Reccomended Bibliography (Updated 12 February 2011)
Please click here for this website's most important article: Why the Bible Cannot be the Word of God.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, the sea is "vast" on Biblical Studies! The below works I have used (most are in my personal library) and found to be be very influential in shaping my "Secular Humanist" understanding of things Biblical. Hopefully, they will prove beneficial to the viewer. Sometimes these books, including xeroxed articles from Professional Journals, can be ordered on inter-library loan through your local library (you should ask about the fees involved for this service). One should pay close attention to sources cited, and obtain those works of interest, for further details. Please note that NOT ALL the sources used in my various articles appear in this bibliography.
Evaluating Internet Research Sources by Robert Harris should be read by everyone, click here.
As regards criticisms of an "out-date" Wallis E. A. Budge on the subject of Egyptology on the Internet: Very few articles exist on the internet written by professional scholars. The vast majority are written by amateur-scholars like myself, who transcribe data from earlier works by professsonals. Very little "current" (the past 10 years) info is available on the internet on the subject of Ancient Mesopotamia and the Bible because professionals _do not post_ their research in most cases to this medium. Their work appears instead in Professional Journals or Books published by scholarly presses for consumption by professionals at Universities and Seminaries. Occasionaly an exception to the rule crops up and an article by a professional does appear on the internet, but its not "common." The best way to be "current" is to subscribe to Professional Journals on the subject and that is expensive. Most journals are subscribed to by Universities who have Departments interested in the Subject. Generally speaking the public does _not_ have access to these University libaries, they are for the faculty and staff as well as registered bona-fide students. All this is to say that this esoteric knowledge is not free nor easy to obtain. There does exist on the internet a service called JSTOR which for a monthly subscription fee will allow you to access on-line Professional Journals in PDF format to read and study. Its the _only_ way I know of that an individual can stay up-to-date on his subject via the internet. Another way to stay up-to-date is via subscribing to book dealers on the internet who specialize in scholarly books, they usually provide a brief synopsis of the book and list its for sale price. Warning: Scholarly books are not cheap, they are expensive. Why? They are made in very small numbers for scholars, so the market is small, to make a profit the publisher has to ask a high price, which tends to be borne by the Universities/Seminaries interested in keeping their faculties abreast of the latest research in their fields. The high prices tend to keep these books out of the hands of non-professionals and they are not stocked by the usually encountered bookstores like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Waldens, etc.
Accordingly, professional scholars do not use the internet very much to down load each other's scholarly research, they turn to the Professional Journals instead. All this to say, sadly, that the "non-professional average joes like ourselves," do not have an easy access to current information from the professionals in the field via the internet.
May I whisper three "magic words" in your ear dear reader?
RESEARCH DATA BASE
Why are these "magic" words?
Unknown to most casual internet users is that the scholarly-level research they are seeking at search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN Live is actually "hidden" and "invisible."
Scholarly research is accessed via "Research Data Bases," often maintained by Colleges, Universities and Seminaries, set up by their Libraries to help staff and students track down scholarly articles and books and thus _avoid_ the millions of urls which appear under general searches at Google, Yahoo and MSN upon keying in a word or phrase.
Google ranks urls by noting how many links exist, which suggests some degree of popularity and "maybe" usefulness. On the down-side this ranking doesn't reflect how scholarly or accurate the research is in the url.
The Library affiliated "Research Data Bases" _pre-screen_ this data for their staff and students.
So, the next time you are looking for "scholarly research" on the internet, when you log into Google, Yahoo or MSN key-in the magic words "research data base" with the topic you seek info on, as for example:
Near Eastern research data base
Middle Eastern research data base
Archaeology research data base
Anthropology research data base
Biblical studies research data base
You get the idea now!
A caveat or warning:
These "research data bases" direct you for the most part to lists of publications: journals and books of a scholarly background. Most of these items do not exist in electronic form on the internet to download and read. You will have to go to a library which specializes in such publications to read them. JSTOR (Journal Storage) for a fee can provide downloadable data from some journals if you have "deep pockets" and money is no object.
Ephraim Stern. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, The Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian Periods (732-332 BCE). New York. Doubleday. 2001. ISBN 0-385-42450-7. pp. 666. hdbk. (Stern's chapter titled "The Greek Penetration," pp. 217-228, is important for noting the Greek presence and influence in Palestine and Judaea before the fall of Assyria in 612 BCE, which continued with Necho and the later the Persians (the Pre-Exilic, Exilic and Early Post-Exilic periods).
Ephraim Stern, Editor. The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land. Jerusalem. 4 Vols. Jerusalem. The Israel Exploration Society. Carta. 1993.
Michael Avi-Yonah & Ephraim Stern, Editors. Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land. 4 vols. pp.1237. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1978.
Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman. The Bible Unearthed, Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. New York. The Free Press. 2001. ISBN 0-684-86912-8. (Argues that the Primary History, Genesis-2 Kings was composed between the second half of the 7th century and early half of the 6th century BC, based on archaeological findings.) In my opinion, this is by far "the most important book ever published" on the Bible and how archaeology has revealed its true origins. This book ought to be in the hands of everyone who has an interest in the Bible and its origins.
Burton MacDonald. East of the Jordan, Territories and Sites of the Hebrew Scriptures. Boston. American Schools of Oriental Research. 2000. ISBN 0-89757-031-6. pbk. pp. 287. (Discusses the archaeological parameters of sites mentioned in the Exodus narratives as well as other parts of the Bible lying in Transjordan, the ancient kingdoms of Edom, Moab, Ammon as well as Gilead, and keys in on their usefulness as indicators for when the Primary History, Genesis-2 Kings, was composed. Like Finkelstein and Silberman, he too, dates the Primary History (Genesis-2 Kings) to ca. the late 7th or early 6th century BCE, based on the archaeological evidence. In my opinion, this is the "second-most important book" on how archaeology has determined when the Primary History (Genesis-2 KIngs) was written. Both authors, Finkelstein/Silberman AND MacDonald, working in different locales -Israel and Transjordan- arrive at pretty much the same conclusions, which mirror my own.
John R. Bartlett, Editor. Archaeology and Biblical Interpretation. London. Routledge. 1996. ISBN 0-415-14114-1 pbk. pp.176.
William G. Dever. Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Biblical Research. Seattle, Washington. University of Washington Press. 1990. ISBN 0-295-96588-6 pbk. pp.189.
Amihai Mazar. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, 10,000- 586 BCE. New York. Doubleday. 1990. ISBN 0-385-23970-X hdbk. pp. 573.
Avraham Negev. Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land. Jerusalem. Jerusalem Publishing House. 1972. hdbk. pp.355.
Beno Rothenberg & Helfried Weyer. Sinai, Pharaohs, Miners, Pilgrims and Soldiers. Washington D. C. Joseph J. Binns Publisher. 1979. ISBN 089674-002-1. hdbk. pp.239.
Beno Rothenberg. God's Wilderness, Discoveries in Sinai. New York. Thomas Nelson & Sons. 1961. hdbk. pp.196.
Ze'ev Meshel. Sinai, Excavations and Studies. Oxford, England. British Archaeological Reports. 2000. pp. 161. Profusely illustrated with maps, line drawings and photos of sites from the Chalcolthic and Early Bronze to Iron (the Israelite period), including sites in the Negev and Arabah.
Itzhaq Beit-Arieh. Archaeology of Sinai, the Ophir Expedition. Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv University. 2003. pp. 454. (This text concentrates on the Early Bronze Age and earlier periods in the southern Sinai, although an occasional Late Bronze Age site is noted. Profusely illustrated with map diagrams and photographs of objects. Beit-Arieh named his expedition "Ophir" after his son who was killed in the defense of Israel in 1973 while serving in the Israeli armed forces.)
Thomas E. Levy. Editor. The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land. New York. Facts on File. 1995. ISBN 0-8160-2855-9.
Mythology, Ancient Near Eastern:
Anne Baring & Jules Cashford. The Myth of the Goddess, Evolution of An Image. London. Arkana (Penguin Books). 1993. pbk. pp. 782.
Jeremy Black & Anthony Green. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia. Austin, Texas. University of Austin Press. 1992. ISBN 0-292-70794-0. pbk. pp.192.
Fred Gladstone Bratton. Myths and Legends of the Ancient Near East. New York. Barnes & Noble. (1970) 1993. ISBN 1-56619-439-3. hdbk. pp.188.
Marcus Tullius Cicero. The Nature of the Gods and of Divination. Amherst, New York. Prometheus Books. 1997. ISBN 1-57392-180-7 pbk. pp. 263.
Richard J. Clifford. Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series #26. Washington D.C. The Catholic Biblical Association of America. 1994. ISBN 0-915170-25-6. pbk. pp. 217. In my opinion, this is an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT_MUST_HAVE_BOOK. It explains the Mesopotamian creation of Mankind from contradicting myths. After studying this book I came to the conclusion that the Hebrews have recast the Mesopotamian "creation-of-man" myths in order to refute, deny and challenge them in Genesis.
Stephanie Dalley. Myths From Mesopotamia, Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh and Others. New York. Oxford University Press. 1991. ISBN 9-19-281789-2. pbk. pp. 337.
John Gray. Near Eastern Mythology, Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine. London. Hamlyn. 1969. ISBN 0-600-03638-3. hdbk. pp.141.
J. C. L. Gibson. Canaanite Myths and Legends. Edinburgh, Scotland. T&T Clark Ltd. 1978.
(Legends from Ugarit in translation)
Alexander Heidel. The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels. Chicago. The University of Chicago Press. (1946, 1949), 1993. ISBN 0-226-32398-6 pbk. pp. 269.
Alexander Heidel. The Babylonian Genesis, The Story of Creation. Chicago. The University of Chicago Press. (1942, 1951), 1993. ISBN 0-226-32399-4. pbk. pp. 165.
S. H. Hooke. Middle Eastern Mythology. London. Penguin Books. (1963) 1981. pbk. pp.199.
E. O. James. The Cult of the Mother-Goddess. New York. Barnes and Noble. (1959) 1994. ISBN 1-56619-600-0. hdbk. pp.300.
Othmar Keel & Chistoph Uelinger. Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient Israel. Minneapolis. Fortress Press. 1998. ISBN 0-8006-2789-X hdbk. pp. 466.
Carl Kerenyi. Dionysos, Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University Press. 1976, 1996. ISBN 0-691-02915-6 pbk. pp. 474. (I suspect that the notion of the Christian Eucharist is derived from Dionysian rites, this book covers in great depth the Dionysian religion)
Samuel Noah Kramer. Sumerian Mythology. Philadephia. University of Pennsylvania Press. (1944) 1997. ISBN 0-8122-1047-6 pbk. pp.130.
Samuel Noah Kramer. History begins at Sumer, Twenty-seven 'Firsts' In Man's Recorded History. Garden City, New York. Doubleday Anchor Books. 1959. pbk. pp. 247.
Samuel Noah Kramer & John Maier. Myths of Enki, The Crafty God. New York. Oxford University Press. 1989. ISBN 0-19-505502-0. hdbk. pp. 272. (Kramer stresses in all his books that many biblical motifs and concepts appear to have been anticipated in the Sumerian literature some 2000 years before the Bible was written. He concludes that the Hebrew concepts are indebted to Sumerian exemplars, although re-worked and transformed.)
Gwendolyn Leick. A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology. London. Routledge. 1991, 1998. ISBN 0-415-19811-9 pbk. pp. 226.
Robert Graves & Raphael Patai. Hebrew Myths, the Book of Genesis. New York. Greenwich House. [1963, 1964], reprint 1983. pp. 315. Graves, coming from a Christian background and Patai from a Jewish, provide insights to various religious commentaries, traditions and folk-lore related to Genesis' stories. At times, they also point out relationships with Babylonian creation myths and cosmologies.
Bible Dictionaries ("Encyclopedias"):
George A. Buttrick, Editor. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible. (4 vols. plus Supplement).
Nashville. Abingdon Press. 1962.
David Noel Freedman. Editor. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. (6 Vols.) New York. Doubleday.1992.
Piotr Bienkowsi & Alan Millard. Dictionary of the Ancient Near East. Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2000. ISBN 0-8122-3557-6. hdbk. pp. 342.
Willis Barnstone, Editor. The Other Bible, Ancient Alternative Scriptures, Gnostic Gospels, Dead Sea Scrolls, Visionary Wisdom Texts, Christian Apocrypha, Jewish Pseudepigrapha, Kabbalah. San Francisco. HarperSan Francisco. 1984. ISBN 0-06-250030-9 pbk. pp. 742.
Ancient Inscriptions related to Biblical Studies:
James B. Pritchard. Editor. The Ancient Near East, An Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Princeton University Press. 1958. pbk. pp. 380.
D. Winton Thomas, Editor. Documents from Old Testament Times. New York. Harper & Row. 1961. pbk. pp. 302.
Victor H. Matthews & Don C. Benjamin, Editors. Old Testament Parallels: Laws and Stories from the Ancient Near East. 2d Edition. New York. Paulist Press. 1991, 1997. ISBN 0-8091-3731-3. pbk. pp. 384.
Old Testament Studies:
I highly reccomend the following recently released book which is very scholarly and profusely illustrated with a wonderous array of maps in black and white as well as color attempting to locate Paradise on the earth from Early Medieval times to as late as 2006 (Scafi is a lecturer at the University of Bologna, Italy and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London):
Alessandro Scafi. Mapping Paradise, A History of Heaven on Earth. The University of Chicago Press & The British Library, London. 2006. ISBN 0-226-73559-1 Hardbound. 398 pages. Please click here to purchase the book.
The second-place "runner-up" to Scafi's magnificent tome, is for me another fine scholarly work (but with much fewer maps, all are black and white, no color) which traces various ideas about Paradise and its location from Early Medieval times to the 19th century AD:
Jean Delumeau. History of Paradise, The Garden of Eden in Myth and Tradition. New York. The Continuum Publishing Company. 1995. translated from the French edition: Une Historie du Parais: Le Jardin des delices. Librarie Artheme Fayard. 1992. Hardbound. 276 pages. Please click here to purchase the book. Of special interest is his research on long buried and forgotten tomes collecting dust in Europe's ancient Universities from Medieval times to the 19th century. I was especially intriqued by a doctoral dissertation locating Eden with Aden in the Yemen, written in the 17th century, a copy being available in the Rare books section of Heidelberg University Bibliothek, because my own research had lead me to the same conclusion. That is to say, by Hasmonean times Eden's location was associated with the Yemen (However, my research suggests Eden is derived ultimately from Sumer's edin, the uncultivated steppeland surrounding the gods' gardens).
Donald B. Redford. Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University Press. 1992. ISBN 0-691-00086-7 pbk. pp.488. (Argues the Primary History, Genesis-2 Kings is a Post-Exilic composition)
Ernest S. Frerichs & Leonard H. Lesko, Editors. Exodus, The Egyptian Evidence. Winona Lake, Indiana. Eisenbrauns. 1997. ISBN 1-57506-025-6 hdbk. pp. 112. (Arguments by various scholars FOR and AGAINST an Exodus)
James K. Hoffmeier. Israel In Egypt, The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition. New York. Oxford University Press. 1996. ISBN 0-19-513088-X pbk. pp. 244. (Argues for an Exodus in Ramesses II reign)
William H. Stiebing Jr. Out of the Desert ? Archaeology and the Exodus/Conquest Narratives. Amherst, New York. Prometheus Books. 1989. Please click here to order this book.
In my opinion, this is the finest book ever written, covering ALL the archaeological problems to be encountered in attempting to set a date for the Exodus/Conquest narratives.
Professor Stiebing notes the archaeological anomalies which have arisen for ALL attempts to establish a sitz-im-leben or archaeologically attested historical context for the Exodus and Conquest narratives appearing in the Bible. He covers the whole gamut of various proposals from the end of Early Bronze Age III to Iron Age I times . He has succinctly summarized his investigations (emphasis mine):
"Almost all of the sites mentioned in the biblical Conquest stories were settled in the Iron Age, while many were often not occupied in earlier periods. What might this mean? Perhaps the biblical accounts say more about when the stories began to take shape than they do about the Conquest itself. There does not seem to be a point in the archaeological sequence in Palestine where the physical evidence revealed by the spade closely matches the biblical Exodus and Conquest narratives. Whether the Exodus and Conquest are placed at the end of Early Bronze III or Middle Bronze II, or in the Iron Age I, there are still serious discrepancies, just as there are with the more common Late Bronze Age placements for these events." (pp.146-148)
Keith W. Whitelam. The Invention of Ancient Israel, The Silencing of Palestinian History. London. Routledge. 1996. ISBN 0-415-10759-8 pbk. pp.281. (Points out the problems in accepting the history of Israel as portrayed in scripture, at face value)
Robert C. Dentan, Editor. The Idea of History in the Ancient Near East. New Haven. American Oriental Society. 1983. ISBN 0-940490-38-2. pbk. pp. 376. (Several essays by scholars)
V. Philips Long, Editor. Israel's Past in Present Research, Essays on Ancient Israelite Historiography. Winona Lake, Indiana. Eisenbrauns. 1999. ISBN 1-57506-028-0 hdbk. pp.612. (Surveys a wide spectrum of scholarly views on the Pentateuch's being composed anywhere from the 15th century BC to the 2nd century BC)
Richard S. Hess & David Toshio Tsumura, Editors. I Studied Inscriptions From Before the Flood, Ancient Near Eastern, Literary, and Linguistic Approaches to Genesis 1-11. Winona Lake, Indiana. Eisenbrauns. 1994. ISBN 0-931464-88-9 hdbk. pp. 480. (Collects various scholarly articles buried and forgotten in journals that have influenced current thinking on Genesis)
Philip R. Davies. In Search of Ancient Israel. Sheffield, England. Sheffield Academic Press. 1992, 1995. ISBN 1-85075-737-2. pbk. pp.166.(Arguing Pentateuch is a Post-Exilic creation)
Jon L. Berquist. Judaism in Persia's Shadow, A Social and Historical Approach. Miineapolis. Fortress Press. 1995. ISBN 0-8006-2845-4. pbk. pp. 282.
E. Theodore Mullen, Jr. Ethnic Myths and Pentateuchal Foundations, A New Approach to the Formation of the Pentateuch. Atlanta, Georgia. Scholars Press. 1997. ISBN 0-7885-0382-0 pbk. pp. 350. (Arguing Pentateuch is a Post-Exilic creation)
Martin Abegg et al. The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English. San Francisco. Harper & Row. 1999. ISBN 0-06-060063-2 hdbk. pp. 649. (The Hebrew Bible in its earliest forms, which differs at times from present recensions)
Michael Wise, et. al. The Dead Sea Scrolls, A New Translation. San Francisco. Harper & Row. 1996. ISBN 0-06-069200-6 hdbk. pp. 513.
John H. Walton. Ancient Israelite Literature in Its Cultural Context, A Brief Survey of Parallels Between Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Texts. Grand Rapids, Michigan. Zondervan Publishing House. 1989, 1990 revised edition. ISBN 0-310-36591-0. pbk. pp. 256. (This text is _very useful_ in that it explains how the Hebrew Bible is different from many Ancient Near Eastern Texts and religious concepts. Despite the author's Christian evangelical bias his observations on the differences between Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Israelite belief systems I found to be valuable and enlightening. I highly reccomend this book.)
Trude Dothan & Moshe Dothan. People of the Sea, The Search for the Philstines. New York. Macmillan Publishing Co. 1992. ISBN 0-02-532261-3 hdbk. pp. 276. (What archaeology has revealed about the Philistines. For me, the single most important nugget of information was that Moshe found two Philistine sherds at Hazor. These sherds suggest for me that Hazor was destroyed some time after the 1175 BC settlement of the Philistines in Canaan, in the days of Pharaoh Ramesses III or later, perhaps as late as 1130 BCE).
Frederick E. Greenspahn, Editor. Essential Papers on Israel and The Ancient Near East. New York. New York University Press. 1991. ISBN 0-8147-3037-X. hdbk. pp. 464. (A variety of scholarly papers relating Ancient Near Eastern concepts to the Bible)
Tim Callahan. Bible Prophecy, Failure or Fulfillment? Altadena, California. Millenium Press. 1997. ISBN 0-9655047-0-0. pbk. pp. 274. (Points out many failed prophecies)
Randel McCraw Helms. The Bible Against Itself, Why the Bible Seems to Contradict Itself. Altadena, California. Millennium Press. 2006. (Professor Helms understands that the Bible's contradictions can in some instrances be traced to the fact that its authors differed among themselves and in some cases sought to refute earlier author's notions).
"All books are written for or against some point of view, and the books of the Bible are no different. Bible authors were often motivated to write because they wanted to challenge or correct those who had written before them." (Quoted from the Dust-jacket's inner fly-leaf)
R. E. Clements, Editor. The World of Ancient Israel, Sociological, Anthropological and Political Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. 1989, reprint 1995. ISBN 0-521-34430)
Michael D. Coogan. Editor. The Oxford History of the Biblical World. New York. Oxford University Press. 1998. ISBN 0-19-508707-0.
John Barton and John Muddiman. Editors. The Oxford Bible Commentary. Oxford University Press. 2001. ISBN 0-19-875500-7.
Robert G. Hoyland. Arabia and the Arabs, From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam. London. Routledge. 2001. ISBN 0-415-19535-7.
Donald B. Redford. Editor. The Ancient Gods Speak, A Guide to Egyptian Religion. Oxford University Press. 2002. ISBN 0-19-515401-0.
Ian Shaw. Editor. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. 2000. ISBN 0-19-815034-2.
Peter A. Clayton. Chronicle of the Pharaohs, The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. London. Thames & Hudson. 1994. ISBN 0-500-05074-0
Arnold Toynbee. An Historian's Approach to Religion. London. Oxford University Press. 1956.
Michael Shermer. Why People Believe Weird Things, Pseudo-Science, Superstition, and Bogus Notions of Our Time. New York. MJF Books. 1997. ISBN 1-56731-359-0.
Mark S. Smith. The Early History of God: Yahweh and the the Other Dieties in Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids, Michigan. William B. Erdmans Publishing Co. 1990, 2002. ISBN 0-8028-3972-X . Smith understands that Yahweh is a god that has evolved, some of his attributes have been assimilated from other gods and goddesses like El, Baal, Anat, and others. He sees the emergence of Monotheism as a result of two forces, Convergence and Differentiation. I find myself in agreement with his thesis. He understands that Israel to a degree, is in denial of her Canaanite heritage, repudiating and breaking with it.
Mark S. Smith. The Origins of Biblical Monotheism, Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts. New York. Oxford University Press.2000. ISBN 0-19-513480-X). Smith explores Ugaritic myths to understand the possible mechanisms whereby two different gods, El and Yahweh came to be fused together, the father being absorbed by the son, just as El was eclipsed by his warrior-son Baal in the Ugaritic myths. He argues that El was the original God of Israel, and that at a later period Yahweh the warrior god suppplanted El, assimilating El's persona. Smith notes that in the Ugartic myths El is NOT portrayed as a great warrior God, rather, he is famed for his being merciful and compassionate.Yahweh has also assimilated Baal's persona as well.
Frank Moore Cross. Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard University Press. 1973). Professor Cross understands that Yahweh "evolved" over time by his priests ascribing to him the powers, feats, epithets and personas of earlier gods and goddesses. Yahweh is apparently an amalgam of Baal the "storm-god" and warrior, and El the father of the gods, famed for his compassion and mercifulness.
Please click here for a Brief Annotated Bibliography On "Greek Parallels" and the Primary History (Genesis- 2 Kings).
New Testament Studies:
Arnold Toynbee, Editor. The Crucible of Christianity, Judaism, Hellenism and the Historical Background to the Christian Faith. New York. World Publishing Co. 1969. hdbk. pp.368.(Excellent, very professional, covers art, history, religious ideas of the times)
Michael Walsh. Roots of Christianity. London. Grafton Books. 1986. ISBN 0-246-12757-0. hdbk. pp. 256. (Lots of little known facts about Early Christianity, many excellent color photos of Early Christian renderings of Christ without a beard and moustache). Walsh explores Early Christian PACIFICISM, and explains the mechanisms by which Christianity came to ABANDON PACIFISM, the Clergy encouraging Christians to "take up the sword" and enlist in the Roman Army in the days of Constantine the Great.
Everett Ferguson. Backgrounds of Early Christianity. Grand Rapids, Michigan. William B. Eerdmans. 1987, 1993. ISBN 0-8028-0669-4. pbk. pp. 612. (An Excellent scholarly, well-informed guide). He investigates the assimilation of Hellenistic Greek ideas by Hellenized Judaism and Hellenized Christianity.
G. A. Wells. The Jesus Myth. Chicago & La Saale, Illinois. Open Court. 1999. ISBN 0-8126-9392-2. pbk. pp. 329. (Argues Christ may have been a real historical person, but he has been mythologized into a God by his followers)
Hyam Maccoby. The Myth-Maker, Paul and the Invention of Christianity. San Francisco. Harper & Row. 1986. ISBN 0-06-250585-8 pbk. pp.237. (Argues Paul, not Christ, is the real founder of Christianity)
Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Editor. Paul in His Hellenistic Context. Minneapolis. Fortress Press. 1995. ISBN 0-8006-2648-6 hdbk. pp.341. (Investigates the Hellenistic World Paul preached within and its possible influences on him)
A. N. Wilson. Paul, The Mind of the Apostle. New York. W. W. Norton & Co.1997. ISBN 0-393-04066-6. hdbk. pp.274. (Explores Paul's ideas about Christ and how he may have developed them)
Michael Grant. Greek and Roman Historians, Information and Misinformation. London. Routledge. 1995. ISBN 0-415-11770-4. pbk. pp.172. (Extremely important for explaining "how" ancient authors went about writing histories- this applies to the ancient Hebrews and their Pentateuch as well. He points out that History was really seen as a form of "Literature").
Lancelot C.L. Brenton. The Septuagint With Apocrypha: Greek and English. Peabody, Mass. Hendrickson Publishers.[1851 English translation of the Greek Septuaginta] 1986. ISBN 0-913573-44-2. hdbk. pp. 1370). For those wanting to read in English, the Septuagint, which was the bible of the Early Christians, this is a "must have" book as the Early Christians regarded it as "AUTHORITATIVE" and the Jewish Pre-Massoretic text as "UNAUTHORITATIVE" when the texts differed from each other (It possesses verses missing in the Jewish Massoretic Texts, which are the basis of most modern English translations). Special Note: A "partial" on-line version of Brenton's Septuagint is available at the following url http://www.ccel.org/bible/brenton/
Thomas Paine. (Annotated by Frank R. Zindler) The Age of Reason: Part Three: Examination of the Prophecies. Austin, Texas. American Athiest Press. 1993. ISBN 0910309701. 115 pages. Paperback.
Product Description (From Amazon.com) :
"Until the publication of this annotated edition, Thomas Paine's third part of The Age Of Reason was extremely rare and almost unknown. Titled "Examination of the Prophecies," the book examines all the supposed prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament alleged by the evangelists of the New Testament. With great wit and penetrating logic, Paine showed that not one of the Old Testament passages cited had anything to do with the Christian's would-be Messiah. Paine appears to have been the first writer in English to suggest that Jesus was not an historical figure. Frank R. Zindler's marginal notes and commentary examine the Greek and Hebrew texts of the verses being discussed. They show that Paine, who knew no ancient languages and knew of none of the important biblical manuscripts that would be discovered after his death, was astonishingly correct in his critique."
Note: I regard this book (The Age of Reason Parts 1, 2 & 3, 1793-1807) as _the most important ever published_ on detailing the reasons why the Bible _cannot_ be the word of God, because of the many failed prophecies in the OT as well as NT.
Paine, who was NOT an Athiest, but a Deist (he claimed only a fool believes there is no God), explains that Christianity is also guilty of using a "flawed methodology" in claiming OT prophecies were intended for Christ's time, explaining that the prophecies were intended to be fulfilled in the lifetime of the audience, not hundreds or thousands of years into the future as claimed by Christians. Another "flawed methodology" noted by Paine as employed by Christianity was the lifting of statements from their OT historical contexts and then "misapplying" them to Christ as the Messiah. I find it quite remarkable that this amazing 200-year-old book has been pretty much _ignored_ by scholars and is "unknown" to most of the Bible-believing world. By clicking on the following url one can purchase it at Amazon.Com Bookstore: Thomas Paine. The Age of Reason: Examination of the Prophecies
On-Line Bibliographies for Bible Studies:
Robert I. Bradshaw has a very useful site called Biblical Studies Org. UK, which provides in depth bibliographies, sometimes with on-line access to books still in print for purchasing purposes, as well as some on-line articles by various scholars. http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/ot.html Professor Ted Hildebrandt has a very comprehensive on-line bibliography of over 120 pages (if printed out on paper by a computer) of books and articles (appearing in Professional Journals) related to the Book of Genesis. Please click here to access it.
Andrew Dickson White. A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom. 2 vols. Macmillan & Co. 1896. 1960 reprint by Dover Publications, Inc. New York. 2 vols. paperback.
"This book is a complete and monumental history of the most important conflict man has known -the warfare of science with theology. The author, co-founder and first president of Cornell University, states in his introduction,"In all modern history, interference with science in the name of religion...has resulted in the direst evils..." The persecution of Galileo, the attacks on Darwin and his "Origin of the Species," the great plagues of history -all are shown to have their common origin in man's unwillingness to give up his mistaken theological beliefs. Mr. White's book has been acclaimed as the classic effort in America to do away with superstition and dogma.
The author shows how the literal acceptance of the book of Genesis led theologians to violent attacks on the Theory of Evolution; how the belief that the earth was the center of the universe led religious leaders to even more violent attacks on Galileo; how the belief that disease was caused by devils led to the great plagues of the Middle Ages; how the Scripture-supported idea that the earth was 4004 years old led certain churchmen to revile geologists who showed it was some billions of years older; how the belief that storms were caused by Satan led to withering attacks on Franklin and his experiments in electricity. In hundreds of similar conflicts, the gradual victory of science over ignorant and harmful beliefs is chronicled in full by Mr. White.
This is the most thorough account ever written of the great religious-scientific battles, and remains an eloquent testament to the scientific spirit. It is also, by the nature of its subject, a detailed collection of the important myths of Western culture. And finally, it becomes a history of the changes in religious dogma made necessary by advances in man's knowledge of his universe. Although scholarly in its preparation, it is written for the general reader in clear and readable prose." Please click here to purchase the book.
White on the fact that some scholars had by 1896 (over 100 years ago) come to realize that Genesis was a later recast of Chaldean religious notions:
"What matters it then, that we have come to know that the accounts of Creation, the Fall, the Deluge, and much else in our sacred books, were rememberances of lore obtained from the Chaldeans?...What matters it that those who incorporated the Creation lore of Babylonia and other Oriental nations into the sacred books of the Hebrews, mixed it with their own conceptions and deductions?"...What matters it...that the anthropologists, by showing how man has arisen everywhere from low and brutal beginnings, have destroyed the whole theological theory of the "fall of man"?" (p. 208. vol. 2. White)
Click on my book's title Eden's Serpent: Its Mesopotamian Origins (published 11 October 2010) to purchase it at Amazon.com which allows you to read portions of the text before buying with its "Look Inside" feature.
ACCESSING The "INVISIBLE" INTERNET:
Dear "Truth-seeker" are you aware that in using the "common" internet search engines like Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista, Hot-Bot, Jeeves, etc., that you are accessing in reality only a _tiny_ portion of a huge on-line database ? Most "newbies" to on-line computing are _not aware_ that there exists AN INVISIBLE INTERNET, full of "Scholarly-level" research which is NOT accessible by the aformentioned search engines. Take "the plunge" into the INVISIBLE INTERNET by clicking here, have fun !
Accessing Scholarly books and articles in Professional Journals which are on-line:
One of the "major problems" of doing on-line research is accessing books and articles written by professional scholars rather than the plethora of amateur scholars (Yes, _I know_, I am an amateur scholar!).
I would highly reccomend the Etana List which provides access to such professional articles and tomes. The most comprehensive listing it offers is by authors, who are arranged alphabetically. One can also access the data base via keying in an author's name or subject. Etana is then a University level "Library portal" to scholarly works that are not usually captured or encountered by the regular search engines, that is to say these works are "invisible" to the regular search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc. Please click here to access Etana, have fun. Note: some of these works are presented in Acrobat's PDF format so you will need to download this format in order to read the work. Please click here for a free download of Acrobat by Adobe. Another important on-line source for Scholarly-level articles from Professional Journals is JSTOR ("Journal Storage"). Please click here to access it (For example the Journal of Biblical Literature is carried by JSTOR). This is not a free service, JSTOR charges fees.
Reccomended Retail Sources of Books:
Eisenbrauns specializes in retail sales of new scholarly bible related publications. They also offer used books. They cover the world of professionals writing on things biblical (Many European & Israeli works available). Their website is http://www.eisenbrauns.com Archaeologia (Oakland, California) specializes in scholarly publications which are out of print, including VERY RARE WORKS. Subjects: History, Geography, Pottery, Architecture, Religion, as it relates to Ancient Civilizations, Old World and New World. You pay top dollar (no bargins here)! They buy entire libraries if they deem the collection is an important one. Their website is http://www.archaeologia.com
Search Engines for "used, out of print books," usually consisting of consortiums of Used Book Dealers, worldwide. Just type in the author and title and it will search the database, presenting all dealers offering the book and the various conditions and prices being asked.
Amazon.com Used Books, I have made a number of purchases of USED books from this site and have been very pleased with the service. They present a list of various booksellers hawking used books and a "range" of prices and conditions to choose from ! AddAll, Used and Out of Print Search with access to 40 bookstores and 20,000 dealers. Dove Booksellers offers an extensive listing of new and used books. Frequently the used books are from private Professional Libraries assembled by trained scholars and educators in the field of biblical studies.