Review of Mark Smith, Where the Gods Are: Spatial Dimensions of Anthropomorphism in the Biblical World

I've put up my review of Mark Smith, Where the Gods Are: Spatial Dimensions of Anthropomorphism in the Biblical World (Yale University, 2016). The book is a stimulating and concise exploration of a timely topic. … [Read more...]

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The death of Book of Mormon antiquity research?

Book of Mormon antiquity research has changed a lot since since the late 1990s. Not so long ago, it appeared that the future looked bright for the project to authenticate the BoM. Even in 2005 Richard Bushman could write, "the proponents [of an ancient BoM] are as energetic and ingenious as the critics in mustering support for the historicity of the Book of Mormon. On the whole better trained, with more technical language skills than their opponents, they are located mainly at Brigham Young U … [Read more...]

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Chaoskampf, the Garden of Eden, and the Mountains of Lebanon

I have a new paper up on the Garden of Eden that explores its mythological background in Canaanite-Israelite mythological tradition. Among other things, I argue that the mysterious ʾēd that comes up to water the ground in Gen 2:6 is correctly translated “flood” and that the motif hearkens back to an ancient Canaanite myth in which El created the world through defeating the primordial Sea monster. This discovery then leads me to reconstruct how the biblical Garden of Eden story has evolved over ti … [Read more...]

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Review of The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Companion, ed. John Barton

I have posted a review of The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Companion, ed. John Barton, on my blog. http://www.religionofancientpalestine.com/?p=587 … [Read more...]

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Review of Debra Scoggins Ballentine, The Conflict Myth and the Biblical Tradition (2015)

I have a new post up on a book that treats the myth of God's combat with the Sea/Leviathanhttp://www.religionofancientpalestine.com/?p=569 … [Read more...]

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אל קנה ארץ: Creator, Begetter, or Owner of the Earth?

I have a new article up on my blog about the meaning of the verb qny in the divine epithet qny ʾrṣ, variously translated “Creator,” “Begetter,” or “Owner of the earth.” I argue that the verb never means “to create” in West Semitic and that all attested usages can be explained on the assumption that they derive from a single root with the basic meaning “to acquire, come into possession.” The correct translation of Hebrew qnh šmym wʾrṣ in Gen 14: 19, 22 is “Owner of heaven and earth.” … [Read more...]

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Review of Biblical Interpretation Beyond Historicity, ed. Ingrid Hjelm and Thomas L. Thompson

If anyone is interested, I have a new post up on my site, which is a review of Biblical Interpretation Beyond Historicity, ed. Ingrid Hjelm and Thomas L. Thompson. http://www.religionofancientpalestine.com/?p=532 … [Read more...]

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The Book of Mormon Wars

Over the weekend I became aware of a piece written by Stephen Smoot at the Interpreter that reminded me the Book of Mormon Wars are unfortunately alive and well in some quarters. Uncompromisingly, Smoot declares BoM historicity to be an all or nothing affair and identifies those who promote an inspired fiction theory as not only intellectually compromised but faithless to boot. In my opinion, this kind of rhetoric does a real disservice to the Mormon community, since instead of trying to cont … [Read more...]

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