Friday, August 22, 2014

Denying Inerrancy and World Evangelization

The importance of the doctrine of inerrancy can be seen not only in its positive presentation by defenders but also by what its denial entails.  What is the fruit of denying inerrancy?  Will there be greater devotion to Jesus Christ and the apostolic witness that testifies to him?  Will such a denial produce a greater sense of holiness and zeal?  What about the cause of world missions--will the denial of inerrancy fuel the church to bring the gospel to all nations?  John Stott has written:
It is, moreover, an observable fact of history, both past and contemporary, that the degree of the church's commitment to world evangelization is commensurate with the degree of its conviction about the authority of the Bible.  Whenever Christians lose their confidence in the Bible, they also lose their zeal for evangelism.  Conversely, whenever they are convinced about the Bible, then they are determined about evangelism. [1]
Now to be technically precise, Stott doesn't mention "inerrancy" but the broader category of the "authority" of the Bible.  Nevertheless, the issue is still germane.  Does a denial of inerrancy and, perhaps more importantly, the impulse and attitude behind such a denial lead to greater fruitfulness in world evangelism?  By their fruits you shall know them.

[1] John R. W. Stott, "The Bible in World Evangelization" in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader edited by Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthrone (Pasadena, CA.: William Carey Library, 1981), 3.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Hostility of the United States Armed Forces Toward Religion

The United States Navy has recently removed all Bibles from its guest hotel rooms in response to a lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  One may be tempted to think that having Bibles in a hotel rooms is merely symbolic.  This case, however, is one more example of a growing hostility of the armed forces against religious belief.  A recent study published in the "Professional Military Ethics Monograph Series" highlights this antagonism toward religious belief.  In April 2014 Don M. Snider and Alexander P. Shine published A Soldier's Morality, Religion, and Our Professional Ethic: Does the Army's Culture Facilitate Integration, Character Development, and Trust in the Profession? (see HERE).  A few relevant quotations from this study:
[W]e believe that over the past 2 decades, coincident with the growing secularization of American society, the culture of our Armed Services has become more hostile to many things religious, including religious expression by individuals in uniform and the application of any sort of religious basis for decisionmaking.  This has created, in perception or reality, a culture hostile to, and perhaps even intimidating for, serving soldiers of religious faith. (p. 10)
This antagonism toward religion will have adverse affects on those with religious convictions.  Snider and Shine argue:
Further, we believe that a culture increasingly hostile toward religious expression will eventually cause some number of good Soldiers of all ranks to leave the Army. (p. 29) 
They go on to add:
Religious ethics, then, are a strong reinforcer of military ethics.  In our view, it will be self-defeating for the Army to cause men and women imbued with this reinforcing ethical framework to leave the Army because it allowed a culture hostile or intimidating to their beliefs, conscience, and expression of those beliefs. (p. 30) 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sophie Scholl on Being Prepared to Meet God

Mark chapter 13 is primarily referencing the coming destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in AD 70.  It’s theme of being watchful (vv. 5, 9, 23, 33, 35, 37) has application for Christ’s second coming as well for our own personal endings in death.  I thought of the words of Sophie Scholl who lived in the midst of the nightmare that was Nazi Germany.  In her diary entry for August 9, 1942 she wrote:
Many people believe that our age is the last.  All the omens are terrible enough to make one think so, but isn’t that belief of secondary importance?  Mustn’t we all, no matter what age we live in, be permanently prepared for God to call us to account from one moment to the next?  How am I to know if I shall still be alive tomorrow?  We could all be wiped out overnight by a bomb, and my guilt would be no less than if I perished in company with the earth and the stars.  –I know all that, but don’t I heedlessly fritter away my life just the same? O God, I beseech you to take away my frivolity and self-will, which clings to the sweet, ephemeral things of life.  I can’t do it myself, I’m far too weak.[1]

     [1] Inge Jens (ed.), At the Heart of the White Rose: Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl (New York: Harper Row, 1987), 210.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Gospel of Mark Study (8)

Gospel of Mark Study
Week Eight

He who hung the earth [in its place] hangs there, he who fixed the heavens
is fixed there, he who made all things fast is made fast upon the tree,
the Master has been insulted, God has been murdered, the King of Israel
has been slain by an Israelitish hand.  O strange murder, strange crime!
The Master has been treated in unseemly fashion, his body naked, and not even
deemed worthy of a covering, that [his nakedness] might not be seen.
Therefore the lights [of heaven] turned away, and the day darkened,
that it might hide him who was stripped upon the cross.
--Melito of Sardis (Homily on the Passion)[1]

1.     Crucifixion in the Ancient World

a.     Josephus: “the most wretched of deaths”

b.     “From the time of Plautus, that is, from the third century BC onwards, there is evidence of the use of crux as a vulgar taunt among the lower classes.”[2]

c.      Quintilian (AD 35-95): “Whenever we crucify the guilty, the most crowded roads are chosen, where most people can see and be moved by this fear.  For penalties relate not so much to retribution as to their exemplary effect.”

d.     “Roman Crucifixions were carried out by specialized teams of five experienced men; the exactor mortis, a centurion who was in charge and four soldiers, the quaternio.”[3]

2.     Crucifixion: Medical perspectives

a.     See Joseph W. Bergeron’s website:

3.     Jesus’ cry from the cross: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Mark 15.34 (Psalm 22.1)

a.     Theory - Jesus quoted Psalm 22.1 but also had the larger Psalm in mind; especially the victorious ending.  Becomes a cry of victory

                                               i.     John Stott disagrees

“This is ingenious but (it seems to me), far-fetched.  Why should Jesus have quoted from the Psalm’s beginning if in reality he was alluding to its end?  It would seem rather perverse.  Would anybody have understood his purpose?”[4]

                                              ii.     “This interpretation appears to stretch the bounds of credibility in the interest of protecting Jesus from an apparent lapse in divinity.  It does, however, draw attention to the psalm itself, which Mark obviously plumbs for correspondences to the crucifixion scene.”[5]

b.     We should take note of Psalm 22.  It moves from despair to deliverance.  Cross to resurrection.

                                               i.     Also note the allusions to Psalm 22:

1.     Mark 15.24 - Psalm 22.18
2.     Mark 15.31 - Psalm 22.8

4.     Crucifixion in the text - we are not given much detail

a.     The physical elements of suffering are barely mentioned

                                               i.     “and after having Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified” 15.15
                                              ii.     “And they crucified him…” 15.24
                                            iii.     “It was the third hour when they crucified him” 15.24

b.     Mark spends more space on the mocking and shame-heaping activities

                                               i.     15.16-20 - Roman soldiers “mocked him” v. 20

1.     dressed him in purple
2.     crown of thorns
3.     “Hail, king of the Jews!”[6]
4.     spitting
5.     kneeling and bowing down before him

                                              ii.     15.29-32 - Jewish people and leaders

1.     “Ha! You who were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days save yourself and come down from the cross?”
2.     chief priest and scribes à “mocking him”
3.     “He saved others; he cannot save himself”
4.     “Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe.”
5.     Two criminals “also insulting him”

                                            iii.     Ironies of situation

1.     Romans call him “king of the Jews” and that is what he was and is; and all Romans (and all peoples!) will bow before him and confess him as Lord – Philippians 2.9-11
2.     Jews call him “the king of Israel” and that is what he was and is!
3.     “Save yourself and come down from the crossà Jesus refused to save himself.  By staying on the cross he saved us!
4.     Come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe” à Mark wants us to see Jesus on the cross and believe!

5.     Mark narrates the event of the crucifixion but the meaning, interpretations, and applications are seen throughout the rest of Scripture

a.     Mark 10.45; 14.24
b.     Romans 5.8-10, 6.3-7
c.      1 Corinthians 1.18-25; 2.1-5; 6.19-20
d.     Galatians 2.20; 6.14
e.     Ephesians 1.7-8; 2.13-16
f.      1 Peter 1.2, 18-19; 2.21-24; 3.18; 4.1-2, 13
g.     Revelation 5.9-14 (esp. 9, 12)

6.     Mark 15.39  -  Centurion’s declaration: “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

a.     Links up with Mark 1.1 (beginning of Gospel)
b.     First human to accurately declare that Jesus is the Son of God
c.      Roman/Gentile
d.     Did he fully know what he was saying?  Probably not.  But Mark’s readers would have understood the full implications!

“It is astonishing when one reflects on it, that the sight of a dying man on a cross can evoke such an exalted confession.”[7]

7.     Women mentioned - 15.40, 47; 16.1 (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome)

a.     Women have been there all along (Mark 15.41)

b.     The fact that they are specifically named is significant; only females to be named in Mark up to this point: Mary, mother of Jesus (6.3) and Herodias (6.17-29)

c.      They are observers of three important things: death, burial, and empty tomb

d.     Some see the women as failures as disciples since the angel told them to “go tell his disciples and Peter” (16.7) but they disobeyed  by not telling anyone (16.8)

                                               i.     Better to see them as obeying angel’s instructions but telling no one else (cf. Mark 1.44 and 7.36 for similar constructions)

e.     “These women, not the disciples, constitute in St. Mark’s gospel the connecting link in the witness of the threefold event of the death, burial and resurrection, which formed so important a feature of the church’s testimony.”[8]

8.     If Mark intentionally ends at 16.8, why are there no resurrection appearances like in the other Gospels?

a.     “It is most likely, therefore, that ‘Mark’ declined to add any such appearance-narrative because he judged it unnecessary for addressing his emphasis on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as the model for believers.  Indeed, the author may have thought that an appearance-narrative would have detracted from the sharp focus that he intended to place on Jesus as the sole valid model, as well as the basis, for Christian existence.”[9]

b.     “Mark does not really end on a note of failure and uncertainty.  Instead, Mark 16:1-8 forms a fully satisfactory climatic episode that was designed to thrill and empower intended readers to follow Jesus in mission, through opposition and even their own potentially violent death, confident in an eschatological vindication by resurrection for which Jesus’ resurrection was the inspiring model.”[10]

9.     The ending of Mark’s Gospel

a.     Various endings of Mark in the Greek manuscripts

                                               i.     Mark 16.8

1.     Early Greek Codices: Codex Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B)
2.     304, certain Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, and Georgian manuscripts
3.     Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, Jerome

                                              ii.     “Shorter Ending”

“A second ending found in the manuscript tradition is the shorter ending.  The ending reads, after 16:8, ‘And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter.  And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.  Amen.’  The best known example of this in its pure form is found in the Old Latin Codex Bobiensis (itk), which dates from the late 4th or early 5th century.  The non-Markan origin of the shorter ending is witnessed to by its poor and late textual attestation; the fact that 9 of the 34 words in this ending are not found elsewhere in Mark; it non-Markan style; and especially the presence of the expression, ‘the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation,’ which reflects a later date.”[11]

                                            iii.     The “Longer Ending” (16.9-20)

1.     This ending is found in 95-99% of the Greek manuscripts available[12]

2.     This ending has earlier attestation

a.     Epistles of the Apostles 9-10 [mid-2nd century]
b.     Tatian’s Diatessaron
c.      Irenaeus Adv. Haer. 3.10.5
d.     Possibly Justin Martyr Apology 1:45

“The longer ending has excellent textual attestation, but a number of manuscripts have asterisks or other markings by the text indicating that the copyists thought the longer ending was spurious.  It has, however, early patristic support, and Hengel argues that it ‘must be dated to the first decades of the second century.’”[13]

3.     Modern scholars are almost unanimous in rejecting the “longer ending” as being from Mark; Stein lists out some of the reasons[14]:

1.     Manuscript Evidence.  Although the number of manuscripts containing this ending is impressive, the quality of manuscripts lacking it  (Codexes א and B, itk [Codex Bobiensis], Clement of Alexandria and Origen, and the comments by Eusebius and Jerome that the majority of Greek manuscripts they were familiar with lacked it) is weighty.
2.     Transcription. It is unlikely that a copyist would omit 16:9-20 if it was originally part of the Gospel of Mark.  It is far more likely that a scribe would add 16:9-20 to 16:8 than delete it from 16:8.
3.     Lack of Attestation by Early Church Fathers.  The lack of reference to 16:9-20 by Origen, Tertullian, Cyrian, Cyril of Jerusalem, and others, indicates that they were apparently unacquainted with the longer ending of Mark.
4.     Vocabulary.  The vocabulary is non-Markan and contains 18 terms not found anywhere else in Mark.[15]
5.     Style.  The Greek style of the longer ending is quite unlike the style we find in Mark 1:1-16:8.
6.     Theology.  The theological content is decidedly non-Markan.

                                            iv.     The “Shorter Ending” followed by the “Longer Ending”

“This is found in four uncial manuscripts dating from the 7th, 8th, and 9th centuries (L Ψ099 0112), the Harclean Syriac manuscript, and several Sahidic, Bohairic, and Ethiopic manuscripts.  The individual judgments concerning the non-Markan nature of the shorter ending and the longer ending make one even more certain that the combination of these two endings does not come from Mark.”[16]

                                              v.     The “Longer Ending” with the Freer Logion after verse 14

“There exists an expanded version of the longer ending in W (alternately called the Codex Washingtonianus or Codex Freerianus), 032; and Jerome, Against Pelagius 2.15, which includes after v. 14 ‘And they excused themselves, saying, “This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power of God to prevail over the unclean things of the spirits.  Therefore reveal your righteousness now”—thus they spoke to Christ.  And Christ replied to them, “The term of years of Satan’s power has been fulfilled, but other terrible things draw near.  And for those who have sinned I was handed over to death, that they may return to the truth and sin no more, in order that they may inherit the spiritual and incorruptible glory or righteousness that is in heaven.”’”[17]

b.     If 16.8 is the best attested ending, is this the intentional ending or was there more that got lost?

                                               i.     Larry Hurtado: Mark 16.8 makes sense as the intentional ending (see above)

                                              ii.     Robert Stein: Ending is missing

“Whether Mark’s intended ending telling of a resurrection appearance of Jesus and the disciples in Galilee was subsequently lost or intentionally mutilated or whether, for some reason, Mark was never able to write his intended ending (perhaps because of martyrdom or persecution or some other reason), however, can only be conjectured.”[18]

     [1] Martin Hengel, Crucifixion (Philadelphia, Penn.: Fortress, 1977), 21.
     [2] Martin Hengel, Crucifixion (Philadelphia, Penn.: Fortress, 1977), 9.
     [3] Frederick T. Zugibe, “A Forensic Way of the Cross” [n.d.; n.p.].  Online:
     [4] John Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity, 1986), 81.
     [5] Thomas E. Schmidt, “Cry of Dereliction or Cry of Judgment? Mark 15:34 in Context” Bulletin for Biblical Research 4 (1994), 149.
     [6] “King of the Jews” language appears frequently in Mark 15: Verses 2, 9, 12, 18, 26.  Also, “king of Israel” in verse 32.
     [7] P. W. Smuts, Mark By the Book: A New Multidirectional Method for Understanding the Synoptic Gospels (Phillipsburg, Penn.: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2013), 211.
     [8] J. B. Lightfoot quoted in Larry W. Hurtado, “The Women, the Tomb, and the Climax of Mark,” 29.  Online:  (page number refers to online edition).
     [9] Larry W. Hurtado, “The Women, the Tomb, and the Climax of Mark,” 34.  Online:  (page number refers to online edition).
     [10] Larry W. Hurtado, “The Women, the Tomb, and the Climax of Mark,” 35.  Online:  (page number refers to online edition).
     [11] Robert H. Stein, “The Ending of Mark” Bulletin for Biblical Research 18 (2008), 81.
     [12] Stein cites Michael Holmes for the 95% figure and Kurt and Barbara Aland for the 99% figure.  See Stein, “The Ending of Mark,” 82.
     [13] Stein, “The Ending of Mark,” 82.  Stein also mentions James A. Kelhoffer who dates the longer ending ca. 120-150.
     [14] Stein, “The Ending of Mark,” 82-83.
     [15] Travis Williams has recently written that there are 16 words in the Longer Ending that appear nowhere else in Mark’s Gospel.  One of these is a term that appears nowhere else in the New Testament (hapax legomenon).  Travis B. Williams, “Bringing Method to the Madness: Examining the Style of the Longer Ending of Mark” Bulletin for Biblical Research 20 (2010), 405.
     [16] Stein, “The Ending of Mark,” 83.
     [17] Stein, “The Ending of Mark,” 83.
     [18] Stein, “The Ending of Mark,” 98.

Gospel of Mark Study (7)

Gospel of Mark Study
Week Seven

1.     “Approximately forty-percent of the book (chapters 11-15) details Jesus’ passion week… One way ancient writers emphasized an event was by devoting a significant amount of space to it.  Mark devotes ten chapters to a ministry that lasted about three years.  As mentioned above, he devotes six chapters to the final week, beginning with Jesus’ triumphal entry and concluding with the empty tomb.”[1]

2.     Anointing of Jesus for burial (Mark 14.1-9) - cf. Matthew 26.6-13; John 12.1-8

a.     NOTES: Comparing the Gospels accounts

                                               i.     Matthew and Mark are very close in their presentations of this episode.  John mentions that Lazarus, Martha and Mary are there.  John tells us that woman who poured the perfume was Mary (John 12.3).  Some are tempted to see a contradiction in the accounts.  In John it seems like it is Lazarus’ house but Matthew and Mark  say it was Simon the Leper’s house.  But notice that John does not say it was Lazarus’ house.  It just says that Lazarus was there (“Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was…” John 12.1).

                                              ii.     Question: Why do Matthew, Mark and Luke not mention Lazarus (his raising from dead, etc.)?  Possible answer: When Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote perhaps Lazarus was still in danger.  Lazarus was in danger at the time of Jesus (John 12.10-11).  Perhaps Matthew, Mark and Luke are written pre-AD 70 and John is written post-AD 70.  If Lazarus is still alive after the destruction of Jerusalem he is perhaps safer since the power structure that wanted Lazarus dead is no more or rendered ineffective.  Also, perhaps, when John wrote his Gospel Lazarus had died (again!) and thus is no longer a target.

b.     Passage is about Jesus

                                               i.     “she has a good deed to me” (v. 6)
                                              ii.     “but you do not always have me.”  (v. 7)
                                            iii.     “she has anointed my body” (v. 8)

c.      “Jesus distinguishes between giving to the poor and the extravagance lavished on himself on the grounds that he will not always be there to receive it… Implicitly, the distinction Jesus makes is a high Christological claim, for it not only shows that he foresees his impending departure but also the he himself, who is truly ‘gentle and humble in heart’ ([Matt] 11:29), deserves this lavish outpouring of love and expense.”[2]

d.     Verse 9 is high praise! “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

·      interesting that her name is not mentioned here in Mark

3.     Jesus’ predictions that show he is fully aware of what it is happening.  He is not be taken unawares by chance circumstances

a.     Preparation for Passover meal (14.12-16)
b.     Betrayal (14.17-21)
c.      Disciples fall away (14.27-28)
d.     Denial by Peter (14.29-31)

4.     Fulfillment of Scriptures - everything is proceeding according to God’s plan

a.     “For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of him” (14.21)
b.     “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.’” (14.27)
c.      “Everyday I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me; but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures.” (14.49)

5.     Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane (Mark 14.32-42)

a.     “…began to be very distressed and troubled.  And he said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death…” (vv 33b-34a)

b.     “What is this cup?  Is it physical suffering from which he shrinks, the torture of the scourge and the cross, together perhaps with the mental anguish of betrayal, denial and desertion by his friends, and the mockery and abuse of his enemies?  Nothing could ever make me believe that the cup Jesus dreaded was any of these things (grievous as they were) or all of them together.  His physical and moral courage throughout his public ministry had been indomitable.  To me it is ludicrous to suppose that he was now afraid of pain, insult and death.  Socrates in the prison cell in Athens, according to Plato’s account, took his cup of hemlock ‘without trembling or changing colour or expression’.  He then ‘raised the cup to his lips, and very cheerfully and quietly drained it’.  When his friends burst into tears, he rebuked them for their ‘absurd’ behaviour and urged them to ‘keep quiet and be brave’.  He died without fear, sorrow or protest.  So was Socrates braver than Jesus?  Or were their cups filled with different poisons?”[3]

c.      “We turn back to that lonely figure in the Gethsemane olive orchard—prostrate, sweating, overwhelmed with grief and dread, begging if possible to be spared the drinking of the cup.  The martyrs were joyful, but he was sorrowful; they were eager, but he was reluctant.  How can we compare them?  How could they have gained their inspiration from him if he had faltered when they did not?  Besides, up till now he had been clear-sighted about the necessity of his sufferings and death, determined to fulfil his destiny, and vehement in opposing any who sought to deflect him.  Had all that suddenly changed?  Was he now after all, when the moment of testing came, a coward?  No, no!  All the evidence of his former teaching, character and behaviour is against such a conclusion.

“In that case the cup from which he shrank was something different.  It symbolized neither the physical pain of being flogged and crucified, nor the mental distress of being despised and rejected even by his own people, but rather the spiritual agony of bearing the sins of the world, in other words, of enduring the divine judgment which those sins deserved.”[4]

d.     Cup of God’s wrath: Job 21.20; Psalm 75.8; Isaiah 51.17-22; Jeremiah 25.15-29 (cf. Habakkuk 2.16); Jeremiah 49.12; Ezekiel 23.32-34; Revelation 14.10; 16.1ff; 18.6.

e.     Mark 14.38 “Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

                                               i.     Practical insight: prayer is needed for our fight against temptation

                                              ii.     If Peter had labored in prayer would he have had the resources to fight the temptation to deny Jesus?

6.     Mark 14.61-62

a.     Three titles linked together

                                               i.     Christ
                                              ii.     Son of the Blessed One (i.e., Son of God)
                                            iii.     Son of Man

b.     Linked with Jesus’ claim to do away with temple (14.58)

                                               i.     Temple is not the place of God’s presence

                                              ii.     The presence of God is where Jesus is

                                            iii.     “The trial opened, as it was bound to do, with the question about the Temple.  Jesus had claimed authority over it, authority indeed to declare its destruction.  This could only be because he believed himself to be the Messiah?  Yes, answered Jesus: and you will see me vindicated, enthroned at the right hand of Power.  The whole sequence belongs to together precisely as a whole.  The final answer drew into one statement the significance of the journey to Jerusalem, the Temple-action, and the implicit messianic claim.  Together they said that Jesus, not the Temple, was the clue to, and the location of, the presence of Israel’s god with his people… Theologically, it was either true or it was blasphemous.  Caiaphas wasted no time considering the former possibility.”[5]

7.     Next week: Mark 15.1-16.8 (read the larger ending too, 16.9-20)

a.     Read meditatively.  In coming to the crucifixion of our Savior we are on holy ground.  Enter the text with your mind and imagination. 

b.     How often do you consider the suffering Jesus endured for you? 

c.      Compose a written prayer to Jesus of thankfulness in light of Mark 15. 

d.     What is your response to Jesus’ cry of forsakenness (15.34)?

e.     Consider the importance that in 15.39 there is the first declaration of Jesus being the Son of God by a human.  Who is it that says this?  Do you think he knew the full implications of what he was saying?

f.      If Mark 16.8 is the actual ending of Mark why do think that Mark did not give us more about the resurrection appearances?

     [1] William F. Cook III, “The Passion of the Christ According to the Gospel of Mark” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 8 (2004), 86.  Online:
     [2] D. A. Carson, Matthew in Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol. 8 (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1984), 527.
     [3] John Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity, 1986), 74.  The quotations from Plato are from Phaedo, 117-118.
     [4] John Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity, 1986), 75-76.
     [5] N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis, Minn.: Fortress Press, 1996), 644.