Many Old Testament stories in the history books seem to have no message but that human-beings are broken and need mending, are sinful and therefore keep spoiling God’s lovely world and hurting each other! Then along comes this story to remind us of another truth… 1 Samuel 24  is set amid political jostling and attempted murder in the beginnings of the Hebrew monarchy. Yet the story has not one, but two, real heroes. For here young David and poor old, broken and probably insane, Saul both act with gracious nobility.  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 Or for a podcast. 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 Even the NRSV is less literal here omitting the “the” before women, one of the oddities of this verse is that Paul seems to be talking about some particular women. reads: the women should be silent in the churches, for theyRead More →

Sunday School, and most of our quick summaries of the contents of the Bible present Exodus as telling the story of how God frees Israelite slaves from the powers of Egypt. But, a closer look at the book shows that’s just half the story! Here we’ll focus Exodus as a book in two halfs. Doing this will suggest even more sharply that this ancient collection of stories and laws poses a real challenge to us today!  Read More →

There probably is no other book of the Bible that has so much nonsense taught and preached “from” it. So I will use two five minute slots to introduce this “difficult” book. In this session I’ll talk about how NOT to read Revelation and begin to point to a better way. Then in the next I’ll describe John’s situation and the interests of his readers and outline the content of the book. In one line the book aims to encourage its readers (facing a time of persecution) that Jesus is Lord, and rules!Read More →

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 →

The strange, and strangely disturbing story of Micaiah ben Imlah in 2 Chronicles 18 which repeats very closely its source in 1 Kings 22 1Which may mean this entry is cheating in terms of finding humour in every book of the (Hebrew) Bible, though it does seem to show that the Chronicles was not so humourless as to damage fine humour when he came across it. BTW if anyone has an example of humour in 1 Chronicles, I am still looking and would value your help. Tyler hinted at some killer comedy in Chronicles but so far no one has proposed a good example… itRead More →