Unbelievable? Was Jesus a failed apocalyptic prophet? Matthew Hartke & Andrew Perriman

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The podcast I did with Justin Brierley and Matthew Hartke for Justin’s Unbelievable? show is now available on the Premier Christian Radio site. Matthew and I agree that Jesus has to be understood as an apocalyptic prophet—his mission was defined by a searing vision of Israel’s future. We disagree over the important question of whether Jesus got it right or not. I think he did. Matthew thinks he didn’t, and makes a good case in the podcast.

You can read my better organised reasons for thinking that the coming of the kingdom of God was not the end of the world.

Matt put me on to an excellent and early article by G.B. Caird on “Jesus and the Jewish Nation”, which I think is well worth reading.

Since Albert Schweitzer featured in the conversation, you might be interested in Weiss and Schweitzer on the kingdom of God: right, right, right, wrong, and still wrong.

Finally, for a simple, illustrated overview of how I understand the narrative-historical shape of New Testament eschatology see Postost-millennialism, or the end of eschatology as we know it.

Well, that was interesting.  To tell you the truth, I would have rather heard his objections to the resurrection.  Can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone say they had become an agnostic due to investigating Jesus’ resurrection.  Seems to me all his objections to Jesus as a failed prophet were just excuses or due to further misunderstandings of other passages.  I suspect his real objections are rooted in his resurrection study.  Maybe I should head over to his website and see if he addresses that topic.

Anyway, thanks for turning me on to this radio show.  I drive 30 minutes to work everyday and back again, so that’s an hour a day I get to listen to the show.  I think it’s one of the best talk radio shows I’ve ever come across.  Listening to “Ask NT Wright Anything” right now.  Very interesting.  Disagree with much of his positions but nonetheless find him interesting.  A ton of great debates on their too.  Recommend the show to all.


> Well, that was interesting. To tell you the truth, I would have rather heard his objections to the resurrection

It’s quite simple really. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidenced.


If I was to tell you that I know someone who claims they were abducted by aliens then you would be gullible to believe me because second hand eye-witness claims are simply not going to cut it for such an extraordinary claim. Well the same is true for claims of miracles that are supposed to have happened over 2000 years ago. We need to proportion our belief to BOTH the evidence available AND the strangeness of the claim.

@Bob Murphy:


I disagree that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidenced.  I would only state that a claim requires evidence, whether extraordinary or ordinary.  I have enough evidence, to my satisfaction, to accept the testimony of the manuscripts that put forth the claim.  However, as I stated above, I would like to hear Matthew’s arguments/evidence that there was no resurrection, just because it would be interesting to me.  Same with you.  What is your evidence that there was no resurrection?