Unleash the Beast

An online post has suggested that Monster Energy Drink – with its slogan “Unleash the Beast” – has some connection to the mark of the beast in the Book of Revelation. They point out that the “M” made of slashed claw marks that is their logo looks like three of the Hebrew letter vav, which [Read More...]

Agog About Gog

Mike Skinner wrote a post about the end-times prophecy approach to the Bible, and the attempt by some to identify Vladmir Putin as Ezekiel’s Gog. Here’s the conclusion: Let’s stop the madness of pretending that ancient prophetic texts are futuristic codes for us to decipher current political events. Let’s read the biblical texts responsibly. Click through [Read More...]

Doomsday Perspectives

Today’s Non Sequitur illustrates a useful point. Doomsday predictions are in the eyes of the beholder. For most people in the English-speaking world, the prediction of the imminent dawn of the kingdom of God, an end in some sense to history as it was previously known, might not seem to be something to wish for. [Read More...]

Literalism upon Literalism

This is a literalistic depiction of a literalistic understanding of Matthew 21:7, which reflects the author of that Gospel taking Zechariah 9:9 literally.   [Read more...]

Syria and the End Times

Hemant Mehta shared some interesting statistics and infographics about what Americans think about Syria, and how events there may be leading up to the “end times.” These statistics also give us in the process a good sense of how many Americans have never consulted a scholarly commentary on the Book of Revelation… [Read more...]

Paul vs. His Modern Inerrantist Interpreters

There is an interesting contrast between the way Paul wrote about the content of his own writings, and the way modern-day inerrantists talk about them. Paul is relatively humble, even while claiming authority, compared with the claims of inerrantists, and he nuances things differently than they do. If we focus just on 1 Corinthians we [Read More...]

Authorship of Isaiah

My course on the Bible focuses a lot of attention on the identification and use of reliable sources. When students try to tackle an assignment on the authorship of the Book of Isaiah, they consistently find LaMar Adams’ online article, produced at Brigham Young University, which uses computer-generated statistics for the occurrence of certain prefixes [Read More...]

Selective Supernaturalism

If one looks online for sources discussing the date of the Book of Daniel (and a number of other Biblical texts where the same issues arise), one is bound to come across conservative works which inevitably accuse scholars who date those works later than they do of “anti-supernaturalism.” Unless one rejects the possibility of predictive [Read More...]

Lecture on the Book of Revelation

The last class topic of the semester, this lecture begins with a bit of background about apocalyptic literature such as the Book of Daniel, covers general points about the Book of Revelation, and then tackles the number of the Beast, mentioning some prior proposed identifications both frivolous and serious. [Read more...]

Lecture on Amos and Hosea

I recorded my class on Amos and Hosea. There were no separate slides prepared, and so you can simply listen to the lecture as a podcast. I hope to try recording some things in a smart classroom at some point, so that I can even capture writing on the smartboard, much like one sees in [Read More...]

Prophets and Prophecy in Ancient Israel, Take Two

Steve Douglas spotted that something went awry with the version of the lecture I uploaded earlier today, and so I’ve uploaded a revised version. The image quality is slightly lower, but this one doesn’t skip the slide with the text of Wisdom of Solomon. [Read more...]


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