New Canon Deck Available: Old Testament Pseudepigrapha

A while back, Jim Davila asked whether the card game included certain extracanonical Jewish texts, and I told him that if he gave me a list, I could make a deck with whatever works he wishes. Some of the ones he mentioned were already in the Old Testament/Jewish Bible deck, and so he substituted a few [Read More…]

Iesus Deus

I have been meaning to blog for a while about David Litwa’s book Iesus Deus.  It offers a compelling case for acknowledging that Judaism’s distinctive emphasis on exclusive worship did not exclude the possibility of other figures being “divinized.” Here are some quotes and excerpts, to whet your appetite (since I read the book on my Kindle, [Read More…]

The Cave

The above piece by Steve Reich takes its inspiration from the shared sacred site marking the burial place of Abraham. It is one of the sites in the Holy Land that made the biggest impression on me. On the one hand, Hebron today is a place of serious tensions. Visiting, one sees Palestinian homes from which [Read More…]

Early Jewish Christian Relations and the Presidential Executive Order on Immigration

A statement from the steering committee of the SBL Early Jewish Christian Relations program unit: As scholars devoted to the topic of early Jewish-Christian relations, we are saddened by the executive order barring admission of non-citizens from predominantly Muslim countries, including those with legally-issued visas, into the U.S. We know all too well the result [Read More…]

Moroccan Jewish Psalms

In exploring the traditions of chanting or singing the Psalms and other scriptures, I came across the above YouTube channel which features music of the Sephardic Jewish tradition, more specifically from Morocco. Can you detect that the tonality is not that of Western even-tempered music? You can find demonstrations of the relevant scales (also used [Read More…]

YouTube Video: Conversation with Anthony Buzzard

Here is the video recording of the conversation I had with Anthony Buzzard yesterday about Christology, monotheism, and related subjects. I talk about how I came to a personal faith and ended up studying the things that I did, and explaining my views on the Christologies in the letters of Paul and the Gospel of [Read More…]

Recent Christology Books and Blogging

Matters of Christology are getting renewed attention, including on blogs, but also in some important new books. Larry Hurtado discussed whether early Christian devotion to Jesus provoked criticism and opposition from non-Christian Jews. Bill Tammeus in turn discussed Hurtado’s new book, Destroyer of the Gods. Ben Witherington offered a multi-part interview with Larry Hurtado about his new book: here [Read More…]

Mayim Bialik on Religion and Science

HT Jerry Coyne, who obviously doesn’t appreciate her perspective. [Read more…]

Ancient Judaism: New Visions and Views

Just as it was a privilege to read and review a book about Galilee while visiting Galilee and adjacent territories, so too it was a privilege to read Michael Stone’s book Ancient Judaism: New Visions and Views while traveling to and participating at a meeting of the Enoch Seminar, since ancient Judaism in general, and [Read More…]

SNTS: Second Main Paper and Seminar

Today’s program started with a service in French. Very few members attend any of these chapel services, but today it was interesting to notice that almost everyone who was there was not a native speaker of French. Next on the program was the second main paper of the conference, by Paula Fredriksen, asking “How Jewish [Read More…]