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Saadia Gaon’s Bible Commentary and Translation

By Harry Freedman

The Bible has been translated many times, mostly without incident. But now and again a particular translation stands out as a seminal event in the history of religion. The translation composed by Saadia, the 10th century gaon, or rabbinic head, of the Talmudic academy in the Mesopotamian city of Sura was one such case. See complete essay


The Mysterious Number 480 in 1 Kings 6:1

By Antti Laato

“In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of Yahweh.” So begins the account of the temple building in 1 Kings 6:1. Usually scholars regard the period of 480 years as belonging to Deuteronomistic or even post-Deuteronomistic redaction. In my recent book Guide to Biblical Chronology I discussed this dating in 1 Kgs 6:1 and argued that it may after all be a part of the pre-Deuteronomistic tradition. See complete essay


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In My View - Opinion

The Handwriting on the Sherds

By Paul V.M. Flesher

A rather dry and technical scholarly article released Monday (April 11, 2016) about ancient handwriting generated breathless headlines this week. “Evidence on When the Bible was Written” wrote the New York Times. The opening sentence in the Washington Post’s article said, evidence suggests “that key biblical texts may have been composed earlier than what some scholars think.” See complete essay


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