Aristotle and the Household Codes

One of the puzzles about the ending of some of the letters in the New Testament is knowing how to read the ‘household management codes’ in Ephesians 5:21-6:9, Colossians 3:12-4:6 and 1 Peter 2:11-3:22. Most of Paul’s letters, once the theological argument is done, have specific instructions on practical living  (‘the indicative followed by the imperative’), but in these … Continue Reading

Jesus wasn’t born in a stable

I am sorry to spoil your preparations for Christmas before the Christmas lights have even gone up—though perhaps it is better to do this now than the week before Christmas, when everything has been carefully prepared. But Jesus wasn’t born in a stable, and, curiously, the New Testament hardly even hints that this might have … Continue Reading

The evidence for Jesus outside the NT

Every now and then a theory comes along which is so implausible it is questionable whether it is worth responding. That has happened again this week with reports in the Daily Mail of a certain ‘historical researcher’ names Michael Paulkovich who claims that Jesus never existed and was a ‘mythical character’. The slight irony is … Continue Reading

Jesus the misunderstood revolutionary

The latest ‘new discovery’ about Jesus that has been hitting the headlines and topping the best-seller lists is Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan. Aslan holds some personal interest in the question, since he was apparently raised in a Christian home but converted to Islam. The blurb on Amazon … Continue Reading

‘Bible’s Buried Secrets’ iii: planting ideas in Eden?

This week saw the broadcast of the third and last of the series with Francesca Stavrakopoulou supposedly exposing the real meaning of the Bible and thus over-turning centuries of tradition. My reflections on the previous two episodes can be found here and here.

In some ways this episode exhibited the same issues as the first two, though I thought the arguments much less coherent, with more evidence of jumping to unfounded conclusions without setting out

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Buried secrets—or hidden assumptions?

Last night was the second episode of the BBC’s The Bible’s Buried Secrets. Go here for my comments on the first programme. This one covered different areas, but for me was more disappointing.

Once again, Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou (whom I will call FS for short) set up from the outset a sharp dichotomy between religious and ‘objective’ views.

Although FS presents her conclusions as

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What did the ‘Bible’s Buried Secrets’ Unearth?

Last Wednesday saw the first of three programmes, ‘The Bible’s Buried Secrets’, in which Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou of Exeter University looked at what archaeology tells us about the Old Testament. This first episode explored whether there was evidence for King David’s ’empire.’

What did we learn?

1. Subjective Bible versus Objective History?
From the opening, Stavrakopoulou and other commentators

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