In the last issue, the editor’s First Person was devoted to some recent praise for BAR. It is therefore only fair that we balance this with some recent criticism—by a leading English scholar, Lester L. Grabbe:
As an ex-fundamentalist I am rather sensitive to arguments by conservative evangelicals which use the trappings of scholarship but which in my opinion cloak fundamentalist motives. But I think John Emerton was quite right when I once heard him say that even in such cases we should answer the actual argument and not just dismiss it because of the presumed motive.
Sadly, there is a convenient catalyst for personal attacks, the magazine The Biblical Archaeology Review. When BAR first appeared in the 1970s, I welcomed it. There was and is room in the market for a well-done popular journal of archaeology. Like many I subscribe and read it regularly. But in recent years it seems to have lent itself to those wanting to make person[al] attacks on other scholars, and some have found the opportunity too tempting to ignore and ended up saying things they would not dream of saying in an academic journal.