News and the New Testament

In this Christmas episode, Victor Davis Hanson talks about the Gospels, especially John, and addresses some current news on Harvard plagiarism scandal, Israel and the Dept. of Defense.

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20 thoughts on “News and the New Testament”

  1. Always entertaining with his casual yet intellectually informative subjects. His subject matters would be great curriculum to get our education system back on track and off the woke agenda.

  2. Professor, I especially enjoyed this episode. You distilled the Gospels, especially the book of John, and the Holy Trinity with emphasis on Greek language comprehension. As someone who understands the importance of classical literature, and who took Latin in high school, Thank you!

    1. The context provided by Victor always offers much insight as to original meaning & intent. Words come to life, particularly with Biblical translations!

  3. Rose-Marie Fiske

    Dr Hanson,

    On a recent podcast you said you can’t buy Santa Rosà plum trees any longer.
    I found a company bur are they truly Santa Rosas.

    Having never seen one as an adult, I’m not sure the advert is true.
    I would appreciate if you could let me know before I spend the money to get one shipped.
    Thank you
    Rose Fisk

  4. Freedom is not the natural state of mankind. Without a shield in place to protect individual rights and the strength to hold that shield in place, Tyranny, the natural state of government will INEVITABLY return.

    These two sentences from James Madison are a warning to ALL citizens of this republic which we call The United States of America. I thoroughly enjoyed reading “The Dying Citizen” as well as your class of the same subject at Hillsdale. Our ‘nation’ needs the “Shield” (U.S. Constitution) right now – more that ever. May we have the strength to hold that shield in place and resurrect our dying citizens!!

  5. You are the highlight of my day, I studied ancient Greek and Roman history under Professor John Scarborough in the early 80’s, and listening to you brings back wonderful memories. I think the greatest thing the US Naval Academy has done is not hiring you and possibly secreting you away.

  6. Thank you for the ancient Greek lesson and explaining the linguistic differences among the books of the Bible. I was able to follow along through most of the lecture, but had never heard of the optive (?) mood. Are there more than just the indicative, subjunctive, and imperative moods?

    I have next to no knowledge of ancient Greek, but I have read Peter V. Jones’ book Learn Ancient Greek. It is a brief introduction to the language and teaches only the grammar and vocabulary necessary to translate short passages from John and the Odyssey. From it I gleaned a few interesting facts. For example, ancient Greek is an inflected language similar to Latin, but unlike Latin it does have the definite article which is useful when identifying the gender of a noun.

    On page 91, Dr. Jones mentions specifically that Logos not only means word, but also reason. He elaborates by saying this is where we get the all of “ology” suffixes. It’s a small detail but I thought it was worth noting, especially as it pertains to the scientific (cf. Latin word scientia) discovery and inductive reasoning that has led to so many improvements to man’s condition.

    Whenever I hear people say what’s the point in learning “dead” languages such as Latin and Greek I’m reminded of how alive and well they are in our language and how
    valuable understanding our history is to us.

  7. Victor and Sami

    Thank you for the discussion about the NT gospels. I must admit that I have been curious about the issues of faith in Victor’s life after listening for a year to your podcast. I found myself fascinated with the discussion about what scholars call the Synoptic problem and John’s gospel.
    As a retired pastor of reformed faith, I thought that what Victor related about “The Word” being the Holy Spirit is not what historic Christianity teaches about this. John’s gospel is about John’s desire to make certain that people would understand who Jesus is. John 1:1 clarifies that Jesus as “The Word” is really the second person of the Trinity. John tells us in verse 14 that he saw Jesus’ glory as he tented on earth along with the disciples. John relates Jesus’ miracles are designed to be signs of Jesus divinity. John also depicts Jesus’ humanity in his tiredness and need to nourish himself.
    Although I am not a Classical or Greek scholar, I did take some Greek in college and seminary. I know just enough to discern what I learned as a child on the knees of my parents is true. I would like to suggest a couple of books that are scholarly and understandable for a preacher who stood in the pulpit more than 40 years. The commentaries are by Fredric Dale Bruner who wrote two commentaries, one on Matthew which is a theological Commentary and one on John.
    Please do not consider my written words as a negative criticism! I listen to your podcast and study because I want to be a life

    1. Thank you pastor for your contribution. I too enjoy VDH’s writings and podcasts. I appreciated your comments on the logos. Looking forward to more from VDH in ‘24.

  8. End Times Scenario
    Six is the number of man or Satan’s influence on man. Six plus Six is man controlling man who is influenced by evil spirits as man makes all the decisions for himself without God.
    Mankind is getting more and more evil every day. Still, God is patient and keeps His hand of protection and blessings over mankind as He blesses them.
    God will allow this rebellion to continue for a certain amount of time. At the end of the time allotted for mankind to repent God will remove His hand of protection and the blessings from man if man has not repented. When the hand of blessing is removed, the curses come upon you. The curses are famines, wars, earthquakes, and various disasters.
    If this evil continues, He will remove His hand and let wicked men come against one another. Wars will pop up in various places. Political leaders will not be able to solve these many problems even though they will promise to improve the world’s situation.
    With God’s hand of blessings lifted, all this chaos, wars, disasters, famines, pests, and confusion will be manifested to bring man to his end. This will be the culmination of the wickedness of man as a beast. This can be seen in King Nebuchadnezzar who became a beast because he did not acknowledge that God is God.
    This will be the end of man ruling man as we know it today. That will be the end of the world as we know it as the antichrist, man sits on the throne and rules the world. He will rule for the time he has been allot

  9. he has been allotted until Jesus returns and deposes these evil leaders.
    The spirit of Satan will come out of the beast, the eighth king, who is the antichrist when Jesus returns. Then, the antichrist and the false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire but not Satan. Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire later.
    Revelation 16:13, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, [Satan] and out of the mouth of the beast, [antichrist] and out of the mouth of the false prophet” (emphasis added).
    Revelation 19:20, “And the beast [antichrist] was taken and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, [antichrist] and them that worshipped his image. These both [but not Satan] were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (emphasis added).
    Revelation 20:2-3, “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
    “And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”
    Later, after the Thousand Year reign of Jesus is nearly completed Satan is released from the pit to tempt man again to see who are God’s people and who are his followers. Satan and his followers will be destroyed by Jesus upon His arrival. Satan will be cast into the

  10. Hello Victor – The text is quite descriptive of what is meant by the Word.

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1: 1-3, 14)

    1. The Word was in the beginning using the perfect tense indicating continuous timeless existence.

    2. The Word was in existence when the universe was created.

    3. The Word was with God, showing relationship to God.

    4. The Word was God, having the very same nature as God.

    5. The Word is referred to by a masculine pronoun, “He” or “This” or “This One” was in the beginning with God (v. 2).

    6. The Word made all things (v. 3).

    7. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (v. 14). (The Word took on a human body and displayed his glory as the Son of God)

    8. The Word is Jesus the Christ, God in human flesh.
    Verses 17, 18 state “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

  11. Hello Victor – Evidence for John the apostle’s authorship of the gospel of John.

    1. Church father Irenaeus who was a disciple of Polycarp who was discipled by the apostle John testified that John wrote the gospel in Ephesus at an advanced age.

    2. Subsequent to Irenaeus, the church fathers believed the apostle John to be the human author.

    3. Clement of Alexandria wrote that John was aware of the synoptics gospels when he wrote his gospel.

    4. The synoptics mention John in their accounts but John’s name is absent in the gospel of John as he refers to himself humbly as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” which expresses his desire for anonymity.

    5. By process of elimination, chapters 20 and 21 narrows down the identity of the “disciple who Jesus loved” to the apostle John as the author, another writer would not fail to mention John by name.

  12. Hello Victor – John 20:31 records the purpose of the recorded miracles in John’s gospel.

    “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

  13. Hello Victor – Here are some insights that explain the similarities in the synoptic gospels.

    1. John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (Jesus’ words to his disciples on the night he was betrayed before leaving them to go to the cross)

    2. John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (Jesus’ words to his disciples on the night he was betrayed and leaving the disciples)

    3. 2 Peter 1: 20, 21 Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    4. 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

  14. Hello Victor – Here are a couple excerpts from Josh McDowell’s book “A Ready Defense” regarding the reliability of the geography and historicity presented in the Gospels and how that accuracy testifies to the Bible’s truthfulness.

    Unlike the mythical accounts of various alleged gods of pagan mystery religions, the Gospel narratives describe Jesus as a man of flesh and blood who traveled to actual geographical locations and interacted with known historical persons. That He occupied a specific place in time and space becomes clearer as one studies the historical geography of Jesus’ day. The details of history and geography in the Gospel accounts yield clear evidence that the writers were not making up their story.

    Historical geography seeks to relate events in history to geographic locations. Knowing what has happened in a certain location in the past reveals why Jesus would do something at that
    location when He was there. Since it would be practically impossible for a later Gentile writer to have knowledge of the historical-geographical context surrounding an event in Jesus’ life, these incidents provide good evidence that what the Gospel writers describe actually happened.

  15. tis the season for new year’s ‘resolutions’ ..
    let’s up the ante & call them national resolves

    that we no longer permit home testing kits & political polls to dictate our state of mind ..
    control via fear, uncertainty and angst

    instead that we encourage/promote grassroots engagement ..
    rather that allowing some mindless pundit to label it ‘domestic terrorism’ ..
    seeking only to silence honest debate & genuine consensus

    that we lock arms as Americans to rise above the smash-mouth talking points & destructive stereotypes ..
    taking this great nation back from the edge of self-immolation promoted & designed by those harboring nothing but abject contempt for our Founding principles

  16. I am very excited about the Greek New Testament details in this podcast episode! I wonder if this could be expanded into book form or as a regular feature on this VDH website, Blade of Perseus?

    I have read ten different English translations of the Bible, so I am always very curious to see fresh translations, hopefully unbiased by denomination, to see how the Holy Scriptures might be translated this time. Does it verify what has already been translated in the past? Does it differ slightly? Does it differ greatly? Why?

    Just translate the Greek into English, don’t force the English to match any known, pre-existing denominational teachings. I would love to see a VDH translation, uninfluenced by Bible experts.

    I mean simply, if VDH was the first person to ever see these Greek writings of the New Testament, how would VDH write his own English translation of each verse?

    I don’t think VDH will uncover anything blasphemous, but he might put a fresh turn on quite a few verses, without trying to be different, just be true to the original Greek.

    The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Old Testament, originally written in Hebrew. During the life of Jesus, this was the most popular translation. Despite some differences, or maybe because of some differences of familiarity, New Testament authors quote from both the Hebrew and Greek, proving Bible translations are acceptable.

  17. Excellent podcast. However, your discussion about the gospels was somewhat ambiguous. You read John and find it relaxing; does this imply you accept the gospels as literally true? Your conversation about Claudine Gay was superb and your critique about the military was phenomenal.

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