The Messiah-Maker

Jim Davila shared a link to an article by Geza Vermes about the Testimonium Flavianum, the more famous and more detailed of Josephus’ two references to Jesus. While some still think that the whole thing may be a later insertion by Christians, the consensus seems to be moving in the direction of there having been an [Read More...]

I Saw Jesus Killing Santa Claus

Polycarp and Bible Shockers linked to two different news clips about this story. Here’s the one that could be embedded: [Read more...]

Ready To Get Plastered

As if the struggle to get exams and essays graded, and final grades calculated and submitted by Tuesday morning, were not enough, the university has scheduled my department for wall repairs beginning Monday. Jordan Hall, where my office is located, has had issues for decades with leaky roofs and bulging and crumbling walls. So I’m [Read More...]

Tempted Just As We All Are

Here's yet another gem from an exam, a small spellin slip that seemed nonetheless to affirm that Jesus was indeed tempted in every way that is common to human experience. The student mentioned "Jesus' temptation by Satan in the dessert." We've all been there, haven't we? [Read more...]

Three Religions Meme

Kay at Ephemeral Thoughts tagged me with a meme. As she wrote, “The rules of the meme are to list three religions, apart from your own, that you find fascinating and why.” I was tempted to list “conservative Christianity” and explain what I like about it and what its role was in bringing me to [Read More...]

Emotionless Ecclesiastes

Another gem from an exam: “Ecclesiastes, on the other hand, is an emotionless book told by an emotionless but wise narrator.” [Read more...]

Missing Page Of The Bible Found

I’ve been meaning to share this since +Wrong shared it a little over a week ago: [Read more...]

Wisdom in Carnage

I’ll be frantically grading between now and next Tuesday, like so many others in academia. The best gem in an exam thus far was a student who wrote that the Gospel of John presents Jesus as “Wisdom in carnage.” I will assume that the student meant “Wisdom incarnate” – but you never know. Elsewhere in [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Sherry)

"There are those who believe that God literally "dictated" word for word the entire document. This would be fine, but admittedly if true, God is about a C+ at best as writer and historian." –'It's Just a Matter of Interpretation' by Sherry at A Feather Adrift http://afeatheradrift.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/its-just-a-matter-of-interpretation/ [Read more...]

The First Sunset: The First Meeting

The discussion group I’ve organized involving faculty in religion, philosophy and biology met for the first time today (at a theological discussion center not far from campus) to discuss ancient and modern ideas of creation, divine action and causality as well as their relation (or not) to the natural sciences. Our jumping-off point for discussion [Read More...]

First And Future Christmases Around The Blogosphere

Biblical Archaeology Review has a free book in pdf format entitled The First Christmas, with perspectives from Biblical scholars about subjects such as the star and the birthplace of Jesus. There are some interesting Christmas perspectives around the blogosphere. Robin Parry recommends taking Christ out of Christmas. Richard Hall offers a defense of materialist Christmas, [Read More...]

Merry Christmas from the Doctor

You see, no wimpy “happy holidays” from our favorite time lord… (HT Planet Gallifrey via IO9) [Read more...]

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

The start of Romanian’s revolution which led to the overthrow of its Communist dictatorship, that is. [Read more...]

Half Human On His Mother’s Side

When they hear the title of this blog post, Doctor Who fans will undoubtably think of the Dr. Who television special which claimed that the Doctor was half human – a notion then dropped from the canon of the show, unless I’m mistaken. Classicists may think of any number of demigods from classical mythology. But [Read More...]


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