Matthew interprets Isaiah creatively, not in keeping with what Isaiah meant. The child’s birth is not miraculous in Isaiah, but the deliverance of Judah from a military coalition is.
The ancient Israelites were as detached from their official religion as are many/most Americans from official Christianity.
Things go wrong when two spies’ first stop is a prostitute’s house.
The Bible—even where it talks about God—is a relentlessly contextual collection of ancient literature that takes wisdom and patience to handle well, and in doing so drives us toward further contemplation of God here and now.
Old Testament scholar Christopher Rollston, in his 2015 book Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel, makes the case (among several related cases) that literacy in ancient Israel was almost exclusively confined to an elite, educated class, and not something that your average Jacob and Rachel Israelite could handle. It’s a wonderfully informative book, even it presumes of […]