In this second episode about the ‘prosperity gospel’ I turn to questions of love and money. Again I argue that if we think about this claimed good news of prosperity in the light of the Bible it fails. If you have not seen Part 1 it is here. [Warning: reading the Bible may damage the health of your faith in TV preachers.]  Read More →

Perhaps no Bible text illustrates the dangers of a simplistic reading of Scripture than 1 Cor 14:34. If we tear this verse from its cotext,1 and then read it as if the Bible were “God’s instruction manual for life” and even worse read it also literally then we are in trouble! The verse (in the fairly literal NET)2 reads: the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak. Rather, let them be in submission, as in fact the law says. The verse is full of oddities.3 Not the least of which is that in 1 Cor 11:4-6 Paul assumesRead More →

While Paul’s test case, whether Christians may eat meat that has been offered to idols is of little importance to most Christians today. When was the last time someone offered you such meat? His principle is still helpful and useful. This podcast illustrates how to spot the principle in this passage and begins to suggest how it may be applied.  Read More →

In part one I drew attention to the problem that this verse seems to contradict what Paul himself approves and to some funny things going on in and around the verse. Here I’ll focus on my reason for mentioning this, how we should respond when a Bible passage seems to contradict what the same author says or does elsewhere…Read More →

Clay vessels were everywhere, plates, bowls, cups, storage, cooking… most of the everyday objects we make of glass or china, and many we make of plastic (or even metal) were clay pottery in the ancient world. Living back then you were deeply (and probably unconsciously) aware of just how fragile standard clay pots are. We live in a world of bone china and hardened glass. Even the average cheap dinnerset is so much tougher than an ancient pot, and the broken pieces of pottery were everywhere. Walking across the top of Tell Miqne – identified by the excavators as the Philistine city of Ekron –Read More →

There’s so much in this chapter! No wonder it’s a favourite to read at weddings, for indeed it does describe a sort of love that is far removed from the sugary candy floss that popular culture usually presents as “romantic”. Though of course Paul is not writing about marriage, but about the greatest gift given by God’s Holy Spirit. So now’s our chance (if we are not “Charismatic” with a capital C) to beat those benighted speakers of tongues over the head with a powerful Scriptural sword! Of course if we do so we’ll just prove their point that we have NOT received the giftsRead More →