Fake News is Old News in Religious Studies

It was recently drawn to my attention that the fact-checking and debunking website Snopes links to a blog post of mine, on the subject of the hoax that regularly circulates about chariot wheels allegedly being found in the Red Sea. It struck me not long after that that hoax is in fact an example of [Read More…]

Ancient Hebrew Cosmology

Ben Stanhope shared the following image he made depicting how ancient Hebrews understood their physical world: I might quibble about minor details – for instance, I think that when Genesis talks about the waters gathering together into one place called “seas,” it has in mind the Mediterranean and adjoining seas in the midst of the [Read More…]

February 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival

Jacob Prahlow has shared the latest Biblical Studies Carnival. Phil Long has details on upcoming carnivals, including an opportunity for you to volunteer to host one! [Read more…]

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

These two “canticles” in Luke’s infancy story are not actually said to be “songs.” But they become music over and over again in the Anglican tradition, being so important to the Evening Service that composers have often set these words in multiple keys. And that provides something worth looking at in a course on the [Read More…]

Josephslegende

I was delighted to find this neglected contribution by Richard Strauss to the musical treatments of biblical stories. [Read more…]

Andrei Petrov, Creation of the World Suite

The above piece by Russian composer Andrei Petrov is but one of many musical works inspired by the account of creation in Genesis. If you are in Indianapolis, don’t miss the performance tonight of Aaron Copland’s “In The Beginning”! [Read more…]

The Book of Job Explained for Today’s Reader

I love this analogy. Certainly Facebook is the place in our time where one’s so-called friends aggrivate a person’s suffering by commenting on it at length in “conversations” that are in fact more like independent monologues, or indeed diatribes. Perhaps it would be a useful activity to try to paraphrase the Book of Job into [Read More…]

The Bible in Arnold Schoenberg’s Music

The entirety of Schoenberg’s “Moses und Aron” is on YouTube (just the music, not a staged version of the opera): So too is his Jacobsleiter (Jacob’s Ladder): Both are fascinating works in terms of both their relationship to Schoenberg’s developing artistic vision (often referred to, despite Schoenberg’s objections, as “atonality”) and his own religious views. [Read More…]

Donald Trump Fulfills Prophecy

Last Sunday in my Sunday school class, I confess that I poked fun at the Left Behind series. References to the past and present in conjunction with the future in Revelation have persuaded me that it is referring in the first instance to the situation of the churches in Asia Minor to which the work [Read More…]

Creeping Death

Another obvious song to include in a course on the Bible and music is “Creeping Death” by Metallica. If you listen closely to the lyrics, you will not only spot the Exodus story as the background, but will see the specific influence of the movie The Ten Commandments.   [Read more…]