Which Old Testament?

I am presently writing something that draws heavily on the Old Testament sources. I am also struggling mightily with exactly how to refer to that book. Jews call it the Bible, while Christians speak of the Old Testament. Jews, naturally and reasonably, dislike the latter term because it suggests that their scriptures are outmoded or [Read More…]

Numbering the Old Testament: 22, 24 , 39, or more?

Over the past couple of years my work has often brought me back to the writings of Josephus, and I just wanted to describe one Biblical-related problem that arises there. I claim little originality in what I am writing here, but am rather stating and summarizing a long-running debate. (Jewish readers, please avert your eyes: [Read More…]

Noah’s Book

At my church not long ago, the Sunday reading was from 2 Samuel, giving David’s unforgettable lament for Jonathan. Preceding that, though, was a cryptic reference attributing a statement to the Book of Jasher. That is not the only Biblical reference to a now lost book: we have (or to be more precise, don’t have) [Read More…]

Apples, Oranges and Nephites

Neil Rappleye is a Book of Mormon apologist. He recently did a piece about me at his blog, under the title The Goose and the Gander, and he is fully entitled to take issue with me on anything and everything. I don’t intend to respond to every criticism or comment he makes, but I am [Read More…]

ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS

The London Review of Books recently published a wonderful review by Robert Alter of Rachel Havrelock’s intriguing new book, River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line. I have not yet read the book itself, but I am a huge admirer of Alter’s, and if he praises a book this highly, it’s definitely worth my [Read More…]


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