Christmas: Damage Control or Outcast Inclusion?

Johnny Walker drew attention to one view of the Christmas stories in the Gospels that is heard about less often in churches: that they were an attempt at damage control, to cover up or distract from stories about Mary having been raped by a Roman soldier or simply having gotten pregnant without being married. Michael [Read More...]

Joseph, Who Understood

This is a rather distinctive Christmas song by the band The New Pornographers (HT Anthony LeDonne). Here are the lyrics:   Joseph, Who Understood   Rumors are flying All over Galilee these days And Mary, I’m trying To be cool When my friends walk by them They cannot look at me In the eye Baby, [Read More...]

A Little Contemporary Christian Music

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Time Out

From yesterday's Family Circus.   [Read more...]

Images of Extracanonical Manuscripts Needed

I know there are readers of this blog whose expertise and connections range far and wide, and so I hope you won’t mind me appealing to you for assistance. Does anyone have or know of images of  manuscripts of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary (Berlin Codex) that can be found [Read More...]

Andrew Lincoln – Born of a Virgin?

The title is (I hope obviously) not asking whether Andrew Lincoln was born of a virgin. It is about the book which Andrew Lincoln has written, Born of a Virgin?: Reconceiving Jesus in the Bible, Tradition, and Theology. I had the privilege of reading the book in advance of publication, and have already mentioned it a couple [Read More...]

Mary Magdalene Resources

Anthony LeDonne mentioned on his blog that he has a new book coming out: The Wife of Jesus: Ancient Texts and Modern Scandals. I think the cover, with a woman whose face is obscured, is very clever. Mark Mattison has made an interlinear version of the Gospel of Mary available on the Gospel of Thomas [Read More...]

Shmi Skywalker the Mother of Batman

I apologize for the wacky title, but if a movie is made which features August Pernilla as Mary and Christian Bale as Jesus, then one simply has to make some sort of reference to their other roles along the lines of the title to this post, and get it out of one’s system. Or perhaps [Read More...]

The Short-Term Impact of Jesus’ Birth

From The New Yorker.   [Read more...]

Jesus’ Family and Modern Bethlehem

The blog +972 shared the news earlier today that the Israeli embassy in Ireland had posted a derogatory status update about Palestinians, in connection with Jesus and Mary, on their Facebook page: A thought for Christmas…If Jesus and mother Mary were alive today, they would, as Jews without security, probably end up being lynched in [Read More...]

Jesus was NOT born in a Manger

Let me start by saying that Jesus was not born in a manager. I had that spelling error on an exam this semester. For that to have happened might have looked something like this: Assuming, of course, that the father in the picture was some sort of manager. But even if you get the spelling right, [Read More...]


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