Month: May 2014


Jesus and His Family

One of the key issues for understanding the New Testament is understanding how ancient family/lineage functioned in storytelling, rhetoric, and perception of individual worth. There are several great books about this topic and a great deal can be gleaned from simply reading the New Testament and documents from the era carefully. David deSilva’s introduction to …


A Strange Comment

I’ve been reading the Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels Malina and Pilch. On page 360, in an entry on fasting, they note concerning Jesus, “…he was not what modern authors call an apocalyptic preacher.” Essentially, the authors base this claim on the following evidence: Gospel traditions indicate that Jesus did not fast during …


Rhetoric and Dialectic in Apologetics

In the first few paragraphs of Aristotle’s Rhetoric (and in his other works of logic and rhetoric), he makes the point that the work of rhetoric is to persuade and that the work of dialectic is to find the real or apparent syllogism. Both are to be used in the service of truth, but one …