On Boring Books and Funny Fallacies

Doug Mangum has begun a contest to see who can find the most boring book title. I am not sure if I’ve thought of the best contender yet, but at the moment I’m inclined to go with this one: The Book. But I may yet come up with something better still, and so had better wait until I check [Read More...]

Mythicism vs. the Socratic Historians

A recent post on Vridar illustrates one of the many problems with mythicism. One of the axioms of historical study (which, when ignored, leaves one doing apologetics instead) is that sources should be treated fairly. Accepting claims to the miraculous when found in the Bible while rejecting them when found elsewhere is not historical scholarship. [Read More...]

Blog Action Day 2010: Water

This year’s theme for Blog Action Day (which is October 15th) is Water. Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo. [Read more...]


Yesterday I learned that there is a free online video editing tool called JayCut. I have yet to try it, but colleagues of mine have tried it and found it useful. And since I know there are people reading this either who use video clips in the classroom, or who are just dying to make their [Read More...]

Revenge of the Ossuary?

With the trial related to the James ossuary about to end, it seems we’re going to have a resumption of the lively debates about its authenticity. For those who may have forgotten about it, the ossuary has the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” on its side, and the trial relates to whether [Read More...]

They Might Be The Mesopotamians

HT to Bob Cargill for sharing this entertaining song by They Might Be Giants entitled “The Mesopotamians.” Click through and read the entertaining story of how he found out about it. http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/jAMRTGv82Zo?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0 (If you are more interested in science than ancient history, they also have a song about Paleontologists). [Read more...]

Shirley Case Jackson on the Historicity of Jesus

In working on an article on an almost entirely unrelated subject, I happened across online versions of Shirley Case Jackson’s book The Historicity of Jesus. Since I had a request to revisit earlier arguments for mythicism, I thought it appropriate to share this older response to those arguments. And for what it’s worth, that request came from [Read More...]

Christianity and Gays

Three posts came up in my reader today on this theme, and I wanted to share them. All three are focused on combatting the anti-gay attitudes and rhetoric that are widespread among conservative Christians. Letters: Desperate to BelongGay Suicide and the Ethic of Love: A Progressive Christian Response “Ex-Gay” is Anti-Gay, Disguised as Compassion [Read more...]

Mythicism, History and Rhetoric

Neil Godfrey is right, when he suggests that I have allowed myself to stoop to engaging in heated rhetoric. There is a fine line between satire and ridicule, and I have no doubt that I have crossed it, and for this I apologize. As for whether he and his regular commenters will see that they [Read More...]

Continuing Conversations Around the Blogosphere

Mark Goodacre has responded to my post which was a response to his (on the orthodox redaction of the Gospel of Mark by Matthew). Doug Chaplin recommends both our posts, as well as others. Bob Cargill discusses using digital course material to make textbooks. As Jim West reminds us, it isn’t too soon to send submissions for [Read More...]

Spiritual Warfare in Revelation

Today in my class on Revelation, we were up to chapter 12, which features, on the one hand, some classic imagery depicting a battle between Michael and Satan and their angelic hosts, while on the other hand, it features a subversive reinterpretation of the way such battles are envisaged, since it describes the “counquerors” in [Read More...]

Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Mark Goodacre posted today on the “orthodox redaction of Mark.” While I certainly agree that we find later redactors transforming their sources to be more in line with their own convictions (whether about “orthodoxy” or other matters), I am not persuaded that the first example Mark offers represents such a case. Mark (Goodacre, not the other one) writes: Take, [Read More...]

Call for Papers on Religion and Popular Culture

HT to The Fire and the Rose for mentioning this call for papers for a conference specifically for doctoral students, to be held at Princeton Theological Seminary. The topic is religion and popular culture – and one of the many specific topics mentioned as possible subjects for papers is LOST. Click the poster below to [Read More...]

Battling Mythicism in the Heavenly Places

Earl Doherty and some other mythicists try to argue that Paul thought that the story of Christ, whatever that story may have involved, was set in a mythical heavenly realm – typically, a realm viewed as having been “in the realm of flesh” and yet “above the firmament.” Such claims apparently seem not merely plausible but [Read More...]