The Permeability of Scripture

The Bible’s edges blur into the world around it. There is no human encounter with a text that does not involve that person interpreting what they read, which in turn connects with their upbringing, their culture, their language, and many other aspects of the world around them. On the composition end, the Bible also blurs into the [Read More...]

God’s Government

It seems that I have reached the point in my life where I am doing scholarship even in my sleep. A few nights ago I had a dream in which I was looking into the possibility that “God’s government” would be a good way to translate the New Testament phrase “the kingdom of God.” I [Read More...]

The Fundamentalist Interprets Scripture (Sheep and Goats)

On the day of Biblical interpretation, the fundamentalist sits on his glorious throne, and separates Bible passages before him, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And to those on his right, he says, “Come, things the Bible clearly says! For I was confident, and your fostered my arrogance; I was certain, and you gave [Read More...]

Do the Fundamentalist Rocks Cry Out?

Fundamentalists say that the Bible must be trustworthy in everything it says – about nature, science, history, or any other topic – or else it isn’t trustworthy in what it says about God. Let’s see what happens if we apply the same logic to the natural world. The Bible says that the created things give [Read More...]

Biblical Inerrancy Makes No Difference

Last Sunday, my Sunday school class began talking about what it means to have a canon that came to us through natural human processes. I suggested that, in one sense, it makes no difference. Those who subscribe to Biblical inerrancy do not agree on what these supposedly inerrant texts actually mean. And so one is left to puzzle [Read More...]

Biblical Scholars Fighting Creationism

Hector Avalos has a new article in The Bible and Interpretation about the need for Biblical scholars to be involved in fighting creationism. Here’s a sample: Scientists are not trained to recognize how creationists are distorting biblical texts. Thus, Jerry Coyne’s Faith v. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible (2015) does an excellent job of explaining scientific theory [Read More...]

Fundamentalists and Scholarship

I made the same point some years ago in a blog post. But the above image, shared on Facebook by the page Science & Scripture, makes the point much more effectively and succinctly. Does someone claim that they simply read the Bible and have no need for scholars, when they are reading the Bible in translation, [Read More...]

Repent of Your Approach to the Bible

The quote comes from the post “Correction” which appeared here on February 13th. [Read more...]

Did Jesus Die in Outer Space?

Over the past several weeks I’ve been reading Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, which The Bible and Interpretation kindly sent me a copy of, asking me to provide them with a review. It soon became clear to me that a single review with an overview of [Read More...]

Unlocking the Gospels

There is no way to “unlock” the Gospel of Matthew. It does not have hidden secrets. It is a text, and it has no underneath, and so no hidden depths. It is all surface. There isn’t some sort of skin that you can peel back and see something more profound underneath. What you see depends [Read More...]

Is Personal Bible Reading Bad for Christianity?

Paul Penley, in a guest post on Jesus Creed, discussed whether personal Bible reading has had an overall positive or negative impact on the church. Even those of us who are heirs to Luther’s convictions about individuals taking responsibility for their own beliefs and following the dictates of their own consciences, we can feel the force of [Read More...]