Unveiling the Scriptures – 4

We continue our study by a look at Scriptural exegesis during the period of the Second Temple. Second Temple Exegesis It is important to understand how the Scriptures were read during this period. Because the Scriptures functioned as the repository of Israel’s poignant and sometimes desperate hopes, people read and re-read them carefully, mining them thoroughly to extract every bit of meaning—especially hidden meanings not immediately obvious to the casual reader. This…

Unveiling the Scriptures – 3

This series continues with an examination of the Scriptural tradition during the period of the kings of Israel. The Period of the Kings This situation began to slowly change under the kings of Israel and Judah. There had always been prophets in Israel, but they functioned more as seers and diviners than as sources of theological revelation. Thus when young Saul lost his family’s donkeys, he went to ask a seer where…

Unveiling the Scriptures – 2

We continue this series with an examination of the Scriptures in the Mosaic period. The Mosaic Period It was with Moses that the first written records of God’s dealings with His people began to be written. But even then, the main gift was that of presence, not message. When God appeared to Moses at the burning bush, He came with fire, not with a text. And He promised to liberate His people…

Unveiling the Scriptures – 1

Some months ago it was arranged by the good people of the Russian Orthodox diocese of Souroz in Britain that I would give a talk at their diocesan conference at the end of this month entitled Unveiling the Scriptures. That plan came to grief with the coming of the Covid virus which resulted in our government cancelling flights to Britain and the cancellation of the conference itself. But the talk has long…

Will You Remember Me?

Lately I was listening to Jann Arden’s poignant song Will You Remember Me? and it occurred to me that in one hundred years from now, no one would. In this I am, of course, hardly unique: in one hundred years from now, no one will remember you either, nor will they remember anyone currently reading this blog. My children will remember me, and my grandchildren after them (though for them grandpa will…

You Might be a Fundamentalist

I remember once hearing a light-hearted and self-deprecating bit of comedy from a country music station, in which the person repeatedly said, “You might be a red-neck if…” followed by a series of scenarios. For example, “You might be a red-neck if you cut your grass and find your truck”. “You might be a red-neck if you to go to family reunions to meet women”. “You might be a red-neck if you…