Relegere

Several bloggers have noted the appearance of the first issue of a new online journal, Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception. Any journal that contains an article with the title “Life of Brian or Life of Jesus? Uses of Critical Biblical Scholarship and Non-orthodox Views of Jesus in Monty Python’s Life of Brian” is definitely [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Ted Troxell)

There is no essence of Christianity. There is only Christianity as it manifests in a given time and place practiced by people who are always already themselves contextually situated. Even things that look like internal reductions — Jesus’ take on the shema, or his invocation of the Golden Rule, or James’ “true religion” of looking after [Read More...]

Bauckham and the Vague, Confusing Terminology of Divine Identity

Nick Norelli mentioned my name in connection with a discussion of Richard Bauckham’s use of the phrase “divine identity” in relation to early Christology. As I have said before, I do think that Bauckham’s terminology is unhelpfully vague, and until he defines it more clearly it cannot even be assessed in terms of its applicability [Read More...]

Mythicist Qum(i)!

Neil Godfrey posted today about Maurice Casey’s treatment of the story of the raising of Jairus’ daughter. Casey very carefully defines what a historian (as opposed to a believer in a religious tradition) can say about an account of a “miracle,” and that the performance of a “remarkable deed” by someone believed to be endowed [Read More...]

The Talpiot Tomb and the James Ossuary: What If…?

Being busy preparing for my travels, I only barely caught wind of the fact that a scientific report declared that the James Ossuary, i.e. the one with the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” has a patina with a chemical signature matching the Talpiot tomb, in which were found ossuaries with inscriptions such [Read More...]

Blessed are Those who do not Vandalize Ancient Tombs

Today’s touring and exploring started at the Mount of Beatitudes. The beatitudes are, as typically in Christian tradition, presented in the Matthean version around the church and site, and so the contrast between Luke’s “Blessed are you who are poor” and the relatively rich site is not felt as strongly as it might be. We [Read More...]

Galatians 3:13 and Romans 8:3 Without Penal Substitution?

Mike Bird posted on his blog Euangelion about a couple of my recent posts. Having addressed the first theme, inerrancy, in yesterday’s post, this one turns to the question of penal substitution. Since Mike asked specifically about Galatians 3:13 and Romans 8:3, I will make them the central focus of this post. Galatians 3:13 is [Read More...]

What’s Wrong With Penal Substitution? (From the Archives)

For many people, the title of this post may be meaningless. “What is penal substitution?” would seem to them a better question. But if I explain that it is the idea that there is a penalty for sin, and God punished Jesus instead of us, they will immediately recognize it and say “That’s what I believe!” [Read More...]

Biblical Literalism and Science are an Explosive Mix

The following cartoon was shared today by Unreasonable Faith and then by Scotteriology (with a twist): Far worse than combining Biblical literalism with science is combining religious faith with scientific ignorance, as in the example below from Facebook which came via P. Z. Myers: For an impressive example of the sun’s power on display today, [Read More...]

Inerrancy of the Bible and Sarah Palin

The two possible meanings of the title of this post are intentional. It seems to me that the same tactics that Christians who believe in the Bible’s inerrancy use to deal with evidence to the contrary are the tactics being used to defend the inerrancy of Sarah Palin (and other politicians – Palin just provides [Read More...]

Churchill Mythicism

Via Mark Goodacre, who suggested the resemblance to Jesus mythicism (and warned of the expletive): [Read more...]


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