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How Historical is the Bible?

Excavations of ancient Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee The Bible is not all history, but all the Bible is history. That first phrase is pretty much straightforward. The Bible is composed of much more than straight history—what happened, when, by whom, etc. It contains poetry, parables, prophetic...

I’m A Viking! (Sorta)

For my birthday in August Pam bought me one of those DNA tests where you can learn about your heritage by mailing in some spit. I’m not sure she’s as interested in my heritage as wondering, after 37 years of marriage, if there is some genetic mutation that would explain me to her. I have a friend who sent...

Blaming Foreigners is not New. Or True.

It was the foreigners, they said. They’re to blame. At the time of Jesus the Jews had been blaming foreigners for their own idolatry, and they had been doing it for over four hundred years. So long that it was just accepted wisdom. It’s a familiar narrative, derived for the most part from the Chronicler’s...

Getting Past Perfect

A couple of years ago I surprised Pam by taking her to one of those do-it-yourself painting studios. This particular session was “Paint Your Pet” I had emailed them a couple of pictures of our beagle Kobi, which they sketched in pencil on a canvas. The instructors showed us how to mix the acrylic paints to...

Good and Evil and the Untrained Eye

In Matthew 13 Jesus tells a parable about a man with a wheat field. During the night, some guy with a really, really bad attitude snuck in and sowed some weeds among the wheat. Which is interesting because weeds are the kind of things that don’t need sowing. They just appear. But these aren’t ordinary...

Our Treatment of Outsiders Can Put Us in Some Strange Company

“Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt,” the Israelites were enjoined. “Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.” (Deuteronomy 5:15) Thus Moses instructed the people of Israel. Remember. Remember what it was like to be a slave. Remember when every day was the...

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