Is Epiphany a myth of Matthew?

The Feast of the Epiphany in the church’s liturgical calendar is based on the events of Matt 2.1–12, the visit of the ‘wise men’ from the East to the infant Jesus. There are plenty of things about the story which might make us instinctively treat it as just another part of the constellation of Christmas traditions, … Continue Reading

Looking to God for help in Psalm 121

Richard Bauckham writes: Psalm 121 is one of the psalms that seem especially appropriate for a time of pandemic, and so it may be helpful to explain and reflect on it a little. It is a quite well-known psalm, remembered especially for its distinctive opening line: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills.” … Continue Reading

Facing death with Easter hope

Richard Bauckham writes: “The message of Easter is hope, and hope is what we very much need in these times.” Something like that is what many church leaders interviewed in the media were saying around Eastertime. Unfortunately, to people who know nothing much at all about what Easter celebrates, it can come across as a rather … Continue Reading

What do interlocking ‘coincidences’ say about the reliability of the NT?

When we read the gospels and Paul’s letters carefully, it becomes apparent that there are lots of details which serve no obvious purpose, but which connect them into a plausible fabric giving a reliable account of events. These have been explored most fully by Lydia McGrew in her books Hidden in Plain View and The Mirror or … Continue Reading

How does the Spirit help resolve critical questions about the Bible?

In my previous post, I highlighted the dilemma we find ourselves in when there is a dissonance between our experience of hearing God speak through Scripture and our experience of engaging in more reflective study of the same texts. I characterised these two sets of experiences as follows:   Immediacy — Delay Clarity — Ambiguity Relevance … Continue Reading

Does critical thinking lead to sceptical theology?

Last month, John Inge, the Bishop of Worcester, wrote in the Church Times an eirenic but penetrating review of Sceptical Christianity: Exploring credible belief by Robert Reiss: He believes that we should engage with his doubts — about the Virgin birth, the incarnation, the resurrection and life after death, to name some. His heroes, whom he quotes … Continue Reading