Scholars and ‘Snake-Handlers’: Society of Biblical Literature accused of evangelical pandering—and secular bias.

A professor of Hebrew Bible at the University of California–Berkeley quit the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), voicing concern that North America’s leading organization for biblical scholarship had welcomed “the views of creationists, snake-handlers, and faith healers.” In an op-ed in the July/August 2010 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Ronald S. Hendel complained that SBL had ended its annual joint conference with the American Academy of Religion (AAR) after 2007 and reached out to “evangelical and fundamentalist groups” to boost its numbers. … As for Hendel, he got an earful—in person—from at least one evangelical scholar. Tremper Longman III, professor of biblical studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, said he and his friend Hendel talked about the article at dinner, and then exchanged e-mails about it. more

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