The Enslavement of the Israelites

Black, blonde, and red haired Hebrew slaves in Ancient Egypt

The December As It Is Written column is a brief discourse on the nature of the slavery suffered by the Israelites toward the end of their sojourn there. You can download/view the paper Here.


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Genesis 15:3 – Is Abram Frustrated, Angry, or Both?

I’ve posted my translation of Genesis 15:3 in the Verse Translations Forum (in the event you may want to post a question or make a comment). On the other hand, you can download the translation in PDF form.

By way of context, this verse and the preceding one constitute Abram’s response to God’s promise of offspring. Abram is not amused. The only other commercial translation that comes close to getting this right is the LXE (the English translation of the Greek Old Testament).


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Announcing the Bible Club

What’s a Bible club?

Basically it is a bible study that is low-stress, convivial, fulfilling (literally – check out the link below) – and highly informative way of engaging the Bible as it was meant to be engaged. Deeply. You can read about it here.

I’d hope to start up a Bible club here in Missoula so, if any of you have an interest in participating drop me a line at

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Next MOLLI Class

My next class for MOLLI will be titled “What the Bible Really Says“. You can read more about the class here. If you choose to visit the page, however, feel free to browse through some of the other course offerings. But, just to pique your interest, give these two articles a glance. You’ll get a good idea of what it means to discover what the Bible really says.

  1. Does God Say Please?
  2. What Does “In Christ” really mean?

This up and coming course, like the Genesis Creation stories are often surprising to most of us. In my view, this is because the Bible has been interpreted largely through contemporary, Western eyes. However, when studied from an Ancient Near East perspective our understanding is so much more deeply enriched. Those of you who have taken one or more of my classes know that the Bible is anything but a set of fabulist stories meant for children, scientific illiterates, and other non-sophisticates.

What are these classes like? Well, I usually like to spend the first session re-introducing students to the Bible as it was read and understood in its original language by its original audience – the ancient Hebrews of the Canaan highlands. Even though this introduction is brief, you’ll be surprised at how little headway modern biblical scholarship has made in deepening our understanding of the Bible and contemporary religious teaching. Much of the resistence to new findings is the fear that existing doctrine will be weakened or, at its worse, overturned. Poppycock. It is precisely this head-in-the-sand view of the Bible that has led to rather egregious misunderstanding of the  text. This class, What the Bible Really Says, seeks to address many of these misunderstandings straight on.

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