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May Gold Q&A: Keep Those (Metaphorical) Cards & Letters Coming!

Gold and Platinum members, Time again for our monthly Gold Q&A. But I can't do it (literally!) without YOU!  Send me your urgent (short, to-the-point) questions on any blog-related topic.  Have you submitted a question in the past that wasn't picked? Feel free to try again. Don't put your question in a Comment, though--send it to Diane at [email protected]. DEADLINE: Please get your question in by Friday of next week (05/17/2024) at midnight (whenever midnight is in your time zone).  

2024-05-08T11:43:32-04:00May 9th, 2024|Public Forum|

Wanna come to the live recording of the Gold Q&A? Saturday May 27

Dear Goldies and Platinums. I'm going to be recording the monthly Gold Q&A session tomorrow (Saturday, May 27) at 5:30 pm EST.   I won't be taking any live questions -- the list is already too long to cover -- but if you're interested in coming to watch and listen, come along! Here's the link. https://unc.zoom.us/j/92789329355?pwd=aTZiTVkxMmhNQmtuck9NK3dFdG15UT09 Meeting ID: 927 8932 9355 Passcode: 686914 --- One tap mobile +13052241968,,92789329355# US +13092053325,,92789329355# US --- Dial by your location • +1 305 224 1968 US • +1 309 205 3325 US • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) • +1 646 931 3860 US • +1 929 436 2866 US (New York) • +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) • +1 360 209 5623 US • +1 386 347 5053 US • +1 507 473 4847 US • +1 564 217 2000 US • +1 669 444 9171 US • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) • +1 689 278 1000 US • +1 719 359 4580 US • +1 253 205 0468 US • +1 253 [...]

2024-04-26T17:56:49-04:00April 26th, 2024|Public Forum|

“Lovemaking” in the Song of Songs – Platinum Post From Dan Kohanski

The Song of Songs is the most, well, sexy book of the Bible, a book that translators and interpreters have a difficult time with since its literal rendering sure creates problems for traditional Jewish and Christian sexual ethics. But if you've read it recently, you may not have seen the half of it.  Here are some reflections on several of the book's key passages, based on an examination of the Hebrew text, by Platinum post member Dan Kohanski.  What do you think?   ****************************** The most famous love poem in the Bible, the Song of Songs, opens by stating its name, then declares: "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for dodecha/dodayich[1] (dodim with the plural “your” pronominal suffix) is better than wine.”[2] Most English translations, both Jewish and Christian, render דדיך as “your love.” Robert Alter translates it as “your loving,” while Bloch and Bloch render it as “your sweet loving.” The Blochs have a footnote explaining that dodayich “is a comprehensive term for lovemaking, that is, kisses and caresses as [...]

2024-04-08T16:15:53-04:00April 19th, 2024|Public Forum|

Could Moses be Thutmose, the Overseer of the Borderlands? – Platinum Post from Serene

Here's a provocative post by your fellow Platinum member, Serene: can Moses be identified with another known figure from history, the Egyptian overseer of the Borderlands, Thutmose?  Read her case and let us know what you think!   ****************************** Could Moses be Thutmose, Overseer of Foreign Lands and Frontier Lands?   “…he changed his name and called himself Moses” —  Josephus in Against Apion, quoting 3rd C BCE Egyptian historian Manetho.   Hi Platies! Thank you for the kind reception to my first post, “Jesus, the Half-Nabataean Prince.   The question I’m asking today is, “Could Santa Claus be Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra?” Ok, that one’s solved already — he is. It’s just easier to base something on something pre-existing. Like the historical basis for Moses.   Manetho claimed that Moses governed from an Egyptian city called Avaris. And archaeologists agree that the Exodus’ Land of Goshen was the area around Avaris. Well, Ancient Egypt’s records have only one Moses-like name that governed from Avaris (that I can find) —  and that’s Overseer Thutmose. [...]

2024-04-15T12:18:54-04:00April 15th, 2024|Public Forum|

April Gold Q&A: Ask Away!

Hey Gold and Platinum members, Time to jump in on the April Gold Q&A; my plan is to record it some time next weekend. If you have a question -- and I bet you do -- send it along!  To do so, do NOT reply on a comment here, but zap an email to Diane at  [email protected]. DEADLINE: Please get your question in by next Friday (04/19/2024) at midnight (whenever midnight is in your time zone). Shorter and to-the-pointer questions are more likely to be picked.  Ask accordingly.

2024-04-09T14:27:39-04:00April 12th, 2024|Public Forum|

Did People Have Time for Jesus? – a Platinum Post from Doug Wadeson, MD.

There is nothing better than a guest blog post that flat-out disagrees with me!  And here we have one.  Is it plausible that Jesus could have had large crowds gathering together to hear his preaching in rural Galilee?  I say: Not really.   Platinum blog member Doug Wadeson says: Oh yes! Here's his post.  What do you think?   ****************************** On those few occasions when I have challenged something Dr. Ehrman has said he can usually shoot me down pretty quickly based on his range and depth of knowledge.  But I am going to try again. Dr. Ehrman has suggested that one reason the stories of Jesus attracting and preaching to large crowds are unrealistic is because most people were too busy during the day eking out a living to be able to spend time listening to his sermons.  I have also heard him suggest that Jesus would have been too busy working as a laborer in Nazareth to have the time to travel to the city of Sepphoris, about 4 miles from Nazareth.  The significance [...]

2024-04-08T16:13:16-04:00April 12th, 2024|Public Forum|

Reminder! Platinum Webinar This Evening (Tuesday, March 26)! Did Jesus Really Mean It?

Reminder of the Platinum webinar this evening!  Here's the original post from last week.  I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback on this section of my (soon to be written) (we hope) book. ******************* Hey Platinums, I'm afraid I have bad news and happy I have good news.   Bad news:  We had a technical difficulty during our webinar last week on "Ethics without God," and it did not get recorded.  Ugh.  Welcome to the modern age.  But sorry 'bout that. STILL: I have good news as well.  To compensate for our loss, I'll be doing a SECOND Platinum webinar, next week Tuesday March 26; 7:30 p.m. TOPIC:  "Did Jesus Really Mean It?   The Hard (Impossible?) Ethics of the Gospels" LINK: Click here to join on Tuesday March 26 We had a great time at the last one (though there's no record of it.  So how do we *know*???).  And this coming one is, for my money (none of which is going into it), even more interesting and historically important.  (And for about 2 billion people [...]

2024-03-26T10:18:25-04:00March 26th, 2024|Public Forum|

ANOTHER March Platinum Webinar! Did Jesus Really Mean It?

Hey Platinums, I'm afraid I have bad news and happy I have good news.   Bad news:  We had a technical difficulty during our webinar last week on "Ethics without God," and it did not get recorded.  Ugh.  Welcome to the modern age.  But sorry 'bout that. STILL: I have good news as well.  To compensate for our loss, I'll be doing a SECOND Platinum webinar, next week Tuesday March 26; 7:30 p.m. TOPIC:  "Did Jesus Really Mean It?   The Hard (Impossible?) Ethics of the Gospels" LINK: Click here to join on Tuesday March 26 We had a great time at the last one (though there's no record of it.  So how do we *know*???).  And this coming one is, for my money (none of which is going into it), even more interesting and historically important.  (And for about 2 billion people in the world, personally important).  Hope you can come! [Note from Diane: the technical difficulty was *ME* :-( ]

2024-03-19T11:00:24-04:00March 19th, 2024|Public Forum|

Gold Q&A: Ask Your Questions!

Hey Golds and Platinums, you the few, the proud: Time again for the Big Dance!  I'll be recording the March Gold Q&A this weekend, scheduling gods willing, to be published next week..  Got a burning, a smoldering, or a cool question?  Ask away!  Anything related to the blog.   I'll do my best to answer.  , Send your questions to [email protected], and Diane will compile and send me the list. DEADLINE: Get your question in by Friday  (March 15, 2024) midnight (whenever midnight is in your time zone). Every question I get is interesting, but remember, Many are culled, but few are chosen.  Questions that are shorter and to-the-pointer are more likely to be chosen.  And zingers, as always are welcome!

2024-03-11T20:52:18-04:00March 11th, 2024|Public Forum|

Platinum Webinar for March: Ethics Without God??

Dear Platinum Members, It's time for our Quarterly Platinum Webinar.  We have scheduled it for Wednesday, March 13, 2023, at 7:30 pm. When I was a young evangelical Christian, I ran across a book called Ethics Without God.  I thought the whole idea was preposterous.  Why would there by ANY reason for being ethical if there is not God overseeing the world?  And how could we possibly have any direction for knowing how to live without divine oversight?  I held those views for a long time, and in fact when I was contemplating leaving the faith, some 30 years ago now, they haunted me.  Will I be cast to sea, with no moral compass? These last few years I've been thinking a lot about ethics: why we should behave and what right behavior might entail.  And I've been studying a wide range of answers from antiquity till today.  I've never given a webinar about this topic before.  But since it's tied up with the book I'm working on, I decided it's jolly about time!  So that's [...]

2024-03-07T14:28:41-05:00March 6th, 2024|Public Forum|

February Gold Q&A: Ask Away!

Hey Gold and Platinum members, I'd like us to get ahead of schedule for the February Gold Q&A; my plan is to record it some time this coming weekend, to be published early next week. If you have a question -- most anything related to the blog -- send it along!  To do so, do NOT reply on a comment here, but zap an email to Diane at  [email protected]. DEADLINE: Please get your question in by this Friday (01/26/2024) midnight (whenever midnight is in your time zone). Every question I get is interesting, but remember that shorter and to-the-pointer questions are more likely to be picked.  Many are called but few are chosen...

2024-02-07T17:11:27-05:00February 12th, 2024|Public Forum|

Atonement Doctrine – A Platinum Post by Manuel Fiadeiro

Here is an interesting reflection on the doctrine of the atonement by Platinum member Manuel Fiadeiro, for you other platinum members.  What do you think?  Do you agree with him?  Disagree?  Have an answer to his final pondering? Remember, as a Platinum member you too are allowed to make a post for other Platinums.  Do you have anything you'd like to reflect on?  Go for it! ****************************** Is it still acceptable the doctrine of atonement? The doctrine of atonement is explicitly mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3 “Christ died for our sins”. Bart, in his lectures on Paul, gives Paul’s two Models of salvation, or two views of the atonement doctrine: The Participation Model represents the belief of the Catholic Church. The Judicial Model represents the belief of the Protestant Churches. Those are distinct interpretations of “our sins”. The Participation Model was defined by Augustine. Adam and Eve brought Sin and Death into the world by disobeying God, eating the fruit of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. So, every human [...]

2024-01-19T11:57:53-05:00January 26th, 2024|Public Forum|

Platinum Webinar for December: “O Little Town of Nazareth? Where Was Jesus Actually Born?”

Dear Platinum Members, It's time for our Quarterly Platinum Webinar.  We have scheduled it for Thursday, December 14, 2023, at 7:30 pm. I've decided to go with a seasonal topic on an aspect of the Gospel birth narratives that most people have not much thought about:  could "Jesus of Nazareth" have actually been born in Nazareth, instead of Bethlehem?  Scholars have long argued so.  But on what grounds? I'll explain in my talk, we'll have questions and discussion, and then you can decide for yourself.  Hey, it's a free world!  Here's the link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85895014121?pwd=d4YeabuDx7s5A5LTzXse3C4wQgebwV.1 I hope to see you there. Bart

2023-12-06T10:21:58-05:00December 5th, 2023|Public Forum|
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