Biblical Archaeology Review 14:2, March/April 1988

Queries & Comments

No More Smug One-Liners

I find articles such as John Bimson and David Livingston’s “Redating the Exodus,” BAR 13:05, and “Radical Exodus Redating Fatally Flawed,” BAR 13:06, by Baruch Halpern, to be both interesting and relevant.

However, I found the tone of Halpern’s article very insulting. An article disagreeing with a proposed theory should present a logical argument as to why the proposed theory is in error. It should also attempt to discuss problems in the generally accepted theory that prompted Bimson and Livingston to propose a new one.

Any rational argument presented in Halpern’s article was lost in his almost continuous stream of flippant and smug one-liners. The article by Bimson and Livingston was presented in a scholarly and rational manner. It is proper that BAR should solicit and publish an article in rebuttal; however, BAR should see to it that all articles present a discussion of ideas instead of personal insults.

I appreciate your magazine for its factual presentation of opposing viewpoints and theories. I hope in the future you can keep the discussion on a scholarly and mature level.

Steve Gerson Austin, Texas

I have been a subscriber of your excellent magazine for a number of years. In fact, I’m even “paid up” till February 1992.

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