Pressing Jeff Siker for Answers: An Intriguing Query and Response

The comments by Jeff Siker on why he is still a Christian even though he, like me, has a thoroughly historical-critical understanding of the Bible (comments posted from four years ago) sparked some interesting responses.  One reader wrote him directly the following pressing questions, and Jeff wrote a reply that I thought was even more germane, interesting, and helpful than the original posts.

Here are the questions and his response (as he forwarded them to me).  Jeff, by the way, has ...

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Jeff Siker Part 2: Why I am a Christian (and yet a New Testament scholar): A Blast From the Past

This is re-post of an interesting set of comments from exactly four years ago by my friend and colleague Jeff Siker, a New Testament scholar who agrees with most of the critical views I have of the New Testament but who is still a believing and practicing Christian. This is part 2.  To make fullest sense of this post, you should read it in conjunction with the one from yesterday.

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Like Bart I became interested in pursuing an academic career, but ...

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Why He Is Still a Christian (And a Biblical Scholar): A Blast From the Past

The past two days I have been giving lectures at Michigan State University.  It’s been great.  I’ve had a number of people ask me after my talks if it is possible to be a Christian and still hold the historical views I do.  My answer — as many on the blog will know — is OF COURSE!  And that has prompted me to want to repost this guest-post from my historian/Christian friend Jeff Siker, posted exactly four years ago today. ...

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Bart Ehrman on Problem of Suffering – UCB

On April 17th, 2008 I appeared on a show called “Conversations with History” with host Harry Kreisler, sponsored by the Institute of International Studies, Regents of the University of California at Berkeley.  The show was called “Biblical Insights into the Problem of Suffering,” and was based on my then recently published book God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question — Why We Suffer.”

Harry Kreisler is the creator, executive producer and host of the Conversations with ...

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How the Bible Explains Suffering – Video

On September 8, 2008 I gave a lecture at the University of California Berkeley.  The lecture was titled “God’s Problem and Human Solutions: How the Bible Explains Suffering.”  It was part of the Foerster Lectures on the Immortality of the Soul.

It is an interesting lecture series.  Established in 1928 by Edith Zweybruck, The series is devoted to lectures that in the words of the founding document) are to be “on the immortality of the soul or other kindred subjects. Such ...

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My Debate on Suffering with Philosopher Richard Swinburne

This is a radio debate that I had on January 10th, 2009 with Richard G. Swinburne, a philosopher who teaches at Oxford; Swinburne is a Christian and is well-known in philosophical circles.  The debate involved an area we are both interested in, The Problem of Suffering and whether it makes sense to be a theist in light of the pain and misery in the world.

I have to say, this is probably the only radio debate that I’ve ever done where ...

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Suffering and My Blog

For over a week now I’ve been dealing with a question concerning my views on suffering.  I could go on for days and days, weeks and weeks, about how the problem of suffering is discussed by the writers of the Bible and how I see it from my own perspective.   But it’s not the most cheerful of subjects and I need/want to move on to other things.   I’ve said enough to make my basic points, I think (if anyone wants ...

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Evaluation of Job’s View of Suffering

When I evaluated the short story of Job – found now in the first two and the final chapters of the book – I indicated that I love it as a story. But I do not at *all* find its view of suffering (why it happens) satisfactory. Just the contrary – I find it offensive and even somewhat repulsive. That God would kill innocent children in order to see whether their loving father would curse him seems completely beyond the ...

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Suffering in the Poetic Section of Job

To make sense of the following post, you should probably read yesterday’s!
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Over the years scholars have proposed a wide range of options for interpreting this closing back and forth between God from the whirlwind and Job cowing down in awe before him. This interpretive decision is important, for in some sense the entire meaning of the poetic dialogue hinges on how we understand its climactic ending. One thing that is clear to all interpreters: the view of traditional ...

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Evaluation of Job’s Short Story

                In my previous post I laid out the “short story” of Job – the prose narrative that begins and ends the book that was, I contended, originally a free-standing story that existed independently of the poetic dialogues between Job and his friends that take up the great bulk of the book (this isn’t my idea: it’s been a standard view in scholarship for a long time).   This short story has a different ...

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