Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Old Testament As History Or Story: A Reflective Approach

Entry 2

English: Manasseh's Sin and Repentance; as in ...

Manasseh’s Sin and Repentance; as in 2 Chronicles 33:1-13

Often the poetry found in the Hebrew bible in books other than Psalms, The Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Job and Proverbs; are only obviously poetry once pointed out. Biblical scholar Christine Hayes explains, in her work on “Form Tradition and Archaeological Correlations with History“, many of these Hebrew bible books were sung aloud and so it was easier to sing poetry.[1] Continue reading

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The Didache

English: Last page of the Didache Español: Ult...

Last page of the Didache

Introduction

The Didache (“teaching”, Gk. Διδαχή) appears to be an early Christian church manual containing teachings of the Twelve Apostles.Philotheos Bryennios in the library of the Holy Sepulchre in Constantinople, it contains ethical discussions coupled with instruction on how early Christians are to conduct their communal lives.[2] Most scholars date its composition to the late first century or early second century CE.[3] Despite claiming to be teachings of the apostles the author of the Didache does not claim be an apostle, and furthermore remains anonymous. So are the teachings apostolic as is claimed? Moreover, did the early church consider the Didache an authoritative manual like they would have the gospels? Continue reading

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Revelation and the Mark of the Beast: 666 or 616?

Briefly to summarize the last two posts on The Revelation to John; John writing to the

Fragment from Papyrus 115 with number 616

Fragment from Papyrus 115 with number 616

churches in Asia Minor explains in code, utilizing large amounts of Hebrew bible imagery to great effect, on how God will bring down Rome and Nero (after his return), an oppressive ruler of Judeo-Christians. Babylon is code for Rome and the mark of the beast, 666, is code for Caesar Nero—or is it? Continue reading

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The Revelation to John: Αποκαλυψις, an unveiling!

English: Bust of Nero at the Capitoline Museum...

Bust of Nero at the Capitoline Museum, Rome 

Interpreted in its historical context we can gain some useful insights about what message John is trying to get across to his audience. So what on earth does context even mean in the case of ancient human artifacts? Understanding of the historical context of any bible text means understanding the social, economic, political; and often with apocalyptic literature, the oppressive circumstances it is being written under. This oppressive arrangement cannot be stressed enough here. Continue reading

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Filed under Popular Misconceptions, Revelation

The Old Testament As History Or Story: A Reflective Approach

Entry 1: An Introduction

English: Hebrew Bible, Jer. 27

Hebrew Bible, excerpt of Jer. 27

Many years ago I read two books that began to shape my understanding of the Hebrew Bible as history or story. Both were popular works written by robust critical scholars Richard Elliot Friedman and Israel Finkelstein, Who Wrote the Bible and The Bible Unearthed respectively.[1] Friedman established the then mainstream critical scholarly views on the authorship of the Torah in a way that was accessible to those without a degree in bible studies.[2] Finkelstein and Silberman ventured down a bolder, more provocative path in their popular work. Coming from a much more fundamental version of Christianity both books would shake the foundations of my understanding about who wrote the bible and its place in history.[3] This would begin to shape not just my views, as I explored these texts further, but how I approached bible study. Continue reading

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Lilith

A Lilith-type appears in all kinds of ancient Semitic folklore and rabbinic literature. As we will see she played an important role in early rabbinic theology. “Lilith” is the term used to refer to a group of female demons. They couldn’t bear children and so seduced and killed single men, a kind of succubus who caused men to have wet dreams so as to waste their semen as nothing was born (i am only using the language they used to describe her, no artistic license on my part there!). There are a few sources that blamed them for causing what we call today SIDS. Continue reading

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The Skeptics’ Testament Episode 14

This episode wetake to some questions, did Justin Martyr know of the gospels? What exactly is “primitive” Christianity? and we also spend some time discussing The Gospel According to Luke. Enjoy!

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