The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†


The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

Philip R. Davies† [+-]
University of Sheffield, (Emeritus)
Philip R. Davies, who died in 2018, was Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield. Educated at Oxford and St Andrews, Scotland, he edited, authored or co-authored 37 books on the Dead Sea Scrolls and various aspects of interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, including In Search of Ancient Israel (1992), Whose Bible Is It Anyway? (1995), Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures (1998), The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2002) and Memories of Ancient Israel: An Introduction to Biblical History (2008). He was co-founder of Sheffield Academic Press and former President of the British Society for Old Testament Study and European Association of Biblical Studies.


Two fashionable dimensions of biblical scholarship are reception and what is called vernacular or contextual reading. The first, accepting that the meaning of any text depends on the reader as well as the author and the text itself, explores how the meanings of the Bible have shifted with different political and social circumstances. Examples of major changes are the Protestant readings that followed the printing of the scriptures in vernacular languages and the political upheavals that ushered in the modern period, especially the Enlightenment. The Bible became a political tract, bringing into being the colonization of North America and the political complexion of the United States of America. More recently, feminism fomented a revolution that led to all kinds of readings against patriarchy, racism, sexual discrimination and all kinds of cultural hierarchy. These movements might well be seen as part of a growing secularism with regard to religious scriptures and religion itself, whereby biblical values are judged by contemporary social ones rather than the other way round.

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Davies, Philip. Postscript. The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 154 Nov 2018. ISBN 9781781797440. Date accessed: 20 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35694. Nov 2018

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