Biblical Literalism’s Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

David Hayward’s cartoon above illustrates the reason why I consider Biblical literalism to be an attack on Christianity, rather than an expression of faithfulness to it. No matter how much they insist otherwise, no one actually takes the Bible literally – not even all the bits that are “clearly” non-poetic. But that doesn’t stop preachers [Read More...]

Leave the Bible Alone

The Huffington Post recently highlighted some statistics from a Gallup poll about what Americans believe about the Bible (HT Hemant Mehta). Many progressive Christians would feel like the choices between two of the options may be a false dichotomy. Unless one ignores the names of authors sometimes actually given in the text (whether or not [Read More...]

Swordplay as Substitute

The quote above comes from a post Morgan Guyton wrote, with the title “When “the Bible is perfectly clear” becomes the reason it can’t teach us anything.” Here is a longer excerpt to provide more context: I have a hunch that the “perfect clarity” many Christians talk about with regard to the Bible happens in [Read More...]

Book of Job Trigger Warning

Rob Zaretsky’s piece in Inside Higher Ed proposes trigger warnings for a number of pieces of classic literature. Given my field, I particularly appreciated his treatment of the Book of Job: Anonymous’ “The Book of Job” “Are you sure this is part of the Bible?” asked many respondents, who also exhibited intense unease with God’s actions, [Read More...]

Richard Burridge on Being Biblical

I recently came across the text of a lecture by New Testament scholar Richard Burridge, with the title “Being Biblical? Slavery, Sexuality, and the Inclusive Community.” His argument is that we need to look carefully at episodes from the past, such as when defenders of the Bible’s authority defended slavery as part of that endeavor, [Read More...]

Blaming the Bible

The above cartoon by David Hayward depicts people who long to come together, but the Bible shackles them and holds them back. I don’t think this is what happens in most cases. We recently saw a Southern Baptist pastor, Danny Cortez, change his mind about gays and lesbians (see also Matthew Vines’ book on the [Read More...]

Star Wars Bible Translations

I made the first image inspired by a comment made here on the blog recently about Yoda’s Literal Translation, poking fun at Young’s Literal Translation. I made the second one simply because I speak Wookiee fluently and it is such a beautiful language. [Read more...]

Word for Word Translation

This meme image was inspired by a comment left on this blog by Tim, in response to the webpage for a new Bible claiming it is a “word-for-word” translation, in which he wrote, “Trying to read the English translation directly in an interlinear would confuse Yoda.”   [Read more...]

Bible Against Climate Change

The video above features politicians reprehensibly appealing to the Bible as though it can be used to discount the evidence for climate change, or the likelihood that its long-term impact with be catastrophic. It would make more sense to argue from the fact that there never was a worldwide flood, that non-coastal regions will probably [Read More...]

The Meh Version

A couple of people on Facebook mentioned an article about a new English language Bible translation, the Modern English Version (MEV for short). The website for the translation, quoted in the article, says the following: Every effort is made to ensure that no political, ideological, social, cultural, or theological agenda is allowed to distort the [Read More...]

Conference on the Bible in American Life

Bryan Bibb drew attention to a conference that will be taking place here in Indianapolis this summer, which he will be presenting at. It is hosted by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI. The conference schedule is online. The plenary address by Mark Noll, “The Bible: Then and Now,” [Read More...]


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