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Confused

 Difficult New Testament Passages

 Don Carson

In two talks, Dr Don Carson examines some of the tricky parts of the New Testament that often raise questions about interpretation.


Don Carson - Difficult New Testament Passages - ELF 2006

All preachers and teachers of the New Testament stumble across passages that are peculiarly difficult. Sometimes the difficulty arises because it is not easy to see how the passage can be reconciled with other passages; sometimes a passage appears difficult because of the way it quotes the Old Testament; sometimes its connections with the surrounding context are more than a little obscure. In this seminar we run quickly through a variety of such New Testament texts, not merely giving "solutions" but also, at least in some instances, demonstrating the reasoning or research or principles of interpretation that lead to satisfactory resolutions.

Preliminary list of passages to be covered (this list is not necessarily exhaustive):

  • the OT in the NT: (a) Ps 110 in the NT; Isa 28:11-12 in 1 Cor 14:20-25
  • texts hard to reconcile with each other: the death of Judas Iscariot, Matt 27:1-10 and Acts 1:18-19; 1 Cor 8 and 10
  • texts apparently historically implausible: (a) John 1:29; (b) Gal 2:11-14
  • texts pastorally challenging: assorted passages on slaves
  • texts inherently confusing (a) John 5:26; (b) Acts 15:19-20, 28-29; (c) 1 Cor 7:26
  • texts intrinsically obscure: (a) Matt 24:28; (b) 1 Cor 15:29; (c) Rev 21:1-22:6