A Forger Fooled By Forgery

In my previous post I talked about my scholarly book on forgery (Forgery and Counterforgery) and gave some of the opening paragraphs of the Introduction.  Here I’ll give the very first part of the first chapter.  I wanted to start out on a light and humorous note, even though I was writing at a scholarly level.   And so I began with an amusing anecdote from the annals of ancient forgery, a case where a forger was intentionally deceived by ...

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My Book on Literary Forgery

I am in Houston for a few days, giving talks at Rice University on the use of literary forgery in early Christianity.  To prepare for the talks I decided to read through my 2013 book Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics.  Of all the books I’ve written, I am proudest of this one.  It is the very best I can do in terms of real scholarship.   I don’t believe I’ve talked about it much ...

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Jesus as God in the Synoptics: A Blast From the Past

I sometimes get asked how my research in one book or another has led me to change my views about something important.  Here is a post from four years ago today, where I explain how I changed my mind about something rather significant in the Gospels.  Do Matthew, Mark, Luke consider Jesus to be God?  I always thought the answer was a decided no (unlike the Gospel of John).  In doing my research for my book How Jesus Became God, ...

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The Thinking Atheist Interview: The Triumph of Christianity

On March 20, 2018 I was interviewed by Seth Andrews, host of The Thinking Atheist podcast about my book “The Triumph of Christianity: How A Forbidden Religion Swept the World.”

Seth Andrews of The Thinking Atheist defines his media channel: “Religion often tells us that faith is a virtue. We think faith (believing something without evidence) is a poor method for determining what is true, especially in an era when science, reason and evidence continue to provide much more satisfying answers ...

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Making the Bestseller List

As many of you know, I made an appearance on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross a couple of weeks ago.  I had mentioned in an earlier post that the only way it is humanly possible for a book to become a bestseller is by having some media attention paid to it – a herculean task, especially these days, over the past two years, when the national media wants to talk about nothing but That One Thing.

Fresh Air has millions of ...

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The Marvels of Media Attention

My first trade book – that is, book written for a general audience, instead of for fellow scholars (academic monographs) or college students (textbooks) — was 19 years ago now, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium.   I think it’s safe to say that when I wrote the book, I knew virtually *nothing* about writing a trade book.  My editor at Oxford University Press urged me to write it and I reluctantly agreed.

I was reluctant because I did not want ...

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My Scholarly Project on the Afterlife

Here is the research proposal that I sent in to various funding agencies hoping to get a leave for next year – including the National Humanities Center, which has given me a fellowship . As you’ll see, it is closely tied to the trade book I am working on about the origins of the Christian ideas of heaven and hell, but it deals with a specific issue at considerable depth.   For the fellowship application I called the prospective book “The ...

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My Upcoming Writing Plans: The Afterlife and the Afterlife

As some of you know, I sometimes try to work on two books at once.  I’ve actually tried *writing* two books at once, but doesn’t work too well.  (Writing part of one one day and part of the other another.  Yuk!)  But I can be doing research and planning two books at once, if they are on a related topic – one a popular book for a general audience and the other a scholarly book for academics.   That’s what I ...

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Reading The Triumph of Christianity at Quail Ridge Books

On Tuesday February 13, 2018 at 7:00pm, I had a book reading based on my new book “The Triumph of Christianity: How A Forbidden Religion Swept the World” at Quail Ridge Books located in Raleigh, North Carolina.    I read excerpts for about 30 minutes, then took questions.

Here it is, for your viewing pleasure or amusement!

Please adjust gear icon for 720p High-Definition:

To see all my posts, 5-6 times a week, join the blog!  It ...

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Early Christology: How I Changed My Mind

It seems like every time I write a book, based on the research I do I change my mind about one thing or another that I’ve thought for a long time.  Some people (including some fellow scholars) think that’s a weakness or a problem.   I think of it as one of my charming personality traits.  🙂

OK, seriously, I think more scholars ought to be willing to change their minds — instead of being intransigent and thinking they are always right.  ...

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