Academic Biblical Criticism Is Not Corrupt

Don’t dismiss all perspectives of contemporary biblical scholarship as the imaginative or tainted products of liberal bias.

July 25, 2017 | David M. Carr
About the author: David M. Carr is a professor of Bible at Union Theological Seminary in New York and the author most recently of Holy Resilience: The Bible’s Traumatic Origins (Yale University Press, 2014) and The Formation of the Hebrew Bible: A New Reconstruction (Oxford University Press, 2011).
This is a response to The Corruption of Biblical Studies, originally published in Mosaic in July 2017

Walton’s Polyglot Bible, Volume 1, 1654. Pages showing text from the book of Genesis in multiple languages.

Joshua Berman’s essay, “The Corruption of Biblical Studies,” purports to provide an “insider’s tour of today’s field of biblical studies.” In it, he tells a story of how biblical scholarship became slave to putatively pseudo-scientific ideas about its character as a value-free enterprise. This development, Berman believes, has led to a failure to recognize the overall liberal bias of the field and to a widespread exclusion of scholarly perspectives that affirm the coherence, historical accuracy, and/or antiquity of a biblical text.

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