The Question of Scripture

and the Christian Response: Historical and Literary Analysis

Public Survey/Display

The Bible - Gospel, Guide, or Garbage?

Who Do You Think Wrote This? (and instructions)

Is Religion Just a Cultural Thing? (and instructions)


The First Testament

From Garden to Exile:  A Thematic and Canonical Analysis of the First Testament

The Genesis Account and the Documentary Hypothesis

The Genesis Account and the Narrative of Science

Does the Bible Have Evidence of God's Design?  A Sociological Glance at the Torah

Why Did God Choose a "Chosen People"?  Why Not Just Skip Right to Jesus? (one document)

* Reason #1: To Be a Microcosm of All Humanity, Not a Race or Ethnicity

* Reason #2: To Live by God's Word and Hope for a Happy Ending

* Reason #3: To Diagnose the Evil Internal to Human Nature

* Reason #4: To Suffer on Behalf of the World

* Reason #5: To Document the Diagnosis

* Reason #6: To Anticipate God's Dwelling Within People

* Reason #7: To Oppose Pagan Temple Systems and Glimpse the Trinity

* Reason #8: To Anticipate the Messiah and His Mission

Is God a Misogynist?  Women in the Pentateuch (ppt part 1 and part 2)

The Rights of Women in the Bible part 1 and part 2

Slavery in the Bible, Slavery Today (and ppt)

The Troubling Acts of God:  Noah's Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Egyptian Firstborn, and the Canaanites

The Troubling Acts of God:  The Destruction of the Canaanites (ppt part 1 and part 2)


Helpful books and articles:

* Canon Garratt, The Samaritan Pentateuch (article, Mar 21, 1904) implications of the Samaritan Torah on higher criticism and textual analysis

* S.I. McMillen, M.D., None of These Diseases (Amazon book, 1963 originally) comparative medical anthropology

* Arthur Carl Piepkorn, What Does Inerrancy Mean? (Concordia Theological Monthly, Sep 1965), a Lutheran perspective

* Gordon Hugenberger, The Historicity of the Bible

* N.T. Wright, How Can the Bible Be Authoritative? (1989, 1991)

* Chuck Colson, The House of David (BreakPoint, Aug 6, 1996) archaeological attestation to King David

* Frank Moore Cross, From Epic to Canon: History and Literature in Ancient Israel (1998)

* Kevin D. Miller, Did the Exodus Never Happen? (Christianity Today, Sep 7, 1998)

* James K. Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (1999)

* James K. Hoffmeier, Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition (2005)

* Kenneth A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (2006)

* Christopher Seitz, Prophecy and Hermeneutics: Towards a New Introduction to the Prophets (Amazon book, Aug 1, 2007)

* Ben Witherington, The Relationship of the OT to the NT According to John Chrysostom (blog, Aug 28, 2007)

* William Dever, Archaeology of the Hebrew Bible (Nova, Nov 8, 2008)

* Christopher Seitz, The Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets: The Achievement of Association in Canon Formation (Amazon book, Oct 1, 2009) how the twelve minor prophets are related literarily

* Roger Isaacs, Passover In Egypt: Did the Exodus Really Happen? (Huffington Post, Apr 9, 2011)

* Brian LePort, A Survey of Views on the Historicity of Adam and Eve (The Archives Near Emmaus blog, Jun 5, 2012)

* Annette Gordon-Reid, Slavery's Shadow: Historians' Problems with Slave Narratives (New Yorker, Oct 23, 2013) and my reflection on the socio-political context of biblical narrative

* C.D. Elledge with Olivia Yeo, Rethinking the "Qumran Community": Recent Approaches (ASOR blog, Dec 13, 2013)

* James Wood, Why? The Fictions of Life and Death (The New Yorker, Dec 9, 2013) on why stories and especially the novel wrestles with death - removing the story as a literary form from its original theological context (Hebrew biblical narrative) only leaves a deeply unsettling, emotional question:  why?

* Brian Zahnd, My Problem with the Bible (blog, Feb 17, 2014)

* Sarah Knapton, Scientists: Noah's Ark Would Have Floated With 70,000 Animals If Built By Dimensions In The Bible (Business Insider, Apr 3, 2014)

* Peter Enns, N.T. Wright on Jesus, Adam, Paul, and Hermeneutics (youtube video, May 23, 2014)

* Anthony Grafton and James Grossman, Habits of Mind (The American Scholar, Dec 14, 2014): the second to last paragraph is an excellent statement about ancient historians

* Eric Metaxas, Archaeological Evidence for the Exodus and the Trial of Jesus (BreakPoint, Jan 14, 2015)

* Joshua Berman, Was There an Exodus? (Mosaic Magazine, Mar 2, 2015)

* Greg Boyd, Must We Deny Biblical Infallibility to “Disarm” Scripture? A Review of Derek Flood’s Disarming Scripture: Part 1 (ReKnew blog, Apr 13, 2015)

* Greg Boyd, Disarming Flood's Case Against Biblical Infallibility (ReKnew blog, Apr 14, 2015)

* Greg Boyd, Disarming Flood's Inadequate Conception of Biblical Authority (ReKnew blog, Apr 15, 2015)

* Sara C. Nelson, Goliath Gates of Ancient Biblical City Unearthed by Archaeologists (Huffington Post, May 8, 2015)

* Matthew W. Bates, The Birth of the Trinity: Jesus, God, and Spirit in New Testament and Early Christian Interpretations of the Old Testament (Academia paper, 2015) outstanding explanation of prosopological exegesis

* Luke Chandler, New Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription Published; What Does It Say? (Bible, Archaeology, Travel with Luke Chandler blog, Jun 3, 2015) about pottery with the name "Eshbaal" from 1 Chr.8:33 and 2 Sam.2 - 4, one of the sons of King Saul, born circa 1047 BC

* Eric Jobe, The Masoretic Hebrew vs. The Septuagint (Ancient Faith blog, Jul 29, 2015) about textual variants

* Golden Shofar, Critics of the Bible Silenced Again: Archaeological Discoveries Prove Old Testament To Be Accurate (Golden Shofar blog)

* Eric Metaxas, Hello, Hezekiah! (BreakPoint, Aug 18, 2015) archaeology confirms King Hezekiah

* Ari Rabinovitch, In Unique Discovery, Archaeologists Find King Hezekiah's Seal (Charisma News, Dec 2, 2015)

* John Stonestreet, The Discovery of Gath (BreakPoint, Dec 5, 2015) archaeology confirms the city of Goliath

* Nicholas St. Fleur, Story of Philistines Could Be Reshaped by Ancient Cemetery (NY Times, Jul 10, 2016)

* Nicholas Wade, Modern Technology Unlocks Secrets of a Damaged Biblical Scroll (NY Times, Sep 21, 2016) good example of textual transmission accuracy


How Storytelling and Song Help Us Interpret Scripture

* Mike Klimo, Ring Theory: The Hidden Artistry of the Star Wars Prequels (Star Wars Ring Theory, Oct 31, 2014) a lengthy but entertaining example of a chiasmus

* Frederic Limon, The Big Mistake in the Second (and Third) Hobbit Movies (video, Oct 24, 2014) makes a great observation about how music works in film which explains how literary allusions work in literature, including Scripture

* Screen Rant, Movies with Hidden Details in First and Final Scenes (youtube video, Aug 20, 2015) a helpful interpretive device

* Vox, Rapping Deconstructed: The Best Rhymers of All Time (Vox, May 19, 2016) a great 12 minute video explaining beats, bar lines, rhymes, implied words, and story - similar to Hebrew word play, alliteration, implied meanings, conceptual rhyming

* Michael Tucker, The Dark Knight — Creating the Ultimate Antagonist (Lessons from the Screenplay, Aug 23, 2016) the weakness in the protagonist

* Michael Tucker, Rogue One vs. The Force Awakens — The Fault in Our Star Wars (Lessons from the Screenplay, Apr 30, 2017) about passive vs. active protagonists

* Eric Voss, Wonder Woman Theme - Why It Evokes Intense Power (New Rockstars, Jun 9, 2017)


How Words Are Determined by Their Context

* N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, Chapter 1: The Sun and the Arrows (book, May 2003), see "I'm mad about my flat"

* Mark Nichol, 75 Contronyms (Words With Contradictory Meanings) (Daily Writing Tips, Sep 14, 2011)

* Saturday Night Live, Bushwick, Brooklyn 2015 (Saturday Night Live, Jan 18, 2015) hilarious comedic sketch urban black and suburban white use of words

* Margot Robbie, 50 Australian Slang Terms in Under 4 Minutes (Vanity Fair, Jul 6, 2016)

* Jessica Brown, English Words That Have Totally Different Meanings Around the World (Indy100, Oct 16, 2016)

* Austin Sarat, Trump's Loose Talk Came Back to Haunt Him in Judge's Travel Ban Ruling (The Guardian, Mar 15, 2017) shows how words have a context

* Yahoo! Answers, How is "Hold You Down" a Good Thing? (Yahoo! Answers)


The New Testament

The Art of Biblical Narrative:  Special Focus on Luke-Acts

The Art of Biblical Narrative:  A Workshop on Luke 5:1 - 16

Reconciling the Gospels: The Demoniac Stories

The Resurrection of Jesus:  Its History and Meaning

The Formation of the New Testament

Why Not the Gospel of Thomas?  Or Judas?

The Rights of Women in the Bible part 1 and part 2

Women in Church Leadership part 1 and part 2

Women in Church Leadership and Biblical Translation

How to Experience God in Scripture (video, Jan 4, 2015)


Helpful books and articles:

* Athanasius of Alexandria, Letter 39 (367 AD) lists the 66 books of the Bible

* Simon Greenleaf, Testimony of the Evangelists (article, 1846): co-founder of Harvard Law School explains the investigation that led him to Jesus  

* C.S. Lewis, "Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism" in the book Christian Reflections

* Kenneth Bailey, Informal Controlled Oral Tradition and the Synoptic Gospels

* G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man (pdf, 1925)

* Gary Habermas, The Resurrection of Jesus: A Rational Inquiry (dissertation, 1976)

* Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (book, Aug 1998)

* N.T. Wright, The Resurrection as a Historical Problem (article, 1988)

* N.T. Wright, How Can the Bible Be Authoritative? (1989, 1991)

* N.T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (pdf book, Feb 1992)

* N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (pdf book, Aug 1997)

* Jefferson White, Evidence and Paul's Journeys (book, Jan 2001) and summary by the author

* N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (pdf book, Mar 2003)

* Alan Millard, Literacy in the Time of Jesus: Could His Words Have Been Recorded in His Lifetime? (Biblical Archaeology Society, Jul/Aug 2003)

* William Lane Craig vs. Bart Ehrman: Is There Historical Evidence for Jesus' Resurrection (debate video Mar 28, 2006)

* Ben Witherington, The Relationship of the OT to the NT According to John Chrysostom (blog, Aug 28, 2007)

* Rodney Stark, Discovering God: The Origins of the Great Religions and the Evolution of Belief (book, 2007): Stark came to Jesus through historical sociology of religion

* Stephen Colbert, Interview with Bart Ehrman (Colbert Report video, Apr 9, 2009): a very funny defense of the validity of the four Gospel accounts

* N.T. Wright, Can a Scientist Believe in the Resurrection (lecture Dec , 2007)

* Greg Boyd, Is There Archaeological Support for the Reliability of the Gospels? (ReKnew blog, Jan 2008)

* N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope (pdf book, Feb 2008)

* Kata Christon blog, Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities - A Critique (blog, Dec 27, 2010)

* Peter J. Williams, Eyewitnesses to Jesus? New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Gospels (Veritas Forum lecture Apr 2012)

* Gary Habermas, The Resurrection Argument That Changed a Generation of Scholars (Veritas Forum lecture Nov 2012)

* N.T. Wright, Israel in Pauline Theology (video, Mar 20, 2014)

* Amnon Rosenfeld, Howard Feldman, Wolfgang Krumbein, The Authenticity of the James Ossuary (Open Journal of Geology, Mar 2014)

* Randall Collins, Jesus in Interaction: The Micro-Sociology of Charisma (blog, Apr 12, 2014)

* Michael Bird, How God Became Jesus: Bart Ehrman Gets It Wrong (ABC News, Apr 16, 2014)

* Steve Caruso, The Final Nail in the Coffin for the Gospel of Jesus' Wife (The Aramaic New Testament, Apr 25, 2014)

* Jerry Pattengale, How the Jesus' Wife Hoax Fell Apart (The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2014)

* N.T. Wright, Fireside Chat About Reading and Internalizing Scripture (youtube video, Jul 7, 2014)

* Michael Fitzgerald, Jesus the Consummate Story Teller (Boston Globe, Sep 7, 2014)

* Zack Hunt, ISIS and the Good Samaritan (The American Jesus, Sep 22, 2014)

* Frederic Limon, The Big Mistake in the Second (and Third) Hobbit Movies (video, Oct 24, 2014) makes a great observation about how music works in film which explains how literary allusions work in literature, including Scripture

* David Gibson, Forget Santa Claus, Virginia.  Was There a Jesus Christ? (Religion News Service, Dec 19, 2014)

* Tom Belt and Dwayne Polk, The Colors of the Cross (An Open Orthodoxy blog, Jan 3, 2015)

* N.T. Wright Online (website) for classes taught by Dr. Wright

* Rod Dreher, How Bibliotherapy Works (The American Conservative, Jan 21, 2015)

* Mark Tooley, Evangelicals Must Resist Mainline Protestant Trajectory (Juicy Ecumenism blog, Feb 19, 2015)

* Tony Costa, Was Adoptionism the Earliest Christology? A Response to Bart Ehrman (paper)

* James Bishop, Extra-Biblical Evidence for the Historical Jesus (James Bishop blog, Apr 5, 2015)

* Rachel Marie Stone, What One of the Anti-Vaccination Movement's Least Favorite Doctors Discovered About Jesus (Washington Post, Apr 13, 2015)

* Isabel Kershner, A Carved Stone Block Upends Assumptions About Ancient Judaism (NY Times, Dec 8, 2015) the Magdala Stone in the synagogue

* Michael J. Kruger, Did Papias Know the Apostle John? (blog, Apr 4, 2016) an argument for the four Gospels being known by their current names by the end of the 1st century

* Brice C. Jones, The Earliest Greek Manuscript of the Didache (P.Oxy.15.1782) (blog Apr 14, 2016) to 4th century Egypt, in small book (handheld codex) form

* Michael Gryboski, Archaeology Discovery: First Century Synagogue Confirms New Testament Accounts of Jesus Christ (Christian Post, Aug 16, 2016) should be titled "...New Testament Accounts of Rural Synagogues"!

* Top Tenz, Top 10 Horrifying Facts About the Roman Legions (Top Tenz, Dec 6, 2016)

* Dave Armstrong, 10-Point Biblical Refutation of Sola Scriptura (National Catholic Register, Dec 11, 2016)


Hope Filled Full:  How the New Testament Quotes from the Old Testament
Part One:  The New Testament and the Hopes of the Pentateuch

Part Two:  The New Testament and the Hopes of Isaiah

Part Three:  The New Testament and the Hopes of the Psalms

Part Four:  The New Testament and the Hopes of the Septuagint


Studies of Scripture:

The Torah (Teaching)

The Nevi'im (Prophets)

The Ketuvim (Writings)

The Messiah (Gospels, Acts, Letters)



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