Revelation 7: The Seal of God, the Earth’s Corners, and Tribal Errors

This past Sunday in my Sunday school class, we talked about Revelation chapter 7. Given my sense of humor, you won’t be surprised that I mentioned that Revelation 7:2 doesn’t mean this: We also talked about how the chapter illustrates problems with both literalism and inerrancy. With literalism, not just because someone reading in English [Read More...]

Review of Richard C. Carrier, Proving History

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to review Richard Carrier’s latest book, Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. I am grateful to Prometheus Books for sending me a free review copy. Carrier emphasizes from the outset that this is the first of two books, the second of [Read More...]

After the Exile: The Transition from Pre-Exilic Judah and Israel to Post-Exilic Judaism

Here’s another audio podcast with screen capture from a class I taught. This is actually the first half of a class period, the second half of which was on the Psalms and which I shared yesterday. [Read more...]

The Only True God in Paperback

My book The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context is now at long last available in paperback! My first author's copy arrived a few days ago, and it now shows up on Amazon.com as available. Click the link above for more details. Some of you have been waiting a long time [Read More...]

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...]

Miriai is a Vine, a Tree that Stands at the Mouth of the Euphrates

I’ve just posted on the project blog a draft of my translation of chapter 35 of the Mandaean Book of John, the second and longer of the two chapters focused on the story of Miriai. While chapter 34 was relatively mundane by comparison (but still incredibly interesting, in my opinion!), chapter 35 is full of [Read More...]

Is Jesus Satan?

Now that I have your attention, I should presumably next reassure you by saying “NO!” But hopefully you are still asking yourself why on earth anyone would ask the question in the first place. The reason is a discussion in my Sunday school class last week. We’ve been working through the Book of Revelation, and [Read More...]

Richard Carrier Illustrates Historical Jesus Methodology

While one might or might not see fit to dispute Richard Carrier’s specific conclusions in his recent post, “The Dying Messiah Redux,” I think that the most important thing to note is the approach to history that it illustrates. Carrier argues that, because certain views expressed in Jewish literature from several centuries after the rise [Read More...]

Pamela Eisenbaum Lecture on Paul

Here’s a lecture by Pamela Eisenbaum entitled “The Paul I Know: A Jewish Evaluation”: HT Bruce Prescott [Read more...]

Religion 2.0

Michael Dowd posted on what he calls the “New Theism” (as well as mentioning other terms). I’m not sure that I find that particular label “New Theism” helpful, since “theism” is often associated with precisely what Dowd rejects, the idea of a personal or anthropomorphic deity. I appreciate his comparison of the movement he is [Read More...]

Loquats, Olive Oil, and Tombs

What the three things mentioned in the title of this post have in common is my friend Eldad Keynan, who stopped by the hotel where I am staying in Haifa and spoke to my students as well as me. He brought me some fruit from his garden (sheseq, which a quick internet search informed me [Read More...]


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