So Much For THAT Idea….

My plan over the next three weeks was to write the seven chapters of my Bible Introduction.   The best laid plans….   On the theme of “life sometimes interferes” I was presented yesterday, to my chagrin, with two tasks that require my attention, right away.  Both of them unpleasant.   Ugh.

As I have indicated on this blog, I have a couple of books in the publication pipeline.  One is The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research, which I am ...

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Accessing the Squirrel

      Some members wrote me to say they  had trouble accessing the second (and most interesting!) part of the Metzger and the Squirrel story a couple of days ago.  Sorry not to respond sooner; I’ve been galavanting hither and yon.  The mistake was mine (I hit a wrong button when posting the story), but it has been corrected, and you should be able to access it now.

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Possibly of Some Interest


Some of you may get the magazine Biblical Archaeology Review.  It often has interesting stuff in it, for
the non-specialists.  Here’s the announcment of a recent article of possible interest.

Biblical Views: The Value of Methodological Doubt

Ron Hendel Defends Critical Biblical Scholarship


What’s the use of critical Biblical scholarship? If you asked evangelical Calvinist philosopher Alvin Plantinga, he’d probably say “not much.” He compares the endeavor to mowing the lawn with nail clippers. Instead he believes only in the inerrancy of ...

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The Sons of God and the Daughters of Men

Another tidbit from my Bible Introduction.  Old news for a lot of you, I know.  But it’s fun to write this kind of thing up for college students, who have never heard of such a thing!


One of the most mysterious and even bizarre stories in Genesis happens right at the beginning of the flood narrative, where we are told that the “sons of God” looked down among the human “daughters,” saw that they were beautiful, and came down and had ...

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My Bible Introduction

As predicted, I began work on my Introduction to the Bible yesterday, and it has been as intense as expected.   This is to be a fifteen-chapter introduction of the entire Bible, Jewish Scripture (= Old Testament) and New Testament, Genesis to Revelation (including Apocrypha).  What a scream….

The really difficult thing for this book – as for every book – is to make it just right for the audience.  My audience in this case is not readers at Barnes and Noble ...

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My Next Book

Several readers have suggested that this kind of post should be available on the blog for everyone, not just members.  I think they’re right!


The next two weeks are going to be highly intense for me, and I’m a bit worried about how I will be able to fit in my “blog time.”   The reason: I will be throwing myself day and night into writing my next book.

Background Part One:  As I think I’ve mentioned on the blog before, I try ...

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Q & A with Ben Witherington: Part 10 (and last!)

Q.   In what way is the Jewish notion of a resurrection a different idea than either the fertility crop cycle idea, or what is sometimes said about pagan deities that either disappear or die?

A.   One of the reasons for thinking that the belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection is not exactly like what you can find in pagan myths about their gods is that it is solidly rooted in Jewish apocalyptic beliefs of the first century.  This should come as ...

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Helping Charity and Improving My Blog

As I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I have had three debates with Dinesh D’Souza, an extremely smart, articulate, and conservative fellow, on the Problem of Suffering.  The debates were not about whether there is a problem (yes there is!), but about whether the problem is, or should be, insurmountable for faith.  For many people (like me) it is insurmountable.  But I don’t think it necessarily is for everyone.  Dinesh does not think it should be for ...

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Outta here (for a couple of days)

Friends, Fans, and Others,

I am heading outta here for a few days, taking my 85-year-old mom trout fishing!   We will be in a remote part of the Missouri Ozarks, where there is no Internet connection.   I have prepared a couple of posts for when I’m away, which my trusty website and technology support, Steven Ray, will put up on the blog while I’m gone.   But I will not be able to respond to comments, until I get back at the end ...

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The Growth of Early Christianity: A Clarification

In my last post I was discussing why / how Christianity succeeded in taking over the Empire, and a number of readers have pointed out that the conversion of Constantine had something to do with it.  Yes indeed!!  Constantine had EVERYTHING to do with it.  If he/that hadn’t happened, there’s no telling what would have been.   Constantine was the real game-changer.  But my post (I wasn’t clear about this: my mistake) wasn’t dealing with the cataclysmic events of the fourth ...

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