Since Google suggests the first chapter of 2 Kings is humorous I’ll measure it against the criteria. It meets most (but not all) which i think makes it clear this passage is not merely funny but was intended to be funny. Though again it is a “black” humour. As a bonus I’ll offer a reading of the passage, it seems a shame to be talking about humour but not be “allowed” to get any laughs 🙁 NB: this reading is basically the NRSV, which being a very literal translation captures the fairy tale quality of the telling rather well. Special bonus: reading of 2 KingsRead More →

As a matter of fact Yahweh was married, yet the Bible cannot tolerate people who speak of God as male or masculine. This podcast seeks to explore this apparent contradiction as a first follow up to yesterday’s “Why do you read? Or: Was God married?” The original (audio only) version of this podcast was here.  Read More →

This is the video version of a post whose original audio only version is here. It was stimulated by an article in The Daily Mail (a UK tabloid newspaper) “Why the BBC’s new face of religion believes God had a WIFE” It caused a flurry among the Twittering classes, and on Facebook, and even among the biblioblogs (though in the latter group most dismissed the article saying: What can you expect from a British Tabloid?) but it was written by Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou an established biblical scholar. In the podcast I suggest that clear thinking is needed to avoid confusion on such topics. In followRead More →

Today’s is a grim reading. But such brutality was not unusual in the Ancient Near East. The Assyrians, for example, when they captured the Judean city of Lachish after a siege in 701BC impaled the surviving leaders outside the city, and left a mass grave of 1,500 people (mainly women and children). Despite what one might even see as gentle treatment of the city by the Babylonians in 586, the fall of Jesusalem marked Hebrew thought deeply because it was God’s city, their last toehold of political independence in the promised land and Yahweh’s holy temple that the Babylonians destroyed. In doing so they alsoRead More →

“The fall of Israel” is a theological (not historical) title. This five covers almost the whole history of the Israelite kingdoms from David to the destruction of Jerusalem. The Deuteronomistic History (Joshua-Kings) from which they all come (cf. remarks on Judges) tell the story with the end in view, one important goal of these books is to explain the fall of Jerusalem and the exile. So this is a good selection to understand what is going on: Even the great king David is human and fails (spectacularly) Solomon is seen at his best – asking for and displaying wisdom not wealth or power; building theRead More →