The Bible in Thirty Chapters

What If… The Bible is a pretty large book. Although we might not immediately think of it as such, how many other 2,128-page1 books do you have laying around your home? Or which reader has four different versions of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare on their bookshelf? The Bible is unique, not only forContinue reading “The Bible in Thirty Chapters”

On the Misuse of Christian Tradition: A Response

The proper relationship between the authority of Christian Scripture and authority of Christian Tradition avails itself to no easy answers. From a historical viewpoint, much of the early development of both remains hotly debated. From a theological perspective, centuries (and sometimes millennia) old debates continue to shape thinking and lead toward answers long before anyContinue reading “On the Misuse of Christian Tradition: A Response”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part VI)

This is the final post in a series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. A Way Forward Given Ancient Near East warfare terminology, “driving out” language, and an emphasis on the destruction of the heads of state, it seems that the vast majority ofContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part VI)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part V)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. The Total Destruction of Ai What about those instances where near-total destruction—including women, children, and non-combatants—does seem to be ordered by Yahweh? As an example of this, let’s consider JoshuaContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part V)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part IV)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. The Context of Conquest Several texts can be submitted as examples of where Yahweh seems to have commanded the people of Israel to commit genocide. One such place is ExodusContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part IV)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part III)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. Ancient Near East Warfare Terminology Most important for our purposes is considering the language of the conquest narratives in Deuteronomy and Joshua, especially in light of other passages which canContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part III)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part II)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. How Do We Read the Bible? : The Importance of Context Many Protestant Christians talk about reading the Bible “literally.” But I often don’t understand exactly what that means. Webster’sContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part II)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part I)

The Rock Church of Saint Louis–our church home–is in the midst of reading through the entire Bible narrative as a church community. The past two weeks we have been reading the book of Joshua, which is all about Israel’s conquest of the promised land of Canaan. One feature of this conquest that contemporary Christians areContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part I)”

Messianic Expectations of Second Temple Judaism

Since the earliest days of the Jesus Movement, Christianity has proclaimed Jesus of Nazareth as the long-awaited Messiah of the Jewish people. What exactly did this proclamation mean to those who heard it in the context of the Roman Empire and Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem? Much recent scholarship has attempted to assess the theologicalContinue reading “Messianic Expectations of Second Temple Judaism”