Speaking in Tongues at Crooked Creek Baptist Church

Today at my church, as it was Pentecost, we had the text (Acts 2:1-13) read in several different languages. I contributed by reading the text in Koine Greek. I was rather annoyed with myself for not being able to read it out loud in a more fluent manner, without stumbling a bit over longer words [Read More...]

Mars Hill Mistake?

Yesterday in Sunday school, someone suggested that Paul in Athens, as described in Acts 17, had tried to reach people by adapting his message to his audience, and being philosophical and rational in his approach. The result, the person claimed, was disappointingly ineffective, and so Paul never did it again. It wasn’t the first time [Read More...]

Is Richard Carrier’s Talk about Acts History?

I found this comment left on a recent posthere on my blog entertaining. It approaches Carrier’s own talk the way Carrier’s talk approaches Acts: Carrier’s presentation of Acts is a fake history. * Lacks key markers of being a real history (Does not reference the primary sources precisely, does not explain his methodology. He reveals [Read More...]

Excellent Historical Fiction or Poor History?

Richard Carrier’s talk about the Acts of the Apostles seems to slip back and forth between two claims. One is that the work is historical fiction. The other is that it is trying to be history but failing. The actual evidence complicates this claim. Carrier mentions Colin Hemer’s classic study of Acts, Book of Acts [Read More...]

Richard Carrier on Acts as Historical Fiction

John Loftus drew attention to the lecture above. Here are some comments on it. The presentation starts with best books, mentioning Richard Purvo, Dennis MacDonald, and John Dominic Crossan. This was misleading, because these scholars do not draw the distinctive conclusions that Carrier does. Luke-Acts is said to have been written by the same guy, and [Read More...]

Same Sex Relations and the Jerusalem Council

The Butler Religionists club had a discussion about same-sex relations as viewed by a variety of religious traditions. I mentioned that Acts 15, with its depiction of a decision by Jewish Christians about what Gentiles needed to adopt from Jewish customs in order to make it possible for Jews and Gentiles to have fellowship, neglects [Read More...]

The Apps of the Apostles

Given my interests in the intersection of religion, technology, and bad puns, I had to share the Ship of Fools “Gadgets for God” page, which commenter Phil drew to my attention: If Paul the Apostle had an iPhone or an Android smart phone, what apps do you think he would have on it? [Read more...]

Acts 26:18 (Bogus Internet Version)

I had a student provide this quote, supposedly from Acts 26:18, ¬†in an assignment: The first step of education is to have one’s eyes opened and be turned from darkness to light. I Googled it and found it has circulated quite widely online. But it doesn’t correspond to the meaning of the Greek text of [Read More...]

Good News for the Poor

I am ashamed to say that there was a time when I thought that what David Hayward depicts in the above cartoon was indeed what it meant to “preach good news to the poor.”   [Read more...]

BibleWorks 9 and the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

Today a wonderful opportunity to continue illustrating more features of BibleWorks 9 has presented itself. With the issuing of Francis Watson’s pdf arguing that the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” is a fake, the seemingly unparalleled line 6 stands out amid other lines for which Watson claims to have found possible sources of derivation, even if [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Fred Clark)

Fred Clark has a post on his blog focused on the requirement to accept Gentiles communicated in Acts 10-11, as God is described as expanding his people to include those previously excluded. In that connection he writes: I believe that denying LGBT people full legal equality is objectively immoral. I believe that excluding LGBT people [Read More...]


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