Blog Menu

Tag Archives | Bible

Is allegorical interpretation a Good Thing?

I just had a fascinating interaction online in the context of discussing the relation of the Old Testament to the New. The conversation went something like this.

Blogger: ‘There is no difference between the OT and the NT. There is nothing in the NT which is not in the OT.’

Me: ‘What about Jesus?’

Blogger: ‘He is all over the Old Testament. You just have to look.’

Me: ‘Really? Where for example?’

He then offered me the following allegorical reading of the Joshua 2 based on the fact that Joshua in Hebrew is the same name as Jesus in Greek (the Hebrew meaning of course ‘God saves’, Matt 1.21):

Continue Reading

Can we fix Bible translation?

The translation committee of the English Standard Version has announced that there will be no more revisions to the text, which now becomes the Permanent Text. The ESV is not one of the ‘big hitters’ in translation like the NIV (it is used by around 8% of American Bible readers) but it has been the preferred […]

Continue Reading

Does the Bible interpret itself?

I was recently passed a very large and heavy volume, beautifully bound in leather-covered boards, by friends clearing out their late father’s library. On opening the weighty cover, I was confronted with the bold declaration: THE SELF-INTERPRETING BIBLE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS BY THE REV. JOHN BROWN I’ve done no research to establish who this […]

Continue Reading

Why you need Bible reading notes

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Christian in possession of a Bible must be in want of some help in reading it. Bible reading notes were once the staple of any church which believed the Bible to be a vital resource for discipleship and growth, but like many habits, regular Bible reading and […]

Continue Reading

Poetic structure in Jesus’ teaching

In doing some research on Matthew’s portrait of Jesus, I have been struck afresh by the poetic structuring of Jesus’ teaching. Noticing this raises interesting issues both about our engagement with the texts and our understanding of them, but also some questions about how the texts have come to us in their current form. A […]

Continue Reading

The kingdom and the common good

In one of the presentations at the Premier Digital Media Awards I attended last month, the speaker used a phrase about his project which has stayed with me. A group of coders spent a weekend trying to design computer and phone apps that could be used ‘for the kingdom and the common good.’ I was […]

Continue Reading

Do we worship Jesus or the Bible?

You don’t have to be involved in a debate about some contentious issue, and what the Bible might say about it, for too long before someone chimes up: Sounds to me like your worship the Bible! Shouldn’t Christians worship Jesus? The accusation is that, if you focus on what the Bible says, you are making […]

Continue Reading

Does the NT contradict itself? Does it matter?

Last month, Mark Woods wrote an article in Christian Today exploring the apparent contradictions between the two accounts of Judas’ death, in Matt 27.3–8 and in Act 1.18. In the first, Judas hangs himself, the priests buy the field, and it is named ‘Field of Blood’ because of the betrayal by Judas. In the second, briefer […]

Continue Reading

Performing Scripture

A notable feature of a number of contemporary debates in the church is the lack of well-informed use of Scripture. It’s not unusual to hear one party or other either trot out a proof text, or write Scripture off on the basis of such proof texts—or here views expressed which demonstrate basic lack of familiarity […]

Continue Reading

The Unity of Scripture and the Integrity of God

Having just written about Brian McLaren, and his comments about the way the OT relates to the NT, it was fascinating this week to attend the University of Nottingham theology seminar given by Prof Judith Lieu on ‘The Search for Marcion’. She started by pointing out that we have no actual texts of Marcion, and that, […]

Continue Reading

Brian McLaren and the Bible

Brian McLaren is well known as a leader in the North American ‘Progressive’ movement, which many are finding a refreshing change from the ‘culture wars’ amongst evangelicals about Scripture and authority and its implications for theology and discipleship. He came to prominence with his 2004 book A Generous Orthodoxy, which sought to cut through the polarisations […]

Continue Reading