A theological challenge from Robbie Williams

Question 153, from Ian, United Kingdom

In his new song ‘Bodies’ Robbie Williams sings about Jesus and that “Jesus didn’t die for you.” What should Christians make of the song?

The interplay between Christianity and music is always interesting, with Jesus himself being increasingly mentioned by popular recording artists, in addition to Christian imagery and language like ‘Hallelujah’. In many ways, ‘Bodies’ does appear to be just another song using Christian images in its lyrics, but what Robbie Williams is saying about Jesus is worth analysing as Christians could use his statements as an interesting starting point in discussions about faith.

Helped by freelance theology

“I was preparing a session on self-harm for our youth group and my husband and I had tried desperately to find something in the Bible that we could use to present God’s view on self-harm. We didn’t have much luck. I googled ‘self-harm in the bible’ and freelance theology was the first site that came up. It was absolutely spot on, just what we needed. It gave us the bible reference we were looking for and explained it in such a simple way that we could pass it straight on to our young people without having to reword it. I will definitely be going back to freelance theology when I’m planning our next sessions.”
– Ruth, United Kingdom

Read the article Ruth found so helpful here:Self-harm in the Bible.

Divination in the Old Testament

Question 152, from Roger H, United Kingdom

Does ‘divination’ in Leviticus chapter19, verse 26 mean ‘Water divining’ or ‘Dousing’?

The Hebrew text makes no distinction about the means of divination – it just says ‘You shall not divine.’ The means by which you divine the future appears to be immaterial. The word used – ‘na-khash’ – can mean to ‘observe omens’ or ‘tell fortunes’. It can also be translated as something more mundane as to ‘learn by experience’.

Cain and Abel may have been twins

Question 151, from George P, USA
Genesis chapter 4, verses 1-2 records the birth of Cain and Abel. I notice there is only one conception but two births. Were they twins?

There is no real tradition in either Judaism or Christianity that Cain and Abel were twins. However, a direct translation of the original Hebrew text would read as follows:

“And the man knew Eve his wife. And she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man of Yahweh.” And she continued [yacaph] to bear his brother Abel.”