The Side Effects of Side Effects

Though he may be better known for being the director of Sex,Lies and Videotape, or Ocean's Eleven and Twelve, I really most enjoy Steven Soderbergh's real thrillers like Haywire and now Side Effects. Soderbergh makes movies that are far from predictable and have the winsome trait of making you think---- which is more than one can say about most movies these days. While Side Effects is only a svelte one hour and forty six minutes long, it is packed with intrigue, innuendo, and mystery. It … [Read more...]

The Far Side of Valentine’s Day

When love goes south.....When reading is all that happens in bed at night.... … [Read more...]

A Pope Steps Down

I was caught totally off guard. When was the last time a Pope stopped poping while still wearing his Papal slippers? The answer is almost six hundred years ago. No wonder I didn't realize this could even happen. On further review, shock turned to understanding. A Pope who was PUP (physically unable to perform the job) decided it was time to step down, and hopefully let younger healthier folks do the job. One of the great problems of course with electing Popes is that it has tended to be … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel– Part Three

We hear a lot these days about the 'reception' of Paul in the post-Pauline era. Many scholars, who think the later Paulines are post-Pauline would include in this discussion 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians and the Pastorals. Many would not as well. But it is of course true that there was a reception and transformation of both the image and the teachings of Paul in the post-Pauline era. It was recognized that Paul was important, was a fellow Christian teacher, and at the same time that … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel– Part Two

The next essay in Paul and the Heritage of Israel is one by Michael Wolter, based on sociology of knowledge paradigms as a key to interpreting Paul and as a way of distinguishing Paul from what Wolter calls the later pseudepigraphic Paul (in his view this includes 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians, and the Pastorals). Basically, Wolter wants to make a hard and fast distinction between a religion of conversion (see 2 Cor. 5.17) and a religion of tradition (see the later Paulines). The … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel— Part One

Paul and the Heritage of Israel (eds. Moessner, Marguerat,Parsons,Wolter; T+T Clark 2012-- uber-expensive-- $92.00 on discount at Amazon, or about 35 cents a page of text!) is in fact volume two in a series entitled Luke the Interpreter of Israel. The first volume Jesus and the Heritage of Israel came out quite a while back (1999). This second volume has various merits, not the least of which is making available in English several important essays previously only in French. It also provides a … [Read more...]

High Above the Theater in Ephesus– Teaching at the Cave of Paul and Thecla

Thanks to my friend Cenk from Tutku Tours for the picture! … [Read more...]

America’s Culture of Death

When you live long enough, a certain world-weariness sets in. You grow tired of a culture's persistent pursuit of ways that lead to the destruction of life rather than it's nurture. In fact of course, we have in America two very different cultures vying for supremacy-- a culture of life and a culture of death. And death seems to be winning.On the one side of the ring is the whole health and medical industry, mostly doing everything it can to prop up life, cure disease, lengthen life, … [Read more...]

The Early Text of the New Testament– an Important Resource

Technical monographs are important, not least because they are usually repositories of detailed information that you can't very easily get elsewhere, or would have to get from a variety of sources. The new volume just published by Oxford U. Press entitled The Early Text of the New Testament (eds. C.E. Hill and M.J. Krueger, 2012) is such a work. What we have in this important work is a detailed study of the manuscript evidence for all the books of the NT up to and including the period of the … [Read more...]