The Testimonium Flavianum and Jewish and Roman Involvement in Jesus’ Death

Today’s historical Jesus class will look at the mentions of Jesus in Tacitus and Josephus. The latter, in the passage known as the Testimonium Flavianum, has been the subject of much controversy. The discovery of Agapius’ Arabic citation of it has led most to conclude that there was indeed a reference to Jesus in Josephus, [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Julia M. O’Brien)

“A lot of verbage gets thrown around about the Bible (its perfection, its authority, its goodness) that makes sense only if you don’t read it–or read it seriously. I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t say something about the Bible that isn’t true about all of it. If you’re going to talk about the Bible [Read More...]

LOSTing My Religion

A religion major who is soon to graduate needed one more credit for this semester and has decided to meet it by doing an independent study…on LOST and religion! There are so many ideas we’ve both had, and so many possibilities. One interesting suggestion is to investigate whether the light-dark polarity that is part of [Read More...]

Reducible Complexity

Proponents of Intelligent Design make much of alleged instances of “irreducible complexity”. A colleague drew to my attention an article that deals with the evidence that such complexity is indeed “reducible.” It has the catchy title “The reducible complexity of a mitochondrial molecular machine.” Those interested in this subject will want to take a look. [Read more...]

A Pair Of Nasoraean Commentaries Partially Online

Among the books available in limited preview via Google Books is E. S. Drower’s translation of two Mandaean priestly commentaries, known as the “Great First World” and the “Lesser First World”. I don’t own a copy of Drower’s translation (which is what is on Google Books), but I am delighted to be the owner of [Read More...]

Had Been Getting Tense In Genesis

I recently mentioned that two ways of translating the Hebrew verbs in Genesis 2:19 might, in theory, both be legitimate. A comment on that post raised the question whether one of them was in fact not justifiable: …as I see it, the verb in question is a wayyiqtol. And the wayyiqtol is *never* (to my [Read More...]

Mark Goodacre: Live and In…His Office

As others have already pointed out, Mark Goodacre will be pioneering in the world of technology and teaching, as he always does, this time by having online office hours. Here’s the full story: Mark Goodacre at NT Blog has agreed to hold live, online “office hours” this Friday, Sept. 18, at noon EDT on Duke’s [Read More...]

Separating Light From Dark

Chris Brady has offered yet another post on creation in Genesis, and yet another amusing cartoon related to it as well. [Read more...]

What Butler Professors Do In Their Spare Time

Two of my colleagues at Butler University are part of a band called Nightjar. You can listen to them here. One of them also used to be in a band called Chuckanut Drive, which you can listen to on YouTube: Not really my sort of music, to be honest, but if I had a band [Read More...]

Yoda and Yoga

That’s the title of a new piece on Beliefnet about Star Wars and Hinduism. [Read more...]

Looking Under the Hood of Your Religion

Gumby the Cat has returned to blogging with a delightful extended analogy between his experience with Christianity and buying a car. I’ve noted previously the analogy Carl Sagan made between buying a used car and choosing a religion. I highly recommend reading Gumby’s post, and I also strongly advise readers to “look under the hood” [Read More...]

Getting ‘Tense’ When Reading Genesis

I’m teaching again today. The topic was Genesis (the book, not the band, although I have been practicing the keyboard solo from Cinema Show) with particular focus on the creation stories. One particular point I’ve emphasized more in recent years at this point in the class is the role of translations in interpreting the text [Read More...]

Review of The Lost World Of Genesis One, Part Ten

The tenth proposition is perhaps the crux of Walton’s argument and the most crucial for those who take a high view of Scripture. He argues that Genesis 1 does not merely focus on function rather than material creation, but it is not about material origins as well. His argument includes not only pointing out the [Read More...]

Facebooking for the Tenure Track

There’s an interesting piece up at the Chronicle for Higher Education with this title. Those who engage in Facebooking, blogging, and various other sorts of public online activities will probably find it useful. [Read more...]