Interview with Benjamin D. Sommer: Jewish Views on the Bible
Last Updated July 1, 2020
This week’s topic is Jewish ways understanding what the Bible is, namely what it means to speak of the Bible as “revealed” and “authoritative.” Our guest is Benjamin D. Sommer, professor of Bible and ancient Semitic languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. His latest book is Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition. Christianshave much to learn from Jews about how to understand the nature of the Bible.
How would Richard Rohr answer the question: “What is the Bible?”
How can the Bible be normative and set trajectories?
What does inspiration mean when we’re talking about the Bible?
How does Richard Rohr filter and read the Bible?
Why and how did Protestant and Catholic traditions take different approaches to scripture and external authority?
What’s the path Richard Rohr found to being able to hold the three elements of his triangle that are all in some sense an authority but maybe not the authority?
What does Fr. Rohr say about René Gerard and the Bible as a text in travail?
Does Richard rohr see in the New Testament a need for an evolution of religious consciousness or is all of the New Testament simply the last word?
How can we see the prophets non-dualistically?
How can we understand biblical stories like Ananias and Sapphira or the book of Revelation, which looks pretty retributive?
How can we still read the Bible and look for meaning?
Which comes first: reading the Bible or experience?
How does the Bible fit into Christian reconstruction of faith?
Why and how does the Bible teach great truths through story?
How do we let God out of the box?
There are a few episodes that we think just deserve to be republished and reissued from previous seasons. And today is our first go at that. This is the second episode we ever aired on the Bible for Normal People podcast.
This is a re-broadcast from March 26, 2017 (Episode 2).
Pithy, shareable, less-than-280-character statements you can share.
“In our understanding of who God is, God becomes less violent, less punitive, more inclusive, less tribal–that to me is pretty obvious. And I think it’s what we meant when we said that we read the scriptures in the light of Jesus.” – RichardRohrOFM
“God’s invasion into human consciousness, albeit a positive invasion, was always filtered through our capacity to hear it and in our capacity to receive it.” RichardRohrOFM
“Jesus himself, Paul himself…this is undeniable…they trust their own experience of God against their own scriptures.” RichardRohrOFM
“This is obvious to me that we all lead with our own experience. And let’s start being honest about that instead of pretending that we started with some magical scripture quote that fell from the heavens.” RichardRohrOFM