Ben Witherington III


Born
in High Point, North Carolina, The United States
December 30, 1951

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Ben Witherington III (PhD, University of Durham) is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and is on the doctoral faculty at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is the author or coauthor of more than thirty books, including The Jesus Quest, The Paul Quest, and The New York Times bestseller The Brother of Jesus. He has appeared on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN.

Ben Witherington III isn't a Goodreads Author (yet), but he does have a blog, so here are some recent posts imported from his feed.

When Doctrine Divides the People of God– Part Eighteen

BEN: One of the things I have learned over the years is that with most devout Christians their experience of the faith is more profound than their ability to articulate the faith cogently. For example, my Granny certainly believed in the Trinity, but with an eight grade education she could no more articulate this doctrine […]
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Published on September 17, 2020 22:46
Average rating: 3.92 · 3,912 ratings · 551 reviews · 120 distinct worksSimilar authors
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3.72 avg rating — 99 ratings — published 1995 — 3 editions
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3.80 avg rating — 75 ratings — published 1998 — 4 editions
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“We live in a Jesus haunted culture that is Biblically illiterate, and so unfortunately at this point in time, almost anything can pass for knowledge of the historical Jesus from notions that he was a a Cynic sage to ideas that he was a Gnostic guru to fantasies that he didn't exist, to Dan Browne's Jesus of hysterical (rather than historical) fiction.”
Ben Witherington

“We have seen some gatekeeping or fencing-the-table language already beginning to rear its head in this context. One needed to be baptized to take the meal; one needed to repent to take the meal; one needed a bishop or his subordinate to serve the meal. This was to become especially problematic when the church began to suggest that grace was primarily, if not exclusively, available through the hands of the priest and by means of the sacrament. One wonders what Jesus, dining with sinners and tax collectors and then eating his modified Passover meal with disciples whom he knew were going to deny, desert, and betray him, would say about all this. There needs to be a balance between proper teaching so the sacrament is partaken of in a worthy manner and overly zealous policing of the table or clerical control of it.”
Ben Witherington III, Making a Meal of It: Rethinking the Theology of the Lord's Supper

“One of the things that happened when the church moved from meetings in homes to having purpose-built buildings beginning before, but accelerated during, the Constantinian era, is that while the church itself was becoming less Jewish in character, it began to apply a more and more Old Testament hermeneutic to its discussions about church, ministry, and sacraments. The church began to be seen as a temple or basilica, the Lord’s Supper began to be seen as a sacrifice, and naturally enough the ones offering the sacrifices, just as in Leviticus, were seen to be priests. There was the further move in this direction when Sunday began to be seen as the Sabbath, another example of this same sort of hermeneutic. There were considerable problems with this whole hermeneutic from the start, since nowhere in the New Testament is there set up a class of priests or clerics to administer any sacraments. Indeed, nowhere was there a clear separation between life in the home and life in church. What has often been missed in the discussions of the effects of all this is that it ruled women out of ministry in the larger church and indeed ruled them out of celebrating the Lord’s Supper as well, since in the Old Testament only males were priests and only priests could offer sacrifices.”
Ben Witherington III, Making a Meal of It: Rethinking the Theology of the Lord's Supper

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