In attempting to contribute to a larger cultural dialogue that promotes thinking and the elevation of rational discourse, I am convinced that any sort of meaningful conversation between theists of all denominations, atheists, and biblical scholars must start from the text, where the biblical text serves as the meeting ground. Can the scientific study of the Bible achieve such a goal?
I am also deeply disappointed by the the low level of public knowledge and education about the Bible. Both the word “Bible” and the biblical texts are so riddled with personal and cultural presuppositions, misuse, abuse, and misunderstanding, that it is even hard to have an intelligent and informed conversation on the topic. Additionally, many automatically invoke ideas of what the Bible is based on preconditioned cultural norms, the authority of long-standing interpretive traditions, what such-and-such faith community says the Bible is, personal theological agendas, etc., rather than really … Read more