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Textual mysteries created by Hebrew spelling
Who was Masek? Where is Calneh? What do Adam, Satan, Malachi and Shiloh all have in common? What did Adam say when he saw Eve for the first time? The answers to this little quiz may be disconcerting to some students of the Bible. Masek,...
Bible Review, December 1990
To the uninitiated, the Bible is the Bible. To get one, you go to a bookstore and ask for a Bible. Readers of BR know better. The English-speaking student of the Bible is blessed with dozens of translations in hundreds of editions. What...
Bible Review, April 1992
To the uninitiated, the Bible is the Bible. To get one, you go to a bookstore and ask for a Bible. Readers of BAR know better. The English-speaking student of the Bible is blessed with dozens of translations in hundreds of editions. What...
Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1992
It’s culture shocking!
In an article I recently wrote in Bible Reviewa on the problems of Bible translating, I distinguished two styles of translation:...
Bible Review, April 1989
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
Ancient bible from the ashes
The date was December 2, 1947, four days after the United Nations decision to partition Palestine into a Jewish state and Arab state. Arab mobs in Syria were once again looting, burning...
Bible Review, August 1991
What acrostics in the Bible can demonstrate
Acrostics are alphabetical texts. Bible scholars disagree on their purpose. Consequently, translations differ. Despite differences in emphasis, Every translator acknowledges that Form and meaning are connected. Given the strictures of...
Bible Review, April 1997
How errors crept into the Bible and what can be done to correct them
Ancient versions of the Bible are far from error-free. Happily, a better understanding of the Dead Sea Scrolls and of how manuscripts evolved has helped resolve some of the vexing textual problems.
Bible Review, August 1999
Concern for the text versus concern for the reader
The object of translating seems simple enough: to transfer meaning from one language to another. For public notices, traffic signs and other everyday needs, this is not difficult. But for literature—even such pseudo-literature as political...
Bible Review, August 1988
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
For centuries, scholars from many backgrounds—religious and nonreligious, Christian and Jewish—have worked on discovering how the Bible came to be. Their task was not to prove whether the Bible’s words were divinely revealed to the authors...
Bible Review, Fall 2005
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
Beyond the Texts: An Archaeological Portrait of Ancient Israel and Judah
By William G. Dever
Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2018