Taxation, Charity, and Robbery

I’ve heard the argument made that the government taxing the wealthy and redistributing that wealth to those less fortunate than them is not taxation, but robbery. I wonder how many of those who say such things are Christians or Jews , and would also think Deuteronomy 26:12 was robbery. Israelites had to set aside 10% of [Read More…]

Biblical Studies Carnival Approaches, and the Biblioblogosphere Says Farewell to its LOLCat Epicenter

Jim West drew attention today to the fact that Phil Long will be hosting the next Biblical Studies Carnival, featuring posts from this month, July 2012, and has asked for submissions. Phil has also taken it upon himself to take up Jim Linville’s fallen mantle, and organize the upcoming Biblical Studies Carnivals, since Jim’s blog [Read More…]

Segmenting the Bible

Via Facebook [Read more…]

The Life and Teaching of John the Baptist according to the Mandaean Book of John

Now that I have finished at least a still provisional but nevertheless complete translation of the chapters in the “Drasha d-Yahia” (which itself might be better rendered The Teaching of John rather than The Book of John) about the life and teaching of John the Baptist, I wanted to share links to them here. 18. Portents of [Read More…]

Was the Historical Jesus on Facebook?

A piece of news has been getting attention today, about a study of classic myths, some of which we know from archaeological evidence were based on real people or events. The study suggests that the degree to which the relationships in the story mirror real ones – including those one can observe today in social [Read More…]

Live Discussion with Tim Stafford

There will be a live discussion here at Patheos from 2-3pm Eastern Time, with Tim Stafford, about his book Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God’s Power. I reviewed the book on my blog a few days ago. Click through to join the discussion! [Read more…]

This Is What I Think Prophecy Sounds Like

It is hard to get a sense of what the prophets of ancient Israel might have sounded like or seemed like when delivering their messages. Scholars often make comparisons to poets. The above video seems to me to catch something of their spirit in an actual live poetic performance in the present day – the [Read More…]

American Christianity’s Blind Spot

The folks in the Facebook group “Christians Against the Tea Party” have made a quote from a recent blog post of mine into a poster once again. I am not used to this! [Read more…]

“Folks Haven’t Been Reading Their Bibles” – Barack Obama on Religion and Public Policy

  Someone made the above quote from then senator Barack Obama into a poster. It illustrates what those who are intimately acquainted with the Bible and its interpretation see clearly, but religious fundamentalists less familiar with their own Scriptures often miss, namely that it is not at all straightforward to derive a clear set of [Read More…]

Enforcing the Ten Commandments

I often discuss the unenforceability of the tenth commandment (comparing it to the signs one used to see around New York, which say “Don’t even THINK of parking here.” Now, via Joel Watts, I have this cartoon to offer as an illustration. [Read more…]