Is This Bible Verse a Metaphor?

Terry Firma shared the above image. It helpfully illustrates what is really going on in fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible. Their view should never be referred to as “Biblical literalism” since it only insists on the Bible being literally true when it is desirable to do so, and not where it is “obviously” a metaphor, [Read More...]

The Poorly-Worded Words of God?

I had a commenter on this blog suggest that 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture comes from the mouth of God”. The actual statement there refers to all writings being “God-breathed” – or perhaps the usefulness of “every God-breathed writing.” There has been a lot of debate about how that phrase should best be translated, and [Read More...]

What’s a Bible?

That the term “Bible” means something very clear and specific with clearly-defined characteristics and attributes is a widespread assumption. And it is wrong. It would make more sense to speak of “Bibles” in the plural rather than “the Bible.” Between Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Ethiopic Bibles there are significant differences. And the [Read More...]

The Message of Scripture (When We Don’t Flatten It)

Discussing (on Facebook) Pete Enns’ recent post on Canaanite genocide and the diversity of views in the Bible, I wrote the following, and thought I’d share it here too: Perhaps the key is that reading the Bible, without flattening it to claim that it has a single viewpoint and teaching, will lead us naturally to [Read More...]

Angelic Clothing

Tom Verenna asked in a post on Facebook why angels wear clothing. I confess that I don’t recall ever hearing this asked, much less addressed. Surely conservative Christians ought to have answer to this question, since they believe that the Genesis 3 account is to be taken literally, and that the wearing of clothing is [Read More...]

Is Being Right the Point of Christianity?

Yesterday in my Sunday school class, we continued a discussion that started last time, sparked by Hebrews 12, where it depicts God as one who disciplines – or more literally “whips” of “flogs” – his children for their benefit. There was general agreement that, while some ancient people may have viewed misfortunes that came their [Read More...]

The God Box

The image is from a post on Pete Enns’ blog, in which he explores a common false antithesis between critical scholarly and high-inerrantist-believing views of the Bible. Thinking about the Bible as the box that conservative Christians try to put God into is a helpful way of highlighting why biblicism is a form of idolatry. [Read more...]

A More Complicated View of the Bible

Fred Clark has posted about Evangelical defenders of slavery and what their stance in a bygone era tells us about their approach to the Bible. In the process, he writes: The white evangelical opponents of slavery thus adopted a “more complicated view” because biblical literalism was inadequate — incapable of offering wisdom, guidance or truth. [Read More...]

Luke vs. the Inerrantists

The prologue to the Gospel of Luke is unique among the Gospels. Its author provides a prologue indicating something about his aims and methods. This would have been a great opportunity to mention something like his receiving of divine revelation. Instead, here is what he wrote: Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly [Read More...]

Mapping Bible Contradictions

Via Gizmodo, I was reminded of a web site that was created recently, BibViz, attempting to map the Bible's contradictions. While it tends to circulate among atheists, and to meet with adamant denials from conservatives, liberal Christians were among the first to point these sorts of things out – and even before us, there were [Read More...]

Did NT Authors Think NT Writings Were Inerrant?

There are things which, when you are an inerrantist, never cross your mind, and yet when you cease to be one, you wonder how you could possibly have failed to think those thoughts, notice those things, and ask those questions. A case in point: the New Testament authors did not write as though they believed [Read More...]


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