Do Gospel Authors Owe Us The “Truth”?

I read the words below in an article in today’s New York Times about the blurriness of the lines between history and historical fiction in recent movies. How do you think its points relate to the depictions, reworkings, and interpretations of history in the Gospels? I for one doubt that the majority of people in [Read More...]

An Important Book on the Synoptic Problem

My review of Dennis R. MacDonald’s book Two Shipwrecked Gospels: The Logoi of Jesus and Papias’s Exposition of Logia About the Lord has been published by Review of Biblical Literature and can be read online. Here is how the review begins – hopefully that will inspire readers of this blog to click through and read [Read More...]

Why Did Early Christians Improve the Burial of Jesus?

Jeff Carter has posted on his blog about his impressions from reading my short book¬†The Burial of Jesus: What Does History Have to Do with Faith?. I encourage you to click through and read what he says about it. He ends the post with a question for me, which I’ll quote here: The earliest followers [Read More...]

Brief Overview of Themes in the Four Gospels

Series with titles like “A Very Short Introduction” are very popular nowadays. This is an attempt to say a little about major themes in all four Gospels in the New Testament in about half an hour. It is skimpy but perhaps nevertheless useful for those approaching the Gospels for the first time. [Read more...]

Late Texts, Early Traditions continued: Thomases, Johns, and Marks

Here I am continuing some preliminary reflections related to my upcoming conference paper (which I began in an earlier post). My research interests which intersect with the methodological question I raised in my previous post, about the discerning of ancient traditions and of independent traditions in relatively late texts, seem to revolve around Johns and Thomases. [Read More...]

Lecture on the Interrelationships Between the Gospels

Here’s a recording of a class I taught, recapping the Synoptic problem and then looking at the distinctive features of the Gospel of John: [Read more...]

Class on the Easter and Resurrection Accounts in the New Testament

A first attempt at using a digital whiteboard while recording a class – one that is freely available online at Scriblink.com, since the classroom I am in does not have a smartboard. [Read more...]

Class on the Crucifixion and Passion Narratives in the New Testament

Since this is another class without changing powerpoint slides, I’m making this one available as an mp3 podcast as well: [Read more...]

Is the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife a Fake?

Let me start with the news that Mark Goodacre shared a pdf of an article written by Francis Watson, arguing that the recently-found Coptic papyrus that has been dubbed the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” is a fake. He followed that up with a second shorter pdf on the forger’s alleged technique. Some are already pronouncing [Read More...]

Did Jesus Understand Genesis 2 Literally?

Many will point to Jesus' words about divorce, in the context of which he quotes Genesis 2, as evidence that Jesus believed Adam and Eve were literal people, and will then on that basis argue against modern biology, or claim this proves that he supported the view of marriage as involving only one man and [Read More...]

Anush-Uthra vs. Jesus: Smackdown in Jerusalem

I just posted another draft of a chapter from the Mandaean Book of John. In this chapter, chapter 76, there are a few places where the meaning of the text is not entirely clear (do I need to mention this when it is true of pretty much every section of every Mandaic text?). But the [Read More...]


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