Writer, husband, father, friend.
Joshua has written 30 posts for Reconstructing the First Century Story

Concerning gospel chronology

Of the four canonical gospels, most scholars believe that Mark was written first, followed by Matthew, then Luke, and finally a bit later by John. Papias, writing in the early second century and recalling what he claimed to be the words of John, called Mark “Peter’s interpreter,” meaning that he wrote according to Peter’s memory of the words … Continue reading

Forty-six years of temple building brings us to A.D. 29

Unlike the synoptics, John records an early season of ministry in Jesus’ life in and around Jerusalem. It begins with his going up for the feast of Passover as it would seem he did every year of his life (at least from the age of twelve). There he finds the money-changers in the temple and … Continue reading

Something to think about this Easter

I love the brutal honesty of the gospel writers. Let the critics say all they want about the “interpolations” of scripture and the collective agenda of the synoptic authors to spin out a story that never actually happened, but you just don’t write an account of the resurrection of Jesus that includes his closest friends and eyewitnesses … Continue reading

Seeking a ground level view of history

Most people don’t care to know history, and one could hardly blame them for the wealth of boring material there is out there on the subject. Of those who do take an interest, generally all they are given is a birds’ eye view of the past. The problem is that most historians are not necessarily … Continue reading

Looking at Paul and his ministry in its historical context

Here’s a re-post from my other blog in which I reviewed F.F. Bruce’s book Paul Apostle of the Heart Set Free. I’ve included Bruce’s book on my list of recommended reading so I thought it would be best to post the review here as well. Recently I decided to wade out a bit into the deep and … Continue reading

What happened to the sermon on the mount in the gospel of Luke?

It’s interesting to note how Luke takes various portions of the “Sermon on the Mount” and scatters them all throughout his gospel. What Matthew presents as a single message spoken by Jesus on a hillside in Galilee (see Matt. 5-7) Luke relates as coming from the Lord at many different times and places (see Luke 11:33-36, 12:22-34, and 14:34-35, for instance). The … Continue reading

Dating the year of Jesus’ twelfth birthday

Matthew tells us that Joseph originally took his family down to Egypt for fear of Herod, who ordered the slaughter in Bethlehem of all male boys two and under in an attempt to kill Jesus. After Herod’s death they returned to Israel, but when Joseph heard that Archelaus (who had a brutal reputation of his … Continue reading

Where did Luke get the information for his writings?

Writing in A.D. 62 about the events surrounding the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and the subsequent actions of his followers, Luke said that he had “followed all things closely for some time past.” It rarely occurs to the casual reader what is meant by that statement, because for some strange … Continue reading

Luke wasn’t the only one doing some writing in A.D 62

Luke could not have written the book of Acts any earlier than A.D. 62, which is where the record itself ends with the culmination of Paul’s two-year imprisonment at Rome. A later date is possible, but not likely. If Luke knew the events of Paul’s life following his imprisonment it seems only natural that he would have written them … Continue reading

George Orwell and a new New Testament

Today I picked up a copy of George Orwell’s Animal Farm at the library. This particular edition begins with a foreword, a preface, and an introduction, all of which throw light on the author himself and the times in which he lived. This historical background, tedious as it may be to some, has already helped me to … Continue reading

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