The People of God in Joy and Sorrow

gray

The sky early this morning was a terrible-beautiful slate gray, shot through with black. A cold mist seemed to hang in the air, threatening rain. I don’t complain about days like this. Incessant sunshine is intolerable. Blue skies and spring flowers are sweet and lovely, but give me the grays and ambers of autumn any [Read More...]

The “Jesus’s Wife” Hoax: One Year Later

papy

One year ago, I was writing about a scholar who had produced a fragment of papyrus that allegedly contained a reference to the “wife” of Jesus. The fragment was of dubious provenance and even more questionable content, and the professor–Karen L. King of Harvard University–had produced a singularly unimpressive body of work, largely on Gnostic [Read More...]

This is the Wood of the Cross

Christ falls with the cross Domenicino ...ITALIAN (1581-1641) The Getty Center, Los Angeles - U.S.A.

Thanks for your patience over the last month while I throttled back on the more regular and/or serious blogging to take some time with family. This summer has been hell, and I thought some time away from the computer would be a good thing, particularly in the dog days of summer when all the cool [Read More...]

“I Hope He’s In Hell”

twitter

I’ve been reading and hearing variants of the words in this headline since Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev* was killed in a gun battle with police. Since the capture of his brother, Dzhokhar, I’ve also seen various sadistic fantasies about how he should be treated, each more lurid than the last, all of them steeped in blood and [Read More...]

The Shroud of Turin 2.0

Photo Mar 28, 12 50 08 PM

Three big news items about the Shroud of Turin for Holy Week: new dating, a live broadcast, and a new app: 1. New Confirmation of Shroud’s Antiquity The flawed 1988 radiocarbon tests dating the shroud to the Middle Ages have been challenged for years. Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of [Read More...]

Wine in the Gospel of John

Gerard David, "The Marriage at Cana"

The discussion of wine in the Old Testament provides the background for the Wedding at Cana in John 2, which is rich in OT imagery made new in Christ. The Evangelist tells us that Jesus has come to a wedding: a time of joy and celebration where wine would play a crucial role. But the [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 6: Ossuaries

Jewish-Ossuaries

This is an ongoing 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. Since rock-cut tombs were reused over many generations, an issue arose: what to do with the bones? Two approaches have been found. There is evidence that, for [Read More...]


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