In the recent book by Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy, I stumbled at the following in chapter VI: "None of us should speak of injustice without thinking of all the injustice we have committed before God. We must never forget our origins, the mud of which we were made." If God made us out of mud (i.e. something base and, literally, dirty), why is it the Christian view that God is upset when we act according to our base and dirty nature, and that we must seek forgiveness for our actions and our nature? [more inside]
For a project I'm doing, I'd like an illustrated book with lots of information on the physical world of the Bible - particularly animals, plants, and insects. I can look up what's mentioned in the Bible on Wikipedia, but I want more than that. I want to be able to page through an illustrated work (color) - bonus points if there are commentaries from scholars - and to learn a lot about all of the creatures mentioned without having to turn to my computer for complete information. More below. [more inside]
Matthew 5:13: "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men." (New American Standard Bible) Wait, what? [more inside]
I'm trying to find an article by some historians that posited that the places described in the Bible we not actually in present day Israel. The historians had done some theorizing that the mountains and valleys mentioned in the bible (can't remember which book) fit better with an area in Saudi Arabia off the coast of the Red Sea. I've searched the Google but can't find any mention of this theory. I would love to find it again. Thanks, MeFi!
Outside my work today I got to talking with a Jehovah's Witness. When talk turned to the Bible, I said I didn't take any of it literally. None of it REALLY happened like that. [more inside]
I recently happened to sit down and read the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Wow, that is some crazy shit! I'm now fascinated to learn more... [more inside]
Someone has requested my assistance in finding the best Bible app for iOS. [more inside]
Is there a story in the Bible or elsewhere in literature or myth about a person who wants to do many things, but is thwarted, by all sorts of forces, and ends up doing only one? [more inside]
I'd love to have an audio version of the Christian Bible that allows you to pick a specific chapter or specific verses and listen to them -- ideally in a recorded voice, not not a text-to-speech generator. I have a Kindle version of the Bible that I really like -- it's easy to navigate to a specific chapter and verse through the Kindle table of contents and menus. It's an NRSV translation from Harper Bibles. Are there any audio versions of the Bible that have similar functionality?
I'm thinking about starting up a podcast. It would be, for the most part, deep interpretations of Biblical texts from a critical but appreciative point of view. What should I call it? [more inside]
Who are the most reputable Biblical scholars, from various schools of thought (liberal, conservative, skeptical, etc.) [more inside]
Help me find examples of father-child relationships in the Bible. [more inside]
What are some Biblical characters (OT or NT) whose deeds might be considered inspirational by a contemporary, secular, social justice-oriented audience?
On the book of Daniel chapter 3 -- when his friends were to be burnt on the fiery furnace -- Nabuchadnezzar commanded to have the furnace heated seven times hotter. Since at the time they didn't have a convenient dial to turn seven degrees up, what did they do to raise the temperature? [more inside]
Hello! I'm looking for a new Bible. I thought that with the myriad of editions available it'd be easy to find something that meets my criteria but it's actually harder than I thought! Here's what I'm looking for: NIV translation, large type (at least 12 pt font, preferably 14), single-column, and minimal see-through to the other side of the page ("ghosting"). I also prefer something cloth bound (basically sturdy and not just bound by glue!). Here's one Bible that comes close to what I was hoping for but the pages are a bit too transparent to be easily read (like the Norton anthologies to literature).
I am going to give my old Kindle 4 to a friend, who thinks it will be useful in her Baptist bible study meetings. What bible should I recommend to her?
I am looking for recommendations for bibles in languages other than English, specifically for their literary qualities. [more inside]
Are there the makings of a riddle in Isaiah 22:22? And can you help me come up with a tangible answer to it, just for kicks? [more inside]
I grew up in an atheist household and have never read the Bible. I would like to tackle that beast and start wandering through various branches of Christian theology, with my main goal to start in on Barth's complete works. Can you recommend a good Academic primer or companion to the Bible and general theology that doesn't try to convert me? I am interested in the topic in a scholarly/philosophic sense. I do have a good understanding of the Old World and its various empires and wars, but I am still in the shallow end as far as biblical knowledge is concerned.
Bible filter: Question on biblical interpretation [more inside]
I'm familiar with Genesis 2:11-12 which briefly mentions the existence of gold in the area surrounding the Garden of Eden. But are there any other ancient references, be they apocryphal, Talmudic, or in folklore, that links Eden with some sort of material treasure? [more inside]
Ideas for a wedding Bible reading that isn't 1st Corinthians 13? [more inside]
Could anyone suggest a book or other resources with a Bible study plan for a mostly secular Bible study group? [more inside]
I am building a collection of books to teach the history of fine art book making, and I would like to find copies of the Torah, Bible, and Quran that are visually pleasing. Do you recommend any specific editions? Unfortunately, my total budget for a starter collection is only $500, so I would especially value suggestions that are modest in price. At the minimum I would like to show my students a range of calligraphy, typesetting, and illumination, but I suspect that I can find some really interesting editions that do much more. All suggestions are welcome.
What is the definition of murder? If the state puts you to death is it murder? [more inside]
3.5 years ago I posted a question about looking for the kickass bible story book of my youth. I finally found it today! Now, I'd like to find a good study Bible for me. [more inside]
Help me find the illustrated children's Bible/book of Bible stories I had as a kid. [more inside]
Looking for recommendations for websites and books that explain gay theology. More specifically, pro-gay arguments explaining tough Bible passages that have respected scholarship. I'm tending to see all the usual conservative stuff instead.
Conversations with my Father-in-law have lead him to lose his faith in God. My mother-in-law is not coping well with this and blames me. What do I do? [more inside]
Secular, but socially sensitive, ways to teach five-year-old about Christianity? [more inside]
Jonah 1:4: "the ship was like to be broken" - "וְהָאֳנִיָּה חִשְּׁבָה לְהִשָּׁבֵר" - what is the grammar of חִשְּׁבָה ? [more inside]
What book should I read to get an overview-level understanding of the current state of biblical scholarship? [more inside]
Can I get the Mormon kids who stopped by my door the other day back to teach me their religion? [more inside]
Need a gift idea for someone close to me who has a deep interest in the "original" King James (1611) Bible, this person studies the bible all the time and is very computer literate. Was hoping for some ideas.
Please help me find this interpretation of the Hebrew Bible that I once read. [more inside]
Do other languages have an equivalent of the King James Bible? [more inside]
For the sake of this question, assume everything in the Bible is true/real. Do you have to be a practicing Christian to cast out demons in the name of Jesus Christ? [more inside]
Seeking recommendations for biblical readings for a funeral. It's my granny's funeral on Monday and I have been asked to do a reading, to be inserted into the service from the English book of Common Prayer. Trouble spot: I'm an atheist. [more inside]
ScriptureFilter: I recall there being a passage in one of the gospels which states quite clearly and unambiguously that building and attending physical churches was not the proper way to worship. I believe it also said something about the only true church being the one we build in our hearts. I have been looking for this passage for the past few days and have been unable to find it. Did I imagine it? [more inside]
Can you lead me to any good textual analyses of the biblical story in which Jacob wrestles the angel? I have looked around but still haven't found what I'm looking for. [more inside]
What are the most memorable or significant stories about Jesus? [more inside]
I saw a post yesterday or the day before on tumblr about the bible and how it basically endorses plant-based diets and sort of says not to eat meat - help me find it? [more inside]
What can you tell me about what life was like for early Christians in the first century AD in Jerusalem, specifically 33 AD to 70 AD? [more inside]
Why was Jesus of Nazarath (also called Jesus Christ) killed? What was going on in Roman occupied Jerusalem that lead up to his death? [more inside]
Is there an alternative to the Documentary Hypothesis yet? [more inside]
Is there anything in the Bible that can help one justify the estrangement of an abusive parent? I know that not speaking to my mother is the right thing to do, but what does the good book say? [more inside]
Looking for specific quotes from Buddhist and Christian scripture on two particular themes. [more inside]
A woman I know, who is a devout Christian, was recently diagnosed with cancer. Can you recommend an appropriate bible verse for the letter I'm sending her telling her I'm thinking of her? (Note, I'm pretty much a non-believer.)
Recommend me a translation of the Bible (New Testament would be nice but optional) that's an engrossing read — if such a thing exists. I want a translation/interpretation that places emphasis on the story being told. [more inside]
I am looking for a scholarly, tightly reasoned work that sets out to explain how the fundamental moral/socio-ethical message of the Bible validates the values held by left-of-center politics. [more inside]