• What's on God's Sin List for Today?, published by Wipf and Stock, 2011


Thank you for visiting BiblicalEthic.org!

Yes, dear reader, there is a consistent Biblical ethic, despite all the claims you may have heard to the contrary.  This site is here to introduce you to my concise explanation of which Biblical commands are intended to be timeless and universal, contained in the book What's on God's Sin List for Today?  It is also here to help you link to other related pieces I have written on Biblical ethics (again, see Links). 

Why would a guy like me who is so thrilled to be saved by the grace of God, ever end up writing so much on Biblical ethics?  God only knows!

Tom Hobson, Ph. D., Retired ECO Pastor and Professor of Biblical Studies, Belleville, Illinois

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  • From the cover of the book:

    Christians get confused about exactly what to do with the commands in the Bible. Do we need to give up pork and shellfish? Is it a sin to eat roadkill, or to eat blood sausage? Is it a sin to wear mixed fabric? Is cross-dressing a crime? What about tattoos? What do we do with that command not to boil a kid in its mother’s milk? And if none of these commands is for Christians today, then which Bible commands are for today?

    This book is designed to help you find solid answers to the question, “Which parts of the Bible’s teaching are timeless and universal, and which parts are only for the people to whom the Bible was first written?” We will examine the laws in the Old Testament, the New Testament sin lists, and how they speak to issues such as sex, alcohol and drugs, obscene language, and gambling as they existed in the first-century world, as we seek to discover what’s on God’s sin list for us today.

    This book is available directly from the publisher, Wipf and Stock (https://wipfandstock.com/store/Whats_On_Gods_Sin_List_for_Today).  It is also available both in hard copy and on Kindle from Amazon, and in hard copy and on Nook from Barnes and Noble (see Links).  

    A summary of the book has been published in Theology Matters under the title "A Consistent Biblical Ethic" (http://www.theologymatters.com/TM111102.pdf).  A TV interview with the author about the book has been posted at Fox Channel 2 in St Louis (http://fox2now.com/2012/05/13/new-book-asks-whats-on-gods-sin-list/).

    ''It is impressive to observe how such a detailed discussion on sin lists in the entire Bible is presented in such a concise piece . . . I recommend this easy-to-read and rich-content piece to the average Christian reader, students of biblical ethics and reading groups at church sessions.'' 
    --Daniel Darko, PhD, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts

    ''Tom Hobson's What's on God's Sin List for Today . . . is a biblically sound and insightful approach that is convincing, convicting, and redemptive.''
    --James Slone, Senior Pastor, St. Matthew United Methodist Church, Belleville, IL

    ''Dr. Hobson's book gives readers fresh insights into the relevance of Old Testament laws for our lives today. For those interested in Christian ethics, it will prove to be a valuable conversation partner.''
    --Timothy Saleska, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri

    "Your book was the best book I had for ethics class.  All the other books really s__ked." -- Bailie, College Student

  • A Christian Conversation with the Latter-day Saints

    During the latter part of 2018, I posted 17 columns on Biblical issues related to the Latter-day Saints, beginning with the question of whether Adam spent his life after Eden in Missouri.  I have added numerous additional posts since the summer of 2019, many of which supplement my book on Jesus and Joseph Smith.  See the tab for Hobson's Biblical Choice Blog at the top of the page!

  • NEW Mormonism book by Tom Hobson!

    Tom Hobson's second book, The Historical Jesus and the Historical Joseph Smith, is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Hoble, and Books-a-Million.  Find out more about the book at www.historicaljoseph.org!

  • Patheos Blog link

    My recent year of posts on my Patheos blog "Biblical Words and World" is now history.  You can continue to access it at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tomhobson/.  Here, you will find 109 brief Biblical word studies and cultural windows into the Biblical world.  Take some time to explore, month by month!

  • What Did Jesus Really Say About Homosexuality?

    Some claim that Jesus never said one word about homosexual behavior.  But not only did Jesus clearly teach the sexual ethic taught by the Torah, "The two [man and woman] shall become one flesh [a lifelong unbreakable union]," but Jesus also uses a word on his sin list in Mark 7:22 that appears to be his synonym for homosexual behavior and other sexual offenses beyond fornication and adultery.  You can read the evidence in my article "Aselgeia in Mark 7:22," published in Filologia Neotestamentaria. You can find a layperson's version of the article posted here on my Patheos blog, Biblical Words and World.


  • Historicity: Does It Matter?

    Some ask if it really matters whether events in the Bible really happened.  Couldn't they simply be inspired fiction, and still express profound truth?  Outside the Bible, that can often be true.  But Biblical teachings lose much of their authority if we suppose that they were fiction.  Read more in my 3-part series in the Presbyterian Outlook:

  • Outlook Blogs

    The Presbyterian Outlook has also published a number of blogs of mine on Biblical law and related topics (see Links).  Titles include:

    • "Same-Gender Marriage in Ancient Rome"
    • "Exploding a Progressive Myth" (the false claim that nobody knew about loving, mutual same-sex desire in Biblical times)
    • "The Eunuch"
    • "Some New-Old Spin on Biblical Law" (some valuable insights from Rushdoony and theonomy)
    • "The Rights of the Poor"
    • "Compassion at Gunpoint"
    • "Economic Equality"
    • "High-Tech Deceitful Measures"
    • "Whom Would Jesus Bankrupt?"
    • "Capitalism"
    • "Health Care"
    • "Oppression"
    • "Favoritism"
    • "Patriotism?"
  • The Pastor Who Convinced Lincoln

    The Outlook also features my research on the huge (extremely rare!) book written by Lincoln's Springfield, IL pastor to defend the truth of the Bible: http://www.pres-outlook.com/opinion3/guest-commentary3/906-the-pastor-who-convinced-lincoln.html.


    This article of mine in Theology Matters (http://www.theologymatters.com/editoruploads/files/TM_140108_JanFeb.pdf - scroll down on page) describes how the Bible's two canons were formed, not by top-down commands of an emperor or council, but by churchwide grassroots recognition of which books were inspired by God, which was then ratified by authorities later on.

  • Punitive Expulsion

    One way we can tell which OT commands are meant to be timeless and universal is by the penalties attached to them.  Commands with a death penalty are obviously the most serious.  But what is this penalty "cut off from (one's) people"?  This question became the topic for my Ph.D. dissertation.  Two chapters of that dissertation have been published:

  • Kosher in the Greek?

    This article of mine in ZAR 19 (2014): 307-312 (http://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-rU5DL39o8ENFlhWm9qN3VWTzg/view?usp=sharing) explores the meaning of the Septuagint's translation of two items on the kosher food lists in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 as the "giraffe" (a kosher mammal) and the "snake-fighter" (a kosher insect). 

  • Biblical Law Resources

    Complete printed lectures of mine on "Biblical Law" and on "The Bible, Economics, and Politics" are available thru the Info Center.

  • What Wesley Practiced and Preached About Money

    Here are two short articles on John Wesley's incredible simple lifestyle, which enabled him to give away up to 95% of his income at one point.  Just go to http://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-rU5DL39o8EMjJXajVoSmxPMDg/view?usp=sharing

Verse of the Day
  November 2020  
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