Jesus Chris

This example of why it is important to think seriously about placement of labels as a librarian is brought to you via my friend and colleague Brent Hege, who shared the above image on Facebook. [Read more...]

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Wash Your Hands of Bad History

I have yet to read either of the dueling books, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee and How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature—A Response to Bart Ehrman. When I do, I will discuss them in terms of their contents and arguments. But [Read More...]

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Horus Trolls the Atheists Again

A colleague of mine shared this bit of internet nonsense on Facebook: I am disappointed when anyone repeats bogus information without fact-checking it, but I am even more disappointed when it is an educator. I sometimes think that young-earth creationists might be atheists pretending to be delusional and dishonest Christians in order to make Christianity [Read More...]

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50,000 BC

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Eldad Keynan on Jesus’ Burials

Eldad Keynan has a new article on the Bible and Interpretation site, about the burials of Jesus. While my book is about The Burial of Jesus in the singular, it does discuss the possibility that there could have been more than one. And my use of the plural in reference to Keynan's article is intentional, [Read More...]

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Decision-Making Dilemma

Frank Viola shared this image: Although there is nothing wrong with asking what someone we admire would do in a particular situation, ultimately we either admire someone because we share their ideals and find inspiration in them, or because we can project our own ideals onto them. And so we really are asking not “What [Read More...]

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Keep Christ in Christianity

The latest cartoon from David Hayward is interesting to think about in connection with the sorts of rhetorical claims one sometimes encounters from conservative Christians regarding American society. “Keep Christ in Christmas” they may say, or “Put prayer back in public schools.” What they often fail to notice is that they have only allowed selective [Read More...]

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Spinning the Cross

David Hayward's latest cartoon will probably be controversial in some circles. But on one level, it reflects a very mainstream understanding of what happened in the early church. Jesus' followers thought he was destined to be king and restore the kingdom of David. They were so persuaded that, when the Romans crucified him, their belief [Read More...]

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Abiding Questions

In working on my conference paper on lightworld visitors to Jerusalem in the Mandaean Book of John, I've been looking up related passages in the Nag Hammadi texts. Below is a passage from “The Sophia of Jesus Christ,” which always strikes me, because the response of Philip on behalf of the disciples describes something that [Read More...]

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Did Paul Have a Distinctive Christology? Did He Think of Jesus as a Pre-Existent Human Being?

In a recent blog post, Larry Hurtado noted Morton Smith's observation that Christology never turns up as an issue between Paul and the more conservative Jewish Christian groups that he interacted with directly and indirectly, centered in Jerusalem. And so this seems to confirm that Paul did not take a Jewish Messianic figure and turn [Read More...]

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Hebrews 9: A Bloodbath

Hebrews 9 is the source of a couple of popular “memory verses” in conservative Evangelical circles. It was interesting to explore it in my Sunday school class today in a way that got at some key questions, both in terms of the exploration of the meaning of the text in its original context, and how [Read More...]

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