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Author Topic: New PBS series exposes Old Testament fairy tales  (Read 3326 times)
Shammu
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« on: November 17, 2008, 09:19:06 PM »

New PBS series exposes Old Testament fairy tales
By Barry Garron Barry Garron
Nov 16, 9:39 pm ET

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Bill Maher, on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," frequently refers to the Old Testament of the Bible as the Book of Jewish Fairy Tales. The description might anger the pious and the fundamentalists, but guess what? Maher's close to the truth.

A visually stunning two-hour special edition of "Nova" examines decades of archaeological studies that contradict much of what is in the Bible. The entire Exodus story is debunked, as is the idea that the Israelites were monotheistic following the contract made between God and Abraham. It turns out idol worship was common through the reign of King David and right up to the Babylonian exile.

Is the Bible the word of God? Only if God dictated it to dozens, maybe hundreds, of different writers, each of whom wrote and modified stories using different patterns of language over a period of centuries.

To be sure, writer-producer-director Gary Glassman does not dismiss the Old Testament as a collection of fairy tales. He asserts that the stories, though provably false in many cases, were intended to give identity to the Israelites, a group likely made up of former Canaanites, nomads and runaway slaves. Also, the Bible provided the Israelites with a moral framework.

The special, narrated by Liev Schreiber, is not likely to sit well with those who believe that the Bible, despite its internal inconsistencies, should be interpreted literally. Then again, science and religion have had a long history of conflict until, ultimately, the former prevails.

New PBS series exposes Old Testament fairy tales
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 09:29:19 PM »

Brother, I am surprised that you bothered posting this pack of lies.

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Shammu
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 09:50:30 PM »

Brother, I am surprised that you bothered posting this pack of lies.



Well brother we do need to spread the truth. I had comments, I was going to post but forgot to post it. So I'll do that now brother................... Grin


Imagine that, those crazy Jews invented the Old Testament to give themselves an identity. Funny how they chose to prophesy that they would be destroyed from the land and scattered throughout the nations. Then only to be regathered in disbelief at the end times to go through tribulation trouble.

But reading Scriptures through the lens that God intended, it takes on a whole new meaning. The truth shines forth, and we see the Lord's Word for the blessed revelation that it is to humanity. I'm praying that those with eyes to see and ears to here would be open to the truth of the gospel. Despite what any faulty human "wisdom" would tell them. May the Holy Spirit directly minister to those whose hearts and minds are open to God's truth, and to the saving grace of Christ.

Now, why he hasn't done the same thing on the koran. You know what does that tells me? Bill Maher is a coward, and I don't listen to cowards.
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 10:29:18 PM »

He hasn't done it with the koran because he already knows the koran is false. The object of all of this is to disprove the Bible because the Bible convicts them and they don't want to be convicted of their sins nor their need for Jesus Christ and the truth.

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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008, 12:37:09 PM »

I've seen Bill Maher on several news shows recently, and he makes me SICK! He thinks that he's funny when he blasphemes GOD. I can't even remember who it was who interviewed him now, but it wasn't a public service. I'm very disappointed that any television channel would be airing his garbage that makes fun of GOD and the Bible. I feel sorry for the lost who will hear Bill's filth because it will tend to make them think their decision was right to reject CHRIST! It would be a fascinating show for someone to do the exact opposite and illustrate one proven fact after another that the BIBLE is the ultimate TRUTH. There is a mountain of HARD EVIDENCE that's heavily documented that's impossible to dismiss that the BIBLE is TRUE. In fact, there would be more than enough to keep everyone on the edge of their chairs listening and watching. This is a horrible time for Maher to be given this kind of opportunity to preach a sermon for the devil. Nova used to be thought of as a so-called educational channel, even though they support evolution. Others have told me that Maher uses every opportunity to mock GOD. I can't stand to listen to him or to look at him, so I turned it off before getting the whole story. I'll simply say this makes me angry and I'll be quiet. However, I do wish that Bill had arrived here at the same time as the Puritans.
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 12:52:24 PM »

It would be great to see show that refutes this garbage, one that details how history and archaeology actually do support the truth of the Bible. Unfortunately such a show would most likely be rejected by all the supposed education channels and if it were picked up by one of the very few religious channels it would not be of a wide enough audience. It is also unfortunate that many of these people will not learn the truth soon enough.

It would be wonderful if those like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins were turned around as Paul was.

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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2008, 10:06:10 AM »

PBS Fails to Uncover the Bible's 'Buried Secrets'
by Christine Dao and Beth Mull*

On November 18, 2008, publicly-funded PBS stations aired a two-hour NOVA special titled “The Bible’s Buried Secrets” that attempted to find the “true” history of the origins of the Israelites, their sacred Scripture, and their revolutionary belief in a single God.

The show—composed of expert interviews, actor dramatizations, computer-generated imagery, and some on-location video clips—suggested that the ancient Israelites were actually displaced, lower-class Canaanites who took over the land after the collapse of their former city states. Joined by liberated Canaanite slaves from Egypt and nomads, these people sought to forge a new collective identity, which led to the birth of Israel and, eventually, monotheism.

Using a “convergence” of science and Scripture to reveal the “real” story of the Bible, the program also suggested Abraham didn’t exist, only a small contingent of ex-Canaanite slaves came out of Egypt instead of the millions of Jews as told in Exodus, and that the one God Yahweh (YHWH) was an Israelite invention inspired by the Shasu god Yahu (YHW).

The show’s producers based their investigation on two main assumptions: the documentary hypothesis and that archaeological evidence (or the lack thereof) is some kind of absolute proof. The documentary hypothesis proposes that the first five books of the Old Testament are a compilation of writings from at least four separate sources. United by the central theme of freedom, different groups of scribes collected and composed the stories and poems that eventually made up the Torah, which was then attributed to Moses. The manuscript was completed by exiled Israelite priests in Babylon, then brought to Israel and publicly presented by Ezra, as told in the book of Nehemiah. In short, the Hebrew Bible was an invention, not a remembrance, of their history.

The problem is, however, that both assumptions are weak, as they can be used to explain away just about anything in the Bible’s historical accounts. It’s no surprise that the first five books of the Old Testament should contain different writing styles. In Henry M. Morris’ The Genesis Record, he proposed that the manuscripts were written by contemporary eyewitnesses, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and even Ishmael, whose writings were then compiled and edited by Moses.1

And archaeological evidence, like the fossil record, has to be taken with a grain of salt. It presents an incomplete picture of the past, and the evidence that is discovered is open to interpretation. For example, radiocarbon dating, which measures the ratios of carbon-14 to carbon-12 to estimate an age, cannot be used on the pottery found at the ruins of different cities. An unearthed building in Jerusalem has been dated to the time of David based on the pottery fragments found at its level. The monumental size of the building suggests that its occupants would have been part of a substantial, organized kingdom, which would confirm the biblical account of David as a significant king.

But when olive seeds found near the pottery pieces were radiocarbon dated, the results placed them 75 years after King David’s reign, which suggested that he didn’t rule over a mighty kingdom and that his royal Jerusalem was little more than a “cow town.” Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University concluded:

    So David and Solomon did not rule over a big territory. It was a small chiefdom, if you wish, with just a few settlements, very poor, the population was limited, there was no manpower for big conquest, and so on and so forth…These are the results of the radiocarbon dating. He or she who decides to ignore these results, I treat them as if arguing that the world is flat, that the Earth is flat. And I cannot argue anymore.

Finkelstein reflects the mindset of many close-minded scientists who have founded their reasoning on fiat rejection of the historical veracity of Genesis. Radiocarbon dating has its uses in forensic investigations, but its data is also open to interpretation. The only way to truly verify its accuracy would be to know what the carbon isotope ratios were when the artifact was first made, and to have a continuous stream of data from then until now. Finkelstein’s comment was quickly, though briefly, followed by the narrator saying:

    How can this discrepancy be explained? The problem is that these radiocarbon dates have a margin of error of plus- or minus-30 years, about the difference between the two sides. Pottery and radiocarbon dating alone cannot determine if the Kingdom of David and Solomon was as large and prosperous as described in the Bible. Fortunately, the Bible offers clues of other places to dig for evidence of this kingdom. The Bible credits David with conquering the kingdom, but it is Solomon, his son, who is the great builder.

And it was under David and Solomon, the show suggested, that the Israelites were united as a people, not by God in the wilderness and under the direction of Moses. The program also questioned the strength of pre-exilic Israelites’ belief in one God, since many idols have been discovered at ancient Israeli sites. It proposed that after the Assyrian invasion and the exile to Babylon, Israelite priests attributed their misfortunes to God’s wrath at their idol worship. Only in exile did the Israelites, desperate for hope and unity, go from a “cult” to a truly monotheistic religion.

Paula Apsell, the show’s executive producer, said on the PBS website that NOVA had not set out to disprove the Bible or “denigrate anyone’s religious convictions. Our approach is simply to present the results of mainstream, peer-reviewed biblical archeology and let viewers draw their own conclusions.”2 In its defense, the show did provide historical evidence that King David really did exist and stated the fact that many of the “artifacts date to approximately 600 B.C. underscores the antiquity of the Hebrew Bible.”

But despite that evidence, the show concluded that the Hebrew Bible was still just a contrived story, not necessarily history. “The Bible’s Buried Secrets” was another secular attempt to refute the historical accuracy and undermine the authority of the written Word of God. By drawing conclusions based only on the assumptions of the documentary hypothesis and variously interpreted archaeological finds, the show’s producers ignored the growing body of evidence that upholds the truth of the whole Bible, even Genesis 1-11. And since the Bible is the living Word of God, the show’s conclusions also ignore its present influence in spurring great scientists, innovators, artists, and others to make beneficial and lasting impressions on the world as a whole.



References

   1. Morris, H. M. 1976. The Genesis Record. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 26-30.
   2. A Q&A with Paula S. Apsell, Senior Executive Producer of NOVA. Posted on the Bible’s Buried Secrets page at pbs.org.
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nChrist
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2008, 11:26:22 PM »

Plain and simple, the NOVA folks didn't believe the Bible and didn't want to believe the Bible, and that's the way they approached their work. As a result, they were blind to countless resources that verify the Bible completely. So, I would conclude that the Nova folks did a very poor job with a closed and secular mind. They completely ignored mountains of evidence to arrive at their poorly informed conclusions. To say the least, they didn't approach the work with the mind of a scientist or investigator - MUCH less the mind of a scholar. Informed conclusions do require looking at the evidence, and they didn't do that.
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