Bible

The Battle of Gog and Magog

The battle of Gog and Magog is found in Ezekiel 38-39. My purpose in this brief essay is to propound an explanation for this passage that I have not encountered in any of my commentaries, but that makes more sense to me than any other. I offer it here in the hope that others can […]

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The Flying Scroll

And he said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits” (Zechariah 5:2). Immediately following his vision of the outpouring of the Spirit upon the restoration community (4:1-14), Zechariah saw a flying scroll. The interpreting angel told him that […]

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Navigating and Celebrating the Complexity of Scripture: A Conversation with Richard Hays

Editors’ note: For those interested in a review of Richard Hays’s latest book, see here. Richard Hays is a renowned New Testament scholar. The professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School originally studied English literature, giving his reading of Scripture a pronounced literary sensibility. He’s perhaps best known for his 1989 work, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of […]

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The Impracticality of Application

I have never heard anyone say that the Bible is impractical, but I have heard people, after an in depth exegesis of a passage, ask for the practical application. Offer a class on childrearing, marriage, finance and the church members flock to it; offer a course on Leviticus, the visions of Elijah, the importance of […]

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Biblical Allusion and the Meaning of Othello

Understanding Shakespeare’s Biblical references is vital for the interpretation of many, if not all, of Shakespeare’s plays. For Othello, it is especially important, not only because the interpretation of the play is contested among various approaches — feminist, homosexual, post-colonial, Marxist, Freudian, new historical, and others — but also and more importantly because, as I […]

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Priests to the Nations

Israel was supposed to be a priest to the nations (Ex. 19:6). Her water would cause their trees to grow. This was signified to all men when Israel came out of Egypt, for “then they came to Elim, where they were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the […]

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The Scriptures Made Strange

The history of the Reformation couldn’t adequately be recounted without discussing the remarkable role played by the relatively recent innovations and developments in book production and printing. The printing press facilitated the rapid production and dissemination of multiple copies of pamphlets and books, which enabled the Reformers to circulate their message with a velocity that […]

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Tomboys and Totems

“…a mystery without a solution, a horror story without savagery, a nightmare in which all the watches stop at noonday…” The Bestial Gardens of Men Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” (Luke 23:30) The following lines by Edgar Allan Poe, slightly reshaped, are the first […]

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Hear, O Israel!

In the last 40 odd years of studying the Bible, I have read more essays and commentaries on Deuteronomy 6:4 than I can recall. I have also more than twice changed my view on what should be the correct translation of Israel’s central confession. What is so complicated? After the call to give attention — […]

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