Did Jesus Need the Holy Spirit?

Luke says in his gospel that "Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his work" (Luke 3.23 NRSV). But Jesus had been doing work many years prior as an artisan. The biblical description of Jesus as a tekton is usually translated "carpenter" (Mark 6.3; cf. Matt. 13.55); but it has a wider range of meaning that can include building things with wood, stone, and even metal. But Luke here refers to Jesus' public, itinerant ministry that he was just beginning as a prophet, sage, healer, and … [Read more...]

Will the R&A Thump Turnberry Due to Trump?

Ten years ago, billionaire real estate mogul and now U.S. president-elect Donald Trump started a project of building a world-class golf resort, which would have two 18-hole golf courses, in Balmedie in northeast Scotland near the city of Aberdeen. Trump International Golf Links is located amidst 4,000 year-old, pristine sand dunes that some Scots regard as a national treasure. It overlooks the North Sea with its deep sea oil reserves that have made some citizens of Aberdeen wealthy. But Trump's … [Read more...]

No More Jacob Neusner at SBL

Jacob Neusner died on October 8 this year at 84 years of age. He was a very prolific scholar who highly influenced American Jewish studies of religion. Neusner was a pioneer in studying Judaism in relation to Christianity. And he was a fixture at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, which will occur this weekend. I'm sure Dr. Neusner will be sorely missed there by many, especially his publishers. Jacob Neusner is most known for having written or edited 950 … [Read more...]

Astrologer John Hogue Got It Wrong the Thirteenth Time

John Hogue is an astrologist and an expert on Nostradamus who regularly appears on national television promoting his viewpoints. He has written 600 articles and 35 books. His biggest claim to fame is that, until last week, he predicted the election of the past twelve U.S. presidents. If true, that's a pretty impressive record. Frankly, I don't see how he is old enough to have done that.But last week, John Hogue the rogue--an astrologer with a dark, long beard--misread the stars or whatever … [Read more...]

Trump for Israel?

Donald Trump--a non-politician and multi-billionaire real estate magnate--became president-elect of the USA last Tuesday. It is turning the USA upside down. Almost all of the dozens of professional pollsters were wrong. They had the Democratic nominee--former First Lady and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton--ahead by an average of 5% of the popular vote. Actually, she did barely win the popular vote but still lost because the USA has a unique Electoral College that decides the victor.What is … [Read more...]

The Electoral College Is a Farce

Hilary Clinton won the so-called "popular vote" for the U.S. presidency this week, but Donald Trump became president. How so? Our arcane, outdated, Electoral College. The New York Times informs today in the first three paragraphs of an article:"In November 2000, as the Florida recount gripped the nation, a newly elected Democratic senator from New York took a break from an upstate victory tour to address the possibility that Al Gore could wind up winning the popular vote but losing the … [Read more...]

Brexit in the USA

I'm in shock! Donald Trump as president? God help the USA.As in the Brexit vote, there were lots of angry people who voted in this election. A lot of white folks who want change. Our country has been getting more and more divided, thus polarized. It seems to me most Evangelicals voted for a platform rather than a person. Now we'll see if Mr. Trump can deliver. And it appears he will have both the House and Senate with a Republican majority in order to get things done. … [Read more...]

Melania Trump Gets a Soft Pass

Melania Trump gave a rare political speech yesterday. She delivered it in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, in defense of her husband, Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for U.S. president. He is running against Hilary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.With Election Day only four days away, Melania said in her speech, "Our culture has gotten to mean and too rough." She says if she becomes First Lady, she will work to end "bullying" among children. How about among adults, starting with her husband Donald … [Read more...]