David Trobisch lends Green family’s Bible Museum a scholarly edge

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David Trobisch, Th.D., collections director for Museum of the Bible. Photo courtesy of Museum of the Bible

David Trobisch, Th.D., collections director for Museum of the Bible. Photo courtesy of Museum of the Bible

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(RNS) Could the Green family’s Museum of the Bible be more open to dispassionate scholarship than previously assumed? The hiring of David Tobisch might suggest that.

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  • Bill

    This article is built around an offensive assumption – that conservative Christians like the Greens live in some walled off compound and never deal with people who disagree with their understanding of faith. Why not talk to Steve Green about this instead of relying on Trobisch’s take on Steve Green’s approach?

  • “Steve Green envisions the museum as “nonsectarian,” saying, “The Bible can speak for itself.”


    Why? Because it forces people to face the contents of the Bible.
    Nothing turns people against religion
    faster than the reading of the Bible.

    Religion has survived for so long because the Bible has not been read – even by many priests. It is a spectacularly ridiculous book.

    For some the discovery that Polycarp wrote and redacted huge chunks of the Bible from his own imagination will be a bell they will not be able to un-ring!
    It is like discovering that Gandalf is an invention of JRR Tolkein!

    Like all books, The Bible was written by men – in this case, particularly ancient and ignorant men who did not know where the sun went at night or why women had periods (which terrified them like nothing else) or why people died for completely random reasons.


    Rape is blamed on the victim – not the rapist
    The Earth is a flat disc-like shape with pillars holding up the sky
    The Earth is 6000 years old
    Donkeys talk

    Bats are a kind of bird

    Snakes talk

    Shaving deserves death
    Rainbows did not happen until Noah
    Eating Lobster is worthy of death
    Wearing some fabrics is worthy of death

    The mustard seed is the smallest (it isn’t)
    People can live inside of fish without air
    Men must cut off wive’s hands

    Non-jews are dogs

    People must execute God’s enemies

    People must hate themselves first
People must hate their parents

    Parents must kill unruly children
 (even Jesus says this)
    The laws of Moses must be followed and
The laws of Moses MUST NOT be followed

    Pray in public – show faith! (says Jesus!)
NEVER pray in public – NEVER show faith! (says Jesus!)

    It is all nonsense.
    And everyone knows it the minute they read it.

  • Susan


  • Larry

    Its an assumption borne largely from the actions and rhetoric of fundamentalist Christians themselves. They are notorious for claiming sects who disagree with their views as not being Christian. They tend to encourage harsh measures against dissent from within. They are notorious for showing disrespect and animosity to other faiths. The constant scurrilous libel/slander leveled against atheists being one of the more obvious. It may be an offensive assumption to you, but it is one brought upon by a long history of showing no regard for ideas besides their own.

    I see this as a way of neutering inevitable and warranted criticism against Green that he is presenting the Bible purely according to his sectarian views.

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  • Janet

    Atheist Max, if this is what you get when you read the Bible, you don’t know how to read it. It’s not a book to be read outside of the genres it represents. I actually have the opposite view from you. If one reads the New Testament carefully there is no way an encounter with the living Christ isn’t inevitable.

  • Billysees


    “…if this is what you get when you read the Bible, you don’t know how to read it.”

    Then how do you read it ‘without’ coming in contact with Max’s quotes?

    And what should anyone think when they read that stuff?

    Though I think some of Max’s quotes have explanations, many others are stand-alone and present exactly what they say.

    I’m glad that Paul wrote —

    The Kingdom of God is not in ‘word’ (scripture verses), but ‘power’ (Spirit of God in us)……it’s not food and drink but ‘righteousness’ (good works and deeds) and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit….1 Cor 4:20 plus Rom 14:17

    That simply reveals that there are far more important things in our faith life than holy texts with weird comments.

  • Andrew Overcote

    The sectarianism appears to be yours, Mr Bigot!

  • Ross Purdy

    Steve Green is absolutely brilliant. The Bible does speak for itself and truth needs little defense (especially against nonsense and pettiness). I have read Trobisch and like what he wrote on how the cannon of the New Testament was formed. Didn’t offend my near-fundamentalism much at all and thought he was probably close to a correct reconstruction of the history. I can’t wait to go to the Bible Museum! I love the Word of God and get excited over the history of its translation into English and I marvel at how it has driven back much false religion and sparked faith that is not afraid to be challenged.