CBI Events Calendar

Sep
25
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Sep 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday, September 18,  12-1 

 Our discussion of Finkelstein and Silberman’s The Bible Unearthed continued last week with a focus on the authors’  central claim that the Bible should not be relied upon as an accurate historical document but rather as ”skillfully fashioned” national mythology, an elaborated saga to fit the times reflecting the concerns of the late monarchic period (8th/7th century BCE) and serving the cause of the political unification of a scattered and heterogeneous Israelite population. 

Finkelstein and Silberman seek to demonstrate that the Hebrew Bible and archaeology are frequently incompatible, noting that

  • the Bible records events that took place many centuries after those events took place (e.g. 1750 BCE vs. 700 BCE)   
  • the search for corroborating evidence of the historical patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their families) has been unsuccessful
  • the westward migration from Mesopotamia toward Canaan is ”illusory”
  • there is no record in Egyptian literature of a great mass of fleeing Israelites crossing the border; there is no archaeological evidence of the Israelites wandering across the desert 
  • the accounts of the Israelites’ conquest of Canaan (of the walls of Jericho tumbling down) is a “romantic mirage”

In essence our authors argue that the Bible offers a ”classic literary expression of the yearnings and fantasies of a people at a certain time and place.  

While some in our group are accepting of the claims made by Finkelstein and Silberman, others expressed some doubts.  Just because no evidence has yet been unearthed that supports accounts given in the Bible doesn’t mean that the evidence won’t be unearthed at some point in the future.  We noted that the field of archaeology is rife with controversy, and that Finkelstein and Silberman represent one point of view; they may be too quick to approach the Bible with suspicion and skepticism.  While The Bible Unearthed received much praise when it was published, it did have its detractors, such as William Dever who, in the Jerusalem Post, labeled Finkelstein an ”idiosyncratic and doctrinaire archaeologist.”  Dever described The Bible Unearthed as ”an ideological manifesto, not judicious, well-balanced scholarship.”

Our group’s fun will continue on September 18, when we continue with a discussion of chapters 4 and 5 of The Bible Unearthed (pp. 97-145), looking at the Book of Judges and asking ”Who Were the Israelites?” and at the reigns of Kings David and Solomon.  Before we turn to those issues, we’ll return to any loose ends from chapters 2 and 3–the Exodus and the Conquest of Canaan.  As a way of preparing for that discussion, participants might want to check out the following supplemental links:

 

https://wyattmuseum.com/entangled-in-the-land-or-a-way-in-the-deep/2016-11905

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/08/no-really-there-is-a-scientific-explanation-for-the-parting-of-the-red-sea-in-exodus/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Red_Sea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCgmr78Z6tU

https://ehrmanblog.org/historical-problems-with-the-hebrew-bible-the-conquest-of-canaan/

https://www.namb.net/apologetics/resource/joshua-s-conquest-did-it-happen/

  

Our informal discussion group is held online every Friday from 12-1.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. If you have questions, or would like the Zoom link, please contact Jay Jacoby at  jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

 

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Sep
26
Sat
Torah Study with Justin Goldstein
Sep 26 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Join Justin Goldstein for an hour of Torah study and discussion of the week’s Torah portion.

All are welcome, link to join the Zoom meeting here.

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Oct
2
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Oct 2 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday, September 18,  12-1 

 Our discussion of Finkelstein and Silberman’s The Bible Unearthed continued last week with a focus on the authors’  central claim that the Bible should not be relied upon as an accurate historical document but rather as ”skillfully fashioned” national mythology, an elaborated saga to fit the times reflecting the concerns of the late monarchic period (8th/7th century BCE) and serving the cause of the political unification of a scattered and heterogeneous Israelite population. 

Finkelstein and Silberman seek to demonstrate that the Hebrew Bible and archaeology are frequently incompatible, noting that

  • the Bible records events that took place many centuries after those events took place (e.g. 1750 BCE vs. 700 BCE)   
  • the search for corroborating evidence of the historical patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their families) has been unsuccessful
  • the westward migration from Mesopotamia toward Canaan is ”illusory”
  • there is no record in Egyptian literature of a great mass of fleeing Israelites crossing the border; there is no archaeological evidence of the Israelites wandering across the desert 
  • the accounts of the Israelites’ conquest of Canaan (of the walls of Jericho tumbling down) is a “romantic mirage”

In essence our authors argue that the Bible offers a ”classic literary expression of the yearnings and fantasies of a people at a certain time and place.  

While some in our group are accepting of the claims made by Finkelstein and Silberman, others expressed some doubts.  Just because no evidence has yet been unearthed that supports accounts given in the Bible doesn’t mean that the evidence won’t be unearthed at some point in the future.  We noted that the field of archaeology is rife with controversy, and that Finkelstein and Silberman represent one point of view; they may be too quick to approach the Bible with suspicion and skepticism.  While The Bible Unearthed received much praise when it was published, it did have its detractors, such as William Dever who, in the Jerusalem Post, labeled Finkelstein an ”idiosyncratic and doctrinaire archaeologist.”  Dever described The Bible Unearthed as ”an ideological manifesto, not judicious, well-balanced scholarship.”

Our group’s fun will continue on September 18, when we continue with a discussion of chapters 4 and 5 of The Bible Unearthed (pp. 97-145), looking at the Book of Judges and asking ”Who Were the Israelites?” and at the reigns of Kings David and Solomon.  Before we turn to those issues, we’ll return to any loose ends from chapters 2 and 3–the Exodus and the Conquest of Canaan.  As a way of preparing for that discussion, participants might want to check out the following supplemental links:

 

https://wyattmuseum.com/entangled-in-the-land-or-a-way-in-the-deep/2016-11905

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/08/no-really-there-is-a-scientific-explanation-for-the-parting-of-the-red-sea-in-exodus/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Red_Sea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCgmr78Z6tU

https://ehrmanblog.org/historical-problems-with-the-hebrew-bible-the-conquest-of-canaan/

https://www.namb.net/apologetics/resource/joshua-s-conquest-did-it-happen/

  

Our informal discussion group is held online every Friday from 12-1.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. If you have questions, or would like the Zoom link, please contact Jay Jacoby at  jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

 

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Oct
9
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Oct 9 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday, September 18,  12-1 

 Our discussion of Finkelstein and Silberman’s The Bible Unearthed continued last week with a focus on the authors’  central claim that the Bible should not be relied upon as an accurate historical document but rather as ”skillfully fashioned” national mythology, an elaborated saga to fit the times reflecting the concerns of the late monarchic period (8th/7th century BCE) and serving the cause of the political unification of a scattered and heterogeneous Israelite population. 

Finkelstein and Silberman seek to demonstrate that the Hebrew Bible and archaeology are frequently incompatible, noting that

  • the Bible records events that took place many centuries after those events took place (e.g. 1750 BCE vs. 700 BCE)   
  • the search for corroborating evidence of the historical patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their families) has been unsuccessful
  • the westward migration from Mesopotamia toward Canaan is ”illusory”
  • there is no record in Egyptian literature of a great mass of fleeing Israelites crossing the border; there is no archaeological evidence of the Israelites wandering across the desert 
  • the accounts of the Israelites’ conquest of Canaan (of the walls of Jericho tumbling down) is a “romantic mirage”

In essence our authors argue that the Bible offers a ”classic literary expression of the yearnings and fantasies of a people at a certain time and place.  

While some in our group are accepting of the claims made by Finkelstein and Silberman, others expressed some doubts.  Just because no evidence has yet been unearthed that supports accounts given in the Bible doesn’t mean that the evidence won’t be unearthed at some point in the future.  We noted that the field of archaeology is rife with controversy, and that Finkelstein and Silberman represent one point of view; they may be too quick to approach the Bible with suspicion and skepticism.  While The Bible Unearthed received much praise when it was published, it did have its detractors, such as William Dever who, in the Jerusalem Post, labeled Finkelstein an ”idiosyncratic and doctrinaire archaeologist.”  Dever described The Bible Unearthed as ”an ideological manifesto, not judicious, well-balanced scholarship.”

Our group’s fun will continue on September 18, when we continue with a discussion of chapters 4 and 5 of The Bible Unearthed (pp. 97-145), looking at the Book of Judges and asking ”Who Were the Israelites?” and at the reigns of Kings David and Solomon.  Before we turn to those issues, we’ll return to any loose ends from chapters 2 and 3–the Exodus and the Conquest of Canaan.  As a way of preparing for that discussion, participants might want to check out the following supplemental links:

 

https://wyattmuseum.com/entangled-in-the-land-or-a-way-in-the-deep/2016-11905

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/08/no-really-there-is-a-scientific-explanation-for-the-parting-of-the-red-sea-in-exodus/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Red_Sea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCgmr78Z6tU

https://ehrmanblog.org/historical-problems-with-the-hebrew-bible-the-conquest-of-canaan/

https://www.namb.net/apologetics/resource/joshua-s-conquest-did-it-happen/

  

Our informal discussion group is held online every Friday from 12-1.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. If you have questions, or would like the Zoom link, please contact Jay Jacoby at  jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

 

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Oct
10
Sat
Torah Study with Justin Goldstein
Oct 10 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Join Justin Goldstein for an hour of Torah study and discussion of the week’s Torah portion.

All are welcome, link to join the Zoom meeting here.

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