Fables of Ancient Israel Now Being Dissected

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    Fables of Ancient Israel Now Being Dissected

    Researchers are weighing the accuracy of the reigns of King Solomon and King David against archeological and scientific data just recently discovered. These scholars are coming up with some very interesting conclusions.

    Many Christian religious scholars, such as noted author Thomas L. Thompson, think the history of Palestine and its peoples is very different from Old Testament narratives, regardless of political claims. A history of the region during the Iron I and Iron II periods leaves little room for any historicity in the accounts of the books of Samuel and Kings, critics say. The major media seldom mention the scholarly Christian critiques of the ancient legends for fear they they will come under attack from those who believe the facts undermine Israel’s very legitimacy.

    By John Tiffany

    Be ready for a major upsetting of the apple cart. Unknown to almost all laymen, a huge number of scholars have quietly come together agreeing on a historical fact that will overturn the entirety of “court history” when all the facts they have gathered become widely known.

    They agree that the various tales of “ancient Israel” are largely fictional. Based upon the known facts of geography, history, archeology and even biblical scholarship, many of them argue there was no such entity as “ancient Israel”—that it never existed. Is it possible that ancient Israel is a hoax?

    If a hoax it is, then clearly “ancient Israel” is the most profitable hoax in history, with the possible exception of its twin fairy tale, the “court historian” view of what happened to the Jews of Europe during World War II (it is claimed that there was a systematic policy of exterminating them by the German government; among the specific claims are that 6 million Jews were gassed to death; however, there is no evidence of any of this).

    In spite of the sensational nature of these findings about “ancient Israel,” they are, so far, all but totally un known to the general public, including even history buffs. Colleges have been reluctant to teach the facts, and many Christian pastors stay away from these truths as if they would be cursed by God, Himself.
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    There was a time, not so long ago, when one simply did not question the Old Testament. If the Old Testament said something had happened at some time in the past, then it happened, and that was that, regardless of whether there was any other evidence for the event outside of it’s pages. No one even considered that it might be fictional. Today that is no longer the case.

    William G. Dever, in his very interesting and extremely important book,
    Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?,1
    answers questions like “Did the House of David really exist?” and “Is King Solomon a fantasy?” Dever was formerly the head of the University of Arizona’s Near Eastern studies department.

    Most modern scholars consider the Davidic dynasty and especially the Exodus story to be entirely fictitious.

    There are many new things under the Sun, despite the biblical statement to the contrary, and in recent decades a great controversy has developed among the clerisy, although little has (until now) been heard about it by the masses: To what extent may the Old Testament, or parts of it, be considered an accurate historical document?

    Perhaps the Old Testament can answer that question itself:
    Thus saith the Lord: . . . Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing.
    To be a true and honest scientist, one must be open to paradigm shifts, and, similarly, to be a true historian, a historiologist, is to be a Revisionist. To realize that what we once believed—although it seemed to make sense to us at the time—is not what we should continue to believe is the essential intellectual process by which wisdom grows. This is notoriously difficult for older, established scientists and historians who find themselves challenged to repudiate their whole life’s work, so that for a new viewpoint to become dominant sometimes requires us to wait for the older scientists and historians to die off, as with the Copernican Revolution.3

    Just as Copernicus overthrew the old understanding that the Sun goes around the Earth, and changed the Sun to the center of the universe (and now it is not even that, but a minor star in an average galaxy, in a vast universe that has no center),4 so, with increasing knowledge of geography, was Jerusalem (appropriately enough, considering the gravamen of this article) dethroned from being the center of the world, as depicted in the Mappa Mundi in the Hereford (England) Cathedral, to a town in the backwaters of civilization.5 Jerusalem is no longer the center of anything, either in geography or in history, except, of course, in the minds of Jews.

    For centuries, Western scholars generally assumed that Old Testament “events” such as the exile from the Palestine/Canaan of the Israelites and their return there to actually occurred. The ancient history of Palestine, it was taken for granted, could be written by merely paraphrasing or (where necessary to avoid conflict with known facts) correcting the stories of the Bible. However, this began to change as early as the beginning of the 16th century, with the publication of Amerigo Vespucci’s Mundus Novus
    etter. According to Vespucci, in his explorations of the New World, there were found diverse pumas, panthers and wildcats, so many wolves, red deer, monkeys and felines, marmosets of many kinds and many large snakes. There was, in fact, so much wildlife that he concluded “so many species could not have entered Noah’s ark.”

    On the other hand, there is the case of James Ussher (1581-1656), Anglican archbishop of Armagh, primate of all Ireland and vice chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin, who was highly regarded in his day as a churchman and as a scholar. Of his many works, his treatise on chronology has proved the most durable but perhaps also the most ill fated. Based on an intricate correlation of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean histories and holy writ, it was incorporated into an authorized version of the Bible printed in 1701, and thus came to be regarded with almost as much unquestioning reverence as the Bible itself. Having established the first day of creation as Sunday, October 23, 4004 B.C., Ussher calculated the dates of other biblical events, concluding for example, that Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden on Monday, November 10, 4004 B.C., and that Noah’s ark made landfall on Mount Ararat on May 5, 1491 B.C., on a Wednesday.

    In his work, Dr. John Lightfoot (1602-1675), vice chancellor of Cam bridge University, a contemporary of Ussher and one of the most eminent scholars of his time in the field of the Hebrew language, declared, as the result of his study of the Scriptures, that “heaven and earth, center and circumference, were created all to gether, in the same instant, and clouds full of water,” and that “this work took place, and man was created by the Trinity, on October 23, 4004 B.C., at 9:00 in the morning.” That would be Greenwich time; the time at the Garden of Eden would have been midnight. Lightfoot published his calculations in 1644, before Ussher’s were completed. It is interesting that the two scholars, acting independently, calculated the same date for the Creation, although Ussher did not give the time of day for the event. This may have something to do with the fact that both results compare, roughly, to the Jewish calendar’s date for the very beginning of time, which, rendered into our terms, would be approximately 3760 B.C.
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