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Parables book now on Amazon!

Reading the Parables of Jesus inside a Jeepney.

Thank you very much for all your generous support. Maraming salamat po!

In its first week the book was #1 in Hot New Releases in New Testament Criticism and #11 in the 100 Bestselling Books in New Testament Criticism.  After 30 days the book was #2 in Hot New Releases in New Testament Criticism. And #5 in Hot New Releases in Jesus, Gospels, and Acts.

During its Holy Week Sale last March 22-26, the book went back to #1 in New Testament Criticism, #4 in Biblical History and Culture, and #7 in Jesus, the Gospels, and Acts.

Recent posts

Widows, Strangers, and Orphans

Most of us grew up memorizing the names of the Twelve Disciples. In the Synoptics they are all men. In I Corinthians and in the Gospel of John they are a collective, The Twelve. Better. 
When we are quizzed to name the best among the disciples, we would probably volunteer Peter, James, and John. Some will add Mary Magdalene. But only a handful would say Jesus's mother in John, the Samaritan woman in John, and the child who offered five barley loaves and two fish. Also in John. 
Yes, my friends, a widow, a stranger, and an orphan. The three kinds of people closest to God's heart. 
The Gospel of John celebrates the Discipleship of the Unnamed.  Whom do we see at the beginning, throughout, and at the end of Jesus’s earthly ministry in the gospel? It is Jesus’s mother. Motherhood is discipleship. For millions of people in the world, LOVE is spelled, M, O, T, H, E, R.
Among the four gospels, with whom does Jesus spend practically a whole chapter's length in conversation, in di…

The International Day of the Disappeared and the Empty Tomb

We, who call ourselves Christian, should not forget that the One we call Lord and Liberator was an Executed God. He was abducted in the dead of night, unjustly tried, beaten, tortured, and executed between two rebels. Then his body was thrown into a borrowed grave. In the Gospel of Mark, at dawn on Sunday three of his disciples, all women, visit the grave to anoint his dead body. They find the grave empty. There was no body.

Jesus had disappeared.

The Gospel of Mark ends with the women described as silent and afraid.

Jesus had disappeared.

Today, August 30 is the International Day of the Disappeared. We are invited to stand in solidarity with friends, colleagues, comrades, and families of the missing who continue to seek peace based on justice, and in remembrance of the thousands of desaparecidos in the Philippines, in Palestine, in many Third World countries, and around the world.

Like the women at the tomb, many of us are silent and afraid. Like the women in the tomb, we want to fin…

READING TEXTS THAT WERE NOT WRITTEN FOR US

Let us get things sorted out first. Historians tell us that the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek. They tell us that it was put together across one thousand years. Its latest materials is about 2 thousand years old. Its oldest, over three thousand. Take Paul's Letter to Philemon. It is a letter from Paul to Philemon. Paul and Philemon are dead. What we have is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a two-thousand year-old letter. In Koine Greek. We love reading texts that were not written for us!  We do this all the time. Our spouse's cellphone messages. Or our children's. Literary classics. And, yes, Scriptures. I've argued for years that most people read scripture as windows to the past (historical methods), as story (literary methods), and as mirrors (cultural studies). When texts are read as windows to the past, we are basically listening to the dead. Hearing echoes. We might not admit it but most of our cherished values come from the dead. From dep…

YESTERDAY AND EVERY DAY

Yesterday 76 members of our seminary community, led by our president, joined the United People's SONA. It was, for many, a liminal moment. A rite of passage. A baptism of fire. Actually, more water than fire... And we were prepared with our umbrellas and raincoats. And boots! Yesterday, 76 members of our community woke up earlier than usual, others did not even sleep, to prepare streamers, banners, rice, hard-boiled egg, and Adobo. Yesterday 76 members of our community waited for our jeepneys to arrive and spent over 4 hours in those jeepneys going to and from Commonwealth Avenue. Yesterday, 76 members of our community walked 6 kilometers to be a part of the thousands who protested against the War on Terror, the War on Drugs, and the War on the Poor that Duterte and his cohorts have declared against the Filipino People. 

Yesterday, individually and corporately, 76 members of our community participated in embodying our core values: prophetic boldness, ecumenical openness, compassi…

Volume 2, coming soon!

Reading the Parables of Jesus inside a Jeepney came out eight months ago. Thank you so much to everyone who got a copy, the Kindle or Print-on-Demand version. Many among you actually got more than one copy. Some even have both versions! Thank you as well to the UCCP's National Christian Youth Fellowship that distributes the book in the Philippines.

I cannot thank you enough. Volume 2 will be out very soon. I hope you continue reading more of the Parables of Jesus inside a Jeepney. With me.




Duterte and the Parable of the Trees

Most of us identify parables with Jesus. But two of the most powerful parables in the Bible are found in the Old Testament. One is more popular, Nathan’s when he confronted King David. The other is the Parable of the Trees. Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, “Reign over us!”
But the olive tree said to them, “Shall I leave my fatness with which God and people are honored, and go to wave over the trees?”
Then the trees said to the fig tree, “You come, reign over us!”
But the fig tree said to them, “Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?”
Then the trees said to the vine, “You come, reign over us!”
But the vine said to them, “Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and people, and go to wave over the trees?”
Finally all the trees said to the bramble, “You come, reign over us!”
The bramble said to the trees, “If in truth you are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but i…