The Plain Meaning of the Text

Internet Monk shared this wonderful example of the problems with claims about the “plain meaning” of a text. The sign above is from the UK. And so, while an American will understand it to be prohibiting people who serve as coaches of a particular uniquely American sport from entering, it not only refers to soccer, but to [Read More…]

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Review of Jodi Magness, Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit

I am long overdue to review Jodi Magness’ book Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus on my blog. It is so full of interesting detail that it simply wouldn’t do to skim through it quickly. Many readers will have encountered at some point a picture book which children [Read More…]

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Straight Outta Young-Earth Creationism

People are making “Straight Outta Compton” memes, and so I thought this blog should participate. I picked young-earth creationism as a subject for the memes not just because it is an easy target, but because of the terrible harm that young-earth creationism inflicts on Christianity, as well as on science education. [Read more…]

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Inspirational Bible Quote

If you don’t get it, look up Luke chapter 4 and read the context. This nicely illustrates the problem with looking up “verses” to see “the Bible says” and constructing your viewpoint from that. Atomized, contextless Bible verses can be configured into lots of different patterns, lots of different theologies. And in some of them, a quote [Read More…]

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Review of The Lost World of Adam and Eve

I’m delighted to be a participant in the Patheos Book Club about John Walton’s latest book, The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2-3 and the Human Origins Debate. If the title sounds familiar, it is because Walton has also written books with the titles The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and [Read More…]

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John Walton on Genesis and Ancient Creation Ideas

I became aware today of two talks by John Walton. The first is primarily about Genesis 1-3, the second is primarily about the ancient context of Israel’s thought about creation.   [Read more…]

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Reading Genesis With Ancient Eyes

John Walton discusses the interpretation of Genesis’ creation stories. HT Allan Bevere [Read more…]

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Progressive Then, Brutal Now?

This came my way on Facebook. I was going to just say “discuss” but I thought I should also say something more than that. A key question for those for whom the Bible is important is how to respond to the above, if one agrees with the statement. Is the way to be true to [Read More…]

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The Bible in Pre-Scientific Context

As a result of a comment on my blog, I’m wondering whether there is any book that focuses scholarly attention on those places in the Bible where authors assume the pre-scientific understanding of that time. The firmament, bees from a lion corpse and other references to spontaneous generation, taxonomies of animals, celestial movements, and so [Read More…]

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Context Contest

Lots of people post pictures and then have a caption contest. But this photo seems to have its own “caption” included. What’s missing is the context. I took the photo of this sign in front of a local church here in Indianapolis. But what does it mean? Rather than try to find out the actual [Read More…]

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How To Win At Bible

Fred Clark has a post about one problematic but very popular approach to using the Bible, namely as a sort of card game in which clobber verse is pitted against clobber verse. He writes: But the problem, in her inquisitor’s eyes, is that this passage is not itself a clobber-text. He reads the Bible like [Read More…]

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