Man standing in flames

Ghost, Demon, or Hallucination: Did Samuel Return from the Dead?

Teaching through the Bible yearly as a Biblical Literature prof at Western Seminary has given me the opportunity to interact with many challenging interpretive questions. One that still puzzles me is the account of Samuel’s posthumous appearance before Saul and the witch of En-dor (1 Samuel 28:8-14). Saul was facing a critical battle with the…Continue reading Ghost, Demon, or Hallucination: Did Samuel Return from the Dead?

The Death of the Author: An Introduction to PoMo Interpretation

Have you ever been in a Bible Study where the leader carelessly asks, “So, what does this passage mean to you?” What kind of question is that? Perhaps it is an innocent, albeit poorly worded, call for personal application. But often the answers that follow touch on meanings that have nothing to do with the…Continue reading The Death of the Author: An Introduction to PoMo Interpretation

Interpretation without Presuppositions? Not Possible and Not Desirable.

I am one of those nerds who has read the Tolkien trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, well over a dozen times. I love the Peter Jackson movie adaptations too. One of my favorite scenes in the movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, is when a concerned Gandalf gently suggests to Bilbo that maybe he…Continue reading Interpretation without Presuppositions? Not Possible and Not Desirable.