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19 Responses

  1. Jarred H says:

    What I find interesting — and this is something Fred Clarke has frequently pointed out over at Slacktivist — is that while some Christians love to harp on the parable of the sheep and goats and how it proves how God will separate us, they completely ignore the criteria Jesus uses in that parable for what separates the sheep from the goats. To be honest, I’m actually with Jesus on this one. I don’t want to be around “goats” who don’t care about the marginalized and the oppressed. I’d much rather be around sheep who are deeply concerned for those less fortunate (empathy is attractive!), regardless of what religion those sheep do or don’t practice.

  2. Ducatihero says:

    Isn’t it true that separation (or conversely connection) can happen between two sheep or two goats as can happen between sheep and a goat?

    But maybe that was your point?

  3. Bernardo says:

    But is Matt 25:31-46 authentic? Based on the use of rigorous historic testing (# of attestations, time of publication, grammar, analogous stories in the OT etc.) by many contemporary NT scholars, it is not.


    Professor Gerd Luedemann

    Luedemann [Jesus, 236f]:

    “This concluding text of Jesus’ eschatological discourse fits Matthaean theology seamlessly. After the paraenesis in 24.32-25.30 the judgment by the Son of Man is depicted in a great painting. The judgment is of all human beings, but Matthew has his community in particular in view: cf. 13.37-43,49-50. In view of this similarity we must seriously consider whether the whole passage should be regarded as a Matthaean construction.”

    Professor John P. Meier- Notre Dame

    When commenting on the use of phylake (prison) in Matt 11:2, Meier [Marginal Jew II,198] notes that “the whole passage depicting the last judgment is either a Matthean creation or heavily redacted by Matthew.”

  4. Ducatihero says:


    Yet again, you quote professors that you agree with to support your suspicion of the authenticity of scriptures. No thinking person can take you seriously with this approach.

    As well as those you agree with, read more widely, engage with other professors that hold views you don’t share. Be open to being challenged as well as challenging views and engage in discussion and debate rather than continously reassert your present position.

    Then, and only then you might be taken seriously by people other than those that are non-thinking.

    From now on unless your comments show a willingness and an engagement with discussions rather than assertion of your own assumptions and presuppositions, I shan’t dignify them with a response.

    All the best, whatever you choose.

  5. Bernardo says:


    I have done my homework and provided you with references in the past to basically ALL the studies available on the historical Jesus. If you do the same work, you will conclude that the scholars so referenced above give as complete a picture of the historic Jesus that is available in the 21st century.

  6. Caryn LeMur says:

    I love that wonderful parable in Matt 25! So glad to see a cartoon on that parable! lol!

    While I do not think the parable was written by Matthew the Apostle, I do lean towards the parable as written by a group that believed this saying of Jesus was key to understanding Jesus’ view of the final judgment.

    Think of it… A judgment based on what Jarred’s discussed – how we interacted personally with the least of the believers – the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the prisoner, the homeless, and the those needing clothing.

    The judgment of Jesus was deliberately portrayed by the authors of Matt 25 as something very opposite of my experience with the pragmatic church-is-business approach. And yes! This is the Jesus that I encountered so many years ago… and my life was never the same since!

    Sad story: My 64-year old friend that has no income is facing heart surgery. He needs a place to recover. So, Bonnie and I offered our place – not a problem for us to have a guest for a week or two. We have extra rooms at our new-to-us old home.

    And this 64 year old gentleman, even though unemployed, would take food from the local ‘food pantry for the poor’ out to men and women hiding in the woods. He would visit with them… and simply show God’s welcome and acceptance to these outcasts from ‘good’ society.

    I requested that our friend give his Vineyard church ‘the right of first refusal’ – that is, to let them know of his need for a place to recover, and give the Vineyard the opportunity to show forth Jesus’ priorities.

    My friend passed his need to the pastor. The pastor (I am told) made the announcement. There was not a single person that offered my friend a room for one or two weeks. Not a single person.

    My heart breaks.

    Yes, my friend will stay with us… and perhaps, I have lost my reward in heaven for sharing this story.

    But… they want to be a ‘church’; they do not wish to be like Jesus.

    Sheep… goats… and sheep that run a goat-business, I suppose….

    An interesting world that professes to know Him, and then lives with far different priorities…. interesting indeed…. and sad.

  7. Bernardo says:

    And the pastor also did not offer? Hmmm?? Catholic Charities might have? Or one of the many United Way charities? The Red Cross? The Salvation Army?

  8. Ducatihero says:


    I will answer in a way that is suitable only when someone is accused as is happening now which at other times would be boasting. I have both an honours degree in theology and a masters in Biblical Interpretation. I could not have gained any credibility in my studies or grain these qualifications without having widely read.

    I don’t come to the same conclusions as you not because of lack of reading but because I have read widely and engaged with diverse views.

    Your postings continually quote the same author(s), you articulate from a hermeneutic of suspicion, not giving acknowledgment of those that understand scripture from a hermeneutic of faith never mind engaging in discussion and debate with that hermeneutic.

    You are wrong on two counts – your comment do not show wide reading and you imply I have not read well.

    So you lie on two counts. One that you have done your homework and given references to “basically ALL the studies available on the historical Jesus.” Two, that you imply that I have not come to a reasonable conclusion, or am not widely read.

    The belief that you have that I would come to the same conclusion as you if I only read widely is arrogant, fanciful and an insult to reason.

    Lastly I will speak of anyone who reads this comment to you. Empathy and the petition of friends is useful when testing depends on public opinion with conclusions arrived at that though appearing to be right can be wrong. Before the most honourable of you I need not ask for either of these but only speak of what is true and just. It is unjust to misrepresent and defame, to heed opinion rather than truth. What is wrong can be put right with forethought but what is wrong cannot be put right with an afterthought. This is what happens when people lie about themselves and others which is what has happened now. If words could bring about truth clearly then judgement would be easy. Since this is not so, I ask for patience and time to pass any judgement you make with truth. You risk your own reputation as bring unjust. For good people, reputation is paramount.

    If you judge me unjustly, you will bring judgement on yourself as any with the ability to discern what i just are free to comment. The responsibility for that will be yours not the one who is currently lieing.

    Her is where I will conclude. A summary necessary for those of slow understanding but before those who have eyes to see is it uncalled for as is the challenge to pay attention to or remember what has been expressed.

  9. Bernardo says:


    I await your reading list of published historic Jesus studies.

  10. Ducatihero says:


    The burden of proof is on you for the arguments you make, not on me. It is not necessary for me to produce a “reading list of published historic Jesus studies” to counter your claims. I only have to do what I have done already, which is sufficient proof that you have lied on two counts. First you claim about all historical references to Jesus in coming to your conclusion, and second, your assertion that I would come to the same conclusion, implying that I am not widely read.

    This I have done.

    Think what you like, write what you like but I am not going to waste my time indulging your lies any more. This will be my last comment towards you on the matter of the historical authenticity of Jesus according to the gospels.

  11. Bernardo says:

    For all those interested in the historic Jesus: (feel free to promulgate the list)

    o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the titles of their over 100 books on the subject.

    2. Early Christian Writings,
    – a list of early Christian documents to include the year of publication– and a review of each

    30-60 CE Passion Narrative
    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
    50-60 1 Thessalonians
    50-60 Philippians
    50-60 Galatians
    50-60 1 Corinthians
    50-60 2 Corinthians
    50-60 Romans
    50-60 Philemon
    50-80 Colossians
    50-90 Signs Gospel
    50-95 Book of Hebrews
    50-120 Didache
    50-140 Gospel of Thomas
    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
    65-80 Gospel of Mark
    70-100 Epistle of James
    70-120 Egerton Gospel
    70-160 Gospel of Peter
    70-160 Secret Mark
    70-200 Fayyum Fragment
    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
    80-100 2 Thessalonians
    80-100 Ephesians
    80-100 Gospel of Matthew
    80-110 1 Peter
    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
    80-130 Gospel of Luke
    80-130 Acts of the Apostles
    80-140 1 Clement
    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
    80-250 Christian Sibyllines
    90-95 Apocalypse of John
    90-120 Gospel of John
    90-120 1 John
    90-120 2 John
    90-120 3 John
    90-120 Epistle of Jude
    93 Flavius Josephus
    100-150 1 Timothy
    100-150 2 Timothy
    100-150 Titus
    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
    100-150 Secret Book of James
    100-150 Preaching of Peter
    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
    100-160 2 Peter
     4. Jesus Database, –”The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament.”
    5. Josephus on Jesus
    6. The Jesus Seminar,
    7. – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
    8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
    9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
    (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
    by Douglas Groothuis:
    10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
    Presented on March 18, 1994
    11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
    12. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
    13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
    13. Historical Jesus Studies
    14. The Greek New Testament:
    15. Diseases in the Bible:

    16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,
    theologians, ethics, etc.
    17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT
    18 Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
    19. JD Crossan’s conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
    20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by title with the complete translated work in English
    21. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
    22. NT and beyond time line:
    23. St. Paul’s Time line with discussion of important events:
    24. See for a list of JD Crossan’s books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
    25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx’s words of wisdom as found in his books.
    27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
    28. Father Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
    29. Luke Timothy Johnson’s book The Real Jesus

  12. Gary says:

    Bernardo seriously…stop spamming the blog. Any idiot can compile a mindless list of sources which share a common view. Your insistence on repetitively spamming the blog with your collection of extremely one sided sources is childish in the extreme.

  13. Bernardo says:


    Obviously you have not read any of the suggested studies. Had you, you would soon realize that both sides of the historic Jesus stories are reviewed. Again, one of my summaries based on said studies:

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

  14. Gary says:


    Obviously you have missed my point entirely. I will not engage in a contest of pitting “experts” opinions against each other as such an exercise is as pointless as biblical proof texting. The idea behind the comments section of blogs like this is for people to actually discuss ideas, not ramble off a list of extreme claims and then keep defending it by pasting a tired list of “experts”. That is lazy and (where have I heard this before?) SPAMMING. Since you clearly have not demonstrated the intellectual ability to actually engage in the exchange of ideas sufficient to start any productive discussion, why keep up this charade?

    It is not your beliefs I take issues with.(some of which I agree with, some I do not).it is your style man. Repeatedly spamming the blog will never be productive. Hopefully you will tire of the silly behavior and wander off.

  15. Bernardo says:


    You are what you peruse.

  16. Gary says:

    “You are what you peruse”?

    A classic line from the Princess Bride springs to mind.


  17. Richard says:

    The thing about Jesus that is so unbelievable is why, if Jesus was god and had this most important message, that his life is so poorly documented and the documentation we have is so contradictory. We have a lot of material about Jesus much later than his life, but it would have made sense for Jesus to have written a book. It would seem that this book would have been so wise it would supersede all other wisdom writings. It would actually give us something to examine. Instead we have sayings that didn’t originate with Jesus. For example the statement “The meek shall inherit the earth” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” were already in existence within the sayings of Buddha written 500 years before Jesus showed up. The concepts of Christianity are clearly answers to iron age problems. To me, it is clear that all religions are man made and reflect the times they were constructed. Christianity doesn’t present any evidence that it is all that different from any other religion, except that it had the power of the Roman Empire behind it.

  18. I recommend Richard Miller’s book, “Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity”. I did a review of it here: