The Curious Case of the Gospel of Mrs. Jesus

Jesus and Mary small

In 2012, a tiny papyrus scrap was labeled, “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife.” What’s the latest? And what of Christians’ reactions to the fragment? [Read more...]

Who Would Die for a Lie? (Another Weak Christian Argument) (2 of 2)


This is the second part of a dissection of the apologetic “Who would die for a lie?” that argues that the apostles’ deaths are strong evidence that the Jesus story is true. Not only is there scant historical evidence for their martyrdoms, but other elements of the argument smell fishy. [Read more...]

Who Would Die for a Lie? (Another Weak Christian Argument)


Apologists like to point to the deaths of the apostles and ask, “Who would die for a lie?” What doesn’t get enough attention is the more fundamental question: “Why think that any of the apostles were martyred in the first place?” The evidence supporting the claim is quite flimsy. [Read more...]

OK, Smart Guy—YOU Tell Us What Happened

Baby Jesus

Is the gospel story true? That’s far too big a claim with far too little evidence to support it. But instead of attacking the Christian claims, I’ll be in the host seat this time and will propose a hypothesis to explain the facts. [Read more...]

How Decades of Oral Tradition Corrupted the Gospels


We delude ourselves if we imagine that the Jesus story was transferred from person to person in pre-scientific Palestine any more reliably than stories travel orally today. The transmission of the gospel was more like gossip than Homer. [Read more...]

When Christianity Was in Charge, This Is What We Got

Monstrous creatures from Sebastian Münster’s “Cosmographia” (1544).

We’ve given Christianity a chance. It dominated Europe for over a thousand years. Christianity talks a good story about the supernatural, but here’s what happens when they talk about things that can be tested. [Read more...]

Shroud of Turin: Easter Miracle or Hoax?

Shroud of Turin, Debunked

What are we to make of the Shroud of Turin? Is it a miracle or a fake? [Read more...]

The Bible’s Dark Ages

Bible manuscript

What happened during the Bible’s Dark Ages, the period from the original documents to our oldest manuscripts? What kinds of monkey business happened during these centuries of turmoil in the early church? We have every reason to suspect that changes happened that we simply have no way of undoing. [Read more...]

What Did the Original Books of the Bible Say? (Part 2)

Page from Book of Kells, a Latin illuminated manuscript written in about 800 by Irish monks

What do we do with the contradictory passages in our thousands of copies of New Testament manuscripts? Historians have some inventive approaches to finding the most reliable copies, but there’s plenty of room for error. [Read more...]

Dismantling the Noah Story

Noah's Ark

The movie didn’t care much about the Bible story, so let’s go to the Bible to see what the Noah story really says. It’s actually two stories. [Read more...]