Posted by: Rev. Karen Fitz La Barge | November 3, 2008

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Posted by: Rev. Karen Fitz La Barge | November 3, 2008

Biblical Inerrancy and the 14 Disciples of Jesus

Originally posted on http://christdot.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4950

Biblical Inerrancy and the 14 Disciples of Jesus
A journal entry by Amazon4God posted on Thursday, January 13 @ 01:56:12 EST

Many people believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. While this belief ranges from those who believe that this inerrency is limited to the original autographs, others believe that the Scriptures that we have in the canon today are also inerrent and that only our interpretations can be wrong.

Since we have four gospel accounts of the life of Jesus, and Scripture is the only authority for interpreting Scripture it makes sense to look in the gospels for contradictions.

It may come as a surprise to realize that there are fourteen names listed as members of “The Twelve”. In short, the list in Mark and Matthew differs from the list of “The Twelve” in Luke/ Acts. (John has no list of names.)

Here is the list in Mark 3:14-19:
Simon Peter
James the son of Zebedee
John the Brother of James — Sons of Thunder
Andrew
Philip
Bartholomew
Matthew
Thomas
James the son of Alphaeus
Judas Iscariot
THADDAEUS
SIMON THE CANANAEAN

And Matthew 10: 2-4
Simon Peter
James the son of Zebedee
John, the brother of James
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother
Philip
Bartholomew
Matthew the tax collector
Thomas
James the son of Alphaeus
Judas Iscariot
LEBBAEUS CALLED THADDAEUS
SIMON THE CANANAEAN

Here is the different list found in Luke 6:12
Simon Peter
James
John
Andrew Simon’s Brother
Philip
Bartholomew
Matthew
Thomas
James the son of Alphaeus
Judas Iscariot
SIMON THE ZEALOT
JUDAS, SON OF JAMES

And Acts 1:12 agrees with Luke (it is the same author)
Peter
James
John
Andrew
Philip
Bartholomew
Matthew
Thomas
James the son of Alphaeus
SIMON THE ZEALOT
JUDAS SON OF JAMES

It is impossible to reconcile the names on these two lists to twelve men.

Thaddaeus/ Lebbaeus is not Judas son of James, since this “son” clarifier was probably added by Luke in order to distinquish Judas the Son of James from Judas Iscariot.

In the same way, a Zealot was a Jew who claimed that Israel was his rightful home. A Zealot would never go by the identifyer of “The Cananaean.” Thus Simon the Cananaean must be a different person than Simon the Zealot.

So how could this have happened? How could there be fourteen names listed as “The Twelve”?

The answer is that “The Twelve” was a rhetorical device used by Jesus to symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel. (This is why the names are all male.) “The Twelve” are typically described as misunderstanding Jesus.

So if “The Twelve” was not limited to twelve specific men, we come to the question.

Is the Bible that we have today fallible or are some of our interpretations of what we find in the Bible inaccurate?

Posted by: Rev. Karen Fitz La Barge | November 3, 2008

The Palin Predicament

The Palin Predicament . Theological Ponderings on Gov. Sarah Palin

This election season has brought the huge surprise of a woman as the Vice Presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Who would have thought that the Republicans, with their theologically conservative base, would choose a female for their ticket? After all, this is the party that puts great emphasis on the family value of women staying at home with their children. How then could they go against this stance and take a woman out of her own house to put her into a position at the White House?

Is this a step forward for the theological acceptance of women as being created by God as equals to men?

Dr. Gushee, in a recent USA Today article
http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/09/the-palin-predi.html
outlined some of the theological questions that he asks of theological conservatives who support the Republican party. He asks, “Are you prepared to renounce publicly any further claim that God’s plan is for men rather than women to exercise leadership in society, the workplace and public life? Do you acknowledge having become full-fledged egalitarians in this sphere at least?”

As a Presbyterian Church (USA) clergywoman who came out of a conservative “Bob Jones” Baptist upbringing, I have some personal experience with religious sexism and its many nuances across the theological spectrum. From my perspective, please allow me to offer some predictions as to the outcome of this theological log-jam which Dr. Gushee calls the Palin Predicament.

For the most conservative believers, where a woman working outside the home, or being in any leadership position over men in any circumstances is not tolerated, Gov. Sarah Palin’s nomination for Vice President will simply be seen as further evidence of the feminization of society and the deterioration of the family. It will not challenge their theological outlook in the slightest.

For others, who place the greatest theological significance on a husband’s authority; Gov. Palin may work in any job outside their Alaskan home as long as she has the permission of her husband the, “First Dude.” The thinking here is that as long as the husband is happy with their home life, he may give his permission for his wife to spend her energy on other things. If the home life slips however, he can demand that she must quit her job and she must comply. Of course, her job must not involve leadership in a church or in any way undermine her husband’s spiritual leadership of their home.

Under these theological rules, it is easy to see how a conservative evangelical woman may be able to participate in national politics, without changing the theological thinking of those against women’s leadership in the slightest.

So to summarize, there is no Palin Predicament. Examples of women who are in leadership are not considered normative for the most conservative, nor are they taken as a challenge to the theology of those who already have God’s plans for the ordering of society all figured out. But thanks for asking anyway Dr. Gushee.

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