Eerdmans has published a very important collection of essays, which were originally papers given at a conference in Jerusalem in January 2008. The papers have been collected and put together by my fellow N.C. Methodist NT scholar, Jim Charlesworth, and the book is entitled ‘The Tomb of Jesus and His Family? Exploring Ancient Jewish Tombs Near Jerusalem’s Walls (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. Pp. xx + 585. Paper.$48.00. ISBN 9780802867452. The book has recently been reviewed by Jodi Magness of UNC… Read more

The second and final Felse novel set in ‘darkest India’ is a novel that involves only Dominic Felse, whose fiancee has apparently gone back to Oxford to finish her degree, leaving Dominic to go walkabout. In other words, this is a travelogue novel, with Dominic touring the southern part of India, right down to the Cape. Along the way, he has the misfortune of running into another murder, this time by Nagalite terrorists who’s battle cry is ‘Death to the… Read more

The word knocker can have several meanings. It can refer to a person who knocks on a door, or it can refer to an implement on the door, in this case a church door. In Ellis Peter’s tenth novel, and the best so far in the series, it, and many other things are in fact double entendres. Indeed, many things are not as they seem in this novel. There is a church door which isn’t, and a Norman family which… Read more

As it turns out, some this series of mysteries by Ellis Peters focus on George, some on Dominic, and at least one on Bunty Felse. This one is entirely focused on Dominic and his girl Tossa, and their impromptu trip to India, free of charge, in exchange for escorting the daughter of a film star to her father’s home in Delhi. If the last novel was all opera all the time, this one is all atmosphere, and Peters does an… Read more

The eight novel in the George and Dominic Felse series takes on the character of an opera, not least because it involves a diva, Maggie Tressider, who has gained fame throughout Europe as a remarkable alto with beautiful steel blue eyes. Maggie is unattached, married to her career so to speak, and doing well until one very rainy day, she slides off the motorway and has a big wreck and a near death experience. This in itself might be enough… Read more

The Free Dictionary online (by Farlex accessed 8-27-15) gives us an interesting history for the term grass widow. It says the following— The phrase “Grass widow is first recorded in 1528, and originally referred to an unmarried woman who has lived with one or more men, a discarded mistress, or a woman who has borne a child out of wedlock. The grass in grass widow seems to have originally made reference to the makeshift bed of grass or hay (as… Read more

It is an odd fact, but nonetheless a fact (as Tom Schreiner has rightly complained), that Arminians have not done a thorough job of articulating what the concept of prevenient grace means, and why it is important. Fortunately, there is now a book by Brian Shelton, which he kindly sent me a copy of, to remedy that deficiency. The book is 283 pages long and covers the subject from stem to stern, including discussions of Scripture, historical and systematic theology…. Read more

The sixth in the series of thirteen murder mysteries is the tale called ‘Black is the Color of my True Love’s Heart’, and apt title for a very interesting novel indeed. The ethos of the novel has to do with the art of folk singing and folk songs or ballads. In America we might think of the songs of Stephen Foster (1826-64) that good Kentucky boy who wrote Camptown Races, Oh Susanna, and many more. Folk songs of course are… Read more

Some animals are just born comedians. I’m referring to the monkeys and their kin of course. There is this sign that stands at the opening of the gorilla exhibit. It reads as follows…. This one however seems to have ignored all the necessary gorilla etiquette The orangutans and monkeys were doing their usual thing, just hanging around…. Equally impressive were the fish exhibits which included beautiful coral and seahorses… Here’s an interesting polka dotted skate…. There must have been a… Read more

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