Jesus’ Sermon at Ground Zero

I confess that when a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to an article about a Bible that was found fused to a piece of steel in the wreckage from the collapsed Twin Towers after 9/11, I hesitated to click, and expected it to be the kind of thing that disturbs me rather [Read More…]

The Parable of Two Sons

My church building hosts not only the American congregation Crooked Creek Baptist Church (which is itself quite diverse in interesting ways), but also two other congregations, one Hispanic and one Congolese. There have been challenges related to the differing cultural assumptions of the various groups, and that has at times led to tensions. And so I thought it [Read More…]

The Trumpitudes

Matthew Distefano crafted a parody of the Sermon on the Mount, reenvisaged as it might have gone if Donald Trump had delivered it. Click through to read it. There is no need for anyone to say “blessed are the successful” or “blessed are the rich” or “blessed are the powerful.” It is typically a given, an [Read More…]

Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, and the Synoptic Problem

Everyone is talking at the moment about the plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech by Melania Trump. Here is the evidence, in case you haven’t seen it: So that's pretty blatant, right? pic.twitter.com/EPnHME7afV — Mike Hearn (@mikehearn) July 19, 2016 One of the ironies, of course, is that many of the people who applauded the [Read More…]

The Politics of the Cross

Allan Bevere wrote the following in a recent blog post: No amount of interpretive gymnastics can soften Jesus’ words here in the Sermon on the Mount. Essentially he is saying, if you are going to follow me and love the way I insist you should love, you have to love in a way quite different [Read More…]

Church of the Beatitudes (No Guns, Please)

I was really struck by the juxtaposition of two signs on the site of the Church of the Beatitudes:   “Blessed are the Peacemakers” is one of the beatitudes. Most of the people who visit the site are Christian pilgrims. Isn’t it jarring – even to gun-loving American Christians – that visitors to the site [Read More…]

The Pilate Stone

Here is a photo of me next to a replica of the Pilate Stone, in the place where the inscription was found, Caesarea. Sites like this are also important for the way they give a different picture of Herod the Great that is crucial for those whose impression of him is shaped wholly by his [Read More…]

Trinitarian Formula?

I was asked the following on Facebook, and thought I would share it today: Hey, I have a question from those of us who have to preach on Trinity Sunday. What about the Trinitarian formula in Matthew 28? Original, later addition? Here is my response: I don’t think it is a later addition, although the [Read More…]

Were the Titles of the Gospel on #Sillyboi?

You may think I’m a “silly boy” for writing about this. But when Sarah Bond recently wrote a blog post about the ancient Greek use of a tag (sillybos) to indicate the author and title of a work on a scroll, I felt I needed to blog in a bit more detail about the possible implications of [Read More…]

Is This Gonna Be On The Test?

A nice bit of end-of-semester Bible humor, courtesy of Pictoral Theology. I imagine that whether you envisage Jesus as responding by saying “Yes” or “Study for life, not just the test,” says a lot about both your theology and your view of education… [Read more…]