“I was always taught the Bible says X, but I just don’t see it”

Recently at the Huffington Post, Greg Carey (Professor of New Testament, Lancaster Theological Seminary), published his thoughts on how the Bible itself challenges fundamentalism rather than supports it. The article, with its provocative title, “Where Do ‘Liberal’ Scholars Come From,” has attracted some attention, both pro and con. Many (including me) resonated with Carey’s article, and [Read More...]

was David really a king? two recent books explore his life

I’m reading together two recent books that explore the live of King David: Joel Baden’s The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero and Jacob L. Wright’s King David and His Reign Revisited. The latter is available now in iBooks and will soon be available from Cambridge University Press. Neither book is for raw beginners, [Read More...]

“If They Only Knew What I Thought”: The Sad Cycle of Evangelical Biblical Scholarship

I wish I had kept a list. I’ve had far too many conversations over the last few years with trained, experienced, and practicing biblical scholars, young, middle aged, and near retirement, working in Evangelical institutions, trying to follow Jesus and use their brains and training to help students navigate the challenging world of biblical interpretation. And they are [Read More...]

When did the Old Testament become the Old Testament? a crash course in the form of a chart

Last year, an English translation of Konrad Schmid’s (University of Zurich) approach to the literary history of the Old Testament–i.e., when the bits and pieces of the Old Testament originated and when they all came together to form a book–was published with the title The Old Testament: A Literary History. I haven’t read the book, but [Read More...]

What Biblical Scholars Do (since you were likely losing sleep about it)

Biblical scholars build models. A model is a way of accounting for as much of the available data as possible in as coherent and persuasive manner as possible, producing along the way as little cognitive dissonance as possible. A model is a hypothesis of what the “big picture” looks like. Models do not focus on biblical issues [Read More...]


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