Gaslighting God? 21st August 2023
The Old Testament readings in the semi-continuous option for the RCL in September are from the Book of Exodus. Carmen Imes invites us to pose the question as to whose version of reality we are going to trust.
Luke 19 and Post Colonial Preaching 15th August 2023
Drawing on different readings of the Zacchaeus story, Augustine Tanner-Ihmn invites us to consider the post-colonial context of our preaching.
Suffering in Silence…? 18th April 2023
1 Peter’s call to endure unjust suffering has often been misused to justify domestic (and other) abuse. Writing from different perspectives, Steve Carter and Steve Finamore challenge that use of the text.
‘On us and on our children’: Repenting of the harm caused by Matthew 27:25 20th March 2023
Ann Conway-Jones invites us to reflect on how we respond to Matthew’s accusation of deicide against the Jews.
The Fall Revisited 27th February 2023
The Old Testament reading on 26th February is the story of the Fall. Debbie Rooke invites us to revisit our assumptions about the story and what it says about responsibility.
The Binding of Isaac: A Solo Cantata based on Genesis 22 15th February 2023
Delvyn Case on his 20-minute solo cantata: ‘The Binding of Isaac According to the Elohist’, that brings to life the famous biblical story of Abraham and Isaac.
The Lure of Violence 31st January 2023
In this post guest blogger Christine Redwood uses Judges 3 as a way in to asking ourselves the question: Is Violence Ever OK?
Becoming the New Humanity: Preaching and Cultivating the Seeds of Ephesians 2 31st October 2022
Research Associate Kristin Caynor shares her journey with Ephesians 2, with attention drawn to the New Humanity.
Prayer in the Ruins: Psalm 137 20th September 2022
Research Associate Trevor Laurence wrestles with Psalm 137 and offers insight into its meaning.
Psalm 33 – ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord’ 16th August 2022
In this guest blog, Steve Langton considers the interpretation of Psalm 33 and its use to justify the idea of ‘Christian country’ or ‘state church’.
Gender-based violence and the Bible – what can we learn from one another? 25th July 2022
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a crime as old, if not older, than the Bible. Yet, it is also a crime that remains endemic today, with almost one in three women
“The things that make for peace”. A reflection for Palm Sunday 8th April 2022
Palm Sunday sermon, based on Mal 3:1-5; Luke 19:35-45, by the director of the CSBV, Helen Paynter.
Preaching on the Book of Revelation 5th April 2022
For anyone setting out to preach on this strange and mysterious book, Ian Paul offers some much-needed help.
The Blessing of Ishmael 10th March 2022
CSBV Research Associate Ashley Hibbard invites us to read Genesis 16 and to consider the place of Ishmael in the Old Testament story and beyond.
Hopelessness in the Wilderness of War 9th March 2022
In this guest post, Will Moore shares his sermon on Lent, preached on 6th March 2022.
A Violent Fast 6th March 2022
This sermon on Isaiah 58 was preached by CSBV director Helen Paynter during Lent of 2022.
The Lure of a Happy Ending – Making Space for the Traumatised 8th February 2022
In this guest post Dr Sarah Travis invites us to consider how much our worship and preaching makes space for those who have experienced trauma.
Bibliolog and Bibliodrama – an approach to playing with sacred texts 24th January 2022
In this guest post David Tatem introduces Bibliodrama and Bibliolog, two ways of engaging with biblical texts which could be used to explore texts of violence.
Book review: Texts After Terror: Rape, Sexual Violence, and The Hebrew Bible 17th January 2022
Alexiana Fry reviews Rhiannon Graybill’s new book Texts After Terror: Rape, Sexual Violence, and The Hebrew Bible
King Saul & Moral Injury 10th January 2022
Research Associate Peter King suggests that we might look at King Saul in a new light, finding new insights in his story for preaching and pastoral care.
Abuse and its angles of power 25th November 2021
A script from a Keynote event with speaker Helen Paynter on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Nov 2021.
Avoiding Advent Anti-Judaism 5th November 2021
How do we preach from the Old Testament in ways that avoid anti-Judaism? In this latest blogpost for our Sunday Sermon Monday Mourning series, Revd Robert Parkinson reflects on the
Can the message of God as an avenger comfort us? 4th October 2021
The Book of Nahum presents both a God of love and a God of vengeance. In this guest post, Professor Dr Klaas Spronk of the Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam raises the
A woman of valour? 13th September 2021
On September 19, one of the RCL OT Readings (Proper 20, Pentecost 17) is Proverbs 31: 10 – 31. CSBV Research Associate Ashley Hibbard invites us to a new way
What does a peacemaking church do with the armour of God ? 16th August 2021
On 22nd August the RCL readings include Ephesians 6, the ‘armour of God’. CSBV research associate Peter King reflects on the challenges this presents. August 22 – Ephesians 6: 10
King David’s toxic masculinity 19th July 2021
CSBV Research Associate Ceri Webb invites us to revisit the story of David and Bathsheba and its aftermath.
Uzzah and the Ark 5th July 2021
The Old Testament story of Uzzah, apparently killed by God for steadying the Ark of the Covenant in transit, is one of the set readings in the RCL for this Sunday
The Holocaust: Church Complicity and Indifference 22nd June 2021
Guest blogger Revd Bruce D. Thompson reflects on church compicity with antisemitism, and the role that the Bible sometimes plays. I had long suspected it be the case. The confirmation
Arming Wall Builders with Swords 8th June 2021
I recently preached on Nehemiah 4:13-23 at my church, St Nics Durham (CoE), as part of a sermon series on the book of Nehemiah. The series covers the major parts
One Greater than Solomon is Here: a sermon for ascension day 13th May 2021
By CSBV director Helen Paynter The writer of the book of Kings gives us a glimpse of what you would have seen if you had been present in Jerusalem on
Jonathan and Jephthah’s Daughter 27th April 2021
My family and I recently read 1 Samuel 14, the second half of which contains the somewhat odd story where Saul almost kills his son for sampling some local honey.
“Greater love … ?” 19th April 2021
A few weeks ago in the UK there was an understandable outcry when the former chief schools inspector appeared to suggest that teachers should be prepared to sacrifice their lives
Save me from bloody men: a Maundy Thursday reflection. 1st April 2021
This reflection from CSBV Director Helen Paynter is based on Psalm 59 (see also 1 Sam 19:11), and Luke 22:39-53.
Not Necessary But Inevitable 28th March 2021
As we approach another Easter, and prepare to tell again the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus, what message will we give about the reasons for the events
Preaching Judas 15th March 2021
“The Chernobyl of Christian anti-semitism” This is how the late Israeli writer Amos Oz described the figure of Judas in the gospel stories. As we approach Easter, and our annual
Us. vs. Them: Complementarianism and Culture Wars in UK Churches 8th March 2021
By guest blogger Valerie Hobbs Women’s Ministry leader in the FIEC, Sarah Allen, has recently published an article reporting research on the state of complementarianism in UK churches. The experiences
Should Christians join the military? A Forgotten Perspective. 7th December 2020
By CSBV research associate Brandon Hurlbert Should Christians join the military? A Forgotten Perspective. I have hesitated to write this post for some time now. Military service holds a special
The (American) Civil War as a Crisis of Theology 30th November 2020
Review of Mark Noll’s book, by Helen Paynter. Noll, Mark E. The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (The Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era). University of
What The Biblical Authors Skipped And Why It Matters Today 23rd November 2020
By CSBV research associate Brandon Hurlbert What The Biblical Authors Skipped And Why It Matters Today Readers of the Bible may be shocked to discover that an important historical event
Women’s Holy Burden and Patriarchy 20th July 2020
Guest blog by Valerie Hobbs Women’s Holy Burden and Patriarchy A few weeks ago, an anonymous blogger published a website called Genevan Commons Screenshots, an archive of images and discussion
The prayers of the Saints and the Judgment of God 13th July 2020
By CSBV research associate Trevor Laurence For many around the world, the experience of the last several weeks and months has been profoundly destabilizing. It is as if the very
Breakfast, Bathsheba, and biblical interpretation 6th July 2020
In the second in her occasional series on interpretation of biblical narratives (you can find the first one here), CSBV director Helen Paynter discusses breakfast, Bathsheba, and the Bible. For
Responsible Scholarship: Moral and Ethical Considerations 26th June 2020
Guest blog post by Hannah Capey Four days have elapsed since the news broke in the French press that Professor Jan Joosten had been convicted of possession of child pornography.
The Christian imagination: Theology and the origins of Race 15th June 2020
The Christian imagination: Theology and the origins of Race, by Willie James Jennings. London: Yale University Press, 2010. Book review by Sara Améstegui Deik Introduction Willie Jennings is an associate
Sermon: The Way of Jesus in a World on Fire 9th June 2020
Sermon on 1 Peter 3:8-22, preached at St Nic’s, Durham, by CSBV Research Associate Brandon Hurlbert, on 7th June 2020, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests in
The Child as Viper: How Voddie Baucham’s Theology of Children Promotes Abuse 1st June 2020
By R.L. Stollar. Ryan is an advocate for children and abuse survivors and a child liberation theologian. Ryan has an M.H.S. in Child Protection from Nova Southeastern University, an M.A.
The Possible Use of a Trajectorial Hermeneutic to Support a Christocentric Application of Scripture Within Anabaptist Communities —A Critical Evaluation. 18th May 2020
by Mark Warner.Mark is a ‘retired’ BUGB minister with extensive experience in media, local church and mission organisations. He has a passion for the Anabaptist approach to discipleship, especially regarding
Jesus and the Subversion of Violence: wrestling with the New Testament evidence 11th May 2020
Thomas Yoder Neufeld, Jesus and the Subversion of Violence: wrestling with the New Testament evidence (London: SPCK, 2011) Guest blogs are invited to stimulate thought and comment. They do not
Bloody, Brutal and Barbaric? Wrestling with troubling war texts 22nd April 2020
William J Webb & Gordon K Oeste, Bloody, Brutal and Barbaric? Wrestling with Troubling War Texts, IVP USA, 2019 Two reviews of this new book by Ashley Hibbard and Howard
Guest blog: “Dear Sisters” 9th April 2020
Emily Taylor is a second year student at Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, studying towards a Bachelor of Religious Education. As part of the assessment for her ‘Historical
Unspeakable Things Unspoken 28th February 2020
Review of Isabelle Hamley’s book, by Helen Paynter. This review will be published in a forthcoming edition of the Biblical Theology Bulletin. Hamley, Isabelle M. Unspeakable Things Unspoken: An Irigarayan
Hand-washing and church abuse 16th February 2020
How does a discussion about hand-washing in Mark 7 relate to church abuse? In this edited version of a sermon delivered at Alma Church, Bristol in February 2020, Helen Paynter
Guest Blog: A God who sends plagues and hardens hearts? 4th February 2020
William Ford is Lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew at Belfast Bible College. This blog post is based on his book God, Pharaoh and Moses: Explaining the Lord’s Actions in
Guest Blog: The transforming grace of God: why judgment is a good thing. 12th December 2019
Andy Angel is the vicar of St Andrew’s Church in Burgess Hill, UK and lectured in Anglican theological colleges for many years. He is the author of Playing with Dragons:
Porous Borders and Textual Ambiguity: Why ancient Israel is no model for modern nationalism 27th November 2019
Consultation paper offered to the theological consultation of the Theology and Education Commission of the European Baptist Federation, November 2019. Helen Paynter, Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence,
Guest Blog: On the misreading of parameters 16th November 2019
Ashley Hibbard lives in Canada and has been studying for the last few years with Trinity College, Bristol, towards a PhD in the Old Testament. She will be defending her thesis
A sermon for Remembrance Day 10th November 2019
Sermon on 1 Samuel 25 delivered by Helen Paynter at Westbury on Trym Baptist Church, 10th November 2019. You can listen to it here. The 9th November, 1938, was the
Guest blog: Three reviews of ‘The Violence of the Lamb: Martyrs as Agents of Divine Judgement in the Book of Revelation’ by Paul Middleton, with response by the author. 14th October 2019
Reviews by Simon Woodman, Meredith Warren, and Alison Jack, of Paul Middleton, The Violence of the Lamb: Martyrs as Agents of Divine Judgement in the Book of Revelation (London: T&T
Guest blog: The Ethics of Vengeful Psalms 5th October 2019
Carmen Joy Imes is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta. She is the author of Bearing YHWH’s Name at Sinai: A Reexamination of the Name
Domestic Violence, Divorce and Malachi. 1st June 2019
Domestic Violence, Divorce and Malachi. I am currently writing a book on the use of the Bible in situations of domestic violence. I’m interested in – and very disturbed by
Guest blog: Vashti was a Queen… 16th April 2019
Chris Anthony is a journalist and doctoral researcher within the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at the University of Birmingham. He blogs at http://onewaypublishing.co.uk/ This blog post was first
Avoiding category errors when we read Old Testament narrative 8th April 2019
As someone who reads and marks a lot of student assignments on the Bible, and also reads a lot of academic papers, there are certain category errors that I encounter
Paying Attention to How We Read 7th February 2019
Edgar Allen Poe once, famously, wrote that ‘the death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.’ These words hint at the dark side of