New Rules for Comments on the Blog

 

I have made an executive decision involving rules for comments on the blog.  I have received complaints from blog users about some of the comments.  I think we all (the thousands of us!) are doing well when it comes to being polite and reasonably generous with one another, unlike a lot of other sites.   But some of the comments are distracting, either because there are so many of them from one person or because they are excessively long.

The comment section ...

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Taking the Temperature of the Blog: June 2018

I thought this would be a good time to take stock of the blog briefly, and get a sense of how you, the user and raison d’etre of the project, are feeling about it.  To do this I have several issues, concerns, and/or questions I’d like to raise.  The BIG issue comes at the end, so skip there if you must [points (6) and (7)]

  • Do you like the directions the blog is going? I’m wondering if the topics I cover ...
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Why Would I Call Myself Both an Agnostic and an Atheist? A Blast from the Past

My personal beliefs came up in my debate with Dinesh D’Souza that I posted last week, and I received several questions about how I classify myself: agnostic or atheist?  I’ve talked about that on the blog a couple of times, but as I am constantly reminded, many of the people who are on the blog now were not on it a year or two ago, as there is turnover and our numbers continue to grow.  And certainly no one (well, ...

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We Do *NOT* Have a First-Century Copy of the Gospel of Mark

As most of us have suspected for years now, there is in fact no first-century copy of the Gospel of Mark.  If fortune smiles upon us, maybe one will eventually be discovered.  But it hasn’t been yet.  Dan Wallace, our lone public source for the existence of such a thing (announced with some flair at a public debate I had with him in 2012) has finally provided the necessary information: his claim that such a copy existed was based on ...

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Back in Business!

Many apologies to all for the hiatus on the blog.  I wish I had a sob-story to tell to justify it (well, not really), but as I indicated yesterday, it was rather a bit of good fortune with a downside.  Every year for nineteen years now my wife Sarah and I have come to the beach with our friend Dale Martin, the New Testament scholar who introduced us just six years before that (he taught at the time at Duke; ...

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Technology Challenge at the Beach

Dear Blog Members,

Many apologies for taking a few days off from posting on the blog.  It’s not been intentional!  I’ve been at the beach for a few days (poor soul….) and the Internet is down.  I can get email, but no access to the web.  So even though I’ve been writing posts, I can’t get them up to the blog.  I hope to have the problem resolved soon — hopefully today!

– Bart

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My Life! An Interview with Frank Statio on “The State of Things”

On March 5 I had a radio interview at the local NPR station with Frank Stasio, host of “The State of Things.”   Most of the interview had to do with my religious journey from Christian fundamentalist to atheist; by the end we got to the ostensible reason for my being there, my then new book “The Triumph of Christianity: How A Forbidden Religion Swept the World.”

Frank is one of the very best interviewers anywhere, extremely good, as you’ll hear.  He ...

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Seeing Capernaum and the “Jesus Boat”: A Blast From the Past

I will be going to Israel with a tour group in October, and browsing through the blog I see that I made a number of posts from Israel last time I was there.  Here’s an interesting one from five years ago today about the town of Capernaum and an intriguing archaeological discovery made there in relatively recent times.

 

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I am typing just now on the third floor of the Scots Hotel in Tiberias, in a room with a glorious ...

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Fresh Air – Christianity’s Path From ‘Forbidden’ To A ‘Triumph’

On March 20, 2018 I had an interview with Terry Gross for her NPR radio program Fresh Air, about my book The Triumph of Christianity: How A Forbidden Religion Swept the World.   I believe this is the seventh time I’ve done her program (the first one was for my book Lost Christianities, maybe fifteen years ago).  I thought way back then, and I still think now, that she’s the best interviewer on the planet.

The show runs for ...

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What It Takes to be a Graduate Student

I often get questions from people who have been in a career for a while who want to know if it is feasible for them to go back to school and get a PhD in my field of New Testament/Early Christianity.  In most cases it is not feasible at all, simply because it is way too complicated and involved — and takes way more time than one would think.  Here is what I said about what being a graduate student ...

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