Morals Don’t Come From God: For This I Know Because the Bible Tells Me So

Let me air out some new material here. The title of this post is the title of another book I’m currently working on. Its thesis is that despite fervent claims made by fundamentalists, when one studies the Bible’s many different legislations, law codes, and moral precepts comparatively, the biblical texts themselves tell us that its morals were shaped by ever-changing cultural and subjective perspectives, worldviews, and even ideologies. In other wordsRead More

The Biblical Texts on Their Own Terms Versus the Bible on Its Terms: Genesis 1 and 2 as a Case Study

Biblical scholars often talk about the necessity of reading and acknowledging the texts of the Bible on their own terms. This gets repeatedly voiced by the scholarly community because in the large majority of cases the Bible’s texts are not read on their own terms, but on the terms of their readers—that is through the assumptions and beliefs that readers bring to this collection of ancient literature, even prior to readingRead More

The Growing Problem of Biblical Illiteracy in Our Country

In the wake of one of the most fatal religiously motivated crimes in a string of other recent religiously-fueled terrorist attacks, I’d like to run a series of posts about one of the root problems behind such fatalities. Indeed, there may be many root causes, but as a biblical scholar I am interested in one in particular—biblical illiteracy, and even quranic illiteracy. A survey done not too long ago revealed thatRead More

Defending the Biblical Texts: What It Entails and Why Secularists Ought to Care. Genesis 1 as a Test Case

I often find myself articulating that my aim is to defend the biblical texts, their authors, and their beliefs (Genesis 1 and the Creationism Debate, xii). Many of my readers will undeniably object to my use of the word “defend.” After all, why would a secularist, atheist, agnostic, or de-convert (the majority of my readers) wish to defend the Bible the biblical texts? And precisely, defend it how and from whatRead More

Being Honest to the Texts of the Bible (Part 2b)

Continued from Being Honest to the Bible’s Texts (Part 2a). 2. The Documentary Hypothesis: What is a Hypothesis? Some readers here (one in particular with a new alias) rather than commenting on my posts are caught up in a game of disclosing and then responding to their own assumptions about the intended aims of my work and the aims and methods of biblical scholarship in general by referencing misleading and inaccurateRead More

Being Honest to the Texts of the Bible (Part 2a)

In reading the most recent slew of comments to my original post (Being Honest to the Texts of the Bible, Theirs Authors, and Their Beliefs), many of which fail to address or grapple with the specific points raised in that post, I’ve decided to reply in the form of yet another post that yet again attempts to clarify the objectives of this website specifically, and of biblical scholarship in general. I’dRead More

Being Honest to the Bible’s Texts, Their Authors, and Their Beliefs

I’d like to take the opportunity to open up a general discussion with my readers about my motives here and what the study of the Bible’s texts actually is, and is not, since this seems to be a recurring issue. It is notably an issue for passing Christian readers who arrive here through a Google search and miss the larger picture of what I’m doing. Certainly, and to some extent, IRead More

About Me & Website

Welcome to! I am a biblical scholar and author. And although formally trained in the New Testament and early Christianity (Ph.D.), I have  become increasingly interested in the compositional history of the Hebrew Bible, especially the Pentateuch, for going on a decade now. In January 2013 I started posting 1 contradiction a day, with the aim of working through the entire Bible! I have unfortunately lost that habit, and to dateRead More

How do we know that the biblical writers were not writing history?

Instead of posting today’s contradiction, I’d like to take the time and space to respond to a reader’s question, a question which perhaps many of my readers have pondered. This and similar questions are important because they are the gist of what we’re doing here. Maybe I will do more posts like this. I apologize for the length, but I wanted to do as thorough of a job with this taskRead More

Stories from the North and the South

Stories were as much a part of the ancient world as the television is for us today. People told and heard stories on a daily basis. It was part of their lifeblood. Stories defined a people’s identity, explained the origins of current political and religious institutions, and preserved traditional beliefs, worldviews, and customs. Most stories enjoyed a long oral tradition before they were finally written down. In many cases alternative versionsRead More