Lennox Lecture Series #ReinventingtheBible

The videos for the first three of four Lennox Lectures are available on YouTube now with Mark Chancey's talk coming soon:

Michael Satlow, "Who in Antiquity Read the Bible?"


Annette Yoshiko Reed, "The Bible Beyond the Bible: From Apocrypha to Anime"


Valarie Ziegler, "Submission, Sex, and Sinraptors: The Evangelical Adam as Alpha Male in American Popular Culture"

John the Baptist in Various Faith-Traditions and Art

Last night's final class for the SoL Center was a fun one! I ventured outside of my expertise regarding John the Baptist into other areas of interest: namely, John's representation in other faith-traditions and art. I chose to talk about John's meaning in Islam, Mandaeism, and Mormonism because (1) these groups have holy writings other than the New Testament and (2) they mention John. Quick word of clarification: I did not deny that the LDS are a Christian group. Their inclusion in this final talk has to do with their writings that aren't shared by other Christians, especially the Doctrines and the Covenants. 

The second half looked at John's representation in music, film, paint, and sculpture. The class seemed to have enjoyed the content immensely and I enjoyed teaching it! For those who are interested, here are my notes and the ppt from last night: LePort. SoL Center. John the Baptist Then and Now Wk3 (Word) (PDF). (All the pictures were accessed via a Google search.)

Lecture by J.H. Charlesworth: John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Dead Sea Scrolls

It is difficult — very, very difficult — to find level-headed presentations on YouTube of John the Baptist. You're more likely to find someone claiming to be the reincarnation of John than lecturing on him from an academic perspective. Thankfully, finally, I found something worth sharing: James H. Charlesworth's 2012 lecture "John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Dead Sea Scrolls". I haven't watched it yet. I'm about to do so. I presume it is quite sensible being that Charlesworth is a highly respected scholar though. 

The Christian Post Interview with Jack Levison: Who has the Spirit?

The Christian Post did an interview with Jack Levison asking whether or not someone like Richard Dawkins can have the Spirit of God. The interviewer, Nicola Menzie, does a great job. She was informed and inquisitive. We need more journalist like her. Jack does a great job too handing questions about the Spirit in the Hebrew Bible, Christian theology, among Roman Catholic and Pentecostal theologians, etc. You can watch it here.

Obviously, there will be those taken back by Jack's claim that all have God's Spirit (though this is usually the result of ignoring the variegated pneumatology of the Bible wherein there is talk of all receiving God's Spirit as a means of life and the act of Spirit baptism related to faith in Christ), so Jack has written a short blog post making some clarifying points here.