Can Christians Learn from Jews about the New Testament?

Via Facebook I found out about an interesting upcoming lecture by Rabbi David Sandmel, the Director of Interfaith Affairs for the Anti-Defamation League. The title is “Can Christians Learn from Jews about the New Testament?” It will be held at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis on Thursday, March 31st at 7pm. [Read more…]

Blame Religion for Its Own Defeats

“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, [Read More…]

Jewish Christianity and the Origins of Islam #CFP

I had the above video of a roundtable discussion of “Jewish Christianity and the Origins of Islam” drawn to my attention. It took place at last year’s ASMEA conference. Apparently the topic will be a focus again next year, and so there is a call for papers that is currently open that some of you may [Read More…]

Word Clouds to Assess Learning

I really like the suggestion that Shayna Sheinfeld shared in a recent article, for using word clouds in a pre-test and then post-test in classes. If you ask students what they think, or think they know, about a topic, on the first day of class or the start of a new unity, and create a word [Read More…]

#CFP: The Synagogue in Ancient Palestine

There is an interesting call for papers for a conference in Helsinki, Finland next September, on the synagogue in ancient Palestine. Sounds fascinating! Click through for more information. Of related interest, here is a photo of Butler students at the synagogue in Capernaum: [Read more…]

Too Bad The House of One Probably Won’t Have A Bar

My attention was drawn to the plan to build a combined church/mosque/synagogue in Berlin, to be called the “House of One.” I suspect that it will not have a bar, given Muslim opposition to alcoholic beverages. But it’s a pity, because there is so much potential for them to use jokes about a priest, a rabbi, [Read More…]

The Eight MOOCs of Hanukkah

A timely MOOC was drawn to my attention – Yale University is offering one that relates to the depiction of the Jewish menorah on the Arch of Titus, and so may be worth looking into – or perhaps rebelling against – in this Hanukkah season. Or maybe just plan to take it for one day, and discover [Read More…]

Bordering Others: Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity #aarsbl15 Sunday Afternoon Session

The first paper in the TELA session on the theme “Bordering Others: Examining Religious Community in Eastern Late Antiquity” was by Jennifer Hart and focused in using orthopraxy to define “true” Mandaeism. She began with a quote from the work The Thousand and Twelve Questions, which is focused on ritual error and what to do [Read More…]

Review of Jodi Magness, Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit

I am long overdue to review Jodi Magness’ book Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus on my blog. It is so full of interesting detail that it simply wouldn’t do to skim through it quickly. Many readers will have encountered at some point a picture book which children [Read More…]

John the Jew (2016 Enoch Seminar Conference)

Next summer, the Enoch Seminar will hold a conference with the title “John the Jew: Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as a Form of Jewish Messianism.” It will be held in Camaldoli, Italy, and I am delighted to be one of the participants in this event. Here’s a description of the purpose of the meeting [Read More…]


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