The Bible's Buried Secrets

Ask the Experts

Hundreds of people sent in questions for our three biblical scholars. We are no longer accepting submissions, but below you can find audio responses addressing a wide variety of topics. Answers to some of your specific questions may also be found in the experts' interviews and other features on "The Bible's Buried Secrets" website, or through our Links & Books.

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Carol Meyers

Carol Meyers
Professor of Religion
Duke University

Interview | Bio

From Marianne Williams, Hatfield, PA Your origins of the Bible broadcast was exceptionally well done! I was raised in a strict Catholic family and attended 12 years of Catholic school. My first year of college I "dropped out" of the Catholic church after taking History of Civilization. The content of the course debunked much of what I was raised to believe. It seems to me that the three major religions are very patriarchal. Why? It appears to me that many religious "rules" are designed to control, manipulate, oppress, and/or diminish women. Your thoughts? Listen:

Running time: 2:25

From William Colten, Manalapan, NJ Did the 10 plagues really happen? If so, over how long a time did it take, and in what time period did this take place? Listen:

Running time: 2:23

From Anthony Price, Northridge, CA In the Book of Exodus it refers to the crossing of the Red Sea and the Egyptian army being destroyed by God when the sea came crashing back down on them. Is there not proof of this taking place by artifacts found in this area? Listen:

Running time: 0:55

Carol Meyers is the Mary Grace Wilson Professor of Religion at Duke University. She serves as director of Duke's Undergraduate Studies in Religion and administers its Graduate Program in Hebrew Bible. She also codirects Duke's summer-in-Israel program and is an affiliated faculty member of Duke's Women's Studies Program. Meyers received her A.B. from Wellesley College and her M.A. and Ph.D., in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, from Brandeis University. A specialist in biblical studies and archeology, she is also a prominent scholar in the study of women in the biblical world. She has authored, edited, or coauthored 16 books and hundreds of articles and reviews.

William Dever

William Dever
Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies
University of Arizona

Interview | Bio

From Arthur Nielsen, Seattle, Washington The program presents the Tel Dan Stele as conclusive evidence of the historicity of David, and the Solomonic Gates as good evidence of the United Kingdom of Solomon. Do you agree with these assessments, and why? Listen:

Running time: 1:08

From Lori Thornton, Gig Harbor, Washington Please explain the connection or evidence that cherubim and sphinxes are one and the same. When or where did cherubim take an entirely human form? Listen:

Running time: 1:01

From Jerel Glassman, San Francisco, CA Could the unexplained collapse of Canaanite society have anything to do with the environmental changes brought on by Thira's eruption? Listen:

Running time: 0:43

From Neil Clark, Long Beach, CA How should we understand the First Commandment (Exodus 20:3): "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."? Is it an acknowledgment of polytheism within Judaism? Is it a forbearing acceptance of the gods of other religions? Listen:

Running time: 0:55

William Dever received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1966. Active in the field of biblical archeology since 1955, he has published 26 books and more than 350 articles as well as supervised nearly 30 Ph.D. students. Dever has led numerous field research and excavation projects in Jordan, Israel, and Gezer. He joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in 1975, serving as head of the Department of Oriental Studies (1978–1981) and of the Department of Near Eastern Studies (1989–1994). Dever has been awarded such prestigious honors as the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, The Percia Schimmel Prize for distinction in archeology, and the Charles U. Harris Service Award.

Michael Coogan

Michael Coogan
Professor of Religious Studies
Stonehill College

Interview | Bio

From Anonymous "The Bible's Buried Secrets" program proposed that the idea of monotheism could have really crystallized during exile in Babylon. To what extent might new religious ideas developed during this time have been influenced by existing eastern religions? Listen:

Running time: 0:41

From Anonymous Is Christianity (with the Trinity) a monotheistic religion, or are only Judaism and Islam considered truly monotheistic? Listen:

Running time: 0:39

From Darryl Rice, Indianapolis, IN What is the date of the oldest biblical writings found, and from what book of the Bible? Listen:

Running time: 0:48

From Charles Sommers, Madison, WI I have read that Leviticus was written by the Levite priests during the exile in preparation for the return to Judea, where the common people left behind would surely have fallen away from the true religion. It was intended to be the consummate "how to be a Jew" rule book. Can you comment on this? Listen:

Running time: 0:34

Michael Coogan is Professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College and Director of Publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum. He also has taught at Harvard University, Boston College, Wellesley College, Fordham University, and the University of Waterloo (Ontario). Coogan is author of The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, and he has edited and contributed to standard reference works in biblical scholarship, including The Oxford Companion to the Bible and The Oxford History of the Biblical World. He has also led and participated in archeological excavations in Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, and Egypt. Coogan earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1971.

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