Sunday, June 04, 2006


A Thought on the "History" Covered by the Bible

I was thinking -- the Hebrew Bible in its coverage of history glosses over the high points of the Bronze age? It takes us through the days of Civilization's birth (with Noach and the story of Babel) then skips the apex of the Foundational Civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia and takes us to the time of Abraham when civilazation is in a period of "reorganization". The whole glories of the New Kingdom of Egypt occur between Genesis and Exodus which picks up the story again in the period of decline of the New Kingdom. It isn't until we read the Axial Age that we start really seeing civilization in the Bible.

Why is that? Is the Bible merely a book celebrating un-couth sheephearders and frowning upon "Hamitic" civilization while hoping for a unification of hearding Semitic and Indo-European peoples? Does the Bible's bias relate to the political and foreign policy positions vis-a-vis Egypt of the Prophets who formed the D school and those who helped redact the rest of the Bible (and were those Prophets so un-worried about the threat associated with not aligning with Egypt because they realized that "settler Judaism" was the past and diaspora Judaism was the future? or did they merely think that any aliance would be futile? .... so many questions ...)? Or is something more going on here?

Just a thought ...

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