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...]

Quotes for Ascension Day

Since Dănuţ Mănăstireanu offered a reminder that it is ascension day, and Ken Brown linked to some of my older posts on the subject and offered some thoughts and reflections of his own, I think it will be enough just to share a couple of my favorite quotes from scholars that are particularly relevant today. [Read More...]

Missing Your Daily Dose of Mythicism?

If you are disappointed that I have not blogged about mythicism today, here’s something that may make up for it: Tim O’Neill has posted a review of David Fitzgerald’s book Nailed. And since he says that mythicists needn’t try again to debate him on the subject, if anyone wishes to comment on the review here, [Read More...]

The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism

I am grateful to Eerdmans for sending me a free review copy of The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism. A dictionary is particularly hard to review, and so no futile attempt will be made here to do justice to the full range of contents and contributors. Among those most directly related to my research interests [Read More...]

Harold Camping Rap Tour 2011

Hope you enjoyed my attempt at photoshop humor. Either way, here are some links to other blogs that have been discussing Harold Camping in general, or specifically his latest rescheduling of the Rapture for October. Or is it rap tour? Does it really matter? Jasob Boyett, “Harold Camping: Invisible Judgment Day” Wheat Among Tares, “Camping [Read More...]


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