My Conversation with Jackson Wheat

This morning I had the privilege of being interviewed by Jackson Wheat, a YouTuber and student of evolutionary theory, on a variety of subjects related to the Bible including the days of Genesis, the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke, Leviathan, henotheism, and more. It should go without saying that I spoke as a non-scholar... Continue Reading →

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 →

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuiOLNLVhyc&t=45s Texts discussed: Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:7; 1 Kings 22:19-23; Job 1:6, 38:7; Psalm 82:1. Recommended reading: Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2014), 38.Mark S. Smith, The Priestly Vision of Genesis 1 (Fortress Press, 2010).

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 →

Candida Moss (University of Birmingham) wrote a piece back in March on Apollonius, the miracle-working son of God that is often compared to Jesus. In it Moss, a prolific writer and scholar, observes that many in the ancient Mediterannean were considered the son of this or that God and that the miracles of Jesus "weren't completely unprecedented."... 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 →

"Israel did not ‘believe’ in dragons anymore than their neighbors did. When Israel says God defeated the dragon, they use this myth in two ways. Most of the time, as in Psalm 74; Isaiah 27:1, where the dragon is named Leviathan just as in the Canaanite myth; and Isaiah 51:9, they are saying, ‘Whatever you... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: ANE Parallels to Genesis 12-50

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 83. Many elements of the plot of Genesis 12-50 are found in other ancient literatures. Among these, one of the most significant is the epic of Kirta (also called Keret), partially preserved on three clay tablets found at Ugarit....The... Continue Reading →

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