No, the book of Jonah cannot be read as history

"Remorseful Camel" would also make a good band name.

Everything about Jonah is overly dramatic and over-the-top. His words and actions are exaggerated, and he always does the opposite of what everyone in every other story like this does. God calls every other prophet and they come running. God calls Jonah and he takes off running the other way. The Psalmist praises God for God’s mercy and steadfast love and asks God for deliverance. Jonah condemns God for God’s mercy and steadfast love and asks God to let him die. That’s satire, kids. [Read more...]

This week in the apocalypse


Jurgen Moltmann on eschatology; Michelle Mikeska says “the Left Behind series should be left behind;” a short primer on apocalyptic millennialism; Nick Ahern shares Richard Hays’ look at “Three Ways to Read the Book of Revelation.” [Read more...]

That time when Abraham and God ate a non-kosher lunch


“Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Make … cakes.’ Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it.Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.” So cheeseburgers, basically. Delicious, but definitely not kosher. [Read more...]

The Apocalypse of St. Peter (Garrett)


“Bible prophecy” teaches gullible Christians to mangle the words of the Bible. So I guess it’s not surprising that those poor folks would turn around and apply the same interpretive method to the songs of Midnight Oil and of 1980s hair band Europe. For those who can’t watch the video, it’s an earnest word of “prophecy” [Read More...]

‘Strange Fire’ fight exposes charade of biblical ‘inerrancy’


It’s possible that John MacArthur is wrong about the Pentecostals. It’s possible that the Pentecostals are wrong about MacArthur. But it is undeniable that they are both wrong about the Bible. [Read more...]

Affirmative action

Note that this is affirmative action twice over. First there’s the need to correct the neglect of the “Hellenist” Christian widows. Then, second, there’s the commissioning of seven deacons, all apparently from among the Hellenist part of the Christian community, to address that neglect. [Read more...]

If you believe in ‘inerrancy’ you have to pretend that all the other people who believe in ‘inerrancy’ do not exist

"That other guy is lying. I alone have the one, true, inerrant Word of God."

Inerrancy, in other words, is said to be the only way to avoid a bewildering diversity of opinions and interpretations and the only way of adjudicating decisively between competing views. That’s an excellent argument and it makes biblical inerrancy seem very appealing. The problem is that, in practice, biblical inerrancy itself produces a bewildering diversity of opinions and interpretations while offering now way of adjudicating decisively between competing views. [Read more...]

Hell and soteriology Part 1: Bill O’Reilly’s accidental insight


Candida Moss does not euphemize or equivocate about what the text says that Jesus said or that Jesus said this as a direct assertion of fact. Jesus said that if you don’t give away your wealth to help the poor, then you will go to Hell. Period. As Keith wrote, Bill O’Reilly’s reaction was typical of “almost all readers of this story … surely that’s not what he really meant.” [Read more...]