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Philip R. Davies

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Title: Philip R. Davies  
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Subject: Carbon dating the Dead Sea Scrolls, Robert Eisenman, Biblical Minimalism, Thomas L. Thompson, Dual messiahs
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Philip R. Davies

Philip R. Davies is a present day Professor emeritus[1] of biblical studies at the University of Sheffield, England.[2][3] In the late 90s, he was the Director for the Centre for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was also Publisher[4] and Editorial director of Sheffield Academic Press.[5] He is the author of numerous books and articles on ancient Israelite history and religion, including Scribes and Schools (1998) in the Library of Ancient Israel. Davies promotes the theory of cultural memory.[6] He and David Clines are known for editing the Journal for the study of the Old Testament and its Supplement Series.[4] Davies is closely associated with the movement known as The Copenhagen School dubbed biblical minimalism by detractors (other major figures include Niels Peter Lemche, Keith Whitelam, and Thomas L. Thompson), a loosely knit group of scholars who hold that the Bible's version of history is not supported by any archaeological evidence so far unearthed, indeed undermined by it, and that it therefore cannot be trusted as history.

Christ myth debate

In 2012, Davies weighed in on the Christ Myth Theory debate in the article Does Jesus Exist? at He applauded the book Is This Not the Carpenter?: The Question of the Historicity of the Figure of Jesus edited by Thomas L. Thompson writing "the rather fragile historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth should be tested to see what weight it can bear," criticizing scholars like Bart Ehrman who write with certainty about Jesus' existence, and concluding that "recognition that his existence is not entirely certain would nudge Jesus scholarship towards academic respectability." [7]

Notable works

  • 1QM: the War Scroll from Qumran: Its Structure and History (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1977)
  • The Damascus Document (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1982) ISBN 0-905774-51-5
  • Cities of the Biblical World: Qumran (Cambridge: Lutterworth, 1982)
  • Daniel (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985)
  • Scribes and Schools (Westminster John Knox, 1998) ISBN 0-664-22728-7
  • In Search Of "Ancient Israel" (London and New York: T. & T. Clark Publishers, Ltd. 1992) ISBN 0-567-08099-4
  • The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls, written with George J. Brooke, Phillip R. Callaway (London: Thames & Hudson, June 2002) ISBN 0-500-05111-9
  • Whose Bible Is It Anyway? (London and New York: T. & T. Clark Publishers, Ltd. 2004) ISBN 0-567-08073-0


  1. ^ Linafelt 2010, p. xi
  2. ^ EssaysJR 1995, p. 14
  3. ^ Hunter&Davies 2002, p. xviii
  4. ^ a b Exum 1998, p. 14
  5. ^ EssaysBA 2002, p. 9
  6. ^ Davies 2008, p. 183
  7. ^ at bibleinterp.comDoes Jesus Exist?Davies' article


External links

  • Are There Ethics in the Hebrew Bible? (2009)
  • Whose Bible? Anyone's? (2009)
  • Biblical History and Cultural Memory (2009)
  • Do We Need Biblical Scholars? (2005)
  • Final Comments on Minimalism (2003)
  • Minimalism, "Ancient Israel," and Anti-Semitism
  • The Origin of Biblical Israel
  • Abstract: The Judaism of the Damascus Sect
  • Some of the essays from his festschrift have been made available by T & T Clark.
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