John the Jew, Kingship, Priesthood, and Divinity: Enoch Seminar Day 3

The morning sessions I attended both focused on John 5. We explored fascinating questions such as: whether the argument that an obedient son does what he sees his father doing requires a particular ontological understanding of divine sonship, or works equally well if it is the relational sonship of the Davidic king that is in [Read More…]

Rome in a Day, Part 1: An Overarching Arc of Arches and Archaeology

I am in Italy for the first time, and will be heading to Camaldoli today by way of Arezzo to attend the Enoch Seminar on John’s Christology and/as Jewish Messianism. Jim Davila mentioned that the last time he was there the wifi was “primitive,” and so liveblogging the conference may not be possible. Yesterday I [Read More…]

Religious Studies for Business Students

To mark the occasion of my first visit to Rome, I thought I would share the above cartoon. It illustrates one of the practical reasons why something like the study of religion might not be as irrelevant for entrepreneurs as is sometimes claimed. In fact, I had this confirmed to me recently when my colleague [Read More…]

Visiting Edom/Mars

It will take some time to process and share many of the thoughts I had during my recent visit to many places I had been before in Israel and the West Bank, and to places I had never been before especially in Jordan. Among the latter was Wadi Rum, which I only learned after I [Read More…]

Bible Odyssey T-Shirt

  I brought along my Bible Odyssey “I Love Josephus” t-shirt on my trip to the Holy Land, thinking it would be perfect to wear to Masada (and of course also to Qumran, as seen in the photo above). I was pleased that several people noticed the shirt and were struck by it enough to [Read More…]

Penn Libraries Holy Land Collection

I learned not long ago about the Penn Libraries Holy Land Collection. Here’s the address, so that you can explore it further: http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/holyland/index.html [Read more…]

The Pilate Stone

Here is a photo of me next to a replica of the Pilate Stone, in the place where the inscription was found, Caesarea. Sites like this are also important for the way they give a different picture of Herod the Great that is crucial for those whose impression of him is shaped wholly by his [Read More…]

Old Jaffa

Almost everyone made it to Israel and one last straggler will be here soon. We visited Joppa before going to our hotel in Tel Aviv. Joppa is known to many from Jonah and Acts in the Bible, and/or from the story of Andromeda in Greek myth.   [Read more…]

Off to the Holy Land!

I am departing for a short-term study abroad experience in Israel and the West Bank that I am leading, for students at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary. There are blog posts scheduled all through the trip and so even if there are problems with getting access to wi-fi, things should still feel pretty normal [Read More…]

Islamophobin

This spoof product has its own commercial: I’m not sure that anyone who is going on the trip I’m leading to Israel and the West Bank starting on this coming Monday suffers from Islamophobia. But sometimes prejudices and assumptions run deep even in those who may seem like they lack them and know better. I suspect that having [Read More…]


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