Mark is the first (probably) and shortest gospel. Yet it is full of tension and ends (if we accept the short ending as most likely original) mysteriously. Mark provides the key to the gospel in his introduction. After listening to this five minute introduction listen also to the whole Gospel (just over another hour).Read More →

Sunday School, and most of our quick summaries of the contents of the Bible present Exodus as telling the story of how God frees Israelite slaves from the powers of Egypt. But, a closer look at the book shows that’s just half the story! Here we’ll focus Exodus as a book in two halfs. Doing this will suggest even more sharply that this ancient collection of stories and laws poses a real challenge to us today!  Read More →

There probably is no other book of the Bible that has so much nonsense taught and preached “from” it. So I will use two five minute slots to introduce this “difficult” book. In this session I’ll talk about how NOT to read Revelation and begin to point to a better way. Then in the next I’ll describe John’s situation and the interests of his readers and outline the content of the book. In one line the book aims to encourage its readers (facing a time of persecution) that Jesus is Lord, and rules!Read More →

Just four chapters, here’s a story without violence or even conflict, a simple everyday tale of country folk, yet Ruth grips hearers is loved by everyone and carries profound theological messages, that echo into the books before and after Ruth in the Christian Bible.  Read More →

As the first book in the Bible Genesis has a special importance for readers. This very brief introduction to some of the literary and theological issues of the book is really just the very beginning of studying Genesis! I’ve been working on a Bible Dictionary article on “Genesis” , so it seemed like a good time to fill in a gap in my Genesis page. I am a bit “bunged up” today, so forgive the nasal quality to the voice please. I’ve tried both to introduce very briefly some of the scholarly issues as well as the theological importance of this magnificent book, let meRead More →