iOS app Android app

Gospels

Journalism Tackles 'The Problem With Good Friday,' and an Episcopal Priest Responds

Bernard Starr | Posted 05.14.2015 | Religion
Bernard Starr

We know that journalism can impact attitudes and action. But it's rare to get concrete proof of that, as I did recently after publishing a blog post about the anti-Semitic content of traditional Good Friday performances of Passion plays and Passion musical compositions, many dating back to the Middle Ages.

Passion Plays and Oratorios, 'Christ Killers,' and the Magic Trick of 'Deus Ex Machina'

Bernard Starr | Posted 06.20.2015 | Arts
Bernard Starr

Given this horrible history, it's no surprise that for centuries Easter posed great danger for Jews. Good Friday church services have traditionally included passion plays that reenact the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.

Picturing the Jewish Jesus: Bill O'Reilly and the National Geographic Channel Get It Right.

Bernard Starr | Posted 05.31.2015 | Religion
Bernard Starr

When I tuned in on March 29, 2015, for the National Geographic's film production Killing Jesus, adapted from Bill O'Reilly's book Killing Jesus, I was poised, pen in hand, to write about the return of Jesus the Tea Party guy.

Judas -- Traitor or Hero?

Paul N. Anderson | Posted 05.17.2015 | Religion
Paul N. Anderson

Perhaps he was a bit of both. Clearly, his primary association among the canonical Gospels is that of being a traitor, although the "handing over" of Jesus to the authorities is not necessarily to be rendered as a "betrayal" in the Greek.

Five Stages of Anti-Semitism in Art -- From Medieval to Modern Times

Bernard Starr | Posted 04.21.2015 | Arts
Bernard Starr

Although Christianity did eventually emerge as a separate religion, similar falsifications of biblical history are rampant in collections of Renaissance art spanning hundreds of years. These distortions were not harmless. They imposed a dangerous division between Christians and Jews that lingers today.

Why We Know So Little About Moses and Jesus

Bernard Starr | Posted 04.05.2015 | Religion
Bernard Starr

The dearth of information about the formative influences on towering biblical figures such as Moses and Jesus has invited some skeptics to question whether they actually existed.

Handel's Messiah, Jesus, and the Old Testament

Greg Carey | Posted 02.01.2015 | Religion
Greg Carey

In the Messiah the Jesus story begins with Israel's prophets. They anticipate the savior's arrival, which finds its fulfillment in the gospel stories. Israel's anticipation and Jesus as its fulfillment: that makes the story.

Christian or Jewish Gospel Figures? The Answer Will Surprise You

Bernard Starr | Posted 02.01.2015 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Art historians, art critics, and curators of Renaissance painting exhibits have participated in a grand deception. They have remained silent in the face of falsifications of biblical history in artworks that are staring right at them.

Following Jesus... For Real This Time (My Jesus Project)

Christian Piatt | Posted 01.17.2015 | Religion
Christian Piatt

It's one thing to read all of these stories about Jesus, way back in the day; it's entirely another to consider what Jesus would do if he was plopped down in the middle of my 21st-century life, complete with mortgage, iPhone, family and Facebook account.

How A Near-Death Experience Inspired Bill Maher's Executive Producer To Write His Latest Play

The Huffington Post | Alena Hall | Posted 10.21.2014 | Religion

One can only avoid life's big questions for so long. And when writer Scott Carter finally faced those questions, the result was the creation of his...

Jaweed Kaleem

What Jefferson, Dickens And Tolstoy Can Teach Us About Exploring The Big Questions

HuffingtonPost.com | Jaweed Kaleem | Posted 10.31.2014 | Religion

In 1804, over three consecutive evenings, President Thomas Jefferson completed a private spiritual project. Using the King James Bible, he took a penk...

Authentic and False Images of Jesus in Artworks

Bernard Starr | Posted 11.05.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Jesus would likely be horrified by the image of him displaying a crucifix. The only crucifix he ever held was the one he was nailed to in the brutal process of his crucifixion.

Images of Jesus as Christian, Jew, Criminal, and Divine: Conception Drives Perception

Bernard Starr | Posted 10.21.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Like my students, Jews have shunned Jesus and failed to recognize his dedicated commitment to Judaism -- a recognition that does not require accepting him as the Messiah.

Response to Bill O'Reilly: Jesus Didn't Start a New Religion

Bernard Starr | Posted 09.17.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Bill O'Reilly disputed the two main points of my recent blog on The O'Reilly Factor broadcast: My affirmation of Jesus' lifelong dedication to Judaism (meaning he did not start a new religion) and the assertion that Renaissance art representations of Jesus omit his Jewish identity and thus falsify biblical history.

Jewish Jesus in Renaissance Art and the Roots of Anti-Semitism

Bernard Starr | Posted 08.18.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Isn't it time to celebrate the common heritage of Judaism and Christianity, despite the differences between the two faiths? Isn't it time to endorse Pope Francis's bold statement: "A Christian cannot be anti-Semitic; his roots are Jewish"?

Bill O'Reilly's Killing Jesus Illustrates the Problem With the Gospels

Bernard Starr | Posted 07.14.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Imagine if Bill O'Reilly were the first scribe to translate the gospels. His ideology surely would have compromised or edited the "words of God." Expand that scenario to an army of Bill O'Reilly scribes down through the ages, with different languages, ideologies and prejudices, and we can begin to appreciate the hazards of thinking of the gospels as history remembered rather than history storied.

Did Jesus Know What He Was Doing? Do We?

John Backman | Posted 05.31.2014 | Religion
John Backman

Placing our future in someone else's hands, even God's, is not easy. But it is an adventure -- an adventure easier to embark on if we hold to the fundamental Christian idea that God is love.

In the Middle of a Ham on Nye Sandwich

Joe The Nerd Ferraro | Posted 04.09.2014 | Religion
Joe The Nerd Ferraro

Since 1925 the Creationists have been scrambling to recover from Clarence Darrow's complete obliteration of the credibility of Genesis as a scientific basis for our origins.

Loving the Enemy From This Side of the Rainbow: A Prayer for Unity in 2014

H. Adam Ackley, Ph.D. | Posted 02.28.2014 | Religion
H. Adam Ackley, Ph.D.

To live as ourselves, to celebrate God's creativity and love in making us as we are, is NOT sin but FAITH. To call the creative and loving work of God "evil" is sin. To deny its full expression in Godly covenant within the community of the faithful (marriage equality) is sin.

Christmas, Fact and Fiction

Kristin M. Swenson, Ph.D. | Posted 02.21.2014 | Religion
Kristin M. Swenson, Ph.D.

Human beings are story-telling creatures. Stories help us to understand our world, to find our place in it and sometimes our purpose, too. So, the distinctions we draw between fact and fiction are rarely as absolute as we might wish them to be.

I Don't Get It

Joe The Nerd Ferraro | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Joe The Nerd Ferraro

The base of the GOP is supposedly rooted in evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics, people who say they forgo bread to live on the Word of God. When I see this part of the GOP base giddy about whatever issue du jour the GOP has dreamed up, I walk away thinking: I don't get it.

The Christian 'No' to War

John Dear | Posted 11.15.2013 | Religion
John Dear

I would like to remind us as followers of the nonviolent Jesus, we have been commanded to put down the sword, reject the militarism of empire, and find another way. We are called to practice the aggressive nonviolent resistance which Jesus demonstrated unto death.

Satan and the Demons

William B. Bradshaw | Posted 11.07.2013 | Religion
William B. Bradshaw

Being tempted by the devil was the first incident in Jesus' ministry following his baptism, and since it was initiated by God, it should be taken as a foreshadowing of Jesus' lifelong battle with Satan.

Will the Real Jesus Please Step Forward: Many Stories, Few Facts

Bernard Starr | Posted 10.06.2013 | Religion
Bernard Starr

The "functional facts" of the canonical Gospels and the rest of the New Testament have been misread and misinterpreted. Moreover, the distortions were driven by Christian and Jewish leaders who were intent on imposing wedges to distance the two faiths as separate religions.

Misogyny, Not So Much Homophobia, Is the Church's Root Issue Needing a Solution

Jonathan Wolfman | Posted 09.30.2013 | Religion
Jonathan Wolfman

Until the history of institutional misogyny is addressed, moves of openness toward gay people cannot amount to very much: no institution solves a tangential psycho-sexual malady as it "shuts the door" on its root sexual prejudice.