Atheism, Language, and Theology

As a follow-up to my post from earlier today about atheism and the meaning of “god” I thought I would offer here some further thoughts that I also shared in comments on that post. If someone objects to calling something or someone a “god” because that is not an accepted use of that word in [Read More...]

Facebook vs. Monotheism

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More Ideas of God in The Snowmen

When I blogged about theological themes in the Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Snowmen,” two major concepts of divinity were notably absent: polytheism and Deism. That’s not because such ideas were not touched on in the episode, but because I omitted one of the interesting bits of conversation in the episode, focused on the role [Read More...]

Recycled Stories in the Bible: The Flood

In today’s class, we discussed how awareness of an earlier tradition of telling versions of the same story – as in the case of the Genesis flood story, paralleled in ancient Mesopotamian literature in the Atrahasis and Gilgamesh epics – can be important for understanding the later version of the story in question. [Read more...]

Khirbet Qeiyafa’s Model Shrines and the Accuracy of the Bible

Being in the throes of grading, I am a bit late blogging about the announcement of the discovery of clay model shrines at Khirbet Qeiyafa dating from roughly 3,000 years ago. The Times of Israel has an article on the subject, and the Hebrew University issued a press release.  Demotix treats the find as evidence [Read More...]

Review of Mark S. Smith, God in Translation

I am grateful to Eerdmans for sending me a free review copy of Mark S. Smith’s book God in Translation: Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical World (published by Eerdmans in 2010, originally published in 2008 by Mohr Siebeck). The book looks at a relatively neglected aspect of ancient Israelite, early Jewish and early [Read More...]

Trees for the Gods

What do you think of this interpretation? In the Garden of Eden story…Yahweh places the two trees in the garden for the benefit of the elohim. I infer this because Yahweh did not allow the humans to eat from them, and the trees impart qualities by which the gods are identified. Apparently the elohim regularly [Read More...]

Thom Stark on Biblical Polytheism

Thom Stark has posted a piece, responding to Michael Heiser, discussing a couple of key texts in the Bible that seem to reflect earlier pre-monotheistic beliefs of the Israelites. I was hunting around over the past few days for exactly the same sorts of texts he cites and refers to as background and comparative materials, [Read More...]


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