There was a political will at work at the origins of the bible.

" target="_self">The Bible Unearthed, 4 parts

“The last king of the house of David, Zedekiah, was also exiled, his sons slaughtered, the elite of the cities, the priests and the scribes, were banished to the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. The Book of Psalms laments that “by the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept.”

The situation in exile is, in fact, a situation of a huge crisis because all the pillars on which the identity of the people were based no longer existed. There was no longer a temple, there was no more king, there was no more country, there was no more territorial unity. So, in order to survive, it was necessary to find other means of constructing an identity. It was, in fact, those who were exiled, the scribes, the priests, who constructed that identity, taking up a certain number of earlier traditions, but opening those traditions out. That is, Zedekiah’s reform would become the symbol of the temple which was transformed into a synagogue.  Little by little, Moses would replace the king and the Torah would replace the country. Through the work of writing and rewriting Judaism would be invented in a concrete form that it took in the Persian Era, notably, under Ezra, the priest.

“Biblical scholars have, therefore, suggested that the scribe, Ezra, gave the final touches to the Torah, the Pentateuch. 

“What have we learned from the evidence provided by the mountains of evidence, the broken vases and the ancient inscriptions?

“The time when archaeologists took the Bible literally and when technical research ignored material evidence, is passed. I think we have to distinguish between the final form in the Bible which has become the basis, not only for Judaism, but for the three monotheistic religions and the origins in the Hebrew Bible. 

“What is important is this question of origins. It's no longer about the wanderings of Abraham or David. The most significant change is the realization that there was a political will at work at the origins of the bible.

Just as there was political will at work at the origins of the bible, there is also the need for political will at the origins of economic, education, family life, health care, law and law enforcement, social, political and religious thinking. This is the 21st century, with all kinds of new stressors on the institutions of our society. What will it take to create a social construct that includes environmental concern for Earth, as well as the flourishing of all its inhabitants? 

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Comment by Tom Sarbeck on August 25, 2014 at 1:36am

Where in the NT are xians getting their anti-LGBT venom?

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on August 25, 2014 at 12:38am

It sounds like the OT, at considerable length, says "The personal is political."

Comment by Luara on August 23, 2014 at 9:21am

The funny thing is, the Old Testament specifically glorifies Israel. 

And yet, there are Christians all over the world who supposedly believe in the Old Testament, who weren't born Jewish and have no reason to feel good about pro-Israel literature!

I guess they make do by mostly ignoring the Old Testament.

Comment by Daniel W on August 23, 2014 at 8:59am

I think that political, and social, agenda was phenomenally successful.  Not that there weren't other narratives that have done the same.  But how many other societies have maintained their social structure, cohesiveness, and identity across millenia?    And that political will also morphed into a broader one of christianity, and mutated into an offshoot, as Islam, such that billions of people follow the messages from thousands of years ago.

 

Egypt's social structure and religions may have survived longer, but the story is not yet over for the Hebrew monotheist bible and its descendants.

 

Not that I think any of it is true, any more than I think the Egyptian religions were true.  But as a story and political structure, there is a force of evolution here, survival of the fittest.  An in the ecosystem of human ideas, societies, cultures, interacting with other ecosystems, the bible narrative has had a long and highly successful run.

 

We now need to create an ecosystem that replaces myth with fact.  The survival of humanity is at stake.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 22, 2014 at 12:17pm

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