Rene Salm at the Society of Biblical Literature Meeting

Several people have sent me private emails asking why René Salm was put on the program at the Society of Biblical Literature meeting, given the fact that he is not a scholar and has no credentials in the field. For those of you who don’t know, Salm has written a book claiming that Nazareth did not exist in the first century, so that Jesus couldn’t be there. He argues this in part because he doesn’t think Jesus existed and so ...

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The Pope’s New Book

So, I read the Pope’s new book last night, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives.  It wasn’t what I expected.  I don’t know why it wasn’t what I expected:  about thirty seconds solemn reflection should have told me what it would be.  But I believed the media reports and was led astray.  The press coverage stressed the things I pointed out in my post yesterday:  we don’t know what year exactly Jesus was born, since the ...

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How Do I Read Books?

QUESTION:

How do you go about reading books? Which methods do you use in order to read as much as possibile? How do make plans how much to read? Do you highlight things in books? Do you you’re your own comments? Summaries? Any other tips?

RESPONSE:

Ah, this is an interesting question. As it turns out, there’s not an easy answer. That’s because there are many different ways I read books, depending on what kind of book it ...

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Modern Interest in the Apostolic Fathers

An interest in the “church Fathers” emerged in Western Europe among humanists of the Renaissance, many of whom saw in the golden age of patristics their own forebears — cultured scholars imbued with the classics of Western Civilization, concerned with deep religious and philosophical problems. No wonder, then, that the humanists focused their attention on the writings of the “great” Fathers of the church such as Chrysostom, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, the Cappadocians, and the like, while showing virtually no interest ...

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The Collection: Apostolic Fathers

About a week or so ago I talked about translating the Apostolic Fathers for the Loeb Classical Library. Some people have asked me to say more about the Apostolic Fathers. It may be useful to devote a couple of posts to this collection: when were these authors first gathered together? Who decides which books should be included in the corpus? On what grounds? Etc. For much of this I draw from the Introduction in my edition.

The term “apostolic father” first ...

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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 Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations

I mentioned in my previous post that by a matter of serendipity, I decided to produce a bi-lingual edition of the Apocryphal Gospels. My idea was to make available to scholars who wanted easy access to (virtually all) the non-canonical Gospels in the original language a one-volume edition, and to make available to everyone, whether scholars or not, solid and new English translations of all these works. The original idea was to include all the early and important Gospels (up ...

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Serendipity 3: The Apocryphal Gospels Volume

I mentioned in previous posts that a good deal of my career has developed because of serendipitous moments. As I look back on it (from this halfway point ), most of the good things that have happened to me seem to have come about by pure chance. Of course, I took advantage of the chances as they came along. But still, no one can deny that a major chunk of life is all by chance.

In those two earlier posts, I ...

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A Stranger Problem with Lake’s Translation

Other problems with the edition of the Apostolic Fathers done by Kirsopp Lake relate to the period when he produced it. This is scarcely an avoidable problem, of course; but the reality is that his time is not ours. Lake was born in 1872 and was given, then, a solid Victorian education in the classics in Oxford. And there are passages in his translation where his cultural milieu shines through, none more clearly than in Barnabas 10, where Barnabas is ...

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