Archaeological Support for Gmirkin’s Thesis on Plato and the Hebrew Bible

Neils Peter Lemche (link is to my posts referencing NPL) has reviewed archaeologist Yonatan Adler’s The Origins of Judaism (link is to my post on Adler’s book) and related its evidence and argument to the work of Russell Gmirkin’s Plato and the Hebrew Bible. — on which I have posted in depth here. Lemche’s review … Continue reading “Archaeological Support for Gmirkin’s Thesis on Plato and the Hebrew Bible”

The “Late” Origins of Judaism – The Archaeological Evidence

Archaeologist Yonatan Adler of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has authored a new book, The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal. The findings of Adler are consistent with other books I have blogged about over the years setting out a case for the history of “biblical Israel” being a late theological construct, composed no earlier … Continue reading “The “Late” Origins of Judaism – The Archaeological Evidence”

Biblical Creation Accounts and Plato – 1

Similarities between the Pentateuch and Greek literature have long been noted and discussed in scholarly literature, but most of those discussions have assumed that the Greeks and the authors of the biblical books were independently drawing on Asiatic stories or even that some Greeks were exposed to translations of parts of the Pentateuch. (Evangelia Dafni … Continue reading “Biblical Creation Accounts and Plato – 1”

Bad History for Atheists (3) — Proof-texting, Circularity, Fake Facts, Insults

At about 57 mins of the MythVision podcast O’Neill underscores the importance of Paul’s claim to have met James the “brother of the Lord”. Not only is Paul’s claim from a contemporary of Jesus but it is even from one who is opposed to his source:  Paul is saying, says O’Neill, “Yeh, I have met … Continue reading “Bad History for Atheists (3) — Proof-texting, Circularity, Fake Facts, Insults”

Origins of the Abraham Narrative

Let’s return to having a closer look at some of the chapters in the book I  described back in  August this year. (Actually my recent post History. It’s Long Lost Dead and Gone began as a closer look at Niels Peter Lemche’s chapter titled “What People Want to Believe: Or Fighting Against ‘Cultural Memory’”, but … Continue reading “Origins of the Abraham Narrative”

Biblical Narratives, Archaeology, Historicity – Essays in Honour of Thomas L. Thompson

Why a volume of essays in honour of Thomas L. Thompson? The opening paragraph of the Introduction explains (with my highlighting): Thomas L. Thompson has been, for the past five decades, behind some of the – if not all – major changes in Old Testament historiography, if we consider that his criticism of the patriarchal … Continue reading “Biblical Narratives, Archaeology, Historicity – Essays in Honour of Thomas L. Thompson”

Interview with Thomas L. Thompson #1

The Greek Mythicists website has posted a (Greek language) interview with Thomas L. Thompson. The interview page is Συνέντευξη με τον Thomas L. Thompson: Ο Βιβλικός Μινιμαλισμός και ο ιστορικός Ιησούς. The person responsible for the site, Minas Papageorgiou, has kindly sent me an English translation. It is very lengthy so I will only post … Continue reading “Interview with Thomas L. Thompson #1”

Review part 10: Questioning the Historicity of Jesus / Lataster (Conclusion)

As I read each chapter or section of Raphael Lataster’s book, Questioning the Historicity of Jesus, I wrote about it here, but now that I have read the concluding pages I discover that Lataster anticipated some of the points I made along the way. Especially this one, the final footnote on the final page: The … Continue reading “Review part 10: Questioning the Historicity of Jesus / Lataster (Conclusion)”

Bart Ehrman’s Motive

Someone emailed me part of a recent post by Bart Ehrman with a suggestion that I comment. The key paragraph by Ehrman: I am not saying I have no agendas and no biases. Let me be emphatic. I DO have an agenda and I DO have biases. My agenda is to propagate a scholarly understanding … Continue reading “Bart Ehrman’s Motive”

How To Do (and not do) History – by Historians Biblical and Non-Biblical

I said I needed to add a complementary post to Can We Find History Beneath the Literary Trappings?, one that presented the positive side of historical research showing what is a valid approach by way of contrast with the often fallacious methods and unjustified assumptions of much scholarly research into Christian origins and the historical … Continue reading “How To Do (and not do) History – by Historians Biblical and Non-Biblical”

One More Voice on the “Great Divide” in Biblical Studies

Not everyone was happy with my post The Great Divide in Biblical Studies. Admittedly the words “great divide” carried connotations for many readers that I had not intended. By “great divide” I was thinking of the intellectual gulf between those scholars who follow methods of historical research that would fit seamlessly into any other historical … Continue reading “One More Voice on the “Great Divide” in Biblical Studies”

The Great Divide in Biblical Studies

Leaving aside intellectually fraught efforts to argue that ancient Israel is an epic fiction manufactured in the Persian or Greek era — an effort that will forever stumble over the Merneptah stele— . . . . . Jonathan Bernier, Re-Visioning Ancient Israel, 23rd March 2019 Such statements (this is but one example) mystify me. They … Continue reading “The Great Divide in Biblical Studies”

Bible Scholars Who Get History Right

Philip R. Davies, In Search of Ancient Israel (1992) pp. 35-36 historical research by biblical scholars has taken a . . . circular route, whose stages can be represented more or less as follows: Davies then lists the four assumptions that these scholars have brought to their study: 1. The biblical writers, when writing about the past, … Continue reading “Bible Scholars Who Get History Right”