#YCAS2015 First Panel at the York Christian Apocrypha Symposium

Brent Landau got the day started by highlighting the Gospel of Jesus' Wife, and whether it is still worth talking about even if it is a forgery. An important question running through the symposium is whether our interest in ancient apocrypha as academics ought to be different from our interest (or lack thereof) when it [Read More...]

#YCAS2015 Begins

Last night I reached Toronto, where the York Christian Apocrypha Symposium is bing held, and met with Scott Brown and Timo Paananen for dinner. Both have written important studies of the so-called Secret Gospel of Mark, and Timo also contributed in a significant way to the discussions about the Gospel of Jesus' Wife by writing [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Image of the Fendahl

Image of the Fendahl is a great episode for those interested in the show’s exploration of religion. It also has a moment which may be alluded to and revisited in a great episode from the Peter Capaldi era. The episode begins with the discovery of a skull, 8 million years (based on potassium-argon dating) before a human-like [Read More...]

Traveling to Toronto #YCAS2015

I’ll be traveling to Toronto today to the York Christian Apocrypha Symposium. I will try to blog about the conference as it happens, if I can, but I don’t yet know what wi-fi access will be like. Those on Twitter can follow tweets about the conference via the hashtag  #YCAS2015 [Read more...]

Strong Ability in Biblical Languages

As I sought feedback on the Swahili lyrics of Baba Yetu recently, one of the most crucial kinds of feedback I received was of the sort that said “X rather than Y sounds more natural to a native speaker.” As Bill Mounce pointed out in a recent blog post, this is the kind of instinctive [Read More...]

How to Win at Chess

A key step is to create division between your opponent’s bishops over same-sex marriage. Watch the video above for other creative moves… [Read more...]

Misattributed Sayings and the Historical Jesus

I’ve blogged in the past about sayings which were attributed to various figures – Mother Teresa and Reinhold Niebuhr – while others have addressed Albert Einstein and Josh Groban. One thought that struck me is that we tend to have saying gravitate from less famous people to more famous ones, and new sayings fabricated and attributed [Read More...]

A Blog-Based Consensus?

Andrew Bernhard has shared his analysis of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, showing the likelihood that the forger used Mike Grondin’s online interlinear of the Gospel of Thomas, on both Mark Goodacre’s and Bart Ehrman’s blogs. What struck me most was his reference to there appearing to be a consensus on the matter among scholars. [Read More...]

What Would It Take To Get You To Read Richard Carrier’s Book?

A commenter on this blog mentioned how useful it would be if scholars in Classics, ancient Jewish history, or Roman history were to read and give their impressions of Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. The truth is that, just as I am perhaps going to [Read More...]

Ridiculously Complicated

Presumably there is a logical explanation for this, although it is one that is often overlooked by religious believers. The Biblical authors didn’t think of God as omnipotent. They had eliminated other gods by rolling them all into one. But God was still one who acted through flood and storm, earthquake and lightning, plague and famine. [Read More...]

An Act of Love

Rev. Frank Schaefer has drawn to my attention that a movie is being made about his experience. Some of you may recall when Schaeffer faced censure by his denomination for officiating at his own son’s same-sex wedding. The movie will be called An Act of Love. If you are interested in supporting the project, there is [Read More...]

The Extent of Literalism

When I first posted the cartoon above by Tim “Spike” Davis, it was accompanied by a screenshot of someone arguing that, since the Bible refers to people reasoning with their hearts in the Bible, the heart must contain a tiny brain. I was subsequently informed that the individual who expressed this view had experienced a severe [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Magician’s Apprentice

Doctor Who returned to out TV screens this evening, and it was as full as ever of the creative mind-blowing stuff that has characterized the Moffatt era. While that era has been characterized with much that has been silly and frustrating – and this episode is no exception – it has typically made up for [Read More...]

It’s the Jedi Way

It is well known that Alec Guinness did not think at all highly about Star Wars. But he had been hired to play a role, and he did so, and did it well. And so I am surprised that, to my knowledge, no one had added him to the ever-growing collection of “still did their [Read More...]