Old Testament Audio Blog

Art Boulet on Adam's Rib or Adam's Baculum

Here is a link to a post on Art Boulet’s site entitled “Adam’s Rib or Adam’s Baculum?” He discusses an article which proposes that “rib” is a mistranslation of... well, something else. You’ll have to read the post to find out what.

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7 Verses on the Love of God in the Old Testament

God sometimes gets a bad rap for his actions in the Old Testament. If you want to see this in practice, just go on over to Yahoo! Answers and search “Old Testament.” You can bet that many of the results will be questions like “Why is God so great and wonderful in the New Testament and so horrifically evil in the Old Testament?” For those who study the Old Testament, these types of questions can get a bit wearisome (SEE THIS POST).

First, the questions assume there is nothing difficult about God in the New Testament. I can only assume that those who ask these questions have never read the Book of Revelation or thought deeply about the concept of an eternal hell. Second, these questions miss a great deal in the Old Testament about the love of God. Don’t get me wrong. There are some verses/passages in the Old Testament that absolutely make me want to vomit (like 1 Sam. 15.3). And, this is not to say that the depiction of the love of God in the Old Testament is not in some ways difficult (he delivers his people from Egypt [a good thing] by killing Egyptian babies [a bad thing]?) But, to make it out like God is completely and thoroughly wicked in the Old Testament is a serious misreading. Sometimes there are different voices in the Old Testament that are saying different things. With that said, today I am providing a list of seven verses from the Old Testament that pertain to the love of God. If you have any other favorites feel free to comment below.

  1. For love of your fathers he chose their descendants and personally led you out of Egypt by his great power... (Deut 4.37 - from today’s lectionary reading).
  2. When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son (Hos 11.1 - God depicted as father. Sound familiar?)
  3. As a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort (Is 66.13 - God depicted as a mother comforting her child).
  4. I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them (Hos 14.5 - God depicted as a healer who loves freely).
  5. It was not because you are the largest of all nations that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you, for you are really the smallest of all nations (Deut 7.7 God’s reasoning for choosing Israel).
  6. ...the LORD appears to him from afar: With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you (Jer 31.3).
  7. The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, He will sing joyfully because of you,... (Zeph 3.17).

More Henotheism in the Old Testament

I have previously posted on henotheism in the Old Testament and explained what this is. Today's Psalm contains another statement that reflects henotheism. It reads as follows: "For you, LORD, are most high over all the earth; You are very highly exalted over all gods" (emphasis added). Here again the existence of other deities is not denied (though this does happen later). Yet there is only one deity who is deemed worthy of worship.

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Why Bible Codes are Ridiculous

I guess Brooke Lester's post about the Obama-Antichrist video got Bryan over at Hevel.org stirred up a bit. In a similar vein, he decided to address this Bible Code nonsense. I feel very much like Bryan. This kind of silliness distracts people from actually reading the Bible. Be sure to read Bryan's post but also keep in mind these considerations:

  1. Bible Codes would require a text of the Hebrew Bible which is certain; however, the text of the Hebrew Bible is not certain. For instance, there is significant uncertainty with regard to the text of Jeremiah. Even for the Book of Isaiah, which is one of our more certain texts, we have manuscripts with spelling differences. Even if one letter is missing or added to a manuscript this would make any finding from Bible Code "research" invalid (see this post about how an entire word may be missing/added in Isaiah).
  2. The original text of the Hebrew Bible contained no vowel letters. In Bible Code "research" these would have to be supplied by the "researcher." What if they are supplying the wrong vowels?
  3. Finally (though much more could be said), the same practices used for finding Bible Codes have been found to work for texts like Moby Dick. Was Melville writing under divine inspiration?

Why "Jesus Gave Us the Name of the Antichrist" Video is Ridiculous

I didn't realize this until this morning, but I found out that there is some buzz around a video on YouTube proposing to explain from the Bible why Barack Obama is the Antichrist. I normally don't give this kind of stupidity a second thought, but then I saw that the video had over 150,000 views. So, I thought I would address it on my blog by pointing you to a post by Brooke Lester where he goes into a great amount of detail to debunk the video. Please, don't just watch the video. Read Brooke's blog post (you will probably learn a lot). There are such idiotic statements in the video, like "Aramaic is the oldest form of Hebrew." Please, don't fall for this kind of nonsense.

My Horrible Experience with a Radio Contest

So... I had a horrible experience with a radio station giveaway last Friday. Let me preface this by saying that I have never won any kind of contest in my life. But, my wife registered us for this radio contest for which the prize was a trip to see one of my favorite bands of all time in one of my favorite vacation spots from when I was a child. (I'm intentionally being fuzzy on the details because I do not want a radio station suing me for defamation). Read More...

Psalm 51 in Hebrew

Today's response was from Psalm 51. Here is part of Psalm 51 in Hebrew if you want to check it out. (Videos like this are great for your learning of Hebrew if you are studying).

Moses - The Meekest Man on the Face of the Earth

Today's lectionary reading contains one of the more popular statements in the Old Testament, namely that Moses was the meekest/most humble (or however it is translated in your version of choice) person among all people. I have always found this very interesting because Moses' actions do not really line up with modern conceptions of what it means to be meek or humble. Growing up I always thought a person who was humble or meek was reserved and showed a bit of weakness. But, this really in no way depicts Moses. Take for example Numbers 25.4, which reads as follows:

4 The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and impale them in the sun before the Lord, in order that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.”

Those do not really sound like the words of someone who is reserved or who displays any weakness whatsoever. I am not sure what it would take for me to tell someone to impale another human being "in the sun before the Lord." In fact, I in no way condone the statement here in Numbers 25.4. However, I think the passage can help us to redefine in our minds what the Bible means when it speaks about meekness.

What does Jesus mean when he says that the meek will inherit the earth? Taking into consideration the meekness of Moses, he certainly does not mean that those who are mild mannered and do not display fierce anger will inherit the earth. In fact, if we hold a proper kind of righteous indignation back, it is probable that we are not really being meek at all. We are being something else altogether. Read More...

Summary of the Hebrew Bible

John Hobbins over at Ancient Hebrew Poetry has put together a decent little summary of the Hebrew Bible in 1,000 words or less. With that type of restriction it would be easy to quibble about not enough space being given to this or that. But, I tend to agree that you have the Primary History and everything else can be seen in relationship to that. Read his summary HERE.

2,000 Year Old Aramaic Inscription Found

HERE is a link to a news story about a 2,000 year old Aramaic inscription. Found this story via Jim West (though I think he found it via someone else's blog). He has a terrific blog, and it is worth subscribing to his RSS feed.

So That You Will Know

There is a very concentrated concern in the Book of Exodus that acts are being performed "so that you/he/they will know that I am the Lord," sometimes "the Lord your God." This goes both for pharaoh and for the Israelites. It seems strange that no one knows who the Lord is at this point in the Biblical story, at least with regard to the Israelites. Apparently there is some disconnect. The years of servitude must have made them forget. But, I think this is one of the lessons that the later generations learned (at least in principle, though it may not have made it into common practice) and that we find in the responsive reading for today. Psalm 78.3-4 reads as follows: Read More...