You conclude your piece which you entitle, "I rebuke Minimalists and Christians alike," with:
"Be sure and look for my forthcoming book on the real life of David. I asked God to help me write it, maybe He will. If it is published, I am sure that it was from God and not me." You sound pretty Christian to me, and you sound deluded if you think that a Perfect God wants to tell a load of lies via your own sad rantings.
You say I have missed the point, but as usual it is you believers who miss the point, in fact. You also admit you are ignorant but think you know something nevertheless. That is the delusion of belief. You freely admit that the bible is full of "inconsistency’s and errors" in the text? Have you told that to your fellow believers, and, if it is true, why should anyone want to read, let alone believe, such a flawed book? You claim that anyone making a myth would have cleaned up the errors, showing that you have not read or understood anything in the pages you read. I do not propose to say it all again here, but suggest that you read it again and make some attempt to understand what the words mean. I assure you that they are actually meant to say what they mean, unlike the bible, according to Christians.
You say that the story of creation matches modern science. It does not in the least bit. It does not even match what the same book itself says a few pages on. You are also ignorant of science. Read the pages! They will explain a bit of each to you. But you naturally know it all already because God told you, just as he told the Yorkshire Ripper to murder prostitutes.
You then begin to define well accepted terms to suit your own delusions, but they still are delusions whether you decide for yourself that a day is a common old day of 24 hours or is the whole of eternity according to your own mania. You miss out that God did not create water, it already was there and He just separated it into two large ponds, one somewhere in the sky. You say it is staggering that a near primitive man could guess the order of creation, but that simply shows that you are full of ignorance, and have no respect for humanity's abilities. Moreover, these "primitive" men were living only about 2000 to 2500 years ago, and did not differ a whit from modern man, except that they were more intelligent than you.
Next you jump to Abraham the patriarch of all Jews and Moslems. You tell us that Abraham was a pimp. There are a lot of Jews, Christians and Moslems who would hang you for saying less. Again in retelling the story of Abraham, you show that you have not understood a jot of what the pages say. The pages were not written by Jews or Moslems but by Persians to control the Canaanites in the land they were colonizing. They had no need to tell a pleasant story about how they got there. "I ask you minimalists, who the hell would make-up such a story?" Either you cannot read, you are lying that you have read the pages, or you are an idiot.
Moving on to David, you again repeat your boring technique of telling us what we have read in the bible for ourselves and find absurd and unsupported by history and archaeology. But you are a believer, so you believe it! The fact that a story sounds plausible does not make it true except to someone without any critical faculties remaining in their heads. That means most Christians. I am repeating myself now, because all of this is on the pages that you think you have read. You make excuses for David killing Goliath but Elhanan killed Goliath. The bible says so. The bible was put together again from whatever remained of it after the war with the Greeks. That is one reason why it is repetitive and incoherent in parts and is smooth novelistic narrative in others. It is all on the pages that you cannot understand, clever man.
"If you were making up a story of a man of God, why would you have him like David?" One reason would be because the king who had the David passsages added wanted David to be like him. The king was probably one of the Maccabees, and by having a biblical hero like himself, it helped absolve him of his own defects. It also explained that God was able to use ruthless kings for his own purposes. Do you understand English? You certainly cannot understand that the fears of people then were not the fears that you have today. All you are saying is that YOU would have wriiten the scriptures differently. But then you were not writing them were you?
You talk through your hat, as you do constantly when you say: "These are not the types of stories that men have fabricated throughout history to build a religion on." And: "All the fabricated heroes, of religions gone by, have been much more pious and possessed god-like characteristics that are beyond our own human frailties, not men who are like you and me." For bizarreness and pornography, you want to try reading some ancient myths. That is what these are, though they are not as ancient as most.
As for the evidence of archaeology, typically, you fob it off because it is all you can do. Jerusalem was too small. Only tents and camels. How then was the empire of Solomon so huge, or is God trying to lie to us again? The liars are believers in ancient propaganda called Christians and Jews. It is time that people realised it. You say these "error filled writings" have survived because of God, confirming either that Almighty God is a liar, or His disciples are.
As for your forthcoming book, if the tripe you have submitted is an example of it, then no one sane would want to touch it.
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If you and your writing are representative of the minimalists view then you and the rest of your group have missed the point. To ascribe the writings of the Bible as pure myth written by someone at much later date than the events occurred for the purpose of control and manipulation of a large group of people is absurd. I am certainly not the scholar, writer or do I have the intellectual powers that you seem to possess. However, I will try to point out the errors in your reasoning and thinking.
If the biblical story was reconstructed or even as you suggest a fabricated myth then why are there so many errors and inconsistency’s and errors in the text? If one is weaving myth for propaganda purposes they would most certainly clean up their errors and inconsistencies. Lets start with the start, creation. The seven earth days of creation are a myth science supports this. What is amazing to me is that the writer some two, three, or four thousand years ago got the order of creation correct and that is according to science. “And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” Genesis 1: 3 (NIV Study Bible) The “big bang” I am sure produced a tremendous amount of light. Even if that theory is incorrect, the energy source that started or created the universe, as we know it had to produce light first. We also know that not only does our earth rotate around a star but that our star, the sun, is rotating as part of our galaxy. This rotation produces night and day. “God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” Gen: 1: 4 From the relative perspective of the center of the universe, one would assume a creator to be at the center is his creation, a day would be measured in billions of years not earth hours. Then before any organism’s or animals appear we have the earth covered by water. “And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” Gen 1: 6 Then the land comes, then the animals, and finally the last thing is man. This is the order of creation according to our scientific information regardless of any religious beliefs. It staggers my mind that some near primitive man long before the birth of science correctly discerned the order of creation.
Let us now jump to Abraham the patriarch of all Jews and Moslems. According to the story a famine existed in the land and Abram went with his wife Sarai into Egypt were there was fertile land and food. He lied to the Egyptians and told them that his wife was his sister. He did this because he feared they would kill him to take his wife. In reality, he pimped his wife out to Pharaoh. “He (Pharaoh) treated Abram well for her sake,” Gen 12: 16 When the Pharaoh discovered that Sarai was actually Abram’s wife he was so appalled at this that he told him to take his wife and leave his land. He allowed him to keep all the sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, menservants and maidservants that he had acquired while being in Egypt. Anyone contriving a story to make someone holy for purposes of manipulation and control would certainly have made their patriarch a man who acquired his wealth through his own endeavors or even as a gift from God rather than have it given to him because of favors bestowed upon him by the Pharaoh because of his wife. And Abram seemed to have no problem that his wife had been posing as his sister and taken in by the Pharaoh as one of his wives and was thus having sex with her the whole time they were in the land of Egypt. In today’s time men file alienation of affection law suits and very seldom win them. Abram won his suit plus the return of his wife, whom he accepted back without question. I ask you minimalists, who the hell would make-up such a story?
Let us now move ahead a few thousand years to the time of David. The story of David is another biblical account that the minimalists regard as myth because of the lack of archeological and corresponding historical evidence outside of the bible. The writer of the account whom ever he was and when ever he wrote it acknowledges the lack of cultural development and technology of the Hebrews. “Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears! __ So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” I Samuel 13: 19 & 22 Here we are in the Iron Age and they do not have any weapons of war. They got their butts kicked in that battle, it was kind of like the Indians with bows and arrows going against the US military who had guns. They even lost their most sacred item, the Arch of the Covenant, in that encounter with the Philistines. Of course, there is little to no archeological evidence left because they were primarily tent dwelling herders.
David now appears on the scene first as a harpists to sooth the psychotic episodes of Saul. We know now that music can have a soothing effect on individuals in extreme agitated states. Then there is the Goliath story, which is considered myth by many different writers, even the ones who believe the stories in the bible. The clue as to why this is not a myth is found in David’s real reasons for going out against this giant. The poverty that David and his family were living in evidence by the fact that three of his older brothers were in Saul’s army. Indicating that they could not sustain their existence with the few sheep they had. David’s father Jesse sends him with some food for his older brothers and includes some cheese for their commanders. This indicates that what semblance of an army they had had to be fed by outside sources, usually the family of the soldiers. Jesse even sent along some cheese for the commanders of their unit. When David gets there, Goliath comes out and shouts his defiance to the Israelites and they all cower away from him because of his size. David hears one of the men say, “The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him.” I Samuel 17: 25 Then “David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine?” I Samuel 17: 26 David heard what the men were saying would be done for the man who kills this giant and then he asks for it to be repeated to him so he could be sure of what he reward would be. His eldest brother Eliab hears him and is pissed off because his impudent little brother has shown up. He asks him, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? Here he is attesting to the poverty of their family. David “blows off” his brother and “He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before.” I Samuel 17: 30 It is quite obvious to even the most feeble of us readers that David is interested in the reward that can be gained by killing this giant. He first heard what was said would be done for the person who could defeat him and then he ask two times what was the reward for the person who defeats this Philistine. He is making absolutely certain what the reward is. This is like he has been dealt a royal flush and he can’t believe his luck so he keeps looking at his cards to make sure of the hand that has been dealt to him. He knows that he can hurl a stone from his sling with enough velocity to kill a predatory animal like a lion because he has done it before. Goliath is a much bigger and much slower target. Even if he misses, this guy is far to slow and clumsy to harm him. So, he goes out and kills the giant as we all know. My point is, if you were making up a story just to show that God was with David there would be no mention, let alone the emphasis, on the material reward offered by the king for doing so.
If you were making up a story of a man of God, why would you have him like David? He had the messenger who brought him news of the death of Saul, the man who stood in his way to be king put to death. He also put to death the men who killed his next rival to the throne. He allowed his commander Joab to murder Abner without punishment. Abner was the commander of Saul’s army who through diplomacy, brought to David the allegiance of the part of Israel that did not recognize him as king. David the king does not punish his first-born son Amnon, who rapes his half sister Tamar. He does not punish his son Absolom, who kills Amnon his half brother who raped his sister. Then this son of his Absalom, organizes a coup and he has to flee for his life. Absalom then delivers the insult of insults to his father David by having sex with his concubines. “So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he lay with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.” II Samuel 16: 22 Not only did he fuck them he fucked them where anyone who cared to look could see it, live porno. If ever truth is stranger than fiction, this has to be it. Who and why would anyone make-up such a story. The whole thing is too bizarre to have been fabricated to invoke religious doctrine. David has another son Adonijah, who tries to usurp the throne. David is brought to his senses by his adulterous partner Bathsheba and made aware that if this idiot Adonijah succeeds him then what little empire they have will collapse and David’s line will be extinguished forever. So, old man David rises to the occasion one more time. He gives instruction on what they should do. He then has his personal bodyguard Benaiah to kill this rival to Bathsheba’s son Absalom. Then before David slips from the scene he tells Solomon in effect to kill Joab, a hit carried out by Benaiah also, because of his murders of Abner and Amasa. He also tells him to put to death Shimei, the man who cursed him when he had to flee Jerusalem during Absalom’s coup.
These are not the types of stories that men have fabricated throughout history to build a religion on. All the fabricated heroes, of religions gone by, have been much more pious and possessed god-like characteristics that are beyond our own human frailties, not men who are like you and me. As far as finding any substantial historical or archeological evidence of David’s Jerusalem, you wont because there was not much to it materially. Especially when compared to the Egyptian, the Syrian’s, Roman’s or any of the great empires of antiquity. There is only one reason these unharmonious and error filled writings have survived these thousands of years and that is because they were inspired not of man but of God. In closing I refer you to the words of Gamaliel a Pharisee when speaking about the apostles.
“Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 6: 35-39
I also refer you to the Psalmists who thousands of years ago understood the transitory nature of all things physical.
“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” Psalm 102: 25-27
Be sure and look for my forthcoming book on the real life of David. I asked God to help me write it, maybe He will. If it is published, I am sure that it was from God and not me. George M. Crumpler