Q: Your opening chapter deals with a time when Romans ruled the earth. What did you do to research this period?

A: First, I watched the movie, “300.” Wait a minute. Back up. That was about Spartans and Persians. How about “Spartacus”? Was that about Romans? It was? Okay, I watched that. Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have understood why pulling on Kirk Douglas’ legs killed him, but now I do. Ben-Hur, Quo Vadis, Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, hey, I’m telling you, I buckled down, dug deep and studied. The truth of the matter is that I have a strong interest in Christianity at the period of origins. The first century was a rich and fascinating historical period, despite or perhaps because little is definitively known about it with respect to critical theological issues. I have been investigating this subject for roughly fifteen years, and if you flip through my book, MisGod’ed, you will appreciate the depth of my research. Now, I’m not going to quote names and batting averages of the key players, like you saw in The Emperor’s Club, but I’m also not the guy with a cheat sheet and an earbud, sneaking answers from a scholar at the back of the room. You can’t investigate the period of Christian origins without having your path of inquiry cross into the history of Roman influence in Judea, and that’s what happened to me. If you read “Historical Setting” on my website, EighthScroll.com, you will appreciate just how rich and fascinating this period’s history was.

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