At JFK Airport in New York

  Off we go! I took the photo above near the gate in Indianapolis, but did not have time to post it before we left. We have arrived at JFK airport and made our way to the gate where our departure to Tel Aviv should be. We are so early that it is not listed [Read More...]

Travel Tips for Preparing to Visit Israel/Palestine

Next week I’m traveling with students from Butler University to Israel and the Palestinian territories on a 9-day tour. I just posted some tips to help students prepare for the trip on our course blog. Why not click through and take a look – and point out anything I may have neglected to mention? [Read more...]

Verdict in the James Ossuary Trial: Not Guilty on All Counts

The news is circulating that the judge in the James ossuary forgery case found the defendants Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch not guilty. Do note the nature of this conclusion. It is not a scientific, archaeological or epigraphic assessment of the authenticity of inauthenticity of the ossuary or some or all of the inscription on [Read More...]

The Burial of Jesus: Second Edition Published!

I am happy to finally be able to announce that the second edition of my book The Burial of Jesus: What Does History Have to Do with Faith? has now been released by Patheos Press and is now available for purchase in Kindle format on Amazon.com. Versions in Nook and iBooks format are planned for [Read More...]

Jerusalem and Israel: An Aerial View

This trailer for an upcoming IMAX movie about Jerusalem gives an aerial view of a number of major sites. I hope it will generate enthusiasm among students for the Israel trip I’ll be leading in May! I definitely recommend clicking the “full screen” button! Also potentially of interest is the video blog, The Jerusalem Experience, [Read More...]

Israel and the Palestinians: Reading Recommendations Sought

I’m hoping to read three books with students who will be participating in the trip to Israel/Palestine in May 2012. The first I’ve already decided on, and it is A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus: Reading the Gospels on the Ground by Bruce Fisk. I’m also using it as a textbook in my historical Jesus class. [Read More...]

The Burial of Jesus, the James Ossuary, and the Talpiot Tomb

I’ve been revising The Burial of Jesus: History and Faith and I hope a second edition of it will be available as a ebook at some point in the future. One topic that has given me pause is the intersection of the questions related to the New Testament evidence, the James Ossuary, and the Talpiot [Read More...]

Jerusalem in Video: 1896-2012

A bit of historic footage from Jerusalem in 1896 has appeared on YouTube (HT John Byron): And from Dănuţ Mănăstireanu, the first in a planned series of videos from a justice tour he participated in. [Read more...]

X-Men First Class: Never Again, Ever Again

I finally got around to watching X-Men First Class, and found it not only an enjoyable superhero action movie and a satisfying prequel exploring the earlier lives of the X-Men, but also a challenging parable about the danger of history repeating itself when we most want to avoid it doing so In the first X-Men [Read More...]

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus: How to Ask Hard Questions

This is the third installment in my blog review of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus, which is part of the blog tour organized by the publisher. In my experience, students are less daunted by or opposed to the asking of really difficult questions when those questions are seen to be posed or raised by the [Read More...]

Peace for Palestine: A Serious and a Humorous Perspective

On the serious side, the leaders of the Christian churches in the Holy Land have issued a communiqué (via Dănuţ Mănăstireanu): Looking ahead to the upcoming General Assembly of the United Nations this September 2011 and the bid for Palestinian statehood, the Heads of Christian Churches in Jerusalem feel the need to intensify our prayers [Read More...]


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