The Biblioblog Reference Library

[«] Posts From the Blog "Larry Hurtado's Blog"(#219)

March 20 2017, 4AM

A new book by Thomas A. Robinson, Who Were the First Christians?  Dismantling the Urban Thesis (Oxford University Press, 2017) takes a virtual wrecking ball to the theories of a number of prominent scholars in early Christianity.  (The publisher’s... [Uncategorized] [early christianity]

March 18, 3AM

In all the various interviews about my recent book, Destroyer of the gods, the question  up early:  Who is this book for, and what can people today take from it?  So, I’ll summarize here what my answers are. The book is intended for a wide swathe... [Uncategorized]

March 17, 7AM

I’m pleased to have notice of the publication of my contribution to a multi-author volume: Graphic Signs of Identity, Faith, and Power in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, eds. Ildar Garipzanov, C. Goodson, H. McGuire (Brepols, 2017; the ... [Uncategorized] [cross-symbol] [Early Christian Artifacts] [fish symbol] [nomina sacra] [staurogram]

March 16, 7AM

In the light of recent discussion about how the Gospels present Jesus, I offer some observations intended to underscore and summarize my own views, and, hopefully, to promote some clear thinking by all.[1] Readers’ alert: This will be a long posting. Th... [Uncategorized] [Christology] [Gospel of John] [gospel of mark] [Gospel of Matthew] [Jesus-devotion]

March 15, 4AM

Relevant to the recent discussion here about the portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospels, note also Brandon D. Crowe’s new book, The Last Adam:  A Theology of the Obedient Life of Jesus in the Gospels (Baker Academic, 2017; the publisher̵... [Uncategorized] [Christology] [gospels] [Jesus-devotion]

March 14, 12 PM

Daniel Kirk has blogged here in reply to my review of his book, A Man Attested by God, exhibiting an irenic tone that is much to be commended.  I’ll allow myself just a couple of observations in response. First, and perhaps most importantly for the... [Uncategorized]

7AM

A two-part interview of me by David Pendergrass is now available here and here.  The discussion ranges over my recent books on early Christianity and related topics, including questions about what implications there might be for Christians today. [Uncategorized]

2AM

My Lanier Lecture (September 2016) was video-recorded and I’ve just accidentally discovered that it’s been out for a few months on YouTube here.  They did a nice job of incorporating my visuals used in the lecture.  It’s basically an o... [Uncategorized]

March 11, 3AM

In response to several requests, I give below my panel- presentation from the review session devoted to J. R. Daniel Kirk’s recent book,  A Man Attested by God: The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016). At 582 pages,... [Uncategorized]

March 6, 9AM

The scribal convention known as the “nomina sacra” is among the earliest expressions of an early Christian “visual culture,” and deserves more attention that it has been given characteristically beyond circles of papyrologists. ... [Uncategorized] [nomina sacra]

March 1, 3AM

This afternoon I’m to meet with some of our PhD students to discuss a couple of my published essays, one of which is my inaugural lecture:  “New Testament Studies at the Turn of the Millennium:  Questions for the Discipline” (published... [Uncategorized]

February 27, 8AM

I’m pleased to receive today copies of the Spanish translation of my recent book, Destroyer of the gods.  The Spanish title = Destructor de los Dioses:  El Christianismo en el Mundo Antiguo (Salamanca, Spain:  Ediciones Sigueme).  The publisher&... [Uncategorized]

February 25, 5AM

My recent radio interview about Destroyer of the gods on the Drew Marshall radio show (Toronto) is available in MP3 format on this link here.   I had a good time with the two guys who seem to have a good time on the programme.  So, if you’ve time... [Uncategorized]

February 20, 10AM

I post notice of another interview over my recent book, Destroyer of the gods, on another blog site here. [Uncategorized]

6AM

Early Christian manuscripts, especially copies of texts that served as scripture, exhibit both plain, functional qualities, and also distinctive features that are purely visual and that reflect a desire to mark the manuscripts and their texts with a Chri... [Uncategorized] [Codex] [Manuscripts]

February 19, 8AM

Passing by the Hard Rock Café in Edinburgh today, I noticed again their slogan: “Love all, serve all,” and noted that it reflects the (likely unconscious) influence of the NT upon western culture.  For the motto self-evidently owes to the se... [Uncategorized]

February 17, 8AM

Pillars in the History of Biblical Interpretation, a two-volume work edited by Stanley Porter & Sean Adams, is a useful multi-author resource on major figures and developments in the history of biblical studies.  The publisher’s online informat... [Uncategorized] [Important publications]

February 7, 2AM

Markus Bockmuehl’s new book, Ancient Apocryphal Gospels (Westminster John Knox Press, 2017), is a very good introduction to the subject.   The publisher’s online catalogue entry is here. After an introductory chapter setting out the scope, i... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha]

February 2, 4PM

I’m pleased to report that my recent book, Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World (Baylor University Press), has just won the 2017 PROSE Award in the category of Archaeology & Ancient History.  These awards ar... [Uncategorized]

8AM

At the request of Bloomsbury T&T Clark, I’ve written an extended Foreword for their planned re-edition of Martin Hengel’s valuable collection of essays:  Studies in Early Christology (originally published 1995 by T&T Clark when the fi... [Uncategorized] [Christology]

5AM

I pass on notice of the large project, “Judaism and Rome:  Rethinking Judaism’s Encounter with the Roman Empire,” funded by the European Research Council.  The project web site here.  The team and the scope of the project are impress... [Uncategorized]

February 1, 2AM

I really must appeal to readers to do a bit of reading and checking of data before “winging it” with proposals that are baseless.  This exhortation comes on the heels of some responses to my latest posting on the NT references to Jesus “... [NT religious ideas] [Uncategorized] [Christology] [LXX]

January 30, 3AM

I’ve got another possible factor for the curious preference of NT authors in the way they refer to the exalted Jesus as “at God’s right hand.”  I’ve noted this matter in previous postings (e.g., here), and in a forthcoming e... [Uncategorized] [Christology] [Jesus-devotion]

January 25, 5AM

Today (25 January) in the traditional ecclesiastical calendar marks the Feast of the Conversion of Paul, who is likely the most famous “convert” in religious history.  He remains a giant figure in the study of Christian origins, with scholarl... [Uncategorized] [Paul]

January 16, 5AM

After much anticipation (and a somewhat complicated shipping effort), I’ve taken delivery on my copy of The Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art an Archaeology, Paul Corby Finney, General Editor.  (The publisher’s online catalogue ent... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [early Christian art] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Important publications]

January 13, 2AM

The programme for the 2017 Summer Biblical Study in Cambridge is now available here.  The programme is operated by the Vacation Term for Biblical Study (VTBS), offering lectures on biblical studies topics by established scholars, language classes in NT G... [Uncategorized]

January 12, 3AM

The multi-author critical engagement with N.T. Wright’s massive work, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, is forthcoming in a much more affordable edition from Fortress Press (early March 2017, the publisher’s catalog entry here).  I posted ab... [NT religious ideas] [Uncategorized] [Christology] [Paul]

January 9, 6AM

Serious students of early Christian texts will want to become acquainted with a new Greek-English lexicon:  GE: The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek (Leiden:  E. J. Brill, 2016), edited by Madeleine Goh & Chad Schroeder, under the auspices of the ... [Uncategorized] [Important publications]

December 20 2016, 9AM

I’ve just read an interesting essay by Jeffrey W. Aernie, “Cruciform Discipleship: The Narrative Function of the Women in Mark 15–16,” Journal of Biblical Literature 135.4 (2016):  779-97. It’s doubly interesting to me, fo... [Uncategorized] [gospel of mark]

3AM

Christopher Jones has a new article just out refuting Brent Shaw on Nero’s pogrom against Christians in Rome in AD 64:  “The Historicity of the Neronian Persecution:  A Response to Brent Shaw,” New Testament Studies 63 (2017): 146-52.... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Roman-era religious environment]

December 13, 2AM

Early Christians were atheists! At least, that’s how some people of the time viewed them in the earliest centuries, and it’s not difficult to see why. Most importantly, they refused to worship the traditional gods. But also, judged by Roman-era criter... [Uncategorized]

December 12, 4AM

The first person to claim freedom of religion as a right was Tertullian, a Christian teacher in Carthage, in a Latin treatise in defence of Christianity addressed to Scapula, the Roman proconsul, written ca. AD 211. Here’s the crucial opening statement:... [Uncategorized]

November 30, 3AM

Today’s post brought the published version of my essay, “P45 as an Early Christian Artefact:  What it Reflects about Early Christianity,” which has just appeared in the Norwegian journal, Teologisk Tidsskrift 4(2016), 291-307.  I prese... [Uncategorized] [Codex] [gospels] [Manuscripts] [nomina sacra] [staurogram] [Textual Criticism]

November 29, 6AM

Another interview on my new book, Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World, has appeared on the “Books at a Glance” site here.   [Uncategorized]

3AM

I’m pleased to have my contributor’s copy of Paul the Jew:  Rereading the Apostle as a Figure of Second Temple Judaism,  ed. Gabriele Boccaccini & Carlos A. Segovia (Fortress Press, 2016).  This volume presents edited versions of twelve... [Uncategorized] [Paul]

November 25, 3AM

In a session at the recent SBL annual meeting in which I served as a panel-reviewer of a recently published book, the discussion descended into speculations about how the views of panellists were shaped by whether they taught in a public university or a &... [Uncategorized]

November 24, 7AM

The panel discussion of my new book, Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World, was a lively and (in my view) productive event at this year’s annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (in San Antonio, Tex... [Uncategorized] [Roman-era religious environment]

November 11, 3AM

A bit late but better late than never:  The New College copy of the 1516 (lst) edition of Erasmus’ printed Greek NT is on display in the New College Library, with notes describing it and its significance.  This is our small observance of this 500t... [Uncategorized]

November 8, 2AM

My podcast interview on Destroyer of the gods has now appeared on the “Homebrewed Christianity” site here.  Pop open your favourite beverage and enjoy the talk. [Uncategorized]

November 7, 5AM

An important new book presents a case that early Christian texts were typically copied by trained, skilled scribes, and that “there is no firm evidence that the copyists were generally Christians”:  Alan Mugridge, Copying Early Christian Text... [Uncategorized] [Codex] [Papyri]

November 1, 3AM

Advance notice:  On 14 Nov, 4-6pm, the Edinburgh book-launch of Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World.  The event will include a discussion of the book, a reception, and a book-signing.  And the publisher has made... [Uncategorized]

October 31, 4AM

The respected publishing firm, Walter de Gruyter, has announced an “Emerging Scholar Monograph Competition,” full information here.  Submissions are invited across a wide spectrum of disciplines, including Theology and Religious Studies. Scho... [Uncategorized]

October 30, 10AM

Here are some raw figures to contemplate about the usage of “law” (Greek: nomos) in the NT (relying on Bibleworks): Total NT occurrences: 199x (including references to “the Law and the Prophets” Of these, total occurrences in the ... [Uncategorized] [Paul]

October 27, 1AM

For a brisk and characteristically incisive discussion, read Paula Fredriksen’s article that challenges the notion that the Apostle Paul forsook Torah-observance and discouraged others from The Torah as well:  “Why Should a ‘Law-Free... [NT religious ideas] [Uncategorized] [Paul]

October 25, 9AM

The podcast interview with Matthew Bates in the “OnScript” series has now appeared here. Bates gave me questions about how I spend my time, how I came to formulate the questions that I address in my book, Destroyer of the gods, and about the ... [Uncategorized]

October 13, 4AM

The question of how to take Emperor Marcus and the treatment of Christians under his rule is fascinating:  the Roman Emperor widely regarded subsequently as unexcelled in his urbane learning and sophistication ruled in a time when it appears that Christi... [Uncategorized]

October 12, 2AM

I’ve just learned of a venture new to me:  The Early Manuscripts Electronic Library.  Their web site here.  They seem to have impressive links and their focus is on high-tech means of imaging ancient manuscripts, including techniques for recoveri... [Uncategorized] [Manuscripts]

October 10, 7AM

Our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins is offering a free signed copy of my new book, Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World.  For information on how to enter the draw for the book, click here. [Uncategorized]

1AM

My discussion with historian Tom Holland about early Christianity aired on a London-based radio station, and can be accessed as a pod-cast here.  Holland discusses his recent article in the New Statesman in which he describes his own realization that his... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins]

October 7, 5AM

A recent comment is so chock-full of confusion and erroneous statements that I choose not to post it, but instead to address relevant matters in this posting. 1.)  Contrary to the comment, I don’t “assume” that cultic devotion to Jesu... [Uncategorized] [angels] [Jesus-devotion] [Worship]

October 5, 3PM

The online magazine, Catalyst, has just published my article, “The Distinctiveness of Early Christianity,” which draws from my new book:  Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World (Baylor University Press, 20... [Uncategorized]

October 3, 3AM

I recently discovered an interesting conversation with Chris Tilling about early christology on a pod-cast site, “OnScript,” here. Tilling is now a frequently-cited “second generation” contributor to the analysis of early devotion to Jesus, and in... [Uncategorized] [historical Jesus] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Religious Experience]

October 1, 3AM

The final (5th) part of my video interview on my new book, Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World, has now appeared on the blog site of our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins here.  Earlier parts of that intervie... [Uncategorized]

September 26, 2AM

  A recent commenter queried my statement that “ontological” categories weren’t explicit or operative in 1st-century Christian texts (see my response to Philip Alexander in the comments on my posting here).  Granting that ontologic... [Uncategorized] [Christology] [Jesus-devotion]

September 24, 2AM

Graduate students and colleagues in Zurich has posted a 3-part blog series focused on Zurich contributors to the recent large volume (noted earlier here) assessing N.T. Wright’s 2-volume work on Paul. The first of the Zurich postings deals with the ... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

September 20, 1AM

Prof. Philip Alexander has commented on my posting about his essay in the Bauckham volume (here), and I’ve responded.  Readers might find the exchange interesting.  See the “comments” on that posting. [Uncategorized]

September 17, 2AM

I discuss issues discussed and arising from my new book, Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World, in a couple of podcast interviews on a site hosted by Dale Tuggy here and here. [Uncategorized]

September 16, 4AM

In the newly-published volume honouring Richard Bauckham, Philip Alexander attempts a critique of the view that the worship of Jesus reflected in NT writings means what “early high Christology” advocates contend:  “‘The Agent of t... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Christology] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

September 15, 9AM

I’ve just received my contributor’s copy of a multi-author volume in honour of Richard Bauckham:  In the Fullness of Time:  Essays on Christology, Creation, and Eschatology, eds. Daniel M. Gurtner, Grant Macaskill & Jonathan T. Penningto... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

September 12, 7AM

I was pleased to see about 500 in attendance at my lecture in the Lanier Theological Library series on 10 September.  Lots of interesting questions.  Mark Lanier is to be congratulated on developing such an impressive public/lay interest in lectures by ... [Uncategorized]

September 4, 7AM

On 05 September, our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins will launch a video interview with me on my new book, Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World.  The CSCO web site is here. [Uncategorized]
I give a lecture based on my new book on 10 September in the Lanier Theological Library, Houston, Texas:  “Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World,” 7 p.m.  The lecture is open to the general public. This ... [Uncategorized]

September 1, 2AM

My colleague, Prof. Paul Foster, has recently had his fine commentary on the epistle to the Colossians published: The Centre for the Study of Christian Origins has information here, and toward the end of September will release a video interview with Foste... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Paul]

August 31, 8AM

The final two parts of my conversation with Ben Witherington over my forthcoming book, Destroyer of the gods, appear here, and here. I note, by the way, that the release date for the book has been advanced now to 9 September. [Uncategorized]

August 30, 2AM

You can read the continuing conversation with Ben Witherington arising from my forthcoming book, Destroyer of the gods here, here, and here. [Uncategorized]

August 26, 9AM

Parts 6 and 7 of my conversation with Ben Witherington about my new book, Destroyer of the gods, appears here and here. [Uncategorized]

August 25, 1AM

My conversation with Ben Witherington over my forthcoming book, Destroyer of the gods, continues here and here. [Uncategorized]

August 22, 6AM

In an earlier posting I pointed to the first of a multi-part text-interview on my forthcoming book:  Destroyer of the gods.  Part 2 of the interview is now online here, and Part 3 is available here. Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiven... [Uncategorized]

2AM

Next Monday (29 August), I take part in a seminar honouring NT scholar, Reidar Hvalvik, in the Norwegian School of Theology (Oslo).  Hvalvik has been a very productive figure, one of the bright lights of contemporary Norwegian NT scholarship, and it... [Uncategorized]

August 21, 7AM

  A recent commenter to a previous posting alluded to the claim by some scholars that there is scant evidence of Jewish opposition/controversy about Jesus-devotion in early Jewish Christian circles.  Having published a lengthy article arguing in de... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

1AM

Part 1 of a multi-part text-interview b y Ben Witherington on my forthcoming book, Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World, has appeared here.  Subsequent parts of a long interview over major points in the book will ap... [Uncategorized]

August 19, 1AM

My review of Jesus Monotheism, by Crispin Fletcher-Louis just appeared in Review of Biblical Literature here.  This book is volume 1 of a multi-volume project in which Fletcher-Louis aims to lay out a broad-ranging and programmatic analysis of the emerge... [NT religious ideas] [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [Monotheism]

August 10, 4AM

After some 20 years in preparation and promise, a major reference work will appear this Autumn:  The Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art and Archaeology, ed. Paul Corby Finney (publisher’s online catalogue entry here).  It’s a three... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [early Christian art] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Important publications]

August 4, 2AM

A gem of an essay not often noted today on Christianity in third-century Alexandria: Aline Rousselle, “La persécution des chrétiens à Alexandrie au IIIe siècle,” Revue historique de droit francais et étranger 52 (1974): 222-51. Roussell... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications]

July 27, 1AM

Earlier this week I had the encouraging news that the trade journal,Publishers Weekly, gave my forthcoming book a starred review:  Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World (Baylor University Press, September 2016).  Th... [Uncategorized]

July 26, 3AM

Over the past few days, I’ve been slowly digesting a recent large article surveying Greek inscriptions referring to “angels” in Roman Asia Minor:  G. H. R. Horsley and Jean M. Luxford, “Pagan Angels in Roman Asia Minor:  Revisit... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Historical Context] [Important publications] [Roman-era religious environment]

July 20, 2AM

Several comments to my posting yesterday, “Jesus and God,” exhibit the fallacious assumption that I posted about a couple of years ago here.  That assumption is that, for purposes of Christian theology, the sayings of Jesus trump everything.... [Uncategorized] [Christology] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

July 19, 2AM

Years ago, in one review of my 1988 book, One God, One Lord:  Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism, the reviewer referred to it as “Arian”.  Others have alleged an implicit Nicene orthodoxy being promoted. In a forthcoming... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [Monotheism] [NT religious ideas] [NT Studies]

July 8, 3AM

For those who prefer YouTube to reading books (or at least might want to judge first whether to read them), I note again that on YouTube you can find some videos in which I sketch my findings on the origins of Jesus-devotion, for example, here. I mention ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion]

July 7, 3AM

In a recently-published essay, Eldon Epp gives a fascinating and detailed account of the initial scholarly engagement with major NT codices in the 18th-19th centuries:  “Codex Sinaiticus:  Its Entrance into the Mid-Nineteenth Century Text-Critical... [Uncategorized] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

July 5, 6AM

I’ve now uploaded the pre-publication form of my essay in a recent volume engaging N.T. Wright’s massive two-volume work on the theology of Paul, my essay focusing on Wright’s claim that the theme of “YHWH’s return to Zion... [NT religious ideas] [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion]

July 2, 10AM

Last year I was given copy of a recent book that presents an argument for Mark 16:9-20 being the authentic ending of the Gospel of Mark:  Nicholas P. Lunn, The Original Ending of Mark:  A New Case for the Authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 (Eugene, OR:  Pic... [Uncategorized] [gospel of mark] [NT Textual Criticism]

June 30, 2AM

In a recent book, Margaret Sim lays out an approach to exegesis of the Greek NT that draws upon the insights of linguistics, especially what is known as “relevance theory”:  A Relevant Way to Read:  A New Approach to Exegesis and Communicati... [Uncategorized] [exegesis] [Important publications] [NT Greek]

June 24, 2AM

Further to my recent posts about recent proposals for the dating of certain NT papyri, let me briefly clarify the process of dating papyri, which might well seem a mystery to those not familiar with it. There are two main types of papyri:  “docume... [Uncategorized] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism] [Papyri]

June 23, 4AM

Pasquale Orsini is a respected papyrologist and palaeographer who has recently offered dates for the various papyri in the Bodmer collection: Pasquale Orsini, “I papiri Bodmer: scritture e libri,” Adamantius 21 (2015):  60-78.  In a table (... [Uncategorized] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

June 22, 3AM

In the latest issue of Journal of Biblical Literature, Brent Nongbri has a lengthy article directly challenging the now-commonly accepted date of NT papyrus P75 (P.Bodmer XIV-XV):  “Reconsidering the Place of Papyrus Bodmer XIV-XV (P75) in the Text... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Manuscripts] [Textual Criticism]

June 21, 2AM

The Harvard Divinity School web page on the “Jesus’ wife” fragment now is prefaced with a statement from the HDS Dean referring to the recent Atlantic Monthly article that exposes the character who put the fragment into Professor King... [Uncategorized] [Jesus' Wife]

June 17, 1AM

Checking this a.m., I was surprised and disappointed to find that the web page on the Jesus’ Wife fragment on the Harvard Divinity School site (last updated March 2014) here simply re-asserts the claims that Professor King made in the 2014 Harvard T... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Jesus' Wife]

June 16, 7AM

In the latest Atlantic Monthly there’s a fascinating article about the now-infamous “Jesus’ Wife” fragment by a journalist who probed and probed to dig into the back story.  It involves lies, half-truths, conflicting claims/accoun... [Uncategorized]

3AM

Yesterday was the day-long dialogue on the Apostle Paul between John Barclay (Durham) and N. T. Wright (St. Andrews) held under the auspices of our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins.  Both of these scholars have recently published major works on ... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

June 13, 7AM

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago now to comment on a Roman-era coin recently acquired that exhibited marks indicative of Christian graffiti. This introduced me to something that I hadn’t known about before.  The coin in question is a large (ca... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christogram] [Coins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Historical Context] [Important publications]

June 10, 3AM

In researching for my current project (an analysis of NT papyrus P45 as an early Christian artefact), I’ve come across Charles Hill’s doughty case that the artefactual data reflects “the presence of a ‘canonical consciousness’... [canon] [Uncategorized] [canon] [Christian Apocrypha] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Important publications] [Manuscripts]

June 5, 7AM

I pass on news to graduate students that Baylor University Press is to run a special 50% discount sale on the weekend of 10-12 June. The sale applies to any book published by them before 2015.  You can see the list here.  Students must use the discount ... [Uncategorized]

May 26, 2AM

For anyone interested in the writing known as 1 Enoch (and any NT student has to be in today’s world), there is a splendid review of reception and usage of the writing in ancient Jewish tradition and in early and modern (Ethiopian) Christianity:  L... [Qumran] [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Manuscripts] [NT religious ideas]

May 19, 2AM

Last night I enjoyed the final instalment of “Ultimate Rome:  Empire without Limit,” written and presented by Professor Mary Beard (Cambridge), which aired here in the UK last night on BBC2.  You can see more about  this episode and the ful... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas] [Roman-era religious environment]

May 17, 6AM

One of the better kept secrets of the universe (on account of the inept handling of it by the publisher) is my little book, God in New Testament Theology (Abingdon Press, 2010).  The publisher’s online catalogue entry here (although the city is Ed... [Uncategorized]

May 16, 8AM

Among interesting points raised in the discussion at the Salamanca symposium last week was the observation by Prof. Guijarro that ascriptions of divine sonship to Jewish messianic figures of the second-temple period aren’t common, whereas in earlie... [Uncategorized] [NT religious ideas] [Paul] [Son of God]

3AM

I returned late Saturday from a very enjoyable trip to Spain that concluded with the day conference on the early Christian use/interpretation of certain “messianic” Psalms, in which I gave a paper that I summarized briefly in an earlier postin... [Uncategorized]

May 5, 8AM

It’s very nice to have such positive endorsements from such highly-respected scholars as those given to my forthcoming book:  Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World.  You can see what April DeConick (Rice Unive... [Uncategorized]

May 3, 2AM

Prompted by a recent guest lecture on the Book of Revelation given here, I pondered to myself again how unusual the book is. We (scholars) typically associate Revelation with a body of ancient texts that we classify as “apocalyptic” writings. But, a... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [NT religious ideas] [Revelation]

April 25, 3AM

For those able to handle Koine Greek, there is an additional resource dealing with text-critical matters, Wieland Wilker’s “Online Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels,” here.  Like the Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (... [Uncategorized] [NT Textual Criticism]

April 23, 1AM

I announce two newly-produced, short videos in which I explain the basics of the ancient bookroll and the codex, and the curious early Christian preference for the latter bookform:  here.  These videos were produced by/for the University of Edinburgh Ce... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Codex] [Manuscripts]

April 19, 2AM

Those interested in text-critical questions about the Greek NT will find very helpful as a first resource to consult:  A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition, Bruce M. Metzger (on behalf of and in cooperation with the Editorial ... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [NT Textual Criticism]

April 15, 2AM

I often delete (and don’t publish) comments that are off the topic, or just plain silly or malicious, or from someone trying to hijack my blog site for his/her own pontifications, or that address a posting but obviously without having read the rele... [Uncategorized]

April 14, 2AM

A new book is now the “go-to” resource on the text-critical question about the account  of the adulteress brought to Jesus (in traditional texts, John 7:53–8:11):  The Pericope of the Adulteress in Contemporary Research, eds. David Ala... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

April 13, 1AM

  Just returned from my trip to Milwaukee to give the 2016 Pere Marquette Lecture in Marquette University.   A good turnout (my local host estimated a crowd approaching 300), and very hospitable colleagues, who made my brief stay very comfortable. T... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Roman-era religious environment]

April 7, 5AM

The continued claim that there was a datable “recension” of NT writings sometimes resembles the stubborn rear-guard action of a retreating force that’s been beaten in battle but won’t surrender.   When driven from one position, ... [Uncategorized] [NT Texts] [NT Textual Criticism]

April 5, 2AM

March 1st, 2016 marked the 500th anniversary of the first publication of a printed Greek New Testament edited by Desiderius Erasmus (born 1466), the work published in Basle, Switzerland.  Erasmus is widely cited as one of the greatest scholars of his t... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

March 31, 3AM

I’ve just had word that my forthcoming book, Destroyer of the Gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World (Baylor University Press, Sept 2016) is available for pre-order here. More on it later, but there’s a decent “blurb&... [Uncategorized]

March 30, 8AM

In commencing work toward a future project, I’ve come across a couple of noteworthy articles that question the widely-repeated stories (and there are several versions) of how the Nag Hammadi codices were discovered.  In addition to cautioning us (e... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Important publications] [Manuscripts] [Nag Hammadi]
Having prepared a paper for a symposium in Salamanca (May this year) focusing on “messianic” Psalms, I’ll pass on a couple of interesting notes for now.  Essentially, NT use of Psalms (1) reflects broad developments in the Jewish tradit... [NT religious ideas] [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Jesus-devotion]

March 21, 3AM

I’m pleased to note a newly published book by a former PhD student:  Derek R. Brown, The God of This Age:  Satan in the Churches and Letters of the Apostle Paul (WUNT 2.409; Tuebingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2015).  This is a lightly revised form of Bro... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

March 18, 2AM

For those living in/near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I give advance notice of my Pere Marquette Lecture to be delivered on 10 April (Sunday), 2 p.m., Eckstein Hall (Appellate Courtroom), Marquette University Law School:  “Why on Earth did Anyone Become a... [Uncategorized]

March 4, 2AM

Among ancient sources used by historians to chart the rise of early Christianity, Pliny the Younger’s letter to Emperor Trajan is commonly taken as crucial.[1]  In a newly-published article, however, Enrio Tuccinardi employs some recent method-developm... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context]

March 1, 3AM

In previous postings here and here I addressed some claims of some proponents of “performance criticism,” indicating their fallaciousness.  In an article published a couple of years ago, I tried to correct and advance the discussion:  Larry ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Manuscripts]
I indicated yesterday some doubts about the theory that certain people of social aspirations may have become Christians to cope with their experience of “status inconsistency.”  That is, they were frustrated in their aspirations of upward soc... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context]

February 29, 6AM

In the course of my recent writing projects, I’ve come across a new book on the evidence of individuals from the “elite” levels of Roman-era society as early Christian converts:  Alexander Weiß, Soziale Elite und Christentum:  Studien... [Uncategorized] [Acts] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Important publications]

February 25, 2AM

The deadline for applications for the 2017 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise looms:  31 May 2016. The Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise 2017 will be given to ten young scholars. The celebration of the Awards will t... [Uncategorized]

February 23, 3AM

I mentioned earlier (here) that I’d received the published form of my own essay in the newly-released volume responding to N.T. Wright’s 2-volume opus on Paul, and yesterday the actual book arrived, all 833 pages of it!  God and the Faithfuln... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas]

February 20, 5AM

It has nothing to do with the ordinary focus of this blog site, but news today of the death of Umberto Eco makes me want to post briefly about how much I enjoyed his novel, Foucault’s Pendulum.  It’s by turns funny, thrilling, demanding intel... [Uncategorized]

February 18, 3AM

Yesterday, I received the PDF of my contribution to a multi-author volume examining features of N.T. Wright’s massive book on Paul’s theology.  My own piece is a critical study of Wright’s claim that the earthly ministry of Jesus was se... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

February 17, 7AM

The Greer-Heard Forum held in New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 12-13 February, was to my mind a healthy  and productive event.  The Friday evening exchange between Bart Ehrman and Michael Bird was intended to set out contrasting approaches to t... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Roman-era religious environment]

February 8, 3AM

On Wednesday (10th February) I head off to New Orleans for a lecture on Thursday to the Biblical Studies Department of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and then to take part in the Greer-Heard Counterpoint Forum on Friday night and all day Saturd... [Uncategorized]

February 5, 3AM

One persistent commenter in response to my earlier posting about Christian preference for the codex has confidently posited things that only illustrate his ignorance of the data about ancient manuscripts.  I shall, therefore, neither post his comments no... [Uncategorized] [Codex] [Manuscripts]

January 26, 3AM

It is just a bit tiresome to have to make the same points over and over again about early Christians and the codex, but it seems necessary.  I laid out some matters in an earlier posting here, for example.  So in this posting I will simply list some key... [canon] [canon] [Codex] [Manuscripts]

January 15, 10AM

I’ve been asked to give main points from my Peter Craigie Memorial Lecture given earlier this week in the University of Calgary.  My lecture gives the gist of one of the chapters in my forthcoming book on distinctives of early Christianity, one of ... [Uncategorized]

January 11, 7AM

I’m currently visiting the University of Calgary to give the Peter Craigie Lecture:  “A ‘Bookish’ Religion:  Reading, Writing, and Disseminating Texts in Early Christianity.” (Tuesday, 12 January, 7.30pm., if anyone nearby ... [Uncategorized]

January 8, 3AM

In a recent article, Zachary Cole (Edinburgh PhD student) traces the occurrence of numbers written fully or as alphabetic numeral abbreviations in Codex Washingtonianus (Codex W), showing that the “unique employment of numerical abbreviations in W f... [Uncategorized] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

January 6, 7AM

In his most recent book, seasoned and respected New Testament scholar, Robert H. Gundry, presents the bold thesis that the Gospel of Matthew presents the Apostle Peter as an apostate who is irredeemably damned: Peter: False Disciple and Apostate according... [Uncategorized] [Gospel of Matthew] [Peter]

4AM

Once again, I advertise the programme of the Vacation Term for Biblical Study offered each summer.  Again this year, it is run as “Summer Biblical Study in Cambridge,” meeting this time in Westminster College.  As in previous years, there ar... [Uncategorized]

January 4, 3AM

There is a recently-launched online and open-access journal that looks very promising, to judge from the most recent issue:  Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting, From the First to the Seventh Century.  The online link is here. This issue... [Uncategorized]

December 21 2015, 8AM

I note with sadness the death of Professor I. Howard Marshall, Emeritus Professor of New Testament in the University of Aberdeen, earlier this month.  Professor Marshall was a very productive scholar, with many doctoral students, and a reputation for cor... [Uncategorized]

December 16, 3AM

In my previous posting about Brent Shaw’s recent article on Nero and Roman Christians I mentioned the curious way that he treats the writing known now as “1 Clement” (commonly dated ca. 95-97 AD).  Further to that, I note the newly-publ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications]

December 14, 9AM

A recent article mounts a “full-on” challenge to the widely-accepted report of a Neronian pogrom against Christians in Rome in 64 AD, after the fire that destroyed a goodly part of Rome:  Brent D. Shaw, “The Myth of the Neronian Persecution,” Jou... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context]

December 8, 5AM

(In previous postings, the recent book by Dr. Anna Collar, Religious Networks in the Roman Empire: The Spread of New Ideas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), was the focus of comments by Dr. Margaret Williams here, and by me here.  Earlier th... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Judaism]

December 7, 3AM

I’m pleased to announce the publication of my essay on the curious fragments of the Gospel of John comprising P22 (or P.Oxyrhynchus 1228) in the recently-published volume of essays in honor of Michael Holmes:  “A Fresh Analysis of P.Oxyrhynch... [Uncategorized] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

December 3, 5AM

Christian Oxyrhynchus:  Texts, Documents, and Sources, eds. Lincoln H. Blumell & Thomas A. Wayment (Baylor University Press) promises to give in one hefty volume a rather complete collection of material from Oxyrhynchus reflecting Christians/Christi... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Manuscripts] [Oxyrhynchus] [Textual Criticism]

December 2, 4AM

Walter Ameling draws upon epigraphical evidence to consider languages usage in Jewish Palestine in the Hellenistic and Roman periods in a data-rich recent essay:  “Epigraphy and the Greek Language in Hellenistic Palestine,” Scripta Classica I... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Important publications]

November 30, 7AM

In some recent studies of early expressions of Jesus-devotion, there are some issues that need clarification.  One of these recent studies is Iesus Deus:  The Early Christian Depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean God, by M. David Litwa (Fortress Press... [Uncategorized]

November 27, 3AM

My article, “Interactive Diversity: A Proposed Model of Christian Origins,” Journal of Theological Studies 64 (2013): 445-62, was the focus of a session in this year’s annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (Atlanta, 21-24 ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins]

November 26, 7AM

In this year’s Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting I took part in a session focused on the question of whether Paul believed that fellow Jews should put faith in Jesus.  Three scholars gave three quite different views of the matter, and I... [Uncategorized] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

November 17, 3AM

I’m pleased to announce the new multi-author volume:  Peter in Early Christianity (Eerdmans, 2015), eds. Helen K. Bond & Larry W. Hurtado.  The online catalogue entry is here.  This volume arose from our conference on Peter held here in Edinb... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Peter]

November 10, 7AM

(Dr. Margaret Williams is an internationally recognized epigrapher working in the Roman period.  She is also a colleague here in Edinburgh, and I was keen to know what she made of Anna Collar’s recent book that I mentioned briefly in a previous pos... [Uncategorized] [Judaism] [Roman-era religious environment]

October 27, 4AM

The Society of Biblical Literature has mounted a new/recent web-resource for the “general public” entitled “Bible Odyssey” here.  People are invited to lodge questions, and to each a relevant expert is asked by the SBL to make a... [Uncategorized]
The Society of Biblical Literature has mounted a new/recent web-resource for the “general public” entitled “Bible Odyssey” here.  People are invited to lodge questions, and to each a relevant expert is asked by the SBL to make a... [Uncategorized]

October 26, 6AM

The Martin Lautenschaeger Awards for Theological Promise are given each year for a first book or PhD thesis.  Winners are flown to Heidelberg for the awards ceremony, and take part in a two-day seminar in which they individually present their next intend... [Uncategorized]
The Martin Lautenschaeger Awards for Theological Promise are given each year for a first book or PhD thesis.  Winners are flown to Heidelberg for the awards ceremony, and take part in a two-day seminar in which they individually present their next intend... [Uncategorized]

October 20, 2AM

Sometime back I mentioned Craig Keener’s mammoth commentary project on Acts, a work amounting to some 3 million words, he says, appearing in massive volumes over the last few years.  Volume 4 has just appeared, completing the project and commenting... [Uncategorized] [Acts] [Important publications]
Sometime back I mentioned Craig Keener’s mammoth commentary project on Acts, a work amounting to some 3 million words, he says, appearing in massive volumes over the last few years.  Volume 4 has just appeared, completing the project and commenting... [Uncategorized] [Acts] [Important publications]

October 12, 2AM

In an earlier posting I referred to Anna Collar’s recent book, Religious Networks in the Roman Empire (2013), and I return to it to mention something that puzzled me in her chapter on epigraphic evidence of Judaism.  She posits an escalation of evi... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Paul] [Roman-era religious environment]
In an earlier posting I referred to Anna Collar’s recent book, Religious Networks in the Roman Empire (2013), and I return to it to mention something that puzzled me in her chapter on epigraphic evidence of Judaism.  She posits an escalation of evi... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Paul] [Roman-era religious environment]

October 8, 2AM

Everyone working in early Christianity knows that there was much diversity, and were sharp conflicts in some instances.  A commenter on a previous posting emphasized this, implying that I was guilty of presupposing a “fixed” and uniform early... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context]
Everyone working in early Christianity knows that there was much diversity, and were sharp conflicts in some instances.  A commenter on a previous posting emphasized this, implying that I was guilty of presupposing a “fixed” and uniform early... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context]

October 7, 2AM

In my posting about Anna Collar’s recent book, I noted the striking differences between the kind of evidence we have for early Christianity in comparison with other Roman-era religious groups.  In the example from Collar’s book (and we could ... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts]
In my posting about Anna Collar’s recent book, I noted the striking differences between the kind of evidence we have for early Christianity in comparison with other Roman-era religious groups.  In the example from Collar’s book (and we could ... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts]

October 6, 2AM

This summer I noticed a recent book on the spread of religious ideas in the Roman world:  Anna Collar, Religious Networks in the Roman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2013).  As the topic addresses some projects of my own, and it promised methodolog... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Historical Context]
This summer I noticed a recent book on the spread of religious ideas in the Roman world:  Anna Collar, Religious Networks in the Roman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2013).  As the topic addresses some projects of my own, and it promised methodolog... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Historical Context]

October 2, 7AM

I returned yesterday from the invitational conference held in Leipzig (28-30 September) and focused on the relationship of “history-of-religion” research and theology.  The conference was scheduled in observance of the 100th anniversary of th... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Christology]
I returned yesterday from the invitational conference held in Leipzig (28-30 September) and focused on the relationship of “history-of-religion” research and theology.  The conference was scheduled in observance of the 100th anniversary of th... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Christology]

September 25, 2AM

I’m off to the University of Leipzig on Sunday for an invitational conference on “Theology and History-of-Religion Studies:  Assessing the matter One Hundred Years after Georg Heinrici” (my translation).  Heinrici was a prominent schol... [Uncategorized]
I’m off to the University of Leipzig on Sunday for an invitational conference on “Theology and History-of-Religion Studies:  Assessing the matter One Hundred Years after Georg Heinrici” (my translation).  Heinrici was a prominent schol... [Uncategorized]

September 11, 6AM

In the UK the academic title “Professor” is reserved for those who have been awarded the status by the university in which they teach/research.  (This is very different from the use of the title in North American circles, for example.)  In e... [Uncategorized]
In the UK the academic title “Professor” is reserved for those who have been awarded the status by the university in which they teach/research.  (This is very different from the use of the title in North American circles, for example.)  In e... [Uncategorized]

3AM

Comments to my previous posting illustrate the occasional frustration in blogging:  You raise an issue/topic, and commenters then take the discussion into other topics/issues.  My previous posting wasn’t about the comparative usage of Hebrew and A... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context]
Comments to my previous posting illustrate the occasional frustration in blogging:  You raise an issue/topic, and commenters then take the discussion into other topics/issues.  My previous posting wasn’t about the comparative usage of Hebrew and A... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context]

September 7, 1AM

In responding to an excellent paper at the British New Testament Conference held here (3-5 September), I recalled the need to take account of the linguistic situation of first-century Judaea.  We are accustomed to refer to the everyday use of Aramaic as... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Qumran] [Septuagint]
In responding to an excellent paper at the British New Testament Conference held here (3-5 September), I recalled the need to take account of the linguistic situation of first-century Judaea.  We are accustomed to refer to the everyday use of Aramaic as... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Qumran] [Septuagint]

August 31, 1AM

Since its publication decades ago, Homi Bhabha’s essay, “Signs Taken for Wonders: Questions of Ambivalence and Authority Under a Tree Outside Delhi, May 18817,” has been a foundational text in subsequent/emerging “postcolonialR... [Uncategorized] [Important publications]

August 26, 3AM

The sexual abuse of children has now become a major and publicly recognized concern (and high time too!).  A recent study by John W. Martens shows that for early Christians, too, it was a major concern, and that this is reflected in what appears to be a ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [Roman-era religious environment]

August 20, 2AM

Dale Tuggy has published two podcasts based on an extended Skype interview about my work on the origins and early development of Jesus-devotion and earliest Christian notions of the relationship of Jesus and God.  The first podcast is here, and the secon... [Uncategorized]

August 19, 2AM

Yesterday, I received my author’s advance copy of the 3rd edition of my book, One God, One Lord:  Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism (London:  Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015).  The publisher’s online catalogue entry is h... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion]

August 18, 8AM

In response to requests, I’ve now uploaded a PDF of the pre-publication version of my contribution to the newly-published (and excellent) Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Apocrypha (noted in my previous posting), the PDF available here, and under ... [Uncategorized]

6AM

I’m pleased to have my contributor’s copy of what appears to be a very valuable new work:  The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Apocrypha, eds. Andrew Gregory & Christopher Tuckett (Oxford University Press, 2015), the publisher’s ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Christian Origins] [Important publications]

August 17, 1AM

One of the long-standing presumptions often presented as established fact is that the cross wasn’t a Christian symbol until Constantine adopted Christianity (early 4th century AD).  Bruce Longenecker’s new book, The Cross Before Constantine:... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [cross-symbol] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Important publications] [staurogram]

August 12, 11PM

I’m in Cambridge all week teaching in the Vacation Term Biblical Studies programme for this year.  Just a quick reminder of the forthcoming British New Testament Conference being held this year in Edinburgh.  The link for further information and r... [Uncategorized]

August 4, 2AM

I continue to see some scholars stating as unquestioned fact that “orthodoxy” and “heresy” really only emerged after Constantine, that only with the power of imperial coercion could these categories operate, and that in the pre-Con... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [heresy] [Important publications] [Orthodoxy]

July 31, 7AM

In a commendably professional step, Michael Kok sent me advance notice of a piece in which he addresses briefly the work of several scholars associated with the “early high christology” perspective (sometimes also referred to as “the ne... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Christology] [Jesus-devotion]

July 29, 8AM

In researching for my current book project on early Christian distinctives, I note repeatedly how scholarly attention to the second and third centuries seems often to suffer in comparison to the first century and the post-Constantinian period. On the one ... [Uncategorized]

July 20, 6AM

The latest issue of the journal New Testament Studies (vol. 61, no. 3, July 2015) contains a battery of commissioned articles from several scholars that collectively present the reasons that the putative Coptic fragment referring to “Jesus’ wi... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Important publications] [Jesus' Wife]

July 10, 5AM

In a programmatic essay surveying recent scholarly discussion about earliest Jesus-devotion, Jörg Frey (Professor, University of Zürich) judges that one can speak perhaps of “a paradigm-shift” (von einem Paradigmenwechsel) or, “a new p... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion]

July 9, 1AM

Earlier this week I received the proposed cover for the third edition of my book, One God, One Lord:  Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism (London:  Bloomsbury T&T Clark, forthcoming November 2015).  Now I see that Amazon has noti... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion]

July 8, 2AM

Speaking for myself, I’m often finding valuable scholarly work on various matters pertaining to the world in which early Christianity emerged, such as this book:  A. R. Hands, Charities and Social Aid in Greece and Rome (London:  Thames & Huds... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Important publications]

July 4, 6AM

In the course of working on my current book project, I’ve come across another useful resource:  Roderic L. Mullen, The Expansion of Christianity:  A Gazetteer of Its First Three Centuries (Leiden: Brill, 2004).  This is a unique resource for trac... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Important publications]

June 19, 2AM

A new book on early Christianity merits serious attention:  Early Christianity in Contexts:  An Exploration across Cultures and Continents, ed. William Tabernee (Grand Rapids:  Baker Academic, 2014).  The publisher’s information online here.  I... [Uncategorized] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Important publications]

June 18, 1AM

Sometime yesterday (Tuesday, 17th) someone made the millionth “hit” on this blog site (launched in the summer of 2010).  The “big boys” in blogging probably get that number annually, but for a “niche” site like this on... [Uncategorized]

June 16, 1AM

I was recently sent advance notice of an article devoted to a (misguided) critique of one I published a year or so ago.  My article = “Fashions, Fallacies and Future Prospects in New Testament Studies.” Journal for the Study of the New Testam... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Christian Origins]

June 11, 3AM

I’ve just received news of the publication of the book by Carlos Raul Sosa Siliezar, arising from his recently completed PhD thesis written here:  Creation Imagery in the Gospel of John (London:  Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015).  The publisher... [Uncategorized] [Gospel of John] [Important publications]

2AM

In working on my current book project (working title:  “What Made Early Christianity Distinctive in the Roman World?”), I again came across references to Julius Africanus, a figure I’d seen referenced before but to whom I confess I̵... [Uncategorized]

June 10, 7AM

In a previous posting here, I gave notice of the forthcoming multi-author volume arising from our conference on the Apostle Peter held here last year.  One or two commenters asked about the contents, and so I give them below. Introduction, Helen K. Bond ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Important publications] [Peter]

3AM

I’ve just had news that my Edinburgh NT colleague, Helen Bond, has been awarded a personal chair, and I take this opportunity to offer public congratulations.  Her award takes effect in July, but it’s officially announced.  (Here staff page ... [Uncategorized]

June 9, 6AM

In my previous posting (here) about Simon Gathercole’s new and valuable introduction + commentary on the Gospel of Thomas, I mentioned one or two reservations, in that posting his omission of any reference to the possible technical meaning of “... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Christian Origins] [Gospel of Thomas]

June 8, 7AM

In the Eerdmans catalogue of forthcoming books (Autumn 2015), I’m pleased to see the multi-author volume that arose from the conference on Peter held in by our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins:  Peter in Early Christianity, eds. Helen K. B... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [Peter]

4AM

Along with my praise of Gathercole’s recent introduction + commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in a previous posting here, there were a (very) few places that raised a question.  One of these is in his treatment of the statement in (the admittedly e... [Uncategorized] [Gospel of Thomas]

June 4, 3AM

I’ve just finished a review of Simon Gathercole’s commentary on the Gospel of Thomas (for Journal of Ecclesiastical History), and it’s an impressive piece of work:  The Gospel of Thomas.  Introduction and Commentary.  Texts and Editio... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Gospel of Thomas]

June 3, 3AM

Of the various “chief agent” figures in various second-temple Jewish texts, the mysterious figure designated variously “the chosen one,” “the messiah,” and, by various Ethiopic expressions typically translated “th... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Jesus-devotion]

May 27, 4AM

Further to my posting yesterday in which I noted the curious variation-pattern in NT usage of two Greek expressions for “at the right hand,” a few additional observations and data.  In the midst of other commitments (with pressing deadlines),... [Uncategorized]

May 26, 6AM

In today’s post came a contributor’s copy of a new multi-author volume:  All that the Prophets Have Declared:  The Appropriation of Scripture in the Emergence of Christianity, ed. Matthew R. Malcolm (Milton Keynes:  Paternoster Press, 2015)... [NT religious ideas]

May 22, 2AM

I’m a bit tardy in commenting on the day-conference held here on 6 May:  “Power, Authority, and Canon,” which brought together a small galaxy of scholars on questions about the process by which certain writings came to be treated as ... [canon]

May 12, 2AM

Over the weekend I finished reading a brilliant new study of early Christian teaching about children and households:  Margaret Y. MacDonald, The Power of Children:  The Construction of Christian Families in the Greco-Roman World (Waco:  Baylor Universi... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Important publications]

May 11, 3AM

The latest issue of the journal Early Christianity (vol. 6, no. 1, 2015) is given to several articles assessing Wilhelm Bousset’s classic work, Kyrios Christos (1913; English trans. of the 5th edition 1970; new edition of the English trans. Baylor U... [Uncategorized] [Important publications]

2AM

As illustrated in the recent articles I’ve reported on in earlier postings, scholars continue to approach the question of “hymns/odes” in the NT in what I regard as a curious fashion.  They often first turn to “pagan” exampl... [Uncategorized] [hymns] [Worship]

May 7, 2AM

Thanks to Crispin Fletcher-Louis’ pointer, I’ve read now another newly-published article on the question of whether Philippians 2:6-11 is a “hymn”:  Michael Wade Martin and Bryan A. Nash, “Philippians 2:6-11 as Subversive Hy... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

May 5, 6AM

A recent journal article offers a new reason for reconsidering whether Philippians 2:6-11 and Colossians 1:15-20 are (as many scholars have thought) remnants/adaptations of early Christian hymns/odes: Benjamin Edsall & Jennifer R. Strawbridge, “Th... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [Paul]

April 17, 2AM

Yesterday, Professor Troels Engberg-Pedersen (University of Copenhagen) favoured us with an invited lecture:  “Paul, Stoicism, and the Material Spirit.”  He is an established scholar in Pauline studies, of course, and very well versed also i... [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

April 9, 4AM

Andrew McGowan’s new book, Ancient Christian Worship:  Early Church Practices in Social, Historical, and Theological Perspective (Grand Rapids:  Baker Academic, 2014) is now a major new resource for any who share my interest in historical origins ... [NT religious ideas] [Christian Origins] [Important publications]

March 30, 2AM

Last Friday evening here in the UK the TV programme, “Mysteries of the Bible–Jesus” showed (Channel 5, 9 pm), and already I’ve had one commenter asking why I allowed myself to be included in the programme.  So, a few comments are ... [Uncategorized] [historical Jesus]

March 25, 3AM

Yesterday I received notice of an extensive, two-part review of N.T. Wright’s 2-vol opus, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, by Chris Tilling.  The review combines a generous and cordial attitude toward Wright with incisive criticism of some major p... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Paul]

2AM

(LWH:  This is the third invited posting from Dr. Dieter Roth on Marcion.) In my two previous guest blog posts (here and here) considering Marcion’s Gospel, I focused predominantly on issues of reconstructing this text, highlighting, first, problematic... [Uncategorized] [Marcion]

March 24, 6AM

As new readers are continually coming to this blog site, I give a reminder of “how we roll here” (i.e., the rules for comments, etc.).  These are stated under the tab marked “About Me and This Site.”  Among them, we use real nam... [Uncategorized]

March 20, 7AM

For those interested in latest developments in “Jesus-research” (which = especially research on the historical figure of Jesus), a recent volume comes recommended: James H. Charlesworth (ed.), Jesus Research: New Methodologies and Perceptions... [Uncategorized] [historical Jesus] [Important publications]

3AM

The recent postings by Dieter Roth on Marcion’s Gospel reflect wider questions about how the writings that now form the familiar NT regarded and transmitted, especially in the second century.  It is all too easy to play a “what if” game... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Marcion] [NT Textual Criticism]

March 17, 3AM

(LWH:  The following posting is the second in a series of guest-postings I’ve invited from Dr. Dieter Roth, whose newly published critical reconstruction of Marcion’s Gospel sets the standard and basis for all further debate about that text:... [Uncategorized]

March 12, 9AM

Codex Alexandrinus is a fifth-century “pandect,” that is, the Greek Old Testament and the Greek New Testament writings in one manuscript.  From its original provenance (still uncertain), it came to England in 1627, presented to King Charles I... [Uncategorized] [Codex] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Important publications] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

March 11, 6AM

(LWH:  Given the stir created by Markus Vinzent’s recent book on Marcion, I invited Dieter Roth to give a guest blog-posting on the book. Dieter has just published a full critical reconstruction of the text of Marcion’s Gospel, and is far be... [Uncategorized] [Marcion] [NT Textual Criticism]

March 9, 5AM

In December 2014 results of the UK “Research Excellence Framework” (REF) were released, and now the funding councils for England & Wales and for Scotland are making decisions in light of these results.  The REF is the latest version of th... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

March 2, 9AM

I’m pleased to note that the new and thorough study of Marcion’s text of the Gospel of Luke by my former PhD student, Dieter T. Roth, has now appeared:  The Text of Marcion’s Gospel (Leiden:  Brill, 2015).  The publisher’s onlin... [Uncategorized] [Marcion] [NT Textual Criticism]

3AM

Paul Middleton offers a tightly argued and stimulating essay on early Christians’ attitudes toward suffering (for their faith/Jesus) and martyrdom:  “Christology, Martyrdom, and Vindication in the Gospel of Mark and the Apocalypse:  Two New ... [Uncategorized] [gospel of mark] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [martyrdom] [NT religious ideas] [Revelation]

February 26, 3AM

Mary Ann Beavis has produced an intriguing study of the epistle to the Hebrews:  “Hebrews and Wisdom,” published in the multi-author volume: Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism:  Essays in Honor of Larry W. Hurtado, eds. Chris Keith & Diet... [Uncategorized] [Hebrews] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

February 19, 3AM

In the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, archaeologist Ken Dark (University of Reading, his personal page here) recounts for a general readership his recent work in/around Nazareth, proposing identification of first-century house structures, an... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [historical Jesus] [Roman-era religious environment]
Yesterday my colleague, Prof. Paul Foster, and I went with eight of our current PhD students for another of our periodic visits to the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin) to examine their fabulous collection of early biblical papyri.  We try to make this vis... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Codex] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts] [nomina sacra] [NT Textual Criticism]

February 16, 7AM

I am pleased to find in today’s mail my complimentary copy of a multi-author volume arising from a multi-year international research project on “Concepts and Practices of Freedom in the Biblical Traditions and in Contemporary Contexts.”... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas]

February 12, 3AM

I’m pleased to note a newly-published review of the monograph by Anne Marie Luijendijk, Forbidden Oracles?  The Gospel of the Lots of Mary (Tuebingen:  Mohr-Siebeck, 2014) available here.  Sarah Parkhouse (graduate student, Durham University) of... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Manuscripts]

February 9, 8AM

Richard Bauckham’s essay on my work on Jesus-devotion is a model of clarity, accuracy, fairness, and incisive critique:  “Devotion to Jesus Christ in Earliest Christianity:  An Appraisal and Discussion of the Work of Larry Hurtado,” in... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

February 5, 7AM

I pass on news that a team examining unedited papyri in the holdings of the University of Birmingham (UK) has identified what appears to be an amulet on which there is a small portion of Acts of the Apostles.  The initial analysis of the handwriting sugg... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts]

4AM

A recent story posted on Live Science reports on a Coptic text recently identified and studied by Anne Marie Luijendijk (Princeton University) here.  The miniature codex (ca. 75 x 69 mm page size) contains a body of oracle-like sayings, and it appears th... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Manuscripts]

February 4, 4AM

My Edinburgh (New College) colleague, Professor Timothy Lim, has organized an interesting day-conference (06 May) on questions about the historical processes and significance of the formation of a “canon” of writings that are then treated as s... [Uncategorized]

February 3, 9AM

David Allen has produced a careful, patient analysis of Hebrews 1:6, where angels are commanded (by God) to “worship/reverence” Jesus, and recent scholarly discussion of the text:  “Who, What, and Why? The Worship of the Firstborn in... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [Monotheism] [NT religious ideas]

February 2, 3AM

In response to my posting late last week attempting to clarify a comment referring to Bart Ehrman and to offer an apology for any offence caused to him, I’ve had a number of comments, none of which I’m publishing.  Some urged that no apology ... [Uncategorized]

January 30, 3AM

In light of a rebuking email from my colleague in the field of Christian Origins and long-time personal acquaintance, Bart Ehrman, I think a clarification, and even an apology from me, are due.  Bart has emailed complaining about a recent comment of mine... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

January 29, 7AM

I’ve just learned from my friend, the respected scholar of ancient religion, Jan Bremmer (University of Groningen), about his recently published book on ancient “mystery cults”:  Jan N. Bremmer, Initiation Into the Mysteries of the Anc... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Important publications] [Roman-era religious environment]

January 28, 4AM

I arrived back from my Hong Kong lectures, the 2014 Josephine So Lectures given in China Graduate School of Theology, last Friday. As these lectures form some of the material that I aim to develop into a book across 2015, I’m not publishing the full... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context]

January 27, 4AM

In light of the renewed hubbub about a supposed first-century fragment of the Gospel of Mark, I’ll offer some comments about why people get all excited (or exasperated) about the matter and other such incidents. For any text of antiquity, scholars p... [Uncategorized] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

January 26, 9AM

In the last week or so I’ve had a number of inquiries about news stories of the discovery of a fragment of the Gospel of Mark dating to the first century AD.  Actually, this isn’t a new claim, but instead a rehashing (or belated notice) of a ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Early Christian Artifacts] [gospel of mark] [Manuscripts]

January 16, 8AM

On Monday (19th) I head off to Hong Kong to give the Josephine So Lectures in China Graduate School of Theology.  My topic for these (four) lectures is “What Made Early Christianity Different in the Roman World?”  For a few years now, I̵... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas]

January 15, 3AM

In participating yesterday in a session of the core course in our masters-degree in Biblical Studies (Edinburgh), and having been asked to highlight some major issues and questions current in NT studies, I remembered also briefly the need to look backward... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [NT Studies]

January 12, 3AM

Continuing in the spirit of some previous postings about famous scholars of yester-year, today (12 January) marks the birthday of Brooke Foss Westcott (12 January 1825), who, along with J. B. Lightfoot and F. J. A. Hort, formed the famous Cambridge trio ... [Uncategorized]

January 9, 7AM

Constantine Tischendorf (1815-1874) was certainly one of the most prodigiously productive scholars of his or any other time.  He was (and remains) also a figure of controversy, claim and counter-claim.  In a new book on Tischendorf (and released in anti... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

January 8, 5AM

J. B. Lightfoot was perhaps the most impressive British NT scholar of his generation, and one of the most significant NT scholars of his day internationally.  His published works remain important to consult, some (especially his 5-volume work on “T... [Uncategorized] [Important publications]

January 7, 7AM

I’ve mentioned in earlier postings the Vacation Term for Biblical Study, a charitable trust that provides a rich annual programme of (non-credit) scholarly teaching on various subjects of (and related to) biblical studies, intended for any/all adult... [Uncategorized]

3AM

Tommy Wasserman (long-time friend and colleague in the field) contributes a fresh study of textual relationships of Codex Washingtonianus and P45 (P.Chester Beatty I) that largely confirms the results of my own study done some forty-odd years ago:  ̶... [Uncategorized] [gospel of mark] [NT Textual Criticism]

January 5, 9AM

In a recent essay Dieter Roth (former PhD student) offers a fresh study of the occurrences of the “staurogram” in the early NT papyrus, P45 (Chester Beatty I), plus some helpful analysis of how punctuation in this manuscript likely signals the... [Uncategorized] [Acts] [gospel of mark] [Manuscripts] [nomina sacra] [staurogram]

3AM

Thanks to a commenter, I see that my “Opening Lecture” given in New College in September is now on Youtube here.  From its 19th century origins onward, each year New College begins the September academic session with the “Opening Lectur... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

January 1, 4AM

Per the WordPress statistics, 2014 was a big year for this blog site, with over 312,000 views, up some 60% over 2013.  That’s encouraging, obviously, and (most) comments suggest that this site is informative and helpful to (most) readers.  There a... [Uncategorized]

December 18 2014, 2AM

Michael J. Kruger (former PhD student) contributes a significant study on the question of how early we have lists of NT writings treated as scripture: “Origin’s List of New Testament Books in Homilliae in Josuam 7.1: A Fresh Look,” in Mark, Manuscri... [Uncategorized] [canon] [Christian Origins] [NT Texts]

December 15, 5AM

In my continuing series of postings on contributions to the recent Festschrift for me, I turn to Thomas Kraus’s essay:  “From ‘Text-Critical Methodology’ to ‘Manuscripts as Artefacts'”:  A Tribute to Larry W. Hurtado,... [Uncategorized] [Christogram] [Codex] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts] [nomina sacra] [staurogram]

December 12, 8AM

Just as in modern texts, sense-unit division and punctuation in ancient manuscripts evidence the organization of a text to aid understanding of it.  In his contribution to the multi-author volume in my honour, Sean Adams studies the sense-unit divisio... [Uncategorized] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts]

December 11, 4AM

Further to my posting on Paul Owen’s essay on Mark’s Christology yesterday, a few comments here about plausibility in understanding and making inferences from ancient texts, Mark in particular.  As the scholarly literature indicates, there co... [Uncategorized] [gospel of mark] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

December 10, 7AM

Paul Owen’s essay,  “Jesus as God’s Chief Agent in Mark’s Christology,” is a stimulating contribution to the newly-published multi-author volume, Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism, eds. Chris Keith & Dieter Roth (Blooms... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

December 8, 3AM

Chris Keith’s contribution in the volume of essays given to me recently is an informative and stimulating discussion focusing on the Gospel of Mark, particularly as (probably) the first manuscript-form of Jesus-tradition.  He writes, “Mark&#... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [gospel of mark] [Manuscripts]

December 5, 3AM

In her contribution to the essay collection recently presented to me by former students and some colleagues, Holly Carey (former PhD student) presents a cogent case that the Gospel of Mark is much more “upbeat” than some scholars assume.  I s... [Uncategorized] [gospel of mark]

December 3, 9AM

In connection with an earlier posting about the “Hellenists” mentioned in the book of Acts, I mention the “Theodotus Inscription,” a Greek dedicatory inscription (lst century CE) from Jerusalem, which clearly reflects the movemen... [Uncategorized] [Acts] [Archaeology]

3AM

A recent article helpfully discusses what historians of Christian art recognize as earliest depictions of the crucified Jesus, particularly a few gem-stones, a couple of them dated to the early-mid-4th century, and another that likely pre-dates them: Fe... [Uncategorized] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [staurogram]

December 1, 5AM

Inside Roman Libraries: Book Collections and Their Management in Antiquity, by George W. Houston, brings together almost everything you could want to ask about Roman-era book collections and book collectors.  Analyzing data from the Herculaneum papyri an... [Uncategorized] [Codex] [Historical Context] [Important publications] [Manuscripts]

November 28, 8AM

I’m back from the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, this year in San Diego, a busy but enjoyable four days of conference.  Aside from the sun and warm temperatures (25-27 Celsius), there were numerous interesting sessions and lo... [Uncategorized]

November 13, 3AM

There’s a recently-launched web site providing information on the Bible for a general readership:  “Bible Odyssey” a link here.  It’s sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature (the main/largest professional body of scholars... [Uncategorized]

November 12, 3AM

It is a curiously widespread assumption that there was some major theological divide in the Jerusalem Jesus-movement (church) between the “Hebrews” and the “Hellenists,” but that is also a dubious assumption, as shown some time ago... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

November 11, 3AM

In email exchanges over the last couple of weeks, Paula Fredriksen and I have been comparing views on what might have been the nature of, and cause(s) for, the “persecution” of Jewish Jesus-followers that the Apostle Paul later lamented. There have be... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

November 6, 6AM

Some readers report problems accessing the online version of my review of Suzanne Nicholson, Dynamic Oneness (mentioned in a previous posting).  So, I make available the pre-publication version [Uncategorized]

November 4, 5AM

I’ve just received notice that my review of Suzanne Nicholson’s book, Dynamic Oneness:  The Significance and Flexibility of Paul’s One-God Language (Cambridge:  James Clarke & Co., 2011) is forthcoming in Journal of Theological Stu... [Uncategorized]

November 3, 5AM

Over the weekend I finished the new book by my colleague, Prof. Timothy Lim:  The Formation of the Jewish Canon (Yale University Press, 2013), and I’m very impressed.  Though of relatively modest size (288 pp. including notes, bibliography & i... [Uncategorized] [canon] [Important publications] [Paul]

October 28, 3AM

I’m pleased that my article giving a critique of some of the more extreme representations of “performance criticism,” which appeared a few months ago in the journal New Testament Studies has received an affirming response from Roger Bagn... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts] [Roman-era religious environment]

October 21, 3AM

My posting yesterday in which I simply advocated that scholarly work be engaged before we label it provoked some interest, but also what I regard an ill-considered response from Robert  Myles.  I don’t spend much time scanning the blogosphere, so... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

October 20, 2AM

Personally, I have little time for labelling scholars (e.g., “liberal,” “conservative,” etc.).  The only question for me is what someone is saying and the adequacy of their basis for saying it.  I hold the view that you should ha... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

October 16, 1AM

Yesterday, I spent a few hours with a French-speaking visitor from Switzerland who had become interested in some questions about earliest Jesus-devotion, in part through reading some of my publications.  He indicated in particular that he’d read wi... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

October 9, 2AM

In a recent article Edmon Gallagher has queried the widely-shared assumption that the manuscripts of Acquila’s translation of the OT attested among the Cairo Genizah fragments come from Jewish copyists.  Instead (or at least as plausibly), he cont... [Uncategorized] [Cairo Geniza] [Codex] [LXX] [Manuscripts] [nomina sacra]

October 8, 2AM

I’ve now got some further bibliographical references relating to my posting yesterday about NT manuscripts among the material from the Cairo Genizah. (With thanks to Bill Yarchin for these initial ones): Michael Sokoloff & Joseph Yahalom, “... [Uncategorized] [Cairo Geniza] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

October 7, 7AM

In the course of checking up on some details pertaining to another matter, I’ve come across a fascinating item:  Copies of NT texts among the many fragments of material from the ancient Cairo “Genizah”.  I confess that, although these ... [Uncategorized] [Cairo Geniza] [Early Christian Artifacts] [LXX] [Manuscripts] [nomina sacra] [NT Texts]

October 6, 5AM

At a special day-symposium, “How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God?” for the general public a week or so ago, one attendee rightly complained to me that so little of biblical scholarship gets disseminated to a wider public.  Well, one effort th... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion]

1AM

Further to my earlier posting about PhD programmes in the USA and the UK here, I notice a recent book written for potential applicants (and aspiring scholars) with special reference to New Testament:  Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

September 26, 2AM

I’ve received news that the multi-author volume has been published in which my essay, “The Place of Jesus in Earliest Christian Prayer and its Import for Early Christian Identity,” appears:  Early Christian Prayer and Identity Formation... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

September 25, 3AM

Further to my posting yesterday on Acts of the Apostles, a few more notes about recent scholarly work, and also about the earliest manuscript evidence. The uniqueness of Acts raises the question why/how someone conceived it and wrote it.  It’s a ma... [Uncategorized] [Acts] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Important publications] [NT Textual Criticism]

September 24, 5AM

The arrival today of the third massive volume in Craig Keener’s commentary on Acts (details below) is only the latest of a number of indications of intense scholarly interest in this remarkable early Christian text.  Acts of the Apostles is unique ... [Uncategorized] [Acts] [Christian Origins] [NT Studies] [NT Textual Criticism]

September 19, 6AM

In an earlier posting (here), I mentioned the publication of an essay of mine in a new multi-author volume:  Texts and Traditions:  Essays in Honour of J. Keith Elliott (Leiden:  Brill, 2014), and in today’s mail I received my complimentary copy... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [NT Textual Criticism]

September 18, 2AM

It’s again the time of year when those considering possible PhD work start thinking about applying.  The structure of the PhD programmes in the UK and in North America (to pick the two areas with which I’m most familiar) are different, and so... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

September 17, 1AM

In view of some recent comments I think it well to draw attention (again) to the nature of this blog site, and the “rules of the game” for comments.  This isn’t at all intended to deter readers or comments, simply to reiterate some guid... [Uncategorized]

September 16, 5AM

The prominence of the codex bookform in early Christianity is a well-known phenomenon.  But there remain continuing questions, and also what I regard as confusion on some matters that make for mischief in historical analysis.  I’ve treated the top... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Codex] [Early Christian Artifacts]

September 11, 2AM

The respected journal, New Testament Studies, the official journal of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (Society for New Testament Studies) is now in its 60th volume.  To celebrate this, the editor (Prof. Francis Watson) has chosen “key resear... [Uncategorized]
Scholars commonly see in 1 Corinthians 15:1-7 material of an early “pre-Pauline” confession that focuses on Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and appearances to select witnesses.  But there are continuing disagreements over what kind o... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

September 9, 4AM

An advance notice for those who might be interested in a spell of high-quality biblical study in summer 2015:  The Vacation Term for Biblical Study will be held in Robinson College, Cambridge over two weeks,  2-7 and 9-14 August 2015. I’ve partici... [Uncategorized]

August 22, 8AM

Through reading the recently-published thesis of one of our PhD students, I’ve learned of a body of important studies on terms used in the NT by Professor Eleanor Dickey.   Such is the canalization of modern scholarship (and my own limits) tha... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [LXX] [NT Greek] [Roman-era religious environment]

4AM

Further to my earlier postings and the (many!) comments elicited, especially those about the use of “kyrios” in the LXX, I point readers to an excellent essay by John Wevers: John William Wevers, “The Rendering of the Tetragram in the Ps... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [LXX] [Manuscripts]

August 19, 4AM

A couple of weeks ago I got emails from two former PhD student here, Chris Keith and Dieter Roth, alerting me that a multi-author volume dedicated to me had been announced by the publisher:  Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism:  Essays in Honor of Larry ... [Uncategorized]

August 18, 6AM

Several comments prompted by my earlier postings have raised questions about how the Hebrew divine name (YHWH) was rendered in written form and how God was referred to orally in the time of Jesus.  In addition to interest in these questions for their ow... [Uncategorized]

August 13, 7AM

In response to an earlier posting, a couple of commenters referred to the “Septuagint” (the name commonly given to the Greek translations of the Jewish scriptures, the “Old Testament”), raising questions about what it represented i... [Uncategorized] [Important publications]

August 7, 2AM

In my essay that has just been published (mentioned in my post yesterday), my broader emphasis is that intentional textual variants in NT writings likely resulted from ancient readers.  In the case of the variation-units I survey in that essay, I submit... [Uncategorized] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

August 6, 4AM

I’m pleased to announce the publication of my essay, “God or Jesus?  Textual Ambiguity and Textual Variants in Acts of the Apostles,” in the multi-author volume, Texts and Traditions:  Essays in Honour of J. Keith Elliott, edited by Pe... [Uncategorized] [Acts] [Jesus-devotion] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

August 5, 2AM

A new introduction and commentary on the Gospel of Thomas was published earlier this year:  Simon J. Gathercole, The Gospel of Thomas:  Introduction and Commentary (Leiden:  Brill, 2014).  Such detailed studies of the many fascinating extra-canonical ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Christian Origins] [Gospel of Thomas]

July 30, 7AM

In an interview with a TV producer a week or so ago, the question came up whether early Christianity (Roman-era) was secretive and operated in a covert manner, seeking to avoid hostile attention.  The origins of this notion I don’t really know (inf... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas] [Roman-era religious environment]

July 28, 3AM

I’ve been puzzled in recent days by some readers whose comments suggest that they expect that sound scholarly analysis of serious historical questions can be conveyed persuasively in blog-postings and/or replies to comments.  There seems to be some... [Uncategorized]

July 26, 3AM

My commissioned review of Bart Ehrman’s book, How Jesus Became God:  The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, has just appeared in the latest issue of Christian Century (August 6, 2014), pp. 26-28.   It’s given a review-essay pla... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

July 24, 3AM

In earlier postings I’ve mentioned that I’d agreed to review N.T. Wright’s massive opus, Paul and the Faithfulness of God (earlier postings here, here, and here).  The review has just appeared as a featured review-essay in the journal T... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Paul]

July 21, 6AM

In his recent book, Christopher Barina Kaiser argues that earliest Jesus-followers had visions of God (YHWH) in “the face and voice of their own teacher, now in a glorified body,” and these experiences prompted the early eruption of Jesus-devo... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [Monotheism] [NT religious ideas]

July 17, 2AM

I’m pleased to learn that a multi-author volume to which I’m a contributor has now been published:  Beyond Bultmann:  Reckoning a New Testament Theology, eds. Bruce W. Longenecker & Mikeal C. Parsons (Baylor University Press, 2014).  Yo... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas] [NT Studies]

July 13, 7AM

For me, reading Glen Bowersock’s book, The Thone of Adullis:  Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam (Oxford Univ Press, 2013) was like having a curtain pulled back opening up a previously unknown world.  This is the world of the Red Sea area in late a... [Uncategorized]

July 12, 3AM

I devoted this past week heavily to carrying out a fresh and more thorough analysis of “P22″, remnants of a papyri copy of the Gospel of John likely from sometime in the 3rd century.  “P22″ (or P.Oxyrhynchus 1228) is two fragments... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Gospel of John] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

July 4, 2AM

In an hour or so I’ll take part in our summer graduation ceremony in the University of Edinburgh, and one of the pleasures will be the graduation of a particularly fine young New Testament PhD student from a country in the southern hemisphere, a ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

July 3, 3AM

In the recent Nangeroni Seminar on “Paul as a Second-Temple Jew,” predictably the topic of male circumcision came under discussion.  As readers of Paul’s letters will know, in a few of them (especially Galatians) Paul is at pains to re... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

July 2, 7AM

I returned last night from a very enjoyable trip to Rome to take part in the Nangeroni Seminar on “Paul as a Second-Temple Jew.”  For more information on the Nangeroni Seminars click here.  This encouraging and demanding event brought togeth... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

June 19, 6AM

I’ve just received my copy of the published version of my Burkitt Lecture, given in Rice University (10 April 2013):  “Revelatory Experiences and Religious Innovation in Earliest Christianity,” Expository Times 125/10 (2014):  469-82.... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

June 18, 4AM

I’m pleased to see in print Craig Evans’ new book, From Jesus to the Church:  The First Christian Generation (Westminster John Knox Press, 2014), and pleased to have a copy.  It derives from Evans’ Deichmann lectures given in Ben Gurio... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [historical Jesus] [Roman-era religious environment]

June 9, 2AM

I’m pleased to announce that my critique of “performance criticism” as advocated by a small but enthusiastic number of NT scholars has just been published in the online advance format of the journal New Testament Studies 60 (2014): 321-4... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Manuscripts]
I’m pleased to announce that my critique of “performance criticism” as advocated by a small but enthusiastic number of NT scholars has just been published in the online advance format of the journal New Testament Studies 60 (2014): 321-4... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Manuscripts]

June 3, 8AM

Brent Nongbri has begun to establish himself as a critic of received (or widely assumed) opinions on the dates of several early NT papyri.  His first venture along these lines was his critique of early dates of the famous Rylands fragment of the Gospel o... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]
Brent Nongbri has begun to establish himself as a critic of received (or widely assumed) opinions on the dates of several early NT papyri.  His first venture along these lines was his critique of early dates of the famous Rylands fragment of the Gospel o... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

June 2, 7AM

My posting on Bart Ehrman’s latest book, How Jesus Became God, generated a number of responses, the most important of which was from Ehrman himself.  In particular, he took umbrage at my suggestion that on a few matters he seemed insufficiently in... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]
My posting on Bart Ehrman’s latest book, How Jesus Became God, generated a number of responses, the most important of which was from Ehrman himself.  In particular, he took umbrage at my suggestion that on a few matters he seemed insufficiently in... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

May 29, 8AM

Having been asked to review Bart Ehrman’s new book, How Jesus Became God (HarperOne, 2014), for the Christian Century, I take the opportunity here also to comment on it.  This book is another of his now “best-selling” publications dir... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Son of Man]
Having been asked to review Bart Ehrman’s new book, How Jesus Became God (HarperOne, 2014), for the Christian Century, I take the opportunity here also to comment on it.  This book is another of his now “best-selling” publications dir... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Son of Man]

May 20, 1AM

I had hoped that my previous posting would have clarified the points I tried to make in the one before that.  But in light of ensuing questions and comments, it appears that it was not entirely successful.  So, this further (and much briefer) attempt. ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]
I had hoped that my previous posting would have clarified the points I tried to make in the one before that.  But in light of ensuing questions and comments, it appears that it was not entirely successful.  So, this further (and much briefer) attempt. ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

May 15, 4AM

Well, my postings over the last couple of days have certainly generated a number of responses, including several rather vigorous ones, and have raised some entirely understandable questions.  Instead of responding to the comments individually (thereby bu... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Gospel of John] [Historical Context] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]
Well, my postings over the last couple of days have certainly generated a number of responses, including several rather vigorous ones, and have raised some entirely understandable questions.  Instead of responding to the comments individually (thereby bu... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Gospel of John] [Historical Context] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

May 14, 2AM

As a follow-up to my posting yesterday in which I drew attention to the widely-shared fallacious assumption that the theological validity of NT Christological claims rests upon their having been articulated and taught by Jesus, I (immodestly) draw attenti... [Uncategorized] [Gospel of John] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]
As a follow-up to my posting yesterday in which I drew attention to the widely-shared fallacious assumption that the theological validity of NT Christological claims rests upon their having been articulated and taught by Jesus, I (immodestly) draw attenti... [Uncategorized] [Gospel of John] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

May 13, 3AM

First, a quote:  “The Church cannot indefinitely continue to believe about Jesus what he did not know to be true about himself,” J. W. Bowman, The Intention of Jesus (London:  SCM, 1945), p. 108. This  is not really a historical claim but ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]
First, a quote:  “The Church cannot indefinitely continue to believe about Jesus what he did not know to be true about himself,” J. W. Bowman, The Intention of Jesus (London:  SCM, 1945), p. 108. This  is not really a historical claim but ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

May 12, 4AM

I have just had it confirmed to me by his former student, James Crossley, that Professor Maurice Casey passed away on 10 May after a long hospitalization.  He was Emeritus Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature in the University of Nottingha... [Uncategorized]
I have just had it confirmed to me by his former student, James Crossley, that Professor Maurice Casey passed away on 10 May after a long hospitalization.  He was Emeritus Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature in the University of Nottingha... [Uncategorized]

May 6, 2AM

As I indicated in my previous posting here, the “story” about the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment (and the other items in the small cache of papyri placed with Prof. Karen King) seems now increasingly clearly one of fakery and decepti... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Early Christian Artifacts]
As I indicated in my previous posting here, the “story” about the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment (and the other items in the small cache of papyri placed with Prof. Karen King) seems now increasingly clearly one of fakery and decepti... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Early Christian Artifacts]

May 1, 4AM

Over the last couple of weeks, and especially over the last week, the “story” involved in the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment appears to be shifting rapidly and markedly.  After initially breathless press-media reports that scientifi... [Uncategorized]
Over the last couple of weeks, and especially over the last week, the “story” involved in the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment appears to be shifting rapidly and markedly.  After initially breathless press-media reports that scientifi... [Uncategorized]

April 29, 1AM

All the hubbub about the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment brought to mind the story of a 19th-century master of manuscripts-fakery:  Constantine Simonides.  Simonides really came to worldwide attention when (in 1862) he claimed to have written C... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Archaeology] [Early Christian Artifacts]
All the hubbub about the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment brought to mind the story of a 19th-century master of manuscripts-fakery:  Constantine Simonides.  Simonides really came to worldwide attention when (in 1862) he claimed to have written C... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Archaeology] [Early Christian Artifacts]

April 28, 7AM

As I predicted, “the beat goes on” further in the rapid-fire blog-postings about the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment, and now also the fragment said to have come in the same batch of items lent to Prof. King, this one a bit of Coptic ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]
As I predicted, “the beat goes on” further in the rapid-fire blog-postings about the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment, and now also the fragment said to have come in the same batch of items lent to Prof. King, this one a bit of Coptic ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

3AM

Eldon Jay Epp is (to use a UK complimentary term) a “big beast” in the field of NT textual criticism, internationally known and highly respected for his contributions to the discipline over several decades, from his ground-breaking monograph, ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [NT Textual Criticism]
Eldon Jay Epp is (to use a UK complimentary term) a “big beast” in the field of NT textual criticism, internationally known and highly respected for his contributions to the discipline over several decades, from his ground-breaking monograph, ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [NT Textual Criticism]

April 25, 6AM

I’m pleased to announce that (at long last!) my article, “‘Ancient Jewish Monotheism’ in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods,” has now appeared in Journal of Ancient Judaism 4 (2013), 379-400 (the journal has got behind in sche... [Uncategorized] [Monotheism] [NT religious ideas] [Roman-era religious environment]
I’m pleased to announce that (at long last!) my article, “‘Ancient Jewish Monotheism’ in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods,” has now appeared in Journal of Ancient Judaism 4 (2013), 379-400 (the journal has got behind in sche... [Uncategorized] [Monotheism] [NT religious ideas] [Roman-era religious environment]

2AM

This week there have been three more substantial online postings pertaining to the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment, each of them posing and discussing curiosities in the “back story” about the transmission-history of the fragment prio... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Manuscripts]

April 22, 3AM

Some time back, in a posting over on the blog site of our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins, I drew attention here to Matt Novenson’s book, Christ Among the Messiahs:  Christ Language in Paul and Messiah Language in Ancient Judaism (Oxford... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]
Some time back, in a posting over on the blog site of our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins, I drew attention here to Matt Novenson’s book, Christ Among the Messiahs:  Christ Language in Paul and Messiah Language in Ancient Judaism (Oxford... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

April 16, 7AM

The respected German publisher of academic books, Walter de Gruyter, is sponsoring a competition for “emergent scholars” in a wide range of disciplines (including “Theology/Religion”), winners getting their PhD thesis published by ... [Uncategorized]
The respected German publisher of academic books, Walter de Gruyter, is sponsoring a competition for “emergent scholars” in a wide range of disciplines (including “Theology/Religion”), winners getting their PhD thesis published by ... [Uncategorized]

April 12, 2AM

I’m pleased to report that my article, “Fashions, Fallacies and Futures in New Testament Studies” has just been published in the advance-online locus of Journal for the Study of the New Testament.  You can see the table of contents of ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [NT Studies]
I’m pleased to report that my article, “Fashions, Fallacies and Futures in New Testament Studies” has just been published in the advance-online locus of Journal for the Study of the New Testament.  You can see the table of contents of ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [NT Studies]

April 11, 2AM

As a follow-up to my initial observations yesterday, I’ll offer a few more to underscore where I think things are at this point. First, let me reiterate that all references to “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” are completely misleading ... [Uncategorized]
As a follow-up to my initial observations yesterday, I’ll offer a few more to underscore where I think things are at this point. First, let me reiterate that all references to “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” are completely misleading ... [Uncategorized]

April 10, 7AM

From an initial (and rapid) reading of the articles in the latest issue of Harvard Theological Review about the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment, I’ll offer the following preliminary thoughts.  (I had planned to pursue another project today... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Apocrypha] [Early Christian Artifacts]
From an initial (and rapid) reading of the articles in the latest issue of Harvard Theological Review about the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment, I’ll offer the following preliminary thoughts.  (I had planned to pursue another project today... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Apocrypha] [Early Christian Artifacts]

3AM

I’ve just learned that the long-awaited reports on further analysis and scientific testing of the sensationalized “Jesus’ Wife” fragment (Coptic) have been published in the latest issue of Harvard Theological Review.  The link is ... [Uncategorized]
I’ve just learned that the long-awaited reports on further analysis and scientific testing of the sensationalized “Jesus’ Wife” fragment (Coptic) have been published in the latest issue of Harvard Theological Review.  The link is ... [Uncategorized]

April 8, 2AM

In the latest tome from one of our most prolific recent PhDs, Chris Keith offers an argument about the initial causes of tensions/conflicts between Jesus of Nazareth and what Keith terms “the scribal elite,” i.e., the formally trained class of... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [historical Jesus] [Important publications]
In the latest tome from one of our most prolific recent PhDs, Chris Keith offers an argument about the initial causes of tensions/conflicts between Jesus of Nazareth and what Keith terms “the scribal elite,” i.e., the formally trained class of... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [historical Jesus] [Important publications]

April 7, 2AM

In a now-famous (among NT scholars) essay published originally in 1975, the great Nils Dahl drew attention to, “The Neglected Factor in New Testament Theology,” Reflections 75 (1975): 5-8; reprinted in Nils A. Dahl, Jesus the Christ:  The His... [Uncategorized] [NT religious ideas] [NT Studies]
In a now-famous (among NT scholars) essay published originally in 1975, the great Nils Dahl drew attention to, “The Neglected Factor in New Testament Theology,” Reflections 75 (1975): 5-8; reprinted in Nils A. Dahl, Jesus the Christ:  The His... [Uncategorized] [NT religious ideas] [NT Studies]

April 5, 3AM

Caveat lector:  The following is a bit of a rant.  I came into blogging as a complete novice, and have had to learn as I went along.  Having opened this blog site as, well, at the risk of sounding noble, a public service.  I simply thought that it wou... [Uncategorized]
Caveat lector:  The following is a bit of a rant.  I came into blogging as a complete novice, and have had to learn as I went along.  Having opened this blog site as, well, at the risk of sounding noble, a public service, I simply thought that it would... [Uncategorized]

April 4, 8AM

I’m the grateful owner of a new 3-volume reference work:  Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, Gen. Ed., Angelo Di Berardino (IVP Academic, 2014), hereafter EAC.  It seems to include articles on major and minor figures, events, texts, ideas, pla... [Uncategorized] [Important publications]
I’m the grateful owner of a new 3-volume reference work:  Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, Gen. Ed., Angelo Di Berardino (IVP Academic, 2014), hereafter EAC.  It seems to include articles on major and minor figures, events, texts, ideas, pla... [Uncategorized] [Important publications]

April 2, 8AM

Ok, here’s what I think is my final blog on Tom Wright’s huge (2-vol) opus, Paul and the Faithfulness of God.  In earlier postings, I’ve engaged questions about his treatment of Paul’s Christology here and here, and questions abo... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]
Ok, here’s what I think is my final blog on Tom Wright’s huge (2-vol) opus, Paul and the Faithfulness of God.  In earlier postings, I’ve engaged questions about his treatment of Paul’s Christology here and here, and questions abo... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

April 1, 4AM

I returned yesterday from an invitational conference in Oklahoma City on dating papyri (sponsored by the Green Scholars Initiative, hereafter GSI).   Out of respect for the presenters of papers, I won’t pre-empt publication by giving details.  But... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]
I returned yesterday from an invitational conference in Oklahoma City on dating papyri (sponsored by the Green Scholars Initiative, hereafter GSI).   Out of respect for the presenters of papers, I won’t pre-empt publication by giving details.  But... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

March 25, 4AM

In the course of explaining in his prologue why he bracketed Paul out of the discussion in his book, The Birth of Christianity (HarperCollins, 1998), John Dominic Crossan makes one of his characteristically punchy statements:  “But, to put it blu... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]
In the course of explaining in his prologue why he bracketed Paul out of the discussion in his book, The Birth of Christianity (HarperCollins, 1998), John Dominic Crossan makes one of his characteristically punchy statements:  “But, to put it blu... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

March 23, 10AM

In this posting I query another of Tom Wright’s major emphases in his mammoth new work, Paul and the Faithfulness of God (see my previous postings on the work here and here).  This concerns his emphatic view that in Paul’s view  ”Israe... [Uncategorized] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]
In this posting I query another of Tom Wright’s major emphases in his mammoth new work, Paul and the Faithfulness of God (see my previous postings on the work here and here).  This concerns his emphatic view that in Paul’s view  “Israe... [Uncategorized] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

March 20, 3AM

In preparation for an invitational conference on early papyri coming up late next week in the USA, I read William Johnson’s excellent contribution, “The Ancient Book,” in The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology (ed. R. S. Bagnall).  I first &... [Uncategorized] [Codex] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Historical Context] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]
In preparation for an invitational conference on early papyri coming up late next week in the USA, I read William Johnson’s excellent contribution, “The Ancient Book,” in The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology (ed. R. S. Bagnall).  I first &... [Uncategorized] [Codex] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Historical Context] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

March 19, 4AM

In Tom Wright’s new opus on Paul, there is a section headed “Jesus as Risen and Enthroned Son of God” (pp. 690-709), where he offers a proposal for how Jesus came to be regarded as in some sense “divine” so quickly after his ... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [Monotheism] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]
In Tom Wright’s new opus on Paul, there is a section headed “Jesus as Risen and Enthroned Son of God” (pp. 690-709), where he offers a proposal for how Jesus came to be regarded as in some sense “divine” so quickly after his ... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [Monotheism] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

March 18, 7AM

Yesterday, I posted on Tom Wright’s 2-vol opus on Paul, and in this and  a couple of subsequent postings I’ll offer further comments about some features of this work.  My first observation in yesterday’s posting was that it’s mas... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion] [Monotheism] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

March 17, 7AM

Late in 2013 I was asked by the journal, Theology, to review N.T. (Tom) Wright’s then-forthcoming book on Paul.  As I am committed to preparing an essay on Paul for a conference in Rome in June this year, I agreed.  A few days later a huge parcel ... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Paul]

March 14, 3AM

The latest issue of The Bulletin of the American Society of Payrologists includes a valuable study (by Peter Malik) of the earliest corrections in Codex Sinaiticus, as evidenced in the Gospel of Mark:  Peter Malik, “The Earliest Corrections in Cod... [Uncategorized] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

March 11, 5AM

After considerable technical difficulty arising from the lack of fit between our projection equipment and Orlando’s movie as formatted, we managed to find a way to screen “A Polite Bribe” last Friday afternoon here in New College.  (It ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

March 4, 6AM

We’ll screen the provocative film about the Apostle Paul, “A Polite Bribe:  An Apostle’s Final Bid,” here in New College, Friday 7 March, 4 pm (Martin Hall).  Admission free. There will be a discussion following the film, involvi... [Uncategorized]

February 28, 9AM

I just learned today that one of my articles submitted last year and accepted for publication in Expository Times has in fact appeared in an online version (the “print” version to appear in a future issue of the journal).  Indeed, it was publ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [NT religious ideas]

3AM

The respected German publisher, Walter de Gruyter, has just launched a new online peer-reviewed journal in the field of Theology/Religion:  Open Theology.  As a member of the editorial board, I join with colleagues in welcoming submissions from scholars... [Uncategorized]

February 26, 4AM

Well, it seems that my earlier posting (here) questioning the characterization of ancient Christian “gnostics” as “intellectuals” (in the recent “Bible Hunters” programme) has drawn a lot of interest . . . and controver... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [NT religious ideas] [Roman-era religious environment]

February 25, 3AM

Various commenters have inquired about the study of ancient papyri in response to earlier postings here, some asking why, for example, the Oxyrhynchus papyri are taking so long to appear, along with other questions.  I thought it would be helpful to ment... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Important publications] [Manuscripts]

February 22, 6AM

Another feature of the “Bible Hunters” programme (part 2) that caught my attention was the reference to ancient “gnostic” Christians as “intellectuals.”  That was very funny, really.  Just read the relevant texts, whi... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Gnostics] [Important publications]

February 21, 10AM

The second (final) programme in the “Bible Hunters” production aired here in the UK last night, and, as I suspected focused on the discovery of various extra-canonical texts.  The discovery of any early text is cause to be grateful, and the d... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Apocrypha] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

February 20, 7AM

In the post today I received a copy of a review of my book, The Earliest Christian Artifacts:  Manuscripts and Christian Origins (Eerdmans, 2006), the (generous-sized) review published in Bibliotheca Orientalis 70 (2013): 3-4.  It is a bit of a surpri... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Christogram] [Codex] [Early Christian Artifacts] [staurogram]

February 19, 5AM

The Martin Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise offers awards for the first book by emergent scholars in any facet of Theology & Religious Studies.  The award includes a substantial cash amount (for travel expenses for giving lectures in col... [Uncategorized]

February 17, 3AM

Well, the first of the two-part “Bible Hunters” programme aired and it was better than one could fear.  The approach reflected what now seems the “orthodox” view among TV producers/directors that the public wants to see some g... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Christian Origins] [NT Textual Criticism]

February 11, 4AM

Several sources (including hints from Prof. Karen King) suggest that we will soon be hearing more about the controversial “Jesus’ Wife” fragment, brought to public attention back in 2012 by King.  It appears that Harvard Theological Rev... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins]

February 7, 10AM

Last year I was interviewed for a TV production that is to be aired soon:  “Bible Hunters,” which focuses on the 19th and 20th century figures “who searched Egypt for the world’s oldest biblical manuscripts.” The two-part pr... [Uncategorized]

February 5, 7AM

In reading for review the recent (mammoth) multi-author volume, The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research:  Essays on the Status Quaestionis, Second Edition, eds. B. D. Ehrman & M. W. Holmes, one of the things that caught my attention w... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Early Christian Artifacts] [gospel of mark] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

January 30, 8AM

I’ve just learned of the publication of another book addressing the “mythical Jesus” issue, by Professor Maurice Casey (Emeritus Prof, Nottingham University), with the provocative title: Jesus:  Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus]

January 28, 2AM

I thank Steven Jake for notifying me of the interview he has posted with Prof. Dale Allison (a fellow NT scholar high on my admiration list) on questions arising in the relatively-recent re-appearance of the idea that Jesus of Nazareth was a mythical figu... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus]

January 27, 3AM

This last week brought reports of archaeologists discovering the remains of an early church site in southern Israel.  There are reports (with photos) on the NBC online news here, and in Yahoo News here. The remains are dated to the Byzantine period, la... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christogram] [Early Christian Artifacts] [staurogram]

January 24, 10AM

I’m pleased to pass on news that the School of Divinity is advertising a post-doctoral fellowship in NT.  This is one of the “Chancellor’s Fellowships” that are intended to attract newer scholars of great promise in research and p... [Uncategorized]

January 22, 3AM

I spent part of my time yesterday going through the proofs of my article, “‘Ancient Jewish Monotheism’ in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods,” forthcoming in Journal of Ancient Judaism.  The article originated in an invited present... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Monotheism] [Roman-era religious environment]

January 21, 3AM

I give notice again this year of the programme of the Summer Biblical Study in Oxford, 27 July — 01 August 2014, sponsored by the Vacation Term for Biblical Study.  This year, there will be a packed one-week programme that includes Old Testament ... [Uncategorized]

January 20, 8AM

 Academic posts come often increasingly rarely, so I pass on notice of two with closing dates for applications very soon. Professorship of New Testament (Protestant Theological University, Groningen, The Netherlands) Interested members are informed of th... [Uncategorized]

January 16, 4AM

I finally finished reading and writing the review of a massive and very worthwhile multi-author book that I mentioned in an earlier posting:  The Text of the New Testament in contemporary Research:  Essays on the Status Quaestionis, Second Edition, eds.... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

January 9, 3AM

Warning to readers:  This will be a rant, but I think it justified. As I was perusing the Oxford University Press catalogue of new publications yesterday, looking for things I should recommend for library purchase, I noted with interest the publication o... [Uncategorized]

January 7, 3AM

The term “The Apostolic Fathers” designates a body of early Christian writings that, next to the NT, include some of the earliest most important and fascinating texts from ancient Christian circles.  Most recent editions include fifteen text... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications]

January 3, 4AM

In reading-for-review the huge multi-author work, The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research:  Essays on the Status Quaestionis, 2nd edition (ed. B. D. Ehrman & M.W. Holmes), I noted with interest Kim Haines-Eitzen’s contribution, ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Codex] [Early Christian Artifacts] [NT Textual Criticism]

December 31 2013, 6AM

2013 was a busy year and one of continued growth on this blog site, which is encouraging to me:  Over 194,000 views (about 10% growth from 2012) from 166 countries, and a big growth in subscribers (now approaching 1200). So, it appears that the site serv... [Uncategorized]

December 18, 5AM

As a follow-up to my previous posting in which I cited again Andrew Chester’s review of recent scholarly analysis of earliest “christology” here, I want to offer some further comments intended to clarify a few matters for those intereste... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Paul] [Roman-era religious environment]

December 12, 7AM

Almost exactly a year ago, I posted on a very informative and judicious (in my view) review of recent scholarly work on the emergence of “high” christology (which = Jesus regarded and treated as in some meaningful way “divine”) by ... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion]

4AM

Rob Orlando’s film about the Apostle Paul, “A Polite Bribe: An Apostle’s Final Bid,” has its formal premiere in New York City on 19 December.  The news release is here.  I’ve mentioned the film in previous postings, having ... [Uncategorized] [Paul]

December 11, 8AM

The Dicti0nary of Jesus and the Gospels appeared in 1992, and was an excellent reference work especially useful to students and “general readers”.  The contributions were typically essay-length and with generous bibliographies, giving up to ... [Uncategorized] [historical Jesus] [Important publications]

2AM

Since people new to this blog site are subscribing every week and others are jumping in now and then to comment, it’s well for me to remind everyone about the policies in force, the “net-iquette” to observe.  (The site policy is stated ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

December 9, 4AM

During my visit to Baltimore for the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (23-26 Nov), I was intrigued to note an article in the newspaper, USA Today (for 26 Nov, p. 5):  ”Findings Enlighten Buddha Scholars.”  According to t... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus]

3AM

In the course of working up a commissioned article on the reading of texts in early Christianity, I’ve come across a work that I confess I hadn’t known of before, but that deserves to be noted by anyone interested in the subject of reading and... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Manuscripts]

December 5, 3AM

A few weeks ago I asked here what further news there was about the so-called “Jesus’ wife” fragment announced to the world in late summer 2012.  Since then, despite direct inquiry to Prof. King (the email address listed for her no longe... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

December 3, 3AM

One of my former PhD students, Michael J. Kruger, has just published a book worth attention by anyone interested in the formation of what became the NT canon:  The Question of Canon:  Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate (InterVarsity ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications]

November 29, 3AM

I returned Wednesday this week (27 Nov) from the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (this year in Baltimore), 23-26 November, hence the lack of postings for the last week or so.  With ca. 10 thousand registered, hundreds of sessions (sc... [Uncategorized]

November 20, 4AM

For some time now, the general view has been that earliest Christians met (e.g., for group worship) in houses, at least mainly.  In a newly-published study, Dr. Edward Adams (Kings College London) queries this, contending that the evidence for this view ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Important publications] [Roman-era religious environment]

November 19, 3AM

In comments on my posting about Andrew Lincoln’s new book (Born of a Virgin?), Richard Bauckham’s views on the relationships of the Gospels to “eyewitnesses” came up.  I offered a brief response, inviting Bauckham to make his own ... [Uncategorized] [Gospel of John] [gospel of mark]

November 15, 3AM

In comments on another posting, Geoff Hudson inquired about some of the physical features of ancient letters of the Roman period.  This calls for a renewed recommendation of David Aune’s book, The New Testament in its Literary Environment (1987), e... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [Paul] [Roman-era religious environment]

November 14, 10AM

Last year, from September onward, newspapers and the blogosphere were rippling with references to an putative fragment of an ancient Christian text in Coptic in which there appeared to be a reference to a wife of Jesus.  All through last Autumn scholarl... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts]

November 13, 6AM

Further to my posting about Andrew Lincoln’s new book on the “virgin birth” of Jesus, I will mention briefly an earlier and still-valuable study that all serious students of the Gospel birth-narratives should know and consult:  Raymond ... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas]

November 11, 4AM

Andrew Lincoln, a respected NT scholar (former President of the British NT Society), most recently serving as Portland Professor of New Testament in the University of Gloucestershire, has written an important book on the early Christian tradition that Jes... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [historical Jesus] [Important publications]

November 7, 8AM

I’ve posted recently (and previously) about the early Christian preference for the codex.  I’m currently working toward a commissioned article about earliest Christian reading (where, how, etc.), and was reminded of the wonderful study of the... [Uncategorized] [Codex] [Important publications] [Manuscripts]

4AM

Just occasionally, there have been blog comments reflecting the old assumption that early Christianity was a movement made up simply of “illiterate proletariat”.  That was a view often touted (even among scholars) until several decades ago. ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Paul]

2AM

Sometime in the last 24 hrs the 1000th subscriber signed onto this blog site.  Congratulations, whoever you are!  Sorry, but no “door prize” available.  1000 subscribers is, of course, “small beer” in comparison to some other bl... [Uncategorized]

November 6, 5AM

Reading a book for review recently on another topic altogether, I came across a casually proffered claim that is frequently asserted/assumed but flatly incorrect:  That a major reason early Christians initially turned to the codex as their preferred book... [Uncategorized] [Codex] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts]

November 5, 4AM

A couple of weeks ago I agreed to review for a journal N.T. Wright’s new book on Paul . . . sight unseen.  Thereafter, it arrived in the post:  a two-volume publication comprising nearly 1700 pages!  I had expected a big book, but not quite this ... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [Paul]

November 4, 3AM

Through the generosity of the author, Dr. Craig S. Keener, I’ve received volume 2 of his multi-volume commentary on Acts of the Apostles.  Volume 1 appeared in 2012, and this massive tome (pp. xlii+1038) addressed various introductory issues and Ac... [Uncategorized] [Acts] [Important publications]

October 30, 3AM

Over a year ago I provided a requested essay for a multi-author volume to appear in honour of a colleague in the field of NT studies.  In working up a previous essay on “Christology in Acts” for another multi-author volume, I had noticed a nu... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

October 28, 3AM

Professor Jens Schröter will need no introduction, perhaps, to scholars in the field of New Testament.  Now Professor in the Humboldt-University in Berlin, he has established himself as a significant voice in the field, especially for his contributions ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas]

October 23, 2AM

In light of some recent threads in response to my posting about the role of peer-review as a key means by which scholarly claims/findings are tested, a couple of epigrams came to mind.  So, with no further comment, I give them herewith: “A little ... [Uncategorized]

October 22, 3AM

This year is the centenary of another important book:  H. A. A. Kennedy, St. Paul and the Mystery-Religions (London:  Hodder & Stoughton, 1913).  I’ve earlier mentioned that 2013 marks the centenary of Wilhelm Bousset’s influential work... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

October 21, 2AM

In a number of comment-exchanges and in a few postings on this site I’ve emphasized that genuinely scholarly claims are submitted for review by other scholars competent to judge matters.  This is how real scholarship works, not by rushing into prin... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

October 11, 2AM

Where does this stuff come from?  I just got an email asking about a guy self-described as a “biblical scholar” with a new (to me) notion:  Jesus, Christianity & the NT were all invented by the Roman government for the purpose of quietin... [Uncategorized] [Christian Apocrypha] [Christian Origins]
I’ve now uploaded the pre-publication version of my Introduction to the newly published reprint edition of the English translation of Wilhelm Bousset, Kyrios Christos.  It’s under the “Selected Published Essays” tab on this site, ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Jesus-devotion]

October 9, 4AM

In today’s post I was pleased to find copies of the reprint edition of the English translation of the classic work by Wilhelm Bousset, Kyrios Christos:  A History of the Belief in Christ from the Beginnings of Christianity to Irenaeus (trans. John ... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion]

October 8, 4AM

In the continuing scholarly discussion about the origins and nature of earliest “Jesus-devotion” (my term for the reverence given to the risen/exalted Jesus in early Christian beliefs, proclamation, and worship), a question repeatedly emerges,... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [Jesus-devotion]

October 7, 7AM

Over the years I’ve been pleased to see that historical questions about the emergence and nature of “Jesus-devotion” have continued to be prominent in scholarly studies of Christian origins.  My own involvement began in earnest in the late 1970s an... [Uncategorized] [Christian Origins] [Historical Context] [Jesus-devotion]

October 3, 2AM

As indicated before, I don’t take advertisements or financial incentives to mention products or publications on this blog site.  But I’ve learned that WordPress inserts ads on this site (and other sites that don’t pay the “upgrade... [Uncategorized]
I was alerted recently to a short video of the late Alan Segal (a brilliant scholar and I’m humbled to say a friend to me), speaking on the Apostle Paul.  Alan (a Jewish scholar, who held a post in Barnard College) wrote a widely-respected book on ... [Uncategorized] [NT religious ideas] [Paul]

September 30, 6AM

I’ve just returned from a mini-conference held in Oslo, “Between Image and Text:  The Early Medieval ‘Iconology’ of Graphic Representational Signs.”  As the title suggests, the participants were pretty much all people with ... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Historical Context]

September 18, 2AM

I’m delighted at last to be able to pass on notice of a wonderful project completed across several weeks of summer 2013, which I’m pleased to have had a small part in:  High-quality digital photographs of the marvellous body of ancient papyri... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

September 16, 4AM

At a recent conference there was a paper presented in which there was repeated reference to the “performance” of passages from the Gospels in early Christian gatherings.  Indeed, the presenter posited that this likely involved acting out pass... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Historical Context]

September 11, 2AM

In an earlier posting (July) I mentioned participating in a well-organized symposium sponsored by Trinity Theological College in Perth (Australia) entitled “All That the Prophets Have Written,” and focused on ways in which the OT scriptures ar... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

September 6, 2AM

I’ve received my copy of a newly published multi-author volume that I can recommend, perhaps especially to “general” readers and students, who wish to have some reliable discussion of the setting of the NT (having read it in proof stage ... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Important publications]

September 3, 3AM

Over on the blog-site for our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins, I’ve just posted about the latest volume in the New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity series (vol. 10, Eerdmans, 2012), underscoring the value of the series for scholar... [Uncategorized] [Acts] [gospel of mark] [Historical Context] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas]

September 2, 4AM

Last week (29-31 August) featured the 2013 British New Testament Conference (in St. Andrews), always a combination of scholarly papers (of varying persuasiveness), catching up with long-time colleagues, and meeting bright and energetic postgrad students f... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [NT Studies]

August 23, 3AM

In the course of preparing a paper for a symposium in Oslo in late September (my paper on references to Christian symbols in 2nd/3rd century Christian writers), I’ve come across a book that is a valuable resource on a body of historical data too oft... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Historical Context] [Important publications]

August 21, 3AM

From time to time it’s well for any field of scholarly activity to step back and try for some perspective from which to assess where things have been, where they are, and where they might be heading.  Indeed, it’s good to ask (as “Byron... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [NT Studies]

August 19, 12 AM

I have been alerted to a limited-time freebee for users/owners of the Logos Bible software:  They’re making available a free e-copy of my commentary on Mark.  Here’s the offer (their wording): Until the end of the day, Tuesday August 20 you ... [Uncategorized]

August 18, 9AM

Some time back I mentioned the publication of the 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek NT (which is the standard hand-edition for scholarly use).  Well, the people at Olivetree.com (who specialize in Bible-related software for computers, smart phones a... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [NT Textual Criticism]

August 16, 3AM

In a posting in July (here) I offered advice, particularly for “general” readers, on how to assess proffered claims in books and on web sites in the area of NT & Christian origins.  I’ve recently come across a book by a respected Am... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

August 15, 8AM

The Princeton Theological Seminary Library has recently made available online full texts of some 80,000 volumes, which I presume are now out-of-print works, but still valuable for certain research purposes. http://commons.ptsem.edu/   [Uncategorized]

5AM

One of the things variously amusing and annoying is the re-appearance of ideas and claims in my own area of expertise as if something new, something suppressed (e.g., by us scholars supposedly) and reeeeally racy and sensationally important that are in fa... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [historical Jesus]

August 14, 3AM

A couple of years ago I mentioned the “n-gram” facility available from Google that allows one to search for usage of words or phrases in all the books digitized by Google (to date, ca. 5.2 million) diachronically from ca. 1800 to 2008.  In th... [Uncategorized]
Rob Orlando graciously sent me a link to permit me a private (second) viewing of “A Polite Bribe”, which my wife and I enjoyed last night (via my laptop).  It bears viewing a second time, and I reiterate my recommendation to see it if you get... [Uncategorized] [Paul]

August 13, 8AM

One of the most important projects of the Apostle Paul has often been neglected in scholarly treatments of him and his mission:  Paul spent several years and considerable effort in organizing a financial collection to offer to the Jerusalem church.  Ind... [Uncategorized] [Paul]

4AM

Sometime in July this blog-site rolled past its third anniversary, and I’ve been meaning to observe it here.  I shall not rattle on unseemingly, but I do want to note the fact and re-affirm my aim of offering to “blogdom” a site in whic... [Uncategorized]

August 9, 6AM

A couple of months ago I posted about the publication of one of my essays, “Interactive Diversity:  A Proposed Model of Christian Origins,” in Journal of Theological Studies.  I gave what I thought was the correct link to the online versio... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues] [Christian Origins]

August 7, 3AM

Last night the UK digital channel “Yesterday” aired one programme in a series, “Ancient Rome:  Rise and Fall of an Empire” (a BBC/Discovery Channel production), this one on Nero.  The opening screens emphasized that the programme... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context]

August 6, 5AM

I have just received word that Professor Sean Freyne passed away peacefully yesterday (05 August) in his home in Rathmines (Dublin).  Sean will be sorely missed, both as a cordial colleague in the field of early Christianity and a significant contributo... [Uncategorized]

2AM

I’ve recently received (with gratitude) a copy of the newly-published second/revised edition of the two-volume work on the Catholic Epistles in the Novum Testamentum Graecum, Editio Critica Maior (ECM) project, which is based in the Institute for Ne... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [NT Textual Criticism]

August 5, 2AM

One of my vices is occasionally to read one of the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child.  For those of you not acquainted with them, they’re about a former military police guy who leaves the army to drift around the USA, in the course of which he comes... [Uncategorized]

August 2, 1AM

I’m pleased to note that a multi-author book co-edited by Paul Owen and me, “Who is This Son of Man?  The Latest Scholarship on a Puzzling Expression of the Historical Jesus (London:  T&T Clark, 2011), originally an appallingly expensive... [Uncategorized] [historical Jesus] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas] [Son of Man]

August 1, 3AM

An academic pal pointed me today to an essay published a couple of years ago (but I don’t read everything) by Alan Jacobs: “Christianity and the Future of the Book,” which appeared online in The New Atlantis, accessible here.  I canR... [Uncategorized] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Manuscripts]

July 30, 3AM

Last night here in the UK, the BBC broadcast another interesting programme on things Roman, written and “starring” Prof. Mary Beard (whom I respect enormously), this one on Gaius Caesar, better known as Caligula.  It was, of course, selecti... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context]

July 26, 3AM

I arrived back last night from Perth (Australia), invited down to take part in a symposium, “All that the Prophets have Declared:  The Appropriation of Scripture in the Emergence of Christianity” (22-23 July) sponsored by Trinity Theological ... [Uncategorized]

July 18, 7AM

Tomorrow (19th July) I head off to Perth, Australia, to take part in a special symposium sponsored by Trinity Theological College there on “The Appropriation of Scripture in the Emergence of Christianity.”  More information on the symposium c... [Uncategorized]

July 17, 2AM

In an earlier posting (which generated a number of energetic comments), I mentioned the widely shared view that in the earliest Greek translations of the Jewish scriptures (the “Old Greek,” from ca. 3rd century BCE and thereafter) the Greek te... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Important publications]

July 15, 4AM

Last week a friend pointed me to a web site where a guy, claiming expertise in something else (cryptography, I think, but it  doesn’t matter) also claimed to have established beyond dispute and for the first time in modern scholarly studies the ... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

July 12, 1AM

Surely one of the most significant books for the study of Christian origins of the last 40 years is by the later Alan F. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven. Early Rabbinic Reports About Christianity and Gnosticism, SJLA, 25 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1977).  Segal p... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

July 10, 1AM

The conference on the Apostle Peter sponsored by our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins (Univ of Edinburgh) was held here 4-6 July, and I think we were all very pleased with it.  We had ca. 70 registered, 21 presentations, lots of informed and liv... [Uncategorized] [Peter]

July 3, 4AM

In comments to my previous posting (about some recently published Oxyrhynchus papyri), the question was raised about how the divine name (YHWH; יהוה) was handled in earliest Greek translations of the Hebrew scriptures.  In Septuagint manuscripts (dat... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Important publications] [Manuscripts]

July 2, 3AM

I spent some time today catching up on recent volumes in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series, specifically vols. 76 & 77, which publish some interesting further manuscripts. P.Oxy. 76.5072 is an unidentifiable text relating an exorcism (probably by Jesus) a... [Uncategorized] [Early Christian Artifacts] [gospel of mark] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

June 28, 2AM

As part of the “booty” for co-writing (with Chris Keith) the piece on “Writing and Book Production in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods” for Vol 1 of the New Cambridge History of the Bible, eds. J. C. Paget & J. Schaper (Cambri... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Important publications]

June 24, 3AM

Searching for other things in the New College Library this a.m., I noted that we’d acquired a volume of collected studies by Morton Smith:  Studies in the cult of Yahweh, Vol. Two:  New Testament, Early Christianity, and Magic, ed. S.J.D. Cohen (L... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas] [Paul] [Peter]

1AM

Several have reported being unable to get access to the html version of my article, “Interactive Diversity,” published last week in Journal of Theological Studies online (print version to appear in the forthcoming paper issue).  I thought it ... [Uncategorized]

June 21, 2AM

I’ve just received notice that my article, “Interactive Diversity:  A Proposed Model of Christian Origins,” has been published in Journal of Theological Studies.  The online version is available now, the paper-print form to appear in t... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas] [NT Studies]

June 20, 2AM

In the course of preparing a paper for a symposium to be held in Perth Australia in late July, my paper to provide two “case-studies” of biblical texts crucial in earliest christological developments, I’ve read a commendable essay by Geo... [Qumran] [Historical Context] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas]

June 18, 3AM

We met yesterday to make final preparations for the conference on the Apostle Peter to be held 4-6 July here in Edinburgh, sponsored by our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins.  We have a full programme, including several “headliner” s... [Uncategorized]

June 11, 3AM

On 29 May the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins (CSCO; University of Edinburgh) sponsored a fascintating set of presentations by Dr. Ken Dark (University of Reading), an archaeologist with considerable experience and expertise in Galilee.  He fir... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Historical Context]

June 7, 1PM

I’ve just received notice that my article, “Resurrection-Faith and the Historical Jesus,” has now appeared in Journalal for the Study of the Historical Jesus.   The publisher (E.J. Brill) permit authors to post the print version on th... [Uncategorized] [historical Jesus] [Jesus-devotion]

June 3, 1AM

In recent years a lot of scholarly effort has been given to questions about early Christian “identity,” how early and in what ways early believers in Jesus saw themselves and acted as distinct groups with their own identity.  Major research ... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas]

May 29, 9AM

I’ve just had word that my commissioned article on “Worship in the New Testament and Early Christianity” has been published in the Oxford Bibliographies Online.   Larry Hurtado “Worship in the New Testament and Earliest Christia... [Uncategorized] [Important publications] [NT religious ideas]

May 27, 7AM

A comment in response to a recent posting poses questions about the literary relationship of NT writings to the larger world of classical literature.  Specifically, we can ask whether we see evidence of NT authors either quoting or identifiably alluding ... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context]

May 21, 8AM

After about three years of waiting, I received today the newly-published Vol. 1 in The New Cambridge History of the Bible (eds. James Carleton Paget & Joachim Schaper) in which appears the discussion of “Writing and Book Production in the Hellen... [Uncategorized] [Important publications]

May 17, 3AM

I’ve been out of blogdom for a couple of weeks, on holidays with my wife, in Andalucia this year, a few days each in Malaga, Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada.  I recommend all these cites, but probably during April/May and/or September, when you’... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Historical Context]

April 29, 2AM

I’ve just finshed reviewing a new book much worthy of attention for any of us interested in earliest Christianity and the religious environment in which it sprang forth:  Darina Staudt, Der eine und einzige Gott:  Monotheistische Formeln im Urchri... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Important publications] [Jesus-devotion]

April 24, 7AM

In previous postings I gave concise summaries of the thrust of my recent guest lecture in Rice University and one of the two lectures in Houston Baptist University.  In this posting I want to summarize the other HBU lecture:  “The Place of Jesus i... [Uncategorized] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

April 19, 6AM

In a previous posting I described the thrust of my recent Burkitt Lecture in Rice University, and promised a report on my lectures in Houston Baptist University.  I’ll comment here on the first of these:  “Early Christian Monotheism”. ... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

April 17, 6AM

I pass on below the announcement of the opening-event for the new Centre for Social-Scientific Study of the Bible in St. Mary’s University College (London).  One of our former PhD students, Professor Chris Keith, is Director. St Mary’s University... [Uncategorized]

April 15, 3AM

I returned Saturday from a trip to the USA, made primarily for invited lectures in Houston,Texas.  Hence, the lack of recent postings here.  My first lecture was the Burkitt Lecture for 2013, sponsored by the Department of Religion, Rice University.  M... [Uncategorized] [Historical Context] [Jesus-devotion] [NT religious ideas]

March 29, 7AM

One of my emphases in a number of publications over the last 15 years or so has been the value of taking account of the physical and visual features of early NT manuscripts.  This value extends far beyond the traditional text-critical concerns, e.g., to ... [Uncategorized] [Archaeology] [Early Christian Artifacts] [Historical Context] [Manuscripts]

March 28, 6AM

I don’t intend to run job adverts as a regular thing, but, given that senior-level posts in New Testament are so few, I thought I’d post about the Professorial position just advertised in the University of Gloucestershire, information on which... [Uncategorized] [Academic Issues]

March 21, 7AM

I’m happy to refer interested readers to the web site set up by Brice Jones (currently a PhD student in NT in Concordia University, Canada), which includes a tab giving a list of papyrological resources available online.  Brice’s web site can... [Uncategorized] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]

3AM

I’ve recently reviewed a fascinating book:  Keith E. Small, Textual Criticism and Qur’an Manuscripts (Lanham/Boulder/New York/Toronto/Plymouth:  Lexington Books, 2012), the review appearing in Scottish Journal of Theology in due course.  T... [Uncategorized] [Manuscripts] [NT Textual Criticism]