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Early Christianity

Discovering a Lost and Forgotten Early Christian 'Gospel'

James D. Tabor | Posted 09.05.2014 | Religion
James D. Tabor

Few Christians today have even heard of the Didache, but this text allows us a glimpse into a largely forgotten form of early Christianity, one that stands in rather stark contrast to the Christianity developed by the Apostle Paul some decades after the death of Jesus.

Ancient Christian Charm Discovered In University Library

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 09.02.2014 | Religion

A recently re-discovered papyrus amulet dating from the 6th century may offer a fascinating glimpse into early Christian life. Lecturer Roberta Ma...

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.

The Earliest Picture of Jesus on the Cross

John Shore | Posted 06.18.2014 | Religion
John Shore

We can glimpse a bit of the historical importance of the crucifixion through early Christian depictions of that event. The absolute earliest visual depictions of Jesus' crucifixion exist in the form of a symbol called the staurogram.

F.C. Baur, the Nosferatu of New Testament Critical Studies?

Robert Orlando | Posted 04.15.2014 | Religion
Robert Orlando

Over the last few decades, whenever the notion of a harmonious Christian beginning has been challenged, there seems to have been a readily available "how-to-manual" defense against this perspective.

Kate Cooper Introduces Early Christian Women

Greg Carey | Posted 03.08.2014 | Religion
Greg Carey

Why is it that so many women, especially elite women, chose to pursue monastic lives?

The Christians as the Romans Saw Them: Superstitious, Depraved, Obstinate, and Foolish

James D. Tabor | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
James D. Tabor

This sort of religious segregation from common expressions of Greco-Roman piety -- from swearing allegiance to the Roman Gods and to the Emperor to participation in activities associated with pagan temples -- effectively marginalized those adherents to "Christ as a god" from the rest of society.

Paul the Jew as Founder of Christianity?

James D. Tabor | Posted 11.16.2013 | Religion
James D. Tabor

The notion that Christianity depends on "grace" and Judaism on "works" is a terribly unfortunate misunderstanding of Judaism. What divides Paul from Judaism is his insistence that God's justifying forgiveness is only extended to those who accept his Christ faith.

Does the Free Market Corrode Moral Character?

Victor Udoewa | Posted 11.03.2013 | Business
Victor Udoewa

I actually do not know what system would be better, though I am willing to work with others to create one. Perhaps, a possible solution is more subtle than a change of systems. One of the communal moral corrosions that I see all around will help explain this -- a lack of satisfaction.

Building Amish: Young Women, Baptists Among the Real Seekers of Anabaptist Life

David Briggs | Posted 10.30.2013 | Religion
David Briggs

"I am a Christian. I don't like the way the English teenagers live. I have always treasured the simple life and the way the Amish live and am looking to hopefully become Amish when I'm old enough," said one teen who described herself as "a modest young lady."

The Oldest Easter Story: Forgotten But Hidden in Plain Sight

James D. Tabor | Posted 09.28.2013 | Religion
James D. Tabor

John 20:1-10 is a precious glimpse into a most plausible historical scenario as to what happened after Jesus' death, and why the temporary tomb into which Jesus was placed was indeed empty, before the various theological presentations involving "sightings" of Jesus began to accrue to the story.

Islam or Christianity? 'True' or 'Truthy' Jesus? How Much Does Any of It Matter?

Dr. David Liepert | Posted 09.15.2013 | Religion
Dr. David Liepert

I've actually put a lot of thought into my chosen religion: in Islam -- among other things -- I think I'm looking to the most authentic representation of the person of Jesus, for myriad robust and scripturally based reasons.

'Christ Killers': The Hidden Agenda

Bernard Starr | Posted 08.20.2013 | Religion
Bernard Starr

The historic charge "Christ Killers" leveled against Jews is one of the most bizarre indictments ever made. Its defiance of facts and logic would be comical if it weren't for the horrific slaughter of untold numbers of Jews over the centuries based on that accusation.

What if Jesus Was Real?

Joel L. Watts | Posted 08.19.2013 | Religion
Joel L. Watts

The historical trajectory of theological development ending with the Gospels but beginning with the Jesus of history is rather easy to trace and even more recoverable than the Historical Jesus. Perhaps this could tell us something about the real Jesus.

Apostle Paul Lived And Died As A Dedicated Jew

Bernard Starr | Posted 08.04.2013 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Paul's vision was to make his brand of Judaism -- with the recognition of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah -- a world religion easily accessible to everyone. At no time did he repudiate Judaism or declare that he represented a new religion.

Witness: To Be With Jesus' Companions After The Crucifixion

Jonathan Wolfman | Posted 08.03.2013 | Religion
Jonathan Wolfman

I want to have known the charisma of the rabbi who was Jesus. I want to have been among the first to hear his words on justice and the Kingdom of God spoken over and over and over again.

Mary: Mother of God Or Jewish Mother Of Seven?

James D. Tabor | Posted 07.31.2013 | Religion
James D. Tabor

Christian dogma and devotion, as sincere as it might be, robs the mother who bore Jesus of her humanity. The very concept of an asexual "mother of God" is alien and foreign to Jewish culture and to the Hebrew Bible.

Why Christians Were Denied Access To Their Bible For 1,000 Years

Bernard Starr | Posted 07.20.2013 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Wouldn't you assume that the newly established Church would want its devotees to immerse themselves in the sanctioned New Testament, especially since the Church went to great lengths to eliminate competing Gospels?

It's Time For A New New Testament

Hal Taussig | Posted 07.20.2013 | Religion
Hal Taussig

More than 75 otherwise unknown documents from the early Christ movements of the first and second centuries have been discovered in the past 150 years. As they have been translated and studied, it's become clear that many of them belong to the very heart of Christian beginnings.

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.