Blog

Archaeological Discoveries and the Pursuit of Social Justice

| Past,Present

The mission of the Archaeological Institute of America reads, in part, “The AIA promotes archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past to foster an appreciation of diverse cultures and our shared humanity.” The values of the Archaeological Conservancy, as stated on their website, include the following: “The Archaeological Conservancy […]

Grammar Gripes

| Present

Some of us believe – were brought up to believe – that the English language that we speak in the United States has grammatical rules and that following those rules is a good thing. Speaking our language well makes us understandable to each other (at the very least), and it is a positive in many […]

Joanna and Susanna: Two Lesser-Known Women around Jesus

| Future,Past

“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the […]

Child Tax Credit Enhancements: New to the US but Not to Our Sister Nations

| Present

The Biden-Harris Administration should be congratulated for changing and expanding the rules about the Child Tax Credit (CTC): eligible parents will now receive actual payments to support their children, as opposed to claiming a one-time credit on their taxes during tax season. This change has come about as part of the COVID-19 relief bill, which […]

The Women of Romans 16

| Past

In several previous posts, we have looked briefly at the women around St. Paul and his great respect for them (The Trials and Tribulations of Translating Scripture 2; Ancient Corinth II; and Paul’s Female Colleagues).  Here we will examine the women of Romans 16 in more depth (the full text of verses 1-23 are copied […]

Inspiring Conversion Stories of Former White Supremacists and How Average Americans can Help Combat Violent Domestic Extremism

| Present

Sometimes miracles happen. There are people who, for whatever reason, join groups that promote racism, antisemitism, white supremacy, violence against our government, homophobia and other belief systems that most of us would condemn and disavow. Then, for whatever reason, some of those same people have an “aha moment” and realize that the group to which […]

A Time of Contrasts, A Time for Prayer

| Future,Present

We are living in a time of enormous contrasts. On the positive side, we are finally seeing the rates of COVID-19 fall (although there are still warnings of a possible surge), along with rates of vaccination going up (although plateauing in some places). We can be grateful that our vaccines are being shared with people […]

Where the US Stands: A Sampling of Comparative Quality-of-Life Statistics

| Present

It is advisable and instructive to periodically take stock of where we as a nation stand when it comes to quality-of-life issues. We have done this off and on over the past five years. Comparing ourselves and how we are doing to our sister nations can and should prompt us to do some self-reflection, to […]

Current Research on Pompeii, Part II: Paul’s Letter to the Romans

| Past

In Part I, we examined some recent research on Pompeii, focusing on archaeological studies. Here we will look at British scholar Peter Oakes’ 2009 book, Reading Romans in Pompeii: Paul’s Letter at Ground Level, which combines archaeological insights from Pompeii with an exegesis (analysis) of important aspects of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. St. […]

Current Research on Pompeii, Part I: Archaeology

| Past

Those of us who love Pompeii will be happy to know that research there continues, which is always good news for a site that is frequently in danger of succumbing to the elements, political exigencies and funding shortages. Scholars in religious studies, classics, archaeology and other fields routinely reveal new evidence from excavations and novel […]