Promised Land—– As Promised


Promised Land is Matt Damon's most recent film, and is in fact a project of a rising star, John Krasinski. It also features Francis McDormand and the inimitable Hal Holbrook who once again graces the screen with a beautiful supporting role performance. With this sort of cast you would expect some good performances and these actors do not disappoint. The movie is quite fast-paced and it's done before you know it (1 hour and 46 minutes later). There is no filler here, no dead spots.The … [Read more...]

The Craft of History and the Study of the NT— Part Two


Here is the second part of my dialogue with my friend and colleague Beth Sheppard.4) One of the things I hear regularly from folks like Bart Ehrman is that a true modern critical historian must bracket out the whole notion of the miraculous, which of course leaves large chunks of the NT in the lurch since the miraculous is on almost every page of the Gospels and Acts, and is found elsewhere in the NT as well. Do you think it is necessary to ignore or dismiss the miraculous in order to be a … [Read more...]

The Craft of History and the Study of the NT– Part One


Let me say right out of the gate that this book by Dr. Beth Sheppard (published last Fall by the SBL), a NT professor and research librarian at Duke, is essential reading for anyone who cares about the historical matters that the NT presents to us. It is an eye-opening and rather comprehensive guide to: 1) the task of historians (including modern ones); 2) the methods of historians; 3) the philosophical presuppositions and under-pinnings of modern historiography; 4) how to thinking critically … [Read more...]

Les Mis—- the Movie. On Further Review

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Many years ago, when I was in high school I read Victor Hugo's famous novel Les Miserables. Then about ten or so years ago I saw the musical in the West End in London. And now comes the movie. First it should be said that unlike Django and various other non-Christmas movies, Les Miserables is a very appropriate movie to release on Christmas. Both the novel and the musical are deeply rooted in Christian themes and ideas as even those who are not all that familiar with Christianity can … [Read more...]

Cover her Face— P.D. James’s First Novel


The official introduction to P.D. James on Amazon is daunting.... it reads as follows:"P.D. James was born in Oxford in 1920 and educated at Cambridge High School. Widely acknowledged as "the greatest contemporary writer of classic crime" (The London Sunday Times), she has written twenty books and been awarded major prizes for her crime writing in Great Britain, America, Italy, and Scandinavia. After 30 years in the civil service, including a senior position in the Police and Criminal … [Read more...]

An Interview and a U.K. Radio Show on the Birth Narratives

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Here are two resources for you in which I was interviewed about the birth narrative or had a debate about them. can now listen online via where it is currently the "featured" show and will remain in the archive, at the bottom of the page, as the show of 22 Dec 2012 You can can click through directly to the show via the following link: … [Read more...]

The Fascinating World of Ancient Papyri— Part Four


How did scribes copy manuscripts? Did they take dictation, or copy line by line? Was there a particular professional way to form the Greek letters? In our last post here, we will allow William Johnson to offer us his findings on these sorts of matters.p. 4— Johnson says “Systematic analysis of hundreds of bookrolls shows…that the rakish lean often seen in the columns of an ancient bookroll is a deliberate design feature…” Note the use of scribal dots to mark out the pattern before the … [Read more...]


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Emily Dickinson put it well... My life closed twice before its close— It yet remains to see If Immortality unveil A third event to meSo huge, so hopeless to conceive As these that twice befell. Parting is all we know of heaven, And all we need of hell.For me that first huge closing that I was helpless to prevent was the death of our Christy girl a year ago today. But closings are not all bad things. Don't we often speak of the need for closure? It was a small mercy for m … [Read more...]

So Close, Yet So Far AWAY— For CC … [Read more...]