The Two Books of Job

In my previous post I mentioned that the book of Job is almost certainly the work of two different authors, with two different views – of Job, of Job’s relation with God, of the reason for Job’s sufferings, of Job’s reaction to suffering, and just about everything else. I’ve been asked to give reasons that scholars have (long) thought that this is the case – that there are two different works that have been spliced together. Here I’ll lift my ...

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Personal Response to Suffering?

QUESTION:

I would like to know more about your personal beliefs regarding the god issue and human suffering in all of it’s forms…all forms…war, poverty, governmental responsibility in suffering, population explosion, church persecutions and tortures…everything.  I’m not just referring to your book on the history of the problem of suffering (God’s Problem) but your personal thoughts about it and how you are involved to help alleviate suffering and what you think the future of humanity is since there seems to be ...

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Where Did Israel Come From?

Yesterday I indicated that my post on the Conquest narratives would be my last for a while on the Hebrew Bible. I lied. Several people pointed out that I finished the post with a cliff-hanger:

Where then did Israel come from?

In other words, if the Israelites did not conquer the Promised Land as narrated in Joshua, but Israel did at some point appear in the land of Canaan – where did they come from? The following is my very brief ...

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Historical Problems with the Hebrew Bible: The Exodus Narrative

In response to a question about the problems posed to critical scholars by the Hebrew Bible I have so far provided two posts, one involving the surviving manuscripts (do we know what the authors originally said?) and the other with apparent discrepancies (where accounts appear to be at odds with one another).   I will now provide a couple of posts dealing with the equally big problem that the Hebrew Bible narrates events that probably did not take place, at ...

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Inconsistencies in the Hebrew Bible

Yesterday I started answering a question about whether the problems in the Hebrew Bible were as significant as those in the New Testament, and my response was: Yes! Even more so! In yesterday’s post I talked about the problem with the manuscripts. In this post I’ll talk about internal discrepancies and contradictions. Rather than write the whole thing out, though, I’ve decided just to include a chunk that deals with the issue from my Introduction to the Bible, which ...

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Problems with the Hebrew Bible Manuscripts

QUESTION:

Bart, these issues you’ve found in the New Testament, have you studied and found similar issues in the Old Testament?”

RESPONSE:

Yes indeed!   Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) was my secondary field in my PhD program, and I taught Introduction to Hebrew Bible at both Rutgers and UNC.   A few years ago when I decided to write my Introduction to the Bible I decided that to do it right I had to re-tool in Hebrew Bible.  I’m ...

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Exciting Discovery of a Hebrew Bible Scroll

An exciting discovery has been made of the oldest scroll containing the Pentateuch (it is not as old as the Leningrad *codex* from around the year 1000; but it is the oldest *scroll* with the entire text – 12th century or 13th).   My thanks to my colleage Evyatar Marienburg, knowledgeable about all scholarship Jewish, for informing me about this.  For the fuller account, see https://www.facebook.com/groups/375003239611/permalink/10151699916354612/

PRESS RELEASE

THE MOST ANCIENT EXISTING SCROLL OF THE HEBREW PENTATEUCH, DISCOVERED AT THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY ...

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More on Jews, Christians, and the Battle for Scripture

In yesterday’s post I indicated that my next trade book, to be written in a couple of years, would deal with the question of Jews and Christians, centered on the question of why Christians kept the Old Testament and how doing so led to controversies with Jews. The following is how I set up the issue that I will be addressing.

The second-century Christian theologian Marcion maintained that the Old Testament was the Scripture of the Jews. Christians, ...

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The Next Trade Book: Jews and Christians

QUESTION:

I was wondering if someday you will write a book on the rise of anti-Judaism in early Christian circles ?  If you were to write such a book, what would the title and the subtitle be ?

RESPONSE:

As it turns out, that is indeed to be the topic of my next trade book, which I plan to write in a couple of years.  As I have said on this blog before, I try to alternate the kinds ...

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