Biblical Criticism

This cartoon came to my attention on Facebook: I wonder whether the cartoonist is intentionally playing on the double meaning of “criticism”, or reflects the same confusion educators often encounter in classes. When we talk about “Biblical criticism” the phrase does not mean “criticizing the Bible” – it means the careful, thorough, detailed, scholarly study [Read More...]

Leviticus: the Video Game

Both Jim Davila and John Byron link to and discuss the article in The Tablet about a new video game which involves following the rules in Leviticus. I’d be interested to know what sort of possible educational uses a game like this might have, and how much someone who plays it ends up understanding about Leviticus! [Read more...]

Who’s In Whose Image?

David Hayward posted this image on his blog yesterday: His botching of the title (confusing “who’s” and “whose”) isn’t the only problem. The statement in the speech bubble is suggesting that we make God in our image, and David’s commentary points out that we are incapable of completely avoiding idolatry. If we think about God, [Read More...]

Not Manna

A friend shared this cartoon from “Inherit the Mirth” on Facebook. I was entertained by it immediately, but only later it struck me that it can also be used to make a serious point. The Bible and other ancient Jewish and Christian texts use manna as a symbol – for the word of God, for [Read More...]

Jesus and Paul were not Literalists when it comes to Genesis 2-3

It is interesting how some modern readers simply assume that ancient individuals and authors shared their supposed literalism, and their focus on facts and history and science, all of which are thoroughly modern concerns. If we look at what Jesus is depicted as saying about Genesis 2 in the Synoptic Gospels, he points to the [Read More...]

Creation, Evolution, and Embryology

I was delighted to see David Bailey quote a recent article by Joshua Moritz, in which he points out that the Bible uses the same verb to refer to God creating or making the lightning, or a baby in the womb, as for making sea creatures, and beasts of the field, and human beings, in a [Read More...]

There Are No Contradictions! (A Game for 3-6 Players)

Ian posted this wonderful game idea on his blog, inspired by (among other things) the way fundamentalists deal with the diversity and contradictions within the Bible. If you play it, let me know – indeed, feel free to use the comments section here to play or at least start a game! There Are No Contradictions! [Read More...]

Urban Dictionary Definition of the Bible

A student shared the above with me. All these years teaching the Bible, how did I miss the bestiality? The depiction of it as a novel, as though the entire thing were a single piece of literature in a single genre, is also well off target. But presumably the point (however much one may criticize [Read More...]

Is it OK to Doubt the Bible?

An interesting conversation between Tom Thatcher, professor at Cincinnati Christian University, and Tyler McKenzie, teaching pastor at Northeast Christian Church. Whatever you think of some of the details of the conversation, it reflects a dialectic approach that progressive Christians can embrace: On the one hand, recognizing that doubting and even disbelieving the Bible is not only [Read More...]

Hasn’t God Said?

Someone shared this status update on Facebook: The devil is using the same trick that he used in the garden by getting people to second guess what God has already told them. Has not God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Has not God said that marriage is between a [Read More...]

Blame the Copyeditor

From Scenes from a Multiverse. The view of how Christians view the Old Testament is at best a caricature. But the cartoon does nicely poke fun at those who would speak of the inerrancy of “original autographs” that we no longer have, simply to be able to assert that the Bible was once inerrant (and [Read More...]


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