No Historical Adam Means Open Door to Racism

Unless we believe that the entire human race began with a single pair of ancestors, we open the door to racism. A lot hangs on the existence of an historical Adam and Eve. Read more

How Equal Was Adam’s Mate?

Was Adam’s mate intended as a subservient assistant, or an equal partner? A lot hangs on the meaning of an innocent-looking Hebrew preposition in Genesis 2:18, where God says, “It is not good for the human to be alone. I will make for him a help(er) negedō.” What this little word means is foundational for the relationship of male and female in Biblical theology. Read more

God’s Sex Mandate: The Two Shall Become One Flesh

God issues a Sex Mandate in Genesis 2:24: “The two [man and woman] shall become one flesh.” Perhaps you thought I was referring to the first words of the Creation Mandate: “Be fruitful and multiply.” No, the “sex mandate” to which I refer is the central Biblical teaching on sexuality, the foundation on which all other Biblical evidence on the subject must be measured. Read more

Managing God’s Masterpiece: The Environment

Jesus never spoke one word about conserving the environment. But I firmly believe it is an insult to the Creator to trash the Creator’s masterpiece. Read more

Sea Monsters in Genesis?

On the fifth day of the Genesis creation narrative (Genesis 1:21), we are told that God created the “great sea monsters” (tanninim). While some see these creatures as “monsters” or mythological creatures, like the NRSV does, my default setting is to see them as real. Which leads to the question, “What exactly were they?” Read more

Firmament: Dome or Atmosphere?

What is the “firmament” in the Genesis creation account? Is it a solid dome over the earth, as some claim? Or is Genesis talking about what we call the atmosphere? Earth_from_space Could “firmament” in Genesis 1 be better translated “expanse” or “atmosphere”? Photo: NASA, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons. The Hebrew word raqi‘a (most often translated “firmament”) is used nine times in Genesis 1. The raqi‘a is the focal point of the second day of creation: “Let there be a raqi‘a in the midst of the waters” to separate the waters above from the waters below, “and God called the raqi‘a Sky/Heaven.” Read more

How Did Creation Happen?

How did creation happen? Is there a special word for what God did? At what taxonomic level did God create life? And how long did it take? Read more

The Ancient Flat Earth? A Modern Lie

People in Biblical times believed that the earth was flat? It’s a modern lie, designed to depict the ancients as too backward for us to listen to. Read more

More Fun in the Latin Bible

In this post, we continue our look at surprising, sometimes humorous fun details to be found in the Latin Bible (see http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tomhobson/2017/08/fun-latin-bible/ for last time). The Latin also adds punch to the evils spoken of in Job 31:11 (lusting for a virgin, or for someone’s wife) and Leviticus 20:13 (same-sex intercourse) as being not just malum (bad), but nefas (a notorious evil), the same word used by the people when Saul decreed that Jonathan should die (hoc nefas est! –… Read more

Fun in the Latin Bible

The Latin Bible is full of surprising, sometimes peculiar, sometimes humorous fun details to explore. Here in this two-part post, I will package as many of them together as possible, for those who have never had time to find them, and/or who have never had Latin. Never fear – no advance knowledge of Latin needed. Read more

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