? Now that the merry merry month of May 1 May was indeed a merry, merry month as various nations, and also your humble reporter, celebrated their 70th birthdays during the month. Sadly as part of the carnival the Orange Overlord chose my birthday to trumpet his ignorance by formalising the move of the US embassy from Israel to the occupied territories.    is ended it is time for the Biblical Studies Carnival. 2 I know, I know, many of you live (as much as you can in those Benighted States), move (when the traffic allows), and have your being in places so backward thatRead More →

The story of Noah and his Ark is not at all a nice simple children’s tale. For a start, if read literally it raises questions of genocide (or worse attempted extinction of the human species, as well as most others). But should we try to read this story literally? I’ll argue we cannot, and that therefore we should consider understanding it as a ‘Wotif’ story….  Read More →

Like all good stories, and the Bible is before and after everything else a story, Scripture begins at the beginning. The beginning of everything, and a garden planted by God. Everything falls apart, for humans fall apart, and many of the stories in Scripture are horrible, grotesque or inspiring, for such a mixture describes the world we inhabit. In the middle of the Bible story, at the start of the second part of the library of Scripture, we hear the story of Jesus and his teaching, his death and resurrection. This is prolonged into the beginning of the story of the new humanity and illustratedRead More →

Bible Users Manual

The Christian Bible is a big sprawling collection of documents from widely different time periods (roughly the end of the Bronze Age to the Roman empire) in many different genres (as different as history and love poems, or proverbs and lengthy letters) composed in three languages and two different writing systems. To make matters worse most Bibles do not “work” the same as other books. Page numbers do not help in identifying sections because they differ in most of the myriad different translations and editions. So, how does one find one’s way around and use such a weird book? This podcast explains “chapters” and “verses”,Read More →

The story of the “Golden Calf” episode, offers three different answers to the question: Who brought Israel out of Egypt. And they are attributed to different people and recounted to us by different people! This opens lots of interesting possibilities for interplay of points of view. When there are “rough edges” like this in a text it is a critic’s job, any sort of critic worth their salt, to pick at them and hope to see more of how or why the text is constructed. That’s what I do here, encourage you to pick at the edges from a narrative, relational perspective, and to askRead More →

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 →