A Little Levity from the Ancient World

| Past

The world is a serious place. When we examine the ancient world, especially as we look at the more serious (and even tragic) aspects of the history of the West, we are also confronted with images and concepts that normally do not make us smile, let alone laugh. Here we will lighten things up a […]

Apocryphal Women in the Early Jesus Movement: Eliciting Fact from Fiction

| Past

In past posts, we have examined women in the first couple of centuries of the Common Era (CE) who may well have been real: Evodia and Syntyche mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Philippians; Apphia, mentioned in Paul’s letter to Philemon; and women mentioned in Chapter 16 of Paul’s letter to the Romans: […]

Index to the Eighth Year

| Future,Past,Present

Thank you for your interest in these blog posts! Here is a listing by topic for posts since October 2022. (Some posts appear in more than one category.) Social and Racial Justice, Diversity Resources and Some Good News For Black History Month 2023, 2/10/23 Celebrating Women’s History Month: A Reading List, 3/24/23 Science Meets Religion: […]

Mary, Isis, and the Goddesses of the Via Egnatia

| Past

The Via Egnatia, which ran from Constantinople in the east to Dyrrachium, Albania, in the west, was one portion of the more than 50,000 miles of well-built roads of the Roman Empire. It was along the Via Egnatia, in part, that St. Paul and his companions spread the Christian message, visiting friends and family, preaching […]

Celebrating Women’s History Month: A Reading List

| Future,Past,Present

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we offer here an updated list of our blog posts about women,  goddesses, goddess worship and female imagery. Enjoy! Posts since late March 2021: Rounding Out Women’s History Month: Current Women Leaders around the World Current Research on Pompeii, Part I: Archaeology Current Research on Pompeii, Part II: Paul’s […]

The Cult of the Thracian Horseman in the Early Christian Era

| Past

As we have seen in past posts, the early Jesus movement – which ultimately became Christianity – originated in a polytheistic environment: people of the Roman Empire worshiped multiple female and male deities. This means that Jesus himself, his earliest followers and those who later identified as Christians lived and worked among devotees of Aphrodite/Venus, […]

Praying the Psalms: Age-Old Jewish Poetry in a Christian Context

| Past,Present

Most Sundays, and in many contexts around the world on weekdays as well, Christian worshipers read, sing or chant portions of a Psalm, an entire Psalm or even several Psalms during a service. The standard collection of Psalms, the Psalter, found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) portion of the Bible, is “an anthology of […]

The Apocryphal Origins of the Cherry Tree Carol

| Past

Tis the season when many of us are singing – and/or listening to – Christmas carols. These carols often  reflect the stories of Jesus’ birth as recounted in the New (Christian) Testament Gospels of Matthew and Luke, but many others originate considerably later in the Christian tradition. One of these later tales is the Cherry […]