Infographic – Book of Acts – Comprehensive Relationship & Timeline Diagram

*Updated 09-07-2016*

As part of my ongoing historical research efforts, I found it necessary to develop a comprehensive outline of the book of Acts. This has taken several forms, one of which is the following relationship diagram and timeline for Acts. The notion was simple, but the doing turned out to take a good deal longer than I had anticipated. I’ve decided to pause my research long enough to publish this as an infographic, in the hopes that it may prove useful to others. Feel free to print and repost; all I ask is that attribution to JerichoBrisance be included. Further details and notes are below.

Click on image for high resolution PDF.

Acts RD Preview Whole

Additional Notes:  [Read more…]

Yale Lecture Series on Hebrew Bible

My friend Archaeopteryx was good enough to share the YouTube lecture series by Yale Professor Christine Hayes, “Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible)”.  After watching the first video in the series, I believe this will make a good resource for serious seekers who want to understand the historical events, cultural forces and literary composition of the Old Testament. I read many volumes written by various historians during my own investigations, and I suspect this video series would shorten the learning arc for others.

I’m linking the first video here, which I have cued to mid-lecture as Prof. Hayes discusses 5 common myths about the Hebrew Bible that most Americans do not understand. If you have another 15 minutes, feel free to back it up for full context. I’ll also be adding a link in the sidebar under Rapid Resources, though these lectures are admittedly a bit long to be considered truly rapid. Cheers!

Infographic – Family Tree of Christianity (Reblog)

Evan T. at On the Way to Ithaca has gone to an incredible amount of work to develop an infographic showing the family tree of Christianity. Click the image below to get web and print versions of the graphic at his site. The comprehensive scope of this graphic has made some points of info verification challenging for Evan, to say the least, and he hopes that the community can potentially provide feedback, error-finds, or corrections that will lead to even better accuracy in the details. Kudos for the excellent work.


Easter Infographic Now in PDF Format

Per visitor request, I have created a PDF version of the infographic. It is available as a link above picture on the infographic page.

Infographic: Taking Easter Seriously

Many Christians read the Easter stories year upon year, as I did for several decades, yet we never compare them in detail. As a consequence, we often do not realize that they are not telling the same story. There are indeed contradictions in the texts, but it is very important to move beyond “mere contradiction” – the issues with our gospels are far more extensive than that. Comparison against the historical record and assessing the gospels for trends of legend development are probably far more crucial. As with many non-believers, I left Christianity specifically because of the Bible, and because I considered and examined its content very seriously indeed.

Perhaps it is time for more Christians to take the Bible and our Easter stories seriously.

[Click Image for Full Size Version. Use Ctrl+ and Ctrl- to adjust zoom.]

JerichoBrisance Easter Infographic 04202014

As always, I look to improve the accuracy of my work wherever possible. Please reply with any factual errors found, and I will correct appropriately. Thanks.

Also See: Infographic for New Testament Timeline

(C) Copyright 2014,

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

[In other words, feel free to pass along, distribute, etc., just don’t repackage it and sell it. Thanks!]



References: [Read more…]

Infographic: The Biologos Forum on Earth Age

The Biologos Forum is a Christian website studded with a host of legitimate scientists and theologians who tackle issues of origins. I found them very helpful when I was trying to figure out questions of biological evolution, the age of the earth, etc. Having had such protracted FB discussions yesterday surrounding the Bill Nye vs Ken Ham debate, I think they are a very good resource for other Christians grappling with questions like the Old Earth, etc. Bill Nye checks out in terms of factuality, by the way, and that’s an understatement. Ken Ham, I am sorry to say, had no real answers for the type of information that Bill presented, nor indeed for the information summarized in this infographic.

To my friends who hustle off to Ham’s Answers in Genesis, I’d like to suggest that you take a two-pronged approach to any science related conundrums. Sure check AIG, but also check out Biologos. Both are Christian sites for those who worry about that, but AIG presents viewpoints from minority-position Christian scientists, while Biologos gives you the mainstream-position Christian scientists.

Biologos Infographic on Earth Age

Infographic – Evolutionary Tree of Myth and Religion (reblog)

In keeping with my affinity for educational visual aids, I simply couldn’t resist adding this one to the lineup. Excellent work from Simon Davies @ Thanks to Seth Andrews at TTA for the Facebook post.

My own thoughts… I had a conversation with a friend quite recently, and he asked me what I thought “the truth” was. I told him that at bottom, I think religion is simply something that people like to do. We fear death. We fear uncertainty. And we fear insignificance. Religion gives us an incantation against the parts of our own minds that grasp these realities. Further, we Christians are not special, and we do not have corroborating evidences that our competing faiths lack. The mirage of uniqueness grows from the soil of ignorance. We do not understand “the others”, and so we do not understand ourselves. Only deep reading about our faith from outsiders, and about other faiths from insiders, will dispel the fog. And visuals like this are an excellent help.

Mythology Tree of Descent

Infographic: The Breaking of Christian Apologetics

Collapse of ApologeticsIn thinking back over the course of my own investigations, I have noted that several criteria have proven useful again and again. As a person investigates issues of faith and compares different explanations, these principles of vetting can help clear away the clutter that is so happily foisted by various authors. I have dubbed the following five criteria:

  1. The Goose and the Gander
  2. The Burden of Proof
  3. Scaled Support
  4. The Weakest Link
  5. Alternate Cases

In my own investigations, I have found that the most robust cases raised by the mightiest Christian apologists cannot survive the winnowing.

The Goose and the Gander


If a rationale can be used to support more than one religion, that line of argument cannot be considered definitive. What is good for goose and the gander cannot adjudicate between them.


Eyewitness testimony from believers living at the time of Jesus does count as type of evidence. However, it is not unique or definitive evidence. Other religions make similar claims on similar grounds by people who similarly believed. [Read more…]

Infographic – Timeline of the New Testament Books

One of the many difficulties the New Testament presents for scholars is dating and sequencing the books in order. Some of the books were written anonymously and did not specify an author. Dating of documents was also not undertaken. Using a range of textual clues, scholars have developed approximate dates for the books. While timelines can be found from a number of sources, I had trouble finding any that were annotated with other significant events of the period. Thus, the following timeline, which combines information from several resources.

My hope is that this may serve as a fairly rich “info-graphic” to help outline the development of Christology and “historical” information about Jesus as contained in the gospels. (please do advise if you find any errors)

New Testament Timeline - JerichoBrisance

The core timeline – which consisted of only the books and their dates – was drawn from Raymond E. Brown’s Introduction to the New Testament (RC); and I found it in a post by Jared Anderson at (LDS). Other sources consulted are cited below. The following is a brief excerpt from Wikipedia on Raymond E. Brown:

The Reverend Raymond Edward Brown, S.S. (May 22, 1928 – August 8, 1998), was an American Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Sulpician Fathers and a prominent Biblical scholar of his era.

Brown was one of the first Roman Catholic scholars to apply historical-critical analysis to the Bible.

He was regarded as occupying the center ground in the field of biblical studies, opposing the literalism found among many fundamentalist Christians while not carrying his conclusions as far as many other scholars.

Theological Evolution

When surveying the letters of Paul and the gospel accounts, it is interesting to note the development of historical claims, as outlined in the orange numbered callouts on the timeline. [Read more…]

Visual Comparison: Genesis vs. Other ANE Myths

John Walton, Christian scholar from Wheaton University, presented side-by-side comparisons of various ancient near eastern (ANE) creation myths with Genesis in his book “Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology” (ref. 57). His tables are quite detailed, listing specific documents from Egyptian, Sumerian, and Akkadian texts (tables 2-1 and 2-2). I have created a condensed version of this information in the two tables below for quick visual comparison. The first compares theological and thematic features, while the second compares the metaphysical elements included.

It should be noted that these other cultures were far larger, regionally dominant, and antecedent to the Hebrew culture and creation account. The cosmology and thematic elements of the Genesis account were derivative of this pre-existing cultural context. Though they all differ in narrative and in theology, they are similar in how they see the world – and in what they do not see. There remains no insight in any of these myths regarding such things as:

  • Dinosaurs or extinct creatures
  • Disease-causing micro-organisms
  • A sense of cosmic scale
  • Human emergence by evolutionary descent

They are all, as it were, written at the same grade level. In terms of historical representation, they all fall down equally. But there is only one for which moderns simply will not concede this.

Summary of Features Appearing

Feature Comparison of Genesis and ANE Myths

Summary of Elements Appearing

Element Comparison of Genesis and ANE Myths

Bibliography of Sources from Deconversion Journey

Resources are the most important component of any inquiry. My thanks to the many scholars who make true inquiry possible.

A Brief Note on Stats

See “Reading the Wrong People” for a pie-chart breakdown of resources by worldview.

Written References

  1. Alexander, Denis. “How Does a BioLogos Model Need to Address the Theological Issues Associated with an Adam Who Was Not the Sole Genetic Progenitor of Humankind?” The Biologos Foundation. Undated. (accessed October 2012).
  2. Ayala, Francisco. Darwin’s Gift: To Science and Religion . Joseph Henry Press, 2007.
  3. Beale, G.K. “Myth, History, and Inspiration: A Review Article of ‘Inspiration and Incarnation’ by Peter Enns.” JETS, June 2006: 287-312.
  4. Borg, Marcus J. Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written. HarperOne , 2012.
  5. Calvin, John. The Institutes of the Christian Religion. Translated by Henry Beveridge. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2008.
  6. Carson, D.A. “Three Books on the Bible: A Critical Review.” April April 2006.
  7. Chesterton, G.K. Orthodoxy. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1908.
  8. Collins, C. John. Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2003.
  9. Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
  10. Dennis, Lane T., ed. ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.
  11. Dever, William G. What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001.
  12. Ehrman, Bart D. Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them). HarperOne, 2010.
  13. Ehrman, Bart D. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. USA: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  14. Enns, Peter. Evolution of Adam, The: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins. Brazos Press, 2012.
  15. Enns, Peter. Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.
  16. Falk, Darrel R. Coming to Peace with Science. Intervarsity Press, 2004.
  17. Finkelstein, Israel, and Neil Asher Silberman. The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. New York: Simon and Schuster, Touchstone, 2002.
  18. Frame, John M. Review of Enns’ Inspiration and Incarnation. Undated. (accessed October 2012).
  19. General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America. The Westminster Confession of Faith. Atlanta, GA: Committee for christian Education and Publications, PCA Bookstore, 1990.
  20. Harris, Sam. Letter to a Christian Nation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
  21. Hawking, Stephen, and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. New York, NY: Random House, 2010.
  22. Hitchens, Christopher. God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2007.
  23. Josephus, Flavius. The Works of Josephus: New Updated Edition, Complete and Unabridged. Translated by William Whiston. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1987.
  24. Kaku, Michio. Parallel Worlds. USA: Anchor Books, 2005.
  25. Keller, Tim. “Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople.” The Biologos Foundation. Undated. (accessed October 2012).
  26. Ladd, George Eldon, Herman A. Hoyt, Loraine Boettner, and Anthony A. Hoekema. The Meaning of the Millennium, Four Views. Edited by Robert G. Clouse. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1977.
  27. Lennox, John C. Seven Days that Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science. Zondervan, 2011.
  28. Lewis, C.S. The Problem of Pain. New York, NY: HarperCollins eBooks, 1940.
  29. Mark, Joshua J. Enuma Elish – The Babylonian Epic. March 2, 2011. (accessed October 2012).
  30. Massey, Chris. “No Adam, No Eve, No Problem.” http://CognitiveDiscoPants/ June 2011. (accessed October 2012).
  31. Massey, Chris. “Review: Tim Keller on Adam and Eve – Part I and Part II.” http://CognitiveDiscoPants/ June 2011. (accessed October 2012).
  32. Massey, Chris. “The Bible’s Most Overlooked but Really, Really Important Guy.” http://CognitiveDiscoPants/ September 1, 2011. (accessed October 2012).
  33. McGrath, Alister E. Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley and Sons, 2011.
  34. McGrath, Alister E. Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1998.
  35. McGrath, Alister E. The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World. USA: Doubleday/Random House, 2004.
  36. McGrath, Alister E., et al. Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought. Malden, MA: Blackwell PUblishers Ltd, 1993.
  37. Meek, Esther Lightcap. Longing to Know: The Philosophy of Knowledge for Ordinary People. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, Baker Book House Company, 2003.
  38. Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design. New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2009.
  39. Noll, Mark A. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Grand Rapids, MI: Intervarsity Press, 1994.
  40. Olson, Steve, and Jay B. Labov. Thinking Evolutionarily: Evolution Education Across the Life Sciences, Summary of a Convocation. 2012: National Research Council of the National Academies, National Academy of Science, Washington, DC.
  41. Opderbeck, David. A “Historical” Adam? April 15, 2010. (accessed October 2012).
  42. Plantinga, Alvin. Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, & Naturalism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  43. Price, Robert M., John Dominic Crossan, Luke Timothy Johnson, James D.G. Dunn, and Darrel L. Bock. The Historical Jesus: Five Views. Edited by James K. Beilby, & Paul R. Eddy. IVP Academic, 2009.
  44. Principe, Lawrence M. Lecture Series: Science and Religion. The Teaching Company, Limited Partnership. 2006.
  45. Sire, James W. The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog. Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1997.
  46. Sproul, R.C. Knowing Scripture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1977.
  47. Strobel, Lee. The Case for Christ. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998.
  48. Thomas, Robert L, and Stanley N. Gundry. A Harmony of the Gospels, NASB. Harper Collins, 1978.
  49. Venema, Dennis, and Darrel Falk. Does Genetics Point to a Single Primal Couple? April 5, 2010. (accessed October 2012).
  50. Witherington, Ben. The Jesus Quest: the Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth. 2nd. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997.
  51. Wolpe, David. Did the Exodus Really Happen? 2004. (accessed 2013).
  52. Wright, N.T. The New Testament and the People of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 1. London: Fortress Press, 1992.
  53. Wright, N.T. The Resurrection of the Son of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 3. Minneapolis, MS: Fortress Press, 2003.
  54. Kitchen, K.A. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2003
  55. James, Peter. Centuries of Darkness. New Brunswick, NJ. Rutgers University Press. 1993.
  56. Hamilton, Edith. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. New York, NY. Grand Central Publishing. 1942.
  57. Walton, John H. Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology. Winona Lake, IN. Eisenbrauns. 2011.
  58. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Reason within the Bounds of Religion. 2nd Ed. Grand Rapids, MI. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1976/1984.
  59. Berlinski, David. The Deniable Darwin & Other Essays. Discovery Institute Press. 2010.
  60. Zacharias, Ravi. The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists. Zondervan. 2008.
  61. Ashton, John F., Ed. In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation. Green Forest, AR. Master Books. 2001/2009.
  62. Paine, Thomas. The Age of Reason: Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology. Nineola, NY. Dover Publications. 1794/1896/2004.
  63. Batchelor, Stephen. Confession of a Buddhist Atheist. New York. Spiegel & Grau. 2010.
  64. Chesterton, G.K. The Everlasting Man. San Francisco. Ignatius Press. 1925/1953.

Multimedia References

YouTube and Video






  • Peter Enns. Ancient World, God’s Word: A Look at the Old Testament and its Challenges. Lecture series at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church.
  • Interview with Bart Ehrman. Commonwealth Club Radio Program Podcast.
  • Debate: Craig Evans versus Bart Ehrman. Does the New Testament Misquote Jesus? DebateGod Podcast.
  • Interview with Peter Enns. The Evolution of Adam with Peter Enns. Homebrewed Christianity Podcast.
  • Interview with Bart Ehrman. Jesus’ Existence, Apocalypticism, and Holy Week. Homebrewed Christianity Podcast.
  • Interview with Peter Enns. The Evolution of Adam. The (Re)vangelical Podcast.
  • Interview with Robert Price. Will the Real Jesus Please Rise? Religion for Life Podcast.
  • Interview with John Dominic Crossan. Will the Real Jesus Please Rise? Religion for Life Podcast.
  • Interview with John Shelby Spong. Will the Real Jesus Please Rise? Religion for Life Podcast.
  • Interview with Bart Ehrman. Will the Real Jesus Please Rise? Religion for Life Podcast.

Websites (Selected)

Origins, Creation, & Flood

Old Testament & Archaeology

New Testament



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