‘New PBS series exposes Old Testament fairy tales’

From the Hollywood Reporter:

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter)Real Time With Bill Maher<," frequently refers to the Old Testament of the Bible as the Book of Jewish Fairy Tales. The description might anger the pious and the fundamentalists, but guess what? Maher’s close to the truth.

A visually stunning two-hour special edition of "Nova" examines decades of archaeological studies that contradict much of what is in the Bible. The entire Exodus story is debunked, as is the idea that the Israelites were monotheistic following the contract made between God and Abraham. It turns out idol worship was common through the reign of King David and right up to the Babylonian exile.

Is the Bible the word of God? Only if God dictated it to dozens, maybe hundreds, of different writers, each of whom wrote and modified stories using different patterns of language over a period of centuries.

To be sure, writer-producer-director Gary Glassman does not dismiss the Old Testament as a collection of fairy tales. He asserts that the stories, though provably false in many cases, were intended to give identity to the Israelites, a group likely made up of former Canaanites, nomads and runaway slaves. Also, the Bible provided the Israelites with a moral framework.

The special, narrated by Liev Schreiber, is not likely to sit well with those who believe that the Bible, despite its internal inconsistencies, should be interpreted literally. Then again, science and religion have had a long history of conflict until, ultimately, the former prevails.

Dennis Prager impresses me as a guy who always wants to know the truth — except when it comes to anything challenging the historicity of the Hebrew Bible. There, he admits, he would not accept the truth of anything challenging his foundational belief that God gave the Ten Commandments. Aside from this and the significance of IQ, Prager strikes me as a bloke fanatical about the truth.

On his radio show a couple of weeks ago, Dennis said (30 minutes in): "Gives you an idea of the objective nature of Hollywood Reporter reporting."

Well, it’s not pretending to be reporting. It’s an opinion column.

Dennis: "That’s the headline. Do you think the one who wrote the headline had a position? Aren’t you not supposed to know the position of the reporter?"

"How does our writer Barry Garron know that Mahr is close to the truth?"

Because all those with PhDs who have studied this piece of history agree that the Hebrew Bible is not historically accurate. That it is a book of fairy tales.

Dennis: "So PBS Nova verifies Bill Mahr. This guy has really weighed the evidence. Do you think this guy has ever read a refutation of any of this? It’s a rhetorical question."

Well, first of all, there is no refutation of what this edition of Nova alleges. There are rebuttals but none of them hold any weight with those who’ve studied the evidence aka those with PhDs in the topic.

Dennis: "An article was just published about a lecture given at Harvard verifying more and more about the claims made for King David, but I suspect Mr. Garron did not attend that talk at Harvard."

"Who claimed otherwise [about idolatry among the Hebrews]? There were Hebrew kings who brought idols into the temple."

"I have come to an epiphany. I don’t use the word often. They’re big when I come to them. The Left…construct a worldview that is usually erroneous and then fight it. I never realized until my article a couple of weeks ago that they live in a bubble where they make these facts up, such as Bush Lied, People Died, and then they believe that and that becomes the reality for them."

"Nobody claimed the Jews were all monotheists after Abraham. The Bible is monotheistic, its characters were not. Some were."

"They make up things that they then refute."

"The entire Exodus story is debunked because they don’t have archeological data of a sojourn of the Hebrews in the Sinai desert. I’ve done a lot of reading about this… If we don’t have proof in either direction… There is archeological evidence. There are excellent books on this written by professors. My faith is not based on archeology and can not be debunked by archeology.

"Has any group made up an ignoble history for itself? The Jewish origins are awful. A bunch of ignorant pagan slaves, the very notion of slavery, why would one make up slavery origins? Since people don’t make up ignoble origins, I believe those origins are accurate."

"Will PBS ever have a series about the ‘fairy tales’ of the Koran? The lack of courage of Hollywood… They take on people who will never hurt them."

Chaim Amalek emails:

I would not have heard of this program but for Lukeford.net and your work in debunking the Judaism of the rabbinate.

Excellent. Here, at last, is some attempt to address in logical fashion the many questions raised by the biblical narrative, questions I first had (but knew better than to ask) from my earliest encounters with the rabbinate. Luke, the Rabbi Mushkins of Los Angeles were very wise never to let you closer than arm’s length. In the end, I think your involvement with the porn industry was just a convenient excuse to keep you outside the camp.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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