The Roundup – 2.1.22

  • Over at his blog Scribes of the Kingdom, blogger Katapetasma examined the Lukan parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37). Rather than seeing the story as a lesson in how to treat non-Jews, he views it as “an accusatorial invitation” in which Jesus calls his opponents to drop the charge that he cavorts with sinners. As God’s messianic agent, he is called to aid those Jews that the Jewish leadership had cast aside as unworthy. They are instead to consider “them as members of their household in need of help and guidance.” 
  • What is the Tel Dan Stele and what is its important? Does it prove a historical David existed or is it a bit more complicated than all that? This is the subject of a video series from blogger Biblical Historical Context. You can find part 1 here and part 2 here(Part 2 is an excellent overview of not simply the contradictions that exist between the Tel Dan Stele and the Deuteronomistic Historian’s account but also why such contradictions exist in the first place.) If you’re not familiar with BHC’s work, you should not only check out his YouTube content but also his fantastic blog. Every time I read one of his posts or watch one of his videos, I always learn so much. 
  • Recently, Drs. Kipp Davis, Joshua Bowen, and Dan McClellan did a stream over at Davis’s YouTube channel to respond to Dr. David Falk, an Egyptologist, who had made some problematic comments about slavery in the Hebrew Bible as well as the text of Deuteronomy 32:8-9 and its implications for polytheism in the Bible. (Incidentally, Falk clarified his views on Deut. 32:8-9 more in a lengthy comment to which Dr. Davis responded over at my blog.)
  • Emerson Green, YouTuber and podcaster, posted a video on his channel back in November on the implications evolutionary theory has for theism. Among the many observations he makes, one that struck me as particularly poignant is that on naturalism evolution is essentially the only show in town. To my knowledge, there are no rivals. But on theism, you have more options, some of which would be far more compatible with the God of theistic belief. For evolution to be true (which it is), complete with the horrendous suffering it entails over countless ages, and for theism to be true would be very surprising. What kind of God operates like that? Why would anyone want to worship him? 
  • In a recent video, Mira Scriptura contends that in the original narrative of the book of Ruth it was Naomi and Boaz who were married, and that Ruth, the slave of Boaz, was impregnated by him. If you want to see how Mira Scriptura gets there, you’ll need to watch the video and see his reconstructive reading of the story. 
  • Over at torah.com, Dr. Alexandria Frisch talks about the life and afterlife of Moses, as it is depicted in the literature of the Second Temple period. Moses was obviously revered by ancient Jewish authors and the ways in which they show this reverence are fascinating. For example, in the so-called “Animal Apocalypse” of 1 Enoch, he is transformed into an angelic being before his death. And in the works of Artapanus, Moses is turned into a regular Thomas Edison, inventing all sorts of things. 
  • Mark Edward posted a substantial piece on the Lukan infancy narrative. Also of interest in the post is an excursus on the dating of Luke-Acts. Edward for his part agrees with a growing number of New Testament scholars and historians that the author of Luke was aware of Josephus’s body of work (e.g., Antiquities and Jewish War). Consequently, the pair must be dated to the end of the first century or into the second. For what it’s worth, I find this to be the most likely period of composition for the two volumes. 
  • Over at the website Is That in the Bible?Paul D. reviews Idan Dershowitz’s 2021 volume The Dismembered Bible: Cutting and Pasting Scripture in Antiquity (Mohr Siebeck). I have Dershowitz’s work, but I’ve not had the opportunity to read it. However, reading Paul’s review has increased the likelihood that this will be a book I devour in 2022. 

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