This summer may be the fullest one yet for us. Between schoolwork (lots!), summer day camp, swimming lessons (x2), and a major project under the house, there just hasn't been much time to write new posts. You may have wondered if I was gone fishing ... and in a sense, I was!
Emma graduated from swimming lessons today and went from being pretty nervous in the water to swimming like a fish! Yeah, Emma!
This week was vacation Bible school at church. The theme was 'Backstage with the Bible' and worship was led by the 'Go Fish! Guys'. The girls loved the music and had a lot of fun.
Another summer project has been getting ready for my grandma's 90th birthday. We made her a photo book on Snapfish that turned out great. There's something really cool about retelling the family story. God has been so faithful through the years!
For school, I just finished a major read, Michael Fishbane's Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel. The kids cheered me on through all 543 pages of it. :) It's about the ways biblical authors quote each other. While intertextuality (the fancy name for it) is one of my all-time favorite topics, this will not make it into my top 10 book list (though I suspect I'll be consulting it for years to come). I did learn a whole lot, but Fishbane and I do not exactly see eye to eye! He finds evidence here, there, and everywhere for occasions where a later author supposedly changed the text, and he sees lots of contradictions in the Bible. Identifying those 'changes' is a rather subjective enterprise, though. Here's one example: Prophecy, according to Fishbane, is by definition vague and open-ended. Therefore, any time there is something specific in a prophecy (such as a name of a person or place), it can be attributed to somebody else, years later, who added it in. Laws, on the other hand, usually start very specific. So if you come across a law that is based on a general principle, then it must have been added later. In one case specificity is evidence of originality, in the other case it proves editorial activity. Hmmm.... does this sound fishy?
I don't argue with his idea that the Bible was 'edited' or 'compiled' by later authors, but he takes it all much farther than I'm willing to go. Thankfully, I don't have to fully agree with him to benefit from all his hard work. I'm ready to head back to the Bible and read more carefully than ever before.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Dr. Carmen Imes is the Associate Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta, and serves the broader church through teaching, speaking, and writing. She earned a PhD in Biblical Theology (Old Testament) from Wheaton College under Dr. Daniel Block, an MA in Biblical Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a BA in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. She and her husband, Danny, served as missionaries with SIM 15 years. They have three children: Ana, Emma, and Easton.