Currently Browsing: Scripture

Hunt for the Historical Jesus

For years there has been a debate over not only who Jesus was but whether he existed. Historians remain split on many Jesus-related questions – and the issue is fraught with religious overtones – but Rev. Howard Bess believes enough is now known about Jesus to put him in context for his (and our) times. What can we know about Jesus? The skeptic will answer “not much” or “probably nothing” – an answer not without reason. The records with which we have to work (The New Testament) are no more than fragments coated with speculations of men who never knew him and...
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N.T. Wright interview: Why Left, Right & Lewis get it wrong

Today, we welcome the popular Bible scholar N.T. “Tom” Wright back to ReadTheSpirit to talk about his latest book, How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels. Tom himself refers to the message of this book as “explosive,” and we are not alone in recommending this new book. Veteran religion columnist Bill Tammeus also praises this new book for the helpful balance it provides to often overlooked messages in the Gospels. As Bill Tammeus describes this new book, he sets it against the common evangelical message that the bulk of Jesus’ preaching about God’s...
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  The Old or First Testament of the Bible tells the story of a journey, the spiritual journey of the people of Israel. This journey had a beginning, a middle and an end, so it contains the bad as well as the good, the distinctly unedifying as well as the edifying, lessons about what not to do as well as what to do. When the Bible says, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, we must not see this as a direct order from God telling us what to do, but as a particular, and early, moment in a long journey. If the person of Jesus represents the end of the journey, we may see its beginning...
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Revisiting Revelation: PW Talks with Elaine Pagels

  Princeton University religion professor Elaine Pagels, who helped bring into the public eye the biblical also-rans-the Gnostic Gospels that didn’t make it into the Christian canon-takes a fresh look at the provocative Revelations: Visions, Prophecies, & Politics in the Book of Revelation. How did you become interested in writing about the Book of Revelation? I never thought I would write about the Book of Revelation. It’s so dense; it’s so complex and puzzling. But then I found I was thinking about a number of themes, one of which has to do with politics and religion....
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Liberating the Force of the Gospel

Liberating the Force of the Gospel The story of the “Transfiguration of Jesus” was very popular among His followers from the beginning. It’s not just another episode. The scene, re-created with various symbolic resources, is grandiose. The evangelists present Jesus with a resplandescent face as He converses with Moses and Elijah. The three disciples who have accompanied Him to the mountaintop are awestruck. They don’t know what to think of all that. The mystery that envelopes Jesus is too big. Mark says they were frightened. The scene culminates in a strange way: “A cloud...
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