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 […]

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 […]

The Legend of Abgar and Jesus, Part I: Introduction

| Past

Sometime in antiquity, a story developed that King Abgar V of Edessa, a Syrian city located in Mesopotamia, became ill, perhaps with leprosy, and wrote to Jesus of Nazareth to ask for a cure. In the correspondence, Abgar invited Jesus to come to Edessa to escape persecution. Jesus, according to the legend, replied in writing, […]

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 […]

Franklin Graham, the Bible and the Gay Issue, Part I: Introduction

| Past,Present

The Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, has recently been in the news for lambasting Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for being gay. The younger Graham follows in his father’s footsteps in regarding homosexuality as a sin, something to be repented of. According to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), of […]

Mary Magdalene, The First Apostle

| Past

As we saw earlier, Mary Magdalene is a figure in the New (Christian) Testament of the Bible worth considering by us moderns. She is significant, in part, because she is so prominent in the canonical Christian texts: she appears numerous times in the New Testament and in all four gospels: Mt 27.55-56, 61; 28.1; Mk […]

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 “Wild Child” Jesus: Tales from the Apocryphal Literature

| Past

Those of us who call ourselves Christian, or at least have respect and reverence for the figure of Jesus of Nazareth, generally know this man from a very serious, upstanding and ethical perspective. Jesus the man is usually characterized as kind, compassionate, gentle, wise, courageous, obedient to God, a healer, a teacher, and an innocent […]

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 […]