Tag: History

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 […]

Jesus as seen by the historians

Most of the scholars who write about Jesus would be considered to be New Testament historians. But there are other historians interested in that period. There are classical historians, who study the history of Greece and Rome. Christianity is very important for this study, because it was a major movement that eventually affected the entire […]

Jesus, modern historical scholarship, and sceptics

Evidence and conflict resolution It is no secret that believers and unbelievers argue a lot on the internet. But it is helpful to consider the nature of the disagreement. Experts on conflict resolution have identified a number of different sources of conflict, one of which is a “data conflict”, that is, a disagreement about the […]

A foolproof argument against the resurrection?

I was reading my favourite atheist blog recently when I saw a commenter make an argument against the resurrection that went something like this: There are natural explanations of the resurrection (e.g. “It is possible that grave robbers stole the body of Jesus [and] …. that the alleged post-death appearances of Jesus were simply vivid […]

Two scientists, probability and God

I have always found astronomy and cosmology fascinating since I was a boy, and so I follow several science blogs. Recently two of them published interesting blog posts on probability and Bayes Theorem. Even if you’re not much interested in maths, I think there’s plenty worth looking at in these posts.

Too many preconceptions about the Bible?

We all have different experiences of life and form different views about everything we think about. We bring these perspectives to different questions and challenges we are confronted with – our thinking is, the psychologists tell us, more subjective than we’d like to believe. These presuppositions and biases can’t help but affect our conclusions. Different […]