Faith, History, and Isaiah 7

A QUESTION ARISING OUT OF MY DISCUSSION OF FAITH AND HISTORY, IN REFERENCE TO AN EARLIER POST ON ISAIAH AND THE VIRGIN BIRTH

QUESTION:

I know that you posted something on the virgin birth in Isaiah in the past (which I think was in fact an excerpt from your forthcoming Bible Intro book) – but can you elaborate how you will apply your approach you discuss here with passages such as Isaiah 7 where there is debate around whether it is a ...

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Resurrection and Resuscitation

The following is just a small chunk that I’ve written up for my Bible Introduction on the idea of “resurrection” — in relationship to other views of afterlife in the Bible. It’s short, but it’s the last sentence that is very much worth thinking about (most people haven’t thought about it; I know I never did, until fairly recently).

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Many readers of the Bible are surprised to learn that the ideas of the afterlife in the Hebrew Bible are not closely ...

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Wisdom as God’s Consort in the Beginning

I’m pleased to say that I met my goal of getting the eight chapters on the Hebrew Bible for my Bible Introduction written now, just in time for me to fly outta here. I head to London for the rest of the summer on Monday. But I will keep up with the blog from there!

Below is just a short little “box” that I include in my discussion of the book of Proverbs.

 

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Box 1.2: Woman Wisdom as God’s Consort?

We have ...

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A Virgin Birth? The Importance of Context

I continue to be writing up a storm, making just the progress I’ve wanted on my Bible Introduction. Gods willing, I will finish chapter 8 tomorrow, which is all of the chapters dealing with the Hebrew Bible. I was eager to finish this part of the book before the weekend, because on Monday I head overseas for the rest of the summer (Sarah and I spend a good chunk of every summer in London; she’s a Brit, and has been ...

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The Suffering Servant of Isaiah

I’ve been writing up a storm on my Bible Introduction. It’s a god awful amount of work, but I’m making really good (OK, disgustingly good) progress. Here’s a chunk I wrote up today, when dealing with the post-exilic prophets. It’s obviously (maybe too obviously for you!) just a rough draft.

Brief context: at this point I am discussing Second Isaiah (Isaiah 40-55), almost universally thought by scholars to be written by a different author from chapters 1-39 (themselves written ...

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The Sons of God and the Daughters of Men

Another tidbit from my Bible Introduction.  Old news for a lot of you, I know.  But it’s fun to write this kind of thing up for college students, who have never heard of such a thing!

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One of the most mysterious and even bizarre stories in Genesis happens right at the beginning of the flood narrative, where we are told that the “sons of God” looked down among the human “daughters,” saw that they were beautiful, and came down and had ...

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Creation in 4004 BCE?

In my Bible Intro, I am including a number of “boxes” that deal with issues that are somewhat tangental to the main discussion, but of related interest or importance. Here’s one of the ones in my chapter on Genesis, in connection with interpretations that want to take the book as science or history. For a lot of you, this will be old news. But then again, so is Genesis.

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In 1650 CE, an Irish archbishop and scholar, James Ussher, engaged in ...

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My Colleague’s Archaeological Find!

You have probably noticed that almost every time an archaeological find makes its way into the major newspapers (or even the minor ones) it is a “discovery” that is very iffy, dicey, dubious, questionable and, to make a long story short, generally rejected by the real experts in the field. That’s probably because real archaeologists are very careful, methodical, and, well, not all that interesting for the mass media. But they do the real work, and sometimes they come up ...

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The Hebrew Bible and Its Sources

QUESTION:

Do you have a suggestion for a book concerning the OT’s construction? I believe in the History of God (by K. Armstrong) she mentioned that there were about five distinct writers for the OT. Is this the scholarly view and do you have a book suggestion to delve deeper into it?

 

RESPONSE:

Right!  The Old Testament (for Christians; otherwise: the Jewish Scriptures, the Hebrew Bible; the Tanakh – these are all more or less synonyms.)

It’s been on my mind a lot lately.  ...

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Q & A with Ben Witherington: Part 7

CONTINUATION! Ben Witherington, a conservative evangelical Christian New Testament scholar, has asked me to respond to a number of questions about my book Did Jesus Exist, especially in light of criticism I have received for it (not, for the most part, from committed Christians!). His blog is widely read by conservative evangelicals, and he has agreed to post the questions and my answers without editing, to give his readers a sense of why I wrote the book, what ...

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