The Value of Ossuaries

Many ossuaries are of archaeological and historical value. Some may be of more interest than others. But some, through spin, forgery, or other means, try to make the interesting seem incredible – and our historical understanding is liable to suffer as a result. On the Talpiot patio tomb, Bob Cargill has annotated a video with [Read More...]

SBL Paper Proposal Accepted: Revisiting the Relationship between the Mandaean Book of John and the New Testament

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a few days. I received notification that the paper I proposed, “Revisiting the Relationship between the Mandaean Book of John and the New Testament,” has been accepted for the 2012 Annual Meeting program unit Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism. Several other bibliobloggers have also shared details about the [Read More...]

If There is Gallows Humor, Can There Be Crucifixion Humor?

I came across this cartoon at The Far Left Side: I am (as most readers know) open to attempts at humor that verge into territory that some might find irreverent. But this one simply didn’t seem all that funny to me.  Silly, yes, but not really funny. As I reflected on why that might be, it [Read More...]

Contrasting Views on the Authenticity of the James Ossuary (and related subjects)

Michael Heiser indicates that his mind is changing about the matter of the authenticity of the James ossuary, because of a photo of the ossuary, with its full inscription, dated prior to the discovery of the Talpiot tombs. The photo has apparently been authenticated by someone from the FBI. If this is correct, it seems [Read More...]

Redshirt and Jesus

I was looking around for ways to create comic strips using online templates, and actually found a site which even has pre-prepared characters, including Jesus and a redshirt. The combination was too much of an anomaly to not try to do something with it… At this stage, I’m not expecting this to be a regular [Read More...]

Palm Sunday, April 1, circa AD 33

It was a clear indication of Jesus’ genuine humanity that he didn’t always know when he was taking a joke too far… [Read more...]

Wearing a Hoodie has Always been Dangerous

Of course, in real life Jesus’ skin color was probably closer to that of Trayvon Martin’s than that of most of the actors that have played him in movies. Just take a look at any Middle Eastern person who spends as much time in the sun as Jesus is supposed to have… [Read more...]

Anything but a Fish with Love Handles Talpiot Round-Up

Here’s a round-up of the latest on the Talpiot tombs and related matters. James Tabor blogged that some seem inclined to say that the image on the ossuary is “anything but a fish.” Bob Cargill agrees. Bob also commented on Nina Burleigh’s article (the article itself is here). Antonio Lombatti has an article in The [Read More...]

The Jesus SeM&Minar

Today in my Historical Jesus class we did one of the fun activities I have incorporated into the course each time I have taught it. To give students a sense of what the Jesus Seminar has done, and what is involved in voting on the authenticity or inauthenticity of sayings and actions attributed to Jesus, [Read More...]

Talpiot Photos and a Video that may Change your Perspective

A round up of the latest blogging on the Talpiot tombs and James ossuary. James Tabor has provided more photos of the most discussed inscription from Talpiot tomb B. He also offers additional photos of other inscriptions from the tomb, also known as the patio tomb. Tom Verenna offers video evidence from the “Lost Tomb of [Read More...]

Responding to Richard Carrier’s Response to Bart Ehrman

I linked previously to Bart Ehrman’s piece on whether Jesus existed in The Huffington Post. A response has been written by Richard Carrier (also discussed by Tom Verenna and Neil Godfrey), and I want here to point out some problems with that response. Let me begin by emphasizing that when scholars write op-ed pieces for [Read More...]


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