Jesus, the Supernatural, and the Historian: Guest Post 2 by James Tabor

Here is the second half of James Tabor’s guest post; for the first, see yesterday!   I think you will agree, the two parts are very stimulating.  If you want to hear more of James’s thoughts on all sorts of topics connected to the New Testament and Early Christianity, he too has a very helpful blog where he discusses all sorts of relevant topics.  Give it a look!  It’s at

James will be happy to address questions you have in ...

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Guest Post by James Tabor: The Historian and the Supernatural

I am honored to have a guest post provided for us by James D. Tabor, Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at my sibling-school UNC-Charlotte, and longtime friend.  Many of you will know James and his work, as he publishes not only for the scholarly crowd but also for broader audiences.   If you want to stir up controversy – that’s the way to go!

And James is no stranger to it, as becomes clear in this post – or rather ...

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Two Brief Comments on intriguing topics: the unknowability of God and scholarly subterfuge!


Several commentors on my post about the imperceptibility of a superior divine being have pointed out that Christians commonly talk about God as beyond our comprehension.  Yes indeed!!  When I was a fundamentalist we too used to say, all the time, that “God is far beyond anything we can imagine.”  And then we would go on and list his characteristics and attributes!  🙂



Several people have pointed out to me an article in the Guardian that deals at length with the ...

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A Revelatory Moment about “God”

I had a “revelatory moment” last week that I think may have changed my view about “God” for a very long time – or at least about the existence of superior beings far beyond what we can imagine.

As most of you know, I have long been an agnostic-atheist, and as some of you may recall, I define “atheist” differently from most people, at least in relationship to “agnostic.”   The word “agnostic” means “don’t know.”   Is there a God?  I don’t’ ...

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Blog Year in Review, 2019!

We are at the end of yet another year and I would like to take the occasion to reflect on the blog, how we’ve been doing and where we’re going, now on the cusp of 2020.   (Yikes.  Already?)

The blog has been doing extremely well.  When I started this venture in April 2012, I had no clue what I was getting into, what it would take, and what it would give.   It is taking more and giving way more than I ...

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Christmas 2019

For a long time now I’ve had ambivalent feelings toward Christmas.   Some of my blog posts from years past on the day and its meaning have very much celebrated its great sides (you can just search for “Christmas” on the blog and you’ll see them).  But I’ve long seen the downsides as well, frequently discussed among people we know and know about and more frequently felt even when not discussed.   I still see these down sides – one above all ...

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More on the Case Against Miracles: Michael Shermer Guest Post

This is the second guest post by Michael Shermer, from his Foreword to the new book edited by John Loftus, The Case Against Miracles. ((For the first, see yesterday’s post)  Michael is on the blog and is happy to respond to comments you have.    Again, the book can be found here:



When we are thinking about miracles, as with anything else that happens in the world, what we are after is a causal explanation, and ...

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The Case Against Miracles

I recently learned of a new book that has come out arguing *against* the idea that miracles happen.  It is a collection of essays edited by John Loftus, an interesting who in some has had a similar faith trajectory as I: started as a very conservative evangelical, studied at evangelical schools, and ended up leaving the faith and becoming an atheist.  Among other things, for one of his master’s degree he studied with the evangelical philosopher and apologist William Lane ...

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Why Would an Agnostic-Atheist Be A Bible Scholar??

Five years ago I received this question.  I still hear it!   And I would still answer it the same way.  A question that makes a lot of sense in one way actually doesn’t make a lot of sense looked at in another way.  I suppose a lot of our questions are like that….   Here is the question and response.


QUESTION:   The one thing that I do not understand about you is that you have stated you have lost your faith. That ...

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Update on My Next Book: The Joys of Academic Writing

Last weekend I escaped from all the distractions of daily life in Durham to our mountain retreat in order to write.   I’m here in solitude, Sarah is in London for the holidays.  I’ll be joining her next week.   I have all the amenities of modern life here: but no TV, no neighbors, no noise, no traffic.

Writing is very hard under the best of circumstances.   But oh boy is it easier in the best of circumstances.  Most scholars find it literally ...

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