The Phoenician Alphabet in Archaeology

These Phoenicians who came with Cadmus…brought with them to Greece, among many other kinds of learning, the alphabet, which had been unknown before this, I think, to the Greeks.—Herodotus 5.58        Herodotus’s story of the foundation of Greek Thebes by the Tyrian prince Cadmus may be more myth than history, but the detail …

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Alternative Facts: Domitian’s Persecution of Christians

Mark Wilson   •  07/24/2017 Ancient portrait of Roman emperor Domitian (r. 81–96 C.E.) As I revisited a critical biography of the Roman emperor Domitian by the scholar Brian W. Jones recently,1 I was reminded that “alternative facts” and “fake news” are not just a contemporary phenomenon. On occasion ancient writers similarly tried to spin their version …

Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand’

The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not “a magician with a magic wand”, Pope Francis has declared. Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his …

What’s Missing from Codex Sinaiticus, the Oldest New Testament?

Two hundred years after Constantine Tischendorf’s birth, questions remain as to the conditions of his removal of Codex Sinaiticus from St. Catherine’s Monastery. Dating to the mid-fourth century C.E., Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest complete manuscript of the New Testament. In his article “Hero or Thief? Constantine Tischendorf Turns Two Hundred” in the September/October 2015 …