Carol Redmount: The Exodus and History

Carol A. Redmount, "Bitter Lives: Israel in and out of Egypt," in The Oxford History of the Biblical World, Michael D. Coogan, editor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 87. A study of the Exodus narrative raises many questions about the historicity and historical setting of the Exodus events, but provides few definitive answers. The biblical text... Continue Reading →

Richard Elliot Friedman on the Exodus

In 2017, noted scholar of the Hebrew Bible Richard Elliot Friedman published a book with HarperCollins entitled The Exodus: How It Happened and Why It Matters. Using the tools of source criticism, Friedman posits that what really happened is not that there was no exodus from Egypt but rather that it involved a group that... Continue Reading →

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 →

"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 →

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 and focus their morality, that it gives their morality a purpose... Continue Reading →

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 I can now say I've read through the entire NRSV! In... Continue Reading →

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 have of this central event. For example, how many people escaped... Continue Reading →

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