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Early Christianity

Why The Copts Matter

James Cowan | Posted 07.09.2013 | Religion
James Cowan

The Coptic Church is the West's last link to an early form of Christianity, and to a tradition of eremitical life that has all but disappeared from the modern world. Copts remind us of what Egypt means as a repository of all that the West holds dear in terms of thought, culture and civilization.

Traditionally, Christianity Is Against All Marriage

Kristi Upson-Saia | Posted 06.29.2013 | Religion
Kristi Upson-Saia

The earliest Christian communities considered heterosexual marriage to be fraught with problems and was thus to be avoided. Christian leaders argued that married people were too distracted by their familial obligations to be wholly devoted to God.

Et Tu, Judas?

Jeff Schweitzer | Posted 06.17.2013 | Books
Jeff Schweitzer

The Gospel of Judas has been reexamined and again found to be authentic. By analyzing the unique ink used and how that ink interacted with the ancient papyrus, scientists concluded anew that the document is genuine.

Why Our Bodies Matter

Greg Carey | Posted 06.03.2013 | Religion
Greg Carey

Jesus' resurrection is not merely a spiritual thing -- the apparition of his ghost, or his ongoing spiritual influence. The Gospels all insist that the resurrection includes Jesus' body.

The Greatest Comeback Of All Time

Rick McDaniel | Posted 05.28.2013 | Religion
Rick McDaniel

Jesus died on a Friday. Some women went to the cave where he was buried on Sunday morning and found the stone in the front of the tomb rolled away. Jesus was not dead but had risen from the grave. The greatest comeback in history had taken place!

Why Christ Needs Christianity

Tyler Blanski | Posted 05.28.2013 | Religion
Tyler Blanski

To say Christ does not need Christianity is like saying a farmer does not need agriculture. If by agriculture we mean Monsanto and McDonald's, then perhaps the statement is true. But if by agriculture we mean the practice of farming, then the statement is an oxymoron.

The Myth Of Christian Persecution

Candida Moss | Posted 05.20.2013 | Religion
Candida Moss

If persecution language is not reserved for situations of actual persecution, then unspeakable violence becomes indescribable. Disagreement becomes martyrdom and martyrdom becomes disagreement.

How Artists Invented The Christian Jesus

Bernard Starr | Posted 05.19.2013 | Religion
Bernard Starr

This Christianization phenomenon fueled anti-Semitism through the ages by strengthening the illusion that Jesus and Jews were of different ethnicities and religions.

A Church Of Non-Christians

Peter Rollins | Posted 05.19.2013 | Religion
Peter Rollins

An influential movement speaks beyond the confines of its origin, crosses tribal boundaries and touches people who might otherwise have no connection with each other. These communities do exist, they always have. But they are often hidden away and hard to track down.

Solving The Priest Shortage

Garry Wills | Posted 04.14.2013 | Religion
Garry Wills

We live in a time when Catholic priests are an aging and shrinking group, damaged in morale and reputation, overstretched in their monopolization of all sacramental services. What we really need are no priests.

Where Did Heresy Begin?

Greg Carey | Posted 03.25.2013 | Religion
Greg Carey

The claim that our religious beliefs and practices are right because they are ancient goes way back in our history. But an important new book points out that Christian heresy did not emerge when some misguided Christians deviated from a "pure" and "original" orthodoxy.

The Gospel Of Art

Pierre R. Berastaín | Posted 02.26.2013 | Religion
Pierre R. Berastaín

"Art gives us access to many different way of engaging and understanding God all at the same time and I think that is really valuable when engaging with a God who is beyond our understanding. "

Did Jesus Celebrate Hanukkah?

Craig S. Keener | Posted 02.05.2013 | Religion
Craig S. Keener

We might not always agree on the meaning of Jesus' participation in Jewish festivals, but we can agree that Jesus honored these traditions of his people. For Christians, this model should invite an appreciation for Jewish tradition.

Christianity Before Paul

James D. Tabor | Posted 01.29.2013 | Religion
James D. Tabor

The fundamental doctrinal tenets of Christianity can be traced back to Paul -- not to Jesus. In contrast, the original Christianity before Paul is somewhat difficult to find in the New Testament.

A Polite Tribute To Alan Segal

Robert Orlando | Posted 01.14.2013 | Religion
Robert Orlando

Alan Segal graced us for a while -- to teach and inspire, but, most of all to befriend those who shared his mortal journey. Whether or not he was conscious of it, he did his part to heal, repair and transform this world.

PHOTOS: In The Footsteps Of (The Historical) Jesus

Jean-Pierre Isbouts, D.Litt. | Posted 01.12.2013 | Religion
Jean-Pierre Isbouts, D.Litt.

"In the Footsteps of Jesus" is the culmination of a very personal 15-year quest for the historical Jesus. I spent part of that time trying to retrace the footsteps of Jesus and those who followed in his wake.

A Vote For Historic Christianity At Election Time

Dr. David P. Gushee | Posted 01.02.2013 | Religion
Dr. David P. Gushee

Perhaps because of the long informal establishment of (Protestant) Christianity as America's culture-religion, long ago the American Church became confused about what exactly it means to be the Church.

What Have We Learned From The Dead Sea Scrolls?

John J. Collins | Posted 12.22.2012 | Religion
John J. Collins

Ever since their discovery, the scrolls have aroused passions on a scale that is extraordinary for an academic subject. Now that those passions have cooled, the time is ripe to ask what we have really learned from this remarkable discovery.

Jesus' Nonviolent Resistance For The Marginalized

Craig S. Keener | Posted 12.19.2012 | Religion
Craig S. Keener

If Jesus' preaching of an imminent kingdom sounded too political, it would arouse Roman concern. Jesus probably did not simply predict his death: He provoked it.

So What If Jesus Had A Wife?

Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson | Posted 12.08.2012 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson

Is it true? Is it a fake? Should we care? If Jesus was married, would it overturn the patriarchy that for 2,000 years kept women out of ordained leadership? Would it allow men to be married and ordained in the Catholic Church?

What Happens When You Put The New Testament In Order

Marcus Borg | Posted 10.31.2012 | Religion
Marcus Borg

A chronological New Testament is different from and yet the same as the New Testament familiar to Christians. It contains the same 27 documents, but sequences them in the chronological order in which they were written.

Man Does Not Live By God Alone

Robert Orlando | Posted 10.29.2012 | Religion
Robert Orlando

Most conservative scholars will view the money transaction through a mythical lens and argue that Paul's collection given to the Jerusalem Apostles was not a "bribe" but an attempt to unify the church. But is that all it was?

How The Apostle Paul Transformed Christianity

Robert Orlando | Posted 10.13.2012 | Religion
Robert Orlando

Paul is the "shadow behind all four of the Gospels" and the key light illuminating the Empty Tomb stories, a main source of revelation when there was no core understanding of Jesus.

Who Was The Apostle Paul's Thorn?

Robert Orlando | Posted 10.03.2012 | Religion
Robert Orlando

For centuries, Scholars have debated Paul's mysterious "barb." It has been the source of much speculation, including Paul's lusts, sexual preference or physical ailments, including malaria and eye disease.

Yes, James the Brother of Jesus!

Robert Orlando | Posted 09.25.2012 | Religion
Robert Orlando

Paul, in his Galatians autobiography, identifies James as a man who replaced Peter as the head of the early Church. Additional apocryphal and secular sources assume James as heir to the church and rightfully so as his brother.