Introducing Metrical Psalms

For the first time since I’ve been teaching, I brought a guitar with me to class and sang to/with my students. Teaching a course on the Bible and music does strange things to one’s pedagogy. I decided to record the class, mainly so that I could see what it was like. Not nearly as bad [Read More…]

The Bible as Tree of Knowledge

In a recent Facebook exchange, I formulated some points that seem to me to have a wider applicability, and so I am sharing them here, more or less in the same form as I first wrote them… Your underlying aim is to escape from the uncertainty inherent in the human condition. Historical study, for instance, [Read More…]

Personified Living Realities

“Those old Greek gods are not just poetry and legend. In them the Ancients personified living realities—intelligence, beauty, love, or lust, which are still at work in our hearts, and which fashion our person. The language they speak is that of image and myth, which touches the person much more directly than the explicit language [Read More…]

Conversation with Anthony Buzzard, Part 2

Here’s the second part of my conversation with Anthony Buzzard. It starts abruptly, but hopefully that won’t detract from most of the substance of the conversation. It was nice to have an opportunity to focus in this second webinar on points about which we don’t see eye to eye – whether there could be any value [Read More…]

Comprehensive List of Musical Settings of Biblical Texts?

Even imagining what I am asking about here makes the request seem ridiculous. Every day, I imagine, someone somewhere sets a biblical text to music. And so surely no one would be so foolish as to try to publish a book which must inevitably be out of date before the manuscript is submitted to the [Read More…]

The Bible and Music Written by Women

As a recent New York Times article highlighted, female composers have historically been neglected. I have no intention of allowing that to be the case in my course on the Bible and music. And so this post is not only intended to share some examples of settings of Biblical texts by women (and to be clear, [Read More…]

Chamber Chat Before Messiah

The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra has two performance of Handel’s Messiah this coming Sunday and Monday. The first is a performance of the entire oratorio; the second is a sing-along. You can find more information about the performances on the ICO website. My colleague Paul Valliere and I will be having a pre-concert chat on Sunday (starting at 2pm, [Read More…]

Not in the Spaces We Know: An Exploration of Science Fiction and the Bible

Frauke Uhlenbruch organized and edited an issue of the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures which explores intersections between science fiction and the Hebrew Bible. I was delighted and honored to have been asked to write a final response article for the volume. The issue has now appeared online and so you can read it here: http://jhsonline.org/Articles/article_221.pdf It [Read More…]

Setting Amos’ Hymn Fragments to Music

As I’m gearing up to teach a course about the Bible and music for the first time next semester, one thing that I’ve been giving much thought to is the fact that students are expected to participate in the creation of a creative work in these core curriculum courses. I don’t like to ask students [Read More…]

Behold, The Look Buddy Bible

This came my way in The Toast some while back, and I have been meaning to share it ever sense. “Behold” is an awkward archaism that Bible translators regularly preserve, because alternatives don’t consistently have the same function in modern English. And so, while this Bible doesn’t always use “Look, buddy” – for variety, it [Read More…]