Commentary on “The Case For Jesus” of Brant Pitre

This article has a threefold structure, first I will state my main thesis, then in Part 1 I will analyze the book in its content, and finally in Part 2 I will elicit my personal comments and speculations.

Main Thesis

The author, Brant Pitre explicitly states in the first page of his book “This book is about the question, did Jesus of Nazareth claim to be God?”[1] He is willing to address the most common modern skeptical anti-Christian historical arguments. He successfully debunks each objection, one after another, chapter after chapter, showing that the view that the Church held through the centuries since Jesus’s death until today is the most historically accurate. The goal of this book is to equip the simple faithful who do not have the possibility to dive in the depths of an academic unreadable historical treaty, the author in fact wants the common doubtful Sunday Mass attendant to be strengthened in his faith through an accurate, academically praiseworthy, simple historical inquiry embracing the challenge with great confidence and narrative ability.

Bishop Robert Barron himself states “This book will prove to be a most effective weapon… against the debunking and skeptical attitudes toward the Gospels that are so prevalent, not only in academe, but also on the street, among young people who, sadly, are leaving the Churches in droves.”[2]

 

Part I

The book begins with the presentation of Brant Pitre’s main goals for his book. The author uses a biographical narrative writing technique to present the numerous objections that he will face in the following chapters. He clearly starts by presenting his intentions of defending the claim that Jesus actually did believe to be the Divine Son of God and by presenting the first objection he will deal with in the second chapter: the idea that initially the Gospels were anonymous and that they were changed with time and falsely attributed to eyewitnesses of Jesus.

In the second chapter Brant Pitre deals with one of the most fundamental questions regarding the study of the historical Jesus, “how do we know what we know about Jesus?”[3] The author deals with the Theory of Anonymous Gospels advanced in particular by Bart Ehrman: “According to this theory, all four Gospels were originally published without any titles or headings identifying the authors.”[4] Then they supposedly circulated without any titles for a century until the titles were added to give the four Gospels authority,[5] reporting falsely that they were written by Jesus’s apostles and disciples. The point is that this theory is totally lacking of evidence, no anonymous copy of the Gospels exists. All of the ancient manuscripts, without exception, in every language, attribute the four Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. In addition to this it is unthinkable that a book circulating around the Roman Empire without a title for almost a hundred years could somehow at some point be attributed to exactly the same author by scribes throughout the world and yet leave no trace of disagreement in any manuscripts. “How did [the scribes] communicate with one another so that all the copies ended up with the same titles?”[6] We must look perhaps at a book that actually was anonymous, the letter to the Hebrews, and it ended up remaining anonymous or being attributed to different authors.[7] Another problem for this theory is that if it were true it would make no sense that two of the four Gospels are attributed to non-eyewitnesses. Why attribute them to Mark and Luke who never even saw Jesus directly if these deceivers were looking to create a false authority for these manuscripts? As we see in the apochryphal Gospels this is exactly what happened: the deceivers attributed their writings to Peter, or even to Jesus Himself.[8]

To see who actually wrote the four canonical Gospels we must look both for internal evidence in the book itself and at external evidence. The most explicit internal evidence are the titles themselves. In all four Gospels the titles point to their specific author: Matthew for the Gospels of Matthew, Mark for the Gospel of Mark and so on. For the Gospel of Matthew, internal evidence points to the fact that Matthew was a tax collector and then an apostle of Jesus Christ. For the Gospel of Mark, evidence in the New Testament points to the fact that he was a companion of Paul and the disciple of Peter.[9] The New Testament identifies Luke as the beloved physician, a Gentile, a companion of Paul and the Author of the Acts of the Apostles. Internal evidence points to the fact that John was written by one of Jesus’ disciples. John 21:24 indicates that the Beloved Disciple composed the Gospel. External evidence found in the New Testament[10] shows that we can confidently assert that John was the Son of Zebedee, an eyewitness of Jesus of Nazareth and the beloved disciple.

In the fourth chapter, Brant Pitre deals with what other ancient Christian writers have to say about the origins of the four Gospels. “The earliest Christian writings outside the New Testament are completely unambiguous and totally unanimous about who wrote the four Gospels.”[11] “Some of these Fathers either knew the apostles personally (like Papias) or knew people who knew the apostles (like Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria).”[12] The evidence we have is collected from an incredibly vast and diverse territory spreading across the whole Roman Empire. When this evidence is internally consistent, the account must be regarded with the highest consideration. Papias of Hierapolis, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons, and Clement of Alexandria all agree that Matthew, one of the Apostles, had written the Gospel. Irenaeus tells us that the Gospel of Matthew was written “while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome”[13] before AD 66. They tell us that it was written in Hebrew. According to the Church Fathers the author of the Gospel of Mark was Mark, disciple of Peter, and they state that it was written before AD 66.[14] All the earliest witnesses agree that it was Luke, the follower of the apostle Paul, who wrote the Gospel.

The Church fathers unanimously agree on John’s authorship, they identify him explicitly as an apostle; it was written as the last of the four, and it was written to defend Jesus’s divinity against the Ebionites.[15] Also the enemies of the Church, the early heretics, all recognize the canonical authorship of the four Gospel. This is a very powerful example of “enemy attestation.” Also the pagan critics even though they claim that the Gospels are fiction they take for granted their authorship.

Then Brant Pitre deals with the apochryphal gospels, also known as the hidden gospels. “These are writings about Jesus that claim to have been written by eyewitnesses such as Peter, Judas, or Thomas.”[16] However these gospels tell a story that is very different from the writings of the New Testament. When it comes to the external evidence the contrast between what the early Church fathers state about the four canonical Gospels and the aprochyphal ones is bluntly evident. They were all rejected as fictitious and forgeries. The author deals with the four most important lost Gospels, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas which narrates the stories about the childhood of Jesus, the Gospel of Thomas which is a collection of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus, the Gospel of Judas which contains supposed dialogues between Jesus and Judas, and the Gospel of Peter which is an account of the Paschal Mysteries of Jesus.[17] All of these internally attribute the accounts directly to the eyewitnesses mentioned in the titles. There is a strong secretive content in these gospels. There are accounts of the infant Jesus murdering babies, they are filled with esoteric content, there are special names of angels which remarkably correspond to second century gnostic heretical groups, and there is a remarkable lack of familiarity with Jewish Scripture, practice, and belief. All the external evidence points to the fact that these are forgeries and non-authentic gospels.

Brant Pitre after having dealt with the historical origins of the Gospels talks about their genre. Some skeptics claim that the Gospels are just folklore and not biographies[18] because they are not like modern biographies, which focus on exact details. Evidence says something different: the Gospels are the closest literary genre to Greco-Roman biographies.[19] The author presents the following parallels: “ancient biographies focus on the life and death of a single individual,”[20] “ancient biographies often average between 10,000 and 20,000 words in length,”[21] “ancient biographies often begin with ancestry,”[22] “ancient biographies don’t have to be in chronological order,”[23] “ancient biographies don’t tell you everything about a person,”[24] and a history is different from a biography. The selective nature of the Gospels puts them on the same level as ancient Greco-Roman biographies. The Gospels are historical biographies. The authors claim to be reporting what they witnessed and that they are recording the truth. They might be lying, but that is the genre. Luke emphasizes in Luke 1:1-4 that he is compiling a narrative (term used by historians as Herodotus, Thucydides, and Josephus) drawing from eyewitnesses (why do so if just telling a folktale?) and he does so in order for people to know the facts. John does the same.[25] The gospels are not giving a transcript but they are recording the substance of what Jesus said.

The author then deals with the dating of the Gospels. Some skeptics assert that four to six decades passed from Jesus’ death and the writing of the Gospels (which happened at the end of the first century). This is known as the time gap. We know that in these years the disciples would have frequently rehearsed their memories in the course of preaching.[26] We also know that even if the gospels were written at the end of the first century, they still would have appeared well within the lifetime of Jesus’ apostles.[27] Most of contemporary scholars agree that John’s Gospel was the last to be written.[28] The major reason for dating the Synoptic Gospels to the late first century AD is based on how certain skeptics interpret Jesus’s prophecies about the destruction of the Temple.[29] Jesus declares that it will be completely destroyed. These scholars do not interpret such things as actual prophecy but as later reflections on what had already happened. So, the entire late-dating scheme is based on the assumption that Jesus could not have predicted with detail the destruction of the Temple.[30] But as C.H. Dodd says, “There is no single trait of the forecast which cannot be documented directly out of the Old Testament.”[31] The destruction of the Temple is never mentioned as a past event in any of the gospel accounts. If they were written after, why did they not emphasize the fulfillment of the prophecy? Because it had not occurred yet. Plus, Jesus delivers certain warnings that make sense only if made prior to the event: “Pray that it may not happen in winter.”[32] The second reason for the late dating of the Gospel is based on the “two source” theory that deals about the order in which the Gospels were written (the issue is known as the Synoptic Problem).[33] It assumes that the Gospel of Mark was the first to be written around AD 70, but we know that it had to be written before then. There is no certain theory; the double source theory is only one of the many hypotheses and it relies on the unjustified assumption that the Q source actually exists. We know that the Acts of the Apostles were written before the death of Paul (late 60s) because he stops abruptly at his imprisonment in AD 62.[34] We know that Luke wrote his Gospel before Acts, and we know that his Gospel was written after the other two Synoptic Gospels (Luke: 1:1-4), so all of them were written most likely before AD 62.[35]

After this apologetic and historical analysis of the historicity of the Gospels, Pitre presents biblical evidence to show that Jesus was the Messiah. What does Jesus mean when He talks about the Kingdom of God being at hand? The key is in the Old Testament. In Daniel 2 there is the prophecy of the four pagan kingdoms and the coming of a fifth heavenly kingdom that will come at the time of the Roman Empire and destroy it. Daniel gave a timeline for when the Kingdom of God was coming, and at the time of Jesus the Jews were expecting it. What does Jesus mean when He refers to Himself as the Son of Man? He is referring to the prophecy in Daniel 7, where there is a dream of four pagan kingdoms identified as beasts and the victorious coming of the Kingdom of God and its King, the heavenly Son of Man. Jesus is claiming to be a heavenly king over a heavenly kingdom. When Jesus predicts His future death and suffering He refers to Himself as the Son of Man. He is referring to the prophecy about the death of the Messiah in Daniel 9. The prophecy declares that there will be 490 years between the restoration of Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah (first century AD), and it links the death of the Messiah to the destruction of the Temple, resulting in the end of a sacrifice and an abomination (we know it is the killing of God Himself).

Pitre then deals with one of the most widespread objections to Christianity, the idea that Jesus never thought or claimed to be God in the first place, and that the divinity of Jesus was a later invention. The evidence strongly indicates that Jesus does claim to be God, but He did so in a very Jewish way.[36] These riddles were purposely designed to make His listeners ask themselves: “Who is this man?”[37] The argument that skeptics present for their case is that supposedly there out of the four Gospels do not depict Jesus as God. There are three incredible deeds that Jesus performed as if He is God in a way that a first century Jew would have understood: the stilling of the storm, the walking on water, and the Transfiguration. We will see how Jesus does make divine claims about Himself. The Stilling of the Storm: a storm rises in the Sea of Galilee, the disciples are afraid and wake Jesus up; Jesus rebukes the wind and the sea, calming the storm leading the disciples to ask, “Who is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”[38] What does this episode mean for a first century Jew? The Old Testament represents God numerous times as displaying His power controlling the wind and the sea.[39] The fact that Jesus did not even pray to God asking for help to perform the miracle reaffirms the idea that Jesus is manifesting His divinity. Jesus manifested the same power of God during the Exodus. The second miracle is the Walking on Water: when the disciples see Jesus walking on water and they are frightened, Jesus tells them “I am; do not be afraid.”[40] Jesus is not simply identifying himself. In the Old Testament, “I am” is used for the divine name of God.[41] This name reveals the eternity of God to Moses, YHWH can be translated “He who is.”[42] Jesus is revealing His divine identity; walking on water is a theophany. Mark says that Jesus “meant to pass by.”[43] In the Old Testament, this is used to describe what God does when He appears to human beings.[44] After Jesus says “I am,” the disciples fall down and worship Jesus. This indicates His divinity. The third miracle is the Transfiguration on the Mountain: Jesus takes Peter, James and John on a mountain and is transfigured before them with Moses and Elijah appearing during the event. The clouds overshadow them, and the voice of God commands the disciples to listen to His Son. Moses represents the Law and Elijah the prophets, but not only this. They both had experienced theophanies on the mount of divine revelation, Mount Sinai, but neither of them could look at God. Now they are finally allowed to because God has become man.[45]

Why does Jesus not tell anyone explicitly who He is? Why this secrecy? Because His Divine identity is so potentially explosive, Jesus decides to reveal Himself when it is fitting to take his mission to final accomplishment.[46] There are three main episodes in the Synoptic Gospels where Jesus implicitly reveals His divinity: the healing of the paralytic, Jesus’ question about the Messiah, and Jesus’ encounter with the rich man. In the first episode, Jesus says to the paralytic that his sins are forgiven, and the scribes accuse Him of blasphemy; they ask alluding to the Shema: “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”[47] Jesus is acting as the One true God of the Shema and does not back down from the charge that they accused Him of. Instead He heals the paralytic so that the scribes may know that He is the Son of Man (a Divine being in Daniel 7:9). Jesus reveals His identity also with the mysterious riddle about the Son of David. He questions the usage of the name “Son of David” to refer to the Messiah by quoting Psalm 110 who address him as “Lord.” The Messiah is David’s Lord, equal to God. The third episode is Jesus’ encounter with the young rich man. The young man asks what good deed he must do to have eternal life, and Jesus answers that there is only “one” who is good, God. Jesus does not deny that He Himself is not good, and He alludes again to the Shema. He wants the young man to follow the implications of His words. If Jesus is good, and God alone is good, then who is Jesus? God.[48] Jesus then adds a command to the Ten Commandments written by the very finger of God as essential to eternal life. Finally, both orthodox and heretical ancient writers agree that Jesus is acting in these episodes as God.

Brant Pitre at this point explains why Jesus was crucified and why He uttered the words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”[49] Skeptical scholars think that Jesus was crucified for having said that the Temple will be destroyed. But Jesus was condemned for blasphemy. We see this clearly in Jesus’ exchange with Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin.[50] Jesus is condemned for how He answers the question about His identity. He reveals that He is the Messiah and also that he is divine by quoting Daniel 7 and the pre-existing king in Psalm 110.[51] Caiaphas’ reaction by tearing his garments confirms that he thought that Jesus was blaspheming. How do we explain Jesus’ final words on the Cross? Any first century Jew would have known that Jesus was quoting the first line of Psalm 22. In ancient Judaism it was custom to invoke an entire psalm just by quoting the first line.[52] The psalm is a song of trust that God will save His suffering servant despite the appearance of having abandoned him. Psalm 22 is a prophecy of Jesus’ death, He is identifying with the suffering servant that will be rescued. Psalm 22 ends with the conversion of the Gentiles and the coming of the kingdom of God, and this is exactly what happened with Jesus (for example with the Centurion)! When Jesus says, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,”[53] He was talking about His body. Blood and water came out of Jesus’ side, just as all the blood from all the sacrifices of the Passover mixed with a river on the side of the Temple. This indicates that Jesus is the dwelling place of God on earth, and He says that He is even greater that the Temple. What is greater than the Temple but God himself?

The first thing that the author points out about the Resurrection is that the disciples never thought of it as a mere resuscitation,[54] or as an appearance of Jesus’ spirit, or a ghost, but they witnessed a bodily resurrection, where the same body of Jesus was glorified and could appear and disappear at His will (Thomas recognizing His body recognizes also His divinity!). People started believing in Jesus’ resurrection not because they were gullible, but for the empty tomb, discovered by a woman (whose testimony had no juridical value). The enemies of Christianity accused the disciples of stealing Jesus’ body, but they never denied the empty tomb; in fact they took it for granted. The second reason for why people started believing was the appearances of Jesus to those who knew Him. All the accounts about these episodes claim to be from eyewitnesses. You can reject the historical data but you cannot say that it is not there. The third reason is the fulfillment of Jewish Scripture. Jesus cites only one Old Testament passage as prophecy of His resurrection, and it is the Sign of Jonah. In the book of Jonah the author never claims that Jonah remained alive in the fish. On the contrary, he explicitly wrote that he died,[55] so the story of Jonah is the story of his resurrection, and the following conversion of the Gentiles in Nineveh, the greatest miracles of all: repentance and conversion. Jesus fulfills both the resurrection and the bringing forth of the conversion of Gentiles.

The book ends representing C.S. Lewis’s “Liar, Lunatic, Lord” argument. The skeptical fourth option (that Jesus never claimed to be God) has been debunked, and to hold this position is to ignore all this evidence plus the whole Gospel of John.[56] Before ending, Brant Pitre presents the last piece of evidence for Jesus’ divinity: the episode in which after Peter recognized Jesus and the Christ and the Son of God and in which Jesus tells Him that His Father has revealed that to him.

 

Part II

I believe that this book brilliantly succeeded in defending the Truth about our Lord Jesus Christ. Even though the biblical cases for Jesus’s divinity could have been stronger, the effort to present positive evidence in just a few pages is praiseworthy. I think that the author purposely left out other compelling internal biblical evidence of Jesus’s divinity for a matter of time and space. In any case I would like to point out that verses like Matthew 4:10 (“At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: ‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.’), and Matthew 2:2 and 2:11 (the adoration of Jesus by the Magi) would have been excellent material to work on[57].

The element that personally struck me the most was the author’s ability to effectively show Jesus’s fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecies. This struck me not only for the power of strengthening my faith as a “motiva credibilitatis” and sign (Catechism of the Catholic Church 156) but also in its power to answer one of the most common anti-Catholic protestant objections, the claim that the Catholic Church is whore of Babylon described in the Book of Revelation chapter 17 and 18. I think that the author had no direct intention in providing an answer to this attack at the Church, but still believe that the insight I had I would be certainly accepted by him. Some protestants such ad Dave Hunt claim that because John described the whore sitting on seven hills, because the whore is described as committing fornication, because it is clothed in purple and red, because it possesses great wealth, because it reign over kings, then it must be dealing with the Catholic Church. The apologist Jimmy Akins brilliantly answers this objection by explaining two major hypothesis that fit the biblical and historical data: the whore of Babylon is the pre-Christian Roman Empire, or the Whore is the city of Jerusalem who is sitting on the beast which is the pre-Christian Roman Empire. Jimmy Akin’s arguments are persuasive and compelling, his biblical interpretation is incredibly fitting and powerful. Because Babylon was the single greatest enemy of Judea having invaded and conquered Jewish land, and because Rome did the same centuries later, it was natural at the time to refer to the Roman Empire as Babylon, and because the whore is described as sitting on a beast with seven heads, where the heads represent seven kings and seven hills, it’s logically coherent and natural to think that John is talking about the city of Rome; but this doesn’t mean that he is referring to the Catholic Church[58]. First of all the Catholic Church is not built on seven hills, the only hill directly tied to the Catholic Church is Vatican hill which is not one of the seven hills of Rome being on the west (opposite) side of the Tiber River. Second, the seven heads are described also as seven kings, were five are fallen, one is still in power, and a short one is to come (Galba is governing and Otho is about to have his short reign). This is the line of the Roman Emperors of the first century who were persecutors of Christians and demanded worship as described in Revelation. So it’s quite evident that John is referring to the pre-Christian pagan Rome, also because John explicitly states that he is narrating about the things that are about to come in a short period of time, so this lead to think about a pre converted Rome. The whore is described also as the Great City, Jerusalem, riding on the beast which is Rome, indicating an anti-Christian alliance, and this interpretation explains why then the beasts attacks the whore, just as Rome did by destroying Jerusalem[59]. At this point Brant Pitre’s explanation of Daniel chapter 2 comes in.

The statue made of four different materials representing four different pagan empires is destroyed by a stone that lands on the feet of the statue[60]. The statue’s feet, made out of iron and clay, represent the Roman Empire[61], and the stone that destroys the statue and grows in a huge mountain is the Kingdom of God. So the coming of God’s kingdom is precisely prophesied as occurring in Rome, and from there growing until filling all the earth. As Brant Pitre states, this prophecy indicates that the Messiah was supposed to come during the Roman Empire, and that first centuries Jews were expecting His arrival[62], but I think that this prophecy may also providentially indicate that the very mystical body of Christ, made of living stones (1 Peter 2:4-5), the Church, was deliberately chosen by God to start in Rome, to develop, and to be the center of the spreading of God’s Kingdom through all the world, to all people, to the Gentiles. So it is not a coincidence, but because the whore (or the beast) of Babylon, the enemy of God’s people, is Rome, therefore God decided to start His process of edifying the earthly part of His heavenly kingdom right there, with the Catholic Church. So, reflecting upon Pitre’s interpretation[63], I hypothetically inferred that Daniel 2 is not only a temporal prophecy, but also a geographical one. This would answer Hunt’s thesis[64], in fact it would be specifically fitting for God that His Church, the only true one, would be built on the whore/beast just as the Woman’s heel will crush the serpent[65], so the very fact that there are resemblances between Rome and God’s Church is precisely because God chose so, He chose to build literally on top of the evil one, crushing him.

Brant Pitre then accurately gives evidence and a “mind-blowing” example of the relationship between the Temple in Jerusalem, and Jesus’s body[66]. Jesus is the new Temple, He is the dwelling place of God on earth; His heart from which blood and water flow is the new center of the Temple, it is the ultimate and only Sacrifice that can bring satisfaction. Jesus is the new foundation stone of the Temple, He is the new center of the cosmos, He is the new Even ha-Shtiyya[67] (the new Foundation Stone), He is the new place of Sacrifice. And in in the first letter of Peter Jesus is described as the Living Stone, rejected by human beings, but chosen and precious in the sight of God[68]. And recalling Pitre’s analysis of the prophecy in Daniel 2 and of Jesus’ body as the new Temple, the analogy is simply mind-blowing: what does the stone symbolize? The Kingdom of God. And Who is the Kingdom? Jesus Himself[69], the Living Stone described in 1 Peter 2:4, and the new Temple and Foundation Stone. And where did Jesus fall? In Rome! So where is the (earthly) center and foundation of the new heavenly Kingdom? Rome. Now Rome is the center of the body of Christ, the heart from which blood and water flow, there is almost a fusion of identities between Jesus and His Church-Kingdom[70]. Being connected to Rome is something negative and evil in Scripture only apparently and superficially, but reflecting on Pitre’s Old Testament typologies reassures us that being tied to Rome is actually the ultimate confirm that the Catholic Church is that earthly part of the Heavenly Kingdom of God! The first letter of Peter then goes on, and the analogy with the growing of the mountain in Daniel 2 presented by Pitre is breathtaking: “and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”[71] Jesus is not a “static” stone, He sparks the beginning of something marvelous, the building of a spiritual house, stone after stone, stone over stone, Jesus explicitly institutes a priesthood, He starts the forming of a mountain, a great mountain, and as Pitre calls it[72], a worldwide, I would add perhaps “universal” (Catholic!), Kingdom, with a breathing and vibrant heart in Rome.

Pitre also in the last chapter of his book talks about the revelation of Jesus to Simon Peter at Caesarea Philippi[73]. Matthew describes the event like this: When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. ”He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah.[74]
God Himself has revealed to Peter, among all the other disciples, the Divine sonship of Jesus, and then He decides to build His Church on him, His “rock”. Interesting term! Is perhaps Peter by being called “rock” also representing all that Jesus and His kingdom signify? Is he the successor of that stone in Daniel 2? Is he the successor of the Even ha-Shtiyya (foundation stone) of the new Temple? Is he the new center of God’s kingdom on earth (a bleeding heart of flesh)? And where does Peter minister, preach, edify God’s Church, and die? Rome.

So maybe unwillingly Brant Peter has not only made a strong “Case for Jesus”, but I would argue that he also made an implicit strong “Case for Rome” (and the Catholic Church).

 

Ed Da Pra

 

 

Bibliography

Akin, Jimmy. “Answering the ‘Whore of Babylon’ Claim.” YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afVoXVhpuEM (accessed November 20, 2017).

Catholic Answers, Hunting the Whore of Babylon, Catholic.com

https://www.catholic.com/tract/hunting-the-whore-of-babylon (accessed November 21, 2017)

Pitre, Brant. The Case for Jesus. New York: Image, 2016.

Slick, Matt. “Bible verses that show Jesus is Divine.” Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM). https://carm.org/bible-verses-show-jesus-divine (accessed November 20, 2017).

Voris, Michael, “Michael Voris Spars with Steven Crowder.” ChurchMilitant.com
https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/michael-voris-spars-with-steven-crowder (accessed November 21, 2017)

Wikipedia, “Foundation Stone” Wikipedia.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_Stone#Jewish_significance (accessed November 21, 2017)

For biblical references: http://www.usccb.org/bible 

 

[1] Brant Pitre, The Case for Jesus (New York: Image, 2016), 1.

[2] Barron Robert, The Case for Jesus – Afterword (New York: Image, 2016), 202.

[3] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 12.

[4] Ibid., 14.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., 19.

[7] Ibid., 20.

[8] Ibid., 23.

[9] Ibid., 29.

[10] Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Mark 14:17-25; Mark 9:2; Luke 22:8; Acts 3:1

[11] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 39.

[12] Ibid., 41.

[13] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.1.

[14] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 45.

[15] Ibid., 50.

[16] Ibid., 55.

[17] Ibid., 57.

[18] Ibid., 68.

[19] Ibid., 70.

[20] Ibid., 71.

[21] Ibid., 72.

[22] Ibid., 73.

[23] Ibid., 74.

[24] Ibid., 75.

[25] John 19:35; 21:24-25

[26] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 87.

[27] Ibid., 88.

[28] Ibid., 89.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid., 91.

[31] C.H. Dodd, “The Fall of Jerusalem and the ‘Abomination of Desolation,’” cited in Case for Jesus, 91.

[32] Mk. 13:18

[33] Ibid., 94.

[34] Ibid., 99.

[35] Ibid., 100-101.

[36] Ibid., 119.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Mk. 4:41

[39] Job 26:11-12; Ps. 104:1-7; 106:8-9; 107:23-30

[40] Mt. 14:27; Mk. 6:50; Jn. 6:20

[41] Ex. 3:14

[42] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 128.

[43] Mk. 6:48

[44] Ex. 33:19; 1 Kgs. 19:11

[45] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 135.

[46] Ibid., 138.

[47] Mk. 2:7, cf. Deut 6:4-6

[48] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 151.

[49] Mt. 27:46; Mk. 15:34

[50] cf. Mk. 14:55

[51] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 159.

[52] Ibid., 165.

[53] Jn. 18-21

[54] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 174.

[55] Ibid., 186.

[56] Ibid., 192-193.

[57] Slick, “Bible Verses that Show that Jesus is Divine”, CARM, https://carm.org/bible-verses-show-jesus-divine (accessed November 21, 2017)

[58] Akin, “Answering the ‘Whore of Babylon’ Claim.” YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afVoXVhpuEM (accessed November 21, 2017).

[59] Akin, “Answering the ‘Whore of Babylon’ Claim.” YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afVoXVhpuEM          (accessed November 21, 2017).

[60] cf, Daniel 2:31-35

[61] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 105

[62] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 107.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Hunt Dave, A Woman Rides the Beast, 1994

[65] Gen 3:15

[66] Ibid, 169-170

[67] Scott Hahn’s lecture in Word of God – Scripture and Tradition, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Fall 2017

[68] 1 Peter 2:4

[69] Luke 17:20-21

[70] Voris, “Michael Voris Spars with Steven Crowder.” ChurchMilitant.com https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/michael-voris-spars-with-steven-crowder (accessed November 21, 2017)

[71] 1 Peter 2:5

[72] Pitre, Case for Jesus, 107

[73] Ibid, 195

[74] Mt 16:13-20

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