James Still

Author Bio ]

New Testament Scholarship

The Search for the Historical Jesus

Your search for the historical Jesus begins here! The author introduces the current scholarly quest to find the historical Jesus buried beneath the layers of post-Easter legends later attributed to him.

Accompanying essays:
The Pre-Canonical Synoptic Transmission: Who Was the Historical Jesus?
What is a Gospel?
Kerygmatic Sources of the Jesus Movement

Reliability and Belief (1999)

In this essay,  the author reacts to Josh McDowell's Chapter 4 entitled "Reliability of the Bible" in his book Evidence That Demands a Verdict. He first distinguishes between Pauline faith and McDowell's insistence that the Bible reveals historically true propositions, which the author calls the "reliability doctrine." McDowell's reliability doctrine is then examined from three perspectives: biblical criticism, archaeology, and philosophy. The author concludes that the gospel narratives are not to be understood as factually true propositions of history, but rather they communicate the theological meaning of faith in Christ.

The Virgin Birth and Childhood Mysteries of Jesus (1995)

This essay explores the story of Jesus as a virgin-born savior god by looking at other such figures in the history of the Near East.

The Syrophoenician Woman in Mark 7:25-30/Matthew 15:21-28 (1995?)

An advanced analysis for the serious reader concerning the famous story of the pagan woman whose clever retort against Jesus wins the day.

The Institution Narrative of Luke 22:19-20 (1995?)

Another advanced analysis of the Institution Narrative (or the "Lord's Supper") in Luke. Did Paul receive the Eucharist from James and the disciples in Jerusalem? Or did he look to a pagan world replete with savior-sacrifice rituals for his motif? The author suggests that there is a third option . . .

Contextual Problems with the Gospel of John (1995?)

The Johannine material (Gospel of John) is a radical departure from the synoptics of Mark, Matthew, and Luke. John's psuedepigraphical author relied solely on the Greek Septuagint, did not have a Semitic-language background, and Colwell (Greek of the Fourth Gospel) echoes what other scholars agree with, that being that the text of John "shows language and vocabulary paralleled in pagan usage of the first century A.D." Additionally, I should like to explore the contextual differences between the Gospel of John as king-maker who turns Jesus into a sacrificial soter man-god, Philo's Logos, and a Creator (of the universe), versus the synoptic tradition of Jesus as eschatological Messiah and messenger who heralds the kingdom of God.

The Gospel of John and the Hellenization of Jesus (1995)

By the time John was first written at the end of the first century, the tales of Jesus grew to such an extent that Jesus was now fully transformed into a Hellenized god.

The Problem with Jesus' Arrest and Trial (1995?)

There is a problem when dealing with the various contradictory biblical accounts of Jesus' arrest and trial as they relate to each other and Jewish practice of the day.

Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity

James Still offers a partial critique of "Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity" by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart.

Dialog with Glenn Miller

These three essays are part of a three-year spirited discussion between Glenn Miller of the Christian Thinktank and James Still. These essays reveal more than anything that there still exists an enormous gulf between the conservative and liberal views of the NT.

Critique of New Testament Reliability and "Bias" in NT Development (1995)

A Reply to Glenn Miller's Response to NT Reliability and Bias (1997?)

The Synoptic Problem and "Bias": A Rejoinder to Glenn Miller

 

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The Mental Discomfort of "Why?" (1998)

The author engages in a Wittgensteinian elucidation of the mystical feeling that the world should exist. The believer who asks "why is there something rather than nothing?" is expressing an attitude toward the brute fact of existence. The believer is not asking how a thing came to be, but expressing the mystical feeling that a thing is.

The Muddle of Understanding as a Mental Process

Obeying a Rule On Only One Occasion in PI §199

The Grammatical Fiction of PI §307

 

Philosophy of Religion

Eternity and Time in William Lane Craig's Kalam Cosmological Argument (1998)

Descartes' Meditations Ontological Argument

Argument Against God From Evil

Lord, Liar or Lunatic? An Analysis of the Trilemma

The Absurd Life: Barabbas and Christ

 

Book Reviews

The God Who Sits Enthroned by Phil Fernandes (1998)

The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty (2000)

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