I’m having trouble with believing that the Bible is literally God’s words, God’s actually intended message to humanity. I’m also having trouble with taking the Bible as my sole authority. I always hear Christians in arguments say, “Do you have a verse for that?” or “Where in the Word-of-Gawd does it say that?” So my question is: Is the Bible really inspired, and should we take it as our sole authority?
Jake, I am teaching a class this semester at St. Cloud State University. It is a new experience for me for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve never taught undergrads before — only grad school students — so that’s been a fun, new challenge. And second, I am teaching “Introduction to the Christian Scripture.” If you know anything about theological education, you know it’s pretty rare for someone with a PhD in theology to teach courses in biblical studies, and vice versa.
This is part of an occasional series in which I pose a question to my rabbi, Joseph Edelheit. I don’t set it up, and I don’t give him a warning. I just turn on the recorder and ask the question.
I asked him this question last night, as we drove home from co-teaching a class at St. Cloud State University on anti-Judaism in the New Testament, particularly in the book of Hebrews.
This has been a question that’s been haunting me about Judaism for a while now. We’ve all got wacky practices in our religions — heck, I drink blood and eat flesh each week. But the severing of the penile foreskin seems to me wackier than most. In fact, I find it shocking that it’s still so prevalent — almost unanimous — among Jews.
Joseph didn’t skirt my question at all. In fact, I found his answer fascinating: