October 30, 2018

Adam Sells His Birthright In Genesis 1, God creates man to be a king. He is to have dominion over the fish of the sea (but not the sea monsters—yet!), and flying creatures of the heavens, and over the livestock and creeping things. The man is to fill the earth and subdue it. But before man can take that dominion, he is placed in the Garden of Eden “to guard and to serve it.” This is the duty of a… Read more

October 9, 2018

In The Art of Biblical History, V. Philips Long employs an extended example of the rise of Saul to the kingship of Israel in 1 Samuel 10-13 to illustrate various issues and challenges to reading the Bible historically. Challenges to the historical character of the narrative include the 3-part means of accession to the kingship, which some writers take as an internal inconsistency, and secondly the apparent displacement of the Gibeah/Gilgal episode. When Samuel first anoints Saul he gives him… Read more

September 18, 2018

“Oh, the book was better than the movie.” It’s a commonly heard phrase whenever a film adaptation of a book is released.  Scads of book fans flock to the theaters to see (and judge!) how the the director has envisioned the same material that they have already experienced.  Usually it’s objectively true that the book is far more complex thematically and philosophically than the film adaptation.  You can only cram so much into a 2-3 hour film, after all.  At… Read more

August 23, 2018

Take a long look at the photo. To whom is this woman praying? It is hard to tell, isn’t it? Suppose we watch her for a while. We may see her bow low to the floor. Her lips may move, though perhaps it is too low for us to hear the words proceeding from her. But then, she may not even be praying in a language we understand. Her ethnicity is ambiguous, but if we knew where she was from… Read more

July 26, 2018

In Part 1 we examined the setting of the crime scene. In the Part 2 we looked at the offering of Cain and Abel at the gate of Eden, digging specifically into the probable reason that Cain’s offering was rejected by God. Now we approach the crime of Cain itself. Most of the details of the crime are well known and uncontroversial, so I won’t dwell on them too much. But there are certain details in the event and in… Read more

July 12, 2018

In Part 1 we determined the setting for Cain and Abel’s offerings as the Gate of Eden itself, where mankind would have come to bring their gifts to God. If you haven’t already, you can check out that post here. Next, let’s dig into the profiles of the characters in our case. Two of a Kind The two major players in our story are, of course, Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve.  We know they are brothers,… Read more

July 10, 2018

Cain and Abel: Biblical CSI The story of Cain and Abel is well known for being the first murder case in the history of humankind. That is, of course, assuming we take the story as a history. This is exactly how I take the text. Though if you read under different assumptions, I hope you may still find this study beneficial and thought provoking. Let’s take on the role of investigators as we a look at the story of Cain… Read more

July 2, 2018

What kind of column title could be broad enough to encompass everything, but focused enough to suggest a thematic direction? I settled on this one: Four Faces, which may sound abstract at first, but is actually very rooted in reality. The four faces of ox, lion, eagle, and man—the four living creatures described in Ezekiel—are imprinted on the pattern of Scripture and life. They are the faces upon which Yahweh is enthroned. They describe the progress of humanity: from priest… Read more

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