Ever wonder what daily life was like for the ancient Israelites? Did you know the bread Abraham gives to his divine visitors would have taken Sarah upwards of six hours to prepare? Or consider how a woman who had as many children as Leah spent 14 – 21 years of her life breastfeeding? Dr. Kristine Henriksen Garroway researches how archaeology can help illuminate the Torah, and at an event at Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center, she discussed four sets of Biblical texts and the different archaeological finds related to them, offering a new, practical angle from which to understand them.
Dr. Kristine Henriksen Garroway is Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, CA where she teaches classes on Hebrew Bible, Archaeology, and Ancient Near Eastern History. She is the author of Children in the Ancient Near Eastern Household and Growing Up in Ancient Israel: Children in Material Culture and Biblical Texts, which won the Biblical Archaeology Society’s award for Best Book Related to the Hebrew Bible.
(This post is part of Sinai and Synapses’ project Scientists in Synagogues, a grass-roots program to offer Jews opportunities to explore the most interesting and pressing questions surrounding Judaism and science. Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center in Pasadena, CA hosted Dr. Garroway’s talk as part of their Scientists in Synagogues series, “The Intersection of Judaism and Science: Coexisting Searches”).Read Transcript
Kristine Garroway: As you can see the opening slide, I am at the Hebrew Union College, which is the seminary that trains Reform rabbis. We have various campuses, but I am on the LA campus at HUC-JIR. I teach Hebrew Bible and archeology. So our question that we’re going to ask for today, our overarching question, is: how can archeology illuminate the Bible? So keep that in the back of your mind as we go through all of these different questions now.
Because this series of talks that we’re participating in here at the synagogue has to do with science, I thought I would start out with a more science-y picture here. So does anybody know what this is, or has anybody maybe – we have some students here. Have you done an experiment like this? This look familiar? No? What’s that? Sound does not travel in a vacuum? Exactly.
So this is the bell jar experiment, and as you can see here, in the one where it says “sound is heard,” the cork is out, so it’s not a total vacuum. And where the cork goes further in, less sound is heard, and when it’s totally sealed off, you don’t hear any sound with the bell ringing.
So now, how does that relate to Hebrew Bible and archeology? Well, when we think about our Biblical texts, we need to keep in mind that they were not written in a vacuum, which means that the surrounding cultures had a great impact on the way that our texts were formed. And you see this quote here at the top, by my colleague Dr. Christopher B. Hays. It says: “the scriptures are exceedingly ‘respiratory’: They breathe in the culture of their times and breathe it back out in a different form.”
So we might imagine, then, that the scribes who are writing the texts of the Hebrew Bible were influenced by places like Mesopotamia and Egypt and Turkey and Syria, and all the different surrounding cultures, as they were writing. So what we’re going to look at today is how those surrounding cultures, and the different things that were found in the surrounding cultures, might help us understand texts that are removed geographically, temporally and spatially from our own contemporary culture. We’re going to be looking at these texts here that I have up.
So the first area that we’re going to look at is food preparation. Genesis 18:1-8 –
“The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby … ‘Let me get you something to eat so you can be refreshed and then go on your way, now that you have come to your servant.’ ‘Very well,’ they answered, ‘do as you say.’ So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. ‘Quick,’ he said, ‘get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.’ Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.”
But what we have here is Abraham preparing a meal for some guests. As we know from ethnography, which looks at cultures that are very similar to ancient cultures, hospitality was a key attribute, and we can see Abraham here not knowing the people who are coming to his tent, but offering that hospitality. And he says, “Let me give you something to eat.”
So the first thing that we’re going to look at here is what it means to bake bread. And what you see here in this picture is a group of women in Jerusalem in the early 1900s, and they are sitting on the ground, and they are preparing to bake bread. They have a bunch of flour over here, and they have these two grinding stones that they’re using to grind the coarse flour into a finer flour, so that they could make bread.
So when he tells Sarah, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread,” we have to think about the fact that this was not something that just happened immediately. Sarah had to go and she had to get the flour, she had to grind it, and she had to make the bread. And the kind of bread that they were making was probably similar to what we might call a “pancake” today – something very quick, where you put ingredients together and put it on a hot surface and then cook it.
So what do these different things look like that they would have been using to grind bread? Well, I already mentioned the two millstones. Those were like two giant flat stones that you would grind the bread between. But then, once you got ground once, you would need to grind it again to get it even finer. And these pictures here show you some basalt grinding implements. So if you’ve ever used a mortar and pestle, that was a popular item. This is the pestle and that’s the mortar area. They would also use giant grinding stones – so a stone, maybe this long, that had a little trough in it, and you would take a rolling pin back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, until you are able to get really fine bread.
So the quote that I’m about to read comes from Carol Myers, Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite women in Context. Okay, so the quote says:
“The laborious process was probably the most time-consuming part of a woman’s workload. It has been calculated that it took about an hour to prepare one and 3/4 pound of flour.”
So if any of you are bakers – I know during quarantine a lot of people started baking bread – just imagine that you had to bake your own bread, but also grind your own flour. It says that the average adult in a mid-20th century Palestinian village consumed up to two pounds of bread daily, and bread was sometimes the only meal. Two adults and four children would require about four pounds of flour, so it would have taken two or more hours a day to prepare sufficient flour. So imagine waking up in the morning and spending two hours a day to grind that flour so that it was ready to make bread.
Here you can see a breakdown on a pie chart here of food production: what it would have taken to grind bread would have been the primary part of a woman’s workload during the day, as well as fuel preparation, drink production, and then making other food.
And this is a very nice reproduction from Egypt – well, it’s not a reproduction, it’s showing what it would look like. It’s from Ancient Egypt. And you can see a woman on her hands and knees using that grinding stone I was talking about, grinding the bread back and forth, back and forth. So that was thing #1 that Sarah did: she prepared the bread. Why did she prepare the bread? Because it was a woman’s job to prepare the bread.
Now, when it came to animals, that was more for the men’s side of things. So you can see, “Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to the servant.” Now, the Biblical text is also very brief in what it says. So when it gives us extra information, we are to pay attention. So I would ask you: what does it mean to be a tender calf? Any ideas what a tender calf is? Veal, a young calf? Something fatty, something delicious? If anyone has gone to a farm – anybody gone to a farm? I know it’s LA? A couple people – okay, the animals that run around in the field are much more lean than animals who are kept in a pen. So animals that would be kept in a pen, like these two that we have in our text here, are different than those who would be running around in the field.
So from Jeremiah 46:21, it says: “Her hired men are like calves of the stall.” And Malachi 4:2 says: “You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” Now, there’s a difference between herds and calves in the stall. So what is a stall-fed calf, and how does this differ from a calf in the field?
The answers were that a stall-fed calf has to stand where it was, in its poop, which is actually quite important, and B, that a stall calf eats what the farmer gives it, whereas a calf an animal in the field would eat whatever it has to graze on.
So I’m going to show you this picture next here, which is a reconstruction of an ancient Near Eastern house from the Harvard Semitic Museum. And you can see it’s not very big at all. So if you complain if you have to share a room with a brother or a sister, imagine sharing a room with your entire family. These houses here have a bottom floor and most likely a top floor, and you can see the different activities that were taking place. You have weaving and textiles on the top, you might have an area to prepare food on the bottom, you have an area for storage, and then over here, they happen to have a lamb, but you could just as well have had a calf inside of your house. So you can see it’s kind of penned off here. So you would have an animal living with you, which sounds a little bit maybe strange to us here, but having an animal live with you is actually quite important, because of that poop. What do you use to start fires? Animal dung. And so it was probably a smelly situation in the ancient world, not quite as pleasant as you might imagine. The stall-fed calves were good for creating fuel, but they were also meant for sacrifices – specifically for sacrifices. So when the Bible talks about fatty sacrifices, or sacrifices that were shelamim, sacrifices for well-being, it talks about the smoke going up and the incense and the smell going up that really made it exciting, “for this is what would please God” – this is the kind of thing that was being sacrificed: these fatty cows that lived inside your house.
Now, cows were expensive, and so people did not do sacrifices all the time. It was a big deal to kill one of the animals that you had been raising and fatting up. So for Abraham to say to these guests, you know, “I’m going to prepare this wonderful meal for you,” just shows – it’s meant to show what a hospitable person that Abraham was.
We’re going to go to our next slide, and we’re going to look at child rearing. Before we get there, I guess we can pause and ask if anybody has questions.
Why do we have Abraham preparing a meal that has milk and meat together?
Eating the milk and meat together, and we have Abraham doing this – a typical Middle Eastern diet has all of these things together, and it’s not till later, in Leviticus, that we get these laws that request us to separate milk and meat. So the rabbis gave Abraham a pass, because he didn’t know the laws of Leviticus quite yet.
Would they sacrifice a cow after it’s fully grown?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no, just depending on when they needed the cow. Usually a younger cow was better because it was fattier, if you think of veal and how much people like veal.
So the question was about hospitality – in English, “guest” and “host” and “ghost” are all related. So if there was a notion sort of driving this hospitality that you never knew who you were going to get. And that’s spot on, that’s exactly the sort of background and thought that people would have had, that you’re not really sure. So we’re living in a world where it was believed that spirits were real, and that ghosts were real, so you never knew who you were going to get knocking at your door. We see this sort of thing also, if you’re familiar with the Odyssey and The Iliad, in Greek culture as well. Hospitality for that exact reason, that you never knew if it was going to be a god visiting your door, a ghost visiting your door, or just your neighbor. Exactly.
What was the ability to preserve meat and other parts of the animal that wasn’t being used immediately?
Most of the time you would use the whole animal right away, and if you were making a sacrificial meal, it would go to the community as a whole, and your community might not have been very big, but they did have the knowledge for salting meat, we see that, for preservation, but no refrigeration or anything like that.
We’re going to move on to our next text, which I will put on the screen here for those of you who are on Zoom. So our next text is about child rearing. “Leah became pregnant and gave birth to his son she named him Reuben, for she said ‘It is because the Lord has seen my misery, surely my husband will love me now.’ She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son, she said ‘Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.’ So she named him Simeon. Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.’ So he was named Levi. She conceived again, and when she gave birth to her son she said ‘This time, I will praise the Lord.’ So she named him Judah.Then she stopped having children.”
Plenty of children to have, huh? Of course, Leah does have a couple more kids later, but in this text what we see here is this one child and then another child and then another child and another child being born. And this text comes from the context of what I like to call the “Baby Wars,” where Rachel and Leah are going back and forth trying to have as many children as possible, in order that their husband would love them.
Now, you might think “Well, shouldn’t they just love them anyway – like, shouldn’t he just love them for them?” Well, in the ancient world, having children was super-duper important. What might you need children for. Ideas? Work, yes. All of the kids are like – work, exactly, all those chores and things that you need to do, but also help with the family household economic system. So work would definitely be one thing. What else might you need a child for? Sure, you need marriages, and those could be political marriages, either marrying outside of the family or within the family kin group. And here’s a fun fact: the best person for you to marry in a society like ancient Israel was your cousin, specifically your mother’s cousin, because that kept inheritance, which is another thing you needed children for; that kept the inheritance in the family system. So inheritance – you needed someone to be able to take over your fields, your goods, your money when you died. You also needed someone to carry on your name. What if there wasn’t a cousin to marry? Well, you could marry other people, you could look to someone else to marry, but that would be your first choice – maybe not your first choice, but your parents’ first choice.
[From] someone has studied the ancient world, the question is: aren’t there issues when people too closely related to each other get married? And the answer is yes, for sure. And we see all sorts of problems within especially the Egyptian dynasties, with health problems. But nonetheless this happened. You know, now we don’t really marry our cousins so much anymore, especially in the States, but this was not an uncommon practice.
The question is: do you think of Biblical families as large, medium or small? Large, because we have all these stories where they have a lot of children. How many – pop quiz for our B’nei Mitzvah class – how many children did Jacob have? How many sons? 12 sons. Yes, that seems like a rather large family.
Maybe that wasn’t exactly true. So let’s think about this for a moment. If we think about Leah, and she had those four children, and we’re not accounting for any miscarriages or any child deaths that might have happened – and child death did happen in the ancient world. So in the first week of life, you had a 50% chance of making it. After that, you had another 50% chance of making it to the age of 15. So child death was very real. So once you had that child and the child was born, you wanted to do everything you could to protect it. And breastfeeding was the way that most children were fed. And so there have been studies trying to understand length between children, like how long a woman would have had to be pregnant, and we find that around two to three years was about average for nursing.
So this is a wet-nurse contract that comes from ancient Babylonia. And if you’re not familiar with a wet nurse, that is when you give – if you yourself can’t nurse for any reason, you give your child to another woman who was able to nurse that child for you. Now, why might you not be able to nurse your child? You could be dead – women died in childbirth. You might also have adopted a child, and so you needed someone to nurse them. Or perhaps you were extremely rich and you wanted to up your chances of having another child a little bit more quickly. And I’ll explain that in a second.
But this wet nurse contract says these two people gave their son for wet nursing to a third person, and then these other people received the nursing fee for two years, and they were happy. In the third year, however, they went to court because they didn’t receive the wet nursing fee, and then the judges summoned the gods and apparently the gods said that she should get the fee for the third year. So this was a well-known practice.You would have a contract around it, and this was like a profession that you could have.
So going back to that third thing that I mentioned, which was that women might have someone breastfeed for them so that they could become pregnant quicker. When we think about nursing spans, this slide here has birth intervals for types of breastfeeding in the absence of other contraceptives. So from the !Kung hunter gatherer people in Africa, who nursed their babies frequently for three or four years – this would mean you would have about 4.1 years to 4.7 years before you would have your next child. So if you’re breastfeeding, that means you don’t have – your body’s not able to conceive as easily and have another child quickly. So that would mean every four years. So if we think about Leia having four children, and we have that, in the span of just a few verses, how many is that actually? Who can do the math quick? We’re talking 16 years, right.
So we see, however, the Hutterites of North America nurse on a rigid schedule, start giving supplemental food a few months after birth, and therefore the interval between when their children are born is only two years, meaning they have more children. And a woman in the UK who never nursed her babies had a birth interval of 1.3 years. So with high childhood mortality rates, those stats that I just gave you, and this length of breastfeeding, we can think about these ancient texts and our Biblical texts, and think a little bit more about what it would have been like for those women to give birth.
So now I ask you again, were Biblical families large, medium or small? Do the texts actually show us an accurate picture of what life was like in ancient Israel? And the answer – and here this quote comes from a woman called Hilma Granqvist, who is an ethnographer who studied in Palestine in the early 1900s. She says, “I do not wish to go to the opposite extreme and believe that a wife generally had only one son, yet there are so many important facts indicating that a woman had few children, and that the onus of proof must fall on those who maintain that the ideal aimed at was definitely numerous children.”
So the ideal was numerous children. “But they must at least explain how it is that such a great difference exists between the ideal and reality, as [the latter is] expressed in genealogical tables. It is not said that these numbers always correspond to actual conditions, especially those of ancient times. What they say about the patriarchs’ ages shows that they were not afraid of big numbers. If the ideal had really been a wife with many children, tradition and history would certainly have preserved the names of specially prolific women.”
Hilma Granqvist is suggesting that what we see in the Biblical text, with these women who have a lot of children, is that they are the exception that proves the rule. They are the women who have lots of children, so they’re remembered. The women who have fewer children, not so much.
And again, from Carol Meyer’s book that I mentioned earlier: she says “A woman would have spent most of her adult life pregnant. As many as eight pregnancies were needed in order to reach a family size of two adults and three children who lived to adulthood.” Questions?
What years for the Biblical texts?
So what we see is that the agricultural societies that they’re reflecting remain relatively the same, from the entire Iron Age – so if we’re thinking 1200 BCE through 538 BCE – but if you extend a little farther backward or a little further forward, these sorts of societies really remain like we see them. Those that Hilma Granqvist was studying in early Palestine, before there were lots of cities and those sorts of things, these are just traditional societies. So this the same sort of social background that we see in the Biblical texts were seen in these, what we might say, more modern societies as well.
Ryan, thank you. I think that would, I don’t know that the the Biblical author would want us to think about that, but yes, because they are named and because they are, you know, those 12, part of the 12 sons – like, they did live to adulthood, but a woman who had that many children probably also would have had a lot of miscarriages or infant mortalities in between.
For those of you on Zoom, the comparison was made to the story of Hannah and Penninah, with Peninnah having multiple children and Hannah doing everything she could just to have one child.
So I should also mention that ancient Near Eastern texts, as well as the Biblical texts, have this perception that a woman’s womb was closed by default, and it wasn’t until the deity opened the womb that you could have a child. So that’s a little bit kind of maybe the reverse of how we understand things medically today. But that helps explain why women would pray for the gods to give them a child to open their womb, and perhaps give a little background to what Hannah was doing.
I would say that in the ancient world and in these traditional societies, you would you also have to imagine that your mother’s brother’s children might also be from multiple wives, so you could be marrying a cousin, but out a little bit. So if we think of Rachel and Leah – well, they’re sisters so that doesn’t work – so well but how about Sarah and Hagar? And then you might have someone marry Hagar’s children, or someone marry Sarah’s children, so you’re still marrying your mother’s cousins on the mother’s side –but they could be from multiple wives. So that might have sustained the practice for a little bit longer, and maybe have hedged off some of the birth abnormalities.
Okay, for religion, we have Genesis 35:1-5 – I think I’m just going to read this one.
“God said to Jacob: ‘Arise, go to Bethel, and settle there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.’ So Jacob said to his household and to all who are with him, ‘Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your clothes then come let us go up to Bethel but I may make an altar,’” blah blah blah. And then in verse 4, it says: “So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears.”
And the question that we might have is: why do Jacob’s family have foreign gods, and what did these foreign gods look like? I’m going to show you a series of slides which might help us understand what these foreign Gods look like. This first one is a silver calf that comes from Ashkelon. You can see it’s not very big. It’s probably like the size of a water bottle. And the calf would be, you know, half the size. And if you recall the Israelites in the book of Exodus, which we just read recently, have made for themselves a golden calf, and later on it talks about King Jeroboam in the North having two golden calves, one at Dan and one at Bethel. So the question was, what did these calves look like? Were these foreign gods? Were these little gods? Were these big gods? Perhaps this is one of these sorts of foreign gods that Jacob’s family was carrying with him.
Or perhaps it looked like this. So here we have a mold on the right-hand side that you would pour hot metal into in order to cast a goddess. And this goddess with her headdress here is probably the goddess Astarte, who would have been a female fertility goddess, sort of a mother goddess. So were Jacob’s family carrying these with them? Maybe, or perhaps they were carrying something like this, which, again, they’re about, I think, 6-11 inches tall.
And these are called Judean pillar figurines, and based on their stance and their attributes, people think that they were somehow related to fertility and lactation. So were Jacob’s wives caring these around with them in hopes that they would get pregnant? Because we know that we just read they were having sort of “baby wars,” going back and forth trying to just see who could get pregnant the quickest.
So when we hear things like “they gave Jacob all the foreign gods that they had,” and then Jacob hides them under the oak that was near Shechem, we have to imagine them digging a pit and putting all of these sorts of foreign beings that they had with them into the pit in order to move on.
So anyways, I just thought that was kind of interesting. When we think of foreign Gods, what do we think of? And so again, these three different possibilities – there’s a lot more that we find in ancient Israel, but again, we have possibility of a calf, the possibility of a molten goddess figurine or maybe these clay fertility figurines.
We’re going to move on to magic, and we’re going to read again from Genesis with Joseph. So how many people have heard of Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat? Yeah, how many people know that Jacob has a magic cup? One person knows Jacob has a magic cup? Okay, well, then the rest of us can learn about it.
Okay, in Genesis 44, this is the point in time in the narrative where Jacob has met his brothers, and he wants Benjamin to come back because he wants to meet Benjamin. So his brothers – they are getting ready to go, and Jacob decides to play a little trick on them. So Jacob puts his special silver magic cup into the luggage, and we see here, it says that when they’ve gone only a short distance from the city, Joseph said to his steward, “Go follow the men, and when you overtake them, say to them ‘Why did you return evil for good? Why have you stolen my silver cup?’” (Now, keep in mind they didn’t actually steal it. Joseph put it there). “’And then tell them “Is it not from this that my Lord drinks? Does he not indeed use it for divination? You have done wrong in doing this.’”
Now for those of you who can read the Hebrew, what kind of cup is this? And what is going on that verse that’s underlined – verse five? We translate that as “does he not indeed use it for divination?” But the part that I highlighted in yellow – anybody know what a nakash is? It’s a snake. So it says, literally, “Is it not the snakey snake in it?”.
Now, what in the world – how did they get to divination? So any doctors in the house – anybody know what this is a model of? The liver? Yes, okay. So we’ll get to the liver in a minute. So let’s unpack what exactly is going on. First of all, do Jews do magic? Hidden fact – yes, there’s lots of magic in our Biblical texts, lots of magic you’re not supposed to do. But there’s Magic they do in Deuteronomy 18:10 through 11, which is the last one on your handout. “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination, anyone who’s a cloud reader, an omen reader, who engages in witchcraft, who is a knotter of knots, who asks of the pit or the knowing ones, or who consults the Dead.” Well, this is my own translation here. Okay, “sacrificing son and daughter through the fire” sounds bad, right. We can agree – bad, shouldn’t do it.
Divination – we’re going to put that one to the side for a second, because we need to ask what that is. How could you do magic by reading in the clouds, bird patterns or cloud patterns, and then predicting the future? So divination is predicting the future, understanding the will of the Gods? “Omen reader” – and that’s where these two livers come in. Remember that path that we sacrificed? Well, we might take that to our local priest, and he might sacrifice it. And then someone asked about “Would they use all of it?” Well, it would take its liver out, and you would see it that had any abnormalities on it, and then you would compare it with – these are omen texts. So you can pair it with your handbook, and you’d say, “Oh, well in the fourth quadrant, does it have a spot? Or in the sixth quadrant, does it have a brown marking?” And you can see here a little – it probably looks like chicken scratch to you all, but this is cuneiform writing. And it would then give the priests who had taken the liver out information that it would offer to the person who had given the sacrifice. Okay so an omen reader – witchcraft, bad. Another of knots. Why is that magic? Any Harry Potter fans? Binding spells, spells that are bound, that are knots, that are the undoable. “Who asks of the pit or knowing ones?”, this is a reference to a necromancy. And “who consults of the Dead.”
Now, we still need to get to our snakes. So in this list in Deuteronomy 18, I have again highlighted the same word that was highlighted in the text in Genesis, this amanakash. And this seems to be something that isn’t related, exactly – it’s not talking about a literal snake – but what happens when you put oil on water? So when you put oil on water, does it mix? No, it sort of, like, snakes on the top. So this is an idea where you would, like tea leaves be able to read the pattern of the oil in the water. And if we go back to Joseph’s cup here, his special cup in which he would do this procedure, in which he would divine.
I think we have about two minutes for questions on those last two segments, and then we’ll wrap up. Anything about foreign gods or magic? Harry Houdini? He was indeed, yes. Any other questions?
Do we see female deities in Judahite areas?
[The answer is yes, we see it throughout time. We see them lasting for many, many years.] There were quite a few female figurines that were found in Judahite areas and throughout ancient Israel. And they change over time versus whether they were on a plaque, whether they are 3D, whether they are… Those ones that I showed you with the rather large breasts, those were very popular for about 200 years throughout the kingdom of Judah. And so those are probably the most well-known ones, but we do see different ones throughout the time period.
Our essential question was: how can archeology illuminate the Bible? And what I hope you have taken away from this brief time that we’ve had together this morning is that knowing about the world in which the Bible was written can help us understand and appreciate the texts more. There are so many other different instances that I could have brought to you, but I hope that these maybe whet your appetite for learning a little bit more about archeology, and thinking a little bit deeper about the biblical text. Thank you.