Re: [asa] Pinnock on Climbing out of the Swamp (was Lamoureux, Concordism, and Inerrancy)

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Mon Mar 10 2008 - 21:00:42 EDT

If the criterion is "not impossible" then of course all manner of things can be accepted. But after a certain number of questionable things have to be accepted on that basis then we ought to start wondering if perhaps we're going at things the wrong way. It's "not impossible" that Jesus really restored the sight of one blind man as he was approaching the city (Lk.18:35) and then two as he was leaving it (Mt.20:29-30), one of whom Mark (10:46) doesn't mention. It's "not impossible" that the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke are both historically accurate. And it's "not impossible" that Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple twice, once at the beginning of his ministry (John) & once at the end (synoptics). But doesn't this begin to sound a bit suspicious?

(BTW, it will be a sure sign that someone has missed the point if he/she proceeds to demonstrate that any or all of these things is "not impossible." I've already said that!)

& we can't evaluate the historical character of one verse while making the unexamined assumption that everything else in the text is historical. If we're to give serious consideration to the question of whether or not Nathanael's statement at the beginning of Jesus' ministry that he was "Son of God" and "King of Israel" is historical we have to consider the question of whether or not Philip's description of him as "him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote"
on the same putative occasion and in the same text & as an introduction to Nathanael's statement is historical. You can't simply assume that the latter really happened at that point in Jesus' ministry & then use that assumption to support the claim that the statement attributed to Nathanael really happened at that time.


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Campbell" <>
To: "AmericanScientificAffiliation" <>
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 6:55 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Pinnock on Climbing out of the Swamp (was Lamoureux, Concordism, and Inerrancy)

> To some extent, the question of what Jesus would have thought about
> cosmology, evolution, etc. while on earth is reading present issues
> into the past. I suspect that "Did Jesus think much about cosmology,
> etc.?" would be answered "no." I suspect that a direct question on
> such topics would have been aswered along the lines of Jn. 21:22.
>>When John has Nathanael proclaim Jesus as Son of God and King of
> Israel at the very beginning of his ministry he is either (a) giving
> an historical account which blatantly contradicts Mark, where no one
> except the demons & Peter - sort of - recognizes who Jesus is until
> his death or (b) he is reading back into the history a post-Easter
> knowledge of Jesus<
> Given that the implications of Peter's declaration failed to really be
> grasped by any of the disciples, including Peter, until after Jesus'
> death, it doesn't seem impossible that Nathanael could have made a
> similar statement. Probably in Nathanael's mind at the time the
> implications would have been rather closer to the hopes of the
> nationalists. John certainly sees significance to the statement in
> light of post-Easter knowledge, but that doesn't make it utterly
> impossible as a startled exclamation. As Jesus pointed out (Jn.
> 10:33-36), "son of God" was not entirely unknown as a concept, and
> Luke lists Adam as the son of God in the genealogy. King of Israel is
> what popular nationalistic messianic speculation wanted. The
> designations are unusual, but not impossible, and special revelation
> may play a role as well-giving words of greater significance than the
> speaker realizes (as was the case for Peter's declaration). John the
> Baptist had identified Jesus as much greater than himself, and Philip
> introduced Jesus to Nathanael as the One foretold in all of Scripture,
> so there were factors that could prompt a very high estimation at
> first, which would be drastically reshaped by Jesus' failure to
> conform to popular ideas of what the Messiah should be.
> Thus, I don't think Nathanael's quote inherently contradicts the
> picture in Mark, but I agree that Nathanael would not have said it
> with anything like a post-Easter understanding, whereas John wrote it
> with such an understanding.
> --
> Dr. David Campbell
> 425 Scientific Collections
> University of Alabama
> "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon Mar 10 21:02:36 2008

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