The New NIV 2011

The New NIV 2011, an updated version that both succeeds the old NIV and replaces the TNIV, is now available here. I’m reading it now. [Read more…]

A Suggestion for one Sunday

Some of you are old enough to have grown up on the King James Version, and perhaps you even remember that it says somewhere that “I wot not what hath become of this Moses” or something like that. I grew up on the KJV and only gradually learned that Jesus himself (God too!) neither spoke [Read More…]

The Fall and Sin After Darwin 4 (RJS)

We’ve been looking at the essays in a book Theology After Darwin centered around a simple question: What are the implications for Christian theology if Darwin was right? In conjunction with this we are also looking at three articles in the recent theme issue of the ASA Journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (v. [Read More…]

The Fall and Sin After Darwin 2 (RJS)

We’ve been looking at the essays in a book Theology After Darwin centered around a simple question: What are the implications for Christian theology if Darwin was right? The doctrines of sin and the Fall are key concerns as we consider this question. After all, evolutionary creation calls into question the existence of Adam and Eve as historical individuals and this has, or so many think, serious consequences. I started a series a couple of weeks ago that began to look at the issues of sin and the Fall (part one). Last week was rather busy and I didn’t have the time to dig into the topic, but today I return and continue the series looking at one of the three articles in the recent theme issue of the ASA Journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (v. 62 no. 3 2010) Reading Genesis: The Historicity of Adam and Eve, Genomics, and Evolutionary Science. Today we will consider the article by Daniel C. Harlow, After Adam: Reading Genesis in an Age of Evolutionary Science. [Read more…]

To Heal or Not To Heal?

It’s all so simple to some folks: pray and you will be healed. To others it’s not simple: they prayed, they searched into the depths of the heart and pleaded from those depths to God for healing, and nothing happened. What then? For some it’s so simple; pray and you will be healed. But by [Read More…]

Beyond the Abyss 3

Sharon Baker’s approach to the problems with hell is the “image” of God at work in hell. The essence of her argument then is this: the image of God conveyed in the traditional view of hell is inconsistent with the Bible’s emphasis on God as a God of love and forgiveness and grace. Don’t be [Read More…]

What Do You Mean By Literal? (RJS)

A common question raised any time the question of creation and evolution comes up is the impact of this discussion on our understanding of scripture. After all, if we can’t take Genesis 1 literally why take any other part of the Bible literally? This is one of the four common questions Tim Keller reports from his 35 years of pastoral experience, it is a question I’ve gotten in church and one we have come up against on this blog. While this question is not specifically mentioned in Dr. Mohler’s reasoning in his recent speech, Why Does the Universe Look so Old?, is based significantly on the veracity of scripture as the Word of God.

Clearly our understanding of the Bible as the Word of God is an important question, one we must think through carefully. I think we believe in the Bible as the Word of God because we believe in God and his work in the World. When we make the Bible the foundation we have it backwards. This means that we need to look to scripture itself to understand what it means for scripture to be the Word of God. We cannot impose criteria from the outside. [Read more…]

The Common English Bible: a new translation

When I get a new translation, I read three passages slowly and carefully, with a Green NT near at hand, to give me a feel for the translation and the translation theory: I read the Sermon on the Mount, I read Romans 3, and then I read James. Usually I can get a good solid feel for the translation from these three passages.

I did this recently with The Common English Bible (New Testament). I like what I see here and I’ll keep this translation near me on my desk.

What do you do? How do you assess a new translation? Do you want something that sounds familiar or something that startles you by change and makes you to think anew about the text? Which translations do you find most useful today?

115 leading Bible scholars participated; ecumenical and mainline; field tested by 77 reading specialists in 13 denominations. It comes out completely in 2011, four hundred years after the KJB. The CEB will be useful and good for personal reading, public reading, and for classroom study. It will have the Apocrypha when completed.

Here are a few big summary thoughts, and I’ve only dabbled in other passages:

First, it sides in general with an NIV or TNIV approach: it aims at accessibility, clarity and avoidance of unnecessary misunderstandings. Thus, it has “brothers and sisters” instead of “brothers” throughout. While some call this “inclusive” there is a solid fact suggesting this isn’t “inclusive” so much as “accurate.” Very often a “brothers” means “everyone” and not just “male Christians.” So that it is not an inclusive view so much as an accurate translation. [Read more…]

Can you tell me why?

It is very common among biblical scholars and among informed pastors to modify our readings of the Bible, even theology, on the basis of sound scholarship. Sometimes it is by way of discoveries but more often than not it’s just someone does some really good work on the texts and says, “Hey, we had this [Read More…]

What About the Genealogies? (RJS)

I posted last week on a comment suggesting that I view Genesis 1-11 as “just collected stories.” The statement surprised me because I do not view Genesis as “just” collected stories – they are arranged and edited for a purpose and we need to study them carefully for that purpose and meaning. We are not [Read More…]