Paul the Programmer

I found this SMBC comic funny, even though its view of Paul’s proclamation is problematic. Paul didn’t even call his message or the movement it expressed “Christianity.” And he was adamant that the gospel he proclaimed was about grafting Gentiles into the tree whose roots were the ancestors of the Jews. Yet the programming analogy still has [Read More…]

John the Jew: The Last Day of the 2016 Enoch Seminar Nangeroni Meeting

This is the final day of the 2016 Enoch Seminar meeting on the Gospel of John and Jewish messianism. It has been as fascinating as each of the preceding days. There were short papers on topics such as John and Philo’s Logos, John and mysticism, and John and the imagerly on the recently-discovered Migdal Stone. [Read More…]

John the Jew and Torah Observance: Enoch Seminar Day 2

Today was even more thrilling than yesterday, as we began to move beyond stating the views that we brought with us to the conference, to a deeper interaction that is causing us to think new thoughts.   One example is the discussion we had of whether the author and community behind the Gospel of John [Read More…]

The Scepter and the Star

I am grateful to Eerdmans for having sent me a free review copy of the second edition of John J. Collins’ book The Scepter and the Star: Messianism in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Anyone familiar with the first edition will already know that the book at the very least retains its value even [Read More…]

Digital Humanities in Ancient Jewish, Christian and Arabic Traditions

Don’t miss the special issue of the Journal of Religion, Media, and Digital Culture focused on ancient Jewish, Christian, and Arabic literature. It includes articles such as Carrie Schroeder’s on “Digital Humanities as Cultural Capital,” as well as an introduction by Claire Clivaz. Want still more open access scholarship. Be sure to follow the Ancient World Online [Read More…]

Rabbis in Space

The Times of Israel has an article about the volume I contributed to, Touching the Face of the Cosmos. The article focuses on the chapter by Rabbi Barry Schwartz. The contribution by the president of his shul, Lance Strate, also gets a mention. Click through to read the article. See also Molly Vozick-Levinson’s blog post about [Read More…]

Word Clouds to Assess Learning

I really like the suggestion that Shayna Sheinfeld shared in a recent article, for using word clouds in a pre-test and then post-test in classes. If you ask students what they think, or think they know, about a topic, on the first day of class or the start of a new unity, and create a word [Read More…]

#CFP: The Synagogue in Ancient Palestine

There is an interesting call for papers for a conference in Helsinki, Finland next September, on the synagogue in ancient Palestine. Sounds fascinating! Click through for more information. Of related interest, here is a photo of Butler students at the synagogue in Capernaum: [Read more…]

Satan’s Ethical Code vs. God’s?

It has been funny to see what atheists have had to say about the Seven Tenets posted online by a Satanic Temple. You can read them below. What is interesting to me is the way these newly-minted tenets of a newly-minted religious group are used as a basis for mockery, saying something like “Look, Satan’s ethical code [Read More…]

Magic Bowls at #AARSBL15 in Atlanta

For those interested in Judaism, Mandaeism, Late Antiquity, ancient magic, Aramaic, and any number of other topics, there are two sessions at AAR this year that you ought not to miss. One is the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity session, about which I’ll include details further below. But the other is a session which will [Read More…]