In the comments on part 1 several people expressed the hope/fear that I would open the question of children as audience for Genesis. I didn’t but now some years later redoing that post with visuals reminded me how good it would be to ask that question. Recognising that, though not the primary audience for Genesis, children are envisaged as an audience for Genesis has profound implications for how we read Genesis. I begin to sketch them here. Only begin because already the ‘cast is nearer six minutes than five 🙁 1 I must be getting old, and will clearly need to watch the timing moreRead More →

Since I am teaching Genesis again I am filling out the gaps in my podcasts on this book. I think it is important to notice that Genesis is told to us by (at least) two narrators. The story comes to us as an edited text, that is it already in its telling belongs, not to one person, not even a great hero like Moses, but to a community. For it is a book that tells of the origins not only of “everything” but of the people of God… In this podcast I’ll focus on chapters 1-5 where it is easiest to spot the different narrators,Read More →

? Now that the merry merry month of May 1 May was indeed a merry, merry month as various nations, and also your humble reporter, celebrated their 70th birthdays during the month. Sadly as part of the carnival the Orange Overlord chose my birthday to trumpet his ignorance by formalising the move of the US embassy from Israel to the occupied territories.    is ended it is time for the Biblical Studies Carnival. 2 I know, I know, many of you live (as much as you can in those Benighted States), move (when the traffic allows), and have your being in places so backward thatRead More →

The story of Noah and his Ark is not at all a nice simple children’s tale. For a start, if read literally it raises questions of genocide (or worse attempted extinction of the human species, as well as most others). But should we try to read this story literally? I’ll argue we cannot, and that therefore we should consider understanding it as a ‘Wotif’ story….  Read More →

Like all good stories, and the Bible is before and after everything else a story, Scripture begins at the beginning. The beginning of everything, and a garden planted by God. Everything falls apart, for humans fall apart, and many of the stories in Scripture are horrible, grotesque or inspiring, for such a mixture describes the world we inhabit. In the middle of the Bible story, at the start of the second part of the library of Scripture, we hear the story of Jesus and his teaching, his death and resurrection. This is prolonged into the beginning of the story of the new humanity and illustratedRead More →

Bible Users Manual

The Christian Bible is a big sprawling collection of documents from widely different time periods (roughly the end of the Bronze Age to the Roman empire) in many different genres (as different as history and love poems, or proverbs and lengthy letters) composed in three languages and two different writing systems. To make matters worse most Bibles do not “work” the same as other books. Page numbers do not help in identifying sections because they differ in most of the myriad different translations and editions. So, how does one find one’s way around and use such a weird book? This podcast explains “chapters” and “verses”,Read More →