Category: Torah

Public Displays of the Ten Commandments: Which Version?

There’s more than one version of the Ten Commandments.

Book Review: ‘Jesus and the Forces of Death’ by Matthew Thiessen

A review of Matthew Thiessen’s 2020 volume ‘Jesus and the Forces of Death.’

Joshua Bowen: Slavery in the Biblical Period

Joshua Bowen, Did the Old Testament Endorse Slavery? (Mechanicsville, MD: Digital Hammurabi Press, 2020), 196-197. Slavery was not endorsed arbitrarily, as it was part of a common economic system that existed in ancient Israel and in the wider ancient Near East long before the… Continue Reading “Joshua Bowen: Slavery in the Biblical Period”

Paula Fredriksen: Paul’s Ninth Symphony and His “Ode to Joy”

Paula Fredriksen, Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2017), 160-161. If the letter to the Romans is Paul’s Ninth Symphony, Romans 11.11 begins its fourth movement, Paul’s own “Ode to Joy.” Alle Menschen werden Brüder, and the apostle, divining God’s… Continue Reading “Paula Fredriksen: Paul’s Ninth Symphony and His “Ode to Joy””

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… Continue Reading “Carol Redmount: The Exodus and History”

Carol Redmount: The Exodus Account Cannot Be Taken at Face Value

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), 70-71. The biblical account makes an exceptionally poor primary historical source for the Exodus events. Possible historical… Continue Reading “Carol Redmount: The Exodus Account Cannot Be Taken at Face Value”

Wayne Pitard: Garbled Facts in Oral Tradition and the Book of Genesis

Wayne T. Pitard, “Before Israel: Syria-Palestine in the Bronze Age,” in The Oxford History of the Biblical World, Michael D. Coogan, editor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 27. There are many reasons to be skeptical of [the Patriarchal] narratives as historically accurate accounts of… Continue Reading “Wayne Pitard: Garbled Facts in Oral Tradition and the Book of Genesis”

The Digital Hammurabi Team’s Interview of Joel Baden on the Authorship of the Torah

Back in June, the tag team of Josh Bowen and Megan Lewis (i.e. Digital Hammurabi) interviewed Hebrew Bible scholar Joel Baden on the subject of the authorship of the Torah. For a long time, it was assumed that Moses stood behind the books of… Continue Reading “The Digital Hammurabi Team’s Interview of Joel Baden on the Authorship of the Torah”

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… Continue Reading “Richard Elliot Friedman on the Exodus”

Pete Enns Discusses Julius Wellhausen and the Documentary Hypothesis

Recently on The Bible for Normal People podcast, Pete Enns discussed the work of Julius Wellhausen, a nineteenth century scholar who helped formulate what is today known as the Documentary Hypothesis. For those unfamiliar with the Documentary Hypothesis (DH), it is the idea that the first… Continue Reading “Pete Enns Discusses Julius Wellhausen and the Documentary Hypothesis”