Gatekeeper gatecrashes a wedding (stay classy, Get Religion)

Traeger1

The tribal guardians of evangelicalism want you to know that Jesus was “being literal” when he said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” And if anyone ever says otherwise, well then, the guardians will just have to escort that person into exile. The tribe, after all, must be kept pure, even if that means using somebody’s son’s wedding as a pretext for an inquisition. [Read more...]

One confusing story, two stories confused, and three versions of 10 commandments

Nifty photoshop fake via Snopes.com.

Richard Beck tackles one of the stranger sections of the Bible — the deliriously weird passage in Genesis 6 about “the Nephilim.” I’ve never figured out what to make of this odd passage, which reads like a fragment from the Silmarillion. It’s one of the big flashing signals that these early chapters of Genesis do not invite or allow a “literal” reading in the style of modern-day American fundies. [Read more...]

Jesus declares his priorities in his first sermon

GoodNews

To understand who Jesus was and who Jesus declared himself to be, we can have no clearer signal than the very first sermon he gave, in which Jesus established the priorities of his ministry. Jesus Christ had the chance to pick just one passage of scripture to proclaim as his manifesto. What he chose — and what he did NOT choose — says a lot about his priorities. [Read more...]

‘The Right Club’ and what offends God

club2

A local church goes tribal in reaction to an atheist billboard. Here’s what their failed attempt at a snappy comeback tells us about the difference between serving God and scoring points for Team God. And that verse — “Fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God’” — really needs to be read in the context of the whole chapter, because Psalm 14 isn’t about God being offended by atheist billboards. [Read more...]

Giving names to the animals

pickerelfrog1_wayne

Here’s a delightfully odd Bob Dylan song: I’ve been thinking about that one lately as I’ve tried to give names to all the animals who dwell in or visit my little patch of Chester County — such as the pickerel frogs like the one pictured here. That photo is by Wayne Fidler, from the Pennsylvania [Read More...]

What would it mean if Jesus had been married?

Jesus-Wife-Papyrus

One of the odder stories this week involves a small scrap of Coptic papyrus and what it says about Jesus. The fragment is old, but not Jesus-old. It’s more like Constantine-old — 4th-century probably. I’ll let James McGrath summarize: Karen King, a scholar well known for her work on the phenomenon usually referred to as [Read More...]

Jeff Foxworthy, Mr. Gradgrind, and Bible trivia

ABC

The Game Show Network has a (basic-cable) hit on its hands with The American Bible Challenge, a new quiz-show hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy. GSN says the show features contestants who: “compete based on their knowledge of the Bible. Utilizing current as well as historical references, questions will be drawn from the rich, dense narrative [Read More...]

What if I’m wrong about the clobber verses?

huck

Excellent question. “What if you’re wrong?” is always an excellent question and I’m grateful to my inquisitors and critics for making sure I never forget it. Even if I don’t always enjoy the tone of their full expression of this question, I thank them for the helpful reminder that I always might be wrong. That’s [Read More...]


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