August 12, 2019

Dan Brown, of Da Vinci Code fame, a while back (2017) published the fifth installment in the Robert Langdon series, and this one is a whopper— over 500 pages. It may be remembered that his first really famous book, the Da Vinci Code led to all sorts of fact checks and critiques for there were some 150+ historical, religious, etc. errors in the novel, and that novel, like this one began with the pronouncement that all statements about religious, art,… Read more

August 11, 2019

Robert Harris is writer of great skill, with a penchant for writing compelling page turns about historical persons and events— Pompeii and the Cicero trio of novels come to mind. In Conclave, he turns his hands to the complex subject of Papal elections. Conclave, from the Latin ‘with the key’, refers to the locking of the cardinals into the Sistine Chapel to vote for a new Pope, the old one having died. For about 400 pages this novel keeps you… Read more

August 10, 2019

Lethal White is now the fourth crime thriller by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, and it came out last year. The title refers to a white who is born with messed innards and has to be put down because it will never grow and thrive. This novel is in various ways the best of the four in the series, and at 647 pages of story, it better be a real page turner or many will not finish… Read more

August 9, 2019

Here’s a part of an article by Michael Knowles from July 17th. Here’s the link…. sent to me by alert reader Jim! “Fifty years ago this Saturday, after Apollo 11’s Eagle lunar module had landed in the Sea of Tranquility, Buzz Aldrin took to the communication system and sent a message back to the ground crew on earth. “I would like to request a few moments of silence,” he asked. “I would like to invite each person listening in,… Read more

August 8, 2019

Here’s an excellent critique of a review of John Barton’s recent History of the Bible volume. I entirely agree with Philip about that weird sentence. I also think Bauckham’s book is excellent. BW3 When Reviews Go Strange JULY 13, 2019 BY PHILIP JENKINS When I read the excellent reviews offered by the Wall Street Journal, I always enjoy pieces by the versatile, well-informed, and wide-ranging Barton Swaim. I say that before disagreeing with him in a major way on his… Read more

August 7, 2019

Vermeer’s Christ in the House of Mary and Martha. A recent article in a Duke publication relates the story of the scholarly work of Elizabeth Schrader at Duke on a medieval codex of the Fourth Gospel, which reflects name changes in places where Mary and Martha are mentioned together. Here is the article link—- I have no problems at all with the thesis that there was anti-feminist bias on the part of some scribes when it comes to the… Read more

August 6, 2019

Staudt on”Monotheistic” Expressions by larryhurtado In reading a colleague’s draft essay I was reminded of a book that I found particularly helpful, but has received a disappointing level of notice, even, it appears, in scholarly circles. I reviewed the book several years ago in the German journal, Theologische Literaturzeitung, but can’t find other reviews. This is unfortunate, because I think the book deserves better publicity. So, I provide below a lightly edited version of my TLZ review. Darina Staudt, Der… Read more

August 5, 2019

Irenaeus of Lyons: A KeyFigure by larryhurtado Today (28 June) in the church year marks the martyrdom of Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. 130-200? CE). Likely born in Smyrna (in the Greek-speaking eastern area of the Roman Empire), at some point he moved to Roman Gaul, to Ludunum (Lyons). He became prominent in the church there, and after the martyrdom of its elderly bishop (among the martyrs of Lyons) Ireneaus was elected bishop of the church. (The site of the martrydom… Read more

August 4, 2019

“Honoring the Son”: An Entree Work by larryhurtado As I’m often asked for a short introduction to the line that I take in discussing earliest Jesus-devotion (some finding the 600+ pp. Lord Jesus Christ a bit too much to take in), I think that now I would recommend my little volume that appeared last year: Honoring the Son: Jesus in Earliest Christian Devotional Practice (Lexham Press, 2018). Here are the main points that I lay out in the small book:… Read more

August 3, 2019

More on the Texts in Oxyrhynchus Papyri Vol 83 by larryhurtado In addition to the fragment of an early copy of the Gospel of Mark, the same volume of Oxyrhynchus Papyri includes a number of other texts that provide data worth noting. The other identifiably Christian texts include a leaf of a LXX codex of the Psalms (P.Oxy. 5344, Ralfs 2228), dated by the editors to the sixth century AD, preserving Psalm 2:1-8. The nomina sacra and the codex bookform… Read more

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