From Michael Kruger's excellent piece - The Far Less Sensational Truth about Jesus’ ‘Wife’.When it comes to these sorts of questions I like to remind my students of a simple—-but often overlooked—-fact: of all the gospels in early Christianity, only Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are dated to the first century. Sure, there are minority attempts to put books like the Gospel of Thomas in the first century—-but such attempts have not been well received by biblical scholars. Thus, if we really want to know what Jesus was like, our best bet is to rely on books that were at least written during the time period when eyewitnesses were still alive. And only four gospels meet that standard.
Over the last few weeks the country has been transfixed on the amazing run of the England football team in Euro 2020. I was initially put off watching the football after I saw the team shamefully bowing to BLM at the start of each game. But as the excitement has grown in the country, I have found myself irresistibly pulled to watch a few games in the tournament. The collective national gaze over England’s Euro 2020 is an example of what Tony Reinke, the author of Competing Spectacles , calls a spectacle. A spectacle is something visible that captures our collective attention. It is that moment when society’s eyes and brains focus on something projected at us. This may be a big political story, a sports event, a new film or a badly behaved influencer. We primarily experience spectacles through technologies we use. I have been experiencing the spectacle of Euro 2020 through our television, but others have consumed it on the mobile or in person. Most spectacles are consumed through ha