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

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 6a: Intercalations)

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 6a: Intercalations)

Intercalations The term “intercalation” refers both to the writing technique by which an author inserts a story within another story, and the bracketed story itself. “Intercalation” is used interchangeably with “sandwich,” “interpolation,” and “interposition,” though scholars argue in favor of one or another for a more nuanced definition. An interc

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 5c: Literary Structures)

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 5c: Literary Structures)

The most common literary structures in the Bible are chiastic structures and panel structures. These can be found in small units (such as verses), individual narratives (such as a miracle story), or can extend over several chapters, books, and even several books. Composite structures include both chiastic and panel structures, as we will see in an

A Love that Scatters Snares

A Love that Scatters Snares

Have you ever been the victim of a hateful snare? I am going to guess yes. Not because I know you, but because I know a little about human nature. Life throws us surprises, and in the many days and nights of our breath, a chain of events will at some point or another bring us on the threshold of duplicity. We may even be the ones casting the bait.