Truth and Christmas

It can be so hard to find balance when it comes to anything having to do with the Bible. This seems particularly true when it comes to matters related to Christmas. On the one hand, there are those who are determined that the Bible be “right” no matter the cost. I have had someone telling [Read More…]

A Nativity Minus the Migrants and Middle-Easterners

The title that the above was given when I first encountered it was “A nativity scene without Jews, Arabs, Africans or refugees.” The question of where the magi came from is left out – Persia (modern day Iran), perhaps, which may or may not be considered the Middle East, depending on where one chooses to [Read More…]

Spontaneous Singing in the Bible

As I prepare to teach my course on the Bible and music next semester, I’ve been thinking more about the music behind and in the Bible, as well as music that takes up the already-existing Bible and works with it. As I think about the depictions of spontaneous singing by individuals (or what is often so construed [Read More…]

Mansplaining to Mary

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Hipster Nativity

Via The Ancient Bookshelf, I learned about this “Modern Nativity.” It is apparently a real product – although ironically, one that you cannot buy on Amazon.com. I think that there is something more valuable than mere humor that can emerge when we ask “if this story were set in our time, what would be different?” [Read More…]

Trump: Not a Polished Human Being

After watching the vice-presidential debate this evening, I was struck by many things. But the highlight for me was when, after Pence had brought forth his Evangelical credentials, and then defended Trump for some things he had said by emphasizing that he isn’t a “polished politician,” Kaine responded with a thoroughly appropriate Bible verse, Luke 6:45, “out of [Read More…]

Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, and the Synoptic Problem

Everyone is talking at the moment about the plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech by Melania Trump. Here is the evidence, in case you haven’t seen it: So that's pretty blatant, right? pic.twitter.com/EPnHME7afV — Mike Hearn (@mikehearn) July 19, 2016 One of the ironies, of course, is that many of the people who applauded the [Read More…]

Who is My Neighbor?

I had someone ask me about the claims made on a blog called Theological Sushi about the parable of the Good Samaritan. Here is an example of what the post claims (click through to read the details): This is an important argument for understanding who the neighbor is. The laws in the Old Testament do [Read More…]

Jesus vs. #AllLivesMatter

A couple of days ago I tried to make a point about #AllLivesMatter drawing on the Biblical prophets. Today, a Facebook friend made a similar point in relation to Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Plain in Luke’s Gospel. His point seemed to me to deserve to be turned into a meme, and so [Read More…]

RIP Kenneth Bailey

Via Joel Watts on Facebook, I learned of the passing away of Kenneth Bailey. Bailey grew up in the Middle East and then taught New Testament there, and learned a great deal from his students, insights which he shared with others in his writing and speaking. His work on the parables in Luke, as well as [Read More…]