Epiphany and History

Having attempted to do away with contradictions between Matthew and Luke for Christmas, Ian Paul has now offered a blog post claiming that Matthew’s story of the arrival of the magi can be treated as historical. I am not persuaded. Infancy stories featuring miracles are a common feature in ancient literature, and are consistently devoid [Read More…]

Myrrhy Christmas!

I saw this in the store and had to take a picture of it. Inside the message is that you should be glad you got a gift card. I hope that you received things that you like for Christmas. I certainly did. And if you received an Amazon gift card, please do use this link [Read More…]

Rachel Weeping at Christmas

Someone left a comment on an old blog post I shared on Facebook, saying they thought that the massacre of the innocents was created to depict Jesus as having been predicted by Jeremiah. Here’s what I wrote in response: I doubt that Matthew thought that Jeremiah 31:15 was a prediction about Jesus, or was trying [Read More…]

Would You Lie To Defend The Virgin Birth?

I was disturbed to see Charisma News appealing recently to outright falsehoods in its efforts to encourage readers to keep accepting the virgin birth as though it were a historical fact that is supported by evidence. Here are the claims they make:     A physician and world-class historian documented it     Modern archaeology affirms it     [Read More…]

Refugee Christmas

The cartoon above came to my attention via Daily Kos. Brice Jones recently wrote a blog post about Stephen Carlson’s argument regarding the mistranslation “inn” in Luke’s infancy narrative. That in turn builds on the case that Kenneth Bailey has made regarding the cultural background of that story. On the one hand, the traditional versions [Read More…]

Where Jesus Prayed

I am happy to have the chance to participate in the Patheos Book Club about Danielle Shroyer’s book Where Jesus Prayed: Illuminating the Lord’s Prayer in the Holy Land. I was eager to participate, since I’ve been to the Holy Land multiple times, and will be leading a group of students traveling there again next [Read More…]

#YCAS2015 and Gospel Authorship Around the Blogosphere

I’m not the only blogger who was at the York Christian Apocrypha Symposium, by any means. I am glad to see that Eric Vanden Eykel was inspired to revive his blog, and has posted a recap of the conference. Timo Paananen has also posted a recap of day 1. There was also a very strange [Read More…]

Were Jesus’ Grandparents a Gay Couple?

The question is facetious, but I presume readers are aware of the genuine issue that lies behind the question. If not, I will sum it up briefly: The Gospels of Matthew and Luke both provide genealogies for Jesus. They contradict one another in after David except for a brief convergence around Zerubbabel. So why propose – [Read More…]

Straight Outta the Synoptic Problem

Another Straight Outta Compton Bible meme that came to my attention via Joel Watts.   [Read more…]

Is Q the Didache?

Alan Garrow has shared a number of videos arguing that the Didache is the source of the Q material. I have not yet had a chance to watch all of them, but I seem to recall having come across this argument before, and having found it problematic because of the similarities between the Didache and Matthew’s versions [Read More…]


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