April 25, 2019

Q. To the various Christians, even some Evangelicals, that want to argue that while there was no historical Fall or Exodus, or conquest, but that the stories still have theological value, I regularly reply ‘Ours is an historical grounded and founded religion, and nothing can be theologically true that is historical false, if the theological claims depend on the historical grounding. Would you agree? A. I totally agree and I do think all those things (and everything in the redemptive… Read more

April 24, 2019

Q. In my dealings with many conservative Christians one of the things I think that they often lack is any sense of progressive revelation, by which I not only mean that the clearer and fuller revelation of God’s character comes in Christ and in the NT, but also that we must take the hint from Jesus when he tells us things like ‘Moses gave you the permission of divorce due to the hardness of your hearts’. It seems to me… Read more

April 23, 2019

Q. A rather consistent strategy you use in the Exodus/ Conquest chapter and elsewhere is to argue that there is a historical kernel to this or that story which then has gone through a process of elaboration, sometimes involving hyperbole, like various of the ANE conquest narratives which involve lots of bragging and hyperbole (.e.g. ‘we wiped them utterly out of the land’ etc). How is the average lay person supposed to figure out what is the kernel and what… Read more

April 22, 2019

Q. When it comes to things like the issue of whether Israel was once captive in Egypt I like the dictum ‘absence of evidence is not the same thing as evidence of absence’. For example, as Kitchen points out, the Israelites likely lived in mud huts, which would be unlikely to be found by archaeological work millenia later. What do you think? A. I agree totally. And I believe the type of indirect evidence brought together by the eminent Egyptologist… Read more

April 21, 2019

Happy Easter everyone Christos aneste!! Here’s one of my favorite Easter poems (and note the shape of it). BW3 Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store, Though foolishly he lost the same, Decaying more and more, Till he became Most poore: With thee O let me rise As larks, harmoniously, And sing this day thy victories: Then shall the fall further the flight in me. My tender age in sorrow did beginne And still with sicknesses and shame. Thou… Read more

April 21, 2019

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April 21, 2019

Q. Having spent a lot of time working with the Biblical Archaeology Society, I have run into quite a lot of interesting Jewish scholars, and lay persons interested in the history of Israel. What has really shocked me about many of them is their agnosticism not just about an historical exodus and conquering of Canaan, but even about Yahweh himself. And yet as you say, p. 102, this is the very foundation of Jews being a people, much less the… Read more

April 20, 2019

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April 20, 2019

Q. On p. 77 you say that Genesis 2-3 is describing historical events in figurative language. I agree. I presume that you would also say that Genesis 2-3 is describing historical persons using figurative language. I do not find the argument very persuasive that Paul or Jesus would think they were drawing what is obviously an historical comparison between the historical Jesus and Adam but need not have thought Adam was anything other than a literary figure in a story…. Read more

April 19, 2019

1971. I remember it all too well. And I was only seven miles from where the action in this film took place, in Durham N.C. Though some schools, such as my high school in High Point N.C. had been integrated in the late 60s, Durham had managed to avoid that until 1971. Ann Atwater (who passed recent in 2016) and C.J. Ellis (who passed in 2005) were all over the TV news as well as the front page of the… Read more

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