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Is It True That Most Of The Bible Is Not Historically Sound?


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Yeah, the bible is based on historical events in the same way popular movies are based on novels. Take the old testament, for example. It ends up making a lot more sense when you realize it was probably written around the time of the Babylonian captivity. As in, all the "history" before that point was a combination of oral history that had been garbled over the years, myths that were never true to begin with, and a lot of wishful thinking/making up a backstory in order to create a coherent sense of identity in the middle of a bad situation.

 

As for Jesus's existence, there are zero reliable references to him outside of the bible. So if he was a real person, no one noticed. There were, however, certainly many people claiming to be the Messiah around that time, so it's also possible he was based off multiple real people. There's some debates over whether the original christianty even believed in Jesus as anything other than a mystical archetype sort of character, since mystery religions were a big thing at the time.

 

So the answer to your question is a resounding yes. There's actually a lot of information out there about it, but if you've been stuck in a christian environment for most of your life, the people around you probably avoided those sources of information. Once you start looking outside of the religiously endorsed literature, it's surprising how easy it is to find opposing viewpoints that you never knew existed.

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The closest thing to a secular source proving Jesus of Nazareth existed is the writings of Josephus. Other than that, we have nothing reliable to prove he was an historical figure.

 

Now the part about maidens breeding with fallen angels and giving birth to giants, that is 100% historical fact ;-)

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There is also a total lack of evidence for the existence of Moses and other OT main characters, nor is there any evidence of the Exodus story being true.

 

It's mythology, like stories about Zeus and Horus. Mythology has its uses, but the stories and characters aren't literal fact.

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The closest thing to a secular source proving Jesus of Nazareth existed is the writings of Josephus. Other than that, we have nothing reliable to prove he was an historical figure.

 

Now the part about maidens breeding with fallen angels and giving birth to giants, that is 100% historical fact ;-)

 

Except for the fact that most scholars that I have read believe the reference to Jesus contained within the works of Josephus to be a fourth-century forgery.

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But as to the forgery, most scholars don't believe the entire reference to be forgery. Just the part where he professes Jesus to be the true messiah. Josephus considered Jesus, John the Baptist, and 5 others to be trouble makers in the tensions between Judea and Rome.

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I also watched a documentary that also suggested Jesus may have never existed. And if that's true, my fears will mostly dissapate.

 

Which documentary? I'm a huge fan of docs.

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I also watched a documentary that also suggested Jesus may have never existed. And if that's true, my fears will mostly dissapate.

Which documentary? I'm a huge fan of docs.

The God Who Wasn't There. It's only about an hour long, but it's excellent.

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Our strongest evidence is Josephus, a source that has had its accuracy questioned before. That's not exactly where I'd like my evidence to be found.

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The closest thing to a secular source proving Jesus of Nazareth existed is the writings of Josephus. Other than that, we have nothing reliable to prove he was an historical figure.

...

Josephus' narrative concerning Jesus was added to his writings. It's a forgery.

 

From The Jesus Forgery: Josephus Untangled

by Acharya S/D.M. Murdock

A False Witness

 

Despite the best wishes of sincere believers and the erroneous claims of truculent apologists, the Testimonium Flavianum has been demonstrated continually over the centuries to be a forgery, likely interpolated by Catholic Church historian Eusebius in the fourth century. So thorough and universal has been this debunking that very few scholars of repute continued to cite the passage after the turn of the 19th century. Indeed, the TF was rarely mentioned, except to note that it was a forgery, and numerous books by a variety of authorities over a period of 200 or so years basically took it for granted that the Testimonium Flavianum in its entirety was spurious, an interpolation and a forgery. As Dr. Gordon Stein relates:

 

"...the vast majority of scholars since the early 1800s have said that this quotation is not by Josephus, but rather is a later Christian insertion in his works. In other words, it is a forgery, rejected by scholars."

 

...

 

To repeat, this passage was so completely dissected by scholars of high repute and standing--the majority of them pious Christians--that it was for decades understood by subsequent scholars as having been proved in toto a forgery, such that these succeeding scholars did not even mention it, unless to acknowledge it as false. (In addition to being repetitious, numerous quotes will be presented here, because a strong show of rational consensus is desperately needed when it comes to matters of blind, unscientific and irrational faith.) The scholars who so conclusively proved the TF a forgery made their mark at the end of the 18th century and into the 20th, when a sudden reversal was implemented, with popular opinion hemming and hawing its way back first to the "partial interpolation theory" and in recent times, among the third-rate apologists, to the notion that the whole TF is "genuine." As Earl Doherty says, in "Josephus Unbound":

 

"Now, it is a curious fact that older generations of scholars had no trouble dismissing this entire passage as a Christian construction. Charles Guignebert, for example, in his Jesus (1956, p.17), calls it 'a pure Christian forgery.' Before him, Lardner, Harnack and Schurer, along with others, declared it entirely spurious. Today, most serious scholars have decided the passage is a mix: original parts rubbing shoulders with later Christian additions."

 

 

Some rumors never die.

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Regardless, it would be weak sauce anyway as there are no other known secular accounts of Jesus. And even if there were a real Jesus of Nazareth, his myth has spun so far out of control at this point, we might as well ask ourselves if there was a real Apollo, Zeus, or Hermes, too.

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I also watched a documentary that also suggested Jesus may have never existed. And if that's true, my fears will mostly dissapate.

Which documentary? I'm a huge fan of docs.

The God Who Wasn't There. It's only about an hour long, but it's excellent.

 

I was wondering if that was the one you were talking about. Yes, I've seen it and liked it.

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Given the Roman habit of only recording things of note....the execution of one state criminal would have been normal day to day activity. Thus doubtful anyone bother to note his name if it did indeed happen.

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I also watched a documentary that also suggested Jesus may have never existed. And if that's true, my fears will mostly dissapate.

Which documentary? I'm a huge fan of docs.

The God Who Wasn't There. It's only about an hour long, but it's excellent.

 

 

I just watched this documentary and it was exelent.

 

To answer your question the bible is full of historical inacuracey especialy in the old testemant as there was no grand sceam of organazaion when it came to ideas so when these ideas (posibly a inturpritation of a event) where handed down generation by generation oraly and written down a many times in many difrent societies so you get a story completly difrent from the real event.

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"Is it true that most of the Bible is not historically sound?"

 

Well, even if we had NO other information to go on as an assessment of its veracity, examine what it says happened:

 

A global (GLOBAL!) flood to the height of the highest mountains (Everest is about 30,000 feet). A pair of every animal in the world crammed onto a boat for several months. A talking snake. A talking donkey. Fiery chariots coming down out of the sky and taking a man up into heaven. The Red Sea spontaneously parting into dry land. A man living inside a whale's belly for 3 days. Three men standing inside a burning furnace no worries. A virgin giving birth. And...wait for it...best of all, a man dies and then comes back from the dead a couple of days later.

 

Now, given what you've observed of the world we live in, what do you think about the historical accuracy of the Bible?

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Most of the OT is just stupid tribal stories.

Actually, pretty much the pre-monarchy stuff is legends and tribal stories, like Moses, Egypt, and whatnot. From the Monarchy on of David, Solomon, etc, does in fact have external corroboration as is generally accepted as historical. There is a great deal of archeology to support it. Prior to this back to the 12th Century BCE, archeology does not support the Conquest stories of towns falling to the invading Hebrews, not any sort of Exodus out of Egypt. On the contrary, it appears they themselves were Canaanites who migrated up into the Highlands from the Urban areas following the withdrawal of Egypt supporting local kings and the resulting collapse of powers, mingling with other groups (one of which may have been a small group who came out of Egypt with their stories of a Moses character), and this group later formed what became the nation of Israel. They were essentially proto-Israelites.

 

As for the NT, that's another animal. The young Jesus movement groups tried to validate themselves as a religion by tying themselves into the Jew's religion, laying claim to the Israel's history as part of their own (nice try). Jesus was crafted as a prophet like unto Moses, Elijah, etc. He was made to look like the Jew's prophet in his miracle birth, rescue, etc. All of it an attempt to validate themselves to those who look auspiciously on novel religions, i.e., the Romans. I don't doubt there was a real Jesus person, but the rest of this "history" is part of the fabric of myth-making for the sake of the movement's self-validation. That's it's history. Perhaps he was in fact put to death, but how and why are part of the myth, and logically it makes no sense. A God of love that demands blood sacrifice to forgive???

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Most of the OT is just stupid tribal stories.

Actually, pretty much the pre-monarchy stuff is legends and tribal stories, like Moses, Egypt, and whatnot. From the Monarchy on of David, Solomon, etc, does in fact have external corroboration as is generally accepted as historical. There is a great deal of archeology to support it. Prior to this back to the 12th Century BCE, archeology does not support the Conquest stories of towns falling to the invading Hebrews, not any sort of Exodus out of Egypt. On the contrary, it appears they themselves were Canaanites who migrated up into the Highlands from the Urban areas following the withdrawal of Egypt supporting local kings and the resulting collapse of powers, mingling with other groups (one of which may have been a small group who came out of Egypt with their stories of a Moses character), and this group later formed what became the nation of Israel. They were essentially proto-Israelites.

 

As for the NT, that's another animal. The young Jesus movement groups tried to validate themselves as a religion by tying themselves into the Jew's religion, laying claim to the Israel's history as part of their own (nice try). Jesus was crafted as a prophet like unto Moses, Elijah, etc. He was made to look like the Jew's prophet in his miracle birth, rescue, etc. All of it an attempt to validate themselves to those who look auspiciously on novel religions, i.e., the Romans. I don't doubt there was a real Jesus person, but the rest of this "history" is part of the fabric of myth-making for the sake of the movement's self-validation. That's it's history. Perhaps he was in fact put to death, but how and why are part of the myth, and logically it makes no sense. A God of love that demands blood sacrifice to forgive???

 

It was my understanding that there was little if any evidence to support the existence of the David/Solomon kingdoms.

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The Old Testament is what you get when the greek province of judaea wanted to unify its religion into one religion, all those texts were chosen to be the texts of the religion (with the exception of a few, which were added after). It's not old enough to really say its "tribal myths", unless you'd call the greco-roman ones the same.

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Most of the OT is just stupid tribal stories.

Actually, pretty much the pre-monarchy stuff is legends and tribal stories, like Moses, Egypt, and whatnot. From the Monarchy on of David, Solomon, etc, does in fact have external corroboration as is generally accepted as historical. There is a great deal of archeology to support it. Prior to this back to the 12th Century BCE, archeology does not support the Conquest stories of towns falling to the invading Hebrews, not any sort of Exodus out of Egypt. On the contrary, it appears they themselves were Canaanites who migrated up into the Highlands from the Urban areas following the withdrawal of Egypt supporting local kings and the resulting collapse of powers, mingling with other groups (one of which may have been a small group who came out of Egypt with their stories of a Moses character), and this group later formed what became the nation of Israel. They were essentially proto-Israelites.

 

As for the NT, that's another animal. The young Jesus movement groups tried to validate themselves as a religion by tying themselves into the Jew's religion, laying claim to the Israel's history as part of their own (nice try). Jesus was crafted as a prophet like unto Moses, Elijah, etc. He was made to look like the Jew's prophet in his miracle birth, rescue, etc. All of it an attempt to validate themselves to those who look auspiciously on novel religions, i.e., the Romans. I don't doubt there was a real Jesus person, but the rest of this "history" is part of the fabric of myth-making for the sake of the movement's self-validation. That's it's history. Perhaps he was in fact put to death, but how and why are part of the myth, and logically it makes no sense. A God of love that demands blood sacrifice to forgive???

 

It was my understanding that there was little if any evidence to support the existence of the David/Solomon kingdoms.

Of course it's sparse for David (I seem to have said "a great deal" which was a bit of an overstatement), but I think it's not unreasonable in the basic facts that a Saul and David united the surrounding farm people into a nation that became the Monarchy. The nation had to come into existence somehow in order for it to have been captured and taken into exile, and bits of basic facts in the book of Samuel does have support through modern archeology (as opposed to earlier "Biblical archeology" which amounted to a branch of theology by novice archeologists as opposed to the sciences). The details of these founders are of course stories told, like George Washington and the fabled Cherry Tree which never happened. Mythmaking serves a cultural purpose, both in that culture and our own today. But like George Washington a couple hundred years earlier, David was not that far removed by time in the minds of the people who compiled the stories about the nation's first King to have at least his name right, and there is evidence of an inscription from the 9th century BCE which says the House of David on it.

 

A pretty good, quick summary that I find reasonable can be looked over here: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2003/9/King%20David%20and%20Jerusalem-%20Myth%20and%20Reality

 

I don't read that as propagandist in any way, and in fact draws off the more respected liberal scholarship of the day. I'd recommend reading not only Finkelstein but I like William Dever's works a lot.

 

 

 

The Old Testament is what you get when the greek province of judaea wanted to unify its religion into one religion, all those texts were chosen to be the texts of the religion (with the exception of a few, which were added after). It's not old enough to really say its "tribal myths", unless you'd call the greco-roman ones the same.

This describes precisely why the NT canon was shaped and molded in the way it was out of the many texts available. Religious documents are not about books of history, even though they are set in historical contexts. They are about ideas. They are about central unifying beliefs of groups of people. They are about many human social, cultural and individual aspirations, primarily, using religious themes as a common unifying 'object'. If you begin there, then the pieces much more easily and reasonably make sense, both then and now in our culture.

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