Can Modern Bible Scholarship Be Reconciled with Faith?

According to Benjamin Sommer, it can. In a recent book entitled Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition, he attempts to do so by arguing that the Hebrew Bible is the product of divine revelation even though the Torah is not the literal, word-for-word, Word of God. (Interview by Alan Brill):

Using modern critical tools such as history and philology to understand the Bible’s teachings doesn’t somehow render those teachings irrelevant to religion; using those tools simply means that I am able to get much closer to understanding biblical texts and their teachings the way their first audiences understood them. Why understanding the Bible more deeply and more authentically on its own terms should be thought inimical to accepting the Bible as sacred is utterly beyond me. . . .

[Furthermore], it seems inauthentic to me, as religious Jew, to separate what I know about the Bible intellectually from the ways I employ it religiously. It will not do to read the Bible serially, sometimes as [an historical] artifact and at other times as Scripture. Such a choice would require one to partition oneself, so that one has a secular mind and a religious soul co-existing uneasily in a single body but not communicating with each other. . . .

There really was an event at Mount Sinai that involved all Israel, and Sinai is not just a metaphor. However, [the Torah] is Scripture not because all of its words came from heaven, but because it contains the nation of Israel’s response to God’s real but non-verbal commands that came to Israel at Sinai.

Read more at Book of Doctrines and Opinions

More about: Bible, Biblical criticism, Judaism, Religion & Holidays, Revelation, Torah MiSinai

The EU Must Stop Tolerating Hizballah

July 21 2017

Tuesday was the fifth anniversary of the bombing in the Bulgarian city of Burgas, which left five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian dead. After the bombing, the EU designated the “military wing” of Hizballah, which carried out the attack, a terrorist organization. But unlike the U.S., Egypt, and the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the EU doesn’t apply this designation to the Hizballah’s “political wing.” Toby Dershowitz and Benjamin Weinthal write:

[T]he EU needs to . . . recognize, as Hizballah [itself] does, that the organization isn’t bifurcated into political and military “wings.” . . . Hizballah’s terror-financing activities and its critical role in the Syrian war should be enough for the EU to deport Hizballah members from its 28 member countries. Anything short of full designation would enable Hizballah to continue fundraising and operating its front companies. Last year, for instance, . . . German authorities uncovered a money-laundering operation in Europe that amassed nearly €1 million ($1.1 million) a week for more than two years, money that Europol and the U.S. Treasury Department says went to fund Hizballah.

Membership recruitment in Europe is also a significant tool for Hizballah. According to a recent German intelligence report, there are 950 active Hizballah members in Germany. This calls into question the effectiveness of the EU’s 2013 sanctions, which were imposed only on Hizballah’s “military wing.” . . .

Should Europe maintain the status quo . . . it does so at its own peril. European security will continue to be put at risk. And Hizballah will be given the signal that Europe is far from serious about countering terrorism.

Read more at FDD

More about: Bulgaria, European Union, Hizballah, Politics & Current Affairs, Terrorism