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Around 25 years ago, Jim Kugel and I confided to each other that we each wanted to write a book for the general public. We both believed it important to make scholarship accessible to all. As it turned out, we each wrote several such books...
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2008
Not the authors of the Book of J
It is a strange fact that we biblical scholars always seem to meet people who are surprised that we really know things about the Bible. They assume that the study of the Bible is a matter of opinions and interpretations, with few...
Bible Review, April 1991
It’s one of the most famous lines in the Bible: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). Impressive. Fascinating. Inspiring. Capable of a thousand interpretations and raising 10,000 questions. A remarkable proposition coming out of...
Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2014
Who breaks the cycle?
The biblical story of Jacob is artistically an exquisite creation, psychologically an intriguing portrait, and religiously an interpretive treasurehouse—but it has always been a problem. Even Sunday school children ask why the hero Jacob, the...
Bible Review, Spring 1986
Friedman vs. Van Seters
In the December 1993 BR we published a lengthy review of John Van Seters’s Prologue to History: The Yahwist as Historian in Genesis (Bible Books, BR 09:06). Our reviewer, Richard Elliot Friedman, of the University of California at San Diego, leveled numerous criticisms at the book, writing at one point, “There is therefore reason to doubt the soundness of method and reasoning in Van Seters’s work. In this scholarship the [Bible’s] text rarely speaks for itself …. Rather it is the scholar’s spin on the text that houses the point.” Van Seters’s rebuttal to Friedman’s critique follows this introduction; Friedman’s reply follows that.
Bible Review, August 1994