Tag: History

The Exodus (book review)

What should we make of the story of the Exodus in the Old Testament? Two million people escape slavery in Egypt after a series of savage plagues, with God leading the way. They escape the pursuing Egyptian army by walking through the waters of the Red Sea, which God miraculously parts, then closes on the […]

Did Jesus suffer from a mental disorder?

In Mark 3, it is recorded that when Jesus’ family heard how he was attracting a great following, they thought he was “out of his mind”. These days a similar charge is sometimes made – that Jesus exhibited behaviour that suggests he suffered from a mental disorder. I’ve come across it several times, most recently […]

Going from the historical Jesus to the Jesus of faith

A reader commenting on this blog asked me some questions about Jesus and history and I thought that they were good questions worthy of a decent response. Part of John’s comment was: “So I was curious as to what your specific Christian beliefs were …. where you stand on Christ’s divinity. It’s one thing to […]

Sam Harris and fake history

Sam Harris is a leading figure in the so-called “new atheists”, an author, speaker and polemicist who strongly opposes Christianity and (even more) Islam. So he is in great demand to speak on many issues of science, ethics and religion, not just the subjects of his university degrees – philosophy and neuroscience. As a “public […]

How to read the Bible if you’re an unbeliever

I reckon too many people, christian and non-christians alike, read the Bible in the wrong way. So how should an unbeliever approach the Bible if he or she wants to read it honestly, whether to learn from it or to critique it?

Is God genocidal?

I remember being concerned about it more than 40 years ago. How could God command his people to murder everyone living in each Canaanite city that they captured? And I am not the only one to feel revolted by these commands in the book of Deuteronomy and the accounts in the book of Joshua. Critics […]

Four things the historians tell us about Jesus’ miracles – and one thing they don’t

A few months back I responded to a discussion I was having about Jesus’ miracles by writing a post on the historical evidence. I have since turned that post into a permanent page, Did Jesus really perform miracles?, so I thought I would summarise the main conclusions here. Some of them may be surprising to […]

How can a christian possibly believe in something as impossible as the resurrection of Jesus?

It’s Easter again, which evokes different responses in different people. Some people think about the claim that, after he was executed, Jesus was raised to life by God. Of all the critical comments I have received on this blog, criticism of christian belief about the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most common and […]

“We measure our days out In steps of uncertainty”

One of the pleasures in having an old vinyl record collection is getting an old album out of the storeroom and playing it after years, maybe decades. Some albums stand up, some sound outdated. And some songs still hit you with all the old force. Here’s one.

I don’t normally get much involved in conspiracy theories about Jesus, but ….

I’m not much interested in arguments about christianity. I try to focus on the known facts, the consensus conclusions of scholars and then express what I personally conclude. I’m happy for alternative, and opposite, opinions to be expressed, but I don’t see a lot of point arguing over them. But I am more interested when […]