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The Bible and Culture

The Bible and Culture

Bio

Bible scholar Ben Witherington is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies.

Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell. A popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. He has also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.

Witherington has written over thirty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by Christianity Today. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications, and is a frequent contributor to the Beliefnet website.

Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, Witherington has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.

The John Wesley Fellows Meeting at Candler—- The Senior Fellows

posted by Ben Witherington

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 […]

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Guns and Religion— Enough is Quite Enough

posted by Ben Witherington

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 […]

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Revival 2011— At My Home Church in Charlotte

posted by Ben Witherington

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The John Wesley Fellows Meeting at Candler—- The Art of Theology

posted by Ben Witherington

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 […]

Ancient Readers and Manuscripts— William A. Johnson’s Take

posted by Ben Witherington

  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 […]

Tolstoy and the Orthodox Church— a Continuing Tragedy

posted by Ben Witherington

  For those of you who know the literary works or life of Tolstoy, you will find this story from the NY Times this week rather depressing.  The Orthodox Church, in its wisdom, still can’t seem to practice that quintessential […]

Cicero– A Biography by Anthony Everitt

posted by Ben Witherington

Producing the first biography of Cicero in more than a quarter century, this well written, well reviewed biography (see Amazon reviews) first appeared in 2001 and has continued to be well-received and widely read.  Everitt went on to write similar […]

Conspirata— The Trials and Tribulations of Cicero

posted by Ben Witherington

Robert Harris is perhaps not a name you will be familiar with, but he is a fine historical novelist indeed.  On this blog we have already reviewed his two previous novels about ancient  Rome— ‘Pompeii’  and ‘Imperium’  both of which […]

Has Mr. Fix Visited You? The Things Men Do to Avoid Real Work

posted by Ben Witherington

 Tired of changing diapers?   No problem. The old wee pee cup solution. Too tired to feed the baby? No worries— the gerry-rigged bottle will suffice. Accidently buy a car from the U.K.?  No problem at all, a good old fan […]

The Return of Babylon? Can You Dig it?

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/arts/03babylon.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha28

Lost Lebron? No Problem, Have a Three Dog Night

posted by Ben Witherington

There has to be some compensation for losing Lebron and the Browns and Indians continuing to be bad all at the same time.  And here it is residents of Cleveland and Canton.  The chief chef for the Charleston Riverdogs decided […]

Quote of the Day

posted by Ben Witherington

The reason I deferred in writing this is because of “the danger of wasting my time, since pretty much no one cares about truth these days; rather they eagerly chase after money and political power and insatiable enjoyment of pleasures, […]

Books to Read in 2011

posted by Ben Witherington

If you are sizing up things to read in 2011, here are some theologically rich books which you may have not read just yet. Start with a short book on Jesus— the one I just reviewed on this blog— Will […]

Stargazer (The Faith of One of the Magi)

posted by Ben Witherington

I subscribe to the skies Even when clouds roll in I simply wait patiently, For the skies to clear again,   I trust in the warmth of the sun Even on a cold winter’s day I know the chill can’t […]

A New Year’s Prayer for our Nation— 2011

posted by Ben Witherington

Lord God, maker of all that is good, and true and beautiful, all that is right, and righteous, and holy, all that is giving and forgiving and merciful, we entreat you on this day to have mercy on our nation […]

Films and Albums of the Year—- 2010

posted by Ben Witherington

In a year when one could get discouraged about the state of film and music in the English-speaking world, there were a few truly exceptional films and efforts at music making that deserve to be mentioned. Of course, works of […]

Why Jesus? Lover, Delegator, Body

posted by Ben Witherington

Temples in antiquity were not merely viewed as the meeting place for a god and his devotees.  They were often viewed as the dwelling place on earth of a god as well and so the center of worship.  But when […]

Why Jesus? Savior and Sovereign

posted by Ben Witherington

“The Master seems to find more joy in careless sowing, miraculous growing, and reckless harvesting than in the taxonomy of [separating] the good from the bad, the worthwhile from the worthless, the saved from the damned.”  (p. 78, with correction).   […]

Cherish the Day— Today is my Birthday

posted by Ben Witherington

Why Jesus? Miracle Worker, Home Wrecker

posted by Ben Witherington

Why did the authorities want to kill Jesus after he raised Lazarus from the dead?  Its a good question, and it is one raised in the chapter about Jesus as a miracle worker. Willimon’s take is that the authorities couldn’t […]

‘The King’s Speech’– Leaves One Speechless

posted by Ben Witherington

The age of the wireless changed everything.  As King George V said, ‘previously we only had to march around and look good in costume, now we are expected to come into every hearth and home and speak to people.’  With […]

Why Jesus? The Parabler, Party Crasher, and Preacher

posted by Ben Witherington

The way the God of the Bible more often than not gets things done is with words, mere words.  In Gen. 1 God speaks, and creation springs into life.  Jesus speaks “your daughter will live” and it is so.   God […]

Why Jesus? The Vagabond on the Move, the Troublemaking Prince of Peace

posted by Ben Witherington

“The modern world has many ways of turning us in on ourselves, eventually to worship the dear little god within. Christianity, the religion evoked by Jesus, is a decidedly fierce means of wrenching us outward. We are not left alone […]

Why Jesus? A Review in Several Parts

posted by Ben Witherington

Yes, it is true.  Writers have favorite writers.  And one of my favorite writers, preachers, and Christian persons is Bishop Will Willimon.  He has a wonderful new book. It’s short, to the point, pointed, equal parts eloquent and deliberately irritating.  […]

Joyeux Noel!!! God is Good All the Time

posted by Ben Witherington

MOTHER LOAD   From the very beginning The burden was clear Sometimes bearable Sometimes severe Ate from the apple Shared it with him Disobeyed the order Indulged the whim. What was the outcome? The fruit of the act? She ‘knew’ […]

Colbert’s Christmas Show— Jesus was a Liberal Democrat

posted by Ben Witherington

    http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=368924

A Normal Christian Life—- Part Ten

posted by Ben Witherington

The devotional use and reading of the Bible has gone on for as long as there has been a Bible, but when John Wesley refers to ‘searching the Scriptures’ he in fact is not referring to a particular kind of […]

The Aussie Christmas Story

posted by Ben Witherington

A Normal Christian Life—- Part Nine

posted by Ben Witherington

It was, without question, a shock to my system.  My wife and I moved to England for my doctoral work in 1977.   I came as a person on the way to ‘full ordination’ in the United Methodist Church in America.   […]

A Shepherd’s Tale— With Hays and Witherington

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=5259669&ct=8980131

‘True Grit’ Has It!

posted by Ben Witherington

I grew up in the age of Westerns and Frontier shows.  My Mom would drop me at the Paramount or Center theaters in downtown High Point on a Saturday morning in the 50s and early 60s and I would watch  […]

A Normal Christian Life—- Part Eight

posted by Ben Witherington

One of the more crucial of John Wesley’s early sermons, preached at Oxford at the beginning of the Methodist Revival was entitled ‘the almost and the altogether Christian’. John Wesley was apt to say that you can be as orthodox […]

A Musing

posted by Ben Witherington

  MUSINGS   I’m afraid my muse is too musical And has a propensity for rhyme It prefers lyrical to metrical… Until it runs out of time.   It’s apt to use a wordplay And a pun is within its […]

A Normal Christian Life—- Part Seven

posted by Ben Witherington

I used to have a colleague at Asbury who said that when he was a teenager he came to the altar in repentance so many times, and was born again so many times, he had stretch marks on his soul!   […]

Tron’s Legacy—Perfection is Unknowable

posted by Ben Witherington

Jeff Bridges stars in two movies this Christmas, and they could not be more different. One is the Coen Brothers remake of John Wayne’s film ‘True Grit’, the other is the long awaited sequel to Tron, a truly groundbreaking film.  […]

A Normal Christian Life—- Part Six

posted by Ben Witherington

As if Wesley were speaking directly to our Biblically illiterate culture, and sadly our almost as Biblically illiterate church, he stresses that pure ignorance is a major cause of spiritual degeneration and apostasy.  Here is how he puts it…. Another […]

A Normal Christian Life—- Part Five

posted by Ben Witherington

JOHN WESLEY ON A KEMPIS’ ‘IMITATION OF CHRIST’             Perhaps more than any other devotional book of its time, John Wesley pointed his Methodists to a book he came to call ‘The Pattern of Christ’ by Thomas a Kempis.  A […]

A Normal Christian Life—- Part Four

posted by Ben Witherington

Sometimes spiritual formation literature can get pretty weird and demanding, especially if you are an ordinary Christian just trying to improve your Christian life. Sometimes it sounds like you are being called to be some sort of individualistic spiritual superman […]

A Normal Christian Life—- Part Three

posted by Ben Witherington

John Wesley was getting aggravated with his Moravian friends because of their quietistic tendencies.   They were having some heated discussions in London about the means of grace, and there were some Moravians even arguing that ‘grace happens’ according to God’s […]

Wright and Witherington and Friends do the Elf Dance

posted by Ben Witherington

http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/view/eCvJM7GiMy7dNGKgjOzV

Come out Fighting—– ‘The Fighter’

posted by Ben Witherington

I’ve been to Lowell Massachusetts, the so-called birthplace of the industrial revolution in America.  It makes the rust belt look like polished steel.  It is hard scrabble, hard drinking, old Irish Catholic territory.  And Mark Wahlberg knows something about this […]

Ed Robb, AFTE, and Christmas Conferences–a Tribute

posted by Ben Witherington

On  Dec. 17th, 2004 a memorial service was held for Edmund Robb Jr. in his beloved Marshall Texas.  I wish I could have been there, and I was so thankful that Steve Harper, the other member of the first class […]

A Normal Christian Life—- Part Two

posted by Ben Witherington

(BW3 contemplating Mr. Wesley in blue jeans) We are all busy people.  And unless we are unemployed a normal Christian life looks like this: 1) eight or more hours a day Monday through Friday we are working; 2)  7-8 hours […]

A Normal Christian Life—- Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

For some  time now, I have been frustrated with what has been happening in the area of spiritual formation.  Yes, I’ve read lots of the literature and especially benefited from the works of folk like Henri Nouwen and deeply appreciate […]

Elf! I Need Somebody— BW3 in Elf Minor

posted by Ben Witherington

Kudos to Lisa Myers for this and the previous  picture.  I had been wondering why I wasn’t feeling like my-elf recently. 

Name Those Asbury Elves

posted by Ben Witherington

‘Two Turtle Doves’…. err Three Turtle Doves….err………

posted by Ben Witherington

Pictures from our backyard in 5 degree weather with 4 new inches of snow….

BW3’s Blog Chosen Top 20 of Blogs by Theology Profs

posted by Ben Witherington

    http://www.masteroftheology.org/top-50-blogs-by-theology-professors.html#18

How to Be Pneumatic without being Charismatic

posted by Ben Witherington

N.B. This video does violence to my pacifistic leanings.For a recent article on the latter—http://spectator.org/archives/2010/12/13/religiously-battling-for-pacif

Quiz Question of the Week

posted by Ben Witherington

Who is the likely inventor of such abbreviations as n.b., e.g., i.e., ad lib. etc. and also symbols such as the ampersand?  Hint, note the language of these abbreviations. No fair Googling or computer searching for the answer.  

Still in Love with You— Gino

posted by Ben Witherington

Magical Magi? Scot McKnight’s Take

posted by Ben Witherington

There’s some discussion now about Brent Landau’s Revelation of the Magi: The Lost Tale of the Wise Men’s Journey to Bethlehem, a new and previously inaccessible translation of a (Syriac) Christian fictional, fantastical text about the magi. Patheos is hosting […]

Jesus and Women— an Interview

posted by Ben Witherington

Jesus and Women from CPX on Vimeo.

The Narnia Franchise Sails On– The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

posted by Ben Witherington

One would think that one of the pre-requisites for a critic who reviews movies based on novels, is that they were actually literate in the most basic sense— namely, that they had actually read the novel, and oh yes, knew […]

VIRGIN TERRITORY— WHY THE VIRGINAL CONCEPTION?

posted by Ben Witherington

                Let’s make one thing clear from the start.  It really shouldn’t be called the virgin birth.  Yes a virgin gave birth in this story, but the miracle took place at the point of conception,  not at the point of […]

Jesus and Money

posted by Ben Witherington

Jesus and Money from CPX on Vimeo.

The World’s Largest Jesus, Muslim Handshakes, and Martha Stewart!

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=365275 Here you will learn of Poland’s attempt to out Jesus South America. And could the Statue of Liberty be a Jesus in disguise statue with a really big crown of thorns???

Jesus the Sage and Wisdom

posted by Ben Witherington

Jesus and Wisdom from CPX on Vimeo.

Signs of the Second Coming—-in North Carolina

posted by Ben Witherington

  When it comes to signs of the second coming, you need to know how and where to look.  For example remember the story in the OT about manna from heaven,  God’s Krispy Kreme doughnuts, fresh every morning, but don’t […]

Jesus, History, and the Greek NT

posted by Ben Witherington

Jesus and History from CPX on Vimeo.

Nothing so Permanent as….

posted by Ben Witherington

  Under a leaden sky                 The geese in V formation                 Head for warmer climes                 An annual migration.   Under  a snowy blanket The earth is hard as rock Yet  it can hear the ticking Of every season’s […]

The Bonding— A Christmas Reflection Poem

posted by Ben Witherington

THE BONDING     A cold and listless season, And full of cheerless cheer, When hopes are raised and dashed again And joy dissolves in tears.   The search for endless family The search for one true Friend Leaves questers […]

Constructing Hobbiton—- Once more

posted by Ben Witherington

If you will magnify this image a bit, you will get an aerial shot of the reconstruction of Hobbiton, complete with a bit of a sneak peak on the cast and related matters. This is indeed precisely the same farm […]

The Last Supper Redivivus

posted by Ben Witherington

See the related article about Peter Greenway’s vision.

A Funny Thing Happened at the Charlotte Mall……

posted by Ben Witherington

Recently Heard on Facebook— A Conversation between Lawson Stone and Ben Witherington on the Bible, Christians, and Violence

posted by Ben Witherington

(Disclaimer—- This conversation between my friend and OT colleague Lawson Stone and me was strictly off the cuff chatting, not refined and carefully edited discourse.  Caveat emptor) Stone: Puzzling, as I often do, over alternatives to the usual approaches to […]

Mike Bird’s Old Spice Commerical about the GNT

posted by Ben Witherington

Chronicles of Narnia—Official Trailer

posted by Ben Witherington

On the Richter Scale—- Sandy Richter in the News

posted by Ben Witherington

Well it isn’t the cover of the Rolling Stone, but I am proud to say the newspaper in Jackson Ms. was smart enough to interview our friend and colleague Sandy Richter, who taught for us for many years (still does […]

Name That Ancient Object

posted by Ben Witherington

  Here are four shots of an ancient object I bought from an antiquities dealer in Jerusalem some years ago.  The first person to correctly identify this object wins a free copy of my recent book on Revelation.   The winner […]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows— Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

If you’re asked the question what is the opposite of well done, the answer should be— half-baked.   And unfortunately, and I didn’t expect to say this, that is what we get for two hours and 37 minutes of the most […]

The Carlos Museum at Emory

posted by Ben Witherington

The Carlos Museum at Emory has a nice small collection of Greco-Roman remains, particularly busts which I thought I would share with you.  The above bust should be familiar—  it is  Julius Caesar himself. As you can see from this […]

Black Friday—- Shop ’til You Drop

posted by Ben Witherington

I was minding my business drinking my morning coffee, and looking out on the unexpected snowfall on Black Friday which made it white Friday here in Lexington when ‘what to my wondering eyes did appear,  then a plane load of […]

Puritanical Eaters: Who’s a Turkey Now?

posted by Ben Witherington

I’ve always been a huge fan of Gary Larson’s  Far Side cartoons, and his Thanksgiving ones are some of his best. But there are others who have now stepped into his shoes since he isn’t entertaining us any more.  For […]

‘Tangled’ Up in You– Finally Some Real Disney Magic

posted by Ben Witherington

Walter Elias Disney, according to one Asheville N.C. legend was once fired as an employee of the Asheville newspaper because he was always doodling— especially drawing pictures of a mouse and a duck.  Whether this story is true or not, […]

Thanksgiving Redivivus

posted by Ben Witherington

Jammin’ at the SBL in Hotlanta

posted by Ben Witherington

The annual general meeting of the whole Society for Biblical Literature (and for ASOR, ETS, and the Biblical Archaeology Society, not to mention the IBR which is the Institute for Biblical Research) was held last week through this Tuesday with […]

SBL Lecture for the Paul and Scripture Seminar

posted by Ben Witherington

‘IN PRINCIPIO ERAT VERBUM': SACRED TEXTS IN AN ORAL CULTURE                                       BenWitherington, III                                     AmosProfessor of NT for Doctoral Studies                                     AsburyTheological Seminary               Ithas become by now a commonplace to point out that Paul and the other earliestChristians […]

Pastor to church leaders: Thou shalt not Facebook

posted by Ben Witherington

  There is an article just posted on MSN about a pastor in Neptune New Jersey who has discovered in marital counseling sessions that Facebook is one of the main sources igniting infidelity and the pursuit of old flames, and […]

Top Twenty Cities in America

posted by Ben Witherington

TOP TWENTY CITIES IN AMERICA (minimum criteria— must be a city of at least 300,000 people)                 As most of you know,  I have lectured all over the place and visited dozens and dozens of cities smallish and largish, and […]

The NIV 2011 and Inclusive Language

posted by Ben Witherington

The process of translation revision is a grueling one, not least because English is a living language and the use and meaning of words keeps changing, and the finding of ancient texts with rare Greek usage keeps happening.    I […]

Good Hobbits are Hard to Find— Filming ‘The Hobbit’

posted by Ben Witherington

I am happy to report that things have finally firmed up when it comes to filming the Hobbit (in two parts and in glorious 3-D).   The filming itself will begin in Feb. 2011 with the first film out in November […]

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE

posted by Ben Witherington

The above is a picture of a Christian veteran in Lexington One of the truisms of history is that those who refuse to learn from the past, learn from the lessons of history, are doomed to repeat that past.   History […]

UNSTOPPABLE IS INEXORABLE– WASHINGTON’S WILD RIDE

posted by Ben Witherington

  There was a time when America had a love affair with trains, before the age when American families thought it was their birth-rite to own 2.5 cars. And so, for most of America, the passenger train went the way […]

Filming the Jesus Quest for the BBC

posted by Ben Witherington

David Batty is a British film producer and direction who works with an outfit called Far Away Films (and Big Book Media).  He is the person, with help from his aide de camp, Rob Slater who convinced me to come […]

John Grisham on Wrongful Conviction in a Murder Case

posted by Ben Witherington

John Grisham’s The Confession

posted by Ben Witherington

I have been a fan of John Grisham for a long time, and I have read most of his ouevre, and have often wanted him to bring in more characters with genuine Christian faith,  since he is such a person, […]

Caesarea Maritima– The Provincial Headquarters

posted by Ben Witherington

At the end of my very brief four the BBC,  I managed to have a few hours catching up with the latest at Caesarea Maritima, where we now can find an amazing ocean front hippodrome (no its not where they […]

Imperium– The Story of Cicero

posted by Ben Witherington

Students desiring to better understand the Greco-Roman world in which and into which the New Testament was written would do well to familiarize themselves with that world by reading the Greco-Roman classics (can you say Loeb classical library) and the […]

Free critically edited Greek New Testament propels biblical scholarship forward

posted by Ben Witherington

BELLINGHAM, WA–October 28, 2010–The Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software announced today the release of The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (SBLGNT), a critically edited Greek New Testament. For the first time ever, students, teachers, pastors and laypeople […]

Gino’s Love Song for His Wife— Gypsy Days

posted by Ben Witherington

The Dig at the Pool of Siloam–2005 until Now

posted by Ben Witherington

Ronnie Reich has spent these last years of his archaeological career digging the Pool of Siloam of John 9 fame. As it turns out, it is spectacular, and indeed it involves far more than at first meets the eye.   […]

Villains as Heroes—If you Don’t Megamind— the Trailer

posted by Ben Witherington

Villains as Heroes, if you don’t Megamind

posted by Ben Witherington

It topped the box office this past weekend, which isn’t hard to do, since most of the movies in the theaters about now are lame in the run up to the Scary Potter megamillions later this month. It is the […]

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years– Donald Miller (Part Two)

posted by Ben Witherington

The last one hundred pages of Don Miller’s latest book are the most important.  Real life persons creating their own stories know they only have so much control. In fact, just about all they can really control is their own […]

Raising the Dead, as Opposed to Raising Hell

posted by Ben Witherington

Here is another brief clip from the DVD Revelation and the End Times.EnjoyBW3

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years– Donald Miller (Part One)

posted by Ben Witherington

As we speak,  Donald Miller and a film crew are finishing up shooting a movie version of his first memoir— Blue Like Jazz, a fine foray into life, albeit coming at it from left field (see the review of it […]

Resources from the Duke Convocation 2010

posted by Ben Witherington

Audio recordings of the lectures and worship services are now available at the following link. http://divinity.duke.edu/initiatives-centers/lifelong-learning/convocation-pastors-school/ You may download the recordings free of charge. Additionally, N.T. Wright talks about why he doesn’t feel he has to choose between being an […]

The Dream Weaver— My Friend Levent

posted by Ben Witherington

This is my friend Levent Oral standing beneath beautiful bouganvillia in the Turkish town where his parents live— Chesme, a beautiful seaside resort town.  Levent runs a tour company called Tutku Tours out of Izmir, another beautiful Turkish seaside town.   […]

The Historical Jesus—- Sean Freyne’s View

posted by Ben Witherington

The latest issue of the magazine I write for, Biblical Archaeology Review,  is now out, and has an interesting and extended interview in it of Sean Freyne, now emeritus Professor of Theology at Trinity College Dublin.  This post will interact […]

The Final Reckoning

posted by Ben Witherington

THE FINAL RECKONING   ‘I reckon you’re right,’  I said. ‘I reckon you righteous’ he replied. My right standing reckoned The eschaton beckoned Where all things materialize.   ‘I hope against hope,’  I said. ‘Who hopes for now?’  he replied. […]

‘We the People’—Music to Vote By

posted by Ben Witherington

Listen to the lyrics of this song, then get out and vote!

Tom Wright on a Christian’s Role in a Democracy

posted by Ben Witherington

    (This is taken from an interview done with N.T. Wright in October during the Duke Convocation). ” I’m very interested in what a Christian vision of wise government might be. There are insights we can bring to bear.  […]

Play Ball— An Ode to Baseball

posted by Ben Witherington

I must admit to getting pretty mushy about baseball, especially at this time of year.  I remember as if it were yesterday when my Dad would take me to see the Greensboro Yankees in the 50s and 60s, and I […]

A PAIN IN THE NECK— THE STORY OF PAIN

posted by Ben Witherington

                   Pain is an odd thing.  I once took a philosophy course at Carolina where we noted its oddity, and then discussed it to death until I was disgusted.  The main point Professor E. Maynard Adams was making […]

Atheists Just Sing the Blues

posted by Ben Witherington

How true it is! I wonder what that says about all those psalms of lament in the Psalter? Just asking I have to say, Steve Martin is my kind of atheist. And he sings o.k. too, with the Canyon Rangers […]

Husbands as Stay at Home Dads?

posted by Ben Witherington

Mark Driscoll is an increasingly popular Christian teacher, with a considerable ministry. One of my students at Asbury Seminary asked me to comment on this video (see above), more specifically on the use of Titus 2 in this video to […]

Non Sequiturs—- Who Will be amongst the ‘Elect'(ed)?

posted by Ben Witherington

  We’re, mercifully, only a week away from what has been one of the nastiest seasons of election campaigns in living memory, with more mud being slung and blood being spilled than in a monster truck rally in Rupp arena […]

Sole Fide, Sole Scriptura— What Did the Reformers Mean?

posted by Ben Witherington

James R. Payton, Getting the Reformation Wrong. Correcting  some Misunderstandings,  (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2010), 240 pages, $23.                 History is unquestionably messy and complex, and this is all the more the case when one is considering some of the […]

The Garden of the Gods

posted by Ben Witherington

Colorado Springs is a pretty, spiritual place in many ways. It is the home of Navigators,  Dobson ministries, the Franciscan Retreat Center (where I met with the Ad Lib society),  the Air Force Chapel, and in terms of general revelation, […]

The Cadet Chapel At the Air Force Academy— Part Three

posted by Ben Witherington

The Jewish Chapel (err Synagogue) is different from the two Christian chapels in that it is basically circular, not in the shape of a rectangle.  One of the interesting features of this chapel is the various mezuzahs in the door […]

‘Hereafter’— The Supernatural Network

posted by Ben Witherington

You know when half the critics are raving that this Clint Eastwood film is his masterpiece and the other half are just raving that something is up.  The premise is not new of course— contact with those in the afterlife […]

The Duke Convocation 2010– N.T. Wright, Part Three

posted by Ben Witherington

The final Gray lecture by Tom Wright was not quite as full of juice as the first one, nevertheless, there were some good points along the way.  This lecture was entitled,  ‘How God Became King’  (on earth, as it is […]

Dog Gone Grace

posted by Ben Witherington

The Cadet Chapel At the Air Force Academy— Part Two

posted by Ben Witherington

The Catholic Chapel at the Cadet Chapel is necessarily more like a grotto chapel with a flat roof, since it is beneath the Protestant Chapel.  Its acoustics are far better than the Protestant Chapel, and it has a spectacular mosaic […]

The Duke Convocation 2010– N.T. Wright, Part Two

posted by Ben Witherington

Tom Wright graced us with two lectures, the James A Gray lectures, during Duke’s Fall Convocation.  James A. Gray was an entrepreneurial Christian lay man from Centenary UMC in Winston Salem, who endowed a chair of Bible at UNC, and […]

The Cadet Chapel At the Air Force Academy— Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

During our free time our Yuliya (now working on her PhD at the U. of Chicago in Theology and the Arts) and I and our friend Roger Nelson  (aka John Wesley) went to see the spectacular Cadet Chapel at the […]

The Duke Convocation 2010– N.T. Wright, Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

Though not part of the Convocation per se,  the Sunday worship service which Ann and I and Christy attended featured Tom Wright preaching on the conjunction of two texts involving lepers. The first, the famous story of Naaman the Syrian, […]

In My Mind I’m Gone to Carolina

posted by Ben Witherington

Above you will see not only my favorite watering hole on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, you also get a glimpse of two relatives of my, geared up to go see the Heels play Son of Clem (i.e. Clemson).  It […]

The Duke Convocation 2010– Andy Crouch

posted by Ben Witherington

Above pictured is the new dean of Duke Divinity School, my good friend (and fellow Braves and Red Sox fan)  Richard Hays.  Here he is introducing Andy Crouch, whose session of culture making seems to have most resonated with the […]

R.E.D.— Retired, Extremely DULL

posted by Ben Witherington

The conception of the movie is understandable after the enormous success of Oceans 11 etc. etc.  It’s a ‘lets get the old gang back together again’ movie.  Some of these movies, like the Oceans 11 franchise are true ensemble cast […]

Ars Longa—No Longer

posted by Ben Witherington

The following is a lecture delivered in beautiful Colorado Springs to the Ad Lib Society, a group of Christian artists from the Midwest and West.  Thanks to Dr. Richard Terrell and all for a wonderful weekend and good hospitality. ARS […]

Archbishop Langton— An Interesting Dude

posted by Ben Witherington

Stuck on the back of Person Hall, at my alma mater, UNC is a statue of an archbishop, one Stephen Langton, late of Canterbury.  The statue was rescued from some rubble somewhere between Big Ben and the Parliament building.  You […]

The Duke Convocation 2010– Rob Bell

posted by Ben Witherington

On Oct. 11-12 of this year, Duke Divinity school hosted its most well attended ever Convocation (over 900 ministers and laity), in the main because of its line up of speakers— N.T. Wright, Rob Bell, and Andy Crouch to just […]

Joke of the Day— Jesus is Nobody’s Pawn

posted by Ben Witherington

“Everything in my parents house is broken. We play chess, and there are six pieces missing. So, we replace them with pieces from my mom’s nativity scene. We’re playing chess with the Virgin Mary and goats and wise men, and […]

The Afterlife

posted by Ben Witherington

Here is another little sample of the DVD Revelation and the End Times now released for use with the book of the same name. It works well in Sunday School or Bible study settings. Check it out

Secretariat— Big Red Moves On to the Silver Screen

posted by Ben Witherington

Meet Secretariat and Ron Turcotte.  It is safe to say that there have been few horses in all of human history like Secretariat.  Oh, perhaps Alexander the Great’s horse would qualify, or Robert E. Lee’s Traveler, but there are few […]

The Return of the King— Christ’s Parousia

posted by Ben Witherington

Here is a clip from my just released DVD series on Revelation and the End Times, a companion to the little book that goes with it. Check it out. You’ll find it online at Amazon, or better yet, if you […]

Marx and Scannell at the Bijou—- Excellent!

posted by Ben Witherington

The images above are of a great old theater with fabulous acoustics, in a great location (downtown Knoxville), at a great concert Oct. 7th.  Keith Jagger (no relation to Mick, he’s my T.A.) and I made the drive down to […]

This is the Way the Trial Ends, Not with a Bang but…….

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/judge-considers-verdict-in-jesus-forgery-case/19659376 After years and years of testimony by a myriad of witnesses, the trial of Oded Golan has come to a quiet halt. Now the matter is in the hands of the judge, who may well deliberate until the end […]

Tony Bennett– Crooner Extraordinaire

posted by Ben Witherington

Anthony Dominick Benedetto is 84 this year, and still going strong. The son of Italian immigrants,  he was raised in New York city, and began his singing career at a very early age.  As a child he grew up listening […]

‘Let’s Face It’– “Social Network”

posted by Ben Witherington

My friends have bugged me for a long time— ‘you need to get on Facebook’.  In response to repeated questions as to why, the usual response was “so you can connect with everyone”, and when I asked why my website […]

The Charles Wesley of the Sudan

posted by Ben Witherington

Jason Byasse is, like myself, a John Wesley Fellow, part of the ever growing network of orthodox Methodists who are concerned with church renewal, church growth, missions, and in general the revitalization of the church.  Here is an interesting story […]

Sola Scriptura—- What Does it Really Mean?

posted by Ben Witherington

One of the battle cries of the Reformation, responding to, among other things, all sorts of Catholic traditions which are not seen as Scriptural in character, was ‘sola Scriptura’— Scripture alone.  It was often coupled with sola gratia and sola […]

I Think my Daughter’s an Arminian–a Response Song

posted by Ben Witherington

I Think My Wife’s a Calvinist— a Hit Song

posted by Ben Witherington

Things go Better with Greek

posted by Ben Witherington

MY TEN FAVORITE ROBERT DUVALL MOVIES AND TV SPECIALS

posted by Ben Witherington

Robert Duvall is probably the best male American actor ofhis generation. He has a long list of great movies and TV specials, so it ishard to pick just ten from his massive oeuvre, but here we go.   1)      TheApostle— […]

‘The Town’—- Beantown

posted by Ben Witherington

It is the oldest proper city in the Northeast. It is also the most European of cities in America.  It still has its very old school ethnic neighborhoods, not least of which is Charlestown with its Irish Catholic population.  My […]

Nemesis— the Latest Lindsey Davis Novel

posted by Ben Witherington

Nemesis, from which we get the transliterated English word, was the Greek god of vengeance, especially exercised about taking action when human beings had been arrogant or hubristic or rude towards the gods.  In fact the name comes from the […]

RANDIAN LIBERTARIANISM—- AN ANTI-CHRISTIAN CREDO

posted by Ben Witherington

              I remember reading Ayn Rand a very long time ago. A lonely immigrant from Russia, whose real name was Alisa Rosenbaum,  her books, particularly Atlas Shrugged but also The Fountainhead, and The Virtue of Selfishness  touted not merely […]

A Little Night Music–from Sade

posted by Ben Witherington

Colbert on Rev Jones and the Manhattan Mosque

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c The Word – Mutually Assured Coercion www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

Jacob’s Ladder—Jacob’s Dream

posted by Ben Witherington

I’ve just returned from doing the Festival of Faith at First Central Presbyterian Church in Abilene Texas, and along the way I got to take some pictures of the beautiful banners and stained glass windows in this beautiful church pastored […]

Ikea Idea for a Cat-astrophic Monday

posted by Ben Witherington

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Are UFOs Real? Can Angels Fly Saucers?

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

9/11 Anniversary—Nine Years Later

posted by Ben Witherington

Those images by now are edged into the subconscious of most of us.  One of my editors for Cambridge U. Press was right down the street when all Hades broke lose above his head.  Many weeks later, he was still […]

The Jesus Manifesto–an Interview with Frank Viola

posted by Ben Witherington

N.B.  I have known Len Sweet for years, and though I have never met Frank Viola in person (unless we are talking about the one who used to pitch for the Red Sox), he and I have corresponded a lot […]

Scary Potter–The Finale Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

‘The American’— Clooney the Assassin

posted by Ben Witherington

The life of an assassin cannot be easy.  They must always look over their shoulder.  They must never engage in lasting relationships that would compromise their anonymity.  They must live a life on the run, and mostly alone.  So much […]

What Will You Do?

posted by Ben Witherington

  What will you do When your race is through And you’re nowhere near the finish line?   What will you do When it doesn’t come true And you leave your dreams behind?   What will you do When folk […]

‘Get Low’ Rates High

posted by Ben Witherington

I have, for as long as I can remember, been an enormous fan of Robert Duvall. Even in his first cameo role as Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird, he was something special.  I have loved his various cowboy […]

The SBL Kerfuffle—- Should Christian Scholars Participate?

posted by Ben Witherington

Here is an article in Christianity Today about the recent kerfuffle about whether believing scholars should participate in the guild— the Society of Biblical Literature. This was all prompted by an article by Ron Hendel in BAR earlier this year.  […]

‘Get Low’–a Preview of a Great Film

posted by Ben Witherington

The Jesus Seminar— 25 Years Later

posted by Ben Witherington

Jeff MacDonald, a good journalist has written an article for the Religious News Service which has now appeared in the Huffington Post about the impact of the Jesus Seminar 25 years later, and what they are up to now.  Here […]

Food for Thought

posted by Ben Witherington

BRAIN FOOD   I’ve got a genuine replica brain, It’s a collectible rendition, I grant it’s not the latest model, But it’s in good condition.   It still processes data pretty well Though there are some memory lapses It distinguishes […]

Never Give Up

posted by Ben Witherington

Beck Beckons at the Lincoln Memorial

posted by Ben Witherington

On the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a Dream’ speech, somewhere between 300,000 and 600,000 people showed up for a rally at the Lincoln Memorial featuring speeches by Glenn Beck (a Mormon) and Sarah Palin (some sort […]

Leighton Ford on a Christian Approach to Muslims

posted by Ben Witherington

Leighton Ford is an old Charlotte friend of mine, and was formerly Billy Graham’s right hand man in the Billy Graham Association.  I find what he says in this post both sensible, sane, and well worth reflection.  BW3 Jesus and […]

Honest to God

posted by Ben Witherington

  There is no unmoved Mover Who set the stars a-spin And crawled back into heaven Never seen again.   There is no old Watchmaker Who wound all things up tight And then retreated quietly Removed from thought or sight. […]

Near Cat-tastrophe of the Day

posted by Ben Witherington

Jesus and Money— the Convocation Address

posted by Ben Witherington

My book Jesus and Money is being picked up as a textbook this Fall, including at Greenville College in Ill. where I will be giving the Convocation Address this week.  Here is the text of the address. JESUS AND MONEY […]

Cross Talk in Poland

posted by Ben Witherington

For some weeks now, there have been a lot of protests and prayers being offered in the capital of Poland, and the center of attention and controversy is a large wooden cross and a former President who is both revered […]

The Road Less Travelled

posted by Ben Witherington

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled by…..” “Walking down a country road” “The highway to Hell” The road to nowhere. Shoreline drive. The roundabout way to get there. Tunnel vision. “The long […]

The Faith of Barack Obama

posted by Ben Witherington

Despite repeated denials,  there are still many conservative persons, including many conservative Christians who think the President of the United States is a Muslim.  One can only imagine that his recent remarks about the proposed mosque in N.Y. near ground […]

More Novel Ideas

posted by Ben Witherington

The summer fun reading period is almost over, but I wanted to mention two excellent novels that give you a better feel for the first century world in which the NT was written.  Both novels are set in the 70s […]

Everything you Want— Is not Everything you Need

posted by Ben Witherington

For further developments of this theme see my Jesus and Money. Music courtesy of a band from my wife’s neighborhood in Massachusetts—- Vertical Horizon

The Indelible Image— an Interview with Nijay Gupta

posted by Ben Witherington

Interview with Ben Witherington III on THE INDELIBLE IMAGE http://nijaygupta.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/interview-with-ben-witherington-iii-on-the-indelible-image/ Ben Witherington III, Amos Professor of NT for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary (KY), is a highly competent interpreter of Scripture and a prolific author. We have some interesting similarities. […]

The Changing Face of Seminary Education

posted by Ben Witherington

Cary Hughes sent me a link to an article on Don Carson’s blog about seminary education and what needs to change about it. Here is the link to the article  http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2010/08/13/tgc-asks-what-one-thing-you-would-change-about-seminary-education/ What intrigues me about this article is two fold. […]

Theological Books Down Under

posted by Ben Witherington

One of the real problems for theological education in far flung places like Australia and New Zealand is the cost of theological books. Having spent a good deal of this and last summer Down Under in both countries, it is […]

What Happens when Two Ministers Get Their Just Desserts

posted by Ben Witherington

We were just responding to the mandate of Queen Marie Antoinette.  That other dude is Mark Stevens a Aussie minister who lives in a parallel universe called Happy Valley. They’d all be happy if they got to eat the chocolate […]

Now Open for Business– the Moral Compass Action Center

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c <td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'Moral Compass 5000 Action Center www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

Jesus and Friends Down Under

posted by Ben Witherington

I’ve just returned from a challenging three week lecture and preaching stint in Australia and near the end I was able to go see an art exhibition at the gallery in Sydney entitled Victorian Visions, thanks to friends Andrea and […]

Lands of the Bible 2010– Sagalassos

posted by Ben Witherington

Nestled well up in the mountains north of Antalya and south of Psidian Antioch is the ancient city of Sagalassos, a spectacular archaeological site we visited on the last day of our tour. Here on the mountains Alexander the Great […]

Colbert touts 3-D Catholic TV

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

Lands of the Bible 2010– Patara

posted by Ben Witherington

The last place Paul put into port in Turkey before he headed to Jerusalem on his 3rd missionary journey was Patara (see Acts 21.1).  It is an enormous archaeological site at which there is now much restoration work. Among other […]

Lands of the Bible 2010– Kas, and Carry

posted by Ben Witherington

There are many wonderful little fishing villages on the south coast of Turkey, many of which you can only really visit by boat.  Kas (pronounced Kash) is one such place, being the site of the ancient Greek city named Antiphellus. We see […]

Clergy who Lose Their Faith— James Howell’s Reflections

posted by Ben Witherington

CLERGY WHO HAVE LOST THEIR FAITH      While I can feel sympathy for clergy who have lost their faith, I do have a few questions for them, more for their professors in seminary, a handful for Daniel Dennett, and a […]

Lands of the Bible 2010– Demre

posted by Ben Witherington

One of our last stops on the Gullet boat tour was the impressive little town of Demre, also basically inaccessible except by water. This was another Greek fishing village, that has some fortifications from the Ottoman period, and more interestingly, […]

The Grocery Store at Corinth

posted by Ben Witherington

Hard by the Isthmus is the Basilopoulos grocery story, which in itself is worth a visit on the way to the ancient site.  The first two pictures below show the several story store, which in fact is more than a […]

Atoning for Neglecting the Atonement

posted by Ben Witherington

    (This lecture will be delivered in another form at the IBR meeting at the SBL in Atlanta in November) THE DEATH OF SIN IN THE DEATH OF JESUS: ATONEMENT THEOLOGY IN THE NT Dr. Ben Witherington, III Amos […]

Even More Finger Lickin Pickin—- Don Ross

posted by Ben Witherington

Watch the right hand closely on this one…..He uses a thumb pick.

Me and Orson Welles– a Classy Period Piece

posted by Ben Witherington

In a small art theater in the Carlton district of Melbourne, here in Australia, I was taken to see this classy period piece telling a small bit of the story of Orson Welles (the man who famously read War of […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Name those Greek Deities

posted by Ben Witherington

Are the Gospel Accounts Unreliable?

posted by Ben Witherington

What Changed Paul into Christ’s Follower?

posted by Ben Witherington

Lands of the Bible 2010— the Rock Cut Tombs in Lycia

posted by Ben Witherington

The cult of the dead, and the honoring of the dead was of huge importance in all of the Biblical world, including in the Greco-Roman portion of that world.  People spent huge sums of money to be buried in prominent […]

Gulet Boat Pics from St. Nicholas’ Island

posted by Ben Witherington

That’s Levent Oral,  my tour company owner friend from Izmir with me.

How Historical are the Gospel Accounts?

posted by Ben Witherington

Lands of the Bible 2010– The Island of St. Nick

posted by Ben Witherington

When Christians began in the fourth century to go on pilgrimages to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, if they were coming from Italy, Greece, Turkey or anywhere west of Israel, they tended to come most of the way by boat. […]

What’s the Most Crucial Part of Jesus’s Life?

posted by Ben Witherington

Lands of the Bible 2010–The Gullet Boat Trip

posted by Ben Witherington

At the end of our time in Turkey, my friend Levent Oral arranged for us to do a boat trip around the south coast of Turkey, stopping here and there to see some ruins on several islands and a couple […]

What Did Jesus’ Family Think of his Ministry?

posted by Ben Witherington

Our New Thriller— Papias and the Mysterious Menorah

posted by Ben Witherington

The third archaeological thriller in the Art West series (of seven) has just come out, and is available from Amazon, and even more cheaply from www.wipfandstock.com.  I am challenging you fiction hounds out there to get a copy and put […]

Was Jesus the Son of Man?

posted by Ben Witherington

Lands of the Bible 2010 The Underground Churches and the Churches of Constantine

posted by Ben Witherington

          You can clobber your head by visiting the underground churches, but what is most important to realize is that they were part of a huge network of underground cities or dwelling and storage places. The […]

Of Inflatable Churches and Holographic Pastors

posted by Ben Witherington

Sometime back I told you the story of an inflatable Catholic Church a priest was using on a beach to get Catholic beachcombers to come to Mass and take the sacrament, apparently with some success.  Below is a picture of […]

Donald Miller and the Gospel of ‘Gentiles’

posted by Ben Witherington

Like many others, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Blue like Jazz;  There is now a new book by Donald Miller  ‘Father Fiction’   Here is the cover—   There is a connection between Donald Miller and Don Piper, and it is a […]

Was Jesus a Qumranite?

posted by Ben Witherington

Lands of the Bible 2010– Inside The Cave Churches

posted by Ben Witherington

One of the more fascinating aspects of Capadoccia is of course the cave churches, and when I say cave churches,  you should not think primitive.  I mean elaborately carved, painted, decorated churches in caves. This practice of course began when […]

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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