Criticism

24 posts

Who would believe in horsemanship but not horses?

No one. This is from “Existential Comics,” always a good read, and reminded me of Lamentations. I recall coming across those who argued that the biblical author(s) critiquing/challenging God about the justice of allowing Jerusalem to be destroyed was an example of the erosion of faith. It always occurred to me that it is quite the opposite. One doesn’t challenge the “justice” or “mercy” of an entity one doesn’t believe in. Lament is the most […]

MA Thesis – “Joseph, Dreams, And Interpretation”

It is interesting to me that the most viewed publication of mine on Academia.edu is my master’s thesis, “Joseph, Dreams, And Interpretation: A Study of the Stylistic and Rhetorical Features of the Dreams in the Joseph Narrative.” This was submitted for approval 20 years ago this May. (I submitted my dissertation on “The Midrash of the Ten Songs” for my Graduate Diploma [now MSt] to the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the […]

Plausible Origins – Virgin Births?

I stumbled across a post by Vince Vitale who was responding to a challenge from a friend, a retired Princeton professor, who stated simply, “I cannot believe in the virgin birth.” There is no doubt that this is an assertion of the Gospels that regularly meets with doubt and shrugs by many, including among the clergy. But is it really more astounding than other miracles asserted in the Bible? And, Vitale points out, is it […]

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? A lesson in argument

From Dorothy L. Sayers. Again, I am struck by how contemporaneous and relevant her decades old criticism is. (Does that make me a romantic or her a prescient thinker?) A glib speaker in the Brains Trust once entertained his audience (and reduced the late Charles Williams to helpless rage) by asserting that in the Middle Ages it was a matter of faith to know how many archangels could dance on the point of a needle. […]

“Theodicy or idiocy”?

Scenes From A Multiverse – A daily comic about life by Jon Rosenberg (a fellow Cornellian). He does bring up some good points. (Oh, and in case you don’t read the title above the comic, in which case you probably aren’t reading this either, the piratey looking fellow being interviewed is “Original God.” All installments can be found here.)  

A good reminder about miracles

“Nothing is esteemed a miracle, if it ever happens in the common course of nature.” — David Hume, Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding, Section X, Part 1, para. 91. It seems to me one of the things that the Jesus Seminar so frequently forgets is that the Gospel writers understood miracles just as did Hume. They were describing something outside of the normal course of nature, that is, something miraculous.  

How many languages does it take to get to the center?

Duane of Abnormal Interests offers This Isn’t Kindergarten in response to James’ “Essential Languages for New Testament Study” which was, in turn, a follow up to Larry’s discussion of what languages are essential to NT studies. Duane ups the ante quite a bit. Any serious student of the first two centuries CE needs to know not only Hellenistic Greek, but more than a smattering of Aramaic, Hebrew (including Rabbinic Hebrew), Syriac, Coptic and Latin. And if you are interested in Hebrew Bible, […]

“New Atheism Redux” Evolution & Religion…again

Frankly, these debates exhaust me and I have little use or time for wading through the morass of words generated by all combatants. This was a very nice article, however, from Michael Ruse on the Chronicle of Higher Education, an atheist against the New Atheists. A snippet: Most of all I detest the New Atheism because I think it is playing into the hands of the Religious Right. The way fundamentalism—scientific creationism, creation science, intelligent-design […]

I’m as popular as Jim West, I just know I am!

Well, my site may not be as popular as our reigning #1 Biblioblogger, but I think I have figured out why I fare so poorly in the Alexa rankings. It isn’t that I am blogging far less frequently or that people aren’t interested in what I have to say (well, that could be it, but I resolutely refused to accept it; I reject your reality and substitute my own). Rather it is that Alexa ranks […]

Genesis of Evil

My prior post about Gen. 3 and how (and why) Eve and Adam realize that they are naked has generated a lot of excellent comments. Please do be sure to read them all. A number of comments are addressing the origin of evil and I wanted to remind folks of my earlier post from two weeks ago on this topic. I realize that my somewhat unorthodox reading may have been lost within the post since […]