Scholarship and Science, Skepticism and Consensus

Several posts with interconnected points and themes have come to my attention. One, an article by John Beddington in New Scientist magazine, seeks to explain the relationship between consensus, skepticism, and peer review. It is worth reading the whole thing, but here is a sample to whet your appetite: Let’s return to what science actually is: [Read More...]

More on What Biblical Studies Professors Teach at Peje Iesous

Continuing some inter-blog interaction, Christopher Skinner has posted a follow-up to his previous post, in which he explores further the subject of what Biblical scholars teach, touching in the process on matters such as objectivity and the impossibility of a “view from nowhere.” [Read more...]

Mandaean Ginza Rba Text and Concordance Online

Via the Mandaean Gnosticism blog, I learned that in addition to numerous other Mandaean texts, the Ginza Rba is online (in both Mandaic script and transliteration, and now it also has a Google site), and what’s more, now so too is the searchable concordance to the Ginza Rba. [Read more...]

Jesus, Birth Stories (x2) and Stone-Casting (x2) Around the Blogosphere

Joel Watts shared the illustration below (although he doesn’t think they got the “real Jesus” quite right). Doug Chaplin also discusses the story about “casting the first stone.” John Byron criticizes Darrell Bock’s attempt to minimize the historical problems in Luke’s mention of the census under Quirinius in his infancy story. Don Rogers explains why [Read More...]

The Best of all Possible “The Best of All Possible Worlds”

Today we begin discussing Voltaire’s Candide in my “Faith, Doubt and Reason” class. Here’s quite possibly the best of all possible renditions available on YouTube of “The Best of All Possible Worlds” from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide - one performed by characters from World of Warcraft!: [Read more...]

The End of the (Mythicist) Age

In an attempt to make mythicism seem more plausible, some mythicists attempt to push the time in which the (purely celestial/mythical) activity of Jesus is set back in time, away from the time of Paul, so that the latter would not be in a position to know whether Jesus was a real, historical human being [Read More...]

Mark’s Missing Ending: Article in The Bible and Interpretation

An article I wrote has been published by The Bible and Interpretation. The title is “Mark’s Missing Ending: Clues from the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Peter.“ [Read more...]

Approaching the Bible Academically (not just in the Academy)

Christopher Skinner shares an experience of interacting with a colleague who doesn’t think that personal faith and critical study of the Bible can be kept separate. I would comment that, even if the colleague is right, to be unable to separate the two need not mean that one’s faith tradition is allowed to override critical/academic [Read More...]

Paul Cartledge, Provoker of Mythicists? Alexander the Great and Jesus

Paul Cartledge’s book on Alexander the Great is quoted by Chuck Grantham in a recent blog post: It has been well said that the search for the historical Alexander is something like the search for the historical Jesus. Many contemporaries had an interest in preserving a version of what he said and did, but none [Read More...]

Around the Biblioblogosphere

The Center for the Study of Christian Origins has audio recordings of talks by James D. G. Dunn and N. T. Wright. Dan McClellan shares that Proceedings of the British Academy can be read/downloaded online. Volume 143 is on the history of ancient Israel. Mark Goodacre discusses the honest fear of accidental plagiarism. Arni Zachariassen [Read More...]

Happy Mandaic Valentine’s in First Place Day!

Eisenbrauns has announced the winners of this year’s Valentine competition, and a Mandaic Valentine I composed has been chosen as the first place winner! I am grateful to my collaborators on the Mandaean Book of John project, Charles Häberl and Steve Caruso, for catching some errors and making a few suggestions for improvement. But most of [Read More...]