Did Jesus Die in Outer Space?

Over the past several weeks I’ve been reading Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, which The Bible and Interpretation kindly sent me a copy of, asking me to provide them with a review. It soon became clear to me that a single review with an overview of [Read More...]

Shape-Shifting Palimpsest Jesus

I will confess that I tend not to expect certain adamant atheist bloggers to offer nuanced and insightful discussions of matters of religion. And so I want to thank P. Z. Myers for challenging my stereotypes. Here is an excerpt from his recent post, “Palimpsest Jesus”: And there he is! Palimpsest Jesus! Once you spot [Read More...]

Gnostic Intellectuals?

I apologize that I didn’t manage to find the time until now to mention the conversation about ancient Gnostic intellectuals that has been taking place lately. Read Larry Hurtado’s post that sparked the discussion, April DeConick’s response, Larry Hurtado’s reply,  as well as contributions by Mike Bird and Jared Calaway. I think it is fair [Read More...]

The God Beyond God

A variety of traditions, including Christian mysticism and modern existentialist theology, have spoken of the “God beyond God.” This is the very ancient idea that, beyond any sort of anthropomorphic deity that we may think of and tell stories about, there must be an even greater reality that transcends our ability to comprehend and describe. [Read More...]

Cain, Abel, and Mario Kart

There is a Tumblr called “Facts I Just Made Up” which includes a lot of outlandish explanations of photos. It also includes this rather unique false but funny claim related to Gnostic interpretation of the Bible: [Read more...]

Images of Extracanonical Manuscripts Needed

I know there are readers of this blog whose expertise and connections range far and wide, and so I hope you won’t mind me appealing to you for assistance. Does anyone have or know of images of  manuscripts of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary (Berlin Codex) that can be found [Read More...]

Pre-Christian Gnosticism and Christology

Larry Hurtado posted recently about his talk on “fallacies and fashions” in New Testament studies. One fashionable fallacy he focused on is the notion of a pre-Christian Gnostic redeemer myth, as was posited by the History of Religion School in the 20th century. As Hurtado mentions, Carsten Colpe (in Die religionsgeschichtliche Schule: Darstellung und Kritik [Read More...]

Literalism and Absurdity

I came across this on Pinterest: This obviously reflects, for the most part, the literalistic and contextless approach of fundamentalism. But now that religious viewpoint is treated with hostility – yet without in fact questioning its underlying assumptions. Those who are willing to read into the text ideas that were not formulated until much later, [Read More...]

Forthcoming Book of Interest

Acumen Publishing has released Histories of the Hidden God: Concealment and Revelation in Western Gnostic, Esoteric and Mystical Traditions, edited by April DeConick and Grant Adamson. It looks to be a very interesting volume, and I hope to get a chance to read and review it in the not-too-distant future. Here is a description provided [Read More...]

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...]

Scholars in Videos

There are several instances of scholars giving talks that have come to my attention in recent days, and they seemed worthy of a round-up. First, Anthony Le Donne shared a video with a talk by David Brakke about Valentinian cosmology: Matthew Montonini shared videos of the famous New Testament scholar Raymond Brown. This is just [Read More...]


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