A Hebrew Bible/Old Testament scholar looks at the Bible and culture…


Beyond the Flannel Board

My “What’s your Earliest Memory of a Bible Story?” poll has been up for 6 weeks.  As of today 75 people voted.  Thanks for all who joined in.

Since I’m not a trained poll-crafter, I’m not sure if the results really provide fresh data or are skewed by my selection of stories. But the winners of the poll didn’t surprise me. Continue reading

Back in the Summer of '69

The 40-year anniversary of the moon walk of Apollo 11 has me nostalgic.  I remember where I was and where I was headed on the evening of July 20, 1969.

It was the first night of a month-long, cross-country family car trip.  My father, who loved to travel, hatched the idea and planned the details with the help of AAA.  He and my mom bought a station wagon, topped it with a Sears luggage carrier, packed up all four kids, and headed out from North Carolina to California.  I was 11 at the time.


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Follow-up to Religion at the Grocery Store Post

I ended my last post with a research question:  how much religion would I see reflected in the book/magazine section of my suburban supermarket?

I was surprised not to find very much.  There was, of course, a Golden Books display, complete with The Pokey Little Puppy.


There were a few Chicken Soup for the .... books, and at least one by Joyce Meyer.  But no Bibles that I could find, and no Christian romance novels.   That was interesting, since there’s a rack of Amish-themed romances right near the cash register at my local CVS drug store.  (I’ll have to post of picture of  that.)  I did find one book with “Bible” in the title, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for.


There was no shortage of American flags, especially since tomorrow is the Fourth of July.

I didn’t include in this research the tabloids at the checkout or the greeting cards.  Those will come another day.  As will a look at Walmart and KMart for popular religiosity.

By the way, I found that the Goya island had been substantially expanded:  it still wasn’t marked in any way, but it also remained in separate from other aisles.