Dr. Lena Einhorn’s “time shift” hypothesis

Lena Einhorn’s book The Jesus Mystery: Astonishing Clues to the True Identities of Jesus and Paul (2007) made two arguments: (1) the standard chronology of the New Testament is about twenty years too early (this is Einhorn’s “time shift” theory); and (2) that Jesus and Paul were one and the same person. I have not read the book, nor have I heard either of these theories before. But I have just finished reading Einhorn’s remarkable SBL paper regarding the first of the above theories. It is masterful. Not the typical New Testament scholar Lena Einhorn is a medical doctor with a PhD in Virology and Tumor Biology from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. In the 1980s she changed course and began … Continue reading

My trip to the SBL in Chicago—Part 3

At the University of Chicago library   Sometimes I travel just to spend time at a well endowed library. Not too long ago I spent a very productive week in springtime at the Graduate Theological Union library in Berkeley. For me, that’s even a better vacation than lounging on the sands of Hawaii. One of my reasons for accepting the SBL speaking engagement was to be able to spend time at the world class Univ. of Chicago library. With about ten million volumes, it’s more than three times the size of the (entirely respectable) Univ. of Oregon library which I routinely use.   Over the previous year I had prepared in advance a list of (mostly obscure) books and articles … Continue reading

My trip to the SBL in Chicago—Part 2

BAR rears its head (or raises its rear)   No doubt for logistical reasons, several religious studies conventions took place about the same time in Chicago. The venerable American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) hosted its annual convention immediately before the SBL (Nov. 14-17) at the Chicago Mariott hotel downtown, thus allowing scholars to go from ASOR to SBL without leaving town.   BAR was different. The well known Biblical Archaeology Review is a traditionalist magazine that, IMO, often sensationalizes and not seldom misinforms. Over the years I’ve avoided this rag like the plague. In any case, BAR is published by the Biblical Archaeology Society which elected to compete with ASOR and SBL-AAR by scheduling its annual conference simultaneously a … Continue reading

My trip to the SBL in Chicago—Part 1

As mentioned in a prior post, I had to be coaxed into going to the SBL/AAR annual convention, for the academic scene basically turns me off. I observe PhD’s in Biblical Studies not doing their job and reflexively think, What excuse in this modern day and age do you have for perpetuating groundless delusions among your students? I realize that this is not entirely fair, for some committed professors are not tied to a theological agenda. They are few, however, and their voices are drowned out by the hordes of propagandists who—you guessed it—annually populate the halls of SBL mega-conventions. Even fine professors, unfortunately, often have a laissez faire attitude and don’t realize the uniqueness that attaches to either their … 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

My upcoming SBL talk on Nazareth archeology

Today I sent in the draft for my upcoming talk in Chicago at the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) Annual Meeting (Nov. 17-20). As it happens, the SBL program book also arrived in today’s mail—a 500 page doorstop that all attendees are supposed to carry around with them for four days. Right… The trip to Chicago will be a welcome break from my mundane existence in Eugene, Oregon. Thankfully, my costs have been covered by a generous benefactor. Otherwise, I could hardly afford the $1,000 tab. This will be my first SBL meeting—and probably my last. I was basically dragged kicking and screaming into giving this presentation—because, quite frankly, the academic scene turns me off. I have little interest in … Continue reading