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Philip Davies

By Thomas L. Thompson

The death of my most dear friend Philip Davies on Friday, May 31, by cancer is a great loss to our entire field. He was not only a scholar of great talent and integrity, who interested himself in all that touched biblical studies. He was also ever a scholar of astonishing originality and discipline, whose impact on the field was immeasurable, not least because of the clarity of his arguments and his ability to focus on the rhetorical center of an issue. Who would have dreamt that such a simple distinction as that between the “biblical Israel”, the “ancient Israel” constructed by historians and the “Israel of the past”, which no longer exists, ... See complete essay

The Social Context of the 19th Century Historical Jesus

By Halvor Moxnes

The 19th century studies of the historical Jesus seem to be of little interest today. They belong to the early phases of the studies of the historical Jesus and are read only by the historians of that research. Thus, these studies belong to the internal history of theological scholarship, which of course does not attract much interest beyond the specialists. Historical Jesus studies were for a long time the domain of Western theology. Most of its practitioners were from Northern Europe and North America. See complete essay

Eden, the Tree of Life and the Wisdom of the Serpent

By Jay Williams

It is difficult to imagine a tale that has had more of an impact upon Western culture than the story of Adam in the garden of Eden. Although neither the other writers of the Hebrew Scriptures nor the early Rabbis paid much attention to this Genesis tale, the apostle Paul lifted it out of its apparent oblivion by making the fall of Adam “into sin” the whole reason for the Christian epic of redemption. For Paul, the Christ, that is to say the Messiah, came not to reestablish earthly, righteous, political rule as the Jews expected, but to solve the problem posed by Adam’s disobedience and his subsequent fall. See complete essay

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