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Alan Lenzi

Did you see this John?



Thanks for pointing the survey out. According to it, a large majority of Americans (71% in aggregate) believe that the use of torture against suspected terrorists *can* be justified, often, sometimes, or rarely.

I believe it can *rarely* be justified. Even a position as moderate as that, though an equivalent position is held by top Democrats and Republicans alike, is grounds for dismissal from polite society in the eyes of those 25% for whom torture can *never* be justified.

However, I've noticed that many of those in the 25% category admit that they might approve of torture under certain conditions, just that they will not justify it in advance.

On this view, it needs to remain an unjustifiable act, even when one feels compelled to do it. That comes close to my understanding of the use of violence in general, not just torture. That is, all killing and maiming, for whatever purpose, is an intrinsic evil. It can be justified only on the assumption that not to engage in said killing and maiming would enable greater killing and maiming to occur through the agency of someone else.

Alan Lenzi

John, What I find so amazing in this survey is how few Evangelicals and Catholics said torture is only rarely justified. The survey (although one should see this for what it is: one survey) seems to indicate that conservative religious groups are more often inclined to give the green light on torture. It's just not what I would expect. I think pastors ought to be alarmed by this survey, personally.

I wonder: If the word "terrorist," which has become code for "extremist Muslim," wasn't in the question, would Christians be less inclined to answer "often" and "sometimes"? In other words, if the question was worded: Do you think torture is justified against criminals/prisoners of war/spies. . . I wonder how the numbers would look, especially among Christians.


Hi Alan,

I'm not worried just yet, but I appreciate your concern.

Opinions on single issues are often comprehensible in the light of overarching concerns.

One of those overarching concerns is the tendency of law and order as currently practiced, and of non-conservative people who support that status quo, to be more supportive of the rights of the suspected terrorists and of anyone else the law apprehends than compensating victims for the violent acts of others.

How people come down on this larger question has a significant impact on how they respond to the single issue survey question.

As the saying goes, a conservative is a liberal who was mugged.

Here's a concern of mine: the top generals serving under the current commander-in-chief Barack Obama include David Petraeus. Petraeus has a Ph.D. from Princeton. I consider that a plus.

But since Ivy League institutions and their emulaters are increasingly and almost religiously, not just anti-torture, but also anti-military and anti-imperial, how likely is it that top military commanders in the future will earn degrees from places like Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford?

The subliminal message is: stay away. Get your undergrad degree at a military academy, your masters at one of the war colleges, and a Ph.D. if it is important at a "heretical" (non-politically correct, most likely, religiously based) institution.

I don't see how this polarization serves the nation or the world. It will seem beneficial only to those who believe that the dirty work of law enforcement and the military should be left to those deprived of high-mindedness. That makes it easier, you see, for the high-minded to be spazzed by what they do.

Dan Martin

Two thoughts, John, that I'd like to throw in here. First, as a Mennonite by upbringing though not by affiliation, I believe you're caricaturing the Anabaptist position by saying they advocated total withdrawal from civil society. Many (more than not, I believe) actually were quite engaged in civil society, but forbade involvement in those elements of society that use violence--specifically the military and the constabulary (and also the imposition of state dictates on religious affiliation).

Second, I appreciate the nuance with which you argue for the recognition of the evil of violence, and demanding a context of preventing greater violence. Nevertheless I don't see Jesus' teaching as leaving room for that sort of nuance when it comes to the contemplation of violent acts. I freely admit (as I did in my own writing on violence here, that my praxis may not measure up to my convictions if/when the chips are down. But I am pretty thoroughly convicted that for a follower of Jesus to surrender his moral authority to weigh the acceptability of a particular act of violence, to the chain of command of the military, is to abdicate one's own moral responsibility.

I'm also convicted that to willfully, intentionally inflict violence on another human being, whether in the heat of battle or the cold blood of an interrogation, is unacceptable for the follower of the One who went to the cross rather than call legions of angels. If we are in fact His ambassadors, on His ministry of reconciliation, we can't bear the world's weapons of destruction without repudiating everything he stood/lived/died for.

Some things are so evil you have to be ready to die rather than commit them. . .and that's true whether "you" is an individual or a nation. If there is a continuum between (for example) Guantanamo and Auschwitz, where along that continuum do we draw the line?



Thanks for a very thoughtful comment, and for your excellent blog.

In referring to the historic Anabaptist position, I had in mind the traditional stance of Mennonites and similar groups like the Amish and the Hutterites. The Quakers are another story. In terms of theology to back that up, I had in mind the Schleitheim Confession, a compelling statement of faith, the 4th and 6th articles in particular, on separation and the sword, respectively.

I think the witness of the historic peace churches is powerful. It is coherent and logical, a seamless garment, like the faithfulness of the Rechabites praised by Jeremiah (35:1-19).

I don't think less intransigent positions are coherent. By definition, the state is, among other things, an instrument of coercion and an apparatus of repression. It engages in law *enforcement.* Force is the operative word.

It is also typical of states to engage in war from time to time. If the mobilization of society is total, as it was during WWII, the pacifist ethos crumbles unless the community that wishes to remain pacifist truly lives apart from society at large. In fact, WWII even split relatively isolated Mennonite communities, as told with great compassion by Mennonite author Rudy Wiebe in his novel Peace Shall Destroy Many.

But if you live in a city or a town of this world, you benefit from the protection of the avenging sword, to re-use the language of Paul in Romans 13. The idea that your hands are clean of what happens when a person is cuffed and locked up for whatever reason, or is killed in an armed standoff with law enforcement, or is punished with the death penalty, or maimed or killed by soldiers, intentionally or unintentionally, in Afghanistan or Iraq, so long as you only pay taxes and vote but do not actually pull the trigger of a gun, inject the needle, or release the 1,000 lb. bomb from an aircraft, is an illusion pure and simple.

I have enormous respect for the historic Anabaptist stance as defined in the Schleitheim Confession, but far, far less respect for the pacifism of today which is lived out within the security umbrella of the state.

Another approach is more consonant with the overall tenor of the biblical witness. On this view, it is sometimes appropriate to oppose an enemy, and if necessary, kill him, out of love for a third party. Ambrose, a key figure of the first centuries of the Christian church, states the grounds for this approach:

fortitude which in war preserves the country from the barbarians, or helps the infirm at home, or defends one's neighbor's from robbers, is full of justice. . . . He who does not repel an injury done to his fellow, if he is able to do so, is as much at fault as he who commits the injury.

It is possible nevertheless to adhere to this approach and maintain that killing someone is always a sin. This way of seeing things comes naturally to anyone at home in the Lutheran paradoxes, to wit, that we are always simul iustus, simul peccator (justified by God’s grace, but sinners none the less), and that in real life, there are times in which we must sin boldly, and believe more boldly still. On these grounds, it is safe to assume, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a theologian of the Confessing Church under the Nazi regime who struggled long and hard with the questions on a theoretical plane, participated in a plot to murder Hitler, and died a martyr because of it.

At least, I take him to be a martyr. According to you, he would not be a witness to Christ, but to a fatal compromise.

Alan Lenzi

John, I don't think your statement about the U.S. justice system is relevant to the point at hand. As for anti-imperial, anti-military: I think we all recognize the need for a good defense. But some people's idea of a good defense is a better offense. Do unto them BEFORE they do unto you. That's a problem for me and many others.


Alan, you are right that the dysfunctionalities of domestic justice and of international justice are two different things and should not be conflated. It remains true, however, that rogue elements in both arenas are seen by many as having way too free of a hand under current rules of engagement.

The desire to get the bad guys in most people is much stronger than the desire to maintain hard-won rights and freedoms. That's why many of the anti-terrorism measures put in place by Bush administration and now defended by the Obama administration, warrantless surveillance of phone calls, e-mails, Internet activity, and text messaging, for example, enjoy overwhelming public support.

I appreciate the strengths of the foreign policy stance you are taking. In the scheme of Walter Russell Mead, it is known as the Jeffersonian school of thought (for a great read, try his "Special Providence: How American Foreign Policy Changed the World). This school, no less than the others, believes that America is "the world's best hope," but wants it to lead by example rather than through foreign entanglements.

But there are three other major schools of thought: the Hamiltonian, the Wilsonian, and the Jacksonian. US foreign policy is always the result of an uneasy alliance between at least two of these schools.

Bush was elected the first time thanks in part to a Jeffersonian stance (no more nation-building around the world, a pipedream of Wilsonians who think they can mend the world), the support of Hamiltonians (free-traders), and the acquiescence of Jacksonians (who were not raring for a fight at the time).

After 9/11, Bush became, as did other erstwhile Jeffersonians, a reluctant Wilsonian. He now sounded themes familiar from the presidencies of Eisenhower and Kennedy, such as:

To counter the threat of those who seek to rule by force, we must pay the costs of our own needed military strength, and help to build the security of others.

We must use our skills and knowledge and, at times, our substance, to help others rise from misery, however far the scene of suffering may be from our shores. For wherever in the world a people knows desperate want, there must appear at least the spark of hope, the hope of progress--or there will surely rise at last the flames of conflict. (Eisenhower)

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge—and more. (Kennedy)

Once again, I appreciate the strength of your position against the pre-emptive use of force. I would point out, however, that, as Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis has shown (Surprise, Security, and the American Experience) pre-emptive, hegemonic, and unilateral application of military force is as American as apple pie.

Prototypical in a sense is the exasperation of Jefferson in 1802, who reversed the policy of Washington and Adams of paying off the bad guys in the faraway Mediterranean - the Europeans indeed, had been paying off the Barbary pirates for 300 years, and saw no reason to risk blood and even more treasure to put the pirates out of commission. Jefferson created the Navy and the Marine Corps for the purposes of an out-and-out war, and approved attacking pirate ships without provocation. The Europeans raised their eyebrows, I'm sure, but didn't much mind in the end, since the sea was finally rid of pirates.

Pretty interesting from a guy who wanted a *weak* federal government. But events have a way of putting ideology on the back burner.

At this juncture, the use of unilateral, pre-emptive force, paradoxical as it might seem, comes with the territory of being the linchpin of the international security system within which the US has more allies, literally, and more commitments to "mutual" (hah!) defense, than any other nation in the history of humankind.

I'm not intending to state a political opinion. I'm interested in understanding without illusions the constraints and necessities of US foreign policy in the present.

Dan Martin

Actually, John, Mennonites were far more nuanced in WWII than you suggest. Some of my own relatives opted for alternative service and worked in such places as the U.S. forestry service (smoke jumpers & line fire fighters), mental health facilities (as orderlies & such), and other nonviolent, nonmilitary service to the nation. They did so with a clear conscience, and I think rightly so.

I draw a clear line in my own mind between force used in the clear defense of the innocent from imminent danger (e.g. police) and the killing of "enemies" by the state in war, whose motivations and outcomes are far more murky. Your argument that most pacifists engage in their convictions under the umbrella of the violent state, presupposes that the state is actually protecting or defending its citizens with that violence--a presupposition the leaders want us to believe, but which I submit does not hold up well under dispassionate scrutiny. In the entire history of the United States, I would suggest that only the Revolution, the War of 1812, and possibly WWII even qualify as actually defending our freedom or our safety. The others have far more economic, perception-of-power, and similar intents. Certainly to allege that we are in any way defended by the wars in Iraq beggars belief IMHO, and even Afghanistan, though its rationale is somewhat more logical, is of questionable benefit as a defense of this country.

Which is why I raised the question about the follower of Jesus surrendering his/her right to weigh the morality of a specific act, to the chain of command. I recognize, as you have stated, that there are times where, due to the fallenness of this world, a violent act may be the only way to restrain further violence. I think it's safe to say that I draw the line far more conservatively than you do, but I still accept (though with grief) that such a line does exist. But when one joins the military, one abdicates entirely, the right to make that judgment. This may be a practical necessity for the chain of command, but I maintain that the follower of Jesus is always responsible to evaluate the morality of his/her action and no orders can change that--and that therefore to surrender the right to such evaluation to one's commanders is incompatible with faith.

Finally, of course, I make no claim to have fully and consistently worked this out. I am still struggling with the boundaries here. I'm pretty sure that the candlelight vigils and getting arrested for trespassing, done by some pacifists, are at best impotent and at worst a negative witness; I'm also pretty sure that the rampant militarism and nationalism of most American evangelicals is idolatrous. But where to land is difficult, and I'm more sure of the tension than of my conclusions.

Dan Martin

And actually, re: Bonhoeffer, I'm truly not sure. I've read in a couple places that Hitler, emboldened by the failure of the assassination attempt, actually took it as indicative of the rightness of his cause and redoubled his efforts. As Gandalf says in The Lord of the Rings, "even the very wise cannot see all ends."

I'm afraid the use of force may be one of those areas where we're allowing our earthly pragmatism to trump our Lord's example and commands. Perhaps we ought to reconsider whether, in this like in many other areas, we're failing to bear witness to the foolishness of the cross. . .???



Thanks again for your insights. I am totally disarmed, of course, by your Lord of the Rings quote. An appropriation of the trilogy from a pacifist point of view: no fair, I mutter. Just kidding.

I still have difficulty wrapping my mind around an approach to violence which condones its use in the case of defending innocent people in the face of imminent danger, from the violence of fellow citizens and of foreign invaders, but condemns it in the case of a danger that is just as real and just as certain but not imminent. Is it really the case that it is not legitimate to take on fascism until the fascist in our doorstep and has begun killing our own, as opposed to the English, half of the Rwandans, or half of the Timorese?

Is the fact that we are global citizens give us rights (the right to cheap underwear produced in Pakistan) but no obligations (aid in the case of imminent danger - imminent to another citizen of the globe, not to us)?

It makes sense, instead, to help the Pakistanis in their war against the Taliban per the government's requests (right now, logistical and intelligence support, and probably more) *as well as* following a natural disaster (which the US has also done; its armed forces are better prepared and equipped than anyone else to do that, too).

Furthermore, international law legitimizes armed intervention in the case of genocide. Genocide, that is, that is imminent for a faraway thee, not for me.

My question here: a majority of people, pacifist and non-pacifist, seem to have no difficulty in justifying a "live and let die" attitude to genocide, so long as we feel no particular kinship, so long as we have little or no shared history, with the victims of genocide.

In fact, we can't even call a spade a spade out of respect for the dead and for truth (the Armenian genocide) based on Realpolitik calculations.

If imminence were a necessary condition, we might still be playing cat and mouse with the Barbary Pirates. The resultant loss of life and limb in aggregate, arguably, would have been greater. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that pacifism in half-way measures has unintended consequences of awful gravity.

Furthermore, the Revolutionary War was a war of choice, not of necessity. Not that that changes a whole lot. A moral distinction between wars of choice and wars of necessity is not likely to catch on. After all, wars that are sparked by atrocities, King Philip's War for example, are almost by definition understood as wars of necessity, usually by both sides.

The distinction between choice and necessity evaporates in the aftermath of an event like Pearl Harbor or 9/11.

In any case, as a practical matter, it makes sense for a government to respect the conscience of those who refuse to bear arms so long as they otherwise contribute to the war effort, as some Mennonites and others did during the WWII. As most of us do now by paying taxes and so on such that others can kill (and die) in Afghanistan and Iraq. I just don't see how this is a witness to a non-violent alternative.

That said, I'm quite fine with the notion that your ancestors, who served the country and risked their lives fighting fires for the Forestry Service during WWII, are witnesses to the foolishness of the cross (not to mention the foolishness of the Forestry Service, which prepared the way for more destructive fires by not allowing any at all).

I'm just hoping you might be fine with the idea that my ancestors, who went along with Private Ryan to the beaches of Normandy - some came back, some did not - are also witnesses to the foolishness of the cross (not to mention the tactical foolishness of their generals).

Dan Martin

John, at the very least I respect the spirit in which your ancestors (and some of mine--I'm not a "pure" Menno--and many others related to neither of us) offered their lives for what they believed to be right.

I do think it's a little disingenuous to use WWII as the proof of just war when I suspect it's rather the exception than the rule. We went there for the Europeans, and maybe for us. We neglected to do the same (as you pointed out, and I'm NOT comfortable with this) for the Rwandans and the Cambodians and the Russians under Stalin, and many more. So the notion that we are somehow anointed the world's policemen seems to me inadequate to explain our foreign exploits. I might add that for many of the "rest of the world" (here I refer to my own experiences in Latin America and Africa) our efforts do not seem so noble...and are in fact unwelcome among many who are not, themselves, terrorists or terrorist-sympathizers.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that we can talk all day long about hypothetical good to be accomplished by violent intervention, but the actual interventions in which we have engaged, and the others we've declined to take on, severely call into question our motives, our logic, and our effectiveness. I remain ambivalent in the hypothetical sense; I am nevertheless pretty solidly convinced that the actual outcome of most of our foreign adventures has been a net increase in injustice rather than the converse.

But I would like to hear your take on my other point--the question of abdicating one's moral responsibility to one's commanders. While a "practical" necessity in a temporal sense, I am unconvinced by the rationale (Augustine or otherwise) that absolves one of such responsibility. Your quote of Luther is compelling. . .necessary I'm sure but maybe not sufficient.

And as to a witness to nonviolence as an alternative, the best witness I can point to is the Christian Peacemaker Teams. If you're not already familiar with them, have a read at

Finally, I would add that often (maybe always) the situations that necessitate war are themselves the culmination of a long process of violence/injustice (economic or military or social) perpetrated upon the actors before the causus belli actually occurs. It's a bit unfair to blame the peacemakers for not having a viable alternative to fix messes that their philosophy might have prevented.

But finally, I want to bracket this with the statement that I hear extreme respect in your tone, and while we're clearly not in full agreement I hope to convey to you my respect as well. These are not simple issues in my view, and reasonable (and dedicated) people who actually give a rip need to wrestle with them together if we are really going to figure out how to follow Jesus more fully.

Dan Martin

Oh, and that Tolkein bit is actually pretty pacifist in context. It's after Frodo suggests that Bilbo really should have killed Gollum because he deserved to die:

"Many live that deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends." (Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter 2)



Thanks for a very fine conversation. Even though I do not happen to think that the US has a choice, really, about whether to be the linchpin of international security and therefore, the one that others love to hate, even though I don't think it is likely that, if another 9/11 occurs on our soil under Obama's watch, the response will not include a level of force projection complete with death and destruction on a potent scale, I am grateful that there are others who imagine an entirely different, and apparently better, setup than the one we are now a part of.

I am also grateful that there are movements like the Christian Peacemakers, which I presume do a significant amount of practical good and foster goodwill. I am a pastor serving in a United Methodist congregation, and through apportionments and missionary giving we support a number of peacemaking efforts of this kind.

Alan Lenzi

John, I wasn't trying to imply a whole foreign policy in my brief comment. But I appreciate your comments in response. I tend to learn things when I read here, so I continue reading. (BTW, Where do you find time to read so much, blog so much, and still have a life?) I'd like to read Mead's book.

There is a tendency I think on all sides of these issues (e.g., anti-military academics vs. pro-military gun-toters) to radicalize the other side. I'm not saying there is NEVER a time to act preemptively. And I'm not saying America should just back out of all international politics. We have a leadership role in the world. How to define that, of course, is the question you're addressing. You've put some interesting things on the table from Mead.



I always learn from you as well. Thanks for the conversation.

True Grit 1

My reflection of a torture is when Jesus got crucified on the cross for our sins that we have done on earth. It also reminds me of the Iraq war. When I think about how Jesus got crucified on the cross it breaks my heart, because he is doing that to save us people on earth from sin. But sometimes people around you still sin in their daily lives. The torturing reminds me of Iraq war because people have to leave their loves one behind and fight for our country. It is torturing because you have to leave them and you don’t know what is ahead of you going to be like. Also it is hard to not see your family, friends and kids, and that is a torturing thing for our soldiers.

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  • Higgaion
    by Chris Heard, Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University
  • Idle Musings of a Bookseller
    by James Spinti of Eisenbrauns
  • if i were a bell, i'd ring
    Tim Ricchiuiti’s place
  • Imaginary Grace
    Smooth, witty commentary by Angela Erisman (archive). Angela Erisman is a member of the theology faculty at Xavier University
  • James' Thoughts and Musings
    by James Pate, a doctoral student at HUC-JIR Cincinnati
  • Jewish Philosophy Place
    by Zachary (Zak) Braiterman, who teaches modern Jewish thought and philosophy in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University
  • kata ta biblia
    by Patrick George McCollough, M. Div. student, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA
  • Ketuvim
    Learned reflection from the keyboard of Jim Getz
  • Kilbabo
    Ben Johnson’s insightful blog
  • Kruse Kronicle - contemplating the intersection of work, the global economy, and Christian mission
    top quality content brought to readers by Michael W. Kruse
  • Larry Hurtado's blog
    emeritus professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh
  • Law, Prophets, and Writings
    thoughtful blogging by William R. (Rusty) Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies as College of the Ozarks and managing editor for Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament
  • Lingamish
    delightful fare by David Ker, Bible translator, who also lingalilngas.
  • Looney Fundamentalist
    a scientist who loves off-putting labels
  • Menachem Mendel
    A feisty blog on rabbinic literature and other Judaica by Michael Pitkowsky, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at the Academy for Jewish Religion and adjunct instructor at Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
  • mu-pàd-da
    scholarly blog by C. Jay Crisostomo, grad student in ANE studies at ?
  • Narrative and Ontology
    Astoundingly thoughtful comment from Phil Sumpter, a Ph.D. student in Bible, resident in Bonn, Germany
  • New Epistles
    by Kevin Sam, M. Div. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon SK
  • NT Weblog
    Mark Goodacre's blog, professor of New Testament, Duke University
  • Observatório Bíblico
    wide-ranging blog by Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica/Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, Brasile (in Portuguese)
  • Observatório Bíblico
    Blog sobre estudos acadêmicos da Bíblia, para Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica / Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, SP.
  • Occasional Publications
    excellent blogging by Daniel Driver, Brevard Childs' scholar extraordinaire
  • old testament passion
    Great stuff from Anthony Loke, a Methodist pastor and Old Testament lecturer in the Seminari Theoloji, Malaysia
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Blog
    A weblog created for a course on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, by James Davila (archive)
  • On the Main Line
    Mississippi Fred MacDowell's musings on Hebraica and Judaica. With a name like that you can't go wrong.
  • p.ost an evangelical theology for the age to come
    seeking to retell the biblical story in the difficult transition from the centre to the margins following the collapse of Western Christendom, by Andrew Perriman, independent New Testament scholar, currently located in Dubai
  • PaleoJudaica
    by James Davila, professor of Early Jewish Studies at the University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland. Judaism and the Bible in the news; tidbits about ancient Judaism and its context
  • Pastoral Epistles
    by Rick Brannan and friends, a conceptually unique Bible blog
  • Pen and Parchment
    Michael Patton and company don't just think outside the box. They are tearing down its walls.
  • Pisteuomen
    by Michael Halcomb, pastor-scholar from the Bluegrass State
  • Pseudo-Polymath
    by Mark Olson, an Orthodox view on things
  • Purging my soul . . . one blog at a time
    great theoblog by Sam Nunnally
  • Qumranica
    weblog for a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, taught by James R. Davila (archive)
  • Ralph the Sacred River
    by Edward Cook, a superb Aramaist
  • Random Bloggings
    by Calvin Park, M. Div. student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton MA
  • Resident aliens
    reflections of one not at home in this world
  • Revelation is Real
    Strong-minded comment from Tony Siew, lecturer at Trinity Theological College, Singapore
  • Ricoblog
    by Rick Brannan, it's the baby pictures I like the most
  • Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
    Nick Norelli's fabulous blog on Bible and theology
  • SansBlogue
    by Tim Bulkeley, lecturer in Old Testament, Carey Baptist College (New Zealand). His Hypertext Commentary on Amos is an interesting experiment
  • Ancient Near Eastern Languages
    texts and files to help people learn some ancient languages in self study, by Mike Heiser
  • Midrash, etc.
    A fine Hebrew-to-English blog on Midrash, by Carl Kinbar, Director of the New School for Jewish Studies and a facultm member at MJTI School of Jewish Studies.
  • Phil Lembo what I'm thinking
    a recovering lawyer, now in IT, with a passion for a faith worth living
  • Roses and Razorwire
    a top-notch Levantine archaeology blog, by Owen Chesnut, a doctoral student at Andrews University (MI)
  • Scripture & Theology
    a communal weblog dedicated to the intersection of biblical interpretation and the articulation of church doctrine, by Daniel Driver, Phil Sumpter, and others
  • Scripture Zealot
    by Jeff Contrast
  • Serving the Word
    incisive comment on the Hebrew Bible and related ancient matters, with special attention to problems of philology and linguistic anthropology, by Seth L. Sanders, Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Singing in the Reign
    NT blog by Michael Barber (JP University) and Brad Pitre (Our Lady Holy Cross)
  • Stay Curious
    excellent comment on Hebrew Bible and Hebrew language topics, by Karyn Traphagen, graduate, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia PA (archive)
  • Sufficiency
    A personal take on the faith delivered to the saints, by Bob MacDonald, whose parallel blog on the Psalms in Hebrew is a colorful and innovative experiment
  • The Sundry Times
    Gary Zimmerli's place, with comment on Bible translations and church renewal
  • Sunestauromai: living the crucified life
    by a scholar-pastor based in the Grand Canyon National Park
  • ta biblia
    blog dedicated to the New Testament and the history of Christian origins, by Giovanni Bazzana
  • Targuman
    by Christian Brady, targum specialist extraordinaire, and dean of Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
  • Targuman
    on biblical and rabbinic literature, Christian theology, gadgetry, photography, and the odd comic, by Christian Brady, associate professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
  • The Biblia Hebraica Blog
    a blog about Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the history of the Ancient Near East and the classical world, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, early Judaism, early Christianity, New Testament interpretation, English Bible translations, biblical theology, religion and culture, philosophy, science fiction, and anything else relevant to the study of the Bible, by Douglas Magnum, PhD candidate, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • The Forbidden Gospels Blog
    by April DeConick, Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University
  • The Naked Bible
    by Mike Heiser, academic editor at Logos Bible Software
  • The Reformed Reader
    by Andrew Compton, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (focus on Hebrew and Semitic Languages) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • The Sacred Page
    a blog written by three Catholic Ph.D.s who are professors of Scripture and Theology: Michael Barber, Brant Pitre and John Bergsma
  • The Talmud Blog
    a group blog on Talmud News, Reviews, Culture, Currents, and Criticism
  • Theological German
    a site for reading and discussing theological German, by Mark Alter
  • theoutwardquest
    seeking spirituality as an outward, not an inward quest, by David Corder
  • This Lamp
    Incisive comment on Bible translations in the archives, by Rick Mansfield
  • Thoughts on Antiquity
    By Chris Weimer and friends, posts of interest on ancient Greek and Roman topics (archive). Chris is a graduate student at the City University of New York in Classics
  • Threads from Henry's Web
    Wide-ranging comment by Henry Neufeld, educator, publisher, and author
  • Tête-à-Tête-Tête
    smart commentary by "smijer," a Unitarian-Universalist
  • Undeception
    A great blog by Mike Douglas, a graduate student in biblical studies
  • What I Learned From Aristotle
    the Judaica posts are informative (archive)
  • Bouncing into Graceland
    a delightful blog on biblical and theological themes, by Esteban Vázquez (archive)
  • Weblog
    by Justin Anthony Knapp, a fearless Wikipedian (archive)
  • Writing in the Dust
    A collection of quotes by Wesley Hill, a doctoral student in New Testament studies at Durham University (UK), and a Christian who seeks the charism of chastity
  • גֵּר־וְתוֹשָׁב
    by David Miller, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism, Briercrest College & Seminary, Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • ואל-תמכר
    Buy truth and do not sell: wisdom, instruction, and understanding - a blog by Mitchell Powell, student of life at the intersection of Christ, Christianity, and Christendom
  • משלי אדם
    exploring wisdom literature, religion, and other academic pursuits, by Adam Couturier, M.A. in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

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  • Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his professional affiliations. Unless otherwise indicated, the contents of Ancient Hebrew Poetry, including all text, images, and other media, are original and licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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