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A dozen or so times a year I am asked by colleagues and interested readers alike “Just where are the Talpiot tombs located in relationship to the city of Jerusalem?” Some of these questioners are interested in visiting these tomb locations, whereas others are just wanting to get a sense of how far south of [...]
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In our New Testament gospels there are three women named Mary who are closely associated with Jesus: His mother, who raised him and a large family of four other boys and at least two girls (Mark 6:3) Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Luke 10:38-42; John 11:1-5; 12:1-3; Mark 11:11-12) Mary Magdalene [...]
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December 25th as the date of the birth of Jesus can be traced back to the early 3rd century CE although it did not achieve more universal recognition until the late 4th century. It is common to hear the charge that “Christmas is pagan,” based on the popularity of the Roman winter festivals of Saturnalia [...]
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We are most privileged to have two distinguished Israeli archaeologists visiting our campus at UNC Charlotte on Tuesday, November 13th, Drs. Rona Avissar Lewis and Rafael Y. Lewis, on their way to present at the Denver conferences (ASOR/AAR/SBL/BAR). Rona’s lecture is sponsored by my Dept. of Religious Studies and Rafi’s by our History Department. Rafi, [...]
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I’ve never been able to find a dichotomy between being an historian and a theologian–or a good historian and a Christian, putting it very bluntly. I do not believe that gods and goddesses or anyone ever comes out from heaven and produces divine babies; I don’t believe it actually happens. Nor do I think that [...]
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In April, 2006 I published a trade book called The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity.  Now in paperback it has continued to sell moderately but steadily. I wrote it as a popular summary of my own personal lifelong “quest” for the historical Jesus. It is written [...]
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In fact the “kerygma” or “preaching” of the apostles according to Luke, as reflected in Peter’s speeches in Acts 2:22-38 and 3:11-26, is pure “Paulinism” in terms of its basic parameters–that Christ was sent from God as Messiah, that he died for the sins of mankind, that he was raised from the dead, and that [...]
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