Question Concerning Inspiration (was Joe)

Jack Baker am019 at
Mon Dec 11 09:05:19 EST 2000

I am smiling a little at the rather naive use of "history" being used as a
cudgel in this discussion. I wonder if anyone has remembered that history is
not something that scholars "do." History is what people actually live. Our
knowledge of history is limited to the various artifacts that have come down
to us or been found over the years. These artifacts are then subject to
interpretation and proud men write their histories - which are never very
accurate except in minor details.

In our discussion we have a living nation (Israel) that exists today. It's
presence give rise to the need to "find" their history. We can trace this
back without dispute (I think) to at least the days of our Lord Jesus
Christ. Beyond that we have to rely on the various artifacts for
information. In our discussion we have (broadly) two such artifacts from
which to draw.

The first is the finds of archeology - in our case a site that Ian himself
has refered to at one time as a "major presence" and at another time as an
insignificant link on a trade route. I did not keep the previous postings so
I don't have the exact words. This simply shows that any ancient artifacts
can be interpreted to fit different theories (presuppositions?) One thing is
sure. Whatever we learn from this site tells us nothing about anything that
predates it. It also tells us almost nothing about the contemporary setting
of the whole area.

The second is the ancient writings (the Old Testament.) I'm sure that Ian is
smiling at that statement. But don't forget, we have a living nation today
and they have written their history down through the centuries just like all
other nations. While ancient writings sometimes were exaggerated and even
mythologized over the centuries it doesn't change the fact that they were
written on a solid foundation of fact. The underlying fact cannot be changed
or swept away by exaggerated details.

In the case of the united, then divided kingdom we must remember that
peoples exaggerate the record of their history in order to exalt themselves.
According to Ian (if I have understood rightly) there never was a united
kingdom. It is only a myth of the O.T. and was written at a late date. To
what end? That would make sense if the story somehow enhanced the glory of
Israel. In fact the O.T. gives the picture of a nation that had glorious
beginnings and a sad history of decline. In other words, no one would ever
fabricate such a story. It does not enhance their reputation. Quite the
opposite. There is no reason to do so.

It is also false to suggest that the whole thing is made up. That is
impossibile. If you doubt me just try to rewrite your nations history and
pass it off as genuine and see how far you get.

I think we need to stop "doing history" and start looking at all the data.
That means a serious treatment of the O.T. Ian, you are certainly not doing
history by brushing aside the most significant and the most ancient record
(even if extant copies are not that ancient) that exists for Israel's
history. Your lack of integrity at merely brushing aside the record of
living history cannot be justified by empty statements that there is nothing
to it. Neither can you establish a position by outshouting everyone else
that your data and your interpretation of it is the only valid one. In fact
(as mentioned above) you have contradicted yourself in your own presentation
of your "facts" in order to suit the particular arguement. If you are
serious about "doing history" (which I doubt) you will have to begin by
treating all the evidence....especially the O.T.

Jack Baker

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