Gary Hoag’s Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and 1 Timothy— Part Six

Q4.BEN: The Ephesos of the mid-first century A.D. was a thriving place, and religiously pluralistic in character, though certainly the Temple of Artemis dominated the religious landscape. I quite agree that major temples like that of Artemis which had been following the same protocols for centuries in regard to who could become priests or curetes, or not, tended to follow the rule that noble birth was a requirement to aspiring to such an office. But of course this was not the case in other … [Read more...]

New Testament Theology and Ethics— Vol. One

It's out! The revised standard version of my NT Theology and Ethics is now available through Amazon etc. This is the simplified more lay friendly version also suitable for college students as well. See what you think.....BW3 … [Read more...]

‘The Spook who Spoke— Again!’

There is no writer about ancient Rome during the NT period who is more fun to read than Lindsey Davis. Unfortunately, she chose to retire her very best character Marcus Didius Falco, who, truth be told, was getting a little long in the tooth, as they say. He has been succeeded by his adopted daughter Flavia Alba as sleuth extraordinaire, and has not appeared 'on stage', which is to say, in the actual narrative of the Alba novels, which are also enjoyable (see the reviews on this blog). But … [Read more...]

“If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Road Will Get You There”

Among the most frequently recited cliches of our time is "its not about the destination, its about the journey". While it may be true that when you are on vacation, it is good sometimes to have an open-ended trip and simply enjoy going and seeing what turns up, as advice for a whole life's journey this can only be called 'arsenic laced chicken soup for the soul', that allows one to forget that: 1) choices and actions always have consequences; and 2) that life is in fact teliological it has both … [Read more...]

Shocking Developments on April 1

In a totally unexpected move, President Obama yesterday nominated Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to be the next Supreme Court justice on the bench. Flustered by the unexpected move, after repeatedly telling one and all that there would be no hearings in the Senate about a new Supreme Court appointment until there was a new President, McConnell in a press conference this morning reversed himself and told the world that he had changed his mind and was honored to be nominated for this august … [Read more...]

Young Rock and Pop– the Ten Best 21rst Century Albums So Far

Contrary to popular belief, it is not true either that 'rock n'roll' is dead, or that it died and was resurrection as pop/rock/country in Nashville though there is a smidgin of truth to the latter rumor.Here is a list of five rock and five pop albums that have come out since the 21rst century began in 2001 (yes it began in 2001-- with the year '1' being the beginning of any century!). I have deliberately picked albums by bands formed no earlier than the 90s, and hitting their stride in the … [Read more...]

Second Easter Meditation from Lightfoot

Here is a second paraphrase, this time of 2 Cor. 3 from Lightfoot. Reflect on it----Will it be thought that in thus contrasting ourselves with false teachers that we are beginning again to recommend ourselves (as we have been obliged necessarily to do)? Surely, no one will suppose that like certain other persons we require letters of recommendation from others to you, or from you to others. You are yourselves our letter written in our hearts (which we bear about with us not as material … [Read more...]

Easter Meditation from Lightfoot

Here is Lightfoot's wonderful paraphrastic translation of 2 Cor. 1. Reflect on this in your prayer and quiet time today and it will do you good. (BW3)Blessed is God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the compassionate Father (the Father who bestows mercies) of all comfort, He that comforts us in all our tribulation to the end that we may be able to comfort you who are involved in every tribulation and the comfort wherewith we are comforted ourselves of God; for as the sufferings of … [Read more...]

Robert Harris’ ‘Dictator’

After writing a mesmerizing novel about Pompeii, entitled....wait for it 'Pompeii' telling the story of before and after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in the late first century, Robert Harris turned his attention to writing a trilogy of novels about the life and times of Rome's greatest rhetorician--- Cicero. 'Dictator' (416 pages, published in January of this year by Knopf) brings the story of Cicero's life to a tumultuous conclusion with both the assassination of Julius Caesar, and then the … [Read more...]


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