A gothic encounter

I have always loved the Gothic. My favourite Gothic cathedral, for both patriotic and personal reasons, is York Minster. Yet I think even that gothic masterpiece has to bow to the Stephansdom in Vienna. The magnificent tower of the Stephansdom is outrageously high. It...

The Gnostic New Age: Wot, no Thomas!

In the story, The Adventure of Silver Blaze, Sherlock Holmes confronts a mystery of a horse that has been stolen and its trainer murdered. He solves the mystery by what he calls “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time”. When it is pointed out to...

The Easter Egg

To the believer, the gospels are far more than historical documents. They act as a catalyst that transforms a person, like water into wine. Software engineers have a term for a secret code written in a piece of software; they call it an “Easter Egg”. When...

What came first, the metaphor or the miracle?

It is easy to see when two texts are linked. It is much harder to determine which of the two came first. However, if one source is a metaphor and the other a literal miracle story, I think we can be confident that the metaphor came first. Recently, while working on my...

The virgin and the four whores

The genealogy in Matthew, like that in Luke, is really a genealogy of Joseph who, according to Matthew, is not even the real father of Jesus. Moreover, there is nothing about this Joseph in Mark. Even if Joseph is only Jesus’ father-in-law through his marriage...

The Gnostic New Age and Simon Magus

My plan was to produce a series of posts on April DeConick’s new book, but I have fallen a little behind! The Gnostic New Age covers some fascinating ground, so I need to buck up and get on. In this post, I aim to cover the ground from the emergence of...

Fascinating image of Mary from Nazi loot

Some time ago, while browsing the lootbusters.com site, I came across an image of Mary, Peter and Paul in a section of Nazi loot. It is a Roman roundel dated to the fourth century. I have no further information about it at all, and I do not know its original location...

CNN – ‘Scholars argue if Jesus existed’

As we enter Lent and the run-up to Easter, the thoughts of the media turn to Jesus. On CNN there is a second series of ‘Finding Jesus’ – Mark Goodacre has a post about it here. Associated with this series is an article on CNN online about the...

Thomas 68

The last post was about Mark Goodacre’s dating of the Gospel of Thomas to the 140s. He bases his dating on a single saying, Thomas 68, which he believes to be about the Bar Kokhba revolt that led to the final exile of the Jews from Jerusalem. But we will show...

Mark Goodacre’s dating of the Gospel of Thomas

In Mark Goodacre’s book, Thomas and the Gospels: The making of an apocryphal text, he proposes a mid-second century date for Thomas. It is true that the whole thrust of his book is an argument for a post-Synoptic date, but this would only push Thomas back to...