Maps for Teaching Paul

The site “Vox” shared a set of “40 Maps that Explain the Roman Empire.” A number of them are interesting for those who teach Biblical studies. Since I am teaching a class on Paul and the early church this semester, a couple seemed particularly relevant. For instance, this one seems like it might help students in [Read More...]

Tour Ancient Rome

HT Matthias Rascher [Read more...]

Phil Harland’s Associations

Phil Harland asked me to share (and AWOL also drew attention to) the book and other online resources about the ancient world that are available via his website. He writes: Book info: Philip A. Harland. Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations: Claiming a Place in Ancient Mediterranean Society.  Second revised edition with links to inscriptions.  Kitchener, Ontario: [Read More...]

Good Friday: Spoiler, Summary, Stomp

The student who presented today in my class on the Bible shared this meme image: That Jesus dies is a spoiler only in the sense that the sinking of the ship is a spoiler for those who watch the movie Titanic. But what is noteworthy in the attempts at humor is the penchant for this to [Read More...]

Christians and Persecution, Then and Now

I find it both sad and laughable at the same time that both Protestants and Catholics are claiming that they are being persecuted when their views are no longer taken for granted by others, or they are not given access to a particular platform to promote their views. Having recently completed a study of the [Read More...]

Revelation 17: Key To Interpreting the Book of Revelation?

I have mentioned before that Revelation 17:9-10 seems to me to provide decisive evidence against the futurist or “end times” approach to understanding the Book of Revelation. We got up to chapter 17 of the Book of Revelation in my Sunday school class yesterday, and so we focused attention on that particular set of verses [Read More...]

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...]

Ancient Christian Burial Practices: A Request for Help

I have a friend who has an interest in following the development of early Christian burial practices, and in particular those of Jewish Christians. Among non-Jewish Christians, we can pick up the threads of development in some other places, like Rome. And it has been suggested that some part of the necropolis on the Mount [Read More...]

Review of Os Guinness, A Free People’s Suicide

I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in the Patheos Book Club discussion of Os Guinness’ book A Free People’s Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2012). The book raises many important issues, and a vibrant challenge to Americans to not allow our republic to go [Read More...]

The Hunger Games

Tonight I went to see the movie The Hunger Games with my son. It is fantastic and well deserving of all the attention it is getting. But in addition to being a movie with excitement and adventure that can be enjoyed by fans young and old, the movie also offers sharp social criticism. I won’t [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Romans

The episode of Doctor Who “The Romans” from the William Hartnell era only intersects tangentially with religion, but it does so in interesting ways. The Doctor and his companions end up in Rome in the time of Nero, and the Doctor actually gets mistaken for a lyre player who has been invited to Nero’s palace. [Read More...]


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