What will a Jewish reading of Genesis teach us?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has just completed a five-volume series on the Torah under the heading Covenant and Conversation. The blurb from the first volume, on Genesis, comments: In this first volume of a five-volume collection of parashat hashavua commentaries, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks explores these intersections as they relate to universal concerns of freedom, love, responsibility, … Continue Reading

Why bother resting?

Richard Briggs writes: Something strange happened when the Bible was split up into chapters: certain texts were bound together and others were suddenly thrust apart. The very first example of chapter division in Genesis raises some interesting questions, concerning what is now Gen 1:31 and Gen 2:1. The first three (or three and a half) verses … Continue Reading

The historic reading of 1 Tim 2

The debate about the rather challenging verses in Paul’s first letter to Timothy continues to surface at regular intervals, and it is often characterised as being between those who maintain the ‘historic’ understanding of these verses, so requiring women not to teach or have authority in church, and those who want to offer an ‘innovative’ … 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

Is the NIV a deliberate mistranslation?

There is an interesting debate going on at the blog ‘Is that in the Bible?’ on whether the NIV deliberately mistranslates in order to support a particular theological position. The blog is by Paul Davidson, who is not a professional biblical studies scholar (though is a professional translator), but it has attracted comment from a … Continue Reading

Creation and sexuality

I am writing a Grove booklet on the biblical texts relating to same-sex unions. This is the first draft of my section on Genesis 1 and 2. All comments welcome; they might find their way into the final text! Genesis 1 and 2 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, in … Continue Reading

(When) should we retire?

The questions around an ageing population and retirement are perhaps the biggest social and financial challenges to Western democracies. To realise this you just need to know some basic statistics on UK Government spending in the current year. Defence        £46.6 bn       6% Education     £49.5 bn     … Continue Reading

The historic interpretation of 1 Tim 2

The Sunday lectionary in the Anglican version of the RCL is paying an occasional visit to the Pastorals just now. But it is neatly stepping over the most problematic passage for contemporary preaching, 1 Tim 2.8–15. The current debate about these verses is often characterised as being between those who maintain the ‘historic’ understanding of … Continue Reading