Re: [asa] Gospel in the Stars WAS Star of Bethlehem presentation?

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Tue Nov 24 2009 - 19:47:17 EST

Dehler, Bernie wrote:
> Hi Pete- I say this to bring awareness. I'm sure you are aware, as a scholar, but I'm sure most aren't, even on this list. They don't teach this in either seminary (the one I attended) or in church (any of the ones I attended). I only find out these things from self-study.
> And when you say "differences between the Gospels" is that your gentle way of saying "contradictions," which proves that they both can't literally be correct?


I'm flabergasted that there was no discussion of differences between the
four gospels either in your church but especially at seminary. Like you
I was raised in a fundy church but unlike you I never went to seminary
or had any formal Biblical trailing. I really can't remember a time
when I did not realize that there were differences between the gospels,
high school at the latest. People have published harmonizations of the
gospels that attempt to put the whole story together into a single
whole. I've never had sufficient interest to buy or read one. I do have
a book about an 2.5cm plus thick on various biblical difficulties. I
doubt it even contains discussion of whether or not Jesus and his
parents went to Nazareth and then Egypt or in the other order.
Scripture is not an exhaustive history by any means and the authors had
different audiences they were writing for. Frankly I don't think the
order matters at all. Maybe Pete or Murray have a different opinion.

At least to me differences do not by any means imply contradictions. In
some cases it well might but maybe we have not put the story together
properly or there may have multiple similar incidents. Different
observers may have viewed a situation from different physical angles and
what they report may well be truth as they observed it. John's frequent
reference to himself as the disciple Jesus loved does not mean the other
disciples were not loved just that for John that love was very
important. I also expect Jesus was closer to some disciples than others
especially Judas, after all Jesus was human as well as divine. An
incident that you or I might expect to be a rare one off, could easily
be common in a Semitic culture especially an ancient one. Cultures can
be very different from North or even South America, very different than
even the Mexicans. For example in the Semitic culture I grew up in
putting butter and salt into coffee was normal and not a one off. Not
bargaining for any purchase was abnormal. Getting kissed on both checks
by the local church elders was normal. Bowing over a handshake upon
first introduction was normal. Calling your cousin, close friend and
using the same word as for brother was normal. Eating with you fingers
from a common platter was normal and the food was good at least in some
parts of the country, I still eat it when I get the opportunity.

Dave W

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Received on Tue Nov 24 19:47:37 2009

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