The Bible and History
Apparently, the History Channel is airing a new series about the Bible. I don’t really watch the History Channel anymore, so I really don’t know much about it. But I used to watch their series on the Mysteries of the Bible back in the day and always found it humorous.
The way that their old show worked was that they would get a bunch of “experts” to weigh in on a historical question in the Bible. They would try to be balanced by asking somewhat real scholars and theologians. In the end, they would conclude that it is still a mystery.
The problem is that there is no real mystery. The fact is that there the Bible is not an accurate representation of history at all. It is all fiction. The only real history here is that people in the past wrote this series of books and so in that sense, the Bible can tell us about what these people valued and what they believed. But the stuff actually written in the Bible is fiction.
The bloody wars that the Hebrews fought with God on their side never really took place. The Exodus from Egypt never actually happened. Adam and Eve and the story of Job were merely the Hebrew’s attempt to understand the nature of evil in the world. The Tower of Babel is a fable trying to make sense of why there are different languages in the world. None of these stories are real!
The Gospels are the same way. They are not real. They are just an attempt to teach people morals. Of course, the morals taught in the Bible are horrendous, but that is where the History Channel should come in. They should be talking about what the Bible can tell us about the morals of the people who wrote it. Clearly, we have come a long way in the philosophy of ethics since this time period.
So let me be clear here. The Bible is fiction. There is little to no history in the Bible, but we can learn about the opinions and beliefs of the people who wrote the Bible through the Bible. That is the Bible’s only historical value.
Oh, and here is Dusty Smith’s summery of the history Channel’s current show so far:
- Most and least Bible-minded cities in America (examiner.com)
- The Truth About Mark Driscoll’s Tweet (skepticink.com)
- The Smoking Gun Evidence For Evolution (skepticink.com)
- Atheists Always Excluded From Moral Discussions (skepticink.com)
- Interview: Katherine Stewart author of ‘The Good News Club’ (examiner.com)
- A Better Golden Rule (skepticink.com)