Paul and the Elemental Spirits in Colossians and Galatians

In Colossians 2 Paul urges his readers to be set free from the elemental spirits of the world (ta stoicheia tou kosmou;┬áCol 2:8,20). 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. … Continue reading Paul and the Elemental Spirits in Colossians and Galatians

The Broader Significance of God’s Promise to Hagar

The biblical stories are meant to shape our perspectives, values, and choices. In my last post I explained why and how English translations have misunderstood God's promise to Hagar, leading often to an Arab-demeaning reading of that passage. Now here is an excerpt from Gordon Wenham's commentary on Genesis to show why Hagar's story is … Continue reading The Broader Significance of God’s Promise to Hagar

God’s Promise to Hagar in Genesis 16: Resolving a problematic text

God made an incredible promise to Hagar in Genesis 16:12. However, the true meaning of the promise gets lost in translation. This is because our English translations typically render this verse in a pejorative manner. The sad thing about this is that these renderings have led to Arab-demeaning understandings of the text. This trend in … Continue reading God’s Promise to Hagar in Genesis 16: Resolving a problematic text

Is it appropriate to read the Song of Songs allegorically?

The Song of Songs has been read allegorically in both Jewish and Church traditions. In Jewish tradition it has been interpreted as reflecting the relationship between God and Israel and in Christian tradition it has been interpreted as reflecting the relationship between Christ and his Church. Many contemporary scholars would argue that the allegorical reading … Continue reading Is it appropriate to read the Song of Songs allegorically?