Posts Tagged ‘Gospel of Thomas’

Deeper Waters Podcast 8/23/2014: How To Form Your Canon with Lee McDonald

August 21, 2014

What’s coming up on the Deeper Waters Podcast this Saturday? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Canon. It’s something a lot of Christians don’t think about. You open up your Bible and those books are there. They’re just there. Yet how did they get there? Why do you have the Gospel of Matthew and not The Gospel According To The Simpsons in your Bible? Why do you have the story of Genesis but you don’t have the Gilgamesh Epic?

Some of us have thought about this. We have to face the common objections that we see. We hear that the choosing of the books of the Bible was just arbitrary. We hear for the NT that many Gospels were excluded like the Gospel of Thomas. We see series on the History Channel like “Banned From The Bible.” We also hear today commonly on the internet that all the books of the Bible were chosen at the Council of Nicea in 325.

This indicates some have thought about this, but some haven’t thought as much as others. One person who has thought a lot about these issues is Lee McDonald.

Lee McDonald

According to his bio:

 

Dr. Lee Martin McDonald (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, Scotland) has studied at many institutions including Cambridge University (England), Heidelberg University (Germany), and Harvard University. He is a professor of New Testament studies and president emeritus at Acadia Divinity College and former dean of the Faculty of Theology at Acadia Univeristy in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has taught New Testament Studies at Acadia, Sioux Falls Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, was a visiting scholar and professor at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2007 – 2008, and lectured in a variety of graduate institutions in Canada, the USA, Athens in Greece, Budapest, Prague, and elsewhere. He also served for six years as president of the international Institute for Biblical Research (a community of hundreds of Old and New Testament scholars), was a chaplain in the U.S. Army, a pastor for more than twenty years, and has served on boards of directors for three graduate schools of theology. Lee McDonald has written and/or edited more than 31 books and authored more than 100 articles and essays on biblical subjects, as well as on practical issues for the church.

 

Dr. McDonald is a member of the prestigious Studiorum Novi Testamentum Societas, the Society of Biblical Literature and the Institute for Biblical Resarch. He is an American Baptist ordianed minister and has served as a pastor and in leadership positions within the denomination. He regularly focuses on how the Bible came to be and also what biblical scholars are saying about Jesus in various churches as well as academic settings. He also addresses the question of the relevance of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient non-biblical resources for understanding Jesus in his context and various pasages in the New Testment as well as their relevance for canon formation. He is a specialist in the context of early Christianity and the origin of the Bible.

 

 

Dr. McDonald is quite the authority on the canon and not just the New Testament canon! It would be a treat to discuss just that even, but no, you’re going to get two canons for the price of one! We’re going to be talking about the formation of the Old Testament canon as well. Why is it that in both canons we have the books that we have and not the other ones? Is there any controlling conspiracy going on? Are Christians just trying to hide ideas about Jesus that they just don’t like?

In the end, it could realize that the truth is something far greater. It could actually be that we have the very books that God intended us to have and we do have a reliable source of information on the history of the people of God and the life of Jesus the Christ.

So please be watching your ITunes feed soon for the latest episode of Deeper Waters discussing the formation of the canon of Scripture with Dr. Lee McDonald.

 

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 2/1/2014: Mark Goodacre

January 30, 2014

What’s coming up on 2/1/14 on the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters!

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The Gospel of Thomas is a work that most date to the second century in NT studies, but there are some exceptions. If you picked up a book made by the Jesus Seminar called “The Five Gospels” you’d find that that fifth Gospel is Thomas. John Dominic Crossan, for instance, dates the work to the first century.

What is the Gospel of Thomas and does it really date that far back? Should it really have been in the canon or is the Jesus Seminar getting something wrong here? For this, I decided to talk to someone who has recently written a book to show that in fact, Thomas depends on the synoptics Gospels.

That’s Dr. Mark Goodacre. Goodacre studied at the Exeter College at the University of Oxford in the U.K. earning a B.A. in theology followed by a Master’s and PH.D. in NT Research. He currently is professor of NT and Christian origins at Duke University in North Carolina and is the host of the NT Pod and runs the NTWeblog that can be found here. More on Goodacre can be found here.

Dr. Goodacre will be telling us about his reasons for thinking that the Gospel of Thomas depends on the Synoptics which would both lead to an early dating possibly for the Synoptics as well as a late dating for the Gospel of Thomas.

While he’s here, I also plan on having us discuss Goodacre’s theory of Q. Much of NT scholarship places great emphasis on a source for the NT called Q. Q is short for Quelle, the German word for source, and is supposed to be a source that was used by the writers of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

There is a problem however.

We have never once found a document that is Q.

Despite this, numerous theories have been built on Q and what it looked like. Some scholars like Burton Mack have even made layers that are supposed to be within Q and have made claims about different communities that have different levels of those layers and what they believed about the historical Jesus.

Goodacre’s position is definitely in the minority, but it is one that I think we should all be listening to. After all, if the majority in this case is wrong, we want to know it. If Goodacre’s case is not right (And I’m quite skeptical of Q myself so I’m open to it), then those who hold to the Q theory can get to see some of the best objections to their theory getting us closer to what the truth is in any case.

So please be sure to be joining me this Saturday for a fascinating conversation with Dr. Mark Goodacre. The show will be airing from 3-5 PM EST on Saturday, 2/1/2014. As always, if you want to call in and ask a question, you can use the number 714-242-5180 to do so.

The link to the show can be found here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters