Beliefnet
ON Scripture

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.”


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.


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?”.


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”.


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?”.



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!”


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.


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).


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.

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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