Excellent Historical Fiction or Poor History?

Richard Carrier’s talk about the Acts of the Apostles seems to slip back and forth between two claims. One is that the work is historical fiction. The other is that it is trying to be history but failing. The actual evidence complicates this claim. Carrier mentions Colin Hemer’s classic study of Acts, Book of Acts [Read More...]

Well, That Escalated Quickly

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Beyond the Queen James Bible

I read with interest in recent days the news (which I thought I’d heard announced at some point before) about the Queen James Bible. What this Bible does is translate the eight “clobber passages” in ways that reflect what many scholars understand them to mean, seeking to make clear that they are not about contemporary same-sex [Read More...]

Who Got Invited?

David Hayward has created and shared a cartoon that illustrates a central message in both nativity stories in the New Testament. Those who were “invited” to the birth or infancy of Jesus were the marginalized, the excluded. Somehow the powerful and dominant have managed to co-opt these stories and treat them as their own, seemingly [Read More...]

Season’s Greetings from the Vaders

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Brief Overview of Themes in the Four Gospels

Series with titles like “A Very Short Introduction” are very popular nowadays. This is an attempt to say a little about major themes in all four Gospels in the New Testament in about half an hour. It is skimpy but perhaps nevertheless useful for those approaching the Gospels for the first time. [Read more...]

Sts. Leia and Luke, Shmi and Anakin

IO9 has another set of Star Wars religious iconography, of which the above is but one example. Click through to see more. And despite what you’ll read there, Jar Jar Binks is not included in the ranks of sainthood – no halo! Here, see for yourself: [Read more...]

Lecture on the Infancy Stories in Matthew and Luke

I apologize that the very start of the recording was cut off. Not much was lost, but it makes the beginning a bit abrupt. But with the title provided, hopefully those few introductory words are not really necessary. [Read more...]

Sooner or Later, You Have to Choose between the Bible and Inerrancy

A discussion I’ve been part of on Facebook illustrates something that I have said before on numerous occasions: ultimately, for those approaching the Bible as a sacred text, one has to choose between showing respect for the Bible above all, or giving ultimate authority to a doctrine of Biblical inerrancy. This was illustrated in a [Read More...]

Biblical Minimalism at its Finest

And if you are interested in a minimalist treatment of a wider range of religious texts, then this may be of interest… [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...]


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