This will be a stonkingly good conference!

I’m really looking forward to Friday and Saturday this week when we have our first St Mary’s University Centre for Social-Scientific Study of the Bible conference on ‘Evil in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity’—details here; you can still book to come! I’m working on a paper on ‘Evil in Ephesus (Acts 19:8-40)’ which is looking at issues of the nature of evil, and how Luke sees evil being overcome, in Paul’s visit to the city. There are lots of interesting things going on—the full Continue reading →

Questioning assumptions

Here’s a fine piece from Larry Hurtado’s blog questioning the assumption that Christian belief about Jesus must reflect what Jesus himself believed about himself during his lifetime. Hurtado exposes this as a theological assumption and questions it cogently. Good stuff!

Chris Keith’s thought-provoking and worthwhile new book

Chris Keith Jesus against the Scribal Elite: The Origins of the Conflict Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014; ISBN 978-0-8010-3988-1 [As many readers of this review will recognise, the author of this book is my colleague at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Professor Chris Keith was kind enough to give a copy of the book I review here, but without any request for review, let alone—of course—for a favourable review. What follows is my responsibility alone.] Get a cup of coffee (or your preferred tipple)—this is a Continue reading →

Two interesting posts

Here are links to two interesting posts in New Testament studies. Ian Paul writes about the number of visits Jesus made to Jerusalem. It’s frequently suggested that the synoptic Gospels portray only one visit by Jesus as an adult, whereas John has Jesus visit for three passovers. In this post, Ian Paul argues cogently that the synoptics betray knowledge of other visits by Jesus to Jerusalem, so that the picture of only one visit in the synoptics is over-simple. Thoughtful and worth reading. Craig Evans Continue reading →

Stunning video of a river flooding a dry riverbed

This is a stunning video of huge rainfall in the hill refilling the River Zin in the Negeb. The villagers are gathered to watch this amazing event. This illuminates Isaiah 44:3 ‘I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground’ or Psalm 126:4 ‘Restore our fortunes, O YHWH, like the watercourses in the Negeb’—verses that make sense in the context of Israel/Palestine in a way that they rarely (although occasionally) do for a westerner like me. 2 minutes 45 Continue reading →