Triablogue: Defining away the Bible

“Some aspects of the [Exodus] story cannot be historical.” “Many of the stories of David and Solomon are either legendary tales or creations of the Biblical writer.” You get the idea [of these kinds of statements]. The problem with this [idea] is that it is dramatically corrosive of the foundations of Jewish and Christian religious faith, as historically understood. If we reduce either of these religions to some metaphysical or ethical essence (an attempt commonly referred to, usually invidiously, as gnosticism), there is somewhat less of a problem; but even then, the problem remains that one is basically trying to interpret the religion against the grain of its original claims. Judaism and Christianity are historical religions, claiming specific intersections of the divine and the human. If these are “myths” in the religious-studies-department sense, these are intended to be myths of a very specific kind: true myths, ones that actually took place in the real world of history. But if these assertions are false, how trustworthy can the overall literary work, and the faiths based on it, be?

via Triablogue: Defining away the Bible.

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