Is There Good Solid Historical Evidence for The Bible?

As young Christians leave for secular Universities to continue their education, they will be faced (possibly for the first time), with questions and scrutiny about their Christian faith. How can you help prepare them? Dr. Darrell Bock, one of the world’s leading historical Jesus scholars, answers the questions: How did Christianity begin? How do we know that the information in the New Testament books is the best historical evidence there is for what Jesus said and did? How do we know we can trust what we are told about Jesus? Was the message Jesus preached, changed over time by the early Christians, or has Jesus’ core message remained the same until our day? How did the early Christians come to believe that the Apostles’ books and letters were to be considered Scripture, equal in authority with the Old Testament Scriptures? Who decided which books would become part of the canon? From our series „So You Don’t Fall Away From Your Faith” available for purchase at

VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Do Differences in the Gospels Prove They Were the Products of Human Minds Long After Jesus’ Time?

As young Christians leave for secular Universities to continue their education, they will be faced (possibly for the first time), with questions and scrutiny about their Christian faith. How can you help prepare them? Dr. Darrell Bock, one of the world’s leading historical Jesus scholars, answers the questions: How did Christianity begin? How do we know that the information in the New Testament books is the best historical evidence there is for what Jesus said and did? How do we know we can trust what we are told about Jesus? Was the message Jesus preached, changed over time by the early Christians, or has Jesus’ core message remained the same until our day? How did the early Christians come to believe that the Apostles’ books and letters were to be considered Scripture, equal in authority with the Old Testament Scriptures? Who decided which books would become part of the canon? From our series „So You Don’t Fall Away From Your Faith” available for purchase at

VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Jesus by the Rules – Darrell Bock

Dr. Darrell Bock starts his talk at Texas A & M University by recounting how he came to faith in Jesus Christ. Originally wanting to be a sports broadcaster, God changed the course of his life through several people.

~~5:20 minute mark– You are a professor of New Testament studies, can you just tell us how you got into that  line of work?

Bock: People were sharing [the Gospel] with me throughout high school. But the first person who shared with me, I was in 8th grade and he had gone to a Young Life Camp. He came back and all he knew was: „You need Jesus.” And he could tell it to me 3 ways. ‘You’ need Jesus. You  ‘need’ Jesus. You need ‘Jesus’. And when I asked him why I needed Jesus, that was the extent of his knowledge. And I thought he kind of lost it. You know, 8th grade is kind of on an edge to omniscience, you know. So, I had a number of people share with me throughout high school and into college. And eventually… I’ll show you how theological I was.

The night before I went to university, and my freshman year was at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. And I got  a potluck roommate. So I’m pretty nervous the night before I’m going, because this is like getting married without having an engagement. So, I’m praying, and the prayer goes like this, „God, I don’t know if you exist, but if you do, please don’t give me a Bible carrying Southern Baptist for a college roommate, because I want to enjoy my college years. Amen. That was the whole prayer. I still remembered it word for word. And I arrived at the Dallas Campus of SMU, I’m in Bose Hall 335 East and I walk  up to the room. And the door has my name and the name Doug Mickey, from Atlanta, Georgia. I open the door. He’s not in the room, but his footlocker, in SMU colors- blue and red, and I walk in and on top of this footlocker was a Bible.

So, I knew God had answered my prayer as I was walking in the room. I didn’t have to ask his denomination. Of course, he was from First Baptist in Atlanta, Georgia. He knew I needed Jesus. He didn’t know quite how to talk about it either, but he lived a very consistent Christian life. And he brought friends around that would answer the questions that I would have . I was good as a nonChristian, I would get them to talking away in talking about Jesus and talk about something else. And so, I developed this compassion for Africans, and would say, „But, what about the lost in Africa?” So [this way] they wouldn’t talk about me. It was like throwing meat to a lion that hadn’t had a meal in two months. They would go after it, I was off the hook. I was happy.

Eventually, through the testimony of the quality of their life and their engagement with me, I came to the Lord between my freshman and sophomore year in college and received Christ sitting next to the guy who had originally shared with me, when he was in 8th grade.  So, that caused me to have a bible study in my apartment, in my sophomore year, when I went to the University of Texas, cause when I went to Texas, I decided: These people need the Lord. So, we went from 6 [in the Bible study] my sophomore year to about… – we had a 4 bedroom apartment my senior year at Texas, and we literally packed the place out every week to do Bible study. There were people sitting in bedrooms that couldn’t see the people speaking, but who came anyway, just to sing and have Bible study.

That was kind of a clue that I should go to seminary. I went to seminary, majored in Old Testament as a Masters, went to Aberdeen in Scotland to do doctoral work in New testament and then came right back to Dallas Theological Seminary to teach, where I have been teaching for 31 years. That’s the story. So, just watch your prayers. God hears them and He answers. It’s just not always Yes.

~~11:00 minute mark – What would you say to someone college aged who has doubts that there was even a historical person named Jesus?

Josephus told me so

Bock: Josephus is a jewish historian, writing at the end of the 1st century. He wrote a text in a book called the Antiquities, which is the study of the history of Israel, beginning from the very beginning – [as in] „In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..” It starts there, and as we move through the history, he goes all the way to his own time, which is in A.D. 90. He had been captures by Vespasian, the person who became the Roman emperor when he was general conquering Israel. His son finished it, Titus. But after Josephus was captured, he had a vision that Vespasian would become emperor. And when Vespasian became emperor, he said, „I wanna talk to that guy who knew I would be come emperor before I was emperor. Cause that was impressive. And he invited him into his house. Josephus wrote a book, defending judaism to Romans, and explaining judaism to Romans.

Well, in a section in the Antiquities, Book 18, unit 63 ND 64, he has this that he says about Jesus. This is a nonChristian talking. Although, we’re pretty confident that the manuscript has been tampered with by  some Christian copyist, because there are things that Josephus says that a jewsih person wouldn’t say about Jesus.But when we call that out, we have a remainder that most scholars think gets back to Josephus [actually writing it]. There is another section in the Antiquities that alludes back to the brother of the so called Christ, which means that he must have referred to the Christ before that, in order for that little phrase about James to make sense.

„Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man.” Okay, that part is good, the idea that Jesus was a wise man and that He existed. But then „if it be lawful to call Him a man”. Okay, now that leads to suspicion. He thinks that He’s something more than a man. Probably not something a jewish person would write. We think that’s an addition. That’s why it’s in italics. We think the things in brackets don’t go back to Josephus. „For He was a doer of wonderful works. Greek word here means unusual works. And one of the interesting things about the miracles of Jesus is that His opponents don’t really raise the question whether they really happened or not.

Skeptics today will raise questions as to whether Jesus really performed miracles, but His opponents didn’t doubt that He performed miracles. They debated where the power came from for the miracles that He did. They claimed that it was from below, He claimed it was from above. But they didn’t debate whether they happened or not. That’s important.

So Josephus testifies to the fact that Jesus did unusual works, that He had a reputation for doing wonderful and unusual works. „For a teacher of such men who received the truth with pleasure, He drew over to Him both many of the jews and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ.”  Okay, that sounds like a confession the pope could make. Probably doesn’t go back to Josephus, probably not jewish, something a jewish person would say. But we think the original line that he wrote  and may have read something like ‘He was the so called Christ’. It goes on: „When Pilate, at the principal suggestion of some among us, had Him condemned to the cross, that’s a confirmation that Jesus was crucified and that He was crucified in a kind of combination pincer movement between the jewish leadership and the Romans, who reserved the right to the crucifixion for themselves. No one else could crucify, but the Romans, for those forces that were distractive in their societies. And so, Josephus confirms that Pilate and the jewish leadership  were involved in that.

„Those that loved Him at the first did not forsake Him. „He appeared again to them alive on the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold about these things concerning Him.” Probably didn’t write that. That sounds like something a Christian would write. „And the tribes of Christians, so named for Him, are not extinct to this day,” and it goes on to talk about 1000 other wonderful things that Jesus did.” Probably not written by Josephus.

Here’s the point that’s important: Josephus, a jewish writer, writing at the end of the first century says this,

  1. Jesus existed
  2. That He had an impact as a wise teacher
  3. He had an impact as a miracle worker
  4. That He was crucified by a combination of forces from the jewish leadership and PIlate.

And so, people who deny that Jesus ever existed, it isn’t that we believe that in part because ‘the Bible tells me so’. No, we believe it because Josephus told us so. That’s one of the reasons we think Jesus was historical.

Paul told me so

There’s another reason we think Jesus is historical and that has to do with Paul or Saul. The events about Jesus happened about A.D. 30The Gospels were written, depending on who you talk to, certainly by the end of the fist century- the Gospels are written. And the debate is John is usually put in the 90’s by everybody. And then, there’s debate about Matthew, Mark and Luke- the synoptics. Some people put them in the 80’s, some people put them in the 60’s. Well, if you mark that outNow, there’s a gap there, from the time of the events to the time the Books are written. And some people, skeptics, like to say that all kinds of things happened in the gap. In theology, you’ve got to mind this gap, here, between what is said and what is written.

Well, Paul or Saul, was a persecutor of the church  and we know he came to faith within a couple of years of these events. Not only that, he lived in Jerusalem, was one of the chief persecutors. He knew what was going on in Jerusalem. There is no one who doubts that Paul existed and Paul was impacted by the Christian movement. That’s one of the most certain things we know about the classical period. And so, the idea that Paul would be writing about a fabrication is crazy, because he was in the midst of those events. Now, Paul is a couple of years away from Jesus. So, that’s not a gap. That’s a hop. There’s not that much distance between Paul and his description and discussion about what the early church believed and what happened with Jesus. And he was acquainted with all that. So, that’s another reason why we think Jesus actually historically existed.

There are texts where Paul is talking about passing down the traditions which he received, which talks about what he believed when he came to faith.

  1. And 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, which talks about the death and resurrection of Jesus according to Scriptures. 1
  2. Corinthians 11 is another text that talks about what happened at the Last Supper when Jesus interprets His death before He dies. That’s another tradition that was passed on.
  3. He talks about a tradition in Romans 1:2-4 that talks about Jesus as the Son of God on the one hand, and yet marked out in the line of David on the other.

So there are lots of texts that go back to Paul. And we know that Paul was very, very early.

Jesus, and the title of Christ,
is attached to Him very early and thoroughly through the tradition

Here’s another element that’s important. The name ‘Jesus Christ’, think about it. This is not something that’s stamped on a passport, where Jesus is the first name and Christ is the last name. Jesus did not have  a dad whose name was Joseph Christ. So, Christ is a title. And it’s connected to Jesus at all layers of the tradition. It’s something that happens very, very early. So, the point is that Jesus, and the title of Christ,  is attached to Him very early and thoroughly through the tradition.

~~Transcript from 5:00  –  23:15  minute mark. VIDEO Length 64 minutes.

How can Jesus be David’s “son,” but also his “Lord”? Darrell Bock

From the Series „16 Prophecies that Prove Jesus is the Messiah – Series 1”. Please go to for more information.
VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Darrell Bock – The Humility of the Messiah

Isaiah 53 predicted the suffering servant would be both a ruler, yet humble himself to the point of death. In this session, we’ll look at further details regarding Isaiah 53 that increasingly point to Jesus and only Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.

VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Darrell Bock on the (New) Queen James (Bible) Part 1 – Passages in the Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary

darrell bockIn this episode, Dr. Darrell Bock, Dr. Robert Chisholm, Dr. Joe Fantin, and Dr. Jay Smith examine biblical passages often bought up in discussions about homosexuality, focusing on material in the Old Testament.


Within the last year, there is a Bible that is called the Queen James Bible. You heard that right. That was not King James, that was Queen James. I remember telling my wife this in preparation for this podcast, and she said, „You’ve got to be joking”. There is a group who sat down with the King James Scripture and worked their way through 8 passages (we’ll be discussing more than that today), but, 8 passages that they altered in light of what they claim is the proper way to render these texts. And so, we thought, this is great way into discussing this material:
00:12 Guest introductions and the goals of revisions in the Queen James Bible

04:13 Does Noah’s situation in Genesis 9 contribute to a biblical perspective of homosexuality?

09:03 Does the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 contribute to a biblical perspective of homosexuality?…

15:08 Does the prohibition in Leviticus 20:22 contribute to a biblical perspective of homosexuality?

23:11 What does the term „abomination” mean in Leviticus 20:22?

29:22 Israel’s call to holiness and the code for serious offenses in Leviticus 20…

34:03 Does David’s description of Jonathan in 2 Samuel

1:26 contribute to a biblical perspective of homosexuality?

38:33 Responding to the challenge that Jesus did not object to homosexuality……  Youtube VIDEO by dallasseminary

Darrell Bock and Dr. Gary Habermas discuss Bill O’Reilly’s book ‘Killing Jesus’ (video)

Bill O'Reilly at the World Affairs Council of ...

Bill O’Reilly  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In popular books and the media, Jesus continues to attract attention. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly builds on this fascination with his latest best-selling book Killing Jesus. What does O’Reilly present about the facts of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection?

John Ankerberg interviews his two guests: Dr. Darrell Bock, who is one of the leading historical Jesus scholars of the United States, and one of the foremost authorities in the world on the Gospel of Luke, and Senior Research Professor of the New Testament and Dallas Theological Seminary. One of the books O’Reilly recommended that we all read, and one he relied on for his writing is Dr. Bock’s book ‘Studying the historical Jesus- A Guide to Sources and Methods’.

The second guest is Dr. Gary Habermas, Distinguished Research Professor and Chair of Dept. of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University, he holds a pHd from Michigan University and has authored, co-authored or edited  more than 60 books, including one of the key articles in the book ‘Jesus Under Fire’- another book Mr. O’ Reilly used and recommends we read. Dr. John Ankerberg, Darrel Bock and Gary Habermas examine the points raised in Killing Jesus. VIDEO by John Ankerberg (length 26 minutes)

Darrell Bock Panel – Raising Children in a Sex-Saturated Society (Dallas Seminary)


Dr. Darrell Bock, Dr. Gary Barnes, Dr. Chip Dickens and Debbie Wade discuss sexuality and the family, focusing on advice to Christian parents raising children in a sex-saturated culture.…

00:28 Dr. Barnes, Dr. Dickens and Debbie Wade introduce themselves

04:44 The church and a biblical view of sexuality…

13:13 Tips for raising Christian children in a sex-saturated culture…

23:45 Advice to single parents raising children while dealing with dysfunction

32:05 Tips for raising teenagers in a sex-saturated culture…

VIDEO by dallasseminary Published on Aug 5, 2013

Dr. Darrell Bock – Culture Shock: How to live faithfully overseas

darrell bock

VIDEO Published on Jul 15, 2013 by dallasseminary

Dr. Darrell Bock and Dr. Scott Cunningham discuss cultural engagement on a global scale, focusing on the Christian’s challenge of faithfully living as a social minority in overseas contexts.

00:11 Faithfully serving Christ and society as a social minority overseas
11:22 The challenge of cultural engagement in the workplace
15:39 How courses help students integrate the Christian worldview and their careers
18:20 Cultural engagement lessons learned overseas
22:25 Examples of engagement in cultures which hold mixed values
32:33 Awareness, intentionality, and integration in overseas contexts
34:57 How cultural context impacts reading of Scripture

Christian Leadership Training Around the World

Dr. Darrell Bock and Dr. Scott Cunningham discuss cultural engagement on a global scale, including Christian leadership training in non-Western cultures and the Christian’s challenge of faithfully living as a social minority in overseas contexts.

Supreme Court Cases on Same-Sex Marriage: Where the Church Goes from Here [Part 1 – Supreme Court Rulings]

photo via

From Dallas Theological Seminary:

Mark Bailey, Darrell Bock, Judge Rollin Van Broekhoven – Published on Jul 1, 2013

Honorable Retired Federal Judge Rollin Van Broekhoven, Dr. Mark Bailey and Dr. Darrell Bock discuss in detail the Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop 8, as well as what the current cultural shift means for how the church should approach its mission.
source –…

2:28Legal summary of the two Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage
3:43 The arguments for dissent in the cases
5:35 What was decided in the DOMA case, the majority argument, and preliminary observations about how decisions are presented to the public
8:07 How decisions get written and what they look to accomplish
8:58 What is the difference between what we hear in the press and what the Court decided? Kennedy’s opinion, the Prop 8 argument, and the Prop 8 dissent
12:26 How does jurisdiction work in normal decisions?
13:12 A closer look at the DOMA case: what was the actual decision?
16:20 Background to DOMA and the facts of this specific case
21:04 Federal vs. state law: if one state recognizes a same sex marriage, does that apply to all states?
22:42 Is the lack of a legal mandate in this case the same as a philosophical influence on culture?
23:38 Summary of the DOMA decision and its potential implications
24:23 The Scalia dissent
26:47 Does the law handle certain kinds of moral situations poorly, especially where a moral consensus is lacking? How the same sex argument is made in the Kennedy opinion
30:23 How the definition of marriage is handled in the decision
31:07 Explaining the cultural shift that created the space for this decision
32:20 The judge’s reflection on what is happening in the law in our shifting culture and when there is no public moral consensus
34:22 How Kennedy handles dissent to his view
34:57 What is the response of churches and believers in light of these realities in our culture? How do Christians engage people who may not accept theological argumentation?
39:50 The importance of winning both the heart and the mind to the gospel, to think and teach Christianly about marriage
41:06 How the homosexual community has successfully made their argument to the public and culture
42:43 Example of how this can be discussed and what the church has failed to do
44:55 One look at how our culture handled this discussion recently: Jason Collins versus Chris Broussard
46:08 What Catholics teach us about the mind, the concept of the Common Good, how we talk about marriage today, and what we should say about marriage
47:54 Discussing the value of Common Good
49:28 Opportunities to present a biblical case for marriage
50:32 Is something true because it is in the Bible or is it in the Bible because it is true? What is the point of this difference?
51:54 How a Christian living in a country where Christians are in the minority looks at this kind of engagement: lessons from John Dickson in Australia
55:15 A look at the first century: Mars Hill in Acts 17
58:31 Judge Van Broekhoven on Acts 17
1:01:15 Those who respond in Acts 17
1:02:35 How we discuss the need for God
Why marriage is important; the God-Christ picture as a mirror on marriage
An opportunity for pre-evangelism

Darrell Bock – How to Build Relationships with Muslims and Life as a Woman in the Context of Islam

Middle-East-mapVIDEOS by dallasseminary

Dr. Darrell Bock and „Miriam” discuss life in the context of Islam, focusing on her spiritual journey from Islam to Christianity. Miriam’s voice is digitally rearranged in order to protect her identity.

Growing up in the Middle East

01:56 Miriam shares what it was like growing up in the Middle East
07:55 How Muslims view the days of the week
12:55 American stereotypes of Muslims
14:28 The kinds of Muslims around the world
16:30 Life in the United States vs. life in the Middle East
19:16 Contrasting religious Muslims and secular Muslims

How to Build Relationships with Muslims

00:12 Identity and religion in the Middle East
02:30 Different branches of Islam
04:32 Honesty and terrorism in Islam
11:05 Miriam’s spiritual journey from Islam to Christianity
16:39 Miriam’s ministry to Muslims in the United States
17:18 Advice on interacting with Muslim people

Life as a Woman in the Context of Islam


Living and ministering in the Middle East – Conversion and Persecution and Westerner’s most common misconceptions about Islam

Photo via

From DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY – In the first video, Dr. Darrell Bock interviews Rev. Fikret Bocek and „Anna” about their experiences living and ministering in the Middle East, including their experiences with coming to Christ out of a Muslim context, religious persecution and cultural engagement.

All 3 VIDEOS by dallasseminary

Conversion and Persecution in a Muslim Setting

In this second video: Dr. Darrell Bock interviews Rev. Fikret Bocek and „Anna” about their experiences living and ministering in the Middle East, focusing on religious persecution, their personal conversions from Islam to Christianity, and features of Islamic faith to understand.…

01:36 Rev. Bocek explains his ministry and how he came to Christ

11:28 Anna explains how she came to Christ in a mixed family…

18:10 Comparing the Gnostic and Muslim views of Jesus’ crucifixion…

19:34 Rev. Bocek describes his experience with religious persecution…

27:62 Anna describes her experience with religious persecution…

Westerners’ Most Common Misconceptions about Islam

Dr. Darrell Bock interviews Rev. Fikret Bocek and „Anna” about their experiences living and ministering in an Islamic environment, address common misconceptions about Islam, and offer suggestions for cultural engagement with the Muslim world.…

00:00 Anna explains her brothers’ faith journey

05:05 Missionaries martyred in eastern Turkey

11:12 Comparing Sunni and Shiite beliefs…

15:31 Westerners’ misconceptions about Islam…

22:27 Differences between Islamic doctrine, interpretations, and practice

28:15 Permissible lying in jihad

30:45 Advice on engaging Muslims in spiritual conversations……

Muslim Europe: Opportunities for Evangelism

photo via

Dr. Darrell Bock at Dallas Theological Seminary

In Part 1 of this series, Dr. Bock and Dr. Ekholm discuss Dr. Ekholm’s work with refugees in Europe and the opportunities for ministering to Muslims in a Western, secular context.…
00:00 Dr. Ekholm’s Ministry in Greece
9:05 European Concerns Regarding Open Borders, Immigrants and Refugees
13:57 Dr. Ekholm’s Ministry in the Middle East
18:59 What Draws Muslims to the Gospel?…
22:11 Issues in Ministering to People From Islamic Backgrounds…
27:09 Teaching New Believers How to Study the Bible
30:13 Is There a Particular Gospel that Draws Muslims the Most?…

„We are committed to you as a brother in Christ and we’re not just doing this because this is our job.”

What Jesus said about the Resurrection

Jesus resurrection empty tomb

According to the Gospel accounts, Jesus offered life after death. A claim many find hard to believe.  John 11:25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; The reason most people struggle with resurrection is because they don’t see that kind of a world.

Bock: Not everyone who hears Jesus’s claims automatically embrace them. In fact, some people have terrific doubts as to some of the things that Jesus is claiming, especially when they become as grand as „I’m gonna sit at the right hand of the Father”, or „I and the Father are one”, or „If you see God, you see Me”. These are not normal claims.

Bethany at the 2 minute mark, where the Bible says Jesus raised a man named Lazarus from the dead.

Shortly after the reporting of the raising of Lazarus in Bethany, Jesus made a prediction of His own resurrection. The prediction occurred during his trial before Jewish leaders, just a few hours before His crucifixion.

Matthew 26:63-65 The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. One problem people have in believing the resurrection is not that they can’t believe in the supernatural, but they know that that puts Jesus in a unique place of authority, and in a world filled with religions. And that seems intolerant.

Jesus Predicts His Death

Assuming that no one could possibly plan their own death and resurrection, some have suggested that Jesus’s death must have resulted in a miscalculation on His part. Some have suggested that Jesus didn’t really want to die, and that the crucifixion was a bad development in his case, kind of accidental. But, you have to remember, in Jesus’s case, nobody planned His own death more accurately than Jesus did. At least half way through Jesus’s ministry, He started advertising that there would be, at first an apparently terrible end to His life, but that He would rise again. He always provided that comforting clause. Now, to the disciples at that time, it really didn’t make any sense to them. They couldn’t conceive this happening. But, this was Jesus’s way of saying, „No, this is part of the divine design, this is why I came into the world, and this is how it’s going to go, and how it’s going to end.”

Matthew 16:21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalemand suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. At least 3 more times, Jesus gives a prophecy of going to the cross, and of being raised after that.  (From the first 7 minutes of video)

Mart De Haan hosts this documentary on the significance and evidence of the resurrection of Jesus. Many scholars and historians were interviewed in this documentary like Gary Habermas, Paul Maier, Doug Geivet, Darrell Bock, Mike Licona, Mike Wilkins, Mary Jo Sharp, Craig Evans, etc.

Darrell L. Bock & Dr. Richard Taylor – ‘Jesus’ Wife’ papyri fragment at Dallas Theological Seminary

If you are not familiar with this supposed archaeological find (the fragment itself  has not been authenticated as of yet) please read the Tyndale House statement below the video.

Dr Darrell L. Bock (photo on left) – Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies and recently appointed Executive Director for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagements along with Dr. Richard Taylor (photo on right), Professor of Old testament Studies and Director of the PHD Studies Program, discuss the recent  ‘Jesus wife’ fragment at Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Richard Taylor is also an expert on the Coptic language used in the fragment in question.

Tyndale House comments on the fragment

Originally posted September 19, 2012. This is starting to snowball in the news, so I thought I would post this email (Tyndale House encourages the forwarding of it) for clarification.


Did Jesus have a wife?

The Web is by now awash with stories of an ancient text in which Jesus says ‘my wife’. The story which broke yesterday in the New York Times and some other sources, is being carried today by outlets too numerous to list. Some of the reporting is responsible, but not all. Consider this extract from The Daily Mail:

“If genuine, the document casts doubt on a centuries old official representation of Magdalene as a repentant whore and overturns the Christian ideal of sexual abstinence.”

We are of course in a context where there is so much ignorance of basic facts about Christianity that even when the media properly relay facts they get completely distorted and misunderstood in popular perception. This can be seen in the way derivative media put spin on the story and in the online comments below the news items.

Here we try to establish a few facts.

The scholarly article upon which almost all knowledge of the fragment is based is here.

What do we know from this?
What’s in a name?

First, let’s start with the name. The scholar involved, Professor Karen King of Harvard, has decided to call this The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife. However, it might more appropriately be named The Fragment about Jesus’s Relations, since there’s no evidence that it was called a gospel and the text mentions at least two family members. Of course, such a name would not generate the same publicity. Despite this unfortunate choice of name, Professor King is to be commended for publishing a good photograph and detailed scholarly analysis of the fragment simultaneously with the press release. Usually in the case of controversial text the media hype comes long before the availability of the text.

Genuine or forgery?

Professor King has provided pictures of the papyrus, but it is not publicly known who owns it, or where it came from. If genuine, it almost certainly came from Egypt because that is where papyri like this are found.

Because it was not found in situ it is obviously possible to doubt its genuineness. Scholars at Tyndale House think that, on the basis of the limited evidence currently available, it is possible it is genuine, though there are good reasons for scepticism – see the comments of Dr Christian Askeland, an expert in Coptic manuscripts here.

It is written in Coptic, the language of Egypt which descended from the even earlier language of the Hieroglyphs. Coptic is Egyptian written in the Greek alphabet with a few extra letters. Because Coptic was only emerging as a written language in the third century and papyrus went out of use in the seventh century the 8 cm x 4 cm fragment has to be dated some time from the third to the seventh century and the scholars involved with this fragment have stated that it is fourth century on the basis of the handwriting.

Since we have virtually no firmly dated Coptic handwriting, this date is just an educated guess.

Then we turn to the date of the contents. Here Professor King puts the text in the late second century, but all that we really know is that the text is at least as old as the manuscript.

What does it say?This is King’s translation of the text, with square brackets used where the text does not survive:FRONT:1 ] “not [to] me. My mother gave to me li[fe…”
2 ] The disciples said to Jesus, “.[
3 ] deny. Mary is worthy of it[
4 ]……” Jesus said to them, “My wife . .[
5 ]… she will be able to be my disciple . . [
6 ] Let wicked people swell up … [
7] As for me, I dwell with her in order to . [
8] an image [BACK:1 ] my moth[er
2 ] three [
3 ] … [
4 ] forth which … [
5 ] (illegible ink traces)

We believe this to be a largely reliable translation. But is it evidence that Jesus had a wife? The answer is an emphatic ‘no’. Not even Karen King is claiming that it is, though it’s inevitable that some of the news outlets will present it otherwise.

What we have here is a typical sort of text which arose after Christianity had become very popular and when derivatives of Christianity began to emerge. The language of the text is very similar to the Gospel of Thomas, sayings 101 and 114, and the Gospel of Thomas saying 101 shows influence of Luke 14:26, as the Gospel of Thomas does elsewhere. This way of speaking belongs to the mid-second century or later, in other words generations later than the books of the New Testament.

We asked Dr Simon Gathercole, an expert on apocryphal gospels and Senior Lecturer in New Testament in the University of Cambridge, for his comments.

He concluded: „Harvard Professor Karen King, who is the person who has been entrusted with the text, has rightly warned us that this does not say anything about the historical Jesus. She is correct that “its possible date of composition in the second half of the second century, argues against its value as evidence for the life of the historical Jesus”. But she is also right that this is a fascinating discovery which offers us a window into debates about sex and marriage in the early church, and the way Jesus could be adapted to play a part in a particular debate. If it is genuine.

You can read his fuller analysis here

Please feel free to forward this email.

Best wishes,

Peter Williams,
Warden, Tyndale House, Cambridge.

Related posts

Darrell Bock – How to present the Bible to a culture that does not appreciate it for the precious revelation that it is – Dallas Seminary podcast + A new book

Link to Darrell Bock academic books here. Link to Darrell Bock website here. Also, see at bottom of page Darrell L. Bock‘s new book – Release Date: 06/04/2012 „A Theology of Luke and Acts”. God’s Promised Program, Realized for All Nations. Series: Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series

Even though we are like the millions around us, we are also different. Different from the inside. The Bible is profound because in its message and through it’s Spirit, it changes us and makes us into something different, something privileged, what the Bible calls saints. We’re not talking about the Bible in abstract, we’re talking about the Bible in practice. The most profound way to present the story  (personally) is by being an audio-visual of what God is about, life lived from the inside out so it shows itself to be engaged with all of life. That’s why we are called it’s ambassadors of the message. That’s the portfolio – showing the new creation by being the new creation and it’s more than an abstraction of theology.

Dr. Darrell Bock, Research Professor of New Testament Studies; Professor of Spiritual Development and Culture, DTS, explains that he believes the Bible because it is the defense of the message I have as an ambassador of Christ that allows to keep the point. It is my ambassadorial dossier. Published on Mar 30, 2012 by 

Dr. Darrell Bock is professor of New testament Studies and professor of Spiritual Development and Culture. Darrell has earned national and international recognition as a Humboldt Scholar, an honor program at Tubingen University in Germany for his work in historical Jesus studies , especially in Jesus’ examination before the Jewish leadership at His trial. He also has done extensive commentary work on the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. In 2001 Dr Bock has served as President of the Evangelical Theological Society and he continues to serve as Editor at large for Christianity Today magazine.

Darrell L. Bock – Why I believe the Bible

I am here to talk abut this: It’s the Bible! We are here to study it, we’re here to know it and hopefully reflect in our lives what it teaches. For us, it is a privileged book: inspired, inerrant, the very word of God. I deeply believe that for a host of reasons. But today I want to explore a different question.

How do I preach a book I believe is privileged to a culture that does not believe it is privileged?

 It is no secret that in our culture the Bible is no longer a privileged book. People challenge it. Discussion surrounds it. Everywhere, there are efforts to argue that it is anything but inspired. So, I want to explain why the Bible is important, and even why I believe in the Bible and how to present it to a culture that does not appreciate it for the precious revelation that it is. You might think that I’ll launch into an apologetic as to why I think that the Bible is inerrant, 645,223 reasons why I believe the Bible. I believe those things deeply but that’s not where I want to go.

Rather I want to make a case that where the Bible is not a privileged book, it speaks to reality in a way that shows it is privileged. It comes from the heart of God. It is self disclosing, not merely because of the facts in it, but because of the profound divine, human account it gives. My homiletical idea is simply this: In a world where the Bible is not privileged, it is the profundity of the Bible’s message that shows the Bible is the fully inspired word of God.

Profundity revealed with faithfulness discloses the uniqueness of God’s word and it addresses our own reality at the same time, privileging God and His creation, at the same time. Privilege is revealed in profundity, in declared and lived profundity. But, I start with a contrast, a meta narrative, told with humor, which show where much of our world is and what culture thinks about why we are here. Bock shows a video clip from „Everybody loves Raymond”. „Who knows why we’re here?” That’s what the popular show declares.

It’s not very different then when Seneca spoke centuries ago; the stoic roman philosopher who lived in the first century, at the same time as Jesus, said this about life and death. In effect, it all doesn’t mean very much. We’ll just have to see how it all turns out in the end. Listen to the words of Seneca in his letter 26, as he muses about life and death: „I imagine to myself that the testing time is drawing near, that the day that is going to see judgement pronounced on the whole of my past life has actually arrived and I take a look at myself and address myself in these terms: All that I’ve done and said up til now, counts for nothing. My showing today, besides being heavily varnished over is of paltry value and reliability as a guarantee of my spirit. I’m going to leave it to death to settle what progress I’ve made. Without anxiety then, I’m making ready for the day when tricks and disguises will be put away and I shall come to a verdict on myself, determining whether the courageous attitudes I adopt are really felt or just so many words. And whether or not the defiant challenges I’ve hurled at fortune have been mere pretense and pantomime.”

Not much profound here, either. Just make the best of what you can in life and see what it will add up to. Hope for the best. Know death comes to all of us and we do not know when, but in the end, nothing will matter. That conclusion is the result of a life lived disconnected from the Creator and from the creation. It’s not a very profound declaration. It’s an empty manifesto, echoing what Ecclesiastes says to us in much of its message: It’s all empty. The net result is not much in terms of real direction of why we are here whether we trust Raymond or Seneca. But at least, Seneca was contemplating the options. Contrast that effort at reflection to our own culture. What some have called: A super flat culture.

Listen to this analysis of our modern and post modern culture by Australian pastor Mark Sayers: Such a culture is why people often miss what the Bible has to offer. And here’s what he says about the super flat culture we live in: We are offered a culture that is a million miles wide, in terms of opportunities, freedoms and consumer choice, yet, it is spiritually an inch deep. Our spiritual voice is being strangled. Our culture is spiritually super flat because of 3 main reasons I can discern:

  1. Any big discussion about deep and spiritual existential issues of life are off the agenda in the public square.
  2. Western culture is a spiritually flat culture in which our need for mystery, transcendence, revelation and a sense of „the other” is repressed.
  3. Our culture is a culture in which everything in life is viewed through a lens of suspicion

The combination of these factors present us with never before experienced missional challenges. They are also the reason so many Christian young adults are choosing to leave active faith. He goes on to say: In a super flat culture where nothing matters, we escape into obsessions and hobbies, interests that bear little or no consequence. In a commodified culture, we move and shift around meaning, giving way to things that do not deserve mountains of time and attention. The 21st century will be a century marked by conspicuous consumption, and a flagrant misuse of time.With religion off the agenda, our culture finds new avenues of devotion and distraction. Instead of moving us towards relationship and people, the eminent, super flat culture pushes us towards things. Millions of hours in the 21st century will be spent working through DVD/TV series, scanning social network sites, gorging on celebrity gossip, downloading music, flipping through home magazines and playing computer games. Things will take precedence over people. Meaningless activities will overtake our lives.

There’s nothing wrong with interest in hobbies in the right place, but the 21st century  culture will gorge on such activities. The real reason for human existence that have sat front and center of the human consciousness have been in the super flat, eminent world shoved aside. They have been too heavy to be carried on the road. Instead we buzz along the surface of life, never venturing below the surface. That’s why he calls it the super flat culture in a book that is coming out, called „The Road Trip”.

The best way to get to the Bible’s depth is to allow it to tell its story, clearly and powerfully

In the face of such missional challenges, the best way to get to the Bible’s depth is to allow it to tell its story, clearly and powerfully. We can show what it looks like by how we live. So, we live in a world that’s not sure why it’s here. The Bible has a profound and completely different message to tell and it says that you and I are ambassadors of that key message. The Scriptures reveal needs all people have. And so, the book of privilege gives us a place of privilege and in the process tells the story of why we are here.

That is the major reason I believe the Bible. It has a profound story to tell that the world does not know. It has a profound story to tell that tells us human beings why we have a story to tell and it’s a story that people may be slow to hear  and even conditioned not to hear. But you are here (at DTS) to learn how to tell it, noting the extent to which God has gone to return us to Himself. It’s a profound story that says God supplies what we lack and so the bridge to Him can be rebuilt, because He rebuilds it by his grace. It’s a positive message, not a negative one and it’s not about a mere momentary transaction, nor is it about avoiding something, it’s about reconnecting to the living God. Sometimes, when I hear the Gospel presented in the church, I think of the old actor Jimmy Cagney. Jimmy Cagney used to say: „You dirty rat. You shouldn’t be doing that. You’re the one that killed my brother”. Sometimes I listen to the Gospel message and I hear this tone that comes across. It’s a negative tone, it’s not a very positive tone. It’s an accusatory tone as if we have to convince people that they are sinners. Most people are quite aware of it, they just don’t want to face up to it.

In the midst of doing that, the message comes across negative and I ask myself: Where’s the Gospel in that? Other times we present the Gospel in such a way a kind of like Neo in the matrix, where we’re dodging bullets. And the Gospel IS about avoiding a negative, a very hot place. In the midst of presenting the Gospel as if it’s avoiding something, we completely lack to present something: That the Gospel is about gaining everything. It’s about reconnecting with the living God for life.

That was a huge introduction. There is one simple text that I want to return to and it’s in 2 Corinthians 5. This one verse leads into the profundity that I am talking about. It’s a simple verse. It says: „Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. we plead for you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God”. I want to make 3 points out of this text:

  1. Our position: Ambassadors. We are representatives of God in all that we say and do. We have been given a very privileged calling. I want to share an experience back when I was dealing with the DaVinci code. I got invited to a Bible study at the United Nations. It was an interesting experience. I had been there before, through the many metal detection checks, but this time I was an invited person so I got direct access into the middle of one of the key rooms at the UN. I was interacting with some of the ambassadors, who came from all kinds of countries. I had direct access, an access I normally don’t have. When I think about this text, I think about access that I permanently have to the living God, to represent Him in a task that is much greater than anything the United Nations ever takes up. We have a uniquely privileged position in being called to ministry. We also have a representational role. We don’t have to go through any metal detectors because God is the one who called us and we have a rare privilege to represent Him in a world that needs a profound message, that is the Scripture.
  2. The tone. Look at the text: „Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ”. It’s as though God were making His plea through us: „we plead with you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God”. Much of the sound that comes out of the church today, I am sad to say, is crass. It’s harsh. Now, there is a role in challenging the culture. There’s a role that’s necessary in that. But, if it isn’t balanced with the love of God and the compassion of Christ and the sacrifice and service that God extends even to those who reject Him. If we do not love our enemies, as Christ said, and enter into a plea with the world, then the road she is traveling down is horribly self destructive. You do not honor the tone of this text. This text is a summary text that kind of summarizes the entire message of everything we’ve been given in the portfolio that God has handed to us. It says we are keepers and passers on of His profound message of Salvation. So our tone is one of an invitation and of a pleading. My hope is that wherever you minister, once you are done here (at DTS), and one day that eschatological moment will happen, my hope and prayer is that your tone will be an invitation into the love of God and the grace of God, and the care of God, and the compassion of God and the severe mercy of God.
  3. Reconciliation – Reconciliation assumes a break in a relationship. What’s really exciting about the message that the Scripture has for us, is that God has given the provision to fix that break. The exhortation is: Be reconciled to God. We don’t have to reconcile ourselves to Him, we simply enter into the reconciliation that He has provided. That is the beauty of a passive verb. God’s the one who does it and that reconciliation brings life and enablement. In fact, the profound message of the Scripture is that we can get back to life by getting back to God. It means knowing Him. In His final prayer, almost like a last will and testament, when Jesus is praying before He goes to the cross in john 17:3, He gives thanks for the fact  that this is eternal life: to know the Father and know the Son. Or in another summary text in Romans 1:16 we’re told that Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation. It’s not just salvation, it’s the power of God unto salvation and if you read Romans, you will see that in that passage power is expressed by taking someone who is dead in trespasses and sins, an absolute corpse, justifying them , raising them up, giving them a position in which the Spirit of God is in them, so that by chapter 8 they’re walking in the will of God and there’s no need for law, because they’re following what God asks them to do. They’re reconnected to the Father. They’ve come back to life. If we read texts in Luke, what we see is that John, the Baptist prepared the world for this message and the coming of Christ by being given a calling to turn Israel back to her God. What’s interesting, when you read that text, in context- take a look at Luke 1:16-17, you will see that in turning themselves back to God, in the next verse the point is made that fathers are turned back to children and the disobedient are turned to obedience. We tend to think of repentance as something that happens privately between us and God. But the Scripture is reflecting that repentance is something that happens between us and God so that it impacts all the relationships that we have. So much so, that when we come to Luke 3 and John the Baptists is asked: What should we do ?as people enter into the Baptism that he represents. Every answer has to do, not with the person, how they are relating to God, but how the person is relating to their neighbor. What we see is an ethical core, a profundity to the Scripture that says: By relating properly to God, you not only fix that, you fix everything around you, in terms of your relationships. So we issue a plea: Know God, so you can have life. Know God so you can truly love others. It is simple, it is profound. The profound book tells a privileged story, of a privileged people who know why they are here. We tell the story by declaration and we tell it by representation.

Even though we are like the millions around us, we are also different. Different from the inside. The Bible is profound because in its message and through it’s Spirit, it changes us and makes us into something different, something privileged, what the Bible calls saints. We’re not talking about the Bible in abstract, we’re talking about the Bible in practice. The most profound way to present the story  (personally) is by being an audio-visual of what God is about, life lived from the inside out so it shows itself to be engaged with all of life. That’s why we are called it’s ambassadors of the message. That’s the portfolio – showing the new creation by being the new creation and it’s more than an abstraction of theology.

In the Nicene creed, God is powerfully confessed. He is confessed to a certain degree, in the abstract. I love the Nicene creed. We recite it at our church. But, left to itself, abstract theology and teaching can have a hole. You see, there’s not a word in the Nicene creed about how we live. Theology without ethics and spiritual formation is not a theology that really reveals the profundity of Scripture in the new life because life as it was designed to be lived, WAS designed to be lived and to show itself. It has to move past the cover of a super flat culture that might exist if we just play with the iPad. So tell the story, live the story , show by what you say  how profound Scripture is. Reveal it in word and in deed, reveal its reality and show that it is inspired by God by showing how God changes lives. In a world where the Bible is not privileged, the best way to make the case for the Scripture is to call attention to its profound attention to life’s core realities, to live its truth. Privilege is revealed in declared and lived profundity. That is the ultimate assignment and it is a final exam we will all take. We represent our King in the world, we are to take up the call and you shave the privileged role to take this privileged message to point people to the privilege of knowing Him. That message will be found nowhere else. You won’t find it from modern culture and you won’t find it from Seneca. So, believe it, preach it, live it. The message of Scripture is far different from Seneca and it can be summarized in the last verse of the hymn we sang at the beginning of this message:

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

A Theology of Luke and Acts

God’s Promised Program, Realized for All Nations

Series: Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series

Release Date: 06/04/2012

Synopsis:A Theology of Luke and Acts–the second volume in Zondervan’s Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series–offers an in-depth analysis of these two books. Examining Lukan themes, language, and the books’ context within the Bible, Darrell L. Bock offers an indispensable resource to biblical scholars.  SEE SECOND VIDEO ON THIS PAGE for more. Order here.

Link to Darrell Bock academic books here.

Link to Darrell Bock website here.

Darrell L. Bock on the Gospel and Holy Spirit in Luke and Acts

…and here’s Darrell Bock talking about his new book „A Theology of Luke and Acts”. Leading New Testament scholar Darrell L. Bock, author of „A Theology of Luke and Acts” chats with Mark L. Strauss in this clip (5 of 5) about key topics related to his highly anticipated new work. „A Theology of Luke and Acts” explores the theology of Luke’s gospel and the book of Acts. In his biblical writings, Luke records the story of God working through Jesus to usher in a new era of promise and Spirit-enablement so that the people of God can be God’s people even in the midst of a hostile world. It is a message that still fits the church today. Bock both covers major Lukan themes and sets forth the distinctive contribution of the Luke-Acts collection to the New Testament and the canon of Scripture, providing readers with an in-depth and holistic grasp of Lukan theology in the larger context of the Bible. Find out more:…. Published on Apr 27, 2012 by 

Related articles

The Attack on Jesus

We have in society today, a generation that desperately does not want to believe in the historical Jesus. Coral Ridge Ministries presents- The Attack on Jesus-an intriguing look at some false claims about Jesus that threatens to keep millions from finding out the truth. Christians need to be aware of the public discussions about Jesus. Anything that points people away from Jesus Christ contributes to people some day being eternally separated from God. From time to time these unfounded accusations are recycled, as is the case with author Dan Brown. Here are the issues (some of these major assaults on Jesus) addressed in this video:

  1. The reliability of the Gospels
  2. The New Testament Canon
  3. The Resurrection of Jesus
  4. Jesus’ diety
  5. and the question – Was Jesus married?
  6. Is Jesus the only way to God?

Videourile Vodpod nu mai sunt disponibile.

The Attack on Jesus , posted with vodpod

Mesaj prof.dr.Darrell Bock (Dallas USA) cu Cristian Barbosu despre cele 36 de evanghelii ‘pierdute’ la Bis. Penticostala Betel Crangasi

Profesorul Darrell Bock care a predat cursuri la Facultatea Baptista din Romania, a vizitat si Biserica Penticostala Crangasi din Bucurest impreuna cu Cristian Barbosu, unde a avut un mesaj despre evangheliile false si numite ‘pierdute’ in data de  Ianuarie 28,2011:
Videourile Vodpod nu mai sunt disponibile.

1st collector for Mesaj deschidere Cristian Barbosu / Mesaj prof….
Follow my videos on vodpod

Blogosfera Evanghelică

Vizite unicate din Martie 6,2011

free counters

Va multumim ca ne-ati vizitat azi!

România – LIVE webcams de la orase mari