Your Call – Bible Questions – The Jews; Name of God; Heavenly Wheels and Scars; The Devil; Denominations; The Holy Spirit Convicting; The Resurrection Body;

This months Bible Questions on Premier Christian Radio – This one was a wee bit diffferent – Questions include – Are the Jews still God’s chosen people?  Why is God called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (what about Moses, David, John the Baptist)?  Wheels on God’s throne?  Do we keep our scars in heaven? The significance of Jesus being in the grave for three days? When did the devil fall?  Why are there so many denominations?  John 16 and the Holy Spirits Convicting work?  If we are going to get a new body why will the old one be raised?

You can hear the whole show by clicking this link –

Your Call – Bible Questions – From Spirit Spouses to Women Preachers!


27 thoughts on “Your Call – Bible Questions – The Jews; Name of God; Heavenly Wheels and Scars; The Devil; Denominations; The Holy Spirit Convicting; The Resurrection Body;

  1. I was quite interested to listen to your answer to the question re wheels and scars as it’s actually something I have been thinking about.

    First off your questioner DID mean Daniel and not Ezekiel, the bit referred to is this: “His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.” Daniel 7:9. As someone who uses a wheelchair this grabbed my attention. It’s not that I think that God literally needs a wheelchair to mobilise, this image is clearly symbolic. The symbolism of the wheels seems to me to be about power and movement, God’s rule and authority are not geographically limited. The main other places that wheels feature in the Bible are the Ezekiel passage you mentioned, war chariots and in the temple. Now I know that none of these passages are about disability, I just think that the symbolism is an arresting challenge to the way a lot of people interpret the wheelchair. In popular imagination the wheelchair symbolises the disability that makes the wheelchair useful rather than being seen as a symbol of the God-given human ability to create tools that solve problems. For example I have heard, or seen written, references to being ‘consigned to a wheelchair’, ‘wheelchair bound’, ‘ending up in a wheelchair’. The whole point of a wheelchair is that it restores the ability to move! It isn’t there to bind anyone and it’s not a destination, it’s a way to get places. For this reason I think that liguistically ‘wheelchair user’ is preferable to ‘in a wheelchair’.

    The question about scars was interesting. Clearly Jesus wounds from His crucifixion are very specific and will be a source of wonder, gratitude and praise for all eternity. I do wonder, however, if it might be possible that our resurrection bodies will somehow bear reminders of ways in which God has wonderfully worked through trials to make us more like Jesus. I sometimes watch those programmes on TV where old items are restored and sometimes a decision is made to leave ‘imperfections’ in place that tell the unique story of the item, perhaps that might be a picture of what God might do? I’m being very speculative but however we are raised it certainly will be wonderful and will result in praise and worship.

  2. Most Bible scholars doubt the eyewitness authorship of the Gospels. Isn’t that a problem for the believability of the alleged resurrection of Jesus?

      1. Bart D. Ehrman (1999). Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. Oxford University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-19-512474-3. But are these traditional ascriptions correct? The first thing to observe is that the titles of the Gospels were not put there by their authors—as should be clear after just a moment’s reflection. Suppose a disciple named Matthew actually did write a book about Jesus’ words and deeds. Would he have called it “The Gospel According to Matthew”? Of course not. He might have called it “The Gospel of Jesus Christ” or “The Life and Death of Our Savior” or something similar. But if someone calls it the Gospel according to Matthew, then it’s obviously someone else trying to explain, at the outset, whose version of the story this one is. And in fact we know that the original manuscripts of the Gospels did not have their authors’ names attached to them.1 1. Because our surviving Greek manuscripts provide such a wide variety of (different) titles for the Gospels, textual scholars have long realized that their familiar names (e.g., “The Gospel according to Matthew”) do not go back to a single “original” title, but were later added by scribes.

      2. Example: Wiki –
        Most scholars believe that Mark was written by a second-generation Christian, around or shortly after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple in year 70.[77][78][79]

        Also … NT Wright considers the gospels are anonymous.
        And ….as far as I am aware, non-religious biblical scholar consider the gospels are anonymous and not eyewitness authorship.

        I am trying to find evidence to support the claim of eyewitness authorship of the gospels?
        So far I am drawing a blank and what I have read states the opposite.

        Can you at least offer a link to support you statement?

      3. A couple of bits of advice – don’t rely on Wiki….read books.

        If you are trying to find evidence to support the claim of eyewitness authorship of the gospels then read Richard Bauckham ‘Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”….

        Please refrain from googling and then pasting the links on my FB page – we can all do that…

      4. The Wiki article is referenced.
        Baukman does not believe that the gospels are eyewitness authorship.
        I merely asked you for evidence of your claim.
        Why not simply provide me with a link to support you claim?
        That is all I am asking.

      5. Life doesn’t work by links. Where did you get the idea that Bauckham doesn’t believe that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses….have you actually read his book?

      6. Neither does life work by unsubstantiated claims, notably that; ”Most bible scholars do not doubt the eyewitness authorship of the Gospels”.

        So, just for once instead of hand waves and condescension, please have the integrity to supply evidence to support your claim

        Also, as you obviously have read Bauckman’s book, David, please quote me the passage where he states the gospels are eyewitness authorship.

      7. No – I suggest since you are so keen on finding out about this – read it for yourself…it will do you good! His argument is that the Gospels are eyewitness accounts. But what he know? He’s just a professor of NT at St Andrews University and has been studying the source documents for years! How can he stand up against an amateur atheist armed with Wiki and a keyboard! I wonder which one is more reliable?!

      8. I apologize for not responding sooner.

        Most Bible scholars DO doubt the eyewitness/associate of eyewitness authorship of the Gospels. I can give you evidence of this. Even most evangelical scholars will admit this consensus exists even though they may disagree with the consensus position. Richard Bauckham, for instance, who DOES believe in the eyewitness/associate of eyewitness authorship of the Gospels states in his book, “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses” (which I have read cover to cover) that that this consensus does exist. Ark has given his statement below but I will repeat it and comment on it in a moment.

  3. “The argument of this bookthat the texts of our Gospels are close to the eyewitness reports of the words and deeds of Jesus–runs counter to almost all recent scholarship. As we have indicated from time to time, the prevalent view is that a long period of oral transmission in the churches intervened between whatever the eyewitnesses said and the Jesus traditions as they reached the Evangelists [the authors of the Gospels]. No doubt the eyewitnesses started the process of oral tradition, but it passed through many retellings, reformulations, and expansions before the Evangelists themselves did their own editorial work on it.” p. 240

    Richard Bauckman – Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

    1. This statement by Bauckham above clearly states that “almost all recent scholarship” rejects the eyewitness/associate of eyewitness authorship of the Gospels. That constitutes a consensus.

      Bauckham disagrees with the scholarly consensus, but he contradicts “weefleas” statement above that “Most bible scholars do not doubt the eyewitness authorship of the Gospels…so no problem !” And if even very conservative Bible scholars are admitting that this consensus exists, what more evidence is needed?? (But I will be happy to give you more if you desire.)

      1. Gary,
        you don’t take into account the possibility that Bauckham’s admission in 2003 — that his thesis runs counter to the scholarly consensus — might just have been made obsolete by the reception given to his book. It has been no nine-day wonder as Simon Gathercole’s Foreword to the second edition shows. One of the highlights of Gathercole’s account is his anecdote from a sermon he listened to when his own pastor made cogent use of one of Bauckham’s chapters: when scholarly pastors and evangelists — in many ways the Untermenschen of the academic world — are counted in as they so often aren’t, Bauckham’s effect on the consensus seems to have been little short of devastating.
        Moreover, if you read on from the quote (pp 204ff. of the 1st ed. of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses), Bauckham demonstrates that a large proportion of those who shared the academic consensus in 2003 still took a very high view of the steps that must have been taken to preserve the versimilitude of the oral tradition. One would think that many such must have read Bauckham and recognised that their former way of thinking was a long way for a short cut, as they say.

      2. when scholarly pastors and evangelists — in many ways the Untermenschen of the academic world — are counted in as they so often aren’t, Bauckham’s effect on the consensus seems to have been little short of devastating.

        Another somewhat wildly exaggerated statement, John, with zero evidenced to support it.

        What is the difference between a ”scholarly pastor” and , say, an ordinary pastor?
        Don’t they all go through a similar process at seminaries and suchlike?
        Or are there vastly different approaches at such theological schools?

      3. The church has always had a teaching leadership, Ark,
        right from the day of Pentecost until now. There is something wrong with any grouping of local churches where the ordinary pastors are not scholarly in some meaningful sense. However, my ‘somewhat wildly exaggerated statement’ as you will have it, does take account of a couple of factors wrt scholarship outside the academy, so to speak. 1. Tenured posts in academia do have the effect of institutionalising, or even fossilising, ideas that are well past their sell by date. 2. Daily habits of scholarship are much more likely to be found among Reformed Evangelicals than they are among Liberals or Ritualists. These are empirically observable facts so it ought not be surprising if there has been a lag in academic adoption compared with what has happened on the pastorally-involved front-line. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but your ritual complaint about ‘no evidence’ now seems to emerge even when what is put before you is primarily mentioned as evidence. What other reason would there have been for me to direct you to Simon Gathercole’s Foreword to the second edition of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses were it not that it presents evidence that the old consensus is passing away quietly? And that, not with a bang but a whimper.

        Seminaries vary, obviously, but so do the men who come out of them. It probably needs to be pointed out that University Theology Departments are considered to be part of the academy and many Seminaries are not. That does not mean that non-accredited (academically) colleges need be any less scholarly. In my own (unique) case, I did my ministerial training while in the process of retiring from school teaching — I have had a chronic fatigue/post viral syndrome complaint for thirty years — so it was necessary that any studies I undertook would not involve a final exam. Which made it a thoroughly good thing that the London Theological Seminary did not do a degree course. However,
        when I did my Th.M. this century, the (American) accreditation board recognised the Biblical Languages segment of the LTS course as having been up to the level required for an M.Div. so I got to do the course. By my way of thinking I ceased to be any sort of academic when I graduated but I did not cease to be a scholar.

      4. @ John K.
        Gathercole’s foreword is certainly full of praise and he does mention that the book has had a lot of impact, and is also part of the reading material at universities and seminaries.
        Nowhere does he state that it has changed the consensus view regarding authorship of the gospels.
        That in itself is telling, so for you to come out with the phrase: Bauckham’s effect on the consensus seems to have been little short of devastating. is quite obviously an exaggeration, and it certainly isn’t evidence.

        That does not mean that non-accredited (academically) colleges need be any less scholarly.

        Would you afford the same amount of leeway to a non-accredited medical school, or even non-accredited veterinary school? In fact, would you send one of your kids to such an institution?

        And correct me if I am wrong, don’t many Seminaries require students/teachers to sign/acknowledge some sort of biblical innerancy contract as part of their terms of employment/study?

  4. Hi John,

    If you can provide a published quote from any respected New Testament scholar, conservative, moderate, or liberal, who states that since the publishing of Bauckham’s “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses” the scholarly consensus on the authorship of the Gospels has changed, I will be happy to retract my statement.

    1. Bauckham’s book was published in 2004, I believe. But even in 2009, NT Wright was still saying that he had no idea who the authors of the Gospels were, and he added: “nor does anyone else”. So it doesn’t seem like Bauckham’s evidence was that good if it didn’t even convince another conservative/moderate scholar.

      Here is NT Wright himself:

      1. Touché, Gary,
        Tom Wright has many followers even among sub-academical Bible scholars so the picture Simon Gathercole paints might not be uniformly visible. (Gathercole’s book Where is boasting? puts him outside the Wright/NPP ‘consensus’, if we can call it that.) On the other hand, even in this brief clip, Wright’s view of eyewitness testimony places him far closer to Bauckham than a narrow framing of the consensus would allow.

  5. Here is a statement by Richard Bauckham in the Preface of the second edition of “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”:

    “I always expected the book to be controversial. After all, it proposed a new paradigm for understanding the origins of the Gospels. It is right that any such proposal should be tested in the fires of criticism and debate. Responses ranged all the way from enthusiastic support to (in just a few cases) unqualified disapproval. Most reviewers judged it as an important book, even if they were not persuaded or not fully convinced by its arguments.”

    –Richard Bauckham
    November 1, 2016

    Gary: That certainly doesn’t sound as if Bauckham himself believes that the scholarly consensus has changed due to his book, merely that his book has provoked a lot of discussion and controversy, which is true.

  6. John: “Tom Wright has many followers even among sub-academical Bible scholars so the picture Simon Gathercole paints might not be uniformly visible.”

    Hi John,

    Doesn’t the fact that NT Wright “has no idea” who the authors of the Gospels were and the fact that most Roman Catholic scholars, who believe in miracles and the bodily resurrection of Jesus, reject the eyewitness/associate of eyewitness authorship of the Gospels, give a strong signal that the evidence for the eyewitness/associate of eyewitness authorship of the Gospels is not very strong? Mediocre at best? Doesn’t that concern you?

    1. Since you’ve read The Resurrection of the Son of God, Gary,
      I’m surprised that you think N.T. Wright’s denial of knowing who the Gospel authors actually were, should cause me concern. (On a completely different level — i.e. slightly facetious — should I be convinced that full attention must have been given to Bauckham’s book by the man who endorsed Steve Chalke’s book, apparently without noticing the infamous ‘cosmic child abuse’ statement?)
      As I’m reading Bauckham’s book, itself, I’m finding his arguments engaging to say the least. Am I convinced that Matthew’s name was attached to the eponymous Gospel because it is first and foremost a collection of his eyewitness testimonies? — i.e. not eyewitness authorship in the strictest possible sense — I have to say, not yet, because a supposition about the death of eyewitnesses like Bartimaeus isn’t enough to persuade me of Markan priority. But if one relaxes ever so slightly the meaning of ‘authorship’ — Cleopas, as told to Luke, for example — then Bauckham’s model suggests a compendium of eyewitness accounts that makes the old claim for apostolic authorship seem a bit thin by comparison.
      ‘Eyewitness testimony’ is a better term than ‘eyewitness authorship’ but don’t automatically assume that it’s a capitulation to form-critical claims or even just a step back.

      1. Even I agree that there is probably SOME eyewitness testimony within the Gospels. The question is: Which parts are eyewitness testimony, which parts are “4th, 5th, 6th, etc,, hand” information, and which parts are theological fiction?

        Although Bauckham believes that the Greek Gospel of Matthew is based on the Apostle Matthew’s Hebrew Gospel mentioned by Papias, Bauckham believes that later “redactors” added to the original Gospel, at times even inventing stories out of whole cloth!!! Question: If even staunch conservative scholars like Bauckham will admit that there is fictional material in the Gospels, just how historically reliable can these books really be???

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