Episode 70: The View From the Outside, with Andrew Whyte (Part 1)

Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date is joined by former evangelical turned agnostic, Andrew Whyte, to discuss one unbeliever’s perspective on the intramural evangelical hell debate. This episode contains the first hour of their two-and-a-quarter hour discussion.
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Sodom and Gomorrah in the Pseudepigrapha: A Survey and Analysis


James H. Charlesworth offers general readers four initial thoughts on the importance of the Pseudepigrapha. They deserve to be quoted in full:

First, there is the very abundance of the literature, although we possess only part of the writings produced by Jews during the period 200 B.C. to A.D. 200. . . .
 
Second, the Pseudepigrapha illustrate the pervasive influence of the Old Testament books upon Early Judaism. . . .1
 
Third, we learn from the Pseudepigrapha that the consecutive conquests of Palestinian Jews by Persians, Greeks, and Romans, and the intermittent invasion by Syrian, Egyptian, and Parthian armies did not dampen the enthusiasm of religious Jews for their ancestral decisions. . . .
 
Fourth [and finally], the Pseudepigrapha attest that the post-exilic Jews often were torn within by divisions and sects, and intermittently conquered from without by foreign nations who insulted, abused, and frequently employed fatal torture. . . . 2

Most of these early Jewish writers believed they were free to reinterpret the various Old Testament texts, but it seems quite appropriate to state that they offered very little in the way of a positive reading of the Sodom and Gomorrah (S&G) narrative in Genesis. Instead, they treat the story as it is: a revelation of God’s judgment upon a sinful city (or cities). For an excellent introduction to apocalyptic literature, see the work of John J. Collins and George W. E. Nickelsburg.3 Continue reading “Sodom and Gomorrah in the Pseudepigrapha: A Survey and Analysis”

  1. We can see this is so because of the numerous “Testaments” dedicated to the various patriarchs. []
  2. James H. Charlesworth, “Introduction for the General Reader,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Hendrickson, 2013), 2:xxviii. []
  3. John J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, 2nd ed. (Eerdmans, 1998); George W. E. Nickelsburg, Resurrection, Immortality, and Eternal Life in Intertestamental Judaism and Early Christianity, 2nd ed. (Harvard University Press, 2006). []

Sodom and Gomorrah in the Apocrypha: A Survey and Analysis


Literature regarding the Sodom and Gomorrah (S&G) narrative spans multiple testaments and bodies of ancient literature, receiving interpretation and narration in the Pseudepigrapha, Apocrypha, Josephus, and Philo, as well as the Old Testament. The purpose of this blog post is not to examine each reference in depth, but to provide a broad overview of the various references to the S&G narrative within Second Temple literature. Investigation of this topic in the Old Testament ought to be its own blog post (or even series). For our purposes, we will limit our analysis to the Apocrypha. Continue reading “Sodom and Gomorrah in the Apocrypha: A Survey and Analysis”

RH Conference 2015: Breakout Audio!

Two weeks ago about 100 evangelicals gathered to discuss the perennially hot topic of hell. What transpired was, by all accounts, unprecedented. As Jerry Walls put it, “Historic? I’m not sure it’s too strong a word. I can’t think of anything quite like this!” Seldom, if ever, have passionate evangelical proponents of competing views on a controversial topic gathered with the express purpose of discussing (arguing about) it, while nevertheless voicing their critiques with respect and in Christian love, enjoying the kind of camaraderie, fellowship, and unity to which their Lord has called them.
We understand that there are many who would have liked to attend but were unable, and so we are making recordings of nearly all of the plenary and breakout presentations available for free or at a very reasonable price. We are publishing video recordings of all six plenary and four breakout sessions, as well as the concluding panel discussion between the plenary speakers, on a 4-DVD box set which you can purchase for $35 here: http://rethinkinghell.com/about/order-dvds. Video recordings of some of the breakout sessions will be available on YouTube in the “2015 Rethinking Hell Conference” playlist. And aside from the sessions which were filmed for the DVD set, audio recordings of all of the breakout sessions presented by their authors are available for free download below. Continue reading “RH Conference 2015: Breakout Audio!”

Episode 68: Hell, Anabaptists, and the Love of God, with Bruxy Cavey

In celebration of Canada Day, Rethinking Hell contributor Graham Ware interviews fellow Canuck, Bruxy Cavey, author of The End of Religion. Together they discuss hell, Anabaptists, and the love of God—not to mention beards, dance parties, the urban Amish, and more.
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