Jesus takes the ALS #IceBucketChallenge

Roger Wolsey shared the above on Facebook. If Jesus were living in our world today, how do you think he would have responded to the ice bucket challenge? Living in a world without modern medical research possibilities, he did what he could. What would he do today? [Read more...]

Jesus as God in the Gospel of Mark?

Michael Kruger wrote a blog post about Jesus as God in the Gospel of Mark. His argument is that, in the Scriptural citations towards the beginning of the Gospel (which the author of Mark, or the Greek text he draws upon, actually rewords), texts which in Isaiah and Malachi refer to the preparation of the coming [Read More...]

Josephus, Jesus, and John

Ken Olson recently had a guest post on the Jesus Blog, about the Testimonium Flavianum. Olson’s chapter on this subject, “A Eusebian Reading of the Testimonium Flavianum,” is online on Academia.edu. Jim Davila and Richard Carrier also discuss this topic. Olson’s argument is summed up as follows: “The most likely hypothesis is that Eusebius either composed the [Read More...]

John the “Baptist”

“John the Baptist” is the way one particular John is known to history. But there are two ways that phrase could be understood. One, which is probably the most common, views John as having developed a distinctive ritual immersion, and that creation of his led to him being nicknamed “John the immerser.” A problem with [Read More...]

The Mandaeans and John the Baptist

I was asked a question on the Mandaean Book of John blog, and thought I’d share my answer here as well. The question was about whether there could have been a historical connection between John the Baptist and the Mandaeans. Here’s what I answered: I think that it is entirely possible that there is some [Read More...]

Mandaean Roots of Christianity?

This book came to my attention recently via Facebook. There is also a promotional video which contains only text plus images that can be found on the internet. This self-published book is unlikely to offer anything useful to scholars interested in the Mandaeans. That doesn’t mean, however, that it is impossible there were connections between [Read More...]

The Bells of Saint John

The end of this month Doctor Who will return and the title of that first new episode will be “The Bells of Saint John.” Regular readers will know that this is a blog which regularly focuses on religion and Doctor Who. But it is also a blog where Johns who might be prefixed by “Saint” [Read More...]

What Sort of Baptist was John?

This post will hopefully illustrate that serious thoughts can be generated by frivolous content on blogs. Allan Bevere shared this amusing image of “John the Southern Baptist”: That got me thinking of the question “What sort of Baptist was John?” – imagining various “baptists” fighting over a claim to him. And that led me to [Read More...]

The Mandaeans: Around the World in 80 Faiths

A friend drew my attention to the above video which, starting around the 3:37 mark, is about the Mandaeans in Sydney, Australia. The video is from the BBC documentary series, Around the World in 80 Faiths. On the BBC documentary’s web site, you can also see many other video clips, including about the Samaritan Passover. [Read more...]

βαπτιστων

Brian Le Port has an interesting post about John the Baptist and related matters. He draws attention to a reference by Justin Martyr to a Jewish group which he refers to as βαπτιστων. The term is used in modern Greek for “Baptists” (as in the Christian denomination). I wonder whether the term most likely denoted [Read More...]

John the Baptist and the Gnostics

Miguel Conner has an article in The Examiner highlighting the various mentions of and views about John the Baptist in Gnostic sources. In it, he links to one of the chapters I translated from the Mandaean Book of John! There is a need for a detailed scholarly treatment of this topic. When G. R. S. [Read More...]


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