Text From the Davidic Kingdom Found?
(And another silly ABC claim that conservative Christianity is as dangerious as radical Islam)
Ok, this could be really neat, if Yossi Garfinkel is right. Who is he you may ask? He is an Israeli archaeologist who has just unearthed what may prove to be the earliest extrabiblical Hebrew text known to man. The Ostracon has been dated to between 1ooo BC and 975 BC, the time of the Davidic kingdom. In fact, it was discovered at a place overlooking Elah Valley, which is the place where David defeated Goliath.
I will have to be honest and say that the best picture I could find is on the FoxNews link I gave above. The only thing I can make out is the Aleph [the letter to which the man is pointing], and the tet [the circle with the x through it]. They seem to not be willing to release high quality photographs to the public so that students and professors can work on the ostracon independently. I don't know what to make of that.
Also, while I was on the ABC website looking to see if I could find more information about the ostrocon, I found a video on interpretation of scripture. I wondered why it is that ABC would be concerned with something like this, and, about halfway through, I realized where this was going. I would invite people to take a listen to this video, and try to avoid rolling your eyes when you hear Dianne Bergant speak:
The arguments Dianne Bergant makes are really, really bad. She tries to argue that the wars in the OT were mandated, and therefore, conservative Christianity is just as dangerious as conservative Islam because they both interpret their holy books "literally," and thus have the possibility of engaging in the same kinds of radical military behavior as radical Islam on the basis of the texts about the mandatory wars in the OT.
First of all, there is some truth in what she says, and that is, namely, that there are some commands in scripture that are meant to not be followed all the way through. Obviously, if we found the grave of king David, we are not to go and anoint him king over Israel [1 Samuel 16:12]. However, the assumption that God cannot speak in language that is binding for all time assumes that there is no sovereign God who knows the future, and can reveal himself in language that is binding for all time.
Not only that, but this hermeneutic breaks down when you ask how it is that you know that you have properly brought the text into our time. You see, this kind of hermeneutic results in no interpretation of a text being wrong. There is no check, and you can use the methodology to come up with all kinds of different interpretations. If you do not take the "literal" approach, it seems to me that we are left with pure subjectivism, as no interpretation can be wrong.
Not only that, but remember that the Israeli wars were a punisment for the radical wickedness of the Caananites. Just read Leviticus 18, and you will see the utter perversity of these people, even burning their own children alive. God said he was going to use Israel to drive these people out in punishment for what they did [Leviticus 18:24-28]. Obviously, God chose many methods to punish ungodly people thoughout the scriptures, so, to suggest that we are to do these things today is to simply rip it out of its context.
However, even worse than that, I have been doing work in canon criticism, that is, understanding the Bible in terms of the whole of scripture using Wittgenstein's concept of a language game. There is absolutely no way you can get the idea that we are to conquer the world by killing people, given what Paul says here:
Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Now, let me ask, how is it that a Christian could ever go around killing others to convert them to Christianity when Paul here says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood? Not only that, but Jesus tells us how we are to conquer the world:
Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
It seems that Jesus says here that we are to conquer the world, not by the sword, or by bombs, or by nuclear weapons, but by the proclaimation of the gospel. Even if you misinterpreted those texts about the utter destruction of Canan, how could you get around these texts?
It is simply unbelievable, and another example of ABC's bias against Christianity.