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The Bible and Culture

The Bible and Culture

December 2009 Archives

LBs… The New Year’s Resolution Song

posted by Ben Witherington

LB’S (A Good ole Southern Country Song by BW3–think Johnny Cash with help from the Beatles– to the tunes of ‘I hear that train a comin’ and ‘Carry that Weight’) It’s sweepin’ cross AmericaThe plague of pulchritudeIt’s gripped the country’s […]

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The Ephesian Terrace Houses

posted by Ben Witherington

Probably the most exciting of all the archaeological developments in Turkey is what has been uncovered on a hill overlooking the Celsus Library in Ephesos by the Austrians. And the Austrians are both meticulous and thorough, and their work on […]

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Ten 2009 Books on the New Testament You Should have Read

posted by Ben Witherington

Of the making of Biblical studies books there is no end, but not all books are created equal.  One of the questions I often get is what were the best Biblical Studies books that came out this year which should […]

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Defaced

posted by Ben Witherington

              The statue stood sentinel,             But had no staring eyes,             Defaced by vicious vandals             The royal line despised.               Erasures are too common,             As if our pasts weren’t past             Enough with mere mortality […]

Sherlock Holmes Redux– The Downey Treatment

posted by Ben Witherington

Sherlock Holmes is the proverbial hard act to act.  He has been played by some of the great character actors on both the silver screen (think Basil Rathbone) and TV (Jeremy Brett).  And all of the stories are so familiar […]

Planning your January 2010– a Day for Every Occasion and an Occasion for Every Day

posted by Ben Witherington

For a moment I thought the email I had received was a prank. I knew we had a reason for celebrating every day of living, but I didn’t know we had these many reasons— in January of all months!  Three […]

Christmas around the World

posted by Ben Witherington

Pictures courtesy of my friends at CBS.

‘Up in the Air’ leaves you—- Up in the Air

posted by Ben Witherington

I must confess that I like many of George Clooney’s movies.  He is a fine actor, and has played a huge array of parts from the comic to the tragic and everything imaginable in between.  Some of my very favorite […]

Avatar– Opening Pandora’s Box

posted by Ben Witherington

You know the story of Pandora’s box.  By now the phrase ‘opening Pandora’s box’ has become a cliche as well.  But since the movie Avatar is set on a planet called Pandora, and since this movie opens up all kinds […]

A Christmas Present to Nazareth– a House from Jesus’ Time

posted by Ben Witherington

Meet Yardeni Alexandre.  He works for the Israeli Antiquities Authorities at the dig in Nazareth. He is holding  first century pottery shards found at what is becoming known as the ‘Nazareth house’.   The walls of the house itself and the […]

Trouble in Turkey for Patriarch Bartholomew

posted by Ben Witherington

Watch CBS News Videos Online(courtesy of CBS)I have spent time in Turkey with His Holiness the Patriarch Bartholomew. He is a wonderful Christian man, and he is very upset with the supposedly tolerant Turkish Government which won’t allow his Christian […]

The Mitchell Report— Archaic Mark Definitely a Modern Forgery

posted by Ben Witherington

Ancient Book of Mark Found Not So Ancient After All  ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2009) – A biblical expert at the University ofChicago, Margaret M. Mitchell, together with experts in micro-chemicalanalysis and medieval bookmaking, has concluded that one of the UniversityLibrary’s […]

The Shrouded Man with Leprosy– A New find in Jerusalem

posted by Ben Witherington

Shimon Gibson is a top drawer archaeologist, an interesting and approachable person, and he has been involved with many of the most interesting archaeological finds over the last thirty years (e.g. the Talpiot tomb). This particular find of a piece […]

Dave Barry’s 2009 Holiday Gift Guide

posted by Ben Witherington

(Thanks to alert reader Craig Beard for finding this). In these troubled economic times, when money is scarce for many people, it’s important that we remind ourselves, and our loved ones, that the holiday season is not about buying things. […]

The Seduction of Power– the Tiger Woods Story

posted by Ben Witherington

By now the adage is familiar— ‘all power corrupts, and ultimate power corrupts ultimately’.   What this adage does not tell you is that with power comes isolation.  It’s lonely at the top, and often those at the top stop listening […]

A Christmas Present from Sade

posted by Ben Witherington

Sade’s new CD will be out in early February 2010. It’s been a long time since she did something really edgy and creative. But this is interesting. I immediately thought this would play well in a Bond film. Welcome Back […]

The Apocalyptic Visions of a Street Artist

posted by Ben Witherington

The street artists quite literally convert streets into art without altering the material of the streets or harming them in any way.  Its not just the ability to imagine this, its the ability to draw this on a hard surface […]

Oral Roberts Speaks No More

posted by Ben Witherington

Oral Roberts was that most unusual of all kinds of Methodists–a Pentecostal one. He had a big heart, a large evangelistic career, and a big vision, even a vision of creating a huge medical center to go with the university […]

The Problem with Gay Marriage–an Evangelical Christian Viewpoint

posted by Ben Witherington

              I have watched the debate in our country about gay marriage rights for some long time and indeed I have participated in the debate. Some things have gotten clearer over time, and some things have become more murky, […]

Changing Old Hobbits

posted by Ben Witherington

Peter Jackson has now revealed something about who will be in The Hobbit which begins filming early next year in New Zealand.  Ian McKellen  will indeed be back as Gandalf, and it is likely that various of the Elves such […]

The Problem with Snopes: A Liberal Conspiracy?

posted by Ben Witherington

My hardly computer literate mother sent me the following info which had been sent to her. I challenge alert readers to read this and check it out. See if you think this critique of Snopes is valid or not. I […]

As Copenhagen Climate Change Summit Begins— Thousands Protest Global Warming

posted by Ben Witherington

Invictus– The Unvanquished

posted by Ben Witherington

I have spent a fair amount of time in the beautiful and strife filled country of South Africa. I have met some of the principles who fought against apartheid, such as the Methodist Bishop Peter Storey. I have dear friends […]

The Gift of the Magi and O. Henry

posted by Ben Witherington

Do you recognize this man?  No, its not Snively Wiplash from some silent picture era film. Its actually William Sidney Porter one of the most popular short story writers from the South ever.  He was born just up the road […]

The War President’s Peace Prize– The Influence of the Niebuhr’s

posted by Ben Witherington

I was giving lectures at Lincoln Christian College in Illinois. I knew of its associations with Lincoln. But what I did not know until I was there is that there was a connection with the Niebuhrs as pastors. Perhaps you […]

Handel’s Messiah— the Story behind the Classic

posted by Ben Witherington

Without question, one of the most famous pieces of music ever written or performed is Handel’s Messiah.  Note that the title of this work is not ‘The Messiah’, but simply Messiah.  Above you will see one of the more flattering […]

Star-Studded Wise Men: Rethinking the Christmas Story

posted by Ben Witherington

Getting to the bottom of the historical well when it comes to Christmas stories in Matthew and Luke proves difficult at times. It is rather like what happened to the Sistine Chapel ceiling when it was finally cleaned and all […]

Educational Emails– Don’t You Love Them!

posted by Ben Witherington

Subject: educational e-mails Just want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery. I no longer open a public bathroom door without using […]

Paul Harvey’s Prayer

posted by Ben Witherington

PAUL HARVEYS   ON- AIR PRAYER‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we […]

SBL Report Part 2– Roman Influence at Omrit and Banyas (Caesarea Philippi)

posted by Ben Witherington

(courtesy HolyLand Photos/Maps) One of the subjects not much discussed in Jesus studies is the forays Jesus made into foreign territories (Gerasa, Perea, Tyre, Herod Philippi’s realm).  The stories about such visits to places outside the Holy Land are important […]

Previous Posts

The John Wesley Fellows Meeting at Candler---- The Senior Fellows
The John Wesley Fellowship began in 1977, with Steve Harper and yours truly being two of the first John Wesley Fellows chosen.  I have told the story of Ed Robb and AFTE  this past Fall on the blog so I will not repeat it.   Here are some of the senior fellows attending the meeting.

posted 5:46:30am Jan. 11, 2011 | read full post »

Guns and Religion--- Enough is Quite Enough
I was sitting at the traffic light when a pickup pulled up next to me.  On the back of the cab window was a bumper sticker saying 'Guns and religion. Now more than ever.'   Then I found the picture you see above, and then this one below......   My response to this nonsense above

posted 7:05:08pm Jan. 10, 2011 | read full post »

Revival 2011--- At My Home Church in Charlotte

posted 9:58:02am Jan. 10, 2011 | read full post »

The John Wesley Fellows Meeting at Candler---- The Art of Theology
The John Wesley Fellows meeting this January was held in Atlanta at Candler School of Theology, and its Dean,  Dean Love is a collector of art for the seminary, with some 50 or so paintings now gracing the walls of their beautiful new seminary building.  The art of choice comes from a West

posted 5:30:50am Jan. 10, 2011 | read full post »

Ancient Readers and Manuscripts--- William A. Johnson's Take
  In the American world of bigger is better (and more erudite) it is refreshing to find a smallish book  (207 pages of text, including some pictures)  that makes its points in detail with full primary source documentation and then resists the tendency to be verbose or erudite for all

posted 9:30:59am Jan. 07, 2011 | read full post »

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