Is the Bible historically accurate?
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I shall take the opposing side. I am not going to claim that every event in the Bible is myth, but that much of the claims made in the Old Testament (the section which contains the majority of the historical information) are either grossly exaggerated or intentionally misleading.
Thank you for the opportunity and I look forward to our debate.
The second is the account of the flood, the story of Noah being one with which we are all well acquainted with. The Bible claims that all of the inhabitants of Earth, save for those living creatures who were in Noah's Ark, drowned in the Great Flood. Now, there is evidence that the Great Flood most likely referred to the end of the Ice Age, and the subsequent raising of the water levels across the world. The Bible states that only Noah and his sons and their wives were the only survivors of this flood...however there are numerous legends from every culture on Earth discussing a Great Flood. Most notable is the Epic of Gilgamesh. http://www.talkorigins.org...
Next up, not in chronological order, is the legend of Abraham. Although this might not be necessarily of historical importance, it is most likely that Abraham stole much of his religion and its rules (which were eventually refined to the Ten Commandments) from the much older monotheistic religion, Zoroastrianism. http://www.avesta.org...
The next is the Battle of Jericho. The Biblical account, in brief, describes that the walls of the city collapsed when the Israelites yelled and blew trumpets to make the walls crumble. Although this may sound completely scientific, the walls crumbled due to the power of sound waves, this is historically false. In face, archeologist Kathleen Kenyon, found evidence that it was not the Israelites, but the Egyptians who led a campaign which destroyed the walls of Jericho. http://faculty.vassar.edu... She tried to defend the Biblical account, being a Christian, but her findings put the conquest of the city more in line with the Egyptian campaign than the attack of the nomadic Israelites.
There is even a great deal of doubt that the Hebrews were ever actually slaves to the Egyptians. https://www.quora.com... In fact, most evidence today points that they were always Nomadic until they fell under the rule of some one like Joshua. This means that until their conquest of Canaan (the Biblical account, as previously stated, greatly exaggerates their victories), the Hebrew people were wandering around the area of the Sinai and Arabia. They were never really slaves, merely just viewed as invaders who were probably discriminated against by Egyptian authorities. There is no evidence of Moses ever existing, as that most of the stories concerning him refer to Sargon of Akkad, a man of Semitic descent who came to be the Emperor of the Akkadians. "My mother was a changeling, my father I knew not/ The brother of my father loved the hills,/ My home was in the highlands, where the herbs grow./ My mother conceived me in secret, she gave birth to me in concealment./She set me in a basket of rushes,/ She sealed the lid with tar. /She cast me into the river, but it did not rise over me,/ The water carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. /He lifted me out as he dipped his jar into the river,/ He took me as his son, he raised me,/ He made me his gardener (Bauer, 95)." http://www.ancient.eu...
Sargon's rise to power, especially from being an orphan, and his account of being hidden in a basket, was quite popular, especially as that he was a Semite. This may have inspired Jewish writers to invent the mythical Moses and give him the early life attributed to Sargon of Akkad. This way the Hebrews felt that their tribe was a Divine one, even though they were quite unimportant in the area. Thus they would never lose hope and believe that their kings were actually competent, which, with the exception of David and Solomon (who most likely did exist), was contrary to the truth.
Although there are Egyptian hieroglyphics which reference various disasters impacting the Kingdom, these disasters do not resemble the Plagues described in Exodus. Most likely the same writers who invented Moses referenced these disasters to the people they were deceiving.
Since we come across the entire Bible, and you say "including the Miracles and super natural elements of the Bible", we must, of course, discuss Jesus. Now, there is no actual evidence even for the existence of this man named Jesus, other than Tacitus, who would have been born twenty years after the purported death of Jesus. However, his writings, when examined, do not substantiate the existence of Jesus, merely acknowledge that the Christians worshipped a man they called "Xrystus" or Christ. At no point does he give evidence of the man's actual existence.
But, let us suppose he did exist, as that not every piss-poor carpenter must be recorded in the written analogues of history. The Miracles he did, those very things which are meant to demonstrate his Divinity, do not stand up to basic reason. Here was a Man who could heal the sick and the crippled, so why not make this display not only to the Jews, but also to the Pagans? Doing this Jesus could have "saved" all peoples, but he did not. He could have converted the whole world by demonstrating his powers, but he never did. Was he too lazy? Too impotent?
What about the raising of Lazarus? The raising of the dead is a feat worth noticing. Would not the Roman Generals, who were fighting the Britons, the Sassanids, and the Germans found such a talent useful? Then why did they never approach him, and ask for his aide, to ressurect their dead soldiers on the battlefield? Of course, a believer would say they most likely did, even though this encounter is nowhere mentioned in the Gospels. Yet would he not be already known to the Roman authorities, like Pilate? Then why did it take the complaints of the Pharisees and Sadduccees to bring Jesus to the attention of the Roman occupiers? And why was he of no interest to them? Certainly a miracle worker would have been most impressive to them, even if he was not of divine origin.
I propose that he never even claimed to make such miracles happen. His miraculous exploits (to include his own ressurection) are the inventions of Christian preachers after his death trying to peddle his philosophy to the various peoples populating the Roman Empire.
Again, the events described in the Bible either did not happen, or are just greatly exaggerated to the point that the information provided is faulty in the details.
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