Magic in the Ancient World and the Bible

In November I went to the annual national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in San Francisco.  I spent three days listening to over 30 papers written by some of the most preeminent biblical scholars in the world.  It was quite an amazing experience.  Hopefully, one day I will present something at that conference, but that’s a day at least several years away.  For now I’d like to turn several of my favorite presentations into blog posts.  Many of the presentations I heard were on magic, amulets, spells, and exorcism in the biblical world.  Join me as we look at the first one: the exorcism of Jesus.  (update: May 3, 2013: I never got around to writing the other two. Sorry. I have changed the title to reflect that this is no longer “Part 1”.)

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To Translate is to Lie

There is an old saying: to translate is to lie.  For your average church-goer, this may be a bit unsettling.  Suddenly very bothersome questions start to arise.  Are my English translations wrong? Can they be trusted? Do I have to know Hebrew and Greek to truly understand what the Bible says?  The answer to all of these questions is: no…sort of.  Join me as I give a few examples.

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This is My Story

On Monday, June 7, 2010, I took the biggest step yet in a journey that many of you know very little about – I turned in my two weeks notice.  My family and my church family have known about this for quite some time, but I have had to keep it shielded from the rest of the world before I was ready.  Now I’m ready to share.  In short, I’ve discovered what it is I’m truly passionate about and I feel called to go into ministry.  I’ve been accepted to the ACU Master of Divinity program and I’m moving out there to go to school full time.  For the full story as to what caused this to happen, I’ve reproduced a slightly redacted version of the admissions essay which I wrote in September of 2009.  My redactions have been for the sake of transitioning the piece from a “timely” admissions essay to a “timeless” blog post.  The admissions essay should give you some idea of why I’m doing this and what’s driving it.  After the essay I’ve added in the saga of my life over the last 9 months and how God has worked in amazing ways, teaching me a many things in the process.

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