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 →

Michael D. Coogan: The Importance of Nonbiblical Evidence

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP: 2014), 28. Yet despite undeniable chronological and geographical discontinuities, the literary, religious, and institutional traditions of the Levant, including ancient Israel, are best understood as part of a cultural continuum that, allowing for local particularities, was consistent and... 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 →

Evangelical Eisegesis: A Dalliance with Daniel, part 1

"Fulfilled prophecies are what distinguish the Bible from other holy texts and are evidence of direct revelations by God." - SJ Thomason.1 In a bid to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity and the significance of Jesus of Nazareth, pop-apologists often appeal to so-called prophecies found in the Hebrew scriptures that are "fulfilled" in the events... 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 →

Now I Have Seen Your Offspring!

There is a moving scene that appears toward the end of the book of Genesis involving the ageing and ailing patriarch Jacob, his long-lost son Joseph, and Joseph's two children. Joseph is told that his father is ill and so he takes Manasseh and Ephraim, his two sons, to see Jacob. Jacob is lying in... Continue Reading →

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