nature of the Bible

I love you, Bible . . . just not that way

Posted by PeteEnns on February 8, 2017 in nature of the Bible 39 Comments

I don’t think the Bible works well as a rule book for Christians, nor do I think, as a collection of writings, it is meant to be corralled into a work of so-called “systematic theology.” The diversity, contradictions, and internal debates and critiques of Scripture, which are so much of the character of Scripture, are lost

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does Jesus disagree with himself?

Posted by PeteEnns on February 6, 2017 in nature of the Bible New Testament 26 Comments

Hahaha. Funny meme. But seriously. Many of us have been taught to think something along these lines, that the Gospels are basically on the same page and any differences are either imagined or inconsequential. Maybe. That works for some things. But the problem with that way of thinking is that it presumes that “saying the same thing”

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the Bible is like . . . a room of wise elders . . .

Posted by PeteEnns on February 1, 2017 in nature of the Bible Old Testament 5 Comments

Below is a quote from Kent Sparks’s “Genesis 1-11 as Ancient Historiography,” which is his contribution to the 2015 book Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?, one of Zondervan’s many Counterpoints books, where multiple perspectives are offered on a given subject. The other contributors are James K. Hoffmeier (Wheaton College) and Gordon J. Wenham (Trinity College, Bristol, England,

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why it’s spiritually valuable to embrace the Bible’s diversity and contradictions (or, this is a hill to die on)

Posted by PeteEnns on January 30, 2017 in nature of the Bible 15 Comments

I am reading through (and already blogged once) on a fascinating book, Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition, by Benjamin D. Sommer, an observant Jew and professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary in NYC. One of the things I try to stress in my teaching, blogging,

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what permanently screwed me up about the Bible (but it turned out well)

Posted by PeteEnns on January 25, 2017 in nature of the Bible New Testament 14 Comments

People ask me all the time—well, actually, they hardly ever ask me because who really cares about me and my life, by let’s keep up the facade—people ask me what has been the most challenging thing I learned about the Bible, especially in graduate school. My degree is in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, and the usual suspects for

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if you’ve ever wondered why the Bible contradicts itself: a jewish solution

Posted by PeteEnns on January 13, 2017 in book notes and reviews nature of the Bible 10 Comments

Readers of this blog will know that I think Christians (namely evangelicals) can learn a lot from how Judaism (in its varied forms) looks at the nature of the Bible and its interpretation. Bottom line: Judaism tends to be more flexible in accepting the Bible’s diversity and contradictions. The question this raises, though, is how

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