Category Archives: Biblical Studies

“The” Christmas Story

“The” Christmas Story I have never been a fan of “the Christmas story.”  I honestly don’t know why.  I know why I am not a fan of it now and it is a real temptation to project those reasons back … Continue reading

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The Seductions of Narrative

Some years ago, I ran my best half marathon time ever.  There were some special circumstances in this race.  I can think of two classes of such circumstances.  I’m going to tell you what they are because I am still … Continue reading

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Parables: The Power of What Is Not There

If the irony weren’t too heavy, I would  say that I love reading the work of scholars because it gives me a chance to ask really simpleminded questions. I think of “scholarship” as digging ever more deeply into the technical … Continue reading

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The First 10 Years: Part III

Tomorrow I am going to celebrate the tenth anniversary of this blog.  I’ve been working up to it by reflecting back over the last ten years.  This is the third and last of those essays. It doesn’t seem all that … Continue reading

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Below the surface of Genesis

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time recently reading scholarly analyses of the first three chapters of Genesis. I will leave until later the question of whether this is the best use of virus-generated free time. What I would … Continue reading

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The gospels as murder mysteries

The value of a metaphor is that it opens up a less known idea by comparing it to a better known idea. [1] I have never been to Greece, but I have been charmed for years by stories that Greek … Continue reading

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Catching Eli’s Attention

The story of old Eli and young Samuel has been told a lot of times.  The story I have always heard is how Samuel learned, finally, to hear God’s voice.  It’s a really good story.  But lately, I have been … Continue reading

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Selling Providence

In these brief comments, I reflect on the way Providence (formally Providence Health and Services) markets itself.  At every Providence site I have seen—and I have seen many in the Portland area—these five framed posters are displayed.  It is a … Continue reading

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Journalism Rears Its Ugly Head

Nothing against journalists. The “journalism” I have in mind is the perverse practice of reading the Bible as if you were reading a newspaper account. I think the Bible should be read as if it were a sermon with really … Continue reading

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Bible/Anthropology 201

At Holladay Park Plaza (HPP), where Bette and I live, [1] there is a set of electronic bulletin boards, telling what is going on that day/week.  Each event or activity is identified by a little icon, telling what kind of … Continue reading

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