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Ch. 3-4: The Importance of Reading the Biblical Text in Context

When we sit down to read sacred Scripture, we need to develop a rapport with the Bible’s various authors and their worldviews. Otherwise, we will unintentionally demand they communicate in the same manner we do.

 

Series: Genesis Through Ancient Eyes (5 entries)

In this talk, originally delivered at the BioLogos President's Circle meeting in October 2012, Dr. John Walton discusses the origin stories of Genesis 1-3, and why their focus on function and archetypes mean there is no Biblical narrative of material origins.

 

Revealing God's Nature

In today's video, Brian McLaren discusses the value of considering Scripture in light of the cultures that surrounded them. The Biblical writers were aware of the myths of the power nations that surrounded them, but flipped their stories on their heads to reveal truth about God.

 

Seeing the Flood Story Through an Ancient Israelite Lens

Pete Shaw highlights the story of Noah to explore how the story would have been understood in ancient times and from there he goes on to explore how we might consider it today.

 

From the Dust: The Book of Genesis

It is our sincere hope that, above all else, the film can become a focal point for some of the big questions that inevitably arise at the intersection of science and faith.

 

Series: Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography in the Bible (8 entries)

In this six part series, Brian Godawa takes a closer look at cosmography and its relationship to the Bible. After defining cosmography as a theory that describes features of the heavens and the earth, he relates how his own views about the universe have shifted. He then continues to talk about the Mesopotamian cosmography that is so consistently reflected in Scripture. This view of the universe includes aspects such as the firmament, the pillars, the underworld, the heavens above, the watery abyss. He then explains how one understands these concepts in terms of modern scientific thought.

 

Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography in the Bible

Brian Godawa looks at several aspects of ancient cosmography (descriptions of the universe) that also appear in the Bible, and what these aspects of the text mean for our understanding of Scripture.

 

On the Creation Account

To understand and apply Genesis 1 correctly, we have to consider issues of genre and intention. Too often these chapters are read as if they present a purely straightforward historical and even scientific account of cosmic and human origins.

 

Science, Scripture, and the Creation Narrative

In these two brief video Conversations, John Walton discusses the problem of trying to integrate ancient scripture with our modern worldview.

 

The Second Creation Story and "Atrahasis"

Atrahasis is important to biblical scholars because of it similarity to Genesis 2-9. Both stories share a similar storyline: creation, population growth and rebellion, flood. They also share some important details within that storyline.

 

On Myth and Meaning

In this video, John Walton talks about ancient myth and how we might better understand it if we think about its intended functionality—that is, myths were a way to explain a culture’s origin and universal significance though they lacked the advances of scientific discovery.

 

Genesis 1 and a Babylonian Creation Story

Found among the ruins was a Babylonian creation story referred to today as Enuma Elish. How people viewed Genesis would never be the same again.

 

N.T. Wright on Understanding Ancient Texts

In this video Conversation, N.T. Wright emphasizes the importance of understanding the context of biblical texts in order to know whether to read them as literal or metaphorical narratives.

 

Biblical Creation in its Ancient Near Eastern Context: An Introduction

It has been my experience that many Christians have not given sufficient thought to how the Old Testament was composed––that is, to the "human" side of the inspiration of Scripture.

 

The Biblical Creation in its Ancient Near Eastern Context

"As a Christian and a biblical scholar, I care both about Scripture as truth and about the ongoing scholarly conversation regarding the composition of the Hebrew Scriptures. And so, when I was asked to speak on the story of creation in Genesis 1, I welcomed the opportunity to give my thoughts on the interaction between this text and its ancient Near Eastern context."

 

Understanding Origins and the Ancient Mind

In this video conversation, Pete Enns sheds light on the key difference between the ancient and modern mind with regard to interpretation of texts. A literal understanding of Genesis from an ancient mindframe would not necessarily be the same as what we now think of as a literal reading.

 

Adam is Israel

It helps us look at the Adam story from an angle that might be new to some readers here: Adam is the beginning of Israel, not humanity. I imagine this may require some explanation.

 

On Genesis 2 and 3

In this video Conversation, N.T. Wright explores how the ancient Jewish audience read Genesis before and up to the time that Jesus arrived. He asserts that readers of Genesis today who focus simply on the number of days of creation and whether there is evidence in the text pointing to an old or new earth—are in effect not reading the complete text.

 

Exodus, Mt. Sinai and Creation

Even though the cosmic battle is over, we have not left the creation theme. Think of the exodus as God “creating” a people for himself out of a cosmic battle.

 

Exodus and the Cosmic Battle (Again)

These themes are wonderfully interconnected from Genesis through Exodus: cosmic battle, separation of elements, and deliverance from watery fate. Creation, flood, and exodus are almost versions of the same story: the victory of Yahweh and the salvation of his people.

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27 resources found (displaying 1-20)
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