Did Jesus Predict His Death? The Witness of Mark and John

The Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of John are viewed by many as having been written independently of one another. When they agree, it is potentially significant. They may disagree on whether Jesus predicted his resurrection in a way that could, at least in theory, be understood at the time, without the benefit of [Read More...]

Dust and Demons

I finally watched The Golden Compass; I have yet to read the books. The movie simply does not have any sort of atheist message. It does have a message against authority seeking to keep the lid on and prevent investigation of the truth. But the truth that is being opposed is “dust”, something mystical and [Read More...]

WWJD? WWYD? Easter Edition

What would it be worth giving one’s life for? What is worth the pain of crucifixion? Would you have given your life, surrendering yourself to a painful, shameful death, because of a conviction that God would raise you to his right hand? What if you had no such hope regarding the afterlife, but had a [Read More...]

Stranger on the Shore

One can only speculate about the first post-Easter experience of “seeing Jesus”, that is left undescribed in Paul’s reference in 1 Corinthians 15 (“first to Peter”), that was perhaps in the original ending of Mark’s Gospel (or the continuation of the story known to that author), and perhaps alluded to in John 21 and in [Read More...]

Hristos a înviat!

Hristos a înviat din morţi, cu moartea pe moarte călcînd şi celor din morminte viaţă dăruindu-le. [Read more...]

How Much Did Jesus Foresee About His Death?

There is one piece of evidence, rarely given the attention it deserves, that indicates that Jesus, on the night of his last supper with his disciples, knew that “the end is nigh” – either for him, or for history as a whole. He took a nazirite vow – foreswearing the fruit of the vine, not [Read More...]

Can One Simply “Believe The Bible” About Easter?

One could begin simply with the question of what Easter is, and that would be enough to make one realize that the question of “what happened” is a historical question, even if we mean “what happened to change the lives of the disciples?” and not “did Jesus enter the resurrection age?” When it comes to [Read More...]

Parable of the Day (Dave Tomlinson)

Jesus told this parable to a gathering of evangelical leaders. ‘A Spring Harvest speaker and a liberal bishop each sat down and read the Bible. The Spring Harvest speaker thanked God for the precious gift of the Holy Scriptures and pledged himself once again to proclaim them faithfully. “Thank you God”, he prayed, “that I [Read More...]

The Days After The Crucifixion

The sun is setting, the start of the Sabbath is at hand. On Friday, Jesus had been executed by the Romans, and buried according to the requirements of Jewish Law in a tomb located nearby, presumably there to accomodate the corpses of criminals executed on the site. Did any of Jesus’ followers try to rectify [Read More...]

Creationism and Censorship

Young-Earth Creationists and cdesign proponentsists regularly accuse the academy and the world of censoring them (whereas the truth of the matter is that they are ignored or passed over for doing weak science and in most cases simply not doing science at all). If you want to see censorship and exclusion in action, you have [Read More...]

The Island has not LOST track of Michael

Tonight’s episode of LOST (the last new episode until April 24th, when LOST will resume at 10pm) focused on the story of Michael after escaping the island. How exactly he “found rescue” we are not told, but he made it back to the U.S. eventually. He is feeling suicidal – after telling Walt what he [Read More...]

Wishing You A Historically Well-Informed Easter

Many people find Easter a particularly difficult holiday during which to integrate faith and reason. Christmas doesn’t pose the same challenge – one may doubt or even deny the historicity of the infancy narratives, appreciating them as the sorts of stories ancient people were prone to tell to highlight an individual’s significance. Jesus’ birth itself [Read More...]

It’s Not Whether You Win Or Lose

Let’s imagine a hypothetical (and admittedly implausible) scenario, in which some new information comes to light – whether through scientific investigation, or from a booming voice from a burning bush – showing that in fact the intelligent design crowd, or even the young-earth creationists, were right, and it turns out that evolution is utterly inadequate [Read More...]

Mandaean Refugee Resources Project

Today I was made aware of the Mandaean Refugee Resources Project, an organization dedicated to addressing the humanitarian plight facing the Mandaeans in our time. I hope other readers of this blog will take an interest in this issue too, if they haven’t already. Also of interest is the recent article, IRAQ: The Mandaeans: Another [Read More...]


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