Which is the more likely cause of tornados – God, natural phenomena, or pastors full of hot air?

A lot of people are responding to comments by people such as Pat Robertson and John Piper about recent tornados causing devastation in Indiana and elsewhere. Many are atheist and similar blogs, such as Hemant Mehta, A God-Sized Puzzle, Atheist Revolution and Skeptic. Fortunately some Christian blogs, such as Matthew Paul Turner, Internet Monk, and [Read More…]

Latest Talpiot Tomb Round-Up (including a review of The Burial of Jesus)

Here’s a round-up of the latest blogging about the Talpiot tomb and related topics on other blogs. Let me begin with Daniel Mănăstireanuţs blog review of my book The Burial of Jesus, which he said grabbed his interest for multiple reasons, including the current media attention to the Talpiot tombs. Christopher Rollston points out the [Read More…]

A Not-So-Empty Tomb? Keeping Track of Bodies in First Century Jewish Tombs

In my book The Burial of Jesus: What Does History Have to Do with Faith?, I discuss the likelihood that after being crucified, Jesus was buried in a tomb located near the execution site which was dedicated to the entombment of criminals executed there. This implies that, while it may or may not be the [Read More…]

How Old Were Jesus’ Disciples?

The student who presented in my historical Jesus class on the twelve disciples mentioned that disciples – i.e. apprentices or students – were normally younger people. We tend to think of Jesus’ disciples as older, but the possibility that they may have been teenagers was drawn to mind by a humorous video Mark Goodacre shared [Read More…]

Talpiot Tombs and New Testament Historical Criticism

A piece I wrote, expanding on my thoughts about the relationship between the recent claims regarding the Talpiot tombs on the one hand, and New Testament historical criticism on the other, has appeared on the ASOR blog. Click through to read it. [Read more…]

Talpiot Tombs Latest (Including Fish-Reorientation and Unguentaria)

Here are some links to more blogging and reporting about the Talpiot tombs since my last round-up: James Tabor posted about the “fish” image, in response to earlier comments and criticisms. He still views it as most likely a fish, spitting Jonah out downward. Tabor also updated his Bible and Interpretation article, and shared a [Read More…]

Is Revelation 17:9-10 the Decisive Evidence against the End-Times view of Revelation?

I avoided using the technical term for the viewpoint I am discussing here in the title. Those who’ve studied theology will know that the sort of view of the end times reflected in the Left Behind series and other such books is premillennial dispensationalism. But since most premillennial dispensationalists don’t know that they are premillennial [Read More…]

Hebrew Fail in Left Behind II (and what it says about today’s End-Times Christianity)

Fred Clark shared an image from the movie Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, a movie that he has been blogging about (and highlighting the problems and the shortcomings of). I share it because it illustrates well a problem with the approach to the Bible reflected in the Left Behind series and the view of the [Read More…]

Does Reading the Bible Lead to Atheism? Does Losing Faith Save one from Fundamentalism?

Hemant Mehta shared this cartoon about the year after the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania: Reading the Bible can indeed lead to people losing their faith, if their faith was placed in the Bible, which they believed to be inerrant. But that is only a natural (or perhaps nearly inevitable) outcome if one has [Read More…]

Was Thaddaeus Jesus’ Original Drummer, or his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development?

In my historical Jesus class yesterday, one of the topics was the twelve apostles. When the fact came up that there are discrepancies between the names listed in various Gospels, I suggested that one explanation might be comparable to the bands many of us love, but from which we can name the lead singer and [Read More…]


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