The book of Judges starts badly and gets worse. The end gets completely censored, never read in church, even the Sunday School stories get their naughty bits covered up! The book ends with a slogan in 21:25 “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Which neatly prepares for the books of Samuel except by the time we reach the end of 2 Kings (even if we are slow learners) we realise that kings are not much better. And that’s how Scripture develops in the Hebrew Bible, in the Christian Old Testament Ruth stands between a beautifully told and thoroughlyRead More →

A great Sunday School story again raises the issue of divinely ordered brutal killing, which will need a small series of 5 Minute Bible ‘casts outside this E100 series, which I am committed to doing… The story is also in several ways full of creative tensions, that raise it beyond a nice tale for kiddies into a thoroughly thought provoking story for adults, with some profound and striking theological points to make. I’ll even get the chance to talk (briefly) about Amos! (As well as Amos 4: 1-3, I’ll also mention the grim account of Achan at the start of Joshua 7.) https://5minutebible.com/audio/E100josh5-6.mp3Read More →

This chapter focuses on Joshua taking over from Moses, now that (at the end of Deuteronomy) Moses is dead and gone (though no one except God) saw him die. In the reading we learn a lot about how the Bible views leadership, and it does not easily fit with any of our modern, well-worn patterns. Thank God! We also (not coincidentally) learn about cooperation among God’s people.   https://5minutebible.com/audio/E100josh1.mp3Read More →

Despite its title this five has little about the law, and not enough about the covenant (binding agreement) to which this law belongs. The selection of passages (the first time I have strongly differed from the choice made by the organisers) is weighted towards American Evangelical favourite Sunday School stories. Having got that gripe off my chest, we’ll notice how in these readings we learn (again) about what it does and does not mean to be God’s chosen people. And we will discover more in those Sunday School stories than they taught in my Sunday School 😉 And incidentally I will promise again that IRead More →