Genesis and Gender part (i)

I am in the process of writing a Grove Biblical booklet with the title ‘Women and authority: key biblical texts’ which aims to explore all the key texts in 28 pages! Due out later this month. I am aiming to cover Gen 1, 2, 3, Luke 24, John 20, Acts 18, Romans 16, 1 Cor 11, 1 Cor  14, Eph 5 and 1 Tim 2.

Here is the section on Genesis 1. Thanks to colleague David Firth for input; any comments welcomed.

The opening chapters of Genesis are key to this discussion (and to many others), since they set out key issues in relationships between men and women as well as between humanity and God. These chapters are frequently cited in discussions about gender roles, not least because they are frequently cited in the New Testament in the debates there about marriage, ministry and gender relations by both Paul and Jesus.

In reading these texts, there are two important things to bear in mind:

Continue ReadingGenesis and Gender part (i)

Life in the city: 1 Corinthians

Lechaion Way with Acrocorinth in backgroundI am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here are the key verses and summary for the story of 1 Corinthians (‘Life in the city’), to be broadcast this Sunday 20th Feb from around 8.20 am:

Verses: 1 Cor 13.1–4

Continue ReadingLife in the city: 1 Corinthians

Does John 1.1 mean ‘The Word was a god’?

This is a question I quite often get asked in relation to conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses and the New World Translation (NWT). The NWT translates the end of John 1.1 as ‘the Word as a god’ in order to avoid the identification of Jesus with the God of the Old Testament, and avoid seeing Jesus as God incarnate, part of the Trinity, as does orthodox Christian belief.

As we will see, this is an incorrect translation of the Greek text. It is quite straightforward, though sounds a little technical to explain. Here goes.

The Greek of John 1.1 is as follows, transliterated into English letters:

Continue ReadingDoes John 1.1 mean ‘The Word was a god’?

Love Story with a difference: Ruth

I am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here are the key verses and summary for the story of Ruth (‘A love story with a difference’), to be broadcast this Sunday 11th Feb from 8.20 am:

Verses: Ruth 1.1–2, 11, 16–17

In the days when the judges ruled, there

Continue ReadingLove Story with a difference: Ruth

How are the mighty fallen: 1 and 2 Kings

I am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here are the key verses and summary for 1 and 2 Kings (‘How are the mighty fallen!’), to be broadcast this Sunday 6th Feb from 8.20 am:

Key verses: 1 Kings 19.10–13

Continue ReadingHow are the mighty fallen: 1 and 2 Kings

Losing our way?: Matthew

I am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here’s the key verses and summary for Matthew (‘Losing our Way?’), to be broadcast this Sunday 30th Jan from 8.20 am:

Verses: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. [Matt 5.3–5]

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye,

Continue ReadingLosing our way?: Matthew

Seeing the Big Picture

Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart comment that there are two key skills in reading the Bible: the ability to see the big picture; and the ability to see the distinctive detail of each passage, in particular to recognise its genre.

Here is my list of resources to help with the ‘big picture’ side of things. Do add yours in comments!

  • Scripture Union has developed the  E100 project which offers 100 Bible passages, 50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New, to give you an overview of the Bible. It come with a range of supporting resources.
  • It might sound odd for adults, but we have found Children’s Bibles great for giving readable, accessible overviews of the whole Bible. The Lion Storyteller Bible is a good one for older children and adults.
  • Lesslie Newbigin gave an overview of the Bible in a series of talks at Holy Trinity Brompton several years ago, and these have been written up in the

    Continue ReadingSeeing the Big Picture

All you need is love: Song of Songs

I am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here’s the key verses and summary for Song of Songs (‘All you need is love?’), to be broadcast this Sunday 23rd Jan from 8.20 am:

Verses: Song of Songs 7.6–13

(He)
How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights!
Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit.

Continue ReadingAll you need is love: Song of Songs

‘I need a hero’: Judges

I am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here’s the key verses and summary for Judges (‘I need a hero’), to be broadcast this Sunday 16th Jan from 8 am:

Verses: Judges 16.4­–6, 16­–18

Some time later, Samson fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure

Continue Reading‘I need a hero’: Judges

Who do you think you are: Genesis

I am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here’s the summary and key verses for Genesis, to be broadcast this Sunday 9th Jan from 8 am.

Verses: Gen 1.1–4, 26–27 and 31

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light!  God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness.

Continue ReadingWho do you think you are: Genesis