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...]

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...]

Did ancient scribes update Yahweh? Probably. (and that’s OK)

Today’s guest blogger is Carlos Bovell, whom many of you know from some previous posts here. Carlos is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary and The Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto. He is also the author of Inerrancy and the Spiritual Formation of Younger Evangelicals (2007), By Good and Necessary Consequence: A Preliminary Genealogy of Biblical Foundationalism (2009), an edited volume, Interdisciplinary [Read More...]

God is Bigger than the Bible

Last night I was reading Mark S. Smith’s The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (because I felt like it, that’s why). He opens with a quotation from the 6th c. AD writer on Roman antiquity, Lydus. There has been and is much disagreement among theologians about the god honored [Read More...]


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