Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

The Double Standard

There is an excellent interview with Lawrence Stager in the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Among other things, Dr. Stager discusses the problem of a younger generation of archaeologists who “either ignore Biblical material completely or don’t really have the facility or ability to deal with it.” He also says, “There are some archaeologists who don’t want to deal with the Bible at all, even though it contains the most important group of texts we have.”

This makes sense from a secular perspective. After all, secularists believe the Bible is only a collection of Ancient Near Eastern texts, which, as history, are hardly reliable. They probably don’t trust any ancient texts to give an accurate account of history, right?

Not so. According to Stager, “Scholars are much more gullible about nonbiblical texts than they are about Biblical texts. They are much more suspicious of Bibilical texts. Quite often, if it’s said in an Assyrian annal, it’s taken literally.”