Hector Avalos and the End of Biblical Studies

Is anyone here equated with the work of Hector Avalos, who argues that the Bible is completely irrelevant to modern life, and that biblical studies, should change it’s focus to removing the Bible from human life?

Are there any good responses to his work?

From what I’ve read, Avalos, seems like a fundamentalist, who believes anything which isn’t pragmatic to helping humanity should be rejected. I honestly find that even if the Bible isn’t relevant as a moral guide, it can still be studied as a work of literature.

But even so, I find the Bible is relevant based on the fact that it gives us a transcendent value for human life, something missing in the modern world.


The Bible does have relevance in three ways.

  1. The Bible tells us that humans are made in the Image of God, thus having dignity.
  2. God desires to be and have relationship with humans.
  3. That humans are to take care of each other, the earth and seek the LORD with all their heart and being.

I´m not that well versed in biblical studies as you are. But I know that Craig has debated him once.

It should be clear that Avalos has an axe to grind. But do you have any thesis of his in mind that requires answer, besides the assertion that you have quoted? Because this, it seems to me, can safely just be dismissed as the statement of, as you rightly say, an angry fundamentalist, no better than threatening someone with hell for not following my position.

I also want to mention that around 18 months ago I read a review of of one of Avalos´ works (I think “The End of Biblical Studies”) by an agnostic scholar who accuses him of following an agenda. I really tried to find it again for you, but I couldn´t and the search results mainly come up with fundamentalist Christians and Atheists and endorsements by Robert Price. Ugh!

E: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/search/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6InNlYXJjaCIsImtleXdvcmRzIjoiaGVjdG9yIGF2YWxvcyIsInN1Ym1pdCI6IlN1Ym1pdCBTZWFyY2gifQ
Maybe you find something of interest on Craigs site. He mentioned him sometimes.

It all depends on how you read the Bible. The way a lot of people read it, you might as well move it into the science fiction, fantasy, or comic book sections of the library. It certainly doesn’t hack it in either the science or history sections.

It unique in that it is written by many authors over a considerable span of time, with some stories likely told in oral traditions before that. And there are many types of literature with a variety of purposes and messages.