Yale Lecture Series on Hebrew Bible

My friend Archaeopteryx was good enough to share the YouTube lecture series by Yale Professor Christine Hayes, “Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible)”.  After watching the first video in the series, I believe this will make a good resource for serious seekers who want to understand the historical events, cultural forces and literary composition of the Old Testament. I read many volumes written by various historians during my own investigations, and I suspect this video series would shorten the learning arc for others.

I’m linking the first video here, which I have cued to mid-lecture as Prof. Hayes discusses 5 common myths about the Hebrew Bible that most Americans do not understand. If you have another 15 minutes, feel free to back it up for full context. I’ll also be adding a link in the sidebar under Rapid Resources, though these lectures are admittedly a bit long to be considered truly rapid. Cheers!

Comments

  1. archaeopteryx1 says:

    You didn’t need to credit me, I’m embarrassed —

    Liked by 1 person

  2. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Personally, I would watch it all – it’s important that the viewer understand Christine Hayes objectives in this series, otherwise it would be too easy to make assumptions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I watched the full 45 minutes. I’d thank Arch for bringing this video to your attention but I wouldn’t want to embarrass the old fossil. 😉

    As I listened to the lecture, I was reminded of the LaScola/Dennett study on non-believing clergy. During interviews, many of the clergy stated that they started questioning and doubting the validity of Christianity after taking academic courses similar to the one represented in this video. Still having significant doubts, they completed seminary, became ministers, and indoctrinated multitudes with “popular misconceptions.”

    Thanks for posting the video.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ColorStorm says:

    Yep, real credible matt Your ‘friend, the arch fossil,’ has gone on record saying that ‘Dick and Jane’ has more value than the scriptures, a fact clearly dismissed by the woman here in the first ten seconds. Perhaps she should lecture on ‘dick and jane…..’

    So you may want to save your kudos for another reason, but as it is, all your (and her) hammers will wear out before you can put one ding in the word of God. To borrow from the other old timer: Bah humbug.

    But interesting the lengths people travel to dismiss a book they say is irrelevant or a tale spun with lies, whether direct or indirect. Christian Old Testament she says? Please.

    But your lecturer here at least makes the scriptures appear important, when she speaks of preservation without modern technology, a fact clearly denied by your ‘friend’; arch. But God’s word does not need Yale to give His word credibility.

    The word of God stands regardless of the tamperings by professors.

    Like

    • When you call the OT “Gods Word”, you blaspheme. Again. Lot of blasphemy for Easter.

      Also, did you just lip the words of a godless Dickens character?

      Liked by 1 person

    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      I’ll just stand back, Matt, and let you handle the Easter Troll —

      Liked by 1 person

      • Between his quotations of godless folk like Bruce Lee (his page) and Ebenezer Scrooge (my page), I think Colorstorm might be a repressed or closet atheist.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ColorStorm says:

        Stand back? Ha, there is so much duct tape on your tongue from my last comment, and so much glue on your feet, that you couldn’t take a step or make a peep.

        Let EVERY mouth be stopped, at the excellence of scripture. See spot run 😉

        And tkx for at least admitting arch the value of scripture by posting your glorious new friends vid. Yep, she inadvertently gives credence to the written word.

        Like

        • Do you need to talk about your troubling doubts, Colorstorm?

          Liked by 1 person

          • ColorStorm says:

            In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

            In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

            For ever O Lord thy word is settled in heaven.

            And He spake unto the raging seas: ‘peace be still,’ and there was a great calm.

            And He said: ‘woman, where are those thine accusers?’

            And He made great whales.

            Tetelestai. ‘It is finished.’

            And they stoned Stephen….

            And the first and the last Adam………

            The fool says in heart there is no God….

            Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

            Lazarus, come forth………

            Never a doubt matt,

            but apparently you and your brethren are loaded with them; the proof is in your blogs. That’s ok, many are thus minded.

            But scripture is the great elixer of the soul 😉

            Like

            • Of *course* we have doubt. That is the very meal from which the germ of inquiry grows. Doubt and Wonder. Certainty is the first blasphemy against reason, the first treason against self.

              Liked by 1 person

              • ColorStorm says:

                Well then, may I suggest you utilize your God given brain, and consider that apart from intelligence there is no design nor life.

                Your lecturer friend is dancing all around the Lord Jesus Christ but she can’t seem to move her feet. Academia has that tendency to ignore the obvious. It’s a shame really.

                Like

              • Look CS, you have not brought any evidence. You continue to make the same assertions with different wording, but for those of us looking at the evidence table, it remains empty. You can keep repeating a vacant mantra, but it doesn’t move you any closer to being legitimate than any Muslim or Mormon. If you can put meat on the table, something outside of scripture that might verify scripture, well and good. If not, then it will be sayonara time.

                Liked by 3 people

              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                Your lecturer friend is dancing all around the Lord Jesus Christ

                Use that last fraction of a wit, CS – the title of the series is, “Introduction to the Old Testament” – why would she have occasion to mention a New Testament literary character?

                Liked by 1 person

              • ColorStorm says:

                Because it was HER who cited the Old Testament as the ‘christian bible,’ and besides, the Lord Christ is clearly presently in the law, the prophets, and the psalms, if you were interested in what is true, you would know this..

                Liked by 1 person

              • Tell me who wrote any of those works, and by what evidence you can verify said authorship. Or you’re outta here.

                Liked by 1 person

              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                I believe you’re trying to say, “It was SHE —” If she said, ‘the Christian Bible,’ it would have been to differentiate that from the Tanakh, the Jewish Bible.

                Liked by 1 person

            • archaeopteryx1 says:

              A perfect example of a Colorstorm discussion – flinging scripture like monkeys fling poo —

              Liked by 2 people

            • It makes me sad to see how the Christian mythology so often and deeply captures people’s sense of worth and identity – preventing open inquiry and actual pursuit of truth.

              Liked by 3 people

              • True, true.

                Like

              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                Christian mythology so often and deeply captures people’s sense of worth and identity

                A bit paradoxically, considering that it continually tells us that we are without worth.

                Liked by 2 people

              • Without worth, yet, as Hitchens would say, take comfort, for the universe was made with you in mind. 🙂 Christianity: the original Humble-Brag.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Liked by 3 people

              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                Liked by 2 people

              • Lol, quite.

                I recall Matt saying something a while ago about how religion pushes all our buttons…

                Liked by 1 person

              • ColorStorm says:

                @ratamac

                U said ——-preventing open inquiry and actual pursuit of truth——-

                Key word there: actual.

                Try it being completely honest, and there is only one conclusion:

                The word of God answers mans deepest needs. You are hardwired to already know this, (just ask your conscience) but rebellion is a great drug, which offers temporary relief but no lasting answers.

                Truth and God are perfectly in harmony, everything else is background noise.

                Like

              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                There is no ‘word of god,’ only the words of men purporting to speak for their god, while actually voicing their own needs and claiming that their god insisted on them.

                You can always tell when you’re worshiping the right god – he hates the same people that you do.

                Liked by 1 person

              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                You are hardwired to accept as truth, the ‘truth’ that you’ve been taught – different cultures, in case you haven’t noticed, accept different ‘truths,’ hence different religions and different gods. ‘Conscience’ follows culture.

                Liked by 2 people

              • You haven’t answered either question Colorstorm. You haven’t provided evidence that your scriptures are god’s word. You’ve simply repeated the claim. Soooo, boom. You’re outta here.

                Liked by 1 person

        • My email is at the top of the page if you want to talk offline.

          Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          None of your gibberish comments have ever had the least effect on me, most of them doesn’t even make sense. Did you skip the part where she tells us how many of the biblical stories are myths, and not historical at all? Or did you have your fingers in your ears, going, “La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la,“?

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Yup. I listened to this series last year when I was wading through my own journey. I had studied enough to dismiss the NT quite easily. Very flimsy stuff, that NT, once you realize you can question it. But, I was still struggling with the Tanakh. This series, along with a few other things was super helpful. Her books are good too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      The background in your avatar looks like Utah.

      Like

      • It is! Zion National Park.

        Liked by 1 person

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          That’s exactly what I thought – I camped there along a river when I was a Job Corps Councilor in Arizona.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I live in AZ. Love that Utah and some of the best national parks are all so close.

            Liked by 1 person

            • archaeopteryx1 says:

              Are you at all familiar with the old WWII Ball Radar Station, that was located on a lone plateau between Winslow and Flag? The station was entirely dismantled and a new Job Corps Center built there. Sadly, it too is now closed, but it made a great base to explore from.

              I took kids for a drive among a bison herd in the sanctuary further west, and I found several Native American campgrounds, complete with broken pottery that were clearly a hundred or more years old. I spent a couple of weeks with Mormons on the Navajo Reservation at Tuba City (I REALLY missed coffee!). I’ve climbed to the bottom of Meteor Crater and explored the cliff dwellings at Walnut Creek, as well as photographed the Anasazi hieroglyphics carved onto stones in SW Arizona, that told of a meteor. Fascinating experience.

              Liked by 1 person

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          I had that pegged as Zion, one of my favorite places, but Bryce Canyon is spectacular as well.

          Like

    • She’s new to me, though someone had recommended her to me before. Can’t recall who at this point, but I could see her books being good. Solid lecturer, very organized and communicative. I may be wrong, but I’d even venture that she’s empathetic.

      Like

      • She makes a comment in one of her first few lectures that really struck me. I’m going to butcher how she said this, it’s been a while since I listened to these, but it was something about how taking scripture literally is a mistake and would be missing a bigger picture. Like taking Hamlet literally. You’d be missing the heart of what Hamlet was all about. At the time that blew me away. To consider viewing scripture the same way I viewed hamlet or Yahweh as Shakespeare in college, haha. And yeah, I think she’s empathetic. Has a lot of respect for the Tanakh. I did too… For a while.

        Liked by 1 person

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          it was something about how taking scripture literally is a mistake and would be missing a bigger picture. Like taking Hamlet literally. You’d be missing the heart of what Hamlet was all about.

          She said it would be as much of a mistake looking for historicity in the Tanakh, as it would be to take ‘Hamlet’ as an historical drama – yes, Denmark is an historical place, but the rest, however interesting and sometimes instructive, is fiction. Lecture 6.

          It’s easy to dismiss the NT, as you said, as the only thing of substance are the seven actual letters of Paul – the other six were forgeries. The four gospel authors wrote anonymously, from 40 to 75 years after Yeshua was purported to have existed, never met him, had no idea what he said or did except through multiple-hand hearsay testimony. The Acts, it has been established, were not written by a companion of Paul, and thus independently corroborating Paul’s own story of his travels, but rather were taken from Paul’s letters, corroborating nothing. The remainder of the NT authors wrote anonymously or were forgeries (the ‘Peters’), and as most intelligent people would assume, the John of Revelations was on LSD.

          Did Yeshua actually live? Don’t know. Did he perform miracles that defied the laws of physics? Certainly not. Other than those who used his story to change worship regulations, and in Paul’s case, control people and draw attention to himself, did he have any significant influence on anyone who lived at the time. Not that I can see.

          Liked by 3 people

  6. I regret to say that comments from Colorstorm will no longer litter this blog. Sad, but we’ll muddle through somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good news. I hear that same stuff almost on a daily basis and feel like debating it is as worthwhile as debating with my four and seven year-old sons over whether or not one is really hurting the other when they use their x-Ray vision in a ninja fight.

      Liked by 2 people

      • LOL!

        Like

        • Btw, my sister-in-law found you about a year ago while we were trying to shed religion. I remember reading your whole story. Good stuff. I think I stayed up half the night reading it. I read a bunch of the books you recommended as well. Very helpful. Glad you chose to share your story.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hey, that makes my day. And it’s been a rough day. Glad it was useful. Thanks much. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m glad. Sorry it was a rough day.

              Have you written at all about how you’re raising your kids now – minus religion? Resources, books etc? I’ve been reading some stuff from Dale McGowan and a couple others. I have four boys and am working hard to answer questions wisely that the older ones have been asking recently.

              Liked by 1 person

              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                I have four boys and am working hard to answer questions wisely that the older ones have been asking recently.

                Such as?

                One thing that kids don’t want, is to be told more than they ask. Have you tried answering their questions with open-ended questions of your own? “What do you think?” “Why do you think that?” Only after you’ve really ascertained just what it is they want to know, can you formulate an intelligent and satisfying answer. And no bullshit – kids can smell bullshit a mile away, and you can lose considerable credibility points for future things you might have to say.

                Never ask a question that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” because 9 times out of 10, that’s all you’ll get – make them elaborate.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Well, my older son gets witnessed to often and asks a lot of questions about how to answer these kids who say he’s going to hell. We’ve read lots of things together and he handles it better than I would have at that age. Looking for some books that might help him.

                Because my upbringing was very strict and religious I steered away from it when raising my kids. So, luckily, we never pressured our kids religiously and rarely took them to church, but I did raise the older two to believe in Jesus/god etc. Over this last two years, while slowly becoming atheists, we took them on that journey with us. We talked very openly about what we were studying and why. They asked a lot of questions, we asked a lot of questions. It was a very bonding process. The older two are excited about being out of religion. They both say they feel happier. The younger two have basically been raised without religion.

                At this point, I just want them to be critical and free thinkers. Not afraid to question things. I struggle with how to teach this. It’s so opposite of how I was raised and how I’ve lived most of my life. Christianity is so fear and control based. I want the opposite for them. I wondered if there was anything you read or did that empowered/educated your kids so that they wouldn’t be misled or influenced by religious ideas or people in the future. I hope this makes sense. I know like, 5 atheists and about 500 religious people, lol.

                Liked by 1 person

              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                I raised four daughters and a son by myself for most of their lives, and never had occasion to mention religion. I don’t have any “secrets,” other than my suggestion that you ask plenty of open-ended questions and give thoughtful, sincere responses. Since your “family” of atheists is so small, let me introduce you to a few more. On average, there are more women on this site than on Matt’s, and all of those were deeply invested in Christianity until they found their way out, and most have or have had children, so try this, and widen your circle: Nan’s Notebook“.

                Liked by 2 people

              • I wrote a piece not long ago, but we are still feeling our way. I like McGowan too.

                Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Matt writes beautifully! I would wish I wrote like him, but I would have to lose my acerbic wit, and that would be a sacrifice too great.

            Liked by 2 people

  7. archaeopteryx1 says:

    When did you start this moderation thing, Matt? I’ve never been moderated on your site before, that’s a Christian ploy!

    Like

    • Sorry man, it does this only for comments with links. I set that back in the day when I was having so much spam stuff to halt the madness. I can probably shut that down and see what happens, but right now comments with hyperlinks send me notifications. But I was asleep. 🙂

      Like

    • OK, I’ve opened it up to not moderate comments with 1-3 hyperlinks, higher than that and it will require the OK. Hopefully that’s “loose” enough for normal use but tight enough to prevent another spam episode. Sorry it was a bother last night…

      Like

  8. archaeopteryx1 says:

    OK – apparently my comment is only moderated when it contains a link.

    Like

  9. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Molly, I’ve responded to your last comment, but it was caught up in moderation, and as Matt is likely asleep, it probably won’t be released until tomorrow – sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. archaeopteryx1 says:

    with which you will find you find things in common” – Sorry, but I’m sleepy too —

    Liked by 1 person

  11. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Here’s one more, Molly, another former minister:
    From The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser
    Leaving Christianity: Why I Was an Old Man Before I Deconverted?
    https://email06.secureserver.net/webmail.php?folder=INBOX&firstMessage=1

    Liked by 1 person

Secular Wings

My freedom from spiritual abuse happened when I walked away from the abusers. My healing and recovery from the complex trauma of spiritual abusers, spiritually abusive faith and toxic religion happened while I was still a Christian and continues to this day. My deconversion came later after many many years of studying the Bible, Christian apologetics, cults and spiritual abuse. When I realized that the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God, the only honest thing I could do was to stop calling myself a Christian. ~ Zoe

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