:5 & 22:16.

#46

Matthew 3: (KJV) 1 "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." After 2,000 years I think it's safe to say that this was a false prophecy.

No: Wallack is 2000 years too late. See here.

#47

Matthew 3: (KJV) 3 "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. The quote from Isaiah in the Masoretic text is: (JPS 1985) 3 "A voice rings out: Clear in the desert A road for the LORD! Level in the wilderness A highway for our God!" The author of Matthew has quoted word for word from the LXX of Isaiah 40:3 (surprise)

Yes, "surprise" he did what other Jews of the day did.

except for substituting the usual reference to Yahweh with a personal pronoun normally used to refer to Jesus.

Normal exegetical practice again for that day.

The context of Isaiah before and after chapter 40 indicates that Isaiah was referring to the Babylonian exile and subsequent return.

Interesing how the Qumranites saw themselves as "fulfilling" this text. Interestng too how Ps. Sol. 11:1 understood Is. 40:3 as "applicable to the time of Israel's restoration" [Keener, 117]. You suppose Wallack knows something they didn't, 2000 years later?

So other than changing the general wording of Isaiah chapter 40, specifically changing the reference to the coming of Jesus instead of Yahweh and ignoring the context of the author's work, "Matthew" has made a perfect match.

And done so in accordance with the rules of the day.

#48

Matthew 3: (KJV) 10 "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." False prophecy. I realize it doesn't rain much in the desert but surely the axe head would have rusted off after 2,000 years. On the other hand, maybe it would take 2,000 years to chop down a tree using only an axe handle.

40 years or so was enough. See #46 above.

#49

Same as #18.

#50

Matthew 3: (KJV) 14 "But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him." The Greek word that "Matthew" uses for "fulfill" is generally the same word used by Matthew to claim fulfillment of prophecies from the Tanakh. There is no prophecy in the Tanakh that the Messiah would be baptized in a river.

Matthew uses that same word 17 times, and it is used 94 times in the NT. Matt. 13:48, "Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away." 23:32, "Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers." Plus it's interesting how the word "scriptures" is not used in 3:14, but "righteousness." Keener [132] notes that the phrase occurs elsewhere in Matthew (5:17, 20) and probably means general obedience to the plan of God as revealed in the Scriptures.

Here it is not being dunked per se, but "identifying with Israel's history and completing Israel's mission" (see the Corporate Solidarity thing above) by identifying with Israel "confessing her sins to prepare for the kingdom." It is a vicarious act "embraced on behalf of others with whom the Father had called him to identify."

As far as performing a commandment from the Tanakh there is no commandment requiring baptism in a river as a general type of atoning or purification ritual.

Yet the Jews of the day, notably the Qumranites, adopted ritual immersion as a purifying ceremony. Gentile proselyte baptism was performed outside Palestine [Keener, 121].

A related question is, "who baptized John with water?"

An appropriate reply is, "What difference does it make?" However, John may have been part of the Qumran sect for a while and undertaken one of their ritual baths.


#51

Matthew 3: (KJV) 16 "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:" The author of Matthew likely copied the story of Jesus' baptism either from "Mark" or from the same source Mark used.

"Same source" would work -- most likely an oral source -- or Greek Matthew may have been influenced by Greek Mark.

This is the related sentence in Mark: Mark 1: (KJV) 9… "and was baptized of John in Jordan.10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened" Mark indicates that immediately after Jesus came out of the water the heavens opened. In the Greek Matthew's sentence structure has joined the adverb "straightway" with the verb "went up" so he is saying that immediately after the baptism Jesus came out of the water. Generally, coming out of the water would signal the end of the baptism. Why would anyone stay in the water after the baptism? Maybe to go swimming or take a bath?

What is Wallack's objection here? Does he think it is pointless to tell us that Jesus came out of the water? If so, I'd like to introduce him to a series of objections I have seen from Skeptics where such detail is lacking, such as MacDonald's Homeric Epics in the Gospel of Mark, in which MacDonald makes much of Jesus using a boat as a floating podium, and then finds it odd that Jesus is mentioned thereafter teaching privately, without ever getting out of the boat.

#52

Repeat of #18.

#53

Matthew 4: (KJV) 8 "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;" It would not be possible to see all the kingdoms of the world of a spherical world no matter how high the mountain was. Apparently the author, like most people of his time, mistakenly believed that the earth was flat.

This verse in Matthew by no means implies a flat earth, nor a monstrous mountain large enough to oversee the earth. Indeed, the trip to the mountain was a cheap psychological ploy by Satan, and the showing of the kingdoms was accomplished by means of projecting images, as is suggested by the parallel verse in Luke 4:5: "The devil led him up to a high place, and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world." Did they have eyes in the back of their heads?

No, this was a gross imitation of the "divine mountaintop" ploy, and was clearly supernatural in form, which means it is the same whether the earth is flat, spherical, or hexagonal. Moreover, as anyone who has climbed mountains knows - and the writer of Matthew surely knew, if he lived in the area around Judaea, as Matthew did - the higher up you go, the smaller things down below get, by your perspective. So it is unlikely that (even if he did believe it a flat earth, personally) Matthew's offering is not compatible with a globe.

Note that even on a flat earth, a high mountain would be a very poor place to observe the kingdoms of the world "in their glory." Furthermore, if Matthew was implying that a mountain existed from which all the world was visible, then obviously, the mountain would be visible from all parts of the world. It is ludicrous to suggest that Matthew believed such a mountain existed.

#54

Matthew 4: (KJV) 12 "Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up." Misquote. "Matthew's" translation doesn't agree with the Masoretic text or Greek translations of the Tanakh.

Not so: Matthew's "translation" is in line, once again, with Jewish exegetical procedure for the day. Note the difference cited by Wallack:

Isaiah 8: (JPS 1917) "23… Now the former hath lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but the latter hath dealt a more grievous blow by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in the district of the nations. 9.1 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."

Some missing phrases. And what was said? "..."an atomistic exegesis, which interprets sentences, clauses, phrases, and even single words, independently of the context or the historical occasion, as divine oracles; combines them with other similar detached utterances..."

Isaiah Chapter 8, JPS translation, is referring to the destruction of the kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians. The "former" and "latter" of 8:23 refers to the Assyrians and Samarians: 7:1 "And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to war against it; but could not prevail against it. And it was told the house of David, saying: 'Aram is confederate with Ephraim."

What was that again? "...independently of the context or the historical occasion." When Wallack does any more objections like these, we'll skip detailed exposition; the point has been made that he is not tutored in the matter of Jewish exegetical methods of the first century. We'll just say "exegetical objection" and refer to prior entires.

#55

Matthew 4: (KJV) 17 "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." False prophecy.

Fulfilled, 70 AD. See above.

#56

Matthew 5: (KJV) 31 "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." The author of "Matthew" previously had Jesus say: 5:18 (KJV) "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Regarding acceptable causes for divorce the Law of Deuteronomy states the following: 24:1 (JPS) "When a man taketh a wife, and marrieth her, then it cometh to pass, if she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he writeth her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house, and she departeth out of his house, and goeth and becometh another man's wife, and the latter husband hateth her, and writeth her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, who took her to be his wife; her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled;" So Jesus stated that he would not change the Law but he did change the Law regarding acceptable causes for divorce.

Incorrect. See here. Jesus was agreeing with the Jewish school of Shammai here, who did not see themselves as "changing the Law" but interpreting it, over and against the Hillel school's interpretation of Deut. 24:1.

#57

Matthew 5: (KJV) 33 "Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:" Contradicted by Deuteronomy 6:13 (JPS) "Thou shalt fear HaShem thy G-d; and Him shalt thou serve, and by His name shalt thou swear."

Keener's commentary on Matthew (192ff) explains the historical context of these passages. All ancient societies viewed oath-taking as dangerous, since they essentially called upon a deity to execute vengeance if the oath was not fulfilled. A flippant or false oath was in a a real sense a blasphemy, a casual misuse of the name of God. Somewhat paralleling the words of Jesus, the Essenes seem to have avoided oaths altogether, other than their oath of initiation. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras and others similarly taught, "let one's word carry such conviction that one need not call deities to witness."

In the context of Jesus' own day, there existed a "popular abuse" of oath-taking in which surrogate objects were introduced to swear by, so as not to profane the divine name -- things like the right hand, Jerusalem, God's throne, and the head.

Jesus also addresses this practice in his directive not to swear on such objects, as some thought it easier to break an oath if they swore on something inanimate rather than God! What we therefore have here is an example of Jesus not disagreeing with the OT about oaths, but rather moving beyond the OT into an even more demanding standard that focuses on motivation rather than action (in the same manner as the "adultery in the heart" directive).

#58

Matthew 5: (KJV) 38 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also." Contradicted by Deuteronomy 19:18 (JPS) "and the magistrates shall make a thorough investigation. If the man who testified is a false witness, if he has testified falsely against his fellow, you shall do to him as he schemed to do to his fellow. Thus you will sweep out evil from your midst; others will hear and be afraid, and such evil things will not again be done in your midst. Nor must you show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."

Is Jesus countering the OT law here? Historical context as well as literal context says no. In this section of the Beatitudes, Jesus offers points taken from the Pharisaic oral law and refutes them: The sort of wrangling that was done to, for example, get around the "no work on the Sabbath" restriction by nailing a board between two houses so that they could be technically counted as one house.

There was an "extra layer" of meaning added to the OT by the oral law, and in this particular case, the layer was added to suggest that "eye for an eye" was not only for civil matters of justice -- as the OT intends -- but also for interpersonal relationships; hence, the examples that follow of someone being slapped, or being forced to carry a Roman soldier's pack, or being sued: Things that may have been irritating or inconvenient, but were by no means illegal.

To strike someone as described was an insult against their dignity (usually, only slaves were given such treatment), but it was no crime: Even so would the oral law have insisted that it was just fine to use the principle of lex talionis for personal revenge on the one who had humiliated you.

"Resist not evil" is a popular Jewish proverb (cf. Ps. 37:1, 8; Prov. 24:29) which means, in essence, do not compete with evildoers, trying to "outdo" them in vengeance. (As Bivin and Blizzard put it in Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus, if your neighbor dumps a pail of garbage on your lawn, "we are not to retaliate by dumping two pails on his lawn." [109]) In other words, don't try to get back at them in more spectacular ways. That is the point of this rebuttal -- it is NOT an abrogation of the OT at all.

#59

Matthew 6: (KJV) 1 "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." Contradicted by Matthew 5: (KJV) 16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Wallack forgets the words from Matthew 5, "in the same way" -- as what? The previous examples are of a city on a hill and a lamp. Lamps and cities don't light for the sake of showing off -- they are passive instruments. They don't seek or take praise; they don't know or care that anyone watches, they just shine and do their jobs. That's our example. On the other hand, the Matthew 6 verse is after a warning about not making a public spectacle out of your giving, and not announcing it with trumpets like the hypocrites do. Now if you are publicly announcing your "good deeds" and being a hypocrite, you are far from letting people see your good works: You are in fact setting a bad example, and being a poor witness for Christ (and actually, just a jerk in general, whoever you are).

So the two pieces of direction in Matt. 5 and 6 are progressive education, and they go together: Set a good example, but don't do the peacock strut, lest you tarnish those good works with the stain of hypocrisy, and thereby defame the cause of Christ.

The remaining two verses then draw from this lesson.

Another factor Wallack misses is that of the relevance of honor and collective scrutiny in the ancient world. Matthew 5 teaches that works should be done publicly, but in the sense that because one is in public and under scrutiny, they should become a "light" -- the instructions here are parallel to OT admonitions to Israel to be a "light" for the nations, who were on the outside, looking in. Hence, it is passive. Salt has no effect unless it is applied to something, but it doesn't go looking for food to jump on in order to season everyone's taste buds.

Light does not serve as a guide if it is hidden under a basket, but it also doesn't blind your eyes jumping up and down getting you to notice it. The city on the hill does not serve as an admonishment to build atop hills, but to simply illustrate that the location will result in that city obtaining notice.

Now when we look at Matthew 6: Can one give alms (the example) without benefit to the public? Obviously not; the very purpose of almsgiving is to benefit the public (especially the poorer segment). As we have already stressed, however, the latter chapter simply emphasizes that public works are not to be done for the sake of public attention. Public works done simply for the sake of the public will draw a desirable type of attention, on the other hand.

There is a difference between doing good works for the honor of the Father (the word for "see" is eido, and merely means being visible), and doing good works for your own honor (the word for "seen" is theaomai, which implies a much closer examination, and an attempt to grab public honor for one's self).

Wallack is clearly unaware of the ancient honor-conceptions which underlay these instructions.

#60

Matthew 8: (KJV) 1 "When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." Regarding a mountain near Jerusalem (shew thyself to the priest) I think "Matthew" is making a mountain out of a mohel.

Bad joke or bad geography? What was the "Mount of Olives"?

Anyway, Jesus tells the man not to tell anyone in order to keep the healing secret but someone has forgotten about the "great multitude" which was following Jesus in the previous connected sentence.

Not at all. Leprosy need not be painfully and visually obvious and Jesus and the leper didn't need to be yelling at the top of their lungs. If anything the leper would approach furtively, since his uncleanness would be offensive to the other people.

But odds are that the "anyone" is the same as the "them" at the end of the verse, which would be the community into which the leper was being restored. And obviously in context, what the man is being told not to tell is not, "I was cured," but who cured him.

#61

Repeat: Exegetical objection; see prior entries.

#62

Matthew 8: (KJV) 21 "And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead." Deuteronomy 5: (JPS) 16 "Honour thy father and thy mother" The Tanakh has several verses indicating that lack of a timely burial is an insult so Jesus has contradicted one of the ten commandments here.

Wallack doesn't name these verses, but what is referred to here is actually either a father yet dead or one that had been buried once already and was due to have his bones removed to an ossuary. The reference is thus though to refer to the spiritually dead or otherwise deprived (per Keener, 275, examples from Jewish and pagan works) and Semitic idiom of the day shows that the request was actually, "a request to wait until one's father dies -- perhaps for years" so that one could fulfill final obligations.

In other words, the man is asking for as much as a year's delay to do the secondary burial, or even many more years than that.

Also: "In most current interpretations of biblical law, only one person's honor took precedence over the honor shown to parents: God." [Keener, 277] Thus indeed Jesus "scandalously claims the supreme position of attention in his followers' lives." It is a roundabout claim to divinity and in perfect accord with the law as interpreted in that day.

#63

Matthew 8: (KJV) 26 "And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes,"

We will skip Wallack's rather long analysis of this for now. What's the right read?

We can eliminate "Gergesenes" right away -- that is a textual error found only in later mss.; better mss. say "Gadara" as Luke does. And Luke may have said "Gerasa" -- the textual tradition is not clear on that either [Archer, Bible Difficulties, 323]. So if there is any dispute, it is between Gadara and Gerasa -- maybe.

The differences, by the muddled textual issue, may have arisen at a time of later scribal activity, but it is also possible that one gospel writer said Gerasa, and others said Gadara. Why would they do this, and do they contradict?

They do not contradict, because all the Gospels speak generally of the "country" of the town named, and both Gerasa and Gadara were part of the Decapolis, and this was part of Decapolis territory.

But, the critic may ask, why would they give different cities in the first place? Geresa as a city grew "tremendously" during the period of 22-76 AD, and may have even been the capital of the Decapolis for a while.

We might see why, in this light, someone like Mark would use it as a reference: It was the better-known of the two cities, and Mark's Roman audience would perhaps know Gerasa better than they knew Gadara. On the other hand, Matthew's Palestinian and Syrian readers lived near the area and would know about Gadara.

My own life situation offers a parallel to this: I live in an incorporated suburb of Orlando that has its own name and identity. When I talk to people in this area, I tell them I live in that suburb and I mention it by name. But when I talk to someone from another state, I give Orlando as my residence -- knowing that they likely have never heard of such booming sites as "Winter Garden," "Oakland," or "Pine Hills". Thus with respect to Wallack's comment:

The text implies that Jesus has just reached the other side of the lake and Gergesenes was on the eastern coast of the Sea of Galilee. The problem is that Gergesenes is almost certainly not the name of the city originally identified here by the author of "Matthew".

Correct!

Mark (who Matthew and Luke both probably copied from) and Luke both identify the city as Gerasa which was 33 miles from the Sea Of Galilee. Matthew, knowing that Gerasa was too far away, likely changed the name of the town to Gadara which was six miles from the lake.

Correct -- and for the reasons stated above. It isn't because Matthew "was not overly familiar with the geography of Israel" but because readers of Mark were not.

#64

Matthew 10: (KJV) 7 "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand." False prophecy. Fulfilled, 70 Ad. See above. We'll refer to these after as "eschatology repeats."

#65

Matthew 10: (KJV) 15 "Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." In the Tanakh Sodom and Gomorrha are cities. No other Christian Bible author refers to them as anything other than cities. Cities in the ancient world the size of these guys tended to rule over "lands" -- which included satellite villages.

#66

Eschatology repeat.

#67

Matthew 10: (KJV) 35 "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." Contradicted by Deuteronomy 5:16 (JPS): "Honour thy father and thy mother, as HaShem thy G-d commanded thee; that thy days may be long, and that it may go well with thee, upon the land which HaShem thy G-d giveth thee."

Note again above about how Jewish exegetes agreed that family still came after God, in spite of the commandment (probably because the four commands about God in the 10 Commandments came first).

#68-71

Repeat of exegetical objections.

#72

Matthew 12: (KJV) 31 "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." Logically, if the first part of the sentence says that "All" sin and blasphemy will be forgiven then the second part, which says that a specific blasphemy will not be forgiven, must contradict the first part.

Wallack separates the two parts away from each other, that form one saying which contextually modifies each part, and then creates about a contradiction. That's like getting a sign that says NO DOGS ALLOWED ON GRASS, DOGS MAY COME ON THE GRASS ON SATURDAY and saying that the first part contradicts the second. Is this or is this not a complete message?

#73

Matthew 12: (KJV) 46 "While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?" The oldest extant manuscripts omit all of verse 47. Verse 48 is written in the present tense and should be translated, "But he answered and said unto the one speaking to him". The grammar doesn't work without verse 47.

Oddly enough Keener's mammoth commentary mentions nothing about v. 47 missing from any mss., and Wallack doesn't explain why the "grammar doesn't work" in Greek.

After checking the text-critical works it's easy to see why. Metzger in Text of the NT [239] favors inclusion on 12:47 -- which is in the BEST Alexandrian witnesses and in representatives of the Western text (he doesn't say a word about "oldest") -- and explains the loss of it in other mss. as caused by vss. 46 and 47 ending with the same word, causing a haplography. Not even Ehrman comments on this one.

#74

Repeat error regarding Jewish ideas that God preceded even family

#75

Matthew 13: (KJV) 31 "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds:" Saying that mustard seeds were tiny was part of popular proverbial sayings of the time but the mustard seed is not the least (smallest) of all seeds.

The Greek word here is mikros. It is also used in Luke 9:48 -And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

Obviously, Jesus did not mean here that he who was smallest in size would be greatest. So the mustard seed description is not an evaluation of size at all (or exclusively), but an evaluation of worth - which is a matter of personal judgment that is quite acceptable and cannot be charged as erroneous.

#76

Repeat of exegetical objections.

#77

Matthew 14: (KJV) 3 "For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife." According to Josephus Philip was married to Salome and Herodias was married to Herod Antipas. There's no good evidence to doubt Josephus here. The only known agreement to Matthew 14:3 is Mark 6:17 but the wording of Mark and Matthew is so similar it's likely that "Matthew" either picked up the error from Mark or from their common source.

No reason to doubt Mark, either. Actually, all that Josephus says is that Antipas' wife Herodias was stolen from a "Herod." All of the Herod dynasts had second names (Herod Antipas, Herod Archaeleus, Herod Agrippa, Herod Jones, etc.) but Josephus doesn't say what the second name of this Herod was. Critics simply assume that Mark has confused this Herod with a different Herod named Philip.

But in fact there is no evidence that Mark has done this, and no reason to suppose that there was not more than one Herod Philip in the mix that Mark is referring to. Indeed, if this were anything but the NT at issue, Mark's story would be taken as evidence that there was a second H. Philip, and be grounds for speculation that one was named after the other.

The two Herod Philips would have been born to different mothers, of course; Hoehner notes [134] that the Herod family already had one such situation with Antipater and Antipas [the latter is a diminutive of Antipater], and adds the such dual naming was "not infrequent in Hellenistic times" [135].

#78

Matthew 14: (KJV) 3 "For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. 4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her." According to Josephus John was arrested because he incited the people to the point of sedition.

Historical data shows us how these motives actually dovetail cleanly into each other. Guelich, in his commentary on Mark 1-8:26 [331], notes that "[i]n order to make room for Herodias, Herod had sent his first wife, the daughter of Aretas IV, king of neighboring Nabatea, home. Aretas, taking this act as a personal slight, made war with Herod..."

Now add to this a little matter of John's preaching about a coming Messiah (a rival to the Herods) at a locale along the Jordan -- the border with Nabatea. John sets himself up to offend Herodias and Herod in one stroke: By preaching against Herod's marriage (a violation of Lev. 18:13, and also considered an honor challenge to the family of the former wife -- Malina and Rohrbaugh, Social-Science commentary, 121), and previous sending away of the Nabatean princess, John is essentially taking the side of Aretas and committing sedition. What Mark and Josephus tell us is complimentary, not contradictory.

#79

Matthew 14: (KJV) 8 "And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. 9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. 10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison." The best translation of the Greek word for "sorry" above is "grieved". Doesn't make sense in "Matthew" that Herod would be grieved at the thought of having to kill John because 14:5 (KJV) says: "And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet."

It doesn't? Herod HAD something to be grieving about, because what does Wallack think that "multitude" Herod is upset over is going to say when they find out John has been executed? Also, once Herod HAD made the oath, his honor was at stake (in an honor-shame society, remember). Caught between a rock and a hard place.

#80

Matthew 15: (KJV) 1 "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread." The author of Matthew is giving away the date of composition here (after 70 CE). According to Rabbinic literature, prior to the destruction of the Temple only Priests were required to wash before they ate. After the destruction it became Rabbinic Law for all Jews to wash their hands before meals.

Using rabbinic literature -- even assuming this cite is accurate -- is a questionable procedure to begin with, being that this material was codified well after 70 AD itself, much later than the latest date for Matthew. Glenn Miller adds these points:

But let me point out one common mistake made by those that argue for 'what must have been the case' in 1st century Palestine, from the Rabbinical literature, and let me use the words of E.P. Sanders for this:

"I shall comment more briefly on Jeremias' second major mistake, which is also common in the literature, that of taking a rabbinic opinion as law...There is also a more general point with regard to calling an opinion a law: once one starts quoting rabbinic statements as laws governing Palestine, one may draw absolutely any portrait of first-century Palestine that one wants. There are thousands and thousands of pages, filled with opinions." [JPB:463]

Historians have long known the problem of using Rabbinic 'laws' and literature for constructing historical portraits, for in many cases the 'laws' represent what the Rabbi's wish were the case. Sanders goes on to identify the range of possible understandings of rabbinical 'law' statements [JPB:465ff]:

"A rabbinic decree might be no more than a simple description of common practice, which someone finally decided to write down".

"A rabbinic halakhah might be a simple application of biblical law."

"Many Pharisaic/rabbinic laws were intended only for members of the party"

"Some rabbinic prohibitions prove that most people did something else." (!!)

"...some rabbinic regulations apply to another time, apparently to an ideal age."

"sometimes the populace followed Pharisaic innovations" (a Pharisaic decree that everyone DID follow)

"We come now to the most important point, one that will lead to consideration of the nature of rabbinic literature. The reader of rabbinic rules must bear in mind that it would have been extremely difficult to do 'what the sages decreed', since they disagreed among themselves. A very high percentage of the legal discussions in the earliest rabbinic literature lack a conclusion; the Houses of Hillel and Shammai state their views, and it appears that they agree to disagree. Are we to imagine the populace, desirous to do what the Pharisees said, one day obeying Shammai and the next day Hillel?...The explanation of this is that the Pharisees, and later the rabbis, distinguished their own rules, about many of which they disagreed among themselves, from biblical law, and with only a few exceptions regarded biblical law, not their extra rules, as being generally binding. A standard view in the Mishnah is that there are no penalties for transgressing 'scribal' rules...Once this simple fact is accepted, the genre of early rabbinic legal material becomes clear. It does not consist of set rules that governed society. It consists of debates...Saying that people generally did what 'the sages had laid down' corresponds neither to the social realities of pre-70 Jewish Palestine nor to the nature of rabbinic literature."

...The net of this is that any reconstruction of the times of Jesus from rabbinic literature must go to great lengths to demonstrate that any 'laws' it cites actually are descriptive of the situation (it cannot assume this at all), and this is, in Sander's words, "seldom correct".

Keener [409] notes that hand washing "was an extrabiblical Jewish tradition, perhaps originally adopted from foreign Jews". Keener cites several examples from the rabbinic lit in support of the point that the Pharisees "were especially meticulous" about handwashing.

#81

Matthew 15: (KJV) 4 "For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free." The earliest extant manuscripts for 15:6, say "And honour not his father" and omit "or his mother". KJV, NASB, Darby, Young's, and NKJV all include "or his mother" based on translations from later manuscripts. It appears that copyists added "or his mother" to earlier versions in order to make the wording of 15:6 agree to 15:4 and 15:5.

This is one of those cases where it is far more likely that "or his mother" was in the original, since it is patterned after something in the OT and it makes no sense for it to be missing. Keener knows nothing about this textual alteration, and as it happens neither do Metzger nor Ehrman mention it, so it is obviously an open and shut case and Wallack is perhaps even just making this up.

#82

Repeat of exegetical objections.

#83

Matthew 15: (KJV) 10 "And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. 12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?" Contradicted by all the dietary laws in the Tanakh.

How? We aren't told, but Keener notes [412] that the same principle was probably also agreed upon by the Pharisees in principle, though they stated it in private "perhaps due to fear of those who would cease to observe the literal requirements of the law."

#84

Matthew 15: (KJV) 33 "And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?" The wording describing the miraculous feeding starting at 15:33 is extremely similar to the same type of miraculous feeding story starting at 14:17 (KJV): "And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. 18 He said, Bring them hither to me. 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full." So either the memory of the disciples was very bad or the author of Matthew is presenting two extremely similar versions of the same story.

The latter. Ancient writers typically did present stories in a patterned, stereotyped form. It was a way to aid the memory.

#85

Matthew 16: (KJV) 2 "He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. 3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" Most of verses 2 and 3 are not in the earliest extant manuscripts and were likely added to make "Matthew" more like the related story in "Luke".

Keener knows nothing of this, but does point out that the weather signs depicted could only have come from a Palestinian milieu [421]. Metzger and Ehrman say nothing, so if this is true indeed, it is apparently a non-issue.

#86

Matthew 16: (KJV) 4 "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed." Contradicted by Matthew 11: (KJV) 20 "Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes." Apparently the author of Matthew liked the idea of Jesus concealing signs from the Jews to help explain why the Jews did not believe in Jesus but also liked the idea of Jesus performing many signs for the Jews to make them guiltier for not believing in Jesus. This leaves the Gospel of Matthew with the overall assertion that Jesus performed many signs and Jesus did not perform many signs.

Wallack omits the crucial v. 1, which says that they asked for a sign "from heaven." The words "from heaven" were often a circumlocution for "from God"; but this could just as well mean "from the sky" -- Keener, 420 -- not just any old sign. This is the context of Jesus' refusal. The "sign of Jonah" is not from heaven and is not even a miracle, but Jonah's preaching (the word "sign" here means a signal), and Jesus' preaching. The other verses are therefore not in contradiction.

#87

Eschatological objection.

#88

Matthew 17: (KJV) 3 "And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him." The author of "Matthew" writes that Elijah (Elias) appeared before some of the disciples. But previously the same author wrote, Matthew 11: (KJV) 12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come." It was hard enough to believe that John the Baptist was Elijah before Elijah reappeared. After Elijah reappears it's even harder.

In this alleged contradiction, a false dichotomy has been set up. Keener [439] notes that later rabbis interpreted Malachi as saying that Elijah, who had not actually died (but was taken up in a whirlwind), would himself return. John was aware that he was the Elijah-to-come predicted in Malachi and told the Jews in John 1 something to the effect of "I am not Elijah in the sense that you think of it."

Support for this thesis comes from the fact that John presents the Jews in his gospel as being blind to the Scriptures. And with their mistaken notion of who and what the Messiah should be like, it is not unreasonable at all to think that they might be mistaken on the nature of the Elijah-to-come mentioned in Malachi. The Jews might have been thinking that this Elijah-to-come would be the "real live" Elijah of the books of the Kings physically returning from heaven.

Thus Wallack makes the same error as the Jews quizzing John did.

#89

Matthew 17: (KJV) 11 "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist." Jesus is saying that Elijah (Elias) came first but Elijah didn't come first, Elijah restored all things but Elijah didn't restore all things, the Jews didn't know Elijah but the Jews did know Elijah and the Jews did to Elijah whatever they wanted but didn't do to Elijah whatever they wanted.

Same error as above. John was the Elijah to come; he did restore "all things" by initiating the new covenant which would restore Israel (now a body of belief, as the NT indicates) and he was executed.

#90

Matthew 17: (KJV) 21 "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." The earliest extant manuscripts omit this entire verse.

At last we have one Keener knows about [442n] and he is equivocal. It is found in some of the best mss., and has wide geographic distribution which favors inclusion. On the other hand it is easily seen as a harmonization with Mark. Oddly Ehrman and Metzger do not mention this one. The evidence is less definitive than Wallack wants us to believe.

#91

Matthew 18: (KJV) 11 "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." Omitted from the earliest extant manuscripts.

Keener actually knows this one too [452n]. It is however supported by Luke 19:10, of which there is no question; it is also duplicated by the thought in Matthew 10:6. So whether it is original to Matthew or not is of little relevance, and also not very important, since neither Ehrman nor Metzger mention it.

#92

Matthew 18: (KJV) 15 "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother." "Against thee" is missing from the earliest extant manuscripts.

That the two people talk alone tells us already it is an "against thee" issue. Keener also notes this but adds that the wide geographic distribution favors its inclusion [453n] and it is only SOME of the earliest mss. that omit it. Metzger and Ehrman have not a word to say on it.

#93

Matthew 18: (KJV) 15 "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Compare to Matthew 7: (KJV) 1 "Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Sounds like judging to me.

Wallack forgets 3-5, which are quite crucial: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

A couple of things to notice here: The further exposition clearly indicates that what is condemned here is not judging per se, but judging hypocritically; it also clearly indicates that once you take the "plank" out of your own eye, you will see clearly (the Greek here is diablepo, meaning to recover full vision) to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Thus one is quite free to judge - if one is not a hypocrite.

#94

Same error as #56.

#95

Matthew 19: (KJV) 10 "His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given." Jesus says it's acceptable to choose not to get married. The result of not having any children is a violation of Genesis 1:28 (JPS) "And G-d blessed them; and G-d said unto them: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" If Christianity believes that the story of Adam and Eve has eternal significance for all humanity then why wouldn't the command to Adam and Eve to procreate also have eternal significance?

Here some of Miller's material is useful again:

The rabbinic literature--which is what people sometimes use to argue that celibacy was a capital offense(!)--notes and gives rules for exceptions to rules which were themselves non-binding:

"Celibacy was, in fact, not common, and was disapproved by the rabbis, who taught that a man should marry at eighteen, and that if he passed the age of twenty without taking a wife he transgressed a divine command and incurred God's displeasure. Postponement of marriage was permitted students of the Law that they might concentrate their attention on their studies, free from the cares of support a wife. Cases like that of Simeon be 'Azzai, who never married, were evidently infrequent. He had himself said that a man who did not marry was like one who shed blood, and diminished the likeness of God.

One of his colleagues threw up to him that he was better at preaching that at practicing, to which he replied, What shall I do? My soul is enamored of the Law; the population of the world can be kept up by others...It is not to be imagined that pronouncements about the duty of marrying and the age at which people should marry actually regulated practice." [HI:JFCCE:2.119f]

Notice that this famous Rabbi was celibate because of his devotion to the Law and to studying, following, and preaching it--a situation not unlike that of Jesus and certainly in keeping with His dictum in Matthew 19.10:

His disciples said to him, "If that is the relationship of a man with his wife, it's not worth getting married!" 11But he said to them, "Not everyone can accept this saying, except those to whom celibacy has been granted. 12For some men are celibate from birth, while others are celibate because they have been made that way by others. Still others are celibate because they have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.

Notice also that Moore points out that the Rabbinic regulation were hardly binding (something we shall return to below).

Judaism at the time of Jesus, of course, was a "many splintered thing", with the forerunners of the rabbinics being only one sect among many, one view point (actually, multiple viewpoints!) on a spectrum of viewpoints. Accordingly, there were other groups at the time that either (a) required celibacy; or (b) allowed it.

The Essenes (and the somehow-related Qumran folks) were described by Josephus, Philo, and Pliny as being celibate, but the data is inconclusive as to whether they REQUIRED it or merely ENCOURAGED it. [OT:FAI:130ff]

Philo describes another Jewish sect of both men and women--the Therapeutae --who were celibate in their studies and pursuit of wisdom and the holy life (De Vita Contemplativa 68f).

But the dominant class of individuals who were 'allowed' or 'expected' to be celibate were prophetic figures, throughout Jewish history:

The prophet Jeremiah: "But the Essenes, Qumran, and the Therapeutae were not the only examples of Jewish religious celibates who were considered in a reverent light around the time of Jesus. The OT was not lacking in at least one celibate religious figure, and later interpretation of the OT added some others. The one case from the OT is the tragic prophet Jeremiah. Far from being some positive religious commitment, celibacy was for Jeremiah a tragic personal sign, a lived-out prophetic symbol of the destruction of life that awaited the sinful people of Judah (Jer 16:1-4)." We have, then, at least one example of an OT prophet for whom celibacy was not a minor matter, an optional life style. It was, by the order of Yahweh, a very literal and painful "embodiment" of Jeremiah's prophetic message of judgment, pronouncing imminent doom as punishment for the apostasy of God's people." [MJ:1.339]

The wilderness prophet Banus: "More well-known, though still exceptional, would have been the undoubted celibacy of wilderness prophets like Banus (Josephus Life 2.11) and John the Baptist." [DictNTB, s.v. "marriage"]

John the Baptist (and possibly his prototype Elijah]: "We should not be completely surprised that another fiery prophet of judgment around the time of Jesus also seems to have been celibate, namely, John the Baptist. Granted, our sources do not speak explicitly of John's celibacy; as usual, we are left with arguments from indirection and inference. But, even apart from Luke's picture of the boy John being raised in the wilderness until the time he began his ministry (at Qumran?),"' the mere fact that this ascetic prophet feeding on locusts and wild honey roamed up and down the Jordan Valley and the Judean wilderness, apparently with no fixed abode as he proclaimed a radical message of imminent judgment on Israel, makes it probable that John was a celibate (Mark 1:4-8).... It may be no accident that Mark closes the story of John's execution by Antipas with the words: ". . . his [John's] disciples came and took his corpse and laid it in a tomb" (6:29).

Without intending to reflect on the fact directly, Mark may be in effect seconding what Luke implies: there was no wife, children, or other family around John to see to one of the most sacred obligations incumbent on family members in Judaism: arranging for and participating in the obsequies of a husband or parent. In his radical itinerant prophetic ministry, John may have consciously been imitating Elijah, an OT itinerant prophet of judgment, who not only was interpreted as an eschatological figure in later Judaism (as early as Malachi and Ben Sira) but was also interpreted as a celibate by various patristic writers (e.g., Ambrose and Jerome). [MJ:1.339f]

Even the 2nd century AD Hasidic miracle-worker, the Galilean rabbi Pinhas ben Yair taught that abstinence was essential to reception of prophetic wisdom and the Holy Spirit. [JJ:102]

Although the Rabbinic writers stressed the importance of marriage for procreation, it is noteworthy that this prophetic ideal of celibacy still showed up in the rabbinics: "Judaism saw nothing wrong in portraying as celibate the great primordial prophet, seer, and lawgiver Moses (though only after the Lord had begun to speak to him). We see this interpretation already beginning to develop in Philo in the 1st century A.D. What is more surprising is that this idea is also reflected in various rabbinic passages. The gist of the tradition is an a fortiori argument. If the Israelites at Sinai had to abstain from women temporarily to prepare for God's brief, once-and- for-all address to them, how much more should Moses be permanently chaste, since God spoke regularly to him (see, e.g., b. Yabb. 87a). The same tradition, but from the viewpoint of the deprived wife, is related in the Sipre on Numbers 12.1 (99).

Since the rabbis in general were unsympathetic--not to say hostile--to religious celibacy, the survival of this Moses tradition even in later rabbinic writings argues that the tradition was long-lived and widespread by the time of the rabbis. We should note once again the typology seen in Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and the recycled Moses figure: the prophet who directly receives divine revelation that is to be communicated to his beloved yet sinful people Israel finds his whole life radically altered by his prophetic vocation.

This alteration, this being set apart by and for God's Word, is embodied graphically in the rare, awesome, and--for many Jews--terrible vocation of celibacy....While accepting the idea of an ancient figure like Moses as celibate (at least during his ministry to Israel), the rabbis did not as a general rule allow celibacy among their rabbinic colleagues and disciples. Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus (end of 1st century A.D.) is said to have equated a man's refusal to procreate offspring with murder. One rare exception, according to the same rabbinic passage, was Rabbi Simeon ben Azzai (a younger contemporary of Eliezer ben Hyrcanus), who paradoxically recommended marriage and procreation, though he himself remained unmarried. When accused of not practicing what he preached, he replied: "My soul is in love with the Torah. The world can be carried on by others" (b. Yeham. 63b).65

It seems Jews of that day didn't share Wallack's interpretation of Gen. 1:28. Why should we?

#96

Repeat of prior argument.

#97

See #62 above.

#98

Matthew 19: (KJV) 28 "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Not literally true since presumably Judas was also being addressed. I present this error somewhat reluctantly because Jesus had a reason to conceal his knowledge at this time of Judas' future betrayal but the author could easily have avoided the literal error by using wording such as "ye which follow me".

Wallack expects Jesus to point to Judas and say, "Except you"? Wallack has good reason to be reluctant: It's a groundless objection. Even so, John 6:70 suggests Jesus did make this qualifier at some point; whether he needed to make it every time is questionable and a request only of Western precision-literalists.

#99

See #62 above.

#100

Matthew 21: (KJV) 2 "Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them." Violates the commandment not to steal which the author of "Matthew" has Jesus confirming in 19:18.

If someone walks up to your brand new bright red Corvette, takes the keys, gets in, and starts revving up, you will certainly ask (in a less than rational tone, naturally) "Why are you taking my car?" And I very much doubt that you would be satisfied with the answer, "God needs it." I Obviously, that didn't happen here -- the owners made no effort to stop what was going on, and the disciples were allowed to leave with the colt unhindered. So there is obviously more to this story.

Many skeptics have charged that in riding the colt into Jerusalem, Jesus was intentionally trying to fulfill Zechariah 9:9. And I agree - this was a deliberate act by Jesus. (It could hardly be otherwise; not many people ride a donkey by accident) This, and the fact that the disciples were allowed to take the colt with a minimum of fuss, strongly suggests that the owners knew what was going on and had been approached by Jesus beforehand concerning use of the colt (or, at the very least, knew who Jesus was an had no objection).

Someone also suggested to me that there was no advance permission, but that the owners of the animals knew of Jesus' reputation and gladly gave their use on account of that. If that is so, then the divine aspect of Jesus had foreknowledge of their acceptance, and again, there is no thievery.

Or else, as Harvey notes in Jesus and the Constraints of History (123), Jesus was simply exercising what at the time was the normal right of a king, general, or "even a respected rabbi" to procure transportation for himself. The phrase 'the master needs it' would be sufficient for the loan, provided the person's authority was recognized, which Jesus' evidently was - and again, no thievery.

Harvey also notes that Jesus in this episode adhered properly to the Jewish laws concerning borrowing.

#101

Matthew 21: (KJV) 1 "And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. 4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass." The supposed quote from the "prophet" is actually a conflation from two prophets as we'll see shortly.

Wallack will go on to say that the first line is from Is. 62:11, and Keener thinks this is possible [493n] but adds that such conflation of texts was normal, and it was. But -- it makes no difference. Matthew speaks of what was said by the "prophet" being fulfilled and Is. 62:11 "predicts" nothing; it is merely an introductory clause.

Almost all Bible scholars today, including the Christians, recognize that the above has a style of parallel poetry whereby an idea is repeated. Therefore, the "foal of an ass" refers to the same ass in the previous line and Zechariah is only referring to one ass. The style of parallel poetry is harder to recognize when translated into a different language and the author of "Matthew" who seems to rely primarily on Greek translations for references to the Tanakh apparently didn't realize that Zechariah was just referring to the same ass twice...

Wrong. The Hebrew of Zech. 9:9 renders the "ass" in the male gender -- and Matthew's knowledge of the Hebrew text elsewhere shows that he knew this was the case [Keener, 491]. As Prahbu says: "It is better, then, to suppose that Mt's version of the quotation is a deliberate, ad hoc, targumizing translation, in which Mt has intentionally and according to approved rabbinic techniques interpreted the w'al of the Hebrew as copulative, in order to read two animals into Zechariah's text. This is not without parallel in the NT itself. The fulfilment quotation of Din 19,24 refers… Ps 22,19, which in the Psalm are two parallel ways of saying the same thing, to two distinct actions: the partitioning of the garments (himatia) of Jesus, and the casting of lots upon his tunic (chiton). Read in this disjunctive way, the Psalm becomes an astonishingly literal prediction of the events at the Cross! As to why Matthew should have deliberately broken up the parallelism of Zech 9,9 in an even more flagrant way, it is not too difficult to guess. Michel suggest that he is thinking of a triumphal ride on an oriental throne-seat carried on two animals. Lindars, that Matthew has deduced the existence of the mother ass from Mk's reference to the "unriddenness" of the colt. But both suggestions are surely a little far-fetched, with no support whatever in the text. It is more likely, then, that Matthew has read the two animals into Zechariah's text, because his particular tradition of the event figured two animals instead of one. That this tradition may have rested on some genuine historical reminiscence is possible, but an attempt like that of Gaechter to show, through an elaborate excursion into animal psychology (!), that the mother ass must have been present if the unbroken colt (though, note that Matthew does not present it as such) was to have been ridden at all, is surely an example of fundamentalist exegesis verging on the grotesque."

I agree with all of this with one exception: Grotesque to whom, we'd like to know? The commentator cited likely knows or knew little about "animal psychology"; but in any event, allows for a genuine historical reminiscence, and I can also accept a deliberate reworking like this in my paradigm.

#102

Covered above.

#103

Matthew 21: (KJV) 7 "And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon." The earliest extant manuscripts have "and they set him thereon the clothes" making it clear that Jesus sat on the clothes. But the clothes were on the ass and colt and the context indicates a claimed prophecy fulfillment of sitting upon an ass AND a colt. So the author of "Matthew" probably intended to show Jesus sitting on an ass and a colt. If someone asked the author exactly what he meant I suspect he would have said, "whatever Zechariah prophesied, that's what Jesus did."

It's clear already that "clothes" are the referent since it is literally impossible to sit on two animals at once. Ehrman and Metzger say, " ".

#104

Matthew 21: (KJV) 12 "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves," "Of God" is not in the earliest manuscripts but is included in about half of modern English translations.

Whose Temple was it, then? Zeus'?

The Greek word that "Matthew" uses indicates that the entire temple is being described, not just a section,

But this means that moneychangers covered every square inch of the Temple?

and Matthew's Greek states that ALL of the moneychangers were cast out (overthrew). Based on descriptions of the temple operations this would have been virtually impossible for one man to accomplish which was conceded by several early Church Fathers such as Origen.

Why is it impossible? Wallack has no idea how many there were, how their stalls were arranged, or about any of the logistics. Keener [496-7] reports that moneychangers were in the Temple itself only one week out of the year, just before the Temple tax was due, and there were already many such setups outside the Temple, so the number inside would probably be relatively few.

Josephus records many disturbances in the Temple but never mentions this one.

Wallack eludes specifics here, but the ones Josephus records are ones where people get KILLED. This was a tempest in a teapot comparatively, because no one was killed and no troops were called out. Josephus would also consider Jesus' execution to be his defining moment, not this incident.

#105

Matthew 21: (KJV) 19 "And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away." The implication is that the fig tree didn't have any fruit at the time Jesus came by but that it could bear fruit in the future. However, Deuteronomy 20:20 (JPS) says: "Only trees that you know do not yield food may be destroyed". The context of 20:20 is a siege against a city but the implication is that if it was prohibited to destroy trees that yield fruit during a siege which could be used as a weapon then it would also be prohibited to destroy trees that yield fruit under peaceful conditions.

And not yielding fruit is exactly the problem with this tree. More on this later with the Markan version.

#106

Matthew 21: (KJV) 28 "But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first." Normally I only claim a translation error when a majority of modern translations don't agree with the majority of the earliest extant manuscripts but this one is irresistible. Sinaiticus and a majority of early manuscripts have "first" at the end but Vaticanus, Manuscript D, most Latin manuscripts and the Sinaitic Syriac have "latter" at the end and NASV and NEB use "latter".

This is one where it is obvious that "first" is the original reading. Malina and Rohrbaugh note in their Social Science commentary [132] that the tax collectors and harlots, whom Jesus praises in v32, are like the son who says no and then is obedient, while the opponents are like the other son, in that they say yes, but do not do what pleases God. Meztger and Ehrman say, " " and so obviously do not consider this an issue.

#107

Matthew 22: (KJV) 23 "The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. This entire exchange is bizarre.

Things perceived sometimes are to those who fail to do contextual, academic research.

The Sadducees are correctly stating that according to the Tanakh in their example there would need to be seven levirate marriages. What none of the related exchange in the Christian Bible states is that by the first century the Rabbi's had already limited the remarriage of women to three or four times.

What Wallack doesn't know is: 1) using the late rabbinic lit with its idealized portraits can be a mistake, as noted above; 2) the woman with seven marriages hearkens back to an example from the Jewish apocryphal book of Tobit, which predated the first century.

As the Tanakh makes no mention of "The Resurrection" the Sadducees' question is based totally on a knowledge of Scripture.

Actually, their interpretation of it; obviously parties like the Pharisees disagreed.

Jesus' response ignores the Rabbinical limit on remarriage of his time,

As noted, a false claim by Wallack, and irrelevant; the Sadducees' claim does the same, but it is irrelevant anyway.

claims that the Sadducee question is not based on Scripture even though it is,

No, the claim is that their interpretation is wrong, not that it is not based on Scripture. Keener cites similar arguments to that of Jesus [529] from the rabbis, 4 Maccabees, and even Philo, who also used Ex. 3:6 to argue that the patriarchs were still alive.

and gives an answer that is not based on Scripture as the Tanakh has no description of any "Resurrection".

Tell that to Daniel and Ezekiel and tell it to the Jewish lit of the period that derived the idea of Resurrection from their texts. Keener notes [ibid.] that later rabbis "could also question the ignorance of those who doubted the resurrection (Deut. Rab. 3:15)..."

#108

Matthew 23: (KJV) 8 "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." The Greek word that has been translated above as "Rabbi" is also the adjective/noun "teacher". A majority of modern Bible scholars believe that this word did not acquire the meaning of the title "Rabbi" until late first century.

And majority of course always serves as an argument. Almost all major Christian Bible translations translate 23:8 as "Rabbi" and not "teacher" as the context around 23:8 indicates that Jesus was probably using the word as a title. Therefore, the use of "Rabbi" at 23:8 is anachronistic.

Wallack is out of date. Keener [544] notes early use of the term in ossuary inscriptions, though he also makes the point that at this date "Rabbi" was apparently more of an honorary greeting than a title as it was later.

#109

Matthew 23: (KJV) 9 "And call no man your father upon the earth" Are there any Christians who follow these words of Jesus? The Catholics even refer to the Pope as "Holy Father". Another violation of the commandment to honor your parents.

Another error. The context is that Jesus condemns the use of three titles: rabbi (master), abba (father) and morah (teacher), implying that they are not worthy of these titles.

#110

Matthew 23: (KJV) 17 "Ye fools and blind" Contradicts Jesus' own prohibition against use of the word "fool" in 5:22: "whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." Ironically the author of Matthew has put Jesus here in the position of "do what I say, not what I do" which seems to be Jesus' main complaint against the "scribes and Pharisees".

Wallack ignores context again. What does Ch. 5 say? "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." It is obvious here that Jesus is talking in 5:22 about relations with one's brother (not physical brothers, of course, but fellow believers) and about words said in anger to that brother. In Matthew 23:17, Jesus is not talking to his brethren, but to the Pharisees.

In short, Jesus was calling a spade a spade. Hypocrisy? Not at all.

#111

Matthew 23: (KJV) 19 "Ye fools and blind" In case you missed it the first time.

I'm not sure what the point here is, other than to try to stretch the list to 1001.

#112

Matthew 23: (KJV) 29 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets." The Pharisees were the spiritual descendents of the Prophets as their teachings were similar. Any famous Prophets killed were generally executed by Kings (just like it's always been). StS was the Priests who were generally allies of the Kings in those times so the traditional rivalry was between the Priests and Prophets. In Jesus' time it would have been the Sadducees who were the spiritual descendents of the Priests. The author of Matthew presumably is largely ignoring the Sadducees, who would have been the natural rivals of Jesus, in his narrative because he likely wrote after the Temple was destroyed and the Sadducees were no longer a religious force. It's almost always a bad idea to criticize an entire group of people based on a disputed understanding of what their "fathers" did (in our time we call this "stereotyping") and it's an even worse idea when you use the wrong "fathers".

This is confused, and it is not even clear what Wallack is objecting to. Actually "stereotyping" was a typical means of thought in this world -- and it was agreed upon even by groups "targeted". In terms of the rest, since it is hard to see what Wallack's point is, we'll just guess.

Keener comments [554] that "Jewish tradition emphasized that their ancestors had killed the prophets" ("kings" were not highlighted, despite Wallack). In terms of a dichotomy between priests and kings, Pharisees and Sadducees, there was none in the way Wallack suggests -- there was no "separation of church and state" and the Pharisees saw themselves as moral enforcers who kept the ways of God intact among the unwashed, and that in turn was thought to keep God happy and keep Israel in its own land.

So, no reason for a post-70 date.

#113

Matthew 23: (KJV) 31 "Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers." Jesus is inciting the "scribes and Pharisees" to fulfill their destiny and murder him. Murder was probably the worst sin of the Law and in 5:19(KJV) Jesus said: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven" Another example of "do what I say, not what I do". Right in the middle of a Milleresque type rant on hypocrisy too.

Blame the victim? Next Wallack will say that rape victims dressed fashionably "deserved it."

In an honor-shame and riposte-challenge setting like this one, the person who resorts to violence to win -- as did the Pharisees -- were considered the big losers. The battle of wits and words was supposed to stay that way, so there can be no saying that Jesus "incited" these people.

#114

Matthew 23: (KJV) 35 "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar." According to Chronicles it was Zechariah (Zacharias) son of Jehoiada who was killed by the temple. II Chronicles 24: (JPS) There is no evidence in the Tanakh or in any other writings that Zechariah the Prophet was murdered let alone murdered by the Temple.

Wrong. There is an indication in Jewish tradition, in the Targum Yonatan, that this particular prophet was killed in the Temple, and Keener [557n] cites a truckload of other rabbinic sources that say Zecharaiah's blood "had cried out against his murderers for vengeance, this time yielding the massacre of many priests." He also notes that even in Jewish tradition the man in Chronicles was conflated with the prophet Zechariah.

The first Temple had already been destroyed in Zechariah the Prophet's time. Christian apologists are so desperate for an explanation here that the traditional apology has been that "the Jews" must have removed from the Tanakh whatever murder Jesus was referring to. Not from any I have heard. I don't know where Wallack gets the idea that Zechariah was not around at the same time as the Temple.

#115

Matthew 23: (KJV) 34 "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar." Hard to know exactly who Jesus is addressing here since it was preceded by "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers"

Hard? Scribes and Pharisees are mentioned only 5-7 verses back.

but whoever it is Jesus is already judging them for what they supposedly will do in the future and also judging them for what they didn't do in the past "whom ye slew between the temple and the altar". Previously Jesus said, 7:(KJV) 1 "Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

See #93 above. Nothing there against judging predicted future acts.

#116

Eschatological objection.

#117

Matthew 24: (KJV) 1 "And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." The author of "Matthew" was likely aware that Caesar ordered the whole city and the temple razed to the ground but apparently this was never accomplished as the Western Wall partially survived the Roman destruction of the Temple buildings.

The Western Wall is not one of the "buildings of the temple." It is a wall.

#118

Eschatological objection.

#119

Matthew 24: (KJV) 29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light," The moon does not produce light it only reflects light

So when does Wallack plan to write Beethoven and object to the title of the "Moonlight Sonata"? Not that "give" here has any sort of scientific connotation to begin with.

#120

Eschatological objection.

#121

Matthew 24: (KJV) 35 "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Contradicted by Ecclesiastes 1:(JPS) 4 "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; and the earth abideth for ever." along with several other verses from the Tanakh.

That's the point. It's an oath against something impossible happening, like saying "when pigs fly."

#122

Matthew 26: (KJV) 13 "Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her." Looks like the name of the woman had been forgotten even before the Gospel was written.

Who said anything about her name being remembered? What she did is the memorial -- and her story is in Bibles around the world.

#123

Matthew 26: (KJV) 17 "Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?" According to the Tanakh the eating of the Passover came before the Feast Of Unleavened Bread. Leviticus 23:(JPS) 5 "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at dusk, is HaShem'S passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto HaShem" So the proper response from Jesus should have been "yesterday".

Hard to get Wallack's point here, but it is probably the sort of issue we talk about here with reference to inconsistent labeling of this holiday, even in Josephus and rabbinic sources.

#124

Matthew 26: (KJV) 23 "And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me." According to the Mishnah, M. Pes. 10.3, there was no custom of a common dish for dipping before 70 CE. Ooops.

According to the folks cited in #80 above, citing the Mishnah for this is erroenous. I do wonder why Wallack doesn't quote his source? We'd like to see it.

#125

See #93 above.

#126

Eschatological objection.

#127

Matthew 26: (KJV) 64 "Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy." The entire "trial" scene is bizarre. According to the Talmud the Sanhedrin was prohibited from convening at night or on the eve of holidays. The "conspirators" initially plan on avoiding dealing with Jesus on Passover and end up dealing with Jesus on Passover.

According to Talmudic scholars (see above) the rules are idealistic. There are multiple options; check them out here. Ironic, also, how Wallack is willing to accuse Christians so much but can't seem to conceive of the Sanhedrin violating rules.

"Matthew" can't think of any reason why Judas would betray Jesus.

He needs to specify? It's not hard: He's trying to force Jesus' hand.

In a time of severely limited means of communication and transportation the entire Sanhedrin assembles in a few hours except for the Pharisees, who are suddenly no where to be found, even though they were the primary enemies of Jesus before the "trial".

Some Pharisees were PART of the Sanhedrin; the body is inclusive of them, and not a word says the Pharisees were "not to be found," they just are not mentioned the way Wallack wants themn to be.

Also, communication and transportation was not THAT difficult. There were plenty of temple do-boys to spread the word, and the whole trial (see link above) was probably arranged well in advance.

The Priests, who will have their busiest time of the year during Passover, make the trial no problem.

Oh? There were only 2-3 priests in the entire Temple apparatus and everything came to a grinding halt when Caiaphas had to go to the bathroom?

The perfectly legitimate charge against Jesus that he created a disturbance in the Temple is never made while a charge of blasphemy against God is made even though Jesus never used the word "God". He didn't have to. See link above.

#128

Matthew 27: (KJV) 9 "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; 10 And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me." No such direct quote from Jeremiah and you couldn't even piece the above together by sifting through all of Jeremiah.

A handle on Jewish exegesis helps, though. Our problem may be that we are concentrating only on verses 9-10, when we should be looking at the passage beginning with verse 3. Menken in "The References to Jeremiah in the Gospel According to Matthew."< I>Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 60, 1984, pp. 5-25, offers this analysis: A partial answer lies in the fact that in narrative (27, 2-8) and quotation (27,9-10) passages from Jer exercise their influence as well. Jer 18,2-3, where a potter is mentioned but no purchase of a field, is often adduced, as well as Jer 32,6-9, where the purchase of a field is dealt with but no potter occurs.

A reference to Jer 19 may be more to the point: in front of the elders and priests, Jeremiah has to shatter an earthen potter's vessel, as a symbol of the disasters which will strike Judah and Jerusalem because of their idolatry, and because "they filled this place with blood of innocents" (Jer 19,4). The prophet has to do this on the place that is called Tophet but will be called "Valley of Slaughter", and will be one large burial-place. The points of contact between this passage and Matt 27,3-10 are obvious.

Menken thereby asserts that it is an atmosphere, rather than a quotation, that is being evoked: That of Jeremiah as being in Matthew "pre-eminently the prophet of rejection of the Messiah". This, along with Matthew's theme of Jesus as a Jeremiac figure (Mt. 16:14), explains the "wrong" attribution of the Zechariah passage to Jeremiah. Zechariah may have been the writer, but the whole theme that Matthew is invoking is derived from Jeremiah.

Matthew is not stupid, but he is subtle. He wrote as an educated Jew and as a craftsman with a point to prove to his readers, and it is our own fault that it has taken us so long to "get the point" ourselves.

#129

Matthew 27: (KJV) 15 "Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would." There is no evidence outside the Christian Bible that at the time being described there was any annual tradition of releasing a prisoner at Passover.

And that's not enough? If it were not the Bible, it would be. Miller, who has again has done his research, says: It would be accurate to say "we HAVE NO RECORD of a custom of releasing prisoners on a Palestinian holiday...". However, it is not out of line with what we know about the political climate of the day. We know, for example, that political prisoners (like Barabbas) WERE released for various reasons (Jos. Antiq. XX, ix.3; Livy, V.13; cf. Deismann, "Light from the Ancient East", p 267), that Roman officials seem to have granted mass amnesty at some other regular feasts (outside of Palestine) and to have occasionally acquitted prisoners in responses to crowds (BBC, p. 309). Plus, this 'custom' (and its exercise on Barabbas) is one of the few gospel events referred to in an independent manner by Luke, Mark-Matthew, and John (judging by the presence/absence of details/structures in the narrative), as well as the early reference in Act 3:14 as part of the sermon of Peter .

Their individual accounts argue for independent streams of information, suggesting a stronger basis in history (since they all WITNESS TO the 'basics' of the event). There is, in light of the data, no reason to make such an absolute statement as 'there was never...'. Jim has simply overstepped the data (or not paid attention to the wider data on Roman praxis).

Particularly, we do know of a Roman practice called the abolitio - the acquittal of a prisoner not yet condemned. While the Gospel texts are not clear on the matter, it is probable that neither Jesus nor Barabbas had yet been formally sentenced.

#130

Matthew 27: (KJV) 25 "Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children." God d*mn liar. How could "all" the people make any single coherent statement?

Wallack may as well ask how Moses spoke to "all Israel". But the context is clearly, "all the people who were there."

None of Jesus' disciples or supporters were present among "all" the people?

Probably not. If my man were being disgraced and executed, it'd be more likely we'd be hiding. Or shouted down. Or else it is unreasonable to expect Matthew to single out every catcall and comment the crowd made.

Christian commentators try to argue that the statement is believable as there are examples of entire households being held accountable for the actions of an individual in the Tanakh but the Christians are unable to find a single example outside of the Christian Bible where a group of Jews accepted blood responsibility and used the phrase "and on our children" which implies a blanket responsibility for all descendents.

Not sure who makes that argument, but while this "blood" verse has been manipulated by anti-Semites to indicate that the Jewish people accepted blood-guilt for the execution of Jesus, knowing that He was innocent, evidence indicates that this is NOT that kind of statement at all! As Sloyan observes:

The expression, far from being a self-inflicted curse, is a strong statement of innocence. It appears in later, mishnaic form in the Tractate Sanhedrin 37a, where in capital cases the witness uses the invocation as a proof of his innocence. If he is lying, he is willing to have the blood of the accused fall on himself and his offspring until the end of the world.

Of course, this does come from a late source, but it would be unusual if this phrase meant something exactly the OPPOSITE of what it did previously, and Wallack already accepts late sources for his own purposes, so what would be the problem?

#131

Matthew 27: (KJV) 27 "Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers." The Greek word that has been translated above as "common hall" should be translated as "praetorium", which was the official residence of a Roman governor. Every other major translation uses "praetorium". KJV has deceptively mistranslated to try and hide the error that there was no praetorium in Jerusalem.

Hardly. The NRSV says "governor's hall". And how did the KJVers in 1611 know there wasn't a praetorium in Jerusalem?

Everyone agrees that the official residence of Pilate was in Caesarea and no known author outside of the Christian Bible, such as Josephus or Philo, ever refers to a praetorium in Jerusalem for this time period.

Which means there wasn't one? Hardly, even if it is true, which I would not simply assume. What does Wallack think Pilate did when he had an extended stay in Jerusalem? Where does he think Pilate judged cases? Or did he have to go all the way back to Caesarea to have a trial? I'm not surprised Keener for one says nothing about this being a problem.

#132

Matthew 27: (KJV) 37 "And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS." There is no evidence whatsoever outside of the Christian Bible that the charge against the crucified person was placed on the stake above them.

If it weren't the Christian Bible it would BE evidence. But Wallack is wrong. Keener [680] writes that "on other known occasions a member of the execution squad would carry in front of or beside the condemned a small tablet declaring the charge, the cause of execution, which he might later post on the cross."

A footnote adds that the practice of posting the accusation on the cross "is not well-attested, either because those describing crucifixion had already mentioned its being carried, or because the practice was not in fact standard, although, given the variations among executions, in no way improbable."

Wallack seems to think the Romans carried procedure manuals to executions.

#133

Matthew 27: (KJV) 38 "Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left." Stealing was not a capital offense under Roman law. Also, according to the rules of the Sanhedrin only one person could be judged per session. As Shaggy would say, "Yikes!". Shaggy said "Zoikes," not "Yikes." Anyway, the word here means a revolutionary or social bandit, not a common thief. Not sure what would keep these guys from being kept in jail after being tried in the days previous.

#134

Matthew 27: (KJV) 45 "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." We have records from astronomers of the first century and none of them report any three hour period of darkness in Israel or the entire world. The boy prophet Bruce Springsteen did report a darkness on the edge of town but that was two thousand years later.

We "have records from astronomers of the first century"? No, we don't, and for Israel is all we need, because it is not at all the entire world in view, just the land. Wallack should also probably check out Thallus.

#135

Matthew 27: (KJV)

49 "The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. 50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost." After verse 49 the earliest extant manuscripts have: "And another took a spear and pierced his side, and out came water and blood". Besides being the oldest evidence it also fits the context of Matthew as it would explain why Jesus cries out in verse 50. The problem it creates is that according to the Gospel of "John" Jesus' side was pierced after he was dead.

It was an incorporated margin note, says Metzger. Ehrman has his own theory of it being inserted to refute docetists; he admits that "few scholars regard the reading as original" (Re: That it is in "earliest extant mss." -- actually, not in all of them, Ehrman reports, but many --isn't an automatic inclusio) and hypothesizes that thrusting the spear in a live body would refute docetists better than a dead one, which makes little sense.

#136

Matthew 27: (KJV) 52 "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." No non-Christian writer of the first century reports this. A related question is what happened to these saints?

Not that Wallack tells us which writer should have mentioned it or why. Later church writers said people raised by Jesus died again later, but scuse me, the Gospels are bios of Jesus, not of anyone else. Wallack's expectations are misplaced.

#137

Matthew 27: (KJV) 57 "When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:" But Matthew 6:24 has Jesus saying: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." So regarding the possibility of being rich and a disciple of Jesus, as Luke Skywalker said (after finding out that Darth Vader was his real father), "That's impossible!".

Oh? Question: Does being rich always mean money is your "master"?

#138

Matthew 27: (KJV) 62 "Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate," There is no evidence outside of the Christian Bible that Jewish leaders of this time ever conducted official or any other kind of business on the Sabbath.

Once again, if it were not the Bible...but if they saw Jesus as a dangerous criminal, then it's more important than getting your ox out of a hole, is it not?

#139

Matthew 28: (KJV) 1 "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." The end of the Sabbath would be in the evening so it would not be beginning to dawn. Throughout the Gospel of "Matthew" the author shows no awareness that the Sabbath began and ended in the evenings.

The word "end" means "after the close of the day" and simply means Matthew is saying the Sabbath day ended previously, not that it ended at dawn.

#140

The second Gospel listed in Christian Bibles, Mark, was written anonymously. The title "Mark" was added by the Church long after the Gospel was written.

Mere presumption and against the evidence of all copies, which have it, and which make the Gospels better attested than secular documents of the same type. Note that Wallack refused to debate me on the subject of Gospel authorship.

#141

Mark 1: (KJV) 1 "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;" The earliest extant manuscript, Sinaiticus, omits "the son of God". Most early manuscripts include it. Normally I don't claim a translation error if a majority of modern translations are supported by a majority of early manuscripts. Here though, every early Church Father who quoted Mark 1:1 omitted "son of God" without indicating an awareness of any textual variation making it clear that "son of God" was a later addition.

The title is found in Mark 3:11 with no questions, and is all over Paul, who Wallack presumably agrees predated Mark.

As for the textual evidence, Wallack's summary is essentially correct. Most critics explain this as a haplography (skipping from the same letter in two different words). Ehrman [73ff] offers responses to this that make little sense: For example, he thinks it odd that a scribe should make such a mistake at the beginning of a book, when there would be less fatigue.

Oh? Suppose a scribe was making copies of several books, even one more and not necessarily Matthew, before he got to making his copy of Mark? Ehrman even knows this is an answer, but shields his hypothesis by supposing that the scribe would take a break before starting a new book. In short, Ehrman modifies the theory as needed to fit the facts.

Patristic evidence Wallack gives is more useful. But really, not having it in the text makes no difference.

"Son of God" was an important statement to Christian theology at the beginning of "Mark" because Mark has no virgin birth story and compared to the other Gospels presents Jesus as more human than divine leading the reader to believe that when "Mark" used "son of God" later in his Gospel it was used as a title of a position that had been achieved.

Hardly a problem. For example, Mark has Jesus walking on water, which Job says only God can do. So does Wallack think Jesus "achieved" this identity?

#142, #143

Repeat of exegetical objections.

#144

Mark 1: (KJV) 2 "As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." Most other modern translations have "As it is written in Isaiah" because almost all of the earliest extant manuscripts have "Isaiah" here. The problem then is that while verse 3 is from Isaiah verse 2 is from Malachi. Note that the author of "Matthew" removed verse two above from Malachi in his version to eliminate Mark's error.

It isn't an error, but a known principle of naming just the premier prophet, even in the OT: In 2 Chron. 36:21,.the first part of the verse is drawn from Lev. 26:34-35, the second is from Jer. 25:12, yet only Jeremiah is listed. There are also no cases where more than one prophet is mentioned in conflated quotes.

What does this tell us? Well, we can either believe it was an accepted practice to list the prophet who was making the main point, or we can believe such writers made a ridiculously careless mistake, and no one noticed it. However, composite attributions suit a common practice of Jewish exegetes. Z. H. Chages in [i]The Student's Guide to the Talmud[/i] [172ff] relates a practice of the rabbis of quoting various persons under one and the same name. The rabbis "adopted as one of their methods that of calling different personages by one and the same name if they found them akin in any feature of their characters or activities or if they found a similarity between any of their actions."

Thus for example Malachi and Ezra are said to be the "same person" (Meg. 15a) because they both say similar things (Mal. 2:2, Ez. 10:2). Chages gives examples of as many as three people being treated as one person because of such similarities. The purpose of this collapsing down of identifies was to enact a principle of praising the righteous and pious, and honoring those due such praise. Thus when Mark attributes the words of Malachi to Isaiah, he is enacting this principle by essentially melding the two prophets and giving attribution to the one who is the most deserving of honor and praise.

#145

Repeat of #18.

#146

Mark 1: (KJV) 11 "And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Now that we've gone all the way through "Matthew" and are into "Mark" we can compare Gospels to each other and this is where it gets interesting, analyzing the differences. "Matthew" uses the wording "This is my son", a public declaration, while Mark's "Thou art my beloved son" is a private declaration. Mark's private declaration is consistent with his theme that Jesus' messiahship is a secret. Matthew, while probably copying from Mark, didn't completely accept the "secret" theme.

What makes the words tell us what is a "public" and what is a "private" declaration? I can't say, "You are my best friend" in front of other people to make it more personal? As an aside, on the alleged Messianic secret there, see here.

#147

Mark 1: (KJV) 11 "And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." When you take out "son of God" from Mark 1:1 which apparently was added to what was originally written there is no mention of Jesus being God's son in any sense before the declaration of 1:11 at the baptism.

See above on this. It's no place for an adoptionist reading.

The use of "son" in 1:11 appears to be a figurative expression similar to how it was used in the Tanakh for David. It appears to be the official anointing of Jesus for his commission. "Appears to be" why? ? Regrettably Wallack doesn't cite these "David" examples for a comparison.

What "Mark" doesn't have is any mention of a virgin birth of Jesus. Traditionally Christianity has explained that "Matthew" was written first and "Mark" was intended to be a supplement to "Matthew" and didn't mention the virgin birth because "Matthew" had already described it.

No, the usual explanation is actually that the VB was not a doctrinal core issue and that mentioning it was optional and it was no more special than any other miracle.

That's why editors added "son of God" to Mark 1:1 implying that Jesus had already been described as such in "Matthew's" gospel.

See above.

Modern Bible scholarship has determined that "Mark" was written before "Matthew" though and if this is true then the author of "Mark" either had never heard of the virgin birth story of "Matthew" or others or had heard of it but didn't believe it.

On the order of writing see here.

Apologists claim that there is no contradiction here because "Mark" doesn't say that there was no virgin birth. A force more powerful than apologists though, common sense,

"Common sense" here means nothing but "Wallack thinks...."

says that if "Mark" thought there was a virgin birth he definitely would have mentioned it in his Gospel because it would have been an incredible piece of evidence that Jesus was special and should be believed in which was the point of his entire Gospel. And Mark doesn't include anything in his Gospel that makes Jesus look special or like he should be believed in, does he? If anything, it would be a very poor piece of evidence, because it would be so far back in time and so unverifiable by witnesses -- the only two (Mary and Joseph) would probably be dead long before Mark wrote his Gospel. Matthew and Luke include it as part of the normal process of an ancient bioi, not as "evidence" the way Wallack thinks.

#148

Mark 1: (KJV) 12 "And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness." Compare to Matthew 4: (KJV) 1 "Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." Note the differences in description of what happens after the baptism. In "Mark" immediately after the baptism where Jesus received the spirit of God he is forcibly driven into the wilderness by the spirit of God.

"Forcibly"? The word Mark uses is the same used to pull a mote out of your eye. Not much different really from "led" in Matthew.

According to "Mark" Jesus received something at the baptism that he previously did not possess. Where is this in the text?

This is consistent with "Mark's" depiction of Jesus not being born great but achieving greatness. "Matthew" has toned down the force of the spirit on Jesus saying "led" instead of "driven" and "then" instead of "immediately".

Hardly. "Immediately" is just one of Mark's favorite words; he uses it over a dozen times. Literary habit is the explanation, not psychologization.

#149

Mark 1: (KJV) 13 "And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him." Compare to Matthew 4: (KJV) 1 "Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." According to "Mark" Jesus was tempted by Satan during his forty days in the wilderness. According to "Matthew" Jesus was tempted by Satan after spending forty days in the wilderness.

Mark telescopes the account. What's the error here?

#150

Mark 1: (KJV) 29 "And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them." Compare to Matthew 8: (KJV) 14 "And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them." KJV's "them" in Matthew 8:15 has next to no manuscript support and should be "him" instead of "them". Note that in "Mark" the description is of Jesus and some disciples entering the house where Jesus is told about the woman who then serves them all. In "Matthew" Jesus alone enters the house and discovers the woman who waits on Jesus.

If she ministered unto THEM, she obviously also ministered unto HIM. To support this Wallack imagines that Matthew has Jesus entering Peter's house alone with a single woman, which would be a breach of hospitality and social mores. The more probable explanation for the difference: Normal variations in oral transmission.

#151

Mark 1: (KJV) 40 "And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean." Compare to Numbers 5: (JPS) 1 "And HaShem spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is unclean by the dead; 3 both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camp, in the midst whereof I dwell.'" Hardly anyone of our time would criticize Jesus for trying to heal a leper and most people would even applaud his effort. However, touching a leper would be a violation of the law of the Tanakh and Jesus previously stated in "Matthew" that he did not come to make any changes to the Law.

Question: If God touched a leper and healed him, would God become unclean, according to Jews? No. Hence these healings are roundabout claims to divinity. It's not a violation of the law but a transcendence of it.

#152

Mark 1: (KJV) 43 "And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;" The Greek word translated above by KJV as "straitly" has a primary meaning in the Christian Bible of "angrily". Some of the other modern translations use "sternly" which would be a secondary meaning. Most modern translations use the equivalent of the KJV's "forthwith" above but the proper translation of the Greek word is "thrust out" with goes quite well with "angrily". The mental picture one should have from the actual Greek words used is that of Benny Hill whacking the short, old, bald guy on the head to get him to move.

"Sternly" does fit in with the instruction given, and fits with the results: Jesus gave the warning sternly because it would lead to him not being able to get around (v 45).

#153

Mark 1: (KJV) 14 "And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him." Compare to Matthew 9: (KJV) 9 "And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him." Reading what follows each quote above makes it even clearer that the two authors are describing the same event. "Mark" says "Levi" was the guy while "Matthew" sez "Matthew". A little known fact is that the Gospel "Mark" was originally titled "Levi" but later Christians changed the title to "Mark" because they thought "Levi" sounded "too Jewish".

It is the same person indeed. Where Wallack gets this bit about Mark once being called "Levi" is anyone's guess. Markan commentaries (Witherington, Gundry) and authors like Hengel seem to have missed that one. When I called Wallack on it on a forum, he claimed it was just a joke. That brings to minde the boy crying wolf.

#154

Repeat of #70.

#155

Mark 2: (KJV) 26 "How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?"

See here.

#156

Repeat of #154.

#157

Mark 3: (KJV) 14 "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach," The two earliest manuscripts, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus add, "whom he also named apostles" after "twelve". Later copists [sic] probably had a problem with Judas being designated as an apostle by Jesus.

How this resolves that alleged issue is a mystery. Mark uses the word in Mark 6:30 of people sent out (was Judas excluded?) and the word means "one sent" so why later "copists" would have such a problem is hard to say. It's not exactly a designation of honor; it is simply practical.

Neither Ehrman nor Metzger mention this one, which anyway would be an error by later copyists, not the Bible.

#158

Mark 3: (KJV) 14 "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach," Prior to Jesus ordaining the twelve "Mark" had already described the "Sabbath Plucking", the "Withered Hand Healing", and the "Multitude Healing". But the author of "Matthew" presented these stories after the ordaining of the twelve in Matthew 10:1.

And, what of it? Reporting events in a different chronological order, for thematic or other purposes, was perfectly normal for literature of this day.

#159

See #75 above.

#160

Same as #63 above.

#161

Mark 5: (KJV) 2 "And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit," Compare to Matthew 8: (KJV) 28 "And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs," It's clear that "Mark" and "Matthew" are telling the same story because the wording of the entire stories is extremely similar. Mark says there was one man coming out of the tombs while Matthew says there were two. We'll see there are several other instances where "Mark" said "one" while "Matthew" said "two".

Which is, again, normal literary practice. See here.

#162

Mark 5: (KJV) 7 "And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave." Compare to: Matthew 8: (KJV) 29 "And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? 30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. 32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine:" There are many strange aspects of "Mark's" story here that "Matthew" has exorcised in his version. Note that in Mark the demon actually resists Jesus' initial command to leave, "Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit". Matthew saw resistance to Jesus' commands as a theological impossibility so in his version the demons obey Jesus' initial command, "Go".

What's the "theological impossibility" of resisting a command from Jesus? The leper back in the previous chapter did it. What do lepers have that demons don't, other than leprosy?

#163

Answer same as in #158 above.

#164

Mark 5: (KJV) 22 "And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, 23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live." Compare to: Matthew 9: (KJV) 18 "While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live." According to "Mark" the daughter was dying and according to "Matthew" the daughter was dead. That's typical of Matthew to upgrade the reported miracles in Mark.

Most commentators seem to regard this as one of those "freedom of composition" issues where Matthew, knowing that the girl would be dead by the time Jesus showed up, just telescoped the account. Beyond that, Blomberg notes that to see a contradiction here, "...is anachronistically to impose on an ancient text modern standards of precision in storytelling. What is more, in a world without modern medical monitors to establish the precise moment of expiry, there is not nearly so much difference between Matthew's arti eteleutesn in v. 18 (which could fairly be translated "just came to the point of death"; cf. Heb. 11:22) and eschates echer in Mark 5:23 (which could also be rendered "is dying")."

Blomberg has a good point about the linguistic data. That first bit in Matthew ("even now" -- actually the Greek arti) has some connotations that suggest not always a present reality, but an inevitable reality. Note how it is used elsewhere: Matthew 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. Matthew 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. 1 Cor. 4:13 Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

We are therefore justified in supposing that Matthew is relating the inevitability and certainty of Jairus' daughter dying rather than making a statement about her current condition.

#165

Mark 5: (KJV) 27 "When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?" Compare to: Matthew 9: (KJV) 20 "And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour." In "Mark" Jesus' act of healing in this story is an unconscious act. In "Matthew" it's a conscious act. As usual "Matthew" has healed a perceived deficiency in Jesus according to "Mark". Not a word in Matthew says it is a "conscious act". Jesus said the woman had been MADE whole already when he spoke to her.

#166

Mark 6: (KJV) 1 "And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?" Compare to: Matthew 13: (KJV)

Matthew and Mark tell stuff in a different order. A red letter Bible will tell you that Matthew's order is contrived and purposely set around 5 blocks of teaching by Jesus. This is only an "error" if you think it's intended as strict chronology. It manifestly isn't.

#167

Mark 6: (KJV) 5 "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them." Compare to: Matthew 13: (KJV) 58 "And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." "Mark" states that Jesus could not do mighty work. In typical "Matthew" style, Matthew undoes a Markan limitation on Jesus and says that Jesus chose not to do mighty works.

Wallack fails to realize that the limitation is not on Jesus, but on the people. The word "unbelief" in Mark 6:6, describing the people's condition. is apistia, meaning a lack of pistis. In light of our better understanding of pistis, the problem is indeed not with Jesus but with the lack of loyalty and trust by those who reject Jesus. Like the ungrateful client in the client-patron relationship, the people rejected Jesus as a patron in spite of his acts of grace, thereby dishonoring him.

To reject a gracious act was the height of dishonor. Jesus could not heal these people not because of a lack of power, but because of ingratitude and a rejection of his gracious patronage. A rejected patron could and would never force his gracious gifts upon a client who didn't want them.

#168, #169

Mark 6: (KJV) 8 "And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:" Compare to: Matthew 10: (KJV) 10 "Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat."

Check here and then here.

#170

Mark 6: (KJV) 14 "And king Herod heard of him;" This was Herod Antipas who technically was a tetrarch and not a king. In "Matthew's" related story Matthew uses "tetrarch". I may be approaching nitpicking here but the underlying Greek word used by "Mark" ("king") was almost never used to describe a tetrarch by other authors of the time period.

The term may reflect popular rather than technical usage, and has a precedent: Hyrcanus II was called an ethnarch by Rome, but a "king" by the Jews. [Hoehner, 150] It is also possible that this is not an error, or popular usage, but choice sarcasm. Witherington in his Markan commentary [213] notes that Herod Antipas "had pretensions to be a king, [and] it was precisely the request to be called king by Rome and everyone else, the request for the title, that eventually got him sent into exile in 39 [AD] by a paranoid Caligula."

Mark, and we may suggest those who shared this story, are having an ironic laugh at Herod Antipas' expense.

#171

Mark 6: (KJV) 17 "For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John" The underlying Greek says "sent forth arrested" which is an incomplete phrase and therefore a grammatical error. Apologists claim that the phrase was an idiom in Koine Greek whose meaning would have been understood but almost every major translation translates the phrase differently indicating it was no known idiom.

No, that doesn't indicate any such thing, and Wallack has never been on any translation committee to know so. Not that it would matter, since no one claims the inspiration gave people "good grammar" according to artificial constructs of human language.

#172

Same as #77 above.

#173

Same as #78 above.

#174

Mark 6: (KJV) 19 "Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: 20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly." Compare to: Matthew 14: (KJV) 3 "For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. 4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. 5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet." According to "Mark" Herod feared/respected John and didn't want to kill him. According to "Matthew" Herod wanted to kill John but feared "the multitude". In predictable fashion Matthew has eliminated the ambiguity from the Markan account.

Wallack overreads what is written. Mark does NOT say Herod did not want to kill John. It says he did not want Herodias to kill him -- why? Because as Matthew says, he feared the multitude. Complimentary. Not contradictory.

It helps to know that imprisonment in the ancient world was not a punishment but used to hold people until judgment had been rendered. If anything Herod's imprisonment of John seems like a compromise, protective custody: It kept Herodias happy because John was in prison; it kept the multitudes happy because he wasn't dead.

#175

Same as #80 above.

#176

Mark 7: (KJV) 3 "For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders." The word KJV has translated "oft" is translated as "ceremoniously" by most modern Christian Bibles. The underlying Greek word though means "with a closed fist". There is no linguistic evidence that the Greek word meant anything other than "with a closed fist". No major modern Christian translation uses "with a closed fist" though because you are left with a translation of "with a closed fist washed hands". No wonder Jesus was sore at the Pharisees, making everyone wash their hands with closed fists.

Witherington (Mark commentary, 225) notes that the practice involved "washing with a handful of water" so that the "closed fist" refers to a hand that has collected the water for washing. Another idea is that it is a metaphor for washing diligently, or that it does indeed mean washing with one's hand shaped like a fist, per m. Yad. 1:1, 2;3.

#177

Mark 7: (KJV) 4 "And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables." The earliest extant manuscripts have "unless they sprinkle" instead of "except they wash" above and grammatically the "sprinkle" could refer to the people or whatever was from the market (food). The context of the sentence indicates the sprinkling referred to the food brought from the market. Later copyists replaced "sprinkle" with "immerse" with the meaning that the Jews would not eat unless they bathed first. Apparently the later copyists didn't know what the actual tradition was and simply wanted to reflect "the Jews" in the most extreme ritual possible. Interestingly, two thousand years later, most Christians "when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables".

Contextually the "immersion" is that of the hands only, not the whole body, so that "most extreme ritual" bit is an error. It is also quite a difference between us washing for sanitation and the Pharisees washing for merely ritual purposes.

#178

Same as 83 above.

#179

Mark 7: (KJV) 19 "Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?" A superior translation for "purging all meats" above is an editorial comment by the author, "thus he declared all foods clean" and this is the most common translation of a majority of modern Bible translations. This contradicts the report of "Matthew" that Jesus claimed he would not change the Law in any way. Note that "Mark" never has Jesus promise that he won't change the Law like "Matthew" does.

Essentially this is the same as above and 178.

This subject is a good example of how "Mark" is more consistent within itself than "Matthew" because it's not based on an editing of another Gospel like "Matthew" is. "Matthew" didn't accept "Mark's" position that Jesus did change the Law but Matthew still wanted to include specific stories from Mark that showed Jesus changing the Law.

That made little. Matthew wanted to include stories of Jesus allegedly changing the law, but didn't want to tell anyone about it? It would probably not occur to Wallack that the real reason Mark writes as he does is because he has a predominatly Gentile readership that needs this explained, but would have no interest in the point about the law that Matthew highlights -- and that Luke only includes because he wants to show that Christianity is not interested in overturning traditions.

#180

Mark 8: (KJV) 4 "And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?" "From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread"? How about Mark 6: (KJV)? 41 "And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. 42 And they did all eat, and were filled." That the disciples would have forgotten the previous feeding miracle reported by the same author is not believable. A few desperate apologists claim that "Mark" was illustrating the general lack of belief and faith on the part of the disciples but "Mark's" narrative here demonstrates a lack of knowledge (regarding the previous feeding miracle) on the part of the disciples and not a lack of faith.

Wallack should probably consult a few "desperate scholars" who would tell him that the narrative is purposely contrived and is literarily patterned on the first one in Mark 6. Think here of setting up a skeleton and placing flesh on it. It's a sort of internal mimesis action.

#181

Mark 8: (KJV) 9 "And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away." Compare to Matthew 16: (KJV) 38 "And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children." It would appear that bread and fish are not the only things that multiply in the Christian Bible.

It would seem Wallack does not know how oral tradition omits details. Since women and children were not considered reliable witnesses, Wallack's implicit accusation is worth little, and if he wants to suggest it was done to make the miracle more impressive, what makes it more impressive to produce (say) 6000 rather than 4000?

#182

Mark 8: (KJV) 10 "And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha." Compare to: 39 "And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala." No one outside of the author of "Mark" is familiar with a city or area known as "Dalmanutha". All that can be said for sure is that "Dalmanutha" is not "Magdala".

It can't be said "for sure" at all, according to various Markan commentaries, and Wallack's say-so is not an answer. Even so, as little literatue as we have from the first century, it is unreasonable to say that Dalmanutha is not mentioned anywhere else and assume this to be an error.

#183

Same as 86 above, see also link at 146 on the Messianic secret.

#184

Mark 8: (KJV) 15 "And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod." Compare to: Matthew 16: (KJV) 6 "Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." "Matthew" has changed "Mark's" Pharisees and Herod to Pharisees and Sadducees apparently because it didn't rhyme.

Herod and the Sadducees are both the ruling class. This is a difference that makes no difference and reflects little other than Mark's attempt as a Gentile writer to make the story more intelligible to his readers. Note that he and Luke only mention Sadducees once -- in the context of the story over the resurrection.

#185

Mark 8: (KJV) 27 "And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?" Compare to: Matthew 16: (KJV) 13 "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" According to "Mark" this conversation takes place on the way and according to "Matthew" takes place after arrival.

Time to introduce Wallack to ma besay-il: Abraham Rihbany's The Syrian Christ [108ff] says: "There is much more of intellectual inaccuracy than of moral delinquency in the Easterner's speech. His misstatements are more often the result of indifference than the deliberate purpose to deceive. One of his besetting sins is his ma besay-il -- it does not matter. He sees no essential difference between nine o'clock and half after nine, or whether a conversation took place on the housetop or in the house.

The main thing is to know the substance of what happened, with as many of the supporting details as can be conveniently remembered." In other words, even if correct, it is a different semantic contract, and cannot be called an error.

But it is more likely that Wallack is reading wrong again. Matthew's words indicate the conversation took place in the "coasts" of the city, which is also just outside it and on the way, as Mark says.

#186

Mark 8: (KJV) 31 "And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again." Compare to: Matthew 16: (KJV) 21 "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." "Mark" sez "after three days" and "Matthew" sez "on the third day".

Rihbany says: "Ma besay-il." It's also a function of the language; a part of day could be counted as a full day.

#187

Mark 8: (KJV) 34 "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." The underlying Greek word above that has been translated as "cross" is "stauros" which means "stake" and not "cross".

True enough: The word stauros does refer to an upright stake. But stauros was used in the Gospels by synecdoche to refer to the entirety of the cross. [ibid., 913] This was a known literary practice when describing a crucifixion, and perhaps a signal of how revolting it was thought to be: Single parts of the cross, like the crossbar (patibulum), could be referred to as a "cross," and the entire cross could be referred to by the names of individual pieces like the stauros - as was the case with the Gospels. (Raymond Brown, who Wallack has read, cites parallels to this practice in the works of Seneca and Tacitus.)

This bit of information, along with information from Plautus indicating standard practice for crucifixion, tells us what we know today: That what Jesus carried was the crossbeam, and the actual stauros was embedded at the site of the crucifixion. (The stauros itself, Brown adds, could refer to a stake which "people could be attached to in various ways: Impaling, hanging, nailing, and tying.") A more recent, detailed article relates that that the Greeks starting in the 4th century BC used stauros to refer to the Persian instruments of crucifixion, "even though there was a significant variety in its shape."

Then at the time of the Punic Wars (264-164 BC) the Romans adopted the Persian method and added the crossbeam to the stake and a sedile on which the victim rested their weight. Despite this, stauros was still used for the instrument. Later than the NT, Lucian (117-180 AD) used stauros to what was clearly a T-shaped cross. Josephus also refers to the Romans using stauroses on victims in "different postures" which would be impossible for a simple stake.

#188

Eschatological objection.

#189

Mark 9: (KJV) 5 "And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." Compare to: Matthew 17: (KJV) 4 "Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." The word translated by Mark 9:5 above as "Master" should be "Rabbi" and that is how a majority of modern Christian translations present it. "Rabbi" in Hebrew means "teacher" and in Jesus' supposed time would have been used as a noun. The word later became used as a title. Even though "Matthew" is for the most part copying "Mark" he didn't like the thought of Jesus being addressed as "Rabbi" (too Jewish) so he changed the word to "Lord" (the Greek "kurie"). Give that goy a kupie doll.

"Kurie" was a common word for "Sir". See 108 above on "Rabbi". Matthew hardly avoid the term for Jesus, either: Judas calls Jesus "Rabbi" twice in Matt. 26.

Odd, too, because Mark uses the title for Jesus only three times, once also by Judas; Luke, not at all. Who's avoiding what here?

#190

Mark 9: (KJV) 5 "And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." Compare to: Matthew 17: (KJV) 4 "Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." The Greek of Matthew 17:4 translates "let me make here three tabernacles". "Let us make" is a mistranslation. The motivation for the mistranslation is to make Matthew 17:4 agree with Mark 9:5. About half of modern Christian translations have this mistranslation.

Us, me, what's the problem? "Us" would obviously include the "me" (Peter). But my interlinear shows that "let us make" is one big word, and that both Matt and Mark have this same word. So where does Wallack get this?

#191

Exegetical objections.

#192

Mark 9: (KJV) 13 "But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him." There is no prophecy in the Tanakh that Elijah would suffer during his mission or fail in any sense. Compare to: Matthew 17: (KJV) 12 "But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed." When the author of "Matthew" ran this part of "Mark" through the Zerox [sic] machine he whited out "as it is written of him" because he realized there was no such prophecy.

Oh no? Witherington [265] points to 1 Kings 19:1-3. "Herodias has succeeded in doing to the second Elijah what Jezebel tried to do to the first." It's of course a typology, and so normal Jewish exegetical procedure.

#193

Mark 9: (KJV) 16 "And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?" Compare to: Matthew 17: (KJV) 14 "And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water." In Mark's account Jesus has to ask what's going on. As usual Matthew has changed Mark so that Jesus is not asking a question which would imply lack of knowledge on his part.

Matthew does have Jesus asking questions: "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?" "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" Matthew has more likely edited this sort of thing so he has more room for teachings of Jesus and other material that is less transitional and more rich in content.

#194

Mark 9: (KJV) 17 "And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;" Compare to: Matthew 17: (KJV) 15 "Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water." "Matthew" consistently changes "Mark's" "master/teacher" to "Lord" which is what the Christians of 'Matthew's" time referred to Jesus as. Matthew has anack(for the)cronyistic.

As noted above, "Lord" was a title like "Sir" and was applied to regular Joes as well. Since this was spoken in Aramaic, any title of respect Matthew chooses is appropriate.

#195

Mark 9: (KJV) 28 "And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." Compare to: Matthew 17: (KJV) 19 "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." According to "Mark" the reason for the disciples' failure was they didn't use the right method (prayer. "Fasting" is a later addition not supported by the evidence of the early manuscripts). According to "Matthew" the reason for the disciples' failure was a lack of faith.

There's no difference. Faith meant loyalty to your patron; prayer meant making a petition to your patron; if you didn't ask your patron for help, you sure as heck were not being loyal to him.

Matthew's finish to the story "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer" is the perfect ending, just not the way Christians think it is.

True. Most Christians, like Wallack, think faith is some sort of belief-force.

In the story Matthew just gave Jesus didn't use prayer to make that kind go out, he used the standard rebuke maneuver.

Jesus is the broker between patron (God) and client (people); he has the authority as is.

Mark's story here is actually just an apology to try and explain why officially designated followers of Jesus who were supposedly given the authority from Jesus to heal anyone could not heal some people (like those who were really sick).

Merely question-begging psychology.

The apology is that anyone who is not immediately healed must have the type of demon which can only be cured through praying for an INDEFINITE time period (like until they get better, die, are branded a non-believer or every one forgets all about them, whichever comes first).

I didn't see a word about "indefinite." Wallack just invents this out of whole cloth, creating an otherwise unattested "problem" in the early church that this story subtly "explains".

#196

Same as 186 above.

#197

Mark 9: (KJV) 40 "For he that is not against us is on our part." Compare to: Matthew 12: (KJV) 30 "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." According to Mark if you are not against Jesus then you are on Jesus' side. According to Matthew if you are not for Jesus then you are not on Jesus' side. This is a good example of the fundamentalist type changes Matthew made to Mark's story. Matthew couldn't copy Mark's story of an easier going Jesus here because it didn't fit Matthew's image of an exclusive Jesus with an us versus them mentality.

Mark is no "easier" than Matthew here. Neither offers middle ground with Jesus, and as Pilch and Malina note in [i]Handbook of Biblical Social Values[/i], in the ancient world all things were viewed in dualistic terms and there was no possible middle ground. The sayings differ in form and verbiage, but not in essence -- the message is the same, and the differences are attributable to natural variations in oral tradition (as indeed Mark and Luke, though they agree in "default", vary in verbiage).

#198

Same as 56 and 94 above.

#199

Mark 10: (KJV) 7 "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;" "and cleave to his wife" is not in the earliest extant manuscripts but is included in most modern Christian translations. The motivation for copyists would have been to make it the same as the parallel verse in Matthew.

What else is he going to do but cleave to his wife? Is he going to cleave to his horse or cow? Witherington [276] notes that it is indeed missing from important witnesses, and could be based on Matt. 19:5 and Gen. 2:24, but adds that the phrase is needed for otherwise the antecedent of "the two" would be the parents.

#200

Same as 56, 94, and 198 above.

#201

Mark 10: (KJV) 12 "And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." According to the Tanakh and Jewish law of Jesus' time a woman had no right to divorce her husband. The author of "Matthew" realized this and didn't copy this part of "Mark's" story. The author of Mark is giving away that he was not very familiar with the laws of Israel in Jesus' time. Er, not quite, Wallack. The Tanakh does not say they had no right; it simply does not mention one. As for the laws of Israel, Wallack is behind the times. It is clear, to start, that one of the Herodian queens did indeed divorce her husband, as Josephus points out, and that Jesus' words here therefore were more than relevant in the shadow of the Herodian house which set the moral example for the nation. Instone-Brewer in Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible [87ff] notes that a recently-published document is a divorce certificate dating from the 2nd century, written by or for a woman, to her husband. The Mishnah also offers evidence that women in the first century brought petitions for divorce. While this was obviously not standard practice, it is clear that women could and did try to initiate the procedure, and that the certificate follows the language of the traditional Jewish court document for the procedure indicates that Jewish courts in Palestine recognized the practice.

#202

Mark 10: (KJV) 17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." Compare to: Matthew 19: (KJV) 16 "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Normally, when "Mark" and "Matthew" are presenting narratives of the same story I won't claim an error unless there is a significant difference in their descriptions. For conversations though I'll apply a stricter standard as the record of a conversation should not have any variation.

False, actually, according to principles of oral tradition. There should be less variation, yes, but there will still be variation.

I'll still only claim error when comparing records of conversations if there is more than a trivial difference in meaning. Mark and Matthew are clearly providing records of the exact same conversation above and the difference in meaning is more than trivial.

It isn't, actually. Watch this, though:

According to Mark the event starts with Jesus being addressed as "good teacher" and explaining that only God is good. This is consistent with Mark's presentation of a more human Jesus who is subservient to God.

A more human Jesus who clams to forgive sins (2:5); enacts the role of divine Wisdom by eating with sinners (2:15), claims to be the Son of Man (2:28, 8:31, 9:9, etc.), walks on water, which the OT says that only God can do (4:35ff; cf. Job 9:8, Ps. 77:19); implicitly acknowledges Peter's identification by not rebuking it (8:29ff), says that one's soul is dependent on one's reaction to him (8:35) and that God is his Father, and that he will come with God's angels (8:38), a self-reference to the Messiah (9:41), again saying belief in him is paramount to eternal life (9:42).

The KJV translation of Matthew above is not supported by the overwhelming evidence from early manuscripts. Almost all other modern translations lack the "good" before "master" and have Jesus ask "why do you ask me about what is good" instead of "why callest thou me good". This is consistent with Matthew's presentation of a Jesus without any flaws. This leaves Matthew's story though with the nonsensical question "why do you ask me about what is good?". Gosh, why would anyone ask Matthew's Jesus that?

Actually the response of Jesus in Matt has nothing to fo with making Jesus look flawless. Malina and Rohrbaugh's Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels (123) explains that in an agonistic (honor-shame) culture, a "compliment" like the rich young man's (as given in Mark) is actually a challenge and an attempt to put Jesus "on the spot" for they are an implicit accusation that one has been trying to rise above others. Jesus' only alternative was indeed to parry the compliment and redirect it to its appropriate subject (unless he wanted to reveal himself directly and fully, in which case, his claim would have been another challenge of honor to others), thus showing himself honorable by diffusing any accusation that would arouse the envy of an opponent.

Thus it is appropriate that Jesus parry the compliment in a way that does not specifically deny his membership in the Godhead. So the "problem" Wallack thinks Matthew saw would not exist; if anything, Mark shows Jesus even more flawless (by his society's standards) for his honorable behavior than Matthew does with his simple question and answer that gives the same bare-bones message.

#203

Mark 10: (KJV) 19 "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother." Compare to: Matthew 19: (KJV) 18 "He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Same conversation, different commandments. "Mark's" "defraud not" may have been intended to be a summary of several commandments but "Matthew" was apparently bothered by the fact that there is no such specific commandment so he deleted it when he copied from Mark.

Mark's alteration, if original, is nothing more than a rabbinic type of exegesis within the parameters of Judaism. The rich, like the young ruler to whom Jesus was speaking, expressed covetousness concretely by means of defrauding. Jesus' choice of words reflects acceptable rabbinic practice.

On the other hand, this phrase is indeed not found in the Matthean and Lukan parallels, and is omitted in many manuscripts of Mark. McHardy therefore suggests (Expository Times, Feb. 1996, p. 143) that the Greek phrase here, ouk aposteresei, was a type of margin note used to refer the reader to the relevant passage in the Septuagint that the Gospel parallels where the same word also appeared. The reference could therefore be the result of a copyist error.

Even if not, there is a third-level response that is even better, and answers the full issue of why Jesus did not quote all Ten Commandments. I once answered that those he left out -- having no God before God, sabbath observance, etc. -- were all able to be taken for granted within the context of one Jew talking to another. But Herzog in Jesus, Justice and the Reign of God [163f] has another idea. In Jesus' time the poor were being substantially oppressed by people like this rich man. In essence such people dethroned Yahweh and "replace[d] him with the gods of the colonial occupiers" and so was serving an idol -- Mammon.

Such people even broke the Sabbath rule, not by failing to observe it themselves, but by extracting so much from the poor that they had to work on the Sabbath to survive, thus keeping the Sabbath far from holy. If that is so, then the omission is for the same reason as the one remaining commandment: The "covet" command that is indeed missing.

Why? Jesus left it out intentionally, knowing well enough that this was the command the rich man was most likely to have a problem with. Leaving out the command was a chance to "fill in the gap" and see if the rich man would pick up on the omission on his own. If he said, "Yeah, I'm good on those, but also on coveting!" it would have shown him to be indeed obedient. His inability to fill the gap (of perhaps even the five commandments) exposed his true nature.

#204

Mark 10: (KJV) 26 "And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?" The earliest extant manuscripts say "said to him" instead of "saying among themselves".

And if they do, what does it matter? Am I supposed to be concerned over which was original? Wallack doesn't why I should.

#205

Same as 62 above.

#206

Mark 10: (KJV) 34 "And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again." Compare to: Matthew 20: (KJV) 19 "And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again." The authors are reporting the same conversation and "Mark" says "kill" while "Matthew" says "crucify" (for the second time). Apparently Mark attached no special significance to the method of execution while Matthew, reflecting subsequent Christian thought, specifically says "crucify", emphasizing the method of execution.

The word usage is far better explained by normal variations in oral tradition, rather than by imagining Matthew seeing the word "kill" and thinking to himself, "You know, I'd like to emphasize the method of execution. Readers may forget that Jesus was crucified, and on seeing 'kill' may think he was executed some other way, like poison blow darts. We as Christians have thought a lot more about crucifixion than we did in the past, even though it was then, and still is, the most disgraceful form of execution known to men today. I also see that Mark has used the word 'crucify' only four times so I had better use it more. Three times in my own Gospel will help."

Odd too how this "subsequent Christian thought" had no effect on Luke, who uses the word "crucify" only once, and that in the mouths of the mob.

#207

Mark 10: (KJV) 34 "And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again." Compare to: Matthew 20: (KJV) 19 "And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again." KJV has mistranslated (again) "Mark's" "and the third day" above. The underlying Greek has an "after" that KJV has omitted so it should read "after the third day". Obviously, KJV mistranslated to make these important verses agree. So "Mark" really said "after three days" and "Matthew" said "on (and) the third day".

Strangely enough my Interlinear does not back up this claim, making Mark say "on" but not "after." NRSV does say "after". In any event it is all reckoned by inclusive counting of part of a day as a whole day.

#208

Same as 207.

#209

Mark 10: (KJV) 35 "And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire." Compare to: Matthew 20: (KJV) 20 "Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. "Mark" says the two sons went to Jesus and asked a question while "Matthew" says it was the sons' mother who went to Jesus and asked the question. As Jesus' response is critical Matthew illustrates his theme of presenting the disciples in a better light than Mark.

Would readers would get the idea that the mother did this independent of any counsel from her sons (who are said to be right there with her, even by Matthew's account? Hardly. You may as well argue that Mark is conspiring to make the disciples look foolish by leaving the mother out -- and that HAS been theorized in terms of Mark's general desire, as some sort of slam against the apostles.

Keener [485] in contrast notes the practical reason to get her to make the request: "...women could get away with asking requests men dare not ask, both in Jewish and broader Greco-Roman culture." One might add that in this day and age, to still be beholden to your mother was a negative thing, so if anything, Matthew makes them look worse, not better. More likely reasons for the variation: Oral tradition; closer focus on responsibility by Mark. No need to bother with psychology when more prosaic explanations are available.

#210

Mark 10: (KJV) 46 "And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging." The Jews of Jesus' time would have spoken Aramaic. "Bar" in Aramaic means "son". The author of "Mark" likely saw "Bartimaeus" written as one and two words in Greek and mistakenly thought that they were two separate names and didn't realize that when it was written as one word it still meant "son of Timaeus". Note that "Matthew" and "Luke" apparently realized that writing "Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus" was just saying the same thing twice so even though they copy Mark's story for the most part, they ditch the name. A few modern Christian translations put "son of Timaeus" in parenthesis to make it look like the second "son of Timaeus" is a translation of the name and not a description of a relationship.

Mark's lower and middle class Roman readers and hearers were actually the ones -- not Mark -- who might mistakenly think "Bartimeaus" was something it wasn't, so Mark gives the name in both Aramaic and Greek (as he normally does translate Aramaic words in his Gospel).

#211-212

Repeats of prior objections.

#213

Mark 10: (KJV) 52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way." Compare to: Matthew 20: (KJV) 34 "So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him." According to "Mark" the blind man's faith cured him. According to "Matthew" Jesus' touch cured them.

See 167 and 195 above. The blind man had loyalty (faith) necessary for Jesus as broker of God's patronage to heal him. The touching and faith and not held dichotomously.

#214

Mark 11: (KJV) 2 "And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him." Compare to: Matthew 21: (KJV) 2 "Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me." Mark's Jesus' is looking for one donkey while Matthew's Jesus is looking for two. Another example of "Matthew's" seeing double.

See here.

#215

Repeat of 214.

#216

Mark 11: (KJV) 8 "And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way." Compare to: Matthew 21: (KJV) 8 "And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way." KJV's "branches off the trees" for "Mark" is a mistranslation. The underlying Greek means leaves or straw like material normally used for bedding and uses the word for "fields" not "trees". "Matthew" has magically transformed the straw from the fields into branches from trees.

The word actually means something spread out or trampled flat, which of course would apply to stuff used for bedding, but anyway, no one cuts "leaves or straw" down from trees.

#217

Mark 11: (KJV) 11 "And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve." Compare to: Matthew 21: (KJV) 10 "And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. 12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves," Mark's Jesus just checks out the Temple and leaves. Matthew's Jesus can't wait that long so he immediately overthrows tables and doves. Again, just a dischronologized narrative for literary purposes.

#218

Mark 11: (KJV) 14 "And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it." Compare to: Matthew 21: (KJV) 19 "And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away." Mark's Jesus' curse is that no one will ever eat the fruit of the tree while Matthew's Jesus' curse is that no fruit will ever grow on the tree. I guess it's too late to ask the tree exactly what Jesus said to it.

And, just one of those normal variations in oral tradition.

#219

Mark 11: (KJV) 14 "And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it." Compare to: Matthew 21: (KJV) 19 "And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away." Mark doesn't report the tree suffering any immediate ill effects. Matthew reports that it immediately withered away. Once again Matthew is upping the Templo.

Mark's effort is part of his normal "sandwich" literary technique and Matthew's effort is part of his normal compression of narratives so that he can include more of the teachings of Jesus. Check that red-letter edition to see what we mean.

#220

Mark 11: (KJV) 15 "And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; 16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple." This story indicates that the author of "Mark" had never seen the Temple and was not overly familiar with its layout. The Greek word Mark uses for "temple" is ambiguous and could have just referred to the outer courtyard area. Mark has used the words "sold", "bought" and "moneychangers" but the only "commerce" was selling animals for Temple sacrifice which necessitated a currency exchange and was done outside the official Temple area.

And so it is. Wallack has answered his own objection. It is the outer courtyard. Witherington [316] even suggests that Mark chose this word on purpose, perhaps writing in 67 AD when Zealots occupied the inner temple area.

Most modern commentators would agree that based on the dimensions and activity of the outer courtyard area it would have been impossible for one person to exert control over an area that size without supernatural assistance and Mark doesn't claim any here.

Did such merchants cover every square inch of this area? How many moneychangers do you think were needed on each wall?

According to Josephus vessels were not allowed to be carried in any Temple area. Wallack doesn't give us a cite for this from Josephus. Herzog in Jesus, Justice and the Reign of God [132-143] in his discussion of the matter doesn't say a thing about it, and neither does Witherington.

#221

Mark 12: (KJV) 1 "And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country." Compare to: Matthew 21: (KJV) 33 "Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:" According to Mark this was the first parable but according to Matthew it wasn't. The previous parable in Matthew fits his theology of building up guilt on the part of the Jews deserving commensurate punishment and reflects a later Christian development. Mark's only significant theme was to believe in Jesus.

A more practical answer: Matthew is collecting Jesus' teachings into blocks and so dischronologizes. Also, Matthew has NO "theology of building up guilt on the part of the Jews." As noted in 130, the prime verse for this idea indicates the opposite. Matthew has issues with the Pharisees (probably having been one himself) but not with Jews as a whole, and the previous parable (see 106) have nothing to do with such a theology either.

#222

Eschatological objection. Wallack also erroenously thinks the Kingdom of God is a political reign.

#223

Same as 107 above.

#224

Mark 12: (KJV) 29 "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." Compare to: Matthew 22: (KJV) 37 "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." "Matthew's" not as sure as "Mark" about just how many "Lord's" there are, especially with the "Lord said to my Lord" parable up next, and needs to take a reign check to think about just how many Lords there are.

Hardly. Matthew just gives less information to a Jewish readership already familiar with the Shema, whereas Mark's Roman readers are not.

#225

Mark 12: (KJV) 32 "And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." Compare to Matthew: "" "Matthew" deletes all of this which doesn't fit his later Christian theology.

No, Matthew saves room for what Jesus says, not what other people say.

Matthew thinks there may be someone other than God

Matthew is a potential polytheist?

this person should also be loved,

"Person"? So wait now, Mark's scribe is hinting that there is no other person in existence than God?

sacrifices shouldn't be so easily dissed

"Dissed"? You mean like in Jer. 7:22, Is. 1:11, and Hos. 6:6, those Christian verses?

a scribe wouldn't or shouldn't be shown giving a good answer and couldn't or shouldn't be portrayed as not far from the kingdom of God.

I.e., Wallack presumes that hatred is behind it in order to support his view of things. I guess Matthew also hated anything else not found in Mark.

What "Mark" has to say here versus what "Matthew" won't say is one of the best examples in the Christian Bible of how Christian theology was changing with time.

Hardly. If anything Matthew would be inclined to include this passage, because to have a rival group member make such a concession would have been a considerable honor to Jesus, and if Matthew really was on a mission against these people, who would WANT to include it to shame all other members of the scribes and the Pharisees who disagreed. A more prosaic limitation, like space issues, is the likely reason for the difference.

#226

Mark 12: (KJV) 34 "And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question." According to "Matthew" Jesus' disciples were still asking Jesus questions after this incident and I think they were men and Jesus was also asked questions at his trial.

It's amazing that Wallack thinks that Mark means no one ever asked Jesus any question after this, about anything, ever again. Contextually it simply means that no one questioned him further, as an ideological enemy, on this particular subject. ...It would appear that it was more important for the author to present his ironical Greek tragedy theme of Jesus responding to insincere questions with insincere answers that weren't understood which instead of frustrating the Jews just invited more insincere questions and then the illustration of a sincere question generating a sincere answer which stopped the Jews' motivation to ask any more questions than it was to present a believable story based on common sense.

Wallack is patently unaware that this sort of exchange was perfectly believable in an ancient ingroup-outgroup setting, in which teachers would make things clear to those in their ingroup while obscuring teachings to the "outgroup" who were openly hostile and had no sincere interest in the truth. An insincere question normally did get an insincere answer. This is not "ironical Greek tragedy" but normal teaching process.

#227, 228

Repeat of #226

#229

There doesn't seem to be an argument in this one.

#230

Same as 117 above.

#231

Eschatological objection.

#232

Mark 13: (KJV) 6 "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." Compare to: Matthew 24: (KJV) 5 "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." Looks exactly the same in the KJV. Only problem is that in the Greek of "Mark" there is no "Christ" in the above, it should say, "I am he", instead of "I am Christ". The best meaning of Mark is a prophecy of false Jesuses while the best meaning of Matthew is a prophecy of false Messiahs. Mark is making it really tough for believers. Say you see someone come in on the clouds who says he is Jesus. How do you know he's not a false Jesus who was predicted to deceive many by the real Jesus?

Wallack has the right data and a wrong conclusion. Matthew has indeed added "Christ" for clarity, but the best explanation is not that Mark means false "Jesuses" (as if he did not think Jesus WAS Christ) but that Jesus' words reflect the social constraint that would be on any Messianic claimant, who would not make such a blatant self-identification but would be required to have others say that he was the Christ.

#233

Mark 13: (KJV) 9 "But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them." Compare to Matthew 10: (KJV) "17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles." "Matthew" has added "Gentiles" to what "Mark" wrote. Mark's Gospel was mainly a Jewish thang.

Hardly. It's the consensus that Matthew's Gospel is a "Jewish thing" while Mark's is a "Roman thing."

In Matthew's time it was clear that the Jesus movement had failed among the Jews and that Christianity's future was with the Gentiles so Matthew rewrote Mark's story to make the Gentiles more prominent in Jesus' supposed plans.

Not at all; sociologist Rodney Stark (The Rise of Christianity) concludes that the Jesus movement did NOT fail among the Jews at all, and even before Stark, the idea of such failure was a mirror-read of this passage, not a matter of evidence. Odd as well how if Wallack is right, Matthew still mentions synagogues.

#234

Mark 13: (KJV) 20 "And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days." Compare to Matthew 24: (KJV) 22 "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Matthew generally refers to the god in heaven as "Father" and to Jesus as "lord" and doesn't like to show Father acting unilaterally so he has deleted Mark's reference to the god in heaven here.

Normal variations in oral tradition and literary practice are a much better explanation. Matthew's use of "Lord" ("sir" -- not a divine title as used) probably is a good explanation, but not for the reasons Wallack supposes -- rather, it's just a simple matter of Matthew using that word a certain way and wanting to avoid confusion. Let's add that Matthew hardly fails to show the Father acting unilaterally -- just who does Wallack think the "elect" are, and who does he think elected them?

#236, 237

Same as 232 above.

#238, 239, 240

Same as 122, 123, and 124 above.

#241

Mark 14: (KJV) 22 "And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many." Compare to Matthew 26: (KJV) 28 "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Matthew's addition of "for the remission of sins" reflects a later Christian theology than "Mark's" also known as "Paganism".

Paganism? The Jewish sacrifices were for cleansing and remission of sin ages before this. Keener even notes that the phrase "for the remission of sins" appears in the Targum Neofiti with references to sacrifices [631] and M. Pesah 10:6 uses Passover wine as "a metaphor for the blood of the covenant in Ex. 24:8."

#242

Mark 14: (KJV) 33 "And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;" Compare to Matthew 26: (KJV) 37 "And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy." Mark's "sore amazed" above has the meaning in Greek of being greatly distressed and implies an internal struggle. Matthew's "sorrowful" above tones down the internal struggle as the author of Matthew always wants to present Jesus as completely in charge.

A simpler answer: normal variations in oral tradition. If Matt wants Jesus "completely in charge" why didn't he just make the disciples joyful instead and depict Jesus giving them psychological counseling?

#243

Mark 14: (KJV) 58 "We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.59 But neither so did their witness agree together." Compare to Matthew 26: (KJV) 60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. 62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? Strangely, "Mark" gives a quote which is attributed to two witnesses and then concludes that these witnesses did not agree. "Matthew" realized this so he drops Mark's conclusion that they did not agree.

Too complex an explanation for such little proof. How about the words "neither so"? Do we suppose there were other details -- where and when Jesus said this, for example -- upon which these guys would maybe not agree?

Ironically, the Christian Bible using the same required standard of agreement between witnesses, gives the same type of "false" testimony because of the lack of agreement between the Gospel witnesses that the witnesses gave against Jesus at the trial.

I am sure the Sanhedrin would not consider it evidence enough if one guy said, "I heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands," and the other said, "I heard him say, I will indeed destroy this temple that is made with men's hands, and in no less than three days I will build another made with no hands."

Set a murderer free because of the different verbiage? I don't think so. Ancient people were not so much concerned with precision as we are.

#244

Same as 127 above.

#245

Same as 232 above.

#246

Mark 14: (KJV) 69 "And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them." Compare to Matthew 26: (KJV) 71 "And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth." Mark's "a maid" above should be "the maid" as the Greek has the definite article and there is a "again" after "began to say to them" in the Greek. Most modern translations correctly translate here. Obviously KJV is trying to avoid the contradiction that according to "Mark" the same maid saw Peter twice while Matthew has predictably multiplied one maid into two.

"Maid" is a KJV clarity addition and Matthew didn't duplicate anything.

#247

Mark 14: (KJV) 68 "But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew." The earliest extant manuscripts lack "and the cock crew" which is needed here to support the statement in 14:72 that the cock crewed a second time. The textual variation here is likely caused by "Mark" apparently anticipating that "Matthew" would have two cock crows for Mark's one and then Matthew faking Mark out by only having one.

Wallack has no actual explanation. See here for one.

#248

Same as above.

#249

Same as 129 above.

#250

Mark 15: (KJV) 8 "And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them." Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 17 "Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?" The Greek of Mark above is almost incomprehensible which may indicate that the idea of a prisoner release was his own invention and having no oral tradition to copy he had to compose himself revealing his grammatical ineptitude.

So says Wallack, who does not know Koine Greek, but oddly enough, Witherington's commentary says nothing about it.

You can assume from the context that he is describing a request from the crowd that Pilate release a prisoner. According to Matthew Pilate offered to release a prisoner without any request from the crowd. This is consistent with Matthew's exaggeration of Mark where "the crowd" gets worse press and Pilate gets better.

The view of Pilate is no better or worse than of the Pilate recorded in Josephus and Philo. See link in 127 and also 130 -- the crowd didn't get any bad press whatsoever from Matthew.

#251

Mark 15: (KJV) 10 "For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy." Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 18 "For he knew that for envy they had delivered him." In Mark the chief priests delivered Jesus. In Matthew it was "the crowd". Guilt in "Matthew" has received manuscript destiny.

Only by the sort of anachronistic misreading found in 130 above. V. 20 makes it clear that the chief priests were in charge of this crowd, and that is thus the same blame that Mark pins.

#252

Mark 15: (KJV) 15 "And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified." Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 23 "When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it." According to Mark Pilate's motivation to release Barabbas was to make the crowd happy. According to Matthew Pilate's motivation to release Barabbas was to avoid a possible riot if he didn't ("tumult was made" should be "a disturbance was beginning" above).

Don't unhappy crowds have this tendency to riot?

#253

Same as 131 above.

#254

Mark 15: (KJV) 17 "And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head," Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 28 "And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe." Joseph's coat of many colors?

No. "Purple" was the technical name for a type of dye used to make coats in all shades of red and purple -- including scarlet.

#255

Same as 187 above.

#256

Mark 15: (KJV) 22 "And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull." Close. "Golgotha" means "skull" not "place of the skull".

What does Mark 15:22 say? "...the place Golgotha...." We'll skip Wallack's comments here on Irenaeus.

#257

Mark 15: (KJV) 24 "And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh" Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 34 "They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall" Perhaps the waiter mixed up the drink orders.

"Gall" is a general term for anything that is bitter. Myrrh was a bitter substance. The original Greek word used by Matt is 5521. chole, khol-ay'; fem. of an equiv. perh. akin to the same as G5514 (from the greenish hue); "gall" or bile, i.e. (by anal.) poison or an anodyne (wormwood, poppy, etc.):--gall. It's used in one other place in the NT, Acts 8:23 -For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin. Chole is manifestly used in both verses in a non-technical sense of something generally bitter.

Why did Matthew use this general word rather than the specific "myrrh"? Two reasons are possible. First, because he already used the word in 2:11 to refer to a gift, and something pleasant, and did not want to invoke a contrary association.

Second, Matthew was probably engaging in a bit of typological midrash here, as he used the same word that is found in the LXX version of Psalms 69:21 - "They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst."

#258

Mark 15: (KJV) 24 "And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not." Compare to Matthew 24: (KJV) 34 "They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink." "Mark" says he tasted the drink while "Matthew" says he didn't.

No, Mark says he "received" it not, not that he didn't taste it. The word has a broad meaning which hardly discounts an initial taste.

#260

Mark 15: (KJV) 26 "And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS." The underlying Greek gives no indication of WHERE this inscription was (KJV has added "over"). A majority of modern Christian translations either explicitly or strongly implicitly indicate that the inscription was placed over the crucified Jesus obviously mistranslating to make "Mark" agree with the other Gospellers here.

Ironically, back in 132, Wallack objected that there was no evidence for the "over" in history, and he still finds an error. The context tells us what it was "over" (the closest antecedent is "Him" and what else will it be over?).

#261

Mark 15: (KJV) 26 "And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS." Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 37 "And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS." Apparently Herod complained about the first sign. A purist would remark that it was on the sign in three languages.

#262

M Same as 133 above.

#263

Repeat of prior objection.

#264

Repeat. Wallack says, "It was a common literary technique of the time for biographers to report such a supernatural darkness at the demise of people they considered great" but doesn't give a single example, much less enough of them for us to think it's a pattern.

#265

Mark 15: (KJV) 34 "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 46 "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" The authors are trying to transliterate in Greek a supposed Aramaic statement by Jesus. The statements are more different in the Greek. Perhaps Jesus was repeating the same statement in different dialects so everyone would understand what he was saying.

There isn't a lot of difference between "eloi" and "eli" when you're suffocating on a cross. Perhaps Wallack doesn't know both mean, "my God" regardless.

#266

Mark 15: (KJV) 39 "And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 54 "Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God." The witnesses seem to be multiplying.

We find it fair to simply say that Mark prefers a narrow focus on one person his readers would relate to: a Roman centurion. Besides, what's the deal? Does Wallack think Matthew's readers in the East accrue any more witness benefit this way?

#267

Mark 15: (KJV) 39 "And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." There is no "the" in the Greek of "the Son of God" above. Most modern Christian translations add "the". Apologists ignore that when the definite article is not intended it is never used and they argue, using arguable examples, that when the Greek "the" is not used it can be implied by the context, so they argue that "Mark's" context implies it.

If there are arguable examples, then Wallack's case is moot until he refutes them. But Wallack is wrong if he thinks we have any problem with "a" Son of God. It's what we would expect from a pagan centurion who saw a man die well.

Having a description of Jesus by a Roman soldier as just another son of God hero in a time of many son of God heroes is within Mark's context.

Yes it is. And this is not a problem.

Also, Mark's verse 39 makes no sense as the soldier proclaims that Jesus was a son of God because Jesus cried out and died.

Makes no sense to Wallack, who is untutored in the social custom here, in which a man who died well (with honor) would receive such admiration -- ironic though it is.

Also note that "Mark" uses the past tense to describe Jesus, "was" a son of God. Did the author intend to communicate that Jesus' career ended on the cross? Maybe.

Maybe, in the mouth of a pagan centurion who would indeed believe the guy wasn't coming back?

A Note at This Point on Enumeration

This is about where the enumeration starts to diverge. 269 below is now 268 in Wallack's count.

#268

Mark 16: (KJV) 1 "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him." Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 1 "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." "Mark" indicates that the Sabbath was over and it was already a new day. The Greek of "Matthew" indicates it was late in the Sabbath and the son had not yet risen. Christian commentators fumble with the difference here and the corresponding proper mistranslations. All you have to do though to get a logical explanation for the difference is drop your illogical assumption that "Matthew" is presenting history. Matthew copied from Mark but felt he could make an improvement in the story by showing the son was rising while the son was rising.

Commentators don't fumble with it at all; see 139 above.

#269

Mark 16: (KJV) 1 "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him." Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 1 "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." Mark says the visitors were Mary, Mary and Salome while Matthew says Mary, Mary. Quite contrary.

See 185 above for the core of the reply.

#270

Mark 16: (KJV) 1 "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him." Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 1 "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." According to Mark the women came to anoint Jesus. According to Matthew they just came to visit.

If they came to ANOINT him, then they also came to SEE him, did they not? Or were they planning to anoint with their eyes closed?

#271

Mark 16: (KJV) 3 "And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?" Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 65 "Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 so they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch." Matthew sez there was a guard at the tomb. Mark doesn't mention any guard. So Mark let his guard down.

See comments here for relevant info, plus my debate with Kyle Gerkin on The Impossible Faith (encapsulated here).

#272

Mark 16: (KJV) 5 "And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a you"g man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted." Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 2 "And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it." Mark sez it was a young man. Matthew sez it was an angel.

Josephus says that angels could be called "young men".

Note how Matthew keeps adding supernatural items to Mark's story (Matthew adds guard, earthquake, angel and as Gene Wilder said in the classic "Young Frankenstein", etc, etc, etc,). Interestingly, Mark's account here is responsible for the saying, "who was that young man?".

Wallack's objection falls flat based on Josephus and the link above.

#273

Mark 16: (KJV) 5 "And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted." Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 2 "And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it." Mark sez the young man sat inside the tomb while Matthew sez the angel sat on the stone.

Matthew's events take place before the women get there and they scare the guards off. And yes, Matthew's scene is dischronologized for reasons of space -- see here.

#274

Mark 16: (KJV) 7 "But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you." Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 7 "And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you." The author of Mark identifies Peter separately from the "disciples" and implies that Peter lost his disciple status as Peter explicitly denied Jesus like a cock crowing three times, just as Jesus predicted.

Peter was de facto leader of the group; that's the real and practical reason he was singled out.

This is consistent with Mark's theme that even those closest to Jesus didn't properly understand him and abandoned him.

It would be, but it happens to be unnecessary. Maybe it don't occur to Wallack that they really DID have such problems.

Matthew rewrote Mark's Gospel and recasts Peter as the link between Jesus and the future Church so he has to edit out Mark's implication that Peter lost his disciple status.

A non-existent figment of psychology. The implication does not exist except in the imagination.

#275

Mark 16: (KJV) 8 "And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid." Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 8 "And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word." According to Mark the emotions of the women here were fear and amazement. Matthew, trying to maintain as much of "Mark" as possible, changes the emotions to fear and great joy so the "great joy" emotion motivates the women to tell what they heard. But "fear" and "great joy" don't really go together, do they?

Sure they do -- all you need is an event with sufficiently complex results.

What's amusing here is that Christian commentators have written infinite tomes explaining the theological significance of women being the first sex to realize that Jesus was arisen yet the likely explanation is that the original story of "Mark" gave the reason that the women were just going to the tomb to anoint Jesus and the other Gospellers then copied this part of Mark which showed the women going first and dropped Mark's explanation of why. That made little sense, and so we have nothing we can say.

#276

Mark 16: (KJV) 8 "And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid." Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 8 "And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word." According to Mark the only witnesses that did not contain any disciples to the empty tomb that did not contain Jesus did not tell anyone what they didn't see.

Well, they obviously told someone or else Mark would be blank, now wouldn't he? The silence is not meant to be understood as permanent.

This is consistent with Mark's theme that no one of Jesus' time properly understood Jesus as Jesus predicted that there would be no sign for that generation.

Actually, it isn't consistent with any such thing, not only because it is unreasonable to read the silence as permanent, but also because that alleged theme is based on ideas like the Messianic secret.

Matthew has the women tell the disciples about the empty tomb. The problem with Mark's theme and ending is that if no one of Jesus' time understood what Jesus was then how does the author, writing at a later time, understand?

Wallack sees the inconsistency in his own position, but can't see the problem.

I suspect that as "Mark" was originally written the young man with/without linen who appears in the current version in a few choice places and who was taught "the mysteries of the Kingdom" by Jesus in The Secret Gospel Of Mark" had a more prominent part and was more than just a young man and was performing in his sequel to Daniel. Of course this is all just speculation, not really supported by the extant versions of Mark.

Of course it is just plain way out in left field; on Secret Mark see here and here -- if Wallack throws his weight behind this sort of thing, he is not a credible source.

#277

Mark 16: (KJV) Verses 9-20 are not in the earliest extant manuscripts, are not referred to by the earliest Church Fathers and Eusebius, Victor and Jerome wrote that they were not in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts. Most modern Christian translations include 9-20 without any indication that they were not original.

Not the ones I've seen. They all say that these verses are not part of the original.

A common Christian apology is that despite differences in the details of the Gospels there is no disputed verse which significantly changes the basic story. Verses 9-20 would beg to differ as without them there is no direct evidence of a resurrected Jesus, just an empty tomb (keep in mind that the claim that the tomb was guarded was Matthewnes I've read, sorry. s and not Mark's).

Since the empty tomb is implicitly part of the 1 Cor. 15 creed, and the physically rezzed Jesus is also part of it, that wouldn't matter anyway.

The differences, as we will see, between the resurrected sightings of Matthew and Luke are exponentially different than the differences in the body of their stories because they didn't have a resurrection sighting story from Mark to follow.

False. A resurrection body meant something specific in terms of Jewish belief -- Luke tells more than Matthew, but given the amount of time the ressurected Jesus was on earth (40 days) this is possible to do irregardless, and he adds nothing explicitly that Matthew would not signify implicitly just by indicating Jesus was resurrected.

This problem also accounts for why the nativity stories of Matthew and Luke are so different.

See here.

#278

The third Gospel listed in Christian Bibles, Luke, was written anonymously. The title "Luke" was added by the Church long after the Gospel was written.

Presumptuous and against all evidence. All copies of Luke have "The Gospel According to Luke" at the very beginning, which is the same sort of credit (and the only sort) Tacitus' Annals and other ancient works have. If this were a secular document there would be no argument about authorship.

#279

Luke 1: (KJV) 5 "THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea" THERE'S a consensus among Bible scholars that "Luke" is referring to Herod the Great here and this Herod was King of all Israel and not just Judaea.

If he was king of all Israel, then he sure was king of Judaea, wasn't he? But "Israel" was not an existing political entity at this time. Maybe Wallack means "Palestine". But then again:

Herod the Great's son, Archelaus, became king of just Judea so we likely have an anachronistic description right at the start from the anonymous guy who assured the unknown Theophilus that his report was accurate and orderly. Lukee! Ya got sum splainin ta do.

Wallack has some researchin' to do. Fitzmyer's Lukan commentary notes that Herod was granted the title "King of Judaea" by the Roman Senate c. 40 BC, so if Wallack has some issue with that, he can take it up with Brutus. It was quite likely an ethnic title, with "Judaea" meaning "Jews". This will come into play again later.

#280

Luke 1: (KJV) 10 "And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense." We have the same issue with the author of Luke here that we have with all the Gospellers. Were they familiar with the details of Jewish Law for the time they are describing? The meaning of Luke's Greek above is that people were praying outside oy saying f the area where Zacharias was burning incense but there wouldn't have been enough room for a group of people to pray where Zacharias was. Maybe the author knew this but thought some of his audience wouldn't. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt here. But there is no evidence in Jewish writings that group prayer was done during the burning of incense at the Temple. Splain it Lukee.

Do research, Wallack. People would pray at this solemn occasion. If this were not Luke, this WOULD be taken as evidence of such prayer, and Luke is under no obligation to explain to modern low-context readers.

#281

Same as 18 above.

#282

Luke 1: (KJV) 21 "And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple." Same type problem as #280. The author of "Luke" appears to be unfamiliar with the details of Temple ceremony. Luke implies that Zacharias was performing his duties alone but according to Jewish writings Priests would have performed these functions together.

Wallack doesn't give us any cites or quotes from these "Jewish writings" but since the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies alone, isn't that a precedent? I looked this up and did find Mishnah cites about this -- Green's Lukan commentary notes rules about at least 5 priests serving for this offering at once. Of course it's already problematic to apply Mishnah rules (which were more like "what we wish were true" than "what was true", and date centuries later) and even Wallack has to admit Zachariah's aloneness is implied, not stated.

On the other hand, Green points to Josephus' Antiquities 13.10.3, where it is stated that the high priest Hyrcanus, in the Maccabbean era, saw a vision as he was offering incense in the Temple -- ALONE.

#283

Luke 1: (KJV) 26 "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth," Compare to "Mark" " " Compare to Matthew:

Compare to this instead.

The Biblical city of Nazareth is unknown in Jewish writings and is located southnorth of Luke 1:26 and eastwest of Matthew 1:20. See here.

#284

Luke 1: (KJV) 28 "And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." For the phrase "the Lord is with thee" above, the Greek lacks a verb (is) so it's unclear what is meant. "The Lord is with thee" is an acceptable translation but it could also mean the blessing, "The Lord be with you". Of the major Christian translations only Young's and Darby have "is" in brackets.

And the problem here is what? Wallack doesn't explain.

#285

Luke 1: (KJV) 28 See link in 283 above. Wallack also says:

As "Luke" was likely written after "Matthew" it displays a stronger Gentile influence and the more natural elements of a Jewish story become increasingly supernatural like the Gentile stories. Matthew's angel in a dream becomes a live angel in Luke who even has a name. "Luke" considered "Matthew's" story "too Jewish".

That's a remarkably odd comment, given that Matthew and Luke both feature a real live Satan and Matthew has an angel rolling away the tombstone. Increasingly supernatural? How so?

#286

Luke 1: (KJV) 31 Again see link in 283 above.

#287

Luke 1: (KJV) 32 "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:" For "the Son" above there is no "the" in the Greek. "Luke" may have meant "a son". Of the moderns, only Young's and Darby omit "the". Interestingly "Luke" claims no prophecy fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 here regarding a virgin birth.

Luke's Gentile readers would hardly be aware of how that would work; but even then Matthew was more of a rabbinic student than Luke by far. Less interestingly, we are not told why a lack of "the" is worth a punch of the panic button. If Wallack wants to imply that the "a" allows for more Sons of the Highest, he needs to explain where he thinks they are, especially in the NT.

#288, 289

Same as #18 and #287 above.

#290

Luke 1: (KJV) 39 "And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;" Literally "a city of Juda" above should be "a city Judah". There is no genitive in the Greek (of) and "Juda" is used instead of the proper "Judea" so it's unclear what the author meant other than he/she had no idea where Zacharias lived. Modern Christian translations supply different guesses and comically the supposedly literal Youngs' Literal gives the farthest from a literal "a city of Judea".

Wallack ought to correct Josephus, then, who also uses variant spellings for the same places. How this spelling variation suggests Luke "had no idea" where Zachariah lived is one of those mysteries -- as if someone who spelled "Connecticut" wrong could therefore not know a certain person lived there.

It might occur to Wallack that with the events this far back in time from Luke, and Mary and Elizabeth and John dead, there was no surety of which city it was -- likely because it was a one-horse village. Or perhaps it just didn't exist any more by Luke's time. Or perhaps, unlike modern people, ancient writers saw no need to get into that much detail.

#291

Luke 1: (KJV) 41 Same as #18 above.

#292

Luke 1: (KJV) 59 "And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John." It's doubtful that at this time children were named at circumcision. It appears to be a later custom and is probably an anachronistic description.

Wallack provides no evidence of this whatsoever, though commentaries do confirm it, noting that there is no evidence of this being done at circumcision until a later date. But they do not go as far as claiming it is "anachronistic" and note that circumcision and naming are tied together in the OT.

The problem here is who are the "they" in "they called him Zacharias"? The mother objects to this name and the father is still deaf and dumb. Christian commentators are generally reluctant to even recognize this as a problem.

Try the "neighbors and cousins" in 1:58. Hillary Clinton would have been right about "it takes a village" in this time period.

#293

Luke 1: (KJV) 67 Same as #18 above.

#294, 295

Luke 2: (KJV) 1 "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed."

See here and here. That Wallack hasn't interacted with relevant scholarship in this matter is shown on that he thinks, "The most popular apologist defense as to why this is not an error in Luke is that if it was an error in Luke than it would be an error in Luke."

#296

Luke 2: (KJV) 3 See link in 283 above.

#297

Luke 2: (KJV) 4 See link, 294 above. Even the Sec Web's Richard Carrier admits that the return to ancestral homes is not roadblock to historicity.

#298

Luke 2: (KJV) 5 See 283 links above. Wallack also uses the "a pregnant woman would not be able to travel" argument claims without documentation that "[u]nder Jewish law of the time an espoused woman could not travel with her betrothed."

#299

Luke 2: (KJV) 7 Link in 283 above. Wallack adds the commentary, "The observation that mangers are where animals are born and that Pagan myths had births in mangers and heroes with animal qualities has historically held no interest whatsoever for Christian commentators as near as I can tell." That's because there are no such stories of births in mangers, and "animal qualities" is irrelevant. Not that Wallack names one of these heroes to begin with.

#300

Luke 2: (KJV) 11 "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." The Greek has no "the" for "Christ the Lord" above. Once again only Darby's has "the" in parentheses. The author likely meant "christ lord" as a title as both words are titles and the context indicates a title was intended here. When "the" is added it gives the appearance of changing the "christ" to a name followed by the title "lord". "Christ the Lord" is likely an anachronistic mistranslation as subsequent Christians started to think of "christ" as a name for Jesus rather than a title.

I'm not worried over both words being titles, are you? "Christ" did tend to be used as a name for Jesus in the epistles.

#301

Luke 2: (KJV) "15 …Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass," The underlying Greek word for what has been translated as "thing" above means "word". Apparently Christian translators don't like the sound of "see this word which is come to pass" which indicates a prophecy fulfillment as "Luke" makes no claim that a virgin birth in Bethlehem fulfilled any prophecy (which is strange by itself). As the rappers say, the translation is "just a Jesus thang".

The word is rhema and means word, matter, or topic. Wallack's point is misplaced; the "word" would refer to the angelic proclamation. See 287 above on Luke not appealing to Is. 7:14.

#302

Luke 2: (KJV) 21 "And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb." It's doubtful that at this time children were named at circumcision. It appears to be a later custom and is probably an anachronistic description.

Repeat of 292 above.

What's interesting here is how "Luke" is moving away from "Matthew's" theology. "Matthew" claimed to be a Jewish work with a primary objective of showing prophecy fulfillment from the Tanakh. Jesus' birth in Matthew is described as a significant fulfillment of Tanakh prophecy. "Luke" has a stronger Pagan influence than Matthew and stands by itself as a story without so much reliance on the Tanakh as Matthew has.

"Pagan"? Try "Gentile". Meanwhile Wallack's attempts to make it sound "pagan" above are a miserable failure.

The significance of Jesus' birth in Luke is that Shepherds had a vision of it first and then the vision was fulfilled by visiting the real Jesus. No need to refer to the Tanakh. This is why Christians with no Jewish background used the Gospel of Luke as their Bible such as the Marcionites.

It's one reason to be sure. Universalism in Luke was a more likely reason.

#303

Luke 2: (KJV) 22 "And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished," The manuscript and Father evidence indicate that the "her" above should be "their" and most modern translations use "their". The problem with "their" is that only the mother required purification time after birth. KJV's mistranslation is trying to purify the problem. You can put the Goy in the Juda country but you can't take the country out of the Goy.

We'll note, apart from the anti-Semitic joke, that while commentaries explain this as so, they don't see it as a problem -- they see it as Luke using loose terminology (like someone speaking of a family celebrating "their birthday party" or of a man and a woman, "they're having a baby" though the man obviously isn't) or Luke accommodating Gentile modes of language. In short, accommodation, but not error.

#304

Luke 2: (KJV) 22 "And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;" "Luke" is confusing two separate laws here. After the birth purification period the mother was required to go to the Temple for a sacrifice, not the child.

Luke doesn't say the presentation was done by law. What is noted in v. 23, "Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord," shows that by presenting Jesus to the Lord, they are honoring this declaration.

#305

Luke 2: (KJV) 22 Repeats 303 and 304.

#306

Luke 2: (KJV) 25 "And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him." "The consolation of Israel" always refers to waiting for the restoration of the Temple in Jewish writings and is likely an anachronistic reference by the author but let's console him with the benefit of the doubt. On other hand there is no "the" before "Holy Ghost" above.

Wallack provides no backup for this interpretation of "consolation of Israel" though if it came from post-70 rabbinic writings it could obviously mean such a thing, what with the Temple gone. The word used simply means any general comfort or consolation and it is hardly unlikely that pre-70 it referred to freedom from sin or a Messianic hope.

I checked commentaries on this and they note that the consolation theme derives from Isaiah (cf. Is. 40:1, where God comforts -- i.e., "consoles" -- Israel; plus cf. 60:10-11, 52:9, and about a half dozen other passages.)

As for the other see 18 above.

#307

Luke 2: (KJV) 27 "And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law," "Parents"? Doesn't sound like the same "Luke" who described a virgin birth.

Wallack is erring the same way as the heretics who used Mary's reference to Joseph as Jesus' "father" as a plug against the virginal conception. We can't use normal referential terms but have to add qualifiers every time to make someone like Wallack happy? "...and when Mary his parent, and Joseph his man pretending to be his father for the sake of social propriety, brought in the child Jesus..."

By the way, Joseph would be regarded as an adoptive parent, a legal parent.

#308

Luke 2: (KJV) 27 Repeats 304.

A Note at This Point on Enumeration

The numbers still diverge by one. 309 below is now 308 in Wallack's count.

#309

Luke 2: (KJV) 29 "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:" I thought long and hard about this one. The underlying Greek word for "servant" above has a primary meaning of "slave" which fits the general context of the time period as well as the specific context of the verse. "depart in peace" is a euphemism for die and the meaning is to finally release a slave from bondage before dying. The modern translations are afraid to use "slave" because of the modern connotations associated with the word. Also, from now on the author of Luke will be known as "Flounder".

Wallack didn't relate the problem. What? That we are God's slaves? If Wallack objects to being a slave of God, I recommend Martin's Slavery and Salvation which shows how, culturally, this was perfectly acceptable and indeed desirable. If he wants to hint that this verse implied that Simeon would no longer be God's slave after dying, it's a matter of reading the terms of the afterlife into the text.

#310

Luke 2: (KJV) 33 " See 307 above.

#311

Luke 2: (KJV) 48 "And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing." "Luke" is supposed to be the Gospel author with the good grammar but he makes a grammatical error here. "they were amazed" above is followed by the conjunctive "and" then the verb "said" indicating it was the "they" who will then say something but it's only the mother who says something.

By now I'm hardly trusting Wallack to be any sort of expert in Greek grammar. Our expert in Greek says: This is an English error but not a Greek one. "kai" can hold together constituent parts, yes, but it can also tie full sentences together (note uses in the Iliad and Plato's Crito). If it was "te" he might have a case, but not with "kai".

#312

Luke 2: (KJV) 48 "And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" Jesus secretly escapes from his mother and Joseph/father/parent/mother's husband and is missing for three days. When they locate him and tell him they were worried he tells them it's all their fault.

Not exactly -- see below.

I've never seen a Christian commentator offer this explanation (probably because they tend to avoid this area of Luke because of the errors)

Probably because Wallack has only been reading Josh McDowell and thinks he's the end-all of evangelical scholarship.

but "Luke" is likely foreshadowing the supposed resurrection by having Jesus "missing" for three days and then found safe and sound.

No, he likely is not.

One of the consequences though is a violation of the commandment to honor mother and father. R-e-s-p-e-c-t.

Try: S-o-c-i-a-l c-o-n-t-e-x-t. Wallack wants an answer? We recommend Malina and Rohrbaugh's Social Science commentary on the Synoptics [299-300] where he will find it. No -- in fact, they say, "Here we find Jesus properly talking down to his mother....This is the first indication of a break with biological family and emergence of a new 'fictive' kinship group for Jesus." In other words, in this society is was normal and proper for a young man to express such distance, and it had nothing to do with not supporting parents or not honoring them, but rather, it did honor them for the young man to distance himself from the apron strings.

#313

Luke 2: (KJV) 46 "And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them." Compare to Luke 1: (KJV) 35 "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." According to Luke 1:35 Mary is told by an angel (who Mary believes according to "Luke") that Jesus will have no father and will be called "son of God" (KJV's "the" is a mistranslation). At a minimum Mary should take this to mean that Jesus is figuratively the son of God which makes God figuratively Jesus' father. Yet when Jesus explains that while they thought he was missing he was doing his father's business in the Temple Mary has no idea what he's talking about. Did the same "Luke" write 1:35 and 2:46-50?

What was not understood specifically here was "the saying" -- what Jesus said. They did not understand what he meant by "his Father's business" and how it connected to the incident of finding him teaching in the Temple. Mary (and Joseph) are told that Jesus 1) Was conceived of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35) -- i.e., was not a bastard child, as Joseph apparently suspected; Would "save" or "deliver" people from their sins (1:21); They saw strangers from the land of the Parthians, the deadly enemies of Rome, come forth bringing gifts and offering worship (2:11); He will be called the Son of the Highest, and will have the throne of David forever (Luke 1:32-3) . That's it.

What's missing? There are no details here about a "mission" by Jesus, just a few points indicating a special child -- on the surface. Now this is where we get into social background data that Wallack misses: Messianic expectations at the time of Jesus. What did people expect of the Messiah at this time? Messianic figures ranged from king to priest to prophet, from mere humans to quasi-divine individuals (See here for a review.), from a warrior that would kick the Romans out and restore Israel to being a rightfully independent kingdom to an eschatological high priest.

The four "basic facts" above, revealed to Mary and Joseph, melded well with just about any of the interpretations of the Messiah held in this time period. What interpretations Mary and Joseph held personally is not known. If they lived in Galilee, a center for independence and sedition, they may have leaned towards the "beat the Romans" side of things. In any case -- more so with the "military" Messiah-idea than the others -- sitting in the Temple and calmly rapping with the rabbis wasn't likely to have been an understood aspect of the Messianic paradigm, of the "business." Being a "teacher" was not among the profiles in Messianic expectations -- and thus it is no surprise that Mary thought something had gone awry when she came to collect her son.

That said, the data does indicate an awareness of some sort of Messianic mission that was "in tune" with certain expectations. Mary's request that Jesus take some action at the wedding in Cana (2:5) implies that Mary had some knowledge of Jesus' power and abilities -- while his response shows that she does not fully understand the "mission" indeed. Using Jesus as a grocery supplier, when it was not necessary (as Witherington notes in his commentary on John [78], such wedding feasts ran for days; running out of wine must have happened often, and there were caterers who could readily provide more wine, so that Mary's request was for a "stopgap" so that the guests could keep on drinking without pause), suggests a view of the Messiah as one who would answer needs -- even frivolous ones.

The reaction of Jesus' brothers (7:5), baiting him into doing miraculous deeds, shows the same sort of belief system at work. If this is the understanding that Mary had, and passed on to the brothers, little wonder she and Joe didn't get the point at the Temple court.

For the Christians this is the best evidence that Jesus was really Jewish (going into the family business) although as Archie Bunker explained when Dingbat claimed that Jesus was Jewish, "only on his mother's side".

The note about Archie Bunker is ironic, since Wallack was warned multiple times about using anti-Semitic puns on the TheologyWeb forum.

#314

Luke 3: (KJV) 2 "Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness." The Greek reads "At the time of High Priest Annas and Caiaphas". "High Priest" is singular. The meaning then is that Annas and Caiaphas were the High Priest. Modern translations recognize that 1 High Priest plus 1 High Priest does not equal 1 High Priest (gods though are a different story) so they are forced to mistranslate "High Priest" as plural (High Priests) or change the word to "Priesthood".

Our expert says: Misunderstanding of historical backdrop and Luke's use of humor. Annas and Caiaphas were the singular high priest because Caiaphas was installed even though Annas was still alive. There can be no new high priest named until the old one is dead, and therefore Caiaphas was illegitimate even though he was in fact the ruling high priest. Besides, Annas was Caiaphas' father-in-law. See I. Howard Marshall Luke NIGTC, 134. Luke also generally uses humor to mock people. See Goldingay, John. "Are They Comic Acts?" Evangelical Quarterly 69 (1997): 99-107.

#315

Luke 3: (KJV) 2 Repeats 314 in different words.

#316

Luke 3: (KJV) 9 Eschatological issue.

#317

Luke 3: (KJV) 10 "And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise." Compare to Matthew 12: (KJV) 36 "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." The basic question the Christian Bible is trying to answer is "What is the requirement for entering the Kingdom Of Heaven" (another related question is "What is the Kingdom of Heaven?").

See here for an answer.

The Christian Bible is unable to give any coherent answer either between different authors or even within some authors. Here Luke's John says that good deeds are required. The quote from "Matthew" above has Jesus saying good words are required.

So speaking is not a deed? So Wallack thinks this means Jesus would think you could kill 1 million people and be innocent as long as you spoke nicely to them? Any person not looking for grievances would see the Matthean note as highlighting a particular act in light of the prior incident in which Jesus' opponents said he was from Beelzebul. "Jewish teachers naturally recognized that one would be accountable for one's words as well as deeds on the day of judgment..." [Keener, 366]

#318

Luke 3: (KJV) 15 "And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;" Because "Matthew's" surrounding story is so similar he and Luke probably were using the same source. Matthew has no equivalent for Luke 3:15 indicating the omission by him was deliberate. Matthew likely saw it as an insult to Jesus that someone (let alone "all men") could mistake John for the Messiah and only a more Gentile author like Luke would write that Jews could think a Levite (John) could be the Messiah.

Think of Matthew 24:5, "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." I may as well say that Matthew left it out because he didn't want to imply that John was an evil person. In any event, how is this an "error"? As for the "Levite" bit Wallack apparently forgets something: John's mother was a relative of Mary, who Luke has descended from David.

#319

Luke 3: (KJV) 16 "but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose" Compare to Matthew 3: (KJV) 11 "…but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear" Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 7 "…There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose." Petty difference here. Luke and Mark say "unloose" while Matthew says "bear". What's instructive here is to start observing how often either Matthew or Luke agree with Mark against the other as opposed to agreeing with each other against Mark. Very good evidence that Matthew and Luke copied from Mark.

Petty difference? Then someone who objects to it is...?

Yes, it would be a normal variation in oral tradition -- no copying required. Keener [130] notes that a household servant had the job of washing a master's feet, unloosing his sandals, AND carrying them, so this is a difference with no difference. Same job, different aspect: it "convey[s] the same sense of servility, and hence communicates the same point despite the variation in wording."

Keener also notes that it may "reflect the same Aramaic verb" and while it does allow for Luke to know Matthew, it refutes any suggestion of evidence that Matthew copied Mark.

#320

Luke 3: (KJV) 16 Same as 18.

#321

Luke 3: (KJV) 16 "John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:" Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 8 "I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost." "Luke's" "John's" "Jesus" will baptize with Holy Ghost and fire. "Mark's" "John's" "Jesus" will only baptize with the Holy Ghost, all after John baptizes with water. (Seems like it should be the other way around, fire, then water).

Fire was used to symbolize purification, a Jewish symbol that Mark's less sophisticated Roman readers would not understand. Mark reserves the use of "fire" for hell (Mark 9).

#322

Luke 3: (KJV) 18 Same as 77 and 78 above.

#323

Luke 3: (KJV) 21 "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened," Compare to Matthew 3: (KJV) 16 "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:" Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 10 "And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:" Luke says that Jesus was praying when the heaven opened. Matthew and Mark don't.

As long as they don't say Jesus was NOT praying, and as long as Jesus was not said to be doing something that would keep him from praying, there is no issue to discuss.

Note all the agreement between Matthew and Mark against Luke.

How about common oral tradition? No, that wouldn't allow us to create fictional Q communities who didn't believe Jesus was anything but a teacher, etc.

#324

Luke 3: (KJV) 21 "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him" Compare to Matthew 3: (KJV) 16 "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:" Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 10 "And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:" According to Matthew and Mark the heaven(s) was/were immediately opened after baptism while according to Luke the opening was more leisurely.

How is it "more leisurely" and how do Matthew and Mark show less "leisure"? Wallack is inventing differences out of thin air.

#325

Luke 3: (KJV) 21 "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him" Compare to Matthew 3: (KJV) 16 "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:" Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 10 "And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:" There's normally an implication that a Spirit/Spirit of God/Holy Ghost is invisible.

There is? Where? Angels were spirits, but they could clearly manifest themselves, so why not the Holy Spirit?

"Luke" explicitly states that this time the Holy Ghost was visible. Related questions are if Jesus is God then why does he need the Holy Ghost in the first place?

Wallack erroneously thinks "Jesus is God" means "one person is another". That is modalism, not Trinitarianism.

Wasn't he already born of the Holy Ghost? Was the Holy Ghost temporarily lodging within Jesus until Jesus sent the Holy Ghost to his followers? (Was Jesus' charged double occupancy?). Wallack needs information on Trinitarianism: Here and here.

#326

Luke 3: (KJV) 23 "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli," Compare to Matthew 1: (KJV) 16 "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." The father of Joseph (not sure what the correct term is for the father of the husband of the wife who virgin birthed you as I don't believe that Amy Vanderbilt ever addresses this issue) according to "Luke" is Heli and according to "Matthew" is Jacob. Just going by names "Matthew" seems to have picked names based on their significance and order in the Tanakh.

To some extent correct.

Jacob was the father of Joseph who had Egyptian children and "Jesus" is remarkably similar in sound to the Egyptian "Iusa" which means "the ever coming one". Of course this is just rampant speculation on my part.

It certainly is -- it would also meam every kid named Jesus in Palestine at the time -- and "Jesus" was the 6th most popular name for Jewish men in Palestine in that day -- was named after Iusa.

This is the kind of thing you'll get from reading and believing Gerald Massey; see comments here. On genealogies see here and here.

#327

Luke 3: (KJV) 27 "Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel," Luke has 20 generations from Zerubbabel to Jesus (it goes without saying that some of these generations are missing in some manuscripts) while Matthew has 11. As mentioned previously, for the time period covered Luke's number of generations is more plausible. Most of the names Luke lists for this period are unknown outside of Luke. Where Luke got them, God knows.

See above link, plus here. Ironic, isn't it? If Matthew uses known names, he just stole them from the OT. If Luke does not use known names, "God knows where he got them."

Genealogical lists were kept in Jerusalem, though, and families were very concerned in societies like this one to preserve their lineage for a variety of reasons -- not the least of which would be anticipating the Messiah.

#328, 329

Luke 3: (KJV) 27 Ansewered by links in the two entries above.

#330, 331

Luke 3: (KJV) 32 "Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson," The earliest extant manuscripts have "Sala" which is different than "Salmon" from the Tanakh.

Just normal variant spellings yet again.

#332

Luke 3: (KJV) 33 "Which was the son of Aminadab" The earliest extant manuscripts lack Aminadab and there is tremendous variation in names at this point in manuscripts indicating a likely omission in the original.

Maybe so; commentaries say that there probably was a mixup in transmission. What of it? Lists of names are notorious for copyist issues.

#333

Luke 3: (KJV) 33 "Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom" The textual evidence is that "Aram" above should be "Arni" so "Matthew" has "Aram" as the son of Hezron (Esrom) and "Luke" has "Arni". Aram by any other name.

Odd how Wallack sees "Hezron" as a variant of "Esrom" but objects to variant spellings elsewhere. Commentaries agree this is possibly a variant spelling, but they sure don't consider it a problem or an error.

#334

Luke 3: (KJV) 37 "Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad" There is no "Cainan" in the related genealogy of either the Masoretic text or Josephus' listing. "Cainan" is in most Greek (Christian) translations of the Tanakh but Augustine is the first Church Father to mention the name so it's likely that "Cainan" was added to Greek translations because it was in "Luke".

See here.

#335

Luke 4: (KJV) 1 Same as 148 above.

#336

Luke 4: (KJV) 3 "And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread." Compare to Matthew 4: (KJV) 3 "And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Luke sez "stone" while Matthew sez "stones". We've seen before how "Matthew" likes to multiply stuff. What's the point or argument? Wallack doesn't make one.

#337

Luke 4: (KJV) 5 "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time." Compare to Matthew 4: (KJV) 5 "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple," According to "Luke" Jesus is taken way up high ("mountain" is not in the underlying text and is a mistranslation by KJV) before being taken to the holy city while according to "Matthew" the order is reverse.

Wallack is way off base, because "mountain" (rendered "mount" in Green's Interlinear IS in the underlying text (Gk: oros). As for the order aspect, Matthew's is regarded as having the original order, since he makes a logical progression both in locales (desert floor ---> temple roof ---> mountain) and a logical regression in cites of Scripture (Deut. 8:3, 6:16, 6:13),- and Luke's placement of the temple temptation last figures well into his prominence given to Jerusalem. As an aside this fits hand in glove with Luke directly using Matthew.

#338

Luke 4: (KJV) 17 "And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written," "Book" is an anachronistic translation by a majority of modern translations. "Scroll" is what the underlying Greek meant. You get a scroll with it baby. If this is an "error" it is a translation one, not a Bible one.

# 339

Luke 4: (KJV) 17 " And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Compare to Isaiah 61 which Jesus is supposedly quoting from (KJV): 1 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;" Even KJV, picking and choosing and mistranslating from different manuscripts can't make Jesus' quote of Isaiah agree to what Isaiah said. There is no translation of Isaiah that agrees to the quote in Luke. A related question is if a Gospel, which the Christians consider the most reliable evidence, says that Jesus made a quote of a Prophet, why wouldn't the Christians just change their translations of that Prophet to make it agree with what Jesus said?

Beyond the unsubstantiated accusation against the KJV (unproven as it stands, not that I hold a candle for it) is it supposed that Jesus read only these passages and said a single sentence, and that was the end of the sermon? Luke is simply exercising his right as a historian of this period, as he does in Acts, and summarizing what was said. Only wooden literalism and a lack of understanding of the literary-historical context finds reason to object to this passage, and add in unsubstantiated accusations about changing translations.

As an aside, on the TheologyEeb forum Wallack indicated that he thinks that even the design of modern Bibles is part of some slick marketing campaign to convert people.

# 340

Luke 4: (KJV) 22 "And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?" Compare to Matthew 13: (KJV) 55 "Is not this the carpenter's son?" Compare to Mark 6: (KJV) 3 "Is not this the carpenter," This story in "Mark" has no reference to Jesus' father. "Matthew" appears to alter Mark by making the carpenter Jesus' father instead of Jesus. "Luke" refers to Jesus' father as "Joseph". In all of "Mark", likely the first Gospel written, there is no mention of Joseph, the supposed father of Jesus. As James Wood said in the classic movie "Contact", "That is interesting, isn't it?".

Again: This sort of thing is again explicable by normal variations in oral tradition; not that there's a a lot of difference, for if Joseph was a carpenter, Jesus would have been taught the carpenter's trade. And does Wallack thinks all those brothers and sisters of Jesus sprang out of the ground in Mark's view? Odd how he says this yet also notes that Mark includes no virgin birth.

# 341

Luke 4: (KJV) 24 "But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;" Compare to 1 Kings 18: (KJV) 1 "And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth." According to Luke there was no rain in the Elijah story for three and a half years but the Elijah story says it rained in the third year. I guess "Luke" was just signing in the rain, just signing in the rain.

See Rihbany's comment about re precision.

# 342

Luke 4: (KJV) 22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? 23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. 24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. 28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, Compare to Mark 6: (KJV) 1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. Compare to Matthew 13: (KJV) 54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. 58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. The various Gospel authors are trying to explain why it was prophesied that the Jews would reject the Messiah they were prophesied to accept. Not an easy task. "Luke's" explanation is that Nazareth wanted Jesus to ply his trade there (who wouldn't?) but Jesus explains that there is a rule saying he can't and that is what makes them sore at him.

There is nothing here about "plying a trade".

"Mark's" explanation is that Nazareth was mad at Jesus first and then Jesus tells them why and is unable to do any healing and then does some healing. "Matthew's" explanation is like "Mark's" except that Jesus chose not to do many mighty works.

All three contain the same message: Jesus' reply in all three cases focuses on the Naraenes' lack of loyalty (pistis, which we read as faith). Like the ungrateful client in the client-patron relationship, the people rejected Jesus as a patron in spite of his acts of grace, thereby dishonoring him. (Note how this affects the meaning of the core message in all three: "A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.") To reject a gracious act was the height of dishonor. Jesus could not heal these people not because of a lack of power, but because of ingratitude and a rejection of his gracious patronage. A rejected patron could and would never force his gracious gifts upon a client who didn't want them.

There's also my explanation that when subsequent Christianity went to Jesus' supposed hometown of Nazareth to hear all about his great career there the typical response by the natives was "what are you talking about?" (apology).

Another unsubstantiated remark by Wallack, who needs to invent history to explain away the history.

# 343

Luke 4: (KJV) 16 "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read...32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power." In Luke Jesus teaches first in Nazareth and then in Capernaum. Strangely, in verse 23 Jesus refers to himself as having already taught in Capernaum. This confusion is likely caused by the fact that in the parallel accounts in Mark and Matthew Jesus taught first in Capernaum and then in Nazareth and the author of "Luke" was using "Mark" as one of her sources.

The only "confusion" is in Wallack's as he misses the obvious answer that Luke just didn't report Jesus' teaching in Capernaum and that he starts reporting Jesus' teaching career in the middle. Note as well the "her" referring to Luke, as Wallack has apparently accepted Randel Helms' idea that Luke was authored by a woman.

# 344

Luke 4: (KJV) 38 "And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them." Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 30 "But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them." According to Mark Jesus' cure recipe was take hand and lift while according to Luke it was stand over and rebuke. Look Mark, no hands. Can Wallack conceive of these as two steps in the same process?

# 345

Luke 4: (KJV) 40 "Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them." Compare to Matthew 8: (KJV) 16 "When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:" According to Luke the sick were brought as the sun was setting (the present tense is used). According to Matthew the sick were brought when it was evening. It would have been a violation of the Sabbath to bring the sick during the Sabbath. Matthew is more concerned/familiar with the Law than Luke.

In the days before wristwatches and TV would anyone think there was a difference between the sun setting time and the "evening"? When does the sun set, exactly? When you can still see all of it? Not until it is all below the horizon? In between?

# 346

Luke 4: (KJV) 40 "Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them." Compare to Matthew 8: (KJV) 16 "When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:" Now Luke sez that hands were used for healing and Matthew doesn't. Hands, no hands. Uh, oh, Simon didn't saay.

Laying on of hands was an act used for prayer and blessing, not healing. Two aspects of the same process.

# 347

Luke 4: (KJV) 41 "And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ." Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 34 "And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him." Mark sez that Jesus prevented the devils from speaking while Luke sez they were able to get out a "Thou art Christ the Son of God" before they were silenced. As Richard Dreyfus said in the classic "Moon Over Parador", "Oh, too laate!".

Wallack again substitutes popular culture references for careful reading. Answer: When Mark says he suffered them not to speak, how's he going to do that until they actually show that they plan to?

# 348

Luke 4: (KJV) 41 "And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ." Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 34 "And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him." The subtle change that Luke has made to Mark here is interesting. Mark says that Jesus would not let the devils speak because they recognized him. There is a theory that the original "Mark" was more Gnostic in nature and that Jesus was a spirit which took possession of a human body and that is why the devil spirits recognized Jesus, because they were also spirits.

Whose theory this is, Wallack doesn't say, but it's better that he didn't. If it refers to "Secret Mark" then see above.

In Mark Jesus successfully prevents the devils from revealing his spirit nature.

That's sure what Palestinian Jews would draw from a comment that Jesus was "Christ the Son of God." What about Mark 8:29 then?

The author of Luke had no use for this conclusion and therefore changes the story with the result that it no longer makes sense. Now Jesus makes the devils not speak except that they had already spoken and Jesus, who fulfills prophecy to let people know that he is the Messiah, doesn't want to let people know that he is the Messiah.

See 347 and 146 above.

# 349

Luke 4: (KJV) 44 "And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee." The manuscript evidence is that "Judea" is original but a majority of Christian translations have "Galilee". There is significant manuscript variation which often means copyists noticed an error in the original which they made different changes to and we'll see next why it was changed.

Commentaries reply that Luke is either using "Judaea" in the same generalizing way as in 1:5 (as did the Roman Senate) or saying that news spread geographically. The copyists, like Wallack, didn't consult the Roman Senate either.

# 350

Luke 4: (KJV) 44 Wallack repeats 349, just adding that Mark says "Galilee".

# 351

Luke 5: (KJV) 3 "And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship." Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 16 "Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him." According to Luke Simon did not immediately become a disciple while according to Mark he did. Perhaps we can agree that it is a fish story.

Perhaps composition procedures in the ancient world are a better answer. Mark telescopes his account because he is an "action" Gospel -- he cuts to the chase. Notice how often he uses "immediately".

# 352

Luke 5: (KJV) 1 Essentially a repeat of 351, with Wallack adding that Andrew is not mentioned by Luke. Why is this a problemn? Normal variation in oral tradition and/or eyewitness accounts is the answer, but Wallack thinks this means:

This is pretty good evidence that not only were the Gospels not written by disciples or even anyone who knew the disciples but authors like Luke who likely copied from Mark didn't think the author of Mark was a disciple or even knew any disciples and that is why Luke had no problem changing the disciple stories.

After that, variable witness testimony of the same event will always keep us from believing anyone was actually an eyewitness and/or trustworthy and/or used eyewitness accounts. And to say nothing of the variabilities in these Lincoln biographies...

# 353

Luke 6: (KJV) 1 Same as 70 above.

# 354

Luke 6: (KJV) 4 Same as 70 above -- no, the Pharisees were silent because they had lost the riposte-challenge exchange.

# 355

Luke 6: (KJV) 6 "And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered." Compare to Matthew 12: (KJV) 8 "For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. 9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: 10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him." Luke sez the hand healing was on a different Sabbath while Matthew sez it was the same Sabbath as the previous story. Apparently the son of the Son of man was lord of the Sabbath and had the power to do anything with the Sabbath including exchanging one for another.

Once again the answer is Matthew's artificial structure. Again: Take a good look at a red letter Bible and note those five big red blocks of Jesus' teaching.

# 356

Luke 6: (KJV) 13 "Mark" only has one Judas in his list while "Luke" has two. Luke consistently has more elements of Pagan mythology in his story such as the good and the bad "Judas".

Pagan myths? With 10% of Jewish men of this time named Judah/Judas, there's no chance that there was one bad one in reality? While it is possible, as E. P. Sanders has suggested, that there are two different people, one replacing the other, I think it is far more likely that Judas James Jr. changed his name to Thaddeus and used that name after the resurrection. I mean, after all, would you want to have the same name as the guy who betrayed your Master? I wouldn't. If your name were Ted Bundy, or Adolf Hitler, I guess you'd change it too. Odd, too, for Wallack's theory how Luke never mentions this "good" Judas again.

# 357

Luke 7: (KJV) 1 "Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. 3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant." Compare to Matthew 8: (KJV) 5 "And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him." Luke sez the centurion sent elders while Matthew sez the centurion sent himself.

Answer: "In the view of the ancients, agency and representation was the same as being there. If the elders and friends were there representing the centurion, so then was the centurion." That was a reality of ancient culture, and the evidence shows that this was accepted to the point that actions directed by another could be directly attributed to that person. For example, in the Babylonian creation story Enuma Elish (Heidel, Babylonian Genesis, 188; see 46ff), Tablet 6 and Tablet 7 have different opinions (guffaw) on who created mankind -- Marduk, or the god he hired, Ea. The Latins had a maxim: "What our agent does we do ourselves."

Historically it is quite likely that the centurion sent elders and/or friends to make the requests -- under the ancient rules of patronage and honor, a person of high social status (like the centurion) never made a request of one of lower status unless they were desperate [Keener, commentary on Matthew, 266]. To have actually come out to Jesus physically would have been exceptional.

Why does Matthew shorten the story using the principle of agency? The answer lies in his addition of the material about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and his goal to compile the teachings of Jesus and his lesser emphasis on action. But Luke, whose concern is more to express the universality of the Gospel (cf. Luke 2:10, the start of this theme) and is less concerned with specific parties (as he "universalizes" the Pharisees and Sadducees who come to John the Baptist), prefers to report the interaction between the centurion and the Jewish leaders, thus exemplifying the cooperation to be demonstrated by those who come to Jesus (as believers would) with no concern for ethnic barriers -- a striking message at a time when Jewish hatred of Romans, especially Roman soldiers, especially leading Roman soldiers, would have been acute.

# 358

Luke 7: (KJV) 8 "For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." The phrase "set under authority" in English or the underlying Greek has a meaning of being subject to authority and not representing authority as the context of Luke is explaining. Christian commentators, while commentating that the context means representing authority, can't give any examples of authors using the underlying Greek to mean this. A related Aramaic word means both "under" and "in place of" and this could be the source of "Luke's" confusion.

Wallack doesn't really explain the problem here, so it is hard to answer, and that "can't" is likely a "didn't" because they didn't see a problem, either.

Commentaries confirm the issue, and add that later scribes may have seen hints of too much subordination by Jesus to the Father in the centurion's comment, but that seems rather odd as it is unlikely that anyone would think a centurion knew the details of Trinitarian relations.

# 359

Luke 7: (KJV) 17 "And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about." Jesus was in Nain which is generally thought to be in Galilee and this is confirmed by the preceding narrative which says that Jesus recently came from Capernaum which is definitely in Galilee. The author of Luke says that after the healing in Nain the word went forth throughout all Judea but the problem is that Nain was in Galilee. The Apologist defense that the textual word means all of Israel is ingenious. Even though no other known author uses the underlying Greek word in that sense because the author of Luke has used it to refer to all of Israel in another verse that proves that it could refer to all of Israel rather than be a (another) geographical error.

Turns out this "ingenious" idea has the support of several commentaries, including some with no inerrantist axe to grind, and the Roman Senate, but even so, read carefully: "And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about."

Luke is saying, what? That news of this great event reached into the geographical hub of Judaism.

# 360

Luke 7: (KJV) 18 Resolved again by recognizing ancient literary practice.

# 361

Luke 7: (KJV) 20 "When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. 22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. 23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. 24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. 26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet." Jesus describes John as much more than a prophet yet the implication by "Luke" is that even though John would have seen the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus at his baptism and heard God's voice saying that Jesus is his son John is not sure whether Jesus is the Messiah because there hasn't been any eschatological wrath like John predicted.

John is expressing one of two common ideas of the day -- one could be the misconception held by the Jewish peasantry that the Messiah would come and overthrow the Romans before, or at the same time, as His spiritual mission; the other and more likely is that he followed the Qumranites in thinking there were two Messiahs, and Jesus was only one of them, and he was asking after the other one. Indeed, John's fiery oration describing Jesus (Luke 3:17) supports this idea that he "anticipated a Messianic figure who would bring freedom from the political oppression of Rome." [BY.JT, 50]

John had evidently had his disciples watch Jesus after he went to prison (Luke 7:18; Matt. 9:14). When he heard that Jesus was not kicking the Romans around, but performing miracles and teaching, he sent his disciples to ask, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" No doubt hearing that his expectations of a political Messiah were not being fulfilled - added to the dreary condition of imprisonment he suffered under an unjust political system - combined to either shake his confidence in his identification of Jesus as the Messiah (Indeed, he probably hoped that Jesus, before kicking the Romans around a bit, would come and break him out of jail!), or else, he was asking after the manner of the Qumranites for Messiah #2, having figured that Jesus was Messiah #1.

Like his fellow Jews, John may not have conceived of a two separately-defined and widely-separated (in time) roles for the one Messiah.

# 362

Luke 8: (KJV) 9 "And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God." Matthew's Jesus gives the same explanation in 13:10 so the preceding seed sower stories (say that fast three times) of "Luke" and "Matthew" logically would have happened at the same time. But "Matthew" gave the true relatives story before the seed sower story while "Luke" gives it after his/her seed sower story. I guess it's all relative.

Yes, actually, it is. The methods of composition in this day involved compiling loose notes and arranging them according to what ever purpose was in mind -- chronology, topically, etc. Matthew's work is clearly more topically-oriented and Luke is more chronological.

# 363

Luke 8: (KJV) 19 Conceptually answered the same way.

# 364

Luke 8: (KJV) 22 "Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let usover unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth." Compare to Mark 4: (KJV) 35 "And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side." At this spot in "Luke" Jesus had just explained who his true relatives were with the setting being a house. Now the setting is a boat so the wording is "on a certain day" with the implication that it was a different day from the true relative day. In "Mark" Jesus has just told parables from a boat so the author just keeps Jesus in the same boat on the same day. "Mark" likes to keep the action going kind of like a Spielberg movie so he uses lots of conjunctive words like "then", and "and".

Wallack has it partly right: Not a Spielberg movie, but an ancient oration. Ditto on Luke's being chronological.

# 365

Luke 8: (KJV) 22 "Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth." Compare to Mark 4: (KJV) 35 "And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships." In "Luke" Jesus tells his disciples to go to the other side after they are already in the boat. In "Mark" Jesus gives these instructions before they get into the boat. The word again is, ma besay-il. Luke may not have had it, but Mark (Peter) did. See 185 above.

# 366

Luke 8: (KJV) 24 "And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish." Compare to Mark 4: (KJV) 38 "And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Compare to Matthew 8: (KJV) 25 "And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish." Literally, the different titles ascribed to Jesus here constitute an error. The error may be minor as Jesus could have been addressed using different words by different disciples and the author just picked one for purposes of the narrative.

That could be true, and would not constitute an error other than by the standards of Western precision. However:

What's interesting is the anachronistic flavor of the titles chosen by the authors which likely reflect how Jesus was referred to in the author's time and not necessarily in Jesus' time. "Mark" probably reflects the earliest time period. KJV has mistranslated the title as "Master" which should be "Teacher". "Teacher" is probably what someone like Jesus would have been addressed as by Jewish disciples.

This is correct as far as it goes: the word means "teacher" but it would hardly be wrong to call Confucius "Master" either.

"Matthew" was probably written after "Mark" and "Lord" is a subsequent reflection that Jesus was more than just a teacher.

No, it is a common word used as a title of respect, like our "Sir."

"Luke" probably wrote last here and "Master" is a Gentile influence.

Perhaps true, but of little relevance. It is "epistates" and means teacher or commander. It is a word Luke only uses and would indeed be more intelligible to a Gentile readership than (for example) "Rabbi".

# 367

Luke 8: (KJV) 53 See 151 above.

# 368

Luke 9: (KJV) 7 See 351 above.

# 369

Luke 9: (KJV) 18 "and it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him" No comment required.

One is required indeed: "Wallack is misusing KJV language." Other versions make it clear that Jesus was the only one ("alone") praying, not that he was alone as in the only person around. The word is used elsewhere only in Mark 4:12 and makes this meaning clear: "And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable." This is after a crowd has left that had gathered about him.

# 370

Luke 9: (KJV) 18 See 351 above.

# 371

Luke 9: (KJV) 27 Eschatological issue.

# 372

Luke 9: (KJV) 28 "And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray." Compare to Mark 9: (KJV) 2 "And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them." Luke sez 8 days later while Mark sez 6.

Scholarship says: Not only is Luke estimating where Mark and Matt are not -- but in light of Peter's words about building shacks for Elijah and Moses, the "six days" referred to means "after the six days between the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles". Luke the Gentile writer does not use this method of reckoning time; it would have no meaning for his readers.

# 373

Luke 9: (KJV) 33 Same as 366 above.

# 374

Luke 9: (KJV) 35 "And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him." Compare to Mark 9: (KJV) 7 "And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him." The textual evidence indicates that the "beloved" of KJV's Luke 9:35 above should be "chosen" and this is the word used by a majority of modern Christian translations.

Wallack gets this from Ehrman, most likely, though it has validity. "Chosen" we are told by Ehrman [67] is found in "early and superior witnesses" and "could have proved susceptible to adoptionist misconstrual" (note that Ehrman acknowledges implicitly that one must misconstrue the text to get an adoptionist reading).

We ourselves are chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) and the language says nothing about when and how the choice occurs, or about the nature of the person chosen, so in any event we have another non-issue.

# 375

Luke 9: (KJV) 37 Literary composition issue.

# 376

Luke 9: (KJV) "43 See 351 above.

# 377

Luke 9: (KJV) 46 See 351 above. Plus this:

Note that in "Mark's" passion prediction Jesus states that he will be killed which creates the implication that the disciples then discussed which of them was greatest in anticipation of succeeding Jesus. "Luke" removed this information from his version because he understandably thought that "Mark's" description of the disciples not understanding what was the meaning of Jesus saying he was going to be killed was not believable. No, what was not "understood" was the raising part, not the killing part.

In the process of removing this information though he also removed Mark's implication for the reason the disciples discussed who was the greatest among them.

Hardly. Luke 9:44 contains the same implication; the word used means to hand over, as to authorities, and back in 9:22 it was made clear that death would be the result. We edit crass anti-Semitic comment by Wallack to close.

# 378

Luke 9: (KJV) 59 Same as 62 above.

# 379, 380

Luke 10: (KJV) 1

# 381

Luke 10: (KJV) 42 "But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." The textual evidence indicates that the above should start out "But few things are needful or one". A majority of modern Christian translations have edited this awkward grammar.

Why it is "awkward" Wallack does not explain, in KJV English or in Greek for that matter.

# 382

Luke 11: (KJV) 3 "Give us day by day our daily bread." The underlying Greek word that has been translated "day by day" above is unknown outside of the Christian Bible. Church Fathers, going all the way back, have always been unsure of its meaning and simply guessed based on their interpretation of the overall context. Yet I'm not aware of any modern Christian translation that indicates that the meaning of this word is uncertain.

What's uncertain? The words are "kata" and "hemera" and are both common words.

# 383

Luke 11: (KJV) 13 Same as 18 above.

# 384

Luke 11: (KJV) 23 "He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth." Compare to Luke 9: (KJV) 50 "And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us." What's interesting here is that "Matthew" has the first saying and "Mark" has the second saying so technically "Luke" agrees with "Matthew" and "Mark".

Is there a problem here? Wallack doesn't explain yet again.

# 385

Luke 11: (KJV) 29 "And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. 30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here." Compare to Matthew 12: (KJV) 39 "But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." According to "Matthew" the sign of Jonah will be a three day and three night disappearance of the son of man while the implication in "Luke" is that the sign of Jonah was Jonah's preaching.

Matthew says no such thing; the sign of Jonah in any event is a sign of judgment after preaching. Matthew merely offers a further parallel, not a description of the sign.

# 386

Luke 11: (KJV) 40 Same as 110 above.

# 387

Luke 12: (KJV) 53 Same as 67 above.

# 388

Luke 13: (KJV) 19 "It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it." Compare to Matthew 13: (KJV) 31 "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:" The author of "Luke" apparently was unaware that during the time he was supposedly describing there was a prohibition on planting mustard seeds in gardens. The author of "Matthew" was aware of this and used "field" instead of "garden".

Prohibitions would not stop the average peasant to begin with, but not that it matters, since Wallack gives us neither source nor documentation for this claim.

# 389

Luke 14: (KJV) 26 "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Another anti parent saying. The Hebrew word for "hate" occasionally has a meaning of "strong preference" in the Tanakh but the Greek word used here always means "hate" elsewhere in the Christian Bible and outside the Christian Bible. Suffice it to say that using "hate" and "parents" in the same sentence is a bad choice of words.

Abraham Rihbany (The Syrian Christ, 98f) points to the use of "hate" in the Bible as an example of linguistic extreme in an Eastern culture. There is no word, he notes, for "like" in the Arabic tongue. "...[T]o us Orientals the only word which can express and cordial inclination of approval is 'love'." The word is used even of casual acquaintances. Extreme language is used to express even moderate relationships. Reflecting, Biblical Hebrew has no equivalent to comparative adjectives or adverbs. One can say "tall" but not "taller" or "tallest".

Luke 14:26 falls into a category of "extreme language," the language of absoluteness used to express a preference, and may refer to disattachment, indifference, or nonattachment without any feelings of revulsion involved. To seal this matter completely, let's look at some parallel materials which prove our point. The closest example comes from Genesis 29:30-1: And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. Here, "hated" is clearly used synonymously with one who is loved less. Let it be added that if Jacob hated Leah in a literal way, it is hardly believable that he would consent to take her as his wife at all. (See also Judges 14:16 and Deut. 21:15-17.)

Now here is another example from Jesus, Luke 16:13: No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Such extremes of feeling would be atypical, but the extremes are not meant to be taken literally; the point is that one master will get more dedicated labor than the other. Now let's move into some secular works with the same sort of hyperbolic language. Fitzmeyer's Lukan commentary offers this example from Poimandes 4:6: If you do not hate your body first, O child, you will not be able to love yourself. Would critics suppose that this teaches literal hatred of the physical body? It does not -- it emphasizes the need to give preference to the whole self before the body alone. Literal hate of the body would have us cutting it with razors or hitting it with blunt objects -- an extreme practiced in some Eastern faiths, but not among the Greeks.

Here is another example from a war song in the Poetae Lyrici Graeci (see James Denney, "The Word 'Hate' in Lk. 14:26," Expository Times 21, 41-42): it is said that in battle, men "must count his own life his enemy for the honor of Sparta" -- is this a literal hatred of one's own life being taught? No! It is emphasizing the need to make one's life secondary for Sparta's sake.

Here's a final example from Epictetus 3.3.5: "The good is preferable to every intimate relation." This is just a more abstract version of Luke 14:26.

# 390

Luke 14: (KJV) 27 Same as 187 above.

# 391

Luke 14: (KJV) 33 See 389 above.

# 392

Luke 16: (KJV) 14 "And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him." KJV's "covetous" above is a mistranslation which should be "money lovers" which most modern translations use. Neither Jewish writings, Pagan writings or early Christian writings other than "Luke" describe the Pharisees as money lovers and this is likely why the KJV mistranslated.

What Jewish, pagan, or early Christian writing does Wallack suppose we'd hear more about this in? Josephus is the only one who might have cared and would have been close enough to the time to know -- and he was a Pharisee himself, not likely to object.

The Sadducees were the wealthy Jews so the author of "Luke" either confused them with the Pharisees or wasn't overly concerned with accurately portraying history.

Oh, it's not possible that Luke was actually giving a correct description, now, is it?

One lesson we can learn from the Christian Bible is that it usually is a bad idea to categorize an entire group of people as possessing a negative quality (stereotyping).

"Stereotyping" was normal in the ancient world. We skip Wallack's own offensive stereotype of Catholics.

# 393

Luke 16: (KJV) 16 "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it." Contradicted by the Tanakh many times as the eternal quality of the Law may be the most common assertion in the Tanakh.

Presumably Wallack refers to passages that speak of the law as 'olam -- a word actually used to mean "in perpetuity" and used as well of the tenure of a slave. But the reference here is not to the law per se but to the covenant -- hence the dual reference to the law AND the prophets.

# 394

Luke 16: (KJV) 16 "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail." Apparently "Luke" felt that "Matthew" type explanations of how Jesus didn't change the Law by changing the Law were unclear so he provides his own explanation above.

It's hard to see what the point is here.

# 395

Luke 16: (KJV) 17 Same as 56 above.

# 396

Luke 16: (KJV) 18 "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." Compare to Mark 10: (KJV) 11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. Note that in "Mark's" explanation the man and woman are guilty of adultery while in "Luke's" explanation only the man is guilty of adultery. This is one of many pieces of evidence that "Luke" was written by a woman.

It's non-evidence and fantasy evidence; why not a man sympathetic to women, as a physician would be likely to be? In any event Luke's version no more makes the man only guilty than OT passages that say "If a man steals a cow...." means women are allowed to steal cows and get away with it and only men "are guilty" of the crime.

# 397

Luke 18: (KJV) 20 Compare to Mark 10: (KJV) 19 "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother." The two versions look like they start out the same but the underlying Greek of Mark 10:19 has "do not kill" before "do not commit adultery".

False, according to Green's Interlinear, but --

A majority of modern Christian translations correctly translate based on the order of the underlying Greek.

--the NIV and NRSV do follow this.

In fairness to the KJV I'm not aware of any commandment which says "Do not change the word order to avoid the appearance of error". Having "Do not commit adultery" first is even more evidence that "Luke" was written by a woman. Imagine, a story all about The Son Of Man written by The Daughter Of Man. As the fella once said, "Ain't that a kick in the head".

Why is "adultery" being first evidence that a woman wrote it? It isn't, in fact -- Malina and Rohrbaugh in their Social Science Commentary [241] note that adultery in this time meant "to dishonor a male by having sexual relations with his wife." Males embodied gender honor, and "since only male equals can challenge for honor, a female cannot and does not dishonor a wife by having sexual relations with the wife's husband. Nor can a married man dishonor his wife by having sexual relations with some other female." If anything this is proof that Luke was written by a man, not a woman, or else a woman with peculiar concern for male honor. More likely it's just a common literary transposition with no authorial motive whatsoever.

# 398

Luke 18: (KJV) 31 Exegetical issue.

# 399

Luke 18: (KJV) 35 "And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:" Compare to Mark 10: (KJV) 46 "And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging." "Luke" sez they were coming, "Mark" sez they were going, so the Christian Bible doesn't know whether they were coming or going.

Scholarship says Jericho had two parts. How about this happening between the two?

# 400

Luke 19: (KJV) 44 Same as 117 above.

# 401

Luke 19: (KJV) 45 "And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. 47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, 48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him." First "Luke" describes Jesus as breaking the Law by preventing required sacrifices

There were ample places outside the Temple to do this business; nothing was "prevented" and I suppose Wallack thinks Hos. 6:6 and Jer. 7:22 break the law, too.

then "Luke" creates the unbelievable story that such an act would be tolerated by the "leaders" or the "people" and that Jesus would be permitted to teach afterwards in the Temple.

It would be tolerated by the "people" who resented the Temple leadership's abuse of the sacrificial system (see Herzog's Jesus, Justice and the Reign of God), and the "leaders" if they were smart would allow such a prophetic demonstration that didn't lead to violence against persons.

# 402

Luke 20: (KJV) 1 Literary compisition issue.

A Note at This Point on Enumeration

The numbers still diverge by one. 403 below is now 402 in Wallack's count.

# 403

Luke 20: (KJV) 1 "And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders," Compare to Mark 11: (KJV) 27 "And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders," Luke's Jesus was teaching at the time while Mark's Jesus was walking. Proof that Cool Hand Luke and Marky Mark can talk the talk and walk the walk. I have no idea what the argument here is supposed to be.

# 404

Luke 20: (KJV) 9 "Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time." Compare to Mark 11: (KJV) 32 "But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things. 12: 1 "And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country." Luke's Jesus spoke to the "people" at the same time that Mark's Jesus spoke to the "leaders" so Jesus must have been speaking out both sides of his mouth.

So when leaders are around, there can't be any people around, and vice versa? And "leaders" are not people? Check Mark 12:12 to see who all was there. Also read Mark 11-12 and decide if this is a natural or a compositionally adjusted conversation.

# 405-412

Literary-composition issues, exegetical issues, or repeats.

# 413

Luke 20: (KJV) 41 "And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's son?" Compare to Mark 12: (KJV) 35 "And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?" Luke's Jesus is talking to the scribes. Mark's Jesus is talking about the scribes.

Luke 20:26 says "people" were there, too. Actually it would have been a typical honor challenge in their presence. "They" in Luke = scribes. Who else would be saying this?

# 414

Luke 20: (KJV) 43 "Till I make thine enemies thy footstool." Compare to Mark 12: (KJV) 36 "…till I make thine enemies thy footstool." KJV has mistranslated Mark above which should read, "till I put thy enemies under thy feet" in order to make "Luke" and "Mark" agree. The phrases could have the same meaning but the underlying Greek is different and, as the Prophet said, "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around."

The phrases do have the same meaning -- Witherington's Mark commentary [333] notes that putting one's feet on the necks of the conquered was a "not uncommon ancient Near Eastern gesture" indicating total domination by the ruler and total capitulation by the defeated.

# 415

Luke 20: (KJV) 45 Literary composition issue.

# 416

Luke 21: (KJV) 1 "And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites." Compare to Mark 12: (KJV) 41 "And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing." Luke's Jesus glances up and notices a scene, while Mark's Jesus sits down and studies.

While Rihbany says, "ma besay-il." Does no one sits down and then look up at things?

Predictably, "the Jews" get worse press in subsequent versions. Mark has the wealthy Jews making generous contributions, Luke deletes the generous part and Matthew can't bear the thought of the Jews making any contributions.

This was the Temple treasury; who but Jews were putting money in this? Not one of the writers mentions Jews (there was no need).

Deleting the generous part? Why not say Luke was being nice by not highlighting their hypocrisy as much? You can always create out a psychological grievance if you need to.

As for Matthew, Wallack thinks him leaving this story out means he hates the idea of generous Jews. Maybe he hated widows, though, or farthings? How about he just wanted more space for Jesus' teachings, which is his focus?

# 417

Luke 21: (KJV) 5 "And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said," Compare to Mark 13: (KJV) 1 "And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!" Luke's Jesus is still in the Temple while Mark's Jesus has left the building.

And Rihbany still says, "ma besay-il". "...no essential difference between nine o'clock and half after nine, or whether a conversation took place on the housetop or in the house."

# 418

Luke 21: (KJV) 6 Repeat of 117 above.

# 419

Luke 21: (KJV) 5 "And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, 6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?" Compare to Mark 13: (KJV) 1 "And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! 2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately," The author of "Luke" uses the Greek word for "Master" above that he generally uses for the speech of non disciples so the implication in Luke is that non-disciples are asking Jesus the question. Mark explicitly states that disciples asked the question.

The "implication" is imgained. Luke uses this form of address less than half a dozen times of Jesus and it is synonymous with the one used by the disciples. Not that it matters, since these people were not speaking Greek to begin with.

# 420

Luke 21: (KJV) 7 "And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?" As what preceded this referred to the destruction of the Temple, the context indicates that the translation of the Greek should be "when shall this thing be" (singular). Most modern Christian translations mistranslate same as KJV because what directly follows refers to "things".

What the objection is supposed to be, we can't guess. If it's against the KJV, it's irrelevant.

# 421

Luke 21: (KJV) 7 Repeat of 420.

# 422

Luke 21: (KJV) 20 "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh." Compare to Mark 13: (KJV) 14 "But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:" According to Luke the key sign (at least in this part of the story) is Jerusalem surrounded by armies while in Mark the key sign is the abomination of desolation which was generally understood to mean something unclean in the Temple. Let's see, Jesus was in the Temple teaching changes to the Law. Was that that some kind of sign to the Jews?

Luke has indeed made the discourse more intelligible to his Gentile readers, who would hardly recognize the obscure allusion to Daniel. As to how it was fulfilled -- as both Mark and Luke put it -- see the series on eschatology linked in 87 above.

# 423-427

Luke 21: (KJV) 21 "…and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto." Compare to Mark 13: (KJV) 15 "And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: 16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment." Compare to Matthew 24: (KJV) 17 "Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes." Note that "Matthew" has stayed true to his Markan source while "Luke" has changed the wording to emphasize the big picture (get out of Jerusalem).

I.e., he made it more intelligible to his readers. What's the error? Eschatological issues otherwise.

# 428

Luke 21: (KJV) 37 "And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives." Compare to Matthew 21: (KJV) 17 "And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there." Luke's Jesus spent his nights at the mount of Olives while Matthew's Jesus spent his nights at Bethany originating the term "double occupancy". Perhaps one was a Jesus double trying to confuse would be assassins.

Wallack isn't aware that Bethany is on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. As for being exact: ma besay-il.

# 429

Luke 22: (KJV) 1 Repeat of 123. Then Wallack says: Apologists can point to Josephus who used "Passover" to refer to the combined eight days of the two holidays but Josephus wrote late first century and you can't find any good support for this usage of "Passover" early first century.

Note that this comes from someone who wants us to accept what was written in the Mishnah (third and fourth century) as being valid in the first century.

...Luke still wouldn't be saved anyway because he claims that the Feast Of Unleavened Bread was also called Passover when in Josephus time it was the entire eight days combined that could be referred to as Passover, at least according to Josephus, and not only the seven days of the Feast.

Luke calls Passover a "feast of unleavened bread" and that is what it was -- a festival or holy day of unleavened bread. Luke knows about a "day" of unleavened bread (22:7) so Wallack is reading capital letters into Luke. It also stands to reason that if the eight days could be called this, so could the seven, but Luke doesn't offer any evidence of differentiation between the two. At any rate the holidays were effectively combined and could be named together.

# 430

Luke 22: (KJV) 2 "And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people." Compare to Mark 14: (KJV) 1 "After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people." In the original story, "Mark", the chief priests and scribes feared an uproar of the people if Jesus was killed on a holiday. Then, as the story goes, the chief priests and scribes had Jesus killed on a holiday. This is a flaw in Mark's story that the author didn't deal with.

It can't be a flaw in inconsistent human nature which Mark accurately reports?

The author of "Luke" recognized this flaw and changed the villains' fear of "the people" into the reason to kill Jesus and not the reason not to kill Jesus during a holiday.

That's assuming there was a flaw to begin with, and there isn't. As Witherington notes, the authorities DID seize Jesus not during the festival, but before it (on Thursday evening); he is taken by stealth, at night, not in the presence of festival pilgrims (does Wallack really think Mark means, they were afraid of the clock?). So Luke complements Mark, in a way more intelligible to his Gentile audience -- "the people" were especially dangerous when there were so many in town (try a few hundred thousand) for the feast.

# 431

Luke 22: (KJV) 2 Literary composition issue.

# 432

Luke 22: (KJV) 3 "Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them." Compare to Mark 14: (KJV) 10 "And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him." Compare to Matthew 26: (KJV) 14 "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver." So, Luke's Judas betrayed Luke's Jesus because of Satan, Mark's Judas betrays Mark's Jesus for no reason and Matthew's Judas betrays Matthew's Jesus for money. We don't need a Church to present this to the Public, we need a theatre.

These options are not mutually exclusive. Luke mentions money, too. Does Wallack think Judas just up and thought, "I need some cash. Betrayal will do it"?

# 433

Luke 22: (KJV) 5 Literary composition issue.

# 434

Luke 22: (KJV) 7 Repeat of 123.

# 435

Luke 22: (KJV) 8 "And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat." Compare to Matthew 26: (KJV) 19 "And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover." Luke's Jesus had Peter and John prepare the Passover while Matthew's Jesus had "the disciples". Luke realized that too many chiefs spoils the barath.

Aren't Peter and John "disciples"?

# 436

Luke 22: (KJV) 13 "And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover." According to the Talmud Jewish law of the time required those eating the lamb to be present at the slaughter of the lamb.

And, what? This is from someone who wants us to think what is written 300 years later in the Mishnah still applied, while what was written late first century didn't. Not that it takes much to suppose that this was part of the preparation process that Luke doesn't detail, being that it's not exactly germane to the story.

# 437

Luke 22: (KJV) 14 "And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:" Compare to Mark 14: (KJV) 22 "And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it." Mark's Jesus first ate the bread and then washed it down with wine. Luke's Jesus started right in on the wine. Typical goy.

There were a total of four cups of wine during a Jewish pesah meal, each bearing their own symbolism. It is another matter which cup they were having when Jesus spoke about himself never drinking wine again; but the last cup, the one after the bread, was the "blood of the covenant" in every gospel.

# 438

Luke 22: (KJV) 22 "And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! 23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing." Compare to Matthew 26: (KJV) 24 "The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. 25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said." Luke's disciples ask each other who the traitor is while only Matthew's Judas asks Jesus if he is the traitor. The Christian Bible is sufficiently uncertain about the Judas betrayal story that even Judas isn't sure if he is the traitor.

These last statements by Wallack make little sense. Luke has again used his allowable freedom in composition to leave out Judas' self-incrimination as well as his departure. Note that Judas' inquiry is exactly a fit with the times: He shows himself a man without shame, brazen -- not "unsure" of what he is doing. The "old innocent routine" is what we call it today.

# 439

Luke 22: (KJV) 21 Ma besay-il issue.

# 440

Luke 22: (KJV) 31 "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:" Each "you" above is plural in the underlying Greek. KJV, as has a slight majority of modern Christian translations, has mistranslated to the singular to avoid the appearance of a grammatical error. "You" Greek bear is smarter than the average Christian transranger Booboo.

Wallack fails to explain the problem. Grammatical error? Try "you" meaning "you band of disciples". Does Wallack think Peter was Satan's only target?

# 441

Luke 22: (KJV) 39 "And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed," Compare to Mark 14: (KJV) 26 "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives....32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. Luke's Jesus prayed at the mount of Olives while Mark's Jesus prayed at Gethsemane.

Can we conceive of Gethsemane being located AT the Mount of Olives? Keener suggests an olive orchard at the base of the mount, being that the name means "oil press".

# 442

Luke 22: (KJV) 47 "And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. 48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?" Compare to Mark 14: (KJV) 45 "And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him." Luke's Jesus and Judas don't kiss. For Mark's Jesus and Judas though it was kissee boy time.

This is a remarkably bigoted remark by Wallack. A kiss between men was a normal gesture of affection in this culture. As for the other, that Luke does not report completion of the action hardly equates with non-completion. Ma besay-il even so.

# 443

Luke 22: (KJV) 52 According to the Talmud the Sanhedrin was prohibited from convening at night or on the eve of holidays.

According to scholarship, this position is badly outdated. See extended material here.

# 444

Luke 22: (KJV) 67 "Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: 68 And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. 69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. 70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am." Compare to Mark 14: (KJV) 61 "But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Luke's Jesus won't tell if he is the christ/sonofman/sonofgod while Mark's Jesus says he is. No wonder "The Jews" were confused.

"Ye say that I am" is a form of "yes" tailored for the society. Two examples: Judah the Patriarch is dying, and it has been said that anyone who announces the death will suffer severe consequences. Rabbi Bar Kapparah announces the death euphemistically by referring to angels snatching away the tables of the covenant. Those around Kapparah exclaim, "Rabbi is dead!" Kapparah replies, "You have said it; I have not said it."

In this Catchpole [Catch.AJC, 219] sees "an affirmation, qualified only by reluctance to state the matter openly expressis verbis." This presents an interesting parallel to Jesus' reply, for He would know what the result of an affirmative answer would be. Simon the Modest, in reply to Rabbi Eliezer's question concerning his lack of adherence to Temple protocol: "Are you ashamed to admit that the high priest's dog is more beloved than you?", replies "You have said so" - which may be seen as a "shame-faced acquiescence and an embarrassed admission" that Eliezer has caught him. [ibid., 220]

Both of these examples fit in with the observations of Herzog [Herz.JJ, 130] that in an honor and shame society like first-century Palestine, such an "evasive" answer would have been what we would expect if Jesus were an honorable man. His silence before his accusers, and "evasive" answer, are part of the honor-shame paradigm: "The honorable man never defends himself against a charge or answers directly a question posed by an enemy." Instead one must shift the focus -- which is exactly what Jesus does in the Son of Man statements that follow: "Yes, I am -- and I'll prove it, and you'll see it!"

# 445

Luke 22: (KJV) 66 See link in 443 above.

# 446

Luke 22: (KJV) 67 Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: 68 And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. 69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. 70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. 71 And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth." "The Jews" of the time had no conception (pun intended) that anyone was literally the "son of god" and the term "son of god" to them indicated either an unusually righteous person or a title for the Messiah. When Luke's Jews ask Jesus if he is the Messiah he gives an indefinite answer.

Wrong -- see 444 above.

Then "the Jews" ask if Jesus is "the son of god" with the implication by Luke that this meant something other than "the Messiah" to the Jews. "Son of god" would have only meant something different to the Christians of "Luke's" time and not the Jews of Jesus' supposed time.

Even if true, only means that Luke made the statement intelligible to his reading audience. However --

Jesus then gives another indefinite answer

Wrong again.

and Luke's Jews take this as a yes and evidence of guilt. But to the Jews of that time claiming that one was the son of God and therefore either very righteous or the Messiah would not have been a violation of the Law.

Wallack is behind the times here. A few scholars have suggested that the blasphemy lay in saying one was the Messiah," for, by Jewish thinking, "the Messiah is not to glorify himself." And: "The blasphemy would then consist not in the particular title chosen but in the very temerity of using any title at all before God the Father had himself announced the enthronement of his anointed one." Jesus' blasphemy in this regard was, by this view, a blasphemy of presumption to know God's mind, so it is probable, indeed quite likely, that part 1 of Jesus' answer was blasphemy - but what about part 2, all that stuff about the Son of Man coming on the clouds and all that, which Wallack ignores?

Even the atheist Robert Price admits that: Rabbinic literature refers to a Jewish "binitarian" heresy, whereby some claimed that "There are two Powers in heaven." This binitarian heresy was particularly associated with the idea that one of God's servants should be so highly exalted as to be enthroned by his side. According to one rabbinic text, a scholar suggests that David will occupy a throne next to God. A colleague reproaches him: "How long will you profane the Shekinah?" In the late book III Enoch, the exalted Enoch is given the divine Name and a throne next to God's. A later redactor tries to tone this down for fear of binitarianism. What we can see in all this is that Jesus' claim to be enthroned by God's side could be taken by hearers as blasphemy even if not intended as a claim to be God.

Furthermore, "Son of Man" was one of Jesus' appellations for himself, so Jesus was affirming for himself this enthroning by God's side (per Daniel 7) and as God will not share His glory with another, this is a declaration of equality, and hence identity, with God. This amounts, then, to a constructive blasphemy - making oneself an assessor and peer of the Most High. It may not have met the technical, legal definition of blasphemy, but it was clearly, and correctly, recognized as such in the mouth of One who was presumed to not be deserving of it.

As Raymond Brown [Brow.DMh, 531]puts it: The only likely historical charge would have been that Jesus arrogantly claimed for himself status or privileges that belonged properly to the God of Israel alone and in that sense implicitly demeaned God. Note as well Lev. 24:15-6: Say to the Israelites: 'If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death. Harvey [Harv.JTr, 78-80]observes that the Jewish writer Philo, a contemporary of Jesus, "finds it inconceivable that any form whatsoever of cursing or blaspheming God should not carry the death penalty" in light of that other offenses, like cursing your parents, did - thus, he interpreted "his God" in v. 15 as meaning "anyone who blasphemes his OWN god" - whether the true one or a heathen one. Philo also records that blasphemy includes "any 'unreasonable' uttering of God's name" - which we might equate today with cursing after hitting one's thumb with a hammer. Harvey sees in this observation by Philo the possibility that Jesus was charged with referring to God in an "unreasonable" way - and he concludes: ...it would be unreasonable to reject out of hand the remarkably consistent testimony of the Gospels that Jesus, by claiming or admitting that he was Messiah and Son of God, laid himself open to a charge of blasphemy that was punishable by death.

Other evidence for a broader definition of blasphemy is found in Mark's Gospel. Blasphemy is said to include the power to forgive sins (2:17) and attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to Satan (3:28). These may be seen as infringements upon the prerogative of God [Juel.MTm, 102-3] - "constructive blasphemy," if you will - in much the same way that Jesus proclaimed for Himself the prerogative of God with the "clouds" remark.

# 447

Luke 22: (KJV) 66 "And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, 67 Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: 68 And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. 69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. 70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. 71 And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth." Compare to Mark 14: (KJV) 55 "And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. 56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. 57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, 58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. 59 But neither so did their witness agree together. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?" "Mark" has witnesses testify against Jesus while "Luke" has removed the witnesses to protect the guilty.

Wallack fails to note that Luke DOES indicate witnesses in v. 71.

Mark's use of witnesses here is one of the funnier parts of the Christian Bible. The Jews, who have no problem manipulating Pilate like a puppet are also easily able to manufacture false witnesses but are unable to provide these false witnesses with the required testimony to convict Jesus even though they could by just telling the truth about how Jesus caused a disturbance in the Temple.

Manipulate Pilate? Pilate was manipulating THEM -- see here.

Then, when Mark's witnesses give a false testimony (that's really true) and by Mark's words agree, Mark says they don't agree. Apparently I'm not the only one who found Mark's account amusing.

Same as 243 above.

# 448

Luke 22: (KJV) 6 "When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilean. 7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. 8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. 9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. 11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate." Mark and Matthew don't report this very critical information.

Wallack arbitrarily declares it "critical" even though nothing of import actually happened, then erects the straw man of "critical information left out".

# 449

Luke 23: (KJV) 16 "I will therefore chastise him, and release him." Compare to Mark 15: (KJV) 9 "But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?" Luke's Pilate decides on his own to release Jesus while Mark's Pilate asks "the Jews" if they want Pilate to release Jesus.

Rihbany says: ma besay-il. It remains that Pilate offered to release Jesus. The exact verbiage is irrelevant in an ancient historical record.

# 450

Luke 23: (KJV) 25 "And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will." There is no evidence outside of Christian writings that the Romans ever released murderous insurrectionists. Unfortunately the Gospels don't record Pilate's answer to Ceasar's question, "You did what?!".

This is more poor scholarship by Wallack. Miller writes: It would be accurate to say "we HAVE NO RECORD of a custom of releasing prisoners on a Palestinian holiday...". However, it is not out of line with what we know about the political climate of the day. We know, for example, that political prisoners (like Barabbas) WERE released for various reasons (Jos. Antiq. XX, ix.3; Livy, V.13; cf. Deismann, "Light from the Ancient East", p 267), that Roman officials seem to have granted mass amnesty at some other regular feasts (outside of Palestine) and to have occasionally acquitted prisoners in responses to crowds (BBC, p. 309).

Plus, this 'custom' (and its exercise on Barabbas) is one of the few gospel events referred to in an independent manner by Luke, Mark-Matthew, and John (judging by the presence/absence of details/structures in the narrative), as well as the early reference in Act 3:14 as part of the sermon of Peter . Their individual accounts argue for independent streams of information, suggesting a stronger basis in history (since they all WITNESS TO the 'basics' of the event).

There is, in light of the data, no reason to make such an absolute statement as 'there was never...'. Jim has simply overstepped the data (or not paid attention to the wider data on Roman praxis).

Particularly, we do know of a Roman practice called the abolitio - the acquittal of a prisoner not yet condemned [JBz.TJ, 207]. While the Gospel texts are not clear on the matter, it is probable that neither Jesus nor Barabbas had yet been formally sentenced. So Caesar would hardly be getting news here, but even if he did, let's think for a minute. Pilate was certainly a crafty fellow; he would not do something that would endanger himself so easily, especially since he had been in trouble with Rome before. Therefore, he almost certainly had counter-measures available that would give Rome satisfaction.

How much trouble would it be for him to have Barabbas re-captured and arraigned on another charge? Or could he not send one of his disguised operatives to assassinate Barabbas, if he was really so troublesome, just as he sent his disguised soldiers into the mob on that previous occasion?


# 451

Luke 23: (KJV) 25 "And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will. 26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus." Compare to Mark 15: (KJV) 15 "And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. 16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, 18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. 21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross." Luke's Jesus is not mocked by the Roman soldiers like Mark's Jesus is (Luke's Jesus was previously mocked by "the Jews"). Apparently the author of "Luke" wanted to relieve the Romans of responsibility for Jesus' demise and put it on "the Jews". Successfully, I think.

Hardly so, since it is still clearly Romans whi crucify Jesyus. As an aside, in a debate with Wallack I noted that Herodias divorced her husband and that was an example for which Jesus could speak when he said a woman could not divorce her husband without committing adultery. Wallack countered that under Jewish law at the time a woman could not divorce her husband.

When I replied with the example of Herodias, he gave the irrelevant answer, "Yeah, but the Herods followed Roman law, not Jewish law!"

If that's the way Wallack wants it, then how did Luke "relieve the Romans of responsibility" since he says the Herods followed Roman law (and, as he also added, were questionable as Jews)?

Wallack does no more then create rationalizations to maintain his arguments. Luke is likely not doing anything more here than saving space -- his Gentile readers had the high context to know that mocking and scourging was standard for prisoners of a Roman court but would not be so informed of the Herodian court.

# 452

Luke 23: (KJV) 26 Same as 187 above.

# 453

Luke 23: (KJV) 32 "And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death" The underlying Greek of the earliest extant manuscripts has "two other criminals". Later manuscripts have many variations which is normally a good sign that the original was changed. I'm not aware of any English translation with the proper translation. I guess the Christian translators didn't like anyone other than a Jew describing Jesus as a criminal.

What's the issue? Did they like Jesus being described as a malefactor instead?

# 454

Luke 23: (KJV) 33 "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left." Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 33 "And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, 34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. 36 And sitting down they watched him there; 37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left." Luke's implication is that the other criminals were crucified at the same time Jesus was while Matthew explicitly states that the other criminals were crucified after Jesus was.

Luke's implication isn't what Wallack says. The criminals are put after Jesus in order in Luke, with no hint as to whether they were set up at the same time or later.

# 455

Luke 23: (KJV) 38 Repeat of prior objection.

# 456

Luke 23: (KJV) 39 "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us." Compare to Mark 15: (KJV) 32 "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him." One of Luke's co-condemned reviles Jesus while both of Mark's co-condemned reviles Jesus.

That's why he's called "the repentant thief." More deeply, one who saw Jesus dying with honor beside him might indeed be inclined to change his mind in this social setting.

# 457

Luke 23: (KJV) 43 "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." False prophecy.

Oh? "Paradise" was the Jewish afterlife. Has Wallack been there to disconfirm the thief's presence?

# 458

Luke 23: (KJV) 44 Same as 134.

# 459

Luke 23: (KJV) 45 "And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst." Compare to Mark 15: (KJV) 37 "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom." Luke's veil breaks before Jesus dies while Mark's veil breaks after Jesus dies. Personally, I hate it when they keep making curtain calls after the show is over.

Actually since it is doubtful anyone could have been able to frame the relative time for these events, there's object to; the "and" in neither case needs to imply chronology.

# 460

Luke 23: (KJV) 46 "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." Compare to Mark 15: (KJV) 34 "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. 36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. 37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost." Luke and Mark's Jesuses have different final words.

And what was the "loud voice" in v. 37? "Father, into thy hands..."

# 461

Luke 23: (KJV) 54 Same as 123 above.

# 462

Luke 24: (KJV) 4 "And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:" Compare to Mark 16: (KJV) 5 "And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted." Luke's women saw men while Mark's women saw a man.

If they saw men, they saw a man. Check out the same sort of "problems" in biographies of Lincoln written by pro historians.

# 463

Luke 24: (KJV) 4 "And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee," Compare to Mark 16: (KJV) 5 "And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you." Mark's women are instructed to look forward to Galilee to find Jesus. Luke, copying from Mark, felt she had to change "Mark" at this point because in Mark's version no one ever saw Jesus again and that was bad for business.

Since the ending of Mark is lost, that's more than a little presumptuous. So we chop the rest of the explanation.

# 464

Luke 24: (KJV) 9 "And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest." Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 8 "And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him." Luke's women go and tell the disciples while Matthew's women are interrupted by a resurrected Jesus before they can tell the disciples. Apologists claim this was just an unimportant detail omitted by Luke. The problem Luke and Matthew have at this point in the narrative is there is no Mark to follow since Mark wrote that the women stifled themselves. Mark is more believable as it's just like women to gossip about every little thing but then not tell you about something really important.

Once again, since the ending is lost, Wallack is merely speculating frutilessly. That said, Matthew's narrative is clearly of a contrived structure, and thus it is illicit to do a historicized comparison to Luke.

# 465

Luke 24: (KJV) 10 Literary composition issue.

# 466

Luke 24: (KJV) 11 More comparison to Matthew, illicit as noted in 464.

# 467

Luke 24: (KJV) 12 "Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass." "Mark" and "Matthew" have nothing corresponding to this verse.

Once again, Wallack is failing to account for normal editorial freedoms. But there is a parallel in 1 Cor. 15.

The original Gospel "Mark" set up its disciple Gospels by originally ending at 16:8 and having no resurrection sighting.

False, according to almost all Markan commentaries.

This fits the Greek tragedy ironic style of "Mark" where Jesus predicted that his witnesses would receive no sign and the most important and key event in Christian theology, the resurrection, did not have any witnesses, and later Christians who did not witness the resurrection, "Mark's" readers, became the witnesses for a resurrection they never saw. Pretty ironic, huh?

Pretty inventive, eh? Behind the psychology effort, and the mistaking of honor and shame matters for ironic tragedy, the case for Mark ending other than at 8 is powerful. Witherington notes: The Gospel of Mark, like all the Gospels, is in the genre of a laudatory biography. Such a work "is most unlikely to end in this fashion" but rather would end on a positive note.; Mark as a whole "goes to great lengths in the passion narrative to reveal fulfillment of early promises and predictions, especially those of Jesus, and this leads us to expect the same with the prediction of the resurrection appearance."; Mark, if he had wanted to suggest that the command by the angel to speak was disobeyed, would have introduced their activity with an adversative as he does in other situations of disobedience (1:45, 7:36, 10:14, 10:22, 10:48, 15:23, 15:37); Mark's Gospel as it stands end with an unusual word, a conjunction, that does not appear as the last word in any work, with the possible exception of a work of Plotinus. It would be a very unusual word to end a work on; it amounts to ending a work in "because" or "for."

There are sentences and paragraphs that end with this word (including John 13:13) but to end an entire work thusly is otherwise unverified, except for Plotinus, and that may also have lost an ending; if there is a point of comparison within Mark, it is Mark 1:44, where a leper is told to be silent to others, but go and tell the appropriate person, the high priest. "This would suggest that the women were to be silent to the general public, but to communicate with the disciples."; from 15:40 to 16:8, Mark "has carefully built the case for the women to be valid witnesses" to the Easter message.

Especially in light of the problem of women's testimony noted above, it hardly makes sense that Mark would build his case, then undermine it or render it moot be giving the women a case of permanent closed mouth; a consideration is that 1 Cor. 15 shows that resurrection appearances were part of the earliest Christian tradition. Especially for those who date Mark later than 1 Corinthians (70 vs. 50-55), this raises the problem of how Mark could have left out any record of appearances; finally, there is this consideration: The parallel construction of the Greek, and the imperfect verb tenses, imply that "for the circumscribed period of time the women were in terror and fled from the tomb, they said nothing to anyone." They would speak once the fear (perhaps in the form of religious awe -- cf. Luke 1:29-30) had subsided.

# 468

Luke 24: (KJV) 13 "And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs." The underlying distance in the Greek is about 7 miles. There was no known village at the time with any name close to "Emmaus" that was close to 7 miles from Jerusalem. The early Church Fathers couldn't figure out which city "Luke" meant either.

The same argument form as 182 above. The Anchor Bible dictionary notes that several cities in antiquity had the name "Emmaeus" and that there is a candidate city other than the one the patristic writers mentioned.

# 469

Luke 24: (KJV) 6 More illicit comparison to Matthew. Wallack adds that:

Note that in Luke it's the women who are the first believers in the resurrection even though they did not see the resurrected Jesus and it's the men who are the first unbelievers in the resurrection after there are women believers and even after the men see the resurrected Jesus. All this makes me a believer that "Luke" was written by a woman.

Actually it doesn't say that the women "believed" anything in Luke -- just that they reported what they had seen and heard. What they believed in not recorded in Luke.

# 470

Luke 24: (KJV) 25 "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:" Compare to Matthew 5: (KJV) 22 "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." Matthew's Jesus made a rule that Luke's Jesus could not follow. Unfortunately, it's a different Greek word.

# 471

Luke 24: (KJV) 33 More illicit comparison to Mark and Matthew.

# 472

Luke 24: (KJV) 34 "Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon." Cleopas and "the other first witness to the resurrected Jesus not named "Cleopas" first report to Simon and the others that a resurrected Jesus already appeared to Simon, even though he didn't, and don't start by saying that a resurrected Jesus appeared to them, even though he did. Unfortunately, "Luke" neglected to include Simon's response to this report of "He did?". Before Apologists try to harmonize the Inter Gospel resurrection accounts we first need to harmonize "Luke's" account. Luukee! Ya got sum splainin ta do! Once again this reflects nothing more than the editorial freedom that ancient writers had. Also, 24:34 IS what shows that Jesus appeared to Simon. No additional material is required t satisfy Wallack's arbitrary "it has to say this" demands. Also if Wallack wants to check a narrative harmony, he can see here.

# 473

Luke 24: (KJV) 36 More illicit comparison to Matthew.

# 474

Luke 24: (KJV) 39 "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Jesus offers his hands and feet as evidence that Jesus is Jesus. The implication of hands and feet as evidence is this is what would have been evidence of crucifixion. The problem is that it is now universally agreed that no one was crucified with nails through the hands because it wouldn't support the weight of the body. It's arguable that the underlying Greek word for "hands" can on rare occasion refer to a wider area around the hands including the wrists but the dominant Christian understanding of the verse (including their prohibited graven images) has always been that "hands" meant "hands".

"Dominant Christian understanding" don't mean much here. The "hands and feet" bit is not exactly presented for "evidence of crucifixion" but has to do with one of three "zones of interaction" recognized by anthropologists. Malina and Rohrbaugh in their social science commentary on the Synoptics [356] note that the hands and feet were a "zone of purposeful action" and "of external behavior or interaction with the environment." It includes the hands, feet, fingers, and legs. Thus the hands and feet are not presented as "evidence of crucifixion" but as evidence of physical ability to interact.

# 475

Luke 24: (KJV) 39 "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Anachronistic touch here. The best evidence to Jesus' supposed audience that Jesus was Jesus were "Mark's" on his hands and feet? For anyone who actually knew Jesus the best evidence would be his face or maybe the answers to some carefully selected questions such as "What's yer favorite color?" or "What's the air speed velocity of a swallow?". The supposed hands and feet evidence would be better for the author's audience and not Jesus' audience as they never met Jesus and wouldn't know what he looked like.

Ironic touch here, as Wallack's missing of the above social science factor highlights the pertinence of his lack of relevant knowledge. As noted, it is not the marks, but the hands and feet themselves, the zone of interaction; the face was not part of this zone; and at any rate, the question is not one of identity but corporeality. Thus indeed the hands and feet are and were the best evidence for the situation at hand.

# 476

Luke 24: (KJV) 44 "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." More anachronism's (sic). The author has Jesus interpreting what he supposedly previously said. This is what an author would do, not a character.

It is what a teacher would do, not an author.

In any case the Tanakh never mentions "Jesus" and most of the claimed prophecy fulfillment in the Christian Bible refers to verses from the Tanakh that are clearly not Messianic.

Vague comment by Wallack, who as needs to look here.

# 477

Luke 24: (KJV) 46 "And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:" There is no prophecy in the Tanakh that the Messiah would be resurrected on the third day. Apparently what the author of Luke means when she claims she read the claim is that she wrote it down and then read it.

Apparently Wallack still does not know Jewish exegesis. Let's give him an example.

The usual cite of a "third day" prophecy is Hosea 6:2, "After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." Now of course skeptics since Paine have said this is no prophecy, it predicts nothing. In their view a prophecy is not a prophecy unless it says, "At 11:05 AM on Thursday Peter will slip on a banana peel."

Paine and Skeptics since are anachronizing. Hebrews also viewed prophecy as thematic in nature. In other words, if there was a story of Samuel slipping on a banana peel in the Temple and breaking his nose (1 Samuel 2:76), then if Peter slips on a banana peel, he would be seen as "fulfilling" 1 Samuel 2:76, even if he did it in the market square and broke something else. Or, let us say that in Psalm 153, David lamented the dangers of slipping on banana peels. Again, Peter "fulfilled" Ps. 153 by slipping on a banana peel himself.

Thus by rising on the third day, Jesus would be regarded as having "fulfilled" Hos. 6:2, for he enacted the theme stated in Hos. 6:2. And as Glenn Miller notes, NT writers were doing no more or less than their contemporaries:

The short answer here is that the early Jewish Christians were altogether unoriginal and "uncreative" (almost boring) in their exegesis and use of scripture! Other groups within pre-Christian and even early post-NT Judaism were MUCH more creative with the OT: the Rabbi's with their midrash, the Qumran-ites with their 'near' eschatology, the Hellenistic Jews (e.g. Philo) with their allegorizing, and the various authors of the Pseudepigraphical works with their pseudonymity...

Miller asks the question, "Did the early Jewish believers radically depart from 'acceptable' practices of OT exegesis, argument, and usage? In other words, do their practices as evidenced in the NT documents find material parallels in the various writings of the time? To what extent are their arguments, texts, exegetical practices mirrored in the literature of the day?" The core question beyond this, relevant to Hos. 6:2: "Do they use similar interpretive approaches to the text? In other words, do the other Jews of the period use the same kinds of exegetical rules (e.g., pesher midrash, typological)?"

Here we will report Miller's material in detail, commenting as needed: The second category is a fascinating one: Did the early Jewish Christians use the same exegetical methods as 1st century Jewry (even given the wide variety within this Jewry)? ow, how could we approach this question? There are a couple of items to consider here: 1. We could first look at the various interpretive approaches scholars have identified and see how the NT exegesis compares. 2. We could look at accepted rabbinical exegetical rules of the day (e.g. Hillel) and see if they were used. 3. We might try to reality-check the level of 'innovation/creativity' in the various strands of Judaism of the day and see if NT exegesis was 'conservative' or 'wildly creative' by comparison. First, let's examine the interpretive approaches in the period. There were four approaches at the time: literalist, midrash, pesher, allegorical. This extended description from Longenecker [BEALE:380ff] will set the stage, as well as summarize some of the data of the period: "Jewish exegesis of the first century can generally be classified under four headings: literalist, midrashic, pesher, and allegorical. Admittedly, such a fourfold classification highlights distinctions of which the early Jewish exegetes themselves may not have always been conscious. In dealing with a system of thought that thinks more holistically, functionally, and practically than analytically--one that stresses precedent over logic in defense of its ways--any attempt at classification must necessarily go beyond that system's explicit statements as to its own principles. Nevertheless, we still maintain, Jewish interpretations of Scripture fall quite naturally into one or other of these four categories....

The central concept in rabbinic exegesis, and presumably that of earlier Pharisees as well, was "midrash." The word comes from the verb darash (to resort to, seek; figuratively, to read repeatedly, study, interpret), and strictly denotes an interpretive exposition however derived and irrespective of the type of material under consideration. In the Mishnah, the Palestinian Gemaras, and the earlier Midrashim the verb peshat and derash are used in roughly synonymous fashion, for the earlier rabbis (the Tannaim) did not see any difference between their literal interpretations and their more elaborate exegetical treatment. Only among the Amoraite rabbis, sometime in the fourth century C.E were literalist exegesis and midrash exegesis consciously differentiated. But while not recognized as such until later, midrashic exegesis can be seen in retrospect to have differed from literalist exegesis among the Pharisaic teachers of the New Testament period. "Midrashic exegesis ostensibly takes its point of departure from the biblical text itself (though psychologically it may have been motivated by other factors) and seeks to explicate the hidden meanings contained therein by means of agreed-upon hermeneutical rules (e.g., Rabbi Hillel's seven Middoth; Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha's later set of thirteen; Rabbi Eliezer ben Jose ha-Galili's thirty-two).

The purpose of midrash exegesis is to contemporize the revelation of God given earlier for the people of God living later in a different situation. What results may be characterized by the maxim: "That has relevance for This"--that is, what is written in Scripture has relevance for our present situation. In so doing, early Judaism developed what George Foote Moore once aptly defined as "an atomistic exegesis, which interprets sentences, clauses, phrases, and even single words, independently of the context or the historical occasion, as divine oracles; combines them with other similar detached utterances; and makes large use of analogy of expression often by purely verbal association" (Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era, 1.248). .."While the rabbis sought to contemporize Holy Writ so as to make God's Torah relevant to their circumstances, the Dead Sea covenanters looked upon Scripture from what they accepted was a revelatory perspective (based on the interpretations of the Teacher of Righteousness) and emphasized imminent, catastrophic fulfillment.

Their maxim seems to have been: "This is That"--that is, our present situation is depicted in what is written in Scripture. Qumran's pesher interpretation of the Old Testament, therefore, is neither principally "commentary" nor "midrashic exegesis," though it uses the forms of both. As Cecil Roth pointed out: "It does not attempt to elucidate the Biblical text, but to determine the application of Biblical prophecy or, rather, of certain Biblical prophecies; and the application of these Biblical prophecies in precise terms to current and even contemporary events" ("The Subject Matter of Qumran Exegesis," Vetus Testamentum 10 [1960]: 51-52). By this description Hos. 6:2 is read in a midrashic fashion: "That [Hos. 6:2] has relevance for this [Jesus rising on the third day]" -- interpreting the phrase about the third day "independently of the context or the historical occasion," as a divine oracle, making large use of analogy of expression by purely verbal association.

# 478

Luke 24: (KJV) 47 "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." The earliest extant manuscripts give "repentance for the remission of sins". This agrees with Luke 3:3: (KJV) "3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins" A central theme of the Gospels is that John the Baptist started the process of repentance for the remission of sins and Jesus continued it. "Luke" indicated in the previous verses that Jesus died in order to fulfill prophecy, not to remove sin. Obviously this was a problem for subsequent Christianity which started changing "Luke" to "repentance and remission of sins" to avoid showing that it was primarily repentance that led to removal of sin (too Jewish) and almost all modern Christian translations show this change.

Neither Ehrman nor Metzger mention this one, which even if true is of no moment. Under the Semitic Totality Concept discussed here there is no functional difference between "and" and "for". Note as well that Luke does not in the least negate any idea that Jesus died for sin.

Wallack also uses the argument of Gerald Sigal, who tried to take blood atonement out of the package of the OT as well. Leviticus 17:11 tells us, "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.". This has obvious readings for Christianity, but Sigal calls it a "misinterpretation". Sigal claims that Christian missionaries have overlooked that there was a spiritual "sacrifice" necessary as well, one involving a "repentant mental attitude." Well, perhaps the missionaries have overlooked this, as has Wallack, but Christian theology, which Sigal has not consulted, has not overlooked it; actually I doubt if missionaries have either. The NT stresses repentance as part of the faith message quite clearly, so much so that I hardly need to give details here -- just look for the word "repent" in your concordance.

But sin requires payment. It must be put away, eliminated, and destroyed, for it is an offense against a holy God. The payment is for the purpose of satisfying God's wrath against sin. Repentance does not satisfy God's wrath alone -- sin must still be paid for -- but it is still required of us, for of course God does not wish for us to continue in sin, and He wants us to turn our hearts towards Him. The OT observance called Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement" (more literally, the day of covering or concealing) featured the offering of the two goats, one of which was sacrificed and whose blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat for purification; the other (if I may simplify) was ceremonially laden with the sins of the people and sent into the wilderness. This served the double duty of showing first that God's wrath was appeased, and second the sins of the people were positionally speaking removed from them.

Christians of course maintain that Jesus Christ's atoning death combined these aspects into one sacrifice. (Cf. the descriptions in the Book of Hebrews.) In his own chapter on sin and atonement, Sigal says nothing about Yom Kippur, other than mentioning it as a time of "fasting and repentance" -- not a word is said about the double-goat sacrifice. It is easy to see why: The observance has uncomfortable parallels to actual Christian belief (Sigal's and Wallack's probable lack of cognizance of actual Christian belief notwithstanding).

# 479

Luke 24: (KJV) 46 Exegetical issue.

# 480

The fourth Gospel listed in Christian Bibles, John, was written anonymously. The title "John" was added by the Church long after the Gospel was written.

There is no evidence the title was added later; no copy is missing the attribution. As noted, Wallack would not debate us on Gospel authorship.

# 481

John 1: (KJV) 1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." More definite article games. "and the Word was with God" has a "the" before God indicating a god in a class by himself, God the father. In fact "the" normally precedes "god" in the Christian Bible when god the father is being referred to and is translated as "god the father". I didn't see a single English translation that had a "the" here. Obviously the Christians want to give a Trinitarian mistranslation here and avoid having the father in a class by himself. Apparently they took the "the" here and put it in the infancy narratives where it didn't belong.

Ironically, Wallack's comments here are the same as N. T. Wright's, the only difference being that Wright recognized that "God" was not used here or elsewhere in the NT as a proper name, but as an adjectival noun like "deity". Wallack also needs to know more about Wisdom theology, per here. In any event the "the" fits Trinitarianism well -- in fact, it makes it more clear than without.

# 482

John 1: (KJV) 1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "the Word was God." is a related mistranslation to the above. Biblical Greek had no indefinite article "a" so "the Word was God." could also be "the Word was a god." The indefinite article is determined by context. As THE God preceded grammatically the Word must be A god, different from THE God.

Not if "God" is not a proper name but rather an adjectival noun like "red".

# 483

John 1: (KJV) 1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." As we have seen, a better translation for the ending is "the Word was a god." The question is how is the author using "God/god" here, as a title or as an adjective? If as a title, then "God" could be capitalized. If as an adjective (divine) then "god" should not be capitalized.

Wallack is actually right. But it doesn't help him; it helps but us.

There is a Greek word for "divine" (adjective) which the author does not use here but the author never uses this word in the entire Gospel. Later in this Gospel there are several instances, such as John 10:33, where the context indicates that the author is likely using "god" as an adjective rather than a title, so it would appear that the adjective "divine" was not in the author's vocabulary and that "God/god" should be translated as either title or adjective based on context. Based on the context here, the word could be a title (God) or adjective (divine) but every Christian translation I've seen uses the title "God" with no discussion.

Wallack can check Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God for a discussion, but since he has so far nothing to say about Wright, other than calling him "N. T. Wrong," I don't expect him to do so.

# 484

John 1: (KJV) 2 Wallack repeats himself on the above.

# 485

John 1: (KJV) 3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men." Keep in mind that the original had no verse divisions. The end of verse 3 is redundant, "was not any thing made that was made.", puts the entire verse out of balance, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." and in Greek is grammatically a poor translation. Combine the end of verse 3 with the start of verse 4, "That which was made in him was life", and you avoid all of these problems. This was the understanding of the earliest Church Fathers who commented. Later Church Fathers, dealing with the Arian controversy, felt that this translation supported Arianism by showing that life was made in the Word (Jesus) and chose the inferior translation used by the KJV to hide the potential problem. Every modern Christian Bible I saw has the translation the KJV uses.

This is rather incomprehensible. But as shown in the link above, this verse ties in Jesus with God's Wisdom -- perfect for a Trinitarian view.

# 486

John 1: (KJV) 14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." "as of the only begotten of the Father" is literally "as of an only begotten of a Father". Only Darby and Young translate it literally (God bless them). A literal translation (without the definite article "the") gives a more figurative description of Jesus being the God's son.

With Wisdom theology, it's a non-problem either way.

# 487

John 1: (KJV) 18 "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." Regarding "the only" part of "the only begotten Son" above, the underlying Greek word means "unique" as to kin or kind. Therefore, "the only" is an acceptable translation which can indicate an only son but could also indicate "unique" as in a son with a unique quality. This would fit the Gnostic understanding of Jesus where God was thought to have a large family and Jesus was special because he had a unique purpose. "Orthodox" Christianity chose the "kin" meaning and the rest is history. "Begotten" though, which a majority of modern Christian translations have, is not in the underlying Greek, and is therefore a mistranslation. Obviously Christian translators are trying to emphasize a literal father/son relationship as opposed to a figurative one.

Obviously they are not. Only Mormons would want to do that. "Unique" would also fit an understanding of Jewish Wisdom theology, which also squares with numerous parallels in the prologue of John. Gnosticism seen here is way out of date.

# 488

John 1: (KJV) 18 "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." Regarding "the only begotten Son" above the earliest extant manuscripts indicate it should be "the unique god" rather than "son". A majority of modern Christian translations here use "son". Another example of Christian translators trying to impose a literal family relationship on the text.

As noted above, this makes little difference under the Wisdom template. That said, Ehrman does verify this, but since it makes no difference, we will not address it.

# 489

John 1: (KJV) 21 "And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No." Compare to Matthew 11: (KJV) 13 "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come." "John's" John, who came to testify about "John's" Jesus testifies that he is not Elijah. "Matthew's" Jesus, who came to testify about "Matthew's" John testifies that he is Elijah. I'm tempted not to call this a contradiction as a possible harmonization is that John was Elijah but didn't know it but I've never seen an Apologist suggest this.

In this alleged contradiction, a false dichotomy has been set up here. Keener [Matthew commentary, 439] notes that later rabbis interpreted Malachi as saying that Elijah, who had not actually died (but was taken up in a whirlwind), would himself return. John was aware that he was the Elijah-to-come predicted in Malachi and told the Jews in John 1 something to the effect of "I am not Elijah in the sense that you think of it." Support for this thesis comes from the fact that John presents the Jews in his gospel as being blind to the Scriptures. And with their mistaken notion of who and what the Messiah should be like, it is not unreasonable at all to think that they might be mistaken on the nature of the Elijah-to-come mentioned in Malachi.

The Jews might have been thinking that this Elijah-to-come would be the "real live" Elijah of the books of the Kings physically returning from heaven, and John's denial was aimed at refuting the notion that he was the "real and live" Elijah. It would have been interesting to hear John's response to the question "Are you here in the spirit of Elijah?"

# 490

John 1: (KJV) 19 "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. 22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. 24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees." 1:19 sez "priests and Levites" were sent while 1:24 sez the Pharisees sent them. The problem is that the priests and Levites were Sadducees, not Pharisees, so they wouldn't be sent by the Pharisees. Also, it was the Sadducees who were in control at the time who likely would have sent a scouting party. Predictably there is some textual variation here and some modern translations try to hide the error by introducing the Pharisee party as a new group sent to question John.

Outrightly false, for v 25 in what follows introduces new inquires which make it clear that this is an introduction.

In any case, what we have here is an unknown author

Wrong, as noted above.

whose story was written in a language Jesus never spoke

Never a problem where secular historians are concerned, so why here? Koine Greek at any rate was spoken all over the Empire.

and edited by unknown authors who make a point that the other Gospels were wrong about the star witness John the Baptist being Elijah and want us to believe in all things Jesus but don't know the difference between Pharisees and Sadducees.

See 489 above. Editors are mostly in Wallack's imagination.

# 491

John 1: (KJV) 28 "These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing." The manuscript evidence indicates the city was Bethany which a majority of Christian translations have. The problem is that Bethany was a suburb of Jerusalem and would not be on the other side of the Jordan from Jerusalem. Relatively early Christians such as Origen testify that there was not and never had been a Bethany on the "other" side. Subsequent manuscripts altered the name of the city to try and fix this problem. Apparently John the Baptist not only didn't know who he was, he also did not know where he was.

Here is what is now being said by scholars [John commentaries by Brown, Carson, and Lindars]. "Bethany beyond Jordan" may be an otherwise unknown village, or it may be a variant spelling of a region called Batanea that is beyond the Jordan. John may be using a variant spelling (as Josephus used three different spellings for the same region) or making an intentional alteration to allude to the later Bethany, so that Jesus' ministry began and ended at a Bethany.

# 492

John 1: (KJV) 29 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." Compare to Luke 1: (KJV) ...41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord...John the Baptist, who didn't know who he was or where he was states twice that he didn't know who Jesus was either even though according to "Luke" Mary was his aunt and John's mother knew that John would be messenger for Mary's son Jesus. Perhaps John's mother had Alzheimer's and forgot to tell John about Jesus and John also inherited this condition from his mother.

Missed point. Contextually the whole point is that John did not know Jesus AS the Lamb of God, not that he did not know him as a person.

# 493

John 1: (KJV) 33 Same as 18 above.

# 494

John 1: (KJV) 32 "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. 35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!" Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 9 "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. 10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: 11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 12 And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness. 13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him." John's Jesus was still hanging around after his baptism while Mark's Jesus immediately drove out to the wildnerness for a 40 day camping trip before starting his new job.

John records a time after the baptism AND the 40 days. Nothing in John tells us the baptism was just before the "next day" -- that was John's testimony that was the previous day, not the baptism.

# 495

John 1: (KJV) 38 Same as 108 above.

# 496

John 1: (KJV) 37 "When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" 39 "Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus." Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 14 "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. 16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers." John's John the Baptist had not yet been imprisoned when Simon and Andrew met Jesus while Mark's John the Baptist was already imprisoned by the time of the historic/non-historic meeting.

Wallack falsely assumes that Mark 1 records the FIRST meeting of Jesus and his friends. No, John does that -- Mark's is a retrospective account that assumes a previous meeting.

# 497, 498

John 1: (KJV) 35

# 499

John 1: (KJV) 41 "He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ." The Greek word for "Messias" above is transliterated Greek for the Hebrew "Moshiach" which means "anointed". "Christ" in Greek can either be the Greek word for "anointed" or it can used as a title or name for the Jesus of Christian Bible fame. The author above is just giving the translation of a Hebrew word and therefore the context indicates that the normal meaning of the Greek word should be translated which is "anointed". Of the majors only Young's Literal gets it right.

I know of no one who disputes this. Where's the "error"?

# 500

John 1: (KJV) 42 "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." Compare to Matthew 16: (KJV) 17 "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." The manuscript evidence for John 1:42 indicates that "son of John" was likely original (which a majority of translations have) and was gradually changed to "son of Jona (Barjona) to agree with "Matthew".

Matthew is alluding to the "sign of Jonah" in 16:4. Peter is a son of the generation that will see the sign of Jonah.

# 501

John 1: (KJV) 42 "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." Compare to Mark 3: (KJV) 16 "And Simon he surnamed Peter;" Mark's Jesus named Simon "Peter" which is strange (anachronistic) since "Peter" is a Greek name and has no Semitic equivalent. The author of John likely recognized this and his Jesus named Simon "Cephas" which is the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic word for "rock". Comically, according to Christian tradition "Mark's" primary source was Peter who by extension, according to "John", didn't know his own name.

Mark was making the name intelligible for his Gentile audience, who likely knew Peter for a long time as "Peter" and not as Cephas.

# 502, 503

John 1: (KJV) 42 Essentially another version of 496.

Update on Enumeration

The numbers still diverge by one. 504 below is now 503 in Wallack's count.

# 504

John 1: (KJV) 44 "Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter." Compare to Matthew 8: (KJV) 5 "And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him...14 And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever." John's Peter was from Bethsaida while Matthew's Peter was from Capernaum. Maybe Matthew's Peter Carperooled with John's Peter to Bethsaida.

Maybe we need to check on "suburbs" in ancient times. "Bethsaida" in Galilee would have been a small fishing village that would have been considered socially and politically aligned with the larger city of Capernaum. Functionally it's little different than saying one has a house in "New York City" but saying that Queens was your borough.

# 505

John 1: (KJV) 45 "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." "John" is the only Gospel to identify Nathanael as a disciple.

And so what's the "error"?

# 506

John 1: (KJV) 45 "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Read what Moses and the Prophets wrote and then determine if they described anything like Jesus is described in "John".

Too vague -- what's the error?

# 507, 508

John 1: (KJV) 49 Same as 483 above.

# 509

John 1: (KJV) 51 "And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." False prophecy.

The passage alludes to Jacob's dream in Genesis of the ladder to heaven. It is an apocalyptic way of saying that you will see Jesus become the broker between God's grace and men (a "stairway to heaven") and that in him, God and humankind meet. If Christianity is true, this is fulfilled.

# 510

John 2: (KJV) 3 "And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come." More parent dishonor. Try saying this to your own mother and see what happens.

As parallel phrases in Greek literature show, this is not a phrase of derision or rudeness but of loving respect. The term here is "Jesus' normal, public way of addressing women" (John 4:21, 8:10, 19:26, 20:31; Mt. 15:28; Lk. 13:12). It is also a common address in Greek literature, and never has the intent of disrespect or hostility. [Brow.GJ, 99]. The same term is used in Josephus Antiquities 17.17 by Pheroras to summon his beloved wife. [Beas.J, 34] As for the second part of the response, it reads literally: "What to me and to you?" This is a Semitic phrase that indicates that the speaker is being unjustly bothered or is being asked to get involved in a matter that is not their business. It can be impolite, but not always. (cf. 2 Kings 3:13, Hos. 14:8) [Brow.GJ, 117] The intent must be determined by the context, and the first part of Jesus' saying does point to the latter intent.

Malina and Rohrbaugh [Social-Science commentary, 299] add that such implication of distance was in fact quite proper in a society where men were expected to break the maternal bonds by a certain age. Jesus' reaction is entirely respectful and appropriate in this context.

# 511

John 2: (KJV) 10 "And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him." Compare to Mark 1: (KJV) 21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes...John's Jesus' first public appearance was made in Cana (wherever that is, no one's really sure) while Mark's Jesus' first public appearance was in Capernaum.

Nothing in Mark says that this was Jesus' first public appearance; Wallack is committing a presumptive error. As for Cana's location, let's just say that secular historians are not bothered to be unsure where every little village mentioned by Tacitus is. Actually, in Palestine, we have more sites than we have names to match them/

# 512

John 2: (KJV) 11 Essentially another version of 496. Also: John is writing to supplement Mark and fill in the record.

# 513

John 2: (KJV) 15 "And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;" No evidence from Jewish sources or the Synoptics that sheep and oxen were in the Temple area.

Do we expect Jewish sources or the Synoptics to go on about cows and sheep in the temple area? This is a fallacious argument from silence.

# 514

John 2: (KJV) 15 Same as 104 above, plus an objection that Josephus never mentions this event where NO ONE WAS KlLLED and no soldiers were called out.

# 515

John 2: (KJV) 15 "And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;" John's Jesus cleans the Temple early in his watch while the Synoptics' Jesus cleans the Temple late in his watch. Spring forward, fall back.

Jesus certainly did this sort of prophetic demonstration more then once. See here.

# 516

John 2: (KJV) 16 "And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise." The Greek has the definite article "the" before "father". "The father of me". All translations omit "the" here. Not much difference in meaning here but I think it does represent a bad faith effort on the part of Christian translators to try and remove the universal meaning of having one unique God and Father for everyone by removing the definite article.

This is a non-problem. Wallack also has no idea what any translator was thinking.

# 517

John 2: (KJV) 17 Exegetical issue.

# 518

John 2: (KJV) 18 Same as 243 above.

# 519

John 2: (KJV) 13 "And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. 18 "Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Compare to: Mark 8: (KJV) 10 "And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. 11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation." The setting for John's Jesus answering the question of what The Sign would be is Jerusalem while for Mark's Jesus it's Dalmanutha. Perhaps the best Sign for the Reader are the two different locations.

Does Wallck truly think a controversial prophet would not be asked for a sign more than once in his career?

# 520

John 2: (KJV) 20 "Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?" Literally, the translation should be "forty and six years was built this temple". The Greek word for "was built" is aorist indicating the past tense of completion. KJV's "in building" mistranslates to the present tense. The incentive for mistranslating to the present tense, which a majority of modern Christian Bibles do, is that the Temple was not completed until about 63 CE.

Wallack is not an expert in Greek, and our own expert has dismissed him as unreliable, so we will merely deny this is a problem.

# 521

John 3: (KJV) 5 Same as 108 above.

# 522

John 3: (KJV) 7 "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." In the Greek "thee" is singular and "Ye" is plural. Sloppy. KJV and a majority of translations are hiding the change in pronoun. Marvel instead at the bad grammar.

Jesus was only talking to one man ("thee"), Nicodemus. He hardly wanted to say that only Nicodemus ("ye") had to be born again.

# 523

John 3: (KJV) 13 "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." Contradicted by: 2 Kings 2 (KJV) 11 "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."

The Hebrew word translated "heaven" in the 2nd verse, shamiyim, simply means the sky, as "heavens" does metaphorically today. The "heavens" were also regarded as the abode of God, but at the time of 2 Kings there was as yet no conception of "Heaven" with a capital H as the special abode of God shared with His people. The Greek word in the 1st verse, ouranos, can also mean the sky, but it is also used in the sense of God's realm (as in, the "Kingdom of Heaven" [ouranos].

Note John 3:27 "John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." The word carries theological freight that shamiyim does not. Therefore, there is no conflict in these verses, for 2 Kings merely asserts where Elijah went physically and carries no theological overtones.

# 524, 525, 526

John 3: (KJV) 16 Same as 487 and 481 above.

# 527

John 3: (KJV) 22 "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized." Based on the preceding narrative: "2: (KJV) 23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did...3: (KJV) 1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews..21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." Jesus was already in Judea. Tough to reconcile "John" with the Synoptics when "John" doesn't reconcile with itself.

It is hard to decide what Wallack thinks the problem is here. He actually quotes John 3:1-21 in full, with no explanation as to why. Wallack seems to think it's some issue that Jesus was in Jerusalem, which was part of Judaea, already at 3:21, making 3:22 unnecessary to say that he was in the "land of Judaea." If that's so then he probably needs to know that the reference is to being is the unpopulated area of Judaea.

# 528

John 3: (KJV) 23 "And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized." There is no credible evidence that there was an Aenon by a Salim, in Judea, with a supply of water.

"If it's only mentioned here, it must not exist" would render non-existent dozens of once-mentioned, otherwise unlocated villages and places in secular histories. The likeliest candidate is a Salim near Shechem, which has a village now called Ainun nearby. However, since "Ainon" means "springs" and "Salim" means "peace", what we have here is a place name that would be very common in Israel (like our modern "Ridgewood").

Wallack seems to know about this and replies that MODERN Aenon has no water source. Hhow about a dried up spring? the name "Aenon" means "springs" so obviously there were springs there at one time. Malina and Rohrbaugh note a location of a place between Sychar and the Jordan that does still have abundant springs.

Wallack also says, "Saramia is not Judea." The point being, what? Nothing says that John was in Judaea at this time.

Finally Wallack says, "the names of Aenon (spring) and Salim (peace) are highly symbolic." So is the name "Jerusalem" (city of peace). What of it? How does this prove anything?

# 529

John 3: (KJV) 32 "And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. 33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." "No man receiveth" followed by "He that hath received". Usually I can at least think of some unlikely reason why there is not a contradiction but this one has me stumped. (Whatever was originally written was likely edited).

Try this: "Has" is spoken of proleptically.

# 530, 531

John 3: (KJV)34 Same as 481 above.

# 532

John 3: (KJV) 36 "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." KJV has mistranslated the second "believeth", it should be "obeyeth", but a majority of moderns get it right. The sentiment though of one of the most important themes of the Christian Bible, reward only comes through Jesus, is contradicted by one of the most important themes of the Tanakh illustrated for example by Jeremiah 17: (KJV) 10 "I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."

In light of Semitic Totality, belief and action are so intertwined that they are practically the same. So sorry, Jer. 1:7 and John are no different in light of Jesus being God's broker of restoration.

# 533

John 4: (KJV) 1 "When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)" Compare to John 3: (KJV) 22 "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized." John 4:'s Jesus did not baptize but John 3:'s Jesus did.

So the clarity addition made in 4:2 doesn't carry back to 3:22 also?

# 534

John 4: (KJV) 5 "Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph." The town in the Tanakh was "Shechem" and not "Sychar". There is no evidence that there ever was a "Sychar" in Samaria.

Sychar is thought by scholars to be either a corruption of Shechem or else a reference to a village called Askar. meanwhile dozens of little villages in Josephus and Tacitus are rendered unhistorical by the same argument.

# 535

John 4: (KJV) 6 "Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour." The Greek literally says "on the well" so KJV has translated correctly. A majority of moderns though avoid "on" and say something to the effect of "by" or "at". Since "wells" are generally thought to consist mainly of the shaft and pool of water at the bottom it sounds funny to say someone would be sitting on this.

Wells are also considered stone surrounding that hole.

# 536

John 4: (KJV) 25 "The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things." "Christ" above should be "anointed" as the underlying Greek word means "anointed". In the verse the woman cannot be using the Greek word as a name because she doesn't even know who Jesus is for Christ's sake.

Wallack misses that footnotes were yet to be invented. This is John's note of clarification for his Greek readers, an editorial comment, as he does rightly perceive after this.

She also is not using the Greek word as a title because there is no definite article (as in "the Christ") before the Greek word.

See 18 above.

# 537

John 4: (KJV) 29 Same as 536 above.

#538

John 4: (KJV)43 "Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. 45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast." John's Jesus sez that he had no honour in Galilee. "John" sez that Jesus had honour in Galilee. Who should we believe, John's Jesus or John?

Apparently Wallack wants to object that Galilee was Jesus' "country" and since he was accepted elsewhere in Galilee than Nazareth, this is some kind of problem. But John's Jesus says no such thing about "Galilee" and the object of the saying is Nazareth. Note that the word "country" is patris and does not denote any particular political entity but means one's "father-land" or "native town".

# 539

John 4: (KJV) 48 "Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." In the Greek the "ye" of "except ye" is plural, "you people". KJV and a majority of moderns have mistranslated to make a singular person addressed in the entire sentence.

Wallack doesn't see a collective "ye" implied here -- was the one man Jesus was speaking the only person for whom signs and wonders were needed to be seen to believe?

# 540

John 5: (KJV) 22 "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:" Compare to Isaiah 45: (KJV)21 "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else...When Isaiah heard about John 5:22 he said "Who?".

When Wallack was told about Wisdom theology, which makes Jesus part of the divine identity of God, he had no answer to it and just dismissed it as something believed by only a certain set of Jews, which is false. It was a primary (and never denied) template for divine identity in first century Judaism.

# 541

John 5: (KJV) 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." False prophecy.

Yet fulfilled prophecy. It is a prophecy of the final resurrection and judgment which Wallack should be glad has yet to be fulfilled, and which Revelation predicted would not come for a very long time. Of course if it is false then so are all Jewish, non-Christian expectations of the same.

# 542

John 5: (KJV) 27 "And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." No definite article "the" before "son of man" in the Greek but a majority of moderns add it. "The" makes the phrase sound like a title while the phrase without a "the" sounds like an adjective ("human", let him judge men because he is a man). Basically the same issue as item 18. As for making "Son of Man" mean "human" see this.

# 543

John 5: (KJV) 28 Repeat of 541.

# 544

John 5: (KJV) 29 "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Contradicted by John 3: (KJV) 18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

It is? How? No explanation is offered at all.

# 545

John 5: (KJV)30 "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." There is no "father" anywhere in this sentence in the Greek. A majority of moderns have "father" somewhere in this sentence. Probably the best translation is "the one who sent me". Does that sound like a literal family relationship?

What Wallack's point here is hard to say. If he thinks we believe in a "literal family relationship" where does he get that idea?

# 546

John 5: (KJV)46 "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me." Where?

Deut. 18:15-18.

# 547

John 6: (KJV)42 "And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?" Apparently John's Nazoreans never heard of "Matthew's" virgin birth story.

Apparently they didn't. Or else they didn't believe it if they did. How is this an error?

# 548

John 6: (KJV)54 "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." A majority of moderns translate "eat" (eateth) but the underlying Greek word was primarily used to describe animals eating and has a cruder connotation than "eat" such as "gnaw", "munch" or "feed".

Is that what it means? Then we have these translations:

Matthew 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were gnawing or munching and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark...

John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that gnaws or munches bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. What's the error, exactly?

# 549

John 6: (KJV)57 Repeat of 548.

# 550

John 6: (KJV)69 "And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." The last part of the sentence should be "the holy one of the God" based on the manuscript evidence. A majority of moderns get it right except none translate the "the" before "God".

What's the problem? We're not told.

# 551

John 7: (KJV)38 "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Where?

Witherington's commentary on John [173] notes that Sirach 24:30-32 reflects a similar saying: "As for me, I was like a canal from a river, like a water channel into a garden. I said, 'I will water my garden and drench my flower-beds' And lo, my canal became a river, and my river a sea...I will again pour out teaching like prophecy, and leave it to all future generations." This comes after a discussion of Wisdom/Torah as being a source of a river of wisdom, and note that Jesus identifies himself with Wisdom. Note that "scripture" (graphe) is a word for any written document and does not apply exclusively to the OT.

# 552

John 7: (KJV)42 "Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? "Compare to Micah 5: (JPS)1 "But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days." The reference in Micah refers to the clan of David, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, and not the city of Bethlehem.

Corrected here.

# 553

John 7: (KJV)53 "And every man went unto his own house." The manuscript evidence indicates that John 7:53-8:11 is not original but that doesn't stop a majority of moderns from showing it with no explanation.

A non-issue. See here.

# 554

John 8: (KJV)20 "These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come." Applause. Nice literary touch showing Jesus' "teachings" as the treasure in the Temple.

Really? So if Jesus teaches in the marketplace off the Temple, does this show his teachings were fruits and vegetables?

Note that up to this point in John the "teachings" have been non-specific

Like this claim? Note that John was written as a supplement to Mark.

and "John" has been primarily one long infomercial for all things Jesus. The "in" from "in the treasury" though is a problem because the treasury was a storage area so no one would have been teaching in it. The Greek word has a lesser meaning of "by" which would make the sentence possible but a majority of moderns have chosen art over reality by using "in".

Since he admits "by" is a meaning of the word, there is no error to discuss.

# 555

John 8: (KJV)25 "Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning." The underlying Greek says "Jesus the beginning the one and speak to you". Not a complete sentence. A good guess for the meaning is, "I'm the same as the one who spoke to you from the beginning". Interestingly, "the Jews" finally ask Jesus a sincere and direct question and Jesus tries to give a sincere and direct answer. But instead of sounding like God he sounds like Tarzan. Kind of like when the Fonz tried to say he was "wrong". "I was wung, I wuz wring, I was wah, wah, whong". Since the error is not explained, there apparently isn't one. Wallack is not versed in Koine Greek enough to make such statements.

# 556

John 8: (KJV)38 "I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father." There is textual variation for almost every word here. One of the few things that can be said with certainty is that the manuscript evidence indicates there is no "your" before the second "father" even though almost every modern adds it. Now you know why there is so much textual variation for this sentence. Adding "your" here implies that "the Jews" have a different father than Jesus has, the devil.

This is done because the clear comment in 8:44 isn't clear enough?

Translators should be more careful as indicating an entire group of people have the devil as their father when the underlying text says no such thing could lead to a Holocaust or something.

I don't recall John 8:38 being in Mein Kampf. This from Wallack, who regularly posted anti-Semitic puns and slurs on TheologyWeb.

# 557

John 8: (KJV)39 "They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham." A famous line. A not so famous mistranslation. The manuscript evidence says "are" for "are Abraham's children" and not "were Abraham's children" which a majority of moderns have. The entire sentence has significant textual variation which normally means whatever was originally written was changed. "Were" reflects later Christian theology that the Jews were no longer the chosen people.

The "were" here doesn't reflect any sort of past tense any more than, "If you were in my place, you'd eat that ice cream."

# 558

John 8: (KJV) 41"Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God." "God" has a "the" before "God" here which none of the moderns I saw have. If the Father is "the" God then Jesus isn't. Let the reader understand.

Let the reader rather know Wisdom theology. See 481 above.

# 559

John 8: (KJV)42 Same as 481 above.

# 560

John 8: (KJV) 31 "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed...45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." "John's" Jesus is talking to the Jews that believed him (Jesus) in 8:31. The narrative never indicates a change in audience and 8:45 concludes with the statement by Jesus that his audience did not believe him. Moses! Sounds like "John" got his "the Jews" mixed up. Should have been more careful, someone might read this and think it was the wrong "the Jews".

Wallack quotes all of 31-45 and it never occurs to him that the "don't believe" reference to what transpired in those verses, and that there is a difference between trusting Jesus (the word used for "believe" is a form of pistis) and trusting what he says once you have trusted him before.

# 561, 562, 563

John 8: (KJV)47 Same as 481.

# 564

John 9: (KJV)11 "He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight." The Greek word translated above "received sight" should be translated "recovered sight". Go back to John 9: (KJV) 1 "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. "You can't recover what you never had.

Even if true, what is the significance? It proves the man born blind had a deficient vocabulary and that his words are reported accurately. But Wallack is wrong. The word is anablepo, and the preposition ano can mean recovery OR reversal.

# 565-569

John 9: (KJV) 11 Repeats 564. Literally, six times in a row.

# 570

John 9: (KJV)21 "But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him." For the two phrases above "He is of age; ask him" KJV has changed the word order of the first usage which should be "Ask him; he is of age". A small majority of moderns do likewise so the phrase appears to be repeated exactly in 9:23. For God's sake, just translate the way it was written.

I have a better idea: Let's not be concerned with such pedantic things by calling them errors. Again, ancient people did not regard minor variations in verbiage as an issue.

# 571

John 9: (KJV)35 "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" The manuscript evidence indicates that "son of man" is original instead of "son of God" which a slim majority of moderns use.

A non-issue, since both titles are used plentifully of Jesus (and really, mean the same thing).

# 572

John 10: (KJV) 16 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." After 2,000 years I think it's safe to say that this is a false prophecy.

How so? Any number of Gentile converts makes this true.

# 573

John 10: (KJV) 18 "No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." The manuscript evidence is about even but two of the three oldest manuscripts have "took" (past tense) instead of "takes" and Sinaiticus was changed from "took" to "takes". There are other instances where "John" has done the same (has Jesus speak in the past tense of something which wouldn't have happened at that point in the historical narrative) and there is good Bible scholar support for "took" as original. Use of the past tense by the author of "John" is very good evidence that "John" is primarily religious propaganda and not a historical narrative as first proposed by Bultmann a mere 1800 years after Christian Bible scholars first started studying "John". Almost all moderns use the present tense here.

Even if this is true, the conclusion that the past tense makes it "propaganda" (as opposed to, for example, a technique of "speech in character"; that is, Jesus speaking as though the time were past) is a construct of imagination. However I checked this in Brown's commentary, and while Brown [387] does suggest it is an example of John having Jesus speak in past tense, he also notes that the reference makes sense as an allusion to prior episodes in which others attempted to kill Jesus (5:18, 7:25, 8:59).

# 574

John 10: (KJV)28 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." After Israel and every country next to it went from being Christian to non-Christian I think it's safe to say this is a false prophecy and then some.

This has to do with individuals not nations. This promise has to do with no one being able to take eternal life from people.

# 575

John 10: (KJV) 29 "My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." A majority of moderns mistranslate as KJV does above "my Father's hand" which should be "the Father's hand". As is common the wicked and evil translators are overstating the Father and son relationship of God and Jesus and understating the Father and son relationship of everyone else.

My Interlinear says it reads literally, "the Father of Me".

# 576

John 10: (KJV) 32 "Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?" The manuscript evidence indicates "the father" instead of "my father" which a majority of moderns use. See how the text has mutated for important theological points? What do you think happened during the first 300 years before most of the extant manuscript evidence? If you said, "God knows" you'd be correct.

Once again my Interlinear says "the Father of Me" and since John has Jesus declaring himself God's "only begotten Son" (3:16) and God's Son elsewhere, this "theological point" is already clearly made and thus this would be a difference that is no difference.

# 577

John 10: (KJV) 30 "I and the Father are one." ...36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?" This story is interesting. "The Jews" accuse Jesus of claiming to literally be God and Jesus defends himself as only claiming to figuratively be a divine son of God.

How Wallack arrives at this interpretation is hard to say. It is actually a rabbinic style "gotcha" response: If you who are not gods can be called gods, how can you stone me who really is the Son of God for calling myself that?

The traditional Christian take on this is to claim that the author intended to show Jesus literally as God because this was "The Jews" understanding as opposed to showing Jesus to figuratively be a divine son of God because this was Jesus' explanation. Weird.

Wallack never explains his explanation.

This avoidance of the likely intent of the author is reflected in the mistranslation by almost all moderns of "I am the Son of God" at the end which should be "I am son of the God" (in the Greek the definite article is before "God").

Once again, this use of "the" is well known and it doesn't change anything; use of "God" as a proper name is a modern affectation. It still means, "son of deity".

# 578

John 10: (KJV) 41 "And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true." Compare to John 1: (KJV) 29 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." The "many" say that Jesus did everything John said he would but the two things John predicted, that Jesus would take away the sins of the world and baptize with holy spirit, hadn't happened at this point in the narrative. This isn't the audience of Jesus' speaking, it's the audience of "John" (anachronistic).

And what basis is there for supposing that John has recorded every word that John the Baptist said about Jesus?

# 579

John 12: (KJV) 1 "Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead." Compare to Matthew 26: (KJV) 1 "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, 2 Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. 3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. 5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people. 6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper," "John's" Jesus came to Bethany 6 days before Passover. "Matthew's" Jesus arrived 4 days later.

Another mystery as to how Wallack arrives at his calculations. Matthew says nothing about when Jesus first arrived in Bethany.

# 580

John 12: (KJV) 3 "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

See here.

# 581

John 12: (KJV) 4 "Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?" Compare to Matthew 26: (KJV) 8 "But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor." "Matthew" following "Mark" has the disciples indignant at the anointing. In "John" the disciples are rehabilitated and the indignation is mysteriously transferred to Judas.

How so? John says nothing about the other disciples being better characters here.

In stories of the time a common literary technique is to present the hero and traitor as twins to maximize the factor of betrayal (betrayed by someone closest to the hero).

Wallack doesn't document this "technique" but there WAS a technique of highlighting individual actions, which IS what is going on with Judas being highlighted among the objectors.

"Judas" is close to "Jesus" and "Iscariot" is close to "Christ" in sound.

I have no idea what the point here is supposed to be.

# 582

John 12: (KJV) 14 "And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written," Compare to Matthew 21: (KJV) 6 "And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon." John's Jesus found a young ass himself. Matthew's Jesus delegated to his disciples.

It's called "representation". See here.

# 583

John 12: (KJV) 14 "And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, 15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt." Everyone agrees that "Fear not" is not in Zechariah where the rest of the quote is. Perhaps that's why "John" wrote "as it is written". When asked by "The Jews" exactly where it is written, "John" said "John 12:15".

It's from Isa. 40:9. Wallack does not know of the Jewish exegetical practice of conflating quotes from the OT.

# 584

John 12: (KJV) 14 Exegetical issue.

# 585

John 12: (KJV) 12 "On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. 14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, 15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. 16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him." "John's" Jesus' disciples remember that "they had done these things unto him." except that they didn't do anything unto Jesus here in John's narrative.

"They" didn't? The "they" refers to the people, not the disciples. We skip Wallack's attempt to explain why the "they" is there. The words "they did" are one Greek word.

# 586

John 12: (KJV) 31 "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." False prophecy.

Not at all.

# 587

John 12: (KJV)34 "The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?" The "law" normally refers to the Pentateuch which not surprisingly refers primarily to the law and has next to nothing to say about Messiahs. Even if "law" is expanded to include the entire Tanakh there isn't any verse saying that the Messiah will abideth for ever. In the Tanakh only God abideth forever.

Not so. The idea of a Messiah who abides forever is found in 1 Enoch 49:1, 62:14 and Ps. Sol. 17:4. The people reflect a popular belief here.

# 588

John 12: (KJV) 37 "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?" "John" is giving one of Christianity's earliest apologies, that "the Jews" not believing the historical Jesus fulfilled prophecy. In order to try and support this unnatural observation "John" presents a quote from Isaiah (which agrees with Greek Christian translations of the Tanakh word for word - surprise) Of course this means little unless Wallack shows that the LXX was a bad translation of the passage, which he doesn't supposedly showing "the Jews" as the confessing witnesses at the start of Isaiah 53. The chapter divisions though are Christian Medevil inventions and a look at the end of so called Chapter 52 makes clear that it is the Gentiles who are the confessing witnesses (he startle many nations, kings shall shut their mouths) and not "the Jews":

A matter of irrelevancy in two ways. First, on TWeb I replied to Wallack for this commentary about chapter divisions (see item 3 above) and he finally admitted that his position requires that such divisions in things like the works of Josephus must under his rubric be called "errors" too, which is speaks for itself.

Second, even if the passage used applies to Gentiles, it would be -- AGAIN -- normal exegetical practice for the period to use it in a new way. Wallack also expresses an argument about "the Jews" here being ALL Jews; see relevant portion here.

# 589

John 12: (KJV) 39 "For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40"He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them." Compare to Matthew 13: (KJV) 13 "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.14 "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." "John" misquotes Isaiah himself in an editorial comment in order to blasphemy God's chosen and thereby God Himself while "Matthew" has this blasphemy committed by Jesus to hedge his bets.

Partial repeat of above. John is echoing Jesus' own use of the words. In actuality the situations are the same; Wallack invents the "hedged bets" idea of imagination.

# 590

John 12: (KJV)39 ...Exegetical issue.

# 591

John 12: (KJV) 37 "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. 42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:" "John" sez that Jesus did many miracles but doesn't show Jesus doing many miracles,

Wallack thinks that means that those were ALL the miracles Jesus did, according to John.

# 592

John 12: (KJV) 47 See here.

# 593

John 14: (KJV)4 "And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." The manuscript evidence favors the shorter "You know the way I go" with a bad grammatical construction. Later manuscripts improved the grammar and elaborated Jesus as saying the disciples knew the way Jesus was going and how to get there. This makes what follows more to the point. A majority of moderns have the new and improved reading. A subtle correction maybe but we are dealing with life and death here for Moses' sake.

In this passage? Doubtful. Since all we have here is paranoia expressed and not a problem showing that any issue of meaning is at stake, nothing more needs be said.

# 594

John 14: (KJV) 12 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." On the ranking of false prophecies this ranks up there with return "soon".

See here, and here on "soon".

# 595, 596

John 14: (KJV) 13 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. "I wonder how many Fundamentalists have asked Jesus to make this list disappear?

See article on prayer in the Jewish world..

# 597

John 14: (KJV) 26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Fascinating anachronistic apologetic comment and the key to understanding "John" specifically and Christianity in general. This is "John's" license for himself and Christianity to argue as to what Jesus said based on receiving holy spirit after the supposed life of Jesus as opposed to normal witness testimony based on historical memory.

Hardly. This does not imply in any sense a Spirit that works like a tape recording as opposed to a guide that reminds the believer of specific sayings or parables or teachings; i.e., "Remember the Sermon on the Mount" as opposed to a recitation of the whole thing.

This is an apology that "John" could not present what the historical Jesus said based on reliable witness testimony. "John" had to rely on the supposed gift of the holy spirit to indicate what Jesus supposedly said long after it was said.

Since this is contrary to all paradigms of teaching and memorization in the ancient world, the argument is superfluous.

# 598

John 15: (KJV)7 Repeat of 595.

# 599

John 15: (KJV) 10 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. "Homework assignment for reader. Count how many times Jesus broke the law of the Tanakh or told others to do so according to the Christian Bible.

None. See here.

# 600

John 15: (KJV)11 "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." The big revelations of John's Jesus are anachronisms. The big speech in the earlier Gospel "Matthew" was the Sermon On The Mount detailing Jesus' teachings. The big speech in "John" is here where Jesus gives instructions to the disciples. About the only general Jesus' teaching referred to here is to love one another.

There's no actual problem stated, just a comparison made to content.

A subtle anachronistic comment is verse 11 which uses the word "joy" in place of the word "peace". The phrase with "peace" is a Semitic phrase as "peace" was also a Semitic greeting. The phrase with "joy" is a Greek phrase as "joy" is close to the Greek word for "greeting".

That's so "subtle" it's not even clear what the problem is. It's a translation for intellgibility to Greek readers, not an "anachronism".

# 601

John 15: (KJV) 26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: Compare to John 14: (KJV) 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John's Jesus of 15:26 says that he will send the holy spirit while John's Jesus of 14:26 says that the Father will send the holy spirit.

John's Jesus of 15:26 says he will send the spirit from the Father. John's Jesus in 14 says the Father will send the Spirit in Jesus' name, which means by Jesus' authority. There is no problem.

# 602

John 16: (KJV) 2 "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." A majority of moderns translate "synagogues" like KJV. Literally though the word is singular. In the context it could have a universal application as a singular but it could also be referring to just one synagogue such as the synagogue of "John's" community that his Gospel in part is written to.

It may not occur to Wallack that people are usually can only be put out of one synagogue at a time and that it's not like you can travel to another out of town. But moreover, the word is used in a collective sense of the assembly of all Jews; just as "church" today means not only one building, but the church at large.

# 603

John 16: (KJV) 2 "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." The underlying Greek is redundant for "doeth God service". There is one Greek word that means "offering service" in a religious context and another Greek word that means "offering". The correct translation should be "offering an offering of service to God." All moderns mistranslate like KJV to show what should have been written instead of what was actually written. As Yeshi Berra said, "sounds like deja Jew all over again".

The point of this remark is unknown. Perhaps Wallack thinks we should not avoid redundancy in translation when our language discourages it. Note in the meantime Wallack's ethnic slur; this is the sort of thing he did often on TheologyWeb.

# 604

John 16: (KJV) 5 "But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?" Compare to John 14: (KJV) 4 "And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" Apparently John's Jesus forgot that two chapters earlier someone did ask. Even better evidence for error is that the lying, hypocritical, slandering, racist and antisemitc Apologist JP Holding claims there is no error here so there probably is.

As we can see, Wallack wass rather frustrated by his encounters with me. Note that he also does not address my answer, that 16:5 reflects a later time: "NOW I for way, and none of you ask..." whereas they did before, BEFORE Jesus went his way.

Update on Enumeration

The numbers still diverge by one. 605 below is now 604 in Wallack's count.

# 605

John 16: (KJV) 7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:" False prophecy. No evidence of any "Comforter" doing anything or having any effect in the last 2,000 years. More anachronistic apology. Subsequent Christianity can't argue based on whatever the historical Jesus supposedly said, it has to be based on an imaginary contemporary "Comforter".

Wallack should admit that this is a non-testable prophecy, not a false one.

# 606

John 16: (KJV) 12 "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." Compare to John 15: (KJV) 15 "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." Either John's Jesus forgot what he told the disciples in the previous Chapter or we have two different John's Jesuses (multiple authors). Since the context of John's Jesuses' speeches here is eternal judgment for the entire Universe do you think it's asking too much for them to get their stories straight?

How does Wallack arrive at the conclusion that the set of "things heard of the Father" and "things Jesus had to say to the disciples" has exactly the same members? It is also false that the context of both speeches is "eternal judgment." The context of John 15 is believers keeping commandments, serving God, and their relation to the world. The context of John 16 is judgment and future persecution.

# 607

John 16: (KJV) 25 "These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father." John's Jesus couldn't speak clearly about the Father while he was alive. He had to wait until he was dead. "the time cometh" above is better translated "the hour cometh" and is not used in Greek to refer to the distant future, certainly not over 2,000 years later. We're still waiting for anyone to plainly show us the Father.

Wallack never shows that Jesus didn't speak clearly and that it is not rather a matter of his own lack of serious study that is the problem.

# 608

John 17: (KJV) 12 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." There is no prophecy in the Tanakh that the Messiah would be betrayed.

Try Ps. 41:9 and refer to Jewish exegetical methods.

"John's" "the scripture" always refers to a specific verse elsewhere in "John".

This statement is obviously false as any search of "the scripture" in John will show. 13:18 and 19:26 are just two examples.

That no specific verse is cited here is a clue that there isn't any.

Rather it is a clue that John's is a high-context audience didn't need the reference -- which anyway was cited in 13:18.

# 609

John 18: (KJV) 4 "Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?" Compare to Mark 14: (KJV) 43 "And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders....John's Jesus is identified via conversation while Mark's Jesus is identified via a kiss. John's Jesus was more of a talker while Mark's Jesus was more of a doer.

True. John writes supplementing Mark and purposely omits the kiss -- likely because it disgusted him. It's ancient literary rights.

# 610

John 18: (KJV) 6 Same sort of objection.

# 611

John 18: (KJV) 9 "That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none." Compare to John 17: (KJV) 12 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." "John" tries to show prophecy fulfillment in 18:9 moving beyond the Tanakh to what Jesus said, "which he spake", but in Jesus' first such attempt has Jesus misquote what he supposedly said himself a chapter earlier as he spaked that the son of perdition (Judas) would be lost to fulfill prophecy of the Tanakh.

Jesus did not lose Judas to death or capture, which in the context of the arrest is what is clearly the intended meaning.

# 612

John 18: (KJV) 13 "And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year." Compare to Matthew 26: (KJV) 57 "And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled." John's Jesus is first taken to Annas while Matthew's Jesus is first taken to Caiaphas.

In other words, John supplements the Synoptic record. Problem? There isn't one. The Synoptics just telescope right to Caiaphas per normal ancient literary procedure.

# 613

John 18: (KJV) 20 See here.

# 614

John 18: (KJV) 28 Same as 131 above.

# 615

John 18: (KJV) 28 See here.

# 616

John 18: (KJV) 33 "Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) 11 "And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. 12 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 13 Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? 14 And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly." "John's" Jesus defends himself with a speech. "Matthew's" Jesus defends himself with two non-responsive words.

John's episode occurs during a one on one encounter. The latter is when priests are present accusing. Two different points in the trial phase.

# 617

John 18: (KJV) 39 "But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?" No evidence outside of the Christian Bible that there was such a custom.

See here, relevant portion.

# 618

John 19: (KJV) 7 "The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God." No "the" before "son of god" in the Greek which a majority of moderns use.

Why this is an error or a problem is hard to say. Same as 108 above in essence.

# 619

John 19: (KJV) 11 "Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin." The logic of this sentence is backwards. The first part indicates there is a greater power than Pilate that gave Pilate his power. The second part indicates that a lesser power brought Jesus to Pilate, a greater power, yet the lesser power has more responsibility for the sin. Backwards.

Wallack needs the informing Jewish context of all political powers as appointed by God. God gives Pilate his place and it is only because of God that Pilate has the ability to choose. But he did not arrest Jesus; his role is merely as do-boy here for the authorities, who have direct responsibility. >P>The greater power should have more responsibility. Seems the soul purpose of this backwards sentence is to blame "The Jews".

Hardly. By the means of the time, the Romans would use the local powers in exactly the way the Gospels all depict. Ironically Wallack, who loads his posts with anti-Semitic slurs, fails to perceive that barring major military action, the Jewish leadership would ALWAYS bring the accused to the Roman governor. Not that "the Jews" means anything but the leadership (per link in 617 above).

# 620

John 19: (KJV) 17 Same as 187 above.

# 621

John 19: (KJV) 17 "And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:" Compare to Mark 15: (KJV) 21 "And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross." "John's" Jesus carried his own stake. "Mark's" Jesus had a Simon carry Jesus' cross. Next to John 19:17 there should be a Warning Sign that says, "Danger, Men Theologizing".

In one sense he's right. And it doesn't change on bit that Jesus did carry his cross as he left his trial. Theological emphasis does not mean non-historicity.

# 622

John 19: (KJV) Repeat of 187 above. Also it is offered: 19 "And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS." Compare to Luke 23: (KJV) 38 "And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." Two different Jesuses?

Hardly. What Luke reports is inclusive of what John does.

# 623

John 19: (KJV)25 Another repeat of 187 above.

# 624

John 19: (KJV) 25 "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene." Compare to Matthew 27: (KJV) ...55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children." According to "John" whose witness testimony says he was not a witness to the crucifixion assorted women witnesses who unlike him were witnesses to the crucifixion even though the subsequent Christianity decided not to preserve the testimony of theses women witnesses who were witnesses according to a "John" and decided to preserve the witness testimony of "John" who testified that he was not a witness to the crucifixion these witness/non-witnesses were witnessing/non-witnessing next to the stake(s).

This nearly incomprehensible sentence seems to object to nothing whatsoever, but seems to miss the point that the women are an obvious source for much of what the Gospels narrate.

According to "Matthew", whose own Gospel indicates that he was probably really "Levi" and not "Matthew" and therefore can't even reliably testify about his own identity,

See far above on Matthew's authorship.

whose witness testimony says he was not a witness to the crucifixion assorted women witnesses who unlike him were witnesses to the crucifixion even though the subsequent Christianity decided not to preserve the testimony of theses women witnesses who were witnesses according to a "Matthew" and decided to preserve the witness testimony of "Matthew" who testified that he was not a witness to the crucifixion these witness/non-witnesses were witnessing/non-witnessing not next to the stake(s).

Another incomprehensible run-on that seems to make only the same point, answered above.

The only agreement here between "John" and "Matthew" is that both agree that the other was not a witness. The world renowned Hyperpologist, JP Holding, has harmonized the location of the witness/non-witnesses women according to "John" and "Matthew" by speculating that during the crucifixion the women entertained themselves by playing pin the tail on Jesus' donkey which accounts for the change in their location during the crucifixion and the related bonus apology that the necessary blindfolds for the game prevented them for providing testimony.

What Wallack means is that I have drawn the common sense conclusion that the people involved didn't stay rooted to one spot all the time, which is a conclusion Wallack has no argument against, hence he resorts to jokes.

# 625

John 19: (KJV) 25 Repeat of above. See also principles at this series.

# 626

John 19: (KJV) 26 "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!" John's Jesus teaches that the natural family relationships are secondary in importance to the supernatural relationships and violates the commandment from the Tanakh to honor your parents. But "Matthew's" Jesus said he would not violate any law of the Tanakh.

See #62 above.

Interestingly, the Synoptics show this anti family behavior as being taught during Jesus' career while John shows it as brought about by Jesus' death.

Wallack to misses the idea that this verse is not anti-family but is rather a cultural example of Jesus providing for his mother.

The Synoptics, written earlier, show more emphasis on Jesus' career and teachings while "John", written later, glosses over Jesus' teachings having instead a long running advertisement for Jesus' teachings without really explaining what Jesus' teachings are and emphasizes Jesus' death.

Wallack doesn't "get" what Jesus' teachings are. On the differences of John see here.

# 627

John 19: (KJV)29 "Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." Compare to Mark 15: (KJV) 23 "And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not." John's "Jesus" was drinking while Mark's "Jesus" was not. When the police officer in Mel Gibson's "Passion" asks Jesus if he'd been drinking "Gibson's" Jesus says "Yes and no".

Not quite. John describes something offered just before Jesus died, while Mark describes something before Jesus was even nailed to the cross.

# 628

John 19: (KJV) 30 "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." Compare to Luke 23: (KJV) 46 "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." "John's" Jesus and "Luke's" Jesus have different last words.

See here.

# 629

John 19: (KJV) 31 "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away." The underlying Greek for "their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away" is "might be broken their legs and taken away". Grammatically, the verb "taken away", refers to the subject "legs". All modern translations add "bodies" or "they" to avoid this awkward grammar. Advice to modern Christian translators, just translate what it says and don't add words to avoid awkward grammar putzes.

Being that Wallack is no expert in Greek, this one can be taken with a grain of salt. But no one thinks the Spirit inspire the NT authors to perfect grammar.

# 630

John 19: (KJV) 30 "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:" Compare to Mark 15: (KJV) 37 "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." "John's" soldiers didn't know Jesus was dead until they went to brake his legs. "Mark's" soldier knew Jesus was dead right after he cried out.

How is Mark's soldier's comment the equivalent to a certain diagnostic? All this says is that Mark's man assumed Jesus was dead. You don't examine a man by speaking to him.

# 631

John 19: (KJV) 34 "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water." For some reason modern Christian translations are using "pierced" to death. The underlying Greek word means "stabbed at" or "picked at". The context is that a soldier is checking to see if Jesus is dead or not. Would you kill someone in order to find out if they were still alive?

Actually one pagan author notes that poking at the crucified like this was one way to assure that they were dead, as Raymond Brown notes.

# 632

John 19: (KJV) 36 "For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken." Where?

The Passover lamb instructions, accompanied by first century Jewish exegesis.

# 633

John 19: (KJV) 37 Exegetical issue.

# 634

John 19: (KJV) 38 "And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." Compare to Mark 15: (KJV) 45 "And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre." "John's" Jesus is wrapped by Joseph and Nicodemus while "Mark's" Jesus is only wrapped by Joseph. Other oddities

Oddities? Nothing odd here. Nicodemus kept his role quiet to avoid being fingered. John's revelation of his role fits the story being told after Nicodemus' death when he would no longer get in trouble.

of "John's" account are that Joseph and Nicodemus have just made themselves ritually impure for the upcoming Passover by touching a dead body

They couldn't possibly have had servants? Of course even so, no one would become ritually impure for the sake of a person they care about, now, would they?

and Jesus is not buried by his own family

As Byron McCane shows, the Sanhedrin would have been responsible for burial to begin with.

(the change from Joseph the earthly father to Joseph the disciple father is probably not a coincidence).

Joseph was only one of the ten most popular names for men in this time and place. Josephus mentions only 16 of them. Can't be a coincidence, can it?

# 635

John 19: (KJV) 40 "Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." The underlying Greek word for "linen clothes" should be "linen strips" which a majority of moderns avoid. The combination of winding in linen strips with 100 pounds of spices makes an interesting parallel to mummification.

So do Jewish burial practices of the first century, which are accurately represented here. So what was the error?

# 636-42

John 20: (KJV) 1

See here. .

# 642

John 20: (KJV) 22 "And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:" Compare to "Mark", "Matthew" and "Luke": " ".

The point is what? There's no error in only one source reporting an event. See series here.

# 643

John 20: (KJV) 22 Same as #18.

# 644

John 20: (KJV) 25 See #474 above, this time, though, just the part about "dominant" understanding is enoughof an answer. Also said:

Anachronistic touch here. The best evidence to Jesus' supposed audience that Jesus was Jesus would not be "Mark's" on his hands. For anyone who actually knew Jesus the best evidence would be his face or maybe the answers to some carefully selected questions such as "What's yer favorite color?" or "What's the air speed velocity of a swallow?". The supposed hands evidence would be better for the author's audience and not Jesus' audience as they never met Jesus and wouldn't know what he looked like.

How so? This is just stated with no evidence of why these pedantic questions would be better. Thomas would already see the face of Jesus; questions like these are unnecessary.

# 645

John 20: (KJV) 27 "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." Compare to John 20: (KJV) 17 "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." Touch me, don't touch me. Uh, uhh, Peter Simon didn't say.

Raymond Brown (The Gospel According to John, 1012) notes that there is an allusion here to verses 14:18-19 and 16:22, in which Jesus promises "the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me" and "Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." Mary and the disciples probably took this to indicate a permanent return of the Risen Jesus, and in 20:27, Jesus is dispelling that false idea.

# 646

John 21: (KJV) 15 "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs." The textual evidence sez "Simon, son of John", which a majority of moderns have. Problem with that is: Matthew 16: (KJV) 17 "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." "Barjona" means "son of Jonas". So "John" and "Matthew" don't even agree about who Peter's father was. Obviously later Christian scribes changed "John's" "son of John" to "son of Jonas" to make "John" agree to "Matthew"...

"Son of Jonah" in Matthew alludes to the "sign of Jonas" in Jesus' preaching; Peter was the "son of" that preaching by being the first to confess Christ.

# 647

John 21: (KJV) 24 "This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true." Let's see what we've got here. Unidentified people testifying that what an unidentified author wrote based on the testimony of an unidentified disciple is true.

Decontextualization and low context, as John's readers would be informed where Wallack is not. To say nothing of Wallack still avoided debating Gospel authorship, to the point now where he has vanished from TheologyWeb before coming back and being banned for his ethnic slurs.

# 648

Acts 1: (KJV)2 Same as 18 above.

# 649

Acts 1: (KJV) 4 "And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me." Compare to Mark 16: KJV)7 "But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you." "Luke's" Jesus tells his crew to tarry in Jerusalem. "Mark's" Jesus' crew is told to go to Galilee for further instruction.

See here.

# 650

Acts 1: (KJV)5 Basically the same as 18 above.

# 651

Acts 1 (KJV) vs John 20 and the Holy Spirit; see answer here.

# 652

See here. To see this as "anti-Jewish" is imaginative, as well as ironic given Wallack's use of anti-Semitic slurs.

# 653

Same link as above.

# 654

Wallack objects that "no one in Jerusalem" knows where the "field of blood" is and that it must be fictional; for a refutation of this sort of idea, see here. Wallack just rendered dozens of historical sites mentioned only once by classical historians, and whose locations are not know today, "fiction".

# 655

Exegetical issue. Let Wallack say that the rabbis were "LYING" also.

# 656

The same, per Acts 2 and the use of Joel. For side comments on writing in Aramaic see here.

# 657

Eschatological issue.

# 658

Acts 2 (KJV)21 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Compare to Matthew 7: (KJV) 21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

See here. For relation of faith and works, see here.

# 659

Exegetical issue.

# 660

Acts 2 (KJV) 30 "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;" Compare to Luke 1: (KJV) 34 "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." KJV has dishonestly added "Christ" to 2:30 where no christ exists in the Greek (kind of says it all).

According to Green's interlinear, this is false. But even if it is not, who does Wallack think is referred to here?

The implication of 2:30 is that Jesus was from the seed of David but Luke 1:34 explains that Jesus was not from anyone's seed.

False dichotomy. Luke still portrays Jesus as a legal heir of David.

Nice evidence that the original Gospel stories such as "Luke" were closer to Judaism having a natural birth for Jesus as the heir of David and were subsequently changed in a Pagan direction exchanging a natural birth for a supernatural one.

There is no pagan comparison; see this series.

In "Luke" and "Matthew", after the infancy narratives claiming supernatural births, which don't agree, and is very good evidence that there was no supernatural birth, the rest of the stories have no reference to a supernatural birth. This observation is consistent with the theory that the original stories had no supernatural births.

See here.

The Reader is also invited to consider that "Mark", the original Gospel, and "John", have no reference to a supernatural birth and that this could mean that neither author believed Jesus had a supernatural birth.

John may allude to one; see here. "Could mean" is not an argument without an explanation of the "why".

#661

Acts 2 (KJV) 34 "For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand," Here is the quote from Psalm110: (JPS) 1 "A Psalm of David. HaShem saith unto my lord: 'Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." There are not two "Lord's" in the Hebrew. The Hebrew word translated as "HaShem" above is used to refer exclusively to God.

Only a half truth, because kurios was also used to refer to God.

The following Hebrew word translated above as "lord" (adonai) is a title and could refer to God or a person. The Greek uses the same word for both, "kurios", which is a title and means "lord".

The problem for Wallack is that Ps. 110:1 still has God telling someone to sit at His right hand, which is the place of prominence that needs to be dealt with in light of YHWH's indication that He will not share His glory with another.

The first use of kurios here in the Greek is a misquote of the Hebrew since the Greek word for God "Theon" should have been used.

False, as noted, since the Jews did use kurios to refer to Yahweh.

Either the original Greek author or a later editor used "kurios" in both places to deceptively try and equate Jesus with God.

And were all prior Jews who used kurios for YHWH in on this? And what about claims by Jesus himself to be divine Wisdom, the Son of Man, etc.?

#662

Acts 2 (KJV) 38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" In Acts Peter, speaking to Israel, says to be baptized in Jesus' name. "Matthew's" Jesus says to be baptized in the name of Jesus, God and holy spirit. Based on the testimony of Church Fathers it's likely that "Matthew" originally agreed with "Luke" and was later changed by Trinitarians but the manuscript evidence supports the trinitarian formula.

See here.

#663

Acts 2 (KJV) 6 "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." The Greek is "the Nazarene" and not "of Nazareth". In "Luke's" time Jesus may have been referred to as "the Nazarene" and later Christianity thought, "the Nazarene", "what...does that mean?"

There is no meaningful difference between "of Nazareth" and "the Nazarene" any more than there is between "from Oregon" and "the Oregonian".

#664

Acts 3 (KJV) 18 "But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled." I think we'd all agree (except for the unknown author of "Luke" of course) that no one could demonstrate that every prophet from the Tanakh prophesied that the Messiah would suffer. Ancient rhetorical hyperbole. See above re Luke 14:26. It's a permitted form of expression, part of their semantic contract; therefore, not an error.

#665

Acts 4 (KJV) 6 "And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem." Pretty much everyone agrees that Caiaphas would have been high priest at the time and not Annas.

Pretty much everyone, mainly scholars, agrees that Annas held the title honorifically; as Witherington says, "high priests during this period seem to have kept their titles and membership in the Sanhedrin after they were deposed." [191]

#666

Acts 4: (KJV) 8 Same as #18 above.

#667

Acts 4: (KJV) 10 Same issue as 663 above and see above re Nazareth existing.

#668

Acts 4: (KJV) 10 "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Compare to Tanakh (pick a page, any page, say) Isaiah 45: (KJV) 20 "Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 4 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." According to Acts salvation only comes through Jesus' name while according to Tanakh salvation only comes through God's name. "Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save." Set up the wood of their graven image? C'mon goys, how much clearer did Isaiah need to be? Now that's a prophecy of Christianity!

This extended commentary is resolved with the simple words client-patron relationship. Jesus is depicted as the BROKER of God's salvation. Note that Isaiah says zero about a "name" in what is quoted; God is the source of salvation, and still is with Jesus as broker.

#669

Acts 4: (KJV) 25 Same as #18 above.

#670, 671

Acts 5: (KJV) 36 "For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought."

The same argument refuted here. Wallack also refers to Irenaeus.

#672, 673

Acts 6: (KJV) 3 " Same one as #18.

#674

Acts 6: (KJV)7 "And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith" No one outside of Christian writings indicates that so much as a single Priest became Christian in this time period and "Luke's" assertion would even be doubted by most Christian Bible scholars.

And that proves, what? Why does anyone outside these writings need to talk about this and why doesn't this render anything mentioned only once by Josephus, Tacitus, etc. alone doubtful?

Christian theology has long struggled with the question of which is stronger, the persuasive power of the Christian spirit or the evil resisting power of "The Jews".

What "Christian theology" Wallack is reading to get this idea is unknown. Since it is not specified we skip the rest on this, other than noting that his error on the crowd at the trial is answered here.

#675

Acts 6: (KJV) 14 Same as 663 above. .

#676

Acts 6: (KJV) 13 "And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: 14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us." Compare to Mark 7: (KJV) 15 "There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. 16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. 18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; 19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?" Obviously Jesus intended to change the dietary laws here.

The interpretive comment in Mark 7:19 can be seen as a significant alteration in meaning of the law; however, there are strong reasons to doubt that it is part of the original text: The participal construction hangs awkwardly with no obvious syntactical connection to what surrounds it; the word "foods" is a hapax legomemon (not found anywhere else in the NT); and Mark's usual method of making such "side comments" is entirely different. [Guelich's commentary on Mark, 378])

Strangely, "Mark" gives a quote which is attributed to two witnesses and then concludes that these witnesses did not agree.

Does Wallack think that all the witnesses were asked is one thing, and all they said was one sentence? We skip all of Wallack's comments about Luke and Matt being "replacements" for Mark, which is confounded by the priority of Matthew shown in this series.

#677

Acts 7: (KJV) 2 "And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran," "Charran" is likely the same city as the Biblical Haran which a majority of moderns use. The Greek word which "Luke" uses is "Carrae" which is based on the Latin word for the city while "Charran" is based on the Semitic word. As both Greek words likely refer to the same city and therefore Charran/Haran" and "Carrae" refer to the same city the translation error is subtle and obviously most translators wanted to clearly identify the city from the Tanakh, Haran.

The "error is subtle"? There is NO error; this is nothing but a simple variation in spelling. Wallack is going far overboard in claiming that "translators hide the fact that the source for the Greek word was Latin and not Semitic". Who is Wallack to claim that scholars are "hiding" anything? He's better to say: ""Luke's" use of the Latin version may mean nothing more than the Latin version of the word was more popular than the Semitic to "Luke's" audience..." but goes off base again in claiming a later Latin editor changed it (while for no reason, since his readers would read the whole thing in Latin, not just one word).

#678

Acts 7: (KJV) 2 "And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran," Compare to Genesis 12: (KJV) 1 "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran." Acts sez God appeared to Abraham before Haran while Genesis says God appeared to Abraham after Haran.

Not quite. Genesis does not say that God did not appear, and the LXX of Gen. 12:7 says that God appeared to Abraham and despite Wallack's claim of "errant Greek writings" the LXX was considered authoritative by the Jews of the day.

#679

Acts 7: (KJV) 5 "And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child." According to Stephen God did not give Abraham an inheritance in Israel, instead God gave Abraham an inheritance in Israel. And all in the same sentence. For once I can agree with Christian commentators who say that the verse can not mean what it says.

"Possession" meant the deed to the land was ceded to Abraham. "Inheritance" would mean that he actually got to USE the land.

#680

Acts 7: (KJV) 14 "Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls." Compare to Genesis 46: (KJV) 27 "And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten." Stephen sez there were 75 while the Tanakh says there were 70.

See here.

#681, 682

Acts 7: (KJV) 15 Exegetical issue.

#683

Acts 7: (KJV)22 "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds." The underlying Greek word for "words" above has a primary meaning of "speech".

That is false. The word is logos and means words, thoughts, or speech.

#684

Acts 7: (KJV) 22 "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds." Compare to Exodus 4: (KJV) 10 "And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Hard to say what Wallack thinks is the problem here. Being a bad speaker does not make one uneducated, and he doesn't bother explaining himself.

#685

Acts 7: (KJV) 24 "And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:" The underlying Greek for "one of them" is the indefinite pronoun "someone". A majority of moderns have something similar to KJV in an effort to reduce the indefinite nature of the sentence. It's like a nightmare, isn't it JP?

Not really, no. Frankly no one in the world cares about this issue, which at best is an inexactitude in the KJV and not any sort of error in the text itself. Maybe Wallack should submit a paper on this to The Journal of New Testament Studies to see if he can make an impression on the scholarly world.

#686

Acts 7: (KJV) 24 "And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:" For "he defended him" above there is no "him" in the Greek. When the underlying word for defend is used without a direct object, as it is here, combined with the construction of the verb used, it normally has a self-defense meaning such as "defended himself". You can see in the modern translations there is a lot of variety here in how to express a word with a basic meaning of "defend" and it's because "Luke" choose the wrong construction to say "he defended him." Subtle yes, but I Luke it too.

Contextually the "him" is quite obvious because of the qualifier, "that was oppressed".

#687

Acts 7: (KJV)42 Exegetical issue.

#688

Acts 7: (KJV) 46 "Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob." Regarding "God of Jacob" the manuscript evidence indicates that "house of Jacob" is probably original but a majority of moderns have the KJV mistranslation.

KJV Onlyists may be interested, but we're not.

#689

Acts 7: (KJV) 52 "Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:" How about Joshua?

How about Joshua? He was a military leader, not a prophet. Not that it matters in the context of ANE language.

#690

Acts 7: (KJV) 55 Same #18 as above.

#691

Acts 7: (KJV) 58 "And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul." Now "The Jews" don't seem at all legalistic but full of spirit. Isn't this what Jesus wanted?

I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. Wallack seems to be so intent on cracking jokes that he doesn't bother with formulating an argument.

"Luke" is very confused here about how stoning worked at this time. It was the victim whose clothes were removed, not the witnesses.

So Wallack doesn't approve of people rolling up their sleeves or doing the equal thereof? Removing an outer cloak so that it would not be damaged is what's going in here.

The victim was first dropped from a significant height. If he survived a witness dropped one stone on him. If he survived he was stoned by the whole crowd.

And what did they do when there was no "significant height" nearby? Did they go to one? Not hardly. An angry mob is hardly checking procedural manuals for stoning.

#692

Acts 7: (KJV) 59 "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." There is no "God" here in the Greek (think about that statement for a moment) which a minority of translations have dishonestly added. It should read "calling and saying" which a majority of moderns avoid because it sounds redundant.

KJV Onlyists may be interested -- we're not. The divinity of Jesus is established on other grounds like these.

#693

Acts 8: (KJV) 15 #18 above again.

#694

Acts 8: (KJV) 16 "(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)" Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" A rosary by any other name. Actually Eusebius testifies that Matthew 28:19 probably originally just had baptism in Jesus' name but all extant manuscripts have the trinitarian formula. See here for a more depth treatment of the issue.

#695

Acts 8: (KJV) 17 Same as #18.

#696

Acts 8: (KJV) 15 "Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." Compare to Acts 2: (KJV) 38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 8 sez hands. Acts 2 sez no hands.

So one says they used hands, while they didn't in the other. So what's the "contradiction"? There is no rule that says, the Ghost is only imparted with hands. The Orthodox Church may think so, but no one else.

#697

Acts 8: (KJV) 19 Same as #18.

#698

Acts 8: (KJV) 25 "And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans." Compare to Matthew 10: (KJV) 5 "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:" "Luke's" apostles disobey a direct order of "Matthew's" Jesus.

Try this: Matthew 10 was a specific mission.

#699

Acts 8: (KJV) 39 Same as #18.

#700

Acts 9: (KJV) 1 "And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem." The Christian's own earliest writings indicate the disciples weren't slaughtered

Wallack seems to be mixing up apostles and disciples. But who knows what "writings" he means or what he's talking about, since he almost never documents his claims.

but anyway, the High Priest had authority to have people expedited from Damascus?

See response here.

#701

Acts 9: (KJV) 5 "And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." Regarding "And the Lord said, I am Jesus" the manuscript evidence indicates that "And, I am Jesus" is original. A majority of modern translations use later Greek manuscripts that fill in missing words.

And this is an error how? Did Acts not think Jesus was the Lord?

#702

Acts 9: (KJV) 12 "And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight." The manuscript evidence indicates that "in a vision" is an addition to the text which a majority of moderns have.

Likewise pedantic. Does Acts not see this as a vision?

#703

Acts 9: (KJV) 14 "And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name." Compare to Acts 9: (KJV) 1 "And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest," The Greek word for "chief priests" and "high priest" above is the same except for the difference in number (singular vs. plural). There was only one high or chief priest at this time so there would have been no authority from "the high priests" and it doesn't even agree to what was written 13 sentences earlier.

The words used mean "great priests" and refer to high ranking priests, not to a formal title.

#704

Acts 9: (KJV) Same as #18 above.

#705

Acts 9: (KJV) 34 "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." This sounds like the Jesus of the Synoptics. What counts are works. Contradicted by "John's" Jesus though who says what counts is believing in Jesus.

Again needs to consider Jewish thinking about the relationship between belief and works. See here.

#706

Acts 10: (KJV) 38 Same as #18 above.

#707

Acts 10: (KJV) 37 "That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Compare to Luke 1: (KJV) 15 "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." The "Luke" that wrote Acts 10 says Jesus received holy spirit at his baptism. The "Luke" that wrote the infancy narrative says that Jesus was already full.

Luke 1:15 refers to John the Baptist, not Jesus. However, even so Luke says nothing about "receiving" the Spirit at the baptism either.

#708

Acts 10: (KJV) 40 Exegetical issue.

#709

Acts 11 11 "And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me." The manuscript evidence supports "where we were". A majority of moderns have the "where I was" above which was likely a change to get the quantity to agree to the "me" at the end of the sentence.

Neither version would constitute and error as stated, save perhaps in English translation (taken to a literalist extreme), so what is the issue?

#710

Acts 11: (KJV)16 "Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost." Compare to: Luke 3: (KJV) 16 "John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:" It's bad enough when different authors contradict each other, now you have the same author contradicting herself. Luukee! Ya got sum splainin ta do!

Wallack has to explain what the contradiction is first. He should try checking Acts 1:5.

#711

Acts 11: (KJV)24 Same as #18 above.

#712

Acts 12: (KJV)1 "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church." Somehow "Herod" has managed to achieve eternal life without believing in Jesus. This King was Julius Agrippa I. He was a grandson of Herod the Great, but is not referred to as Herod anywhere outside of Acts. I think "Luke" liked the idea of "Herod the King" continuing to persecute Christians.

I think Wallack is creating problems out of nothing. Why this is an "error" when he was clearly part of the Herod family is not explained, and he does not need to be called "Herod" by someone else to validate it. However, Wallack is likely half right: Luke would indeed want to bring up the family name as a reminisce of the prior Herods.

#713

Acts 12: (KJV) 23 "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost." No accounts outside of Acts, like Josephus, say that Agrippa was eaten of worms.

Which hardly makes it an "error". The accounts are compatible, however, because Josephus tells us Agrippa developed stomach pains.

#714

Acts 12: (KJV) 25 "And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark." The manuscript evidence indicates it should be "And Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem". A majority of moderns have the same "from" as KJV.

This is a matter of textual criticism and Wallack would never be able to get away with saying this sort of thing would be an "error" in Tacitus or Livy, especially in English editions.

#715

Acts 13: (KJV)6 "And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: 7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith." Still waiting for a reasonable explanation as to how "Barjesus" translates or means "Elymas". The Greek author is once again unfamiliar with Semitic names.

Not so. It is the word "sorcerer" that is related here to Elymas. Witherington [401] notes that it may be a transliteration of the Arabic alim with an ending, which means "wise"; or the Hebrew holem meaning an interpreter of dreams, both of which would be associated with a sorcerer. Luke is not explaining "Bar-Jesus".

#716

Acts 13: (KJV)9 Same as #18.

#717

Acts 13: (KJV) 23 "Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:" Apparently Paul didn't believe in "The Virgin Birth". More evidence that "The Virgin Birth" was added to "Luke" after it was originally written.

The "man" in question is David, of whom Mary was reckoned a descendant.

#718

Acts 13: (KJV) 27 "For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him." The Prophets were primarily interested in the Law and not some supposed Messiah and when they do mention the Messiah it's always a prediction of a leader for the Jewish people.

"Primarily" is beside the point, and Wallack needs to see about expectations of the day here which were for more than a "leader".

#719

Acts 13: (KJV)27 Repeat of 718.

#720

Acts 13: (KJV)27 "For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre." Compare to Luke 23: (KJV) 50 "And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: 51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid." According to "Act's" "Luke" "The Jews" who condemned Jesus laid him to rest. According to "Luke's" "Luke" an individual who did not condemn Jesus (Joseph) laid him to rest.

This is of no concern. The summary kerygmatic presentation of Acts 13 is hardly to be expected to present every exception and every detail; that is what a Gospel biography is for. However, note that this is in a speech, and at that time, I believe it was not yet known that Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple of Jesus, so that Stephen's lack of knowledge of this is accurately reflected.

#721

Acts 13: (KJV)32 "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." Regarding "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children" the manuscript evidence is "God hath fulfilled the same unto our children" which almost no modern uses. There is tremendous manuscript and translation variation here which is normally a Sign of copyists trying to fix an error in the original. So "Luke's" Paul, in his big speech, claims that the Sign was fulfilled to the children of his generation rather than his generation. Guess he was caught up in the moment.

Wallack did not explain the problem with either version being correct. Either version bespeaks a contemporary fulfillment; why Wallack thinks either one makes any meaningful difference is a question with no answer.

#722, 723

Acts 13: (KJV) 32 Exegetical issue.

#725

Acts 13: (KJV) 39 "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." Homework assignment. See how many references you can find in the Tanakh to justification by the law of Moses and how many references you can find that the law of Moses can not justify.

Semitic Totality (link above) is the answer again. Not that there needs to be an OT reference to begin with.

#726

Acts 13: (KJV)40 Exegetical issue.

#727

Acts 13: (KJV) 42 "And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath." Regarding "the Gentiles besought" the manuscript evidence is "they were begging" (no subject for the verb). Translation variation here, "people", "Gentiles", etc. is a sure sign of scribal change.

In v. 46 they end up preaching to Gentiles anyway, so what's the issue?

#728

Acts 13: (KJV) 44 "And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. "Regarding "the word of God." which a majority of moderns use the manuscript evidence is "the word of the Lord."

A non-issue, save with English translations.

#729

Acts 13: (KJV) 47 Exegetical issue.

#730

Acts 13: (KJV)52 Same as #18.

#731

Acts 14: (KJV)2 "But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren." The underlying Greek word that KJV has mistranslated as "evil" above is probably best translated as "irritated".

Really? That means that God "irritated" the Israelites with slavery in Egypt for 400 years (Acts 7:6, 19); Herod in doing stuff like killing James "irritated" the church (12:1), and Paul was concerned about being "irritated" while people were trying to kill him otherwise (18:10).

#732

Acts 15: (KJV) 15 Exegetical issue.

#733

Acts 16: (KJV) 6 "Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia," Compare to Matthew 28: (KJV) 18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Apparently "Luke's" spirit forgot about "Matthew's" Jesus' command to teach all nations.

Paul and his companions are just one set of missionaries out there, and it's not like someone else wouldn't be covering Asia, now or later (which they did, only a short while after). No need for Wallack's theory of unattested failures in Asia.

#734

Acts 16: (KJV) 21 "And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them." It wouldn't have been unlawful at this time to teach Jewish customs to Roman citizens.

Actually all that can be said is that we don't know what law was being violated. There is no law against Jewish proselytizing until Hadrian, that we know of, but since we do not know exactly what Paul and Silas were saying, we have no way of knowing what the basis of the charge was.

The second sentence though, non Jewish magistrates renting their clothes, is likely not historical (made up) as this was a Jewish custom and one would be hard pressed to find other examples of non Jews of the time Acting this way.

It's not the magistrates who do the strip; it's Paul and Silas being stripped for beating. As a Greek seminarian in our confidence says: The Greek is quite clear that it was the prisoners clothing that was rent, since the only finite verb at this point is [they commanded] and both the "rending" and "beating" are dependent upon this verb since participles cannot stand alone....it CANNOT be understood the other way unless the Romans were commanding the guards to take off the clothes of the officials, which is nonsensical).

#735

Acts 16: (KJV)31 "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Compare to Matthew 19: (KJV) 17 "And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." So, who are you going to have faith in, "Luke's" Paul or "Matthew's" Jesus?

Both are options, but Matthew 19:17 is meant to be nothing but shooting the moon, since no one really can keep all the commandments.

#736

Acts 17: (KJV) 1 "Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:" Acts 17:1 is the only supposed evidence that exists that there was any Jewish community in Thessalonica at this time. There is no other written evidence and no archeological evidence. Lack of the article before "synagogue of the Jews" communicates this was one of a number of synagogues. Were there Jews here at this time? Probably. Were there a number of synagogues here at this time without getting any mention by any other authors or leaving any archeological evidence? Probably not.

Note that Wallack doesn't list any "other authors" that should have otherwise mentioned any synagogues in this city and didn't. Find me more references to synagogues in other cities and we'll talk. As for archaeology, bear in mind here that "synagogue" isn't a building -- it's an assembly, and it only took 10 Jewish men to make one. They just as well met in homes (as Christians did). Our referent from 734 above adds: According to the reknowned scholar Emil Schurer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Christ (175 B.C - 135 A.D.) III/ 1, 66-68, there was a significant Jewish population in Thessalonica at the time.

#737

Acts 17:29 “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.” Not obvious what Wallack's point is on this one. He says, “Luke” says the Divine is not fleshy or by man’s device. “John” says the most important thing the Divine ever did was done in the flesh by man’s device. Doesn’t sound like these two “authors” intended to be in the same book.

One is constrained to ask why this is so since Wallack doesn't explain, much less show how these points are mutually exclusive.


This was all of Wallack's list as of 6/2/09 (nothing new since July '04 except 737). Despite moving to a new site, he has not added to the list in nearly five years. I believe we might have something to do with that.