Why doesn’t the Church own up?

Earlier generations were unwilling to challenge the Bible from a scientific or historical point of view, but now we are willing, and, moreover, we can.

Biblical scholarship has reached a new high in recent decades. New and better evidence has become available for historians, theologians, archaeologists and linguists to scrutinize for factual accuracy and new meanings. They have a better understanding of 1st Century Palestinian society than ever before.

Scholars go back to the earliest possible sources to uncover the influence of the numerous editors and translators. They can discern with a high degree of certainty where sections have been added or where original material has been altered. They examine the style and language of different passages to identify where several authors were at work. They study the context in which the manuscripts were written so they can piece together clues and fill in the gaps.

And yet many Christians continue to insist that the gospels were written by eye witnesses and are 100% reliable testimonies.

Much of what I included in my book, 201 Things About Christianity You Probably Don’t Know (But Ought To) has been known for at least a couple of centuries and taught in seminaries and theological colleges around the world. Some has found a wider platform in the broadcast media and literature, but is rarely communicated to the people in the pews.

It’s about time it was!

 

Copyright David Lawrence Preston, 23.8.2016

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Front cover 201 things

Balboa Press, 2015

The roots of antisemitism are in the Christian Bible

Ever wondered why Jews are given such a hard time in some circles? It’s entrenched in the New Testament and for centuries was handed down as part of the Christian religion. After all, in the First century most Jews rejected Yeshua as their Messiah. By the year 100 CE (when the Fourth Gospel, ‘John’, was written) Christianity was no longer seen as a sub-sect of Judaism but as a separate religion and Jews and Christians were at each others throats.

All four gospels show Jews in a bad light, but the Fourth is the most derisive. Throughout this gospel, ‘the Jews’ are lumped together as a group, and the term used disparagingly. For example:

The Jews replied, ‘We are not permitted to put anyone to death’.’ (John 18:31)

‘Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus although a secret one because of fear of the Jews…..’ (John 19:38)

The Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.’ (John 9:22)

The New Testament is the origin of antisemitism and it’s a legacy that has never been fully overcome.

©David Lawrence Preston, 13.6.2016

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Front cover 201 things

Hay House/Balboa Press, 2015