Category Archives: History

Understanding the Value of Biblical Parallels

Here on Κέλσος I frequently discuss parallels between the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and Christianity and other literature, historical figures, and religions of the ancient Mediterranean world. I am likewise currently working on a dissertation that compares the Gospels to popular-novelistic biographies, … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Biography, Ancient Novel, Historical Jesus, History, Miracles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Historical Reliability of Popular Biographies, Part 2: Redaction Criticism

In my previous post I discussed the complexity of historical criticism, and how even texts of the same literary genre can vary substantially in terms of historical reliability, based on their date of composition and their available sources of information. In … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Biography, Ancient Novel, Dissertation, History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Historical Reliability of Popular Biographies, Part 1: Framing the Comparison

Recently on Κέλσος I have been discussing the generic features that the NT Gospels share with Greek popular-novelistic biographies. Such features include the simple vocabulary and sentence structure found in these texts (as I discussed in my most recent post), which distinguish popular … Continue reading

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Patterns of Myth-Making Between the Lives of Alexander the Great and Jesus Christ

Recently on Κέλσος I have been discussing the Alexander Romance and some of the similarities that this mythical biography of Alexander the Great shares with the New Testament Gospels. The earliest Greek version of the Alexander Romance that we possess dates to … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Biography, Ancient Novel, Classics, Dissertation, Historical Jesus, History, Miracles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Good Blog Series on the Authorship of the Gospels

Keith Reich (PhD in Religion, Baylor University, 2010) has been writing an intersting blog series on the authorship of the Gospels, over on his academic blog Know Thyself (Γνῶθι Σεαυτόν in Greek). Among the topics discussed are the internal anonymity of the Gospels, when … Continue reading

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Some Scholarly Bibliography on the Historical Jesus and the Apostle Paul

Last Spring quarter, when I was taking graduate seminars on the New Testament and Christian Origins at UC Santa Barbara, I compiled a bibliography of notable scholarship over the last several decades on the historical Jesus and the apostle Paul … Continue reading

Posted in Bibliography, Historical Jesus, Historical Paul, History, Religious Studies | 10 Comments

Michael Kok, “The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century”

Recently NT scholar and fellow blogger Michael Kok (Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield) sent me a copy of a his newly published book–The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century–for me to review on my … Continue reading

Posted in History, Patristics, Reception, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments