I’ve just finished reading Iowa State University professor Hector Avalos’ The End of Biblical Studies (2007), and would recommend it for any who somehow still “take the bible seriously.”
Avalos offers a (secular humanist) biblical scholar’s inside view of the “irrelevance” of the biblical studies field, where scholars only speak to themselves and present little that is ever new or influential for the modern world. This is, by the way, a critique similar to the one I present against Religion and Faith in general in Life After Faith.
“Sacred texts are the problem that most scholars are not willing to confront. What I seek is liberation from the very idea that any sacred text should be an authority for modern human existence. Abolishing human reliance on sacred texts is imperative when those sacred texts imperil the existence of human civilization as it is currently configured. The letter can kill. That is why the only mission of biblical studies should be to end biblical studies as we know it.”