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
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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Tuesday, 11 April 2017 18:21

Easter Roundtable

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A roundtable discussion on Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection led by Professor Helen Bond, with Dr. Sara Parvis and me participating is available now here.  Bond commences with queries about how Jesus’ corpse was handled after his crucifixion, whether it was in fact buried or...

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Sunday, 09 April 2017 20:50

Early Christian Gospels: A New Study

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Scott D. Charlesworth’s major study will deserve notice by anyone working on the text and transmission of the Gospels in the earliest centuries: Early Christian Gospels: Their Production and Transmission (Papyrologica Florentina, 47; Firenze: Edizioni Gonnelli, 2016). This is a wide-ranging...

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Monday, 03 April 2017 19:24

“Coins in/and the Bible”: Day-conference

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The Centre for the Study of Christian Origins (University of Edinburgh) will host a day-conference on “coins and the Bible,” 29 April 2017, in New College (Martin Hall).  Experts from the British Museum and the University will make presentations on a body of ancient material often...

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An interview by David Heim over my recent book, Destroyer of the gods:  Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World (Baylor University Press, 2016) appears online here, and will appear in the print version of Christian Century April 12.

Authors: larryhurtado...

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Sunday, 26 March 2017 18:55

How Many Christians Does it Take . ..?

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How do historians estimate the number of Christians in the earliest centuries?  In a previous posting I commended Thomas Robinson’s new book here, in which he shows how the numbers often used by historians don’t “add up.”  But a comment asking how historians arrive...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 21:02

“Who Were the First Christians?”

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A new book by Thomas A. Robinson, Who Were the First Christians?  Dismantling the Urban Thesis (Oxford University Press, 2017) takes a virtual wrecking ball to the theories of a number of prominent scholars in early Christianity.  (The publisher’s online catalogue here.)

His most...

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Friday, 17 March 2017 20:55

For whom is “Destroyer of the gods”?

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In all the various interviews about my recent book, Destroyer of the gods, the question  up early:  Who is this book for, and what can people today take from it?  So, I’ll summarize here what my answers are.

The book is intended for a wide swathe of readers, really, anyone...

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Friday, 17 March 2017 00:27

“Graphic Signs” in Early Christianity

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I’m pleased to have notice of the publication of my contribution to a multi-author volume: Graphic Signs of Identity, Faith, and Power in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, eds. Ildar Garipzanov, C. Goodson, H. McGuire (Brepols, 2017; the publisher’s online...

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Thursday, 16 March 2017 00:17

Jesus in the Gospels

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In the light of recent discussion about how the Gospels present Jesus, I offer some observations intended to underscore and summarize my own views, and, hopefully, to promote some clear thinking by all.[1] Readers’ alert: This will be a long posting.

The first thing to say is that, quite...

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 21:40

“The Last Adam”: Brandon Crowe’s new book

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Relevant to the recent discussion here about the portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospels, note also Brandon D. Crowe’s new book, The Last Adam:  A Theology of the Obedient Life of Jesus in the Gospels (Baker Academic, 2017; the publisher’s online catalogue entry here. ...

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 05:22

“A Man Attested by God”: Kirk’s Response

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Daniel Kirk has blogged here in reply to my review of his book, A Man Attested by God,exhibiting an irenic tone that is much to be commended.  I’ll allow myself just a couple of observations in response.

First, and perhaps most importantly for the purpose and argument of Kirk’s...

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