Candida Moss (University of Birmingham) wrote a piece back in March on Apollonius, the miracle-working son of God that is often compared to Jesus. In it Moss, a prolific writer and scholar, observes that many in the ancient Mediterannean were considered the son of this or that God and that the miracles of Jesus "weren't completely unprecedented."... Continue Reading →

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"When Jesus calls Herod Antipas a 'fox' (Luke 13:32), most modern European readers will automatically think this means he considered Herod to be particularly clever or craft....The same association would naturally have occurred to a Greek reader in the 1st century. In Greek literature, the fox is proverbially a crafty animal. In Jewish literature, however,... Continue Reading →

"For atheists, I would say your life is not meaningless even if you no longer believe you are for something like a hammer is for hammering nails- or even if you believe the universe is absurd! Just because you are not an instrument of someone else’s will, it does not follow that you cannot live... Continue Reading →

"To be clear, some religious people evaluate their subjective experience as a piece of the evidential pie without taking this strong of a stance – but I want to address those who attempt to build atop the 'unshakable' ground of religious experience.  The epistemology illustrated creates a host of problems.  If taken seriously, it is... 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 →

"Mark, wanting to make a theological point, locates the event in a place whose name is associated with casting out demons – the language, as Marcus points out, does kinda support this. This strengthens the exorcism theme of the pericope– seems legit. A few years later, Matthew, using Mark as a source for his own gospel, either misses Mark’s theological point or... Continue Reading →

"One would certainly not expect any literary reference to Christians or Christianity or Jesus himself in Roman authors of the first century.  Christianity was simply a tiny (TINY) religious movement that no one had heard of.  Most Romans would not even have heard the name Christian until probably the middle or end of the second... Continue Reading →

"Israel did not ‘believe’ in dragons anymore than their neighbors did. When Israel says God defeated the dragon, they use this myth in two ways. Most of the time, as in Psalm 74; Isaiah 27:1, where the dragon is named Leviathan just as in the Canaanite myth; and Isaiah 51:9, they are saying, ‘Whatever you... Continue Reading →

"The assertion by the opposing narrative that Elijah’s wife was a prostitute and later, that Elijah ate her son, does seem a little over the top and may indicate that the opposing narrative itself was propaganda and was responding to an even earlier narrative. But that is a mirror-reading of a mirror-reading, and it’s difficult... Continue Reading →

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