David Fitch: On Being On The Wrong Side of History

David Fitch: On Being On The Wrong Side of History

I don’t really know David Fitch‘s views or positions on most issues (though I can guess), but I enjoyed this article. I’ve thought for a while that “The wrong side of history” is a phrase that has very little meaning in terms of rational debates, especially about issues of justice (where too often the oppressed have not been those writing history).  It has been an especially troublesome phrase when it is used to simplistically (and erroneously, as Fitch points out) argue that the church and followers of Jesus have consistently been “on the wrong side of history” in terms of social issues.   Continue reading

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1913: Seeds of Conflict — Pre-WW1 Palestine and the Roots of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

1913: Seeds of Conflict — Pre-WW1 Palestine and the Roots of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Last night PBS presented a well done and very basic introduction to some of the late 19th-early 20th century history of the issues at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The title is 1913: Seeds of Conflict.  It contains great photos and (newly discovered) film from the early 20th century, and is full of dramatized snippets of Arab, Jewish, and Christian sources.  Here’s the synopsis from PBS:

Explore an overlooked moment in pre-WWI Palestine when people’s identities overlap and Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities intermingle freely, yet few can contemplate the conflict that would engulf their region for the next century.

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Biblical Hebrew Resources: Hebrew Bibles

Biblical Hebrew Resources: Hebrew Bibles

Some of you have asked about resources for learning, studying, and reading Biblical Hebrew. I’m sorry that it has taken so long to respond. In the next series of posts, I will list some beginning texts that I think are both essential and helpful. Please note: these are the hard-copy versions of these works. Many of them you can also purchase using Bible study software like Accordance or Logos, and sometimes the larger works cost less in these digital formats than in hard copies. While I introduce them here, I will discuss biblical studies software more fully in later posts.

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A Son and His Dad

The “prodigal son” story is really about “prodigal sons“.

Even the son who stays home, who works hard to please his father—to be just like his dad—can miss the nuances that make all the difference: It wasn’t the kind of business dad ran or its success, but (as the younger son recognized) how he treated his employees and those around him. It wasn’t the words he spoke, but why he spoke them…and to whom…and how. Continue reading

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The New Yorker on Everett Fox and Bible Translation

The New Yorker on Everett Fox and Bible Translation

Really good article in the New Yorker about Everett Fox’s fantastic (in my opinion) translations of the Hebrew scriptures.  I have yet to read another translator who has so accurately captured the feel of the Hebrew text. While some have criticized the English of Fox’s work, I think (with others) that a text from a foreign language and culture should continue to feel foreign even in translation.  One of the aspects of meaning is the world of the source language. Continue reading

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