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Some Comments on the Gospel of John: (Based on John Spong’s Book). A Blast from the Past

A couple of people on the blog have suggested that as a feature of the blog, I periodically provide a Blast From the Past — that is, repost a blog post from a few years ago.  I think it’s a great idea.  My guess is that most people on the blog haven’t read everything from then, and if they have, if they’re like me, they won’t remember them!  So I decided to go back from three years ago today (well, ...

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New Archaeological Discoveries and the Bible! Readers Mailbag April 16, 2016

Today I address two interesting questions on the weekly mailbag, one about the new archaeological discovery in Israel and the other on whether in my last book I violated my own advice about requiring only experts to write for popular audiences.  If you have a question you would like me to address, let me know!

 

QUESTION: 

Does the latest information on the discovery of written texts from before the removal of the Israelite’s to Babylon indicating a wider level of literacy ...

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Christians, Muslims, and God: Wheaton College in the News

I am sure that many of you have heard of the recent incident involving Christianity and Islam at Wheaton College, my alma mater, an evangelical liberal arts college outside of Chicago.   Several readers have asked me about it.  Here is a typical query:

QUERY:

Wheaton College was in the news this past week. Apparently one of the professors was suspended because she claimed that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Also, she wore a hijab to show solidarity with Muslims. You ...

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Back to the Forgery of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

Some three years ago now I discussed in several posts the newly “discovered” text called “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” (just search for “wife” and you’ll find the posts).  A new development has occurred that makes it almost certain that this text is a modern forgery, done sometime in the last 20 years.  The evidence has been uncovered by Andrew Bernhard, who was one of the first to establish other grounds for seeing the text as something quite fishy, and ...

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More Hard Issues on the Qur’an Fragments

My plan is to make this the final post for now on the issue of the Qur’an fragments discovered at the University of Birmingham.  Obviously the discussion could go on forever (it’s been going on for 1500 years and is not likely to stop any time soon).   But I’m not a scholar of the Qur’an or of Islam, and I would prefer sticking to topics that are within my realm of expertise.

I know that comment itself will prompt emails from ...

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More on the Discovery of Ancient Qur’an Fragments

My post on Saturday about the discovery of two pages of the Qur’an in the library of the University of Birmingham that appear to date from the time of Mohammed himself. or a decade or so later, evoked more than the usual response.   My facebook post has received nearly 260,000 hits.   I think before that my previous highest hit total was 25,000 or so.   Amazing amount of interest in this.

And so I’m going to do something I’ve never done before ...

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The Significance of an Astounding New Discovery

Those of you who follow the news have heard that a truly great manuscript discovery has been made public this week, coming out of the University of Birmingham, England.   The university has a very important collection of manuscripts, and for New Testament scholars it is famous for its Institute devoted to the study, analysis, and editing of Gospel manuscripts, an institute headed by my long-time friend and colleague David Parker, indisputably one of the top NT textual scholars in the ...

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Losing Religion in America

As many of you know, there was a major poll done recently by the Pew Research Center involving religion in America.  The results were published about three weeks ago, and the findings were striking indeed.   Among the most intriguing were that the percentage of people identifying themselves as Christian in the U.S. has declined by nearly 8% in just seven years.  That corresponds to those who consider themselves not “religiously affiliated” in any way, which, for the purposes of this ...

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Three Murders in Chapel Hill

As probably all of you know, we have experienced a heart-wrenching tragedy here in Chapel Hill, as three young, happy, and good Muslim students were murdered on Tuesday, point-blank, in their home.   The issue is tangential to the topics I normally deal with on the blog, but I did want to take time out to reflect a bit on what has happened.

On Wednesday I did something that I’ve never done before in my 30 years of university teaching.   I blew ...

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The Gospel of Judas: Discovery, Restoration, and (Non-)Disclosure

I’ve decided not to give a detailed summary of this thread each time I resume it.  To make sense of what I’m saying, you’ll need to go to the beginning a few days ago.  Short story, though:  it’s about how I came to learn about the discovery of the Gospel of Judas through a phone call from a representative of National Geographic who wanted me to be on the team that established its authenticity, back in the fall of 2004.

Before ...

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