The Giving Season


The season of giving has come upon us!   I have to admit, even though I am not a Christian, I absolutely love the Christmas season.   I know there are a lot of things wrong with Christianity, just as there are with every religion.   The harm, the evil, done in the name of Christ is enough to make my skin crawl.  But at the same time, there is a lot of good, and I see no reason to deny it.   At ...

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The Gospel of Peter in a Papyrus Fragment?

Yesterday I gave a lecture at the Biblical Archeology Society FEST here in Baltimore. Even though I’m (obviously) not an archaeologist, a lot of my work is connected with archaeology, especially the discovery of ancient manuscripts. In 1886 archaeologists digging in Akhmim Egypt were working through a cemetery and uncovered a tomb, from about the 8th century, they thought, that had, along with a skeleton, a 66 page parchment book. The book was written in Greek, and had four texts ...

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My SBL Conference

There are two happy events affecting my life today. The first is that I just now have received an author’s copy of my new book, co-edited with my colleague, Zlatko Plese, The Other Gospels: Accounts of Jesus from Outside the New Testament (Oxford University Press). As I’ve earlier indicated, this book is an English-only edition of our Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations, which included the original Greek, Latin, and Coptic along with the English translations. For this new ...

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Amusing Fund Raising and the Blog


As many of you know, the charity that this blog supports more than any other is the Urban Ministries of Durham, which deals with issues of hunger and homelessness in my city of Durham – or rather, deals with people who are experiencing problems of hunger and homelessness. Urban Ministries (which, despite its name, is not a religious organization) does amazing work. And one of the most amazing things about it is that it does not simply put a band-aid ...

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Jesus and Brian!!!

I am pleased to be able to announce that a conference will be held this summer that looks to be outrageously fun and interesting.   It will be at King’s College, London.   And it will be on the Life of Brian and the Historical Jesus.   I have been asked to give one of the papers, and how could I refuse!   I’m going to have to cut short a family vacation in France, but there’s no way I’m ...

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Is The NT Portrayal of Jesus Accurate? Debate With Craig Evans

This video is of a debate that I participated in nearly two years ago in Nova Scotia with Dr. Craig Evans, a very well-known and widely published scholar of the New Testament who is also a conservative  evangelical Christian (not “ultra-conservative,” and nowhere near a fundamentalist – but still conservative).   This was the first of two debates that took place, in two different locations,on subsequent evenings.   The topic of the debate was: “Does the New Testament Present a Reliable Portrait ...

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Problem on the Site

My assistant and computer guru Steve Ray noticed yesterday (Saturday, November 16) that comments were not getting posted on the site.   There was a technical malfunction, unrelated to him, me, or the CIA (the real one or the secondary one in D.C., so far as I know….). This is the note he posted on my facebook page.  Please … take note!

Greetings Blog Members. Technical Notice. There was a database corruption on the blog server today due to JetPack, one that ...

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Video: Misquoting Jesus

I have decided to add a new feature to my blog.   There have been a number of video’s recorded of my lectures and interviews, and I thought it might be interesting to post these on occasion here on the blog combined with my added comments.

My most successful popular book so far has been Misquoting Jesus.   After it was out for a while and finally “took off,” I got asked to give a bunch of lectures on the topic. ...

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A Rather Serious Mistake

In my previous post I started answering the question of why there may be contradictions/discrepancies/differences within the works of a single author.   Weren’t they careful?  Didn’t they see the problem?   I mentioned that sometimes it may be that with someone like Paul, since his letters spanned over a decade, maybe he changed his mind about some things.   I certainly don’t think all the same things I did ten years ago; and if you contrast what I thought when I was ...

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Podcast on My New Course

Here is a link to a podcast that just came out from The Great Courses that deals with my (relatively) new course “The Greatest Controversies of Early Christianity.”

It has the virtue as well of including conversations (after mine) with two other professors and their courses as well.   In any event, if anyone has wondered a bit what my course is actually about, this is a fairly painless way to find out.

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