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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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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The SBL Meeting

I’m just back from the annual Society of Biblical Literature meeting, which took place, this year, in Chicago.   This is a professional meeting that always occurs the week before Thanksgiving, where professors of biblical studies from around the country (and less-so, around the world) come together for about four days to give and hear academic papers on an enormous range of topics related to biblical studies.  Maybe 5000 or 6000 of them/us?  The vast majority of people in that ...

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It Has Arrived! Forgery and Counterforgery in Early Christian Polemics.

I have rarely – ever? – been so pleased with the appearance of a publication in my life.   Last night when I got home from running some errands, a box was waiting for me, from Oxford University Press.   It had my ten author’s copies of Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics.  I’m very excited about it, like a kid who has just gotten a fantastic present.   In my opinion, this is ...

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The Sense of an Ending

I am today taking executive privilege and allowing myself a hiatus in my discussions of various things academic in this post.  I still have several posts I want to make about editing the edition of the apostolic fathers – especially about translating them – and I want to get back to what I was writing about before all that, as I do more and more reading of relevance to the topic of belief in Jesus’ resurrection.  And I want ...

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Blog Preferences

To:  Members of the CIA.  And potential members of the CIA.  And anyone else who wants to be involved.

From: The Director of the CIA

Re: Overt operations

OK, so here’s the deal.  A couple of weeks ago I published a post indicating how we were doing now just over five months into this blog.   A number of you commented about the number of posts that I’m doing, many of you (not all) indicating that it seemed like a lot, and some (not ...

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On the Blog Itself

 

I am taking a moment out from a hectic life (who *doesn’t* have a hectic life?!?) to think a bit about the blog, and how it is going.   Here are just a few reflections.

  • We got it up and running at the beginning of April, so we have been at it now for just over five months.
  • My goals at the outset were to disseminate knowledge about the New Testament and early Christianity as much as was within my abilities, ...
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Another Take on Jesus’ Existence

Some readers have objected to my insistence that New Testament scholars, on the whole, do not take seriously the claims of the mythicists that Jesus never existed.   I have always stressed that Jesus’ existence is known (and can be demonstrated) by thousands of New Testament scholars.  But I have also always stressed that scholarly consensus on this issue is not in itself *evidence* (my detractors among the mythicists seem to overlook this little point, when they claim that I argue that ...

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Sad News: The Passing of Marvin Meyer

Yesterday was a sad day for me and for biblical/early Christianity scholarship.   Marvin Meyer passed away, the victim of melanoma.  He could not have been old – maybe in his early 60s.  He was a superb scholar and one of the most generous, affable, energetic, personable scholars you would ever hope to find.  Marvin was the Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies at Chapman University and Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute

I knew about Marvin’s work for ...

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Bible Intro: Nearing the finish line

I am happy to say that I have nearly finished writing the rough draft of my Introduction to the Bible;  those of you who have been on the blog for a while know: this is a college level textbook (so, written for 19 year olds) for a one-semester course on the Bible, Genesis to Revelation.  I’ve actually enjoyed doing it.   In preparation I spent a couple of years teaching  the Introduction to the Hebrew Bible course at ...

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