Biblical Scholars Are Open to Self-Correction, and They Listen to Conservatives, Too

(Although not always.)

Ben185/istockphoto.

Ben185/istockphoto.

Response
July 31 2017
About the author

Benjamin D. Sommer is professor of Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. His books include Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition (Yale, 2015), The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel (Cambridge, 2009), and A Prophet Reads Scripture: Allusion in Isaiah 40–66 (Stanford, 1998).


In “The Corruption of Biblical Studies,” Joshua Berman presents a laudable thesis: if an argument is to be rejected by scholars, “it should be rejected because it is weak” and not because of the religious or political positions it might be used to support. “Delegitimizing a scholar by divining his or her supposed agenda,” he writes, “has no place in academic discussion.” Consequently, Berman objects to “the marginalizing and delegitimizing of ‘conservative scholars’” in the field.

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More about: Biblical criticism, Hebrew Bible, History & Ideas