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 sally forth and provide some clues here, by category. Let's … [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 slowing down it is … [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. … [Read more...]

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 simply distillations of things he has said … [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 famous Caiaphas ossuary. It appears to have endured long … [Read more...]

The Prayer of Sir Francis Drake

(This apparently was written in preparation for Drake's sailing to the west coast of South America)Disturb us, Lord, when We are too pleased with ourselves, When our dreams have come true Because we dreamed too little, When we arrived safely Because we sailed too close to the shore.Disturb us, Lord, when With the abundance of things we possess We have lost our thirst For the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, We have ceased to dream of eternity And in our efforts … [Read more...]

Finding Jesus—- the Final Episode

The final episode of Finding Jesus focuses on Mary Magdalene and her relationship with Jesus. Of course, ever since the Da Vinci Code there has been no end of speculation about the nature of this relationship. There are of course mysteries along the way as we study Mary's story. Why exactly does she just disappear from the pages of the NT after Easter morning? One interesting suggestion made in this last episode of Finding Jesus is that she was an older woman, and perhaps she died not many … [Read more...]

Furious 7– From Cars to Cartoons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yISKeT6sDOgAmericans of course have a love affair with the car. Not too surprising since we helped invent them. So, its also not too surprising that they love movies where the cars are the real stars, ranging from cartoons like the animated Pixar film 'Cars' to the seven Fast and Furious films. You don't go to such films expecting Shakespearean quality acting or lines. You expect fast cars, races, car stunts, and if the movie also aspires to be a thriller … [Read more...]

A.D. The Bible Continues– Episode One

The first episode of A.D. starts off with a bang, with the trial of Jesus. Having seen several episodes in advance, I can tell you there are some strong portrayals in this series by the actors playing Pilate, Caiaphas, Peter, Mary Magdalene, Jesus' mother, Saul, and others. Because the first series is actually only covering a couple of the last chapters in the Gospels, and then a bit more than a quarter of Acts, we are in for some depth portrayals in this series in a way that was not possible … [Read more...]