A Chorus of Voices

David Gowler of Emory University is currently writing a book about the reception history of the parables. He has decided to blog through the process of writing the book, and has set up a blog for this purpose, called A Chorus of Voices. I know it will be of interest to some readers of this [Read More…]

Literal or Symbolic?

On Reddit I came across this wonderful bit of wisdom about interpreting the Bible, from an individual whose user name is SleetTheFox: “Whatever is supposed to be literal I interpret literal. Whatever is supposed to be symbolic I interpret symbolic. Whatever I have mischaracterized the intended meaning of, I interpret incorrectly.” That pretty much sums [Read More…]

Have You Even Read Paul?

Fred Clark has a post that starts off being about the whole Duck Dynasty hullabaloo, but in the process focuses on the character of Paul’s letters and the nature of prooftexting. Here’s my favorite part: Quoting Paul to defend exclusion is like quoting Tony Soprano to defend pacifism. Maybe you can find something Tony said [Read More…]

Baffling Bible Passages

IO9 made a list of “The 9 Most Baffling Bible Passages.” Some of them really are baffling even to all the scholars I’ve read or spoken with about them. Others make more sense with some background information. If you made a list of the most baffling Bible passages, which ones would be the same as [Read More…]

A Mythicist Sympathizer’s Case for a Historical Jesus

A new article in The Bible and Interpretation concludes in the following way: Precisely because I am quite aware of the extent to which the Canonical Gospels are the result of a process of doctoring the historical figure of Jesus – a process which has had wide-ranging distorting effects –, I think I can better [Read More…]

Certainty-Seeking Faith

Kurt Willems shared the quote below from Greg Boyd’s book Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty (p.149): One of the most unfortunate consequences of certainty-seeking faith is that, because it rewards people for feeling certain they’re right and discourages people from questioning their perspectives, it conditions people to insist that their maps are the territory. [Read More…]

Progressive Then, Brutal Now?

This came my way on Facebook. I was going to just say “discuss” but I thought I should also say something more than that. A key question for those for whom the Bible is important is how to respond to the above, if one agrees with the statement. Is the way to be true to [Read More…]

Selective Skepticism

An op-ed piece I wrote about the attention Joseph Atwill has been getting lately has appeared on The Bible and Interpretation website. The title is “Selective Skepticism.”   [Read more…]

James Kugel Lecture on Biblical Interpretation

HT Scott Bailey [Read more…]

Look for the Surprise

Aric Clark has a very useful post about approaching ancient literature – in particular the Bible. Things we read there may tend to startle, surprise, or shock us, or disappoint us, or seem like nothing out of the ordinary. It is important to look into the context, to really grasp it. What seems disappointingly conservative [Read More…]