SNTS: Simultaneous Short Papers

The last afternoon of the SNTS conference was dedicated to simultaneous short papers. The first such session I attended featured Roger Aus speaking about Jewish traditions related to Ezekiel 16:9 and their connection to 1 Corinthians 10:2. The Targum reworks the text in Ezekiel, relating it to the Exodus, in ways that may have been [Read More…]

Myths and Costumes

The blog Pictoral Theology shared the above cartoon. The title of the post aptly made reference to Jesus’ words about commenting on the “mote” (or speck or splinter) in someone else’s eye, while having a beam or plank in one’s own. I am sorry to be missing Gen Con this year, which takes place this [Read More…]

The Same Four Chords (in Music and Religion)

The above video is a fun illustration of something that is well-known to musicians but which sometimes surprises others: music recycles the same notes, chords, and intervals constantly. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Music is, after all, a kind of language, and in language we are not for the most part inventing new words, but using words that [Read More…]

Religion and Tampering with Nature

IO9 just posted a piece about transhumanism and fear of “tampering with nature” in the form of gene editing, brain chips, and other such technologies. What I found most interesting, not surprisingly, was the information about how more devout religious people’s views tend to differ from those of others. Here are the statistics: I suspect [Read More…]

A Novel Approach to Religion and Science Fiction

I’m in the process of finalizing the reading list for my course on Religion and Science Fiction. I found I could not choose from among the many novel options that I considered for the course. In the past I’ve had one novel and the rest of the course short stories and articles. This time I’m just [Read More…]

What Does “Biblical” Mean?

Chuck Queen wrote a helpful post recently, sharing his own experience of interacting with someone who insisted the Bible was clear – but didn’t accept its “clear” teaching on certain matters. The quote above is from that post. Click through to read the rest. I’ve said it often before, but it bears repeating. One should never say [Read More…]

Jewish Rome (l’ospitalità è sacra)

I’m going to be sharing photos from my recent travels, and unlike the hasty bulk uploads to Facebook which some of you may have seen, here I will be commenting on and explaining them. Rather than make one post that might take a while to load because of the number of images, I will be [Read More…]

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Eternity Wars

Via Christian Nightmares. There is so much great potential for a Star Wars themed VBS-style children’s camp. Good vs. evil as more complicated than simply Jedi vs. Sith. Temptation, power, mystery, rules vs. love. But instead I suspect that it will in most instances look more like this: [Read more…]

Studies in Late Antiquity

Via Jim Davila, I learned about this fascinating new book series that Edinburgh University Press has launched, which will be a good venue for, among other things, those who work on the Mandaeans. Alternative Histories: Narratives from the Middle East and Mediterranean Series Editor(s): Sargon Donabed Explores the narratives of minority communities and individuals in [Read More…]

Run From Christlike Candidates

I really wanted to believe it was satire when a website called GOPocalypse claimed that a Southern Baptist pastor named Robert Jeffress had said the following: You know, I was debating an evangelical professor on NPR and this professor said, ‘Pastor, don’t you want a candidate who embodies the teaching of Jesus and would govern this country according [Read More…]