Solidarity with Jews in Light of Heightened Antisemitism

| Past,Present

Last year brought yet another extremely disturbing statistic: 2017 marked the highest increase in antisemitic incidents in the US since the first Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents was taken in 1979.  In a statement, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, stated, “A confluence of events in 2017 led to a surge […]

HarvardX: Online Course on Religious Literacy

| Past,Present

Do you want to learn how to interpret the roles religions play in contemporary and historic contexts? Would you like to explore the internal diversity of various religions? Are you curious about how religions evolve and change and how religions are embedded in all human cultures? If so, you might want to check out “Religious […]

Ancient Corinth II: Women in St. Paul’s Time

| Past

Last week, we examined the deities worshiped in ancient Corinth and saw how influential goddesses, as well as gods, were before, during and after the time of St. Paul. Here we will look at the status and role of women at Corinth, especially how their involvement in society and local cults may have influenced Paul […]

Ancient Corinth I: Gods and Goddesses

| Past

Ancient Corinth, on the Peloponnesian peninsula in Greece, is known primarily to moderns as one of the cities visited by St. Paul and the setting of Paul’s pair of letters to the Corinthians. (First Corinthians is abbreviated I Cor., and Second Corinthians is abbreviated II Cor.) One of the most familiar passages of the Bible, […]

Immigration Lessons from the Bible

| Past,Present

We in the United States remain in a season of partisan contention, angst, uncertainty, resistance, divisiveness, and a recent government shutdown. One of the major issues of disagreement between our political parties is that of the “dreamers,” those young people brought to the US illegally as children by their parents, and the Obama-era measure put […]

The SBL and its Annual Meeting: Why They Matter to the General Public

| Past

The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) is one of the premier professional organizations for scholars and students of religion around the world. While “religion” is often equated in the public’s mind with church-going or participation in other religions such as Judaism and Islam, it is also a discipline bounded by scholarly and ethical standards, evidence, […]

Random Christmas Thoughts

| Future,Past,Present

Three days before Christmas: a good time to share some random thoughts on the reason for the holiday – the man Jesus with the title “Christ.” Jesus the man lived nearly 2,000 years ago as a Jewish subject in the Roman Empire. After he died, his followers kept his memory alive in a myriad of […]

Gospel Manuscripts, Bacteria and Livestock: Science Meets Religion through DNA Technology

| Past

A new process for recovering DNA has led to findings that significantly “marry” two very disparate areas: church history, archaeology and religion with research on livestock in earlier eras. The report by Zach Zorich in Archaeology magazine (November/December 2017 issue) outlines this exciting “marriage.” Parchment – the material from which some ancient illuminated manuscripts were […]

Index to the Second Year

| Future,Past,Present

Thank you as always for checking in with WisdomWordsPPF!  Here is a guide to the past year of blog posts (note that some posts appear in several categories). If you want a guide to the first year (October 2015-October 2016), you can find it here. Posts on Social Justice, Politics and Our Peer Nation The […]

Exploring the Influence of Salome in Early Christianity

| Past

Once in awhile, it’s an interesting exercise to explore the more obscure characters in early Christian literature. For moderns, an obscure character in an ancient religious document might seem far from important; she or he might well be the figment of someone’s imagination and the surrounding story a complete work of meaningless fiction. Here I […]