Category Archives: Church

The freedom and responsibility of Biblical Studies

Recently, I summarized a theme in the Old Testament and was told that I could not express it in that way, because it is not how contemporary theologians would address it. I replied that I was not primarily stating a … Continue reading

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Those children of Israel of whom there is no memory

The apocryphal book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) contains a hymn to the ancestors of the Jews. It starts in chapter 44 Let us now sing the praises of famous men, our ancestors in their generations. The Lord apportioned to them great … Continue reading

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Idolatry in the Bible

In recent months I have noticed the concept of idolatry being quite frequently used in Christian (and maybe post-Christian) contexts. Sometimes it struck me as a bit odd, because sometimes what people were accusing as idolatry and therefore as wrong … Continue reading

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The direction of the Old Testament

In my last post I discussed Notger Slenczka’s essay about the relevance of the Old Testament for the Church. In this post I want to respond to part of Slenczka’s further elaboration. In defence of his thesis that the Old … Continue reading

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The Old Testament as part of Christian Scriptures

In this post I’ll depart from my usual topic of illustrating the world of the Bible to discussing aspects of the Bible’s relevance for today. I want to pick up a theological discussion that has even spilled over into the … Continue reading

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Bethlehem inculturated

Pounding rain drives us to walk faster along the medieval streets. Here Roman centurions were stationed, here Muslim and Jew lived in the West, here archbishops rode between palace and cathedral and scholars wandered through the world’s first university town … Continue reading

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Manger scene

The outlines of snowy mountains rise above the still lake. Stars shine in the cold winter sky. Candles flicker among some of the tombstones as we make our way down the steep cemetery steps. Here and there small patches of … Continue reading

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