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PBS Disputes Bible Stories

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The Orlando Sentinel’s television critic, Hal Boedeker reviews a new PBS documentary on the Bible.

“It challenges the Bible’s stories if you want to read them literally, and that will disturb many people,” says archaeologist William Dever, who specializes in Israel’s history. “But it explains how and why these stories ever came to be told in the first place, and how and why they were written down.”

The Nova program will premiere Nov. 18. PBS presented a clip and a panel discussion at the summer tour of the Television Critics Association.

The program says the Bible was written in the sixth century BC and that hundreds of authors contributed.

“At least the first five books of the Bible come together during the Babylonian exile,” says producer Gary Glassman.

The program challenges long-held beliefs. Abraham, Sarah and their offspring probably didn’t exist, says Carol Meyers, a religion professor at Duke University.

“These stories are unlikely to represent real historical events, but rather there’s some kernel of ancient experience in there which has survived and which helps give identity to the people at the time the Bible finally took shape centuries and centuries later,” Meyers says.

There’s no archaeological evidence of the Exodus, either, she says, but “it doesn’t mean that there’s no kernel of truth to it.”

Nova series producer Paula Apsell says she found it “extremely shocking” to learn that monotheism was a process that took hundreds of years.

“I was always brought up to believe that the minute Abraham and the patriarchs came on the scene, the Israelites accepted one God and there was just always one God and that was it,” Apsell says. “I think people are going to really be stunned by that.”

Another shocker: The program contradicts the biblical view that the Israelites came from somewhere else into the land of Canaan. “The film shows that they were Canaanites,” Apsell says.

Now we know why secularism is god in universities. Hasn’t Apsell ever heard about the Israelites and the golden calf story? Semitic mythology?

Apsell’s statements highlight an educational ignorance component about religion prevelant to liberal news media. I’m sure her American political beliefs have Europeans believing we have a cowboy in the White House.


Written by smalltalkwitht

July 28, 2008 at 6:17 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Wow, and there isn’t even a major Christian holiday coming up.


    July 28, 2008 at 6:52 pm

  2. Let them believe or not believe what they want. All I know is that with abounding new discoveries, and using microbiology as a tool, many stories, that were once thought to be fictional, are being validated. Heck! Wasn’t that an “Ark” they found atop of Mount Ararat in Turkey?!


    July 28, 2008 at 7:15 pm

  3. Many of the Biblical Stories are myths that hold some truth! What the stories are more importantly about is ethics and morals and the fact that the hebrew people where “set Apart” because they were choosen by God. Who, by the way, had a consort by the name of “Ashera” I recently found out. You can take the bible “literally “or even historical in some cases. in others you can. and NO they haven’t found an “ARK” they have found what could be a building of some type they’re not sure what because the turks won’t let them excavate the site.


    July 29, 2008 at 11:47 am

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