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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2

The great dividing line for two religions and the relationship between them is the period of 66-70 CE, which ended in the destruction of both Jerusalem and the great “Second Temple”. For Jews of the time this destroyed the political, economic and religious organization of Israel….

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The Affliction of Affluence

Reconciling Gratitude, Generosity & Greed

The common dream most people have of one day having more than they already have seems to have remained as fleeting and elusive as ever. Meanwhile, the gross disparity and widening gap in this country between the haves and the have-nots has reached a point where an oligarchy of corporate interests posing as individuals shape public opinion and outspend each other as never before in partisan attempts to buy an election.

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What Does Rabbi Gamaliel have To Do with New Testament Interpretation?

So in a round-about way, Gamaliel, as quoted by Luke, is giving us a powerful clue about what kind of literature the Gospels are — a unique mix of a few core historical events with lots of theological overlay, all blended with a good dose of the kinds of stories of miraculous signs that we know were common and sometimes persuasive in that day. And not surprisingly…. They still are today!

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Messiah’s Resurrection and Messianic Jewish Belief

I’ve titled this as about the Resurrection, which is just one part of a complex of beliefs… but let’s return and end there… What similarities or differences do you see in Paul’s Resurrection statements and beliefs and those of the early Jerusalem Jesus-followers?

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Mark’s Enigmas: One or Many Stories?

Mark’s Gospel has often been described as a “enigma’ and this can apply both to the whole of Mark’s text, as well as to nearly all of its mysterious contents. There is not just one story-line, one discourse or one dimension to its depicted characters but Mark presents many and various aspects within his Gospel. This enigma involving multiple dimensions, levels and stages are in evidence in the following five important and multiple aspects of Mark’s Gospel.

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First Light Home Edition

First Light: Jesus and the Kingdom of God is a 12-episode DVD study of the historical Jesus and the Kingdom of God with John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg, two of the world’s leading Jesus scholars, on location throughout the Galilee and Jerusalem, now available in a Home Edition for personal home viewing.

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Saving Jesus Redux Home Edition

Saving Jesus Redux Home Edition is a 12-episode video exploration of a credible Jesus for the 21st Century. Join 25 experts for a conversation around the relevance of Jesus for today. Already utilized by hundreds of progressive Christian communities, Saving Jesus is now available in a Home Edition licensed for private home viewing. Two DVD discs with twelve 30-minute episodes.

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Theology Fail in Christian Statement on Israel, Judaism, Palestine

American Jews and Christians are again embroiled in a painful and divisive debate. The just-released statement “A Call to Action: A U.S. Response to Kairos Palestine” offers a Christian theological critique of the state of Israel and the Jewish …

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Women in Ministry—First Century and Today

Basically, the Church was developing within a strongly partiarchal and heirarchical society…. Despite the freshness and hopefulness we see in Jesus and Paul, it is not surprising that male domination would soon assert itself and claim exclusive leadership privileges. Maybe women could lead among women, of course… no real complication or threat there.

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Bulgarian bones could be John the Baptist’s as claimed, scientists say

When the tools of modern science are applied to religious relics, the results are almost always the same: Science says the relics aren’t what their supporters claim. The most famous of them all, the Turin Shroud, is …

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Religion in Human Evolution

Religion in Human Evolution is a work of extraordinary ambition—a wide-ranging, nuanced probing of our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have most often imagined were worth living. It offers what is frequently seen as a forbidden theory of the origin of religion that goes deep into evolution, especially but not exclusively cultural evolution.

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Good news from the grand narrative

Bellah’s grand argument is complex but elegant: social cohesion constitutes, simultaneously, a functional mechanism for group survival and an incubator of more complex forms of social evolution; these various forms of social cohesion, in a certain evolutionary stage of social development, crystallized in institutional “religion”; religion became a generalized means of generating social capacities that increase in every new stage of cultural evolution; failing to develop such patterns (a very real possibility) means the neutralization of the evolutionary process itself; and religion, even in its most domineering forms, entails moral reflexivity and social criticism, based upon the crucial distinction between reciprocal hierarchies and brute exercise of domination.

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Barack Obama pays visit to Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit

Shimon Peres wasn’t the oldest figure to get some attention from US President Barack Obama this week. A day before presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the 88-year-old Israeli president, the American leader checked out the Dead Sea …

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Rigid and Relaxed Religion

Are you religious? Your answer will depend a lot on what your questioner meant by the concept of “religion” and how you view this concept.

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