Is this a rock or not? I Would like to know

Dan Wagner Dan.Wagner at
Fri Feb 16 19:52:49 EST 2001

I was asked:

> Why do you find the your "Holy Spirit" thesis more convincing 
> than the "human agenda" thesis?

Apart from reasons founded in my personal theology and worldview, because:
(1) all the Biblical writers agree on that claim, yet they don't appear from
the text itself to be deceived and/or deceiving people but rather men of
sincere conviction and integrity; (2) from a historiography perspective,
there is little evidence of any normal human agenda--even within the
supposed "layers of tradition"--since the "bad side" (failures, sins,
corruption, defeats in battle, etc.) of the promoted hero(s), class, nation,
tribe, priesthood, etc. is presented (if relevant) consistently and with
integrity rather than covered up as in other ANE literature; (3) i don't
find the supposed multiple, diverse agendas anyway -- the evidence put forth
does not impress me personally as anything more than hypotheses motivated by
*modern human agenda*; (4) the unity of the diverse texts as i already
mentioned, i see only one agenda throughout--one message--the need and means
of human salvation by Yahweh, and i can't see how such a unified message
would come from so many people in diverse times and circumstances without
some unifying "influence" upon those men; (5) the uniqueness of the HB &
religion in its ANE context--where did such a strange thing come from in
such an entirely different kind of world--the moral code (contrast Ugarit
next door), monotheism (1 or 2 transient exceptions possible in Egypt &
Nineveh, perhaps both due to Israelite influence!), etc., especially when
most of the people were not even inclined to follow it? (6) the enduring
quality of that same HB and religion which continued throughout all
subsequent ages unlike *any* other ANE religions or documents (though we
have rediscovered some others by archaeology, of course)--here we all sit
still disputing about them today! Those are some of "secular" reasons which
collectively contribute to my conclusion; of course i have other
faith/authority/worldview reasons.

Dan Wagner

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