Real Bible Studies: Genesis, Abraham and Abimelek 

After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the bible is pretty much done with Lot and his nameless daughters, until their descendants, the Moabites and Ammonites start hassling the tribes of Israel many generations later. One wonders why Lot didn't just drop in on his uncle, given the special relationship Abraham seems to have with … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Genesis, Abraham and Abimelek 

The Non-Intervening God 

My god, my god, why have you forsaken me? --Psalms 22, quoted by Jesus on the cross. Many years ago, I turned away from organized religion. It was not an easy decision on my part, and learning to live with that decision has been an ongoing process in my life ever since. When people speak … Continue reading The Non-Intervening God 

Not a Love Song: The Tragedy of Juliet

Shakespeare's best known tragedy is the story of two star-crossed lovers, who, in death, end their families' conflict. Despite being hailed as a great romance, Romeo and Juliet is, in no way, a love story, but very much about individual responsibility and the consequences of making decisions in the heat of passion. Romeo is very … Continue reading Not a Love Song: The Tragedy of Juliet

Failing, to Succeed 

I have a saying, "Hank Aaron didn't hit a home run every time." It's my way of reminding myself that for every success, there are a thousand less than perfect outcomes. In fact, failure is much more common than success. The term "trial and error" best sums up the practice of implementing a strategy, observing … Continue reading Failing, to Succeed 

Real Bible Studies: Samson

As a child growing up in the Methodist Church, I learned about Samson, the legendary strongman from Judges, in Sunday School. This Biblical hero looms large in the imagination of believers and non-believers alike both for his strength and his amazing head of hair. What I learned then is that he was really strong, devoted … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Samson

Myths and Myth Making in Hamlet

Note: This article has been updated and expanded in my essay collection The Cheese Toast Project, available in print from online bookstores, and in print and Kindle at Amazon. Laurence Olivier once referred to Hamlet as the story of a man who can't make up his mind. While there are elements of indecisiveness in Hamlet's … Continue reading Myths and Myth Making in Hamlet

Real Bible Studies: Sodom and Gomorrah

So far in Genesis, we've been following the adventures of Biblical patriarch Abraham, but now it's time to return to his ne'er do well nephew Lot. When last we looked in on Lot, he'd just been captured by one of the four powers who fought against a coalition of five nations led by the King … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Sodom and Gomorrah

Real Bible Studies: Abraham’s Covenant

Genesis 15 through 18 concerns itself with Abram's covenant with YHWH, which is first revealed to Abram in a vision. Abram is skeptical, since he has no sons to inherit anything, and any rewards would need to be bestowed on his distant relatives. In Genesis 15 YHWH spends most of the time convincing Abram that … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Abraham’s Covenant

Real Bible Studies: Abraham (Introduction)

Within the pages of the Old Testament, few figures loom as large as Abraham, claimed by both Jews and Muslims as an ancestor. Given Judaism's role in the founding of early Christianity, modern Christians also cite Abraham as an important figure, if not a direct ancestor, since those of European descent are more likely to … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Abraham (Introduction)