Demystifying the Bible

Many bloggers have attempted to debunk the recent attempt to convert words attributed to Jesus in the New Testament into Hebrew and then interpret them as a prediction that Barack Obama is the antichrist. It is important to ask what is at the root of such an approach to the Bible. Many people treat the [Read More...]

Christian Baseball and Christian History

There are plenty of athletes who are public about their religious beliefs – whether in the form of some show of appeal to divine intervention in their favor during a game, or writing books and doing interviews in which they take advantage of their celebrity status to talk about their faith. But I have yet [Read More...]

Early Converted Skeptics?

In recent discussions and reading, I’ve encountered on more than one occasion mentions of James the brother of Jesus as having been skeptical of Jesus during his public activity, and also mentions of him and Paul as two skeptics who were “converted”. I have no particular wish to counter that claim, if it is correct. [Read More...]

For Those Looking For Things To Read In Syriac

So you’ve made it through a course or textbook on introductory Syriac. You’ve started reading the Syriac New Testament with the help of the Clavis Syriaca freely available on the Internet Archive. You’re starting to feel almost proficient – or at least like you’re ready to start diving into some of those very interesting and [Read More...]


I am grateful to Mark Goodacre for pointing out the existence of a freeware program called Blogger Backup which allows you to make a backup offline copy of your blog. While an accidental deletion might leave a copy at the Internet Archive, if a hacker gets in, they may be able to delete it in [Read More...]

Around the Biblioblogosphere

There are a number of interesting posts for Biblical studies folks this morning, as well as other closely-related fields. Jesus Creed continues its look at Genesis 1. The Aramaic Blog asks whether Barak Hussein Obama is mentioned in an ancient Aramaic manuscript. enters the Obama antichrist fray. Clayboy touches on the subject of whether [Read More...]

Some Assembly Required

I’ve previously discussed some of the theological issues connected with the recognition that the Bible did not come down from heaven as a pre-packaged collection. But they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and so here are some images to illustrate the point. Please feel free to use, share and circulate them if [Read More...]

Barack Obama the Antichrist? Shedding Some Lightning On The Subject

The claim has been circulating that Jesus referred to Barack Obama and singled him out as the antichrist, when he said he saw “Satan fall as lightning (baraq) from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Obviously this misunderstands Jesus’ meaning. His point was not that Satan descends from heaven as Barack Obama (which would involve using different words). [Read More...]

Preach Your Doubts

Yesterday in Sunday school my pastor told a story that I really appreciated. He said there was a pastor who went to the leadership board of his church to hand in his resignation. He told them he had all sorts of doubts, and felt that he had lost his faith, and thus was convinced he [Read More...]

The Only True God On The Golden Rule

Or should that be The Golden Rule on The Only True God? Either way, Mike Koke has posted a review of The Only True God on his blog The Golden Rule, which includes a chapter-by-chapter summary. [Read more...]


Presumably anyone who has watched Tom & Jerry will be familiar with the Cat Concerto. Well, now thanks to a surprisingly talented real-life feline, and an even more talented and creative Lithuanian composer, we give you: Catcerto! HT Ephemeral Thoughts [Read more...]

Review of Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel

Richard Bauckham’s book Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008) appeared after my own recent book on monotheism and Christology, The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context, had been completed. I thus welcome the opportunity [Read More...]

Help Sought With Stoning Of A Homosexual Adulterer Fortune-Telling Dwarf

In a clip from an Australian TV show (which I warn you has some bad language, but it was necessary to make the point), some Australians intent on understanding American religious life take to the streets of Texas to seek help in applying some neglected commandments. HT Friendly Atheist Of course, Americans need help understanding [Read More...]

Biblical Studies Carnival July 2009

Jim West hosts the most recent Biblical Studies Carnival. It is full of humor, but perhaps the funniest moment is when, in what is precisely a post about other things people posted earlier, he (presumably ironically) complains about my rehashing old posts during a period earlier in the month when I was unable to post [Read More...]