The Book of Esther (Part 12: Unusual Callings Come in Unusual Circumstances)

The Book of Esther (Part 12: Unusual Callings Come in Unusual Circumstances)

A Matter of Life and Death As noted in a previous article, the book of Esther is built upon the theme of life and death. Lives are threatened (the king’s life by the doorkeepers, Mordecai’s life by Haman, and the lives of the Jews by Haman), lives are lost (the doorkeepers, Haman, Haman’s sons, and the enemies of the Jews), and lives are saved (Aha

The Book of Esther (Part 7: Shame and Honor)

The Book of Esther (Part 7: Shame and Honor)

A Sleepless Night Providence comes through full force in this episode, and it is only the beginning of the divine power at work in the book of Esther. The night between the banquets, the night before the day when Haman was going to ask for Mordecai’s life and Esther was going to plea for her life, Mordecai’s life, and the lives of all the Jews in t

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 7: Reason, Criticism, and Scripture)

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 7: Reason, Criticism, and Scripture)

Reason and Scripture I have often heard conversations on biblical interpretation that placed reason and Scripture in opposition. Generally, I see this as an attempt to keep at bay the influence of modernist rationalism, which aims to make human reason the final arbiter of knowledge. Rationalism fits best in a deistic religious framework, in which t

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 6b: Allusions and Quotes)

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 6b: Allusions and Quotes)

Allusions and quotes are a common indicator of intertextuality in Scripture, and finding the connecting passage helps bring out the depth of the message. A quote is a clear indication that both the text including it and the text quoted, need to be understood in relation to each other.   This does not mean that without exploring the quote in it