Tag: History

Troy, archaeology and the Old Testament

Recently I came across a magazine article about the discovery of the remains of a 3,500 year old burial in Greece, dating to the time of the Mycenaean civilisation (about 1650-1200 BCE). I knew little about the Mycenaeans, so I read on, looked at a few other online sources, and made some interesting discoveries. Interesting […]

The historical evidence for Jesus seems to be getting stronger

The Pool of Bethesda – model in the Israel Museum Picture taken by deror avi on 18th August 2006 (Wikipedia) Fifty years ago, when I was a young christian, there was a clear division in New Testament studies between scholars who defended historic christianity and more secular scholars who took an extremely critical view of […]

Update: Did Josephus write about Jesus?

The New Testament gives us a lot of information about Jesus, but there aren’t many other historical references to Jesus in the first century to support the New Testament information. Some sceptics claim this indicates Jesus was an invention or a legend. So there has always been great interest in two references in the writings […]

Are the stories of Jesus’ birth historically true?

When expert historians examine the life of Jesus as recorded in the four gospels, the stories they question most are those of his birth. (Christian scholar Craig Keener didn’t even discuss Jesus’ birth in his monumental The Historical Jesus of the Gospels.) So how critical should we be when looking at these familiar stories? How […]

Was Jesus worshiped as God by his followers after he died?

Jesus is believed by christians to have been divine, the son of God. Many christians believe he very clearly made that claim during his life, and his disciples just kept on believing it after he died. However non-believers generally believe Jesus was not divine, but rather a small time prophetic teacher and healer, but legends […]

When is it right to trust the experts?

Last post (Iā€™m beginning to see a pattern here) I looked at a number of scientific and historical facts where a bunch of non-experts challenge the consensus of the real experts. These areas were: evolution vs creationism; whether Jesus was a historical person and Nazareth was where he lived; climate change; the medieval church vs […]

I’m beginning to see a pattern here

I seem to have had this feeling of deja vu before! šŸ™‚ Conversations on the internet where the topics were very different, but the discussions seem to go in the same direction. The other person might be an atheist or they might be a christian, but I seem to end up saying the same things.

Does the New Testament contain forgeries, or other books that shouldn’t be there?

Before we read a book, we will often want to know who wrote it and whether we can trust them to give us accurate information. It is therefore understandable that people might wonder who wrote the 27 books of the New Testament. Last post I discussed the writings of New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman. One […]

Bart Ehrman, New Testament scholar and agent provocateur

Bart Ehrman is an eminent New Testament scholar, a successful writer and a thorn in the side of conservative christians. I have been reading a few more of his books lately (those shown in the picture above), to see what makes him simultaneously so popular and unpopular. Some clear themes emerge, and I think they […]

The what and why of belief in Jesus

It is good, every now and again, to reflect on what we believe and why, and to review if there is any reason to change our minds. I think it is good, too, for a blog author to remind their readers of what the blog is all about. So here’s my summary – what I […]