Skip to content
Why We Can't Cherry-Pick the Bible — A Conversation with Dan McClellan
Why We Can't Cherry-Pick the Bible — A Conversation with Dan McClellan

Faith Matters

LISTEN NOW

LISTEN NOW

Screenshot 2023-04-22 at 3.36.11 PM

Share on

We’re super excited to share this week’s episode with you. Our interview was with Dan McClellan, a Bible scholar who began sharing his insights and scholarship on TikTok in 2021, and immediately began racking up millions of views and hundreds of thousands of followers.

One of the reasons people seem to resonate with Dan’s content is that he makes traditionally difficult and obscure topics extremely accessible — if you watch any of his videos, you’ll see what we mean, but even those who are pretty unfamiliar with the worlds of the Old or New Testaments will be able to immediately gain helpful and fascinating new understanding from Dan’s videos.

In our interview, Dan shares a bit of story about how he got started, including that one of the reasons he began sharing content on social media was that he saw that people would use outdated or incorrect assumptions about the Bible, or the interpretation of scripture generally, to justify power dynamics that placed themselves at the top. Dan believes that scripture should never be weaponized — and that good scholarship can help us understand how to use scripture in a healthier way.

For those that wonder why we might want to learn the details of the Bible if we primarily want to engage it devotionally, Dan gives an intriguing answer — the more we learn, the more foreign we’ll realize the Bible is, and the more uncomfortable we’ll become. And the more uncomfortable we are, the more we’re forced to grapple with problems and contradictions — something we’ve found can be a truly meaningful struggle that takes one “further up and further in” to a life of deep faith.

Dan received his bachelor’s degree from BYU in ancient Near Eastern studies, then received a masters in Jewish studies at the University of Oxford, a masters in biblical studies in 2013, and a PhD in religion and religious studies from the University of Exeter. From 2013 to 2023, Dan worked as a scripture translation supervisor for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, before leaving to focus on creating more original audio and video content.

You can find Dan’s TikTok channel at @maklelan, or check out his brand new podcast, Data over Dogma, on all the major podcast platforms.

 

Join Our Newsletter

Want to get notified when we publish new content? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch.

Join Our Newsletter

Want to get notified when we publish new content? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch.

More Episodes

The Call to Be in the World – A Conversation with Astrid Tuminez

Today, we’re...

The Call to Be in the World – A Conversation with Astrid Tuminez

Today, we’re...

Not Fearing Others’ Faith Journeys – A Conversation with Valerie Hamaker

This week,...

Not Fearing Others’ Faith Journeys – A Conversation with Valerie Hamaker

This week,...

Freedom from the Burden of Judging – A Conversation with Michael Wilcox (Part 2)

This is...

Freedom from the Burden of Judging – A Conversation with Michael Wilcox (Part 2)

This is...

Freedom from the Burden of Judging – A Conversation with Michael Wilcox (Part 1)

This week,...

Freedom from the Burden of Judging – A Conversation with Michael Wilcox (Part 1)

This week,...