‘In the Fields of the Lord’– Mark Oppenheimer’s Bombshell

First of all, I admit to being a sports fan. A big sports fan. Always have been, and probably always will be. And I have also seen the inside of sports, the ugly side, the bad side, especially when we are talking about college and professional sports. But of course I have also seen parents yelling and swearing at their six year olds to play better. We are a sports obsessed nation, and even more than that, we are a 'just win baby' nation when it comes to sports. And here in lies a major … [Read more...]

The Emperor Cult— Hurtado Assesses the Literature

[Here are some helpful resources and a helpful analysis by Larry Hurtado on the Emperor cult] Roman Emperor Cult & Early Christianity: Some Recent Studies by larryhurtadoIn the ancient Roman setting in which the Christian movement emerged, the Emperor was a towering figure, successively from Augustus onward. I experienced a particular example of this myself a few years ago when visiting the Roman theatre in Orange. Above the stage area stood a large statue of the Emperor, … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel— Part Five

In summing up recent trends in the assessment of the relationship of the Paul of the letters, and the Paul of Acts, Simon Butticaz in his article " Has God Rejected his People (Rom. 11.1): The Salvation of Israel in Acts: Narrative Claim of a Pauline Legacy" (pp. 148-64) argues that "Modern research now appears to be firmly engaged in a third direction: locating the Paulinism of Luke between irrefutable proximity and noteworthy distance. In other words, the exegetes are increasingly convinced … [Read more...]

Hurtado on Monotheism and Paganism

This is a reposting of some of Larry's updating of his essay on monotheism. “Monotheism” in/and Ancient Roman Religion: The Continuing Discussion by larryhurtadoHaving just tried to do a last-minute updating of my essay, "How Do We Recognize 'Ancient Jewish Monotheism' in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods?," scheduled to appear in the next issue of Journal of Ancient Judaism, I want to mention a recent multi-author volume with some high-quality contributions on a number of matters rel … [Read more...]

The Wit and Wisdom of Will Rogers

Will Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash, was one of the greatest political sages this country has ever known. Some of his sayings:1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco. 2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day. 3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works. 4. Never miss a good chance to shut up. 5. Always drink upstream from the herd. 6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. 7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel– Part Five

The second major portion of Paul and the Heritage of Israel deals with The Figure and Legacy of Paul in Acts. The first essay in this section is an important one by David Moessner.Moessner situations Acts, quite rightly, as a volume completed in the last couple of decades of the first century when the first generation of witnesses had died off or were no longer able to give credible witness. Written apostolic traditions are proliferating, collections of Paul's letters are circulating and … [Read more...]

Coffee and Tea Work Well for Me

Thanks to Amy George for the lead on these pictures! … [Read more...]

Early Christian Jesus Devotion— Hurtado Clarifies

My friend and colleague Larry Hurtado, now emeritus at Edinburgh is one of the leading authorities on early Jesus devotion by his followers. Here is a helpful clarifying post of his that he put up a month ago. ------- On Being Understood (about the Origins of Jesus-Devotion) by larryhurtadoIt's discouraging to be misunderstood. It happens to others as well. In some cases it may seem entirely accountable to the way that some express their views, e.g., with vague or complicated … [Read more...]

When a Koala need a Cola and a Bath

The recent droughts and wild fires over the last five years (think yet another effect of climate change) have led to some astonishing things animals have done to find water and survive. … [Read more...]