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[«] Posts From the Blog "The Bible and Culture"(#290)

May 21 2017, 10PM

Most of these houses are at least two stories high, some are three. If you can’t go wide, go tall. Here’s a view from an upstairs window. There were five houses on the Springfest tour this year, two more traditional the other three quite moder... [Uncategorized]

May 20, 10PM

There are all manner of houses in the French Quarter from the squalid to the splendid, and some dating back to the Napoleonic era when America did not own the Louisiana Purchase. The house above is one of my favorites, and it comes with a nice vintage car... [Uncategorized]

May 19, 10PM

Spring is of course also Lent, and the Easter season, and so various houses in the French Quarter were all decorated for occasion with the appropriate Easter colors. Quite naturally you expect to see some Southern belles in their finery in Nola at this se... [Uncategorized]

May 18, 10PM

Ah Nola (which is short for New Orleans La.). It is a city of many faces and flavors. It is one of the birth places of classic jazz, and the place where Cajun meets Creole meets ole Southern cooking and creates an amazing gumbo. Me personally, I’m p... [Uncategorized]

May 17, 10PM

Q.  In the wake of this book, where would you hope the conversation goes from here in the Evangelical world? A. I hope more and more will plumb the depth of the theology of Genesis and ponder how Jewish traditions about Adam can help us comprehend both J... [Uncategorized]

May 16, 10PM

Q. I suspect that some folk in our Evangelical world will suggest that you have attempted to conform what the Bible says about origins, to what genetics says about origins, rather than some sort of symbiotic back and forth, or mutual critique, and that th... [Uncategorized]

May 15, 10PM

Q.  How do you view the relationship between history and theology when it comes to Adam’s existence, his sin, the Fall etc.?  A. I am purposefully ambiguous if not agnostic because I can’t make up my mind on the basis of the Bible. There are... [Uncategorized]

May 14, 10PM

Q.  At one point you lay out 6-7 things you take the phrase ‘the historical Adam’ to mean, and the proceed to suggest that at least most of them were not in the mind of Paul or other early Jewish writers when they refer to Adam.  Why this ki... [Uncategorized]

May 13, 10PM

Q.  What promoted you to do this co-authored book? A. While I never made the sciences anything central to my own intellectual interests over the years science pops up as important to some biblical discussion I am engaged in, not least when I was teaching... [Uncategorized]

May 12, 10PM

May 11, 10PM

The Afterword does not need to be reviewed as it offers nothing to the argument, it simply cavalierly says ‘don’t worry, be happy’ it doesn’t matter if there was a historical Adam and a historical origin to human fallenness. Yes it does matter, it... [Uncategorized]

May 10, 10PM

More helpful is Thesis 4 (p. 183) which involves the proposition that we do not have original sin understood as original guilt and damnation for the whole race on the basis of Adam’s sin in Paul. Perhaps that is deducing too much from Paul. But it is no... [Uncategorized]

May 9, 10PM

In the last main chapter of the book (pp. 171ff), Scot addresses the issue of what Paul says about Adam and Eve. He is correct that Paul does not say in Rom. 5.12-21 that all have sinned ‘in Adam’. He says all are condemned because all have sinned lik... [Uncategorized]

May 8, 10PM

To begin where the last post ended— In none of this literature is Adam ‘everyman’, any more than Eve is ‘every woman’ though there are some hints in the latter direction in Sirach. What is in any case assumed in all these intertestamental re... [Uncategorized]

May 7, 10PM

Chapter 7 which begins on p. 147 is a helpful review of the mentions of Adam (and sometimes Eve) in intertestamental Jewish literature. Scot is right that they are depicted in various ways, and the story is developed and analyzed in various ways. This is ... [Uncategorized]

May 6, 10PM

The flood as depicted in Gen. 9-11 is not a problem if it is a description of a flooding of the then known ANE world, in other words a massive regional flood devastating that population. And in fact there are mud layers and other geological evidence in th... [Uncategorized]

May 5, 10PM

Tom Wright’s suggestion (cited on p. 145) that maybe Adam and Eve were picked out of the 10,000 hominids and endowed with representative power as in the image of God, is certainly possible, but not necessary. As Scot says, the Genesis story leaves the i... [Uncategorized]

1PM

The second edition of Guardians of the Galaxy took quite some time to emerge (the first one appeared in summer of 2014). Somehow mysteriously during the interim we lost big Groot and acquired baby Groot, as well as a bunch of other characters, for example... [Uncategorized]
Boy do I have some fabulous news for all ya’ll. The brand new collection of C.K. Barrett’s sermons has launched on Kindle at a ridiculously low price. Here’s the deal…. Luminescence, Volume 1: The Sermons of C. K. and Fred Barrett ... [Uncategorized]

May 4, 10PM

On pp. 143-44 we run into more problems. Adam and Eve are not Israel, they are the progenitors of the people who became Israel. Yes, Israel’s experience mimics the experience of Adam and Eve right down to the exiling part, but the two should not be equa... [Uncategorized]

May 3, 10PM

I like the line on p. 140 from Durham’s own Venerable Bede— “Adam had the burden of embarrassment, but not the humility of confession.” Scot’s next comment is near the mark on the same page— “Every conceivable relationship is affecte... [Uncategorized]

May 2, 10PM

One of the best insights comes with Thesis 9 (pp. 139-40), namely the sharing of responsibility with God to govern the creation necessarily implies freedom—‘you are free to eat from any tree except’ implies both permission and prohibition, and more ... [Uncategorized]

May 1, 10PM

Thesis 6 is about the fact that humans are bi-gendered for the sake of procreation, so humans can multiply and flourish themselves. They are gendered not just for multiplication but also for mutuality, for relationship, a one flesh relationship that only ... [Uncategorized]

April 30, 10PM

How exactly do you prepare for something that is not going to happen? Maybe watch episodes of Star Trek where Kirk says ‘Beam Me Up Scotty?’ I’m just saying…… [Uncategorized]
I have to also disagree with the statement on p. 127 that all of creation was designed “not for humans but for God”. Wrong, it is quite specifically designed for human and animal life, God doesn’t need it! Or better said, it is designed for human li... [Uncategorized]

April 29, 10PM

As for thesis 3 discussed beginning on pp. 124ff. namely that God orders creation into a temple, I have a hard time finding this theme in Gen. 1-3. God rests or ceases from his work and admires it. This is all about God’s activity. There is nothing said... [Uncategorized]

April 28, 10PM

On p. 113 Scot suggests that the authors of Gen. 1-11 were familiar, at least at the level of ideas, with some of the concepts found in other ANE creation and flood stories. In an age before there were many texts, and mostly oral traditions, one wonders h... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

I am extremely pleased to tell you that the first volume of C.K. Barrett’s sermons is about to show up on Amazon as well as on the Wipf and Stock website, with major endorsements by Barclay, Dunn, Moberley, Willimon, Timothy George and many others. ... [Uncategorized]

April 27, 10PM

By historical Adam and Eve I simply mean real people in space and time, the progenitors of God’s people who were the sinners in question that set in motion the train of murder and death and iniquity that followed, no sooner than they stepped outside the... [Uncategorized]

April 26, 10PM

In regard to point 5) (see the previous post) I agree with Scot that I don’t think the later Christian notion of seminal transmission of a sin nature from Adam is a necessary conclusion from what the Bible says. It is the curse that affects the whole hu... [Uncategorized]

April 25, 10PM

For me, where the problem really comes in in Scot’s presentation is on pp. 107-08 where Scot says that when the adjective ‘historical’ is attached to Adam and Eve it means ALL of the following things: 1) 2 actual persons named Adam and Eve existed s... [Uncategorized]

April 24, 10PM

I must admit, I am less willing to critique all the intelligent design folks the way Venema does at the end of his last chapter. I think there is far more to some of their arguments than some would allow. Some of these folks are actual scientists who are ... [Uncategorized]

April 23, 10PM

THE THEOLOGY CHAPTERS Scot’s first chapter deals with four principles with which to read the Bible. As Scot says at the outset “Theology which is designed to investigate that nonempirical reality in some ways, can provide a map onto which we can locat... [Uncategorized]

April 22, 10PM

Let’s consider for a moment Venema’s observation on p. 64—“These children descend uniquely from one man (for the Y chromosome DNA) and one woman (for their mitochondrial DNA), but from at least four ancestors for their regular chromosomal ... [Uncategorized]

April 20, 10PM

Modern evolutionary science, including the science of genetics is based on the hypothesis that most if not all things can be explained in a natural way through empirical research. A theist evolutionist will simply say that evolution is the way God works t... [Uncategorized]

April 19, 10PM

THE VENEMA CHAPTERS Chapter Two provides us with a useful analogy about the development over time incrementally of a language (e.g. the word treuth becomes truthe and then truth) and the development of a human genetic code…. While languages can change r... [Uncategorized]

April 18, 10PM

The heart of the genomics and genetic case against an historical Adam and Eve seems to be that human beings today descend from an original group of about 10,000 hominids. But this is hardly a problem for those who realize that the Bible is not the story o... [Uncategorized]

April 17, 10PM

Perhaps it will be well if I first state a few personal disclaimers. I have: 1) no problem with the idea that different areas of knowledge require different methodologies to arrive at theories that explain the facts; 2) also no problem with the usual obse... [Uncategorized]

April 16, 10PM

D.R. Venema and Scot McKnight, Adam and the Genome, (Brazos, 2017). On first blush the title of this book suggests an Indie rock band. But seriously, this is a very well researched book on genetics, and Biblical interpretation vis a vis the origins of hum... [Uncategorized]

April 15, 10PM

“THE PRINT OF THE NAILS” —John 20.27 [Preached seventeen times from 4/2/72 at Langley Park to Remoder in 1994] The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most vital of all truths. Without it, there would be no Christianity at all. But like all great Ch... [Uncategorized]

April 14, 10PM

AKEDAH Did he ponder Isaac Whilst hanging on the cross A last second substitution Just before all was lost? Is this why he cried out ‘My God, My God’ so loud Showing disappointment Before a hostile crowd? Where’s God’s intervention, Offering anoth... [Uncategorized]

April 13, 10PM

SHADE TREE A tree always a tree, That shadows forth his shade to me. The tree of Eden long before Tempting those who longed for more Knowledge, power, experience, But lacking trust, lacking sense. A tree, always a tree That shadows forth his shade to me. ... [Uncategorized]

April 12, 10PM

April 11, 10PM

April 10, 10PM

April 9, 10PM

April 8, 10PM

April 7, 10PM

1PM

Jewish graveyards with headstones turned over. Jewish Community Centers with bomb threats throughout the land. Poland in 1939? No, America in 2017. The more things change, the more they stay the same, and the perfect movie to comment on the hideous sin th... [Uncategorized]

April 6, 10PM

6PM

If you’ve been paying attention, since 1957 when Carolina won it’s first national championship with a 3 overtime win over Wilt Chamberlain’s Kansas team— in Kansas!! no team, other that John Wooden’s 1960s-70s UCLA teams has ... [Uncategorized]

April 5, 10PM

April 4, 10PM

April 3, 10PM

There is an old Polish legend about a very bad old woman who died, and as you would expect, went to Hell. The story says Hell is a great deep pit, of which you can see the top from the bottom (I don’t know—haven’t been there). The old woman didn’t... [Uncategorized]

April 1, 10PM

The parts of the New Testament that really prove the resurrection are not Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.21. These are the stories of the first Easter. Of course I am not depreciating them; they are of great value. But taken in themselves and o... [Uncategorized]

March 31, 10PM

C.K. Barrett had a rapier sharp wit, when he chose to use it. Here is a quote that seemed appropriate for today, though Barrett is being perfectly serious (or as he would say ‘in deadly earnest’) in this quote from one of his sermons—- H... [Uncategorized]

March 30, 10PM

Human beings still need God as the only possible center for a stable life. They still become like the thing they worship. Paul saw humans imaging a god in the likeness of the beasts, and so coming to have the morals of the beasts, and that would do for th... [Uncategorized]

March 29, 10PM

I think we have given the sentimentalists much too free a reign to ruin half of our first Christian words and phrases. Think what they have made of love— something so feeble and sugary that a preacher hesitates to use the word. Think what they have made... [Uncategorized]

March 28, 10PM

In Jesus we know what God is like. Half the mental suffering one meets springs from wrong ideas about God. Because they have found God in themselves, or in nature, or in philosophy, as soon as suffering comes, people develop a grudge against the universe.... [Uncategorized]

March 27, 10PM

When people demanded a sign from Jesus he refused point blank. He refused because they were asking for something incontrovertible, something by which God would compel persons to accept Jesus as his Son, his Chosen One, something that would fetter their re... [Uncategorized]

March 26, 10PM

For the mainstream of the world’s traffic, by now, has built a bypass around Bethlehem. It isn’t interested. It still goes to Rome. To the ideal of brute strength and vitality of empire and domination.— C.K. Barrett [Uncategorized]

March 25, 10PM

March 24, 10PM

March 23, 10PM

March 22, 10PM

March 21, 10PM

I have no problems with scientists like Venema pursuing a theory as far as one can go with it. No problems with pushing the envelope to the limits of a theory to see if it still holds up. This is good and logical. What I do have a problem with is the glob... [Uncategorized]

March 20, 10PM

Niebuhr famously once said about liberal Protestant theology that it promulgated “a God without wrath brings men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through a ministry of a Christ without a cross.” I would paraphrase and amplify that t... [Uncategorized]

March 19, 10PM

Used by kind permission of my friend Mark Frontziak. [Uncategorized]

5AM

Went to Lansdale Pa. to see our son David and his wife Emily. Ended up chopping up blocks of ice with David, blocking the mail box and throwing them on a five foot high pile of ice blocks. [Uncategorized]

March 18, 10PM

What should we think of whistle blowers, in the political sense of the term? Are they the good guys or the betrayers? For example, what should we think of Chelsea/Bradley Manning or Mr. Snowden, or for that matter Julian Assange? Do they provide a useful ... [Uncategorized]

March 17, 10PM

FINAL THOUGHTS It is the mark of an important book by a major scholar that it prompts deep thought and careful responses, even when one doesn’t agree with the author. This book does that on historical theological and ethical issues raised by Paul’s le... [Uncategorized]

March 16, 10PM

Reviewed by Keener, Barclay, Eastman Keener—- There are many new insights, readable, middle of the road, see Rom. 11.25-27. Clear and well organized. Critical consensus of which are genuine Pauline—7. Majority scholarly view about Paul’s... [Uncategorized]

March 15, 10PM

APPENDIX II— GALATIA P. 750—Sanders distinguishes between Galatia the region settled by Celts around Ankara, and Galatia the Roman province which extended almost from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and encompassing several regions. p. 751̵... [Uncategorized]

March 14, 10PM

APPENDIX I— HOMOSEXUALITY pp. 727-29— During the golden age of Athens 480-350— older male on younger male sex was idealized. The younger partner was supposed to be passive, the older active. Sex was supposed to be between the thighs, but... [Uncategorized]

March 13, 10PM

p. 707—- CONCLUSIONS!! Paul’s thought is mainly a response to events and issues he faced in converting gentiles. He did not construct a systematic theology “Paul did not start his career with a full set of theological dogma that he taught each c... [Uncategorized]

March 12, 10PM

In Rom. 12.1 Sanders takes logiken to mean spiritual— spiritual worship or service. p. 691– Philo wrote (Spec. 1,277) “The symbolized meaning is just this and nothing else: that which is precious in the sight of God is not the number of [sac... [Uncategorized]

March 11, 11PM

p. 662— Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ are interchangeable. Rom. 8 is the great chapter of indwelling and participation. p. 663— He sees no distinction between the Spirit is in the believer and Christ is except, the former phrase begins in... [Uncategorized]

March 10, 11PM

p. 644– In Rom. 7 Paul writes as if all humans are under the Jewish Law. Because Paul parallels the law written on Gentile hearts (2.12-15) with the Mosaic Law, Jew and Gentile are equally under law and under sin Rom. 3.19 says that all those who ar... [Uncategorized]

March 9, 11PM

Sanders says in Romans Paul realized he made a mistake in Galatians by saying that circumcision came 430 years after Abraham who was righteous by faith, but Gen. 17. 9-14 commanded Abraham to be circumcised too. [This is not correct. Paul is right that Ab... [Uncategorized]

March 8, 11PM

p. 610—- Sanders notes the big difference between Gal. where there is no righteousness by the law, but here in Phil. there is such a thing 3.6,9— indeed Paul says he had a righteousness under the law, blamelessness. What really counts or matte... [Uncategorized]

March 7, 11PM

p. 615—- The major theme of Romans is the equality of Jew and Gentile before God. Paul was in Corinth for what he intended to be the last time and was heading to Jerusalem with the collection. p. 616— Paul asked for two sorts of assistance fro... [Uncategorized]

March 6, 11PM

PHILIPPIANS pp. 575-78— Sanders cannot discern a structure in this letter, not least because he doesn’t read it rhetorically. p. 579— This document may be a compilation of several letter fragments, but in any case Sanders thinks it all comes... [Uncategorized]

March 5, 11PM

Gal. 6.7-9 makes clear Paul thinks there is rewards for good deeds as well as punishment for bad deeds. You reap what you sow. p. 561– Again works of the Law are not good deeds and vice versa. “With the exception of idolatry and sexual activity, t... [Uncategorized]

March 4, 11PM

p. 545—the allegory in Gal. 4.21.-5.1 p. 546— Paul is gifted at typology, not so good at allegory, and Sanders criticizes his olive tree discussion in Rom. 11 because it’s botanically incorrect [which was not the point] An allegory is a descript... [Uncategorized]

March 3, 11PM

p. 539— What does Paul mean in Gal. 4.1-11 by stoicheia—elemental spirits, elementary principles, elements of the world? p. 540— He says they could have been controlling thoughts but probably what is meant is supernatural beings who govern the s... [Uncategorized]

11AM

This movie has already garnered a lot of attention and has been called many things, including, aptly, ‘No Country for Old X Men’. And this is indeed a movie about old X men, in particular Charles Xavier the leader of the band of X men, and Wol... [Uncategorized]

March 2, 11PM

p. 530—Sanders takes Gal. 3.19 to mean that the Law was given to create transgression, based on what Paul says in Rom. 4.15; 5.13; 5.20. [But the verse could mean that the Law was given on account of sin (to contain it). The Romans passages suggest that... [Uncategorized]

March 1, 11PM

p. 525—“The translators who changed Deut. 27.26 from its primary emphasis on intention and commitment to perfection of obedience thought that their view was true, and they were not being intentionally dishonest.” Sanders beef is the translating of t... [Uncategorized]

February 28, 11PM

p. 518– he goes with the translation ‘after receiving the Spirit by faithing what you heard… have you started with the Spirit but finished with the flesh (3.3). This may refer literally to the foreskin and hence to circumcision but in Gal. 5.17-... [Uncategorized]

February 27, 11PM

The main argument runs from Gal. 2.14-3.29. p. 502—The main issue is who is in the in group and who is not. The question about 2.14-21 is where does Paul stop quoting his rebuke of Peter. He quotes Lightfoot to the effect that we can’t really distingu... [Uncategorized]

February 26, 11PM

p. 489—With regard to tithing and purity laws it applied only to Jewish farmers who grew food in Palestine. It was a non-issue in the Diaspora, “nor do we know of any purity laws, such as hand washing or immersion that governed Jewish meals in the Dia... [Uncategorized]

February 25, 11PM

p. 473—It is important to distinguish: 1) what Paul’s conclusion was on the matter; 2) how he argued for it, and 3) his reason for coming to the conclusion. A distinction between the arguments and the reason behind them is important. p. 475— Thi... [Uncategorized]

February 24, 11PM

p. 460-61– The practice of circumcision was very ancient at least as far back as 3000 B.C. The Hebrew form of it involved removing the entire foreskin, the Egyptian practice seems to have just involved making a slit in the foreskin, and mainly invol... [Uncategorized]

February 23, 11PM

p. 443— GALATIANS p. 444- Lightfoot pointed out long ago that the people who know a region well do not call it by the names assigned by a conquering empire (e.g. Hapsburg Empire included Hungary and part of Italy). But no ordinary resident of the re... [Uncategorized]

February 22, 11PM

p. 433— The saints in Judaea are the Christians in Jerusalem and environs. p. 434- the collection was successful. Paul went again to Corinth, wrote to Rome, and sailed for Jerusalem, money in hand. He thinks maybe 2 Cor. 8-9 are two letters and perh... [Uncategorized]

February 21, 11PM

p. 422- Romans says little about Christ’s return or res. Of the dead. But see Rom. 6.5; 8.18-30; 13.11-12— the latter clearly envisions decisive events lie in the near future. He thinks Rom. 6.5 refers to participation in Christ’s death through ... [Uncategorized]

February 20, 11PM

pp. 400ff. A discussion of dualism. p. 405— “divine punishment remained the only real ‘solution’ to evil and suffering that pure monotheism had to offer.” [This is absolutely false, but what is true is that Jews regularly attributed human su... [Uncategorized]

3PM

I’m very happy to announce the second volume in this series of three volumes on intertexuality, the use of the OT in the NT, and of course doing exegesis forwards and backwards. This volume will emerge in the early summer, and will be followed next ... [Uncategorized]

February 19, 11PM

p. 389—first analogy— seed-plant, but even plants decay. Second analogy different types of flesh but the same problem, they all decay. He then refers to stars and planets— which seem at least to last and shine forever. Unlike a fire here on ... [Uncategorized]

February 18, 11PM

p. 377— The passages in which Paul deals with res. in probable chronological order are according to Sanders 1 Thess. 4.13-18; 1 Cor. 15; 2 Cor. 3.18-5.10; Phil. 1.23-24; 2.16-17;3.10-11; 3.20-21; Rom. 6.5; 8.18-30; 13.11-12. Two verbs are used anist... [Uncategorized]

February 17, 11PM

p. 369— “On the basis of first-century evidence, then, there is no reason to regard the soft as male prostitutes or abused young slaves.” He suspects, rightly I think, that the reason for favoring the ‘male prostitute’ translation is so mode... [Uncategorized]

February 16, 11PM

p. 336— In Paul’s vice lists, notice how immorality including sexual immorality is listed together with idolatry in a list of the besetting sins of the Greco-Roman world from a Diaspora Jewish point of view [why not just from a Jewish point of vie... [Uncategorized]

February 15, 11PM

p. 325– The key words in Paul’s third argument about idol meat etc is in 10.16-22 and the key terms are participation, and participants, the former is koinonia (10.16 twice) in the Greek the latter koinonoi (10.18,20) And the word ‘one’ plays ... [Uncategorized]

February 14, 11PM

Dev Patel is a superb actor, and my may remember him from either of the Best Exotic Hotel movies or Slum Dog Millionaire or even the HBO series Newsroom. In this film he does not show up for about an hour, because the first hour is related to Sheru’... [Uncategorized]
p. 309— Paul’s version of the words of institution are closer to Luke’s version than to Mt. and Mk. In Luke and Paul, Jesus ‘gives thanks’ before breaking the bread; and after mentioning his body he says ‘for you’, and Paul and Luke both... [Uncategorized]

February 13, 11PM

He adds that Jesus had prohibited divorce or at least remarriage after divorce but both Jews and Gentiles allowed for divorce. He argues Paul was celibate and would have liked his converts to imitate him. He says Paul was a perfectionist and didn’t leav... [Uncategorized]

February 12, 11PM

p. 268— He suggests that if you read 1 Cor.5.1-2; 2 Cor.12.21; 2 Cor. 2.5-10;2 Cor. 7.11 in that order (he thinks it is the chronological order), you learn that one man sinned, was supported by some of his fellow believers. Paul wrote in his harsh l... [Uncategorized]

February 10, 11PM

CHAPTER NINE— CORINTHIANS PART ONE p. 225—226– He says he relies heavily on the work of J. Murphy-O’Conner on Corinth. Homer called Corinth ‘wealthy Corinth’ (Iliad 2.570). The business about sacral prostitutes in Corinth is from class... [Uncategorized]

8AM

http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/02/09/new-dead-sea-scrolls-cave-discovered-jnd-orig-vstop.cnn/video/playlists/ancient-discoveries/ Just when you thought it was safe to say that only 11 caves at Qumran had scrolls, now a 12th cave has been found with ... [Uncategorized]

February 9, 11PM

pp. 215-16– He goes with the ‘knows how to acquire his own vessel (i.e. wife) translation of 4.1-8. In every other passage in the NT, the verb ktaomai means to acquire, take, get and in ben Sira 36.24 it means acquire a wife. p. 218– Josephu... [Uncategorized]

February 8, 11PM

pp. 194-95— PERSECUTION— some gentiles persecuted other gentiles for becoming Christians. “I believe that for leading citizens to break the ‘contract’ with the gods and goddesses of the city was a weightier issue.” (p. 194— i.e. ... [Uncategorized]

February 7, 11PM

p. 175— The M.O. for each following chapter will be: 1) explain the form of the letter; 2) reconstruct the sequence of events which led up to the letter; 3) identify the presuppositions of the letter; 4) listing Paul’s standard views and presuppos... [Uncategorized]

February 6, 11PM

pp. 158-59 Bewildering is his suggestion that Paul visited south Galatia with Barnabas in the late 30s, but did not found a congregation there, but rather in north Galatia. pp. 160-61—he offers a range of dates and says we can’t be precise. And he say... [Uncategorized]

February 5, 11PM

p. 147– In Sanders view, only 7 of Paul’s original letters have survived, mainly because they were copied so many times. They probably survived because an individual who housed a church kept it and perhaps had it recopied. He thinks that the refer... [Uncategorized]

February 4, 11PM

p. 125 Chapter 3 is entitled Travel, Letters, People, Money pp. 125—30— While traveling was arduous Paul managed it despite multiple shipwrecks. He probably used a pack animal to carry supplies, tools of the trade, luggage, when going on foot, cov... [Uncategorized]

February 3, 11PM

p. 117—The principle difficulty Paul faced was exclusivism, getting pagans not merely to add another god to their pantheon, but reject all their past gods in favor of the God of Israel. But remember, Paul only converted a small percentage of Gentiles in... [Uncategorized]

February 2, 11PM

p. 107– Acts and Romans agree about the results, namely Paul really only succeeded among the Gentiles. There is virtually no trace of any Jews in Paul’s letters who are his own converts (Timothy?). [Really? How does one account for the detailed us... [Uncategorized]

February 1, 11PM

Sanders gives a detailed analysis of the three conversion stories in Acts on pp. 94-97 and argues that what accounts for Luke’s insistence of Paul doing things in Jerusalem soon after his conversion is Luke’s Jerusalem-centric character of Luke-Acts. ... [Uncategorized]

January 31, 11PM

Chapter Two: Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles p. 87— He deduces that Paul was converted in Damascus because Paul says he returned to Damascus in Gal. 1. [This does not follow, but it reflects a pattern of lack of confidence by Sanders in the account... [Uncategorized]

January 30, 11PM

In course of reading through Sanders huge new book on Paul, I came across a saying Sanders learned when he was eight (p. 666) see what you think— There’s enough good in the worst of us And enough bad in the best of us That it doesn’t beh... [Uncategorized]

January 29, 11PM

On pp. 58-59 Sanders points out that Exod. 22.27 which has Elohim for God was read, because of the LXX as you shall not revile gods, and interpreted by Josephus and Philo to mean that Jews in the Diaspora should not revile or blaspheme other peoples’ go... [Uncategorized]

January 28, 11PM

Beginning on p. 28ff. there is a description of Pharisaic belief and practice. He lists the following derived mainly from Josephus— they believed in some form of the afterlife, they combined a belief in free will and determinism, they were legal exp... [Uncategorized]

January 27, 11PM

Chapter One deals with Acts, which Sanders thinks was composed in the 80s, or latest in the early 90s. There was an explosion of interest in Paul in the 90s, and Acts was probably a stimulus to the collection of Paul’s letters. Acts ranks as a good piec... [Uncategorized]

January 26, 11PM

This is the beginning of a very long and detailed analysis of one of the most important books to be written on Paul in the last 20 years. It will involve both description and critique. The critique mostly will occur in square brackets [ ], though occasion... [Uncategorized]

January 25, 11PM

It is wrong to fault a book which has limited goals and a specific purpose for not addressing every hot button issue connected with Romans. Still, there are things one hopes will be more fully addressed in the forthcoming commentary on Romans. From a soci... [Uncategorized]

January 24, 11PM

One of the very best chapters in this book is Chapter 3, entitled ‘When in Romans, Give Glory to God.’ Here we have an essential and helpful discussion about the relationship between true worship and Christian ethics, the distaff of the discussion abo... [Uncategorized]

1PM

I’m very pleased to tell you that the second edition of my NT Introduction for Oxford University Press is now available both on Amazon and at the OUP website. It differs from the first edition in having additional Paul chapters, and a lot more helps... [Uncategorized]

January 23, 11PM

In the second full chapter, Gaventa argues that ‘Israel is God’s creation and belongs to God’ (p.49). Once again, the stress is on the divine initiative. She insists that Paul does not treat Israel as an ethnic entity, he treats her in terms of crea... [Uncategorized]

January 22, 11PM

B. Gaventa, When in Romans: An Invitation to Linger with the Gospel according to Paul, (Baker, 2016), $22.99, 130 pages of text. In a preview of coming attractions (because Professor Gaventa is currently working on a commentary on Romans), When in Romans:... [Uncategorized]

January 21, 11PM

January 20, 11PM

According to the OED (the Oxford English Dictionary), the new word of the year for 2016 was— post-truth. We have talked about post-modernity, and post-Christianity, but now, it appears we have to talk about post-truth. I am quite sure that there is ... [Uncategorized]

January 19, 11PM

This is where we can and must talk about Christianity and politics, Christianity and the social order. We are commanded to glorify God in these departments of life. We are not to think of ourselves as our own. A sermon is not the place to work this out in... [Uncategorized]

January 18, 11PM

Check out this article. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/04/liberal-churches-are-dying-but-conservative-churches-are-thriving/?utm_term=.2f63afc7ee06 Thanks to alert reader Jim for the heads up. BW3 [Uncategorized]

January 17, 11PM

January 16, 11PM

The only really convincing explanation of the world must assume that it was made by God, but that raises difficulties. What about the evil in the world? So, the only God that satisfies the conditions is the God whose Son was incarnate and by taking upon h... [Uncategorized]

2PM

Patriot’s Day is a holiday pretty much unique to Boston and Massachusetts. You have the Boston Marathon, and always a Red Sox home game, usually early in the day. Over a half million people in the greater Boston area come out to watch the race which... [Uncategorized]

January 15, 11PM

The whole Bible is a book about Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. This does not mean that it is an Old Moses’ Almanac, nor need we suppose that the prophets always knew how these words would be fulfilled. It is probable that there were some initial ... [Uncategorized]

January 14, 11PM

On one of his visits to Oxford, Dr. Johnson heard the official sermon preached for the benefit of those criminals who had been condemned to die at the assizes. A week or two later, the same learned preacher, preached the University sermon before the Unive... [Uncategorized]

January 12, 11PM

The situation we have to deal with, when we confront the situation in which human nature exists, is not rightly thought of as parallel to that of a bud which has to be developed, so that we may hope to watch the human race, as a school of Christian teache... [Uncategorized]

January 11, 11PM

“A learned Jew in Cambridge, Mr. Loewe whose death a few years ago was certainly hastened by his labors for and his passionate sympathy with Jewish refugees once said ‘The trouble with the world today is there is not enough righteous indignation i... [Uncategorized]

January 10, 11PM

‘Having gifts differing according to the grace give to us’. Gifts are acts of grace. In Greek, they are nearly the same word grace is χάρις and gift is χάρισμα. Gifts are not grace, but they are a parable of it, a sign that it is at work. ... [Uncategorized]

January 9, 11PM

CKB,in commenting on Romans 9, and God’s freedom to choose Jacob over Esau and Isaac over Ishmael for his own purposes adds: “Whenever the Church bases its own life and validity of its ministry on a line of succession connecting it with August... [Uncategorized]

1PM

There are two famous poetic sayings about fences— ‘good fences make good neighbors’ and even more famously Robert Frost’s ‘something there is that doesn’t love a wall’. The recent film starring two world-class act... [Uncategorized]

January 8, 11PM

Somehow God’s love broke into the wheeling fabric of stellar space, settled upon our planet, and out of our kind of evil, made possible the great release. Christ died on Calvary and explain it how you will (or don’t explain it at all) human life there... [Uncategorized]

January 7, 11PM

In working through C.K. Barrett’s 300 sermons, and comparing them to what I regularly hear traveling around the country, namely sermons that make me wince, I have come to the following conclusion: Frankly, I have grown weary of sermons that have ill... [Uncategorized]

January 6, 11PM

I think that this failure to think seriously about God and sin is at the back of the moral disorder in our own day. That a weak, sentimentalized, humanized view of God is going about, there is no doubt. You can find the details in the newspapers. I shall ... [Uncategorized]

2PM

True stories are most often the best stories, and such is the case with the film Hidden Figures, the tale of three black women who worked for NASA in 1961-62 during the segregation era. They as persons were called ‘colored computers’ by which ... [Uncategorized]

January 5, 11PM

PURPOSES ACCORDING TO THE FLESH That is how most of our purposes are conceived. This is the natural way we all take when we are off our guard. In the whole of the study of theology, there is nothing more humiliating than the discovery that the Church, in ... [Uncategorized]

January 4, 11PM

Our Master IMMORTAL Love, forever full, Forever flowing free, Forever shared, forever whole, A never-ebbing sea! Our outward lips confess the name 5 All other names above; Love only knoweth whence it came And comprehendeth love. Blow, winds of God, awake ... [Uncategorized]

January 3, 11PM

The great scholar is not a person who has a multiplicity of interests in life, who dips into this, looks at that, tastes one enjoyable thing after another. I have known these sort of people and I know the single minded intensity of thought and labor which... [Uncategorized]

January 2, 11PM

Again and again the great themes of biblical theology, of the Gospel, are illustrated not by specific discussions but by stories. That is why the concordance is not an infallible guide to what the Bible has to say on any given subject. For example, if you... [Uncategorized]

January 1, 11PM

Despite all the Christianity bashing, including even on this website, a more sober assessment of Christianity is called for, not least in regard to the issue of religious freedom. Here is a first rate blog post by my friend Larry Hurtado from last month t... [Uncategorized]

December 31, 11PM

The post New Year’s Resolution 2— You need Armorall appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 30, 11PM

The post New Year’s Resolution— Do not Follow the Lemmings! appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 29, 11PM

Recognize this dude—– he just turned 65! Yikes!The post A Change is Gonna Come……. appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 28, 11PM

The post Judge Not Lest…… appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 27, 11PM

The post Church is a Mooooving Experience appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

2PM

If you grew up in the era of big budget musicals on the big screen (think everything from Music Man to Hello Dolly to the Sound of Music), then ‘La,La Land’ will not seem so unique. It is however an excellent film with lots of heart, great mus... [Uncategorized]

December 26, 11PM

The post Seated in the Heavenlies appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

5AM

Dear Friends: As most of you know, five years ago next month, our precious daughter Christy was found dead at 33 in her apartment in Durham N.C., felled by a pulmonary embolism. In trying to do something positive and constructive out of the chaos, I set u... [Uncategorized]

December 25, 11PM

Coming soon to an Amazon near you!The post A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 24, 11PM

This is a photo I took at the Ansel Adams exhibit in the San Antonio Museum.The post The Root of Jesse Has Surfaced! appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 23, 11PM

I never know quite what to say when I’m talking sometimes to people who have lost a loved one and say ‘well it was God’s will’, when sometimes I know that to be an errant blasphemy on the love not to say the common sense of God. Much of the suffer... [Uncategorized]

December 22, 11PM

THE CHILD BEARING ‘Saved– by the Child-bearing’ Or so St. Paul once said. Not ‘saved by baby-making’, That’s how that text’s misread. Not ‘kept safe through childbearing’ For that’s not always true. Many a faithful godly woman Have... [Uncategorized]

December 21, 11PM

(Nope, not Jesus, but rather EJV, my T.A.’s brand new baby) MOTHER LOAD From the very beginning The burden was clear Sometimes bearable Sometimes severe Ate from the apple Shared it with him Disobeyed the order Indulged the whim. What was the outcom... [Uncategorized]

December 20, 11PM

INCOGNITO He came in incognito, A thinly veiled disguise The not so subtle son of man, A human with God’s eyes. The messianic secret, Left many unawares A God had walked upon the earth And shared our human cares. We did not see his glory, At least not a... [Uncategorized]

December 19, 11PM

  The following is a Punch cartoon that C.K.Barrett used to recite about a conversation between and older and younger brother about Christmas and whether there really is a Santa Claus: ‘Nonsense,’ says the rather older child to the rather younger... [Uncategorized]

December 18, 11PM

THE BONDING A cold and listless season, And full of cheerless cheer, When hopes are raised and dashed again And joy dissolves in tears. The search for endless family The search for one true Friend Leaves questers tired, disconsolate With questions without... [Uncategorized]

December 17, 11PM

Commenting in a sermon on the discussion of apostasy in 1 John 5, Kingsley Barrett says—- “You cannot ever become so good a Christian as to be secure, beyond all fear of falling. ‘AH Lord, with trembling I confess, A gracious soul may fall f... [Uncategorized]

December 16, 11PM

A few days ago my son and I were doing our lessons and learning to read and write small words. We were doing those which end with the N, putting various consonants in front of them— bin, din, pin, and so on, we read. We came to the letter S and (I m... [Uncategorized]

2PM

When you have a sequel to the prequels that has as its sequel the original three Star Wars movies (plus last year’s installment), things can get confusing fast, especially if you are not literate in ‘Star Wars’ sagas. And sure enough, th... [Uncategorized]

December 15, 11PM

The post A Living Prayer—- Alison Krauss appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 14, 11PM

The post In Christ Alone— Alison Krauss appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 13, 11PM

The post Wexford Carol— Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 12, 11PM

The post Some Children See Him— James Taylor appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 11, 11PM

The post In the Bleak Midwinter— Dan Fogelberg appeared first on The Bible and Culture. [Uncategorized]

December 10, 11PM

“THE MARKS OF JESUS”—GALATIANS 6.17 [Preached thirty-four times from S.H.M. on 6/27/43 to 11/17/02 at Wheatley Hill] But they had troubled him enough in the past. They had well-nigh broken his heart. Just where Galatia was, and when Paul went there ... [Uncategorized]

December 9, 11PM

The Corinthians proved to be the most trying kind of people—pupils who were confident they knew more than their teacher, children that were convinced they were better than their parents. Christians certain that they had left their apostle far behind. Th... [Uncategorized]

December 8, 11PM

The time is limited. It is later than you think. If the passing stream of time exerts this kind of pressure on the individual, it exerts it also on the Church. How long will our opportunities last? How long, for example, shall we enjoy the favored positio... [Uncategorized]

7PM

I have just heard the very sad news that one of the giants among Methodist scholars has gone to be with the Lord today. It was already a sad day due to the loss of John Glenn, a hero of a different sort. But Tom, whom I knew personally, was a hero of the ... [Uncategorized]

December 7, 11PM

Advent We long for glory. Sometimes, when horrors haunt us – the bombed hospitals, the children raped and silenced, the endless histories of hate – when horror haunts our undistracted moments, only the longing softens our hard hearts and fires concern... [Uncategorized]

December 6, 11PM

New essay on NT Papyrus “P45” by larryhurtado 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, ... [Uncategorized]

December 5, 11PM

The following is a paragraph from a C.K. Barrett sermon on the Law of Moses delivered during Lent, 1949 which is still very much appropos for our situation today. Law of course always has this importance. It has it in Methodism. I know well the importance... [Uncategorized]

December 4, 11PM

The Nicene and Reformed doctrine of the Trinity. (A paper given by Kevin Giles at the plenary forum on the Trinity at the Evangelical Theological Society annual conference, 15th November, 2016 at San Antonia. The other speakers were Dr Bruce Ware, Dr Mill... [Uncategorized]

December 3, 11PM

“CHRIST’S POVERTY AND OUR WEALTH’—2 CORINTHIANS 8.9 [Preached forty-one times from 3.30.38 at Wednesbury to 8/15/99 at Harworth] Paul was announcing a Collection, and he was doing so at considerable length. There were several reasons for that. One... [Uncategorized]

December 2, 11PM

In an age of self-centered everything, it is not surprising that a lot of self-centered religion, and in particular self-centered Christianity has emerged. Pastors seeking to minister to people’s felt needs, because of course they are the center of ... [Uncategorized]

December 1, 11PM

We are saved by grace, but through faith. I draw attention to the second preposition. We are sometimes inclined to talk as if human beings are saved by a religious disposition, as if the basic Christian requirement was that we should whip ourselves up int... [Uncategorized]

November 30, 11PM

This is where salvation begins— in the free love of God which seeks us where we are, in the Son of God who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven to live and die at our side. It is love that saves, it is Christ that saves—two different... [Uncategorized]

November 29, 11PM

The pressure of society upon us is not, for the most part, violent. But there is again and again a pressure of public opinion which forces us away from the authority of God’s Word under which the Church must live if it is to be the Church. The Church, p... [Uncategorized]

November 28, 11PM

Without question one of the great voices of the whole rock n’ roll era is the voice of Gino Vanelli, and it was a treat to get to see him one more time, with full horns and keyboards and killer bass and drums and guitars. It was worth the eight hour... [Uncategorized]

November 27, 11PM

November 26, 11PM

Commenting on Dan.3 on the famous fiery furnace story, CKB notes about the qualifying words ‘but if not’: If you removed these three words you would have a different story— an adventure yes, but without the heroic element. If you stop at... [Uncategorized]

November 25, 11PM

I am pleased to announce that the third volume of the Lightfoot Legacy series, with commentaries on 2 Corinthians and 1 Peter and extra essays by the man himself, which have not been published before, as well as by Barrett and Dunn, is now available at yo... [Uncategorized]

November 24, 11PM

5PM

It is a classic problem for someone who has created a cult following with a series of fantasy novels and then very successful films—- How do you top that? So authors do not try, and some change the subject. J.K. Rowling decided to tell a collateral ... [Uncategorized]

November 23, 11PM

4PM

There are of course various first contact sorts of sci fi movies. Think ‘Close Encounters of the Spielberg Kind’. This one is however very different. The aliens this time do not know how to speak in human languages, and yet they need something... [Uncategorized]

November 22, 11PM

November 21, 11PM

“HOSEA”— HOSEA 1 AND 3 [Preached thirty times from 1/9/44 at Bondgate, Darlington to 11/24/02 at Shiney Row] The story of Hosea is well-known. I almost said too well know. It is so familiar that we fail to ask ourselves whether we should have be... [Uncategorized]

November 20, 11PM

What is your life for? The only answer is that your life is to be integrated into the meaning of all life, and the meaning of all life is Christ. Behind all your suffering is the agony of the Son of Man. Beyond your sin is sin-bearing love that will not l... [Uncategorized]

November 19, 11PM

November 18, 11PM

The real grieving figure is that of the thousands who have simply ‘ceased to be members’. Some people say they are small loss; they can never have been really whole-hearted members. I do not believe it. Of course they were not perfect, but neither wer... [Uncategorized]

November 17, 11PM

Death is not merely an end that hovers over us, with which someday we shall have to reckon. The breath of corruption taints life now. The life most of us live now is lived at ‘a poor dying rate’. It is not by any means complete or satisfactory life. I... [Uncategorized]

November 16, 11PM

“The real trouble with materialism is that it is narrowing and immature. It does not take into account the whole breadth and sweep of human experience. It is faith that gives coherence to scientific thought, for faith means that behind the infinite ... [Uncategorized]

November 15, 11PM

November 14, 11PM

There is something here for us to learn and to imitate. If you are bent on treating the doctrine of the Trinity as a piece of metaphysics, then I shall not be surprised if you find it incredible or if it be credible, irrelevant, if you insist on divorcing... [Uncategorized]

November 13, 11PM

I am saying that the great problems—economic, social, political—have a theological element in them and if that element is eliminated, the problems will not be solved. For our contribution runs deep… Half, or any higher proportion you like, of ou... [Uncategorized]

November 12, 11PM

The parts of the New Testament that really prove the resurrection are not Mt. 28, Mk. 16, Lk. 24, and John 20.21. These are the stories of the first Easter. Of course I am not depreciating them; they are of great value. But taken in themselves and on thei... [Uncategorized]

November 11, 11PM

November 10, 11PM

Human beings still need God as the only possible center for a stable life. They still become like the thing they worship. Paul saw humans imaging a god in the likeness of the beasts, and so coming to have the morals of the beasts, and that would do for th... [Uncategorized]

November 9, 11PM

Here’s a good word from my friend, former student, and fellow minister Rev. Randy Saultz of Ohio. See what you think about PTESS– Post Traumatic Election Stress Syndrome. —— November 9, 2016 by scattered thoughts I get it. You were... [Uncategorized]

November 8, 11PM

‘Thy will be done’—-The phrase as it is commonly used is blasphemy. Some awful possibility lies before us; we do everything in our power to avert it; we fail, and we finally say, having exhausted every other possibility, ‘thy will be d... [Uncategorized]

10AM

O God of earth and altar, Come down and hear our cry, Our earthly rulers falter, Our people drift and die, The walls of gold entomb us, The sword of scorn divides, Take not thy thunder from us, But take away our pride. From all that terror teaches From li... [Uncategorized]

November 7, 11PM

November 6, 11PM

When you grew up with Marvel Comics, as I did, everyone had their favorites. For me it was clearly Spiderman. Dr. Strange was so on out there, and Oriental in character that it didn’t make my list of top five fav ravs. But comics are one thing, movi... [Uncategorized]

November 5, 10PM

November 4, 10PM

This is a deeply moving 139 minute film, though it has some gory scenes about two-thirds through the film and is not suitable for the young. To be honest, this is a better Gibson movie, in terms of being faithful to the true story, than Mel Gibson’s... [Uncategorized]

November 3, 10PM

Here is a quite interesting discussion from my friend Philip Jenkins on the possible connection between what James says about rich and poor in James 2 and what is said in the famous parable of the rich man and Lazarus. See what you think. BW3 Lazarus and ... [Uncategorized]

November 2, 10PM

November 1, 10PM

October 31, 10PM

October 30, 10PM

It is not faith in any old God we have conjured up in our minds. It is based upon the fact that God has revealed himself in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. There one may see and know God. ‘He that has seen me has seen the Father’. God ha... [Uncategorized]

October 29, 10PM

October 28, 10PM

God is a God who challenges human faith and obedience. He is a God who can order the doings of Herod and Pilate, but he will not compel the obedience of Peter, the conscience of Levi, or the love of John. He offers himself to human beings gently and graci... [Uncategorized]

October 27, 10PM

Here is a nice tribute from my friend Timothy George to J.I. Packer, with whom I once took a course on the Holy Spirit at GCTS, and whom, hilariously one day came into class on the run, being late, saying ‘I’ve just been held up by the hunt. I... [Uncategorized]

October 26, 10PM

“THE KINDNESS AND SEVERITY OF GOD”—ROMANS 11.22 [Preached four times from 12/21/82 at St. Chads College, Durham to Bishop Auckland 8/2/87] You heard these words when they were read a few minutes ago from the Epistle. Whether you found them familiar ... [Uncategorized]

October 25, 10PM

We are in the throes of football season, and one new feature of what we see weekly whether in college or Pro football is— ‘the concussion protocol’. While I would say this is a good thing in itself, if we were really serious about taking... [Uncategorized]

October 24, 10PM

I never know quite what to say when I’m talking sometimes to people who have lost a loved one and they say ‘well it was God’s will’, when sometimes I know that to be an errant blasphemy on the love not to say the common sense of God. Much of the s... [Uncategorized]

October 23, 10PM

“Elsewhere in this letter Paul says ‘all things are lawful for me; but I shall not let myself fall into the power of any of them.’ Here is the first clue. God has given us—most of us—a rich wealth of possibilities. There is human love to enj... [Uncategorized]

October 22, 10PM

I must confess trepidation, When Fall begins to fall, Do we count the cost Of the killing frost, Or do we revel in the riot Of restless red leaves? A chill falls on the fairway, Your breath hangs in the air, But shall I celebrate the denouement Or should ... [Uncategorized]

October 21, 10PM

When people are troubled, there is always hope. I will tell you how I have seen that happen. I have seen people begin their studies in a severe self-confidence, a far greater confidence that they have settled the problems of theology than I dare admit. An... [Uncategorized]

October 20, 10PM

October 19, 10PM

On Sunday we had some time off from all that academic stuff, and decided to take a ride to the edge of Maryland where there was a Mennonite restaurant and craft village plus a historic bridge of interest. Let’s start with the bridge This bridge is f... [Uncategorized]

October 18, 10PM

Morning Morgantown. It was a great song by Joni Mitchell, but I doubt she ever visited the one in West Virginia, home of West Virginian U. and the Mountaineers. The pictures above are of the downtown campus, and yes that is a mass transit monorail of sort... [Uncategorized]

October 17, 10PM

October 16, 10PM

October 15, 10PM

The following is a sermon by my Doktor Vater, C.K. Barrett, a formidable Methodist preacher, in addition to all his scholarly work. I am in the process of producing several volumes of his sermons and the sermons of his father, Fred Barrett, a famous Metho... [Uncategorized]

October 14, 10PM

This Just In from my Catholic friends here in Lexington and the Catholic News Service……. Ashford Stallion Manager Richard Barry introduces American Pharoah to Bishop Manz on Sept. 21. (Karen Callaway/Catholic New World) While the bishop did me... [Uncategorized]

October 13, 10PM

In the course of a sermon on Matthew 28.16-20, and in commenting on the way the risen Christ uses his power and authority, C.K.Barrett rightly stops to reflect on the rather amazing response of some to seeing the risen Jesus—– “Do you no... [Uncategorized]

October 12, 10PM

October 11, 10PM

October 10, 10PM

October 9, 10PM

October 8, 10PM

This volume will come out in February of 2017 from Fortress and at a reasonable price considering its a big book, dealing with all the crucial Isaianic material that shows up in the NT in so many places. You’ll get help both with the OT and the NT e... [Uncategorized]

October 7, 10PM

As some of you know, I am transcribing C.K. Barrett’s sermons for publication next year, and there is some unbelievably rich material in these sermons. They are unlike many of the Methodist and Biblical sermons I have ever heard or read, in the degr... [Uncategorized]

11AM

I’m not a big fan of disaster movies, with rare exceptions (e.g. Titanic, Poseidon Adventure). This movie is another one of those rare exceptions. It is excellent from stem to stern, or port to bow, or front to back. The acting is excellent, the sto... [Uncategorized]

October 6, 10PM

Ben Witherington: Do We Think Theologically and Ethically about Our Work? [Uncategorized]

October 5, 10PM

October 4, 10PM

Ah, real libraries. They appear to be endangered species the way people are reading less and less real books, as in the kinds that sit on shelves in libraries. The kind where you have actual knowledgeable librarians, and don’t assume you know everyt... [Uncategorized]

October 3, 10PM

[The following is an excellent post by my friend James Howell, senior minster at Myers Park UMC in Charlotte. I think it’s a needed word in this contentious season. See what you think.] Thursday, September 15 ‘Tis the Season #15: separation of... [Uncategorized]

October 2, 10PM

The death of Jesus was no accident, it was the working out of, the complete and adequate fulfillment of God’s purpose. To finish the quotation of Paul I had just begun—‘Christ died for our sins, according to the Scripture.’ This does not mean that... [Uncategorized]

October 1, 10PM

Wesleyan Studies Summer Seminar June, 2017 Asbury Theological Seminary and Asbury University are pleased to announce their fifth Wesleyan Studies Summer Seminar (WSSS) in June 2017. This seminar has been established to develop and support research, writin... [Uncategorized]

September 30, 10PM

September 29, 10PM

September 28, 10PM

BEN: Another good text, which as you say is a crux, is worth some discussion— Gal. 3.19. You suggest that Gal. 3.19, suggests that the intermediary is God in human form. This explanation doesn’t work. An intermediary, whoever he is, is a go betwee... [Uncategorized]

September 27, 10PM

BEN: Let’s talk about the baptism scene of Jesus in Mark 1 for a moment and about Israel in the NT. I was surprised that you simply followed R. Watts take that what was going on there as the new Exodus and you say nothing about the use of apocalyptic la... [Uncategorized]

September 26, 10PM

BEN: Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the book—– —“If God foreknows some event that happens then he may have predestined that event. But the fact that he foreknew an event does not require its predestination if it happens…. Since ... [Uncategorized]

September 25, 10PM

BEN: One of my favorite ideas from this book is the notion of the mosaic when it comes to how the OT images the future in prophecy and other sorts of literature. I think you are absolutely right that the OT prophecy and the psalms etc. are opaque when it ... [Uncategorized]

September 24, 10PM

BEN: Unpack for us why a righteous God would abandon the sinful nations (i.e. the non-Israel nations) to lesser elohim rulers. This doesn’t seem much like either the righteous or merciful God whose original intent was that all his creatures would be par... [Uncategorized]

September 23, 10PM

BEN: Another thing that puzzled me was you don’t ever discuss the Hebrew concept of shaliach, or agent— “a man agent is as himself”. The agent of a person who sends him out as a messenger or active emissary has authorized the agent to speak fo... [Uncategorized]

September 22, 10PM

BEN: In various places in the OT, seeing the idea and presence of the divine council seems a no brainer. But I must confess I have a hard time seeing it in the Garden in Genesis. God’s appearance in the Garden after the sin, doesn’t really tell us wha... [Uncategorized]

September 21, 10PM

BEN: Much of your case depends on the starting point of what’s going on in Eden. I completely agree with your repeated argument that God created those in his image with a measure of freedom of choice, indeed the power of contrary choice. This is unlike ... [Uncategorized]

September 20, 10PM

BEN: Let’s address a difficult issue. You are arguing, rightly in my view, that we must understand the OT in light of its ANE contexts. Fair enough. But what happens when we realize that the OT writers are borrowing ideas and terms from mythological lit... [Uncategorized]

September 19, 10PM

BEN: Mike, first of all, thanks for a terrific read in your book the Unseen Realm. In an age of over-specialization, there are few ‘big picture’ books out there like this one either in terms of doing something comprehensive to describe the spiritual r... [Uncategorized]

September 18, 10PM

September 17, 10PM

September 16, 10PM

September 15, 10PM

September 14, 10PM

September 13, 10PM

Is this: 1) the lead singer of the band Kansas; 2) an Italian barrista; 3) Pancho Via’s right hand man; 4) a starving seminary student without a razor; 5) a candidate for President from the Green party? Inquiring minds want to know. [Uncategorized]

September 12, 10PM

September 11, 10PM

1PM

Boom or bust West Texas. Been there, done that. Wide open spaces, hard livin’ and ‘Texas tea’ aka oil, the only ticket out of poverty or at least destitution. No this is not another ‘There Will be Blood” type of movie. ItR... [Uncategorized]

September 10, 10PM

2PM

(This picture, courtesy of the Guardian, is of CKB at the dedication of the lecture hall in his name in the new Bryson building at Durham University, in 2007. It is one of the last pictures of him in public before he died in 2011). I am proud to say, I kn... [Uncategorized]

September 9, 10PM

Here’s an interesting story worth checking out about how reading Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life helped turn Michael Phelps life around in 2014. See what you think. BW3 http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/08/19/eric-metaxas-michael-phel... [Uncategorized]

11AM

If Meryl Streep is America’s ‘every woman’ or at least can play them all, then Tom Hanks is clearly our ‘every man’, and in this Clint Eastwood film he gets to play what we would called a true hero— Chesley Sullenberger... [Uncategorized]

September 8, 10PM

Here’s one of my musical heroes and influences— David Crosby, who releases a new album soon, at age 75….. amazing. See what you think. BW3 [Uncategorized]

September 7, 10PM

The ax man cometh…. and no one can sleep. Don’t fear the riffer…. fear the shredder:) [Uncategorized]
One thing we know for sure about Edinburgh resident J.K. Rowling— she knows how to right long novels which keep people’s attention right to the end. This is no small feat in the age of short attention spans, and twittering and tweating. If you... [Uncategorized]

September 6, 10PM

So I’m flying back from Bellingham Wash. where I was doing some filming, and lo and behold, I’m sitting next to a fellow older Christian and minister named Mark Frontczak. Turns out he is also a Christian cartoonist who told me— ‘g... [Uncategorized]

September 5, 10PM

September 4, 10PM

September 3, 10PM

September 2, 10PM

1PM

BEN: You go on to compare and contrast the Stoic ethics of a Musonius Rufus with that we find in Paul and elsewhere in the NT, and you make the valid point, I think, that the Stoic teacher is offering a sort of ethic for ascetical athletes that are his un... [Uncategorized]

August 31, 10PM

BEN: In your discussion in the last full chapter of the book, talking about the differences in behavior between Christians and non-Christians, I notice that you do not discuss the pacifism of the early Christians, namely their refusal to serve in the Roma... [Uncategorized]

August 30, 10PM

BEN: The more I think about what is truly distinctive about earliest Christianity, which helps explain all the other things you are pointing to, including the bookishness of the group, it is that these early Christians were on a mission to redeem the worl... [Uncategorized]

August 29, 10PM

BEN: Talk to us about the quote of Tertullian from the end of the chapter. Is this really the beginnings of ‘religious identity should be a matter of personal choice’? Is it also, as Judge suggests, the beginning of the notion of the secular as distin... [Uncategorized]

August 28, 10PM

BEN: In the third chapter your main point seems to be that early Christians were distinctive in that they tried to establish a religious identity separable from one’s ethnic identity, and even more distinctive asked for exclusive devotion to their deity... [Uncategorized]

August 27, 10PM

BEN: Let’s consider for a moment a comparison of the Qumranites and the earliest followers of Jesus, meaning Jewish Christians like James, Peter, and Paul. These two early Jewish movements were definitely sectarian in ways that say the Pharisees were no... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

BEN: In your second chapter you say at one juncture (p. 73) that Jesus is treated in ways that liken him to God. Wouldn’t be better just to say, as Bauckham does, that in ways we don’t full grasp Jesus was considered part of God’s very identity, mea... [Uncategorized]

August 25, 10PM

BEN: One of your major theses seems to be that while Jews were viewed as peculiar, and even perverse, because of their worship of only one God, their God, nevertheless, because they were a specific ethnic group, it was largely written off as a peculiarity... [Uncategorized]

August 24, 10PM

BEN: While many Jews might be prone to see Jesus followers as heretics—defectors from true Judaism especially if we are talking about Jewish Christians, this of course doesn’t explain the strong reaction to Christians by various pagans, perhaps especi... [Uncategorized]

August 23, 10PM

BEN: One of the interesting points you make about Pliny’s famous reference to Christians is that he apparently knows about persecution, prosecution etc. of Christians elsewhere in the Empire, but he is not sure how to proceed in his own province– ... [Uncategorized]

August 22, 10PM

BEN: In your first full chapter, you talk about the Jewish and pagan reactions to earliest Christianity. One theme which keeps surfacing is that there were strong negative reactions at the ideological level, not just in terms of praxis. This in turn sugge... [Uncategorized]

August 21, 10PM

BEN: Reading your review of Stark’s 10 factors on why a religious movement succeeds, you point to the fact that the movement on the one hand must maintain some continuity with its cultural setting so it is not seen as totally alien and incomprehensible,... [Uncategorized]

August 20, 10PM

BEN: Bruce Longenecker has now brought forth reasonably clear evidence that the graffito in Pompeii that uses the word Christianos makes clear that the term was being used of Christians (whether insiders or outsiders) in that city in the 60s or 70s. This ... [Uncategorized]

August 19, 10PM

Larry Hurtado’s new book, Destroyer of the Gods, which will emerge in a couple of weeks (Baylor, 2016 305 pages), is an important contribution to a goodly number of discussions about the formation of earliest Christianity, and whether or not it qual... [Uncategorized]

2PM

I’m on record as saying I’d watch Meryl Streep play Kermit the Frog, she is such an amazing actress, and it’s nice to watch her grow older and continue to play important age appropriate roles for her, like Julia Childs and now Florence F... [Uncategorized]

August 18, 10PM

(The following is an excursus found in my Hebrew commentary in Letters and Homilies for Jewish Christians (IVP). THE EXEGETICAL ARM-WRESTLING OF PROTESTANTS OVER HEB. 6.1-6—A ‘TASTE’ OF THE DEBATE Theological systems, while not bad in themselves, ca... [Uncategorized]
Oh I remember the 1959 film Ben Hur. No child of eight who saw that film could ever forget that climactic chariot race, nor the scenes of slaves rowing a giant Roman galley, nor for that matter the story of a Jewish family that had members that became fol... [Uncategorized]

August 17, 10PM

Having just returned from another archaeological trip to Turkey, and having seen clear evidence of pagan belief in angels (see the picture below), I found my colleague Larry Hurtado’s excellent summary worth reposting. — by Larry Hurtado Over ... [Uncategorized]

August 16, 10PM

(Permission to repost this cartoon has been applied for to the artist). [Uncategorized]

August 15, 10PM

Writing historically accurate novels is a lot of work, a lot of research, a lot of painstaking attention to detail. Writing seven such novels in a period of a bit over a decade or so means you must not have another life. C.J. Sansom lives in Sussex and wr... [Uncategorized]

1PM

Some dragons just refuse to become extinct. One of those is that furry giant green dragon– Pete’s Dragon. If this story sounds rather familiar to you older readers, well you are right. This was already a Disney film in 1977,based on a Hollywoo... [Uncategorized]

August 14, 10PM

Samuel Terrien, reflecting on Ps. 95, shares some of his own wisdom on the problem of evil: “It has been said for a long time, and rightly, that the problem of evil is the creation of monotheism. A positivist humanist looks at natural or biological myst... [Uncategorized]

August 13, 10PM

I dream of a better America that lives by faith not fear. I dream of a better America that becomes less polluted each year. I dream of better America that does not listen to lies. I dream of a better America that I can look right in the eyes. I dream of a... [Uncategorized]

August 12, 10PM

Here is an nice post courtesy of my friend Timothy George, about another friend of mine from Anderson School of Theology in Ind., James Earl Massey……. James Earl Massey: Steward of the Story by Timothy George July 25, 2016 I first heard the vo... [Uncategorized]

August 11, 10PM

All sin is properly speaking against God, even if it is committed with or against another human being. Nevertheless, as James Mays stresses, sin always has social implications—“the notion that a person could sin without injuring others is inconcei... [Uncategorized]

August 10, 10PM

PART ONE Heaven heaved And God came down, Riding on the wind. The mountains trembled The earth it quaked The trees began to bend. Fire and ice Thunder and lightning Accompanied the condescension Who could stand Against such forces Who had comprehension? I... [Uncategorized]

August 9, 10PM

I am currently working on a book on the Psalms and their uses in the NT. The Psalms can certainly prompt some deep reflection, and one such psalm is Ps. 34, which reads as follows—- 1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on ... [Uncategorized]

August 8, 10PM

Jaroslav Pelikan was perhaps the greatest church historian of the second half of the twentieth century. His body of work speaks for itself. For a good deal of his life he was a Lutheran but eventually he joined the Orthodox Church. Here is an interesting ... [Uncategorized]

August 7, 10PM

It is one of the great mysteries of rock and roll history as to why it took until 2016 to put Chicago in the rock and roll hall of fame. They should’ve been in on the basis of their first two double albums if nothing else. It just makes no sense. Th... [Uncategorized]

August 6, 10PM

Since Ellis Peters began writing her wonderful Brother Cadfael novels, I’ve been hooked on medieval thrillers/mystery/historical novels. I’ve run through all of Peters, lots of Paul Doherty, and now five volumes of the Matthew Shardlake series... [Uncategorized]

August 5, 10PM

Let me be clear from the outset, I’m not a technophobe. I realize the world has become technology dependent, and as a writer, I am as well to a real extent. But what this post is about is not letting technology, and in particular your smart phone ou... [Uncategorized]

August 4, 10PM

Sequels are rarely equals to hit movies. This is my maxim for today. This is especially the case when there is a considerable time lapse between the original movie (in this case in 2013) and the sequel, and all the more the case when you change the cast o... [Uncategorized]

August 3, 10PM

If you really want to get the feel of the past, take a trip south of Georgetown S.C. to the old rice plantation at Hopsewee, still privately owned. Even the road into the plantation is olde worlde…. Here are the helpful signs outside the plantation&... [Uncategorized]

August 2, 10PM

There is a lot to be said about the privateer Blackbeard, a figure of both legend and history. He was indeed a genuine pirate who hijacked ships and their cargo, and at one point sought pardon from the Governor of North Carolina, Governor Eden, and it was... [Uncategorized]

August 1, 10PM

It would be hard to exaggerate the importance of John Lawson when it comes to the early settling of North Carolina. He was a brilliant naturalist, explorer, philosopher, artist, building, who was involved in both New Bern, where the British governor had h... [Uncategorized]

July 31, 10PM

As we follow the narrow paths through the village of path, covered with oyster shells to keep the paths from having ruts, we walk over to the oldest house in the town, presently called the Palmer house (but it was originally owned by a family with a Hugue... [Uncategorized]

July 30, 10PM

There are many places on or near the coast of North or South Carolina where there is lots of interesting history to be discovered, and one of those places is the little tiny town of Bath North Carolina, the very first town of any size in North Carolina, a... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

It is always difficult to maintain the quality of a series of movies that are filmed over a rather long period of time. It is especially hard when you get to the point of filming a fourth or fifth film in the series. So I went to see this two hour long mo... [Uncategorized]

July 29, 10PM

It’s now official. I have visited beaches all over the world from the northern to the southern hemisphere, and from east to west in North America. And from Singapore to Sydney, from Hong Kong to Hawaii, and the winner of the best beach in the world ... [Uncategorized]

July 28, 10PM

READ THIS— This is a story even Dan Brown couldn’t make up. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/the-unbelievable-tale-of-jesus-wife/485573/ or http://theatln.tc/1Or1orY [Uncategorized]

July 27, 10PM

Here’s another helpful post by my friend Larry Hurtado…… See what you think— BW3 “The Paul Dialogue”: Barclay & Wright Yesterday was the day-long dialogue on the Apostle Paul between John Barclay (Durham) and N. T. Wright (... [Uncategorized]

July 26, 10PM

Here’s an interesting recent post by my friend Larry Hurtado on Christian graffiti on pagan coins… 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... [Uncategorized]

July 25, 10PM

There are a few more items to note from the new Urfa museum and then a few to note from the separate new mosaics museum in Urfa. Firstly, here is a nice depiction of a Roman funeral procession heading to the necropolis…. And here is the sort of Roma... [Uncategorized]

July 24, 10PM

The new museum in Urfa is mind-blowing. It is big, it is beautiful and it is full of things from Gobeckli Tepe….. There are helpful re-creations in this museum of the Gobeckli site, for example….. This drawing helps us picture the building of ... [Uncategorized]

July 23, 10PM

In some ways, it is as instructive to examine some of the newest dig sites, for example this one where you see a head of a monolithic column standing up, as is true at one of the squares on this site, both on the back side of the hill…. Some of thes... [Uncategorized]

July 22, 10PM

Snuggled in between the Tigris and the Euphrates (as was the garden of Eden according to Genesis), is Gobeckli Tepe, which means pot-bellied hill. Today the site is mostly under roof for protection, with the current roof being temporary…. it is diff... [Uncategorized]

2PM

We are now in the middle of blockbuster season, and the third episode in the Star Trek reboot is upon us, for another two hours of rockem’ sockem’ sci fi, courtesy of Justin Lin, the director of the Fast and Furious series. This episode tries ... [Uncategorized]

July 21, 10PM

I’ve deliberately saved the most important posts for last, the posts about the most ancient high place or religious site/sanctuary yet found on earth, dating to about 9.600 B.C. and so a Neolithic site. I am referring to the dig outside of the town ... [Uncategorized]

July 20, 10PM

One of our last stops before going into port at Marmaris (a truly touristic town, where apparently even Jesus has a shop)….. is the ancient city of Kaunos. Here is the sign at the site….. Kaunos was once a port city but as with Ephesus and oth... [Uncategorized]

July 19, 10PM

Among the various surprising things on the island of Kos is the Hippocratic Institute, where doctors and others meet who are interested in the pursuit of the goals of good medicine. Hippocrates and Galen were the two most famous ‘founders of medicin... [Uncategorized]

July 18, 10PM

Let’s start with a drawing of what the giant Asclepion temple would have originally looked like when completed. And here’s an artist’s rendering— To say this place was massive is an understatement, and it required some real effort ... [Uncategorized]

July 17, 10PM

In some ways Kos is like a much smaller version of the Greek island of Rhodes, with the same sort of quaint town and shops, and ruins. Here, as on Rhodes the Knights of St. John had a center, and helped build a castle. They were called Hospitallers becaus... [Uncategorized]

July 16, 10PM

Bodrum is a beautiful city with an imposing castle. We only spent a little time there, as the Gulet boat was waiting to take us to the Greek island of Kos. I guess you could call it a Kos effective journey Here’s the instigator of these adventures m... [Uncategorized]

July 15, 10PM

Bodrum was an ancient Roman fortified port city. It would be from here that we sailed on the Gulet boat to the island of Kos to see the famous Asclepion. But first we visited the leading underwater archaeology institute in the old world….just fascin... [Uncategorized]

July 14, 10PM

Somehow, some way, I have always managed to get to Miletus when the museum was closed. Not this time! Let’s start with the new stuff in the courtyard outside of the museum…. here’s something I’ve never seen before, a memorial depic... [Uncategorized]

July 13, 10PM

Visting Ephesus is always special, and Levent Oral has somehow figured out a way for us to meet there after hours for some lectures and some singing every May….We meet on the steps of the spectacular Celsus library which dates to the second century ... [Uncategorized]

July 12, 10PM

The ‘new’ (not really that new) Izmir museum is in a large park complex that has several museums in it, but our interest is strictly in the one that has the antiquities in it. There are some remarkable pieces here, not least the almost entirel... [Uncategorized]

July 10, 10PM

Whenever you explore ancient sites in Turkey, you realize what a role earthquakes play in the way towns rise and fall, and move and develop. This was certainly part of the picture in what today is called Beyrakli, or old Smyrna, the one, according to the ... [Uncategorized]

July 9, 10PM

There is a lot to tell when it comes to the ongoing dig at the agora at Izmir. There have been whole sessions on some of the findings, especially in regard to the graffiti, and there is no doubt at all that there is Christian graffiti at the lower level o... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

With summer comes more movies for out of school, and bored out of their minds, children. There promise to be at least three good ones this summer (the third is the final chapter of Ice Age, which comes later this month). The first two have opened to good ... [Uncategorized]

July 8, 10PM

The following post is by colleague Larry Hurtado. I agree with the conclusions of the article he is previewing, see my What’s in a Word? and The Living Word of God. In researching for my current project (an analysis of NT papyrus P45 as an early Chr... [Uncategorized]

July 7, 10PM

Sunset over the ocean at Izmir (Smyrna). It is a beautiful seaport town with a lot of history, including a lot of Christian history. Besides the reference to the city in Revelation, there is the residence in this city of Polycarp, a martyr in the second c... [Uncategorized]

July 6, 10PM

Guarding the coast of the mainland of Asia Minor could not have been easy. Too many peninsula’s sticking out into the water, too many coves for pirates or invaders to hide in, but it’s clear that from the Hellenistic era on, if not before, the... [Uncategorized]

July 5, 10PM

One of the advantages of doing the Gulet boat is you can go to places along the undulated coast of Turkey which are difficult or impossible to reach by land. One such place is the port called Knidos which St. Paul harbored off of according to Acts. 27.7. ... [Uncategorized]

July 4, 10PM

Cruising down the coast in a Gulet boat with friends and great food is a blast…… and on this particular day we were entering the Dalyan river from the Aegean through a freshwater marsh jam packed with blue crabs and loggerhead turtles, that ac... [Uncategorized]

July 3, 10PM

July 2, 10PM

BEN: As it turns out, talking about waste is not a waste of time when discussing the crosses in the streets of Pompeii. I take your point about human latrines and private toilets and the baths etc. But as you say carts pulled by animals were allowed in th... [Uncategorized]

July 1, 10PM

BEN: In the streets of Ephesos, there are also things carved in the street paving stones that people walked on. Famously, there is one which seems to give directions to a brothel in town from the southern agora and port. This evidence might support the no... [Uncategorized]

June 30, 10PM

BEN: Let’s talk about apotropaic symbols, symbols meant to either ward off evil spirits and bad luck, or to encourage good luck to happen at a particular venue, or for particular people. Christians will immediately think of the blood on the lintel in th... [Uncategorized]

June 29, 10PM

BEN: Early on in your book, you have some important things to say about how apologetics can get in the way of careful accurate interpretation of historical data, including the kind of data you are focusing on in The Crosses of Pompeii. Say some more about... [Uncategorized]

June 28, 10PM

BEN: One of the topics broached at length in this study is the issue of syncretism. In fact a good deal of what you say reminds me of the interesting study by Ramsay McMullen, one of his last books entitled The Second Church, where, instead of going with ... [Uncategorized]

June 27, 10PM

BEN: Bruce you’ve now written two books The Cross before Constantine (Fortress, 2015) and The Crosses of Pompeii (Fortress, 2016) about the early Christian use of the cross symbol. What prompted your extensive interest in this particular subject? BRUCE:... [Uncategorized]

June 26, 10PM

According to the Bible, two of the rivers that flowed from or by Eden were the Tigris and the Euphrates, both of which are in the very area of eastern Turkey we were visiting….. above are the pictures of the Euphrates today, post the building of the... [Uncategorized]

June 25, 10PM

The climb up Mt. Nimrud is breath-taking, quite literally, and for some reason it was harder for me this time than five years ago. Surely it couldn’t be because I’m older now— could it? But even more breath-taking is the view in all dire... [Uncategorized]

June 24, 10PM

It is hard for me to stress enough how beautiful a country Turkey is. And the Commagene kingdom which includes Arsemeia, Zeugma, and Mt. Nimrud, the mount Olympus of Turkey is some of the most beautiful. Arsemeia is on the back side of Mt. Nimrud and on t... [Uncategorized]

June 23, 10PM

The phrase ‘built to last’ gets thrown around a lot in our time, but frankly we ain’t got nothing on the ancient Romans. When they built a bridge or a road, or an aqueduct, or a theater or a coliseum, well at least some of it is still ar... [Uncategorized]

June 22, 10PM

Without question, the mosaic depiction most commented on by scholars, and rightly so is the so-called Zeugma Mona Lisa, or more commonly called the gypsy woman. So celebrated is this mosaic that it garners its own dark room for display. Look for a while i... [Uncategorized]

June 21, 10PM

I flew directly from Istanbul to Gaziantep to meet my friend Meltem Chiftchi (my usual superb guide) and a couple of others to tour the new Zeugma museum there with its fabulous mosaics extracted from Roman villas in Zeugma before that part of the land wa... [Uncategorized]

June 20, 10PM

Yep, those are faux camels headed down the traffic median in Gaziantep, just outside the famous Zeugma mosaics museum (on which see the following post). Why are they there, you may ask? Well Gaizantep was on the spice road which came from the Middle East ... [Uncategorized]

June 19, 10PM

For better or worse, it was the practice of Muslim conquerors to: 1) take over churches and turn them into mosques (e.g. Hagia Sophia) which unintentionally helped preserve some of these churches and their features, and 2) alternately, they would build on... [Uncategorized]

June 18, 10PM

Why is this man staring at you? Well, because he is offering you the opportunity to come and be photographed as a regal figure in the Ottoman and pre-Ottoman style. Really it should be called the Osmanli style, but the British screwed that up, just like t... [Uncategorized]

June 17, 10PM

According to church historical evidence, there were three ‘first’ churches of Byzantine Christianity– one named for holy peace (St. Eirene which becomes St. Irene in English), one for holy wisdom (St. Sophia), and one other for holy powe... [Uncategorized]

June 16, 10PM

Sometimes archaeology is just a matter of pure luck. Take for instance the case of the discovery of the wrecks of numerous ancient ships near Istanbul. It was all over the news. and rightly so. But the dig in progress was for the new tunnel under the Bosp... [Uncategorized]

June 15, 10PM

There is a one to 25 scale replica park in Istanbul called the Miniaturk Park, presumably for families and especially those who can’t afford to travel and see the sites in Turkey. It’s a fun place, and in fact it’s the only place you are... [Uncategorized]

June 14, 10PM

The word Chora in Greek means ‘country’ and once upon a time the Chora Church in Istanbul, now a museum, was out on the country. This church is the source of various of the famous iconic mosaic images you see of Christ Pantokrator, rather than... [Uncategorized]

June 13, 10PM

June 12, 10PM

Having already read the prequel to Rogue Lawyer (352 pages released last October), namely the short story Partners on Kindle last month, I have now consumed Rogue Lawyer whilst riding on the plane to and from Atlanta to Istanbul and back again. As usual, ... [Uncategorized]

June 11, 10PM

Southern Discomfort Ben Witherington III Southern Discomfort chronicles the trials and tribulation of Masey Bumgarner, recently widowed, who returns from her summer vacation to discover that her town, Pineville, North Carolina, has decided to pave a four-... [Uncategorized]

June 10, 10PM

One of the sad parts of teaching graduate students, is though many are bright, only a few can write well (by which I do not mean only a few can write the word ‘well’). So Weird Al’s now famous video ‘Word Crimes’ is mandatory... [Uncategorized]

June 9, 10PM

Of the now some five Lyle Mays solo lps, the first two which emerged in 1986 and 1988, and now have been reissued, tell an important tale of just how big a contribution Lyle made to the real early peak of the Pat Metheny Group (think Still Life Talking, O... [Uncategorized]

June 8, 10PM

Q12.BEN: It seems obvious enough that the Pastorals do call leaders and others to both good service of their fellow Christians, and to not be greedy. You give us various examples from Xenophon and elsewhere about how people sought the priesthood of Artemi... [Uncategorized]

June 7, 10PM

Here’s part of an interesting article from the website sciencealert.com with a remarkable testimony about a secular Jew who suddenly had a vision of God while they were testing his brain, since he was epileptic. See what you think. BW3 Thanks to ale... [Uncategorized]

June 6, 10PM

Here’s a fine post by my friend Timothy George. There lived in the town of Assisi a man whose name was Francis. . . . In him we can contemplate the excess of God’s mercy: he brought the good news of peace and salvation to all, like a true Angel of... [Uncategorized]
(picture courtesy of our Louisville Courier Journal). Muhammed Ali, born Cassius Clay in Louisville Kentucky, was a remarkable boxer, and an even more remarkable human being. A charismatic personality, Ali, named after the famous Egyptian muslim who is me... [Uncategorized]

June 5, 10PM

Thanks to the Faithlife/Logos folks for the use of this cartoon. BW3 [Uncategorized]

June 4, 10PM

It was the Who who said ‘Hope I die before I get old’. Abandon hope Roger and Pete— ya’ll are certifiably old. Any band that celebrates 50 years of touring, or even 40, involves oldsters. And then there was Dylan Thomas who advised... [Uncategorized]

June 3, 10PM

Today is the day Ann and I were married in S. Hamilton, Mass. in 1977. It seems like an opportune moment to reflect on some ‘famous last words’ none better than those of Jesus— ‘Father into thy hands I commend my spirit’. See... [Uncategorized]

June 2, 10PM

June 1, 10PM

May 31, 10PM

May 30, 10PM

May 29, 10PM

Ah the bougainvillea, the food, the Sesame St. characters in beautiful Antalya, Turkey in the summer….. [Uncategorized]

May 28, 10PM

May 27, 10PM

The answer must be—- to punish us for our sins, which are many. BW3 [Uncategorized]

May 26, 10PM

My family have always been big Beethoven lovers, and of course who doesn’t love the last portion of his Ninth Symphony, commonly called ‘the Ode to Joy’. Hopefully Dad is listening to this even now performed by the heavenly choir. He wou... [Uncategorized]

May 25, 10PM

May 24, 10PM

May 23, 10PM

May 22, 10PM

Here is a helpful blog post on Revelation by my friend and colleague Larry Hurtado. See what you think. BW3 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) typicall... [Uncategorized]

May 21, 10PM

Q11. BEN: I wonder if you have had occasion to read John Barclay’s masterful study Paul and the Gift, as he has quite a lot to say about Paul’s views on grace and benefaction, not always agreeing with you. You push hard for the view that the author of... [Uncategorized]

May 20, 10PM

Here is an excellent sermon by one of our best Methodist preachers….. which I happened to be present for at the Woodlands UMC…. [Uncategorized]

May 19, 10PM

If you’ve been to the South, but never been to a swamp shack, well…. you haven’t truly been to all the South. I mean at a swamp shack the ‘gators don’t do the eating, they get eaten, much to their own chagrin. Now Buzzard Bil... [Uncategorized]

May 18, 10PM

After the Bible, the book, or collection of books most read, studied, performed around the world, whether in English or not, is of course Shakespeare. And the impact has been, and continues to be enormous. If you don’t know the Bible and Shakespeare... [Uncategorized]

9AM

Here is an offer you absolutely should not refuse. Available on Kindle already (cut and paste this link into your browser—https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FTEBDFM), my brand new summer beach reading special ‘Southern Discomfort’, available a... [Uncategorized]

May 17, 10PM

Here are some thoughts about Pentecost I recently wrote up for Missio-Alliance. See what you think… In the process of figuring out next steps when it comes to evangelism and mission work, there is a tendency on most people’s part to look for new t... [Uncategorized]

May 16, 10PM

Q10.BEN: Obviously the issue of slavery is a ethically difficult one for Christian scholars to discuss, and there have been recent treatments of the household codes and related passages such as the one you deal with in 1 Timothy, that in essence suggest t... [Uncategorized]

May 15, 10PM

Just for the record, I grew up listening to classical music and show tunes, hymns and then as a teen rock n’ roll, which kept my attention for a long time. I continued to play violin in the orchestra, right through the beginning of college. Played i... [Uncategorized]

2PM

It has been a good while since we’ve seen Kentucky George with Georgia Julia, two Southerners who made it big in Hollywood. Perhaps you enjoyed the Oceans movies which involved both these stars. In a sense, this movie is like those, as it is all abo... [Uncategorized]

May 14, 10PM

Here is an interview done about this book, in which I explain the major thrusts of this book. There is a bit of a hiccup in my voice track in this interview, but you will hear clearly the majority of the interview clearly. [Uncategorized]

May 13, 10PM

There are only so many bands of the 60s through the 90s that I haven’t seen, that are still on the bucket list. One of those bands was Duran Duran, an 80s synth-pop band with a fashion sense and an attitude. Some of their songs were instant classics... [Uncategorized]

5AM

The giant kerfuffle recently over bathrooms in North Carolina and who gets to use which ones is a tip of the iceberg kind of thing, revealing to us where our glacial culture is drifting. If we are looking at and for underlying causes to what is going on, ... [Uncategorized]

May 12, 10PM

Without question, the favorite thing to do in central Texas besides watching football, is finding a good barbecue restaurant, especially in a small town. One such place which is 40 miles south of Waco is Schoepf’s (pronounced chef’s) in the li... [Uncategorized]

May 11, 10PM

Here’s a post by Rev. Randy Saultz, a former student of mine…. and a good colleague in ministry. — Preaching John’s Wisdom Ben Witherington is recognized for his exegetical expertise. Not as many know him as a preacher but his commenta... [Uncategorized]

May 10, 10PM

Here was, and is, one of the most interesting and progressive largely instrumental rock bands who made tons of familiar tunes (some of which showed up in films, commercials etc.)…. Check it out… [Uncategorized]

May 9, 10PM

May 8, 10PM

I listened for the Muse, But only heard her hum…. Hoping for the lost chord All I got was a strum… Inspiration is not a sensation Nor is it a thought, It’s a movement of the Spirit That can’t be conjured or bought Creation is not contrivance Nor i... [Uncategorized]

May 7, 10PM

May 6, 10PM

May 5, 10PM

In 2013 Sam Siciliano published ‘The Grimswell Curse’ a precursor, as it turns out to his ‘The White’. The relationship between these two novels is rather like the relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus. There are some dif... [Uncategorized]

7PM

On balance, the Marvel franchise has done a much better job of bringing its characters to the big screen than the DC franchise. Witness the most recent attempt with a bad Batman vs. Superman movie which few praised, especially after the first 30 minutes. ... [Uncategorized]

May 4, 10PM

Here is an excellent post by my friend and colleague Timothy George, which I am reposting here. See what you think. —— In the fourth century, St. Athanasius wrote a letter to a certain Marcellinus, who was likely a deacon in the church in Alex... [Uncategorized]

May 3, 10PM

Ah, the Southern Barbecue Festival, and this one was in the back parking lot of the new Baylor Bear football stadium. Of course in Texas beef barbecue (particularly in its brisket form) is king, but in this particular contest ribs were the primary contest... [Uncategorized]

May 2, 10PM

Q9.BEN: Gary there is a lot of good detailed work in this book with both the primary and secondary sources, how long did it take you to research and write this book and get it into print? A9.GARY: 10 years spanning from 2006 to 2015. Here’s a summary of... [Uncategorized]

May 1, 10PM

Back at the dawn of time, by which I mean B.C.— before computer, before cellphone, and even before CG, one of the things parents let children do was read Classics Illustrated. It was the comic book version of certain classics, including the classics... [Uncategorized]

April 30, 10PM

May Day, in ancient Western culture, was the day that men and women took a big bath, after stinking most of the winter, and got all cleaned up and dressed up, and did the mating ritual known as the May pole dance, which in turn led to a season of courting... [Uncategorized]

7AM

I’m very happy to report that my NT Theology and Ethics (2 volumes) is now available on Kindle. Marc Axelrod, you have been put on notice BW3 [Uncategorized]

April 29, 10PM

Here’s a video I did for Seedbed, meant to tease your mind into active thought. Having read through the comments a couple of points should be added: 1) in the video sometimes I say cross when I meant cloth. It was taped in one sitting, so c’es... [Uncategorized]

April 28, 10PM

John Grisham is too well known for his full length legal thrillers to need any introduction, but what is less well known is that he is an excellent short story writer as well, as is demonstrated amply in the seven short stories which comprise Ford County.... [Uncategorized]

9AM

Adam Hamilton has once more entered into the fray of making pronouncements about what the Bible does and does not advocate when it comes to same sex sexual activity and same sex marriage, and you can read his post here, http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/... [Uncategorized]

April 27, 10PM

“The abnegation of reason is not the evidence of faith but the confession of despair. Reason and reverence are natural allies, though untoward circumstances may sometimes interpose and divorce them”— J.B. Lightfoot [Uncategorized]

April 26, 10PM

The next installment of the Star Wars reboot, is in production. Here is the first official trailer. The movie is coming in December, as it did last year. See what you think, and may the schwartz be with you…. BW3 [Uncategorized]

April 25, 10PM

Q8.BEN: One last issue for this part of the discussion. It seems clear to me that Paul is trying to avoid the reciprocity spin cycle in his discussion in 1 Cor. 9. He is working to support himself in Corinth because there was a danger of his being co-opte... [Uncategorized]

April 24, 10PM

Q7.BEN: The discussion of 1 Tim. 3.1-14 is equally interesting. I’m not convinced however that these character descriptions are all that counter-cultural here. Some of them perhaps are, but not all of them, and in particular the one about not being a mo... [Uncategorized]

April 23, 10PM

Here is the original form of the article I wrote for CT which appeared in their March 18th issue……. AND DEATH SHALL HAVE NO DOMINION— Mark 5.21-43 Ben Witherington, III There are all sorts of miracle stories in the Gospel of Mark—exorc... [Uncategorized]

April 22, 10PM

April 21, 10PM

April 20, 10PM

Q6b.BEN: I also found it puzzling that you found the Eve example not to have anything to do with her instruction, and yet the Genesis story tells us that only Adam received the proper instruction about the tree, and apparently did a lousy job of conveying... [Uncategorized]

April 19, 10PM

A REVIEW OF RICHARD HAYS’ ECHOES OF SCRIPTURE IN THE GOSPELS, (BAYLOR, 2016) (A fuller and annotated version of this review will appear as an Appendix in my forthcoming book Isaiah, Old and New). I was teaching in Nova Scotia in June of 2015 and with th... [Uncategorized]

April 18, 10PM

BEN: Richard this book has been long in the making, as you explain in your introduction. And you had to make a significant shift in your research and writing foci to do this project. What was it about the Gospels that so fascinated you when it came to the... [Uncategorized]

April 17, 10PM

1993 seems like a very long time ago these days. It was the year I went to Boston and ran the Boston marathon with about 5,000 others. In those days there was no need for a certain qualifying time unless you wanted to compete for a timed outcome. I didn&#... [Uncategorized]

April 16, 10PM

In the ongoing debate in Methodism about the passages in the OT and NT that say that same sex sexual activity is immoral, one of the strategies of those who would change the Discipline’s statements that affirm this Biblical stance, is to suggest tha... [Uncategorized]

April 15, 10PM

I must say at the outset that I am very very picky when it comes to Sherlock Holmes stories by someone other than the originator, Conan Doyle. I mean I have the fully annotated Baring-Gould edition of all the original stories as they appeared in the Stran... [Uncategorized]

April 14, 10PM

So whilst here in Waco for six weeks, one has time to sample the local ‘culture’, I use the term loosely. There is indeed culture here at Baylor, but so far as the town goes…. well, there is the food culture. Look closely at the picture ... [Uncategorized]

April 13, 10PM

April 12, 10PM

April 11, 10PM

It was Einstein, no less, who said, ‘either everything is a miracle, or nothing is a miracle’. I understand this sentiment, but of course to most people, if you use the word ‘miracle’ you’re talking about something that is no... [Uncategorized]

April 10, 10PM

Q6a.BEN: One factor that I would say your analysis overlooks in dealing with 1 Tim. 2.8-15 is that Paul is correcting existing problems— the men are grumbling, the women are over-dressing and interfering with whoever is (presumably Timothy) the pers... [Uncategorized]

April 9, 10PM

The Top 10 Help people hate each other: Divorce Lawyer (Scott Adams’ favorite) Stand on a field and get yelled at for hours: Baseball Umpire Talk in other people’s sleep: College Professor Call people who know what they’re doing and ask them what th... [Uncategorized]

April 8, 10PM

Scott Adams is a very talented cartoonist who gives us Dilbert day after day. He has a pleasant wacky and wry sense of humor. And now he has offered us— Name that Job Performer! This email will give you the long list, and we’ll save the top te... [Uncategorized]

April 7, 10PM

My Baylor friend Prof. Philip Jenkins has some good thoughts about the OT….. and I reprint his post here….. Numbering the Old Testament: 22, 24 , 39, or more? March 21, 2016 by Philip Jenkins 0 Comments Over the past couple of years my work ha... [Uncategorized]

April 6, 10PM

Q5.BEN: I found your analysis of 1 Tim. 2.8-15 fascinating, and you may well be right that some high status Gentile women in the church were expecting, right off the bat, to be able to play the same roles in the church they had played, or knew were played... [Uncategorized]

April 5, 10PM

Q4.BEN: The Ephesos of the mid-first century A.D. was a thriving place, and religiously pluralistic in character, though certainly the Temple of Artemis dominated the religious landscape. I quite agree that major temples like that of Artemis which had bee... [Uncategorized]

April 4, 10PM

It’s out! The revised standard version of my NT Theology and Ethics is now available through Amazon etc. This is the simplified more lay friendly version also suitable for college students as well. See what you think….. BW3 [Uncategorized]

April 3, 10PM

There is no writer about ancient Rome during the NT period who is more fun to read than Lindsey Davis. Unfortunately, she chose to retire her very best character Marcus Didius Falco, who, truth be told, was getting a little long in the tooth, as they say.... [Uncategorized]

April 2, 10PM

Among the most frequently recited cliches of our time is “its not about the destination, its about the journey”. While it may be true that when you are on vacation, it is good sometimes to have an open-ended trip and simply enjoy going and see... [Uncategorized]

April 1, 10PM

In a totally unexpected move, President Obama yesterday nominated Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to be the next Supreme Court justice on the bench. Flustered by the unexpected move, after repeatedly telling one and all that there would be no hearings... [Uncategorized]

March 31, 10PM

Contrary to popular belief, it is not true either that ‘rock n’roll’ is dead, or that it died and was resurrection as pop/rock/country in Nashville though there is a smidgin of truth to the latter rumor. Here is a list of five rock and f... [Uncategorized]

March 30, 10PM

Here is a second paraphrase, this time of 2 Cor. 3 from Lightfoot. Reflect on it—- Will it be thought that in thus contrasting ourselves with false teachers that we are beginning again to recommend ourselves (as we have been obliged necessarily to d... [Uncategorized]

March 29, 10PM

Here is Lightfoot’s wonderful paraphrastic translation of 2 Cor. 1. Reflect on this in your prayer and quiet time today and it will do you good. (BW3) Blessed is God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the compassionate Father (the Father who best... [Uncategorized]

March 28, 10PM

After writing a mesmerizing novel about Pompeii, entitled….wait for it ‘Pompeii’ telling the story of before and after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in the late first century, Robert Harris turned his attention to writing a trilogy of nov... [Uncategorized]

March 27, 10PM

Who knew that I was part of March Madness according to Logos Software! And my goodness, why did they pit me against my personal NT hero— that is unfair tactics. I need to have a come to Jesus meeting with the seeding committee!! [Uncategorized]

March 26, 10PM

A PERMANENT SOLUTION Everything wears out, It all fades away, Even time passes Day by day. Nothing lasts, For very long, Your favorite food, Your favorite song. We grow weary, Tired of routine Let’s be honest, And just come clean. Our fear is evident Th... [Uncategorized]

March 25, 10PM

“What starts as gratitude quickly becomes dependency and ends as entitlement.”— Cicero on the grain dole for the masses in Rome. On Easter Saturday, we take a Sabbath’s rest from the Holy week contemplations to think seriously abou... [Uncategorized]

March 24, 10PM

DEATH BE NOT PROUD (Phil. 1.12-26; 1 Cor. 15.54-58; II Tim. 4.6-8) DEADLY APPROACHES TO DEATH When all is said and done, there are only a few ways we humans can react to death. We can recognize it as a fact, and so let it dominate our thinking that it cas... [Uncategorized]

March 23, 10PM

Who would have guessed in September 2010 when Downton Abbey’s first season began to air in the U.K. that yet another period piece from the adept British producers of endless period pieces (think Brideshead Revisited or even Poldark) would take the w... [Uncategorized]

March 22, 10PM

Q3.BEN: In terms of methodology, you decided to follow the lead of the modern rhetorical approach of Vernon Robbins and his distinguishing of various ‘textures’ in the text (e.g. ideological texture, sacred texture etc.) as opposed to analyzing the ma... [Uncategorized]

March 21, 10PM

One of the classic ways to either change the subject or stop a conversation is by labeling something mere prejudice. The conversation then changes if the speaker believes they are being shamed into being quiet. Indeed, often the conversation just stops. F... [Uncategorized]

March 20, 10PM

JOB DESCRIPTION When comfort turns to torment And solace leads to pain Then Job will find his master and Receive his life again. When ashes without number Burn on the funeral pyre Then suffering is consumed And an end is made through fire. Yet through the... [Uncategorized]

March 19, 10PM

Let’s be honest— racism is a really ugly sin. It has ruined far too many lives, and it is still a major problem in America. Yes, we’ve made some progress in my lifetime, but not nearly enough. If you doubt this, remember last year and wh... [Uncategorized]

March 18, 10PM

Dr. Sue Liubinskas, who recently successfully defended her doctoral thesis on Paul and ethnography here at Asbury has graciously agreed to share her testimony as to how she came to this point in life, prepared now to assume a significant teaching ministry... [Uncategorized]

March 17, 10PM

The use of the notion of prophecy and fulfillment has always been a major way of trying to relate the two testaments, and in addition the notions of type and ante-type also aided the attempt to relate the two testaments. Christian thought has always fough... [Uncategorized]

March 16, 10PM

According to Gerhard Ebeling church history is the exposition of Scripture. As Childs says in his conclusions, no one interpretative schema, singular creedal formula, or philosophical or theological system has been employed throughout the ages to make sen... [Uncategorized]

March 15, 10PM

The final chapter of Child’s review attends to the phenomenon known as post-modern interpretation of the Bible. He focuses on providing a critique of W. Brueggemann, sometimes a very strong critique— “to confuse the divine Spirit with human imag... [Uncategorized]

March 14, 10PM

G.A. Smith (1856-1942) became principle of the University of Aberdeen, an internationally famous lecturer and preacher as well. His Expositor’s Bible commentaries first on the Book of the Twelve and then on Isaiah were enormously popular and influential... [Uncategorized]

March 13, 10PM

JOB DESCRIPTION When comfort turns to torment And solace leads to pain Then Job will find his master and Receive his life again. When ashes without number Burn on the funeral pyre Then suffering is consumed And an end is made through fire. Yet through the... [Uncategorized]

March 12, 11PM

T.K. Cheyne (1841-1915) was a professor at Oxford who began with rather conservative views about Isaiah and the OT (partly under the influence of Delitzsch), and ended much less so. At first his work just focused on rather uncontroversial attention to his... [Uncategorized]

March 11, 11PM

F. Delitzsch (1813-90) was indeed a major commentator on Isaiah and other OT books and he spent much of his life learning and interacting with rabbinic literature on the Bible. He was involved in a project to translate the NT into Hebrew, and his knowledg... [Uncategorized]

2PM

BEN: Anne you wrote ‘Out of Egypt’ some time ago. Were you surprised when someone decided the time was now to make a movie of it? ANNE: Actually there was movie interest almost from the beginning. Cyrus Nowrasteh came along with his offer afte... [Uncategorized]

1PM

Today, when the film ‘the Young Messiah’ premiered, I was there, with about 10 other people to see it. If you have recently seen the film ‘Risen’ the similarities between the two films will immediately strike you– both focus ... [Uncategorized]

7AM

I’m pleased to announce my second series of Bible Study/ Small Group/ Sunday School 12 week studies published by Seedbed. You’ll want to go to the Seedbed site (most easily found on the banner on the home page at www.asburyseminary.edu) to ord... [Uncategorized]

March 10, 11PM

J. Knabenbauer was a conservative Catholic commentator of the second half of the 19th century who did a good job of interacting with the church fathers, and having a balanced approach to the exegetical and theological substance of Isaiah. He argues well f... [Uncategorized]

March 9, 11PM

The early nineteenth century was characterized by work on the OT including Isaiah that rejected or ignored the Christian tradition of interpretation of the OT, and relied instead on growing knowledge of the ANE as a clue to the meaning of all sorts of wor... [Uncategorized]

March 8, 11PM

A. Calmet (1672-1757) was a Catholic traditionalist, that both Protestant and Catholic exegetes lauded in the eighteenth century (including high praise from Adam Clarke who said he was the best commentator Protestant or Catholic). Calmet focuses on the li... [Uncategorized]

March 7, 11PM

Robert Lowth (1710-87) was a major British scholar, indeed a professor of poetry at Oxford. In 1778 he published a new translation and commentary on Isaiah, which was to become one of his two most famous works. But it necessarily followed and depended upo... [Uncategorized]

March 6, 11PM

AKEDAH Did he ponder Isaac Whilst hanging on the cross A last second substitution Just before all was lost? Is this why he cried out ‘My God, My God’ so loud Showing disappointment Before a hostile crowd? Where’s God’s intervention, Offering anoth... [Uncategorized]

March 5, 11PM

One’s students often depart from the views of their professors, and this is true of C. Vitringa (1659-1722) the student of Cocceius. He sought to join together the secular and sacred history of Scripture, charting a course between Grotius and Cocceius. ... [Uncategorized]

March 4, 11PM

Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669) was a well known Reformed exegete. He had considerable linguistic skills (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, even Arabic) and he knew rabbinic literature as well. He became a professor from 1643-69 (in later years at Leiden). Chil... [Uncategorized]

2PM

The official description of this 1 hour 48 minute film on the rottentomatoes.com website reads as follows—- “The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frig... [Uncategorized]

March 3, 11PM

Child’s treatment of the history of interpretation after Calvin is necessarily much more succinct, presumably because it is more readily available and familiar to the reader. He begins with Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) and his critiquer or rebutter Abraham ... [Uncategorized]

6PM

Here’s a helpful article written by an Evangelical who has been an advisor to three Republican Presidents as to why no Evangelical should be voting for Donald Trump, see what you think. He rightly raises the same questions as Pope Francis raised, na... [Uncategorized]

March 2, 11PM

In his teaching and preaching of Isaiah, Calvin starts with the Hebrew text itself and he is always focusing on a particular text and he seeks to help the audience understand the meaning of the words in that text. In his Isaiah commentary he seldom resort... [Uncategorized]

March 1, 11PM

As Childs point out, Calvin did not see a major difference between the intentions of the human author and the intentions of the Holy Spirit in inspiring the human author to say this or that. He acknowledges that the full personality and knowledge of the h... [Uncategorized]

February 29, 11PM

John Calvin (1509-1564) was the exegete par excellence amongst the early Protestant divines, even though in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries he has been better known for his theological institutes. Calvin’s commentating was philologically and hist... [Uncategorized]

February 28, 11PM

CRACKS IN THE WALL Cracks in the wall, There by design, Prayers on plain paper One of them mine Rabbis are chanting, Torah held high, Sunlight is fading, In the blue sky. Guards are watching, Passing the time, Nodding acquaintance With the sublime. Herod... [Uncategorized]

February 27, 11PM

Child’s analysis of Luther’s treatment of Isaiah involves a close reading of his lectures on the subject and he deduces the following things: 1) there are not a lot of references (occasionally he critiques Jerome or Origen or Nicholas— the latter in... [Uncategorized]

February 26, 11PM

Martin Luther (1483-1546) that Augustinian monk who had an epiphany and began the Protestant movement quite unintentionally, of course deserves close attention. While Luther did indeed say some strong things about the problems with allegorical exegesis, a... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

If you need a feel good movie to get you out of the winter doldrums, this movie is just the ticket. Complete with 80s synthesizer music (including of course Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ and Hall and Oates ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’... [Uncategorized]

February 25, 11PM

Nicholas of Lyra (ca. 1270-1349 A.D.) has sometimes been accused of being as pale imitator of Thomas Aquinas, which is not exactly fair. He does argue with Thomas that “words always signify things, but in scripture the things signified by the words [e.g... [Uncategorized]

February 24, 11PM

The influence of Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225-74 A.D.) compared to some of these earlier church fathers, not including Augustine, can hardly be over-estimated. I recently went to a Christology Conference at the Dominican Centre at Catholic University in D.C. ... [Uncategorized]

February 23, 11PM

Gary Hoag continues—— Texts like 1 Tim 2:9-15 reveal that social and cultural expectations linked to the decorum and deeds of women in God’s house must change dramatically (see chapter three of my BBRS volume). Ephesiaca was instrumental in ... [Uncategorized]

February 22, 11PM

Q2.BEN: From the outset of your study, you seem concerned to take the old Dibelius and Conzelmann claim about the supposed ‘bourgeois ethics’ of the Pastoral Epistles to task. They seem to have assumed the ethics in the Pastorals were at odds with the... [Uncategorized]

February 21, 11PM

On Valentine’s weekend we were privileged to be invited to come see American Pharoah at Ashford Stud, in Versailles. The ole boy has put on 120 lbs. since he won the Breeder’s Cup and looks good. As of Valentine’s Day he is officially ou... [Uncategorized]

February 20, 11PM

THE ALCOVE A niche, A hideaway A retreat A sanctuary For prayer Communion Contact Reunion Like the horns on the altar Like the hem of his robe Like the songs in the psalter Like his hand on the globe Like a vault for safekeeping Like a treasury found Like... [Uncategorized]

February 19, 11PM

In working on the Hebrew text of Isaiah, for my forthcoming book, Isaiah Old and New one of the things that has certainly struck me is how often bad theology happens as a result of a mistranslation or misreading of a translation of a text, usually an OT t... [Uncategorized]

11AM

There are many things that one could put on the desideratum list when it comes to swords and sandals cinematic epics involving the story of Jesus. At the top of the list would be— ‘Please dear God, let them get the story right this time’... [Uncategorized]

7AM

Q1.BEN: First of all thank you Gary for this stimulating new book of yours based on your study of the little known work by Xenophon of Ephesus, his ‘Ephesiaca’. It is always a good thing when we do primary source research on extant documents from the ... [Uncategorized]

February 17, 11PM

It is not always necessary to write a large scholarly tome to write a good one, and Gary Hoag’s Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy. Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenephon of Ephesus (Eisenbrauns, 2015, $49.00, 266 pages), i... [Uncategorized]

February 16, 11PM

In 1953 a movie came out entitled The Robe which was a sand and sandals epic about a Roman centurion who had been one of the ones who crucified Jesus, and won his robe on the toss of the dice, and was thereafter haunted by the man on the cross. Unlike, Ha... [Uncategorized]

11AM

Maybe you did not notice, but the only references at all to actual rock n’ roll/soul/funk bands in the Grammys last night was in tributes to now deceased musicians: 1) Glenn Frey of the Eagles; 2) Maurice White founder of Earth, Wind, and Fire;3) B.... [Uncategorized]

February 15, 10PM

Witherington_44145_Excerpt Here you will find a little excerpt of our newest novel, by kind permission of Wipf and Stock. By all means enjoy….. and then get the whole thing on Kindle or in paperback. BW3 [Uncategorized]

February 14, 11PM

February 13, 11PM

February 12, 11PM

February 11, 11PM

February 10, 11PM

Here is an interesting article about the discovery at Sepphoris, near Nazareth, of bi-lingual (Aramaic and Greek) inscriptions. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/01/27/israeli-archaeologists-find-inscriptions-in-the-galilee-in-the-language-of-jesus-the... [Uncategorized]

February 9, 11PM

The term Lenten comes from the English word ‘lengthen’ referring to the lengthening of the days as one progresses towards Easter. Here is the first of several meditations for your reflection during Lent, this one for today, Ash Wednesday. RSVP... [Uncategorized]

February 8, 11PM

February 7, 11PM

Perhaps you are old enough to remember cassette tapes, or even reel to reel tapes. The thing that happens at the very end of a rewind is that the tape goes into a sort of hyper-drive spinning at 90 miles an hour and then finally, abruptly reaching the end... [Uncategorized]

February 6, 11PM

Here’s a nice tribute at the Kennedy Center to Gordon Summoner, a mere jazz bassist in Newcastle until a drummer found him and they launched the Police. And the rest is history…… [Uncategorized]

February 5, 11PM

February 4, 11PM

Billy Joel was one of only 2-3 pianists who had a brilliant career in rock, in an age of guitars and more guitars. This is a nice tribute, which includes a moving rendition by Don Henley of She’s Got a Way. [Uncategorized]

February 3, 11PM

This was a Kennedy Center All Star tribute to the music of Paul McCartney. [Uncategorized]

February 2, 11PM

This was an All Star tribute to Led Zeppelin. This is why they call it ‘classic rock’. Real musicians were writing and performing their own music on real instruments producing memorable tunes that stick in your head for generations. And notice... [Uncategorized]

February 1, 11PM

‘The Finest Hours’ starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck, is certainly one of the finest ‘rescue’ movies ever made. It tells the true story of a dramatic rescue of more than twenty men hanging on for dear life to the second half of... [Uncategorized]

January 31, 11PM

Kudos to my friend Ed Paxton who found this on the internet. [Uncategorized]

January 30, 11PM

Strangely, Child’s jumps nearly 900 years to his next major interpreter, Aquinas. How is it even possible that there is no real discussion of Augustine’s voluminous dealings with the Biblical text, including Isaiah? Or even someone like Bede? And why ... [Uncategorized]

January 29, 11PM

The Antiochian school of interpretation (Theodore, Julian, Chrysostom, Theodoret) has frequently been misunderstood, and as a result, misinterpreted. They were not simply interested in the literal or historical meaning of the text as oppose to the spiritu... [Uncategorized]

January 28, 11PM

Cyril of Alexandria (ca. 378-44 A.D.) before he became embroiled in controversy with Nestorius and others in about 430 A.D., Cyril wrote some major commentaries on the Bible, including on Isaiah and John. He stood, not surprisingly, entirely in the Alexan... [Uncategorized]

January 27, 11PM

Sadly, we do not have much from John Chrysostom (ca. 349-407 A.D.) on Isaiah. This is a great pity because in my view he was the greatest exegete of the early church. We do have five or six Homilies on Isaiah but they are not focused on the exegesis of th... [Uncategorized]

January 26, 11PM

It would be hard to over estimate the significance of Jerome (345-420 A.D.) when it comes to the establishing of Christian commentating on the Bible, including on Isaiah. Ironically, despite all his erudition and thorough knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, it... [Uncategorized]

January 25, 11PM

Eusebius (ca. 260-340 A.D.), is of course best known for his work Ecclesiastical History for which he came to be dubbed the ‘father of church history’. It is only in more recent decades that research has focused more on Eusebius as a Biblical commenta... [Uncategorized]

January 24, 11PM

The next member of the Alexandrian school could hardly be more different in some respects than Clement. I am referring to Origen (ca. 185-254 A.D.). Unlike Clement, Origen was indeed first and foremost a Bible scholar, an exegete. Nevertheless, his go to ... [Uncategorized]

January 23, 11PM

Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150-214 A.D.) is treated next, and as Childs admits, he really doesn’t have much to say about Isaiah, or if he did, it is mostly lost to us with his work Hypotyposeis being no longer extant. We do have some fragments of the Ec... [Uncategorized]

January 22, 11PM

It is the approach of Childs which involves both critical engagement and also empathy with the sources he examines that distinguishes his work to a real extent from that of Sawyer who is too focused on abuses of the OT. The next church father Childs gives... [Uncategorized]

January 21, 11PM

As Childs points out, the earliest post-NT Christian commentator on Isaiah in any significant way is Justin Martyr (ca. 100-165 A.D.). He knows no Hebrew, so he is following some form of the LXX text. He cites Isaiah some seventy-six times, thirty nine of... [Uncategorized]

January 20, 11PM

Brevard Childs was one of the very great OT scholars of the late twentieth century and into this century, and his last major contribution to Biblical Studies is a book entitled The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture (Eerdmans, 2004). Wha... [Uncategorized]

January 19, 11PM

I’m working away on a book that deals with Isaiah in the OT and NT, not least because Isaiah is the most frequently cited book from the OT in the NT. In the process of doing this book, I’ve been doing a lot of reading of OT literature on Isaia... [Uncategorized]

January 18, 11PM

The following is a re-post of something I wrote in 2009 for my Beliefnet blog. It seems even more relevant today what with all sorts of unethical behavior going on in the church, including in conservative Christian churches. A CENSUS OF THE CONSENUS: NT E... [Uncategorized]

January 17, 11PM

(https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dust-cast/id1073000684) [Uncategorized]

January 16, 11PM

“There’s nothing in the Bible that says ‘thou shalt not wrestle’ says the wife of pastor Chris as he is struggling with whether to go back to wrestling to pay his family and church’s mounting bills. And believe it or not, thi... [Uncategorized]

January 15, 11PM

Here is a very interesting article which demonstrates the importance of archaeological work for the understanding of the historical Jesus and his ministry. See what you think—- http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/unearthing-world-jesus-180957515/ [Uncategorized]

January 14, 11PM

Tis the season for primaries, and since Evangelicals seem rather involved, I thought I would provide a voters guide, in regard to the kind of person one should vote for, based on the traits used to describe a follower of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount ... [Uncategorized]

January 13, 11PM

[This is a repost of one of blog posts from a decade ago. What I said then, I would still say today, perhaps even more emphatically. I've added a few new sprinkles to the post]. The chaplain ran to help the man lying on the beach of a South Pacific island... [Uncategorized]

January 12, 11PM

Here is an interview done with Shaun Tabbatt about my archaeological thrillers. Cut and paste this link into your browsers and listen—- http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/4/7/b/47b804fb505526a2/Author_Talks_With_Shaun_Tabatt_-_Episode_95_-_Ben_Witherington_-... [Uncategorized]

January 11, 11PM

We are off and running on Season 4 of the BBC Sherlock series with Cumberbatch and Freeman back at it again (with four episodes promised, the ‘Abominable Bride’ being the first). This first episode aired as a Christmas special in the U.K. What... [Uncategorized]

January 10, 11PM

Jennifer Lawrence, our home girl from Louisville, apparently can do no wrong. She is being given one interesting role after another, and not coincidentally she is on a roll. The girl can flat act. The movie ‘Joy’ is in fact a true story about ... [Uncategorized]

January 9, 11PM

The second ‘true story’ film you may have missed during the holidays which is well worth the watch is ‘Concussion’. Will Smith gives an Oscar worthy performance, really the best performance of his life as a Nigerian doctor living i... [Uncategorized]

January 8, 11PM

The Christmas season has come and gone, and since we are now officially in the movie dead zone, I thought I would recommend to you several excellent movies that came out during the Holiday season but which you may have missed due to the Star Wars blitz. T... [Uncategorized]

January 7, 11PM

Caveat Emptor, or in this case Caveat Lector. I should have known better. There were some negative reviews of this first Flavia Albia detective story. One reviewer on Amazon complained that the writing didn’t seem like the writing of Lindsey Davis. ... [Uncategorized]

January 6, 11PM

One of the more important issues in regard to personalia in the NT, is who exactly was this Erastos mentioned in Rom. 16.23 and what was his job. He appears to be a convert to the new faith, presumably via Paul, and he lives in Corinth or one of its seapo... [Uncategorized]

January 5, 11PM

January 4, 11PM

Here is an excellent recent post by my friend Larry Hurtado which deserves a further hearing. He is not enamored of the ‘history revisionists’ and neither am I when it comes to early Christian history. by larryhurtado A recent article mounts a... [Uncategorized]

January 3, 11PM

We are now in the season of Christmas for the Orthodox Church, and so it will be appropriate to have some reflections on the events surrounding Jesus’ birth, somewhere around 4 B.C. or a bit before. Here is a helpful column by my friend Philip Jenki... [Uncategorized]

January 2, 11PM

By now, most folk will know that Howard Marshall has gone to be with the Lord a month ago. The following is a lecture by I.H. Marshall given at Acadia University where I taught last summer on hermeneutics or the art of Biblical Interpretation. Howard was ... [Uncategorized]

January 1, 11PM

Here’s a very nice deal for six of the seven of our archaeological thrillers, courtesy of LOGOS (contact Bethany.Olsen@faithlife.com). The Collected Fiction of Ben and Ann Witherington (6 vols.) The Collected Fiction of Ben and Ann Witherington (6 v... [Uncategorized]

December 31, 11PM

Might as well start the new year with a bang, a WWII bang. It now appears likely that C.S. Lewis was enlisted by MI6 to help the British win the loyalty of the people of Iceland. The discovery was made by a professor at Union College. Here is the link to ... [Uncategorized]

December 30, 11PM

[I originally wrote this prayer for 2009, but in almost every regard it seems just as relevant now, so I reprint it below] —- A NEW YEAR’S PRAYER FOR OUR NATION— Lord God, maker of all that is good, and true and beautiful, all that is right,... [Uncategorized]

December 29, 11PM

‘I’m 64 say no more, It happened today, ‘yours sincerely wasting away’ BW3 12-30-51 [Uncategorized]

5PM

Just a quick note to let you know that the Kindle edition for Return to Zion is now available from Amazon in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, India, Japan, Italy, and Mexico. Please click here to view the link to your book... [Uncategorized]

December 28, 11PM

I hope to have demonstrated the value and necessity of placing Paul’s election language back in its original context, which was a decidedly Jewish one. As we reviewed the Jewish literature, we discovered a view of election that was grounded in God’s p... [Uncategorized]

December 27, 11PM

BEN: In terms of the modus operandi of this book, one of the basic approaches you take is to argue that if an idea is not found elsewhere in early Jewish literature, then it is wise to query whether we can be so sure that this idea is found in Paul’s le... [Uncategorized]

December 26, 11PM

THE SECRET Hidden reality Like life in the womb Hidden reality Like death in the tomb Hidden away For the appropriate day Wrapped in enigma, cloaked in secrecy, Awaiting a wake up call with urgency. But how shall such a song be sung? A tale that’s never... [Uncategorized]

December 25, 11PM

MOTHER LOAD From the very beginning The burden was clear Sometimes bearable Sometimes severe Ate from the apple Shared it with him Disobeyed the order Indulged the whim. What was the outcome? The fruit of the act? She ‘knew’ good and evil? She experie... [Uncategorized]

December 24, 11PM

I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along the unbroken song Of peace ... [Uncategorized]
INCOGNITO He came in incognito, A thinly veiled disguise The not so subtle son of man, A human with God’s eyes. The messianic secret, Left many unawares A God had walked upon the earth And shared our human cares. We did not see his glory, At least not a... [Uncategorized]

December 23, 11PM

THE BONDING A cold and listless season, And full of cheerless cheer, When hopes are raised and dashed again And joy dissolves in tears. The search for endless family The search for one true Friend Leaves questers tired, disconsolate With questions without... [Uncategorized]

December 22, 11PM

BEN: The discussion in chapter six about the heavenly tablets in Jubilees and their relationship to the book of life and the book of destruction is especially interesting in light of the discussion in Revelation where we have a warning that some people’... [Uncategorized]

11AM

I sat by the stream and waited What would float by me? Eventually I got frustrated, Because there was nothing to see. The dull day light was dim And my wits matched that grey As if all life’s colors Had fled, had gone away. The ducks in conversation The... [Uncategorized]

December 21, 11PM

BEN: In Chapter 5 it becomes clear that early Jews mostly thought that election was conditional, and the condition was faithfulness to the Mosaic covenant and its Law. You quote deSilva approvingly as follows “fidelity to the covenant ensures peace, sin... [Uncategorized]

5PM

I just received word from InterVarsity Press that the sales of ‘A Week in the Life of Corinth’ has made it a best seller by religious fiction standards. So, I have to thank the 7,562 of you who bought the paperback of this novella and supporte... [Uncategorized]

December 20, 11PM

[The following is a repost of an important summary of a new essay by Walter Ameling, reviewed and summarized by my friend Larry Hurtado. This appeared first on Larry's Blog on Dec. 2nd] Walter Ameling draws upon epigraphical evidence to consider languages... [Uncategorized]

December 19, 11PM

BEN: Chad in this chapter you talk about the ‘limited non-nationalistic understanding of election’ (p. 135) as permeating early Jewish literature. By this I take you to mean that Jews did view themselves as God’s chosen people, but while their ethni... [Uncategorized]

December 18, 11PM

Without a doubt, Lindsey Davis is one of the most skilled writers of fiction in recent memory. Her novels are characterized by wit, good historical research (she writes ancient Rome novels set mostly in the first century A.D.),quirky but likable protagoni... [Uncategorized]

1PM

It was 1977 and I was completing a rather celestial course of studies in theology, philosophy, philology, and other related subjects at Gordon-Conwell Seminary. My NY friend, and sometime roommate, Paul Terry and I decided to go see this new Syfy epic jus... [Uncategorized]

December 17, 11PM

BEN: One of the greatest difficulties to overcome in trying to get people to see the Bible with ancient rather than modern assumptions, is the problem of modern radical individualism warping the way we read the text. I remember the day I first realized th... [Uncategorized]

December 16, 11PM

BEN: One of the things that surprised me about your response about the covenants is that it does not reflect the work of various OT scholars, like Meredith Kline, who made quite clear how similar the OT covenants, in particular the Mosaic one, were like A... [Uncategorized]

1PM

As most of you will know by now, Jordan Smith is from Harlan County Kentucky, and we are proud to claim him as one of our home boys. He attends Lee University a Church of God school in Tennessee, and sings in his church choir. He took a semester off to si... [Uncategorized]

December 15, 11PM

N.B. The city Caesarea Philippi, during Jesus’ day was indeed outside of Galilee and outside the territory of Herod Antipas. It was part of the tiny territory which was ruled by Herod Philip, hence the name Caesarea Philippi. It was not a part of wh... [Uncategorized]

December 14, 11PM

December 13, 11PM

One of the most important books I have read in a long time in regard to the theology of election in Paul’s letters is the recent book by Dr. Chad Thornhill of Liberty entitled The Chosen People. Election, Paul and Second Temple Judaism. In the next ... [Uncategorized]

December 12, 11PM

December 11, 11PM

December 10, 11PM

December 9, 11PM

December 8, 11PM

December 7, 11PM

As I’ve already mentioned on this blog, the nice folks at Marvin UMC in Tyler Texas invited me to come and speak there, which I was happy to do. And Doug Baker, the senior minister, and his side kick Russ, and my Asbury student David Dorn showed me ... [Uncategorized]

4AM

This picture courtesy of my Charlotte friends. That’s Steph Curry and Cam Newton before the game last week in Charlotte. Notice how much bigger Cam is, and Steph Curry is Six feet Three!!! Of course, it ain’t the size of the dog in the fight, ... [Uncategorized]

December 6, 11PM

Of course I would never have been in High Point had my father not gotten a job there. This is him in that picture above on the right. He used to take me to Greensboro to see the Greensboro Yankees (including Mel Stottlemyre, Tommy Tresh, Bobby Mercer), bu... [Uncategorized]

6PM

Dear Mr. Bear: It has come to my attention that on the 29th day of this month there will be a bear-ram confrontation somewhere near Disney World. Inasmuch as this will be the first such confrontation in living memory, I would point out to you that bears d... [Uncategorized]

December 5, 11PM

My home church is Wesley Memorial Methodist, just off Westchester Dr. on the edge of High Point. When I was born, the church was actually downtown right across from another Methodist Church, First Methodist (the old Methodist Protestant Church), so wisely... [Uncategorized]

December 4, 11PM

John Coltrane lived his first 17 years of life in High Point, right through High School (he went to William Penn High, the black high school which was closed when the schools were integrated in the late 60s). His father ran a dry cleaning shop in High Poi... [Uncategorized]

December 3, 11PM

High Point is the home town of yours truly, but also of the most famous sax man of all time— John Coltrane. This post and the next will be about him…… It took a lot of arm twisting, but eventually we got High Point to recognize they need... [Uncategorized]

2PM

There are lots of different kinds of fights that go on in life— mental fights, emotional fights, spiritual battles, family fights, fighting against one’s upbringing or shortcomings, and even when we are talking fights that are physical, like m... [Uncategorized]

December 2, 11PM

Ah the divine swine! While in Greensboro to do lectures at my former doctoral student’s college, Greensboro College (a UMC school, on which see the poster below), we managed to squeeze in some local ‘cue, as it’s called locally. We went ... [Uncategorized]

December 1, 11PM

West Market St. UMC, like many churches built near the end of the 19th century has an interesting, rather Victorian structure, as you will now see. The outside has both a bell tower, and and a rounded portion to the right of the front entrance. Here’... [Uncategorized]

November 30, 11PM

In the next few posts, I’ll be sharing some of my church adventures from the events I did this Fall. I’ll start with West Market St. UMC in Greensboro N.C. where my Mom first joined the Methodist Church. This church has remarkable stained glas... [Uncategorized]

November 29, 11PM

My girls loved this whiny song and singer. I think this parody is better [Uncategorized]

November 28, 11PM

Certainly one of the most remarkable phenomena in all of entertainment is the continued worldwide popularity of the James Bond films, despite running through numerous actors, plots, scenarios, degrees of fidelity to the original Ian Fleming novels (which ... [Uncategorized]

November 27, 11PM

My Mom, who lives in her home town of Wilmington N.C. often sends me newspaper clippings, and sometimes the material is blog worthy, this being such a time. Here is a picture of a man who was baptized in the Fifth Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilm... [Uncategorized]

November 26, 11PM

I’ve been saving the best part for last, namely the $46 million dollar score board, which is of course larger than any other one on the planet. By comparison, the old Texas stadium where the Cowboys used to play only cost a mere $45 million to build... [Uncategorized]

November 25, 11PM

There never would have been a stadium like AT+T in all likelihood, had there not been a very successful Cowboys franchise for Jerry Jones to buy. He does not own the stadium, or better said, he is a minority owner of it along with the town of Arlington Te... [Uncategorized]

November 24, 11PM

It’s only appropriate at Turkey Day time that we speak of that other religion in America that is celebrated on that day— I’m referring to football of course, and the epicenter of football mania is of course Texas. Shoot, even High School... [Uncategorized]

November 23, 11PM

[The following are the verbatim conclusions from John's book,reprinted here by kind permission of Eerdmans] Chapter 18: Conclusions This book has offered a new approach to the concept of “grace,” a new analysis of Second Temple theologies of divine be... [Uncategorized]

November 22, 11PM

As we will soon realize with the coming of the mega-event— the Star Wars reboot at Christmas, it is very difficult to pull off a prequel successfully when it comes to putting real tension into the story line. Why? Because you already know what happe... [Uncategorized]

November 21, 11PM

panion to this one… if we are not both exhausted and if we are still game then. Blessings to you and yours, and we at Asbury hope you will come back sometime, Ben —– BEN: You decided to go out with a bang dealing with the most complicate... [Uncategorized]

November 20, 11PM

BEN: On p. 497 you discuss the synkrisis in Rom. 5.12-21. Focusing for a moment on 5.18-19 it seems to me that Paul is not merely saying that one group was considered sinners and then as a result of the grace gift, considered righteous. No, Paul wants to ... [Uncategorized]

November 19, 11PM

The last of the Art West thrillers is now available, and as my Granny would say— it’s a doozy! It includes: 1) the blowing up of the Temple mount, 2) the uncovering of the cause of Yassir Arafat’s death; 3) an archaeological discovery at... [Uncategorized]

November 18, 11PM

BEN: On p. 471, you draw a helpful comparison between what Philo does in spiritualizing circumcision and what Paul does in interiorizing it I wonder, if one had interviewed Paul, if he would not say that he was most definitely a Jew inwardly well before h... [Uncategorized]

November 17, 11PM

There are of course many forms of Catholicism, and even offshoots from early Catholicism. Here is a couple of plaques reminding us about the Marionites. Here below are shots of the beautiful mosaics in several of the chapels in the crypt. See if you can i... [Uncategorized]

November 16, 11PM

The Basilica at Catholic University does not have frescoes, nor does it have ordinary painted domes as this first picture will show. There is as well an interesting use of traditional Christian symbols, for instance this is the famous depiction of the ser... [Uncategorized]

November 15, 11PM

It is said that the Basilica at Catholic University is the large church in America. It may be true if we are talking about just the sanctuary itself. The building was constructed in the late 19th and in the 20th century, and there are still some chapels b... [Uncategorized]

November 13, 11PM

BEN: On p. 427 you speak about Paul personifying the flesh in parallel to his personification of the Spirit. I am doubting this is quite what Paul is doing vis a vis the Spirit, since he takes the Spirit to actually be personal– having a will, capab... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

I’m not much of a fan of false advertising, especially when it is so unnecessary as the movie is good anyway. I’m on record as saying I would go and watch Meryl Streep play Kermit the Frog if it showed up in the cinema. She’s the best ac... [Uncategorized]

November 12, 11PM

BEN: On p. 390 you suggest that the phrase ‘from hearing with faith/faithfully’ actually means ‘from the message of faith’ and you cite 1 Thess. 2.13 and Rom. 10.16-17 as possible justification for such a translation. I must admit this really surp... [Uncategorized]

November 11, 11PM

BEN: It seems to me hard to doubt that when the term dikaiosune comes up in a context in which the subject is in part the works of the law, that this term has some moral or ethical meaning, not a forensic meaning especially when the subject of transgressi... [Uncategorized]

November 10, 11PM

BEN: On p. 352 n. 7, you freely admit that Paul uses rhetorical shorthand from time to time, a shorthand involving the Good News and Christ’s central role in it. Why not see pistis Christou as a parade example of such shorthand? After all, the discussio... [Uncategorized]

November 9, 11PM

We still have a few seats left on this wonderful tour of eastern Turkey and Jordan. Below is a link telling you all about it. Ya’ll come. BW3 http://www.tutkutours.com/BIB_Jordan_Eastern_Turkey_May_2016.asp [Uncategorized]

November 8, 11PM

BEN: Turning now to your discussion of Galatians, I appreciate the way you’ve carefully walked through various landmines in the discussion of this letter and managed to focus on things relevant to your inquiry. I do wonder however about the issue of Jud... [Uncategorized]

November 7, 11PM

BEN: Chapter 10 is a very helpful summary of the main thrusts of the previous chapters on early Judaism and formulations of grace, with the bonus of a brief direct comparison between Paul’s view and the views in these various other documents. One of the... [Uncategorized]

November 6, 11PM

BEN: 4 Ezra is one of the most interesting of all early Jewish texts, not least because of its obvious parallels with some NT material in both the Jesus tradition and in Revelation. My first question is— Do you think it possible, or even likely, tha... [Uncategorized]

November 5, 11PM

BEN: Chapters 8 is rather different from the other early Jewish literature you’ve thus far surveyed and it prompts some good questions. Suppose someone were to say to you—‘you’ve demonstrated that grace falls under the category of gift, but it app... [Uncategorized]

November 4, 11PM

BEN: Let’s talk about Chapter 7. Why did you pick the Hodayot out of all the Qumran material to discuss a theology of gift/grace? JOHN: Well, it is absolutely stuffed full with the language of divine mercy, goodness, and hesed (however we translate that... [Uncategorized]

November 3, 11PM

BEN: Let’s talk about Chapter 7. Why did you pick the Hodayot out of all the Qumran material to discuss a theology of gift/grace? JOHN: BEN: Most scholars are rather clear about the sectarian nature of the Qumran community (and interestingly one of the ... [Uncategorized]

November 2, 11PM

BEN: One of the questions that begins to arise is whether or not the attempt at ‘perfecting’ grace in too many ways at once, leads to exegetical and experiential problems. For example, in the Philo chapter you show how he struggles to reconcile the id... [Uncategorized]

November 1, 11PM

BEN; One of my very favorite early Jewish books is the Wisdom of Solomon. I have argued at some length that it influenced both Jesus and Paul in some of their teachings in my book Jesus the Sage, though I was not focusing on the possible influence on thei... [Uncategorized]

October 31, 10PM

Here is an important article, about the finding of an early (1604ff) notebook of one of the Cambridge translators of the KJV. See what you think, BW3 http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/books/earliest-known-draft-of-king-james-bible-is-found-scholar-says.ht... [Uncategorized]

October 30, 10PM

BEN: In various ways, Lou Martyn seems to have anticipated a few of the themes emphasized in the New Perspective discussions, particularly in regard to ‘pistis Christou’, and in fact, I would suggest he influence Richard Hays when he was writing his d... [Uncategorized]

October 29, 10PM

BEN: Dealing with Barth or Bultmann’s treatment of Paul is of course difficult in the span of just a few pages, but at least on a surface reading it would appear appropriate to say that Barth emphasizes Paul’s belief that special revelation is require... [Uncategorized]

October 28, 10PM

October 27, 10PM

“To suppose that a direct road leads from art, or morals, or science or even from religion to God is sentimental liberal self-deception.” K. Barth Epistle to the Romans p. 337. [Uncategorized]

October 26, 10PM

BEN: In your lengthy third chapter reviewing what could be called the history of interpretation of Paul’s theology of gift and grace, you deal with Marcion, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, in what I will call the ‘historic’ treatments of Paul, but no... [Uncategorized]

October 25, 10PM

So you can take pictures in the Met Museum of Art, but not in the two smaller museums near the Met— the Gugenheim and the Neue Gallerie (and don’t ask me why it has a French name when in fact it only houses German and Austrian art!). The first... [Uncategorized]

October 24, 10PM

You can see most anything in NY, even on Fifth Avenue itself. So lets take a stroll and check out the good the bad, and everything else….. Of course there are the skyscrapers… which give you neck pains…. And of course there are the shops... [Uncategorized]

October 23, 10PM

While I was in NY last month, I was able to take time on a Friday night to see the musical entitled Amazing Grace. Unlike the film (and book) of the same name, this production focuses not on William Wilberforce but rather on the life story of John Newton,... [Uncategorized]

October 22, 10PM

By now the formula is clear, after several dozen episodes, opening tease and monologue of sorts, usually involving political satire (see above), inventive segments like ‘Get Up in Your Faith’, cool jazz by Jon Batiste and Stay Human, 2 somewha... [Uncategorized]

October 21, 10PM

Of the many churches in Manhattan, and of the many on or near Fifth Avenue, perhaps two stand out as the most celebrated and beautiful— St. Patrick’s Cathedral, recently sandblasted and refurbished just in time for the Pope’s visit Sept.... [Uncategorized]

October 20, 10PM

BEN: Let’s talk about the semantic range and nuances of the language of gift or grace in the NT and elsewhere, as you do in your fine Appendix to ‘Paul and the Gift’. One of the things that seems clear enough to me is that some NT scholars want to u... [Uncategorized]

October 19, 10PM

By 1978, Ellis Peters was well and truly into writing her now classic series of medieval thrillers featuring Brother Cadfael. How then would she end her previous series involving the Felse family. One way to round off a series is of course to tie up all l... [Uncategorized]

2PM

Tom Hanks, over the last couple of decades, has played many roles, and many have suggested he, like Jimmy Stewart before him, has been playing ‘everyman’ in all these roles. There is considerable truth in this assessment, and when he teams up ... [Uncategorized]

October 18, 10PM

Ben: The Greek term ‘charis’ does indeed have as a basic meaning gift, though the term can also be used to refer to the response of ‘gratitude’ to the gift. One linguistic question arises— can a response to a charis (gift) really be seen as ... [Uncategorized]

October 17, 10PM

(published August 2015, Eerdmans, 656 pages). There are only a few landmark or seminal books in one scholar’s lifetime, that are written in his field. When it comes to Paul and my scholarly career, one can easily mention E.P. Sanders Paul and Palest... [Uncategorized]

October 16, 10PM

The Felse series of novels first appeared in the 60s and 70s, then there were new editions by Headline in the 80s and 90s, the latter partly prompted, no doubt, by the enormous success of the Cadfael novels which began in 1977 and ran into the 90s. The Tw... [Uncategorized]

October 15, 10PM

Eerdmans has published a very important collection of essays, which were originally papers given at a conference in Jerusalem in January 2008. The papers have been collected and put together by my fellow N.C. Methodist NT scholar, Jim Charlesworth, and th... [Uncategorized]

October 14, 10PM

The second and final Felse novel set in ‘darkest India’ is a novel that involves only Dominic Felse, whose fiancee has apparently gone back to Oxford to finish her degree, leaving Dominic to go walkabout. In other words, this is a travelogue n... [Uncategorized]

October 13, 10PM

The word knocker can have several meanings. It can refer to a person who knocks on a door, or it can refer to an implement on the door, in this case a church door. In Ellis Peter’s tenth novel, and the best so far in the series, it, and many other t... [Uncategorized]

October 12, 10PM

As it turns out, some this series of mysteries by Ellis Peters focus on George, some on Dominic, and at least one on Bunty Felse. This one is entirely focused on Dominic and his girl Tossa, and their impromptu trip to India, free of charge, in exchange fo... [Uncategorized]

October 11, 10PM

The eight novel in the George and Dominic Felse series takes on the character of an opera, not least because it involves a diva, Maggie Tressider, who has gained fame throughout Europe as a remarkable alto with beautiful steel blue eyes. Maggie is unattac... [Uncategorized]

October 10, 10PM

The Free Dictionary online (by Farlex accessed 8-27-15) gives us an interesting history for the term grass widow. It says the following— The phrase “Grass widow is first recorded in 1528, and originally referred to an unmarried woman who has l... [Uncategorized]

October 9, 10PM

It is an odd fact, but nonetheless a fact (as Tom Schreiner has rightly complained), that Arminians have not done a thorough job of articulating what the concept of prevenient grace means, and why it is important. Fortunately, there is now a book by Brian... [Uncategorized]

October 8, 10PM

The sixth in the series of thirteen murder mysteries is the tale called ‘Black is the Color of my True Love’s Heart’, and apt title for a very interesting novel indeed. The ethos of the novel has to do with the art of folk singing and fo... [Uncategorized]

October 7, 10PM

Some animals are just born comedians. I’m referring to the monkeys and their kin of course. There is this sign that stands at the opening of the gorilla exhibit. It reads as follows…. This one however seems to have ignored all the necessary go... [Uncategorized]

October 6, 10PM

11AM

October 5, 3PM

Sometimes you go to the movies expecting one thing, and something else happens. I went to see ‘The Intern’ expecting it to be a funny piece of enjoyable fluff. Rather like eating cotton candy. You know— empty calories, but nonetheless sw... [Uncategorized]

October 4, 10PM

One of the older zoos in America is the Brookfield Zoo which first opened in 1934. It is on the west side of Chicago, is well worth the visit, and we took a trip there one hot August day with Ann and Yuliya. Disclaimer— the two wildest and scariest ... [Uncategorized]

3PM

Petra, in Jordan, is called the Rose City, for very good reasons, the rock is a rosy color, and so is the sand. ‘The Martian’, in so far as it was filmed in an actual earthly geographical location, was filmed in the deserts of Jordan, as it wa... [Uncategorized]

October 3, 10PM

It would be hard to over-estimate the importance of Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), one of the most distinguished of the Impressionists, and one with considerable longevity. The Art Institute has a goodly sampling of his work, though, not some of the m... [Uncategorized]

October 2, 10PM

Alfred Sisley (1839-99) was an interesting Impressionist painter, who sadly did not achieve much recognition or success in his lifetime. Though he had British citizenship, he spent much of his time in France painting. My favorite Sisley painting is this o... [Uncategorized]

October 1, 10PM

Obviously, Monet and Renoir are two of the more famous of the Impressionist painters, and perhaps the most familiar to the general public. This post will focus on Monet’s work. The Art Institute has a good collection of his more celebrated works, fo... [Uncategorized]

September 30, 10PM

One of the reasons we went to the Art Institute during our visit to Chicago was to see the new Degas exhibit, which, was clustered with various paintings of the other Impressionists. We will deal with this section of the museum in some detail. Impressioni... [Uncategorized]

September 29, 10PM

Major museums like the Art Institute in Chicago always have special exhibits, and one that was on display when we visited with Yuliya in August was an exhibit of portraits and drawings of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), the American artist and raconte... [Uncategorized]

September 28, 10PM

The fifth novel in the Felse mystery series features Dominic alone, without any assistance from his father George. It also features something quite different from the first four novels in the series— a mystery set in Slovakia! Writers of course, if ... [Uncategorized]

2PM

I was in NY this past weekend to film for six CNN shows, the second season of Finding Jesus, and in the evenings I had free time. The weather was fabulous, and I was staying in Manhattan at the Hotel Chandler, so I could walk everywhere, including on Satu... [Uncategorized]

September 27, 10PM

September 26, 10PM

No matter how much time one spends at Pompeii or Herculaneum or the slope houses in Ephesus, one is always impressed with the artistic skill of those who decorated the walls and halls of ancient Roman villas, for example look at the stucco reliefs from on... [Uncategorized]

September 25, 10PM

(this is the famous portrait by Hans Holbein of the great humanist scholar) Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) of Rotterdam was anything but irascible. He was mild-mannered, loyal to his Catholic Church to the end of his life, and kept his distance from the l... [Uncategorized]

September 24, 10PM

You know you’re getting old when the bands you go to see have members in it which are all older than me (a spritely 63). Some have joked that the Happy Together Tour could be called the AARP Tour, as it consists in bands that were formed between abo... [Uncategorized]

September 23, 10PM

Have you noticed there is a difference between honesty and truth? A person can be as honest as the day is long, saying exactly what he believes to be true, and yet not tell the truth. Our culture has been suffering from truth decay for a long time, and a ... [Uncategorized]

September 22, 10PM

When Ellis Peters gets on a roll, she gets on a roll. Fresh off of the third novel in the Inspector Felse series (‘The Flight of the Witch’, see previous review) she decided that a pirate adventure in beautiful Cornwall, during the late summer... [Uncategorized]

September 21, 10PM

There is a very good collection of Greco-Roman remains, housed in several rooms on the first floor of the Art Institute in Chicago. It is not as extensive a collection as that in the Met in NY, but still it has some high quality pieces. Let’s start ... [Uncategorized]

September 20, 10PM

Some people have far too much money and time on their hands (think the Donald, for example). One of the wealthy residents of Chicago was into miniatures, exact replica miniatures, rather like being into expensive doll houses with all equipment included. A... [Uncategorized]

September 19, 10PM

Perhaps you have seen some variant of the following altered commercial about pigs flying… But I have something far better than this sort of gimmicky mock up. I have actual pictorial proof that pigs can fly. One of the less well know stories about Ne... [Uncategorized]

September 18, 10PM

When I think of the United Center, I think of the ‘madhouse on Madison’ where Michael and the Jordanaires won six NBA championships. It is of course Michael (my homeboy from Wilmington N.C. and a grad of UNC) whose statue stands parked at the ... [Uncategorized]

September 17, 10PM

In our visit to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the Degas exhibit (on which see the subsequent post on the Impressionists), there was within this exhibit a famous statue by Rodin, my favorite sculptor of the 20th century. In this statue, Rodin capture... [Uncategorized]

September 16, 10PM

So we went to visit our Russian gal Yuliya in Chicago, and amazingly enough the weather co-operated. It was not beastly hot, even though it was August. There is a blue theme to this particular post, which includes our visit to Wrigley Field to pull for th... [Uncategorized]

September 15, 10PM

On the way home from our visit to see our Russian daughter, we stopped at a large farm, to check out what Agra-Business looks like, about which our Kentucky poet and activist, Wendell Berry, has had much to say. This particular operation has 19,000 acres ... [Uncategorized]

September 14, 10PM

Pain, is of course a part of life for any fragile, mortal creature. And of course there are many different kinds of pain— physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Some people spend their entire lives seeking pleasure and trying to avoid pain. On the ... [Uncategorized]

September 13, 10PM

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’. That phrase, should sound familiar to Americans. For many of us, those things are assumed to be what life is all about. Especially that last part— having freedom to pursue what makes you hap... [Uncategorized]

September 12, 10PM

It takes some time to become a good novelist. And honestly, it requires some mild success even with something less than a person being on the top of their form. This she had when her second Felse novel won the Edgar award. I know what it’s like to b... [Uncategorized]

September 11, 10PM

In the last major section of his book, Tom turns to a quarter many Pauline scholars have never explored or commented on, namely the analysis and use of Pauline material by modern philosophers. He begins (p. 308) by pointing out… “The apostle P... [Uncategorized]

September 10, 10PM

The rest of the social analysis chapter (beginning at pp. 287-88) is devoted to a lengthy and useful discussion of David Horrell’s contributions to the analysis of Paul, in particular Horrell’s Solidarity and Difference . Horrell is treating Paul ... [Uncategorized]

September 9, 10PM

In a candid moment, Tom reveals that Wayne Meek’s First Urban Christians provided something of a template for what he was trying to do in a major part of his Paul and the Faithfulness of God. He says this on pp. 260-61…. “One or two revi... [Uncategorized]

September 8, 10PM

When one turns the page to Chapter Ten and the third major section of Tom’s book, the atmosphere changes. This is in part because Tom is very affirming of the recent gains in studying Paul in light of the social history of Paul’s period. He fi... [Uncategorized]

September 7, 10PM

The concluding chapter of this second major section of Tom’s book devotes itself to a rather detailed critique of the controversial and very large and detailed work of Douglas Campbell on justification and Paul. Tom summarizes Campbell’s these... [Uncategorized]

1PM

Some movies are short and sweet, some are short and funny, and some, you’re just glad they are short. This one, with an all star cast (Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson, and Mary Steenbergen) is of the second sort, and really, it should have... [Uncategorized]

September 6, 10PM

Tom reserves his most strident critique of the apocalyptic approach to Paul for Lou Martyn’s Galatians commentary and the impact it has had on Pauline interpretation. So Chapter Eight of the book is an analysis of the work of Lou Martyn and his disc... [Uncategorized]

September 5, 10PM

The word Apocalyptic means different things to different folks. In the second major part of Tom’s review of recent scholarship on Paul, he focuses in on the ‘apocalyptic’ approach to Paul’s Gospel spawned by Kasemann and carried fo... [Uncategorized]

September 4, 10PM

Writers of fiction come in all shapes and sizes. Some are better at short stories and perhaps the odd novella. Some are better at the full length novel. Some are good at both. But not many. Think Edgar Alan Poe or for that matter O’ Henry or Ferrell... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

Interestingly enough, making a movie about prayer can be very difficult. Movies, especially lately, are all about action, but prayer is about talking to God, unceasing talk to God. How then do you do a movie with that as the subject matter without it bein... [Uncategorized]

September 3, 10PM

September 2, 10PM

I like testimony books, and having written something of that sort for Zondervan some time ago chronicling my journey of faith into being a Biblical scholar (entitled Is There a Doctor in the House?) I am especially pleased to commend to one and all a book... [Uncategorized]

September 1, 10PM

We here at Apocalyptic Vacations like to think that Christians, like everyone else, like options, even when it comes to the afterlife. We have noticed that quite a goodly number of you Evangelical Christians have become tired of the regular drumbeat about... [Uncategorized]

August 31, 10PM

A man goes to see the Rabbi. “Rabbi, something terrible is happening and I have to talk to you about it.” The Rabbi asked, “What’s wrong?” The man replied, “My wife is going to poison me.” The Rabbi, very surprise... [Uncategorized]

August 30, 10PM

Chapter Five, which is entitled ‘The Old is Better?’ which runs from about p. 113 to p. 130 is a chapter responding to critiques of the New Perspective, and in particular to his own take on the New Perspective. This brings the first major sect... [Uncategorized]

August 29, 10PM

Chapter Four is entitled Life after Sanders, and here we begin to see the more radical side of the New Perspective on Paul, and why some traditional Reformed scholars have gotten their knickers all in a knot about it. Tom playfully sums up the situation a... [Uncategorized]

August 28, 10PM

Where exactly did the phrase and notion of ‘the new perspective on Paul’ come into play? The answer is, after Sander’s landmark work, and it seems to have been first mentioned by Tom Wright himself. Interestingly, Dunn credits Tom Wright... [Uncategorized]

August 27, 10PM

In the 2nd chapter Tom Wright rehearses the in some ways unfortunate of the Reformation forcing all our reading of Paul into a discussion about justification and salvation. He then critiques even further reductionism like that of Bultmann who reduces theo... [Uncategorized]

August 26, 10PM

Some time ago, a very fine NT scholar named Earle Ellis wrote a book entitled Paul and his Recent Interpreters. Now we have another one from the ever-flowing pen of Tom Wright (due out in America in Oct. 2015, already out in the U.K. and comprising some 3... [Uncategorized]

August 25, 10PM

I remember him differently than some might. He seemed at once formidable and yet gentle. A towering intellect, and yet a sweet spirit, with a good sense of humor as well. In some ways outgoing, but in some ways shy, especially on the telephone or in casua... [Uncategorized]

August 24, 10PM

Edith Mary Pargeter (1913-95) was a Shropshire lass born and bred, and she lived there until the close of her life. She became famous under her nom de plume, Ellis Peters, and in particular for her Brother Cadfael mysteries set large in Shrewsbury. She kn... [Uncategorized]

August 23, 10PM

Old things can last a very long time. Take for example that door pictured above, one of the back doors into the cloister of Durham Cathedral. It’s got a Norman arch that dates back to the 11th century A.D. That’s pretty remarkable longevity. T... [Uncategorized]

August 22, 10PM

Our’s is a culture fixated on youth, and ‘youth must be served’. We are the people that idolized the Pepsi generation, and became fixated on young people’s sports, young people’s music, young people’s remarkable feats, ... [Uncategorized]

August 21, 10PM

Certainly one of the major trends since 1990 when it comes to ‘having church’ is the invasion of the casual. There are no dress codes, there are no rules about drinks or food or cellphone usage. It’s the come as you are picnic. Of course... [Uncategorized]

August 20, 10PM

(picture courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine) Summer is concert time, especially outdoor concerts, and I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of them, so it was hard to choose just twenty of my favorites during my adult life. There are various factors which... [Uncategorized]

August 19, 10PM

This 2nd edition of one my bestsellers has been completely updated, and has a new chapter on Complimentarianism and its problems, and also on Pentecostal theology as embodied in the work of Gordon Fee. It should be out in November. Stay Tuned. [Uncategorized]

August 18, 10PM

Rain on the brain, Leads, in the main, To plain thinking… And hydroencephaloid pain Thunder, on the other hand, As in thunderstruck Makes or breaks or wakes Your synapses from their lapses To new levels of insight or delight Then there’s the jolt of l... [Uncategorized]

August 17, 10PM

Mark Fairchild is a Professor of NT at Huntington University in Indiana. I have spent lots of time with him exploring all sorts of Biblical, Greco-Roman, early Christian, and ANE sites in Turkey. It is thus not unexpected that he would produce a first rat... [Uncategorized]

August 16, 10PM

Let’s be honest, almost anything is possible in church in Kentucky– snakes, speaking in tongues, being slain in the Spirit…. or alternately, total boredom. I’ve passed the little church whose sign is shown above a million times. It... [Uncategorized]

August 15, 10PM

5PM

True confession. I remember the TV show The Man from Uncle. Robert Vaughn (now only seen in Becker Law commercials) and David McCallum (now seen every week as Ducky on NCIS) played Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuriakin, an suave American and a clever Russian f... [Uncategorized]

August 14, 10PM

On first blush, one might expect The Paul Debate. Critical Questions for Understanding the Apostle (Baylor, 2015, 102 pages), to be rather like Tom Wright’s book on Justification—a straightforward rebuttal book, challenging and seeking to dismantle th... [Uncategorized]

August 13, 10PM

Memento Mori I have not forgotten you, Though you’ve been gone now more than three years. I visit your grave and see your purple flowers On the bushes and lilac that we planted, And remember how much you loved that color. I have not forgotten to go and ... [Uncategorized]

August 12, 10PM

August 11, 10PM

Now that we’ve had a couple of months to reflect on the Supreme Court’s decision about gay marriage, perhaps it would be possible to have a reasonable discussion as to why, whatever the government may say about civil relationships and what sho... [Uncategorized]

August 10, 10PM

William K. Reilly was President George Bush’s (the first one) head of the EPA. [Uncategorized]

August 9, 10PM

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” (Jerm. 17.9-10). In Bib... [Uncategorized]

August 8, 10PM

I have done the review on this blog last year for the first season of the murder mystery set in Dorset entitled Broadchurch. As I noted then, there was an attempt to do a similar series over here called Gracepoint, which failed rather spectacularly to gar... [Uncategorized]

August 7, 10PM

Kudos to the Tunedude for sending this along my way. It was in fact a card he was given on his birthday. BW3 [Uncategorized]

August 6, 10PM

If ministers are at all honest, the vast majority of them will have to confess that there were times when their behavior was out of line, and they nearly ruined their ministry. Indeed, history is littered with tales of ministers who did precisely that, an... [Uncategorized]

August 5, 10PM

What should a Christian do, when they sin? Well obviously, they need to repent, and if it involves others they need to seek forgiveness as well and offer heartfelt apologies. Obviously, since ever sin is against God, they need to make amends with the Almi... [Uncategorized]

August 4, 10PM

Here are two interviews with me about textbook, Invitation to the NT. See what you think…. (cut and paste the links into your browser) BW3 Your second interview with Bible Gateway is now live at https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2015/06/invitation-t... [Uncategorized]

August 3, 10PM

Whoever it was who dreamed up the saying ‘let your conscience be your guide’ didn’t really understand the concept of fallen humanity. The conscience of many a serial killer is no guide at all, having been anesthetized long before by sin.... [Uncategorized]

August 2, 10PM

Obviously, all sin is serious, since any sin is a sin for which Jesus had to die. And the death of Jesus doesn’t make sins committed post Calvary less serious. If anything, it makes it more serious. Sin in a Christian’s life is a very serious ... [Uncategorized]

August 1, 10PM

It comes as a surprise to some that there are gradations of sin according to the Bible. There are more serious and less serious sins, which is the basis of the later distinction between mortal and venial sins. It comes as even more of a surprise to many t... [Uncategorized]

July 31, 10PM

Sin is a huge topic. We will certainly not be able to do more than scratch the surface in these posts. And of course part of the problem is when you make a list of sins, some people will see this as a ‘to do’ list, or at least a ‘to atte... [Uncategorized]

5PM

In a summer season where the paucity of good movies has reminded me of an old actor in many old Westerns, namely Slim Pickins, finally, finally, there is a wonderful drama that everyone, young and old, should enjoy— Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen... [Uncategorized]

July 30, 10PM

It was Socrates who insisted ‘know thyself’, which seems to be advice that all too often Christians, including ministers ignore. Have you ever sat down and done a ‘weaknesses and strengths’ inventory of yourself, with the outside a... [Uncategorized]

July 29, 10PM

This post will concentrate on some happier news. To be tempted is not the same as to sin. Temptation itself is not sin, though it can certainly lead to sin. Jesus was tempted like us in every respect, save he did not sin, and was not a sinner (Heb.4.15). ... [Uncategorized]

July 28, 10PM

Human beings have a rather infinite capacity for rationalizing or justifying their bad behavior. And one of the favorite tricks in the arsenal of self-justification is ‘objectifying’ things. In the old TV show Flip Wilson, whenever he was caug... [Uncategorized]

July 27, 10PM

peirasmos and its cognates are interesting words. The noun form can refer to trials or temptations, ordeals or enticements. In other words, it can refer to something that could possibly strengthen your character or alternately in other contexts refer to s... [Uncategorized]

July 26, 10PM

Proving that Paul may not be Harvard’s type, but he is Harvard’s typo is the following discovered by alert reader and colleague Philip Jenkins…. Paul the Covert??? I have to share this. One of the classic works on Judaism and early Chris... [Uncategorized]

July 25, 10PM

Looking for a good textbook to introduce your audience to both the theology and the ethics of the NT? Well IVP is producing an edited down, simplified version of my The Indelible Image in a 2 volume paperback set. It should be out in the late Fall, and I ... [Uncategorized]

July 24, 10PM

In this final post on my visit to Nova Scotia, I will take you on a lovely walk through one of the finest Arboretums (both gardens and greenhouse) I’ve ever seen as a small college. The Irving Arboretum is in addition one of the newest buildings on ... [Uncategorized]

July 23, 10PM

When I came to Wolfville, I must admit, I did not expect it to be not much different in size and design from Wilmore Kentucky— but it isn’t. Like Wilmore, it is a town, when the students are there, of about 6,000 people, and like Wilmore it ha... [Uncategorized]

July 22, 10PM

As I mentioned earlier, Nova Scotia is very much like northern New England in terms of terrain and flora and fawn. It is also like northern New England in its little fishing villages full of lobster pots and nets. This little village, called Hall’s ... [Uncategorized]

July 21, 10PM

Besides the Covenanter Church in Grand Pre, there is also the Grand Pre Winery, which specializes in ice wines, wines in which one has left the grapes on the vine into the winter months, and then harvested them. To be honest, I had never heard of ice wine... [Uncategorized]

July 20, 10PM

When I landed in Halifax, I was taken immediately to Victoria’s Inn in Wolfville, where I was to stay all week, and where, clearly, the Queen had never stayed. It is a… wait for it…Victorian Inn converted into a B+B. Once I stepped out o... [Uncategorized]

July 19, 10PM

Nova Scotia— New Scotland. It’s almost an island off the east coast of Canada. It’s where various immigrants came, escaping harsh conditions in Scotland and elsewhere, only to discover that Nova Scotia was not exactly the Bahamas. For a ... [Uncategorized]

July 18, 10PM

Human beings are endlessly curious about the future. Wall Street wants to know economic trends. Pollsters want to figure out political trends. Gossip magazines want to know relational trends, and so it goes. Human beings are always looking to the horizon,... [Uncategorized]

July 17, 10PM

This show will air on July 26th on TLC. Check it out. BW3 [Uncategorized]

July 16, 10PM

One of the most recognizable voices of the entire Rock n’ Roll era is the voice of Michael McDonald. The man has sung on a zillion records for others, but the first place one might remember him from is the Steely Dan records he sang on. Then his rec... [Uncategorized]

7PM

I have a problem this summer at home— it’s ants. Little tiny sugar ants. They keep invading our house and our food. They’re not carpenter ants or fire ants, thank goodness. They’re just hungry little dudes and they will stop at not... [Uncategorized]

July 15, 10PM

The second volume in the Week in the Life series (IVP,$13.87, 292 pages), the first of which was my A Week in the Life of Corinth, focuses on the life of Roman centurion stationed in the unstable eastern end of the Empire. Appius is a centurion who is pro... [Uncategorized]

July 14, 10PM

BEN: As we conclude this discussion, let’s talk about the practical implications of Arminius’ thought for today. It seems clear to me that Arminius, and Wesley as well, would have rejected recent ideas that have come to be called open theism. Am I rig... [Uncategorized]

July 13, 10PM

BEN: What are the four testimonies that can bolster assurance of salvation, according to Arminius? In what sense is clear belief in Christ as savior a basis for assurance of salvation? KEITH: Arminius delineates what I designate “a posteriori grounds of... [Uncategorized]

July 12, 10PM

BEN: What Arminius has to say about final justification seems to exclude the idea that works of piety and charity have anything to do with it (rather he opts for simple persevering in the faith as what is evaluated at final judgment). What then does he do... [Uncategorized]

July 11, 10PM

BEN: Arminius seems to be clear on the possibility of both intellectual and moral apostasy by a believer. Can you unpack his views for us briefly? Does he take the malicious rejection of Christ or blasphemy of the Spirit by a former believer as the unpard... [Uncategorized]

July 10, 10PM

KEITH: Arminius did agree that the righteousness resulting from this reckoning comes to believers on the basis of Christ’s righteous obedience to the Father. Thus, in a sense, it is Christ’s righteousness that is imputed to us (but not “for righteou... [Uncategorized]

1PM

‘Hey hey we’re the minions, and we’re just minioning around….’ Wait, wasn’t that supposed to be ‘hey hey we’re the Monkees’? No matter the years is 1968, and we are in B.G. time, which is to say, many ... [Uncategorized]

July 9, 10PM

BEN: One of the things that is not clear to me from reading your book is the relationship between the Holy Spirit and prevenient grace in the thought of Arminius. Does by grace Arminius simply mean the divine influence of the Holy Spirit in convicting, co... [Uncategorized]

July 8, 10PM

BEN: Why was Arminius accused of Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism if in fact he was clear that prevenient grace comes to a person purely by unmerited divine initiative? KEITH: This controversy is inherent in the Protestant Reformation itself. To the degree... [Uncategorized]

July 7, 10PM

BEN: Why was Arminius accused of Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism if in fact he was clear that prevenient grace comes to a person purely by unmerited divine initiative? KEITH: This controversy is inherent in the Protestant Reformation itself. To the degree... [Uncategorized]

July 6, 10PM

BEN: In regard to the old chestnut about God’s knowing and willing it seems clear that Calvin would say God knows it because he wills it, and therefore Calvin makes God’s will (and its exercise in sovereignty) logically prior to God’s knowledge, whe... [Uncategorized]

July 5, 10PM

BEN: Would it be correct to say that Arminius rejects Calvin’s strong distinction between the secret decrees and will of God and the revealed will of God, which allowed for the possibility that God’s revealed will might appear to contradict his secret... [Uncategorized]

July 4, 10PM

July 3, 10PM

REDISCOVERING KING JESUS— PHILIP JENKINS This year marks a remarkable anniversary in the study of Christian history. Seventy years ago, in late 1945, some Egyptian peasants discovered a trove of early Christian texts including several alternative go... [Uncategorized]

July 2, 10PM

BEN: Arminius seems to work hard to avoid making God the author of sin, or of anything evil for that matter, including the Fall. He is very willing to talk about God’s ‘permissive’ will when this subject comes up, though he does talk abo... [Uncategorized]

July 1, 10PM

BEN: There is also a strong emphasis early on in the book on what is called the ‘intellectualist’ approach to the nature of God, which is to say that God’s knowledge is given priority over God’s will in the divine attributes. This ... [Uncategorized]

June 30, 10PM

BEN: Jacob Arminius seems to be a frequently misrepresented theologian, whose works have been neglected, and lack readily accessible translations into English from the Latin and Dutch. To what would you attribute this neglect, and would you see this as an... [Uncategorized]

June 29, 10PM

Kudos to Vivian Sawyer for finding this. It’s got some helpful points, though it ignores the rhetorical character of Hebrews unfortunately. [Uncategorized]

June 28, 10PM

BEN: When the Gospel of Matthew presents us with Jesus saying that he is submitting to baptism to ‘fulfill all righteousness’ he is of course talking about the righteousness that comes from obedience to the Mosaic Law. He is not talking about his righ... [Uncategorized]

June 27, 10PM

BEN: Your discussion of open theism is interesting, and I wonder if since your book was published (2006), you’ve settled the matter in your mind. For my part, I have rejected open theism. I think there is a way around the paradox. Suppose God has what I... [Uncategorized]

June 26, 10PM

BEN: It seems reasonably clear that Arminius took the Calvinistic view that regeneration precedes conversion. I suppose it depends on what one means by regeneration— the ability to repent? In any case, various later Arminians associated regeneration... [Uncategorized]

June 25, 10PM

BEN: Jonathan Edwards in his Freedom of the Will argues that there is no compulsion or coercion involved, only predetermination when it comes to human choosing. People choose according to their desires and will and they do not feel compulsed or coerced, e... [Uncategorized]

June 24, 10PM

BEN: I was reflecting on what you say on pp. 155-56 about ‘simul justus et peccator’ and it occurred to me what a difference there is between Luther and Wesley on this matter. Luther, famously believed that the Christian continued to be in bondage to ... [Uncategorized]

June 23, 10PM

BEN: On p. 123 you say that sin does not thwart the will of God. I think this is a mistake. Surely any time evil or sin happens it goes against the will of God of a good God. I tend to find the phrase ‘permissive will’ something of an oxymoron—willi... [Uncategorized]

June 22, 10PM

BEN: How would you distinguish the Calvinist notion of God’s providence from the Arminian one? It is interesting to me that if one reads Wesley’s Journal, one finds the phrase ‘a singular providence of God’ cropping up again and again in regard to... [Uncategorized]

June 21, 10PM

BEN: The issue of how to interpret the phrase ‘only begotten of the Father’ has bedeviled Christological debates forever it seems. Is this Scriptural notion the basis of Arminius and various his successors arguing that the Son is fully God, but he has... [Uncategorized]

8PM

The final episode of the first season of A.D. (which has been renewed for a second season), brings us to the climax of the story about the statue of Caligula and the attempt to install it in the Temple. Of course in reality it never got anywhere near the ... [Uncategorized]

June 20, 10PM

BEN: On p. 89 you talk about the idea of nominalistic voluntarism, which is to say the idea that God is free to do anything he chooses to do, without being constrained or limited by the divine character. This idea is denied by Arminius, but seems to be af... [Uncategorized]

June 19, 10PM

BEN: I take it as given that you have established both that there are some strong incompatibilities between Calvinism and Arminianism, but at the same time there are some strong agreements between the two theological systems. Is there a value in emphasizi... [Uncategorized]

1PM

Those folks at Pixar deserve a raise. They’ve consistently made the best animated films from Finding Nemo to Up (and beyond) in the last twenty years. And ‘Inside Out’ is just as impressively creative and humorous. I haven’t laughe... [Uncategorized]

June 18, 10PM

BEN: At one point you say (p. 70) “Scripture alone cannot prove one side right and other side wrong”. I think I must disagree. Scripture is consistent on these issues precisely because it reflects the consistent mind and revealed will of God. While it... [Uncategorized]

June 17, 10PM

BEN: One of the major emphases in Stanglin and McCall’s fine book on Jacob Arminius is that Arminius did not agree with Beza et al. on the issue of monergism, which is to say that God is the direct or effective cause of all things. Arminius continuously... [Uncategorized]

June 16, 10PM

BEN: On p. 55, you talk about Wesley’s treatise on divine sovereignty compared to Calvin’s view. Would you say that while Wesley agrees with Calvin that God is sovereign, absolutely so, and could do what He will, that they disagree on how God exercise... [Uncategorized]

June 15, 10PM

BEN: On p. 51 you quote the Westminister Confession about ‘the chief end of humans being to glorify God and enjoy him forever’. You go on to quote Arminius to that effect. But what that Confession in fact does not say is ‘the chief end or purpose of... [Uncategorized]

June 14, 10PM

BEN: Roger you seem to spend a good deal of effort trying to say that Arminian theology could rightly be called a form of Reformed theology, though one distinct from high Calvinism at various points. From a point of view of historical theology, I understa... [Uncategorized]

8PM

In this, the penultimate episode of Season One of A.D. the statue of Caligula still looms large as a problem for the Temple hierarchy and for the religious life in Jerusalem. The statue in reality never got to Jerusalem, but by the end of this episode it ... [Uncategorized]

June 13, 10PM

Roger Olsen’s fine book entitled Arminian Theology. Myths and Realities (IVP, 2006, 266 pages) is a must read for those who don’t really know much about the differences and similarities between Arminian theology and Calvinist theology. It is t... [Uncategorized]

June 12, 10PM

[The following is a recent post by Philip Jenkins which I repost here by his kind permission] BW3 Ordinary Faith and Extraordinary History May 22, 2015 by Philip Jenkins 77 Comments As a historical source on the ancient Americas, the Book of Mormon is wor... [Uncategorized]

June 11, 10PM

Of late there has been an attempt, rightly in my view, to clear away a lot of misconceptions and in fact misrepresentations of Arminian theology, including the misrepresentation of Arminius himself as either a Pelagian on the one hand, or some kind of hyb... [Uncategorized]

June 10, 10PM

June 9, 10PM

June 8, 10PM

Small hand in a large hand Trust and trustworthy Son and a father Journeying together. One will to another Submitting, accepted Union and communion Come Hell or bad weather. Dependency depends On independence forgone Things may soon change Before time, be... [Uncategorized]

June 7, 10PM

8PM

It is tricky business to fill in months and years of gaps in a story that is episodic, as the storyline in Acts is. In this episode we are properly introduced to two new characters— James the brother of Jesus, and the more exotic Ethiopian eunuch, c... [Uncategorized]

June 6, 10PM

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was a Victorian novelist of note, influenced especially by Dickens and George Eliot (i.e. Mary Ann Evans– see Silas Marner), in terms of his realism in the narrative, and by Wordsworth in terms of his romanticism. Of his fam... [Uncategorized]

5PM

[Picture Courtesy WinStar Farms] Three years and a bit ago, a small foal was born on Stockplace Farms on the east side of Lexington. There was a contest to name him, and the winner had picked American Pharoah, yes with the wrong spelling. But that was goi... [Uncategorized]

June 5, 10PM

Austin is one funky town. One of their mottos is— ‘Keep Austin Weird’. I’d prefer Austin. Where the Odd get Even. Not odd at all is my old friend Stan Reid above in front of the old timey grocery store. Stan’s the head of Aus... [Uncategorized]

1PM

I was thirteen years old, and ‘I Get Around’(1964), was definitely going round and round on turntables all over America. The Beach Boys were topping the charts, and the Beatles were moving up quickly in the speed lane. None of us then knew the... [Uncategorized]

June 4, 10PM

While the movie Mr. Turner seems to have eluded many movie goers, it did not elude the critics who loved it. It was nominated for four Oscars, and Timothy Spall who plays Turner (who viewers will recognize as playing in the Harry Potter movies) won for Be... [Uncategorized]

June 3, 10PM

[Here is more from Philip Jenkins on how to distinguish real scholarship from mere advocacy] The Monte Verde Principle May 15, 2015 by Philip Jenkins I have been discussing fringe or marginal theories that run contrary to the scholarly consensus in a give... [Uncategorized]

June 2, 10PM

Tom Doyle has spent a lot of time in predominantly Muslim countries ranging from Egypt to Afghanistan. And what he has noticed repeatedly is that Jesus has found a back door way into the heart of Muslims whose country is basically closed to Christianity, ... [Uncategorized]

June 1, 10PM

(This is a re-post of a piece I wrote for Beliefnet many years ago, back by popular demand. BW3) Most of you who know me, know that I did my doctoral thesis on women in the NT with C.K. Barrett at the University of Durham in England. My first three publis... [Uncategorized]

May 31, 10PM

Here is a second excellent post by Philip jenkins about the nature of real scholarship vs. pseudo-scholarship, reposted by his permission. See what you think. BW3 Outliers and Iconoclasts May 8, 2015 by Philip Jenkins 2 Comments I have been writing about ... [Uncategorized]

7PM

The Emperor Tiberius died in Italy in A.D. 37, leaving mad Caligula in charge of a massive Empire. Though Caligula never visited Jerusalem (contra the portrayal in the last couple of episodes of A.D.) he did nevertheless want his visage displayed in the t... [Uncategorized]

May 30, 10PM

Yes, this is a real T shirt, given to Conrad….. and bless his heart, he wore it at a Jesus festival where he was asked to speak. Kudos to Philip Richardson for discovering this and passing along the news. [Uncategorized]

12 PM

[Picture courtesy of You Tube] Today, May 30th, exactly 80 years ago in 1935, Babe Ruth hung up his spikes. Here is a picture of him in his final uniform, and ironically he standing with his old Yankee teammate (I’ll let you guess who that is). Ruth... [Uncategorized]

May 29, 10PM

May 28, 10PM

[This is a repost by kind permission of Professor McGrath of an article he wrote that appeared in a Keble College website.....BW3] An Unknown Photograph of C. S. Lewis By Professor Alister McGrath C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) is one of the best-known Oxford do... [Uncategorized]

May 27, 10PM

[The Next Few Blog posts come courtesy my friend and colleague Philip Jenkins. See what you think. BW3] I Want to Believe May 4, 2015 by Philip Jenkins Last year, Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson published an impressively dreadful book called The Lost ... [Uncategorized]

5PM

Having seen the previous Mad Max movies, I decided, reluctantly, to go see the most recent installment of that franchise, coming many years after ‘Beyond Thunderdome’. I was reluctant because I don’t like extremely violent movies anyway,... [Uncategorized]

4AM

Ben: When I took second and third century church history with Bruce Metzger at Princeton, several things stood out to me as reflecting a change from first century Christians and their writings: 1) the beginning of a rising tide of anti-Judaism, including ... [Uncategorized]

May 25, 10PM

Ben: Let’s talk ecclesiology for a moment. Irenaeus was by no means just a writer, he was a bishop in ‘Gaul’. What was his vision of the church and church structure, including his vision of church leadership. Is he an example of ‘e... [Uncategorized]

2PM

Our home boy and U.K. fan, George Clooney, has made a lot of different and different kinds of films to say the least. Disney, however, he has not done…. until now. He teams up with Hugh Laurie in this film to provide us with something of homily abou... [Uncategorized]

May 24, 10PM

Ben: What, in your estimation is the real importance and contribution of Irenaeus in church history? Are their salient ideas and actions of his that were game changers or made a big difference in the formation and defense of orthodoxy in the second centur... [Uncategorized]

8PM

In some ways, Episode Eight is the best episode of the series thus far. It centers on the dramatic events recorded in Acts 8 and 9. The portrayal of Peter and John’s clash with Simon Magus and the portrayal of Saul’s Damascus road vision, the ... [Uncategorized]

May 23, 10PM

Ben: In NT studies one often hears the old canard that you can’t find the Trinity in the NT. I myself think you can certainly find the assertion or direct implication that Father, Son and Spirit should all be called God and Lord in the NT, so at lea... [Uncategorized]

May 22, 10PM

Ben: Irenaeus these days is mostly known as a heretic hunter, and even mentions the Gnostic Gospel of Judas which has recently been the subject of major TV discussions on CNN and elsewhere. Why exactly does Irenaeus have such an allergic reaction to all t... [Uncategorized]

May 21, 10PM

Dr. Jackson Lashier is a former Asbury student, and a John Wesley Fellow whom I helped mentor along the way. He teaches now in Kansas. His important doctoral work at Marquette was on the Trinity, and it has been published in the prestigious Brill series o... [Uncategorized]

May 20, 10PM

Without question one of my favorite artists, with whom I share a Chapel Hill and Boston connection, is James Taylor. One of my all time favorite concerts was the most recent time I’ve seen him in St. Louis with Carole King on the Troubadour tour. Bu... [Uncategorized]

May 19, 10PM

Josh Whedon is a director I have admired for his Firefly series, and several of his cinema projects. In the case of Avengers: Age of Ultron he is all in— both the writer of the script and the director of the mayhem. I suppose its appropriate that Ma... [Uncategorized]

6AM

In a recent vote (26-10 with one abstention), the Connectional Table of our UMC made rather plain that it is prepared to give up on our connectional and covenantal system entirely in order to satisfy the clamoring by a minority of United Methodists for ga... [Uncategorized]

May 18, 10PM

I am on record (see my book Is There a Doctor in the House) in regard to how I ended up being a professor of NT. This post will not be about that. This post is about setting Christian goals for your life and working on them. One of the problems of course ... [Uncategorized]

May 17, 10PM

I freely admit it. I love baseball, and have since I was a child and my Dad used to take me to see the Greensboro Yankees. That was a long time ago in the late 50s and early 60s. I collected baseball cards, and watch ole Dizzy Dean sing the Wabash Cannonb... [Uncategorized]

8PM

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the best of episodes, it was the worst of episodes. On the down side— we have the Emperor Tiberius and his mad relative Caligula visiting Jerusalem, something that absolutely never ever hap... [Uncategorized]

May 16, 10PM

Houston Baptist University and Seminary is an up and coming school, and I was honored to be asked to come and give a plenary lecture there on ‘The Social Identity of the Earliest Christians’. The plenary lectures were held in the beautiful new... [Uncategorized]

May 15, 10PM

Ben: I found your balanced analysis as to why there has been yet another resurgence of interest in Lewis’ writings right on target. The appeal to story, to narrative, to imagination to emotion is seen as much more winsome than dry rational apologetics. ... [Uncategorized]

May 14, 10PM

Ben: I find it interesting that those who most objected to Lewis’ orthodoxy and orthopraxy, past or present, on this side of the pond, were either real fundamentalists who especially despised his social practices, or those of a hyper-Reformed orientatio... [Uncategorized]

May 13, 10PM

When I was young (and foolish), I wanted to be Spiderman, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. I even once leaped off a large dollhouse in the backyard of a neighbor, to impress a girl. I broke my arm. It was a crystalizing moment for me at nine ye... [Uncategorized]

May 12, 10PM

Ben: One of the upshots for me of reading your engaging book is that it confirms that I am a literary dinosaur fixated on close reading of primary sources, and a man of Renaissance reading habits, since I underline and star etc. real books still with regu... [Uncategorized]

May 11, 10PM

Ben: I was a bit surprised to hear your analysis on p. 300 of Lewis being something of a Platonist, following, you suggest, the author of Hebrews. I don’t really think that works as an analysis of Hebrews since both the shadows and substance transpire o... [Uncategorized]

May 10, 10PM

Ben: Lewis makes an important distinction between the imaginary and the imaginative and insists his fiction is of the latter sort. Help us to better understand what he means by this, and why he also says you can look at his fiction as a spectacle, or as a... [Uncategorized]

7PM

At the very end of episode 5 of A.D., we were introduced in a most effective manner to Saul of Tarsus, present at the stoning of Stephen. In this episode, Saul takes center stage. It is easy, too easy, especially for Protestant to ignore or forget about t... [Uncategorized]

10AM

Anna Marie Jarvis was in many ways a remarkable woman. Born near the end of the Civil War (in 1864), she grew up in a staunch Methodist Episcopal family in West Virginia, born in Webster, and later grew up in Grafton. One of 13 children, of which four sur... [Uncategorized]

May 9, 10PM

Ben: Lewis has often been touted as the great Christian apologete of the 20th century. What struck me in reading your discussion of this is that you were certainly well positioned to critically evaluate the merits of what he wrote and said of this nature,... [Uncategorized]

May 8, 10PM

Ben: 6) Chronological snobbery is a phrase we find at various points in Lewis’ work. It seems that this concept is even more relevant now than ever in the age of rapid technological turnover where the latest is the greatest and the newest is taken to be... [Uncategorized]

May 7, 10PM

Ben: I was reading along on p. 70, and read these lines from Lewis “Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills”. A line you give in the context of discussing his war poems. I have to say this certainly c... [Uncategorized]

May 6, 10PM

Ben: One of the things your biography of Lewis could not be accused of is being hagiography. I have often wondered why exactly Americans have so often sought to polish the halo of Lewis including those who have written about him, and revere him to such a ... [Uncategorized]

May 5, 10PM

Ben: ‘Northerness’ is of course a topic that comes up again and again when it comes to Lewis’ developing imagination and later his fiction, but I have to say I found it strange to hear about Norse mythology lumped together with things Germanic like ... [Uncategorized]

May 4, 10PM

Ben: One of the keys, you suggest, to Lewis’ intellectual survival during his WWI service was his ability to compartmentalize things, and to continue to have and protect his ‘inner life’ and imagination without being unduly traumatized. Could you sa... [Uncategorized]

May 3, 10PM

Ben: Why do you suppose it is that so little attention has been paid in the past to Lewis’ Irish background and upbringing, especially when it comes to his religious background, growing up in an environment where the Lewis’ and the Tolkien’s of this... [Uncategorized]

8PM

One of the angles Downey and Burnett have chosen to pursue in order to fill out the story of early Christianity is by exploring the nature and fate of the Zealots, those in favor of the violent overthrow of Rome, sometimes at whatever cost. In Episode Fiv... [Uncategorized]

May 2, 10PM

Here’s a interesting recent post by my friend Philip Jenkins, for reflection this morning. See what you think. BW3 The first Sunday after Easter was “Low Sunday,” so-called because of the anticlimactic nature of anything following the high drama... [Uncategorized]

May 1, 10PM

Alister McGrath has recently provided us with a top drawer biography of C.S. Lewis, which has as its subtitled ‘Eccentric Genius. Reluctant Prophet’ (Tyndale, 449 pages, about $18 U.S.). Unlike it’s notable predecessors (by George Sayer ... [Uncategorized]

April 30, 10PM

Chronological snobbery—it’s a fact A sin of mind and act. It relegates the past to the dustbin And it will not retract. It thinks the latest is the greatest, And the new is the true, No matter what naysayers Say or do. Chronological snobbery—it’s ... [Uncategorized]

April 29, 10PM

Last summer Ann and I went to Austria so I could give a lecture at the International SBL meeting. It was mostly just an excuse to go see a beautiful European city and see some friends there and in Prague. Everywhere we went, we saw trinkets, pictures, pos... [Uncategorized]

April 28, 10PM

a href=”http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/files/2015/04/toto14.jpg”> It is an odd phenomena, but nonetheless true, that while the influence of rock n’ roll on its birthplace (the good ole USA) has certainly waned... [Uncategorized]

April 27, 10PM

http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/mornings/One-expert-says-Jesus-had-brother-298628121.html [Uncategorized]

April 26, 10PM

8PM

It might be possible, through a mere reading of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ trials, to come to the conclusion that Pilate was not all bad as a procurator of the province of Judaea. But this is not the whole picture, as Josephus makes very clear in... [Uncategorized]

April 25, 10PM

Ben: Scot it seems that I’ve been reading a lot of your recent offerings ranging from Jesus is Lord, and little Caesar is not, (it’s a pizza), to your book on the Kingdom, and most recently to A Fellowship of Differents (Zondervan, 2014), a bo... [Uncategorized]

April 24, 10PM

I’ve been reading Wesleyana materials for most of my life. I’m a cradle Methodist, and someday I suppose I’ll be a grave Methodist. I’ve read all sorts of books on John Wesley and on Wesleyan theology. In my opinion the very best s... [Uncategorized]

April 23, 10PM

April 22, 10PM

April 21, 10PM

History matters to an historical religion like Christianity, and so I’ve spent a lot of time on the history in and about the NT. My survey of the history of the whole period is New Testament History . This book has been used as a textbook a good dea... [Uncategorized]

April 20, 10PM

MEDITATION ON ROMANS 12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to keep on offering your bodies as a living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this... [Uncategorized]

April 19, 10PM

As I have said before, Aaron Sorkin is a brilliant writer who kept West Wing afloat for many a season. Sadly, ‘The Newsroom’ has now bowed out, and had its last run of six episodes last Fall on HBO. Honestly, there are hardly any dramas on any... [Uncategorized]

7PM

The third episode of A.D. the Bible Continues deals with the period between the Ascension and Pentecost, and then a bit beyond that into Acts 5. The centerpiece of this episode is of course the Pentecost event itself, which as it were is the bright foregr... [Uncategorized]

April 18, 10PM

I grow weary of the nonsense that has as its lead lament ‘there is no Trinity in the NT’. Actually there is. There is plenty on the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit being part of the divine identity in the NT, and The Shadow of the Almighty... [Uncategorized]

April 17, 10PM

It occurred to me along the way that Protestants do a pretty poor job of understanding the sacraments and their roles in Christian life, so I wrote a series of books on baptism, the Lord’s Supper and the Word of God. Baylor did a terrific job on the... [Uncategorized]

April 16, 10PM

I’ve written a lot of specialty books along the way, but one series I am especially pleased with are my Kingdom Perspectives books beginning with Imminent Domain. The whole premise of this series is for us to think backwards from the eschaton to now... [Uncategorized]

April 15, 10PM

I’ve written various introductions to the NT, and am in the process of writing an introduction to the Bible as a whole with Sandy Richter. We’ll focus on the former here. I’m very proud of my two recent Oxford books. They are some of the... [Uncategorized]

11AM

I went to see ‘Danny Collins’ with modest expectations. The aging and worn out singer trying to make a comeback, or alternately trying to flip the script and stop being a caricature of his previous pop star self has been done before. This movi... [Uncategorized]

April 14, 10PM

It’s tax day and Rachel Held Evans’ latest book has just emerged, Searching for Sunday (Nelson Books, 269 pages, $16.99 pb). In some ways this book has appeared at just the appropriate moment, because in some ways it is like a refund check fro... [Uncategorized]

April 13, 10PM

(image courtesy of lyndapringle.hubpages.com). Living in Lexington Kentucky one sees a lot of cars with the ‘Friends of Coal’ license plates. In my view, friends don’t let friends profit off the misery and death of miners with black lung... [Uncategorized]

April 12, 10PM

As I’m sure you’ve noticed. There is an appalling (I’m kidding!) amount of Paul in the NT, nearly a third of it is attributed to him. I’m not going to discuss my commentaries in this post, but rather will turn to other volumes of i... [Uncategorized]

8PM

The new series A.D. is providing us with an in depth look at the rise of the Jesus movement, and its motivating forces and factors. In Episode 2 of this series of shows, the arc of the narrative does not really reach beyond the Easter stories in the Gospe... [Uncategorized]

April 11, 10PM

I’ve written a bunch of books about Jesus, between 1984 and now. My earliest publication was indeed Women in the Ministry of Jesus (Cambridge,1987)— Obviously, this book did well because it was on a timely topic. The book I would most commend ... [Uncategorized]

April 10, 10PM

It’s hard to talk about your own work. You’re too close to the source to see it straight. Yet, I keep getting asked over and over again— which are your most important books? My usual response is— Important for what? All of my 50 so... [Uncategorized]

April 9, 10PM

Alert reader Dr. Harold Black sent the following to me….. “The explanation. . . . . Brains of older people are slow because they know so much. People do not decline mentally with age. It just takes them longer to recall facts because they have... [Uncategorized]

April 8, 10PM

Check out this story http://www.aleteia.org/en/religion/article/a-new-look-at-where-jesus-grew-up-5900277093761024, and the one by Professor Dark in the last issue of BAR. [Uncategorized]

April 7, 10PM

Some of Tom Wright’s books are rather like sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, realizing that a lot of good eating is before you, and it’s going to take a long time to digest. Fortunately, even Tom’s big books don’t have the same ... [Uncategorized]

April 6, 10PM

Craig Evans and I were having a chat about the James Ossuary. He was about to give a lecture at Liberty University about Jesus and the Remains of his Day. We were discussing the fact that the James ossuary, unlike any of the other ones I’ve seen fro... [Uncategorized]
(This apparently was written in preparation for Drake’s sailing to the west coast of South America) Disturb us, Lord, when We are too pleased with ourselves, When our dreams have come true Because we dreamed too little, When we arrived safely Becaus... [Uncategorized]

6PM

The final episode of Finding Jesus focuses on Mary Magdalene and her relationship with Jesus. Of course, ever since the Da Vinci Code there has been no end of speculation about the nature of this relationship. There are of course mysteries along the way a... [Uncategorized]

April 5, 10PM

Americans of course have a love affair with the car. Not too surprising since we helped invent them. So, its also not too surprising that they love movies where the cars are the real stars, ranging from cartoons like the animated Pixar film ‘Cars... [Uncategorized]

5PM

The first episode of A.D. starts off with a bang, with the trial of Jesus. Having seen several episodes in advance, I can tell you there are some strong portrayals in this series by the actors playing Pilate, Caiaphas, Peter, Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ ... [Uncategorized]

April 4, 10PM

(N.B. this is my own picture of the painting by Nikolas Ge) I came prepared to smell death, and the stench of decay. The tomb however was in a garden, and the first thing that I did in fact smell was lilies, and so many lilies it was intoxicating. It was ... [Uncategorized]

April 3, 10PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMInnR987w4 If you don’t have time for this whole thing, listen to Dave Chadwick’s opening invocation, and it will tell you what kind of person he was, and why he meant so much to my father, my whole family, and... [Uncategorized]
Starting on Easter Sunday night, tomorrow night, and for twelve Sunday nights thereafter, the story of the early church will be told in considerable detail, beginning with the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection and then working through early Christ... [Uncategorized]

6AM

On Good Friday the skies wept, They just opened up and torrential rains came down. Flooding the creeks, the brooks, the streams. The rivulets became rivers, the rivers became swollen, The lands disappeared, surrendered their hold to the rivers. The ground... [Uncategorized]

April 2, 10PM

Those folks at www.elsewhere.org must not have much to do. So they’ve invented a program that will randomly pick words to generate an essay that sounds somewhat coherent. No kidding! Try out for example www.elsewhere.org/pomo,…. or the essay b... [Uncategorized]

April 1, 10PM

7PM

In 1981, on ABC there was a multi-part mini-series entitled Masada, starring the magnificent Peter O’Toole and Peter Strauss. It was nominated for 13 Emmy Awards and won several. It was also filmed on location at Masada. When I made my first true tr... [Uncategorized]

March 31, 10PM

“The fool says in his heart, there is no god……”. Whether we are aware of it or not ‘the fool’, like ‘the sluggard’ or ‘the sage/wise man’ are stock characters in early Jewish wisdom literature. T... [Uncategorized]

March 30, 10PM

ON THE UNBEARABLE BRIGHTENESS OF LIGHT Sunrise thru stained glass To see it thru the filter, I can’t stare straight at the sun But thru the window I have won A glimpse of all God’s glory. Patterns in the glass Suggest an ordered world As if the beauty... [Uncategorized]

March 29, 10PM

In an age of fear-based thinking, and trust me, since 9/11 America has been binging on fear-based thinking (which in part explains the dramatic rise, one could say explosion, in gun sales since then) sometimes people have even forgotten what faith looks l... [Uncategorized]

March 28, 10PM

Obviously, one of the three or four most prolific Biblical scholars in the last half century is N. T. Wright. You see him above in Bishop Auckland Palace working on another book, a picture I took when I was visiting with him. The running joke about Tom (w... [Uncategorized]

March 27, 10PM

Apologies for a few four letter words from one of the panelists. BW3 [Uncategorized]

March 26, 10PM

It is not enough to learn how to think Biblically in a general way about the Bible. As a Christian one needs to learn to think about the Bible and its God as the earliest Christians did. The concept of progressive revelation is key here. If it is true tha... [Uncategorized]

March 25, 10PM

The next step in learning how to think Biblically is learning the overarching narrative of the Bible– starting with creation, then Fall, then the various acts of redemption culminating in the Christ event, and then the Age of the Spirit leading up t... [Uncategorized]

5AM

March 23, 10PM

Careful, analytical reading of the Bible requires some training. As I say in the book pictured above, most people need to be trained on how to do proper detailed reading of an ancient text. One way to start being able to do that is to read the book How to... [Uncategorized]

3AM

This show just keeps getting better, and if you missed the episode last night, you missed the best episode in this six part series. Go to CNN, type Finding Jesus into the search box, and find last night’s episode on James the brother of Jesus. Once ... [Uncategorized]

March 22, 10PM

Unfortunately, we live in an age of Biblical illiteracy, and the problem is only compounded by attempts at self-education through the internet, where there is as much dross as gold, straw as silver to be found. So obviously the first step in learning how ... [Uncategorized]

March 21, 10PM

One of the real differences between proper Biblical orthodoxy and cultish behavior is that when it comes to leadership the former works by persuasion and dialogue, and the latter works by dictatorial tactics, mind control, smoke-filled room decision makin... [Uncategorized]

March 20, 10PM

It’s nice to be able to commend some of your contemporaries and their good serious scholarly work. One such contemporary is John M.G. Barclay, the current Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at Durham. John was at Glasgow before that and trained, if mem... [Uncategorized]

March 19, 10PM

The world of academia is a bit like a circus. There are main acts and side shows. There are barkers drawing attention to themselves, and others who are not on ego trips at all. There are actually truth seekers, but their are also job seekers. There are ca... [Uncategorized]

March 18, 10PM

“Those who enjoy their own emotionally bad health and who habitually fill their own minds with the rank poisons of suspicion, jealousy and hatred, as a rule take umbrage at those who refuse to do likewise, and they find a perverted relief in trying ... [Uncategorized]

March 17, 10PM

It would be difficult to fully assess in one blog post the work of J.D.G. (Jimmy) Dunn. For one thing, he is among the most prolific NT scholars of the modern era. Don’t believe me? Check this out…. James D. G. Dunn (1970). Baptism in the Holy... [Uncategorized]

March 16, 10PM

I’m often asked why I turned down Oxford, where I had been accepted to do my doctoral work, to go to Durham. The answer is simple— Durham had a better NT department with Barrett and Cranfield and others, and C.K. Barrett was at the time the be... [Uncategorized]

March 15, 10PM

Ian Howard Marshall was someone I could identify with quite readily. He was an Evangelical and he was a Methodist and he was a NT scholar as well. One of his earliest books (1969), based on a thesis was Kept by the Power of God, which made sense of all th... [Uncategorized]
One of the more controversial aspects of the Gospels is the two genealogies we have for Jesus, one in Mt. 1.1-17 the other in Lk. 3.23-38. While there are a few similarities between the two (e.g. they both mention that Jesus is the ‘so-called’... [Uncategorized]

7PM

You may be surprised to hear me say so, but the third episode of Finding Jesus, about the Gospel of Judas, was the most effective of those which have aired thus far. It’s a very fair probing of what we ought to think about Judas (some pros, mostly c... [Uncategorized]

March 14, 10PM

Towards the end of my college years, I read a book that I really loved, recommended by Dr. Boyd— Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Prophets (two volumes). I still love it. For the first time I began to see the prophets as real flesh and blood peopl... [Uncategorized]

2PM

It is, under any circumstances, quite difficult to catch fire twice with the same story line. Lightning, as it turns out seldom strikes twice in the same place. Yet, if you have a compelling cast, a good storyline, some wit and some wisdom, and an interes... [Uncategorized]

March 13, 10PM

The journey has been a long one for me. It’s taken reading several thousand books over the years. It really began back in high school when I read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. That really stuck with me. So did Leslie Weatherhead’s littl... [Uncategorized]

March 12, 10PM

In honor of my sister’s birthday, I pass along this story from alert reader Jim Horn… A flustered woman hurried to the pharmacy to get medication for her sick child, got back to her car and saw that she had locked her keys inside. She found a ... [Uncategorized]

March 11, 10PM

Valentine’s weekend. Warm thoughts, cold everything else. Only we were headed to Boston for a long weekend and a conference. Except the blizzard came to town, and I don’t mean the DQ blizzard. We never got to Boston, and watching the Valentine... [Uncategorized]

March 10, 10PM

Ah retirement, the desideratum of millions of Americans. And in the culture of entitlement of course, if someone takes away your retirement, well, those are fighting words. Retirement is of course a totally modern, not a Biblical concept. The idea that yo... [Uncategorized]

March 9, 10PM

Well ‘its not a matter of life and death’. You hear this all the time as a common sense expression. What it reflects is the ethical priorities of our culture. Every culture has a value hierarchy, and ‘going on living, whatever the cost, ... [Uncategorized]

March 8, 10PM

“It’s just common sense, you’re supposed to look out for number one, and for your family, and anything else comes after that.” Ah the logic of self-preservation and self-protection and self-service. It is everywhere in our culture.... [Uncategorized]

8PM

On first blush this episode could just as easily been called ‘Finding John the Baptizer’. On the whole I thought this episode was certainly better, with less pure conjecture and less dogmatic pronouncements based on carbon dating involved. I t... [Uncategorized]

7AM

Here’s a little excerpt from the John the Baptist portion of the Finding Jesus series….. http://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/03/03/finding-jesus-blood-ties-in-the-bible.cnn/video/playlists/finding-jesus/ [Uncategorized]

4AM

Sadly, our friend Fred Craddock, the most masterful of all old Southern preachers, has gone to be with Jesus at age 86. Here are a couple of samples of our friend Fred. He was here only a couple of years ago in Lexington preaching the anniversary sermon a... [Uncategorized]

March 7, 11PM

Our topic for this post is ‘freedom of speech’. You will often hear it said “in a democracy, obviously there should be freedom of speech, it’s just common sense”. Yet there is not a single democracy where there are not laws l... [Uncategorized]

March 6, 11PM

“Everyone should have the right to get married, it’s just common sense”. I’ll bet you’ve heard that one before. Let me just say at the outset, I’m not concerned with the whole argument over civil unions performed by a j... [Uncategorized]

March 5, 11PM

Yet another harangue you hear these days after the exclamation “it’s just common sense” is “we should demand our rights”. Unfortunately, we now live in the ‘entitlement’ age, where everyone wants to demand their r... [Uncategorized]

March 4, 11PM

I’ve grown weary of so many Christians using the phrase “well it’s just common sense!” I’ve grown weary of it especially when what follows this exclamation is usually ideas which are not compatible with what the Bible says. T... [Uncategorized]

March 3, 11PM

Sometimes things are just not as advertized. This movie is one of them. It has a few good scenes. One of the better ones can be viewed above. It also has a boat load of the F word and the S word, and some absolutely grotesque violence scenes, including on... [Uncategorized]

March 2, 11PM

It is the conclusion of Richard Hays that we “must learn to read Israel’s Scriptures not only through the filtering lens of modern critical methods, but also through the eyes of John and other authors of the canonical Gospels” (p. 93). T... [Uncategorized]

9AM

http://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/02/26/finding-jesus-season-1-episode-1.cnn/video/playlists/finding-jesus/” title=”Finding Jesus” [Uncategorized]

6AM

When you are dealing with a docu-drama, sometimes it’s hard to get the balance right between education and what is dramatically effective on the screen. The first episode of Finding Jesus was indeed well filmed, the cinematography was excellent, and... [Uncategorized]

March 1, 11PM

12) In the second volume of the Lightfoot Legacy series, the volume on the Gospel of John to be published next year, Lightfoot says almost exactly the same thing you do about Jesus as Temple and the fulfillment of the Festivals etc. and about the backward... [Uncategorized]

February 28, 11PM

10) I would like to suggest a dictum, and get your reaction— No backward reading of the OT that violates or contradicts a forward reading of the meaning in the OT text is found in the NT. Yes, or no? ***Here, Ben, I think you are “leading the witn... [Uncategorized]

9AM

Is there archaeological evidence that helps us sort out the questions about the historical Jesus? Obviously, I do not yet know how the interviews and story of Jesus has been edited in this series, but we may hope it at least asks the right questions about... [Uncategorized]

February 27, 11PM

8) One of the issues often raised about Matthew is the difference between prediction and fulfillment, the latter being a much larger category of things. So when Matthew says Is. 7.14 is fulfilled in the story of Jesus, would you take him to mean that it w... [Uncategorized]

February 26, 11PM

6) At one level you are arguing that if we pay attention to the broader OT contexts of the OT texts that are cited, paraphrased, alluded to or echoed, we will better understand what the Gospel writers are saying about Jesus and his ministry. That would se... [Uncategorized]

February 25, 11PM

3) What exactly do you mean by figural (or even metaphorical) reading of the OT? How would this differ from say an allegorical reading of the OT or a typological reading of the OT (ala Melchizedek and Christ in Hebrews)? ***See pp. 1-4, 104-05 for definit... [Uncategorized]

3PM

In case you are wondering what’s been going on besides cabin fever for the last three weeks in snowbound Lexington, here is something to give you a clue. [Uncategorized]

February 24, 11PM

STARTING POINT— I take it as a given that you have clearly shown in this book that the narrative logic of all four Gospels is that Jesus is a part of the divine identity, and thus that strictly speaking there is no ‘low-Christology’ to use an ol... [Uncategorized]

February 23, 11PM

In the Gospel of John the suggestions that ‘Moses’ (and the prophets)spoke about Jesus are repeatedly in evidence (Jn. 1.45). Jesus does not denigrate or dismiss Moses, rather Moses is said to testify about Jesus. “There is a fateful cir... [Uncategorized]

February 22, 11PM

Richard rightly stresses from the outset the importance of the Jesus Bible study for the bewildered disciples in Lk. 24, where, without explication it is said that the Law,Prophets, and Psalms all testify to Jesus. He intends to contest the notion that th... [Uncategorized]

February 21, 11PM

In his chapter about Matthew’s use of the OT, Richard begins by making the valid point that Matthew shows far less reticence than Mark in making narrative claims about Jesus and linking them to specific OT texts, often citing those texts, and in the... [Uncategorized]

February 20, 11PM

One of the interesting questions raised by Richard’s approach to the reading of the OT is whether or not it is reasonable to assume that the various Gospel audiences had the requisite ‘encyclopedia of reception’ that he assumes they do, ... [Uncategorized]

2PM

You have to give him credit, Kevin Costner is good at sports movies (see e.g. Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, Tin Cup etc.). In terms of recreating on film a true and inspirational story, McFarland USA is his very best sports film. In this film Costner play... [Uncategorized]

February 19, 11PM

The first proper chapter of this little gem of a book is a lecture on the hermeneutics of figural interpretation, and we shall spend this post on that chapter. Drawing on the famous words of Martin Luther about how the OT is the swaddling clothes manger i... [Uncategorized]

February 18, 11PM

I’ve been reading my friend Richard Hay’s NT offerings for close to 40 years now. I read his dissertation involving Galatians when he was still writing the chapters, and I would send him comments and suggestions. Following this review, which l... [Uncategorized]

February 17, 11PM

(A shot of Mt. Ararat I took in 2011). Our fried Pete Williams, the warden of Tyndale House at Cambridge had this recent report on the finding of yet another flood account, this one perhaps from about 1700 B.C. or so. Here’s the report…. ̵... [Uncategorized]

February 16, 11PM

This will be our last post on Scot McKnight’s fine book which came out last fall (Brazos Press). It has many merits, not least of which is it is very clearly written, gets right to the point, and has lots of memorable lines like “the Pharisees... [Uncategorized]

February 15, 11PM

BEN: I find p. 164 very confusing. You say “The fundamental mission of kingdom citizens is to glorify God by living the life of ‘good deeds’. God is most glorified when kingdom citizens live under King Jesus as a faithful community.̶... [Uncategorized]

February 14, 11PM

BEN: I just finished Chapter 9, which I enjoyed and I think agreed with almost without exception. Obviously kingdom is about human redemption, and it has been that way since the time of Jesus. There is a necessary spiritual and social dimension to it. But... [Uncategorized]

February 13, 11PM

BEN:Scot I really loved this chapter, and wished it had been longer. I especially enjoyed the interaction with Barth, and the stories at the end about Ms. Powers and Carl Henry. Powerful stuff. And I think you’ve made a strong case that kingdom miss... [Uncategorized]

February 12, 11PM

BEN: Maybe we should go back to square one. The term basileia like the term malkuta which Jesus would have used has a range of meaning, obviously. The English translation ‘kingdom’ is not helpful because in normal plain English it connotes a p... [Uncategorized]

February 11, 11PM

BEN: So what this really boils down to for you, is that: 1) you are convinced it is wrong to parse things so kingdom is one thing and church is entirely another (and I agree), and 2) you want kingdom mission to be church based and specifically Christian,a... [Uncategorized]

February 10, 11PM

BEN: I think I’ve begun to nail down both our similarities and differences on kingdom, church, and Israel. If we are just talking kingdom and church, I think we mostly agree. But the term Israel, especially in Rom. 9-11 absolutely does not refer to ... [Uncategorized]

1PM

A new series begins on CNN on March 1 which involves me in five of the six episodes. Here is the first trailer for the show at this link (cut and paste it into your browser to view). http://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/02/03/cnn-original-series—fi... [Uncategorized]

February 9, 11PM

BEN: I enjoyed the clarity of the chapter on Kingdom and Church. I don’t agree that ekklesia simply refers to the local church. Even in Gal. 1 when Paul says he persecuted ‘the ekklesia of God’ he is referring to multiple local assemblie... [Uncategorized]

February 8, 11PM

N.B. Scot and I often have chats about things and in the next few posts we are going to dialogue about things in his book for the sake of clarification and understanding. BEN: Scot I think there is a good deal of overlap in our views, though they are not ... [Uncategorized]

11AM

It was with great sadness I learned today of the passing of one of my heroes— Dean Smith. He had been struggling with Alzheimer’s for sometime, and passed away just yesterday. I knew him as many things. In 1967 I was privileged as a junior hig... [Uncategorized]

February 7, 11PM

(Image used by the permission of the author). Scot McKnight is fed up, and with good reason. He is tired of terms like kingdom and church being bandied about and slapped as a label onto any good or worthwhile thing or causes whether or not there is any Bi... [Uncategorized]

February 6, 11PM

David Wilkinson sent me the following prayer that he found somewhere in cyberspace. See if you recognize yourself in it, and it so, your comment should be—– OUCH. Dear Lord, Help me to relax about insignificant details, beginning tomorrow at 7... [Uncategorized]

February 5, 11PM

Aqueducts are a fascinating study, especially the ancient aqueducts that dot the landscape all over the former Roman Empire. You find their remains everywhere— in mountains, on beaches, down valleys, on top of hills, in flat plains, in rolling hills... [Uncategorized]

February 4, 11PM

So I went to the movie theater one snowy afternoon and saw two films that both had drums beating all the way through them. Now I have drums beating in my head. Drummers are rather like NFL kickers, they are a breed apart. But I digress. Michael Keaton wil... [Uncategorized]

February 3, 11PM

The assortment of films nominated for best picture this year is really quite amazing. And it comes as something of a surprise that one of those films is a jazz film about a young drummer played by Miles Teller, co-starring J.K.Simmons (of Farmer’s I... [Uncategorized]

February 2, 11PM

February 1, 11PM

Words of course only have meanings in particular contexts. It is not true that ‘in the beginning was the dictionary, and the dictionary yea verily set meanings in stone’. No dictionaries and lexicons are studies of the uses of words in a varie... [Uncategorized]

January 31, 11PM

January 30, 11PM

2PM

http://www.cnn.com/videos/entertainment/2015/01/29/funny-or-die-bill-nye.funny-or-die?iid=ob_article_organicsidebar_expansion&iref=obnetwork [Uncategorized]

January 29, 11PM

Henry Clay was in so very many ways, a remarkable man. A gentleman farmer, born in Virginia, but coming to adulthood in Kentucky he found slavery abhorrent, and fought for the gradual abolition of the practice. He was often out of step for his day and age... [Uncategorized]

January 28, 11PM

In the eighth installment of Susan Hill’s much praised detective series, she takes on a subject that, as the British would say, will possibly put you off your tea. The subject is not merely paedophilia, but paedophilia filmed for the viewing pleasur... [Uncategorized]

January 27, 11PM

TEN THINGS NOT TO DO WHILE DRIVING! 1) TEXTING 2) USING A HAND-HELD CELL PHONE 3) CHANGING CDS IN THE CD PLAYER 4) REACHING DOWN TO PICK UP SOMETHING YOU DROPPED ON THE FLOOR OR IN THE PASSENGER’S SIDE SEAT. 5) TRYING TO TAKE A LEFT TURN ON A YELLOW ARR... [Uncategorized]

January 26, 11PM

Leave it to the Romans to try something too big! The picture above is of a block of stone some 64 feet long, hand-carved, and weighing in at a massive 1200+ tons (not pounds, tons, you do the math). It was found in an ancient quarry near Baalbeck in Leban... [Uncategorized]

January 25, 11PM

SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE SHOW AND DON’T WANT TO KNOW SOME OF THE PLOT, THEN SKIP PARAGRAPH 2 BELOW. There are not that many script writers in America more talented than Aaron Sorkin, who made his name with the blockbuster ‘... [Uncategorized]

January 24, 11PM

While many Christians know that the English word ‘taxi’ comes from the Greek word for ‘quick’, what is decidedly less well know is that the mistranslation of the prepositional phrase ‘en taxei’ has led to all sorts of w... [Uncategorized]

January 23, 11PM

Kudos to Larry Hurtado for sending this along to me. Now we need the NT version of this…. [Uncategorized]

January 22, 11PM

January 21, 11PM

January 20, 11PM

12 PM

Egyptian funerary art was highly developed by the time of the NT era. It involved both mummy masks which were painted, and even sarcophagi tops were painted, as for example in this picture which I took of a Greco-Roman person buried in Egypt according to ... [Uncategorized]

January 19, 11PM

El Greco’s work is unmistakable, and it is often religious, such as this very famous painting of St. Peter as a penitent…… Speaking of persons that Christian art has portrayed as a penitent, there are three pictures of Mary Magdalene in ... [Uncategorized]

January 18, 11PM

The Impressionists are of course universal favorites. Their sense of light and color are quite rightly celebrated. The Museum in San Diego has on a special exhibit a variety of works from these French masters, and their imitators. For example, here is a w... [Uncategorized]

January 17, 11PM

It was billed as a tour of Biblical Art in the San Diego Art Museum. Not so much! They had almost no Biblical art (one half statue of a Pharaoh hardly counts). They did have some Renaissance and Baroque Christian themed art, and some Hindu and Buddhist ar... [Uncategorized]

January 16, 11PM

One wonders why in the world it took so long for Michael Bond’s wonderful Paddington Bear to come to the silver screen, especially in an age when kids movies often bring in the most money (see e.g. the Lego movie etc.). Whatever the reason is, it wa... [Uncategorized]
When you live by the ocean, and you have perfect weather, it goes to your head. I have the proof….. here are some San Diego Charger fans at the game against the Rams….. All that Beach Boys music and perfect sunshine has intriguing effects, tho... [Uncategorized]

5PM

The du Pont family was (and still is) one of the richest families in the U.S., perhaps even in the world. Their money was made in the first place from making munitions, weapons, the tools of war, and then in addition there was the huge Dupont chemical ind... [Uncategorized]

January 15, 11PM

Whatever else you say about San Diego, it must be rather boring to be a weather man there—- ‘Yes it will be sunny and 70 degrees yet again today, with a slight breeze. The forecast is the same from now until Jesus comes back or the San Andreas... [Uncategorized]

January 14, 11PM

January 13, 11PM

January 12, 11PM

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, especially when you are dealing with things that go on in Alaska, ‘the final frontier of America’. So a Mr. Satre went fishin… minding his own business (a story told originally to the Sitka Gazet... [Uncategorized]

6PM

I went to see Selma today and was once again moved to some tears, though not to the degree I was when I saw Lincoln. This is a powerful, well acted film, and full marks to David Oyelowo for a brilliant job of playing MLK Jr. Tom Wilkinson’s portraya... [Uncategorized]

January 11, 11PM

January 10, 11PM

January 9, 11PM

January 8, 11PM

January 7, 11PM

January 6, 11PM

These come courtesy of Amazinglytimedphotos.com. [Uncategorized]

3PM

News Weak— “The Problems with Kurt Eichenwald’s screed entitled “The Bible: So Misunderstood it’s a Sin” It is all too easy these days to bemoan Biblical illiteracy and castigate fundamentalists for their misuse of the Bible, and provide c... [Uncategorized]

January 5, 11PM

How much do you love watermelon??? [Uncategorized]

January 4, 11PM

January 3, 11PM

January 2, 11PM

2PM

It is always a daunting task to turn a Broadway hit musical into a major film. Even if you front load a ton of stars into said movie, you will have to either: 1) make sure they can all really sing, or 2) settle for someone who is really good at lip-syncin... [Uncategorized]

January 1, 11PM

E. Stanley Jones, a twentieth-century Methodist missionary to India (and Asbury graduate): “A soul without a body is a ghost; a body without a soul is a corpse. The Gospel is addressed to living persons, soul and body, in all of their broken humanit... [Uncategorized]

7AM

BONUM NOVUM ANNUM Why is new important If old can do the job? Why a cause to celebrate Or perchance to sob? Thank Julius for the calendar It didn’t come from God. It seems so strange we celebrate The arbitrary and odd. Janus at least was two-faced He lo... [Uncategorized]

December 31 2014, 11PM

12 PM

Anyone who lived through the 60s will remember the haunting paintings of children with enormous eyes. And almost none of them will know the story behind the paintings— until now, thanks to Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, and surprisingly, Tim Burton who... [Uncategorized]

December 30, 11PM

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2014/09/25/exp-erin-intv-bill-clinton-nra.cnn.html As we head to the New Year, one thing we need more of in America is thoughtful discussion on major issues that trouble our society. We need less polemics, ... [Uncategorized]

December 29, 11PM

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” —William Barclay “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”—Vol... [Uncategorized]

3PM

“It’s the person one imagines can hardly do anything, that end up doing something no one has yet imagined.” This is the leitmotif of ‘The Imitation Game’, a very fine film indeed which is receiving all kinds of award nominati... [Uncategorized]

December 28, 11PM

I’ve been a Lindsey Davis fan for a very long time. Of the truly excellent novelists about the Roman Republic and the Empire, Coleen McCullough, Stephen Saylor, and Lindsey Davis, none of them are as clever and add as much humor to the telling of th... [Uncategorized]

December 27, 11PM

Of the making of books about Paul there is no end, but that doesn’t mean there don’t continue to be valuable ones produced. In fact, I am planning on doing a second updated version of my own Paul Quest book with a collaborator before long, but... [Uncategorized]

December 26, 11PM

Here is the second in the series of videos I did with Dr. Michael Halcomb, my former doctoral student. This one is on the Bible and History. [Uncategorized]

December 25, 11PM

Today, on the British calendar, is Boxing Day. No it’s not about hitting people while wearing gloves and confined to a ring. It’s about boxing up some of the Christmas stuff and giving it to the less fortunate. In his discussion of Jesus’... [Uncategorized]

December 24, 11PM

‘What should I give him, poor as I am, If I was a shepherd, I would give a lamb…’ Well here’s a thought on Christmas day, why not give him your obedience to his teachings? I doubt there are many things that would please Jesus, youn... [Uncategorized]

December 23, 11PM

Wendell Berry reminds us that the Gospels ask us many embarrassing questions not the least of which is, ‘If we had lived in the time of Jesus and heard the teaching found in the Gospels, would we have become one of his followers?’ Wendell says... [Uncategorized]

December 22, 11PM

In talking about the reason Christians have so flagrantly ignored the demands of the Sermon on the Mount, Wendell Berry puts his finger on one of the keys when he says “They have justified their disobedience on the grounds of the impracticality of o... [Uncategorized]

December 21, 11PM

One of the usual ploys used to domesticate the teachings of Jesus about non-violence is to point to a couple of texts which might suggest Jesus was perhaps not quite as much like Gandhi (or vice versa) as many have believed. Wendell Berry in his recent bo... [Uncategorized]

December 20, 11PM

I’ve been blessed to live in the same state with a very great writer,poet environmentalist, pacifist, Christian farmer named Wendell Berry. Wendell has a wonderful little book which came out in 2005 entitled Blessed are the Peacemakers which I had o... [Uncategorized]

December 19, 11PM

Whether you call such a person a guide or a guru, it has become increasingly and painfully clear to me that pastors need some personal guidance about the use of online resources for preparing sermons, Bible studies, etc. The first point I would stress is ... [Uncategorized]

December 18, 11PM

If you are old enough to remember Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and the Praise the Loot (err…. Lord) Club, and the Jessica Hahn scandal, all courtesy of a little place just south of my home in Charlotte N.C. then you may remember that the Bakkers could ... [Uncategorized]

December 17, 11PM

December 16, 11PM

I was having lunch with my friend Jerry Sumney in Lexington. He’s a very fine NT scholar at Lexington Theological Seminary, which in essence has stopped having regular semester on campus classes. It does online classes, and has intensives in January... [Uncategorized]

8PM

For those of us who read the Hobbit B.C., (by which I mean Before Computers, Before Cellphones), before the digital age, back when books were books and kindle was what you did to a campfire, there is something more than mildly unsettling about seeing a 3D... [Uncategorized]

December 15, 11PM

Here is a thoughtful presentation by Emma Watson, who has become a U.N. ambassador for a special cause. See what you think of it. My own views include the following points: 1) men and women are indeed created equal, not because they are exactly the same i... [Uncategorized]

December 14, 11PM

December 13, 11PM

Some things are best saved until later. On the basis of the fine review by my friend Philip Jenkins, I ordered the Irish film ‘Calvary’ from Amazon.UK. This review is here during Advent due to the luck of the draw. Personally, I recommend savi... [Uncategorized]

December 12, 11PM

The French would call him Mssr. Malaprop, but Peter Lawrence Berra was not just a funny guy, and even his funny sayings, taken in context make a lot more sense than they do in isolation. Most recently you may have run across the guy for whom a famous comi... [Uncategorized]

6PM

Ridley Scott is known for films on a epic scale— think Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Prometheus, Robin Hood or if you like sci fi, Blade Runner. Exodus: Gods and Kings is of that ilk. He out Cecil B.Demille’s Cecil himself. Suddenly, the Bible... [Uncategorized]

December 11, 11PM

The Christmas story, as we now celebrate it, is a winter’s tale. Never mind Luke’s mentioning that shepherds were out in the fields watching their flocks by night, rather than huddled in a cave, which suggests an event sometime other than wint... [Uncategorized]

December 10, 11PM

I intimated in my last post that one of the real problems for Protestants in celebrating Advent and Christmas is: 1) that Advent is hardly celebrated at all, with too many Protestants only having a nodding acquaintance with the whole notion of the ‘... [Uncategorized]

7AM

If you are able to wade through all the nonsense of Christmas— the materialistic excess, the narcissism of giving yourself and your immediate family tons of gifts, while ignoring the needs of the homeless and the poor and the hungry at Christmas, an... [Uncategorized]

December 8, 11PM

I don’t often take the time to endorse a particular translation of the Bible. There are many useful ones, and several really excellent ones in English, but in this case both the season and recent publication of the new NIV have led me to say somethi... [Uncategorized]

December 7, 11PM

I was standing in the Three Arches shop in Bethlehem looking at one nativity set after another, after another. They were all basically the same. Carved out of the native olive wood, they involved: 1) a barn; 2) animals (including camels); 3) a manger; 4) ... [Uncategorized]

December 6, 11PM

There are all sorts of myths floating around about Christmas, and some of the worst come from the myth-makers supreme (e.g. the Zeitgeist sort of people). I am referring to those who: 1) deny that Jesus existed; 2) insist that all Christian celebrations a... [Uncategorized]

December 4, 11PM

Subject: Four worms in church A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars The first worm was put into a container of alcohol. The second worm was put into a contain... [Uncategorized]

December 3, 11PM

Scholars have often debated why it is that the church of Constantine’s period looks so very different in various respects from the earliest church. What were the factors which led to the change or transformation of the early Christian movement, so that ... [Uncategorized]

December 2, 11PM

‘We are not to suppose that our view of the future, even after the most attentive study of the prophetical books will be perfectly distinct and satisfactory. There is a moral necessity that prophecy should be surrounded with a certain haze and indistinc... [Uncategorized]

6PM

December 1, 11PM

Ah, the lifestyles of the rich and famous, or even worse, the rich and royal. Schoenbrunn Palace was the summer residence or hunting lodge for the royal family that ran the Habsburg Empire. It’s just a little 1441 room Rocco abode, humble in every w... [Uncategorized]
One of the recurrent suggestions about how to resolve the impasse in the United Methodist Church, which is now getting a great deal of consideration as something to be proposed to the General Conference in 2016 is the two jurisdiction proposal. This parti... [Uncategorized]

November 30, 11PM

One Lone Word Can Be True. God’s Yes, Makes All Things New. Two Words Too, Like ‘I Do’. Can Change A Man Through And Through. Sad Or Glad Up Or Down. One Word, Smile One Word, Frown. Seek Now And You Will Find True Words Heal Or They Blind Word Made... [Uncategorized]
It was 1996 and I was on sabbatical in Cambridge working on my Mark commentary. It was the Easter season and ‘A Brief Theory of Time’ was still selling well (it came out in 1988). I was at the Sunday performance in King’s College of the ... [Uncategorized]

8AM

One of the clearest signs imaginable that a society is becoming less, not more civilized, is the proliferation of gun buying, and therefore guns in the hands of any and all sorts of people. There are in America, already nine guns for every ten people. Som... [Uncategorized]

November 29, 11PM

Seeing the street life of a town is always fun, and in this case it included street artists, chess players, illusionists, puppeteers, and musicians! Yes that guy really is hovering in air…..nothing under him holding him up… Make no bones about... [Uncategorized]

November 28, 11PM

The Saltzburger Dom is not a new kind of hamburger. It is in fact the name of the beautiful cathedral of St. Rupert in Saltzburg, which we will now visit. The outside of the building is a simple white and grayish colored large edifice…. but inside i... [Uncategorized]

November 27, 11PM

As I was saying, Salzburg is Salt town, and so naturally you have salt shop…. including all kinds of salt, even bath salts!! of course there are lots of other interesting shops in the town as well. Here’s an apothecary, or pharmacy…. And... [Uncategorized]

November 26, 11PM

Ann and I decided to take a day trip on a bus to Saltzburg. Now ordinarily, I’m not enamored of canned bus tours, but this one turned out o.k., and Saltzburg was well worth the journey. The town is named after the fact that it had a salt mine as its... [Uncategorized]

November 25, 11PM

Vienna is a big city, with a river running through it, a famous river, the Danube (hence the Blue Danube waltz by Strauss). Christa decided to take us outside the city to see it from above, from the last slopes of the Alps which sort of end at Vienna̷... [Uncategorized]

November 24, 11PM

If you love horses, and you’re going to Vienna, then seeing the Lipizzaners is a must. They live in downtown Vienna!! They have their own stables and exhibition hall as an extension of the royal residence buildings right in the heart of the old city... [Uncategorized]

November 23, 11PM

After WWII, there was a lot of reconstruction in Vienna. But the town fathers decided they wanted to rebuild in a classical style. And so, we have an Austrian Parliament building modeled on a building you should recognize—- the Parthenon!! Here̵... [Uncategorized]

November 22, 11PM

One of the regular things one is often told is don’t miss the opera house tour, when one comes to Vienna. The opera house had to be reconstructed after WWII because the front one third of it was blown up by an Allied bomb. All is well now however, a... [Uncategorized]

November 21, 11PM

Vienna is a town of endless cafes, restaurants, sweet shops, curiosity shops, and culture of all sorts. For example….. Even Mozart is trying to talk you into eating sweets!! And if you don’t Mozart gives you his bitter beer face. I’d be ... [Uncategorized]

November 20, 11PM

There was not world enough and time to visit all the significant churches in Vienna, not even all of the ones in the old city. So we had to settle for a few. Let’s start with the one our friend and former student Christa Abhar took us to for a delig... [Uncategorized]

November 19, 11PM

This shot looks down the wing of the museum from the Temple front back towards the bronze statue of the athlete and gives you some sense of the size of the hall, and the length of the friezes. These remains were transported from Ephesus to Vienna between ... [Uncategorized]

November 18, 11PM

The problem with ginormous museums is it takes several visits to soak it all in. After two or three hours you begin to glaze over and not take in the remarkable things to see. Sometimes you end up dashing around to no good end. In our case, we had to visi... [Uncategorized]

November 17, 11PM

There is a difference between a sci-fi movie, and a science future movie. The former does not need to be concerned about the actual constraints of reality or science as we know it, it can just let its imagination run wild. But a science future movie on th... [Uncategorized]
There is a very nice collection of largely Egyptian (and Sumerian) artifacts in the Kunst Museum, including a recreation of the ceiling and feeling of an Egyptian royal tomb, in the room see above. Hieroglyphics are always interesting and here is a stele ... [Uncategorized]

9AM

November 16, 11PM

Never say there is no profit in going to an art museum. Here in fact are busts of lots of famous Biblical prophets. These busts were made of the seven (OT) prophets by the delle Masegne brothers in Venice in about 1400. There are too many spectacular rend... [Uncategorized]

November 15, 11PM

There is a lot of interesting things in the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna, not least its Christian art collection and substantial Greco-Roman and ANE holdings. This post will deal with the former of these. Certainly one of the most famous paintings in... [Uncategorized]

November 14, 11PM

An important though relatively small part of the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna is the Ephesos wing of the museum. It has two main features…. statuary remains from the Greco-Roman period and friezes from that period, and a reconstructed temple fr... [Uncategorized]

7AM

Everything wears out, It all fades away, Even time passes Day by day. Nothing lasts, For very long, Your favorite food, Your favorite song. We grow weary, Tired of routine Let’s be honest, And just come clean. Our fear is evident That it will be true Th... [Uncategorized]

November 13, 11PM

There is a little village in the shadow of the mountains by the Wolfgangsee (lake really), which is the birth place of Mozart’s mom. It’s name is St. Gilgen, which is the equivalent of St. Giles, a rather odd name for an Austrian town. Mozart ... [Uncategorized]

November 12, 11PM

Ever been to a truck stop? Ever sampled the food there. Well let me tell you, the truck stops on the interstate in Austria are a horse of a different color. Yes, you can get gas there, of both sorts. Admittedly, the old gasthaus gang was a little rustic. ... [Uncategorized]

November 11, 11PM

Praha is a city of large squares, open boulevards, narrow winding streets, and decorated clock towers, guild halls, and generally fascinating architectural styles of many different period. First, lets look at some views from one of the hills on the new to... [Uncategorized]

November 10, 11PM

Let’s face it, towering old cathedrals are not likely to be a fave rave of children, so just behind the cathedral was a little aviary of sorts. Here are some of the birds we saw…. If you are wondering why this snowy owl has his eyes so wide op... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

The recent case of Britanny Maynard and her move to Oregon in order to commit physician assisted (or at least physician plus drugs assisted) suicide, has reopened the debate about what we should think about suicide in general, and doctors willing to viola... [Uncategorized]

November 9, 11PM

Near St. Martins, and also in the Vysehrad district of Prague is the cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. It dates to the 11th century, but what you see now is mostly 19th century. It is one of the more beautiful churches in Prague, as you will now see, N... [Uncategorized]

November 8, 11PM

While most Christians are familiar with the Protestant Reformation vis a vis what happened in Germany, Switzerland, and England, they are largely unaware of Jan Hus, and the reformation he undertook in highly Catholic eastern Europe. So first the statue, ... [Uncategorized]

November 7, 11PM

Like many eastern European cities, there was a large Jewish population in the city prior to the Holocaust in WWII, and the sending off of millions to the concentration camps, of which there were two in Czechoslavakia. What you see in Praha then are old sy... [Uncategorized]

11AM

Perhaps you will remember Hippocrates (not to be confused with hypocrites), one of the fathers of medicine. Hippocrate’s motto was ‘do no harm’ and so promote health and well-being. There are not too many, indeed, I can hardly remember a... [Uncategorized]

4AM

November 6, 11PM

I’m hoping that it will not come as a great shock to you that there are two sides to the Vtlava/Moldau river, and in Praha one side has more of the old city…see above and one side has more of the new city…. So to get around in this very ... [Uncategorized]

3PM

I have taped a full course on Johannine literature (the Gospel the Epistles, the Revelation). The course is listed as NT221, and here is a link to it. I bring this up now, because the pre-order price is much cheaper than when it goes live on Nov. 14th, so... [Uncategorized]

November 5, 11PM

The proper transliterated name of the city is Praha, but Westerners have called it Prague forever, and so we will call it both. After the SBL conference in Vienna (which we shall get back to in due course) at the beginning of July, we took the train to Pr... [Uncategorized]

November 4, 11PM

The thing about a good quality museum is that you can linger and appreciate it all, without the ‘glazed over’ effect of being in a huge museum where you simply can’t take it all in, and as a result you race from one room to the next look... [Uncategorized]

November 3, 11PM

While there are many fine museums to be explored in Vienna, if you are a fan of the paintings of the Impressionists, then you will want to go to the Albertina across from the Mozart cafe and the Opera House in central Vienna. Here’s what you are loo... [Uncategorized]

1PM

Cut and Paste this mysterious link into your browser….. and prepare to try and identify certain Asbury faculty persons……in disguise…. http://www.jibjab.com/view/3-A59yttRqqIMzrMJyasdw?mt=1 [Uncategorized]

November 2, 11PM

The only ancient description we have of the making of papyrus is that of Pliny the Elder in his Natural History Book XIII. He wrote in the latter half of the first century A.D., and while some scholars have questioned whether he had actually seen the proc... [Uncategorized]

November 1, 10PM

Some of the most important early papyri of the NT are the Chester Beatty Papyri housed in Dublin Ireland, EXCEPT for one piece which can be found in the papyrus museum in the basement of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna. The small fragment ... [Uncategorized]

October 31, 10PM

Medicine in antiquity was one part home remedy, one part common sense, and one part Hippocratic let the body heal itself. But the desperate also would go to the gods and the healers, and what passed for ancient doctors and medicine. Such treatments as lis... [Uncategorized]

1PM

Joel Pett is our local pundit cum political cartoonist in the Lexington newspaper…… [Uncategorized]

October 30, 10PM

The Kunst Museum in Vienna in fact houses several museums, including the papyrus museum in a small room in the basement, and the Ephesos museum in one of the upstairs great halls. Despite both being rather small, there were some very important items in ea... [Uncategorized]

October 29, 10PM

The last main chapter in Craig’s book deals with the subject of miracles, both ancient and modern. Craig relies not only on the various analyses of the Biblical miracles available in scholarly works, but also the recent large compilation of modern t... [Uncategorized]

7AM

The concert in Louisville was supposed to happen last June, but then Paul got sick. Pretty seriously sick. Worse still, Louisville was the last concert date on the tour— think no voice left, no energy left, especially when you are 73 years of age! Y... [Uncategorized]

October 28, 10PM

Chapter Five (pp. 147-78) deals with the issue of multiple genre of literature in the Bible, and walks through some of the usual pitfalls and questions people raise when a more literarily sensitive approach to the Biblical text is taken. Here Craig deals ... [Uncategorized]

October 27, 10PM

First of all, I am on record as to my views on the inerrancy controversies in Evangelicalism. You may check out my article in the Spring issue of JETS of this year entitled ‘The Truth Will Out’. You may also read what I say about the doctrine ... [Uncategorized]

October 26, 10PM

The chapter on translations is in some ways the most useful one for those lost in the sea of different versions, different editions, etc. Yet despite the many many different Protestant translations of the Bible available (and the vast majority of them are... [Uncategorized]

October 25, 10PM

The second major chapter of Craig Blomberg’s book deals with the issue of how we got the NT, or put another way, how the canon of the NT came about. Was the NT canon a product of the politics of Constantine and his cronies? Was it the product of the... [Uncategorized]

October 24, 10PM

This video was recorded about eight and a bit years ago at Asbury, back when my hair was still brown! The first five minutes deal with topics then current, but J.D. Walt and I go on to have a good conversation about the Word of God as a sacrament, and how... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

It’s been a good while since I’ve both laughed and cried at a movie. But somehow, some way, St. Vincent did produce that effect. Bill Murray has not played any good comedic roles in many moons, but he really sinks his teeth into this one. Mind... [Uncategorized]

October 23, 10PM

Mention the issue of textual criticism and some people think you’re actually talking about criticizing the text of the Bible. Nope. Text criticism is the attempt to reconstruct the earliest form of the Biblical text possible, based on the thousands ... [Uncategorized]

October 22, 10PM

In the Introduction to Craig Blomberg’s new book on the trustworthiness of Scripture, he lays down some premises which let us know his orientation from the outset. Inerrancy will be a big topic in this book so he lets us know from the outset that &#... [Uncategorized]

October 21, 10PM

In an age of uncertainty and extreme skepticism about the Bible and Christianity, it is inevitable that there would be books written like Craig Blomberg’s lucid and balanced recent offering— Can We Still Believe the Bible? Just for clarificati... [Uncategorized]

October 20, 10PM

“Here is no unanchored liberalism—freedom to think without commitment. Here is no encrusted dogmatism–commitment without freedom to think. Here is a vibrant Evangelicalism–commitment with freedom to think within the limits laid dow... [Uncategorized]

October 19, 10PM

If ever there was going to be a text in the NT where one could talk about an anti-imperial rhetoric and coded language, Revelation is that text. And for the record, I think there is a critique of abusive rulers, and empire in this book. There is also a cr... [Uncategorized]

October 18, 10PM

Where exactly did the imperial cult come from? What were its ideological origins? The prevailing view, as Lynn Cohick points out, is that it grew out of the Greek ruler cult and perhaps more importantly in a Roman context from the private or household wor... [Uncategorized]

October 17, 10PM

The longest and most substantial essay in this volume is that of Michael Bird who analyzes Romans in terms of anti-imperial rhetoric. Point of view in such an analysis matters. For example, it’s one thing for a monotheist to say Jesus is the Son of ... [Uncategorized]

October 16, 10PM

In this book, Acts is dealt with separately from Luke’s Gospel, though it may be doubted this was a good idea, since the vast majority of scholars think the same person wrote both books, and it would have been good if the case for anti-imperial rhet... [Uncategorized]

October 15, 10PM

Anyone at all familiar with the Gospel of John knows that it begins with the logos hymn, and that that hymn in a significant way sets the agenda for what follows, especially Christologically. Knowing where the Son came from, and where he is going is the k... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

There is one slip in this video, namely it’s not Jesus but Paul who is speaking in 1 Thess. 4. Otherwise, see what you think. BW3 [Uncategorized]

October 14, 10PM

The NT was mostly written by early Jews. One possible or likely exception to this rule is Luke, who, nonetheless, shows such a knowledge of the LXX that it is possible he was a God-fearer, and so on the margins of the Jewish community before he became a f... [Uncategorized]

4AM

Every student of the Bible at some point has ended up scratching his or her head over some passage, and saying— What?????? Usually, this problem is created by one of two factors: 1) the failure to understand what kind of literature one is reading, h... [Uncategorized]

October 13, 10PM

AN INTERVIEW WITH SCOT MCKNIGHT Ben: It appears that the purpose of this book was to offer a certain tempering of the recent rhetoric about the anti-imperial rhetoric found in the NT? Yes? Yes, in part, but only because both Joe and I thought the entire i... [Uncategorized]

7AM

October 12, 10PM

One of the obvious growth areas in the study of the Gospels is the study of Matthew as a possible vehicle of anti-imperial rhetoric, largely due to the voluminous output on the subject by Warren Carter (20 articles and more). In the chapter by Joel Willit... [Uncategorized]

October 11, 10PM

The article by Judith Diehl (pp. 38-81, the longest article in the book) is a condensation of several survey articles she has done on the subject of the NT and the Imperial Cult. It is a very useful piece of summarizing and evaluating, but it has some sur... [Uncategorized]

October 10, 10PM

The first two articles in this volume are of the nature of survey articles, which is a good thing for readers unfamiliar with the topic of ‘The NT and the Imperial Cult’. We will summarize a few of the major points made by David Nystrom and di... [Uncategorized]

4PM

In a year where decent, never mind good movies are few and far between (indeed this may be the worst year in a half century for movies) those of us who love the silver screen are prepared to accept pretty good. And ‘the Judge’ as it turns out,... [Uncategorized]

October 9, 10PM

In the past several decades, one of the major trends in the evaluation of the NT has been the study of its contents in relationship to the rising tide of the Emperor cult during the first century A.D. On the surface of things, such a comparison seems prom... [Uncategorized]

October 8, 10PM

We are standing across from St. George’s monastery high above Jericho, and looking at the valley of the shadow while I read Psalm 23, next to the cross tower. Notice that the cross stands tall and I stand small, which is as it should be. At least my... [Uncategorized]
His your chance to show your musical knowledge and get a free lunch with moi. The person who gets the most names of the singers (and guitar and piano and harmonica players) in this video will win a free lunch at Solomon’s Porch in Wilmore, date to b... [Uncategorized]

4AM

October 7, 10PM

p. 1504 revives Tom’s earlier suggestion (see n. 74) that by Arabia is meant Sinai, and so Paul went on a little Elijah tour after his conversion. This view I think is untenable. In the first place, the old Arabia a Jew from Jerusalem would normally... [Uncategorized]

October 6, 10PM

‘God was reconciling the world to himself…’ What exactly did this mean? Tom (p. 1490) takes Col. 1.23 to indicate that Paul thought that in some sense the Gospel had already been proclaimed to the whole cosmos. More likely, this is a ref... [Uncategorized]

October 5, 10PM

The last chapter of Tom’s magnum opus is not quite what one might have expected. There are considerable reflections on modern secular Jewish thought (Benjamin, Marx, etc.) and on the philosopher Heidegger and his connection with the Nazis, and how t... [Uncategorized]

October 4, 10PM

Through out this long study of Paul, there have been certain texts that are the linchpins for Tom’s whole approach to the matter. Rom. 2.28-29 is one such text, but that text is part of the larger discussion in 2.17-29 where quite specifically the J... [Uncategorized]

6AM

The weak autumn sun Not warming the air, Slowly climbed up the sky Not seeming to try. Ascendancy now In the hands of the wind That would dictate the day That would blow things away. The leaves had surrendered And swirled to the ground Not clinging to tre... [Uncategorized]

October 3, 10PM

This post will be dealing with pp. 1426-43 of the next to last chapter in this epic. Here Tom addresses at some length the ‘identity’ question. Before reading Tom’s critique I would suggest the readers of the blog read first my chapter e... [Uncategorized]

October 2, 10PM

And now for something completely different. In the penultimate chapter in this overly long book, Tom turns to Paul’s controversial and problematic relationships with his fellow Jews. This entails at the outset a discussion of Paul’s call/conve... [Uncategorized]

October 1, 10PM

The further one goes in Chapter 14 the clearer is becomes just how trenchant Tom’s critique is of Engeberg=Petersen’s work. The latter puts much stress on Paul’s conversion, but one may ask, conversion from what to what? The problem with... [Uncategorized]

September 30, 10PM

There is something to be said for the argument (see pp. 1378-79) that in Rom. 7.13-25 Paul is framing his discussion with one eye on what the pagan moralists said about the ethical dilemma of knowing better but not doing better. Aristotle, Nic. Ethics 7; ... [Uncategorized]

September 29, 10PM

Physics, logic, ethics. What was the connection in ancient philosophy, and how did Paul respond to it? Tom provides us with a very helpful summary on p. 1371– “They believed that once one had discovered and understood (‘logic’) wha... [Uncategorized]

September 28, 10PM

Chapter 14 is to be paired with Chapter 3, only this time we are bringing together Paul and the philosophers, and doing some comparing and contrasting. The central three chapters of exposition of Paul’s thought is assumed and drawn on here. To begin... [Uncategorized]

September 27, 10PM

The evidence is ancient and crinkled, as you can see above, but it is conclusive and now we know it wasn’t sin, it was those darn toll booths that slowed down the Israelites, toll booths like the one Levi later manned. [Uncategorized]

September 26, 10PM

Chapter Thirteen is valuable not least because Tom establishes beyond reasonable doubt, that Paul when it talking about the sacraments, prayer and in general Christian praxis does have one eye on how his Gentile converts would have thought about ‘re... [Uncategorized]

September 25, 10PM

In his positive proposal (beginning p. 1332), Tom wants to argue that while Christians did not have literal priests, temples, or sacrifices, “if religion in the ancient world was the system of signs including myths and rites by which people were bou... [Uncategorized]

September 24, 10PM

Chapter Thirteen of this opus is meant to be paired with Chapter 4, and the discussion of ‘religio’ in the Greco-Roman world. Now however the focus is on the intersection of Paul with that world, and not just a context description. There has b... [Uncategorized]

September 23, 10PM

There are many reasons to be upset with the current state of popular music, not the least of which is that mp3s strip the source music of much of its inherent quality, but an even better reason to do so is that buying individual songs purely because you l... [Uncategorized]

September 22, 10PM

It might be thought that after the hugely successful Harry Potter novels, J.K. Rowling would be content to rest on her laurels (not to mention her millions), and put the pen back in the ink well for a while. Not a bit of it! She has now assumed a nom de p... [Uncategorized]

September 21, 10PM

The remainder of Chapter Twelve (pp. 1300-1319) is in the main devoted to a rebuttal to John Barclay’s critique of Tom’s reading of Paul’s ‘anti-imperial’ rhetoric. There are some significant qualifications along the way, for... [Uncategorized]

September 20, 10PM

September 19, 10PM

Brought to you by our friends at IV Press. It will become available in November, and will be on discount at the Inter-Varsity Booth at the SBL meeting in San Diego the weekend before Thanksgiving! Stay tuned for more. BW3 [Uncategorized]

July 23, 10PM

The big three sites to go see among the seven churches of revelation are Ephesus, Pergamon, Sardis, to which one must now add a fourth, Laodicea, because of the amazing archaeological work done there in the last five years. In this blog post and the next ... [Uncategorized]

July 22, 10PM

The god Asklepius was in many ways one of the most important of all Greco-Roman deities, and this was true all over the Mediterranean world. Health and healing in a world full of disease and death, before modern medicine, was an urgent matter. The symbol ... [Uncategorized]

July 21, 10PM

Izmir is a beautiful seaside city of three million. There is however not much to see here in terms of the seven churches of Revelation. So we moved on to Pergamon, where there is a ton to see both on the Acropolis and in the Asklepion complex below. It wi... [Uncategorized]

July 20, 10PM

Take a good close look at the map above. What you are looking for is Kaymakli, the locale of the underground city. In fact there are many such places in Turkey, and I have visited several of them. Most are in the central region of the country. And most ar... [Uncategorized]

July 19, 10PM

Going to the cave churches at Goreme Open Air Museum is a treat, but it reminds one of what produced such things— persecution. We will see an underground city after this post where Christians hid. We are talking about Christianity in the first four ... [Uncategorized]

July 18, 10PM

There are few thrills more visceral in Turkey, than a balloon ride at dawn over the cave churches of Capadoccia. It’s certainly well worth rising at 4.30 in the morning, and cramming twenty four people into one giant basket under a balloon, and then... [Uncategorized]

July 17, 10PM

In the afternoon we went first to the spice Bazaar and saw some bizarre spices, and then took a cruise on the Bosphorus for a while. The spice bazaar is part of, or next to the Grand Bazaar, now immortalized in the movie Skyfall for a motorcycle chase acr... [Uncategorized]

July 16, 10PM

Hagia Sophia remains one of the most amazing buildings in the world, and in its day it was an unparalleled building in terms of the amount of open domed space without columns in the center of the building. Here it is, with its later minarets still showing... [Uncategorized]

July 15, 10PM

Touring Turkey after touring Israel is like touring Texas after touring Rhode Island. The difference in size, scope, and amount of things to see is enormous. So in Turkey one has to settle for a small sampler, a Whitman’s sampler so to speak, with a... [Uncategorized]

July 14, 10PM

The city of David is nicely depicted in the picture above— showing how it is south of the Temple Mount. You can also see in the picture the now famous underground walkway from the pool of Siloam at the bottom of the picture all the way up to the Tem... [Uncategorized]

July 13, 10PM

The usual day walk through the old city of Jerusalem can be long, hot and tiring, so it’s important to take breaks along the way, and enjoy something to eat, and maybe an antiquities shop or two… All I can say is that the original widow would ... [Uncategorized]

July 12, 10PM

A visit to Bethlehem necessarily involves stops at: 1) Shepherd’s fields; 2) the Church of the Nativity and the adjacent modern church with Jerome’s grotto; and 3) of course the olive wood shops, in this case, the best one near the Church of t... [Uncategorized]

July 11, 10PM

We moved on from Jerusalem briefly to Bethlehem, starting at the back side of Bethlehem at the Herodium, one of Herod’s many get away places, in case someone was after him. This excavation has really seen some development over the last ten years, in... [Uncategorized]

July 10, 10PM

Like most tours of the city of Jerusalem, we started at the top of the Mt. of Olives, because of course, that’s where the vendors take the pictures of a group with the Dome of the Rock and the old city lurching in the background. It is a nice view f... [Uncategorized]

July 9, 10PM

On the way up to Jerusalem, we passed through Jericho briefly, long enough to see a giant Sycamore tree (not old enough to be climbed by Zaccheus, but you get the mental image), We then went up the old Roman road to Wadi Quelt, a wadi is a dry river bed, ... [Uncategorized]

July 8, 10PM

What would a trip to the Dead Sea be without a dip in the Dead Sea, perhaps with the help of a coat of protective mud…. So you run into the mud people… Our Yuliya decided just to dip her toes into the chemical bath which is the Dea Sea (honest... [Uncategorized]

July 7, 10PM

The ride through the desert (not on a horse with no name please— it’s too hot) is a long one to get to Masada, especially from Galilee where we started the day. You can however see the bluff from a great distance as you ride along beside the e... [Uncategorized]

July 6, 10PM

Our next destination as we head south to Qumran and the Dead Sea is Beth Shean/Scythopolis, or more properly speaking, just the latter. There isn’t time to do both in one day. Scythopolis or the city of the Scythians (I’ll let you look them up... [Uncategorized]

July 5, 10PM

Our next place to visit is Migdal or Magdala, the hometown of you know who. Our previous mental image of a quaint little impoverished fishing village has been completely blown out of the water by the recent excellent archaeological work done on this site.... [Uncategorized]

July 4, 10PM

Unlike at Tabgha, when you get to Capernaum (the ancient name is Kefer Nahum, which means the village of the prophet Nahum) you have arrived at a spot where it is certain Jesus did a variety of things. This was his home base once the Galilean ministry sta... [Uncategorized]

July 2, 10PM

Bethsaida was the home of Peter, and Andrew, and Philip. It is today an important archaeological site dug by Rami Arav and company. But before we got there we had some lunch at St. Pete’s restaurant, and when we left we discovered a hyrax climbing a... [Uncategorized]

1PM

As it becomes increasingly clear that even in America the culture is moving increasingly away from Christian ethical and theological standards of all sorts, instead of ringing our hands and ushering cries of dismay, it would be better to think about how w... [Uncategorized]

July 1, 10PM

There are many sites in Israel where the tour guides will take you, and sometimes they will and sometimes they won’t say ‘this is the site where, according to tradition….X took place’. You should be wary of such claims. Sometimes, ... [Uncategorized]

June 30, 10PM

Certainly one of the most important sites to visit, if one wants to understand a text like Mk. 8.27-30 and its Matthean parallel is Banias or Panyas (the city of Pan) which was a Greek city Romanized by Herod Philip and renamed Caesarea Philippi. Today it... [Uncategorized]

June 29, 10PM

By now the story is old news. Sea of Galilee reaches all time low ebb. First century fishing boat found in the mud near Nof Ginnosar (a kibbutz). Boat carefully extracted from the mud using space age foam. Boat cleaned, and then immersed in a liquid wax b... [Uncategorized]

June 28, 10PM

After a quick lunch of Shwarma (seasoned shaved meat, usually beef these days, but traditionally lamb) and veggies on pita bread with special sauce (yummmm), we moved on to the city just over the hill from Nazareth, namely Sepphoris, to have a look at the... [Uncategorized]

June 27, 10PM

There was a day when some more radical scholars were denying the existence of synagogue buildings in the first century, until Lee Levine and others put that myth to rest. We will be talking about the new find of the synagogue at Migdal in a later post, bu... [Uncategorized]

June 26, 10PM

Among the other interesting features of Nazareth Village is the watchtower, where a villager would watch to protect the town from predators both human and animal There is also a cave tomb to be seen here… In the back of the tomb are niches, where os... [Uncategorized]

June 25, 10PM

Ah viticulture. The making of wine is a very ancient practice indeed, and yes it was fermented, so yes it was alcoholic, though we are not sure just how strong it was. The process of making wine involved of course the picking of the grapes when ripe, and ... [Uncategorized]

June 24, 10PM

Modern day Nazareth is nothing like the little village Jesus knew, as you can see from this picture. But fortunately, you can go to Nazareth and have an experience of what it might have been like to visit Jesus’ home town if you visit Nazareth villa... [Uncategorized]

June 23, 10PM

Who knew that when I went to film a course for Logos in Everett Washington, they would turn me into the Godfather? I suppose they thought that when they offered my course on Johannine Literature they were making ya’ll an offer you couldn’t (or... [Uncategorized]

June 22, 10PM

There is still today considerable debate as to which little town named Qana (Cana) in the north is Biblical Cana, of wedding fame. It may be Kirbet Qana, but that is not the traditional site, and we visited the traditional site which has a lovely Catholic... [Uncategorized]

June 21, 10PM

Ah the Sea of Galilee, especially at sunrise and sunset its beautiful. If you can’t get inspired there, you are a pilgrim without a pulse. (moonrise over the Golan from the Tiberias side, through the map of the lake). (sunrise over the Golan). From ... [Uncategorized]

June 20, 10PM

Armageddon is a word that sends chills down one’s spine. The word comes from Har Megiddo, the hilltop city on Megiddo. Megiddo, in the Jezreel valley was near the major routes north/south where armies marched— Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians... [Uncategorized]

June 19, 10PM

Mt. Carmel is an important site, both in terms of the OT and probably in terms of the NT. This is the mount which according to tradition Elijah had his victory over the prophets of Baal (see statue above next to the Carmelite monastery). It is possible th... [Uncategorized]

June 18, 10PM

Why do people make pilgrimages to Israel? Do they think God is more present in Israel than in other lands? Do they think they need to make such a trip to get closer to Jesus? Why do already baptized people want to be rebaptized in the Jordan? Doubtless, t... [Uncategorized]

June 17, 10PM

There are good movies that come and go in the theaters without a lot of fanfare, while other dogs remain barking for weeks in the same theaters. There is no accounting for taste when it comes to some folks. Stuck on a ten hour flight from Istanbul to NY a... [Uncategorized]

June 16, 10PM

June 15, 10PM

After all the wars are over, And all the battles won, After all the blood’s been spilt, From here to kingdom come, Do you think it really mattered In the larger scheme of things That this nation took the prize Or that one got no rings? So what if on... [Uncategorized]

June 14, 10PM

Stream or download the interview at http://BibleGeekGoneWild.com/095 http://BibleGeekGoneWild.com/095“ [Uncategorized]

June 13, 10PM

I was minding my own business when I got an email from Germany from one Jochen Froelich. Seems that 30 years ago he went to a flea market, to a bookstall, and bought two old commentaries by Martin Luther which were translated into English in 1635 and 1637... [Uncategorized]

June 12, 10PM

It would appear that during the summer movie season, especially with sci fi movies continually being churned out, that Orthodox priests have been infected with the Star Trek disease. [Uncategorized]

June 11, 10PM

June 10, 10PM

Ahh Keenland, where you see beautiful graceful horses, lots of frantic bettors, and ladies in hats that normally would be called Easter bonnets. But this is the last week of the Spring horse races at Keenland, and so I took my wife Ann and her sister Elai... [Uncategorized]

June 9, 10PM

Here below is my friend Larry Hurtado’s assessment of Wright’s assessment of Paul’s future eschatology as discussed in Paul and the Faithfulness of God. See what you think. BW3 —- Paul’s Eschatology: Further Comments on Wright’... [Uncategorized]

June 8, 10PM

The Green Collection team sponsored an important meeting at the end of March in Oklahoma which unfortunately I could not attend due to our Asbury ministry conference. My friend Larry Hurtado has now reported on the findings, and basically it shows that pa... [Uncategorized]

June 7, 10PM

June 6, 10PM

June 5, 10PM

The following is a helpful intro by Larry Hurtado on a new monograph about Jesus and the scribal elites, which suggests there really is a historical basis for the controversy stories about such a conflict. BW3 Jesus and the “Scribal Elite”: Chris Keit... [Uncategorized]

June 4, 10PM

The below is a helpful little post by Larry Hurtado about the Jewishness of Paul. I have a couple of caveats with it, namely Paul says he as a Jew has a choice about being the Jew to the Jew (1 Cor. 9). He no longer sees Torah observation as an obligation... [Uncategorized]

June 3, 10PM

by larryhurtado 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. Bagna... [Uncategorized]

June 2, 10PM

The following is a blog post by Timothy George. See what you think— BW3 ——– His real name was George Pease Williams, but to ward off insensitive school-yard taunts as a young boy he constructed a more elegant middle name for himsel... [Uncategorized]

June 1, 10PM

Here is an interesting analysis of a recent article by Peter Malik, courtesy of my friend Larry Hurtado…. BW3 Earliest Corrections in Codex Sinaiticus by larryhurtado The latest issue of The Bulletin of the American Society of Payrologists includes ... [Uncategorized]

May 31, 10PM

If you’ve been wondering why there has been a regular spate of guest posts on this blog as well as some unanswered questions, it is because— I be gone. Since May 12th I’ve been to Israel and Turkey for a week each, and now I’m crui... [Uncategorized]

May 30, 10PM

Certainly one of the more important topics to be discussed when it comes to eschatology is ‘the day of the Lord’ or ‘the day of Jesus’ and on pp. 1079-80 Tom provides a helpful listing of references to ‘that day’ rangin... [Uncategorized]

May 29, 10PM

Eschatology is a tricky subject in various ways. On the one end of the spectrum one can make the mistakes we see Dispensationalism making again and again when it tries to co-ordinate contemporary events with generic or more universal Biblical prophecies a... [Uncategorized]

May 28, 10PM

Michael Halcomb and I were fortunate enough to catch David Payne here in Lexington at the Lyric Theatre performing his one man dramatization of C.S. Lewis. The show is divided into halves, one half about Lewis in his many roles in Oxford, and as a Christi... [Uncategorized]

May 27, 10PM

As Tom informed us early on in this opus, the three major or central chapters including finally Chapter 11, on eschatology, are the most crucial parts of this major discussion on Paul. So we will be working carefully through pp. 1043-1266 for quite a few ... [Uncategorized]

May 26, 10PM

In the discussions of Tom Wright in his recent opus, he stresses again and again that Christos is not merely a name, rather it regularly indicates that Jesus is the Jewish messiah, the anointed one of God. Here is reflection of another scholar, meditated ... [Uncategorized]

May 25, 10PM

Philip Jenkins Alexandrian Attitudes A new source for the “Secret Gospel of Mark.” In 1973, Morton Smith announced a spectacular discovery that promised to reshape the understanding of the New Testament. The authenticity of that alleged find i... [Uncategorized]

May 24, 10PM

Here is an interesting post from my friend Philip Jenkins. See what you think— BW3 ——– MERCY – SHUT UP! April 18, 2014 By Philip Jenkins Easter is a time for sober reflection on matters of death and Resurrection, and not, one wou... [Uncategorized]

May 23, 10PM

Messiah and Worship by larryhurtado 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 “... [Uncategorized]

May 22, 10PM

Virtual reality is an interesting thing. With the help of technology it is now possible to make unreal things look entirely real— and scary. The above is a picture of Herod’s hand built seaport. It’s clearly a painting and not a picture ... [Uncategorized]

May 21, 10PM

On p. 1021, Tom again broaches the subject of theosis, or divination. Though he does not give us a succinct definition of what he means, I take it that he is referring to God dwelling within his people, not just in their midst but actually within them ... [Uncategorized]

May 20, 10PM

One of the regular critiques of Wright’s views from the Reformed side of the equation comes from folk like Carson and Seifrid who stress that in the Hebrew Bible the term berith and the term sedeq almost never occur in close proximity. Tom counters ... [Uncategorized]

May 19, 10PM

In this post we cross the Rubicon of p. 1000 in Tom’s tome. That is to say, we cross the two-thirds mark in this massive study. It is worth pointing out that there is a lot of repetition in this detailed study. A lot. The reason for this is, at leas... [Uncategorized]

May 18, 10PM

The following is a helpful post by James Howell, my friend and fellow Um minister, who pastors at Myers Park UMC. —- The Examined Life Socrates was right: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The depressing vanity of our culture is... [Uncategorized]

May 16, 10PM

I am not a Roman Catholic, but I love the churches of Rome. Where else on earth is there such a concentration of hallowed houses of worship, sermons in stone and light, in art and architecture, that reveal so completely the antiquity and historical densit... [Uncategorized]

May 15, 10PM

Tom, on p. 984, makes much of Phil. 3.2 ‘we are the circumcision’. He is right that this is a statement about who is part of the new covenant community, namely all Jews and Gentiles who confess Christ and have been indwelt by the Spirit, and w... [Uncategorized]

May 14, 10PM

The rest of the discussion of the Galatians material is basically just a re-run so we will move on to the discussion of 1 Corinthians which begins on p.976. Tom will argue in regard to judgments made now in the church, that it is bringing forward the fina... [Uncategorized]

May 13, 10PM

Here is the third post of Hurtado on Wright– reposted here… “Israel” and the People of God: Wright & Response by larryhurtado In this posting I query another of Tom Wright’s major emphases in his mammoth new work, Paul and the Fa... [Uncategorized]

May 12, 10PM

“Paul and the Faithfulness of God”: 2nd Posting by larryhurtado 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 ... [Uncategorized]

May 11, 10PM

“Paul and the Faithfulness of God”: Wright’s big Opus by larryhurtado 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 confere... [Uncategorized]

May 10, 10PM

The discussion of Gal. 2-4 which ensues, beginning on p. 966 and here we find Tom making some excellent points about what Galatians is and is not about. For example, it is not primarily about ‘how shall we be saved’ (answer by justification by... [Uncategorized]

May 9, 10PM

On p. 957, Tom says this: “the declaration ‘dikaios’ ‘in the right’ is therefore bestowed on those who are both ‘in the Messiah’ and indwelt by the Messiah’s spirit, by the Messiah himself.” Here, this... [Uncategorized]

May 8, 10PM

Between pp. 944 and 966 we get as clear a short exposition of Tom’s views on ‘justification’ as one is likely to find, certainly more focused and succinct than in his book on Justification, and it merits a couple of blog posts of discuss... [Uncategorized]

May 7, 10PM

Here is an excellent post by my friend Timothy George on my favorite metaphysical poet, John Donne (proving that Stanley Fish has no clue what he is talking about when it comes to Donne or his poetry). See what you think. John Donne in Lent April 7, 2014 ... [Uncategorized]

May 6, 10PM

Here are three good posts by my friend and colleague Larry Hurtado on all the hoopla about the Jesus’ wife fragments… see what you think… BW3 ——- Breaking News: Published Reports on “Jesus’ Wife” Fragment by larryhurtad... [Uncategorized]

May 5, 10PM

Here is a fine post by my friend Philip Jenkins on the original ending of Mark’s Gospel. I mostly agree with him, though I think in fact we can find the original ending of Mark in Mt. 28.9-10, and then the report of the appearance in Galilee at the ... [Uncategorized]

May 4, 10PM

May 3, 10PM

May 2, 10PM

And after that meal,the python does not have to eat for another four months. [Uncategorized]

12 PM

It seems that the movie makers have decided, perhaps in view of climate change, that we need to back summer up to April. And so it is that now the summer movies already start showing up in late April. The first real blockbuster however is Spiderman 2, whi... [Uncategorized]

4AM

Here is a recent post by colleague Jerry Pattengale….. How the ‘Jesus’ Wife’ Hoax Fell Apart By Jerry Pattengale May 1, 2014 7:17 p.m. ET In September 2012, Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King announced the discovery of a ... [Uncategorized]

May 1, 10PM

We are in the midst of discussing the seven linked elements, with justification being the seventh that in Wright’s schema belong together. This post will deal with pp. 930-44 of that discussion. Here Tom is providing examples to support the theory t... [Uncategorized]

April 30, 10PM

It is well to remind ourselves where exactly we are in this lengthy discussion. We are in the midst of dealing with Tom’s views about how Paul reworked the concept of election around Messiah and Spirit. It is in that context that he wants to place t... [Uncategorized]

April 29, 10PM

Anyone who has also read Tom’s Pauline Perspectives volume will discover that he hasn’t much changed his mind in any major ways over the 40 plus years of his pondering and writing about Paul. It is thus all the more significant in the section ... [Uncategorized]

April 28, 10PM

The exposition of Rom. 7.1-8.11 is of a piece with what we have heard before. Tom thinks two stories are running simultaneously just beneath the surface of the text, the story of Adam (see Rom. 5.12-21) and of Israel. The attempt to see both stories for i... [Uncategorized]

April 27, 10PM

By now the formula is familiar. Lots of action, lots of chases, occasional snappy dialogue, but nothing too heavy. Good vs. evil writ large on the screen. But what if in the good their lurks evil, and what if the evil is manipulated good? And what if the ... [Uncategorized]

April 26, 10PM

In dealing with pp. 880-92, we are dealing with one of the more revealing passages in this whole book, a passage which depends, again and again, on the notion that ‘dikaiosune tou theou’ literally the righteousness of God, refers to God’... [Uncategorized]

April 25, 10PM

Tom’s exegesis on pp. 870ff. of Gal. 3.19-22, and it brings to light his reasoning about why Paul thought the Law seemed to have failed. Tom says it was no fault of the Law itself, the fault lay entirely in the sinfulness of Israel. He puts it this ... [Uncategorized]

April 24, 10PM

In the wasteland that is American TV which has become, as Bruce Springsteen once said ’57 channels and nothing on’ (or words to that effect), it is difficult to find substantive TV series that involve: 1) issues that matter; 2) good acting; 3)... [Uncategorized]

April 23, 10PM

What follows in pp. 860ff. is an exposition of Galatians, an exposition which clarifies some things, and makes more of a puzzle of other things. First of all, Tom is absolutely right that the logic of the arguments in Gal. 3-4 is narratival in character m... [Uncategorized]

April 22, 10PM

It would be difficult, in a work so large, to pin point certain sections that were most crucial to understanding Tom’s approach to Paul, but certainly one of them must be pp. 852-60, which are the subject of this post. Here Tom is dealing with the c... [Uncategorized]

April 21, 10PM

A couple of years ago I wrote a book for Abingdon entitled A Shared Christian Life, deal with the issue of spiritual formation in a Wesleyan form. I stressed, as I will stress in this post, that the primary place most human beings are going to get spiritu... [Uncategorized]

April 20, 10PM

Tom is right to stress that the notion of pistis Christou is not a comment on Jesus’ faith in God, his religious awareness or even his trust of God as opposed to his own good works, or anything of that sort. No, it has to do with the faithfulness of... [Uncategorized]

April 19, 10PM

As is mostly well known by now, in the pistis Christou debate, Tom Wright stands with Richard Hays in suggesting that this phrase should be seen as a subjective genitive clause– talking about a pistis which Christ himself has or exercises. On pp. 83... [Uncategorized]
Easter means a lot of different things to different people, ranging from family reunions to big dinners to Easter egg hunts to down time from work, and none of those things in themselves are bad things. Easter however, at its most fundamental level is not... [Uncategorized]

April 18, 10PM

Time and again, one of the major hermeneutical moves Tom Wright makes is what I will call the ‘both-and’ approach. For instance, on pp. 821ff. we hear that Christ has taken on both the role of Adam in ruling over creation and the role of the M... [Uncategorized]

April 17, 10PM

One of the most crucial sections in Wright’s whole exposition begins on pp.815ff. Here he argues that the purpose for which God had intended Israel was fulfilled in and through Jesus the Messiah. Christ is the place where the God of Abraham and the ... [Uncategorized]

April 16, 10PM

April 15, 10PM

Beginning on p. 806, Tom discusses the issue of supercessionism (and the charge that his own approach to Paul is supercessionist). For those unfamiliar with this term, it has to do with the notion that the church has replaced Israel as the people of God, ... [Uncategorized]

April 14, 10PM

“http://seedbed.com/feed/acts-15-doesnt-mean-think-means/” title=”Arnold on Acts 15″ [Uncategorized]

April 13, 10PM

We are heading to Philadelphia, the city of sisterly love (since adelphia is a female noun) to see our son and his wife for the Easter week. In preparation, I’m getting in a Philly Mood with Daryl Hall and Amos Lee… [Uncategorized]

April 12, 10PM

On pages 795-804, Tom begins to make his case that the discussion of God’s righteousness needs to be had in the context of God’s covenant faithfulness, as the two are intertwined. He is well aware that we have difficulties doing justice to the... [Uncategorized]

April 11, 10PM

As Tom begins his discussion of election, he freely admits that his view stands more on the salvation history side than on the apocalyptic side when it comes to analyzing how Paul tells the story. Tom is prepared to talk about the fulfillment of the story... [Uncategorized]

11AM

For the record, I know Brownies. I’ve even cheered for the Browns— for eleven years (1984-95) I suffered with their fans, attended games in the Mistake by the Lake, met Bernie Kosar and Ozzie Newsome in a Brown’s chapel service before a ... [Uncategorized]

April 10, 10PM

For those who were impatient to get to the doctrines of election and salvation and how Paul viewed these matters, we have finally arrived there with the enormous Chapter Ten (pp. 774-1042), which Tom declares one of the central pillars of his whole projec... [Uncategorized]

April 9, 10PM

Tom Wright is suggesting, that in a very real sense, Paul is the first Christian theologian. In particular he wants to stress that Paul had to rethink his second temple theology in light of Christ, the Spirit, and in particular in light of the cross and r... [Uncategorized]

April 8, 10PM

COUNTING THE WAYS March 24, 2014 By Philip Jenkins 0 Comments (Edit) Early Christians referred to their movement as The Way, Hodos. No later than the early second century, the converts’ manual that we call the Didache, the Teaching of the Twelve Apostle... [Uncategorized]

April 7, 10PM

[Here is a repost, by permission, of a fine comment by Philip Jenkins, which reminds us that you cannot rely purely on an English translation of the Bible if you want to be a good interpreter of the Bible--every translation is already an interpretation] T... [Uncategorized]

April 6, 10PM

Where Tom agrees with Sanders is that the Christ event made him take a more radical view of the plight than he had when he was a Pharisee. And this in turn affected his view of the Law— if righteousness came through obedience to the Mosaic Law, then... [Uncategorized]

April 5, 10PM

When it comes to the issue of the origins of evil, as Tom says on pp. 740ff. neither the OT nor early Jews sought to offer a detailed explanation. It appears they were more concerned with a solution to the problem rather than answers to abstract questions... [Uncategorized]

April 4, 10PM

Beginning on p. 728, Tom will deal with monotheism and the single united family of God. Here the basic thesis is— “It is after all the unity of the Messiah’s followers that will demonstrate that they are indeed the new humanity, the true... [Uncategorized]

1PM

I’ve spent a lot of time in hotels in my life— little ones, big ones, new ones old ones, cheap ones opulent ones. I have to confess, I love grand old hotels. Some of the old European ones have an especial charm to them. This movie, which was f... [Uncategorized]

April 3, 10PM

On p. 722, we have a brief discussion of what the ‘obedience of faith’ means for Paul, and a connection between Rom. 5.3-5 and Rom. 8.27ff. in regard to what is said about the love of God. Tom suggests that in Rom. 5 the focus is on our love f... [Uncategorized]

3AM

O.K. Kindle hounds, you now have another good offering available to you from yours truly– The Gospel of Jesus. One could call this Ben’s Diatesseron, if you know what that is. Many centuries ago, Tatian, a church father sought to combine the s... [Uncategorized]

April 2, 10PM

There are important points along the way where Tom helpfully summarizes what he is arguing for or believes, and this helps provide clarity to the discussion. For instance on p. 710 we hear: “with both christology and pneumatology it seems that the n... [Uncategorized]

April 1, 10PM

12 PM

O.K. all you Kindle hounds, the Kindle edition of ‘Ephesian Miracle is now available for less than $10! Here’s the link—http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J9XUQSA. It’s a a steal, and complete with pictures too. The first to do a good len... [Uncategorized]

March 31, 10PM

In order to get clarity on Tom’s argument about various Pauline texts referring to ‘the return of YHWHW’ being associated with the incarnation of Jesus, I have asked Tom to state as clearly as possible which texts in Paul definitely refe... [Uncategorized]

March 30, 10PM

There is a rather fine line between pandering to one’s audience, and seeking to please them. Sometimes even very good writers cross the line. Stephen Saylor is indeed an excellent novelist of ancient Rome and its environs and I would recommend his s... [Uncategorized]

March 29, 10PM

It was reportedly Vince Lombardi who said ‘winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing’. This mantra replaced ‘winning isn’t everything’ and the earlier one ‘it’s not whether you win or lose, it̵... [Uncategorized]

9AM

On the one hand, asking Darren Aronofsky to direct an 130 million dollar movie about Noah is rather like asking Machiavelli to write ‘The Little Prince’ instead of ‘The Prince’. ‘The Black Swan’ meets ‘two white d... [Uncategorized]

March 28, 10PM

Here is a wonderful brief tribute to Deano from Mssrs. Tomlinson and Wolff. It’s very appropriate as well to add, and ask that you pray for that good Baptist Dean Smith, as he suffers now from dementia. I remember Dean well, and personally. You see ... [Uncategorized]

10AM

The key here is Walton’s statement that we must understand the text literarily before we can understand it theologically, and only then can we begin to understand what sort of historical or empirical claims the text is making (BW3). [Uncategorized]

March 26, 10PM

The discussion which begins on p. 690ff. about Jesus as risen and enthroned Messiah begins by stating one of Tom’s key theses for this whole project, namely that there were several reasons why Jesus’ first followers cane to think of him as the... [Uncategorized]

March 25, 10PM

Of the bands that arose in the early 70s during the rising tide of folk and country rock, the Eagles have turned out to be the group with the greatest ability to sustain large audiences, even 30-40 years later. Whether the History of the Eagles Tour curre... [Uncategorized]

March 24, 10PM

At some point it must have dawned on Pat Metheny that in order to do jazz fusion, a keyboard player is a necessity, not a luxury. That epiphany apparently happened between the release of the Unity Band CD, and the new Unity Group CD, (complete with keyboa... [Uncategorized]

March 23, 10PM

On p. 675, Wright suggests that the reference in the Christ hymn in Col. 1 to Christ being both the beginning and the image would send the knowledgable reader back to Gen.1. The question is, were there such readers in the Colossian congregation? On p. 676... [Uncategorized]

March 22, 10PM

In his splendid book Monuments Men Robert Edsel tells the following tale about the liberation of Buchenwald….Walker Hancock when he got to the vicinity of Buchenwald was visited by a Jewish chaplain ministering to to the surviving victims in Buchenw... [Uncategorized]

March 21, 10PM

Fortunately, it has been rare in my life when I have been confronted with the face of extreme human evil. There have been a couple of times in my life, and it made me extremely uncomfortable. When you read the true story recounted by Robert Edsel (with Br... [Uncategorized]

March 20, 10PM

We live in a culture in which condiments, like salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, are so readily available that we take them completely for granted. We have lost our connection with the past, and are unlikely to understand metaphorical phrases like “yo... [Uncategorized]

March 19, 10PM

I am a life long Methodist. I was a cradle Methodist and some day I shall be a grave Methodist. I have lived through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and now the nascent 21rst century and I have preached and taught all over this church, and in Methodist conte... [Uncategorized]

March 18, 10PM

DIRT Dirt Is matter out of place It’s not innately dirty It’s just in the wrong space. Soil Doesn’t soil out in the yard It’s just doing its job Whether soft or hard. Dirt Is needed just to grow Even the simplest plant And all the food we know. So... [Uncategorized]
I want in this particular post to talk about Bishop Sano’s understanding of Mt. 19.12. First of all here is the context—– Vs. 3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and eve... [Uncategorized]

March 17, 10PM

Building on the seminal work of Richard Bauckham, Tom makes his case for adding to the picture by talking more specifically about the sort of eschatological fulfillment of the creational monotheism he sees as central to the way Paul reworked early Jewish ... [Uncategorized]
Another specious presupposition that we often here mentioned in discussions of the issue of gay marriage or gay sexual behavior is the notion that this issue is on the same ethical footing as racial prejudice. It certainly is not. There can be no analogy ... [Uncategorized]

March 16, 10PM

There have of course been many books written on monotheism (see e.g the book by Rodney Stark show above). Monotheism itself is a modern post-Enlightenment term, but this doesn’t much matter. The idea and belief is clearly present throughout the Bibl... [Uncategorized]
It was with great sadness, and dismay, that I read the recent article by Bishop Sano, a retired bishop of the UMC, which can be found here, at this site—- http://www.pnwumc.org/news/biblical-obedience/. I find it sad not only because Bishop Sano is ... [Uncategorized]

March 15, 10PM

(The following I owe to Steve Walton of Cambridge, forwarded on to me by alert reader and my T.A. Jason Myers). ——- HOW TO GET A PHD – NO SWEAT! (for my research students and my friends doing PhDs and their supervisors) Picture a small c... [Uncategorized]

8AM

[The following is a response to Adam Hamilton's recent blog post and forthcoming book on the issue of how to approach Scripture, by my colleague and friend Bill Arnold. I am entirely in agreement with Bill on the flaws in Hamiliton's approach and argument... [Uncategorized]

March 14, 10PM

The discussion which begins on p. 634 on how exactly Paul reformed and reaffirmed Jewish monotheism is interesting in various ways. Tom begins by discussing texts such as the cause celebre Rom.8.18-30. His translation of key phrases is interesting (on whi... [Uncategorized]

11AM

http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperDownload.aspx?DOI=10.4236/ojg.2014.43007″. This article appeared in the March 2014 issue of Open Geology, and one of the authors (Rosenfeld) was one of the original Israeli Geological Survey persons who validated th... [Uncategorized]

March 13, 10PM

Just as the belief that there is only one God was central to early Judaism, so for Paul the reformulation of what that belief meant is central to Pauline theology, and Wright is prepared to explain why. When the major symbolic praxis of the Jewish worldvi... [Uncategorized]

March 12, 10PM

The following is a blog post of Jonathan Watson of the Logos company, reprinted her with permission. C. K. Barrett: The Consummate Academic in the British Tradition When I began my journey into theological territory, one name kept popping up among friends... [Uncategorized]

March 11, 10PM

The second massive volume (910 pages of text and notes, never mind voluminous bibliography) focuses on Pauline theology proper, and Paul’s Aims and Intentions. Tom stakes out his turf in the Introduction. The way he will approach the task is based o... [Uncategorized]

March 10, 10PM

The last chapter in volume one of Paul and the Faithfulness of God, reviews for us Tom’s answers on the who, what, when, where, why etc. questions (pp. 538-69). On the ‘who’ question it will be noted that Tom is perfectly comfortable in ... [Uncategorized]

March 9, 10PM

The discussion between p. 500 and the end of the chapter at p. 537 present us with some of the most critical and also controversial elements in Wright’s analysis. We need to bear in mind that Wright is hear talking about worldview, and stories that ... [Uncategorized]

March 8, 11PM

More on track is the discussion of the praxis of the Lord’s Supper, and to a lesser degree Baptism. I agree that these symbolic rites encode a good deal of the Gospel message deliberately, and they reinforce the message. They do indeed help form wor... [Uncategorized]

March 7, 11PM

Under the heading of the large plot about God and creation does come the theme which crops up some seven times in Paul’s letter— the Dominion of God, or God retaking back his creation from the powers of darkness. In other words, God is not jus... [Uncategorized]

March 6, 11PM

In Chapter Seven, Tom takes on the pushback against narratival analysis of Paul’s letters. He does so not just because he knows that human beings make sense of what happens to them by telling stories, but because Bultmann was wrong. “The main ... [Uncategorized]

March 5, 11PM

Wright explores what Schweitzer was perhaps the first to call the mysticism of Paul. He does so in the larger context of early Jewish mysticism which focused on “penetration of the secrets of creation and cosmology on the one hand and gazing on the ... [Uncategorized]

3PM

RSVP To move from fast to feast, From ashes to riding an ass, From wilderness wandering God’s willingness wondering To follow the way of the cross To find what was utterly lost All this was Lent to us. The cup not passed over By our Passover The vinegar... [Uncategorized]

March 4, 11PM

Lest one think, in light of Wright’s strong conviction that Paul is critiquing the Imperial Cult, that Wright is actually an advocate of Paul being seen as something of a subversive or a political revolutionary in general, the following should lay s... [Uncategorized]

March 3, 11PM

(Below is the continuation of Dr. Kuruvilla’s case for non-resistance). What about men like David who served in war? The Old Testament is filled with men of faith who engaged in physical combat. David is but one example. Like practices of polygamy o... [Uncategorized]

March 2, 11PM

The following is an excellent presentation of the case for non-resistance (not to be confused with certain forms of pacifism) from the pen of Dr. Finny Kuruvilla, a Harvard graduate. We will post the rest of this excerpt from his recent book King Jesus Cl... [Uncategorized]

March 1, 11PM

As it turns out, the real radical Reformation did not take place shortly after Luther (and in reaction to him). No, it happened in the first century when Paul revamped the whole symbol system of early Judaism. When someone reorients and reinterprets thing... [Uncategorized]

February 28, 11PM

I’ve finally arrived at the Pauline portion of Tom’s opus, and something immediately struck me. I don’t know if you readers are film watchers, but you might enjoy Monuments Men, the story of the desperate attempt to rescue the art stolen... [Uncategorized]

2PM

It is extraordinarily difficult to know how to evaluate a film like ‘Son of God’, offered quick on the heels of last spring’s successful series by Burnett and Downey on ‘the Bible’ (the Reader’s Digest version of a sort... [Uncategorized]

February 27, 11PM

This is a wonderful, long, very revealing interview done with one of the great artists of any sort of music or visual art of the last 70 or so years. I was fortunate enough to see her live in concert in about 1972 or 73 just after her Blue album came out,... [Uncategorized]

February 26, 11PM

There is a recent archaeological report about camels, or the lack thereof in the Holy Land. John Noble Wilford of the NY Times has a recent article about the findings which can be found here—-http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/science/camels-had-no-b... [Uncategorized]

6AM

https://wipfandstock.com/store/Ephesian_Miracle_The_Sixth_Art_West_Adventure Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more lively for Art West, he goes to Turkey to get married and all kinds of mayhem breaks loose. What is the difference betwee... [Uncategorized]

February 25, 11PM

It is an interesting phenomenon to have two very different presentations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his trusty sidekick John Watson on the telly at the same time. This is only possible really because one is a BBC... [Uncategorized]

February 24, 11PM

Much of chapter five is spent demonstrating the evidence for and growth of the Imperial Cult during the first century A.D. Of this there is no lack of evidence. What we cannot directly tell from the archaeological remains is the effect this specific cult ... [Uncategorized]

February 23, 11PM

In the wake of recent Imperial cult studies, including studies of the evidence that the NT reflects a critique of the Imperial cult (as Tom likes to put it— Jesus is Lord, and Caesar is not, the latter being the parody of which Christ is the reality... [Uncategorized]

February 22, 11PM

In Chapter 4 (pp. 246-78) we have a very useful survey of what has come to be called ancient Greek and Roman religion (not to be confused with philosophy which was treated in the previous chapter). Wright is correct to stress that ancient religion was all... [Uncategorized]

February 21, 11PM

The very first site Jason and I went to see upon arriving in Delhi was the brand new much publicized Hindu temple (built from 2005 to the present, to the cost of millions and millions) named Akshardham…. You are not allowed to take pictures inside t... [Uncategorized]

5PM

Having spent a good deal of time in Pompeii last October, and since the first century A.D. is my period of expertise, I went with some trepidation to see this ‘disaster’ movie, fearing it would not merely be about a disaster but would itself b... [Uncategorized]

February 20, 11PM

Heading back to the Taj Mahal for a last look, my mind was full of impressive images. Passing a sugar cane field on the left, and a overloaded wagon on the right, our drive zipped right back into the heart of Agra….a town crawling with tourists, eve... [Uncategorized]

February 19, 11PM

Monumental tombs are few and far between in America. Even Presidents don’t have tombs like that of Akbar in Agra as a moments glance at the site will show you. For example, look at this peak through the entrance way…. Or this angled shot…... [Uncategorized]

5AM

A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF CORINTH—A Review by Professor Steve Walton of Cambridge I’ve greatly enjoyed reading this little (158 pages) book by Ben Witherington III over the last few days. It’s a novel in which he tells the story of a week in the cit... [Uncategorized]

February 18, 11PM

Forts doubled as palaces for the Moghul dynasty. As residences, there were special quarters built for the Shah’s various wives. Both the red fort in Agra, and the fort/palace 20K outside of Agra share a similar construction, made of red sandstone. T... [Uncategorized]

February 17, 11PM

As I mentioned, there are many interesting signs in India. For instance…. try reading this one…. Or consider this one—look carefully. That’s no ordinary stop sign. Check out this silent sign at the entrance to the city of Musoorie&... [Uncategorized]

February 16, 11PM

While I was at the Christian college in northern India, I was asked to help break ground on a new building for the students studying at the International Language and Linguistics Institute which is housed at this college. There, Wycliffe folk teach studen... [Uncategorized]

February 15, 11PM

When you are taken to Agra, its not just to see the Taj Mahal (though that is goal number one) but also to see several other impressive examples of Moghul architecture including the tomb of Ahkbar, the fort of Ahkbar (actually out in the country between A... [Uncategorized]

2PM

George Clooney, our home by from Kentucky, has shown as his latest feature film another buddy movie, quite unlike the ‘Oceans’ franchise. Indeed, one could say this film is oceans apart from that one, set as it is in WWII Europe. Based on the ... [Uncategorized]

February 14, 11PM

I must confess I am a sucker for animals. And here I’ve got one at the Taj Mahal eating out of my hand— an Indian striped squirrel. One also runs into these fellows all over the place in India… Not to mention snakes of all sizes and shap... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

‘INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY’ I listened for the Muse, But only heard her hum…. I was hoping for the lost chord But all I got was a strum… Inspiration is not a sensation Nor is it a thought, It’s a movement of the spirit That can’t be conjured ... [Uncategorized]

February 13, 11PM

Perhaps you already know the story behind India’s most beautiful building, the Taj Mahal (which means crown of palaces in Arabic, though it is in fact a mausoleum). The Taj Mahal is a monument to love, the love of Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mah... [Uncategorized]

February 12, 11PM

I am a person who loves art, artisanship, great skill used in the making of beautiful things. And there is plenty of that on display in India. Take for example this small green marble table with inlaid precious stones—cornelian, lapis lazuli, pearl.... [Uncategorized]
Yes that’s me with my doctoral student Jason Myers, who went with me to teach at what is perhaps India’s largest theological college, with 250 undergraduates. It was Taste of India Saturday, with proceeds going to various worthy student causes... [Uncategorized]

February 11, 11PM

Hinduism is of course a form of polytheism, rather like Mormonism. It involved a belief in multiple deities, and in the case of Hinduism, hundreds of lesser and greater gods of all sorts. If you go to the Encyclopedias and read up on the major ones like S... [Uncategorized]

February 10, 11PM

On a sunny Saturday we managed to get off from teaching and headed for the hills. And these are some hills— the Himalayas to be specific. Actually we only made it to the top of the first range of the Himalayas to a town called Mussoorie (pronounced ... [Uncategorized]

February 9, 11PM

I went off to India near the beginning of January to teach for a few weeks and see a few sites, since I’ve never been there before. Because the Christian college I was teaching at has had legal problems due to harassment from Hindus, I’ll not ... [Uncategorized]

February 8, 11PM

February 7, 11PM

For those of us who lived through the 80s paranoia over HIV and AIDS, this movies reopens a festering wound in America’s soul. Who remembers Ryan White, stigmatized and kept out of school because he got a tainted blood transfusion? Who remembers whe... [Uncategorized]

February 6, 11PM

The following was a release by Daniel J. Wakin in the NY Times, after the Vatican released its list of Greatest Pop Hits, or was that Pope Hits? Boo, hiss to the final snarky comment about Bob Dylan. “The official newspaper of the Holy See, L’Osse... [Uncategorized]

February 5, 11PM

February 4, 11PM

No doubt you’ve heard about how Colorado now has marijuana for sale over the counter quite legally. No doubt as well, you can imagine cash strapped individuals, cities, and states salivating over the possibilities of making good money off of such sa... [Uncategorized]

February 3, 11PM

Here is an excellent post by my friend Dr. James Howell. See what you think. BW3 —– Emotionally Un-Healthy Spirituality During my lifetime, we the people have become far more attuned to healthy eating. We care about how the food was processed,... [Uncategorized]

February 2, 11PM

Here below is a helpful post by Larry Hurtado. He does not mention what I would consider the best Intro to getting into the Fathers, namely my former GCTS classmate Rod Whitacre’s Patristic Greek Reader published in 2007 by Baker, but otherwise this... [Uncategorized]

February 1, 11PM

A Rack Jobber? Perhaps you’ve not heard of the term. It’s a person who puts record products up on prominent racks in the record store in order to promote those records. They work in tandem with promoters. Ahhhh…. promoters. They were som... [Uncategorized]

6AM

(That’s me preaching on Phil. 2.4-11 and Sam is translating it into Hindi). That’s me preaching in yet another country last Sunday. Somehow the list has gotten long. This month I added India to the list of where I’ve preached and taught.... [Uncategorized]

January 30, 11PM

Here is an interesting new review of my little book on baptism, entitled Troubled Waters. See what you think… http://icrucified.com/icruciblog/2014/book-review-troubled-waters/ [Uncategorized]

January 29, 11PM

Chapter Three of Tom Wright’s magnum opus is a first rate summary of Greek philosophy insofar as it has relevance to understanding the thought world and writing of Paul. Particular focus is given to Stoicism (including helpful discussions of Seneca ... [Uncategorized]

January 28, 11PM

Here is a fascinating article about the blurring of the lines of the separation of church and state during the Civil War (an excerpt of which you will find below). It is a story about a North Carolinian, Presbyterian minister named Samuel B. McPheeters (a... [Uncategorized]

January 27, 11PM

“High/Early Christology”: An Emerging Consensus? by larryhurtado 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 reg... [Uncategorized]

January 26, 11PM

There has been some recent debate about whether persons were crucified in the nude or not, and whether there is evidence that could settle this issue. There is no real historical doubt Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate (a punishment referred to by ... [Uncategorized]

January 25, 11PM

Matthew Kalmann has recently written an interesting article for the Guardian on the Church of the Nativity. Below you will find a small excerpt, and immediately below you will find a link to the article. It turns out, graffiti may have been a sanctioned p... [Uncategorized]

January 24, 11PM

Here’s a nice post from the folks at orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org….. which I, as a former coffee shop owner where we have theologically named sandwiches (e.g. the Wesley Club, the Fo’ Sure Not Kosher, etc.). —- Your local coffeehouse... [Uncategorized]

January 23, 11PM

Rehearsing a fair bit of the data Tom covered at length and well in Resurrection and the Son of God, Tom reminds us that the future hope of early Jews was basically not of an other-worldly nature. Very few texts (perhaps Wis. Sol. 3.1ff.) in fact take a n... [Uncategorized]

January 22, 11PM

Qualifications of an important thesis are always crucial. At the end of his robust defense of his exile thesis we get some of these and they are worth noting. First it should be noted that Tom is arguing that Deut. 27-30 combined with Dan. 7-9 (especially... [Uncategorized]

January 21, 11PM

The Stones, the Beatles, the Who, the Kinks, the Animals, Led Zepplin, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, the Yardbirds, and on and on and on. The British Invasion changed American culture beginning about 1963-64. The American response was huge, and there was a per... [Uncategorized]

January 20, 11PM

What happens to a person who is involved in rock n’ roll but doesn’t do the drugs and sex thing, is that you end up being the designated driver, or errand runner (a gopher), or equipment watcher. Normally most of that would be left to the road... [Uncategorized]

January 19, 11PM

I’ve been reading the biography of David Crosby, legendary member of the Byrds, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and various configurations thereof. It is indeed a sad commentary on sex, drugs, and yes also rock n’ roll, a tale of enormously talented ... [Uncategorized]

January 18, 11PM

There is a better way of conceptualizing what Tom Wright means when he says that Jews in the Holy Land saw themselves as still in exile. Following the schema of Steck and Koch, he means that many, perhaps most of them saw themselves as still under some so... [Uncategorized]

January 17, 11PM

Oscar time is coming around the bend, and definitely up for some awards is David O. Russell’s Scorcese like crime film, ‘American Hustle’, once more exposing the seamy underbelly of big business, big criminals, and bad politicians. The c... [Uncategorized]

January 16, 11PM

One of the major important contentions of Tom Wright is that Israel lived out of, or better said, lived as actors in, the grand story of God and his people, involving both their judgment and their restoration. Tom’s understanding of this fundamental... [Uncategorized]

January 15, 11PM

Not many scholars or lay persons have swallowed the ouevre of Tom Wright whole. By this I do not mean that not many have bought his arguments, but rather that not many have read even all the seminal scholarly books he has written. I have read all the big ... [Uncategorized]

January 14, 11PM

http://www.emerson.edu/news-events/emerson-college-today/its-official-day-burgundy-school-comm#.UrGGLI2kD5A [Uncategorized]

January 13, 11PM

I am no fan of lotteries, which rob from the poor and those who can least afford to buy lottery tickets and give a ridiculous amount of money to one or too few people. If you have to have lotteries I’m in favor of: 1) one third of the winning procee... [Uncategorized]

January 12, 11PM

One of the things about being a global thinker is that you realize the merits of a spectrum of viewpoints, and even realize that it is not often wise to pick sides in the history vs. theology debate, not least because the Gospel involves both. Christianit... [Uncategorized]

January 11, 11PM

One of the things I most appreciate about Tom Wright’s work, including these new volumes is that Tom, like Paul himself, is a global thinker. And when I say a global thinker, I’m not just referring to the whole field of theology, but rather to... [Uncategorized]

January 10, 11PM

As has once been said in jest, there is an appalling amount of Paul in the NT (13 of 27 books are attributed to Paul), and when it comes to Evangelical treatments of Paul, there is also a plethora of those available as well. Indeed one cannot read all the... [Uncategorized]

January 9, 11PM

(The cartoon above is by one of my favorites cartoonists political and otherwise, the good Mr. Marlette who I enjoyed reading for years in the Charlotte Observer and then he moved on to Atlanta). (I’m not certain where this came from as it was float... [Uncategorized]

January 8, 11PM

No that’s not Mr. Depp’s father, that’s Capt. Thomas Webb, a fire-brand Methodist preacher, known for his apocalyptic flourish. He is one of the many colorful characters whose memorabilia is to be found in the Methodist museum in Baltimo... [Uncategorized]

January 7, 11PM

After the Civil War it would be hard to describe the devastation in the South. For one thing, a whole generation of young men were killed. For another, when Lincoln was assassinated Reconstruction took ugly turns under the hands of U.S. Grant, a drunkard.... [Uncategorized]

January 6, 11PM

Maryland, without question, was a hotbed of Methodism in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was in Baltimore where the first Christmas conference was held, and it was in Abingdon Md. where the first Methodist college— Cokesbury College, was started, wh... [Uncategorized]

January 5, 11PM

Here is the house where Edgar Allan Poe lived for a period in Baltimore with his wife (yes, it’s true, he married his 13 year old cousin). And below you will see the marker on the house itself, which today stands in the ‘projects’, which... [Uncategorized]

January 4, 11PM

Old Otterbein UMC is the mother church of the United Brethren, which is where the word United comes from in the label UMC. In 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical and United Brethren to form one denomination. The EUBs as they used to be ... [Uncategorized]

January 3, 11PM

And more recently see….. http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2013/12/06/pmt-rick-warren-internet-rudeness.cnn.html Two of the fundamental issues in this discussion which do not come up in these videos is: 1) must a marriage, as Biblical... [Uncategorized]

January 2, 11PM

The above pictures are of my father, and Ramses the mascot for the UNC Tar Heels. My father was a cheerleader for Carolina in the mid-30s, during the Depression. As you can see, there were not many persons in the football stands, as the Depression had tak... [Uncategorized]

January 1, 11PM

7AM

Different persons have different views of change, and of course New Year’s Resolutions are all about change and improvement. One of the fundamental assumptions behind New Year’s Resolutions is of course that people can change all by themselves... [Uncategorized]

December 30 2013, 11PM

THE FOLLOWING IS A FINE POST BY MY FRIEND TIMOTHY GEORGE, DEAN AT BEESON DIVINITY ABOVE SEE A PICTURE OF PASTOR SCHNEIDER WITH HIS BELOVED WIFE GRETEL Paul Robert Schneider (1897-1939) was the first Protestant pastor to die in a concentration camp at the ... [Uncategorized]

December 29, 11PM

Also—- who is that cat in the hat below? Muhammad Ali— “A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” Kitty Collins— “Aging seems to be the only available way to l... [Uncategorized]
Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt. Sometimes boredom is just a clear sign of a person’s lack of imagination. Sometimes movie critics fall prey to both of these malaises. Something like this has happened when it comes to two films well worth seei... [Uncategorized]

December 28, 11PM

“There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. W... [Uncategorized]

4PM

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152077016417566 [Uncategorized]

December 27, 11PM

The older you get, the more you become surprised that you are able to be surprised by anything. You figure you have been around the block too many times and seen too many things for there to be many surprises. And sadly, sometimes, older folk lose their s... [Uncategorized]

December 26, 11PM

Suppose you were asked— what is the most valuable book in America? I doubt anyone without prior knowledge would say— The Book of Psalms, but that would be the correct answer. About a month ago, one of eleven extant copies of the original Bay P... [Uncategorized]

December 25, 11PM

While Americans are busily treating Dec. 26th as ‘exchange day’ when they take unwanted Christmas presents back to the stores and exchange them for something they like better, the British, and other nations in the British Commonwealth (and oth... [Uncategorized]

December 24, 11PM

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December 22, 11PM

December 21, 11PM

December 20, 11PM

December 19, 11PM

Christmas has been hard around here for the last two years. This is because our Christmas angel, pictured above, died suddenly Jan. 11th 2011. This Christmas will be different as well, as we go to Jacksonville, to be with my Mom and sister— in the h... [Uncategorized]

December 18, 11PM

In this post we need to talk about ‘worship in truth’. Worship in Spirit, or Spirit-filled worship can be quiet or loud, long or short, liturgical or free form, involve a lot of silence or a lot of speaking a singing, it can involve using the ... [Uncategorized]

December 17, 11PM

I would be willing to bet that the most attended Christmas services are candlelight services. There is something special about services that involve both darkness and light. In terms of theological imagery, this works well with lots of passages in the Gos... [Uncategorized]

December 16, 11PM

Christmas is of course about children, and one child in particular. It is something of a marvel that God came to us in the form of a child, vulnerable, needy, innocent, and yes beautiful. We all have our visions of what that incarnation moment must have b... [Uncategorized]

December 15, 11PM

It’s about time we talked about the angels, and I’ve got one below singing for you (aka known as Allison Kraus, with the help of no less than Yo Yo Ma on cello). Angels are involved in worship (see Rev. 4-5). Indeed, 1 Cor. 11 suggests they ar... [Uncategorized]

December 14, 11PM

One of the things that has happened to worship in my lifetime is that it has gone from being more theocentric to being more anthropocentric, gone from being more liturgical and formal to being liturgy-less and casual in many many contexts. Indeed, it has ... [Uncategorized]

8PM

I went to see the Hobbit Part Two with some fear and trepidation. I was pretty disappointed with the first installment last year, which involved too much running and fighting and fighting and running underground etc. I had reconciled myself to the fact th... [Uncategorized]

December 13, 11PM

Advent and Christmas are the perfect times to think about the very nature of Christian worship. Oddly, strangely you seldom hear a pastor talk about the theology of worship, the character of worship, the nature of worship at any time of year. I was doing ... [Uncategorized]

December 12, 11PM

December 11, 11PM

Here is a small part of an article about the conversation Ted Turner recently had with Wolf Blitzer…. see what you think… —- Turner’s rocky relationship with his supreme being, assuming there is one, stems back to childhood. When h... [Uncategorized]

December 10, 11PM

In the old days, before Blockbuster became busted, there used to be a whole section marked ‘romantic comedies’. There was however no section marked romantic tragedies. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet however is a classic romantic tragedy.... [Uncategorized]

December 9, 11PM

Perhaps you have seen his TV show— Snake Church, a reality show on Nat. Geo. Andrew Hamblin is a member of the Church of God. His church is on a gravel road in Campbell County, north of Knoxville. And recently he has gotten some attention he really ... [Uncategorized]

December 8, 11PM

I remember the ride very clearly. It was a good number years ago and we were on the way to Tupelo for me to do a continuing ed event at First Church Tupelo. My friend Bud Gordon pointed to a big spread on the right side of the highway and said, “Tha... [Uncategorized]

December 7, 11PM

There is a Pink Floyd song entitled ‘Comfortably Numb’. It is about medicating yourself presumably, about drugs to dull the pain of existence. Of course it could be about the use of novocaine during oral surgery so you will be ‘comfortab... [Uncategorized]

December 6, 11PM

2PM

There are probably only a distinct minority of persons on this globe who have not heard of Nelson Mandela, a man imprisoned for 27 years on Robbens Island for protesting the evils of apartheid. Millions have even seen the movie Invictus or read his biogra... [Uncategorized]

December 5, 11PM

It’s not everyday you get to: 1) play Julius Caesar at the Colisseum; 2) meet the Pope; 3) give a lecture at a Vatican conference; 4) get a private time in the Sistine Chapel, and with your Russian daughter! Christmas did indeed come early…. P... [Uncategorized]

9AM

I have discovered I have something in common with Amy Grant— the same Christmas wish list. BW3 [Uncategorized]

December 4, 11PM

11AM

“The Magdalene Laundries” is a song on the Joni Mitchell 1994 album “Turbulent Indigo”. They were the forgotten women of Ireland, kept under lock and key, forced to clean and sew, and to wash away the sins of their previous life wh... [Uncategorized]

December 2, 11PM

Here is an excellent post from Larry Hurtado reminding us that it is wrong to say that early Christianity was largely made up of impoverished slaves, women, minors, and the rural poor. This, is a complete myth. See below Social Description in Early Christ... [Uncategorized]

December 1, 11PM

Much of southern Italy qualify as being in a semi-tropical climate. Thus plants like the bougainvillea seen above from Pompey can grow all year round without fear of frost. It is not an accident then that the ‘beach resorts’ of the rich and fa... [Uncategorized]

November 30, 11PM

Here’s a helpful post from Larry Hurtado…. by larryhurtado 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 e... [Uncategorized]

November 29, 11PM

What a fantastic week it was in Italy, and lots of good memories created. In this final post, I offer a few parting shots, of a positive sort…. Here’s a nice spooky shot from within the villa of mysteries at Pompeii. Or here’s Yuliya at ... [Uncategorized]

November 28, 11PM

The movie maestros have decided, in their wisdom, that good dramas which might have a chance at awards shall be showed at the end of the summer or in the Fall, preferably near the peak season between Halloween and the end of the year, presumably because t... [Uncategorized]
In some ways, Herculaneum is a more impressive site, not in terms of size, but for its location and what is there. This site was discovered when someone was drilling a well in the early 19th century, and came across ruins. This led to the excavation of a ... [Uncategorized]

12 PM

November 27, 11PM

I’m thankful for all the wonderful cartoonists who make life so much fun… like these artists. [Uncategorized]

November 26, 11PM

There is so much more to see and take in at Pompeii than a few blog posts can relate. While the city seems likes a ghost town if you are there without the crush of tourists, it is still very much alive during the tourist season. Even in late Fall, Naples ... [Uncategorized]

November 25, 11PM

It was a beautiful crisp morning, Wednesday, and Yuliya and I were heading to Pompeii and Herculaneum by the fast train, but there was a famous church she wanted to see, which conveniently was right next to the train station— Santa Maria Maggiore is... [Uncategorized]

November 24, 11PM

If you can read Latin, then you will know that the inscription at the top of the Pantheon says that one Marcus Agrippa made it (in the second century A.D.). Today the temple with the hole in the roof is a church, and one of the most visited churches in al... [Uncategorized]

November 23, 11PM

Emperors liked to put their stamp on things by building things. And win they won some kind of victory, any kind of victory, they liked to put up arches on major roads so they could march through them in their victory parades. There are two prominent famou... [Uncategorized]

November 22, 11PM

Directly behind Lateran University is the so-called Basilica of the Popes. What is even more confusing is that this is also where St. John Lateran is. This basilica is one of many many such churches in Rome. There are probably more churches per capita in ... [Uncategorized]

November 21, 11PM

There are in fact several forums in the heart of Rome, the Imperial Forum, the Julian Forum, I could go on. We will treat them all in this one post. We will start with the famous column of Trajan in the Imperial forum (113 A.D. is when it was finished), w... [Uncategorized]

November 20, 11PM

There are a variety of great museums in and around the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. One of them is the Capitoline Museum, and this post is about that museum and what is in it…. for example the original symbol of Rome– Romulus and Remus being... [Uncategorized]

November 19, 11PM

You’ve probably seen the movies— Christians tortured and killed in the Roman Colosseum. Only, it never happened there. The Colosseum didn’t exist in Nero’s day when there really was persecution and prosecution and execution of Chri... [Uncategorized]

November 18, 11PM

If your mental picture of the Romans is a bunch of conservative folks wearing white sheets and living in bland houses, you would be wrong. The Greco-Roman world of homes is awash with color— on the walls, on the floors, on the columns, and not just ... [Uncategorized]

November 17, 11PM

The Romans were not dumb. They knew you needed lights to get around at night to go to the dinner parties (etc), and one of the things they did to facilitate this was put reflecting stones in their streets especially since the streets were not flat or pave... [Uncategorized]

November 16, 11PM

We were bussed to the back of the Vatican complex, entered by a small door, and then went up three flights of stairs. I, as I imagine all other first timers, had no idea what to expect from an audience with a Pope. Once on the third floor, we wove around ... [Uncategorized]

November 15, 11PM

Without question, one of my favorites of the Italian classic period painters is Raphaelo– and among all his works, my very favorite is The School of Athens, which hangs in the Vatican. On the way to the Sistine Chapel we went through the Raphael roo... [Uncategorized]

November 14, 11PM

If you are going to spend all day at Pompeii (and Herculaneum), you need a break now and again, and something cold to drink. So we stop at the instant fresh orange juice machine, and Yuliya made us some juice. We also stopped at the cameo shop as well. Th... [Uncategorized]

November 13, 11PM

The Conference sponsored by the Ratzinger Foundation (i.e. Pope Benedict) was designed to focus on the historical Jesus, with more particular focus on Pope Benedict’s three million selling books on Jesus of Nazareth (the last of which was on the Inf... [Uncategorized]

November 12, 11PM

One of the things we did in the afternoon before the gala dinner and tour of the Sistine Chapel was to visit the crypt where St. Peter is believed to have been buried. The entrance way to this underground grave yard or necropolis (which is largely an anci... [Uncategorized]

November 11, 11PM

The largest park area in all of Rome has at its heart the famous Villa Borghese, which today is really the Galleria Borghese, home to lots and lots of art, including some famous Bernini statues. You take the Metro to the Piazza del Popolo, and then its th... [Uncategorized]

5AM

Sunday, 10 November 2013 Scientific vandalism How the IAA and Israeli Police wrecked the James ossuary Stain of stupidity: The red smear left by the application of silicon by the Israel Police Forensics Laboratory in their fruitless attempt to prove forge... [Uncategorized]

November 10, 11PM

No matter how you cut it, the Sistine Chapel is one of the great frescoes of all time. Yes, Michelangelo nicked some ideas from Signorelli’s Apocalypse Chapel in Orvieto. But still the execution of this amazing masterpiece is stunning. Imagine lying... [Uncategorized]

2PM

I am happy to tell you that the James Ossuary, after a ten year battle, has finally been returned to Oded Golan, its rightful owner. Unfortunately, according to Golan, it has been allowed to deteriorate while in the hands of the IAA. It may or may not be ... [Uncategorized]

November 9, 11PM

Why are these guys smiling? Well first let me tell you who they are– they are some of the few Protestants invited to Pope Benedict’s conference on the historical Jesus. There were, by my count, only four American Protestants invited, all Evang... [Uncategorized]

November 8, 11PM

By now the Marvel formula is clear— a little smash and dash, a little romance, a little pathos, a little humor (actually this one has got more than a little), a cameo appearance of Stan Lee himself (this time as an inmate in Bedlam, the insane asylu... [Uncategorized]

November 7, 11PM

Remember Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer? Two river rats that have adventures along the muddy Mississippi. Well ‘Mud’ is in various ways a story much like some of Twain’s tales, focusing on two young boys, in this case Ellis and Neckbone... [Uncategorized]

November 6, 11PM

Once you are in the Vatican, you have to go to see St. Peter’s, one of the largest churches in the world. We may talk about mega-churches, but we have no idea. This is the mother church for four billion Catholics. Yes, I said billion. No Protestant ... [Uncategorized]

November 5, 11PM

The views from the city on the hill (which cannot be hid) are pretty spectacular. For instance, consider these shots…. There is a pretty good archaeological museum with some Roman remains such as…. And also…. But old fashion domestic lif... [Uncategorized]

November 4, 11PM

Once you get inside the zebra cathedral, things change in some ways. First of all there is still the zebra look with the marble and the basalt alternating in the walls and columns. But you also have beautiful stained glass windows, frescoes, and alcoves. ... [Uncategorized]

November 3, 11PM

On any showing, Orvieto cathedral is one of the most interesting, and unique cathedrals in all the world. In 1290, Pope Nicholas IV laid the cornerstone for the building of this cathedral, originally designed to be a Romanesque basilica, using white marbl... [Uncategorized]

November 2, 10PM

Perhaps my very favorite medieval town in a walled city on top of a small mountain is Orvieto in Umbria. It’s only about an hour and a bit from Rome on the train, and well worth the trip. It has, among other things, a spectacular cathedral, equally ... [Uncategorized]

November 1, 10PM

It was a beautiful Saturday morning (Oct. 26th). The sky was a brilliant Carolina blue, it was in the 60sF with a light breeze, and everything was clear and clean and sharply in focus. You had to work at it to take a bad picture on this morning. Yuliya, o... [Uncategorized]

October 31, 10PM

What was the Rome of Paul’s day like. My trip last week to Rome, Pompey, Herculaneum and other spots just confirmed to me once again that the Romans were the technological genius’s of their age. Just an hour or two of studying the gigantic aqu... [Uncategorized]

October 30, 10PM

I have not been a part of ‘Brown nation’ in the past, nor a big fan of his novels. The Da Vinci Code alone had more than 150 historical and religious errors in it, and was certainly not grande litterature. Was he capable of a mot juste— ... [Uncategorized]

8PM

g”> Back in March I went off to England for three months. But I took my Soxs with me courtesy of Jason Jackson. After the debacle of finishing last, last season, to come back and go worst to first and win the World Series, it doesn’t get a... [Uncategorized]

October 29, 10PM

Why is this man smiling? Because he just met and shook hands with this man……. Lots of stories about the week in Italy, and in the Vatican to follow….. [Uncategorized]

October 28, 10PM

[Here is a helpful essay by Timothy George on 'the Hell House project' among other things. As he says, scaring people into the Kingdom of God basically does not work, especially when in this age people actually are happy to pay to be scared out of their w... [Uncategorized]

October 27, 10PM

While many of us have been appalled by the recent attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt and the terroristic acts against churches in Pakistan, what many fail to realize, including apparently the author of the recent book on early Christian martyrdom revie... [Uncategorized]

October 26, 10PM

October 25, 10PM

October 24, 10PM

October 23, 10PM

Certainly Martin Hengel was one of the great historians of the New Testament period, and also one of the great New Testament scholars of the twentieth century. It is hard to believe he has been gone now four years. I always found him a wonderful and graci... [Uncategorized]

October 22, 10PM

by larryhurtado 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 rep... [Uncategorized]

October 21, 10PM

Here is another review of Aslan’s recent Jesus book, which appeared in the London review of books, saying basically what Hurtado said– namely that the book focuses too much on the Zealot issue, rehashing old arguments, and leaves out some majo... [Uncategorized]

October 20, 10PM

Probably there are few in the world who have not heard about Wiki-Leaks and its steady stream of information supplied directly to the public about all kinds of legerdemain, lies, plots, ploys, violence, violations and you name it by nations great and smal... [Uncategorized]

October 19, 10PM

Here’s an interesting post by my fellow Patheos blogger, Philip Jenkins. See what you think. BW3 THE BIBLE’S DEEP HISTORY October 18, 2013 By Philip Jenkins I have been spending a lot of time recently with the apocryphal texts of the Old Testament... [Uncategorized]

October 18, 10PM

It only took ten years and a zillion shekels, but finally the IAA has been told to take their marbles and go home, and oh yes, and to give back Oded Golan’s marble as well. It remains to be seen what will happen to Golan’s claim to the James o... [Uncategorized]

October 17, 10PM

The question of ‘Paul and Empire’ has come up suddenly these last twenty years; in the late 1980s almost nobody was thinking about it, and now it’s all over the place — in more ways than one. That is, lots of people are writing abo... [Uncategorized]

October 16, 10PM

The Princeton Theological Seminary Library has recently made available online full texts of some 80,000 volumes, so of which, one would presume, are now out-of-print works, but still valuable for certain research purposes. Still there are plenty of resour... [Uncategorized]

October 15, 10PM

Let’s be clear from the outset. If your vision of pirates is the Pirates of Penzance or Peter Pan and Captain Hook, or for that matter that good Kentucky boy Johnny Depp, then you have a totally romanticized, and wrong vision of pirates. Pirates, ra... [Uncategorized]

October 14, 10PM

BEN: One of your earliest important works was entitled The Climax of the Covenant. On the surface at least, this book seems rather different than your later work when it comes to ‘the New Perspective on Paul’, particularly on the issue of the ... [Uncategorized]

October 13, 10PM

October 12, 10PM

For over a century there have been proper critical editions of the works of Luther and Calvin. But it has only been in the last fifty years that we have begun to have a proper critical and annotated edition of the works of John Wesley. It it thus not enti... [Uncategorized]

October 11, 10PM

BEN: Another major theme in several of these essays is justification, a subject which you have written a full book on, reviewed on this blog some years ago. Here I would like to ask— How has your mind changed over the years, or stayed the same, on t... [Uncategorized]

October 10, 10PM

My friend and colleague Tom Wright now has two new big books on Paul coming out, the first is a collection of his many essays on Paul over the last 35 years (640 pages, out with SPCK first) and the second is his magnum opus on Paul (which we will deal wit... [Uncategorized]

October 9, 10PM

Make no mistake, ‘Gravity’ is one of the most visually stunning movies to have ever been made (especially in Real 3-D), and one of the most sophisticated ones made in the CG era. And as space movies go, this one certainly wins the prize for se... [Uncategorized]

October 8, 10PM

Let’s just say Hobbit I was something of a disappointment. It had its good moments, but there was too much helter skelter fighting, and the fighting scenes went on and on. In other words, sometimes while the action was vivid the story was draggin... [Uncategorized]

October 7, 10PM

[Here is a excerpted portion of the very recent RBL review (copyright held by the SBL) of Candida Moss's recent book on martyrdom by Clayton Croy, a fine NT scholar at a Lutheran Seminary in Ohio. See what you think. My view is that her book is revisionis... [Uncategorized]

October 6, 10PM

Earliest References to Christian Symbols by larryhurtado 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 suggest... [Uncategorized]

October 5, 10PM

Here is a portion of a nice piece by Bill Wyman from last Sunday’s times. See What you think. BW3 —- The Quotable Bob Dylan Bill Wyman (no not the one who was the Stones bass player) THIS year’s Nobel Prize in Literature should be announced ... [Uncategorized]

October 4, 10PM

The doctrine of the Λόγος grew up between the close of the Old Testament era and the opening of the New. It was an important period of preparation, the value of which cannot be overrated. The seething of all the diverse elements, the fusion of opposi... [Uncategorized]

October 3, 10PM

It is certainly true that preaching can be an act of folly if done poorly or stupidly or in a boring fashion. So it might be worthwhile to serve up a Top Ten list of things Preachers Ought Not to Do: 10. I once saw a preacher do a front flip off the pulpi... [Uncategorized]

October 2, 10PM

The real job of the preacher is to point away from themselves, not to pander. The endless drive by preachers to pander to their audiences, by trying to look cool, hip, relevant, with it, a man of the people etc. is an act of desperation. This is no way to... [Uncategorized]

October 1, 10PM

A few things need to be said about the ethos of the preacher. Bad ethos can nix a good sermon. What do I mean by ethos? I mean the way a preacher comes across— aurally, visually, personally, tone of voice, gestures etc. As the rhetoricians will tell... [Uncategorized]

September 30, 10PM

Most folks don’t like to go to movies that play out on a big screen every parent’s next to worst nightmare—your kids are snatched. I say next to worse, because what is worse is when your child suddenly dies— trust me, I’m sur... [Uncategorized]

September 29, 10PM

For preaching to be ‘good preaching’ it needs to be a word on a target. But if the preacher doesn’t know the target, he is unlikely to hit it. What this in turn means is that he or she must know his or her people. The more one knows one&... [Uncategorized]

September 28, 10PM

Formula One racing. Believe it or not, it’s more dangerous and less boring that NASCAR. I’ve been to NASCAR (heck I’m from the home region of the Pettys) — it’s hot, the cars go round and round endlessly. Some fans hardly pay... [Uncategorized]

September 27, 10PM

Once a preacher realizes that if he doesn’t know the original languages, then he’s NOT preaching the Bible but rather a translation of the Bible (however good), he or she then must accept that this necessarily means he is preaching someone els... [Uncategorized]

September 26, 10PM

In my last post, I pointed out that preaching seems to be somewhat missing in action within the context of early church meetings in homes, and elsewhere. Of course there is nothing in these NT texts that says or suggests there is anything wrong with preac... [Uncategorized]

8AM

September 25, 10PM

Here below is a little interview with me about being one of the first John Wesley Fellows. See what you think (BW3). The picture immediately below is of Dr. Warren Smith (Duke) and Dr. Joel Lemon (Candler) at a recent John Wesley Fellows meeting which I a... [Uncategorized]

September 24, 10PM

‘Preaching’,it’s what makes so much of the Protestant world go around. It’s what many people go to church to hear— not the singing, not the jingling of coins in the plate, not the appeals of the Sunday school class, or the pe... [Uncategorized]

4AM

Here’s another fine post by my friend Larry Hurtado. See what you think. BW3 by larryhurtado Last week (29-31 August) featured the 2013 British New Testament Conference (in St. Andrews), always a combination of scholarly papers (of varying persuasiv... [Uncategorized]

September 22, 6AM

“…there was a peculiar fitness in the time that was selected for the revelation of Messiah to his people. But can we venture a step beyond, and say that we see in the popular mind of the day the germ of a natural development of the Christian scheme? T... [Uncategorized]

September 20, 10PM

Here is a helpful post by my friend and colleague Larry Hurtado. See what you think BW3 by larryhurtado At a recent conference there was a paper presented in which there was repeated reference to the “performance” of passages from the Gospels ... [Uncategorized]

September 19, 10PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6_dnpBUm9KQ OR https://bay168.mail.live.com/default.aspx?id=64855#n=1343225687&fid=5&mid=c6472f44-2182-11e3-ae74-00237de45604&fv=1 Here is an excellent conversation starter on the... [Uncategorized]

3AM

September 16, 10PM

Here is a small map showing Corinth, the isthmus, and the two seaports east (Cenchreae) and west (Laecheum) which served Corinth. The modern day canal through the Isthmus did not exist in Paul’s day—- While the canal was begun to be dug in Ner... [Uncategorized]

September 15, 10PM

Very little was left of Corinth when the Romans leveled in the 2nd century B.C., except the ancient temple of Apollo, seen here… There were however in Paul’s day shops like the one which can be seen here… And as the previous post showed,... [Uncategorized]

September 14, 10PM

“The past is like a foreign country, they do things differently there”. This is all too true, and far too much of the trouble with modern interpretation of the Corinthian correspondence today has to do with what I will call bad visualization. ... [Uncategorized]

September 13, 10PM

Sometimes the critics are just plain out to lunch, or in this case, off on a pub crawl. This is one of those times. The new movie with Simon Peg (aka Scotty in the Star Trek reboot), Martin Freeman (aka Watson and also Mr. Hobbit) and several other famili... [Uncategorized]

September 12, 10PM

September 11, 10PM

[The following is a post by my friend and brother in ministry--- Timothy George] It was called “The Magic City,” “The Pittsburgh of the South” (because rich ore deposits had led to the development of a strong steel industry), the most segregated c... [Uncategorized]

September 10, 10PM

In 1824, in the knobby hill portion of central Kentucky between Springfield and Bardstown, Father Theodore Bardin gave a large farm to a group of ‘sisters’ (i.e. nuns) so that they could build a convent and a life together. Now there are a var... [Uncategorized]

September 9, 10PM

One of my very favorite series of texts dealing with original sources that illuminate the NT is the series now published by Eerdmans entitled New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity. It is a series originating out of the ancient history department a... [Uncategorized]

September 8, 10PM

Here, in Coleridge, was the house, a parsonage, that Ann and I and Christy moved into in 1980, with a lot of help from parishoners. I remember Charles Teague saying— “he sure does have a lot of books”. He was right about that— seve... [Uncategorized]

September 7, 10PM

In the middle of North Carolina, in about a 50 square mile radius are dozens and dozens of potters all fired up to give you beautiful pots, plates, jars, cups, and much more, made out of the indigenous clay that undergirds the region. The Seagrove region ... [Uncategorized]

September 6, 10PM

I was invited by Jeff Sugg, a lawyer in Asheboro N.C.,representing the committee for the 200 anniversary celebration (yes you heard right) of Mt. Olivet Church (founded by a Rev. Spinks, one of Asbury’s own circuit riders) to come back to where my m... [Uncategorized]

September 5, 10PM

There is a featured exhibit at the High Point Museum about John Coltrane, which includes: 1) his piano; 2) some of his sheet music, and 3) pictures of where he lived on Underhill St., where he went to school and learned to play woodwinds and etc. It’... [Uncategorized]

September 4, 10PM

Sometimes your angle of incidence, the position from which you view things, makes all the difference in the world (see the picture above). Take for instance the popular phrase ‘the baptism of the Holy Spirit’. Now as a noun phrase, it does not... [Uncategorized]

September 3, 10PM

I am very happy to be able to present to you more than thirty minutes of pure Coltrane— This is the Lush Life album which originally came out on the Prestige label in the late 50s. The tracks are—- 1. Like Someone In Love 2. I Love You 3. Tran... [Uncategorized]

September 2, 10PM

Went back to the hometown, High Point N.C., while doing an event in Randolph county last month. Had some ‘cue– see picture above (for you non divine swine eaters, that’s short for southern barbecue which is hickory smoked pork— acc... [Uncategorized]

September 1, 10PM

(a classroom in Rwanda). I was listening to a lengthy presentation on the future of education as we know it. It was depressing. Very depressing. The presentation was on the changing face of education, but really it should have been called the growing face... [Uncategorized]

August 31, 10PM

(Here is a recent five star review of my Invitation to the NT, on the Dubious Disciple blog). You can find a link to the book on right side of this page. Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 in Book Reviews | 0 comments by Ben Witherington III ★★... [Uncategorized]

August 30, 10PM

In 1881 Lightfoot presided over the twenty-first meeting–the coming of age–of the Church Congress at Newcastle-on-Tyne, The British Association had just kept its jubilee in the metropolis of the Northern Province. Here is the Bishop’s ha... [Uncategorized]

August 29, 10PM

“Since it hath pleased Thee, O Lord, that I should be called to take my part in the teaching of this College, grant that I may not assume the same lightly, or without a due sense of the importance of my trust; but, considering it a stewardship, wher... [Uncategorized]

August 28, 10PM

In response to some of the outlandish and incorrect claims about the lack of historical substance in the speeches on Acts in recent publications on Acts, it is worth quoting someone who clearly knows the ancient Greek literature, (both ancient historical ... [Uncategorized]

August 27, 10PM

So me and the Tune Dude (aka, Jeff James ace bass player, and former head of Ichthus), and my sister Laura, and my doctoral student (see top picture) Jason Myers, went on a little jaunt up to O-HI-O (crank up Neil Young and the boys), to see a classic roc... [Uncategorized]

August 26, 10PM

(O.K. so the picture is small…… but it’s worth squinting at. It provides the real reason it took 40 years to get into the promised land— toll booths! (Many thanks to Wiley Miller, Mr.Mancuso and the other wonderful cartoonists who ... [Uncategorized]

August 25, 10PM

“[W]hat we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting... [Uncategorized]

August 24, 10PM

(THE FOLLOWING IS A POST BY MY FRIEND AND FELLOW N.T. SCHOLAR LARRY HURTADO,WITH WHICH I WHOLEHEARTEDLY CONCUR. THIS THEORY HAS BEEN REFUTED SO MANY TIMES IT DOES NOT DESERVE TO SHOW UP ON PRIME TIME TV (FOX ARE YOU LISTENING? THE APPEARANCE BY THE AUTHOR... [Uncategorized]

August 23, 10PM

Festschrift is the German word for ‘celebratory writing’, and usually refers to a collection of essays done in honor or memory of one’s colleague or friend or Doctor Father who has made some noteworthy contribution to their particular ac... [Uncategorized]

August 22, 10PM

Harper One is especially good at publishing books that can be called ‘provocations’ or ‘pot-stirrers’, or ‘debunkers’. Candida Moss’ recent volume with the deliberately provoc