The Old Testament as “fact-fiction” (more from Mark S. Smith)

A few weeks back I posted some thoughts (here and here) on Mark S. Smith’s (Skirball Profesor of Bible and Near Eastern Studies at New York University) presidential address at the Catholic Biblical Association of America meeting in August 2011, which was published in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly the next year (issue 74, 2012). Here is a third [Read More...]

updating Jesus as times change: hey, it’s in the Bible

The idea that God was “updated” is not restricted to the OT, a topic we’ve looked at in several recent posts, focusing on the work of Mark S. Smith (begin here with several follow up posts). Smith’s work suggests that post-exilic priest-scribes revised and edited older traditions in order to contemporize God as new circumstances and challenges arose. In this post, [Read More...]

Did biblical writers understand their past? (Mark Smith part 2)

Today’s post is based on another idea I found interesting in Mark S. Smith’s article “God in Israel’s Bible: Divinity between the World and Israel, between the Old and the New.” The meat of it gives an overview of the evidence for the “early history” of Israel’s God Yahweh according to the biblical and extrabiblical evidence. The article is published in the [Read More...]

Jesus wants you to take historical criticism seriously (or something like that; just read the post)

In August 2011, Mark S. Smith (Skirball Profesor of Bible and Near Eastern Studies at New York University) delivered his presidential address at the Catholic Biblical Association of America meeting, which was published in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly the next year (issue 74, 2012). The address is entitled “God in Israel’s Bible: Divinity between the World [Read More...]

More on updating Yahweh: a possible way forward (Carlos Bovell part 2)

Today’s post is the second of two by Carlos Bovell (see first post and bio here) on how Israel’s understanding of God developed over time and what this says about God and how God speaks. In yesterday’s post, I made reference to Mark Smith’s book God in Translation: Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical [Read More...]


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