Category Archives: The B-I-B-L-E

Bibles to Beck!

Serene Jones, president of the faculty at Union Theological Seminary, is sending Bibles to Glenn Beck, who is no fan of liberation theology, or Biblically-based social justice.

She’s thoughtfully marked the pertinent passages, too.

How do you define “abomination?”

Be careful, when referring to the Book of Leviticus’s use of it, says Jay Michaelson, at Religion Dispatches. “Abomination” may well be a mistranslation.

Yet another example of the problem with literalism

Sis. Kick sends this, a quote from an ancestor (mine, not hers):

There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral.

That’s from Alexander Campbell, bless his heart, though the source called him “Rev.¬†Alexander Campbell,” which is inaccurate because c of Cers don’t use honorific titles like “Rev.” But oh-well.

I don’t usually like to commit this early in a relationship, but:

I am just now into “Bible Babel,” by Kristin Swenson.

Anyone read it yet? I’m really, really loving it. It’s clear-eyed and easy to read and absolutely dissects the fruitlessness of trying to literally interpret the Bible.

Anyway. Consider this my endorsement. Watch book sales shoot up by one, maybe two whole books.

Sir Ian McKellan explains

And thanks, Sis. Sharon, for the link.

Do you think this is true?

And thanks, Digg, for the link.

What Jesus said about people who abuse children

As interpreted by Matthew S. Rindge, who teaches religious studies at Gonzaga University. He wrote:

Jesus’ following saying seems especially pertinent to the current Vatican sex abuse scandal. Referring to children as “little ones,” he warns, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt 18:6).

To those who might hurt a child, Jesus offers suicide as an alternative and perhaps surprising course of action. The intent of his instruction here is not retributive. The goal is not punishment of the abuser but protection of potential victims. Taking one’s life is preferable, he claims, to harming a child. So, too, it seems, is self-mutilation. Jesus considers harming children so vile that he claims hell awaits those who “put a stumbling block” before them. One can, however, avoid this “eternal fire” by cutting off one’s body parts that might damage a child (Matt 18:7-9).

Allowing Matthew 18 to speak meaningfully today does not require a literalistic insistence that (potential) abusers take their own lives or mutilate themselves. But the text insists upon exploring every possible option before harming a child. Thousands of children’s lives could have been saved if abusers had explored alternatives. They explored instead the lives, bodies, and souls of vulnerable little ones.

You can read the rest here.