But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Larry Hurtado - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 01:31

Our Knowledge of Early Christianity

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Here’s an observation for consideration (or refutation):  We have more evidence about the beliefs, behavioral practices/demands, and diversity in early Christianity in the first two centuries AD than for any other religious group of the time.  From within the few decades we have...

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Sunday, 16 July 2017 02:51

Novenson’s New Book on Messianism

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A slightly belated congratulation of my colleague, Matthew Novenson, on the publication of his book, The Grammar of Messianism:  An Ancient Jewish Political Idiom and its Users (Oxford University Press, 2017; the publisher’s online catalog entry here).  He is featured...

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Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:38

On Representing the Views of Others

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The following exhortation about representing the views of others is primarily directed to students and younger scholars.  One of the aims I’ve striven for over the 40+ years of my scholarly work has been to represent the views of other scholars fairly, and especially those views with...

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017 23:00

Crossley’s Curious/Amusing Misfire

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James Crossley’s 2008 book, Jesus in an Age of Terror, was a broadscale critique of NT scholars (and it was directed against individuals) for their alleged biases.  One of those he attacked was me.  I drafted a response a couple of years ago, but then for various reasons...

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Tuesday, 11 July 2017 23:16

A Handy NT Greek Lexicon

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Over the years, I’ve repeatedly recommended to students A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, by G. Abbott-Smith.  I’ve often been surprised at how infrequently people knew about it.  For it’s perhaps the best hand-lexicon around.

In a volume of slightly more...

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Monday, 10 July 2017 23:58

More on “Destroyer of the gods” reviews

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In some contrast to the disappointing review of my book, Destroyer of the gods, that I blogged about earlier here, you might find this somewhat earlier review here more accurately reflective of the book.  It also notes the possible relevance of the book for modern-day Christians (and,...

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A collection of 32 of my previously published essays on earliest Jesus-devotion is scheduled to appear in September, and is now available for pre-order:  Ancient Jewish Monotheism and Early Christian Jesus-Devotion:  The Context and Character of Christological Faith (Baylor...

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I suppose many authors experience the uncertainty and occasional frustration with reviews of their books.  A recent review of my book, Destroyer of the gods (Baylor University Press, 2016) left me disappointed:  David Wheeler-Reed, in Expository Times128.9 (2017): 441-42.  A...

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Over the last several days news has broken that Hobby Lobby (big American firm selling household decoration items) has settled with the U.S. Justice Department over the purchase and importation of several thousand artifacts illegally obtained from Iraq.  E.g., news story here, and the...

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Thursday, 06 July 2017 01:30

“Communal Reading” in Early Christianity

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A forthcoming book by Brian J. Wright, Communal Reading in the Time of Jesus:  A Window into Early Christian Reading Practices, is a solid and valuable contribution to our grasp of how texts functioned in early Christianity.  View the publisher’s advance notice here....

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Sunday, 02 July 2017 20:03

A Serious Reader of “Lord Jesus Christ”

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I am pleased that my 2003 book, Lord Jesus Christ:  Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, continues to receive attention, including a series of postings by John Bainbridge, the latest one here.  My book is devoted to a historical analysis of earliest Jesus-devotion, whereas...

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Saturday, 24 June 2017 21:33

“The Saints” in the NT

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In the NT believers are referred to as “the saints/holy ones” over 60 times, particularly in Paul’s letters, with another concentration in Revelation, and a scattering of uses in some other NT writings (Acts, Hebrews, Jude).  It’s an interesting instance of a group...

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017 00:51

Is the New Testament a Field of Study?

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In the course of researching for another topic, I came across my notes of an article by Leander Keck, one of the major American figures in NT studies in the late 20th century:  “Is the New Testament a Field of Study? Or, From Outler to Overbeck and Back,” Second Century 1 (1981):...

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Tuesday, 06 June 2017 03:22

Fredriksen Honorary Doctorate

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Hearty congratulations to Paula Fredriksen (academic pal) on being awarded an honorary doctorate by Lund University!  She is an eminent scholar in early Christianity, with a new/forthcoming book on Paul:  Publisher’s online description here.

 

(The top hat is the gear awarded...

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Sunday, 04 June 2017 23:01

How We See Historical Changes

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Working now on a paper for a conference at summer’s end on the formation of early Christianity, I’ve noted to myself how careful we must be in the insufficiently examined use of metaphors to characterize the chronological changes in early Christianity.

With the (dubious?) advantage of...

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David J. Downs, Alms:  Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity (Baylor University Press, 2016), will be an enlightening and stimulating read for many.  His central thesis is that early Christian texts of the first three centuries reflect the beliefs that doing acts of...

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Sunday, 28 May 2017 16:14

Young Scholars of Promise

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I am currently taking part in events connected with the 2017 Lautenschlaeger Awards for Theological Promise in the University of Heidelberg.  The award is given to ten young scholars on the basis of their doctoral thesis or first book judged to reflect outstanding promise in scholarly...

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Monday, 15 May 2017 02:45

The “Thorny Crown”

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At our recent day-conference on ancient coinage, one speaker noted the depiction of rulers as wearing a “radiate crown,” a crown with spikey points that seems intended to ascribe the ruler with divine qualities.  You can see examples on coins here.

Many years ago, H. St. J. Hart...

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Wednesday, 03 May 2017 04:15

Kloppenborg’s Review of “Destroyer”

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On the one hand, I’m pleased to see a review of my book, Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World, in the prestigious online journal, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, here.  And the reviewer, John Kloppenborg, is certainly himself a respected scholar,...

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Wednesday, 03 May 2017 02:14

Two Recent Books on Coins

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In light of the recent day-session on “Coins and the Bible” here, I want to note two recent books.  Coins were a regular medium for kings and administrators to promote themselves and their regimes.  Coins were also sometimes minted to celebrate military victories. ...

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Thursday, 27 April 2017 18:23

“Paperback Writer”

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My recent book, Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World (Baylor University Press, 2016), is now available in paperback edition (the publisher’s online catalogue entry here), at a reduced price of $19.95.

I’m pleased to learn this, both because...

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Wednesday, 26 April 2017 18:29

Paul and Letter-Writing

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I’ve written a posting for the blog site of our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins on recent scholarly works analysing ancient authorial practices in relationship to Paul here.

These include a new book focused on the practice of authors adding a concluding postscript of sorts in their...

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017 08:15

Philippians 2:6-11

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In light of comments and questions arising in response to my previous posting about what “in the form of God/a god” might connote in Philippians 2:6-11, I immodestly point to my own study of the passage published in my book, How on Earth did Jesus Become a God?  Historical...

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 01:42

“The Form of God”: Philo and Paul

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An interesting passage in Philo of Alexandria, Embassy to Gaius (110-14) casts possible light on Paul’s reference to Christ as “being in the form of God/a god” (ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ...

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Sunday, 16 April 2017 01:14

Bookroll and Codex: Short Videos

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In response to a query a day or so ago, I pointed to a couple of short instructional videos I prepared on the ancient bookroll and the codex as resources for our Centre for the History of the Book.  In one video I explain how bookrolls (scrolls) and the codex were prepared here.

In the other...

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