Agonizomai: News Flash

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

News Flash

Artifact suggests Bible written centuries earlier
Writing indicates Kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century

This article found on the MSNBC website headlines the amazing news that a recent archaeological discovery "could mean that portions of the Bible were written centuries earlier than previously thought". Wow!!

Notice the extremely tentative language in the above quote and in the header where the find "suggests the Bible was written centuries earlier". Compare this with the tone that would be used if the discovery were, say, a scientistic "proof" of Darwinian evolution. Under such circumstances we wouldn't be reading "suggests" and "could" and "portions" but "proves" and "does" and "entire".

On its own this is a very small thing. I bring it up only to illustrate how language itself can be used to influence a reader and to shape or introduce nuanced bias into the story.

I never had any doubt that there was an Israel in 1,000BC and even earlier. Nor did I have a doubt that the Torah was handed down through the patriarchs, starting with the Pentateuch and added to by the kings and prophets just as it presents itself. This is hardly news. Nor is it revelatory to a believer - and not even to a fair-minded reader who accepts secular things with far less substantiation than has existed for the Bible for ages.

Just sayin'.


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