Bible Study Tool Belt, Book and Product Reviews, Studying the Bible

Review: The CEB Study Bible

The CEB Study Bible is a well designed and excellently written study bible that distinguishes itself from the crowd by taking a more open-minded approach to the historicity, date of composition, and authorship of debatable sections of the Bible. However, the appeal of this study bible may be narrowed by its inextricably being tied to the CEB, a translation whose eager pursuit of a laudable goal (to produce a truly fresh translation free from wrongly embedded conservative Evangelical ideas) unfortunately results in uneven quality.

Book and Product Reviews, Studying the Bible, Understanding Bible Translations

The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Common English Bible

The defining characteristic of the Common English Bible translation is its willingness to revisit and re-render traditional translations of well known biblical passages. While this is often a strength, it seems to be driven by a desire among those who commissioned the translation to distance themselves from conservative evangelicalism, and in many places this results in replacing good (albeit traditional) translations with highly questionable ones for no apparent scholarly reason.

Biblical Scholarship, Common Questions, Doctrine of Inspiration, Studying the Bible, Understanding Bible Translations

Q&A – Why Do Some Christians Have Longer/Shorter Bibles?

Question: AH! I just discovered that some Christian groups have more/fewer books in their Bible, and now I’m afraid I can’t believe anything anymore! What do I do? Short Answer: DON’T PANIC! We all agree about the New Testament. In the Old Testament … it’s complicated, but the positions are all reasonable.

Amos, Biblical Scholarship, Close Reading, Methodology, Old Testament, Studying the Bible, Text Criticism

Reading Amos 2:4-5 in Context

The oracle against Judah in Amos 2:4-5 is typically regarded by scholars as a later insertion due to its use of Deuteronomic language and the apparent vagueness of its accusation. This article argues that dating a text late solely because of the presence of so-called “Deuteronomic” language is logically circular, and it proposes a reading of the first two chapters of Amos that makes the oracle against Judah an integral part of the passage’s rhetoric rather than an obligatory insertion.

Biblical Scholarship, Doctrine of Inspiration, Luke, New Testament, Studying the Bible, Text Criticism, Understanding Bible Translations

“Good Will Toward Men”, Lectio Difficilior, and the Inspiration of Scripture

Luke 2:14 has well known variant readings (is “good will” nominative or genitive?), and despite scholarship preferring one over the other, the choice between these readings is not clear. How do variant readings and translations affect our understanding of the inspiration of the Bible? What if ambiguities weren’t something God intended to work around but something he intended to work within.