September 21, 2018

Two Books of the Bible Nobody (really) Likes to Read (Part 1)

Meet Leviticus and Numbers, infamous killers of countless New Year’s resolutions to read the Bible through in a year. These two books, the third and fourth portions of the Torah, are sections of the Bible that most people, if they were honest, could do without. Oh sure, there are parts of them that we all […]

Creation, Tabernacle, and New Creation

“At this small, lonely place in the midst of the chaos of the wilderness, a new creation comes into being. In the midst of disorder, there is order. The tabernacle is the world order as God intended writ small in Israel.” – Terence Fretheim, Exodus (Interpretation Commentary) * * * As Walter Brueggemann observes in […]

Genesis for Normal People

Genesis for Normal People: A Guide to the Most Controversial, Misunderstood, and Abused Book of the Bible by Peter Enns and Jared Byas Patheos Press (2012) * * * According to its authors, Genesis for Normal People is designed for “normal people…who are curious about the Bible and want to get a handle on what […]

The First Story of Israel (Gen. 2-3)

* * * Genesis 2 is not another version of the creation of the cosmos. It shifts the focus to the story of Israel. – Peter Enns, Jared Byas, Genesis for Normal People Let me tell you a story. God prepared a good land, a land of abundance and promise. He formed a people and […]

Listen Up, People! Our God Reigns! (Gen. 1)

A Reading/Performance of Genesis 1 Listen up, people! Our God reigns! Let me tell you about our God. Way back in the beginning, he made everything that is. That’s right, I said he made everything that is! It was God, the true and living God. Not the pretender “gods” of Babylon or any other nation. […]

The Backstories of the First Testament

The Return of the Chaos Monsters and Other Backstories of the Bible by Gregory Mobley Wm. B. Eerdmanns Pub. Co. (2012) * * * One of the liveliest, most intriguing and insightful books you will read on the Hebrew Bible is Gregory Mobley’s The Return of the Chaos Monsters. For some reason, perhaps because of […]

The Big Picture of the Torah

In our studies of the First Testament this month, we will assume the canonical order of the Hebrew Bible, which differs from the order of the books in the Christian Old Testament. The Hebrew Bible is Tanakh, the three consonants being an acronymn for its three major divisions: TORAH (“LAW”)  Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy […]

iMonk on Interpreting Genesis 1

From To Be or Not to Be? Everybody thinks I should be a young earth creationist. I’m not. Why? by Michael Spencer (undated) * * * The young earth creationists believe that Genesis 1 is “literally” a description of creation. I do not. It is this simple disagreement that is the cornerstone of my objection. […]

Pete Enns: “Hey, Get Away from My Bible!“–Christian Appropriation of a Jewish Bible

Note from CM: Our friend Peter Enns gave permission to use the following piece, which was first published in January, 2009. Pete is currently on the faculty at Eastern University teaching courses in Old and New Testaments. His interests include Old Testament Theology, Biblical Theology, Wisdom Literature (esp. Ecclesiastes), the NT’s use of the OT, Second Temple […]

The Purpose of the First Testament

Why did the Jews compile sacred books together and form a canon of Scripture known as the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh? For what purpose did they put together what Christians have traditionally called the “Old Testament”? I believe they brought the canon of the Hebrew Bible to completion, at the end of a long process, because of […]