Advice for Orthodox Bible Scholars from Dr. Josh Berman

In a comment on this post, which is worth reading on its own, Dr. Berman provides the following excellent piece of advice for Orthodox Bible Students afraid of the “bias” charge:

“If a religious scholar said that his scholarship was informed by the Jewish dating of Moses, and that he took that to be the 13th century BCE what advice would you give?”

My advice would be “Go for it. A scholar’s identity and passions can, indeed, sometimes be an albatross, and an impediment to good, balanced ssholarship. You will need to be judiscious in your work, and will need to affirm the clear data that do not accord with your agenda. And you mustn’t overstate the findings that do accord with your agenda.

But your identity and your passions can also be a scholarly asset. You will likely be driven to search avenues and develop approaches that are out of the box, that defy the consensus and that break new ground. And if you can present your findings to the wider scholarly community, which may not share your agenda, and those findigns are affirmed, you will have performed scholarhsip good service, precisely from allowing your agenda to drive your scholarship.”


Hi, my name is Avi Woolf. I'm an American-Israeli MO Jew living in Israel. I have a background in Israeli (as in Land of Israel) and Jewish History and an insatiable need for knowledge. I also have professional experience as an editor, translator and indexer. Enjoy the ride! If you are interested in using my services or just want to drop me a line, contact me at:
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