Category: Archaeology

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… Continue Reading “Michael D. Coogan: Hard Pressed to Identify A Distinct Israel”

The Weekly Roundup – 5.10.19

“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?… Continue Reading “The Weekly Roundup – 5.10.19”

The Weekly Roundup – 5.3.19

It’s gotten all mixed up, you see, as it was bound to after thousands and thousands of years of dogma and tradition. Religion doesn’t spawn morality. Intelligence spawns morality,which inevitably gives birth (in intelligent enough species) to religion.Now, some people find that religion helps hone… Continue Reading “The Weekly Roundup – 5.3.19”

The Christian Defenders’ 5 Reasons: Archaeology and the Bible

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… Continue Reading “The Christian Defenders’ 5 Reasons: Archaeology and the Bible”

The Weekly Roundup – 12.21.18

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to my readers. I’ll see you in 2019! On December 31st I will have completed reading the Old Testament, New Testament, and Apocrypha in the NRSV. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read through the Bible cover-to-cover but… Continue Reading “The Weekly Roundup – 12.21.18”

The Weekly Roundup – 12.14.18

“I think we have to allow that John’s Gospel differs from the Synoptic Gospels in this fundamental respect: it is not an attempt to remember the historical Jesus; it is an attempt to restate the significance of the historical Jesus from a later theological… Continue Reading “The Weekly Roundup – 12.14.18”

Michael D. Coogan: Embellishment in the Exodus Story

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Literary and Historical Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 108. Given the importance of the Exodus, it is not surprising that the tendency to embellish what had originally occurred is evident among the accounts we… Continue Reading “Michael D. Coogan: Embellishment in the Exodus Story”

SJ Thomason Gets It Wrong (As Usual)

Last year I posted a seven-part series refuting a blog post pop-apologist SJ Thomason had written on how the Bible demonstrates God keeps his promises. It became readily apparent by the only comment she made on the series that she had not read them… Continue Reading “SJ Thomason Gets It Wrong (As Usual)”

Biblical Historical Context: A Good Reason to Pay Attention to the Geneaologies in Chronicles

As someone who recently got done reading 1-2 Chronicles, I can attest to the fact that some parts of it are unbelievably boring. This is especially true of the genealogies. I can appreciate why they are there but I loathe reading them and more often than not… Continue Reading “Biblical Historical Context: A Good Reason to Pay Attention to the Geneaologies in Chronicles”

Richard Elliot Friedman: “Let’s Do the Math”

Richard Elliot Friedman, The Exodus: How It Happened and Why It Matters (New York, NY: HarperOne, 2017), 64-65. So let’s do the math: Eight out of eight Israelites with Egyptian names are Levites. Two out of two accounts of the revelation of God’s name make… Continue Reading “Richard Elliot Friedman: “Let’s Do the Math””