Biblical Themes

Jacob and Esau: The Showdown

Jacob’s life is truly a paragon of the gospel.  Though not the first, he is certainly an early pioneer “sheep” extracted from a world of wandering “goats.”  As we meet him in Genesis 32, he is standing on the frontier of the land promised to his grandfather Abraham. To this point, his life has been…

“A Text Without A Context . . . Can Be Dangerous!!”

Chances are, every single one of us at one time or another has been the victim of mistaken motives, simply because someone took something we said “out of context.” The fact is that without a full understanding of its socio-cultural context, any speech or action or event is subject to gross misinterpretation. The theological history…

“What Goes Around Comes Around!”

The account of Jacob and his Uncle Laban in Genesis 29:18-30 is a classic example of the adage “what goes around comes around.”  Jacob, who had deceived his father into giving him the blessing that rightfully belonged to his older brother Esau by wearing the skins of a goat, awakens “the morning after” his wedding…

Denying A Wife To Save Your Life: The Sins of Abraham and Isaac

Any way you slice the ethical pie, in passing off a wife as a sister, Abraham’s scams (did I mention there were two occasions! Genesis 12:10-20 and again!!! in Genesis 20:1-18 ) and Isaac’s scam (Genesis 26:7-11) were all deliberate attempts to deceive [even though Sarah was technically also Abraham’s half-sister] Here’s the point:  we have here…

Like Father, Like Son: A Tale of Two “Brothers”

The account of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 26:7-11 so closely parallels the account of Abraham passing himself off as Sarah’s “brother” in Genesis 12:10-20 and (again!!!) in Genesis 20:1-18 that some scholars cry “foul!”  They see the Isaac and Rebekah story as a reenactment as resulting from a purely literary creation (the situational and…

Lentil Soup For Your Soul: Fair Trade?

The account of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 25 reminds us of a problem that we cannot blame entirely on the influence of a surrounding ungodly culture—although many in our culture have used our common problem for their profit.  The malady I am speaking is the all too popular “I-want-it-NOW! Syndrome.  The underlying character flaw…

When God Speaks Nonsense

Early this morning I experienced the story of Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son, Isaac, in a fresh way.  Now I’ve read this account many times over the course of my life, and I’ve heard countless sermons preached from this passage, but something in the text drew my special attention today. For years I’ve carried…

Musings on Genesis 1-7

You don’t read far into the theological history of humanity before seeing the fruit (pardon the pun) of the divine gift of human freedom.  Succumbing to envy, greed, pride, and the like, Adam & Eve disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit.  Attacked by similar weaponry, Cain murdered his brother Able—undoubtedly giving rise to…

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2013

January 1st! A New Year has dawned! And, with it, new opportunities. Unfortunately these beautiful gifts from Above most often arrive in very slovenly wrapped packages that we euphemistically refer to as “challenges”—or, less diplomatically, as “problems” or “trouble.” I was rather taken aback when, in the midst of the New Year’s celebration on Times…

Special Treats For Students of Scripture

Below please find a few helpful downloadable resources for understanding the Scriptures:   Dewey, Textuality in an Oral Culture DISCLAIMER:  The opinions and positions adopted in these resources do not necessarily reflect my personal positions. They are offered for consideration and critical analysis. If this generates healthy dialogue, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!