Author Archives: Ron Goetz

About Ron Goetz

Husband, Father, Author

Bug Zappers in Heavenly Places

The heavenlies are mysterious, and unseen. Unseen forces do spill over into what we see and understand all the time. My dog hears our bug zapper pop when a gnat dies–and freaks out. He doesn’t understand what that snap is, … Continue reading

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What Torah Did for Us

Chimps don’t have a fallen nature. But they do nurture their young, show one another tenderness and affection, and drive out of the community members who don’t conform to group norms. That last one is a real, tribal, natural instinct. … Continue reading

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The Role of Three Primate Instincts in Human Affairs

Christians, like all other primates, are born with a multitude of instincts, which come in various strengths. These include the instincts for hierarchy, justice, and order. The instinct for hierarchy, evidenced by our phrase “pecking order”, puts alpha primates in … Continue reading

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The Trial: What did We Know and When did We Know It?

Prior to 1962, monolingual English-speakers would have had no way of knowing that first-century Palestinian Jews had developed a written rationale for executing gentile gays and lesbians. Prior to 1987 we had no tangible evidence of the specific location of … Continue reading

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Animal and Divine

Like Christ, we have two natures, the animal and the divine.  We have inherited the Spirit of power to dominate the world around us, like Christ, like the beaver and the ant. We have inherited the Spirit of love to … Continue reading

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Understanding the Talmudic Evidence for the Trial

The three Talmud passages are found in a book that, from cover to cover, is about law and legal matters. Just because the Talmud is an intimidating collection (as legal texts tend to be) doesn’t mean that a specific theme … Continue reading

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Understanding the Josephus Evidence of a Trial

Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus contributes three things to our understanding of our conjectured trial. First, the Josephus passage demonstrates that one aspect of Philip the Tetrarch’s work in his territory was judicial. In this role he can be … Continue reading

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Evidence from Josephus of the Judge in the Trial, Philip the Tetrarch

The following selection is evidence of the Trial Judge whose jurisdiction included Bethsaida. Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews is available online. Antiquities 18.4.6 About this time it was that Philip, Herod’s ‘ brother, departed this life, in the twentieth year … Continue reading

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Gospel Evidence of an Underreported Trial

There are two categories of evidence of an unnarrated and underreported trial in the gospel of Luke. The first category is familiar to many of us, references to legal trials in the context of persecution. The second category is reference … Continue reading

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Talmudic Evidence of a Trial Prosecuted by Yohanan b. Zakkai

The following three Talmud excerpts are evidence that Yohanan b. Zakkai once prosecuted a case of sexual transgression in the court of Philip the Tetrarch. Mishnah Sanhedrin 1:2 Antigonus the Prince asked Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai, “The ox will be … Continue reading

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