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Light shines from / a thousand prisms, / hung on golden filigree, / above the hall below, / where sheltered men / wear sheltering talitot / and stand and sit and / chant a thousand / shadowed words, / which had once been / written bold and in the light. Where are the Deborahs to lead the fight? Where your Huldahs to interpret sacred scrolls aright? Read more
Proverbs 31:10–31 is one of the better-known passages of the Old Testament. Many of us hear sermons preached from this text every Mother’s Day, yet these sermons often miss the meaning of this passage. Many pastors hold up the Proverbs 31 woman as the model for all women, yet they present a distorted and limited view of women, hindered as they are by imprecise English translations. Given the weight placed upon the Proverbs 31 woman as an example of “biblical womanhood,” it is essential that we correct our reading of the text. One of the best ways we can do this is by returning to a more literal or primary-sense translation. Read more
And by faith, Sarah, herself, a barren [woman], received power for the purpose of depositing sperm [by Abraham], even though [at] a time of mature age, since she considered faithful the one who promised.1                        —Hebrews 11:11 This past week, I learned that my friend Juliana gave birth to her first child, a beautiful son, whom she and her husband named Filip. She had not broadcast her pregnancy (even I did not know about it), but for good reason, I think: She did not want to get her hopes too high. Her first child had died in uterus, strangled by the umbilical cord. Read more
The patriarchal narratives of Genesis have long been read as paradigms of divine/human relationships. Abraham is often viewed as the exemplar of life in relationship with God, the man who follows God’s initiative, believes God’s promises, and is declared righteous as a result (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:1–25). Abraham’s departure from Haran can be read as “a paradigmatic test of faith,” while subsequent interactions with the Lord display “the human attitude toward the proffered salvation” that presents “in an exemplary and vivid fashion the activity and passivity of the person called.”1 Isaac and Jacob demonstrate, in different ways, God’s ability and faithfulness to continue and protect divine promises in the face of various challenges and detours. Jacob is “a work in progress—another of God’s reclamation projects” who “has done nothing to deserve God’s attention” but who nevertheless receives God’s presence and comfort.2 Read more
Until his retirement in 1978, Frederick Fyvie Bruce, 78, occupied the prestigious John Rylands Chair of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at Manchester University in England. Today, he continues to be the dean of evangelical biblical scholars. The following interview was conducted by W. Ward Gasque and Laurel Gasque, who recently visited with Professor and Mrs. Bruce in their home in England. Read more
The book of Ruth is one of my favorites. A literary masterpiece, it offers a rich exploration of God’s providence, a theology of mission, and a case study in a plethora of Christian virtues, including courage, trust, generosity, hospitality, sacrifice, humility, kindness, compassion, friendship, stewardship, purity, perseverance, faith, hope, and love. There is a harvest and thanksgiving theme as well as an eschatological one. It is no accident that observant Jews make the book of Ruth the liturgical centerpiece for the twin feasts of Pentecost and First Fruits (Shavuot). Read more
Barak may be the most misunderstood hero in the entire Bible. For years, this thoughtful warrior who insured a victory by forgoing personal glory to partner up with God’s anointed spokeswoman Deborah has been dismissed out of hand by simplistic, popular readings of his complex egalitarian story. Read more
I saw the angels. God’s holy angels. It’s all I used to talk about: Angels and the baby with the tired young mother. It was something to see. Scared me to death. Read more
Where and how we start in our interpretation of Scripture determines where we will end up. When seeking to understand the relevance of the Bible’s teaching for our lives, interpretive starting points are particularly significant. The method by which we read and derive meaning from Scripture is the fundamental determinant of the nature of the meaning we will derive. Read more

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