Bible archives

Genres within the prophets

Genres within the prophetsEzekiel and the hand of God. Dura Europos synagogue wall painting (Public domain)A ‘genre’ is a type or style of writing. Contemporary examples would include novels, scientific text books, fairy tales, insurance documents, poems, tweets, and so on. The are several main genres with the Bible, including historical narrative, poetry, letters, law/instruction, and prophecy. We're interested in the prophets here, but there isn't one single type of prophetic...

Six key questions about texts in the prophets

Six key questions about texts in the prophetsEzekiel in Berlin – Tony Watkins We need to ask a few key questions about every passage we come to in the prophetic books. What is the historical context?What is the biblical context?How is the prophet’s message presented? (see Genres within the Prophets, Hebrew Poetry and Figures of Speech)What main problems does the prophet diagnose?What are the remedies?What is the underlying message about God and...

Despite present appearances, God is in control

I spent last week on the edge of Berlin teaching on the Bible and Culture course, as I’ve done for the last eight years. It’s a four-week programme for IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) staff and graduates from Europe and Eurasia. This year, we had 35 participants from the UK across to Kazakhstan. I taught the book of Daniel for the whole of each morning. That’s an immense privilege,...

Seven stories we keep telling

Over the course of around twenty years of analysing films, books and other media, I have often been struck at the ways in which storytellers keep telling the same kinds of tales over and over again. That’s not to say that the narratives they construct are inevitably wearied or hackneyed; far from it. There is extraordinary diversity in the way that the themes have been explored. Yet, it remains the case that, under the surface, most if not all stories are versions of a limited number of key themes.

Old Testament Timelines

My Old Testament timelines are now available in five languages on Slideshare. If you spot any errors, please let me know! The two different chronologies for the patriarchs are because there are two significantly different ways of dating the Exodus. You'll need to look at the evidence and draw your own conclusions! Note that these are still a work in progress, but they're available now for those who want them in...

Is God a moral monster?

The Old Testament raises some tricky questions of morality for people living in the contemporary world, at least in the west. The alleged 'genocide' of the Canaanites is one that I hear frequently. It isn't only people who are not Christians who have questions about it; Christians often feel embarrassed about these parts of the Old Testament. However, I am am convinced that there are some very good responses to these issues. I tried to outline a few responses in the first of a series of four sessions tackling difficult questions during Above Bar Church's Discipleship School in the autumn of 2014.

A Fresh Start – Noah

Darren Aronofsky is a visionary and ambitious film-maker who constantly grapples with big themes in his work. Noah continues in this line as it explores significant – and very relevant – tensions within humanity: between benevolent care for the environment and greedy exploitation, between duty and self-interest, and of course, between good and evil. Aronofsky, along with co-writer Ari Handel, explores these issues and others in spectacular, epic style in the context of one of humanity’s oldest stories. This post was first published in Film & Bible Blog. © Tony Watkins 2013.

THE BIBLE series

After being a massive success on US television, THE BIBLE miniseries comes to the UK this week. Channel 5 is broadcasting the first episode at 9:00 pm on Saturday 30 November. About THE BIBLE series THE BIBLE is an epic 10-hour mini-series that brings to life the dramatic tales of faith and courage in the most widely-read book of all time. Breathtaking in scope and scale, THE BIBLE features powerful...