When is Theology Truly “Biblical”

Everyone claims their theology is biblical. Which means “biblical” is used by everyone and so many different approaches use “biblical” that “biblical” diminishes in value. It becomes, sad to say, little more than a claim to authority. What does it take for you to say something is “biblical”? Does biblical theology (as historical description — [Read More...]

The Roles of Biblical Criticism (RJS)

The introduction to the new book by  Marc Brettler (Brandeis University), Peter Enns (Eastern University) and Daniel J. Harrington (Boston College), The Bible and the Believer: How to Read the Bible Critically & Religiously, provides a brief sketch of the history of biblical interpretation and the rise of historical criticism. The emphasis of this book [Read More...]

Misreading the Bible because we are Western

I speak, of course, only of Westerners. Ah-ha moments in Bible reading come to all of us, and perhaps you can remember one and tells us about it, but I can remember a few: when I realized the Bible’s writers and characters were ancient Jews and not modern American (Baptists), that they spoke Hebrew and [Read More...]

Books You Should Know

My desk is like a revolving door. Books land on it, I have to discern if it is a book for the blog or not, I read some and I give some away (to Northern students) and I shelve a few. But some books are not for blogging through, yet they deserve to be mentioned [Read More...]

Do you need a coffee or a nap?

From Vanessa Gregory: Both caffeine and sleep have restorative properties. So should you sip or nap? It depends on the situation. Your head hurts: Drink Coffee You want to run fast: Drink Coffee You’re grumpy: Drink Coffee & Take a Nap You need to ace a test: Take a Nap You’re gambling: Take a Nap You need creative insight: Take a [Read More...]

The so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: Modern Forgery?

Francis Watson, professor of New Testament at Durham University, has an exceptionally careful study contending the recently released fragment from the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife is more than likely a modern pastiche from The Gospel of Thomas. [Read more...]

My Favorite Lecture Ever

I return to the seminary classroom this Fall at Northern Seminary. Thinking about a return got me to pondering teaching at TEDS decades back, and that led me to my favorite lecture ever. Here goes… [Tracy, if you are reading, this one's for you!] In the Autumn of 1989, I gave a lecture to my [Read More...]

More than Story?

Leslie Leyland Fields, at CT, has an article that pushes back against reading the Bible as Story — the title is “The Gospel is more than a Story”. She knows the importance of narrative but wonders aloud if our narrative age has led to the Bible as narrative. She pokes against a number of bad [Read More...]

The Bible, Our Constitution?

Some Christians do treat the Bible as a lawbook (I wrote about this in Blue Parakeet) and in Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christianity a challenge was given to treating the Bible as a constitution. By which Brian mostly meant a lawbook, but I have been reading Jack Balkin’s book, Living Originalism (Harvard, 2011), and I wonder [Read More...]

The Lost Art

There are some arts that have been lost, none more than diagramming sentences. Some have already clicked to another blog, others have said “You idiot, diagramming isn’t an art, it’s mind-numbing nonsense!” I beg to differ, but I get to my differ from a different angle. I, too, hated diagramming sentence in junior and senior [Read More...]


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