Ten Prayers that Changed the World

I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in a blog tour about Jean-Pierre Isbouts’ latest book, Ten Prayers That Changed the World. The book takes the fascinating approach of choosing individuals, and key historical moments connected to or surrounding those individuals, which also gave rise to famous prayers. Isbouts approaches the subject as a historian, and he treats the [Read More…]

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Venturing Outside One’s Area of Expertise

Everyone is talking about Neil de Grasse Tyson’s problematic tweets – see the recent blog posts by Jerry Coyne, Hemant Mehta, and P. Z. Myers. But I think the most important post on the topic is that by Jonathan Bernier. He points out that, once someone moves outside of their field of expertise, no matter how [Read More…]

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Jesus, Sherlock Holmes, and Hercules

Internet apologists for mythicism are always ready to point to Sherlock Holmes and Batman and say “look, here we have stories, so these prove the existence of fictional detectives and comic book heroes, don’t they?” Can they not see that this is absolute silliness, that one could respond with the same trite comeback about anyone [Read More…]

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Recreation of Rome in the Era of Constantine

Thanks to the Khan Academy for making the above video, and George Athas for sharing it. This is a recreation of what Rome looked like in the era of Constantine. I hope you enjoy your virtual visit to the ancient world! [Read more…]

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Epiphany and History

Having attempted to do away with contradictions between Matthew and Luke for Christmas, Ian Paul has now offered a blog post claiming that Matthew’s story of the arrival of the magi can be treated as historical. I am not persuaded. Infancy stories featuring miracles are a common feature in ancient literature, and are consistently devoid [Read More…]

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History of Labor Day

HT Allan Bevere [Read more…]

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Review of Jodi Magness, Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit

I am long overdue to review Jodi Magness’ book Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus on my blog. It is so full of interesting detail that it simply wouldn’t do to skim through it quickly. Many readers will have encountered at some point a picture book which children [Read More…]

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Review of William Dever, The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel

I mentioned in a recent post that I had been reading William Dever’s book, The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel: When Archaeology and the Bible Intersect. That book (for which I am grateful to Eerdmans for having sent me a review copy) deserves more than just a mentioning in the context of Gen [Read More…]

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Gaming Thiessen Polygons

I am pretty sure I am the only person who has ever brought along William Dever’s book The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel: When Archaeology and the Bible Intersect to read at Gen Con. There was in fact a good rationale – as I mentioned previously, I have been trying to think of [Read More…]

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CFP: Doctor Who and History: A Cultural Perspective

From the Doctor Who and History blog: CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS: DOCTOR WHO AND HISTORY Deadline for abstracts: 1 September 2015 (contributors will be notified within two weeks of the deadline)  When Sydney Newman created a new family-orientated show for the BBC back in early 1963, he envisioned it as being, in John Reith’s terms, to “educate, [Read More…]

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