Karen Armstrong: A Critique

Many years back we had a few requests (and one defiant challenge) to look into the work of Karen Armstrong, author of several books including one we will survey in part here titled The History of God. Since that time, around 2001, we have had no request at all about her work, and she seems to now be a more obscure figure. However, it seems best to maintain and update this critique now (2009) for the record.

When reading Armstrong, do not expect any original research or argumentation. The findings of liberal Biblical scholarship and of the likes of the Jesus Seminar are taken as indisputable fact, and the commentary progresses from there. Thus for example Armstrong dates Proverbs to the 3rd century BC without explanation or analysis, much less dealing with of competing views.

In light of that most or all of what Armstrong assumes to be true about the Bible is refuted by material on this sire, we merely refer readers to our indices (see sidebar) and offer a sample of Armstrong's failed claims:

In sum, Armstrong is singularly unimpressive as a source, both in terms of logic and in terms of scholarly acumen.

-JPH