Sherlock– The Game’s Occasionally Afoot

It is an interesting phenomenon to have two very different presentations of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his trusty sidekick John Watson on the telly at the same time. This is only possible really because one is a BBC production which gets farmed to the U.S. a season late by way of PBS, and one is the brainchild or the brain trust at CBS. When you throw in Robert Downey Jr's. movie Sherlocks the visual arts are virtually buzzing with Sherlock possibilities. … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Twelve

Much of chapter five is spent demonstrating the evidence for and growth of the Imperial Cult during the first century A.D. Of this there is no lack of evidence. What we cannot directly tell from the archaeological remains is the effect this specific cult had on the mentality of Jews and Christians living in the Roman Empire. We know of course of the repugnance felt about what Jews and Christians called idolatry of any and all sorts. We also hear the lament of Plutarch that 'nowadays Olympus … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Eleven

In the wake of recent Imperial cult studies, including studies of the evidence that the NT reflects a critique of the Imperial cult (as Tom likes to put it--- Jesus is Lord, and Caesar is not, the latter being the parody of which Christ is the reality), Chapter Five is in some ways the most crucial chapter thus far in Tom's first volume. It is a pity that Tom's book went to press shortly before the appearance of Jesus is Lord, Caesar is Not (eds. McKnight and Modica, IVP 2013), as it would be … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Ten

In Chapter 4 (pp. 246-78) we have a very useful survey of what has come to be called ancient Greek and Roman religion (not to be confused with philosophy which was treated in the previous chapter). Wright is correct to stress that ancient religion was all about praxis, and very little about beliefs or believing, nor was it much about ethics either. The essence of pagan religion was priests, temples, sacrifices, festivals, calendars, auspices and the like. On this showing early Christianity … [Read more...]

Into India— Part Fourteen

The very first site Jason and I went to see upon arriving in Delhi was the brand new much publicized Hindu temple (built from 2005 to the present, to the cost of millions and millions) named Akshardham.... You are not allowed to take pictures inside the temple area, so I had to resort to taking pictures of pictures, except for this one distance shot, taken on a foggy morning.Here' what it looks like at night (taken from an advertizing sign at the huge Delhi airport...Once again we … [Read more...]

Pompeii— A Disaster That Already Happened

Having spent a good deal of time in Pompeii last October, and since the first century A.D. is my period of expertise, I went with some trepidation to see this 'disaster' movie, fearing it would not merely be about a disaster but would itself be a cinematic disaster- disastrous acting, disastrous plot, CG overkill, and so on.Well the good news is that this movie (which lasts only one hour and 38 minutes) is not as bad as the 'Clash of the Titans' of recent memory. How they talked Liam … [Read more...]

Into India— Part Thirteen

Heading back to the Taj Mahal for a last look, my mind was full of impressive images. Passing a sugar cane field on the left, and a overloaded wagon on the right, our drive zipped right back into the heart of Agra....a town crawling with tourists, even in January.You pass the ever present vendors hawking things on the street, in this case hot roasted peanuts!Some sites do not dim with time, or become less impressive with age....The Taj borders right on the major … [Read more...]

Into India– Part Twelve

Monumental tombs are few and far between in America. Even Presidents don't have tombs like that of Akbar in Agra as a moments glance at the site will show you. For example, look at this peak through the entrance way....Or this angled shot...And once you are inside, you realize that the gate is even more impressive than the actual mausoleum,More interesting is the detailed artisan work around the entrance to the gates...Or around the entrance to the tomb.... once … [Read more...]

A Week in the Life of Corinth— Another Review

A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF CORINTH---A Review by Professor Steve Walton of CambridgeI’ve greatly enjoyed reading this little (158 pages) book by Ben Witherington III over the last few days. It’s a novel in which he tells the story of a week in the city of Corinth, but it’s no ordinary week. The story features a former slave, Nicanor, who has returned from Roma after a business trip for his ex-owner, now friend, Erastos. Nicanor meets various people, and finds himself in the midst of political int … [Read more...]