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Like much of our theology, our exegetical practices in most cases have been passed on to us by teachers who learned them many years earlier. Unless both our teachers and we ourselves have kept up, it is all too likely that our exegetical skills have not been honed by recent developments. Hermeneutics, linguistics, literary studies, greater grammatical sophistication, and advances in computer technology have joined forces to demand that we engage in self–criticism of our exegetical practices.D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies (2nd ed.; Carlisle, U.K.; Grand Rapids, MI: Paternoster; Baker Books, 1996), 20.

Joshua 10 and 11: A closer look

In the previous post we saw that as well as being flatly contradicted by the archaeological evidence the Southern and Northern Campaigns of Joshua 10 and 11 don’t line up with the rest of the conquest accounts in Joshua, Judges, and Samuel.

We concluded that before trying to understand how the archaeological evidence fits with the text, we first need to understand why the texts don’t fit each other. Continue reading

Michael Licona recites the Sermon on the Mount in the area it was originally given.

Joshua 10 and 11: The Problem

Joshua 10 and 11 contain the accounts of the Southern and Northern campaigns describing the conquest of Canaan. Though they make for exciting reading, these chapters present the careful reader with a number of problems. Continue reading

As readers, we want to place ourselves in front of the text (and allow it to address us) rather than behind it (and force it to go where we want). The reader’s background and ideas are important in the study of biblical truth; however, this must be used to study meaning rather than to create meaning that is not there.Grant R. Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation (Rev. and expanded, 2nd ed.; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 29.

The Biblical Dates of the Exodus

When someone inquiring about the views of a friend asked me, “…and when does he think the Exodus happened?”, I responded, “1446 BC.” “Good,” he nodded approvingly, “he believes what the Bible says.” Continue reading

Standing on the western slope of Mt Tabor, looking first south towoard Mt Gilboa, then west toward Megiddo over Jezreel Valley/Plain of Esdraelon , finishing with a view of the southernmost end of the hills of Lower Galilee, with Nazareth perched on top. Continue reading

The Exodus Itineraries

Reading itineraries has a similar effect on the mind as reading genealogies. But, it’s worth ploughing through them for the same reason we should suffer the name lists – there’s often more in there than meets the eye. The Exodus itineraries are no exception. Continue reading

Without a reasonable idea of the various literary conventions and styles of the ancient writers, we are in constant danger of imposing our own modern readings on the texts instead of understanding them on their own terms.Jens Bruun Kofoed, Text and History: Historiography and the Study of the Biblical Text (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2005), 54.

One Jerusalem’s more magical experiences – listening to the evening’s cacophony 🙂

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