In April of 2001, the headline in the Los Angeles Timesread, “Doubting the Story of the Exodus.” It covered a sermon that had been delivered by the rabbi of a prominent local congregation over the holiday of Passover. In it, he said, “The truth is that virtually every modern archeologist who has investigated the story of the exodus, with very few exceptions, agrees that the way the Bible describes the exodus is not the way it happened, if it happened at all.” This seeming challenge to the biblical story captivated the local public. Yet as the rabbi himself acknowledged, his sermon contained nothing new. The theories that he described had been common knowledge among biblical scholars for over thirty years, though few people outside of the profession know their relevance.
New understandings concerning the Bible have not filtered down beyond specialists in university settings. There is a need to communicate this research to a wider public of students and educated readers outside of the academy. This volume seeks to meet this need, with accessible and engaging chapters describing how archeology, theology, ancient studies, literary studies, feminist studies, and other disciplines now understand the Bible.
"This collection admirably bridges the gap between biblical scholarship and lay readership, allowing laypeople to engage in the ‘conversations’ that have been ongoing for decades in academic circles and to ‘reach their own conclusions." ~Choice
"This superb collection written by scholars for non-specialists should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the most important issues in the contemporary study of the Bible." ~S. David Sperling,author of The Original Torah
"An excellent supplementary textbook for survey courses on the Hebrew Bible or on biblical scholarship." ~John J. Collins,Yale University
"The goal of the present book is to try to introduce lay Jewish audiences to some of the results of modern biblical research." ~Journal of Jewish Studies