The James Ossuary May Be Destroyed???


(Matthew Kalman is the only reporter who sat through all the years of the Oded Golan trial. He is the inside source of my information about such matters. Here is his latest shocking report-- BW3).Judge to Decide Fate of Ossuary, Jehoash Tablet Posted: May 29, 2012 in UncategorizedThis news is reported in “The Jerusalem Post” by Matthew Kalman (on 29th May 2012). You may be interested in knowing the details.Scholars say items should be preserved; J’lem judge could order items d … [Read more...]

Ancient Literacies II: The Case of the Random Reader

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There is much to be learned about ancient literacy in the fine book edited by William Johnson and Holt Parker, as I said in the previous post, and one of the overall impressions the book leaves is the growing suspicion that William Harris, the guru on levels of literacy in the ancient world (no more than 10-20%) was wrong, indeed badly wrong if we take into account all different sorts of literacies. As Rosalind Thomas says in the opening essay in the volume "it is misleading to talk simply … [Read more...]

Quintilian on Writing, Reading, Studying, Editing


(the statue is of Cicero, whom Quintilian thought the greatest rhetorician of his age).Below is an excerpt from Book 10 and Chapter 3 of Quintilian's Institutions of Oration. There are more than a few excellent thoughts here about studying, writing, editing, and reflecting.... and burning the midnight oil, an expression we owe to ancients like Quintilian. The translation is an ancient one, which I have done some updating to.------19. From my condemnation of carelessness in … [Read more...]

When a Syllabus is not a Syllabus— Ancient Literacies Part One

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The Latin word syllabus derives from the Greek word sillybos/ sillyboi. What it refers to in the first instance is the tag attached to a papyrus roll by which its contents is identified. One example of an actual tag from antiquity reads 'Hermarchus, 'Against Empedocles' Book 9'. There was no Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress system of labeling and cataloging rolls and codexes in antiquity, and so instead what was done was two fold: 1) a book list of rolls and codexes owned would be … [Read more...]

Men in Black with Aliens on their Backs


One of the things that made me most wish there was something like a 'neuralizer' was Men in Black II. What a come down after the first film came out in 1997 to considerable acclaim, producing many guffaws.So it was with some trepidation that I went to the Loewe's Cineplex in Boston yesterday and plunked down my $12.00 to see the IMAX 3D version of MIB III. Yes, it had the same fine actors, Will Smith playing J, and Tommy Lee Jones playing K (not to be confused with his Harvard … [Read more...]

The Living Legacy– a Graduation Message for Boston Baptist College


( the following commencement address was delivered in Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston on May 23rd, 2012).Me at Faneuil Hall preparing to give this address.THE LIVING LEGACYGraduations are always rites of passage of one sort or another. For some students a college degree is only the stepping stone or pre-requisite to a higher degree or degrees. I remember the advice of my Grandmother who only graduated from the 8th grade, as I was going on to seminary and PhD work. She … [Read more...]

The Problem for Christians in Syria


If you have not been hiding under a rock, you will have noticed that a lot of bad things have been going down in Syria in the last year. Lots of innocent persons killed, lots of mayhem and destruction. Most of it inflicted by governmental forces of President Bashar Assad. One of the great neglected subjects when it comes to American media coverage (see the article in U.S.A. Today May 11 by Stephen Starr, however, which is an exception), is the plight of Christians. Also MIA in American … [Read more...]

Debating the Didache— Was it Orthodox?

One of the more important and neglected extra canonical but very early Christian books is the Didache. There is now a gigantic Hermeneia commentary on it, so one would expect more discussion of this interesting early Christian document. Here below is some of that discussion by my friend Larry Hurtado. The Didache and Careful Reading by larry hurtadoIn the course of preparing an invited contribution for the Oxford Online Bibliography project on "Worship, New Testament and Early … [Read more...]

More on Justification and Campbell’s Views


(The following info from Larry Hurtado shows the ongoing furor over Campbell's take on righteousness). More Engagement with Campbell on “Justification” by larry hurtadoRunning a little behind in tracking journals, I've only recently noted that a recent issue of Journal for the Study of the New Testament (vol. 34, 2011) is devoted to a robust debate over Douglas Campbell's book, The Deliverance of God (which Campbell also discussed with me in response to an earlier posting on this blo … [Read more...]