Author Archives: Joshua Berman

Joshua Berman is a professor of Tanakh at Bar-Ilan University. He learned at Yeshivat Har-Etzion and has semikhah from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. Among his books are The Temple: Its Symbolism and Meaning Then and Now (repr. Wipf & Stock, 2010) and Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought (Oxford, 2008), a National Jewish Book Award Finalist in Scholarship.

Hezekiah’s Seal

by R. Dr. Joshua Berman Why Does King Hezekiah’s Seal Bear an Egyptian Winged Sun God? Hebrew University archaeologists created a stir last week announcing the discovery of a seal bearing the name of the Hezekiah son of Ahaz, the first time a seal bearing the name of a Judean king had been found in the environs of the Temple ...

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Why Are Young People Leaving Religion?

Why Are Young People Leaving Religion? Insights from an Evangelical Sociologist by R. Dr. Joshua Berman You Lost Me is the title of a recent and provocative book by David Kinnaman, a devout Christian and a sociologist. Through extensive surveys he sought to answer the question that makes up his subtitle: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith. ...

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Q&A with R. Prof. Joshua Berman

Rabbi Professor Joshua Berman wrote the March essay for Mosaic Magazine about the historicity of the Exodus., Was There an Exodus?, and his follow-up Was Israel Taken out of Egypt, or Egypt out of Israel?. In his essays, Prof. Berman asserts that the Torah was familiar with royal Egyptian propaganda and in broad fashion appropriates motifs and terms from those ...

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Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism VIII

Kippah and Gown: Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism Essay VIII: Legal Discrepancy in Torah Law as Common-Law Jurisprudence by Joshua Berman In this final essay of this series I suggest a new approach to the presence of contradictory law within the various legal passages of the Torah. My conclusions build upon the ideas presented about the history of law in ...

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Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism VII

Kippah and Gown; Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism Essay VII: The Idea of Law in the Tanakh vs. The Idea of Law Today1 In the previous essay I delineated a critical distinction between two ways of thinking about law: as common law and as statutory law. I further showed that whereas most modern people think of law as statutory law, ...

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Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism VI

Kippah and Gown: Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism Essay VI: The Discrepancies Between Law in Sefer Devarim and in the Earlier Books of the Torah—The Concept of Law in the Ancient World1 The difficulties that many sense in the law collections of the Torah stems from anachronistic notions of how law functions and of what a legal text is. In ...

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Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism V

Kippah and Gown: Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism Essay V: Discrepancies Between Law in Sefer Devarim and the Other Books of the Torah: Laying Out the Questions   1. Introduction to the Series1 In my previous series I discussed the apparent discrepancies between the historical accounts that appear in Sefer Devarim and the parallel accounts that appear in the other ...

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Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism IV

Kippah and Gown: Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism Essay 4: Historical Discrepancies in Ancient Treaty Literature and in the Torah In this series * Essay 1 * Essay 2 * Essay 3 * Essay 4 In my previous essay we saw how the brit between God and Israel resembles the relationship between a sovereign and vassal in ancient Near Eastern ...

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Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism III

Kippah and Gown: Re-thinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism Essay 3: Brit Sinai in Ancient Context In this series * Essay 1 * Essay 2 * Essay 3 * Essay 4 In this essay we’re going to prepare to address the seeming contradictions between the narrative accounts of Sefer Devarim and the parallel accounts found in the earlier books of the ...

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