Truth and Christmas

It can be so hard to find balance when it comes to anything having to do with the Bible. This seems particularly true when it comes to matters related to Christmas. On the one hand, there are those who are determined that the Bible be “right” no matter the cost. I have had someone telling [Read More…]

Jesus Christ is Risen Today (Special Version for 2016)

Bob Royalty shared on Facebook this set of new lyrics he wrote for a well-known Easter hymn, with words that reflect the profound divisions between the Eastern and Western churches over the date of Easter: Jesus Christ is risen today! A-a-a-a-a-le-e-u-u-ia. Or is it the First of May? A-a-a-a-a-le-e-u-u-ia. Hung up on 14 Nisan, A-a-a-a-a-le-e-u-u-ia. [Read More…]

Dating the Gospels

Matthew Ferguson drew my attention to this discussion he had with Craig Evans about the date of the Gospels. Here’s the description from YouTube: This radio debate between New Testament scholar Dr. Craig Evans of Houston Baptist University and soon-to-be Classics Ph.D Matthew Ferguson looks at when the Gospels were written and why it matters. [Read More…]

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus

In my class on the Bible we recently covered the story of the Exodus. Just before we reached that point, I noticed a mention of a new documentary, which seemed to be recycling old ideas, called Patterns of Evidence: Exodus, which in turn is based on the book Exodus – Myth or History? by David Rohl. [Read More…]

Happy Birthday, Roy!

It is a striking coincidence that I just a few days ago watched Blade Runner again, together with my son who was seeing it for the first time. Its future is too close in time to ours to seem plausible now, but other than the dates being off, the possibility of genetically engineering something better than robots [Read More…]

Luke Volume 3

Jonathan Bernier raised some interesting problems with suggestions that are often made regarding why Luke ended Acts where he did. The open ending doesn’t really work well as a defense of Paul’s innocence, if the work was written after Paul’s death. That does not, however, mean that we must embrace as the only alternative dating Acts to soon after [Read More…]

Too Old

A student sent me this e-mail recently: Dr. McGrath, Sorry about the multiple emails. I’m not sure if we went over this or not but I was wondering what your thoughts were on about how far back we should go when deciding which articles to use? I have all mine set, but one is from the [Read More…]

What, No Wacky Theories Today?

I just noticed that today is June 6th, 2013. That’s 6/6 in the year 2+0+1+3=6. And yet nowhere have I spotted in the blogosphere or on Facebook someone suggesting that today the world will end, the antichrist will arise, or anything else of the sort. Could it be that most people are finally tiring of [Read More…]

Selective Supernaturalism

If one looks online for sources discussing the date of the Book of Daniel (and a number of other Biblical texts where the same issues arise), one is bound to come across conservative works which inevitably accuse scholars who date those works later than they do of “anti-supernaturalism.” Unless one rejects the possibility of predictive [Read More…]

Dating Jesus’ Wife

Discussions continue in the blogosphere about the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. The most important thing to work out, if we can, is the date of its composition – dating the text is important both in terms of figuring out whether the text is authentic, but also, if authentic, what period in history it tells us [Read More…]