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The earliest known complete copy of the Greek New Testament has been made available here. The book is housed in the British Library and it has always blown me away whenever I’ve been to see it – whatever my personal views on the religion it codifies.  In fact, if you are in London and haven’t gone to the John Ritblat Gallery, then go.  If you have any affection for books, history or human knowledge then do yourself a favour and go bask in the glow of those pages.  And if not, then you can always go and sneer at them (quietly).

Anyhow, this development will give scholars the ability to examine the manuscript from anywhere in the world and is definitley a ‘good thing.’


Dark Roasted blend put this selection of knitted creatures up recently and then the comments section led me to this Cthuloid comic strip by Howard Hallis, parodying the work of Jack T. Chick, the fire and brimstone comic evangelist.

Apparently the Hallis strip has been pulled from the artist’s website due to censorship/copyright issues…

Shameful.  Firstly because it’s really good and secondly it drew me to the Chick strips, which are even funnier and in their own way much creepier.

James Tabor reviews The Thirteenth Apostle by April DeConick, who offers an interpretation of the Gospel of Judas that is radically at odds with the one published and promoted by the National Geographic. I’d love to see what Bart Erhman, Elaine Pagels, et al have to say about her version. Definitely worth a read if I can get hold of a copy.

Useful site on Judaic history and contexts.

Looking forward to listening to this. I have just enough time to get myself a coffee and something to eat first…

In fact I missed it as none of the machines here have RealPlayer installed or they don’t have sound, so I will use ‘listen again’ later.

[Photo from BBC]

Karen Armstrong’s latest book is, in my humble opinion, a masterpiece. It is amazing how she manages to summarise and explain such complex religious and cultural movements with clarity. And this is certainly the clearest exposition of the development of Hinduism and classical Greek religion I have read. She sequences motifs and ideas so that you understand them in a new way and things you thought you knew fall into place, a bit like when you realise that areas in a city are closer together when you walk or drive a new route – this happens to me all the time in London. So… read it.

And for a fictional version, Gore Vidal’s Creation is also excellent, though somewhat flippant by comparison.

The Wikipedia article on Armstrong can be found here, but it’s not great.

Juvenile? Perhaps. But it is still something for the collection. Along with Pataphysics and Discordianism, this is another fine effort.

Reading Sam Harris‘ ‘The End of Faith’. Can’t say I agree with everything he says but it is a fabulous book, a jolt to the system and, despite the gloom, horror and terror of some of its content, surprisingly liberating and joyful in its effects.

Basically I think he is right.

July 2018
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