April 13, 2021

I have been thinking again of the joys and dangers and the absolute necessity of biblical translation. In an earlier blog—I cannot recall precisely when—I addressed the many issues surrounding the translation of an ancient text, the Bible, into modern English. The act, of course, we take for granted, assuming that excellent scholars who have spent their lives acquiring multiple languages—primarily Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek—but also including a rich panoply of other ancient tongues—Sumerian, Ugaritic, Akkadian, Syriac, Coptic, Latin among... Read more

April 12, 2021

We Christians have just experienced the single most important day of our year, that one called Easter. Even during this year of pandemic, we attempted to emulate years’ past with trumpets (outside and distanced), the Hallelujah Chorus (in our case via car choir, an ingenious and technological marvel enabling us to sing from our individual cars with our voices mixed marvelously by a wonderful technician), and a fine sermon offered by our pastor, though recorded alone in our vast and... Read more

April 8, 2021

I just this day (April 8, 2021) concluded a Zoom teaching session, the last of five sessions, with 12 pastor/preachers in and around the area of Amarillo, TX. For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of the huge state of Texas, this area is known as the panhandle of the state. It itself is a huge stretch of mostly flat land, encompassing Childress in the southeast to Dalhart in the northwest. From the latter to the former is about... Read more

April 6, 2021

The Us Congress some time ago established a specific time for US Americans to remember the horrors of the Holocaust of the Jewish people. This year that remembrance falls between Sunday, April 4 and Sunday, April 11, with special emphasis on Thursday, April 8, 2021. These days of memory seem especially important this year with the world pandemic, the struggles for racial justice, and the continuing rise of hate crimes of all kinds—against African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latino-Americans, LGBTQ- Americans. The Holocaust... Read more

April 5, 2021

I remain an inveterate reader of a hard-copy newspaper (though my subscription also includes the electronic version). You younger types will need to forgive me; I am 74 years old, and the act of holding an ink-staining bundle of primarily black and white pages of news is close to my heart. My paper now is the Los Angeles Times, one of US America’s premier papers, and each morning I pour eagerly over its many well wrought articles, devour its fine... Read more

March 31, 2021

In what has turned out to be the first installment of this Holy Week excursion through my personal faith journey, as accompanied by the book of Job, I discussed two findings I made after my initial confrontations with the biblical book nearly 50 years ago. Those two insights were: 1) the God revealed in the book is a vastly complex deity, mysterious yet present, creator of all things yet not easily dropped into any simple boxes, truly a God to... Read more

March 30, 2021

Because it is Holy Week, that crucial time of year in the life of every Christian, it seemed appropriate to peer back at the trip toward faith that my life has taken. In an earlier blog, I admitted that I cannot and do not believe in a physical resurrection, the supposed culmination of this week’s dark to light trip. I imagine that admission will call into the most serious question for many of Patheos’ more conservative readers the reality of... Read more

March 26, 2021

My family moved from Indiana in 1953 to Phoenix, AZ, during those days when “you sent your sinuses to Arizona.” For those of you not old enough to remember that particular ad campaign, it worked with us, for both my father and my older brother had difficulties with breathing, and the desert air of Phoenix was beneficial to both of them. Nearly 70 years ago, the city of Phoenix had barely 100,000 people in a huge “valley of the sun,”... Read more

March 20, 2021

I have no idea what happened to him, but a portrait he painted rests on my wall some forty years later; I am looking at it right now, still amazed at what I am seeing. In 1980, I was in the second semester of my first class in Introduction to the Old Testament, as we called it in those days, with perhaps 30 students in attendance. I was a brash 34- year-old know-it-all, who tried in every way possible to... Read more

March 16, 2021

We saw last week that Phillip aided the Ethiopian eunuch in his search for the identity of Isaiah’s suffering servant as described in Is.53. It is Jesus of Nazareth, claims Phillip, and then he and the eunuch plunge into a nearby body of water in which the eunuch is forthwith baptized. In this fabulous story, Luke announces that being a eunuch (less than a full male—see Deuteronomy 23:1 and Isaiah’s repudiation of that idea in 56:3-4) or a foreigner are... Read more

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