The name “Easter” is widely used for the holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, but the word doesn’t appear to have any biblical origins. The linguistic evidence suggests that the name is a variation on the name of several “dawn” goddesses in the Indo-European language families. More specifically, Eostre was a Germanic goddess whose name was assigned to the month in which the celebratory event usually occurred. Eventually, the coincidence of the holiday falling in the month named after the goddess led to the holiday being called Easter. At least that’s one widely held theory. Here’s a link to a Wikipedia article that discusses some of these issues.
Phil Long over at Reading Acts has been blogging on Revelation. Here’s a couple of links.
Welcome to the Biblical Studies Carnival 169 for March 2020! After weeks of social distancing, you can now peruse the best of biblical studies—the thrills, the fun, and all the excitement churned out across the Internet and curated here. And don’t miss the tempting prizes and games! There’s an exclusive steal of a coupon code for Carnival readers courtesy of Baylor University Press, an amazing giveaway from Lexham Press, and all kinds of free stuff from Randy Leedy of NTGreekGuy.com. Special thanks to Baylor University Press, Lexham Press, and NTGreekGuy.com for sponsoring this Carnival!
I have been advised today that Peter Lang has officially released my book, The Case for a Proto-Gospel: Recovering the Common Written Source Behind Mark and John. It can be ordered from Amazon and many other book sellers. It is also available on the Peter Lang website in Hardcover, EPUB and Kindle editions. Academics interested in publishing a review should contact email@example.com.
Barrie Wilson, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Religious Studies, York University, Toronto, says of my new work,
Gary Greenberg is a superb intellectual detective, following up on tantalizing clues in ancient texts to uncover sources and insights that others have missed. In this latest work Gary traces similarities between the Gospel of John and the earlier Gospel of Mark. In so doing, he makes a remarkable discovery — lurking behind both gospels is an earlier document that each has used, independently of the other. Here is a new source document that sheds important light on the crucial decades following Jesus’ death.
Carefully crafted, well written, based on historical and literary analysis, Gary’s book enhances our understanding not only of the Gospels of John and Mark but the process whereby the gospels themselves came to be.
The late Larry Hurtado was a leading scholar of early Christianity and produced an always interesting blog about such matters. In one of his last posts, he recommended some books for the lay scholar some books for the lay scholar who wanted a firmer grasp of issues surrounding early Christianity. Here’s a link to that post.
My new book, The Case for a Proto-Gospel: Recovering the Common Written Source Behind Mark and John, has been sent out to the printer and should become available in about two weeks.
I have a new piece up at the Bible and Interpretation site, titled “Is John a Synoptic Gospel?” It’s based on my forthcoming book “The Case for a Proto-Gospel: Recovering the Common Written Source Behind Mark and John.” It’s in the final stage of manuscript preparation before going to the printer, but I have to work out some final pre-press issues with the publisher. Hopefully, it will go to
Research conducted by Tel Aviv University and Israel Antiquities
Authority archaeologists shed new light on these cult practices thanks
to new excavations at the site of a temple uncovered in 2012. Or, at least that’s what’s being argued by some of the excavators according to this article from The Times of Israel
An interesting article about the rise of fears in non-Jewish cultures that Jews would take them over. The
Here’s a portion of the opening. The article goes on to explore subsequent historical developments within the Christian world in which fears that a Jew could someday become Pope fueled some Christian reactions against the Jewish people.
In 70 CE, the Roman Emperor Vespasian’s son, Titus, had defeated the Judean rebellion, destroying Jerusalem and the Second Temple. However, once victorious, he chose as his willing consort Berenice, the sister of Agrippa II, the former king of conquered Judaea. This choice was not so odd as it may sound: Berenice and her brother had opposed the Jewish revolt from the beginning. Along with the spoils of the Temple, Titus brought Berenice back to Rome, where, according to Cassius Dio (Roman History LXV 15), she lived with him as if she were his empress, exerting considerable power.
Some Romans were troubled by the romance of Titus and Berenice and spoke out against her. In her prior marriage to the king of Pontus, Berenice had required that he convert to Judaism and be circumcised. There was probably concern that Titus would be convinced to do the same. The result would be a Jewish emperor of Rome, in effect reversing the outcome of the Jewish War. Worse, Titus and Berenice’s children would be Jewish, ensuring that future emperors would be Jewish. In other words, the Roman Empire would be in Jewish hands.
A day or two late, perhaps, but still timely. Jim West hosts the February 2020 Biblical Studies Carnival.