A Searching Book— Rachel Held Evans’ ‘Searching for Sunday’

It’s tax day and Rachel Held Evans’ latest book has just emerged, Searching for Sunday (Nelson Books, 269 pages, $16.99 pb). In some ways this book has appeared at just the appropriate moment, because in some ways it is like a refund check from the IRS, much anticipated, and a big help. In some ways however, the book is simply taxing, burdened down with a false sense of righteous outrage about an issue Rachel should have given more thought and... Read more

John Grisham’s ‘Gray Mountain’– Taking on Big Coal

(image courtesy of lyndapringle.hubpages.com). Living in Lexington Kentucky one sees a lot of cars with the ‘Friends of Coal’ license plates. In my view, friends don’t let friends profit off the misery and death of miners with black lung disease or off of mountain top removal, despoiling of streams and rivers, and general ruination of Appalachia. Coal is not our friend. It is one of the most dirty forms of energy imaginable and the process of it’s extraction from the... Read more

Ben’s Books– Part Three

As I’m sure you’ve noticed. There is an appalling (I’m kidding!) amount of Paul in the NT, nearly a third of it is attributed to him. I’m not going to discuss my commentaries in this post, but rather will turn to other volumes of importance on Paul. There is first of all the Paul Quest (IVP 1998), which has done very well, and presents to the reader various of the modern ways Paul has been analyzed by scholars. There will... Read more

A.D. The Bible Continues— Episode 2

The new series A.D. is providing us with an in depth look at the rise of the Jesus movement, and its motivating forces and factors. In Episode 2 of this series of shows, the arc of the narrative does not really reach beyond the Easter stories in the Gospels. Indeed, it ends on a mount, probably in Galilee, with Jesus commissioning his disciples and then departing from them. Along the way we get various scenes, some of them quite moving,... Read more

Ben’s Books– Part Two

I’ve written a bunch of books about Jesus, between 1984 and now. My earliest publication was indeed Women in the Ministry of Jesus (Cambridge,1987)— Obviously, this book did well because it was on a timely topic. The book I would most commend if the issue is ‘How did Jesus view himself’ is my The Christology of Jesus (Fortress 1990). This book is still used as a text, and it spawned two others with Fortress, Jesus the Sage and Jesus the... Read more

Ben’s Books— Part One

It’s hard to talk about your own work. You’re too close to the source to see it straight. Yet, I keep getting asked over and over again— which are your most important books? My usual response is— Important for what? All of my 50 some books have a purpose, an audience, an intention. So it’s impossible to generalize about all of them like one would about say, an event in your life. Nevertheless, since I keep being asked, I will... Read more

Scientific Explanation for Senior Moments

Alert reader Dr. Harold Black sent the following to me….. “The explanation. . . . . Brains of older people are slow because they know so much. People do not decline mentally with age. It just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains, scientists believe. Much like a computer struggles as the hard drive gets full up, so too do humans take longer to access information, it has been suggested. Researchers say this... Read more

The Home of Jesus?

Check out this story http://www.aleteia.org/en/religion/article/a-new-look-at-where-jesus-grew-up-5900277093761024, and the one by Professor Dark in the last issue of BAR.

Simply Good News– a Late Word from Tom

Some of Tom Wright’s books are rather like sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, realizing that a lot of good eating is before you, and it’s going to take a long time to digest. Fortunately, even Tom’s big books don’t have the same effect as a large dose of turkey does— call it the tryptophan effect. But Tom’s shorter, more popular level books while easier to consume, should never be mistaken for empty calories or fast food, even when they are... Read more

Once More with Feeling— Did the James Ossuary come out of the Talpiot Tomb?

Craig Evans and I were having a chat about the James Ossuary. He was about to give a lecture at Liberty University about Jesus and the Remains of his Day. We were discussing the fact that the James ossuary, unlike any of the other ones I’ve seen from the period appears very pitted and worn on the surface. It doesn’t have the smooth limestone surface of numerous other ossuaries of the period, including those in the Talpiot tomb and the... Read more