The Next Trade Book: Jews and Christians

QUESTION:

I was wondering if someday you will write a book on the rise of anti-Judaism in early Christian circles ?  If you were to write such a book, what would the title and the subtitle be ?

RESPONSE:

As it turns out, that is indeed to be the topic of my next trade book, which I plan to write in a couple of years.  As I have said on this blog before, I try to alternate the kinds ...

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The God Christ and the Jews

I should probably at some point provide a sketch of how my book How Jesus Became God will be structured and organized (I don’t *think* I’ve done that yet; I need to look).  In any event, in the second to last chapter  I show how by the fourth century there was a broad consensus that Jesus was God in a very concrete sense: he was co-eternal with God the Father (there never was a time before which he ...

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34

Growth Rate of Early Christianity

Time to answer a readers’ question, as a change of pace, unrelated to anything else I’ve been posting on:

QUESTION:

The question on my mind is almost certainly NOT knowable, but I will ask it anyway.

1 – can anyone estimate how many Christians (all variations included) were abroad on Planet Earth at any given time in the 100s or 200s?

2 – when Constantine chose to back Christianity and make it the “official” religion — in the early piece of the ...

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49

A Third Forgery in the Name of Peter

As I mentioned in the two previous posts, in my talk at Unity Village the other night, I introduced my discussion of whether there could be forgeries in the New Testament by introducing three forgeries from *outside* the New Testament; the first was the Gospel of Peter with its giant Jesus and walking-talking cross at the resurrection and the second was the letter of Peter to James in which he attacks “the man who is my enemy,” a transparent reference ...

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Another Forgery in the Name of Peter

In my talk the other night at Unity Village, called “Are there Forgeries in the New Testament?” (or maybe I called it something even more provocative, like “Is the New Testament Forged?”), I started out, as I indicated in my previous post, by discussing several forgeries that are found *outside* the New Testament, as a way of introducing the audience to what I meant by the term “forgery” (which I use in a strict and technical sense to refer to ...

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38

Forgery and the Gospel of Peter

So in my talk on forgery last night, I introduced the question of whether there could be forgeries inside the New Testament by talking about forgeries that definitely exist *outside* the New Testament; and to do that I began by speaking of three books that Peter, the disciple of Jesus, allegedly wrote.   My definition of forgery is a fairly technical one.  When I speak about forgery I’m not talking about books whose contents have been made up or fabricated, ...

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27

An Ancient Accusation of Textual Tampering

I will get back to my discussion of Christology soon (tomorrow?) but wanted to take a break and talk about something else that came up in my reading today.   I’m working diligently on finishing the research for my next book How Jesus Became God.  My goal is to finish all the research in about three weeks.   Unfortunately, I can’t be devoting my entire attention to the research just now because I have other things hanging fire.  I’m putting ...

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9

Gospel of the Savior

I’ve decided today to take a brief break from my discussions of early Christology to post on something else (tomorrow I’m back to Christology, if all goes according to plan).   As I think I have mentioned, my colleague Zlatko Plese and I are in the process of publishing an English-only version of our book The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations.  That is, we are not including the Greek, Latin, and Coptic texts, but only the English translations.   I ...

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17

Paul’s “Gospel” and Marcion

Question: (Here is a question that has been raised about one of my posts. The question begins with a quotation from what I said, in contrast to something else I said, which seems to contradict it. Far be it from me every to eschew contradictions! 🙂 But in this case, I have been misunderstood, probably because of the poor way I phrased it. A couple of people have asked me about the same thing, so here’s the gist of ...

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26

The Mayan Calendar, Y2K, and the Letter of Barnabas

You may have noticed that the world didn’t end two weeks ago, despite widespread anticipation. Sometimes things just don’t go as planned. It’s a strange phenomenon this expectation that the world is soon going to end; and if Christian fundamentalists and Mayan enthusiasts can’t get it right, who can?

When I was a fundamentalist back in the mid 70s, I – and all my friends – were sure that the end was going to come, with the reappearance of Jesus, before ...

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