Translating Genesis 19

There has been a significant amount of discussion online in recent days about the way key terms are translated in Genesis 19, what their connotations were when they were written, and how that should impact the way they are rendered into contemporary vernacular. Daniel McClellan made the above comic on the subject. See too the discussions [Read More...]

Damaged Goods

I am grateful to have been sent a review copy of Damaged Goods: New Perspectives on Christian Purity by Dianna Anderson. Anderson’s book explores the purity culture of the Evangelical background in which she was raised, and its approach to sex and gender, arguing that there is a need for a radically different approach to [Read More...]

Transgender and Christianity: From Andi to Bruce Jenner

The subject of transgender has been in the news a great deal lately, with much attention focusing not only on famous athlete Bruce Jenner (and his ABC News interview), but on young children who have known that their perception of their own gender was different from what they were defined as because of their anatomy. [Read More...]

Genesis 2 is Not Literal (The Bible Tells Me So)

The quote comes from my recent post “Marriage is Sacred.” The point is one that I have made before, but since someone particularly liked this brief way of making the point, I thought I would turn it into a meme image. Of related interest, Andrew Perriman has a whole series on the idea of “one [Read More...]

Spending the Night with Jesus

One objection to the antiquity of the Secret Gospel of Mark is that it uses the phrase “to spend the night with” (εμεινε συν αυτω την νυκτα εκεινην), which has sexual connotations in our time, but was not so used in antiquity. It should be obvious that this is a circular argument. If the phrase had no [Read More...]

Same Sex Relations and the Jerusalem Council

The Butler Religionists club had a discussion about same-sex relations as viewed by a variety of religious traditions. I mentioned that Acts 15, with its depiction of a decision by Jewish Christians about what Gentiles needed to adopt from Jewish customs in order to make it possible for Jews and Gentiles to have fellowship, neglects [Read More...]

In the Biblical Sense

As someone who teaches Bible, this cartoon Hemant Mehta recently shared made me laugh: It is funny that, through a series of twists and turns in the history of language, a reference to something being “Biblical” can turn it into sexual innuendo. This actually illustrates an important point about how languages work, a point often [Read More...]

Anna Karenina: Crimes against God, Grace of God

The recent remake of Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law depicts the entire story as taking place on the stage, although it does not always maintain that consistently. It also focuses more attention on religious elements. One could perhaps see a key moment in the trouble for the Karenin household as Alexei Karenin’s [Read More...]

Urban Dictionary Definition of the Bible

A student shared the above with me. All these years teaching the Bible, how did I miss the bestiality? The depiction of it as a novel, as though the entire thing were a single piece of literature in a single genre, is also well off target. But presumably the point (however much one may criticize [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Jonathan Robinson)

We gather on Sundays to worship the unmarried son of an adulterous polygamous king with a brothel owner for a grandma, we have a Bible that contains multiple stories of incest, gang rape and prostitution of relatives, and yet when someone who doesn’t conform to our ideal middle class nuclear family walks into the church [Read More...]

Just How Racy is the Song of Songs?

Today my class on the Bible focused on Song of Songs. This was my first time including the text as a focus. With so much to cover in a semester, it seemed in the past to be an obvious choice for something to leave by the wayside. But since it is highlighted in the textbook [Read More...]


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