Learning to thrive in the new life Jesus offers us – 2 Corinthians 5:16-17

Early Jewish History

Jesus on Divorce, Remarriage and Adultery

May 24th, 2016

Churches which misunderstand Jesus’ teaching on divorce increase the suffering and scandal of divorced members. What is the context of Jesus’ teaching on divorce? Did Jesus teach that all second marriages, with a former spouse still living, are adulterous? I argue, from scripture, that he didn’t Continue reading»

Galilee in the First Century CE

June 20th, 2015

In this essay I look at three aspects of the social history of first century CE Galilee. This provides a context for the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, which mostly took place in Galilee around 30 CE. Continue reading»

The Intrigues of Salome I, Sister of Herod the Great

June 8th, 2015

Salome I, the sister of Herod the Great was one very powerful and dangerous woman. This article highlights her domestic intrigues and political power. Continue reading»

Lydia and the ‘Place of Prayer’ at Philippi

April 14th, 2015

What was the ‘place of prayer’ in Philippi where some women, including Lydia of Thyatira, had assembled (Acts 16:13-15)? Was it a Jewish ‘prayer-house’? Continue reading»

The Passover Meal, the Seder, and the Eucharist

June 29th, 2013

This article looks at the Passover meal and its origins recorded in Exodus 12, as well as the Seder of early Judaism and the Eucharist of early Christianity. Continue reading»

The Septuagint

May 25th, 2013

This article looks at the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and gives possible answers as to when, where and why it was produced, and by whom. Continue reading»

Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany

May 15th, 2013

Mary and Martha of Bethany are well-known Bible figures. The two sisters seem to have had different temperaments, and their characters are often polarized in the retelling of their story in the gospels. What is the background of these women, their faith, their situation? Continue reading»

Sending Sacred Money to Jerusalem

May 8th, 2013

Before its destruction in 70 CE, the Jews in the Diaspora maintained ties with the temple in Jerusalem by sending gifts, tithes, and taxes. This article discusses this practice.

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Salome: Was the “dancing” daughter of Herodias a child?

December 18th, 2012

In this post I look at Salome, the daughter of Herodias, who “danced” for Herod Antipas. How old was she? Did she actually dance? Was she out to deliberately seduce her step-father? What became of her? Continue reading»

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