Yale Bible Study on First Isaiah

Those readers acquainted with biblical scholarship know that there is a general consensus that the book of Isaiah was not entirely penned by the eighth century BCE prophet. That the book underwent some kind of editing is virtually undisputed. For example, chs. 36-39 contain material lifted directly from the Deuteronomistic History (i.e. 2 Kings 18-20),... Continue Reading →

David Law: The Interpreter’s Task

David R. Law, The Historical-Critical Method: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: Continuum, 2012), 19. The task of the interpreter is surely to allow the Bible to speak for itself and not to impose an official interpretation upon it. The text should be examined on its own merits and we should not impose an a... Continue Reading →

John Barton on Biblical Criticism

For those who read frequently in the areas of biblical scholarship, the name John Barton is undoubtedly a familiar one. He has written prolifically over the course of his nearly half-century career, producing such volumes as The Nature of Biblical Criticism (Westminster John Knox Press, 2007) and, more recently, A History of the Bible: The Story of the... Continue Reading →

"To be clear, some religious people evaluate their subjective experience as a piece of the evidential pie without taking this strong of a stance – but I want to address those who attempt to build atop the 'unshakable' ground of religious experience.  The epistemology illustrated creates a host of problems.  If taken seriously, it is... Continue Reading →

For other posts in this series, please visit the series' page.  The Christian Defenders' second reason for believing that the Bible is true is that the Bible contains "embarrassing details." They begin, If I were to create a religious book I would make sure its theology, details, and people were flawless. I wouldn’t leave questions... Continue Reading →

"The stories of the ancestors of the Israelites do not come from any one period but developed over time. It is best to see the ancestors as composite characters." - John McDermott Bart Ehrman asks and answers the question "Why does it matter if Mark's Gospel was written first?" What it boils down to is... Continue Reading →

Gerd Theissen, The New Testament: A Literary History (Fortress Press, 2012), 43-44. The Gospel of Mark is artfully structured. It consists of individual pericopes, each of which makes its own point. Through their arrangement into a gospel they acquire a "surplus of meaning": in the framework of the story of Jesus they point to the mystery... Continue Reading →

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