Did Jesus Foresee, Plan, and/or Interpret His Own Death?

Did Jesus foresee his own death coming and interpret it beforehand? The opinions on this tend to be divided largely into two camps: conservative Christians who will say “Of course Jesus knew, he was God,” and others, including historians, who will say that, while Jesus might well have suspected that he might meet a fate [Read More...]

Take Up Your Cross

I received a question in an e-mail that seemed worthy of a blog post rather than just a private response. The question was about the depiction in the Gospels of Jesus telling people to not simply follow him, but to take up their cross and follow him. One question is obviously whether Jesus can be [Read More...]

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...]

Bethel AME Church

I had the privilege of participating in worship at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Indianapolis this evening. My pastor Tom Bartley was invited to preach, and brought our church music team (of which I am a part) with him. The church has a fascinating history – for instance, it was a stop on [Read More...]

Lecture on Exodus and Conquest

I had hoped to make a recording of my class today, but we ended up discussing points raised by a student’s presentation, and so I recorded the above lecture in my office later in the day, so that I can post it and not take more class time covering the key points. I’d be interested [Read More...]

The Resurrection in Orthodox Iconography and the Marriage Gesture of cheir’ epi karpo

At SBL in November, John Dominic Crossan spoke about Eastern Orthodox iconography of the resurrection (I previously blogged about this). Here is an example of the iconography: I was struck by the consistent depiction of Jesus grasping Adam by the wrist, which I assumed symbolized that the entirety of the salvation was accomplished by God, [Read More...]

Joseph Hoffmann on Mythicism, Skepticism, and Historical Reasoning

Joseph Hoffmann posted on whether “anything goes” in mythicism, providing a wonderful discussion of the appropriate and inappropriate sorts of “skepticism” and illustrating how historians reason about the evidence regarding Jesus. Around a lengthy treatment of Hegelianism, he writes things like this: To say that Jesus is a plausible figure is thus merely to say [Read More...]

Does Making Charts Help Mythicism?

I laughed out loud when reading a recent post by Neil Godfrey. Most of it was neither laughable nor surprising. He discusses how we know people in the ancient world existed, with his usual shtick depicting historical Jesus scholars as confused bumblers. Nothing surprising, or interesting, except perhaps for his acknowledgment that historians in most fields do not [Read More...]

Religious Studies and Christian Agendas

In a blog post on the Religious Studies Project website, Raphael Lataster, a postgraduate student at the University of Sydney, has suggested that there is a Christian agenda behind even the supposedly secular study of religion. And he makes that claim because of his own experience of wanting to research mythicism at university. From what [Read More...]

Mythicists at Long Last Ready to Embrace Mainstream Historical Methods Like Divination?

There have been a couple of amusing posts over at Vridar. In one of them, Neil Godfrey discusses Daniel Boyarin’s claim (in his book The Jewish Gospels) that there may have been an expectation about a suffering Messiah prior to Christianity. Whatever your thoughts on this (the view is not unique to Boyarin, but neither [Read More...]

Martin Luther King Quotes

  Some more quotations from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. courtesy of Buzzfeed.   [Read more...]


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