Thank you for your input.
You penned: Alter also uses older sources that have been superseded by new scholarship and fringe sources that a less discerning audience might not be aware of- like when arguing against the bystanders at Jesus’ cross."
Respectfully, I am some what confused. On page 126 I wrote; “In addition, several writers (Casey 1996, 188; Thompson 1995, 61; Tinsley 1965, 204) argue that the Romans did not permit bystanders at the actual place of execution.” Then, I offered a caveat, that you failed to point out. I wrote: "If this argument is valid, then logically nobody would have been able to hear Jesus’s last words. The key word was “IF”…
Later, on page 170, in Speculation 31 “Improbability of the Presence under the Cross” I once again wrote: "Tinsley (1965, 204; cf. Casey 1996, 188…). But why did you fail to mention the crucial following paragraph, just four lines below? Do you actually have my book? I wrote:
In contrast, several writers (Keener 2003, 1141; 1993, 313; Kostenberger 2004a, 547, Stauffer 1960, 179n1) contend that it was not unlikely that women had restricted access to victims on a cross. They argue:…" And, then, in bullets, I present five of their arguments that refuted the speculation of "Improbability of the Presence under the Cross. So, in my opinion (although I could be wrong), I was intellectually honest and presented several argument against the speculation under discussion.
Furthermore, please note that my book totals 912 pages. Entire books and journal articles can be written on just single topics that it discusses. So, it is impossible to discuss every topic to the ultimate degree wished, nor cite every potential reference [N.B. The bibliography was approximately 80 pages, and that was after deletions to reduce the length of the text.] I am pleased that you identified some sources not in my text. Now, readers can look them up and explore what they have to say.
Finally, in the Preface (xlvi) I wrote a caveat that perhaps slipped your attention: “Furthermore, readers are reminded that the speculations presented in this text are nothing more than speculation.” So what is their purpose? To make people think, ask questions, and continue the conversation on an important topic.
PS What graduate school are you attending?