hesed is one of those words that mean several things at once if we try to translate it to English. It is a key virtue in Scripture, deeply theological, but difficult to pin down in English. Here's an attempt to explain this core value of the Bible quickly and simply.
Views: 29882 Tim Bulkeley
Go'el is another thoroughly cultural word, that is highly theological. Again it is prominent in Ruth. This time there is one English word that is often a decent translation, redeemer, the problem is redeem carries a different weight of overtones from ga'al
Views: 2396 Tim Bulkeley
The Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea are below sea level. At least in the south the valley forms a significant barrier. There are notes to accompany these videos here: https://scbc.org.nz/bibleland/ The helicopter footage is used by permission from http://preservingBibleTimes.org
Views: 2894 Tim Bulkeley
Presuppositions can be dangerous to our Bible reading. Jesus said "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" but did he mean to teach the separation of church and state, or was he being much more revolutionary - today as well as in the Roman Empire?
Views: 664 Tim Bulkeley
The first of a series on -Genres in the Bible- is an introduction, so very general and just introduction. The series will soon get into deeper stuff ;) The graphic of the -Bible Library- comes from this post: http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2010/08/two-charts-on-the-literature-of-the-bible/
Views: 1806 Tim Bulkeley
We often notice that the Bible talks about God as -father- (though this picture is rarer than we think), how come we don't notice it also speaks of God in motherly ways. See Chapter 2 of Not Only a Father http://bigbible.org/mothergod/2-1-biblical-talk-of-the-motherly-god-a-personal-god-without-icons/
Views: 1618 Tim Bulkeley
Visit Tel Gezer on the edge of the Shephelah in Ancient Judah. The city Pharaoh gave to king Solomon as a wedding present. For more information and photos see http://bigbible.org/israel/gezer/ and http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=oYearm8YobQC&pg=PA338&dq=gezer+egypt&cd=1#v=onepage&q=gezer%20egypt&f=false for details of the archaeology
Views: 4239 Tim Bulkeley
In this episode we visit two city sites in the Jezreel Valley, Megiddo (with a wealth of archaeological features) illustrates a major royal centre of power, and the smaller Jezreel a royal palace and capital. There are notes to accompany these videos here: https://scbc.org.nz/bibleland/ These visits will lead to a consideration of stories of the reign of Ahab and of the place of kingship in ancient Israel. (See http://5minutebible.com/reading/context-reading-2/land-of-the-bible-jezreel-valley/ ) Special thanks to http://preservingBibletimes.org for permission to use helicopter footage, their resources are a great help to anyone who wants to read the Bible in context!
Views: 876 Tim Bulkeley
A very quick introduction to the first five books of the Bible (Torah or Pentateuch) to start you thinking. Looks at the shape, contents and functions of the collection and considers scholarly suggestions of more ancient four or six book units (Tetrateuch or Hexateuch).
Views: 1671 Tim Bulkeley
In this video we visit the Wadi Qelt, the gorge that cuts down into the steep Judean Hills and so provided a passable route in ancient times between Jericho (in the Jordan Valley and Jerusalem in the hills). We'll begin near the Ein Prat (Prat Spring) and passing the monastery head down towards the opening into the valley below Jericho. There are notes to accompany these videos here: https://scbc.org.nz/bibleland/ The video would not be possible without resources from others. Short flash lood clips are used to point you towards the full videos by: Guy Shachar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj94OXAg78g and Eyal Bartov http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fde_1317011675 these are essential viewing for anyone interested in reading Psalm 23 The Helicopter video from http://PreservingBibleTimes.org is used by express permission, they offer brilliant resources for studying the Bible in context. The shot of the Nahal Prat is from SuperJew on Wikimedia.
Views: 3754 Tim Bulkeley
This is a story of a cat and a dog (who are friends) by Beatrix Potter. Ribby (the cat) invites Duchess (the dog) to tea, she has a mouse pie, but duchess would rather eat her own veal and ham pie. She puts her pie in Ribby's oven, but there are two ovens, so she not only wolfs down the mouse pie, but fears she has swallowed the "patty-pan" (a metal pan put upside down to help hold up the pastry). Never mind Dr Maggotty, the magpie, to the rescue! The words and pictures come from Project Gutenberg and the music is generated by the software I use to animate the pictures.
Views: 8222 Tim Bulkeley
Beatrix Potter's story riffs off an idea from Aesop's Fables. Through the adventures of a country mouse and a town mouse, we are invited to recognise that different situations suit different people. This is a tale with no violence or other elements that might be troublesome to modern sensibilities. For the record, like Beatrix Potter, my sympathies are with Timmy Willie.
Views: 4283 Tim Bulkeley
In this first "STEP Bible first steps" screencast I'll show you how to find the places in Ruth chapter 1 where the Hebrew verb shub occurs, even if you know no Hebrew at all All this is available in STEP - from Tyndale House in Cambridge - without even looking for Strong's Numbers or any other arcane tricks. You can find STEP Bible here: http://www.stepbible.org/
Views: 488 Tim Bulkeley
The Daily Mail (a UK tabloid newspaper) carried an article "Why the BBC's new face of religion believes God had a WIFE"1 It caused a flurry among the Twittering classes, and on Facebook, and even among the biblioblogs (though in the latter group most dismissed the article saying: What can you expect from a British Tabloid?) Actually the article is by Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou a member of the Society for Old Testament Study with a DPhil from Oxford and a job at Exeter University. So in this podcast I'll take her article seriously, but use it to ask whether and how it matters why one reads.
Views: 577 Tim Bulkeley
Before thinking about this “confession” we’ll first look at lament psalms briefly. Lament psalms often contain: an address (maybe simply “O God” or “O Lord”) a/some complaint(s) a request for help addressed to God the affirmation of trust in God, as thanks for past action or simply as praise and conviction God will act a vow to praise God when the crisis has passed (44:8; 80:18). The first Confession of Jeremiah is a good illustration of both how these speeches are like, and that they are unlike Lament psalms. We will also notice how in Jeremiah the lament-like material works with its surrounding text. The confessions are not a separate part of the book, they are parts of the book. (The next podcast will continue to look at this text, building on this material.)
Views: 174 Tim Bulkeley
Much debated by specialists, highly technical, yet even a 5 minute look at the issues can help us read the Bible better :)
Views: 148 Tim Bulkeley
Perhaps Beatrix Potter's most cheerful story, even Simkin the cat (the villain at the start) has a change of heart, and the mice save the day. Strangely the story was based on real events, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tailor_of_Gloucester#Composition and a tourist shop has been opened where the tailor of Gloucester once worked http://www.thecityofgloucester.co.uk/things-to-do/search-results/beatrix-potters-house-of-the-tailor-of-gloucester-p136633.
Views: 2844 Tim Bulkeley
In a post Why the Bible is just not (so) funny David returned to a theme he's argued before, that the Bible is not funny. Aparently back in 2007 he issued a challenge that readers of his blog could not give examples of humour from every book in the Bible: Funny Stuff in the Bible. Now of course his 2007 post was cheating. He set a (nearly?) impossible task, to find humour in Lamentations might be hard! But that does not mean that there is no humour in Scripture. Just think of one of the occasions when Jesus spoke about camels (he seems to me to have had a thing about camels). Or, for crying out loud, read Jonah aloud in any translation or language you like, and try keeping a straight face... I thought I would take up David's challenge. Not seriously, as I said I expect there are some books devoid of humour, it takes all sorts to make up God's world, even the humourless! But I do plan to work through the Bible (or at the very least the Hebrew Bible) pointing out humour in most of the books. This podcast refers to Gen 1:14ff. and Gen 3:1-7.
Views: 849 Tim Bulkeley
The little story, in Joshua 2, of Rahab and the clueless pair of young Israelite would be spies, provided Spenser (see Signs of humour: especially in written texts across cultures) with a nice example of several of his criteria all together in one text, making it evidently humorous. What do you think? Do the criteria work? Or is this vignette deadly serious? http://5minutebible.com/signs-of-humour-especially-in-written-texts-across-cultures/ F. Scott Spencer "Those Riotous -- Yet Righteous -- Foremothers of Jesus: Exploring Matthew's Comic Genealogy." In Are we amused?: humour about women in the biblical worlds, edited by Athalya Brenner, 7-30. Continuum, 2003
Views: 737 Tim Bulkeley
Passages where God explains his own words are really interesting. In this video we'll look at 2 Samuel 7, where David wants to build a 'house' = temple for God, since he already has a nice 'house' = palace for himself ('house of cedar' means a palace with expensive wood panelling). I'll look at how God gives a four word speech and then explains in detail what it means. And in the process starts the punning and wordplay that lead to the superb promise to David, later in the chapter.
Views: 356 Tim Bulkeley
This passage is one of the "pillars" on which the book of Isaiah rests. Isaiah looks back on his vision experience in the temple. The vision came to him in a pivotal year when Judah began to change from an independent kingdom to a vassal state serving the king of kings, the king of Assyria. In that context Isaiah receives a powerful reminder that God is neither a god, nor a king, but lord over all gods, kings and people.
Views: 772 Tim Bulkeley
One of the easiest and most dangerous theological errors is typified for me by Job's friend Eliphaz. He turns truth into a lie, and in doing so earns God's reprimand. One way to avoid Eliphaz mistake when interpreting the Bible is to read the passage as a whole, in context.
Views: 828 Tim Bulkeley
A friend asked me about her pastor's reading of the story of Jephthah's daughter. He made the story much softer and with gentler messages. I'll need at least one more in this series on Jephthah, but because i'm currently in the Majority World and it needs more access to academic resources it will have to wait for my return....
Views: 1308 Tim Bulkeley
Beginnings matter, so the first chapter of the Bible is especially important. The chapter (actually 1:1-2:3 or 4a) is highly polished writing, full of echoes and patterns, and these set the foundation of all of the Bible. It also introduces the 'different God' of the Bible.
Views: 77 Tim Bulkeley
One of Beatrix Potters shorter children's stories. Despite the title ("fierce bad") and the presence of a "man with a gun", no one gets seriously hurt, though the fierce bad rabbit gets his just desserts loses his whiskers and tail (which looks just like the stick-on tail of a toy rabbit.
Views: 2374 Tim Bulkeley
Learning about the cultural context and noticing the textual (biblical) context of one of Jesus best-loved parables can help us read it more clearly. In this podcast we think about the parable of the feast in Luke 14, information about the cultural setting will make sense of the "difficult" detail of the two invitations, while the Bible context helps sharpen Jesus' meaning.
Views: 690 Tim Bulkeley
A young elephant is full of questions and gets spanked often because his 'satiable curiosity annoys his elders. Finally his quest to learn "what the crocodile has for breakfast" leads him to the "Great Grey Green Greasy Limpopo River" where a tug of war with a croc stretches his nose. His long nose is so useful that all the other elephants have to get one.
Views: 4199 Tim Bulkeley
Beatrix Potter's longest story, and perhaps the darkest. Despite the length it is well-told and I enjoyed reading it. Because of the shadow of death (which Potter, living nearer the source of her food, too for granted as part of life) you may want to listen yourself before showing it to your children.
Views: 7613 Tim Bulkeley
Here's part two, I hope it will repay your patience by beginning to explain why the dull stuff matters. Indeed it helps us make sense of Jesus' reading of the Old Testament. In part three I'll offer more evidence for my claims :)
Views: 337 Tim Bulkeley
Now here's a topic that looks duller than ditchwater, only a rabid scholar would be interested. The sort of thing that turns students off biblical studies in their droves! And yet... if you are willing to waste a few minuets on this dull podcast, I promise you the next one (tomorrow) will show you why this stuff really does make a difference :) And, I think, why it mattered to Jesus!
Views: 1874 Tim Bulkeley