Reminder about the Riverside Panel Debate this Upcoming Sunday (7/9/17)

As a reminder, I will be speaking on a debate panel at Riverside, CA, this Sunday (7/9/17), from 1:30-4:30 PM, in the community room of Louis Robidoux Library. The panel is part of a debate series called “Believers and Nonbelievers in Discussion.” The topic of the panel will be the historical reliability of the Bible, and there will be two panelists (believers and skeptics) on each side.

Screenshot 2017-04-19 at 3.27.58 PM

If you are near the Riverside area, you can check out the debate in person (which is free and does not require an RSVP). Otherwise, a video will be uploaded on YouTube afterward, which I will post here on Κέλσος. You can read more about the group hosting the event on the following Facebook page:

I hope that I get to meet some of the fans of this blog at the event!

-Matthew Ferguson

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4 Responses to Reminder about the Riverside Panel Debate this Upcoming Sunday (7/9/17)

  1. robster2016 says:

    hello sir, i have a question about infancy narrative contradictions, but the post dealing with contradictions , the comment section has been closed.

    when luke says that “every year” the parents of jesus used to go for the passover at jerusalem, then can verse 39 which says “they returned to galilee…” be used as a MARKER to indicate when they started journeys to jerusalem?

    quote :
    When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

    The Boy Jesus in the Temple

    41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival.

    questions continued :

    if the text said “when he was 4, they went up as usual…”

    would you think in your mind that they had to be going BEFORE the child became 4?
    does “as usual2 in the greek indicate previous trips before the age of 12?

    i learned that even children who were young were taken to the passover

    so if luke knew this , then is it possible to assume that the trips were probably very early, like when the child was infant ?

    • Celsus says:

      Well, the Greek in verse 41 states:

      Καὶ ἐπορεύοντο οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ κατ’ ἔτος εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ…

      “And his parents were going to Jerusalem each year…”

      The imperfect tense suggests that it was their habitual practice to make the journey to the festival each year. Verse 43 clarifies that Jesus was with them, at least when they made the journey when he was age twelve.

      The Greek in verse 42, κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἑορτῆς (“according to the custom of the festival”), only means that Jews were supposed to attend the festival each year. It’s referring to the general practice, not the parents specifically (even if the parents are adhering to the general practice).

      But, verse 41 states that Jesus’ parents did attend the festival each year (implying they did so before Jesus was 12), and the fact that verse 42 says nothing like “they took Jesus with them that year,” with verse 43 merely assuming that they did take Jesus, seems to imply that it was their normal practice to take Jesus to the festival.

      So, taking the verses together, the passage seems to assume that it was normal for them to take Jesus to the festival before he was 12. But, does it mean that they started taking him even from the first year that he was born? I think it’s too vague to assume something that specific. They could have started when he was a bit older, perhaps. It’s not really clear.

      • robster2016 says:

        Apologists need to return baby jesus back to BETHLEHEM AFTER the trip to GALILEE. They are reconciling Matthew with Luke. So Luke has the child taken back to Nazareth , but the child must be returned to Bethlehem because magi find Jesus in Bethlehem. So my question is, what possible reason could Joseph want to go to Bethlehem if not for Passover?
        Luke says once the rituals were done the Infant was taken north, But apologists need the kid to return south at a very early age even though Luke indicates all the growing up was done in galilee. So what possible reason could Joseph want to go south again if not for the Passover? And considering Bethlehem and Nazareth is not far apart.

        • Celsus says:

          Well, the two narratives still don’t really align. In Luke’s version, Joseph is seeking a κατάλυμα (“inn” or “lodging place”), because he doesn’t have a residence in Bethlehem. In Matthew’s version, however, Joseph is said to be at a οἰκία (“home” or “house”), which is more akin to a permanent dwelling place. In Luke’s version, Jesus’ family is living in Nazareth prior to his birth. Whereas in Matthew’s version, Joseph κατῴκησεν (“settles”) in Nazareth, implying that he moved from Bethlehem to Nazareth. The part about Jesus’ family visiting Jerusalem for the Passover in Luke makes no mention of them staying in Bethlehem, even if they brought Jesus there since he was a small child, which isn’t overtly stated. Each description runs against the grain of the other, therefore, so that the harmonization that is being proposed requires one to strain the text of each narrative (in addition to assuming details, which aren’t stated).

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