Ancient biographies, history, and the Gospels

This new book (Biographies and Jesus, edited by Edward T. Wright and myself) provides essays analyzing ancient biographies’ use of sources, etc., showing that biographers saw their genre as requiring dependence on prior information. Biographies written within a few generations normally preserved considerable information about their subjects, a matter with relevance for the Gospels. It is somewhat technical (so it is not for everybody), but it provides serious research and documentation for subsequent work on which I and others will be able to build.

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https://www.amazon.com/Biographies-Jesus-What-Does-Gospels/dp/1609471067/

“This collection deserves a wide circulation.”—Richard Burridge

“… a great book that will go a long way toward setting the record straight.”—Craig A. Evans

“Keener’s collection is to be praised.”—James H. Charlesworth

“The implications of these findings demand careful consideration by scholars of the Gospels and the Historical Jesus alike.”—Helen K. Bond

“Keener, Wright, Walton et al. have moved the needle forward in advancing our knowledge of the Jesus of the Gospels”—David P. Moessner

Gospels not making things up–Luke 1:4

5-minute video on the Gospel writers not freely inventing events:

This is excerpted from a larger argument about the Gospels as valuable historical sources about Jesus, the first two parts of a series on Matthew’s Gospel available free at: http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/DigitalCourses/00_DigitalBiblicalStudiesCourses.html#Matthew_Keener

Were Gospel biographies fictitious?

Once a professor told me that ancient biographies, including the Gospels, were fictitious. Can you always believe everything your professor tells you? (Maybe some professors more than others …) Find out more on this 1-minute clip:

This is excerpted from a course on Matthew available for free at: http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/DigitalCourses/00_DigitalBiblicalStudiesCourses.html#Matthew_Keener

Exorcism stories

Although scholars from various disciplines and worldviews explain the experiences differently, there are many firsthand accounts of exorcism experiences around the world. This 10-minute video excerpts material from a larger discussion on spirit possession experiences reported around the world.

It comes from a larger series available for free at: http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/DigitalCourses/00_DigitalBiblicalStudiesCourses.html#Matthew_Keener.