Yesterday evening, we witnessed a super moon lunar eclipse or what Christian fundamentalists like to call a "blood moon". The latest craze among some evangelicals is the "Four Blood Moons Prophecy", an idea popularized by evangelists Mark Biltz and John Hagee. The event is interpreted in light of several apocalyptic texts from the Bible, which are believed to be tied to Israel's destiny. In this week's episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we deconstruct the preposterous claims of this so-called prophecy. People who believe such ludicrous ideas clearly lack critical thinking skills. The same goes for fundamentalist Christian preachers who promote this "prophecy". They simply are unqualified to teach the Bible, the holy book they claim to know and believe.
In this last podcast dedicated to Hector Avalos' book The End of Biblical Studies, we examine the final three chapters (7-10) which look at the role academia, learned societies, and the media play in trying to promote the idea that the Bible is still relevant today. We also discuss how the author's critical assessment resonates with our own experience as biblical scholars. After several weeks discussing this book, we hope that listeners understand and appreciate the significance of Dr. Avalos' important work.
This is the fourth installment of our discussion of Hector Avalos' book The End of Biblical Studies. This week we focus on the chapters dealing with Literary Criticism (Ch. 5) and Biblical Theology (Ch. 6). Dr. Avalos rightly remarks that, "literary aesthetics are still being used as the handmaiden of apologetics" (p. 220). As for biblical theology, it is truly an impossible enterprise. The Bible contains many theological discourses; so which biblical theology should one embrace? There is no one unified theology; rather, there are many theologies. This is why, "biblical theology is a thoroughly religionist endeavor" (p. 250).
This is our third episode dedicated to Hector Avalos' book The End of Biblical Studies. In chapter 3, Prof. Avalos discusses History and Archaeology and remarks that, "at the heart of the entire debate about whether one can write a history of ancient Israel is an epistemological problem that is besetting all of archaeology and history. Historians and archaeologists have lost confidence in examining the past objectively." (p.111). We will also see how biblical scholars face similar problems when it comes to the study of the historical Jesus.
This week we are continuing our discussion of Hector Avalos', The End of Biblical Studies. We will examine his chapters on Translation and Textual Criticism. Speaking of biblical translation, Prof. Avalos says that "the Bible is best maintained by using translation to hide and distort the original meaning of the text, in order to provide the illusion that the information and values conveyed by the biblical authors are compatible with those of the modern world." (p.37). As for textual criticism, "there is no longer any strong rationale", according to Avalos, "for why textual criticism, as a discipline, should matter to those outside communities of faith, or even to communities of faith themselves." (p.66).