Dr. Platypus

Enns: On Reading the Old Testament

Pete Enns has delineated “5 Modern Insights about the Old Testament that Aren’t Going Anywhere.” They are as follows:

  1. The Old Testament is an ancient Near Eastern phenomenon
  2. “Myth” is an inescapable category for describing portions of the Old Testament
  3. Israelites did not write their history “objectively”
  4. The Old Testament does not contain one systematic and consistent body of “truth” but various, and even conflicting, perspectives.
  5. The Old Testament “evolved” over time until it came to its final expression.

Each point is elaborated in just a few paragraphs, which are well worth your time. He concludes, and I concur:

There is much more to the Old Testament than these 5 points, of course. And accepting the Old Testament as scripture doesn’t depend on fully working out these 5 points. In fact, whosoever wishes can safely ignore all of this and move on with their lives of faith. I mean that.

But when we want to dig into why the Bible “behaves” as it does, and especially if we are curious about engaging the Bible on a historical level, these 5 factors simply can’t be brushed aside.

Do read the whole thing.

May 2017 Biblical Studies Blog Carnival

Thatjeffcarter has the honor of hosting this month’s Carnival. Enjoy!

March 2012 Biblical Studies Carnival

An epic-length five-part blog carnival is now posted for your enlightenment at Jonathan Robinson’s ξἐνος blog. So be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

February 2017 Carnival

Hosted for your reading pleasure by Pursuing Veritas.

The Philistine Language(s)

Brent Eric Davis has written a brief summary of all that can be surely known of the original language of the Philistines before they adopted a Semitic tongue during the Iron Age. Spoiler: This is a rather brief article.

January 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival

Cassandra Farrin has the honor this month of collecting the best of biblioblogging for your reading pleasure. Go see her post at the Westar Institute blog!

How the Romans Helped Invent Judaism

Next week, I’ll once again explain to my New Testament students that all of first-century Judaism was thoroughly Hellenized, even among those who despised Greco-Roman culture. This article by Burton L. Visotzky at The Bible and Interpretation outlines some of what I’ll be talking about.

To summarize thus far: vocabulary, institutions, hermeneutics and exegesis, rhetoric, law, philosophy, art, and architecture were all adapted from the broader Greco-Roman world in the service of reshaping Judaism to become a viable religious force following the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE.

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