Real Bible Studies: Judges, The Song of Deborah

In Judges 4-5, we meet one of the few women who stands on her own in all of the Old Testament. Deborah isn't just identified as a strong woman, Judges tells us she's leading the Israelites and holds counsel under the Palm of Deborah. She's identified as a prophet, and the wife of Lappidoth. Despite … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Judges, The Song of Deborah

Real Bible Studies: Kings & Chronicles 

Nowhere is the piecemeal nature of the Bible more evident than in the books detailing the kings of Israel and Judah from the time of David's ascension to the time Babylon sacks Jerusalem and burns the temple. Kings and Chronicles are each broken up into two books, but according to sources, in the Hebrew Bible, … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Kings & Chronicles 

Real Bible Studies: The Sons of Israel

The Bible is as much a political document as it is a religious one. Stories printed there were crafted to support a specific narrative, perhaps to bolster the reign of a particular king or party in its quest for control. Over time, these stories were edited, re-edited, and re-arranged to support different narratives. One such … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: The Sons of Israel

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 

Real Bible Studies: Judges, The Levite and his Concubine

The book of Judges concludes with a rather gruesome story about a Levite and his concubine, which appears to have contributed elements to or borrowed elements from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis. Initially, it starts out as another meandering tale highlighting the overwhelming customs of hospitality exhibited by denizens of the Middle … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Judges, The Levite and his Concubine

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

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: Abram and Lot

Previously in Genesis, we learned of Abram's lineage and his connection to Noah by way of Shem, and information on his family, including his wife, Sarai. We also met his nephew, Lot, who has separated from Abram, so as not to cause any conflicts between their combined holdings. Throughout the story of Abraham in Genesis, … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Abram and Lot

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)