Michael D. Coogan: Hard Pressed to Identify A Distinct Israel

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2014), 228. The cumulative evidence, then, suggests that the Israelite confederation was composed of groups of disparate origin, including Canaanites. What would have motivated such groups to join Israel? One factor could have been the persuasive power... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: The Importance of Nonbiblical Evidence

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP: 2014), 28. Yet despite undeniable chronological and geographical discontinuities, the literary, religious, and institutional traditions of the Levant, including ancient Israel, are best understood as part of a cultural continuum that, allowing for local particularities, was consistent and... Continue Reading →

The Weekly Roundup – 10.4.19

The September 2019 Biblical Studies Carnival is here and was put out by Phil Long, the curator of the carnival in general. There's a lot of good stuff to be found so I won't waste my time going through it all. Click on the link and enjoy! And if you're a blogger who would like... Continue Reading →

So I decided to host my first livestream discussion and did so with Chris H., a brilliant guy who has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the Hebrew Bible and its relationship to Ancient Near Eastern cultures. We talked about the Gospel of Mark, the Pentateuch, the Canaanite pantheon, textual criticism, the Sea Myth, and so... Continue Reading →

The Weekly Roundup – 6.21.19

@andrewmarkhenry of the YouTube channel Religion for Breakfast recently published a short video on the number 666 that appears in Revelation 13:18. Following most scholars, Henry notes that the number is likely an example of gematria, the practice of using the numerical values of the letters in one's name to come up with a value... Continue Reading →

"What would lead people to make all this stuff up – all of it – from scratch? Not just embroidering or adding to existing stories about an existing person, but inventing all of the above, including the bits that clearly work against their purposes? So far, I have not heard an adequate explanation for this.... Continue Reading →

"One would certainly not expect any literary reference to Christians or Christianity or Jesus himself in Roman authors of the first century.  Christianity was simply a tiny (TINY) religious movement that no one had heard of.  Most Romans would not even have heard the name Christian until probably the middle or end of the second... Continue Reading →

In my experience, Christian apologetics is geared towards reinforcing the faithful, not convincing the skeptic. As I wrote last October, "It seems that pop-apologetics is nothing more than preaching to the choir."1 This in spite of the oft-repeated claim that apologetics is biblically mandated: "Always be ready to make your defense [apologian] to anyone who demands from... Continue Reading →

The Weekly Roundup – 1.11.19

"What is at stake in that sad progression from Paul to anti-Paul? Why is it of importance that — at least with regard to slavery — radical Christian liberty is being changed back into normal Roman slavery. It means this: Jewish Christianity is becoming Roman Christianity." - John Dominic Crossan One of my favorite bloggers,... Continue Reading →

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑