Originally Posted by dmz
Hmmmmm.... I'd say it's more disingenuous to draw that distinction: to demanding an "original text". Most scholars agree that these narratives were oral traditions [dare I say "recitations"] until much later on -- maybe not Nehemiah
later but much later than you'd think. And when you compare those texts with what they reference -- the languages, the historical/cultural references, it bears out that they were from that time period. (Just like any other text of the era is verified.)
But this in itself is dishonest in a way - there WAS an oral tradition but the oral tradition was the earlier non-Hebrew mythos.
The flood was an oral tradition - but never in a Biblical sense....it was even literary in the Babylonian iteration from which it was lifted.
Ditto the two contradictory creation myths in Genesis...on at least may have been oral but the Biblical version never was.
All of what we know as Bible in its Judaic form is literary.
And in any event, you have to account for the Hebrew religion, which by any account is very old.
What we do "know" -- in a secular academic sense -- is that there was a King David.
How do we know this? Please don't say 'from the Bible' or we will have to shoot you.
, and there was someone named Moses,
Again - evidence?
We also can gather from the first/second century materials that there was a guy named Yeshua, that paid off a lot of the Jewish cultural expectations -- expectations based on that earlier cultural overhead. See the "historical Jesus" materials
One historical source and one only. A dubious one that says none of those things. In fact it is almost a throwaway comment that may even be spurious or a later addition.
It isn't a question whether these people or events happened/existed at that time,
Why not? I would say it is nothing else but that..
it's a question of whether they are accurate. And again, for those wishing to strip Scripture of its authority, it is a 100 times more potent to simply reduce it to a social construction, rather than insist the ancient Israelites, or Yeshua never existed.
For anyone wishing to strip scripture of its 'authority' it is only necessary to make a list of the first contradictions one finds in the text. No need to list the hundreds , the first 10 or so will do.
Thereafter the question merely becomes a philosophical/psychological one: "how can people continue to believe that a document with inherent and blatant contradictions is any sort of guidance, divine or otherwise"...but it is all the more interesting for that.