Weekend Roundup #1

The recent snowstorm killed six animals in the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.

Shmuel Browns shows what it’s like to guide in the Jerusalem snow.

Ferrell Jenkins notes that his favorite single-volume Bible dictionary is now on sale for Kindle for $4.99.

Biblical Archaeology Society is offering a new free eBook: Life in the Ancient World.

Christopher Rollston has published a preliminary report on the Ninth-Century “Moabite Pedestal 
Inscription” from Ataroth.

Aren Maeir gives his viewpoint on the ASOR Blog of how archaeologists should use the Bible. (I would argue that it is precisely the approach that he advocates that leads to the mess that biblical
archaeology is in.)

Princeton University Press is giving away 5 copies of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World app this weekend (iPad only).

HT: Jack Sasson, Charles Savelle


3 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup #1

  1. "(I would argue that it is precisely the approach that he advocates that leads to the mess that biblical archaeology is in.)"
    More explanation needed…what mess? And how does his approach lead to it?

  2. Hi Danny,

    The “mess” I refer to is what Maeir describes with terms such as “so-vilified profession” and “bad name.” The route to getting there is to take a “scientific” approach to the Bible in which each man does what is right in his own eyes. Maeir’s notion that “modern biblical scholarship has demonstrated [anything] conclusively” doesn’t correspond with anything I’ve seen in the field. “The most up-to-date biblical research” lasts for no more than a few decades before new conclusions are adopted. Archaeology is thus trying to align with a moving target, if one can even say that such a target exists given the multiplicity of views today. A better approach: accept the possibility that the biblical historians were intelligent and honest. As one compares archaeological results with the biblical record, recognize that the conclusions of archaeologists are often ambiguous, rarely specific, and based on a small subset of the data. Consider how the archaeological results may be compatible with the recorded history as written.

  3. Todd,
    I think the disrepute Aren was referring to was among other scholars – not Bible believers – precisely because of the simplistic view of the Bible that scholars of a generation ago embraced. Taking a straightforward the-Bible-is-historical-in-every-respect approach today would be applauded by rank and file American Christians, but would not gain much respect in the academy. Of course you're right that nothing in biblical research is "demonstrated conclusively" – and neither are archaeological conclusions. We're talking about the humanities and social sciences here, after all. But some solutions have much higher probabilities than others, given what we know. I don't know that anyone except (very ignorant) extremists reject the "possibility" that the biblical authors wrote things that are true. But again, history is a game of probability, not possibility.

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