Friday, April 24, 2009

Kristof: Koran entering a period of critical scholarship

Nicholas Kristof, writing an Op-ed in the New York Times, notes that the Koran is now undergoing a period of critical scholarship challenging the consistency and accuracy of the text akin to biblical scholarship of the 1800s:
For some literal-minded Christians, it was traumatic to discover that the ending of the Gospel of Mark, describing encounters with the resurrected Jesus, is stylistically different from the rest of Mark and is widely regarded by scholars as a later addition.

Likewise, Biblical scholars distressed the faithful by focusing on inconsistencies among the gospels. The Gospel of Matthew says that Judas hanged himself, while Acts describes him falling down in a field and dying; the Gospel of John disagrees with other gospels about whether the crucifixion occurred on Passover or the day before. For those who considered every word of the Bible literally God’s word, this kind of scholarship felt sacrilegious.

Now those same discomfiting analytical tools are being applied to the Koran.
Read the whole article here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mother uses Bible to defend daughter's fashion choices

A Texan woman says her daughter, a 7-year-old second-grader, has the right to wear her shirt untucked because of a Bible verse, 1 Timothy 2:9, which dictates that "women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing."

"I don't want her behind showing," the mother said. "I don't want her body being exposed."

The school board agreed, 6-1, and overturned the principal and district administers' order that all shirts must be tucked in.

The article in the Dallas Morning News notes that board members discussed their interpretations of Scripture before voting.

"I'm a Christian," said trustee Valerie Jones. "There could be a Christian who believes it might be more modest for their child's shirt to be tucked in than not to be tucked in. ... There is room for interpretation even amongst Christians."