Images from Philippi

| Past

Philippi in northern Greece is an important city for the history of Christianity and a fascinating archaeological site. Here we will highlight a few features that raise important issues for modern contemplation, since Christianity has had such vast influence on the West. I will illustrate these points using photos of mine taken on site during […]

The Feminine/Androgynous Jesus

| Past

Jesus was a man, right? In the New (Christian) Testament of the Bible he certainly was. However, in the first few centuries of the Common Era (CE), images of Jesus were not limited to male. During this era, a great deal of Christian literature, generally called “apocryphal” or “extra-canonical,” circulated but did not make it […]

Trinities: Historical Alternatives to “Father, Son and Holy Ghost”

| Past,Present

The concept of God as Father resonates well with many religious Jews and Christians. The all-male Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit – is so ingrained for Christians that our faith without it seems somehow heretical or false. In recent years, however, the idea of God as Father, for many people whose human […]

The Trials and Tribulations of Translating Scripture 2: Pitfalls and Challenges

| Past,Present

In Trials and Tribulations 1, we presented an overview of the history of the Bible and the various ancient manuscripts that scholars have used over the centuries to translate Biblical texts from the original languages into other languages. We noted that translating from ancient languages and incomplete manuscripts copied centuries later present challenges to translators […]

The Trials and Tribulations of Translating Scripture 1: Introduction

| Past

The Bible: a vitally important text in Western history. Contrary to some popular misperceptions: not one book but many; not written in King James English but in at least three ancient languages; and not originally written but rather passed down orally for generations. It should go without saying, then, that translating a collection of ancient […]

Resurrection: What it Is and Isn’t

| Future,Past

Resurrection: a good topic for the continuing Easter season in the Christian calendar. (Our Orthodox brothers and sisters will celebrate Easter on May 1st this year.) While Christians think we have a pretty good idea what we mean by resurrection, or at least the resurrection of Jesus, it is actually more complicated than it appears […]

Some Surprises from the Roman Catacombs 1: Religious Symbols

| Past

The ancient catacombs winding for miles beneath Rome, favorites of tourists from all over the world, provide a glimpse of religious life for several centuries of the early Christian era. In the next few posts, we will look at the catacombs from perspectives not usually considered – the symbols evocative of ancient goddess worship and […]