Mary Magdalene, The First Apostle

| Past

As we saw earlier, Mary Magdalene is a figure in the New (Christian) Testament of the Bible worth considering by us moderns. She is significant, in part, because she is so prominent in the canonical Christian texts: she appears numerous times in the New Testament and in all four gospels: Mt 27.55-56, 61; 28.1; Mk […]

Index to the Third 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, and a guide to the second year (October 2016-October 2017) […]

A Neolithic Site in Turkey, its Goddess and its Women

| Past

There is a strong possibility that in prehistory – in Old Europe and perhaps elsewhere – our ancestors lived for centuries in peaceful, matrilineal societies that revered an all-powerful Nature Goddess. To illustrate what life might have been like in such a Neolithic society, we can focus on an archaeological site called Çatal Hüyük (also […]

A Priestess and Benefactress from Pompeii

| Past

Most of us know the tragic story of the ancient town of Pompeii, located 150 miles south of Rome and 16 miles from Naples. One of the many good histories about Pompeii and the volcanic eruption that buried it in 79 CE, killing 2,000 people, can be found on the History Channel website. Fewer of […]

The “Wild Child” Jesus: Tales from the Apocryphal Literature

| Past

Those of us who call ourselves Christian, or at least have respect and reverence for the figure of Jesus of Nazareth, generally know this man from a very serious, upstanding and ethical perspective. Jesus the man is usually characterized as kind, compassionate, gentle, wise, courageous, obedient to God, a healer, a teacher, and an innocent […]

The Hijacking of a Domain Name

| Past,Present

The domain name “.BIBLE” has essentially been hijacked by the American Bible Society (ABS). This problem is not just a technical issue of interest only to people who care about the Bible; it touches on how the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) assigns domain names, how the designated organizations manage the signing […]

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, […]