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Goliath Underdog To David


billywheaton
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Challenge to Evangelical Christians!

 

Change how your church interprets the David and Goliath story. If you dont believe my evidence is strong enough. Then let's have a live reenactment of the story in front of your congregation.

 

My hyposthesis is that Evangelical Christians are so tragically attached to the idea of Biblical inerrancy. Expressing belief in inerrancy become fat more important then accuracy or truth. Thus I'm confident that few if any Evangelical Christians will act on this challenge. Evangelical Christians intuitively understand that acknowledging any biblical contradiction or even misinterpretation will diminish one's standing within the Evangelical Christian community.

 

Few stories from the books of the Bible can be so easily reenacted as the David and Goliath story. Evangelical Christian preachers and Sunday School teachers teach Evangelical Christians that David was a brave underdog, and that David’s victory would have been less likely without God’s help. Certainly, this story is hardly interesting if in the beginning we are told, and believe, that David had a huge advantage.

 

Let’s look at the story of David vs. Goliath. David was tall. Saul was head and shoulders taller then any other person in Israel (I Sam. 9:2). He had a son named Saul, a handsome young man. There was no one among the Israelites more handsome than he was; he stood head and shoulders above all the people. David was tall. David had to be roughly the same size as Saul as he tried on his armor [i Sam. 17:38-39]. Then Saul clothed David with his own fighting attire and put a bronze helmet on his head. He also put body armor on him. David strapped on his sword over his fighting attire and tried to walk around, but he was not used to them. David said to Saul, “I can’t walk in these things, for I’m not used to them.” So David removed them. So now, David armed with a projectile that can be flung at tremendous speeds at long distances fights wearing only light clothing, thus being far more mobile then a weighed down Goliath. Who do you think wins? In modern terms, would you put your money on: 1) A 6 foot 4 inch tall boy carrying a loaded 9mm hand gun or (2) Heck let’s make or modern day Goliath 20 feet tall 1000 pounds in full armor and carrying a 16 pound sword. Who has the upper hand?

 

Obviously, nearly every Evangelical Christian has heard this story and believed that David pulled off an upset. Shockingly, however, despite having personally confronted preachers and Sunday school teachers with this obvious gross exaggeration of David’s disadvantage, they nearly all continued telling the David and Goliath story in exactly the same way. They teach David as an underdog. Some defensively argue that David may have had an advantage, but that the point of the story was that David’s courage exceeded his peers. They suggest his courage came from God. That seems reasonable doesn’t it? Well, it seems reasonable if you don’t read the story. David was keenly interested in a reward [i Sam. 17:25-27]. The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? He does so to defy Israel. But the king will make the man who can strike him down very wealthy! He will give him his daughter in marriage, and he will make his father’s house exempt from tax obligations in Israel.” David asked the men who were standing near him, “What will be done for the man who strikes down this Philistine and frees Israel from this humiliation? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he defies the armies of the living God?” The soldiers told him what had been promised, saying, “This is what will be done for the man who can strike him down.” This story is crystal clear about David’s interest in a reward as he presses the issue [i Sam. 17:30]. Then he turned from those who were nearby to someone else and asked the same question, but they gave him the same answer as before. Regardless, David seemed to feel little risk in losing based on his experience as he explained to Saul [i Sam. 17:34-36 David replied to Saul, “Your servant has been a shepherd for his father’s flock. Whenever a lion or bear would come and carry off a sheep from the flock, I would go out after it, strike it down, and rescue the sheep from its mouth. If it rose up against me, I would grab it by its jaw, strike it, and kill it. Your servant has struck down both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them.

 

A tiny bit of reality based thinking completely discredits the David and Goliath story as it is intended to be understood by Evangelical Christian leaders.

 

What do you think?

billywheaton from billywheaton.com

http://billywheaton.com :nono:

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Very interesting, I never looked at the story with that detail, it was never really my favorite. This could also prove that another bible story was exagerated extremely by the church. I'm gonna start looking into these stories a little more to see what I can find.

Great post, Billywheaton

And welcome to the Exchristian community

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I've never looked at it like that. Great post. I wouldn't be surprised if the notion of him being a little man began with some of those picture Bibles they use in Sunday schools. I wonder what the real history of this story’s evolution is? Did early rabbinical teachings portray the story like this, or as something with a different emphasis? You've got me thinking.

 

Welcome to the forums… :grin:

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Nice. A whole new way to view the story for many people. I had thought along simialr lines a long time ago. David would have been able to nail Goliath before the giant could ever get in range. The great advantage of missile type weapons.

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I have a question. Is this the same David who later became King David, the father of Solomon?

Yes, as far as I can tell.

 

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Interesting perspective. And, you know, a sling really can send a rock flying really fast, do a couple of calculations, and it isn't hard to see that yeah, David had a lot of ouch, and also range.

 

'Course had he missed, a very different story could have been told.

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Nice post billywheaton.

 

I'm recalling all the drawings and pictures depicting David and Goliath. David is always depicted as a very YOUNG man. A boy even. Not even a teenager. Because of that, I always thought Saul was being somewhat patronizing in having the kid put his armor on......like he was trying to make a point for this young boy, that if you weren't big enough for the armor, you had no business in the war.....or something like that.

 

Raising the age of David, and pointing out this was a shepherd experienced in dealing successfully with predatory animals, animals that were doubtlessly faster, and more dangerous that a big hulk wearing full armor. Certainly changes the perspective a bit.

 

Very nice!

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