Thoughts on the Prophets and Jesus

Studying the Hebrew prophets is a regular act of realizing that, as Abraham Heschel addressed, distinguishing between the pathos of the prophet & the pathos God is often impossible. In Jeremiah, for example, it can be unclear if it is Jeremiah who is weeping for his people or God.

Job: The Enemy of God?

Today’s one year Bible reading passage from the Hebrew scriptures begins the Book of Job.

Some Quick Thoughts On Popular Christian Memes About The 2017 Eclipse

1. Total Solar Eclipses Are Not Rare, But Seeing One May Be Although an individual, remaining in a single region her or his whole life, may never see a total eclipse or perhaps witness such an eclipse only once or twice in a lifetime, the occurrences of total eclipses is not rare. Total solar eclipses happen somewhere in the world about every 18 …

Tensions in the Bible: Paul and James

I’ve had several different conversations this week about tensions in the Bible, and how we often want to minimize, explain away, or ignore those tensions.  It reminded me of some material from a post I wrote several years ago, reworked and updated here:

A Name Reveals A Lot

Sometimes the scripture has these often brief, but revealing, almost tongue-in-cheek elements (that I love) in which it feels like the reader is sort of let in on a joke or a story where everything may not quite be what it seems. In the Book of Judges, the people come to Gideon and say, “Rule over us, you and your son …


Purim is a holiday celebrated by Jewish people for centuries to commemorate the defeat of Haman, who had plotted to have all the Jews massacred in the kingdom of the Xerxes, king of Persia. This sinister plot is revealed and ultimately stopped due to the boldness of Esther and her uncle Mordecai. You can read all about this in the Book of …

Where Jesus Lived

Though, according to the Gospels, Jesus’ childhood was in Nazareth, his home as an adult was in Capernaum, located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee.  

“Blood Moon” Passages in the Bible

In light of tonight’s celestial event, I thought it would be good list the passages in scripture that refer to the “moon turning to blood.”  There are three such passages, with one being a duplicate:  Peter’s quote of Joel on the Day of Pentecost (the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, or “Weeks”).  The other is from the book of Revelation.  While there are …

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Marc Brettler: “A Jewish Perspective on the New Testament”

The 2015 David S. Lobel Visiting Scholar Lecture at Stanford was given by Dr. Marc Brettler, co-editor of the Jewish Annotated New Testament (JANT) with Amy Jill Levine.  In the lecture Dr. Brettler gives some background on the work of the JANT, and then gives examples of his understanding of the Jewish context of several passages in the New Testament.  The lecture begins 5 …