Bible

201 posts

Why “Shepherd”?

This past Sunday was “Good Shepherd Sunday,” so-called because of the reading from John 10. The entire chapter is full of sheep and shepherd imagery and, for many of us, it is a reminder of how far away from that agrarian experience we are. A colleague on Facebook asked, “So what’s a good 21st C equivalent of a Good Shepherd? Good Librarian? Good Trash Collector? Good Barista?” I think it is an excellent question, a […]

Blessings and Woe: For Everything There is a Season

This past Sunday our Gospel reading was Luke 6:17-26. After a short preamble, Jesus begins his “sermon on the plain.” 6:20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and […]

“Whoever is not against us is for us.”

What does Jesus really mean when he says “whoever is not against us is for us”? This concept comes up in the Gospel reading for this past Sunday, Mark 9:38-40 (Proper 21, Yr. B), and in the parallel in Luke 9:49-50. (Matt. 12:30 and Luke 11:23 have a similar, yet different phrase in a different context, “he who is not with me is against me.” We will return to that.) In Mark and Luke the […]

Lectionary Sermon Preparation Resources

My good friend and fellow scholar and clergy member Dr. Richard Wright has started a new(ish) blog with Greek and Hebrew resources following the Lectionary, Plenum creaturis. Rick has provided notes on the Hebrew (Aramaic) and Greek texts assigned for the given week based upon the Revised Common Lectionary. It is well worth looking at and a great help for those whose seminary training included little language instruction. This should be on every preacher’s blogroll […]

Congratulations to Jeremy Schipper!

Kudos to Jeremy Schipper of Temple U,  a friend and colleague who is very deserving of being awarded a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship! As a Guggenheim Fellow, Schipper will be writing a book currently titled Demark Vesey’s Bible: Biblical Interpretation and the Trial that Changed a Nation. In 1822, Denmark Vesey, a formerly enslaved man of African descent, was convicted of plotting an insurrection in Charleston, South Carolina. The book focuses on uses of biblical texts […]

A close reading of Ruth

Holy cow, this is a bad survey question about Scripture

Many of you know that last year I was the interim rector of an Episcopal parish going through transition. Requiring an interim is one of the better things that the Episcopal church does, and the thoughtful review and reflection process is another. This year I took up a new role as the inaugural dean of the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky. It so happens that the church I am attending here has […]

The Grace of Together

After tragedy has occurred to us, fallen upon us, how do we walk on, lacing up those painful shoes I talked about in my poor analogy? How do we carry on, day after day? We must begin by being open to and accepting the grace that is offered to us. I consider what happed to the Man and the Woman after they had chosen to forge their own path, a path that led away from God […]

Gestation – 9 Months of Sermons

In the human life a lot can happen in nine months. This past year I was the interim rector of St. Bartholomew’s in Nashville for exactly nine months and preached almost every Sunday. I have posted few of those sermons here, but I have compiled them all into one PDF for any who might be interested. You can still hear the audio versions on the St. B’s website. Download “Gestation.” May the words of my […]

The Illumination of Archaeology

Recently (July 2017) there was a story about “ancient Canaanite DNA” disproves the Bible. For example, The Independent in the UK had this headline: “Bible says Canaanites were wiped out by Israelites but scientists just found their descendants living in Lebanon.” Except, of course, that the Bible says no such thing. This comes up with reasonable frequency, some discovery offers interesting insight into the world of the ancient Levant, but in order get clicks and sell stories they are framed […]

Valmadonna Collection Purchased by the National Library of Israel – Targum MS in Museum of the Bible

UPDATE: The Targum manuscript Valmadonna 1 was sold separately to the Museum of the Bible. This is very good news! It appears the entire a portion of the collection has been purchased by the Israeli National Library. As I shared several years ago Sotheby’s was exhibiting and the family seeking to sell this incredibly important collection. It is particularly important for Targum scholars because it includes Valmadonna 1 (formerly Sassoon 282). The Sotheby’s catalogue described the […]