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New Perspectives on Amos: The Vision Reports in 7:1–8:2

By Göran Eidevall

While working on a commentary on the book of Amos (Eidevall 2017) I developed a new hypothesis concerning this book’s history of redaction and composition: While the first two parts, chapters 1–2 and 3–6, contain an original core of prophecies from the monarchic period, the final part, comprising chapters 7–9, consists of exilic and post-exilic additions. See complete essay


Statement from Bible Scholars in Opposition to Bill That Adds 'Bible literacy' Class to Iowa Public Schools.

By Hector Avalos et al.

As professors of biblical studies at the regents universities of Iowa, we have experience teaching courses on the Bible. We have developed methods to educate students about this complex set of books in a religiously pluralistic society. House File 2031 intends to “adopt rules establishing course stand ards for elective social studies courses” to enhance biblical literacy. It is not a bipartisan bill. It is a bill sponsored by, among other legislators, Skyler Wheeler, who has been a strong proponent of allowing public schools to teach alternatives to evolution. See complete essay


Sweet Dreams? Interpreting Food in the Dreams of Pharaoh’s Cupbearer and Baker

By Diana Lipton

When you look at a familiar text through an unfamiliar lens, you see new things. Here’s an example. I did my PhD at Cambridge University on dreams in the book of Genesis (Lipton:1999). My focus was dreams in the patriarchal narratives (Abraham’s, Abimelech’s, Jacob’s, and Laban’s). Since they had already been subjected to the close reading I planned to conduct, I chose not to write about the dreams in the Joseph story. I read a lot about them, though, and thought I knew pretty much what there was to say. So I was surprised when, rereading the account of the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker (Genesis 40) through the lens of food, I saw dimensions of the story that were completely new to me. See complete essay


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In My View - Opinion

Why the Hebrew Bible is so Easy/Difficult to Interpret

By Kenneth Seeskin

Any interpreter of the Hebrew Bible faces a number of challenges. It is not just that the text describes a prescientific culture that lived over 2,500 years ago. That much could be said of Homer’s Iliad. It is rather that the Bible contains a number of features that make it unique.

The first is that it claims to be the word of God or at least to inform us about the actions and thoughts of God. Although one might expect people who read the Bible to approach the subject of God with humility, history shows that the opposite is the case for generations of readers have gone to great lengths to show that their views are in perfect harmony with God’s views. See complete essay


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