How Do I Get To Know What Is In the Bible?

There are a lot of people, billions, actually, who are interested in the Bible — either because of their personal beliefs or because they they realize its historical and cultural importance — but don’t actually know what it’s about.  The broader interest makes a good deal of sense, and not just for committed Jews and Christians.   After all, a good deal of the history of the West is tied closely to the Christian tradition rooted in the Bible.  And how ...

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Other Interesting Features of the Graphic Introduction to the New Testament

Here is the final portion of my proposal for the Graphic Textbook of the New Testament.   The earlier part described the sections on the Gospels.  Here I map out the basic coverage of the historical Jesus.  The book will be extremely brief in comparison with my full-blown NT textbook, which comes in at 572 pages.  This one is projected to be 150 pages, and most of it art work.  Yikes!  The challenge is kinda obvious….   But hey, if you can ...

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How I Will Write My “Graphic Textbook of the New Testament”

Yesterday I began to describe my Graphic Textbook of the New Testament, as I have proposed it to my publisher, Oxford University Press.   In this post I continue, by explaining how I will actually set up the first fascicle (installment), on the Gospels and Jesus.

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Fascicle One: The Gospels and Jesus

The four Gospels are by far the largest section of the New Testament, and any reconstruction of the historical Jesus depends on a critical understanding ...

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A Graphic Novel (Textbook) on the New Testament!

I have recently decided to undertake a brand new venture.   Well, more truthfully, I’ve been persuaded to do it.   I have a new editor at Oxford University Press.  My old editor and good friend (he lives in Chapel Hill, as it turns out.  But when I first met him he lived in Manhattan), Robert Miller, who has edited all of my textbooks and all their revisions, my various readers, and most of my Oxford trade books, has retired after a ...

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Want To Know About the Apostolic Fathers?

Last year we admitted a student into our PhD program last year to work with me, but since I’ve been on academic leave to write my next book, I haven’t  had the chance to teach her.  That’s obviously a problem, since I”m one of the reasons she’s here!  So we agreed that I would go ahead and do a one-on-one independent study with her this semester on an important topic, the Apostolic Fathers.

We meet once a week for three hours ...

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End of the Year Final Exam!

We are near the end of the year.  What better time for a final exam?

In my classes I normally give essay exams — they are by far the best way to find out how much a student actually knows (as opposed to testing them for what they don’t know) and how well s/he can express thoughts in writing and develop an argument.

I’ve pulled out an exam that I once gave to my students in a class called Jesus in Scholarship ...

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The Annual Meeting of Biblical Scholars, and ALL Those Books!!

I decided to look back to what I wrote on this day five years ago, and I started to laugh — it’s *exactly* the same think I was thinking just yesterday, about all the trillions of books that get written about the Bible and the scholars who write them.   I’ve decided to re-post it, and simply update it to this very moment.

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I’ve had a terrific and interesting first few days at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting ...

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Can My Undergraduate Students Continue Believing the Bible is Inerrant?

Since my conference in Chicago last weekend I’ve been thinking a lot about the theologically conservative folk who really believe there can be no mistakes in the Bible.  And just now browsing through some posts five years ago, I see someone raised a very interesting question about it, in relationship to my teaching at UNC.  Here’s the question and my response.  I would still answer the same way today!

 

QUESTION:

Do you ever get a student in your class who doggedly insists ...

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Who Is The Enemy?

This will be a very personal post, about being an enemy of the Christian faith.

I’ve long been amazed, surprised, and perplexed about how, when it comes to religion, comments made in one context are completely non-problematic but when the (exact) same comments are made in another context, they are heinous and threatening.   Some of it almost certainly has to do with tone and general attitude.  But I wonder if it isn’t actually much broader than that.

One of the ways I’ve ...

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The New Edition of My New Testament Textbook

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have finished editing my textbook on the New Testament for its seventh edition (title still:  The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings).   The book was first published in 1997 and has always been designed for college/university students taking a one-semester course on the New Testament.  In it I do not presuppose any knowledge of the topic, but begin at ground zero.

When I started doing research on the first ...

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