Christmas: Damage Control or Outcast Inclusion?

Johnny Walker drew attention to one view of the Christmas stories in the Gospels that is heard about less often in churches: that they were an attempt at damage control, to cover up or distract from stories about Mary having been raped by a Roman soldier or simply having gotten pregnant without being married. Michael [Read More…]

Liberal Jesus Wishes You Happy Holidays

A few days ago, a list of verses that supposedly prove Jesus was a liberal circulated. Being a liberal myself, you might expect me to be delighted by such a list. And indeed, I’ve sometimes clicked “like” on such things or passed them on, because they can provide a useful counter to those who assume [Read More…]

Review of Jesus: First-Century Rabbi

When I saw that there would be a Patheos Book Club on Rabbi David Zaslow’s book Jesus: First-Century Rabbi, I knew I had to participate. Not only the subject of the historical figure of Jesus, but also the relationship of Christian origins to its Jewish matrix, interest me both professionally and personally. The cover material of [Read More…]

Jedi Jesus and Santa on a Dinosaur

I have no idea what this picture means. But I have the strange sense that it belongs on this blog. HT Judy Stack-Nelson on Facebook   [Read more…]

A Mythicist Sympathizer’s Case for a Historical Jesus

A new article in The Bible and Interpretation concludes in the following way: Precisely because I am quite aware of the extent to which the Canonical Gospels are the result of a process of doctoring the historical figure of Jesus – a process which has had wide-ranging distorting effects –, I think I can better [Read More…]

Mr. Bean’s Whovian Nativity

  [Read more…]

Time Out

From yesterday's Family Circus.   [Read more…]

The Naughty Christians’ Campaign to Commercialize Christmas

Hemant Mehta has highlighted one of the most subversive attempts to undermine Christmas that has appeared in recent years. I am referring to the “Naughty or Nice” list issued by the American Family Association and the “Friend or Foe” list from Liberty Counsel. This effort is, of course, spearheaded by people claiming to be Christians. But as Alyssa Rosenberg (HT Andrew [Read More…]

Chris Keith on Social Memory Theory and the Gospels

Chris Keith shared a link to the above lecture on social memory theory and the Gospels, his inaugural lecture at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham. See also Chris’s own post as well as Mike Kok’s and Tyler Stewart’s posts about a session at SBL in which Chris and others addressed the same topic.   [Read more…]

Riding a Donkey and a Foal

In a recent post I shared a drawing of one way that Jesus might have ridden on both a donkey and a foal as Matthew’s Gospel claims. This is another possible way it could have been done: [Read more…]