Misc. Bible Related Stuff

From Time Magazine
“…On the other hand, say many scholars, much of what is recorded in the Bible is at best distorted, and some characters and events are probably totally fictional. Most scholars suspect that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Judaism’s traditional founders, never existed; many doubt the tales of slavery in Egypt and the Exodus; and relatively few modern historians believe in Joshua’s conquest of Jericho and the rest of the Promised Land. In the most extreme view, all of the above are complete fabrications, invented centuries after the supposed fact.”

And:
“John Van Seters of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, summed up many of their commonly held positions. The oldest books of the Old Testament, he declared with Pope-like confidence, weren’t written until the Israelites were in exile in Babylon, after 587 B.C. There was no Moses, no crossing of the sea, and no revelation on Mount Sinai.”

And:
“The Bible’s accounts of these people and events are among the most familiar stories in the Old Testament. But even scholars who believe they really happened admit that there’s no proof whatsoever that the Exodus took place. No record of this monumental event appears in Egyptian chronicles of the time, and Israeli archaeologists combing the Sinai during intense searches from 1967 to 1982 — years when Israel occupied the peninsula — didn’t find a single piece of evidence backing the Israelites’ supposed 40-year sojourn in the desert.”

And:
“…considering that artifacts from as far back as the late Stone Age have turned up in the Sinai , it is perplexing that no evidence of the Israelites’ passage has been found. William Dever, a University of Arizona archaeologist, flatly calls Moses a mythical figure. Some scholars even insist the story was a political fabrication, invented to unite the disparate tribes living in Canaan through a falsified heroic past.”

Read the whole story: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,983854-1,00.html

“It would be impossible…to argue that the Bible is a unified whole, inerrant in all its parts, inspired by God in every way. It can’t be that. There are too many divergences, discrepancies, contradictions; too many alternative ways of looking at the same issue, alternatives that often are at odds with one another. The Bible is not a unity, it is a massive plurality. God did not write the Bible, people did.”   Jesus Interrupted (p. 279). Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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~ H. G. Wells