Read an Excerpt from the Book

Chapter 1:

The New Secular Bible

On the Jewish holiday of Passover in 2001, the rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, David Wolpe, gave a sermon. He told his congregants that the Exodus from Egypt they were commemorating most likely never occurred—at least not in the way described by the Bible.

One can only imagine the unease experienced by Rabbi Wolpe’s congregants at this revelation. No Jewish holiday requires greater physical preparation and exertion: getting rid of all products with any kind of leavening; substituting special holiday dishes and utensils for regular tableware; thoroughly cleaning one’s home, cars, and other properties; appointing an agent to sell one’s bread and leavened products, etc. All this effort and why? . . . Click here to read the entire chapter

Chapter 4

Criticizing the Critics

People who take the Bible seriously are going to ask questions. Critical questioning of the Bible does not imply hostility to a work held sacred by religious believers. Rather, such questioning should be encouraged as a means of deepening our understanding of the text.

We argue that most contemporary biblical criticism is a fraud, an exercise in futility, and a model of lemming-like conformity. On balance, the academic study of the Bible has not contributed to a better understanding of the text. Rather, the field seems to be devoted to the circular task of proving itself correct.

An excellent example of this closed circle is a statement by one of the field’s most prominent spokesmen . . . Click here to read the entire chapter