ON Scripture

ON Scripture

Sticks, Stones, and the Power of Words: James 3:1-12

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

Why do we repeat adages we know are false? Why do we deceive ourselves with seemingly soothing words that instead burn invisible scars upon us? Why do we persist in the deception that words cannot harm?

Watch the Video: ON Scripture: Speech Can Unite or Divide



The Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto, assistant professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary, discusses the Biblical text James 3:1-12, featured in the ON Scripture The Bible article, “Sticks, Stones, and the Power of Words.”


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Poverty, Wealth, and Equality? James 2:1-10, 11-13, 14-17

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Margaret Aymer

Poor people. These are the two words underlying much of the political arguments coming across the airwaves right now. There is great discussion about “Medicaid,” “Medicare,” “The Affordable Care Act [aka Obamacare or Romneycare],” “Welfare,” “Big Government” and “Social Security. But two words rarely heard in the 2012 political campaign: poor people.

Watch the Video: Faces of Poverty: A Single Father



After suffering a layoff and searching for work for two years, a divorced 46-year-old father of three lands a job outside of Reading, Pa. The shift work is crucial for him to survive financially, but the hours required means he rarely sees his 16-year-old daughter.


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Lip Service – But Where Is the Heart?

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Dirk G. Lange

Human beings want religion not God. Or, to put it slightly differently (and perhaps in a more nuanced manner!), they all too easily equate religion with a very particular, culturally determined, idea of God. They name their religion – their rites, their laws, their stories – divine or Bible-based. They find mystical origins for their laws turning those laws into unquestionable truths.

Watch the Video: What Contaminates a Life?



Efrain Agosto, a Professor at New York Theological Seminary, discusses the Biblical text Mark 7:1-8, 14-15 and 21-23, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “Lip Service – But Where Is the Heart?”.


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The Politics of Betrayal: John 6:56-69

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Karoline Lewis

Broken Promises

Imagine being introduced for the first time, not by your name or what you have done, but in reference to what you will do. Such is the case for Judas in the closing section of chapter six in John’s Gospel, “For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him” (John 6:64 NRSV). Typically, we are recognized by our past, whether achievements or hardships. Then there’s something to go on. But not for Judas. There is no mention of Judas before this moment. As a character in the unfolding story of Jesus, he is first known by and immediately indicted for an act he has yet to commit. Perhaps not fair, but every bit true.

Watch the Video: Jesus Redeems the World



Peter Wallace, Producer and Host at Day1.org, discusses the Biblical text John 6:56-69, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “The Politics of Betrayal”.


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Who Will Be America’s Next Leader? I Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Dr. Walter Brueggemann

The old king, David, is dead. It is time to pick his successor as king. In retrospect it seems obvious that his son, Solomon, was his rightful heir. In the moment, however, the matter of succession to the throne is highly contested. Two sons of David, Solomon and Adonijah, are both aggressive candidates for the succession. In the end, Solomon prevails and becomes king. But not easily! He must engage in choreographed deception with the aid of powerful allies. He is also willing to engage in raw violence in order to eliminate his rival. The scene sounds like one from The Godfather.

Watch the Video: ON Scripture: The Rise of King Solomon



Matthew L. Skinner, Associate Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, discusses the Biblical text I Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “Who Will Be America’s Next Leader?”.


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Not Another Bread Passage … Please! John 6:35, 41-51

posted by Odyssey Networks


By Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman

Sometimes when I read a biblical text, it makes almost perfect sense to me. Other times, the author’s intent seems fairly obvious so I get a good feeling about what I am reading.

Watch the Video:  ON Scripture: Jesus Is the Bread of Life



Barbara K. Lundblad, Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary, discusses the Biblical text John 6:35, 41-51, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “Not Another Bread Passage…Please!”


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Perilous Power: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

Every Bible ought to have a warning on its cover.


Watch the Video: ON Scripture: Nathan Rebukes David



Eric Barreto, an assistant professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary, expands on the story of King David, Bathsheba, and a man called Nathan who rebukes the king.


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The Story of Patriarchy and HIV and AIDS: 2 Samuel 11:1-15

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Melissa Browning

This past week, more than 20,000 people met in our nation’s capital for the 2012 International AIDS Conference. Activists, doctors, people living with HIV and AIDS, development workers, theologians, social scientists and all kinds of folks attended this event.

Watch ON Scripture: King David and Bathsheba



Commentator Robert Alter notes that David’s love stories take place amidst conflict and death. Bathsheba is not the only woman David married in the midst of pain or death. Similar stories can be found in his marriages to Michal (I Sam 18:20-29) and Abigail (1 Sam. 25).


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Compassion Fatigue: Mark 6:30-34 & 53-56

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. Eric C. Shafer

August 2005. Hurricane Katrina had struck New Orleans and help had not yet arrived for several days. The televised images are nearly seven years old, but they continue to be vivid in my mind. Thousands of people, mostly poor African Americans, were stranded outside of the Louisiana Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center. They were screaming for help, for rescue, for food, for water. Even worse, untended dead bodies were laying there – one in a grocery cart, only some covered up.

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The Downfall of Giving Into Fear: Mark 6:14-29

posted by Odyssey Networks

By Rev. James M. Childs

John the Baptist was convicted, convinced of his ordination to prepare the way of the Messiah with a call to repentance. Herod Antipas was conflicted, assailed by contradictory impulses within himself and vulnerable to pressures outside himself.

Watch the Video: ON Scripture: Death of John the Baptist



Barbara K. Lundblad, Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary, discusses the Biblical text Mark 6:14-29, featured in the ON Scripture: The Bible article, “The Downfall of Giving Into Fear”.


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Previous Posts

Immigration Reform and the Challenges of Generosity (Luke 4:22-30)
By Matthew L. Skinner Charity doesn’t leave us unchanged, which is just one reason why it’s hard to make ourselves do it. To be more specific: when we extend generosity and justice to others, it alters our relationship to them. Especially when those “others” are foreign to us. Hospital

posted 10:17:05am Feb. 04, 2013 | read full post »

The Abortion Debate: We’re All in This Together
By Barbara K Lundblad This is a memorable week: on Monday the inauguration of President Obama on the holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., and on Tuesday the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court. Some people will celebrate all three with thanksgiving. Others will

posted 11:29:13am Jan. 23, 2013 | read full post »

A Vision for America: John 2:1-11
By Reverend Dr. Alvin O'Neal Jackson “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” John 2:10 Occupy the Dream Spurred on by the Occupy Wall Street movement, African-Am

posted 9:02:18am Jan. 17, 2013 | read full post »

Waiting on the Messiah and Presidential Expectations: A Study of Luke
By David A. Sánchez, Ph.D. It is an odd juxtaposition, December 21, 2012 and January 21, 2013. The former date representing the “so-called” Mayan apocalypse where the usual suspects prepared for the end of the world – many of whom were Christians awaiting the second coming of Christ – a

posted 1:03:29pm Jan. 10, 2013 | read full post »

Frankincense, Myrrh and a Toothbrush? Matthew 2:1-12
By Lisa Nichols Hickman In As I Lay Dying, the main character Anse appears self-absorbed when at his wife’s death he says, “God’s will be done. . . . Now I can get them teeth.” His character will certainly not be remembered for altruism. But Anse will be remembered for the physical ef

posted 1:59:16pm Jan. 03, 2013 | read full post »


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