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The Barracks For stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else. Members can retire from the serious discussions elsewhere on the forums...and relax here.

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  #1  
Old 07 Dec 09, 12:31
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"Battles BC" blunders the Bible - and just about everything else.

Well I checked out the History Channel show Battles BC. I expected the visual effects of 300. But I wasn't expecting the same absence of historical accuracy in favor of speculative sensationalism. I haven't even gotten halfway through the series and I'm just catching one historical faux pas after another.

So far the show's most egregious historical errors come from their portrayal of Biblical figures, during which they engage in wild speculation and even get dangerously close to fabrication of historical data.

When talking about the life of King David they compare him to a Mafia don. Now there is no denying he was a ruthless ruler, comparing him to a Mafia don would be hitting close to the mark. But in the process of making their point they make a huge number of historical errors.

First they claim that David went in league with the Phillistines and then proceeded to raid Israelite settlements. I find it highly unlikely that David could reach a position of esteem after raiding his own people and the records in the book of Samuel state that David raided Amalekite settlements and only claimed he was raiding Israel, killing off the people he raided to keep word from getting out. Since David was highly esteemed at the moment of succession and no raids were reported in the Israelite regions he stated he was raiding there is no reason to dispute this.

Later King David aquired rule over Israel, starting a kind of Iron Age War of the Roses as Saul's house tries to reassert it's power. Battles BC commentators state that in order to secure his hold over the throne King David kills off Saul's entire bloodline, including massacring his young grandchildren by crucifixion.

A word to the wise - don't make up tales when dealing with obsessive compulsive geneaologists. Chronicles records Saul's bloodline at least as far as up to his grandchildren's grandchildren's children. Samuel also records David making concentrated efforts to show kindness to Saul's family. Whether this was an act of kindness or a case of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer is up for debate, but Saul's line was not exterminated.

The "crucifying" of SOME of Saul's grandsons did occur but not not during the succession war. The incident in question involved David's efforts at restoring alliance with the Gibeonites during a three year drought. This occured after David's war with the Phillistines, WELL after the establishment of his kingship. The Gibeonites desired an act of blood vengeance on Saul's line (Saul tried to eradicate them and they were kind of pissed about that) as part of the deal to restore relations and David allowed them to take out some of Saul's family.

Incidentally they were not crucified and left to die of exposure. Samuel reports they were killed first and then staked on the ground. Let's try to avoid fabricated sensationalism, shall we? There is also no record as to whether they were young (or old). Since people married early and this was several years into David's reign, however, it does make their youth unlikely.

Now, an argument that David used this moment as an excuse to get rid of political rivals, perhaps still fearing assassination, also falls through the floorboards. If David wanted to plug a potential usurper he would have gone after Mephibosheth, son of Johnathan and the #1 next in line for succession under Saul's line. Instead he selects the children of Saul's daughters - minor nobility at best. So their diagnosis of David's motives are way off base at best. And as far as Iron Age ethics go, there was nothing immoral about blood for blood.

Now as far as authenticity of records go, some argue that there could be some historical revisionism in an attempt to make David look better than he was. The possibility of historical revisionism exists, but not for the kings. Self criticism wasn't big in the Iron Age. No Assyrian stele says "I came, I saw, I conquered, and I felt really bad about it". Yet the chronicles of the Israelite kings give account of their moral shortcomings in vivid detail. So no scribe under pay of the monarchy wrote those records. In fact since the records show the prophets to be these super-moral agents of God it is highly likely that whoever wrote these either was, worked for, or was at least a fan of the prophets. And the prophets were notorious for not looking favorable upon the monarchs. So historical revisionism to make David look better than he was is likely. In fact, it is even possible that the kings could have been made to look worse.

Imagine Bill Maher saying "Here is where Bush did a really good job." and you'll get how significant it is when the prophets praise a king for doing something well.

I've got more to say on this, but it's almost lunch time.

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  #2  
Old 07 Dec 09, 13:16
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In the first place, PS, it's television, which is the same thing as Hollywoody, so expecting accuracy is nice, but highly unlikely.

In the second place, the bible is not a "historical reference" by any stretch of the imagination. Remember the Judas Deception carried out by the Church, and the massive editing and redacting that took place during the first council.

Thirdly, TV is produced for ratings which generate income. Unless it is PBS, it isn't done to educate anybody out of sheer altruism. It is done to attract audiences.

Lastly, of course, The History Channel is infamous for it's historical inaccuracies in the first place, so if you watch something they put on, that's what you get.

Enjoy!
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Old 07 Dec 09, 14:06
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Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
In the first place, PS, it's television, which is the same thing as Hollywoody, so expecting accuracy is nice, but highly unlikely.


True.

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Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
In the second place, the bible is not a "historical reference" by any stretch of the imagination. Remember the Judas Deception carried out by the Church, and the massive editing and redacting that took place during the first council.
Not true. There are scant few historians that challenge the accuracy of the Bible in secular matters post-Exodus. While not many secular historians accept the Peneteuch (Genesis through Leviticus) as 100% reliable, the histories of the Kingdom of Judah from it's establishment as a state (Samuel, Chronicles, Kings) are not questioned. There is extra-biblical data to support the existance of David. By the time the Israelite kingdoms was established it had a literary system and record keepers which means that the tales of Saul and David would be related through writing and not oral tradition, reinforcing the likelihood of their truth and no evidence has been brought forth which suggests they are wrong.

And there was no Judas Deception (you say that in caps as if it's an official study but I couldn't find one article matching those keywords even on google). The council at Nicea did determine which books were canon and which were not. But that wasn't editing or redacting. It was sifting which accounts seemed the most legitimate and which were not. Priority was given to eyewitness accounts like the Gospels while books like the so called infancy gospel were rightly written off as hearsay since they had no such backing. That's no conspiracy, that's factfinding. If four eyewitness accounts say one thing and a speculator who wasn't even there says another, it's no great leap of faith to put your chips on the eyewitnesses.

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Thirdly, TV is produced for ratings which generate income. Unless it is PBS, it isn't done to educate anybody out of sheer altruism. It is done to attract audiences.

Lastly, of course, The History Channel is infamous for it's historical inaccuracies in the first place, so if you watch something they put on, that's what you get.

Enjoy!
True, I can't say I was surprised that they screwed up, but I was a little taken aback at just how much they screwed up.
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Old 07 Dec 09, 15:41
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Sorry - "Judas Deception" is my term for the false "history" presenting Judas as a traitor, when in fact his book, recently found, clearly proved the Church and Biblical historians wrong. I guess I just assumed you had followed that news and were aware of the alterations and falsehoods planted in the Bible. After all, I know about it and I'm agnostic.

It's on a par with the Mary Magadalene deception, which has also been disproved.

Sorry again, but when a council gets together and takes it upon themselves to decide which bibilical works - "the words of 'God' and 'Jesus' - are "acceptable" to them and which are not, that is editing and redacting, nothing less. The Bible was deliberately shaped to cast a certain image, and is therefore not accurate, since all conflicting data was deliberaelty cast out. As I'm sure you know, some eight books were aleft out, leading to the false stories put in their place such as the "treachery" of Judas and the "prostitution" of Mary.

There is a entire religion founded on the books edited out of the Bible - the Gnostic religion.

The Bible is no maor accurate than the altered and edited climate data, because the question researchers will always face is "What else was taken out"?" And of course, what else was substituted in it's place to maintain the false mage that the Church demanded? How many more Mary's and Judas's are there?
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Old 07 Dec 09, 16:32
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Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
Sorry - "Judas Deception" is my term for the false "history" presenting Judas as a traitor, when in fact his book, recently found, clearly proved the Church and Biblical historians wrong. I guess I just assumed you had followed that news and were aware of the alterations and falsehoods planted in the Bible. After all, I know about it and I'm agnostic.


The "Gospel of Judas" I am well aware of. A Coptic text, claiming to be conversations between Judas and Jesus. The book however does not disprove, nor does it claim to, any of events chronicled in the gospel. All it does is state that Judas was acting on instructions from Jesus. This does not alter any events mentioned in the gospels, it merely puts them in a different perspective. Therefore it does not prove them "wrong".

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It's on a par with the Mary Magadalene deception, which has also been disproved.
I presume you are referring to the debate over whether or not Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. Again, since the Bible does not label her a prostitute, the proof that she wasn't disproves nothing about the gospels. The Bible says that she had demons cast out of her. The notion that she was a prostitute is one of individual opinion and not biblical doctrine.

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Sorry again, but when a council gets together and takes it upon themselves to decide which bibilical works - "the words of 'God' and 'Jesus' - are "acceptable" to them and which are not, that is editing and redacting, nothing less.
Maybe according to you, but not according to Mirriam-Webster. Unless you can provide evidence that the Gospel of, say, Mark said one thing and now says another there is no editing. That is the definition of editing.

BTW if browsing though historical documents and analyzing them to see which ones seem most truthful and which ones aren't is a fraudulent activity then you just indicted every single archaeologist in known history.

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The Bible was deliberately shaped to cast a certain image, and is therefore not accurate, since all conflicting data was deliberaelty cast out.
I got news for you MM. ALL HISTORICAL RECORDS are cast to shape a certain image. That's why we have sayings like "History is written by the winners." So pointing to the Bible and whatever biases it may contain demonstrates nothing. If bias automatically disproves a history then we shouldn't be trusting one word of written record regarding Egypt or Assyria. Those guys loved to talk up their glory. But we do trust their records. The reason is because the question isn't whether or not the material is biased. There isn't a word comitted to paper (or stone) on God's green earth that isn't biased. The question is, after a thorough analysis, is it true?

I happen to believe I am a pretty good chess player. That is a biased analysis on my part because I am inclined to take pride in my abilities. However my win/loss record, which includes stomping the high school chess champion in 1998 twice in a row, would tend to indicate that this biased report is a correct one.

And the writers of the Gospels no doubt had their biases, but historical analysis tends to indicate they weren't whistling dixie.

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As I'm sure you know, some eight books were aleft out, leading to the false stories put in their place such as the "treachery" of Judas and the "prostitution" of Mary.
And these books that were left out were left out for a reason. The question is, why and was it a legitimate one? Just as it's true that not everything you read on the internet is true so it is that not everything comitted to papyrus is either.

Let's hit the infancy gospels again. If four eyewitness accounts tell me things happened one way and one non eyewitness account said they happened another, give me one good professional reason why I should discount the four eyewitnesses in favor of the one non-eyewitness.

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The Bible is no maor accurate than the altered and edited climate data, because the question researchers will always face is "What else was taken out"?" And of course, what else was substituted in it's place to maintain the false mage that the Church demanded? How many more Mary's and Judas's are there?
Incidentally nothing was "taken out" of the Bible. In order for something to be taken out it has to be in there in the first place. Before the Council at Nicea each church had it's own collection of apostolic literature. There was no established "canon" to suddenly become altered, everybody just went with what they had and then the Council at Nicea gathered the leaders together and then they hammered out what we now call the Bible.
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Old 07 Dec 09, 20:27
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So battle 360 and dogfights too?
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Old 08 Dec 09, 14:37
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So battle 360 and dogfights too?
I like those shows, I'll give HC credit there. Of course, in the case of these programs they are interviewing vets who were actually involved in the events portrayed thus minimizing their opportunities to get loose with the facts.

But Battle BC sucked.

Another element I found to be utterly dumb in the program was when they portrayed Hannibal as a black guy. The first time you see a white guy in Hannibal's army is when they are crucifying one for failure in battle. All I could think was "I didn't know Jeremiah Wright was into making documentaries!"
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Old 08 Dec 09, 15:30
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Quote:
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Sorry again, but when a council gets together and takes it upon themselves to decide which bibilical works - "the words of 'God' and 'Jesus' - are "acceptable" to them and which are not, that is editing and redacting, nothing less. The Bible was deliberately shaped to cast a certain image, and is therefore not accurate, since all conflicting data was deliberaelty cast out. As I'm sure you know, some eight books were aleft out, leading to the false stories put in their place such as the "treachery" of Judas and the "prostitution" of Mary.

There is a entire religion founded on the books edited out of the Bible - the Gnostic religion.

The Bible is no maor accurate than the altered and edited climate data, because the question researchers will always face is "What else was taken out"?" And of course, what else was substituted in it's place to maintain the false mage that the Church demanded? How many more Mary's and Judas's are there?
What you said is exactly what Muslims say. The Bible was tampered with by men, it is not the truth, it is not accurate.
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Old 08 Dec 09, 15:31
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Originally Posted by pirateship1982 View Post
The "Gospel of Judas" I am well aware of. A Coptic text, claiming to be conversations between Judas and Jesus. The book however does not disprove, nor does it claim to, any of events chronicled in the gospel. All it does is state that Judas was acting on instructions from Jesus. This does not alter any events mentioned in the gospels, it merely puts them in a different perspective. Therefore it does not prove them "wrong".

None of the "books in the Bible either "prove or disprove" anything, PS.



I presume you are referring to the debate over whether or not Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. Again, since the Bible does not label her a prostitute, the proof that she wasn't disproves nothing about the gospels. The Bible says that she had demons cast out of her. The notion that she was a prostitute is one of individual opinion and not biblical doctrine.

I am indeed, and the Church's position that she was a prostitute has been thoroughly refuted. Not thoroughly investigated and explained, however, has been the Church's motive and intent on humiliating her. Incidentally, I have heard sermons denouncing her as a prostitute conducted by priests with one hand on the Bible. The church's position on claiming this as truth is well established and obviously "backed by scripture in their minds.



Maybe according to you, but not according to Mirriam-Webster. Unless you can provide evidence that the Gospel of, say, Mark said one thing and now says another there is no editing. That is the definition of editing.

Editing including removing. You're splitting hairs, PS. Perhaps yu would prefer the term "censored".

BTW if browsing though historical documents and analyzing them to see which ones seem most truthful and which ones aren't is a fraudulent activity then you just indicted every single archaeologist in known history.

You mean like climate scientists, or the anthropologist responsible for the Neanderthal Hoax?

Sorry, PS; I would really like to beleive that scientists are honest,hard-working peole inspired and motivated by a search for knowledge and truth, but the fact is too many are motivated by the possibility of fame and money. Thier is also the role of the Churcxh itself in repressing information which might bring down their own edific.


I got news for you MM. ALL HISTORICAL RECORDS are cast to shape a certain image. That's why we have sayings like "History is written by the winners." So pointing to the Bible and whatever biases it may contain demonstrates nothing. If bias automatically disproves a history then we shouldn't be trusting one word of written record regarding Egypt or Assyria. Those guys loved to talk up their glory. But we do trust their records. The reason is because the question isn't whether or not the material is biased. There isn't a word comitted to paper (or stone) on God's green earth that isn't biased. The question is, after a thorough analysis, is it true?

Precisely, and in the case of the Bible, mostly not true. To me, the Bible is a collection of parables, advice and religious rules and intrustion intended to guide the faithful, not an actual reference of fact.

I happen to believe I am a pretty good chess player. That is a biased analysis on my part because I am inclined to take pride in my abilities. However my win/loss record, which includes stomping the high school chess champion in 1998 twice in a row, would tend to indicate that this biased report is a correct one.

Congratulations, although I failed to see the relevance. The world of professional chess is large and all-encompassing, and the number of oppenents who can beat you is probably large. Thereforwe, I would have to say that your opinion is narrowly based on a small model of of the real world. Big fish - little pond.

And the writers of the Gospels no doubt had their biases, but historical analysis tends to indicate they weren't whistling dixie.

Since the tune Dixie is a couple of thousand years in the future...

You are suggsting that if part of the writings are tue, all of it must be true. That is an unsustainable argument. In fact, the best untruths (may I call you attention to my effort to be PC?) are often based on a partial truth.




And these books that were left out were left out for a reason. The question is, why and was it a legitimate one? Just as it's true that not everything you read on the internet is true so it is that not everything comitted to papyrus is either.

Let's hit the infancy gospels again. If four eyewitness accounts tell me things happened one way and one non eyewitness account said they happened another, give me one good professional reason why I should discount the four eyewitnesses in favor of the one non-eyewitness.

Motive and who's in fvor at the time. Read any account of a whistle blower's report vis'avis the "official" version from the accused miscreants.

The selection/rejection of books for the Bible is the classic example of spinning "the truth". Anythng that disagreed with current thinking over three centuries after the books were written was thrown out. Why should what was kept be reagrded as anything other than deliberate msinformation?
( see also: Climatology research)





Incidentally nothing was "taken out" of the Bible. In order for something to be taken out it has to be in there in the first place. Before the Council at Nicea each church had it's own collection of apostolic literature. There was no established "canon" to suddenly become altered, everybody just went with what they had and then the Council at Nicea gathered the leaders together and then they hammered out what we now call the Bible.
Hair splitting again, PS, and badly at that. Whether it is a crime of omission or commision is purely semantics. Notice if you will that the Church, prejudiced against the Old Religions and therefore against women in religion, rejected all books by women. Tyhe Cpouncil at nicea was a group of religious burueacrats who manufactured a desired imahge, no different than the White house and Madison Avenue two tohusand years later. further, little or no attempt was madeto archive the rejected knowledge, indicating that it was intended to be conveniently lost forever in order to avoid embarassments in the future.

In my opinion, and I stress that, PS, the single biggest problem with any religious text like the Bible is that it is based onthe assmumption that all preceding beliefs are wrong and therefore inadmissable while the "new theory" is the only "truth", a position which is simply unsupportable.

As I have said before, either all are wrong or all are right. To accept any religion as the "truth" is to be forced to accept all, for all have equal validity in the eyes of their belevers, and we lack definitive proof of the existence of any gods or godesses.


Luckily, that doesn't matter in my world.
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Old 08 Dec 09, 15:50
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I am indeed, and the Church's position that she was a prostitute has been thoroughly refuted. Not thoroughly investigated and explained, however, has been the Church's motive and intent on humiliating her. Incidentally, I have heard sermons denouncing her as a prostitute conducted by priests with one hand on the Bible. The church's position on claiming this as truth is well established and obviously "backed by scripture in their minds.
Would you specify which church? Eastern Orthodoxy, based on apocryphal sources, holds that Mary Magdelene was not a prostitute, but a personal friend of Jesus' mother.
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Old 09 Dec 09, 17:13
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In popular usage, the Church is held to be the original Christian organization, and later the Catholic Church, so far as I am aware.
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Old 09 Dec 09, 18:40
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Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
In popular usage, the Church is held to be the original Christian organization, and later the Catholic Church, so far as I am aware.
Whose popular usage, 'cause I can think of several hundred million Christians who'd beg to differ: as far as they're concerned, the Roman Catholic Church does not speak for them, and never has.
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Old 09 Dec 09, 19:27
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I believe the Ethiopian Coptic and the Egyptian Coptic Churches were there before the Catholic Church. Plus the Eastern Orthodox was also there at the same time. Not sure about the Armenian and Syrian Churches.

One problem with the accounts in the Bible is Archaeology is having trouble pinning down the time lines set in the Bible. One pertinent article I remember in one magazine said that the Tribe of Benjamin might have been some Sea People that were absorbed by the Israelites after they took over Palestine. This was written by Hebrew Archaeologists.

Before anyone starts up on me, I am a Christian (as close as a Baptist comes anyway) and have Faith. Since I do not read Greek or Aramaic, I do believe some of the translations may have been "interpreted" by scholars. When using the Bible as History you have to double check and see if the archaeology record confirms it.

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Old 10 Dec 09, 02:33
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Pirate:

Congratulations on actually knowing what you're talking about on your first post. Obviously the History Channel is going downhill when it allows that kind of nonsense to get by. Of course there are few who would actually know they are wrong in the first place. To me King David did his worse when he had Bethsheba's husband killed so he could have her. Now that was a dirty deed I don't care who you are.

As for the history of the church I have had Baptists claim to be the first 'church' since they claim John the Baptist as the first Baptist. I can but wonder if John knows about this?
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Old 10 Dec 09, 12:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
Whose popular usage, 'cause I can think of several hundred million Christians who'd beg to differ: as far as they're concerned, the Roman Catholic Church does not speak for them, and never has.
And the Church numbers over one billion - your point?

It's not my term - it's theirs.
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