The Politics of the Cross

Allan Bevere wrote the following in a recent blog post: No amount of interpretive gymnastics can soften Jesus’ words here in the Sermon on the Mount. Essentially he is saying, if you are going to follow me and love the way I insist you should love, you have to love in a way quite different [Read More…]

Take Up Your Yoke and Follow

Historians should not entertain the possibility that Jesus predicted in advance exactly how he was going to die, foreseeing that it would be by crucifixion. And so too historians cannot view Jesus as having called his followers to take up their crosses behind him. But there is a third option between accepting the Gospels’ depiction, [Read More…]

Philippians 2 and the Historical Jesus

It has been interesting to revisit the death of Jesus in my historical Jesus class this year. I’ve passed through phases of naive credulity and extreme skepticism with respect to the Gospels and other early Christian sources, and am now trying to find a place of balance between the two. On the one hand, there [Read More…]

Mythicism: As Unlikely on Earth as it is in Heaven

I recently received a question in a comment on an older post about mythicism, and thought I would share my answer in a post, since I doubt that many people are still following the post in question, which is from three years ago. Mythicists often emphasize that Paul never explicitly says that Jesus was crucified [Read More…]

Counting the Cross

Tim Gombis wrote the above in a recent blog post, addressing the implications of the cross of Jesus for the statements of people like Jerry Falwell Jr. about not merely carrying weapons, but using them against adherents of another religion: The cross is not a personal and private matter between me and God. The cross [Read More…]

Archaeological Evidence for Jewish Christianity

Eldad Keynan has been looking for archaeological evidence of ancient Jewish Christianity in Israel for a long time, and has turned up a number of intriguing finds. His most recent, and possibly most important, is what appears to be a Jewish Christian mikveh – the only one of its kind. Click through to read his [Read More…]

Problems With Penal Substitution

DISAMBIGUATION: This blog post is not about penile substitution – for information on that topic, go here. Penal substitution is a phrase used to describe a particular view of the atonement, which says that Jesus took the place of the guilty in bearing God’s judgment due to them. Mike Bird (responding to William Walker) and Andrew Perriman (responding [Read More…]

Jesus to Appear in Star Wars Episode VII

The picture above came to my attention today. It is the most recent in a series of Jedi Jesus images, some of which I’ve shared here before. There is no need to read Christianity into a cross-shaped sword, given that that shape has a long established history apart from Christianity. More appropriate discussion has focused [Read More…]

The Cross as Punctuation

Jonathan Bernier wrote an interesting blog post entitled “The Last Word.” Here’s the part that struck me most: The problem lies not simply in how scriptures are being read but in how it is thought to function in church and Christian life. The entire premise is that if the scriptures are to be authoritative they [Read More…]

The Ultimate Rejection

Via Bob Cargill on Facebook [Read more…]


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