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Early Christianity

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.

Constantine Christianity Or The Teachings of Jesus?

Byron Williams | Posted 09.23.2012 | Religion
Byron Williams

Early Christianity was a rebellious underground movement until Roman Emperor Constantine made it his religious practice in A.D. 312. These events did more for the spread of Christianity than any proselytizing efforts conducted by the Apostle Paul.

Jesus Existed

Craig S. Keener | Posted 09.07.2012 | Religion
Craig S. Keener

What movement would make up a recent leader, executed by a Roman governor for treason, and then declare, "We're his followers"? If they wanted to commit suicide, there were simpler ways to do it.

Have We Gotten Heaven All Wrong?

Posted 05.17.2012 | Religion

By John Murawski Religion News Service (RNS) The oft-cliched Christian notion of heaven -- a blissful realm of harp-strumming angels -- has remain...

A Polite Bribe: Paul's Final Journey To Jerusalem

Robert Orlando | Posted 07.07.2012 | Religion
Robert Orlando

Had the Roman army not pulled his bloodied frame from the mob, Paul would have died. Even his ironic journey to Rome as a prisoner -- rather than apostle -- would not have occurred.

The Tale Of The Confused Christian Calendars

Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr. | Posted 06.12.2012 | Religion
Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr.

While western Christians have completed their celebrations of the Lenten season and Easter, eastern Christians are just gearing up for their own. How did that happen?

WATCH: What The Shroud Of Turin Can Tell Us About The Birth Of Christianity

Posted 04.05.2012 | Religion

Jesus may not have risen, but an art historian thinks he knows why the apostles believed. Thomas de Wesselow explains what the Shroud of Turin can ...

Easter Before The Bunny

Garry Wills | Posted 06.03.2012 | Religion
Garry Wills

In early Christian communities, Easter was the day when, normally, all new Christians were baptized, and it was the deepest spiritual experience most of them would ever have.

A New Narrative For Paul And The Early Church?

Robert Orlando | Posted 02.03.2012 | Religion
Robert Orlando

The Apostle Paul was, for much of his life, and abject failure who never knew the success of his Christianizing mission. And yet, Paul was incredibly talented in one key measure: being divisive.

Paul Did Not 'Invent' Christianity

Greg Carey | Posted 12.26.2011 | Religion
Greg Carey

How did followers of Jesus move from a religion focused upon Israel's God and God's kingdom to a religion devoted to the person of Jesus? For many, the Apostle Paul fills that gap.

What Was The Role Of Women In The Earliest Churches?

Greg Carey | Posted 12.09.2011 | Religion
Greg Carey

The answer is, simply, that the early churches did value women's contributions. Not only did women show their strength in numbers, they did so in leadership positions as well