Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2011
Displaying 1 - 20 of 33 results
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
Solving the Problem of the Fourth Plague
Blood, frogs, lice, cattle disease, boils … Every spring at the Jewish holiday of Passover, the ten nasties that plagued Egypt are described in the Haggadah, the midrashic retelling of the Exodus from Egypt that is read aloud during the...
Bible Review, April 2003
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
The oldest Torah manuscripts survive incomplete and barely legible. But not the scroll sheet acquired recently by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Penned more than a millennium ago, this uniquely preserved parchment represents the oldest complete Torah scroll sheet totally legible by the naked eye. Explore the manuscript’s history and what makes it such a remarkable artifact.
Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2019
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
An archaeological myth destroyed
One of the oldest prohibitions in the entire Bible is the injunction against boiling a kid in the milk of its mother. It is repeated three times in identical words: “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”a From these words, the...
Bible Review, Fall 1985
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
Locusts in the Book of Joel
We call them “acts of God”—the natural disasters over which we have no control. They fill us with fright and awe: fright at the possible human toll, and awe at the enormous force of...
Bible Review, August 1990
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
How we know the Torah was written in the tenth century B.C.E.
For the last two hundred years, a central question in biblical studies has been the authorship of the Torah (or Pentateuch). The Age of Enlightenment led scholars to realize that the traditional Jewish and Christian belief in Moses’...
Bible Review, February 2001
Rank, authority and holiness were expressed in antiquity by fringes on garments
In the book of Numbers, the Lord speaks to the Israelites through his servant Moses and commands them to wear tassels (or tsitsit) on the corners of their garments. The tassels must include a blue thread. The Biblical passage reads as...
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1983
Women as Israel
Open your Bible at random and you will notice something striking: Female characters abound. And it’s not simply a lot of women, it’s a lot of strong women. These women are the antithesis of what we might expect from a patriarchal society...
Bible Review, February 2003