Preface

I loved my Mother and Father with every fiber of my being – I didn’t always show it, but I know they knew, nevertheless.

Yet they filled my youth with stories of all of the things I could do, to get sent straight to Hell. They meant well, I’ll give them that – they were honestly and deeply concerned that I live my life in such a way that I earn a reservation in the Heaven they were certain existed. They loved me, I’ve no doubt.

Regrettably, their own education was limited – Dad finished fifth grade, Mom the seventh. They weren’t, to say the least, readers on a grand scale. They never read the Judeo-Christian Bible upon which they so fervently wished me to model my life. Instead, they (i.e., my Mom) went to church and chose to accept what the minister said as, well,…gospel. Neither the minister, nor my parents, ever questioned the veracity of that book upon which they believed their fate after death to lie – a book my parents never read.

My son was a beautiful little boy in whom I was (and am still) well pleased. He always told me the truth, even if he knew he would be mildly punished for whatever offense he committed. One day some postage stamps were discovered missing from our neighbor’s house shortly after my son had visited there. I was asked if he might have taken them. He insisted he hadn’t. I returned to tell my neighbor that my son assured me he hadn’t taken the stamps and that my son never lied to me. I later discovered that he had indeed taken the stamps and had in fact lied to me. I was crushed. Today, my son is a mature family man, a good husband and father himself, well educated, with a professional career – and to be honest, my best friend. Yet even now, when he tells me something, I can assume that it’s true, but I can never again be entirely certain. Such is the power of a single untruth.

The Judeo-Christian Bible is true, in its entirety, or it is not. Half-truths, metaphors, allegories and innuendos have no place here. If you’re going to tell me a story, if you’ll identify it as fiction, I’ll follow the advice of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and gladly suspend my disbelief – I love a good yarn. But don’t hand me a book and tell me that part of it may be true, while part of it may or may not, and it’s up to me to determine which is which. And oh – no pressure, but the eternal future of my immortal soul depends on how well I figure it out – with the clock ticking.

Not for me – give me the truth or leave me to find it for myself.

I acquired a Weed-Eater last week. Before I started it, I read the owner’s manual – that seemed like the common-sense thing to do.

How much more crucial to read a book whose rules purport to determine whether one spends eternity writhing on a spit, or frolicking merrily among diaperless cherubim, while singing, “Rah, Rah, Rah, Sis, Boom, Bah, Yeeeeaaaaaa GOD!!”?

The assorted books, scrolls and other media that may have comprised the original Judeo-Christian Bible, no longer exist, thus you and I will never be allowed to see for ourselves if what the Gideon Bible Fairy leaves on hotel nightstands, are in fact true to the original.

We’re expected to take it on faith.

So get out your King James, or whatever version you may have handy, and let’s take a long, objective look at the book that began it all and see just exactly what we have.

Let’s read the Bible together – just the two of us – I promise to make it more fun than it sounds, and who knows, you might accidentally learn something —


This is a bit long, over two and a half hours, but pop some popcorn, pour a glass of Merlot or maybe a cold beer, and sit back and relax, break it into segments if you’re ADD or have a prostate condition, you’ll come away a lot wiser —

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx

6 thoughts on “Preface

  1. Anna Silva! I didn’t actually expect to find you here, but I’m glad I did. I will follow up on your links this very afternoon.

    pax vobiscum,
    archaeopteryx

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  2. @Anna Silva – finished them.
    I found all three interesting, but they contained very little that I hadn’t already encountered – not that that’s a bad thing. I can’t begin to tell you the considerable amount of research that went into these pages before I ever set pinkie to keypad, so it’s hardly surprising that anything you would offer me to read (and I WILL read all that you offer), I’ve likely already seen in one form or another.

    The last one in particular – “THE BIBLE’S MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE” – gave me a problem, in that I could not discern an author’s name, and so have no idea whose opinion I’m reading.

    Most of the information regarding the Bible’s documentation I got from Graf-Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis, which is supported by the Vatican, and is referenced in The New American Bible informational pages and footnotes, from American biblical geologist (theist turned atheist) William G. Dever’s work, Who Wrote the Bible and When Did They Write It, from Richard Elliot Friedman’s book, Who Wrote the Bible, as well as from the various works of Bart Ehrman and a number of online sources I’m too lazy to go into my bookmarks and dig out.

    pax vobiscum,
    R. K . Opteryx
    (arch)

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  3. I told you I was gonna read it; so I am (as time allows).

    With that evidence, it seems that the bible should be accepted as accurate historical documentation, especially when compared to other historical documents.

    Why the skepticism?

    Do you feel as if the other documentation is accurate?

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  4. Anna Silva – RE: “I told you I was gonna read it; so I am” – not everyone who tells me they’re going to do something, actually does it. Clearly you’re more responsible than those.

    If you will read on, you will find I have quoted information from the Grag-Wellhausen Documentary Hypothesis which, as I said, is also accepted by the Vatican, as well as William G. Dever’s book, Who Wrote the Bible and When Did They Write It? Both reliable sources affirm Moses, if he ever existed, did not write the first five books of the Bible, all five of which specifically state, “According to Moses,” and nothing in the source links you gave me proves differently.

    Moses supposedly lived about 1350 BCE, about 350 years before the Hebrews ever had the ability to read and write their language, which they developed about 1000 BCE. According to Wellhausen, four sources and a Redactor (editor), in different areas of Palestine, at widely different times, wrote those, and Moses, if he ever existed, had nothing to do with it. One group, known as the J Source, wrote in 950 BCE, another, known as the E Source wrote around 850 BCE, a third group, the D Source, wrote after 722 BCE, and the P Source wrote about 650 BCE – finally, a Redactor pieced together the works of those four sources, much like a patchwork quilt, into the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, in 400 BCE.

    If you will continue reading, I believe I have made the sources of my skepticism quite clear, and you can easily see what they are. You don’t have to agree with me, but at least you will understand why I disbelieve in the Bible as an accurate document of any sort.

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  5. Here’s another source I offered you in response to your first comment, but since I know you can’t possibly read all of the vast amounts of information that are out there, to read in a short time, all that I’ve taken years to learn, I thought I would synopsize the work of William G. Dever, to save you some time:

    William G. Dever was born into Christian theology, attended Seminary school, and went on to become a biblical archaeologist, who spent 30 years researching the Levant. He is now an atheist.

    In his book, What Did The Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?, Dever wrote:

    “While the Hebrew Bible in its present, heavily edited form cannot be taken at face value as history in the modern sense, it nevertheless contains much history.”

    He adds:

    “After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob credible ‘historical’ figures.”

    On his own website, which he admits he was reluctant to create, he writes:

    “I am not reading the Bible as Scripture… I am in fact not even a theist. My view all along—and especially in the recent books—is first that the biblical narratives are indeed ‘stories,’ often fictional and almost always propagandistic, but that here and there they contain some valid historical information.”

    These are just the tip of the iceberg of the sources I’ve studied, over time, to reach the conclusions I’ve reached. Please, read on —

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