There are so many outstanding exhibits in the Museum and the Bible, it is difficult to know which ones to highlight. Here’s a shot of me filming on the fourth floor where we have the history of the Bible and many manuscripts exhibits— One of the technological marvels of the museum is that they were able to capture images of some of the great stained glass windows in French Churches, specifically Notre Dame and St. Chapelle in Paris. The latter… Read more

To me a reasonable partial solution to all this gun violence is as follows: 1) ban bump stocks; 2) ban armor piercing bullets; 3) reinstitute the ban on assault weapons; 4) make 21 the age when it is legal to buy guns, Kids should be able to vote and even have a drink before buying a gun surely!; 5) universal background checks, and sharing of databases; 6) a two day waiting period after purchase, so the data bases can be… Read more

(Picture courtesy of M. Taibbi and Rolling Stone Magazine) The Slaughter of the Innocents Long ago in Bethlehem A massacre occurred Children, slaughtered in the streets Their tiny cries not heard. When Herod runs the country And arms it to the teeth Then fear and paranoia reign No peace does it bequeath. Killing begets killing, Desire to have revenge More weapons can’t cure this cancer Killing’s a contagious sin. When children are the targets And adults stand idly by, The… Read more

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What Paul did not believe is that the eschatological situation involved the continuation of the Mosaic covenant but rather he affirmed the inauguration of a new one which incorporated many of the ethical demands of the Mosaic covenant but also incorporated both the teachings of Jesus and the new teachings of apostles like Paul himself—he called it the Law of Christ. The initiation rite for the new community of Jew and Gentile united in Christ was baptism, a gender inclusive… Read more

I take it as given that the Founding Fathers thought it was fine for private citizens to have rifles for hunting and pistols as well (including in some cases for dueling). But there is some nuancing to what they thought about this matter that few if any guns advocates seem to have paid attention to. One of the big problems of gun advocates is they frequently take the Founding Fathers remarks out of context, which the following evidence will demonstrate…. Read more

I am very very sad to report that Billy Graham has passed away in his 100th year of life. Here is a a nice testimony from last Fall. And here is a report from today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/02/21/billy-graham-americas-pastor-has-died/858017001/ Thanks to friend James for both of these links. Billy Graham grew up not far from where I lived in Charlotte. His partner in ministry, Leighton Ford, was and is a good friend of mine. I doubt we will see another evangelist like him… Read more

As Fredricksen says, Abraham was seen as the true convert to Biblical religion by both Philo and later the rabbis (p. 105). And indeed he was since previously he had worshipped the gods of Ur. Conversion amounted to leaving those idols behind. It can be no accident then that Paul sees Abraham as the prototypical model of what his own converts have done— trusted the genuine God and it being counted as righteousness (Gal.3 and Rom. 4). But if Abraham… Read more

Yes, it is true that Paul’s polemic in Galatians is aimed at the Judaizers, but he is also very critical of Peter and even Barnabas, two fellow Jewish Christ followers, for hypocrisy, for ‘living like a Gentile’ which can only mean not living fully in accord with Jewish law, and yielding under pressure to do so. The Pauline Gospel involved an inherent critique of early Judaism for the majority of Jews not recognizing their own Messiah, and for failing to… Read more

Having reflected on the various comments posted on my original and second blog post about the killing of students at Parkland High recently, certain things should be added. I was heartened to see the response of the high school students themselves demanding change in the gun laws in Florida. Maybe the millennials can force our recalcitrant politicians to take actions. To the naysayers who insist this will not make any difference, I will say you are very wrong. Take for… Read more

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