Uncovering Nympha: Scholarship and Female Leadership in the Early Jesus Movement

| Past

When one reads standard reference works about the New (Christian) Testament and the early Jesus movement one would almost never know that there is a woman mentioned in the letter to the Colossians. It has taken recent research by female scholars to uncover yet another woman who served the movement in the same ways that […]

Resources for Women’s History Month

| Past

In honor of Women’s History Month, here is a sampling of resources about women, especially focused on the early Jesus followers, the New (Christian) Testament, nascent Christianity, and the ancient (Western) world. We are grateful for the scholars (both male and female) who have brought women out of the shadows over the past several decades! […]

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 […]

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 […]