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...]

144,000 Priests?

As I mentioned previously, in my Sunday school class we have been inĀ chapter 14 of the Book of RevelationĀ for the past two weeks. One of the members of my class, who in fact teaches Sunday school herself, made the interesting suggestion that the celibacy of the 144,000 (Revelation 14:4) might have to do with their [Read More...]

Is Sex the Reason Some Insist Jesus Wasn’t Married?

Whatever one thinks of the authenticity or otherwise of the papyrus fragment that seems to be stuck with the title the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” I think it is useful that people are talking about the possibility of Jesus having been married. Some react to the idea with such an excessive dismissiveness, as though their [Read More...]

John Byron on the Centurion’s Slave and Homosexuality in the New Testament

John Byron has offered a great response on his blog to my post about the New Testament’s relative lack of interest in the topic of homosexuality. He agrees with me on the point that at times it is appropriate to view a matter differently than New Testament authors did. And he makes the point that [Read More...]

The Other 50 Shades of Grey

From The Sacred Sandwich [Read more...]

Rick Warren Needs ContextBot

XKCD has what Rick Warren and many others need…   [Read more...]


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