Tag: History

Jesus: more than a baby!

It’s that time of year, when even non-christians think about Jesus, at least a little. But what do they think? What should they think?

The star of Bethlehem

It’s almost Christmas, so it’s a good time for a look at something interesting but not so serious. What was the star that the wise men followed to lead them to where the baby Jesus was in Bethlehem?

Christians, atheists and confirmation bias

“Confirmation bias …. is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way …. [or] interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.” (Wikipedia) Atheists often accuse christians of confirmation bias, […]

What do the leading secular historians say about Jesus?

A lot of things are written about Jesus, by believers, sceptics and everyone in between. But what do the experts (historians at leading universities) say? Ken, a reader of this blog, asked a question about this recently in comments on another topic, so I thought a separate post might help clarify.

Was the divinity of Jesus a third century invention of the church?

In a recent discussion, a reader commented on a claim by Alvin Boyd Kuhn that “Christianity took a wrong turn during the 3rd century and looked to one man being divine” We can all choose to believe whatever we wish, but is there any historical evidence for this claim?

How does God ‘prove’ himself to believers?

Last post, I discussed Nate’s idea that God used miracles to prove he existed in Jesus’ day, and so he should still do so today if he existed. And I gave reasons to believe that wasn’t a correct understanding of God, nor of Jesus’ life. So, does God give us any good reasons to believe, […]

How on earth did Jesus become God?

Most historians have concluded that a man named Jesus truly lived and died in first century Palestine, and that the gospels tell us significant details about his life. These historians include non-believers and Jews (who generally believe Jesus was no more than an outstanding man) as well as Christians (who generally believe he was divine). […]

The future of western civilisation – no less!

I came across some interesting comments today – about the history and future of western civilisation. I thought they were worth sharing.

Books: historical Jesus

I have recently read two very different books about Jesus and history. One was long, one short; one was by a retired academic, the other by a rising star; one was a detailed analysis of all the things we can objectively know about Jesus’ life, the other a postmodern explanation of why our knowledge is […]

How many early humans?

I have been doing a little reading on DNA, evolution and human history, and the implications of the latest science for christian belief (see DNA, genes and human history). The questions of what do we class as “human”, when the first humans appeared, and how many there were, pose some interesting challenges.