Interpreting Scripture in Light of Scripture

I wrote the following in a comment on Facebook and thought I would share it here as well: The principle of “interpreting Scripture in light of Scripture” is a conservative excuse for picking texts that they like and then insisting that other texts cannot mean what they plainly seem to. In this way the rich [Read More...]

The Jesus Hermeneutic

Richard Rohr writes in The Huffington Post: You deserve to know my science for interpreting sacred texts. It is called a “hermeneutic.” Without an honest and declared hermeneutic, we have no consistency or authority in our interpretation of the Bible. My methodology is very simple; I will try to interpret Scripture the way that Jesus [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...]

How To Win At Bible

Fred Clark has a post about one problematic but very popular approach to using the Bible, namely as a sort of card game in which clobber verse is pitted against clobber verse. He writes: But the problem, in her inquisitor’s eyes, is that this passage is not itself a clobber-text. He reads the Bible like [Read More...]

Gentiles and Crap

As we continued working our way through Hebrews today in my Sunday school class, the mention of the curtain (separating the holy place from the most holy place or “holy of holies”), and the lack of mention of the temple (the author focuses instead on the tabernacle), led us to a broader discussion of the [Read More...]

Is Claiming the Holy Spirit as Author of the Bible an Unforgivable Sin?

I have been having a Facebook interaction with someone who claims that the Holy Spirit is author of the writings in the Bible. On the one hand, this claims does not seem to make sense, since the same person also claims to accept that there were human authors as well. But what does it mean [Read More...]

The Context of the Context of Jesus’ Words

It is not infrequent to hear self-centered pseudo-Christians justifying their lack of concern for the poor by appealing to Jesus’ statement, “The poor you shall always have with you.” The full statement, as those concerned about context know and emphasize, is “The poor you shall always have with you,  and you can help them anytime [Read More...]

A Low View of Scripture

Mike Beidler posted this as his status update on Facebook and I asked for permission to quote him: To say that if any part of the Bible is of the myth genre, so goes the rest, is to present a blatantly false dichotomy. Disregarding the fact that Genesis contains etiological literature (i.e., origins myth) is [Read More...]

The Bible: Lens or Blindfold?

David Hayward posted another thought-provoking cartoon: There are so many points that one can make in relation to this. The problem of looking for God in the Bible, when by definition any reality worthy of the designation “God” is not to be found in a book. The fact that so many atheists are convinced that [Read More...]

Core Doctrines Between the Lines and on the Margins?

Has anyone else ever noticed that conservative Christians of various sorts tend to emphasize things which are either not actually spelled out in the Bible, or which are mentioned in passing or by lone authors and so arguably less than central to the faith and practice of early Christians? As a New Testament scholar, I [Read More...]

It Is Written vs. God Has Shown Me

Fred Clark has an excellent post highlighting the contrast between two different outlooks reflected in Acts 10:28, which reads as follows:  You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. On [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X