Re-writing Christmas

Is it possible to challenge tradition in a positive way, and tell the Christmas story in a way faithful to the text of Scripture? Stephen Kuhrt at Christchurch New Malden thinks so. CHILDREN’S CAROL SERVICE AT CHRIST CHURCH NEW MALDEN 2013: ‘IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO!’ Stephen writes: Each year at Christ Church, New Malden, we have … Continue Reading

Was Luke wrong about the date of Jesus’ birth?

Last week I watched the film Gravity. The effects were spectacular, the photography breathtaking, the characterisations engaging, and the story held one’s attention throughout. It even raised some profound (religious?) questions about life, death and purpose. And yet, when I left the cinema, I could not decide whether I had enjoyed the film or not. For … Continue Reading

Aristotle and the Household Codes

One of the puzzles about the ending of some of the letters in the New Testament is knowing how to read the ‘household management codes’ in Ephesians 5:21-6:9, Colossians 3:12-4:6 and 1 Peter 2:11-3:22. Most of Paul’s letters, once the theological argument is done, have specific instructions on practical living  (‘the indicative followed by the imperative’), but in these … Continue Reading

‘Bible’s Buried Secrets’ iii: planting ideas in Eden?

This week saw the broadcast of the third and last of the series with Francesca Stavrakopoulou supposedly exposing the real meaning of the Bible and thus over-turning centuries of tradition. My reflections on the previous two episodes can be found here and here.

In some ways this episode exhibited the same issues as the first two, though I thought the arguments much less coherent, with more evidence of jumping to unfounded conclusions without setting out

Continue Reading‘Bible’s Buried Secrets’ iii: planting ideas in Eden?

Buried secrets—or hidden assumptions?

Last night was the second episode of the BBC’s The Bible’s Buried Secrets. Go here for my comments on the first programme. This one covered different areas, but for me was more disappointing.

Once again, Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou (whom I will call FS for short) set up from the outset a sharp dichotomy between religious and ‘objective’ views.

Although FS presents her conclusions as

Continue ReadingBuried secrets—or hidden assumptions?

What did the ‘Bible’s Buried Secrets’ Unearth?

Last Wednesday saw the first of three programmes, ‘The Bible’s Buried Secrets’, in which Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou of Exeter University looked at what archaeology tells us about the Old Testament. This first episode explored whether there was evidence for King David’s ’empire.’

What did we learn?

1. Subjective Bible versus Objective History?
From the opening, Stavrakopoulou and other commentators

Continue ReadingWhat did the ‘Bible’s Buried Secrets’ Unearth?