A History of the Christian Gospels

The gospels were produced from c.70 CE to perhaps 100 CE. Introduction The New Testament contains four gospels attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The four gospels are not biographies of Jesus, nor are they history as we define it. What each gospel attempted to do was write a theological explanation for the events[…]

Historical Problems in the Trial(s) and Crucifixion in the Gospels

Reading the gospels as history without the criteria we apply to the reading of all ancient history remains problematic. Introduction The story of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ is reenacted every year by Christians all over the world in the Easter liturgy. The story has become an essential article of faith and is rarely questioned by New Testament scholars[…]

The Story of the Exodus and Lack of Historicity

Archaeologists from the 19th century actually expressed surprise when they failed to find any evidence whatsoever for the events of Exodus. Introduction This article examines the Young Earth creationist and Biblical literalist claims regarding the historical reality of the Exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt, as well as the evidence relating to such claims.[…]

Abraham, the Patriarch: The Stories and the Historicity

Little if any direct archeological evidence exists concerning Abraham. Introduction In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Abraham is a venerated patriarch whose relationship with God provides the foundational story for God’s beneficial relationship with humanity. According to biblical tradition (and some say myth), Abraham (c. 20th century BCE) was born in or near the city of Ur in Mesopotamia,[…]

How Translation Obscured the Music and Wordplay of the Bible

Translators of the Bible have rarely understood the need or made the effort to convey the literary dimension of the Hebrew works. An essential fact about the Hebrew Bible is that most of its narrative prose as well as its poetry manifests a high order of sophisticated literary fashioning. This means that any translation that[…]

“The Lying Pen of the Scribes”: A Nineteenth-Century Dead Sea Scroll

Historical research is important not simply for its own sake, but for what we can learn from it and apply to the future. The original version of Deuteronomy. That’s how the newly-discovered text was billed in August 1883. Several fragments of a 2,800-year-old scroll had made their way into the hands of Moses Shapira, an[…]