The Bible is full of iconic moments, well-known stories and famous sayings. If someone were to ask, “what is the most important event?” there would be a lot of great candidates. If things were narrowed down to only the Hebrew Bible (or the Old Testament as Christians call it), many people would say the creation of the world as recounted in Genesis 1 and 2. Nothing would ever happen if nothing existed so creation, to say the least, is a very solid choice for the most important event.
Interestingly, while Genesis 1 and 2 obviously matter, they are hardly referenced or alluded to in the rest of the Hebrew Bible. Even other creation accounts do not seem to specifically draw on Genesis. In fact the primaeval account, that is Genesis 1-11, which includes the famous stories of Cain and Abel, the Flood and the Tower of Babel, barely features in the rest of the Jewish scriptures. So what then is the most important event in the Hebrew Bible, even more important than God creating the world? Continue reading “The Greatest Event in the OT”
The Prophetic Tradition and Resisting Folk Religion
During the period of Judah and Israel’s monarchies, it was the prophets who resisted folk Yahwism, that is worshipping YHWH alongside the gods of indigenous folk religion. As I mentioned in the previous post, scholars have pointed out that Israel became truly monotheistic only after the Babylonian exile which brought independent monarchy to an end. With the national existential crisis of the destruction of the temple, the capital and exile from their homeland, the warnings of the prophets over the centuries that folk Yahwism will have disastrous consequences had been horrifically vindicated. Yet it was those same words that gave the people hope for restoration, refocusing and energizing them for covenant faithfulness to YHWH alone.
Continue reading “Folk Christianity (Part 4)”
The Prophetic Imagination by renowned Old Testament scholar and theologian Walter Brueggemann is a modern theological classic. Continue reading “Some thoughts on “The Prophetic Imagination””
In the video below Dr Tim Mackie, a Bible scholar and co-founder of The Bible Project, a crowd funded Christian animation studio whose wonderful videos I feature quite regularly, explores how biblical poetry can powerfully inform and motivate the work of Christian creatives.
Continue reading “Art and Biblical Poetry”
In the short video below The Bible Project takes us through how Jewish people have traditionally conceived of what Christians came to the call the Old Testament. Continue reading “The Tanakh”