Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Recently Appearing on a Post Office Wall

Last seen: On CBS 48 Hours Mystery Christmas night 2007

Nicknames-- Gentle Ben aka. Gentile Ben

Known Associates: Those Wesleyan types-- also fond of Pentecostals, Mennonites, Amish, and other pacifistic sorts

Known to have Friendly Arguments with: Dispensationalists, Calvinists, Liberals, Agnostics, Atheists, and non-Evangelicals in General.

M.O.: Runs a large propaganda operation, claiming Jesus was born in Bethlehem and is actually the Son of God. Known to have animated discussions on blogs, in print, on TV, and does frequent teaching and preaching around the globe. Seems to be ubiquitous (whatever that means).

Reward: Paid in Biblical denarii. You've still got to render unto Caesar on April 15th however.

Domicile: Lives in Lexington Kentucky, but is often out of town.

Warning: If you apprehend this man he will not resist. This may surprise you, but he claims Biblical precedent. Something about 'what would Jesus do?' Be careful however, he is a runner. If interrogated he will persist in telling that Jesus story. Be prepared for a long harangue.

N.B. If you see this person lurking somewhere wish him happy birthday, as he has one on 12/30. If he responds positively, you'll know you have apprehended the suspect. He will have forgotten the advice of W.C. Fields about birthdays, to wit "be careful, too many of those things can kill you."


CL said...

Hi Ben,

I thought that the 48 Hours episode was very good. I really appreiated your segment! Thank you for allowing yourself to be used in such a positive way!

john alan turner said...

Nice job last night! I especially liked that last bit about him still being alive and still influencing folks.

Shane said...

Hi Dr Witherington-
My Christmas present to myself this year was The Living Word of God (your book, not a Bible!). I read it straight through Monday, and I am SO excited. I will be blogging a chapter by chapter review on my site at, but I wanted you to know how helpful I thought it was. I have a friend who has lost his faith because of the very sorts of issues you raised in terms of the wooden fundamentalism that so many of us were raised with. I really appreciated the thoughtful conservatism that you argued for. Hope you are having a great holiday. Shane

Shane Vander Hart said...

Missed the program - is there a video online?

Cody Thomas said...

I was stumbling through the channels late last night and happened to cross over CBS right around 10:05pm. When I did, I heard a voice that was too unique and recognizable. I suddenly had thoughts of being in Romans class. I focused my eyes on the screen to realize that it certainly was you.

It was a great show. I really enjoyed hearing your Biblical perspective instead of all the other speculations that lacked evidence.

By the way, I want to thank you for Romans class this semester. That was my first semester of grad school and I was worried about jumping straight into a 700 level exegesis course. I know I wasn't prepared for writing my own exegesis paper because I was still accustomed to writing undergrad research papers (spitting out everyone else's ideas instead of thinking for yourself). However, the class and lecture was wonderful. Beyond pure academics and exegesis, your lectures through Romans helped me on a profound level, forcing me to re-look at how I attempt to live rightly and follow Jesus in all areas. So, again, thank you!

Nathan White said...

Calvinist here. Presuppositionalist as well. Loved the show last night. Your answers and presentation reflected much wisdom and sincerity. I praised and thanked God on your behalf. Outstanding!

Anonymous said...

This isn't related to your post, but FYI, Adrian Warnock wrote the following on his blog at

Ben Witherington is the first website on this list where I don't have any personal contact with any of the authors or representatives. But that’s only because he doesn’t list an e-mail on his website. If any of you have a working e-mail for Ben, drop him a line and tell him he holds 8th place for the second year running in this list of my top referrers. Tell him I love his blog, and would love to make e-mail contact with him!

Carrie Ann said...

This made me laugh for a good 15 minutes. I wish I would have caught a glimpse of what you said on 48 Hours. I am band from watching any TV special on religious matters at home because I tend to debate with some of the crazy people who get interviewed. I pray that you and Mrs. Witherington were blessed this Christmas.

Ben Witherington said...

Hi Cody:
You are welcome, and you too Shane. Thanks for the kind words Nathan.


Ben W.

Ray Hughes said...

Hi Ben,

Just wondering if you had any thoughts about the new film "The Star of Bethlehem". We had a small group very interested in the movie and I hoped to give them some good feedback. Happy Birthday and New Year!

Nathanael said...

Happy Birthday, brother.
My loving and caring and compassionate wife got me "Making a Meal of It" for Christmas. Looking forward to diving in.

Shalom to you and yours.

Jonathan Marlowe said...

I missed about half of the 48 hours show. Did you address the question of what time of year Jesus was born? Was it likely in the Spring, since the shepherds were watching their flocks by night? Or could it have been winter because they wrapped Him in swaddling clothes?

I really enjoyed the half of the show that I was able to watch. Thanks!

Falantedios said...

Still waiting for Baylor to send my copy of Living Word. Does it normally take a while to get a review copy?


Ben Witherington said...

Hi Nick:

Maybe the review copy got lost in the Christmas shuffle. Call them next week. I have not seen Star of Bethlehem. Luke's account suggests but does not prove Jesus was born in the spring.


Anonymous said...

I agree with John Alan Turner,

The moment you mentioned that Christ is still alive, setting Him apart from all other prophets, I shouted aloud, "Yes! That's right!" And, I am certainly glad that they included your comment -- I suppose they could have edited it!

Thank you so much for all that you do. I (and so many of my friends) look up to you. We praise the Lord for all you do.


Ben Witherington said...

There is no video of the Mystery of Christmas online, though, you might check the CBS website, as maybe they finally decided to post one. It is available on DVD however from CBS Mystery.

Ben W.

Timothy Miller said...

Happy belated birthday, Dr. Ben. Hilarious post, btw.