Sorting by


About Diane

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Diane has created 34 blog entries.

REVELATION, A Novel. Excerpts from Blog Guest Poster Gary McCarragher

Last week I published a guest post by blog member Gary McCarragher, who has just published Revelation: A Novel, about a professor of  New Testament studies at a certain university in the South.  Gary and I had consulted on his work, and how it has seen the light of published day! We received a lot of good response from his post, and I asked him if he'd be interested in excerpting a bit of the novel for blog readers.   He agreed, and has given us the first two chapters. As indicated below, you can purchase the book in a variety of places; I just checked and found it here: Revelation: A Novel - Kindle edition by McCarragher, Gary . Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Thanks to Gary! ******************************   REVELATION, A Novel, published January, 2023 Editorial and proofreading services: Cath Lauria, Gina Sartirana Interior layout and cover design: Howard Johnson Photo Credits: Front Cover Image: Abstract self portrait, by Christian Beirle González; Image #100005105, Getty Images. Author Photo: by Terry Sbani, Woodside’s Photography [...]

2023-03-14T13:55:49-04:00March 26th, 2023|Book Discussions, Public Forum|

March Gold Q&A

For your (Gold & Platinum) viewing pleasure, here is the video of the March Gold Q&A:    

2023-03-14T12:52:49-04:00March 14th, 2023|Public Forum|

February Gold Q&A (video)

Okay, you Golds & Plats: here is the video of my answering the February Gold Q&A questions. I had to break it into two parts, so be sure to scroll down for Part 2.  

2023-03-11T13:22:28-05:00March 11th, 2023|Public Forum|

We Need A Volunteer to Record Audio Versions of the Blog Posts. Interested?

As you probably know, we have audio versions of all the blog posts that are available for all Gold and Platinum level members.  The audio versions go out on the same day as the written posts themselves.  It's a great benefit (if you're not Gold level yet: consider it!).  But it takes a lot of work by volunteers who are very generous with their time.  The volunteers record each post, and they are then produced and published by Ben Porter, Chief Technology Officer (who does all the technology that makes the blog work). We have two volunteers currently alternating in their reading of the posts, and we need to add another in order to keep the operation running smoothly.   Would you be interested?   To be considered, you would need to fill out a form and then submit an audition recording (all explained in the link below). We are looking for someone with a very good reading voice.  The position would take time and commitment, but the position does NOT require a lot of technical expertise.  You [...]

2023-02-13T21:59:15-05:00February 13th, 2023|Public Forum|

January 2023 Gold & Platinum History of the Devil Bonus Lecture

Hey Gold and Platinum members, Here is the video of our recent webinar on the History of the Devil.  We're sending it out to everyone at the gold and platinum levels, those who were able to come and those not. It was a blast doing -- and apologies for the occasions that occasioned it (being late on the Gold Q&A's for a couple of months). Again, I hope you're enjoying the blog, and if there's anything I / we can do to make your experience better, let me/us know.  'til, then, here's the Devil: Z

2023-02-03T17:45:10-05:00February 1st, 2023|Public Forum|

Did Jesus Believe in Hell? My Interview With Kevin Grant

I am pleased to post here an interview that I had with Platinum blog member Kevin Grant, who has recently published a book Did Jesus Believe in Hell?  You can get the book here:  Did Jesus Believe in Hell?: New Words on Old Beliefs: Grant, Kevin: 9781737082026: Books.  As you will see, it has received very high rankings on Amazon. Kevin and I see eye-to-eye on most of the critical points, and we flesh them out here in the interview.  His book strives to reach a different audience from mine, people who would not be inclined to read one of my books but would be open to hearing the views of someone they take to be sympathetic with their religious convictions but who wants to provide them with assurance from the Bible itself that they do not need to stand in fear of eternal torment. We cover all that and much more in this interview.  I hope you enjoy it!  And feel free to comment.

2022-12-31T16:09:14-05:00December 30th, 2022|Early Christian Doctrine, Historical Jesus, Public Forum|

Why Even Conservative Christians Should Accept Evolution: Blog Anniversary Guest Post by Michael Shermer (part 2)

For several months now I have been posting Guest Posts that were generoulsly provided by others in honor of the blog's tenth anniversary.  These posts have been wide-ranging in their content and the intriguing , each pbased on the posters' unique backgrounds and expertise.  This now is the final one in the series, the second of two posts by Michael Shermer, to continue what he was saying in his post of Sept. 3. This one is particularly significant.  Why is it in conservative Christians' (and everyone else's) own best interest to accept evolution as a reality of the past?   He makes some compelling points.  Read and see! ************************* To counter the doubts I mentioned in my previous post, I argue that, in fact, Christians and conservatives should accept the theory of evolution for at least eight reasons (again, for brevity, truncated here): Evolution happened. The theory describing how evolution happened is one of the most well-founded in all of science. Christians and conservatives embrace the value of truth-seeking as much as non-Christians and liberals do, [...]

2022-08-28T13:09:45-04:00September 8th, 2022|Public Forum|

Why Christians and Conservatives Should Accept Evolution: Blog Anniversary Guest Post by Michael Shermer (part 1)

I have been publishing guest posts in celebration of the blog's tenth anniversary, and am pleased to conclude the series now with two posts by Michael Shermer, whom many of you will know from his writings and media appearances discussing (especially) religion and science.  Michael was a one-time committed fundamentalist turned outspoken skeptic.   Here is the first of his two-parter, on an issue of particular cultural and religious importance. US public acceptance of evolution is growing but is still low compared to other countries. Why? Religion and politics. Here's why that need not be. As a career-long student of the century-long evolution-creationism debate I was encouraged to read the results of a new study on “Public Acceptance and Rejection of Evolution in the United States, 1985-2020” by Jon Miller, Eugenie Scott, Mark Ackerman, and Belén Laspra, published in the journal Public Understanding of Science. “Using data from a series of national surveys collected over the last 35 years, we find that the level of public acceptance of evolution has increased in the last decade after [...]

2022-09-08T10:39:43-04:00September 3rd, 2022|Public Forum|

How Evangelical Apologists Are Changing Their Arguments: Anniversary Guest Post: Kurt Jaros

I continue here with my string of guest posts written by scholars in honor of the blog's tenth anniversary.  Here is a post from Kurt Jaros, an evangelical Christian theologian and apologist, in which he explains how apologetics -- the intellectual defense of the claims of the Christian faith -- has grown and changed over the years, to represent something different today from, well, when I was involved with it in my younger days. I imagine the post will elicit a response!  Kurt will be happy to address your comments. ****************************** The Growing Landscape of Christian Apologetics   When did Jesus cleanse the Temple? In the Synoptics, this event occurs toward the end of his ministry (Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19: 45-46), and serves as a catalyst for his enemies to have him arrested (Matthew 21:15, 23, & 45, Mark 11:18, Luke 19:47-48). In the Gospel of John, the event occurs early on in Jesus’s ministry (John 2:14). One common approach to answering the question is to harmonize the two descriptions into a fuller, [...]

2022-08-18T11:49:55-04:00August 25th, 2022|Public Forum|

The Birth of (the Messiah?) John the Baptist? Anniversary Guest Post by James F. McGrath

I continue now with a post that was produced for us by a fellow scholar in celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the blog.  James McGrath has made several intriguing posts for us, and this one is particularly interesting.  Is it possible that stories about Jesus -- especially in the birth narratives were *originally* told about the future messiah, John the Baptist??   That the followers of Jesus took accounts originally told of John and edited them so that they now refer to Jesus?  Very intriguing!  Here's James's post. ******************* The Birth of John the Baptist: Detecting a Source from John’s Followers Behind Three Early Christian Gospels James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature, Butler University, Indianapolis   Anyone who has read my previous guest posts here, or who has read academic publications by Bart and myself, will know we share a great many interests in common: the historical Jesus, the development of Christology, extracanonical texts, and many more. As I have begun to turn my attention to my next major [...]

2022-08-15T08:23:03-04:00August 18th, 2022|Canonical Gospels, Historical Jesus|

Critical Scholarship from a Sophisticated Faith Perspective. Blog Anniversary Guest Post by Judy Yates Siker

This incredibly thoughtful guest contribution by Judy Yates Siker is part of an ongoing series I'm posting in honor of the tenth anniversary of the blog.   All the guest posts in the series are by serious scholars who have provided us with us with guest posts before, over the years; one of the striking features of these posts, as a group, is just now different they are in perspective and insight. I've known Judy well for thirty-three yeas, since she entered the UNC PhD program in New Testament Studies (in the field of Ancient Mediterranean Religions) 1989.  While doing her degree and then afterwards Judy taught at an intriguing range of schools to very different groups of students: Meredith College; American Baptist Seminary of the West, Loyola Marymount University, and San Francisco Theological Seminary -- where she eventually became Vice President. All these years Judy has long been one of my closest and dearest friends.  She is an ordained Presbyterian minister, active in church ministry now that she's retired from teaching, and living in Raleigh [...]

2022-08-01T09:54:37-04:00August 13th, 2022|Public Forum, Reflections and Ruminations|

Reading Genesis—Are You Lost in Translation? Anniversary Guest Post by James Tabor

Several scholar-friends and colleagues graciously have written guest posts for the blog to celebrate our tenth anniversary.  I am posting one a week and we will gather all of them together down the line to make them available as a group.  This week's contribution comes from James Tabor, retired Professor of Christian Origins and Bible from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (a scholar many of you will know) who has written a large number of popular books, along with serious scholarship, and most recently his own fresh translation of the book of Genesis. This post is especially interesting: James deals with problems of translating the Hebrew Bible that I bet you don't even realize are problems. ****************************** What is the best-known verse in the Bible—one that millions could quote immediately by heart? Christians might say John 3:16—after all, one even sees placards and signs reading “John 3:16” at sporting stadiums! But I think the very first verse of the Bible—Genesis 1:1—most likely would win the universal familiarity content: In the beginning God created the [...]

2022-08-08T10:06:43-04:00August 6th, 2022|Public Forum|

Does God Create People to Roast in Hell? Anniversary Guest Post by Jason Staples

I am publishing a series of guest posts that have been generously contributed to the blog in honor of our ten-year anniversary.  Each post is written by a recognized expert in our field who has previously made guest posts for us.  This one comes from Jason Staples, my erstwhile PhD student who now teaches at North Carolina State and whose (long!) dissertation has turned into TWO separate monographs, the first already published by Cambridge University Press (The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism), and the other now forthcoming from Cambridge (focusing on Paul). Here, after some much-appreciated kind words, Jason deals with an unusually important and little-understood topic, of ultimate relevance to us all! ****************************** Thanks to multiple best-selling books, Bart is one of the few widely recognized names in the field of biblical studies, and when people learn I did my training under his guidance, I invariably get asked, “so, what was that like?”  Many of the more conservative-leaning Christians are surprised when I tell them the truth: it would be difficult to [...]

2022-07-18T15:05:00-04:00July 30th, 2022|Paul and His Letters, Public Forum|

Rescheduled (and RE-scheduled!) Platinum Webinar July 19

It's past time for another Platinum webinar; as you know, this is a four-time a year event, for Platinum Members only.  Apologies for having had to reschedule this one twice--I'll have a few words to say about that during the Zoom. Our topic is TBA. The date:  Tuesday July 19; 7:30-9:00 (EST)  No need to register; just show up. I will talk on the subject for 40-45 minutes, and then take questions for 30-35 minutes.  Interested?  It's for Platinum members only.  Here's the link:   Meeting ID: 834 5746 3872 Passcode: 334283 One tap mobile +13017158592,,83457463872#,,,,*334283# US (Washington DC) +13126266799,,83457463872#,,,,*334283# US (Chicago) Dial by your location +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 646 931 3860 US +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 669 444 9171 US +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) Meeting ID: 834 5746 3872 Passcode: 334283 Find your local number: I hope you can come!! I [...]

2022-07-13T10:29:29-04:00July 13th, 2022|Canonical Gospels|

July Gold Q&A

Dear Gold Members, These monthly Gold Q&A's have been a lot of fun to do.  Time for another one!  Have a question?  Ask it!  Anything related to the blog! To enter your question on to the list: send it to Diane at [email protected] DEADLINE for your question. Saturday July 16, midnight (whenever midnight is where you live).   I will try to get it recorded soon after that, with a goal of releasing it on or around the 20th. Sorry for the short notice.  July has been a killer--more on that another time! Questions that are relatively short (a sentence or two) are more likely to be chosen; and feel free to ask a zinger!   Bart  

2022-07-13T10:01:11-04:00July 13th, 2022|Public Forum|

Gold members Q&A for June

Dear Gold Members, It's that time again.  Time for the Gold Q&A for June -- a perk of your membership!  Do you have any questions you'd like to ask, on anything related to the blog?  Ask away, and I'll do my best to answer. To get your question on the list: zap a note to Diane at [email protected] DEADLINE for your question. Midnight (your time) on Saturday, June 25. I will record the Q&A that weekend, and it will be available, if all goes to plan, by Thursday, June 30. Fire away!   Bart

2022-06-22T14:19:29-04:00June 22nd, 2022|Public Forum|

An Interesting Interview on Journeys to Heaven and Hell

I don't recall ever doing any podcast interviews before on any of my academic books since, well, they are written for scholars rather than the general public and few podcasts target scholars (at least early Christian scholars!) per se.  But I've had a couple on my recent book Journeys to Heaven and Hell, and I think it's because the topic really is interesting to more than scholars. Here's one that helped bring out some of the intriguing material I cover, with an interviewer -- Mike Delgado -- who both knows his stuff and knows what is interesting.   Enjoy!

2022-06-05T12:18:14-04:00June 19th, 2022|Afterlife, Public Forum|
Go to Top