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…]

RIP Kenneth Bailey

Via Joel Watts on Facebook, I learned of the passing away of Kenneth Bailey. Bailey grew up in the Middle East and then taught New Testament there, and learned a great deal from his students, insights which he shared with others in his writing and speaking. His work on the parables in Luke, as well as [Read More…]

The Young Messiah: Recording of Today’s Chat with Cyrus Nowrasteh

The video above is the recording of today’s chat that myself and several other Patheos bloggers had with director Cyrus Nowrasteh about his new movie The Young Messiah. If you missed the live chat earlier today, this is your chance to hear the conversation. There were some technical hitches that kept me from being there [Read More…]

There Was No Inn

The point that the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke doesn’t have an “inn” in it has been given the Matrix treatment by Jeff Carter.   [Read more…]

Refugee Christmas

The cartoon above came to my attention via Daily Kos. Brice Jones recently wrote a blog post about Stephen Carlson’s argument regarding the mistranslation “inn” in Luke’s infancy narrative. That in turn builds on the case that Kenneth Bailey has made regarding the cultural background of that story. On the one hand, the traditional versions [Read More…]

Images of Extracanonical Manuscripts Needed

I know there are readers of this blog whose expertise and connections range far and wide, and so I hope you won’t mind me appealing to you for assistance. Does anyone have or know of images of  manuscripts of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary (Berlin Codex) that can be found [Read More…]

Christianity in a Nutshell?

I probably should have saved this until Christmas, and called it “Christmas in a nutshell” – with or without the question mark. But the picture appeared on Reddit, and came to my attention today, and so I thought it best not to wait. Surely it is always worth asking – and especially at a time [Read More…]

Funnier and Wronger?

I originally posted these comments together with other links in a round-up about blogging related to the recent tragedy. But they grew to the point where they seemed to require a post of their own. Brian LePort joined the conversation between Tony Jones and myself about the story of the slaughter of the innocents in [Read More…]

Am I Wrong About the Massacre of the Innocents?

First, let’s have some appropriate music to go with this post: Now, on with the post! Tony Jones has suggested in a blog post that I am wrong in what I wrote about the massacre of the innocents. He is wrong about my wrongness, and this post is to explain why. The heart of the [Read More…]

Who Got Invited?

David Hayward has created and shared a cartoon that illustrates a central message in both nativity stories in the New Testament. Those who were “invited” to the birth or infancy of Jesus were the marginalized, the excluded. Somehow the powerful and dominant have managed to co-opt these stories and treat them as their own, seemingly [Read More…]


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