I don't have time to refute everything. This is just old hacky revisionist history redressed.
I often wonder how people with no background in ancient history or theology can read one book or watch one zeitgeist video and suddenly believe it hook line and sinker then use it to say religious people are uneducated about their own beliefs and just gullible.
Most of the experts on ancient languages, texts and religious practices and cultures are either Christian or Jewish. You may have discovered 10 interesting things that you've discovered but your book won't sell because it's a proven orthodox view of history or religion. You have to have a shocking new take, like click bait and shape it into some narrative that and uneducated 20 something can then go hold court at his family's Thanksgiving dinner and smugly show how smart he is by regurgitating the same revisionist crap.
You have strong views - excellent! Lets have a discussion and presentation of differing views.
Would you care to demonstrate what about Romer's book is "...old hacky revisionist history redressed..."?
Why not pick a few key areas that you think Romer is wrong and make a careful evidence based case why.
Then folks here can see which vews are more evidence based.........
Some of the leading critical scholars are also people of faith.
Are you familiar with Mark Smith at Princeton Theological who is a committed Catholic? Or James Kugel who is emeritus at Harvard and also Orthodox Jewish?
Yep. What was posted has nothing to do with faith. It's concerns the early development of Judaism. The fact that you would point to both of them shows you lean towards that school of thought. I would discuss early Mesopotamian religions and thier influences on early Judaism and later hellenic influences with anyone whose put alot of study into it, but 30 minutes of internet musings doesn't suddenly catch you up.
On your original note, to teach and be tenured at Harvard or Princeton divinity schools isn't necessarily a sign of intellect these days. That said I do love some guys who taught there.
I think i would generally agree with you. Early Judaism - perhaps better referred to as the religion(s) of ancient Israel - is complicated with very incomplete evidence.
Romer does tend to connect dots as you note. But does present a variety of Biblical and archeological evidence which is interesting regardless if you agree with his conclusions.
Which scholars/books do you like? Thoughts on David Carr?
Mark Smith studies the impact of mesopotamian religions on ancient Israeli religion. I believe he is one of the leading scholars on Ugaritic and the Baal cycle. Are you critical of his work?
I also think a number of the scholars are not religious -or at least do not have a strong religious bias in their work. Finkelstein, Dever, Helperin, Friedman.
kugel would likely be troubled by this discussion but seems intellectually hones enough to admit his bias
Started my reply then the app crapped out on my. I'll try on my phone.
If you're going to try to understand the old testament formation, what little I know of Carr he would be on the right track. It's almost an impossible pursuit. We cannot disassociate our post enlightenment indoctrination and view culture without multiple lenses that will distort that ancient reality. I'm not criticizing those who try, I just wouldn't trust anybody on the results.
I would disagree about non religious commentators being more objective. Although it would in some ways make sense I haven't seen it to be the case. Mostly they seem to be more resolute, even when proven wrong, where I've seen very convicted religious scholars have to bend and mold based on a dogmatic conviction of the pursuit of truth. Non religious writers almost always lean towards a scepticism that eliminates almost every possibility other than someone invented a story to gain something or someone was ignorant and crazy. If you wade into the formation of religious thought with a presupposition that there is no such thing as a supernatural or spiritual experience than you again have a distorted sense.
These were not a bunch superstitious nomadic sheep herders. There are layers of complexity we simply can't wrap our heads around.