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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.

Lands of the Bible 2010-Aspendos

posted by Ben Witherington

Certainly one of the most spectacular Roman theaters in Turkey is at Aspendos, not least because the vast majority of it has been preserved or restored and one gets such a clear image of such a gargantuan place.  Here Greek […]

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How Influenced was Jesus by his Context? Was he a Peasant?

posted by Ben Witherington

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Inception— a Trailer

posted by Ben Witherington

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The Immaculate ‘Inception’— a Great Psy-Fi Thriller

posted by Ben Witherington

“To sleep, perchance to dream-ay, there’s the rub.” Hamlet (III, i, 65-68) I have a friend in Charlotte who records all his dreams in a dream journal.  He loves to try and ponder what the heck is going on in […]

Was Jesus a Political Figure with a Political Message?

posted by Ben Witherington

Sin–A Dark Tale— Final Chapter

posted by Ben Witherington

SIN— FINAL CHAPTER               Gary Anderson concludes his study of the history of the concept of sin with a discussion of Anselm’s treatment (11-12century) of the subject in a classic work Cur Deus Homo?  Or Why the God-Man or […]

Despicable Me—- the Trailer

posted by Ben Witherington

Despicable Me— a Wicked Good Movie

posted by Ben Witherington

For those of us with gray hair, the iconic image above is all too familiar.  It is the image of Alfred Hitchcock, or at least a caricature of him, as he appeared in some of his famous ‘Alfred Hitchcock presents’ […]

A Prayer for Leroy

posted by Ben Witherington

The preacher said, “Anyone with ‘special needs’ who wants to be prayed over, come forward to the altar.”   With that, Leroy got in line and when it was his turn, the preacher asked, “Leroy, what do you want me […]

Lands of the Bible—Ballooning over Capadoccia II

posted by Ben Witherington

Up up and away with Dan the camera man in our beautiful balloon.

Did Jesus do Miracles?

posted by Ben Witherington

What We Do in Kentucky When we Can’t Afford Drums

posted by Ben Witherington

Voyage of the Dawn Treader– The Official Trailer

posted by Ben Witherington

Before I head off to Narnia, errrr, Australia, where I will visit the set of the new Narnia adventure, here finally is the official trailer for the movie scheduled for release on Dec. 10th.

Lands of the Bible—Ballooning over Capadoccia I

posted by Ben Witherington

Capadoccia came to be called the Christian region of Turkey. It is indeed where the many famous cave churches and underground churches are, the region of the really amazing looking fufa hills which are soft and can be carved into […]

More Finger-Pickin that Finger-Lickin Good—Don Ross

posted by Ben Witherington

Don Ross sometimes collaborates with Andy McKee and they are both indebted to Michael Hedges, which is in no way a bad thing. This one is called Klimbim. Enjoy

What Did Jesus Look Like, and Does it Matter?

posted by Ben Witherington

King James Puts his Head in a Miami Vice

posted by Ben Witherington

No athlete in history who has won no championships at either the college or professional level has ever received the hype Lebron James has gotten in the last couple of months as basketball fans waited with baited breath to see […]

Lands of the Bible—The Sea of Galilee

posted by Ben Witherington

Call it a sea, call it a lake, call it Kinneret, the Sea of Tiberias (see John 21), or the sea of Galilee, it is certain a beautiful place, but a sea, by any normal modern definition, it is not.  […]

More Andy McKee— Driftin’

posted by Ben Witherington

Here is a good example of Andy McKee playing much in the same mode as Michael Hedges. This is a very good song indeed.

Knight and Day— Get Your Motor Runnin’

posted by Ben Witherington

 I realize this may come as a total surprise to many of you, but sometimes movie critics get it wrong.  Really wrong.  I had hesitated to go see the new Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz movie (see their smiling faces […]

Sin–Chapter 11

posted by Ben Witherington

SIN–CHAPTER 11               In Chapter 11 of his study,. Gary Anderson focuses on texts (Biblical and rabbinic) that he believes are of relevance to the discussion of the concept of a treasury in heaven, and of almsgiving to the […]

The Art of Motion–Andy McKee

posted by Ben Witherington

As most of you know I am a string player (guitars, violin etc.) and I know talent when I see it. Here is an enjoyable introduction to Andy McKee. This song is in the tradition of Michael Hedges.. I will […]

Lands of the Bible— The Dead Sea and those Scrolls

posted by Ben Witherington

So who is that dude in the Dead Sea with the T-shirt that reads Med. Sea (with a blue fish) and below that Red Sea (with a Red fish) and finally below that Dead Sea (with a dead fish)?  Yep, […]

Sin— Chapter 10

posted by Ben Witherington

SIN–CHAPTER 1O               Anderson begins his tenth chapter by quoting a couple of church fathers that provide evidence that sin and salvation were seen in mercantile terms, in terms of credits and debits,  benefits and deficits. The quote from […]

Brazilian Baby Dances (the Samba) for Joy

posted by Ben Witherington

The New Face of Evangelicalism

posted by Ben Witherington

There is a new program on ABC at 2:30p.m. on Tuesdays entitled Beliefs. Here is one of the episodes that alter reader Carey Hughes found.

Lands of the Bible—Sardis

posted by Ben Witherington

Without question one of my favorite sites to visit and revisit is Sardis, home of the fancy synagogue and even fancier gymnasium lovingly restored by a team from Harvard. The picture immediately above is of the Torah shrine portion of the […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Laodicea and Hierapolis II

posted by Ben Witherington

Hierapolis, today known as Pammukale (cotton castle) has also been undergoing an upgrade including an upgrade of  imaginative  signs.  The town gets its modern name from the limestone cliffs that characterize the area and the hot springs that people since antiquity have […]

Yahweh or No Way: Vatican endorses Blues Brothers…and Glenn Beck: Part Two

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Prophet Glenn Beck – Father Guido Sarducci www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

Yahweh or No Way: Vatican endorses Blues Brothers…and Glenn Beck: Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Yahweh Or No Way – The Blues Brothers & Glenn Beck www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

Lands of the Bible 2010–Laodicea and Hierapolis I

posted by Ben Witherington

The alert reader will know that I have already, last year posted a good deal of material on the massive archaeological dig at Laodicea (while Colossae still remains undug at all) and we have also posted a good deal of […]

The Earliest Iconic Images of Peter and Paul?

posted by Ben Witherington

Some of you may have heard reports immanating from Rome that the earliest pictures ever of Peter, Paul (and other apostles) have been found in the catacombs. Several things should be said about this: 1) the claim is these images […]

Lands of the Bible—Aphrodisias

posted by Ben Witherington

One of the best Greco-Roman sites in all of Turkey is Aphrodisias, and if you have read the most recent issue of BAR you will know it was not just a site for pagans, but also Jews and Christians lived […]

Threepeat!— Toy Story III

posted by Ben Witherington

    It is always difficult to top a classic film like Toy Story, but when you have some of the most talented writers and illustrators at Pixar and some of the most familiar voices (i.e. Tom Hanks, Joan Cusack […]

Lands of the Bible—Ephesus Part Two

posted by Ben Witherington

There is so much to see at Ephesus that even several trips and even with having a trained guide, there are things one misses. Here above is the oden of Domitian today at the upper end of Curetes street. But what would […]

Colbert on Prothero on How All Religions are not One

posted by Ben Witherington

Here is a very interesting recent clip from the Colbert Report based on Prothero’s recent book entitled God is Not One, the point of which is that those who say all religions are one (and therefore bad, or therefore good, […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–The Cave Church of Paul and Thecla

posted by Ben Witherington

Before the time of Constantine when Christianity became a legal or licit religion, Christians met in private places— homes being the most obvious. But they also met in caves, and turned caves into churches.  This seems to have especially happened […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Ephesus Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

Ephesus was indeed the city that Paul seems to have spent more time in than any other during his missionary period of life.  He was here for over two years at one stretch and important letters of Paul (such as […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Miletus

posted by Ben Witherington

Paul’s speech to the Ephesian elders at Miletus is, interestingly enough, the only full blown speech by Paul in Acts which is addressed to Christians. This speech then, not surprisingly bears the closest resemblance in content to some of the […]

Are You an Ichthusiast? Ichthus 2010

posted by Ben Witherington

    (Skillet at the 2007 Icthus Festival) I remember 1969 all too well.  I went to N.Y. to Fillmore East with my Methodist Youth Group and we saw Joe Cocker and the Jefferson Airplane.  The first CSN album had […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Alexandria Troas and Assos

posted by Ben Witherington

There are a wide variety of sites mentioned in passing in the NT which were nonetheless very important places in the ancient world.  Two of these are Alexander’s Troas and Assos. Acts 20 recounts Paul’s visit to Troas (not the […]

Iron Man 2– the Stark Realities

posted by Ben Witherington

Just when I was convinced that Ozzy was Iron Man, along came Robert Downey Jr. And the first Iron Man movie really kicked butter.  It would be hard to top, and sure enough  installment 2 of this Marvel Comic hits […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Istanbul

posted by Ben Witherington

Certainly one of the most interesting and cosmopolitan cities in the world is Istanbul. This is a city of many names and many cultures, both east and west, indeed its residents like to boast that it is the only major […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Philippi

posted by Ben Witherington

The two most important Biblical sites in Greece from an archaeological point of view are Corinth and Philippi. There is very little to see at either Berea or Thessalonike from the first century era.  But Philippi is an embarrassment of […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Meteora

posted by Ben Witherington

Meteora is an interesting place, rather like Capadoccia in Turkey (on which see a later post on this blog). Only instead of Christians being under ground, at Meteora they are up in the air, on top of cliffs in monasteries. […]

The Last Station–Tolstoy’s Demise

posted by Ben Witherington

There are not many features films made in Russia these days, but one that is both outstanding and heavily nominated for awards is ‘The Last Station’, the story about the end of Leo Tolstoy’s life. Yes of course the movie […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Delphi

posted by Ben Witherington

Without question, the oracle at Delphi was the most famous prophet or prophetess in all the Greco-Roman world. Most ancient’s views on prophecy were shaped by what went on at prophetic sites like this one seen above (the Temple of […]

The Gospel of Jesus–The Last Part

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER THIRTY SIX: RISING TO THE OCCASION Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Miryam of Migdal, accompanied by several other Galilean women, went to the tomb of Jesus and saw that the stone […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–The Asclepion at Corinth

posted by Ben Witherington

One of the more fascinating aspects of life in ancient Corinth is what went on in the temple of Asklepion,  the god of healing (from which we get the modern symbol for medicine with the staff and the serpent).  What […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Cenchreae

posted by Ben Witherington

O.K. so it just looks like another ocean shot.  What it actually is is the harbor of Cenchreae which was the eastern seaport for Corinth.  This locale is important because it is the home of the first Christian person to […]

‘We the People’— Vanelli, Cobham, Acuna

posted by Ben Witherington

Without question, Billy Cobham is one of the great drummers of our time, and on his recent album he assembled an all star cast in support—- Chaka Khan, Gino Vanelli, Alex Acuna, John Scofield and more. This song flat out […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–Corinth and the Isthmus

posted by Ben Witherington

Behold the canal carved through the isthmus just north of ancient Corinth. This canal has a long history, going back to Nero, who began to have the canal dug so ships would not have to be dragged across the isthmus […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Thirty Four

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER THIRTY FOUR: THE DEMISE OF THE SON OF MAN As the Roman soldiers led Jesus away, they seized Simon from Cyrene (a Roman colony on the north coast of Africa). Simon was a Diaspora Jew on his way to […]

Robin of the Hood— the Prequel

posted by Ben Witherington

R?dley Scott has a penchant for mak?ng b?g mov?es w?th sweep and grandeur and th?s ?s definitely one of them despi?te some of the ludite cr?t?cs reviews who either don’t much know or don’t much care about English h?story.  This […]

Lands of the Bible 2010–The New Parthenon Museum

posted by Ben Witherington

Although I am not generally given to hyperbole, the new museum of the Parthenon in Athens deserves every awe-inspiring adjective I can muster. The brain child of architect Bernard Tschumi’s creative mind,  it stands, as the Financial Times recently said […]

LOST—Final Commentary

posted by Ben Witherington

As the Grateful Dead once said— What a long strange trip we’ve been on.  In this case the trip has lasted six years and more than a hundred episodes with only 4 hours worth not actually filmed on the island […]

The Lands of the Bible 2010— Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

I have just returned from five weeks of filming and traveling in Greece, Turkey, and Israel in preparation for making six DVDs about Jesus, Paul, and the Earliest Christians.  What I will be sharing with you in a series of […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Thirty Three

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER THIRTY THREE: THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF JESUS Jesus was well and truly alone now, having been abandoned by all his Galilean male disciples. Eliezer, though he had not abandoned Jesus, and had indeed gained access to Caiaphas’ house […]

Grains

posted by Ben Witherington

Sometimes I feel,Like a grain of sandOn a giant beachBy an endless sea. Sometimes I feel,Like a grain of saltSeasoning’s savorOn a mundane menu. Sometimes I feel,Like a grain of senseIn a cold cacophonyOf violent voices. Sometimes I feel,Like a […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Thirty Two

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER THIRTY TWO: A DAY OF INFAMY The afternoon passed quickly, and the rendezvous at Bethany had happened without incident. The time came when Jesus sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying […]

Cherish the Day– Our 33rd Anniversary

posted by Ben Witherington

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Thirty One

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER THIRTY ONE: WIDOWS AND FEMALE DISCIPLES The morning time in the Temple courts on Thursday began with Jesus sitting with his disciples opposite of where people would come and throw money into the vessels called temple treasuries. These were […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Thirty

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER THIRTY: ABIDING TRUTHS The meal on Wednesday evening was not elaborate, and the mood was more somber than celebratory. After two days of confrontation with authorities and some people in the crowds, the disciples wondered what could be next. […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twenty Nine

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWENTY NINE: SPARRING WITH PHARISEES AND SADDUCEES It was mid-week by now, and Jesus continued to teach fearlessly in the Temple courts. On this morning the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twenty Eight

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT: ANOTHER MEAL IN BETHANY, ANOTHER LESSON It was still several days before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twenty Seven

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN: A GRAND ENTRANCE AND PROPHETIC SIGNS The day had come and the time was at hand for Jesus to do something he had never done before— make a grand entrance into a city, and not just any […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twenty Six

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWENTY SIX: THE SUMMONS FROM BETHANY Eliezer, Jesus’ most beloved disciple had become gravely ill, so his sisters sent word to Jesus, “Master, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not […]

The Story of Sin— A Dark Tale Part Nine

posted by Ben Witherington

In the 9th chapter of Gary Anderson’s book on sin,  having established that sin could be viewed as a debt in Biblical times and thereafter,  he points out that the natural antinomy to such commercial language for sin was of […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twenty Five

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE: DOUBLE VISION Jesus and the disciples had come to Jericho, a city which another ‘Yeshua’/Jesus had made famous in ancient times. The city had become important again because Herod had built his summer palace there and various […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twenty Four

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR: RECONNOITERING WITH THE DISCIPLES The reunion with the disciples found them both positively excited but at the same time perplexed. On the one hand, they seem to have been received with appreciation in many places. On the […]

The Story of Sin— A Dark Tale Part Eight

posted by Ben Witherington

In Chapter Seven Anderson does his best to balance the scales of how early Jews including rabbinic ones view their God, by stressing that there is plenty of evidence of God being viewed as gracious and merciful,  finding ways to […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twenty Three

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWENTY THREE: BETTER ONE DAY IN HIS COURTS Eliezer and the two sisters, and several other sympathizers gathered with Jesus very early the next morning to walk with him into the Temple courts. Word got out that he was […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twenty Two

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWENTY TWO: BACK TO BETHANY The journey to Jerusalem this time had been relatively uneventful. Jesus was able to travel faster because he was alone. He had longed to spend some more time with Eliezer, Martha and Mary, and […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twenty One

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWENTY ONE: TWO BY TWO The ministry of Jesus had gone on now for well over a year and a half, and there had been many ups and downs, surprises and delights, good times and bad times. None of […]

The Story of Sin— A Dark Tale Part Seven

posted by Ben Witherington

In the world of the ANE, weights and measures were crucial, not least because ancient economies were mostly barter economies, not money economies. The way the value of some goods was estimated in antiquity was by putting them on a […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twenty

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWENTY: BEYONDS ALL BOUNDS, BEYOND ALL EXPECTATIONS Dawn came early, and Jesus was already up, eating a crust of bread and drinking some water from the well in the middle of the courtyard at Simon’s own house. The disciples […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Nineteen

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER NINETEEN: FOOD AND FOOD FOR THOUGHT An uneasiness had settled in among Jesus’ disciples as they were unsure of who exactly Jesus was or where this ministry was going. Jesus seemed to have alienated not only his family and […]

The Story of Sin— A Dark Tale Part Six

posted by Ben Witherington

In the fifth chapter of his study of sin,  Gary Anderson probes some material in Leviticus 25-26, and here some of his critical assumptions about Leviticus become crucial.  Like many, but certainly not all scholars, Anderson believes that Leviticus is […]

Joy: The Elixer of Faith

posted by Ben Witherington

(The following is a brief excerpt from my forthcoming Philippians commentary. ‘Enjoy!’) JOY– THE ELIXIR OF FAITH, THEEFFERVESCENCE OF HOPE               Scholarshave often pondered the semantic range of the words chara and chairein andthere have been a variety of […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Eighteen

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: THE WOMAN AT THE WELL Jesus and the disciples had travelled a full day, after spending a night on the road, before they came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Seventeen

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES The journey through Samaria proved to be uneventful, as Jesus had suggested. No one stopped them or inquired of them, and there were no requests for miracles. They did come upon a fellow traveler […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Sixteen

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: CROSSING BORDERS Across the Kinneret lake was the region of Gerasa, and Jesus had concluded that it was time to get out of Galilee for a while. What clinched this plan in his mind was that after staying […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Fifteen

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: ‘HE CAME UNTO HIS OWN….’ Jesus took his disciples a slightly different way over the hills to Netzerit on this occasion. They came in through the little village of Nain which was only a few miles from Jesus’ […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Fourteen

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: TWELVE FOR THE TWELVE TRIBES, AND WOMEN TOO Much had happened since Jesus had been away from Kefer-Nahum, and the talk of Galilee was the ministries of John and Jesus, with numerous discussions on why they were so […]

The Story of Sin— A Dark Tale Part Five

posted by Ben Witherington

In his fourth chapter (the first chapter in part two, entitled ‘Making a Payment On one’s Debt),  Professor Anderson goes on to point that this notion of sin as a debt, is clear enough even in the latter part of […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Thirteen

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: THE ANALYSIS OF A PARALYSIS One of the things Jesus had been reflecting on during his stay in Bethany is the different mission and ministry strategies that would be required in Judea in proclaiming the good news about […]

Jesus and Money on the Radio

posted by Ben Witherington

Here is a link to an interview I did today on a west coast radio show on my book Jesus and money.   See what you think. http://debbiechavezshow.com/2010/04/21/04212010-jesus-and-money.aspx BW3

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Twelve

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWELVE: SOJOURN IN JUDEA Jesus realized it would be wise for him to get away from Kefer-Nahum for a while and so he told his disciples they should stay and work here for a few days, that he would […]

The Story of Sin— A Dark Tale Part Four

posted by Ben Witherington

In chapter 3 the plot of the story of sin thickens, or since we are talking about sin, one could say the plot sickens.  At the outset of the chapter,  Gary Anderson demonstrates how the Hebrew phrase nasa awon is […]

Noah’s Ark Found—–Again???

posted by Ben Witherington

In a story released just today on Fox News, we have new claims that Noah’s Ark has been found in eastern Turkey. I heard rumors of this last May when I was in Turkey, but only now has the team […]

The Wheaton Theology Conference

posted by Ben Witherington

If you are a Tom Wright fan, then this is the right conference for you. Here’s a link to some of the lectures and presentations at the April 16-17th conference at Wheaton — http://samson.wheaton.edu/wetn/lectures-theology10.html

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Eleven

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER ELEVEN: RETURN TO THE SEASHORE It was Friday, and the travelers had been moving with some pace as they wanted to reach Kefer Nahum, the village named after the prophet Nahum, in time for the Shabbat service in the […]

The Story of Sin— A Dark Tale Part Three

posted by Ben Witherington

           If you are a serious student of the Bible and its key terms and metaphors, it does not take long before you realize that ‘sin’ is seen as something more than just a momentary lapse of good judgment resulting […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Ten

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TEN: WINING AND DINING The wedding feast turned out to be the biggest celebration of the year in this small village. Practically everyone in town was invited, and even some who were not initially invited showed up after last […]

The Story of Sin— A Dark Tale Part Two

posted by Ben Witherington

In the first chapter of his important book,  Gary Anderson lays out his cards as to how to approach the issue of sin.  His will be a history of ideas and their development approach, or put another way, a diachronic […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Nine

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER NINE: COMING TO QANA It did not take long for Andrew to notice some noteworthy differences between Jesus and John the baptizer. Jesus was no ascetic, nor did he dress in spartan or prototypical prophetic clothing, nor did he […]

The Story of Sin— A Dark Tale Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

One of my best friends, A.J. Levine, a NT professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School was teaching at a penitentiary in the Nashville area named Riverbend. The subject on the occasion was the Lord’s Prayer.  Bob Smetana in the Nashville newspaper […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Eight

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER EIGHT: SIMON AND CEPHAS He sat by the lake skimming stones across the placid water. It was early morning and only the fishermen had been out on the lake thus far, and with little results as the air and […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Seven

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER SEVEN: LOOKING FOR LEARNERS While John’s preaching and baptizing might well be serving as a wake up call for many Galileans and Judeans, for Jesus it had led to reflections not about amendment of life, but about the time […]

The OIe Sport Weighs in—- ESPN are you listening?

posted by Ben Witherington

Last night on ESPN there was this huge debate as to whether baseball or football is a better sport. The debate was rather easily won by Buck Showalter and was seconded by Dave Winfield, who are both of course, baseball […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Six

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER SIX: FEELING THE HEAT Jesus had fasted and prayed before, but this time he knew he needed to do so in earnest. He felt confident that now with the Spirit upon him he would be able to endure a […]

3-D Movies— From Duds to Dudes, from Krakens to Dragons

posted by Ben Witherington

In the wake of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, 3-D movies have become all the rage, and a growing trend in the theater.  But when one watches a film like the remake of the 1981 film, Clash of the Titans,  […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Five

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER FIVE: JOHN AND JESUS AT THE JORDAN When Jesus awoke numerous of those staying at the oasis had already packed up and left, either heading home from being with John the previous day, or heading down the slope into […]

It’s About Faith

posted by Ben Witherington

The Formula that Explains the Trinity

posted by Ben Witherington

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Four

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER FOUR: A WOMAN POSSESSED AND A MAN ON A MISSION The discussion with James, more like an argument, had not gone as Jesus had hoped. James, always a bit feisty anyway, being the second eldest, had not liked having […]

The Merchant of Dreams

posted by Ben Witherington

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Three

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER THREE: MIGDAL AND QANA On the northwest corner of the sea called Kinneret or Tiberias sat the little village of Migdal, between Kefer-Nahum and Bet-saida. All three of these villages were fishing villages, and business was booming at this […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part Two

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER TWO: A DEEP CONVERSATION AND A DISTURBING DREAM Miryam had sensed at once something was amiss when Jesus barely touched his supper. He was far too preoccupied and was not his normal jovial, joyful self. He seemed distant, reserved […]

The Gospel of Jesus–Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS A TRUE STORY By Ben Witherington, III INCOGNITO He came in incognito, A thinly veiled disguise The not so subtle son of man, A human with God’s eyes. The messianic secret, Left many unawares A God […]

Signs of the Times

posted by Ben Witherington

The Real Face of Jesus— Shrouded in Mystery

posted by Ben Witherington

Do you recognize this man?  This of course is the image on the famous Shroud of Turin, perhaps at this juncture the most famous Christian relic of all.  But is it Jesus?  Medical experts have examined the Shroud in detail […]

Beware of the Dogs– Philippians 3.2

posted by Ben Witherington

One of the real problems in Biblical scholarship is that it is too often an armchair profession.  Biblical scholars sit in their chairs and study and write. This is good as far as a it goes, but if you don’t […]

Apocalypse Soon……… On DVD

posted by Ben Witherington

Open With Music_512K_Stream.mov

Sister Act for Real— Real Nuns Teaching Theology

posted by Ben Witherington

Colbert on Papal Wristy Behavior

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Pope Wrist Watch www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care reform

Trace Elements

posted by Ben Witherington

  Imagination, that restless ghost Will not stop haunting me, Will not stop hunting me, Or leave me in peace.   Its voice is insistent Persistent Consistent Resistent To my lethargy.   Like rain beating On my window Sometimes just […]

Colbert on Angling for Priests— Holy Water under the Bridge?

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Holy Water Under the Bridge – Randall Balmer www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care reform

The Wesley Thefts— A Drew Mystery (and I don’t mean Nancy)

posted by Ben Witherington

John and Charles could never have imagined it, but a student at Drew University has stolen various letters from the Methodist Archives, including some of Wesleys own original letters, and tried to sell them in the U.K. for major money.  […]

Colbert skewers Beck, with the help of Fr. Martin

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Glenn Beck Attacks Social Justice – James Martin www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care reform

I Shutter to Think— Shutter Island

posted by Ben Witherington

Psychological thrillers of the first magnitude have been few and far between in recent years.  Oh yes, there has been the occasional Beautiful Minds kind of film that messes with you, but since the era of Hitchcock and Bergman there […]

Caution: Work in Progress– a Theology of Work

posted by Ben Witherington

(Image courtesy of Google and Mr. Chester of the United Kingdom) I am working on a little book on work for Eerdmans.  I thought I’d test drive the Preface and see what you thought.  Let me know.  (BW3) CAUTION— WORK […]

Gandalf Talks Hobbit and Narnia draws Near

posted by Ben Witherington

Ian McKellen, who will reprise his role as Gandalf in the two forthcoming films based on Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and other material has announced that shooting will begin in New Zealand in June and will take almost a year to […]

Mehldau Meltdown?— Not Likely

posted by Ben Witherington

There are jazz pianists and then there are JAZZ pianists, and clearly Brad Mehldau is in the latter category.  I have been a great admirer of his ouevre for a long time, going back now to his first CD  Introducing […]

Not at your Beck and Call– a Reply to Glenn Beck

posted by Ben Witherington

Dear Glenn Beck:               I must admit that your recent attack (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/us/12justice.html?scp=3&sq=glenn%20beck&st=cse) on the issue of whether the church should be involved in social justice matters or not took me by surprise especially when you inanely went on to […]

The Sporting Life– What Happened to It?

posted by Ben Witherington

The coarsening of our culture has been going on for a long time, and nowhere is this more in evidence than in sports– high profile college, and also professional sports. Some of this is because of the seduction of money.  […]

The Political History of the Whole Biblical World in 90 Seconds Flat

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.mapsofwar.com/images/EMPIRE17.swf

Surrealistic Pillow— Alice in Wonderland

posted by Ben Witherington

“:One pill makes you smaller, and one pill makes you big….go ask Alice….”  Thus went the song ‘White Rabbit’  on Jefferson Airplane’s breakout album Surrealistic Pillow.  Of course the album, among other things was celebrating psychotropic drugs, but we have […]

Music that Moves You

posted by Ben Witherington

It has been said that music is the sound of the soul.  If so, some people’s souls are over-crowded and just plain noisy.  But then there are those who must have pretty sublime souls to judge from their music.  In […]

Jesus’ Narrative Thought World and Message

posted by Ben Witherington

                       The Grand Narrative:            The Storied World of Jesus and HisMessage                                              BenWitherington  III               Sometimesin the study of the message of Jesus, we have all been guilty of missing theforest due to the over-analysis of […]

The Message of Jesus–New Orleans Baptist Forum

posted by Ben Witherington

The Greer-Hurd Forum was an outstanding success this years, thanks to all the hard work of Bob Stewart pictured at the far right on the bottom row of this picture.  Excellent papers were presented by Amy Jill Levine from Vandy […]

More on Gobekli Tepe Temple

posted by Ben Witherington

The Message of Jesus— a Discussion at New Orleans Baptist

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.baptistmessage.com/node/6088&ct=ga&cd=20uTuQw7uKg&usg=AFQjCNE0o1UUurO3zB6Ml6smU3-Xh8z_kQ I will be preaching in chapel at New Orleans Baptist on Thursday and speaking at New Orleans Baptist this Friday. John Dominic Crossan and I will be discussing the actual message and meaning of Jesus. Above is a link […]

The Earliest Temple in the World

posted by Ben Witherington

Eastern Turkey is a fascinating place, and increasingly it is being recognized as one of the cradles of ANE civilization.  We now have considerably more grist for that mill with the announcement of the discovery of a Temple 11,500 years […]

The End is Coming!

posted by Ben Witherington

A Holy Discontent

posted by Ben Witherington

    ( Overview of Nicea (Iznik), and its beautiful lake, on the shore of which the Council of Nicea was held in 325 A.D.)             So much ofpop psychology these days is all about encouraging you to ‘accept yourself […]

‘Crazy Heart’— Bad Blake, Tiger Woods, and Others

posted by Ben Witherington

            I watched the mea culpa of Tiger Woods this morning, all 14 or so minutes of it.  It was definitely the material of a country song.  I am glad Tiger has begun to own his problems and misbehavior, though […]

Grave Diggers

posted by Ben Witherington

              They knowhow to shovel that stuff The dirt and the mud and the grime,             They’reprobing for a shady character Or just another citizen to slime.               They’llbury your reputation After poking around in your past             […]

Who Dat Singin’ Duke of Earl with the Soul Brothers in the French Quarter?

posted by Ben Witherington

22112009.mp4

Lent– and the Decline of Church Attendance of the Young

posted by Ben Witherington

We have begun the Lenten season today. The word comes from the English term lengthen, referring to the season of the year where we have the lengthening of the days.  The church has made this a season of prayer, fasting, […]

Tour St. John Lateran— the Papal Basilica

posted by Ben Witherington

Check out this tour of various parts of the Papal Basilica known as St. John Lateran, one of the oldest church complexes in the world. http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_giovanni/vr_tour/index-en.html

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Thirteen

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA So Fat Tuesday is coming, and hard on its heels Lent– the season for repentance, amendment of life, changing one’s lifestyle, fasting, and the like. In other words, the perfect season to get our Christian house in order […]

Attempting to Overcome A Tempting— a Sermon

posted by Ben Witherington

Last week in Chapel Dr. Ben Witherington gave the message.  Here is the audio for you to check out (link). Enjoyhttp://asburyseminary.blogs.com/

A Cure for the Uncommon Winter— a Slow Burn for Valentine’s

posted by Ben Witherington

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Neither Clergy nor Laity– a NT Vision of Ministry

posted by Ben Witherington

(This is an edited version of the lecture I gave twice in Houston this past week, with good response).            Almost all forms of ancient religion were all about priests, temples, and sacrifices.  This was as true of Greek religion […]

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Twelve

posted by Ben Witherington

Myth Nine:  Since we are saved by grace through faith, God will not hold us responsible for what we do with our money after our conversion.We will not be saved or lost by our deeds, or misdeeds.   This is […]

Why Dinosaurs were not considered no account (Noah count)

posted by Ben Witherington

On Stewardship– God is Green and So Should You (But it’s not Easy Being Green)

posted by Ben Witherington

James Howell is the minister of my home church in Charlotte. Here is a thoughtful two part post he has sent out recently (used by permission). Stewardship is a spiritual practice?  It feels more like the inevitable business side of […]

LOST! Has Been Found Again!

posted by Ben Witherington

It’s back for its sixth and last season, and thank goodness because otherwise much of this year’s TV fare has been forgettable, dreadful, banal, hopeless, pitiful, and vulgar to throw out only a few applicable epithets. J.J. Abrams’ LOST however […]

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Eleven

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA   There are certainpsychological dynamics which drive any culture, and two of the most obvious ones inour culture are the consumer and competitive drives.  There are an awful lot of Christians who areconsumer junkies or competition junkies. They have […]

Houston– We Have a Solution! The Laity Conference Feb. 4-5

posted by Ben Witherington

I will be coming to Houston tomorrow for the Celebrating a Call to Lay Ministry Conference which begins Thursday evening and continues all day Friday. I will be speaking Friday on a nice non-controversial topic— ‘In Christ there is neither […]

Do you Know Beans about Beans?– the Story of Coffee, the First Christian Beverage

posted by Ben Witherington

Two of the things I had to learn whilst owning a coffee shop in Wilmore Kentucky for five years was: 1) what are the best coffee beans; and 2) what is the story, the history of coffee?   On the latter […]

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Ten

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA In our discussionof the ministry of Jesus  in ‘Jesus and Money’ we pointed out that Jesus announced that the coming ofthe Kingdom involved the coming of the year of Jubilee (Lk. 4).  And we can see further reflection […]

PARALLEL UNIVERSES?

posted by Ben Witherington

In God’s Kingdom…. The architect is greater than the architecture The artist is greater than the art The singer is greater than the song The playwright is greater than the play The poet is greater than the poetry The person […]

‘We Have Seen his Glory’– The Nature of NT Worship

posted by Ben Witherington

My latest book,  which comes out on Feb. 15th, and can be ordered now at Amazon deals with the issue of the sorry state of worship in the Protestant Church these days, with much of what passes for worship being […]

God’s Righteousness– in 2 Corinthians

posted by Ben Witherington

In the wake of Tom Wright’s recent book on Justification and righteousness, the discussion has once more become vibrant and even volatile in some quarters.  One of the major things that actually seems lacking in these discussions is a consideration […]

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Nine

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA   A major part of the deprogramming that is needed for Christians in the West has to do with having a critical approach to capitalism.   The Bible does notpresent us with either communistic or capitalistic options when […]

A Rebuttal to Mr. Robertson

posted by Ben Witherington

Enough Said.  Special thanks to Mike Lukovich for creating this cartoon.

The Athens of the South—- Nashville

posted by Ben Witherington

Behold the Parthenon— in Nashville.  Who knew?  Yes there is a life size replica of the Parthenon built in 1898 for an Exposition and refurbished in the last ten years.  Built to the exact specifications of the original, complete with […]

Just Another Day in Jerusalem

posted by Ben Witherington

A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew have a morning chat in the Old City.

Rock N’ Roll Quiz– the Analysis of the Third Ten

posted by Ben Witherington

In the should have been in this quiz category are of course many artists and groups, for instance Paul Simon, pictured above in his younger days.   We’ve now reached the home stretch, the last ten choices, and there were some […]

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Eight

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA One of the more persistent myths about money that circulates in some Christian circles goes like this…. Myth Five:  ‘Money is the root of all evil’ hence the nick name ‘filthy lucre’ or unrighteous mammon’. Ergo, it’s better […]

Rock N’ Roll Quiz– the Analysis of the Second Ten

posted by Ben Witherington

There were some deliberate no brainers thrown into the mix in this quiz, and the responses sometimes reflect this.  A healthy majority of you picked Joni Mitchell at no. 11, and understandably so since her ouevre is much more considerable, […]

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Seven

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 Part of deprogramming yourself from the culture of excess involves decreasing the amount of waste in your life.  Of course part of this involves decreasing your carbon footprint– creating less carbon waste by driving more fuel efficient vehicles […]

Rock N’ Roll Quiz– the Analysis of the First Ten

posted by Ben Witherington

There they are the Liverpudlians, looking young and fresh faced. Who knew that folk like them, building on the legacy of Elvis and others, would change the world— not merely the musical tastes of the world,  but the culture of […]

Cellphones–Driving us Crazy

posted by Ben Witherington

I saw it yet again just last week– yet another example of extremely dangerous driving caused by drivers using hand held cellphones.  But it is hardly just the driving issues that are problematic about cellphones.    Consider the article in […]

Rock N’ Roll Quiz

posted by Ben Witherington

CLASSIC ROCK AND FOLK ROCK QUIZ               So you areseriously stranded on a desert island for 30 days, but the good news is, whileit does not have internet or cellphone connectability, what it does have is oneway time travel […]

The Church in the House in Dura-Europos

posted by Ben Witherington

Right by the famous Euphrates river in western Syria, by the Syrian city of Salhiye and near Turkey is the city of Dura, or as we know it, Dura-Europos, the home of the first Europeans (for the name comes from […]

Theological Movie Month Part Two– The Book of Eli

posted by Ben Witherington

The word Eli is the first word Jesus spoke from the cross— calling out to God.  El is the most basic word for God in Hebrew, and Eli a form of that word. It is part of the name Elijah […]

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Six

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 There are so many myths about tithing that it is hard to enumerate them all.  One of the more popular ones is this—If you tithe, then God will necessarily bless you far more than you have given.   This […]

Love a Good Murder Mystery? Try James or Doherty

posted by Ben Witherington

‘Now is the winter of our discontent’ said the Bard, but for me its a time for reading dis content or dat content. I do a lot of reading in January during all the cold and snow. And there is […]

A Word from a Chaplain on God’s Presence in the Midst of Disaster

posted by Ben Witherington

Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy was not, by classic standards a great poet.  But as a Chaplain in WWI who saw everything in France in the Maginot line he reflected long and deep not just on human beings inhumanity and cruelty to other […]

Theological Movie Month Part One– The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

posted by Ben Witherington

January is normally the dead zone for movies, but somehow this year it has turned into theological movie month what with The Edge of Darkness at the end of the movie with Mel Gibson playing an avenging angel of a […]

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Five

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 Discretionary spending. Its an odd phrase. It suggests a person who has more money than they really know what to do with.   But in fact most of the people who are reading this do have  at least some […]

Haiti– Where Was God?

posted by Ben Witherington

Hard on the heels of devastating tropical storms in 2008 which reaked havoc on the shores of Haiti comes now a 7.0 earthquake followed by a 5.9 aftershock leaving huge swaths of the poorest nation in the western hemisphere in […]

Colbert Settles the Science vs. Faith Debate

posted by Ben Witherington

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

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Four

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 Myth Three:  If we are just sincere enough in our asking, or simply pray long and fervently enough, God is bound to give us what we ask for.    This whole approach to prayer seems to see prayer […]

Memento Mori– Dead Weight

posted by Ben Witherington

You learn a lot about a culture by how it treats its dead, and indeed how it approaches death.  This post will not be an historical survey of the practices and approaches of differing cultures. Rather I would like to […]

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Three

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 Most of us by now are familiar with the tried and true joke about the difference between an offering and a sacrifice.  The story goes that a hen and a pig are having a conversation early one morning […]

Meet Bart Stupak— Catholic Democrat Right to Lifer

posted by Ben Witherington

Perhaps you’ve never met a Youpper.  Perhaps you’ve never been there either— to the upper peninsula of Michigan, where beer freezes at football games in the late fall.  Youpper’s are a hardy lot.  They can easily give Green Bay Packer […]

The Gospel of Jesus—Part Thirty

posted by Ben Witherington

CHAPTER THIRTY:  ABIDING TRUTHS               The meal on Wednesday evening was not elaborate, and the mood was more somber than celebratory. After two days of confrontation with authorities and some people in the crowds, the disciples wondered what could […]

Bono’s Ten for Ten: U2 Can Help our Future

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/opinion/03bono.html

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part Two

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=1587432749/bakerbookhouseA http://www.brazospress.com/Book.asp?isbn=978-1-58743-274-3 Money is one of those rare subjects that almost everyone has opinions on, including most Christians.  And of course there are so many cliches about money—‘money can’t buy you love’ being a familiar one thanks to the Beatles. […]

The Conservative Bible Project

posted by Ben Witherington

Conservatives to rewrite Bible – Watch more Politics Videos at Vodpod. The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

New Year’s Resolve: Jesus and Money Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

Does this picture describe your current precipitous financial situation?  Well, fear not, just in time for 2010, there is now a Biblical guide to what to do about this situation.  The title of the book is Jesus and Money. A […]

Our Perpetually Messed Up Calendar– And the No Account Media

posted by Ben Witherington

Meet Dionysius Exiguus, or as I prefer to call him Denny the Dwarf. He was a Roman monk who lived in the 6th century A.D. and somewhere around 545 as a chronologist and scholar he decided to try and properly […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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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