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 →

Go’el is another thoroughly cultural word, that is highly theological. Again it is prominent in Ruth. This time there is one English word that is often a decent translation, redeemer, the problem is redeem carries a different weight of overtones from ga’al. There is a good short post about ga’al here with reference to Jesus and Boaz and Wikipedia has a very short article.  Read More →

Here’s the first of a new series of podcasts on words that pose particular difficulty because English either lacks clearly similar concepts, or the word carries quite different connotations (emotional overtones and other baggage) from the word that denotes (points to) a similar thing. The first word is hesed a key virtue in the Bible and one ascribed typically to God. That is both it typifies God’s relatiuonship with us, and God shows us what it means.  Read More →

Ruth is a lovely story, it’s humour is1 gentle and subtle. Part of the subtlety is that most (though not all) of the signs of humour are missing. However, I think we are intended to smile in at least two ways in the portrayal of the characters. For this entry in the humour series I am repeating my podcast on chapter 2, where I think several of the signs are present, if subtly: incongruity: found I’ll claim in the disparity of cultures between peasant farming Bethlehem and semi-nomadic herding Moab lighthearted mood – it’s harvest time and there’s a meal surprise – Ruth “happens” onRead More →

Well, Judges was thoroughly censored for E100, as it is for most church use, the bits we got were the rare good bits, cf. my Twisted tales: or should the book of Judges be censored? (which got me into trouble with a fundamentalist who could not be bothered to actually listen to what I was saying before condemning me to hell – so it may be worth listening to 😉 Ruth is about “redemption”, the need for husband for Ruth and so a baby to continue the “house of Elimelek” and to provide for the two widows, and so it’s about the primary virtue ofRead More →