"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 →

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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 →

Using the Bible to Date the Exodus

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. Hosea 11:1, NRSV The pivotal event in the history of ancient Israel is an event that has come to be called "the Exodus." The word exodus is a compound Greek word from the preposition ek meaning "out of" and hodos meaning "way" or... Continue Reading →

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