Respecting Beliefs

I came across this image on Pinterest, on the same day that the Pope excommunicated the entire Mafia from the Roman Catholic Church. Religion can be a powerful force to do harm or to combat those who do harm. And the line between the two sorts of religion is not one that lies between different [Read More...]

Did They Walk Into a Bar?

The pope has now concluded his visit to the Holy Land. My own trip was moved earlier to avoid having places be closed in preeparation for his visit. Apart from the “upper room,” traditional site of the last supper, which is over the traditional site of the tomb of David, we did not experience any [Read More...]

Rabbi David Zaslow on the Jewish Roots of Christianity

When I reviewed Rabbi Zaslow’s book Jesus: First-Century Rabbi recently, he left a comment on the post, pointing out this interview that he did on Christian television. I thought it might be of interest to more readers than those who happened to be keeping an eye on the comments on that post, and so I’ve [Read More...]

Review of Jesus: First-Century Rabbi

When I saw that there would be a Patheos Book Club on Rabbi David Zaslow’s book Jesus: First-Century Rabbi, I knew I had to participate. Not only the subject of the historical figure of Jesus, but also the relationship of Christian origins to its Jewish matrix, interest me both professionally and personally. The cover material of [Read More...]

Is the Oldest Science Fiction in the Talmud?

Anthony Le Donne suggested on his blog (and in a recent conference paper) that a story in the Babylonian Talmud, in b. Menaḥoth 29b, might be the first science fiction story. In it, Moses time travels to Rabbi Akiba’s time. But is time travel enough to make a story science fiction? I’ve long pondered this topic, namely [Read More...]

Fred Clark Highlights the Ridiculousness of Left Behind

Fred Clark has been blogging about the Left Behind books and movies, lately focusing on the second movie, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force. His comment about Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah’s “research” which led him to faith in Jesus says it all: “Ben-Judah reveals that his years of research mostly focused on the works of Josh McDowell.” I [Read More...]

How Old Were Jesus’ Disciples?

The student who presented in my historical Jesus class on the twelve disciples mentioned that disciples – i.e. apprentices or students – were normally younger people. We tend to think of Jesus’ disciples as older, but the possibility that they may have been teenagers was drawn to mind by a humorous video Mark Goodacre shared [Read More...]

Jesus, Voldemort and Everyone Else Parodies Rick Perry

There are lots of parodies of and responses to Rick Perry’s “Strong” ad. The one by Jesus himself is probably the best so far: See too Bob Cargill’s post, which not only shares a parody by a Rabbi, but also observes that Rick Perry is dressed like a character from Brokeback Mountain in the ad! [Read More...]


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