Month: February 2018

Four things Clement of Rome tells us about early Christianity

One of the earliest Christian writings to survive outside of the New Testament itself is the Letter of Clement of Rome to the church at Corinth (often known as 1 Clement). It may have been written around 97 A.D., that is, seventy years after the ascension of Christ into heaven and within two or three

When a Seleucid king outlawed circumcision

This week’s portentous events in Iceland — the Parliamentary bill which, if passed, would ban male circumcision and lead to up to six years’ imprisonment for those carrying it out — could not help but remind me of one of the darker periods in the history of Israel, when a Seleucid king, in his hatred

Dark days ahead as Europe ratchets up hostility towards religion

Since 1945 Western Europe has been a haven of religious freedom and tolerance. But the steady erosion of that religious freedom which has been taking place in recent years took a step further today with the bill put before the Icelandic Parliament proposing a ban on male circumcision. The bill, if passed, would attach a

Clement of Rome’s New Testament

It is sometimes falsely claimed that the Church arbitrarily selected the 27 books of the New Testament in the fourth century. While it is true that the 27 books of our New Testament were not formally recognized as ‘the New Testament’ until near the end of the fourth century, and our earliest canon list containing

What happened to the Apostle Paul?

Christians have often wondered what happened to the Apostle Paul. Tradition has it that he was beheaded during the reign of the Emperor Nero between 64 and 68 A.D. But is this tradition reliable? In this post we assess the early evidence for what happened to Paul. 1.) Paul in the New Testament We have