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I am posting here this morning a most informative document from my friend and fellow-scholar Greg Doudna, whose Ph.D. deals with the history and archaeology of the Dead Sea Scroll sectarian community (you can see some of his publications at this link). In January 1985, Greg visited and interviewed Dr. Hugh Schonfield (1901-1988) at his [...]
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I am sure many of my older readers will remember Hugh J. Schonfield’s , 1965 blockbuster international best seller, The Passover Plot, now re-released in a special 40th anniversary edition. Schonfield was somewhat of a “maverick” independent scholar, well trained but never pursing an academic university career, but publishing dozens of books that remain of great [...]
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And no man having drunk old wine desireth new; for he saith, The old is good –Jesus somewhere in Galilee around 28 CE I had a wonderful teacher at Chicago, the Late Great Robert M. Grant, who always said the best New Testament and Early Christian Literature scholarship was done from 1850 to 1950 and [...]
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Today is both Holocaust Remembrance Day and National Prayer Day. What a month we have had as April passes into May. What a decade. What a Century. For all of us on this Pale Blue Dot, far and near, both in time and space…Only images from El Bosco could possibly capture things. No appropriate images [...]
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Josephus mentions a dozen or more “messiah” figures beginning with Hezekiah/Ezekias c. 45 BCE whom the young Herod defeated whom he variously labels as “brigands” (ληστής) or “imposters” (γόης)—though he calls Judas the Galilean a “wise man” (σοφιστής) and credits him with the founding a the “fourth philosophy” (Jewish Antiquities18.23). Several of these figures are [...]
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Happy Biblical New Year, Nisan/Aviv 1, the 1st day of the 1st month…Exodus 12:1 “This new [moon] shall be the beginning of the months [news moons] for you…A time to think back and forward and begin afresh, with Spring Sprung and the early “harvest” getting ripe. Aviv means “spring” or new.
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Of the hundreds of books that are written in biblical scholarship every year, few make a long term impact and have an extended shelf life.   Very few indeed deserve to be read and reread thirty-five years after their original appearance.  Morton Smith’s Jesus the Magician is one of them, a twentieth-century classic, uncannily smart, incredibly [...]
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There has been a lot of discussion over the past 45 years regarding the late Columbia University historian Morton Smith and his discovery, publication, and interpretation of a so-called “Secret Gospel of Mark” in 1973. According to Smith, fifteen years earlier he had come across, quite by accident, a copy of a letter of Clement [...]
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A first century CE mikveh or ritual bath was was uncovered in 2015 just south of the Old City and east of Hebron road in the Arnona neighborhood of Talpiot as a result of construction of a kindergarten.  At the time of its discovery Shimon Gibson and I were been invited by the IAA to [...]
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How did it happen that the way Jesus came into the world, and how he left—Christmas and Easter—came to define Christianity itself? I have spent my thirty-year career as a scholar of Christian Origins investigating the silence between two back-to-back statements of the Apostles’ Creed, namely that Jesus was: “Conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born [...]
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