So who is this blogger, Bill Heroman, and what is he doing here? Well, let's see. How can I put this?
I'm a Baton Rouge Episcopalian turned Evangelical who spent ten years doing experimental house church before giving that up to focus on research. My focus is on reconstructing the New Testament Story as History. By trade, I'm a High School Math teacher whose degrees are in English Lit and Learning Disabilities. I also took four semesters of Greek, but that was sixteen years ago at LSU.
If I ever win the lottery, or become gainfully sponsored, I'll probably go back to grad school in history or biblical studies... but I probably won't work towards a degree. I'll just learn all I can, make friends, and look for feedback & advice about my own projects. I don't want to be a professor or make money selling books. I just want to publish them and give them away. Friendly financiers, feel free to phone me about funding!
For now, I'm blogging about Biblical Studies in order to share the main planks of my own thoughts and observations, online, until the most worthy bits can get properly published. I also blog about others' ideas that I'm just catching up to and figuring out. Obviously, I think there are some ways in which I might be ahead of the curve. In others, I frequently admit that I'm still way behind. In some blog posts, I believe I've made stunning observations. In others, I know I'll continue revealing the depths of my ignorance. Of course, on a really good day, I do all this at once!
If you're new to this blog, and especially if you're involved in Biblical Studies, here's what I'd most like you to read, that I've worked on:
Jesus In Nazareth
A Common Error: Dating Herod's Temple
Chronology of the Gospels
Towards a Historical Nativity
In my views, I've been fairly called "very conservative" and it's true I'm extremely content with traditional faith and the Nicene Creed, but it's also well known that I tend to get frustrated with traditional practices... including when evangelical scholarship finds reasons to prefer views of the New Testament which just happen to support overly intellectual God-Theory and/or overly hierarchical Church-Theory. I'm not anti-intellectual or in favor of anarchy. I just don't think anything spiritual should be (or can be, actually) "systematized".
Therefore, if you're one of those in support of the current establishment, it's only fair to show you these posts as well:
Seminarians on History and the Gospels
Inerrancy and Tradition
Ten Books of my 2009
(former About page)
At the very least, please know this much, my conservative readers: I contend here by faith for the sake of the truth... and the facts... and the Story of Scripture! I don't know if all that makes you and I allies or not, but I'd very much like to discuss it. Leave a comment, introduce yourself, and let's begin sharpening one another.
Finally, for you "liberal" readers, know this: I submit that it might be worthwhile for some skeptics to accept - for the sake of argument - all the New Testament's natural and supernatural claims, and yet leave out external theological and ideological suppositions. If some skeptic trusted the scriptures, but looked fresh for their meaning, what would they conclude? In other words, what views have yet to emerge because faith-based research tends to strongly support institutional dogmas? I would LOVE to find out!
Mainly, I just want to help people understand the New Testament as evidence of a Story - a Story about Christ and His Church, above all, but also a particular Story with actual times, places, dates and a solid event sequence. There's a lot left to do to show that my timeline is the most likely, most reasonable reconstruction from all the known data. Personally, I think a lot of the "proof" boils down to reducing the logical options before compiling the chronological numbers. But I mean doing that holistically - taking ALL the first century data and finding out, what are the critical dates to build upon? (More on that, as we go...)
Anyway, that's a bit about me, what I'm doing here, and what you might expect to find on this blog.
So glad you stopped by.
Don't be a stranger...
I can't wait to see what you end up publishing. I appreciate your work (even when I disagree with it) and find it largely to be refreshing and insightful. Thanks for blogging your thoughts! Blessings brother.
Thanks, Rick. You a'ite too. :-)
I would be interested to hear more about your ten years of experimental house church, Bill. Feel free to shoot me an email if you'd like.
Well, there's what happened and then there's my reflections since then about what it all means.
You can find bits about what happened in my 2005 & 2006 archives. You can find my reflections about what it means in many, many posts on this site since that time.
Thanks for asking, Josh. The number one priority for a group of believers is to be able to find Jesus Christ together. Failing that, everything else begins to become, incrementally, exponentially harder.
Hi Bill. I posted a few comments yesterday without signing on to blogger, but I'd like to greet you formally now.
I discovered your blog yesterday and am enthralled by it. I became interested in Jesus' chronology last January when I literally stumbled upon what I call the "Christ-proclaiming fine tuning" hypothesis. Very briefly, there is a very interesting consequence if the following two conditions are met:
1. Jesus lived approx. 36 years.
2. Jesus' circumcision took place at the same calendar date in the Hebrew calendar as his crucifixion.
Based on the information I could gather in January, my choice of birth/death years was 7 BC / 30 AD. I am actually grateful to the Lord that I was not aware of your work back then, as I would have been overwhelmed with info and would not have been able to produce my first draft. Using Hb 5:13-14 analogy, at that stage I could only process milk and only now I can digest solid food like your work.
So thanks for sharing your work and may the Lord bless and guide you. I will be commenting now on some of the posts.
My own blog is:
Random assumptions are to be avoided, Johannes. But I do agree the information can be quite overwhelming. Let's both keep trying to improve... patiently.
Thanks for reading, brother.
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