Baker Books proposes a new time-shift

A reader (thank you, Alan) recently apprized me of a book hot off the press (May 3, 2022): Rethinking the Dates of the New Testament (RDNT), by Dr. Jonathan Bernier. According to the Amazon page, the book proposes that the New Testament was written twenty to thirty years earlier than traditionally thought, that is, towards the middle of the first century CE! I’d like to mention that the publisher, Baker Books, is a conservative Christian imprint on whose welcome page we read: Baker Books has a vision for building up the body of Christ through books that are relevant, intelligent, and engaging. We publish titles for lay Christians on topics such as discipleship, apologetics, spirituality, relationships, marriage, parenting, and the … Continue reading

An immodest proposal: Lock ’em up!

Some good friends recently sent me the following recommendation: We the People of these United States—319 million of us, give or take a few hundred thousand—should locate the 500 richest Americans and gather them into one place. That shouldn’t be too hard. A single large room will be sufficient to seat those 500 persons. Once they are together, we can ask those wealthiest individuals a few questions. The first is: Why should I work for you? It’s a simple question. Not complicated. The People can listen attentively to the reply from the super-rich, some of whom might, however, respond boorishly: “If you don’t work for me, I’ll cut off your head.” Such a response, of course, would not be a … Continue reading

Folly 2: How to Become a Saint

“How to Become a Saint” by Baron Avro Manhattan Author of Latin America and the Vatican (1946) Catholic Imperialism and World Freedom (1952) Vatican Imperialism in the 20th Century (1965) Vietnam: Why Did We Go? (1984) The Vatican’s Holocaust (1986); etc.      I have decided to become a saint!      In the past, when I was very naive, I thought it a most difficult job. Indeed, I was persuaded it was an impossibility—during my lifetime, at any rate. Now, however, I know better. My chances of becoming a saint are very high. So are yours, for that matter.      Before I disclose ways and means of reaching sainthood, let us first be clear on one thing. What is a saint?      It is a … Continue reading

How to get rid of historicists

        I was composing my regular message to the JesusMysteries list the other day—the group which caters to those who believe Jesus never existed—when suddenly my message got posted while I was still typing away. I figured I’d inadvertently hit the “send” button and checked the message list online. Sure enough, the first half of my message was there, but not the unwritten meaty part where I was really going to lay into historicists. I restarted the computer and began a new message, including an apology and continuing into the real attack on the historical Jesus. Bam! Within seconds the message got posted again and I was sure this time that I didn’t go anywhere near the “send” button.         So I … Continue reading

16 awesomely important talks at the upcoming SBL-AAR convention

It’s taken me a whole week just to go through the 500-page program book for the annual SBL megaconvention, a task I completed this morning. Whew! My 25-minute talk on Nazareth will be just one of a gazzillion similar presentations taking place Nov. 17-20. The combination SBL-AAR meeting (my first) will happen at the biggest convention center in the world—McCormick Place in Chicago. For four days I’ll be surrounded by thousands of bible scholars, all excitedly communicating the latest cutting edge religious research. Well, “cutting edge” is in the eye of the beholder. The following is a list of presentations drawn from the program book, all cited verbatim: SBL: – Dining to death: stories of death following eating (25 min) … Continue reading