New Research on Mary Called the Magdalene

| Past

As we saw earlier, feminist scholarship has brought to light the leadership role that the woman known as Mary Magdalene from the New (Christian) Testament had in the early days of the Jesus movement. As we noted, she appears numerous times in the Christian Testament and in all four gospels: Matthew 27.55-56, 61; 28.1; Mark […]

The 2021 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature: Reflections on the Professional Study of Religion

| Past,Present

The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), founded in 1880, no longer focuses primarily on literature – the texts of the Bible in their original languages (Hebrew for what is generally referred to as the Old Testament and Greek for the so-called New Testament). The Society’s international membership of over 8,000 is open to professionals and […]

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 […]

Two Powerful Messages for Our Times

| Present

From The Council of the Society of Biblical Literature and Executive Staff of the Society of Biblical Literature A Statement on Black Lives Matter, Right to Protest, and Bible as Prop The Council of the Society of Biblical Literature and Executive Staff of SBL issue the following statement: We are appalled at the murder of […]

Trump and Project Blitz: Beware False Attempts to Promote Religious Literacy

| Present

In previous posts (Religious Literacy Guidelines for College Students and HarvardX: Online Course on Religious Literacy), we have discussed the necessity among Americans (including journalists) to become more literate about religion, including the Bible (upon which, like it or not, Western civilization is largely dependent). President Donald Trump has announced that his “Department of Education […]

Franklin Graham, the Bible and the Gay Issue, Part II: Scholarly Evidence for Same-Sex Relationships

| Past,Present

In our last post, we discussed the Rev. Franklin Graham’s negative attitudes toward same-sex relationships, especially in the context of his criticisms of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and Graham’s use of Bible verses to support his stances. Here we will outline some of the scholarly research concerning same-sex relationships in the early church (from […]

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) […]

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 […]

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 […]