Literalists Have a Choice

If the biblical account of creation is literally true, then the creator is maliciously lying in the great book of nature, which plainly says otherwise. If it is not literally true, then literalists are in error in their hermeneutics. So literalists have a choice; admit their hermeneutics are mistaken, or call God a malicious liar. [Read More...]

Sleight of Hand

The fundamental problem with Ken Ham and his ilk is—and always will be—not science, but biblical hermeneutics. That is, how one understands and interprets the Bible as sacred writ. The sleight of hand trick that the Creationist overlords play on Christian flocks is: if they can convince people to interpret Genesis literally and without critical [Read More...]

Same Method, Same Results

Fred Clark wrote the following in a post about the clobber texts for slavery: But the larger problem is this: We have concluded that some of our foremost and most influential theologians, pastors, and biblical scholars were utterly wrong about a monumentally important matter of biblical truth. Yet, because we choose not to explore why [Read More...]

Scientifically-Tested Biblical Interpretation

Some people approach the Bible as though there were scientific tests that can be conducted to determine the genre, the meaning, and other important details about a text in the Bible. It might be kind of cool. Drop Genesis 1:6-7 into a vial of hydrochloric acid. If it dissolves, the dome is metaphorical. If not, [Read More...]

Betty Bowers’ Handy Bible Interpretation Guide

Via Mrs. Betty Bowers on Facebook. This is a new version of something of hers that I shared a couple of years ago.   [Read more...]

Young-Earth Creationism vs. Love

Fred Clark posted about young-earth creationism’s approach to the Bible and its historical connection to the hermeneutic used in defense of slavery. Here is a diagram that he shared, with a quote from the post superimposed: See too Arni Zachariassen’s post objecting to Ken Ham’s claim that Darwin was a racist, and Pete Lefevre’s post [Read More...]

Using the Bible Wrong

Although I greatly appreciate the sentiment expressed through the cartoon above, there simply isn't a right ot wrong way to read the Bible. The Bible genuinely contains things that can inspire hatred, and things that can inspire us to renounce hatred and choose love instead. The Bible is a collection and it doesn't come with [Read More...]

Literal or Symbolic?

On Reddit I came across this wonderful bit of wisdom about interpreting the Bible, from an individual whose user name is SleetTheFox: “Whatever is supposed to be literal I interpret literal. Whatever is supposed to be symbolic I interpret symbolic. Whatever I have mischaracterized the intended meaning of, I interpret incorrectly.” That pretty much sums [Read More...]

James Kugel Lecture on Biblical Interpretation

HT Scott Bailey [Read more...]

Look for the Surprise

Aric Clark has a very useful post about approaching ancient literature – in particular the Bible. Things we read there may tend to startle, surprise, or shock us, or disappoint us, or seem like nothing out of the ordinary. It is important to look into the context, to really grasp it. What seems disappointingly conservative [Read More...]

Interpreting Scripture in Light of Scripture

I wrote the following in a comment on Facebook and thought I would share it here as well: The principle of “interpreting Scripture in light of Scripture” is a conservative excuse for picking texts that they like and then insisting that other texts cannot mean what they plainly seem to. In this way the rich [Read More...]


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