The Legend of Abgar and Jesus, Part II: The Philippian Correspondence

| Past

In Part I, we presented an overview of the legendary correspondence between King Abgar of Edessa and Jesus, noting its popularity and how it was preserved in both literary and archaeological sources. Here we will look specifically at the archaeological sample found at Philippi in northern Greece. As we have noted elsewhere, Philippi is important […]

Questioning Christian Orthodoxy in the Christmas Season

| Future,Past,Present

It will strike some readers as “heresy” for members of one of the mainstream Christian denominations (in this case, the Episcopal Church) to question several tenets of a major document of the church – especially when the questioning comes during the major season of Christmas. For other readers, though – perhaps those searching in a […]

A Priestess and Benefactress from Pompeii

| Past

Most of us know the tragic story of the ancient town of Pompeii, located 150 miles south of Rome and 16 miles from Naples. One of the many good histories about Pompeii and the volcanic eruption that buried it in 79 CE, killing 2,000 people, can be found on the History Channel website. Fewer of […]

Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis

| Present

Ash Wednesday in 2018 turned out to be a highly significant day in our nation. It happened to fall on Valentine’s Day, February 14 (which is very rare), but it ended in tragedy with the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In a poignant coincidence, a group of Christian religious […]

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 […]

HarvardX: Online Course on Religious Literacy

| Past,Present

Do you want to learn how to interpret the roles religions play in contemporary and historic contexts? Would you like to explore the internal diversity of various religions? Are you curious about how religions evolve and change and how religions are embedded in all human cultures? If so, you might want to check out “Religious […]

Ancient Corinth I: Gods and Goddesses

| Past

Ancient Corinth, on the Peloponnesian peninsula in Greece, is known primarily to moderns as one of the cities visited by St. Paul and the setting of Paul’s pair of letters to the Corinthians. (First Corinthians is abbreviated I Cor., and Second Corinthians is abbreviated II Cor.) One of the most familiar passages of the Bible, […]

Index to the Second 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. Posts on Social Justice, Politics and Our Peer Nations The […]

The Wheat and the Weeds: The Law of Cause and Effect and Christian Judgmentalism

| Future

Traditional Christian judgmentalism – the notion that only those who believe in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will go to heaven when they die – originates in part from the New (Christian) Testament lesson that was read in many churches on Sunday, July 23, 2017. The lesson is from the Gospel of Matthew, […]

How Archaeology Can Assist Early Christian Studies and Why it Matters

| Past

In recent years, scholars of the New (Christian) Testament of the Bible – comprised of documents composed between 50 and 150 of the Common Era (CE) – have begun using the tools and interpretations of archaeologists in our quest for the context in which the earliest Christians lived. Since the apostle Paul (a Jew, let […]