The Life and Teaching of John the Baptist according to the Mandaean Book of John

Now that I have finished at least a still provisional but nevertheless complete translation of the chapters in the “Drasha d-Yahia” (which itself might be better rendered The Teaching of John rather than The Book of John) about the life and teaching of John the Baptist, I wanted to share links to them here. 18. Portents of [Read More...]

Was the Historical Jesus on Facebook?

A piece of news has been getting attention today, about a study of classic myths, some of which we know from archaeological evidence were based on real people or events. The study suggests that the degree to which the relationships in the story mirror real ones – including those one can observe today in social [Read More...]

Will Time-Travelers Ruin the Passion?

  It is a scenario that some science fiction stories have explored – Gary Kilworth's “Let's Go To Golgotha!” and Michael Moorcock's “Behold The Man” come immediately to mind. Even I have a story involving time travel to first century Judaea that I would love to write. But even if you haven't read such stories, [Read More...]

Popular Highlights in the Burial of Jesus

One nice feature of Kindle ebooks, such as my own The Burial of Jesus: What Does History Have to Do with Faith?, is the fact that data can be collected about what readers highlight in the text. Amazon shares such information anonymously on the book’s page. Here are the three most popularly highlighted quotes from [Read More...]

“Be Deceitful as your Heavenly Father is Deceitful” (Things Jesus Didn’t Say)

It struck me powerfully as I replied to a comment on a recent post featuring an infographic about the age of the Earth, that there is indeed a resemblance that appears between a deity and his or her worshipers, as one might and indeed should expect. In the case of young-earth creationists, the resemblance is [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...]

“Jesus, Take The Wheel” Day

Someone has created a Facebook event that seems to be aimed at ridding the world of those Christians who are anti-intellectual, illogical and gullible: HT Scott Bailey and Hemant Mehta What do readers think? Is this an excellent satire, a serious challenge, a joke in poor taste, a really good idea, or something else?   [Read more...]

Is There A Perfect Ethical Principle?

As a Christian, I seek to live by the Golden Rule. SMBC has a cartoon which calls into question whether even that principle represents a perfect ethical law (HT Hemant Mehta): I doubt (although feel free not to correct me) that anyone actually has the fetish mentioned in the cartoon. But I can well imagine [Read More...]

An Odd Diatribe from Thomas L. Thompson

In the latest issue of The Bible and Interpretation, Thomas L. Thompson offers a very odd rebuke to Bart Ehrman. Thompson mentions things like Philo's love of allegory and Qoheleth's assertion of our lack of novelty, as though these somehow will allow one to open the door to any and all interpretations of texts, including [Read More...]

Tackling Denialism With Painful Logic

Compared to historians and scholars dealing with Jesus mythicists, those who tackle other forms of denialism seem to have it somewhat easier – or would, if denialism could be combated with logic of the sort illustrated in this XKCD cartoon: In related news, while I myself have used the comparison between the tactics used by [Read More...]

Better Atheist Fact-Checking

Tom Verenna shared a short image reflecting common mythicist misinformation, and (quite justifiably) complained about it. It appears that someone also went through it and illustrated point by point how fact-checking should be done. Here is the result: [Read more...]


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