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...]

Scripture is Not Alone

 The fact is that “scriptura” by its very nature is a book that people read, so it cannot stand “sola” — alone and isolated from the humans who read it.  Every time we read the Bible, we are seeing it through the windows of our own experience, and understanding it according to our own reasoning. And [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...]

The Letter of James

The modified quote in my previous post was inspired by the discussion of the opening section of the letter of James in my Sunday school class this past Sunday. The letter fascinates me. It has a couple of mentions of the Lord Jesus Christ, but none of the traditional theological elements one will expect if [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...]

The Bible, the Veil, and the Spirit

Mention was made in a Facebook conversation I had recently of Paul’s reference (2 Cor. 3) to the Scriptures being read while veiled. Many refer to it as though it were about the inability of people to understand Scripture without supernatural assistance. But it doesn’t mean that, despite what is so often claimed. It is [Read More...]

Beginning With Genesis

“The choice isn’t really between young earth creationism and scientific secularism, however. Or at least it need not be. There is an alternative. The alternative is thoroughly Christian and begins with scripture; it begins with Genesis. The young earth “natural” reading is not the only way to read Genesis, and is not even the most faithful [Read More...]

A Chorus of Voices

David Gowler of Emory University is currently writing a book about the reception history of the parables. He has decided to blog through the process of writing the book, and has set up a blog for this purpose, called A Chorus of Voices. I know it will be of interest to some readers of this [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...]


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