Posts by Outsiders

Now that we’ve seen a couple of posts by Jeff Siker – taking a position quite different from my own on a question of broad importance – and some of the comments that have come back on it, and his reply at length to one of them, I think we are in a position to sit back and see how that “worked” for the blog.   My sense is that it worked very well.  If you think otherwise, please let ...

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49

Something New on the Blog

    I have received a number of suggestions about how to improve this blog, and so far the one I like best is for me to have an occasional guest make a contribution that people could interact with — that is, someone who is, like me, a scholar of NT or early Christianity who has a different thing or two to say.  I think it’s a great idea.   And I’m going to implement it for the first time tomorrow.

    Here ...

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22

Why Jesus?

This will be my last post for a while dealing with the question of whether Jesus’ ethics can be translated from his own mythological context of Jewish apocalyptic thought into the modern world that is based (for me at least) on a completely different view of life, meaning, and reality.  In my last post I indicated that I thought that it was indeed possible to make this kind of translation if one wants to.  But I ended by asking ...

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47

New Reference Tool

I’m pleased to be able to announce (and only a month after the fact) that after years of labor, the thirteen-volume Encyclopedia of Ancient History, ed. by Roger Bagnall, Kai Bodersen, Craige Champion, Andrew Erskine, and Sabine Hueber has now appeared, published by Wiley-Blackwell.   It’s not exactly an affordable reference tool for everyone’s library.    The list price is $1995.00!  But you can save $354 on Amazon, if you’re loaded and looking for the most authoritative and up-to-date ...

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7

End of the Year Reflections on the Blog

So, it’s the last day of the year, and I thought I would take a moment to reflect on life, meaning, and the state of the blog.  Mainly, for now, the state of the blog.   Some statistics would be useful, both of what I wanted to accomplish before the year was out (which will be in five and a half hours, my time) and what we did accomplish.

So, to start with, my plan at the outset.

I really ...

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38

Christmas Longings

So we have managed to make our way through another Christmas season.  I had a number of posts leading up to the big day, and now I’d like to make a couple of others looking back upon it from this side.   But first let me say that I hope all of you – whether fundamentalist (not too many of *you* on this blog!!), liberal Christian, Jew, Muslim, agnostic, atheist,  or none of the above – had a very nice, ...

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94

Reflections on the Season

I will need to take a break from posting to the blog for a few days.   I am in London and the next few days will be visiting family; I will be incommunicado until the day after Boxing Day (as they call it here).  For those of you who don’t know, my wife Sarah is a Brit, and her family is all here.   We have a flat in London (Wimbledon, actually) and we spend 2-3 months out of the year here.  ...

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22

Responses to my Newsweek Article

My Newsweek article this week has generated a lot of response.  I have no idea what kind of comments they typically get for their stories, but so far, as of now, there have been 559 on mine; and most of them are negative – to no one’s surprise – written by people (conservative evangelicals and fundamenalists for the most part, from what I can tell) who think that the Gospels are perfectly accurate in what they have to say ...

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51

An Agnostic Reflects on Christmas

I suppose a lot of people have the birth of Jesus on their minds these days.  Hard not to.  It occurred to me that it might be interesting to do a series of posts on what ancient Gospels – mainly the two of the New Testament, but also some of the others outside – say about it.   When I indicate that there are two in the NT that talk about it, it is because Matthew and Luke are the ...

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16

Melito and arly Christian Anti-Judaism

I AM IN THE PROCESS OF MAKING THE PENULTIMATE EDITS ON MY MY BIBLE INTRODUCTION.  TODAY I HAD TO REVIEW AN EXCURSUS ON EARLY JEWISH-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS IN WHICH I DISCUSS THE RISE OF ANTI-JUDAISM IN THE EARLY CHURCH, IN CLUDING THIS BIT ON MELITO OF SARDIS.  I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE WORTH POSTING HERE.

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Melito was a bishop of the city of Sardis in Asia Mino in the mid to late second century.  Today he is best known for a sermon ...

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