Then and Now
How the Bible Became Holy

How the Bible Became Holy

In this startling reinterpretation of biblical history, a leading scholar shows how the Bible became the sacred text it is today


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Latest entries

Bad Prophecies

Prophets, according to the Hebrew Bible, cannot really afford to be wrong.  Deuteronomy 18:20 in fact singles out accurate prediction of the future as a necessary characteristic of the future.  Yet several of the prophets of ancient Israel – the very ones preserved in the Hebrew Bible (not to mention what must be assumed to...

Race, Religion, and Ethnicity in Antiquity: Zotero Group

Last semester I taught a graduate seminar on Race, Religion, and Ethnicity in the Ancient Mediterranean (see here).  As a class project we began to compile a relevant bibliography and provide some minimal annotations.  That bibliography is on Zotero (as a public group) under the title RaceReligionEthnicityAntiquity (link here).  This is the first time I...

Wikipedia in the Classroom

I have, in the past, used class assignments involving Wikipedia.  These usually involved students identifying weaknesses in entries dealing with the subject of the class, making the changes in Wikipedia to remedy these weaknesses, and then tracking the entry to see if anybody else modifies or deletes their changes.  I always found these assignments to...

Conference Announcement: Jewish Attitudes Toward Wealth and Poverty

I am delighted to announce a conference that I am organizing on “Jewish Attitudes toward Wealth and Poverty.”  We are now in the “call for proposals” phase; please consider submitting a proposal and spread the word.  A short description is below and more information can be found here. The Program in Judaic Studies at Brown...

Interview: TLV1

When in Jerusalem recently I was interviewed for TLV1, an English-language internet radio station, about How the Bible Became Holy.  The interview can be heard here, starting around minute 25.

New PDFs

It is that time of year: CV updating, annual reports, and general housekeeping.  Toward that end I just added two new PDF articles to my Research page.  One is an article entitled “Jew or Judaean,” and the other, “What Does Love Have to Do With It?  Sibling Relationships among Judean Jews in the First-Third Centuries...

American Historical Association

I will be participating in a roundtable on “Jewish History/General History: Rethinking the Divide” at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Monday, January 5, 11 AM – 1 PM.  In this paper I will reflect on historical turn in the study of Jews in antiquity from history to “rabbinics” (some thoughts about that...

Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine Presentation

This is an exciting time for the “Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine” project.  This online project seeks to collect and make accessible all of the published inscriptions from the region from the Persian period through the early seventh century CE.  We have been spending much time changing our data to make it “EpiDoc conformant” (a data standard...

Beggar at the Banquet

At this year’s Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting I will be presenting two papers.  The first of these, entitled “Beggar at the Banquet,” will be given in a joint session sponsored by the Meals in the Greco-Roman World Section and the Meals in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Consultation (S23-330).  The topic of the session...

Was Paul a Palestinian Jew?

In her review of How the Bible Became Holy in the Wall Street Journal, Sarah Ruden wrote: He tries to undercut, for instance, the well-founded consensus that Paul was a Diaspora Jew, from a family established in Tarsus (in modern-day Turkey), who first lived in Jerusalem during his youth or young adulthood for study and...

Another Review: H-Net

Another review of How the Bible Became Holy, this one by Ronald Hendel, was posted on H-Net and is available here.

Sibling Relationships among Jews in Antiquity

A new essay of mine just appeared: “What Does Love Have to Do with It?  Sibling Relationships among Judean Jews in the First-Third Centuries CE,” in Ehe-Familie-Gemeinde (eds. Dorothee Dettinger and Christof Landmesser), 103-16. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlangsanstalt, 2014. PDF available here.