The Patio Tomb— Hurtado’s Take

Earliest Christian Tomb? This year’s hoo-ha by larryhurtadoWell, Easter is approaching and so it's time for someone to declare this year's fantastic new discovery that will radically re-orient our understanding of early Christianity, Jesus, whatever. And, this year's contestant is: "The Earliest Christian Tomb," courtesy of Mssrs James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici.The popular press love such stories and duly rush them into print, largely because they know that it will garner readers, w … [Read more...]

Marked Messengers– Angelloi in Mark Part Two


Two of the more controverted verses in all of the Gospel of Mark are Mark 8.38 and 9.1. We intend to discuss them in some detail. If you have read many scholarly commentaries on Mark, then you will know that these verses have a long history of being belabored, and are often used to prove that Mark, bless his little heart, and perhaps even Jesus, had a flawed eschatology. They predicted the timing of the second coming wrongly. This critique goes back at least as far as the turn of the 20th … [Read more...]

Post-Christian New Testament Studies


Strange winds are blowing in the field of Biblical Studies these days, and some of them involve clouds that carry no rain, and promise no lasting crops. What I am referring to is the growing trend to assume that you should be able to do a higher degree in the Bible without: 1) learning any of the Biblical languages, and 2) without learning the proper history of the Biblical cultures and times, and 3) without assuming that these ancient texts need to be studied in their original contexts, … [Read more...]

Oded Golan Acquitted— Ossuary Set Free


Here is the news we have long been waiting for. Matthew Kalman is the one reporter who sat through the whole year after year trial. Here is his report on the judge's final verdict today.MATTHEW KALMAN Jerusalem— Special to Globe and Mail Update Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2012A Roman-era burial box inscribed “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” was reprieved from the scrapheap of history on Wednesday when a Jerusalem judge completely exonerated an Israeli antiquities collector who had b … [Read more...]

Marked Messengers— angelloi in Mark, Part One


One of the problems Christians have in reading the New Testament is that their scope of semantic understanding is limited by translation. What I mean by this is that translators have to make choices about the meanings of words. Take for example the word euangellion. It simply means good news, as opposed to bad news, and is not yet a technical term for a particular kind of literature, namely a gospel. Probably it should be translated 'good news' (not in caps) most everywhere you find it in … [Read more...]

Ora et Labora— A Work in Progress

[Read more...]

On the Road with Jesus Part Two


I am pleased to announce that the second volume in a projected three volume set of little books for Bible Study and Sunday school teaching in our On the Road with Jesus series is now available for purchase (only $8 on Amazon).  These little study guides also have a companion DVD that go with them that is available as well from Amazon of Cokesbury.The response to the first volume has been quite excellent and it is now being used rather widely for Bible study and Sunday school, and small group … [Read more...]

Christy’s Fund

1997 2

So many, many of you have responded to the news about our Christy girl's sudden death, and I want to say thank you for that. Today is an especially sad day for us as we are in Durham N.C., sorting through Christy's clothes and belongs, sending some to Good Will, parceling out furniture to family, and packing up her house and putting it in a Penske truck to drive back to Lexington Ky. It is hard to see our sweetpea disappear by inches as her personal effects are given away, the things she … [Read more...]

The Patio Tomb of Joseph? Part Four


Having had time now to digest James Tabor's latest discoveries  there are a variety of things that need to be said about them. Let's deal with a few facts first. I am going to assume that at the least you have scanned the report in Part Three of this series. If not, go back and look over the 46 pages closely. Here are some of the things that strike me about it. (To the right see the James ossuary with its inscription, which has no known connections with the Talpiot tomb and was found in … [Read more...]