Is the “Nazareth Inscription” from Nazareth?

If you’ve spent any amount of time online perusing Christian apologetics websites, you’ve no doubt come across the Nazareth Inscription, an edict from Caesar found on a slab of marble that prohibits grave robbing under penalty of death.[1] It is called the “Nazareth Inscription” because it was sent to antiquities collector Wilhelm Froehner from Nazareth in 1878.... Continue Reading →

Richard Elliot Friedman on the Exodus

In 2017, noted scholar of the Hebrew Bible Richard Elliot Friedman published a book with HarperCollins entitled The Exodus: How It Happened and Why It Matters. Using the tools of source criticism, Friedman posits that what really happened is not that there was no exodus from Egypt but rather that it involved a group that... Continue Reading →

The Weekly Roundup – 2.7.20

You didn't want it, ask for it, or need it, but nevertheless the Weekly Roundup has returned! Andre Gagne (PhD, Université catholique de Louvain/Université de Montréal) posted the first in a series on eschatology entitled "Unraveling the 'End Times,'" complete with that charming Canadian accent we've all come to love in our neighbors to the... Continue Reading →

My Conversation with Jackson Wheat

This morning I had the privilege of being interviewed by Jackson Wheat, a YouTuber and student of evolutionary theory, on a variety of subjects related to the Bible including the days of Genesis, the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke, Leviathan, henotheism, and more. It should go without saying that I spoke as a non-scholar... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: Hard Pressed to Identify A Distinct Israel

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2014), 228. The cumulative evidence, then, suggests that the Israelite confederation was composed of groups of disparate origin, including Canaanites. What would have motivated such groups to join Israel? One factor could have been the persuasive power... Continue Reading →

"What would lead people to make all this stuff up – all of it – from scratch? Not just embroidering or adding to existing stories about an existing person, but inventing all of the above, including the bits that clearly work against their purposes? So far, I have not heard an adequate explanation for this.... Continue Reading →

It’s gotten all mixed up, you see, as it was bound to after thousands and thousands of years of dogma and tradition. Religion doesn’t spawn morality. Intelligence spawns morality,which inevitably gives birth (in intelligent enough species) to religion.Now, some people find that religion helps hone and focus their morality, that it gives their morality a purpose... Continue Reading →

In my experience, Christian apologetics is geared towards reinforcing the faithful, not convincing the skeptic. As I wrote last October, "It seems that pop-apologetics is nothing more than preaching to the choir."1 This in spite of the oft-repeated claim that apologetics is biblically mandated: "Always be ready to make your defense [apologian] to anyone who demands from... Continue Reading →

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