The Problem with the Lectionary No One is Talking About

A friend of mine, years ago told me, “We always go to a liturgical worship service when we travel because regardless of anything else in the service, we can at least know that we will hear readings from the Bible.”  My friend offered sage advice, and yet I have a serious problem with the Christian […]

Sacrifice, I Do Not Desire…? Does Hebrews 10 End the Sacrificial System?

In this note, we consider what the writer of Hebrews meant when quoting Psalm 40, and whether recent Christian commentators have been adequately nuanced in their interpretations of the writer’s meaning. The language of Psalm 40 regarding sacrifice is notable, but not unique. The biblical writers expressed this thought in several variations. Below are a […]

Washing of Hands and “All Foods Clean” The Incongruities in Interpreting Mark 7

Mark 7 finds Jesus engaged in a normal discussion about the Torah and tradition, that seems to many Christians, to end in a note lifting Torah and tradition.  Jesus argues that the Pharisees and Scribe’s means of following the traditions of the elders invalidates the Law of the LORD.  However, if Jesus did as Christians […]

Arid and Dry

Sandmel responding the 19-20th century portrayals of 1st Century Judaism quips, “it is always called ‘arid and dry’ never one or the other, always both ‘arid and dry’.  Bible scholarship has tended to lean on the words of Jesus and the words of Paul to develop a picture of 1st Century Judaism.  The resulting portrayal […]

Israel, America, and the Church

For about two thousand years, the cultural narrative about the Jewish people was that they were rejected by God and could do no right.  For the past two hundred years, the Christian church has begun, in some quarters, to promote the idea that Israel is God’s chosen people and can do no wrong.  While this […]