More Conspiracy Nonsense

Poor Hercules, trying to fight the Hydra. Once he lops off *one* head….

So I’ve received several emails over the past couple of days about the breathtaking new announcement to be made on October 19 (assuming the world still is functioning after October 17!) in London by “American Biblical scholar” Joseph Atwill (whom – I have to admit – I have never even heard of, to my recollection) In this announcement Mr. (so far as I can tell, from his blog, ...

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Colbert on his Hero O’Reilly

OK, this really is my last post on O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus.   It’s not much of one!   But today is the day I normally take “off” from the blog.  Monday’s are my day from hell:  a three-hour undergraduate seminar (“Jesus in Scholarship and Film”) in the morning (today: students compared all the accounts of Jesus’ Passion in the four Gospels, seeing if there were any differences they thought were irreconcilable; we discussed it all; and then we watched four ...

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5

Jesus as a First-Century Tea-Partier

I have decided not to provide a full and detailed review of O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus.  It doesn’t really deserve it, and much more of what I have indicated before – on which see my previous posts.  I will say that the book is extremely well written and easy on the eyes.   It is entertaining.  A lot of human-interest material, which is both its strength and its very great weakness, as almost all of this, as I’ve mentioned before, ...

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23

Riled by O’Reilly

OK, I know I promised to read and review Killing Jesus. But I’m not sure I can do it. It’s just so aggravating. Pointing out its flaws is like shooting fish in a barrel. I’ll make one general comment in this post and in the next one mention one of the leading themes of the book to show why its so problematic and then, unless I have a complete change of heart or people ask me pointed questions, ...

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28

Killing Jesus is Killing Me….

I received my copy of Killing Jesus in the mail today and started to glance at it.  I know I said I would read it, but I’m just not sure I can bring myself to do it.

The opening “Note to Readers” makes one’s heart sink.  We are told that this will be a “fact-based book.”  Oh, that’s good, the reader thinks: it won’t be biased but will be objective, based only on facts.   Until you begin to read ...

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40

Bill O’Reilly’s Jesus

Several people have (urgently) asked me to write up a review of the new blockbuster hit, Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus.   So, my short answer to the request is that, well, I haven’t read it.   It did just come out after all!   But I see it is – from the get-go – the #1 book (in the world!) on Amazon.  I will obviously have to read it:  just as I have to read Reza Aslan’s Zealot.   The ...

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35

Reza Aslan’s View of Jesus

I am saddened and grieved to report that everyone on the blog who has responded to me about yesterday’s pop quiz has gotten one of the questions wrong.  🙂   More on that tomorrow.  (But in the meantime: I’m giving brownie points for anyone who can indicate which question everyone is missing and why they’re getting it wrong!)

But on rather more serious matters: back to Reza Aslan’s book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.   Let ...

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Reza Aslan on Jesus

QUESTION:

Do you consider Reza Aslan to be a recognised scholar of early Christianity? Larry Hurtado described the thesis circulating in lay circles, that Jesus was a military revolutionary, as a “zombie” idea (from what I gather, a key conclusion of Aslan’s 2013 book) which had been debunked over and over again by scholarship in the past century.

RESPONSE:

OK, I need to begin with a very serious disclaimer.   I haven’t read Aslan’s book (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus ...

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20

Spong’s New Book on John: Part 2

Yesterday I wrote a post in which I began to discuss the recent Huffington Post article by John Shelby Spong in which he discusses his new book on John; the book is called The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic and the article can be found this address: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-shelby-spong/gospel-of-john-what-everyone-knows-about-the-fourth-gospel_b_3422026.html?ref=topbar

Today I will finish out what I started to say yesterday.

Let me say again that I have long appreciated Spong’s work and am sympathetic to his mission. He is trying ...

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Spong’s New Book on John

John Shelby Spong, former Episcopal bishop of New Jersey and highly controversial author (because of his skeptical views about the New Testament and traditional Christian doctrine) has just published a new book on the Gospel of John, called The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic. I have not read the book, but Spong has written an interesting article on it that appeared in the Huffington Post yesterday, at this address:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-shelby-spong/gospel-of-john-what-everyone-knows-about-the-fourth-gospel_b_3422026.html?ref=topbar

In the article Spong summarizes the conclusions he advances in ...

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