The Messiah Before Jesus

This semester I am offering an advanced undergraduate/graduate seminar on “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Earliest Christianity.” In preparation for this course I have been re-reading all of the published Dead Sea Scrolls as well as many of the secondary publications related thereto published over the past three decades. One…

Crucifixion Nails: Our Latest Evidence

I am teaching an advanced undergraduate/graduate course this semester on the “Archaeology of Earliest Christianity,” probing the question of what archaeology provides as a context for understanding Jesus and his movement. Those of us who work on “Christian origins” understandably focus primarily on texts, particularly the texts of the New Testament,…

Remembering Jonathan Z. Smith

Quintessential JZ Smith…if you never had the pleasure of hearing him…his Plenary Address to the American Academy of Religion in 2010. https://vimeo.com/20286150 You can read an informal fascinating interview with Mr. Smith (as Chicago professors are called–no titles please!) published in The Chicago Maroon in 2008 here. Don’t miss this one!…