Category: Ancient History

Doston Jones on Studying the Bible as Literature

Back in July, Doston Jones asked whether the New Testament authors were influenced by Greco-Roman literature. This may seem absurd: how could they not have been influenced? But there are certain Christians of the fundamentalist variety who think that the New Testament is utterly… Continue Reading “Doston Jones on Studying the Bible as Literature”

Script for Amateur Exegesis – Season 2, Episode 2: “Dear Thessalonians”

The script for episode 2 of this season of ‘Amateur Exegesis.’

Script for Amateur Exegesis – Season 2, Episode 1: “Ancient Letters”

Interested in reading the script for the first episode of season 1 of ‘Amateur Exegesis’? Look no further!

Michael Coogan: The Israelites Didn’t Exist in a Vacuum

Michael D. Coogan, “In the Beginning: The Earliest History,” in The Oxford History of the Biblical World, Michael D. Coogan, editor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 20. The ancient Israelites did not live in a cultural vacuum. From prehistoric times on Palestine was linked… Continue Reading “Michael Coogan: The Israelites Didn’t Exist in a Vacuum”

Musings on Mark: Reign of the Demons

Jesus’ first public miracle in the Gospel of Mark is an exorcism (Mark 1:23-26) This is no coincidence; neither is the fact that it is contained within a pericope portraying Jesus as a teacher (vv. 21-28). On a narrative level, the Markan author desires… Continue Reading “Musings on Mark: Reign of the Demons”

Shaily Patel: Postcolonial Criticism

Shaily Patel, “Excursus: Methods of Ideological Criticism,” in Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, sixth edition (OUP, 2016), 192. Postcolonial criticism emphasizes the influence that empires and imperial policies, both ancient and modern, have on the texts,… Continue Reading “Shaily Patel: Postcolonial Criticism”

Evangelical Eisegesis: A Dalliance with Daniel #2 – Daniel 9:24-27 – An Interpretation

Part 1 – Daniel vs. History Part 2 – Daniel 9:24-27 – An Interpretation Part 3 – Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar, and Nitocris In this series we are exploring the claim made by pop-apologist SJ Thomason in her post “Did Daniel the Prophet Accurately Predict the Timing… Continue Reading “Evangelical Eisegesis: A Dalliance with Daniel #2 – Daniel 9:24-27 – An Interpretation”

Evangelical Eisegesis: A Dalliance with Daniel #1 – Daniel vs. History

Part 1 – Daniel vs. History Part 2 – Daniel 9:24-27 – An Interpretation Part 3 – Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar, and Nitocris “Fulfilled prophecies are what distinguish the Bible from other holy texts and are evidence of direct revelations by God.” – SJ Thomason.1 In a… Continue Reading “Evangelical Eisegesis: A Dalliance with Daniel #1 – Daniel vs. History”

Hopelessly Confused: Heather Schuldt Takes on Bart Ehrman, part 1

Yesterday I posted a lengthy but necessary rebuttal to pop-apologist Heather Schuldt’s bewildering piece on the Documentary Hypothesis. As I was poking around on her blog I noticed she had recently written another piece, this time attacking New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman, entitled “5… Continue Reading “Hopelessly Confused: Heather Schuldt Takes on Bart Ehrman, part 1”

Bart D. Ehrman: Defining “Greco-Roman Biography”

Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, sixth edition (OUP, 2016), 99-100. If I were to attempt a definition of the Greco-Roman biography, then, it might be something like this: ancient biography was a prose narrative recounting an individual’s… Continue Reading “Bart D. Ehrman: Defining “Greco-Roman Biography””