I am proud to be an Atheist and I enjoy  discussing various  topics  on A/N......I may  not believe in God  or all the  fables  in the  Old or New testament, but some of us do believe in traditions from our culture  unrelated  to any Theistic  belief.....Maybe  being  Jewish  is unique, because it is a rich culture with  a very long history as well as being a religious faith......I may  have  rejected the religious  part but  certain traditions are important to me  because  they define  who I am and  where  I came from....People  who have  roots in various  countries  of the world may  no longer  believe in their ancestral  religion  but  still are proud  of the culture  from which  they came......It defines  us.......Some traditions of a certain culture, many  may not agree with,  but it is important  to respect  them none the less....

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Comment by Loren Miller on August 18, 2014 at 1:43pm

Any ol' time, Pat.  Glad to help.

Comment by Pat on August 18, 2014 at 12:32pm

Thanks Loren. I was about to ask Michael for the link. Ohh, and thanks also Michael. I didn't know anyone had done a documentary on the book. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, as I did the book.

Comment by Loren Miller on August 18, 2014 at 12:19pm

Part One of The Bible Unearthed may be found here on YouTube.

Comment by Michael Penn on August 18, 2014 at 12:09pm

The Bible Unearthed   is a very good book on ancient biblical history and proves a great bit of it false. Do a search on documentary films also and you might be able to watch this online as I did. The docu has the same title and is in 2 parts.

Comment by Luara on August 18, 2014 at 11:12am

The troubling part is  the interaction with God and all the miracles...No wonder so many of us question the entire  Bible now....We should not  just dismiss the basic story  though, but  sift through it and  break it down to what is believable...

Historians don't "just dismiss" the Bible, they use it in conjunction with other ancient writings and archaeological evidence to figure out what actually happened as best they can. 

It seems the consensus is that the Exodus never happened, the Israelites were native to Canaan and split off to form a separate culture in Canaan. 

I'm sure it's a shock, because Passover is very important in Jewish tradition.  The idea that Jewish people have every year solemnly told the story of the Exodus, so it becomes part of the bedrock of their minds - and what they're actually doing is propagating a self-glorifying delusion - is disheartening.  But the truth seems vastly better than believing a fable. 

 The Bible Unearthed seems like a good book to read.  Good to bring up with Bible literalists too, that the Inerrant Word of God is mostly fables. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 18, 2014 at 10:31am

I can easily respect people and enjoy their cultural heritage. I have no reason to respect beliefs based on ancient stories handed down from generation to generation, nor do I admire adhering to traditions that stunt thinking and behaviors, not do I appreciate being judged according to sheep herder fables, nor do I recognize their beliefs as applying to me. My most ardent lack of respect comes when their rules become entwined with politics. 

Comment by Freethinker31 on August 18, 2014 at 10:07am

We all know  the Bible is basically  a Story book with much exaggeration...The fact is this ancient history was so long ago we may never know the absolute truth...Many of the stories in the Bible were probably  pretty  boring and  made to look exciting...The people  mentioned actually  existed but may not have been so over the top...Facts  were  most likely distorted as they were  passed on  from generation to generation....The troubling part is  the interaction with God and all the miracles...No wonder so many of us question the entire  Bible now....We should not  just dismiss the basic story  though, but  sift through it and  break it down to what is believable...

Comment by Luara on August 18, 2014 at 5:16am

The Bible Unearthed by the archaeologists Finkelstein and Silberman, gives a picture of the real truth behind the Bible.  It seems to be roughly the consensus view of historians.  Here's a review.

Comment by Luara on August 18, 2014 at 4:29am

The bottom line is everyone  was trying to discredit the bible story, but always  seemed  to say  that  some  of it  was  exaggerated and some  seemed  true.....In other words  take  your  pick  in which interpretation you went to  believe.

"Take your pick" means believing what you want to believe.

We have historians who do their best to figure out what actually happened.  They look at various kinds of evidence.  Physical evidence is very important, archaeological evidence, dating techniques.  Historians try to assess the accuracy of ancient writings, including the Bible.  They have various criteria to assess whether the writer is telling the truth or not. 

Brian Dunning says ancient historians were concerned with what makes a good story, and they would often fictionalize to make the story better.  They didn't have our modern scientific discipline of history.  Their "history" served a purpose.

With an ethnic origin story like Exodus, the purpose is obvious.  It glorifies the Jewish people by claiming they built the pyramids of Egypt; claiming the creator of the universe chose the Jewish people, he's on their side; telling a heroic story of their escape from exile, laden with miracles. 

When you have a story that obviously it suits people to believe, it's very suspicious.  Just like theistic belief.

What science does is to try to escape from such human biases by critically comparing different kinds of evidence.   If you care about what really happened, the actual history of the Jewish people - then look at the consensus of historians. 

I do NOT think historians claim everything in the Bible is invention.  The historical consensus is that Jesus existed, although the Gospel accounts are mythologized.  I'm not sure of what else in the Bible, historians believe actually happened. 

Comment by Freethinker31 on August 17, 2014 at 10:57pm

@Luara...Thank you for directing  me  to that article ...So many  interpretations, but most of it were pretty much on the mark...

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