Water for Elephants— Second Run, but not Second Rate

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A few weeks ago I had the privilege of meeting Hal Holbrook while I was in Malibu.  He had come to the Christian Scholars Conference and asked to perform Mark Twain on Religion.  I hear it was a classic.  I unfortunately was in my own session discussing one of my books.  But in any case,  it was a pleasure to meet him and I thanked him for all the wonderful roles he has played.His most recent role is at the beginning and end of the film 'Water for Elephants' where he plays the elderly  Jacob … [Read more...]

Hurtado on Manuscript Longevity Again

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My friend and colleague Larry Hurtado has now posted the following on his blog:More on Manuscripts: Longevity and Other Matters larryhurtado | June 24, 2011 at 12:10 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pYZXr-af In a recent posting, Craig Evans sumarizes some ideas from a paper that I read some time back, and in which he pointed me to the interesting article by George Houston about the longevity of ancient Greek manuscripts.  There are also some interesting comments, esp. … [Read more...]

Scott Bartchy's Response to my New Testament Rhetoric

Ethos, Behavior, and Credibility:What Made the Words of Early Christ-Followers Persuasive?A Response to Ben Witherington’s NEW TESTAMENT RHETORIC: An Introductory Guide to the Art of Persuasion in and of the New Testament (Wipf & Stock, 2009)S.  Scott  BartchyProfessor of Christian Origins & the History of ReligionDepartment of History UCLA.AbstractWitherington wrote this book to persuade its readers “to do proper rhetorical analysis of the NT, and to stop disregarding, or b … [Read more...]

Lands of the Bible Tour— May 15th-30th 2012/Revised Standard Version

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Isn't it time you finally took that trip to the Lands of the Bible?  Won't you come and join us next May as we tour Jordan and Israel for two weeks?   By request of various of you we have revised our itinerary since the situation in Egypt continues to be unsettled, and we have lowered the cost to accommodate more of you.   We have exactly 40 spots total on our bus, and already a good number of people have signed up.  Below you will find all the information you need to make a decision about comi … [Read more...]

David Gallup's Channel Island Paintings.

Pepperdine has a nice little art gallery on its main campus which I had occasion to visit.  The current exhibit is of a local artist's impressionistic style paintings from his visiting of the Channel Islands off the coast of L.A.  Here are some samples of his nice work. … [Read more...]

The Getty Villa Museum— More Statues

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This will be our last post on the Getty, but suffice it to say, I have hardly scratched the surface.  It's a museum well worth visiting if you care about the Greco-Roman world and social context into which Jesus and Paul were born. Here are some more impressive statues from their collection.  The marble statue of the woman from about 100 A.D. is a statue of a Muse, a quasi-divine someone ( a spirit) who inspires an artist or musician to do what they do, and of course this is where we get the v … [Read more...]

Shakespeare according to Hollywood!

Thanks to Michael Thomson for the link! … [Read more...]

Humilitas– Chapters 9-11

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Greatness inspires greatness, or to put it another way, you become what you admire.  If you admire something shabby, tawdry, mediocre, or even wicked,  you're likely to become like them.   I was appalled by the true story of an elementary school teacher who had her 8 year olds come to school one day and tell who their heroes were.  One little girl came and told about a woman she and her family admired, but the teacher did not recognize the name.  That is, until she looked it up on line and real … [Read more...]

Pepperdine University— a City Set on a Hill

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Jesus said, a city set on a hill cannot be hid.  The same is true of a university like Pepperdine, a beautiful  Church of Christ school on the Pacific coast.     It is ranked 53rd in the nation in Best school lists, costs $53,000 a year to attend (tuition, fees, room and board--- tuition and fees alone is $39,000), has about 3,400 students, and has schools of law, public policy, education, as well as a variety of undergraduate degrees. The religion department is not large, but has quality facul … [Read more...]


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