The Real Choice

The quote comes from Jay Michaelson's recent article in Forward, “How We Know The Bible Was Written By Human(s) Hand.” But the point is that there isn’t really a choice between the traditionalist view and the historical/scholarly ones. The traditionalist view is false. So the real choice is between different ways of being religious: one [Read More...]

Divine Communication

Someone on Facebook asked about God communicating and sacred texts, and I thought I would share the comment here. I think that, of all the possible ways that God might be thought to communicate, the notion that he communicated the precise words that he desired through human authors, without in any way changing their style [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...]

People Wrote It, You Believe Them, That Settles…Nothing

David Hayward's cartoon above gets at an important issue. I suspect that very few of the Bible's authors actually thought in this way. Most genuinely believed that their dreams, their sense of conviction, indicated that God had appointed them. Some are fairly clear that they are human beings like any others, researching, discerning, and writing [Read More...]

Perfect Bible, Imperfect God?

Another quote from a recent Facebook discussion that I thought I would share here: To believe that the Bible is inerrant, literally the words of God, you have to view God as morally flawed, since God pretends to be different human authors, and then apparently hates it when people fall for his trick.   [Read more...]

Could You Be Wrong About Their Inability To Be Wrong?

We really have no way of telling the difference between God revealing God's self through means which produce literature that looks like other religious literature, and people producing religious literature that expresses their beliefs. But given the difficult theological and moral issues that arise from taking the first stance, the second seems more attractive. Why [Read More...]

That Doesn’t Exactly Settle It

Joel Watts shared this on Facebook. I think that more qualifications need to be added below the “God said it” since this still gives the impression that we have God-authored exact words which, if we could just interpret them correctly, then we’d get the right answer. It isn’t just the presence of human interpretation in [Read More...]

Is Claiming the Holy Spirit as Author of the Bible an Unforgivable Sin?

I have been having a Facebook interaction with someone who claims that the Holy Spirit is author of the writings in the Bible. On the one hand, this claims does not seem to make sense, since the same person also claims to accept that there were human authors as well. But what does it mean [Read More...]

Every Scripture God Breathed?

A question about 2 Timothy 3:16 from a commenter inspired (pun intended) me to think about the text in a different light. One possible background for the rare term θεόπνευστος (theopneustos), sometimes rendered as “God-breathed,” is the story in Genesis 2, in which God breathes the breath of life into the human being he has made, [Read More...]

Lecture on Prophets and Prophecy in Ancient Israel

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The Bible, Inspiration, and Fundamentalism

Chris Heard was “inspired” by a recent blog post of mine to share some thoughts on his blog about the Bible and inspiration. First, let me emphasize that, had the terminology of “inspiration” been widely used in the Bible as a way of indicating the distinctive character of sacred texts, I would not have made [Read More...]


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