Price and Avalos were refreshing and good to listen to. I’ve never heard a discussion about the Bible stories done with such criticisms of the immorality and of the less-than-skeptical traditional interpretations of them, all while keeping it light-hearted, intelligent, respectful, and grounded.
They addressed the skeptical audience with ideas like: [7:35] the gets too much attention from scholars done at the expense of other ancient books that are just as wise and beautiful. The devotional aspect of the Bible scholarship is due to the religious support for it, but there are secularists among the scholars who want to pursue the Bible in a secular way. Dr. Avalos even goes as far as saying we should be championing the fight against the apologists and evangelical scholars and taking an activist stance to deprivilege Biblical authority in scholarship down to the ordinary level of the rest of the ancient works.
Where would Archimedes and other ancient authors be if less attention had been paid to the Bible, Archimedes has almost been forgotten now-a-days, scholars had other work to do.
Price and Avalos addressed the religious scholars with [22:18] refutations of their less than skeptical interpretations of various Bible stories: [23:00] “... I will only accept as historical what has some sort of independent corroboration. By that standard very few things in the Old Testament are historically established, and in that sense I’m a minimalist.” [23:56] “... and I think people should be proud of being a minimalist, it shouldn’t be a bad word.”
[24:08] There’s just no evidence for the empire of King Solomon in all the glory and size that the Bible credits to it. [28:05] “Most of our actual sources don’t date to the first century. Even the New Testament sources.” “So we have no way to know what was changed/not changed between the first century and the time the Extant manuscripts we have were copied.” [28:40] When it comes to sources from the first century we actually have a poverty of sources. I can’t tell you much of anything about the first century.”
I think that the cause of preserving the great ancient works is worthwhile, and that the cause of preserving the ancient Bible has had enough attention already. Price and Avolos did well.