Author Archives: Celsus

Suetonius, Nero’s Dreams, and Biographical Memory

Several years ago, back in Spring 2011, I took a graduate course taught by prominent Classics scholar Marilyn Skinner on ancient biography and Suetonius’ Life of Nero. One of the most interesting sections of the biography is a series of … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Biography, Classics, Dissertation, Exegesis, Historical Jesus, History, Literary Theory, Religious Studies, Weird Stuff from Antiquity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Review of the Anti-Abortion Movie “Unplanned” (2019)

About a week ago I had a chance to watch the recent anti-abortion movie Unplanned. Admittedly, since I cannot (in good conscience) financially support the producers of the film, I resorted to downloading a pirated copy online. Nonetheless, I did … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Miscellaneous, Musings, Philosophy, Reviews | Leave a comment

“The Rationalization Hypothesis: Is a Vision of Jesus Necessary for the Rise of the Resurrection Belief?” — by Kris Komarnitsky

Although the bereavement vision hypothesis is widely regarded as a plausible naturalistic explanation for the rise of the belief that Jesus was raised from the dead, I have never quite found this hypothesis completely convincing. My article below draws on … Continue reading

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Posted in Guest Blogs, Resurrection | 21 Comments

Did the Author of Matthew Intend to Imply that the Disciple Matthew Was the Brother of James son of Alphaeus?

In doing research on the Gospel of Matthew the other day, I noticed a peculiarity in the Matthew’s redaction of the Gospel of Mark. The process started when I was looking into the name change between “Levi” son of Alphaeus (Mk. 2:13-17) … Continue reading

Posted in Exegesis | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Authorial Third Person Narration–in Thucydides, Josephus, Xenophon, and Caesar–Versus the Gospel of Matthew

One of the issues that pops up frequently, when discussing the authorial anonymity of the Gospel of Matthew, is how a number of Classical authors refer to themselves in the third person, when narrating historical events in which they themselves … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Exegesis, History, Literary Theory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

David Bryan on N.T. Wright and the Argument from “Anachronistic Anastasis” by Eric Bess

[Below is a guest blog by my friend Eric Bess, which deals appropriately with a topic pertaining to Easter and how to interpret the nature of the resurrection event.] General Problems of Reasoning and Rhetoric One of the most common … Continue reading

Posted in Exegesis, Guest Blogs, Historical Jesus, History, Miracles, Resurrection | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Margaret Froelich on the Death of Aesop and Luke 4:16-30

Both teaching and dissertation work have been keeping me occupied of late. I have an exciting announcement about an important conference that I have been accepted to present at later this year, which I will discuss here at some point … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Conferences, Ancient Biography, Ancient Novel, Classics | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Some New Peer-Reviewed Publications

I have been quite busy this quarter teaching as part of the Humanities Core at UC Irvine. So far we have covered the Incan Empire and Shakespeare’s Tempest, and we are now beginning to explore British colonialism in India. All … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Biography, Announcements, Publications | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Bart Ehrman and Jodi Magness on the Burial of Jesus and the Empty Tomb

It’s been almost four years since Bart Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God was published, and one of the points of controversy that arose when the book was first released is the fact that Ehrman does not endorse the historicity of … Continue reading

Posted in Exegesis, Historical Jesus, History, Resurrection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 90 Comments

Numismatic Evidence that Corroborates Suetonius’ Life of Otho and Contradicts the Gospels

To follow up on my previous review of Christian scholar Craig Keener’s “Otho: A Targeted Comparison” in Biographies and Jesus, I’d like to briefly discuss the relevance of numismatic evidence in evaluating Suetonius’ Life of Otho in comparison to the NT Gospels. … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Biography, Apologists, Classics, Historical Jesus, History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments