Category Archives: History

The history of the world.

Playing into the Hands of the Traditionalists

Addressing the question of factionalism in the early church is key to understanding what early Christianity was really about. Christian traditionalists would probably prefer to forget about the traumatic dispute between Paul and the other apostles, just a few decades … Continue reading

Posted in Christianity, History, Religion and spirituality | 5 Comments

Pious Fraud, Vegetarian Style

The New Testament includes many books whose actual authors are other than they are claimed to be. That is, they are forgeries — but made it into the New Testament anyway.  Paul’s two “letters to Timothy,” for example, were not … Continue reading

Posted in Christianity, Historical Jesus, History, Religion and spirituality | 2 Comments

“Dreams and Visions of the Night”

How can we imagine Jesus slaughtering animals or even condoning it?  Yet both Christian tradition and the doors of the churches are often closed to ethical vegetarians concerned about animals. One approach to this problem is to look for alternative … Continue reading

Posted in Christianity, History, Religion and spirituality, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 4 Comments

Was there a historical Jesus?

People are seriously debating whether there ever was a historical Jesus. Some assert that Jesus himself never existed, that “Jesus is a legend, like King Arthur or Robin Hood or Paul Bunyan.” The best representative of this position is likely … Continue reading

Posted in Christianity, Historical Jesus, History, Religion and spirituality | 7 Comments

“Disciples” Coming Soon

My forthcoming book, Disciples: How Jewish Christianity Shaped Jesus and Shattered the Church, will be published about November 1 probably before Thanksgiving likely by December 9. We also now have a better idea of what the cover will look like … Continue reading

Posted in "Disciples", Christianity, Ebionites, History, Literature / Publishing, Religion and spirituality | 10 Comments

Great New Book on the Collapse of Civilizations

Secular Cycles. Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov.  Princeton University Press, 2009. Secular Cycles is a phenomenal and important book.  It is clearly of interest to anyone who is concerned about things like the collapse of civilizations, and specifically the possible … Continue reading

Posted in History, Limits to Growth | Leave a comment

What Would You Do?

In October I attended the 2012 World VegFest in San Francisco, sponsored by the San Francisco Vegetarian Society (SFVS).  It was an inspiring event.  Towards the end of the festival, I heard a very interesting story about how the SFVS … Continue reading

Posted in History, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 1 Comment

This Just In: Jesus was Married!

Karen King, a Harvard Divinity School scholar whom I greatly respect, has submitted a draft of an article for the Harvard Theological Review discussing a Coptic gospel fragment which refers to Jesus having a wife.  This is now all over … Continue reading

Posted in Christianity, Ebionites, Historical Jesus, History, Religion and spirituality | 2 Comments

Does Digitization Decrease Empathy?

James McWilliams recently asked whether the digitization of communications decreases empathy, and thus potentially our empathy with other humans and animals.  He talks about e-mail between students and professors, “butchered” grammar in e-mail being used to substitute for the student … Continue reading

Posted in Ecological Economics, History, Urban Life | Leave a comment

The Jesus movement and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Here’s what James Tabor says about the connection between the Jesus movement and the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran: “The Jesus movement can best be described as a radical, nationalistic, anti-religious establishment, messianic, apocalyptic, baptizing, new covenant, wilderness-way movement–and … Continue reading

Posted in Christianity, Historical Jesus, History, Religion and spirituality | 1 Comment