Active Helpfulness and Bearing Burdens

As I was saying, Bonhoeffer encourages Christians to serve one another in several ways. First, listening to one another. This post will cover the second and third types of service Bonhoeffer discusses. (2) Active Helpfulness. Bonhoeffer means just simple stuff, helping each other. Nobody is too good for the lowest service. Those who worry aboutContinue reading “Active Helpfulness and Bearing Burdens”

Purity and Holiness in the World of Jesus

Last year Matthew Thiessen released a book called Jesus and the Forces of Death: The Gospels’ Portrayal of Ritual Impurity within First-Century Judaism (Baker, 2020). It is very helpful in orienting readers to aspects of first-century Jewish theology that are not often understood among Christians. Here is a summary of the introduction and the firstContinue reading “Purity and Holiness in the World of Jesus”

“The Bible … does not exist”

The title of this post comes from the opening sentence of the opening chapter of a recent book by the biblical scholars Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, both of whom have Wikipedia pages, and both of whom are (orthodox, I think) Jews, which I mention because it’s relevant (explicitly so: they bring it up)Continue reading ““The Bible … does not exist””

Bonhoeffer on Listening

As I mentioned previously, in his book Life Together, Bonhoeffer mentions several ways in which Christians can serve one another, and the first is by listening. This section is so good, and so needed right now, I just want to quote the whole thing. So I will. The first service one owes to others inContinue reading “Bonhoeffer on Listening”

Slavery in the Pentateuch

I’ve been reading Peter Garnsey‘s very helpful book Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine (Cambridge, 1996), and I’ve finally gotten to the good part. Well, okay, the whole thing is good, very helpful, but now that I’m done with the section on general ideas (pp. 1–101) and have entered in the study of specificContinue reading “Slavery in the Pentateuch”

Service according to Bonhoeffer

One of the best chapters in Bonhoeffer’s Life Together (originally published in 1939; Wikipedia) is the fourth chapter, the one called “Service.” (I’m using the Reader’s Edition, which I abbreviate DBW-RE.) He has great thoughts on Christian community, the diversity of people. But he means a type of diversity different what what we (21st-century Americans)Continue reading “Service according to Bonhoeffer”

The Authorship of Ecclesiastes

The book of Ecclesiastes bears no author’s name. The very first verse says that the book contains the words of someone called “the Teacher.” In Hebrew, this is the word qoheleth (קהלת), and the traditional Hebrew name for this book is Qoheleth, and often modern scholars will refer to the author as Qoheleth. The GreekContinue reading “The Authorship of Ecclesiastes”