The Bible is filled with passages that are so baffling we tend to ignore them. Dr. Michael S. Heiser suggests that the passages that seem weird might be the most important. In his book, I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible, Dr. Heiser visits some of the Bible’s most obscure passages and uses ancient context to illuminate truth for today. With articles like “Why Circumcision?,” “Is My Bible Right?,” and “When Giants Walked the Earth,” Dr. Heiser combines a believer’s curiosity with a scholar’s critical analysis.
Check out this passage from “The Most Horrific Bible Story”:
‘In those days, there was no king in Israel.’ This line, repeated throughout Judges, frames the horrific tale of the Levite and his concubine. The grim details of this story showcase the anarchy and spiritual decay of the period, but this story is not just a cheap thriller.
When reading this story, our attention fixates on the grim details of murder, rape, war, and abduction. But there are crucial, less repugnant elements—tribal affiliations and the locations of events. The story was designed to prompt readers into favoring kingship—the people needed a Messiah, a savior.
The book of Judges does not name its author; it was likely written after the time of David. All of these elements add up to not only a rationale for kingship—but a polemic for the superiority of a king from Judah (David), not Benjamin (Saul) or Ephraim.
Dr. Heiser goes on to say, “The appalling nature of this story provides an appropriate context for God’s plan of redemption. It sets the worst of human nature against the need for divine rule.” Without proper context, we would completely miss the significance of powerful Old Testament accounts. In this brief, easily digestible article, Heiser provides the context we need to connect the dots from Judges to Jesus.
The Bible isn’t boring. Sometimes, though, we make it that way. Thousands of years have passed since the words were fresh, but they aren’t dead. The Bible is living, active, and relevant (Hebrews 4:12). With I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible, context brings Scripture to life in your Bible study, and Dr. Heiser shows you that the Word of God is far from boring.