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...]

There is a Place Where Someone has Testified

Those who formulate doctrines of Scripture tend to focus on some classic statements which sound like they can be turned quickly into dogmatic statements. Phrases like “All Scripture is God-breathed” in 2 Timothy 3:16 and the like. I think those who want to determine and define what the Bible is ought to spend more time [Read More...]

Blessed are the Persuasive?

Via Facebook   [Read more...]

There Are No Contradictions! (A Game for 3-6 Players)

Ian posted this wonderful game idea on his blog, inspired by (among other things) the way fundamentalists deal with the diversity and contradictions within the Bible. If you play it, let me know – indeed, feel free to use the comments section here to play or at least start a game! There Are No Contradictions! [Read More...]

Hasn’t God Said?

Someone shared this status update on Facebook: The devil is using the same trick that he used in the garden by getting people to second guess what God has already told them. Has not God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Has not God said that marriage is between a [Read More...]

Blame the Copyeditor

From Scenes from a Multiverse. The view of how Christians view the Old Testament is at best a caricature. But the cartoon does nicely poke fun at those who would speak of the inerrancy of “original autographs” that we no longer have, simply to be able to assert that the Bible was once inerrant (and [Read More...]

God’s Bible

Here’s another provocative cartoon from David Hayward: David points out that the Bible’s repeated references to “the Word of God” are not about something that can be called “the Bible.” This is true – and ought to be obvious – for several reasons. First and foremost, when the texts that eventually came to make up [Read More...]


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