Bibhistctxt: The “Surprising Twist” in the Dating of the Song of Deborah

Biblical Historical Context, "Israelite Origins: The Song of Deborah" (8.10.20), biblicalhistoricalcontext.com. In a surprising twist, the consensus view of modern scholars dates the song to an earlier period than traditional views would. As we’ve seen, modern scholarship dates the written form of the song to the 12th/11th centuries BCE, but the Talmud, in Baba Batra 14b, explains that “Samuel wrote the... Continue Reading →

“Out of the Strong Came Sweetness” – Bees in Carcasses

I’ve recently started reading Robert Fagles’ translation of Virgil’s  Aeneid[1] for the first time,[2] beginning with the introduction to it written by the late classicist Bernard Knox. Knox traces Virgil’s works, beginning with his Eclogues, moving on to the Georgics, and concluding with the Aeneid. Concerning the Georgics, Knox notes that it is divided into four books: the first concerns farmers,... Continue Reading →

"When Jesus calls Herod Antipas a 'fox' (Luke 13:32), most modern European readers will automatically think this means he considered Herod to be particularly clever or craft....The same association would naturally have occurred to a Greek reader in the 1st century. In Greek literature, the fox is proverbially a crafty animal. In Jewish literature, however,... Continue Reading →

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 ready to make your defense [apologian] to anyone who demands from... Continue Reading →

"The assertion by the opposing narrative that Elijah’s wife was a prostitute and later, that Elijah ate her son, does seem a little over the top and may indicate that the opposing narrative itself was propaganda and was responding to an even earlier narrative. But that is a mirror-reading of a mirror-reading, and it’s difficult... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: The Deuteronomic School

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 186. The Deuteronomic school, as we have seen, had connections with both the Levitical priesthood and the prophets. It continued to revise its core text, the book of Deuteronomy, as Israel's circumstances changed from autonomous nation to... Continue Reading →

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