Category Archives: Bible

The freedom and responsibility of Biblical Studies

Recently, I summarized a theme in the Old Testament and was told that I could not express it in that way, because it is not how contemporary theologians would address it. I replied that I was not primarily stating a … Continue reading

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Bibleworld in Rotorua

Recently I visited a relatively small, but very good museum Bibleworld in Rotorua, New Zealand. It is one of the few places in New Zealand, where people can get information about Ancient Israel. While Bibleworld has several artefacts from New … Continue reading

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Those children of Israel of whom there is no memory

The apocryphal book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) contains a hymn to the ancestors of the Jews. It starts in chapter 44 Let us now sing the praises of famous men, our ancestors in their generations. The Lord apportioned to them great … Continue reading

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Idolatry in the Bible

In recent months I have noticed the concept of idolatry being quite frequently used in Christian (and maybe post-Christian) contexts. Sometimes it struck me as a bit odd, because sometimes what people were accusing as idolatry and therefore as wrong … Continue reading

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The Samaria ostraca and family relationships

The Samaria ostraca were found during the Harvard excavations at Samaria from 1908-1910. These potsherds with ink-writing were found in the courtyard of the palace. Sixty-seven had a readable inscription. It seems that they recorded some sort of tax or … Continue reading

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Pax Assyriaca

Once upon a time on the eastern shores of the sea there were many little kingdoms fighting for dominance, trying to exert control over each other. The frequent raids into the territories of neighbours made life uncertain. The enmity stifled … Continue reading

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Remembering the past

In George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four the main character works in the Ministry of Truth, which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. He revises old newspaper reports so that the historical record always supports the party line. Because … Continue reading

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