Category Archives: Bible

Visit a Foreign Country

“The past is a foreign country,” advised British novelist L.P. Hartley. And it’s true: Most of us have quite enough trouble keeping up with the present. We’re too busy to think much about the past. Of course, there are different … Continue reading

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Is the Bible Worth Reading?

Is the Bible worth reading? I think it is, but you can find intelligent, moral people on both sides of that question. American novelist Mark Twain, best known for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, had a low opinion of the … Continue reading

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Get Help from Your Automatic Pilot

We spend a lot of our lives on automatic pilot. We act out of habit, without thinking about what we’re doing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If we had to think our way through everything we did, we couldn’t … Continue reading

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Do We Need Religion to be Good People?

“Does being religious make someone a good person?” Continue reading

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Truth in All Its Varieties

Is truth always the same thing, or are there different kinds of truth? Continue reading

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Reclaiming Israel’s Reputation

I’ve started reading David Brog’s excellent new book Reclaiming Israel’s History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle for Peace. I’ll post a full review later, but the initial paragraphs of the book describe a situation that seems eerily familiar: “There was a … Continue reading

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Translating the Bible for Our Era

My latest blog post for The Jewish Journal: What difference does a translation make? If we take the Torah seriously, a lot. Whether we believe it was given by God to Moses, or only that it’s the foundational text of our identity … Continue reading

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Chaos and Creation, from Genesis to Today

My new blog post for The Jewish Journal: You might not expect it, but the very first words of the Torah explain how social change works. The most familiar English rendering is “In the beginning, God created the heavens and … Continue reading

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The Weirdest Torah Theory You Never Heard

My latest blog post for The Jewish Journal: It’s a weird theory about the Torah. You’ve never heard of it. And it’s really a thing. Of course, you’ve heard of other theories. The documentary hypothesis says that ancient editors assembled … Continue reading

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Organizing the Bible and the Talmud

My latest blog post for The Jewish Journal: Do you know what it says in the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8, verse 3? Unless you’re a rabbi or a savant, you probably don’t. Neither do I. But we know how … Continue reading

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