• Old Testament,  Textual Criticism

    How Tall was the Giant Goliath?

    David killing Goliath with a sling is one of the most beloved and well-known Bible stories. In fact, sports announcers will still sometimes use the phrase, “It is a David versus Goliath story” to describe an underdog taking down the favorite. Those who grew up in church quickly became familiar with the story of the little boy David killing the mighty Philistine giant, Goliath. However, some of the details of the David vs. Goliath story need fleshing out. For one thing, it is likely that although he fought for the Philistines, Goliath likely was a descendant of Anak. Another issue is whether Goliath would qualify as a giant or not. This is actually a bit of a text-critical issue in the book of Samuel! Compare the following English translations. CSB Then a champion named Goliath, from Gath, came out from the Philistine camp. He was nine feet, nine inches tall. NET Then a champion came out…

  • Old Testament

    David as a Man after God’s Own Heart (1 Sam 13:14)

    The Bible says David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22). Most people want to take this phrase as a reference to the moral character of David. As such, David was a man after God’s own heart in that he was committed to God’s ways and demonstrated fidelity to God’s Law. However, this viewpoint has a couple difficulties. On the one hand, David was far from morally pure. He was a murderous adulterer (2 Sam 11). He killed Uriah the Hittite, and committed adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. Can we say David was uniquely a man after God’s own heart when his actions seem to communicate otherwise? To get around this potential problem, some people will say that David never engaged in direct idolatry and that is the explanation for saying David was a man after God’s own heart. However, there are a couple other…

  • Old Testament

    One, or Multiple Stories of David?

    Some liberal scholars postulate the idea that as we read the story of David, we are actually reading multiple versions of legendary tails which have been woven together into the whole story we read today. They claim this is evidenced by inconsistency in the biblical narrative, and a chronological flow that does not make sense at face value. One of the examples they give to attempt to prove their point is the two interactions of David with Saul.