More Free Memberships Available, 2019

Thanks to the incredible ongoing generosity of members of the blog, I am happy to announce that there are still a limited number of free one-year memberships available.   These have been donated for a single purpose: to allow those who cannot afford the annual membership fee to participate on the blog for a year.   I will assign these memberships strictly on the honor system: if you truly cannot afford the membership fee, but very much want to have full access ...

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My Trip To Rome: Interested in Joining?

As I announced a few weeks ago, I will be going on a tour to Rome and other sites to the south, including Pompeii, Heraculum, Bay of Naples, Amalfi Coast on April 14-24, 2020 (six months from now!).   If you haven’t been to these places before, this would be a great opportunity!  And even if you have been before this would still be a great opportunity!  It is a very impressive itinerary.  Every informed and interesting person on the planet ...

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What I think of the Bible as Both a Critical Scholar and A Christian: Guest Post by Judy Siker

This is the second guest post by Judy Siker, who last week explained about her upbringing as a Christian in the south and then her move into the academic study of the Bible from a critical perspective.  If you recall, Judy was my student in the (very secular!) graduate program in New Testament/Early Christianity here at UNC, where she did both a Masters and PhD in the field, focusing, in her dissertation, on the socio-historical background to the Gospel of ...

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Blog Dinner in Chicago (Oct. 18): Full!

I am pleased and regret (at the same time) to say that the table for the blog dinner in Chicago for October 18 is now full.  I have a waiting list that I have started, and have notified everyone who contacted me (both those at the table and those on the waiting list.)

But I’ll be doing others this coming year in a few other places!  Hopefully others can come to these.

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Blog Dinner, Chicago IL, Friday October 18

On Friday,  October, 2019, at 7:00 pm, I will be hosting a Blog Dinner for blog members (members only, I’m afraid) in Chicago.  Well, kind-a.  I’ll be in Oak Brook to give a paper the next day, so it would need to be near there.  The table is limited to eight.  I’m one of them.  That means that seven spots are available.  First come first served:  please do NOT response here on the blog, but send me a private email, ...

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How Can You Still Believe? Guest Post by Judy Siker

One of the questions I get asked the most frequently from blog members is how someone can possibly continue to be a believing Christian if they understand the enormous problems presented by the critical study of the New Testament.  I always tell them that in fact it’s not only possible – it happens all the time.  Sometimes they are incredulous, but it’s not only true, it’s so true that my friends who know everything I know about the Bible and ...

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My Speaking Schedule for this Academic Year (so far)

I often get asked where I”m giving a talk next.  I do keep a listing on my website (, which has other information about my life and activities as well.   But, well, I haven’t been good this year at getting it up to date, until now.  (It was lost in the triage of my life….)  With Steven’s help, it’s now up and up to date.   Here it is, for anyone who’s interested.  And available, as well, even for anyone who ...

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Hey! Wanna Go With Me To Rome ?

Here’s an exciting announcement that I’ve been eager to make.  And now I can.   I’ll be taking a group of interested (and interesting) folk on a ten-day trip to Rome and Southern Italy on April 14-24, 2020 (this coming April!); this is tour sponsored by Thalassa Journeys, the group that arranged my (with some other blog members)to Greece and Turkey last year.  It was spectacular.

And this one will be as well.   It is an amazing itinerary, as good as they ...

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An Opening for the Blog Dinner NYC August 27

We have had a cancellation for the blog dinner scheduled for 7:00 pm in NYC (Midtown), this coming Tuesday (August 27).  So we have one more seat at the table.  Anyone interested?   If so, email me at    Only requirements for attendance: you be a member of the blog, you get there, you pay for your meal, you be interested in talking to us!

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Learning New Things

I am constantly awed by some fellow scholars,who have not just enormous range of knowledge about so many things but also an inordinate, almost insatiable curiosity.   There aren’t many people like that, but I know some.   At the same time I am regularly puzzled by people who simply have no curiosity about much of anything, who have strong opinions about lots and actual knowledge about little, who just don’t have any real curiosity or drive to find answers to anything.

I’m ...

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