Ghosts in the Bible: The New Testament

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There are no ghosts in the New Testament. We do, however, find the language of spirits and references to death than can illuminate the subject. When we read passages such as Matthew 8:22 (”Let the dead bury the dead”) and 22:32 (”God is not the God of the dead but of the living”) we may [Read More...]

Bread in the Gospel of John

Giovanni Lanfranco, "Multiplication of the Loaves"

Yesterday, we saw the centrality to bread in the life of Jews. This is the context in which Jesus multiplies loves and preaches about the  Bread of Life. In John 6, Jesus takes five barley loaves and two fish and uses them to feed five thousand people. By producing food in a place where people [Read More...]

Burial in Ancient Israel Part 7: The Burial of Christ

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This post concludes a series about graves and tombs in the ancient Levant, from the Paleolithic Period until the time of Christ. The entire series can be found here. This 100,000 year history of human burial converges on a single point and a single day: a Friday in Jerusalem around the year 30 AD. Jesus of [Read More...]

More From Francis Watson on “Jesus’s Wife” Fragment

Mark Goodacre has a supplemental report from Francis Watson of Durham University, who provided the initial report suggesting the fragment is a modern forgery. This one is called “Addendum: The End of the Line?” It’s interesting to see how the internet is shaping this story. In his first paragraph, Professor Watson mentions a comment by renowned Biblical scholar Richard [Read More...]

Expert: “Jesus’s Wife” Fragment a Modern Forgery

It may not be a smoking gun, but it’s Col. Mustard in the Conservatory. The awesome Dale Price turned up this story in the Guardian, which is based on this report by Francis Watson of Durham University, first shared by Mark Goodacre. What’s the proof? The fragment appears to have been composed from pieces of [Read More...]

Gospel of Thomas: A Few Thoughts and Some Excerpts

One thing to keep in mind with the Jesus’s wife story is that it’s all bound up in trends and obsessions in certain academic quarters devoted to study the Christian Gnostics. One of their chief texts is the “Gospel” of Thomas, a text dating to the late 2nd century or later. Thomas is important because it [Read More...]

The Gnostic Noise Machine and the “Wife” of Jesus UPDATED

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I was going to let the whole “Jesus had a wife” thing pass by in silence, since the discovery of a minor fragmentary unprovenanced 4th century papyrus of a probable Gnostic text is about as relevant to actual Christianity as an episode of Scooby Doo. If it turns out to be authentic (big if) it [Read More...]

Convicting the World: Today’s Reading From John

Today’s Gospel reading is John 16:5-11, which includes a remarkably enigmatic passage spoke by Christ during his long discourse at the last supper. Here is the full text of the reading: 5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have [Read More...]


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