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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 Seduction of Power– the Tiger Woods Story

posted by Ben Witherington

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

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A Christmas Present from Sade

posted by Ben Witherington

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

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The Apocalyptic Visions of a Street Artist

posted by Ben Witherington

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

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Oral Roberts Speaks No More

posted by Ben Witherington

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

The Problem with Gay Marriage–an Evangelical Christian Viewpoint

posted by Ben Witherington

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

Changing Old Hobbits

posted by Ben Witherington

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

The Problem with Snopes: A Liberal Conspiracy?

posted by Ben Witherington

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

As Copenhagen Climate Change Summit Begins— Thousands Protest Global Warming

posted by Ben Witherington

Invictus– The Unvanquished

posted by Ben Witherington

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

The Gift of the Magi and O. Henry

posted by Ben Witherington

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

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

posted by Ben Witherington

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

Handel’s Messiah— the Story behind the Classic

posted by Ben Witherington

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

Star-Studded Wise Men: Rethinking the Christmas Story

posted by Ben Witherington

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

Educational Emails– Don’t You Love Them!

posted by Ben Witherington

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

Paul Harvey’s Prayer

posted by Ben Witherington

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

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

posted by Ben Witherington

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

Ascension Photograph taken by NASA

posted by Ben Witherington

Word to the wise to the editor of the Economist—- Jesus’ name is not Brazil, even in Portugese BW3

The Bonding— A Christmas 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 […]

The SBL in New Orleans– Archaeological Revelations Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

The annual national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature met this year in New Orleans last weekend, which I have to confess I would be glad to meet in every single year. The French, Cajun, and Creole food is […]

Blindsided by ‘The Blind Side’

posted by Ben Witherington

You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of memorable football movies there are out there in which there is actually some decent acting and a good plot.  When you add the requirement of it being a […]

SBL Lecture— Wise and Sagacious Vistas on Matthew

posted by Ben Witherington

Wise and Sagacious Vistas: The Past and Future of a Sapiential Reading of Matthew—                            My earliest memories of serious study of the Gospel of Matthew come from my time in college at UNC.  There was this book […]

Deer Me!!!

posted by Ben Witherington

You can see some squirrely things in this world.  But this one is right up there.  Can you hear the conversation at the local barbershop between Bubba and Ernest? “I’ll bet you a buck you can’t ride down the street […]

Remember the Alamo— Tony Alamo

posted by Ben Witherington

The story of Tony Alamo is bound, someday, to be made into a movie.  It’s so bizarre, so improbable, so full of incident and crime and sin that it makes some soap operas look clean!   The horrifyingly saddest part of […]

Christmas Ideas Part Two:– Disney’s a Christmas Carrey???

posted by Ben Witherington

Jim Carrey has already grinched his way through a previous Christmas, and now he gets to see if he can top that by Scrooging his way through this one.  I went to see this movie in 3D and one has […]

Christmas Ideas Part One: ‘Skipping Christmas’

posted by Ben Witherington

You may well have missed this one.  It’s a small book, pocket sized, and though it says a novel on the cover, its really a novella– 177 pages even with gracious spacing. You can easily read it in a day, […]

2012– Noah will you build me an Ark?

posted by Ben Witherington

Last summer the movies went to the dogs. Fortunately for the movie industry, most Americans love dogs. There have been some dogs this fall in the theater as well, and one kind of movie most prone to be both loved […]

School’s Out Forever– The Rise and Fall of the Religionsgeschichtliche Schule

posted by Ben Witherington

I was reading a withering review (no not by me) of Robert Price’s recent salvo, Jesus is Dead, published by one of the atheistic presses. This book is not merely an assault on the idea that Jesus rose from the […]

E Pluribus Unum– Social Identity and Diversity in Acts

posted by Ben Witherington

(My friend Mark Fairchild, who is a professor of Bible at Huntington University invited me to come give some lectures at his school in Indiana. What follows here is the Forrester Lecture on Diversity delivered Nov. 4, 2009.Kudos to Mark […]

‘This is It’– And Dat’s All Folks

posted by Ben Witherington

Michael Jackson was many things, and when he died at 50, his demise was so sudden, and so much like the demise of Elvis, that inevitably comparisons will be made.  For sure, had it not been for the Beatles, Michael […]

Gravity

posted by Ben Witherington

       I      Gravity To be specific An attraction Sometimes fatal   The gravity Of depravity Is seldom seen In time.   The Gravity Of an occasion Spreads solemnity Silently, surreptitiously.   Like love Gravity is invisible But undeniable As […]

Catholic Bishops Play Important Role in Passing Healthcare Bill in the House

posted by Ben Witherington

As it turns out, it was the elimination of funds for elective abortions from the healthcare bill that finally satisfied conservative Democrats in the house, and got the healthcare bill passed. The persons perhaps most responsible for eliminating the logjam […]

MP3s are not the MVPs of the Music World

posted by Ben Witherington

When I was born people were still playing Victrolas and 78 rpm records.  My father had a collection of Big Band records– Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller, Benny Goodman etc. Then there were albums and 45s (i.e. singles), and then 8 […]

By George, He Got my Goat–‘The Men who Stare at Goats’

posted by Ben Witherington

George Clooney loves political satire, and here we have yet another film of that ilk. The movie is less than two hours long, but it seems slower as there are stretches in the film that drag.  The cast on the […]

Culture Making Part II— ‘Three Cups of Tea’

posted by Ben Witherington

‘And the day will come when they beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks…’ Is. 2.4  Culture-making comes in many shapes and sizes, and sometimes the positive act of doing it proves to be not merely […]

Francis Collins, the Language of God, and Stephen Colbert

posted by Ben Witherington

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

Wild Thing– Maurice Sendak at the Movies

posted by Ben Witherington

I remember the 60s well.  One of the things that happened in the 60s was that a children’s book got banned from a lot of libraries, perhaps especially in the South.  It was Maurice Sendak’s  Where the Wild Things Are  […]

Chief Steve Silverheels– a Native American Minister

posted by Ben Witherington

The man on the far left in this picture, Chief Steve Silverheels, is a minister who lives in Wilmington N.C. not far from my mother.  He is a Christian minister and evangelist. He is also a native American with Mohawk/Iroquois/Seneca […]

Of Time and Eternity

posted by Ben Witherington

                          I The steam arose from the stream The leaves fell from the tree Weak sun shone on the grass The pattern of frost won’t last.   The chill hung in the air The flowers drooped drab and brown […]

An Olive Branch to Disgruntled Anglicans, a Warning to Dissolute Rulers

posted by Ben Witherington

The Roman Catholic Church leadership made the headlines twice this past week, once because the Vatican has now opened the door to receiving disgruntled Anglican priests into the fold (without having to give up their wives), and once because certain […]

Why Arguments against Women in Ministry Aren’t Biblical

posted by Ben Witherington

Most of you who know me, know that I did my doctoral thesis on women in the NT with C.K. Barrett at the University of Durham in England. My first three published scholarly books were on this very subject.  One […]

Colbert Strikes Again– Cross this Man at your Peril!

posted by Ben Witherington

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

Opus Magnum

posted by Ben Witherington

Weary, worn, welts on hand Work has whittled down the man To the bare necessities Of what he is, and what he’ll be Was this then his destiny?   Defined, refined by what we do, The toilsome tasks are never […]

Robert Crumb’s Genesis

posted by Ben Witherington

And now for something completely different.   The Bible as graphic novel, or at least graphic comic book.  Robert Crumb is well known to underground comic book aficionados.  To the rest of the reading public– not so much. Robert Crumb was […]

Towards a Consistent Pro-Life Ethic

posted by Ben Witherington

baby6.bmp I was riding from Manhattan Kansas to Lincoln Nebraska and interestingly enough, almost the only signs posted there on the farms in the Heartland were anti-abortion signs.  The best of the lot said– “All those who are pro-abortion rights […]

Culture Making— The Road to Woodstock

posted by Ben Witherington

It is an iconic image.  There he is with his tie-dyed T shirt and jeans on Aug. 15th 1969, standing in front of some 500-750,000 folks having been pushed out on the stage to perform by Michael Lang’s crew as […]

Dear Mr. Asbury— Part I

posted by Ben Witherington

Dear Mr. Asbury: I’ve been itinerant again, and most times when I do this, I think about you— all those thousands of miles you road on horseback. How in the world did you do it?  I have about 50 flights […]

If Only

posted by Ben Witherington

                 I          I would have dressed up, Only it was too much trouble.   I would have gone out, Only it cost too much.   I would have driven, Only travel’s dangerous.   I would have eaten, […]

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

posted by Ben Witherington

Ghosts and Goblins, tricks and treats, houses of horror and costumed heroes and villains.  Should Christians have anything to do with such practices, or is it just harmless fun?  Believe it or not, Christians are about equally divided on this […]

The Indelible Image– The Interview

posted by Ben Witherington

The following is an interview that appeared in the periodical Academic Alert.   The Indelible Image: The Theological and Ethical Thought Word of the New Testament   Within the next few months Ben Witherington–Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies, […]

Joseph and the Egyptian Coins?

posted by Ben Witherington

The phone call was urgent.  Can you do an interview at 5:15 about some coins found in Egypt that are claimed to be from the era of Joseph and even perhaps with his picture on them?  Here is the link […]

Capitalism: A Love-Hate Relationship

posted by Ben Witherington

Michael Moore, our national agent provocateur, is nothing if he is not controversial.  But in a democracy with freedom of speech, it’s good to have prophets and pundits and pot stirrers and he is one such person.  Some find his […]

Deeper Connections (Part Two)– The Last Days of Jesus

posted by Ben Witherington

The final six sessions of the new series of Deeper Connections ar called The Last Days of Jesus which is a bit odd, since the first two sessions deal with the confession of Peter at Caesarea Philippi (mis-spelled on the […]

Shortcomings

posted by Ben Witherington

  ‘A  frank response to Frank, who said, “regrets I’ve had a few, But far too few to mention… I did it my way”    Shortcomings just like snowflakes, Are always piling up, A life time of the little things […]

Deeper Connections (Part Two)– The Forgiveness of Jesus

posted by Ben Witherington

The Deeper Connections series has hit its stride, and in this particular set of three DVDs there is a conscious effort to reach the Emerging Church movement and provide it with better Biblical resources.  This is evident from the addition […]

Meatballs from Heaven

posted by Ben Witherington

This is not the movie to see just before lunch. In fact, it is not the movie to see right after a big lunch either.  But it does provide a bit of food for thought.  In the never ending quest […]

Deeper Connections (Part Two)– The Life of Jesus

posted by Ben Witherington

Fresh off the success of the first three Deeper Connections videos, Matt Williams and five additional NT scholars have provided us with three more in depth Bible study tools complimenting the first three.  The format is the same as the […]

The Pathological ‘Informant’

posted by Ben Witherington

The word unbelievable conjures up many images.  It could mean unbelievably good, or unelievably bad, or simply not credible. In the case of Mark Whitacre a real life corporate executive who had impressive Ivy League credentials, bio-chemistry skills, and multiple […]

Transfixed— A Sermon on Worship

posted by Ben Witherington

Here is a link to a sermon I preached in Auckland New Zealand last August.  See what you think. http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/3/3/2347628/Podcasts/020809%20Worship.mp3 The church you see above is a mission we visited in Wellington.This church is literally located in the parking lot […]

The Lost Symbol and the Browning of American Religion

posted by Ben Witherington

Its Number One on Amazon, and has gone to the top of several best seller lists, and the reviews are pouring in for Dan Brown’s latest blockbuster novel, sure to be made into a movie.  But even Mr. Brown’s fans, […]

True Blue

posted by Ben Witherington

I was fortunate enough to have time to go to a UNC football game in Chapel Hill last Saturday with our daughter Christy who lives in Raleigh now and is working on her masters degree.  After some good ole Bullocks […]

An Afternoon with Bob Timberlake Part Two

posted by Ben Witherington

Bob Timberlake is a collector of many things.  Here he is sitting in an antique three corner chair, which is constructed as it is in order that a gentleman could sit down without skewering himself with his sword!    The story […]

The Indelible Image– Prologue to NT Theology and Ethics

posted by Ben Witherington

Just released this month is the first volume of my two volume study of the theology and ethics of the NT.  Here as a sample is some of the Prologue to this volume that deals with important presuppositional and prolegomena […]

The ABCs of Adultery

posted by Ben Witherington

As some of you will know by now, ABC has decided to do a series over the coming weeks on the ten commandments or as they are called in Exodus ‘the ten words’  (of God).  Here is the link about […]

An Afternoon with Bob Timberlake Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

Sometimes serendipity happens.  I have just returned from a preaching mission in Lexington North Carolina (not to be confused with the one in Kentucky). Lexington North Carolina is a city of 17,000 and it has about one barbecue restaurant per […]

The Lord’s Supper– The Inside Scoop

posted by Ben Witherington

‘I Can Endure All Things in Him who Strengthens Me– Jack Rushton on Theodicy

posted by Ben Witherington

Perhaps you have read Bart Ehrman’s book, God’s Problem and perhaps not. It deals with the issue of why there is suffering if there is a loving God. This issue is of course more of a problem for those who […]

Feed on the Word

posted by Ben Witherington

Traditionally, Protestantshave recognized only two sacraments–baptism and the Lord’s Supper. There hasbeen some debate about this amongst the more high church Protestants, butbasically the  position has been the samethroughout recent church history. What is interesting about this view is thatit […]

Hobbits Infiltrate Dawn Treader Set

posted by Ben Witherington

Sometimes it is hard to get good help. And trust me, sometimes Pippin and Merry are no help at all, especially after a few pints of ale. If you remember from my last post, I sent these Hobbits off to […]

Talismans of Time

posted by Ben Witherington

  What lessons are learned From the talismans of time Is life absurd Or is it sublime?   Smoke on the mountain Fire in the sky So much pure beauty No one asks why.   Why do the sunsets Remind […]

The Seven Deadly Sins— by Geographical Region

posted by Ben Witherington

Are certain regions of the U.S. more prone to certain sins?  Well, according to one study, it certainly appears this is the case. Here is a link to an article in Wired Magazine that gives us the breakdown. http://www.wired.com/culture/education/magazine/17-09/st_sinmaps What […]

Just Joni– The Genius of Joni Mitchell

posted by Ben Witherington

The word genius should not be thrown around lightly.  But in the world of contemporary music, few artists qualify more than she does.  Early Joni was folk, or folk tinged rock. Middle Joni was jazz rock, moving on into jazz […]

The NIV 2011– A Preview of Coming Attractions

posted by Ben Witherington

While some would say religion and politics do not mix, it is clear that they have not been paying attention to what goes on in the Evangelical and broader Protestant world when it comes to a new English translation of […]

The James Ossuary— More Patina Evidence that supports the Authenticity of the Inscription

posted by Ben Witherington

The never ending trial of Oden Golan, with all its twists and turns, seems finally to be winding down, and there are now some 9,000 pages of testimony and evidence. Amazing.  There is now a new article in Time Magazine […]

Loggins and Messina— Sittin’ Pretty

posted by Ben Witherington

It began a very long time ago, over 40 years ago, with a group called Buffalo Springfield and also to some degree with the Byrds.   There rose up a particular sub-category of rock music called country rock, long before any […]

Julie and Julia on the Joy of Eating

posted by Ben Witherington

I have a true confession.  I would watch Meryl Streep play Babe Ruth in the Babe Ruth story if she chose to do the role.   She might be able to pull it off.  Without question, and without a doubt she […]

A Tribute to Gino Vannelli

posted by Ben Witherington

After hearing thousands of rock and jazz musicians in my lifetime, I can honestly say that the absolute best I ever heard live and in person was, and is, Gino Vannelli, who still at 56 has a magnificent voice. It […]

‘Inglorious’ Movie Making– WWII Revamped

posted by Ben Witherington

I grew up watching war movies.  The Longest Day (should have been called the Longest Movie),  PT 109,  All Quiet on the Western Front, and then there were the Vietnam war classics, Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, and so many […]

Dawn Treading Hobbits

posted by Ben Witherington

And now the inside story about my trip to New Zealand (aka Middle Earth) can be told.  I actually went down there to hire a couple of under cover Hobbits.  Of course Hobbits are so small they can easily go […]

500 Days of Summer– And Then Some

posted by Ben Witherington

The course of young love is ever treacherous.  There are break ups and make ups, and all too often when young people say they are in love, in actuality what they really are is ‘in heat’, and its not the […]

A Novel Approach to the Reformers– C.J. Sansom’s Mysteries

posted by Ben Witherington

I was hanging out in the airport in Sydney Down Under, waiting for the flight to Auckland, and browsing through the airport bookstore,  when I found the novels of C.J. Sansom, a man after my own heart.  He has a […]

For Whom Did Christ Die?

posted by Ben Witherington

Michael Bird has posted on his blog three different views on the issue of for whom Christ died, including my take on the matter.    Here is the link, so see what you think.  BW3 http://euangelizomai.blogspot.com/

The Summer of Classic Rock

posted by Ben Witherington

It was a hot August day in 1969, and I was in New Hampshire with my MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) group.  We had flown to New York and among the many things we did there, we went to a concert […]

Thomas Dickerson– Calling All the Nations

posted by Ben Witherington

One of my great joys in ministry is getting to work with younger talented Christians whom God has done a mighty work in, and who are serving God in powerful ways. One such person is Thomas Dickerson, ably assisted by […]

The Indelible Image: Relating the OT and NT Thought Worlds

posted by Ben Witherington

Below you will find an excerpt from the second of my two large volumes studying the whole of  NT Theology and Ethics.  The first volume entitle ‘The Indelible Image: The Individual Witnesses’  will be out next month at some point […]

Chronicles of Middle Earth Part Nine: Land Ho!

posted by Ben Witherington

The black-backed gull above surveys land and sea.  We can only imagine how he perceives the islands of New Zealand.  When you get to Middle Earth (aka New Zealand) there are things you expect to see, thanks to reading the […]

Chronicles of Middle Earth Part Eight: Flora and Fauna

posted by Ben Witherington

Flowers and animals add a lot to a film like the Narnia tales or LOTR and Peter Jackson had lots of critters and plants to choose from. Three stars to whoever can first identify the following flowering plant. This is […]

Chronicles of Middle Earth– Part Seven–Lift Up Your Eyes to the Hills

posted by Ben Witherington

Mountains.  Big, beautiful, snow-covered mountains of considerable height and breadth.  It is no wonder that these ranges in Middle Earth are called the Southern Alps.  Though not as high as the Alps in Switzerland they are breath-taking, and serve various […]

Chronicles of Middle Earth– Part Six– Hobbits all Wet

posted by Ben Witherington

Those of us who love LOTR or the Narnia Tales or both, know perfectly well what a huge roll water plays in these works.  In terms of plot, water works.  Who can forget the dramatic scene where Frodo paddles off […]

District 9–Resident ‘Aliens’ and Alien Humans

posted by Ben Witherington

It’s not as if Peter Jackson has been resting on his laurels after the filming of Lord of the Rings.  And in this 1 hour and 50 some minute sci-fi fantasy thriller, he unveils his best effort since those films […]

Chronicles of Middle Earth– Part Five, Lost in the Woods

posted by Ben Witherington

Anyone who has read either Tolkien or Lewis will realize that there is a special love for the woods and trees shared by these Inklings. In fact, they used to go on long hikes through the woods around Oxford, following […]

What if Worship were Treated like a Sporting Event?

posted by Ben Witherington

It is sad, but true, that increasingly in our consumer driven culture, worship is being treated and approached as entertainment for the consumer. Here is what it might look like if we went the whole way in that direction, and […]

Partying like its 1999– the Wedding Dance

posted by Ben Witherington

And now for something completely different. Here’s a wedding procession to remember. See what you think, and whether you find it tasteful and appropriate or not. BW3

Chronicles of Middle Earth– Part Four, In the Wardrobe

posted by Ben Witherington

Anyone who has read the wonderful Narnia tales of C.S. Lewis is well aware that it was through a clothes closet (called a wardrobe in the British world) that our heroes entered Narnia. This particular post, however, is about what […]

Chronicles of Middle Earth– Part Three, Second Breakfast

posted by Ben Witherington

Merry and Pippin were right after all.  Second Breakfast is fun, though fattening.  It transpires about 9-10 or so in the morning, and can even be followed by Elevensies for those Hobbits looking to be the most well-rounded of the […]

Chronicles of Middle Earth– Part Two, Sheer Nonsense

posted by Ben Witherington

Hobbiton is an idyllic place where sheep may safely graze. But even Hobbits need clothes to wear, and in Middle Earth the number one supplier of materials for said outfits are sheep.  It has been said that New Zealand is […]

Chronicles of Middle Earth– Part One, Hobbiton

posted by Ben Witherington

You will no doubt by now be familiar with this fellow. (courtesy LOTR/ New LIne Cinema) Bilbo Baggins lived at Bag End in Hobbiton.  And I am happy to be able to report that the story he wrote about his […]

Chronicles of Middle Earth– Forewords

posted by Ben Witherington

Long, long ago, in a land far, far away, there lived Hobbits and dwarfs and elves and orcs and ents and humans altogether.  To visit this magical land today still requires that one arise and go away into a far […]

The Divine Swine– Make no bones about it!

posted by Ben Witherington

Went to a great rib joint in Asheville— 12 Bones in the River District.  Basically a transplanted Texas rib and brisket restaurant with a difference— great veggies of various flavors.  Not to mention the jalapeno grits. And then there are […]

Laying Down the Law, and Picking up the Gospel

posted by Ben Witherington

One of the real dilemmas for Christians is what role or roles they should play in the public sphere in an increasingly less Christian country. And to what degree should Christians be in the business of trying to legislate their […]

Colbert on the Bible in Public School Classrooms

posted by Ben Witherington

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

The Wright Stuff Hits the Fan

posted by Ben Witherington

Tom and Maggie Wright in front of Bishop Auckland Palace, the episcopal residence. Bishop Tom Wright is not a shy retiring sort. I have watched him meticulously dissect and vivisect one of Dominic Crossan’s works in an SBL session.  Reacting […]

Five for Five– 5 of the best Jazz CDs of the last 5 Years

posted by Ben Witherington

First let me clarify something. When I say ‘jazz CDs’ I am not referring to the jazz inflected pop played on most ‘smooth jazz’ stations. I have no problems with that sort of music, but its much closer to pop […]

Sacred and Mundane Nominated for National Book Award

posted by Ben Witherington

My small book of poetry, largely written this year whilst on sabbatical in Vermont has been nominated for a national book award! Each year the Conference on Christianity and Literature (CCL) offers a Book-of-the-Year Citation to the author and publisher […]

Prophetable Thoughts— James on Hosea

posted by Ben Witherington

Another of my favorite prophets is Hosea, both for the tragic story of the prophet’s life, and the message of mercy that Hosea shares. See what you think of James Howell’s reflections on this book of the Bible. BW3

Prophetable Thoughts— James on Jonah

posted by Ben Witherington

Here’s James Howell’s reflections on Jonah. I am less skeptical than he is that the story has historical substance, but he may be right that it is a parable about a historical person. What is clear is that Jonah was […]

Pottering Heights: Half Blood, Half Venom

posted by Ben Witherington

In a summer of miserable and unwatchable movies (there have been some exceptions, Ice Age is o.k. and fun, and Star Trek the Restart was good) The Harry Potter Saga as movie series continues, after about a two year hiatus, […]

Prophetable Thoughts–James on Amos

posted by Ben Witherington

Amos is certainly one of my personal favorite prophets and here is a helpful synopsis of what his prophecy is all about from Dr. James Howell.

Prophetable Thoughts— James on Isaiah

posted by Ben Witherington

Dr. James Howell, senior minister at Myers Park UMC in Charlotte N.C. has some excellent teaching on the prophets which is on UTube. I will be sharing some of it with you here in the next several weeks. See what […]

John Calvin is Old, and Not Looking a Day over 500

posted by Ben Witherington

John Calvin’s birthday deserves to be celebrated, not least because he was one of the truly great Christian exegetes and indeed systematic theologians of all time. Never mind that I disagree with a great deal of what he has to […]

The Dead Shall Have Their Say– More on the James Ossuary

posted by Ben Witherington

It hardly seems possible that it was seven years ago that Hershel Shanks and I wrote the book The Brother of Jesus (Harper) about the James ossuary. It is also hard to believe that the trial of the owner of […]

M.Div. Lite! Less Filling— Tastes Great!!

posted by Ben Witherington

The full page ad said it all.  A Masters of Divinity degree offered now with only ONE required course in Bible, ONE in theology, and none in church history over a three year period!  And a more economical one as […]

Gone to Carolina (in the Flesh)

posted by Ben Witherington

There are so many James Taylor’s songs I love but here are two of my favorites to tide you over while I’m gone to Carolina in the flesh to help our daughter move.   James and Livingston were still in Chapel […]

The Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia— or Not

posted by Ben Witherington

Not for the first time and undoubtedly not for the last, the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia is claiming it has the original Ark of the Covenant spoken of in the Bible, and made famous all over again by Indiana Jones.  […]

Mystery Highway– a Gem from Phil and Randy

posted by Ben Witherington

Last week was all music, all the time.  First I went to the 40th anniversary Ichthus festival and had a blast watching the Ascension Band (full of former members of Earth Wind and Fire and from Prince’s band, now getting […]

The Papias Stele

posted by Ben Witherington

Sometimes you are just wandering around in a graveyard and you find something remarkable. In this case I was actually looking for something Mark Fairchild, my fellow explorer of Turkey told me about— a grave stele for someone named Papias, […]

Rednecking

posted by Ben Witherington

 My fellow United Methodist, Jeff Foxworthy has made a living off of redneck jokes. I once shared a stage with him at the North Georgia Conference. Though I am a southern boy, I couldn’t hold a candle to him. He’s […]

The Funerary Monuments and Statues at Hierapolis

posted by Ben Witherington

Hierapolis was a critical city for early Christianity, being the home not only of Philip the Evangelist’s prophesying daughters but also of Papias, the famous bishop who wrote the first comentary on ‘Our Lord’s Oracles’ in several books. What can […]

‘You are the Light of the World–Until the Bulb needs Changing’

posted by Ben Witherington

    CHANGING A LIGHT BULB THE CHRISTIAN WAY How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb? Charismatic : Only 1 Hands are already in the air. Pentecostal : 10 One to change the bulb, and nine […]

The Agora at Izmir

posted by Ben Witherington

Behold one of the archaeologists in charge of the dig at the enormous agora in Izmir (Biblical Smyrna). O.K. this may not be your mental image of an archaeologist, but you need to adjust your thinking in that case.  The […]

Men at Work– a Biblical Approach

posted by Ben Witherington

While you may be amazed at this,  it is nonetheless true that when you survey the works of Biblical theology available to us, very seldom does the subject of a theology of work come up.  You look in vain for […]

U.S Army Burns Bibles in Afghanistan

posted by Ben Witherington

Picture courtesy of  http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://mycontemplations.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/burning_book.jpg&imgrefurl In the what’s the U.S. coming to department, we have now learned that the U.S Army has been burning Bibles in Aghanistan to prevent them from being given to Afghans and influencing them. This apparently has […]

The Archaeological Museum at Izmir (Smyrna)

posted by Ben Witherington

One of the less well known museums in all of Turkiye (yes that’s the right spelling) is the one in the home city of the famous second century Christian and martyr Polycarp.  This museum is full of things found in […]

The Ethics of Sports– On Being a Good Sport

posted by Ben Witherington

Yes that’s me with the reasonable facsimile of Payne Stewart at the most famous golf course in my home state of N.C.– Pinehurst No. 2.  In my once in a lifetime opportunity to play the course it was the coldest […]

Laodicea– on a Not so Luke-warm Day

posted by Ben Witherington

Laodicea of course is a city familiar to all bibliophiles, since it famously is the city referred to in Rev. 3 for its wealthy citizens of diffident faith.  It also has connections with the Pauline churches mentioned in Colossians. But […]

A Faithful Rendering– Christopher Bryan’s ‘Render to Caesar’

posted by Ben Witherington

Christopher Bryan, Render to Caesar, (Oxford: O.U. Press, 2005), pp. viii+ 185, $35.00.               I must confess from the outset that I have a particular inclination to like Christopher Bryan’s recent book, as he is a man after my […]

JEALOUSY

posted by Ben Witherington

            Jealousy’s a cancer             It’s rotten to the core,             It’s never ever satisfied             It always begs for more.               It poisons even friendships             Puts marriages on the spot             As if what others seem to […]

AN ‘UP-LIFTING’ AND CAUTIONARY TALE

posted by Ben Witherington

(image from Disney/Pixar) I must confess that I have a certain bias towards Pixar films. They are some of the most creative computer generated features out there, and not just because of their technical prowess.  Often the stories are moving […]

THE OLIVE PRESSES OF KLAZOMENAI

posted by Ben Witherington

During the course of the next month, I will be sharing with you from time to time the results of my time in Turkey at archaeological sites in May 2009.   The first of these is a site south of […]

Q AND A WITH BISHOP WRIGHT ON ‘JUSTIFICATION’

posted by Ben Witherington

Q: Tom you have been challenged repeatedly by some of yourReformed critics on the issue of imputed righteousness and the glory of God.Would you say these are the main problems when you have a discussion about justificationwith these critics?   […]

NO SAFETY IN THE SANCTUARY: ABORTION DOCTOR BRUTALLY MURDERED IN CHURCH

posted by Ben Witherington

Cartoon courtesy of Signe Wilkinson. Read more Signe Wilkinson By now most of you will have heard that a doctor well known for performing late term abortions in some cases was murdered Sunday whilst ushering in his Lutheran Church in […]

ROMAN NUMERALS IS COMING!

posted by Ben Witherington

The second Art West adventure, continuing in a series of archaeological thrillers is about to show up on Amazon and even cheaper at www.wipfandstock.com. The first novel, The Lazarus Effect has been receiving rave reviews, including from Anne Rice, and […]

CLAPTON AND WINWOOD ON A ROLL

posted by Ben Witherington

I am an old rock n’ roller, turned holy roller as well, and two of my favorite artists I have enjoyed over the years are Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood. Here you will find a fine HQ sample of their […]

WITH JUSTIFICATION

posted by Ben Witherington

N.T. Wright,  Justification. God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 2009), 279 pages, $25.00 list price.               It is never an easy thing to write a rebuttal book if you are genuinely a Christian person.  You […]

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF BLOGGING

posted by Ben Witherington

1) No anonymous posts please. If you don’t have the courage of your own convictions, then don’t post. By this I mean that I don’t mind what your screen name is, but if when I click on that name it […]

WE BID YOU KINDLY WELCOME

posted by Ben Witherington

Dear All: After blogging away for many years, I have now joined the legion of the Enlightened at the Beliefnet Blogosphere.  All 800 plus posts from my Blogspot blog are now available here through the archives of this blog, so […]

Oh Those Pesky ‘Angels and Demons’

posted by Ben Witherington

At this point it is hard to believe all the ruckus that was caused by Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, which, when people calmed down, they realized it was closer to hysterical than historical fiction. The novel was a […]

MOVING DAY

posted by Ben Witherington

Dear Friends: This blog is moving to a new location at the end of this month on the Beliefnet website. Here is the proper address to save under favorites and connect you to this blog—http://blog.beliefnet.com/bibleandculture/. The archives of this blog […]

MONDAY MORNING FOLKS

posted by Ben Witherington

There were many wonderful lesser known folk rock groups in the 70s, some of them Christian, some of them not. I can especially commend to you Batdorf and Rodney, Lazarus, Arrogance, and Aztec Two Step. What we have here in […]

A COOL DEAL FOR YOU– SACRED AND MUNDANE

posted by Ben Witherington

Just this week my little book of sacred and mundane poems came out, thanks to the hard work of Leah Maines, and I have a deal for you long devoted readers! I will send you free a copy of this […]

TIRED OF THE BLUES? YOU NEED PRETZEL LOGIC

posted by Ben Witherington

Without question, one of my favorite bands of the 70s was Steely Dan, particularly with Michael McDonald. They have of course recently rebooted themselves. Here you will find one selection from the NY Rock and Soul Review Shows in the […]

THE BARBECUE CHRONICLES: RIGHT ON ‘CUE

posted by Ben Witherington

I was talking to my friend Gordon who was cracking a joke he heard at the Rotary club, where all manner of humor is possible. He said that one of the fellow Rotarians had lost a bet over this last […]

AN ADVENTUROUS ENTERPRISE— REBOOTING ‘STAR TREK’

posted by Ben Witherington

Perhaps most bloggers are far too young to remember the dawn of a TV series created by Gene Roddenberry in 1966. Happily, I am not too young. Although there were other heady dramas that had a good run in that […]

ROMAN NUMERALS– THE SECOND ART WEST ADVENTURE COMING SOON!

posted by Ben Witherington

Back by popular demand and in more trouble than you can shake a stick at is Art West, intrepid explorer and Christian archaeologist. In this the second of his adventures Art explores things apocalyptic including Mr. 666 in Egypt Israel, […]

N.T. WRIGHT ON POST-MODERNITY AND THE ENLIGHTENMENT

posted by Ben Witherington

The following is an interesting recent discussion of Tom Wright about the importance of post-modernity and the need to get beyond modernity. See what you think BW3

THE INDELIBLE IMAGE: THE FIRST REVIEWS

posted by Ben Witherington

The pre-pub scholarly reviews of The Indelible Image are beginning to come in. Here is one of the first ones which will be used as a blurb for the book. BW3———– “Ben Witherington is a skilled historical exegete who has, […]

THE RETURN TO THE FOLD— A.N. WILSON

posted by Ben Witherington

We are all familiar with the story of the prodigal son, though that is not a story about religious conversion. Still, one would think there was enough in the Bible to remind us that where there is life, there is […]

THE MANY FACES OF THE CHRIST

posted by Ben Witherington

What you see above is the visual equivalent to my book The Many Faces of the Christ which surveys the various images and titles of Jesus in all the NT witnesses.

THE SOURCE OF THE SWINE FLU EPIDEMIC

posted by Ben Witherington

Pigs are big in eastern N.C.. Shoot they are so big there are even pig parlors where they go to be beautified. But as we all know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it will still be a […]

A BROWNIE INFILTRATES LIBERTY– WITH JUSTICE FOR ALL

posted by Ben Witherington

Meet Kevin Roose. He looks like your average nice college dude, and he is sitting in the pews in the chapel at Brown University. You may not have known Brown has a chapel, what with it being a bastion of […]

FRACTURED FAIRY TALES FROM THE FARM NO. 4

posted by Ben Witherington

Meet the vermin, aka varmint, aka varmin. He is a fearsome critter, but his pelt is much in demand. And in fact, the fur industry has given this animal an extreme makeover, by taking away the first letter of his […]

FRACTURED FAIRY TALES FROM THE FARM NO. 3

posted by Ben Witherington

Ours is an age of hybrids. Hybrid cars, hybrid economies, hybrid vitamins and foods in general. It is thus not unexpected that there might be hybrid holiday food, in this case for Thanksgiving. Enter the turducken, one part turkey, one […]

FRACTURED FAIRY TALES FROM THE FARM NO. 2

posted by Ben Witherington

Meet the spamster. He is native to small islands in the south Pacific, including Hawaii. The spamster is a cute little fellow who starts out without ears, and then grows little pointy ones, the better to hear the commands of […]

FLYING SOLO WITH A FRIEND– ‘THE SOLOIST’

posted by Ben Witherington

The life of a mentally ill person is messy, and difficult, and often heart-rending. And what is interesting about such a person is that it is by no means simply a matter of some chemical imbalance in the brain, though […]

FRACTURED FAIRY TALES FROM THE FARM NO. 1

posted by Ben Witherington

Meet the Nauga, a species not of gerbil, hamster or guinea pig but of its own, and indigenous to America! The Nauga is known for its bug-eyes. The Nauga, unfortunately today, the day after Earth Day, has to be reported […]

A MODEL OF HEROD’S TEMPLE

posted by Ben Witherington

Alec Garrard is a farmer, but he had a dream (not to be confused with a field of dreams). Alec has worked for more than 30 years to create a full and accurate model of Herod’s Temple. His version of […]

All That Jazz— in Daytona Beach

posted by Ben Witherington

My sister Laura and I are musicophiles. To say we are music lovers is to say too little its closer to music-aholics (‘Hi my name is Ben, and its been 21 days since I bought my last CD’). We were […]

Bart Interrupted— A detailed Analysis of ‘Jesus Interrupted’— Coda

posted by Ben Witherington

</a In the first part of Chapter Six Bart Ehrman rehearses for us some of his major conclusions to his earlier work, Misquoting Jesus. Since I have responded to that elsewhere (see e.g. my Gospel Code book, and earlier blogs) […]

Assessing the “State of Play”

posted by Ben Witherington

It has been a while since Russell Crowe had a real stellar performance in a movie, but this movie shows he is not losing his edge. Playing with an all star cast (especially the fabulous Helen Mirren) Crowe raises his […]

Bart Interrupted— A detailed Analysis of ‘Jesus Interrupted’ Part Five

posted by Ben Witherington

In chapter five of his book, Bart Ehrman sketches out a basic narrative of the historical process which led to the production of the Gospels. I do not really disagree much with him about either the dating of the Gospels, […]

Bart Interrupted: Part Four

posted by Ben Witherington

We live in a text bound age full of litigious people concerned about copyright, intellectual property, and authorship in the modern sense. I have a friend in fact who is in fact a intellectual property lawyer. You don’t want to […]

Bart Interrupted— A detailed Analysis of ‘Jesus Interrupted’ Part Three

posted by Ben Witherington

One of the valid points made by Bart Ehrman at various junctures in this study is that each Gospel needs to be allowed to have its own say. He is guarding against the tendencies to blend all the accounts together, […]

Christos Aneste– The Emmaus Road Story

posted by Ben Witherington

A Companion Along the Way: Easter Sunday on the Emmaus Road by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson The gleaming cloud tops and fragrant spring air would have invigorated most travelers leaving Jerusalem that Sunday afternoon. But these two began their trek […]

COLBERT INTERRUPTS EHRMAN

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Bart Ehrman colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor NASA Name Contest

Bart Interrupted— A detailed Analysis of ‘Jesus Interrupted’ Part Two

posted by Ben Witherington

Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted, (San Francisco: Harper One, 2009), xii +212 pages. Part Two ( pp. 61-75). In his first rate analysis of Edward Gibbon’s classic 18th century study, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a work […]

You Know the Economy is Bad when…….

posted by Ben Witherington

I must confess to being partial to the cat in this picture— he’s so dramatic BW3

AL MOHLER ON POST-CHRISTIAN AMERICA AND EASTER WEEK

posted by Ben Witherington

There is an interesting and detailed article in Newsweek this week about the decline of Christianity in America over the last ten years, which includes an interview with my near neighbor and fellow seminary colleague Al Mohler of Louisville Southern […]

Bart Interrupted— A detailed Analysis of ‘Jesus Interrupted’ Part One

posted by Ben Witherington

Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted, (San Francisco: Harper One, 2009), xii +292 pages. Part One ( the first 60 pages) Bart Ehrman is both a gifted writer and a gifted lecturer. Perhaps his best gift is the ability to distill […]

TAR HEELS MO’BETTER IN MOTOWN

posted by Ben Witherington

MY MOM AND DAD IN THEIR GOLDEN YEARS I was walking down Franklin Street in Chapel Hill last fall where I was there to do a church and Intervarsity event, and literally ran into Tyler Hansbrough. I took a moment […]

SATAN’S FACEBOOK PAGE

posted by Ben Witherington

It has been said that you can meet almost anybody on Facebook. Well, imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Prince of Darkness himself has a Facebook page. Here is the link—-http://www.pcworld.com/zoom?id=162166&page=1&zoomIdx=5 I must say that there is very […]

A FACEBOOK PASSION OF THE CHRIST

posted by Ben Witherington

I am not a particular fan of Facebook, but recently one of my former students sent me the following link— http://canter.s437.sureserver.com/fbp/facebookpassion.pdf In a surprising end run manuever, apparently Jesus interrupts Bart Ehrman during Passion week, knocking on his office door […]

MONSTER VS. ALIENS– AND PRESIDENT COLBERT

posted by Ben Witherington

Perhaps you are too young to remember the Blob. 50s horror movies featured him/it, along with a host of unpleasant aliens (think the original and far better version of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’). Shucks, someone in the 50s […]

JAMES OSSUARY TRIAL WINDS DOWN

posted by Ben Witherington

In the ‘its about time department’ the following is from the Biblical Archaeology Society website today. I’m thinking its about time to print up the bumper stickers saying “Free the Ossuary”. BW3 *Special Report* James Ossuary Trial Continues to UnravelApril […]

FAMOUS QUOTES FROM SPORTS STARS

posted by Ben Witherington

America’s continued idolizing of major sports figures goes on apace, and unabated, even with the recent steroids scandals and the like, with athletes and even coaches now commanding enormous salaries. In economic times like these, it might be wise to […]

SEEING IS BELIEVING? THE EYE IS QUICKER THAN THE HAND

posted by Ben Witherington

Since I was a child I have always enjoyed illusionists (not to be confused with magicians who practice the black arts), because they remind us that our empirical senses are not totally reliable. They can be deceived. Certainly one of […]

ADVENTURES AT LAITY LODGE

posted by Ben Witherington

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going and speaking, preaching, singing at Laity Lodge near Kerrville Texas. As the pictures will show, this lodge hangs over the Frio River Gorge, and is, in a word– gorgeous. Indeed, the […]

The Humanness of the Unborn

posted by Ben Witherington

My mother sent me the following, which ultimately comes from a Nashville newspaper, and the hospital where various of my friends have had surgery, so I believe this story is reliable. I would suggest you read Psalm 139.13-14 and then […]

TALES OF CHRISTIAN TAILGATERS

posted by Ben Witherington

A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy street. Suddenly, just in front of him, the light turned yellow. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the […]

Animal House Part Three– The 12 Apostles (plus 1) of the Animal World

posted by Ben Witherington

Identify the following apostles of the animal world with one of the 12. I’ve left a few hints below. BW3 Clearly this one should be called Rocky (aka Peter/Cephas) Aha, the Boanerges, James and John This must be Judas Iscariot

Mona Greasa– The Real Da Vinci Code Secret

posted by Ben Witherington

In order to truly appreciate the following video (and kudos to Craig Beard for finding it), you need to put on the old Bee Gees song ‘Grease’, as done by Franki Valli… and sing along, “Grease is the word, that […]

THE SAD STATE OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP–Spirit-Filled Singing

posted by Ben Witherington

Christian worship is of course a human activity, and thus involves the same sort of flaws other human activities involve. What is amazing to me is that so little thought is actually put into what a theology of worship should […]

DUPLICITY– OH WHAT A SUBTLE WEB WE WEAVE…

posted by Ben Witherington

In a world of mindless entertainment, sometimes one wonders if there is still a place for a brainy romantic spy yarn, and apparently, thank goodness, the answer is still yes. Such a movie is Julie Robert’s return as a leading […]

WHERE’S WALDO…. ERR…. WITHERINGTON??

posted by Ben Witherington

Ah those college years….. here are two pictures from a UNC college retreat trip to the beach in N.C. Kudos to you if you can pick BW3 out in these pictures. Also in these pictures— Tom Morris a future teacher […]

DISCUSSION ON GOD AND THE RESURRECTION— GARY HABERMAS, ANTHONY FLEW, AND N.T.WRIGHT AT WESTMINSTER, CAMBRIDGE, AND ELSEWHERE

posted by Ben Witherington

http://www.garyhabermas.com/video/video.html Here is a discussion worthy of your attention. Kudos to James Foster for the link. There are in fact many links on this page. Some to the discussion held at Westminster in London between the three figures mentioned, some […]

FALLIN’ IN LOVE WITH JESUS

posted by Ben Witherington

Kirk Whalum is one of my very favorite Christian jazz artists, not to mention he does a lot of jazz Gospel and so I have some samples here, and you will see he brings the heavy hitters with him— see […]

YAHWEH WILL BE THERE

posted by Ben Witherington

Michael McDonald is one of my favorite soulful singers of all time, and he has done a lot of work backing up others and helping them make hit records. James Ingram, from Ohio was a Gospel singer who had some […]

When Theology is Claimed as Intellectual Property

posted by Ben Witherington

In our world where human beings seem to think they have ‘entitlement’ to all things which can be claimed we now can wondrously behold the miracle of the ‘theological patent’ or copyright of theological ideas— like say the theory of […]

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PRAYER PARTNERS

posted by Ben Witherington

There is an interesting new article in the Sunday NY Times on Barack Obama’s prayer partners. Here is the link, see what you think….. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/us/politics/15pastor.html?th&emc=th

THE HOUSTON MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

posted by Ben Witherington

<a href=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_MCBNSn1DlAU/SbxQybjhnYI/AAAAAAAACGo/51AFHOV9vsc/s1600-h/GC+426.jpg”> These picture were all from the recent ministry trip to Houston. The top picture is the beautiful dome in St. Mary’s Seminary where I lectured. The rest of the pictures are from the very fine exhibits at the […]

THE GOOD BISHOP WEIGHS IN– TOM WRIGHT ON ‘SURPRISED BY HOPE’

posted by Ben Witherington

———— N.T. Wright’s “Surprised by Hope” has been called an instant classic, and now with two years of positive reviews under its belt, it was time to sit down with the Bishop and ask some follow up questions which arise […]

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

posted by Ben Witherington

It sneaks up on you unawaresWhile you are preoccupiedIt catches you quite unpreparedEnthralled as you are in your pride. Blindsided, you flinch instinctivelyWhen suddenly you are accostedYou realize in an instance ‘it’s now…’Or else you’ve totally lost it. All those […]

THE NEW TESTAMENT IN ANTIQUITY– A TEXTBOOK

posted by Ben Witherington

THE NEW TESTAMENT IN ANTIQUITY— G.M. Burge, L.H. Cohick, G. L. Green (Zondervan 2009). ‘Of the making of Introductions to the New Testament, there is no end, and much reading is a weariness of the flesh’ but not all Introductions […]

COLBERT TAKES ON ANTI-GUN LOBBY

posted by Ben Witherington

The Colbert ReportMon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c The Word – Locked and Loathed Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor Rap BattleNASA Name Contest

Last Chance to see Last Chance Harvey

posted by Ben Witherington

Sometimes Christmas movies do better in the spring, and this is one such movie. Released on Christmas day, but still playing in some theaters (having taken in a modest $14 million), this movie keeps on percolating along, pleasing one audience […]

RESTORING HOPE IN A CRASHING ECONOMY

posted by Ben Witherington

I had originally planned to entitle this little series of essays ‘restoring hope during a crashing economy’, but in the end I decided the double entendre was worth keeping in these ambiguous times. With a profound grasp of the obvious, […]

ART AS WORK, WORKS OF ART

posted by Ben Witherington

[THE FOLLOWING IS A SMALL EXCERPT FROM MY LITTLE BOOK ON WORK IN THE LIGHT OF KINGDOM COME] BW3 I would like to conclude this discussion about what God calls, gifts, and inspires us to do by talking briefly about […]

BISHOPS CALLS FOR HI TECH FAST FROM CHIPS AND BYTES

posted by Ben Witherington

Cardinal explaining to Pope where he can hook up his Ipod in the Pope Mobile In a move bound to cause controversy with the young, Italian Catholic bishops have called for a high-tech fast during Lent, calling the faithful to […]

MUSICAL NIRVANA

posted by Ben Witherington

So I get back from Houston, and don’t even change clothes, ’cause me and the Missus are heading to Danville Kentucky (not to be confused with Danville, Va.) to see The New York Philharmonic at Centre College. This is probably […]

HUMAN BEHAVIOR FINALLY EXPLAINED

posted by Ben Witherington

THE STORY OF LIFE On the first day, God created the dog and said: ‘Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a […]

HOUSTON– WE HAVE A LECTURE

posted by Ben Witherington

I will be lecturing Wednesday Night at 7 p.m. at St. Thomas University in Houston, and all ya’ll who are in range are welcome to come. This lecture is the first in the series in honor of the year of […]

When Things Get Squirrelly at Church or Synagogue

posted by Ben Witherington

There were four country churches and a synagogue in a small TEXAS town: The Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church , the Catholic Church and the Jewish Synagogue. Each Church and Synagogue was overrun with pesky squirrels. One […]

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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