Biblical Views of Time and Space (RJS)

Chapter 5 of Mark Harris’s book The Nature of Creation: Examining the Bible and Science looks at the biblical framework of creation. The concern is not so much the act of creation, but the way in which the bible’s authors talk about the nature of creation, especially time and space and the theological significance of [Read More...]

It is a Puzzle … Ḥērem Never Practiced? (RJS)

Chapter 2 of Walter Moberly’s book Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture concludes with a section asking the question “What kind of law is the law of ḥērem?” The question arises for a variety of reasons. Many people read the passages in Deuteronomy and Joshua and wonder about the kind of [Read More...]

Of Gardens, Trees, and Serpents (RJS)

The next three propositions in John Walton’s new book The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2-3 and the Human Origins Debate deal with the imagery of Genesis 2-3 in its ancient Near Eastern context. The garden, the trees, and the serpent all conveyed a meaning in the ancient Near East that is lost [Read More...]

A Possible Approach to ḥērem in Deuteronomy? (RJS)

In the last post on Walter Moberly’s book Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture we considered the nature of Israel as a chosen people. One of the principle texts here is Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you [Read More...]

Not a Scientific Hypothesis (RJS)

Chapter four of Mark Harris’s book The Nature of Creation looks at creation according to the bible outside of Genesis 1-3 (Genesis 1-3 was covered in the previous chapter and our previous post Theologies of Creation?).  The key point is that “God as Creator cannot straightforwardly be treated either as a scientific hypothesis to be [Read More...]

A Chosen People!? (RJS)

The second chapter of R. W. L. Moberly’s Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture turns to an issue that raises many questions about Judaism and Christianity – the status of Israel as a chosen people.  Two related, but distinct, questions are raised in this chapter – the first is the exclusive [Read More...]

Consider Melchizedek … and Adam (RJS)

The next chapter of John Walton’s new book The Lost World of Adam and Eve focuses directly on the question of historicity. Walton holds to Adam and Eve as historical individuals, although they are used primarily as archetypal examples in Scripture. Here he lays out his argument for historicity. But first … he considers Melchizedek. [Read More...]

Theologies of Creation? (RJS)

A little over a month ago I began a series on Mark Harris’s new book The Nature of Creation: Examining the Bible and Science (see The Nature of Creation for the first post).  Mark Harris is a lecturer in Science and Religion at the University of Edinburgh. He began his career as an experimental physicist, [Read More...]

The Significance of the End: Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell (RJS)

The last couple of chapters in John Polkinghorne’s book The God of Hope and the End of the World deal with the four last things (death, judgment, heaven, and hell) and with their significance.  There is something of a divide within the church … between those who preach hell, fire, and brimstone and those who [Read More...]

Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture (RJS)

Following up on a comment on my post last Thursday, I ordered and have begun to read Walter Moberly’s book Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture.  Christian faith is rooted in the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament. On the road to Emmaus Jesus said to two downhearted followers: “How foolish you [Read More...]


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