Aaron Adair wrote a superb book which I edited called The Star of Bethlehem: A Skeptical View. It is well worth reading, and you will learn a number of gems. I thought I would give you a taste with part of the second chapter detailing methodological difficulties involved with the Gospel of Matthew and accounts and claims of the star. The book is available from the sidebar over there>>>>>>>
This post is one of my most popular pieces on this blog, and I am revising it slightly to make it even tighter, reacting to previous comments on the last version of this piece. I have tried to be detailed enough for it to be fairly comprehensive, though it could be more detailed; then again, it could be shorter and more digestible. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Imagine rifling through your old crud to find some old booky thing and thinking, “Hey, that looks old. I wonder how old”. And then getting it dated and finding out it’s the oldest, arguably mots important book in the world!
Being that time of year, let me remind you of some things that I have written on the Resurrection (and…
As has been all over the news recently, there is an alleged scrap of the first written Gospel from the Bible, the Gospel of Mark, as found inside of a papier-mache mummy. This has the potential to be a boon for New Testament studies, but there has been significant controversy about how this discovery has been revealed and how it was done. Even the mummy mask that is the source for this scrap of papyrus looks uncomfortable with how things are going.
This was an interesting albeit anecdotal comment, whilst talking about the Resurrection and the power of eyewitnesses: I was part of…
In my post on Herod, epicurus brought up a great point with regard to the news of the Messianic prophecy which shook Jerusalem at the arrival of the MAgi:
In the same way that the resurrection story tosses out a verse that should cause a revolution, then moves on as if no big deal (the dead coming out of their graves and walking around the city -Matt 27:52-3), the assertion that Herod and all of Jerusalem being “troubled” at the wise men following a star to come worship the new King of The Jews (Matt 2:3) doesn’t seem to mean much for a fair size city.
The holidays are approaching fast, and the first snows are coming over the United States. The ever-expanding day of Christmas will truly be here soon. And all around the world, both preachers and even some scientists will be talking about a perennial subject: the Star of Bethlehem and what it could have been
Holidays are coming, holidays are coming…
It’s that time of year, you know, the interminable run-up to Christmas when big corporations vie for your hard-earned cash in an attempt to exploit the seasonal goodwill brought on by the imaginary birth of a godmanspirit.
I was reading Kaveh Mousavi’s blog today and came across this short piece: Basically, if you’re not a historian, how…
I am having a massive debate on my facebook page at the moment with someone from the Unbelievable forum, which I have now left (tiring of the time-wasting silliness of some of the posters) about the Roman/Jewish burial practices after crucifixion with regard to Jesus’ death. Here is my latest comment on the thread:
Ok, so here is what I think. First, it is important to note that I take a sort of Bayesian approach; that being, the most plausible hypothesis should be taken to be the most likely to be true, and this involves evidence, prior probability and background knowledge.
Tihs has come up in conversation elsewhere, so I thought I would resurrect this old post from my old, old…
For Hitchens and co, religion does little good and secularism hardly any evil. Never mind that tyrants devoid of religion such as Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao and Pol Pot perpetrated the worst atrocities in history. As H. Allen Orr, professor of biology at the University of Rochester, observed, the 20th century was an experiment in secularism that produced secular evil, responsible for the unprecedented murder of more than 100 million. (Abramovich, 2009)
There has been a number of articles on this due, perhaps, to a Channel 4 Documentary on this due to be shown in August (that’s a long way off!). It seems that instructions for the Ark in the Bible were lifted from an earlier source (which is no surprise since the flood account is lifted from the Gilgamesh or both from an earlier ancestor).
Just to topically remind people of my last authored book, on the Nativity, called The Nativity: A Critical Examination. I…
Here’s a reminder about my debate with Randal Rauser which took place last year over the historicity of the nativity accounts. Listen in and enjoy! The post from last year. My nativity book is available from the sidebar over there!
This is the sort of stuff I talk about in my book The Nativity: A Critical Examination, available from the sidebar over there on your right!
From Bart Ehrman’s blog: – Christianity In Antiquity (behind a members only wall):
Aaron Adair, as you well know, has recently written a book which I edited and which is getting rave reviews. Here is a presentation on the historicity of Jesus which he recently gave which looks at the whole broad topic, touching on the Star later in the talk. This is a fascinating talk, though am only part way through so far. Check it out!
Several months ago it was reported that the Manchester Museum had an oddity on its shelf. This wasn’t the sort of thing that was from an unknown yet gone civilization, its traces beyond the ability of archaeologists to explain or place into history, but what appeared to be the inexplicable motion of a very old statue. More recently it has become news because of the viral video of its motion using a time-lapse camera. What we see is that, slowly through the day the statue, which is from the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (~4000 years ago), slowly rotates about 180 degrees. And by slowly, I mean it takes hours or days.