Category Archives: History

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

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

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

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

Nicholas Covington Reviews “The Case for Christ: The Movie”

Nicholas Covington, who blogs at Hume’s Apprentice, has recently written a review on Amazon of the new The Case for Christ movie edition. Covington’s review discusses issues such as the preponderance of post-mortem hallucinations in religious movements, the growing legendary … Continue reading

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Guest Blog by Michael Kok: The Tradition about the Apostle and Evangelist John

Below is a guest blog by Michael Kok (Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield) on the topic of his new book regarding the identity and reception of the “Beloved Disciple” in the Fourth Gospel, and how the text came to … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogs, History, Patristics, Reception, Religious Studies | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fictional Characters Who Appear Even in Historical Literature

This quarter I am busy teaching as part of the Humanities Core at UC Irvine. The course is inter-disciplinary, and covers literature, film, philosophy, history, and visual art. It’s a great teaching experience, especially since we have our students writing their … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Biography, Classics, History | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

More of the Same: Eric Bess Reviews Sean McDowell’s “The Fate of the Apostles”

Below is a guest post by my friend Eric Bess, in which he reviews Christian apologist Sean McDowell’s book The Fate of the Apostles: Examining the Martyrdom Accounts of the Closest Followers of Jesus. McDowell defends the apostolic martyrdom argument for the resurrection, … Continue reading

Posted in Apologists, Christology, Guest Blogs, Historical Jesus, History, Miracles, Resurrection, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bayesian Analysis of Craig Keener, “Otho: A Targeted Comparison”

Recently I received feedback from ancient historian Richard Carrier about my previous review of Craig Keener’s article–“Otho: A Targeted Comparison of Suetonius’ Biography and Tacitus’ History, with Implications for the Gospels’ Historical Reliability”–which is chapter 6 of Biographies and Jesus: What Does … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Biography, Ancient Novel, Apologists, Classics, Guest Blogs, Historical Jesus, History, Philosophy, Reviews | Tagged , , | 3 Comments