Jesus and Mary Magdalene

I pointed out in my last post that most people simply assume that Jesus was not married because there is no mention of his wife in any of our sources, or any mention that he ever had a wife. And so it is assumed that he did not have one. As Karen King pointed out in our discussion the other night at the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, that is an argument from silence, and ...

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Was Jesus Married?

I am en route just now, back from Las Vegas, where I participated in a discussion with two other scholars at the Black Mountain Institute on the question “Would It Matter If Jesus Were Married?” The Black Mountain Institute is part of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV); it sponsors events having to do with literature and history. Usually these involve two or more scholars, on stage, on chairs, with a moderator, discussing a topic of mutual interest. ...

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Final Loose Threads on the Zealot Hypothesis

I think I’ve gone on about Aslan’s Zealot long enough. Maybe more than long enough, many of you may think. My plan is to make this the last post. Let me reiterate that I think it is an exceptionally well-written, engaging book, and we can all be thankful to Aslan for bringing important historical issues about Jesus to the public attention. I may think that he’s wrong about his central thesis, and I may recognize a lot of ...

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Jesus Getting Angry

As often happens in this blog, I started down one path and have found myself on another. I began this thread by talking about the story of the leper in Papyrus Egerton 2. That made me want to say something about the healing of a leper in Mark 1:40-44. But to make my point I had to talk about a textual problem in v. 41. And that has gotten me to talk about Jesus’ getting angry. He does appear to ...

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Speaking of Lepers

In yesterday’s post I mentioned the interesting story found in the Unknown Gospel (as it is called – even though part of it is now known!) contained in the second-century manuscript Papyrus Egerton 2.   There’s an intriguing aspect of that story that I wanted to post on today, but I realized that to make sense of what I have to say would take *so* much background that – well, I should discuss the background instead of the point I want ...

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Why Jesus?

This will be my last post for a while dealing with the question of whether Jesus’ ethics can be translated from his own mythological context of Jewish apocalyptic thought into the modern world that is based (for me at least) on a completely different view of life, meaning, and reality.  In my last post I indicated that I thought that it was indeed possible to make this kind of translation if one wants to.  But I ended by asking ...

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Did Jesus Speak Greek?

Several of my recent posts have elicited comments from multiple participants (same comment, asked in a variety of ways). One of them had to do with the question of the language that Jesus would have spoken with Pontius Pilate during his trial. A number of people have asked “why not Greek”? The logic behind this question/solution is that Pilate as an educated Roman would have been fluent in Greek; and Jesus, living in “Galilee of the Gentiles,” where he ...

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