Hector Avalos has died
A great loss…Hector Avalos was a professor of philosophy and religious studies at Iowa State University, but also he was a great humanist and all around nice guy. We met several times; he made many trips up the road to Minneapolis to speak at Minnesota Atheist meetings, and he was always a pleasure to listen to. Here’s one recording of one of his talks (I think I was at that one!)

If only atheism had paid more attention to the example set by Hector.
Hector Avalos
Hector Avalos • Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies • Iowa State University
Hector Avalos: How Archaeology Killed Biblical History - Part 1 of 2 - YouTube
Hector Avalos: How Archaeology Killed Biblical History - Part 2 of 2 - YouTube

He was born in 1958 in Nogales, Mexico, just south of the US-Mexico border. From Wikipedia, "As a child he was a fundamentalist Pentecostal preacher, child evangelist and faith healer, and became so interested in the Bible that he immersed himself in Biblical Hebrew." His efforts to learn more about that book caused him to become more and more skeptical about it, and he ended up an atheist.
Avalos' first major work was Illness and Health Care in the Ancient Near East: The Role of the Temple in Greece, Mesopotamia, and Israel (1995), published in the Harvard Semitic Monograph series. The book combined systematically critical biblical studies with medical anthropology to reconstruct the health care systems of Ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, and Israel.[11] In Health Care and the Rise of Christianity (1999) Avalos outlined the thesis that Christianity began, in part, as a health care reform movement that sought to address the problems voiced by patients in the Greco-Roman world.[12]
He has written several other books, including "The End of Biblical Studies".
In this radical critique of his own academic specialty, biblical scholar Hector Avalos calls for an end to biblical studies. He outlines two main arguments for this surprising conclusion. First, academic biblical scholarship has clearly succeeded in showing that the ancient civilization that produced the Bible held beliefs about the origin, nature, and purpose of the world and humanity that are fundamentally opposed to the views of modern society. The Bible is thus largely irrelevant to the needs and concerns of contemporary human beings. Second, Avalos criticizes his colleagues for applying a variety of flawed and specious techniques aimed at maintaining the illusion that the Bible is still relevant in today's world. In effect, he accuses his profession of being more concerned about its self-preservation than about giving an honest account of its own findings to the general public and faith communities. In a controversial conclusion, Avalos argues that our world is best served by leaving the Bible as a relic of an ancient civilization instead of the "living" document most religionist scholars believe it should be. He urges his colleagues to concentrate on educating the broader society to recognize the irrelevance and even violent effects of the Bible in modern life.
That seems too strong a statement, but I do think that he is overall correct - the Bible should be studied the way that one studies the works of Homer and Hesiod, and not as a form of Bible worship. HA himself makes an analogy with Arthurian lore, something he works out in detail.

The first reference to Arthur was around 828, as a military commender who fought 12 battles. But this, like other early references, did not go into much detail. All that changed in 1136, when Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote his "History of the Kings of Britain", a book that went into gory detail about Arthur and his colleagues and his career, thus starting what we know as Arthurian lore.

Who the historical King Arthur was is something that has been much argued over, and some people have argued that he is entirely mythical. But it is generally agreed that a historical King Arthur would have had very little in common with GoM's account of him.

HA also wrote "The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics" by Hector I. Avalos

He described in it "The Unloving Jesus", "The Hateful Jesus", "The Violent Jesus", "The Suicidal Jesus", "The Imperialist Jesus", "The Anti-Jewish Jesus", "The Uneconomic Jesus", "The Misogynistic Jesus", "The Anti-Disabled Jesus", "The Magically Anti-Medical Jesus", "The Eco-Hostile Jesus", and "The Anti-Biblical Jesus".