Category Archives: Bible

CUTTING UP THE BIBLE

“On display now at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., is a special exhibit centered on a rare Bible from the 1800s that was used by British missionaries to convert and educate slaves.

What’s notable about this Bible is not just its rarity, but its content, or rather the lack of content. It excludes any portion of text that might inspire rebellion or liberation.”

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/09/674995075/slave-bible-from-the-1800s-omitted-key-passages-that-could-incite-rebellion

HT: JOHN FEA

WHY ARE THERE DIFFERENCES IN THE GOSPELS?

Like other Christians, I’ve been puzzled by some of the differences in the gospels.  True, they don’t affect doctrine, but they leave one asking why the discrepancies exist.

Big books on the most common problems have been written.  Several times I have found myself frustrated by these tortuous explanations.

Enter Michael Lincona and his new book. 

Lincona offers another explanation for the varying accounts and it is found in appreciating how ancient biographers, especially Plutarch, worked.

Geared for the more serious student or the person who has unsettled doubts about the veracity of the gospel records.

RETIREMENT? HUH?!

Brueggemann2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walter Brueggemann is one of the greatest living biblical scholars.  I don’t always agree with him, but he always makes me think.  

Check this out at www.walterbrueggemann.com: He wrote 53 books by the typical retirement age of 65 and another 78 books from age 65 to now at 86 on this his birthday!

ECHOES OF EXODUS

I get to read quite a bit.  At the age of sixty, I get a bit impatient when books are long, or frankly much longer than they need to be.  Some long books I am happy to read like the latest works of Jill Lepore and David Blight.  Both of theirs come in at about 800 pages, but are the kind you are a bit sad to finish.  Unfortunately, most writers aren’t the wordsmiths of these two gifted historians.
Echoes of Exodus is on the other side of the length ledger as it is quite short: less than 150 pages of text.  Many shorter books could have made good essays.  Echoes of Exodus is not one of them.  It is clear and engaging.  Even though there are two authors, it flows nicely.
There are many keen insights throughout this fine book.  It is the kind of book that shows all of us Bible readers that there are more riches in store for the careful reader of Scripture.

Highly recommended!

SECULAR, STOIC, OR SCRIPTURE ON DEATH?

I read things on a regular basis that trumpet the glories of the Stoic way of life.  It got me thinking about three options when it comes to death:

SECULAR folks think death is something we should not think of.  We need to get distracted with lesser things.  Ernest Becker talked about these things in his Pulitzer winning book, The Denial of Death.

STOICS say we ought to face death bravely as it is so “natural.”  Everyone has to experience it.  Hunker down and face the music.  Stop complaining you weak-willed soul!

SCRIPTURE tells us that death is our final enemy (I Cor. 15:26).  Satan uses death to terrorize us (Heb. 2:14,15).  Christ says he has abolished death (II Tim. 1:10).  We long for eternity (Ecc. 3:11).  Death is not the way it was suppose to be.  We can face it (contra the SECULARIST), but we don’t face it in our own strength (contra the STOIC). 

 

FF Bruce

Image result for FF bruce

Bruce’s knowledge of the Bible was prodigious. Those who knew him well believed that he had the whole Bible, in the original languages and in several translations, committed to memory.

When he was asked a question about the Bible, he did not have to look up the text. He would sometimes take off his glasses, close his eyes as if he were scrolling the text in his mind and then comment in such an exact manner that one knew he was referring to the Hebrew or Greek text, which he either translated or paraphrased in his answer.

If he were in an academic context, the reference might be directly to the original language; in speaking to students who were not necessarily theologians, he would normally use a contemporary translation; in church he would use the appropriate translation familiar to the majority of his hearers, whether the Revised Standard Version, the New International Version, the New English Bible, the King James Version or in conservative Brethren circles, the New Translation by John Nelson Darby, again normally quoting exactly from memory.

He also seemed to know all the hymns of the classical and evangelical Christian traditions by heart as well as a large body of secular poetry–English, Scottish, Greek and Latin. (239)

HT: http://newtestamentperspectives.blogspot.com/2008/01/beautiful-mind-ability-of-ff-bruce.html