The Bible as Witness to Jesus (1)

Imagine that you’re reading a really good story. It’s the kind of story you hate to put down and you can’t wait to get back to. It’s got an interesting premise, a believable world, compelling characters, and a riveting plot. It’s enlightening and challenging and entertaining and disturbing and refreshing. Now imagine that you’re reading …

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The Bible as Diverse Anthology

A key idea I’ve emphasized here and here is that whatever we mean by Scripture’s divine inspiration, it cannot mean that the biblical writings are somehow not genuinely human writings. To expand on something I said earlier: Written in ordinary human languages and idioms, making use of conventional genres, employing scribes, relying on prior sources, edited by …

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The Bible as Ancient Literature

We often think of the Bible as a single book, but it’s really more like a library of books from the ancient world. Or, perhaps a better way to put it, the Bible is an anthology of ancient literature. I don’t know what comes to mind for you when you think of “literature.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “writings …

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The Bible as Inspired Scripture

“All Scripture is inspired by God…” It may well be that no words in the Bible have had more read into them than these words. These well-known words are from 2 Timothy 3:16.  For the moment let’s leave aside whether this is the best way to translate the Greek text. And let’s bracket off the question …

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The Bible, the Gospel, Jesus, and “The Word of God”

Ask Christians today what they think of when they hear the phrase, “The Word of God,” and they’ll probably say, “The Bible.” For many Christians the two are even synonymous: “The Bible” = “God’s Word,” and “God’s Word” = “The Bible.” The idea is that the Bible as a whole is a divine message for …

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The Bible is clear: God endorses slavery.

There are at least seven passages in the Bible where God is depicted as directly permitting or endorsing slavery. Two of these are in the Law of Moses: God permitted the Israelites to take slaves from conquered peoples permanently, and the Israelites could sell themselves into slavery temporarily to pay off debts (Exod 21:2-11; Lev …

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