O Little Town Of Nazareth

Biblical Archaeology has offered two perspectives on a discussion that is also gaining momentum in the blogosphere. Michael Halcomb and Metacatholic are exchanging posts, and of course I have shared some thoughts on the subject in the past. In this particular exchange, I have to side with those who are against forcing a harmonization of [Read More...]

Kid Nation

Tonight the last episode of Kid Nation aired. The show will be missed, although this is not to suggest that children should have been or should be kept away from their families for longer periods of time, for our entertainment. But the show didn’t just invent a new reality TV gimmick. It gave a group [Read More...]

Scam E-Mail From Barrister Daniel Sampah

Just as I was posting the last entry, I received another one! This one starts ‘Dear Friend’ (what lawyer contacting someone about an inheritance would start a letter that way?) and reassures you that it isn’t a scam. But of course, it is. The details of the scam e-mail follow: ______________________________________ Dear Friend, This message [Read More...]

Thai Lottery Scam Spam

It seems like more spam is making it past the spam filters recently than usual. Here’s another scam – as though in Thailand they would have a lottery that gives money away to people who have never been there, never mind having bought a ticket. And the lottery exec, as always, has a free Yahoo! [Read More...]

Quote Of the Day (Arthur Peacocke)

“Theology has been most creative and longlasting when it has responded most positively to the challenges of its times” (Peacocke, Theology for a Scientific Age: Being and Becoming: Natural. Divine and Human (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1993) p. 7, quoted here) [Read more...]

Best Available Knowledge

Would it be fair to say that the Bible, at the time it was written, based its statements about the cosmos, anthropology and other subjects on the best available knowledge? I cannot think of an instance where a Biblical author advocates a particular view of “scientific” question over against others. For instance, when Paul assumes [Read More...]

Literal Days vs. 24-Hour Days, and Adam vs. Christ

In a comment Geocreationist left on an earlier post of mine about ‘literal days’, he helpfully points out that literal days do not, as a rule, have precisely 24 hours in them. Sunrise and sunset (the basis for reckoning days in the ancient world, including in Genesis 1, where it has “evening and morning”) vary [Read More...]

Avenues For Research On The Mandaeans

I’m reading and collecting resources, gearing up to focus on the Mandaean language and Mandaean texts over the summer. I may even have a student who will do some independent research on the same topic over the summer. At present I’m reading Edmondo Lupieri’s The Mandaeans: The Last Gnostics, which is a nice brief introduction [Read More...]

Yahoo! Beta Mail Scam

I’m going to try to make a habit of posting on scam spam (there’s so much of it perhaps we should just call it scpam for short), for the benefit of the gullible. People regularly find their way to my blog searching for information about scams and hoaxes. Here’s a recent addition to my inbox. [Read More...]

Around the Blogosphere

Ben Witherington has a nice little Christmas sermon, although there are many difficulties with his depiction of what happened (whether on a literary level or a historical one). He is certainly right that “there was no inn in the room”. The word translated “inn” in many English versions of the story is translated “upper room” [Read More...]

Indianapolis Marion County Public Library’s New Central Library Grand Opening Today!

Indianapolis Marion County Public Library’s new Central Library building will be having its grand opening to the public in a little over an hour from now. I got to see it Friday at a reception for friends and family of employees, donors and friends of the library. It is spectacular and gives any public library [Read More...]


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