nature of the Bible

the Bible: it’s sort of like a viral internet joke (or, why “original author” is overrated)

Posted by PeteEnns on March 6, 2017 in nature of the Bible 35 Comments

If you know how Wikipedia works, you have a good idea of how the authorship of biblical books went down: an anonymous text is added to over time, but none of the additions are screaming for individual recognition. Benjamin Sommer explains the phenomenon this way: As Walter Jackson Bate and Harold Bloom have shown, poets since

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2 reasons why the Bible does not produce unambiguous theological certitude (or, it’s going to be OK, people)

Posted by PeteEnns on March 1, 2017 in nature of the Bible 38 Comments

As I’m sitting here, the thought strikes me, “My, Pete, you do write a lot about the Bible. Aren’t you tired? Don’t you want to move on? Maybe make some money, finally?” Yes, sometimes, to all those. But what motivates me to do what I do is a spiritual/intellectual quest to answer (or at least have an answer I am

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another thought on contradictions: the biblical writers didn’t record God’s revelation—they interpreted it

Posted by PeteEnns on February 27, 2017 in nature of the Bible 22 Comments

God reveals. The biblical writers interpret God’s revelation. Those interpretations eventually become the Bible. The fact that different writers are interpreting God’s revelation at different times, for different reasons, and for different circumstances accounts for why the Bible contains diverse and contradictory points of view. In a nutshell, that is one of the core points Benjamin D. Sommer

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

Posted by PeteEnns on February 8, 2017 in nature of the Bible 41 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 27 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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