blue bits. red rocks.


Micah’s anger reminds me of the outrage that certain Christians express when scholars ask difficult questions about the Bible. When scholars point out facts that challenge the view of the Bible as an other-worldly divine production, they are accused of “undermining” the Bible or “destroying” the Bible’s authority. When I hear these accusations, I hear “you have taken the god that I made!”, the cry of someone who has had their idol taken away. Pointing out the human origins of the Bible does not diminish its divinity, because the Bible is not a god. In the context of Herring’s discussion, the Bible may be mimetic, such that it points in some way to God, but it does not itself embody God’s presence. It is not a divine object. The Gods We Have Made

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At the end of the day, you simply can’t avoid genre and context when talking about how the Bible works. And when you do, definitions of inerrancy seem less and less convincing. the apostle Paul’s clear inerrant teaching on government and why we don’t need to follow it

In the New Testament, there was pederasty, where older men providing mentoring to underage prepubescent males in exchange for sexual services … The Sodom and Gomorrah story is about gang rape. It’s not about anything like loving monogamous relationships. To apply that to the issue of homosexuality is a gross misuse of scripture. Ken Wilson

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…when we say we’re being biblical, what we’re actually doing is adhering only those things we believe are important and worth following. Are We Really Being Biblical?

Protestants frequently argue that because Jesus quoted the Jewish Bible, this means that he accepted its authority as a whole. When they do this they import a modern view of the authority of Scripture or canon back into the past. The fact is that there were many and varied views of the authority of the biblical writings and not all groups in Jesus’ time had the same view of biblical authority. It is also true that the way the New Testament writers and Jesus quote and interpret Scripture follows certain patterns in their culture. Groups in Jesus’ day had rules or guidelines for interpreting the biblical text. The key question for us and one that is rarely raised is this: Did Jesus have a way of using his Bible that was different from those around him? I suggest that he did. Michael Hardin

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Now, unless you believe that the earth is actually flat, set on pillars, and that a solid sky dome holds the waters above from careening down upon us, then you don’t really believe Genesis 1 literally. Yes, there are flat-earth creationists who do believe these things and, at least, they are consistent. But if we’re going to be realistic and consistent, we have to acknowledge that the writer’s worldview is not our worldview. Most of us do not believe that the earth is flat and the sky is a dome. Most of us know that the earth is round and rotates around the sun. If that’s the case, then we have to acknowledge that Genesis 1 is not a scientific description of the earth. It is a theological one. We don’t have to become flat-earth creationists to accept the theology the writer is communicating—that God created the earth and everything in it. Reading Genesis 1 “Literally”

Why would Luke want his audience to know that God publicly confirmed Jesus to be king through the flight of a dove, when the normative avian sign was the flight of an eagle? The dove narrative likely functioned in the same manner as the account of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Each depicts Jesus’ kingship in contradistinction to imperial expectations. The flight of the dove is a confirming sign that Jesus is God’s king, whose rule stands contrary to the Roman notion of power as confirmed by an eagle. Throughout his gospel, Luke consistently portrays God’s kingdom as the antithesis of the Roman Empire (Luke 6:20; 13:29–30; 18:16; 22:25–27). Jesus is a different kind of king than Caesar. He is a king who brings peace not at the expense and suffering of others but through his own service and suffering. This is symbolized by the descent of a dove rather than an eagle, the national emblem of Rome. Subversive Meals

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The problem is that, the more you read the text in the Greek original, you realize just how much you are missing in even the very best translations by the world’s greatest scholars. You miss all sorts of nuances and cross-references, subtle recollections and pointers, echoes and resonances. As the (Latin) saying has it, omnis traductor traditor: every translator is a traitor. Philip Jenkins

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Out of all the verses in Leviticus that could be singled out, people filled with hate have chosen two obscure verses and ignored their context. They don’t care about the fact that Leviticus 20 also forbids sleeping with your wife if she is menstruating, and if you curse your parents you should be put to death. They don’t care that Leviticus forbids wearing garments of mixed materials. They don’t care that Leviticus contains an entire dietary code that was obviously quite important. They don’t care about this book as God’s Word. They only care about perverting two verses. Isn’t it interesting, that when Jesus quoted Leviticus, he quoted a verse about love (Lev. 19:18)? Maybe, if we’re going to pick one verse out of Leviticus to plaster on signs, that’s the one we should choose. Scribalishess

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