Son of Man

I’ve been wondering for some time whether extreme skepticism of the depiction of Jesus even in our earliest sources hasn’t gone too far. A number of scholars have been bringing the pendulum back the other way. Bart Ehrman, for instance, thinks that Jesus thought himself to be the Messiah. If we remove all such views and [Read More...]

Relation and Ontology in Paul’s Chris(t)ology

I thought this was a particularly important statement in Benjamin Edsall’s review of Chris Tilling’s book, Paul’s Divine Christology: Tilling objects, rightly, to getting hung up on ontological questions in Paul’s Christology, and he spends the majority of the book discussing the Christ-relation and arguing that it has certain important structural parallels with a “typical” Jewish God-relation. Nonetheless, [Read More...]

Jesus, Enoch, Elijah, and Job’s Children

The same person who recently asked me about translation and resurrection drew my attention to this statement by William Lane Craig: In an extra-canonical Jewish writing called The Testament of Job (40), the story is told of the translation of two children killed in the collapse of a house. The children are killed when the house [Read More...]

Jerusalem’s Construction and Destruction (Right Ginza 15.11.328-333)

This is a quick translation of this passage from the Great Treasure (Ginza Rba), the Mandaean sacred text. It relies heavily on Lidzbarski’s German translation, cross-referenced with the online Ginza concordance mostly when either the German was ambiguous, or I was curious what the underlying Mandaic was. In most instances when I looked because the German [Read More...]

Is the Oldest Science Fiction in the Talmud?

Anthony Le Donne suggested on his blog (and in a recent conference paper) that a story in the Babylonian Talmud, in b. Menaḥoth 29b, might be the first science fiction story. In it, Moses time travels to Rabbi Akiba’s time. But is time travel enough to make a story science fiction? I’ve long pondered this topic, namely [Read More...]

Anush-Uthra vs. Jesus: Smackdown in Jerusalem

I just posted another draft of a chapter from the Mandaean Book of John. In this chapter, chapter 76, there are a few places where the meaning of the text is not entirely clear (do I need to mention this when it is true of pretty much every section of every Mandaic text?). But the [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones

The Doctor Who episode “The Faceless Ones” from the Patrick Troughton era is a gripping mystery set largely in Gatwick Airport, where aliens have infiltrated and are working to abduct human young people. Most of the action revolves around the Doctor’s attempt to determine what exactly is going on, who is responsible, and why they [Read More...]


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