Skepticism and Consensus

“Nevertheless the opinion of experts, when it is unanimous, must be accepted by non-experts as more likely to be right than the opposite opinion. The scepticism that I advocate amounts only to this: (1) that when the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain; (2) that when they are not [Read More…]

Atheist Dogmatism about Jesus

After having a discussion here at Exploring Our Matrix in which an atheist insisted that there cannot be atheist fundamentalists because atheists reject all dogmas, it was interesting to see Harry McCall dogmatically insist what atheists “must assert” when it comes to the historicity of Jesus. Indeed, he goes further and insists that he (despite offering [Read More…]

The Last Blogger Session #AARSBL15

This year’s session of the SBL Blogger and Online Publication program unit will be the last ever, and we will be going out with a bang. This final blogger session will feature a panel of well-known bloggers whose blogs – like their scholarly activity more generally – reflects and represents well the full range of kinds of [Read More…]

Review of Jesus and Brian

I’m grateful to Bloomsbury to have been given the opportunity to review the book Jesus and Brian: Exploring the Historical Jesus and his Times via Monty Python’s Life of Brian, which was just released. Not everyone is aware that the famous Monty Python film reflects not just sharp British wit, but also profound understanding of the [Read More…]

Jason and the Jedi

Some have tried to separate the serious from the frivolous on their blogs, but I have always sought to keep the two together here. I am happy when I see that others do likewise. I was revisiting the history of the very early blogging about the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, in preparing a conference paper on the [Read More…]

James Dunn Still Believes

Ken Schenck has been blogging through the book I (Still) Believe: Leading Bible Scholars Share Their Stories of Faith and Scholarship, about the personal faith journeys of academics in the field of Biblical studies. Since Ken has reached the chapter by our doctoral supervisor, James D. G. Dunn, I thought I would now draw attention to the [Read More…]

Footnoting Blogs in Academic Publications

Christopher Skinner asked a really great question on the Crux Sola blog: Do online resources belong in academic footnotes. Chris offers a qualified “no.” I would suggest a qualified “yes” instead. Several people who responded to the question rightly pointed out that even the best blog posts are more like conference papers than articles – not [Read More…]

Biblical Scholars Fighting Creationism

Hector Avalos has a new article in The Bible and Interpretation about the need for Biblical scholars to be involved in fighting creationism. Here’s a sample: Scientists are not trained to recognize how creationists are distorting biblical texts. Thus, Jerry Coyne’s Faith v. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible (2015) does an excellent job of explaining scientific theory [Read More…]

I Still/No Longer Believe

There’s been another interesting convergence of the blogosphere. Brandon Withrow shared his story of losing faith while teaching at seminary, and as a result departing from there. Christopher Skinner blogged about it, and asked what it is that leads to this experience being so common (UPDATE: see also his follow-up post about Jay Oord’s departure from [Read More…]

Theoretical Cosmoses and Historical Jesuses

I almost opted for the alternative plural forms of both words in the title of this post – “Theoretical Cosmoi and Historical Jesi.” Just in case anyone was wondering. But I figured it was better to have the words in the title be recognizable. I am constantly surprised when mythicists regard the number of theories about the [Read More…]