My Big Day Appeal

I am taking executive privilege today with this posting.  It is a big day, not for the blog, but for me personally.  To my shock and amazement, today is my 60th birthday.  60 years.  How did this happen???  I’m glad it did, but still, I’m just askin’.

So I want to use the occasion to make a shameless appeal.   I had a big birthday bash two nights ago, with friends and family flying in from such far-flung places as California and ...

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Do I Have a Grudge against Bruce Metzger?


A more personal question:  did you have a grudge against Dr. Bruce Metzger? I have always seen conservative textual critics and scholars pit you against Dr. Metzger’s views.



When I first read this question I was very surprised indeed.  A grudge against Bruce Metzger???

Metzger, as many readers of this blog know, was my teacher and mentor, and I never had anything but the most profound and utmost respect for him, from the moment I first had the ...

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Debate in Dallas on Friday

For anyone in the Dallas area:  On Friday (two days!  Sept. 18) I will be having a public debate with Justin Bass, a Christian apologist and pastor with a PhD from Dallas Theological, on the question “Did the Historical Jesus Claim To Be Divine?”   Dr. Bass thinks the answer is YES.  I think the answer is NO. It should be an interesting back and forth.   If you want to hear the arguments, come and see it.  Free admission. ...

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How Jesus Became God on Humanist Hour

OK, here is something different to break up all the discussion of textual criticism.

On May 14th, 2014, I was interviewed by Bo Bennett on the hour long program called The Humanist Hour.  This is a one-hour talk show produced by the American Humanist Association (see : ).  In the interview we discuss my personal background as a believer, some fundamentals of the Bible from a historical perspective, and some comments related to my book, How Jesus Became ...

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Why New Testament Textual Criticism Had Grown Moribund

In my previous post I had begun to indicate that the field of New Testament textual criticism had grown notably and depressingly moribund in America by the late 1970s when I began my graduate studies.   But I didn’t explain just *why* most New Testament scholars – let alone scholars in other fields of religious studies or the humanities more broadly – did not find the field interesting and / or important.   The reason has to do with what I laid ...

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Fundamentalist Mistakes

When, three days ago, I posted my comments about the discovery of a two-page manuscript fragment of the Qur’an that, according to new reports, can be dated (technically, the parchment on which the text is written can be dated) to the lifetime of the prophet Mohammed or to a decade or so later, I had no idea that the post would be such a big deal.   The Facebook version of the post has had nearly245,000 hits. and counting.   Who would-a ...

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Google Cambridge Lecture on Forged

On April 7, 2011, I visited the Google Cambridge l in Cambridge, MA to discuss my book Forged. In my talk I explain how ancient writers sometimes falsely claimed to be a famous person in order to encourage people to read their books.   This practice of “literary forgery” was relatively common in the ancient world, but it was also widely condemned.  In my book I focus on instances of this practice in early Christianity — some of them ...

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A Milestone on the Blog

I am happy to announce a milestone in the life of the blog.

As everyone who has been on the blog for any length of time has heard me say ad nauseum, the principal reason I started the blog, and continue to do it, is not – is decidedly not – because I feel constantly driven to post my views about the intellectual matters that are important to me:  the historical Jesus, the writings of Paul, the formation of the New ...

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NC Bookwatch: Lost Christianities

While I’m on the issue of early Christian diversity, I thought it might be useful to post a video that I did over ten years ago now on my first book written to address that theme, Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew” .  On August 29, 2004, I was invited to appear on North Carolina Bookwatch, hosted by D.G. Martin. [Episode: 239]. In the discussion I talked about early (alternative) forms of Christianity and about ...

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