These Ten Times

In Num 14:22, Yahweh charges that Israel has tested Him “these ten times.” Ronald Allen offers this list of 10 rebellions in his Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1. Israel’s fear that Pharaoh would destroy them, Ex 14:10-12 2. Marah, Ex 15:22-24 3. Hunger in the wilderness, Ex . . . . Continue Reading »

Suffer Little Children

Jesus obviously welcomes children to Himself, but I wonder if there’s isn’t something more specific going on in the gospel stories about Jesus and children. Something like this: Jesus is the new Moses who calls Israel to follow Him to the promised land. Many in Israel refuse, and Jesus . . . . Continue Reading »

Guy on Me

Guy Waters devotes a chapter to my views on sacramental theology in his recent book. While much of it is a reasonably accurate summary of my various writings on this subject, he devotes a few pages to critique. Here are a few responses to that critique. 1) Waters rightly notes that my sacramental . . . . Continue Reading »

Dual creation

Assuming Gen 1:1 describes an act of creation and is not a title: It’s striking that the Gen account begins with the creation of two realms rather than a single entity or realm. Hesiod says that there was one reality, chaos; Anaximander says “together were all things”; Thales . . . . Continue Reading »

Inventing science

Bill Cavanaugh has argued that the early modern “wars of religion” were not really conflicts about religion but rather conflicts that created the modern notion of religion. Something similar can be said about the war between Scripture and science in the early modern period. In fact, . . . . Continue Reading »

Random notes

Wim JC Weren proposes a “macrostructure” for Matthew in a 2006 article in Biblica. His scheme is not convincing, but along the way he makes some helpful observations. 1) He suggests that there’s a topographical thread running through the gospel, marked by various recurrent . . . . Continue Reading »


Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel, One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self-Reliance . New York: St. Martin’s, 2005. 310 pp. PE classes are dangerous places. Dodge ball might leave nasty bruises, and, worse, the frustrations of competition and failure permanently . . . . Continue Reading »


Jeffrey Geoghegan examines the OT events that take place during sheep-shearing festivals in an article in Biblica . He tries to discern the common themes in the four passages set during sheep-shearing: Gen 31, 38; 1 Sam 25; 2 Sam 13. He argues that sheep-shearing was a “significant . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, July 9

When Jesus promises to send the Spirit, he describes the Spirit as the “Paraclete.” This word is often translated as “Comforter,” but the Greek word has a legal connotation and is actually closer to “Advocate” or even “Defense Attorney.” A Paraclete . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation, July 9

1 Samuel 16:2-3: But Samuel said, How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take a heifer with you, and say, I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. And you shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one . . . . Continue Reading »