Have You Even Read Paul?

Fred Clark has a post that starts off being about the whole Duck Dynasty hullabaloo, but in the process focuses on the character of Paul’s letters and the nature of prooftexting. Here’s my favorite part: Quoting Paul to defend exclusion is like quoting Tony Soprano to defend pacifism. Maybe you can find something Tony said [Read More...]

Baffling Bible Passages

IO9 made a list of “The 9 Most Baffling Bible Passages.” Some of them really are baffling even to all the scholars I’ve read or spoken with about them. Others make more sense with some background information. If you made a list of the most baffling Bible passages, which ones would be the same as [Read More...]

A Mythicist Sympathizer’s Case for a Historical Jesus

A new article in The Bible and Interpretation concludes in the following way: Precisely because I am quite aware of the extent to which the Canonical Gospels are the result of a process of doctoring the historical figure of Jesus – a process which has had wide-ranging distorting effects –, I think I can better [Read More...]

Certainty-Seeking Faith

Kurt Willems shared the quote below from Greg Boyd’s book Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty (p.149): One of the most unfortunate consequences of certainty-seeking faith is that, because it rewards people for feeling certain they’re right and discourages people from questioning their perspectives, it conditions people to insist that their maps are the territory. [Read More...]

Progressive Then, Brutal Now?

This came my way on Facebook. I was going to just say “discuss” but I thought I should also say something more than that. A key question for those for whom the Bible is important is how to respond to the above, if one agrees with the statement. Is the way to be true to [Read More...]

Selective Skepticism

An op-ed piece I wrote about the attention Joseph Atwill has been getting lately has appeared on The Bible and Interpretation website. The title is “Selective Skepticism.”   [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...]

Jesus, the Gospels and History

Amanda Witmer has written an article for The Bible and Interpretation about mythicism. Here’s how it begins: In some quarters it is now fashionable to argue that Jesus did not exist! At the opposite end of the spectrum we find the position that every word of the Bible is literally true and that the gospels provide [Read More...]

The Invisible Preface to Genesis

Young-earth creationist Bibles do not begin with Genesis. At least, that is the impression they give. It is as though there is an invisible preface which they alone can see, which they read first, and which provides the lens through which they view the creation material in Genesis. From the way they interpret Genesis, the [Read More...]

The US Constitution and Religious Texts

Thom Stark wrote the following on Facebook: In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, if someone didn’t like the Constitution of the U.S., they criticized it. In the 21st century, if someone doesn’t like it, they claim that it says what they’d rather it say. That’s because the Constitution has become a religious text. [Read More...]


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