The Divinity of Christ: A Response to Roger Olson

In the same 24 hour period, Roger Olson and Daniel McClellan posted on the subject of the divinity of Christ. Roger Olson tries to make the case that this doctrine should be regarded as a Christian essential, and I must say that I find his case not only weak but extremely problematic. The New Testament [Read More...]

Monotheism Interview Series: First Installment with Nathan MacDonald

David Burnett has begun a series of interviews on the topic of monotheism and Biblical studies, over on his blog The Time Has Been Shortened. The first interviewee is Nathan MacDonald, whose work in this area I’m sure will be familiar to many readers. If this field interests you, why not click through and take [Read More...]

Academic Job?

We’ve been talking about the Book of Job and more generally about the problem of evil in my freshman course on Faith, Doubt and Reason. It struck me that one can make a point relevant to academic assignment writing from the Book of Job (although I wonder how appropriate it is to do so). One [Read More...]

Nick Norelli on Sacrifice, Monotheism and Christology

Nick Norelli posted an entry on his blog about sacrificial worship, connecting it with James D. G. Dunn’s book Did the First Christians Worship Jesus? and also with my own book, The Only True God. Nick questions whether animal sacrifice was the sine qua non – but doesn’t clarify the sine qua non of what, [Read More...]

Review of Mark S. Smith, God in Translation

I am grateful to Eerdmans for sending me a free review copy of Mark S. Smith’s book God in Translation: Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical World (published by Eerdmans in 2010, originally published in 2008 by Mohr Siebeck). The book looks at a relatively neglected aspect of ancient Israelite, early Jewish and early [Read More...]

Trees for the Gods

What do you think of this interpretation? In the Garden of Eden story…Yahweh places the two trees in the garden for the benefit of the elohim. I infer this because Yahweh did not allow the humans to eat from them, and the trees impart qualities by which the gods are identified. Apparently the elohim regularly [Read More...]

Thom Stark on Biblical Polytheism

Thom Stark has posted a piece, responding to Michael Heiser, discussing a couple of key texts in the Bible that seem to reflect earlier pre-monotheistic beliefs of the Israelites. I was hunting around over the past few days for exactly the same sorts of texts he cites and refers to as background and comparative materials, [Read More...]

Bauckham and the Vague, Confusing Terminology of Divine Identity

Nick Norelli mentioned my name in connection with a discussion of Richard Bauckham’s use of the phrase “divine identity” in relation to early Christology. As I have said before, I do think that Bauckham’s terminology is unhelpfully vague, and until he defines it more clearly it cannot even be assessed in terms of its applicability [Read More...]

Around the Blogosphere

As I try to meet deadlines and get ready for travelling, there may be a lull in new blog posts. There have been lots of posts that I’ve noticed or which I have had drawn to my attention, which I wanted to comment on, but am not finding the time. So I’ll share the links, [Read More...]

Conversations Around the Blogosphere

Here are some links to posts either directly responding to, or simply on the same topic as, recent posts here at Exploring Our Matrix. Daniel Kirk, Brian LePort, Joel Watts and Tom Verenna chime in on the Shema and Pauline monotheism. Tom also explains why he is no longer a “mythicist.” More people have joined [Read More...]

Paul’s Expanded Shema in 1 Corinthians 8:6

On the blog Diglotting, in a post with the title “Paul, 1 Cor. 8.6, and the Shema,” Kevin Brown asked if anyone apart from me views what Paul is doing in 1 Corinthians 8:6 as a supplementing of the Shema (adding one human lord alongside the one God) rather than an inclusion of Jesus within [Read More...]


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