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Goliath and Legend

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  • Goliath and Legend

    The story of David and Goliath sounds an awful lot like myth to me. The story doesn't make much sense, as the Israelites needn't have feared Goliath's obviously absurd challenge. Neither winner's nation would assent to complete subjugation. There are many other clues that it is highly embellished that we can discuss, such as David killing a lion. Can one regard that story as legend, or is skepticism of these kinds of biblical stories frowned upon? How much of a burden exists in Christianity to believe these OT stories?

  • #2
    Originally posted by whag View Post
    The story of David and Goliath sounds an awful lot like myth to me. The story doesn't make much sense, as the Israelites needn't have feared Goliath's obviously absurd challenge. Neither winner's nation would assent to complete subjugation. There are many other clues that it is highly embellished that we can discuss, such as David killing a lion. Can one regard that story as legend, or is skepticism of these kinds of biblical stories frowned upon? How much of a burden exists in Christianity to believe these OT stories?
    fine tuned universe miracle

    Hawking writes "Why did the universe start out with so nearly the critical rate of expansion that seperates models that recollapse from those that go on expanding forever, so that even now, ten thousand million years later, it is still expanding at nearly the critical rate? If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size"

    whag, why are you so 'small potatoes', ?
    To say that crony capitalism is not true/free market capitalism, is like saying a grand slam is not true baseball, or like saying scoring a touchdown is not true American football ...Stefan Mykhaylo D

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    • #3
      Originally posted by whag View Post
      The story of David and Goliath sounds an awful lot like myth to me. The story doesn't make much sense, as the Israelites needn't have feared Goliath's obviously absurd challenge. Neither winner's nation would assent to complete subjugation. There are many other clues that it is highly embellished that we can discuss, such as David killing a lion. Can one regard that story as legend, or is skepticism of these kinds of biblical stories frowned upon? How much of a burden exists in Christianity to believe these OT stories?
      1) This narrative, and essentially the entire OT really, would sound a lot like a myth/legend to those operating with naturalistic presuppositions.

      2) There is archeological evidence consistent with the biblical account for Goliath: http://www.ukapologetics.net/goliath.html

      3) Christian's should view these narratives the way Jesus did - as historically true.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
        1) This narrative, and essentially the entire OT really, would sound a lot like a myth/legend to those operating with naturalistic presuppositions.
        They sound a lot like myth/legend even to those who aren't operating with naturalistic presuppositions, in exactly the same way that tales of Achilles and Beowulf and King Arthur sound a lot like myth/legend.

        2) There is archeological evidence consistent with the biblical account for Goliath: http://www.ukapologetics.net/goliath.html
        That can hardly be considered "archaeological evidence consistent with the biblical account for Goliath." The fact that there actually may have been people with the name "Goliath" in no way implies that there was ever a giant named Goliath who was killed by a shepherd boy using a sling.

        3) Christian's should view these narratives the way Jesus did - as historically true.
        Why? I know several Christians who would ardently disagree with this.
        "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
        --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
          1) This narrative, and essentially the entire OT really, would sound a lot like a myth/legend to those operating with naturalistic presuppositions.
          I think there are liberal Christias without naturalist presupposition that would regard that story legend as highly embellished.

          Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
          2) There is archeological evidence consistent with the biblical account for Goliath: http://www.ukapologetics.net/goliath.html
          Is there anything about a 9 warrior there? Gigantism of that sort is a handicap and nothing to be feared. Also, is it believable that little David could kill a lion and that Saul would enlist him based on that account?

          Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
          3) Christian's should view these narratives the way Jesus did - as historically true.
          That's what I was asking. Conservative Christians must view it as literally being true, in the same way they view the gospels? Or can they regard it as legend and not be burdened with maintaining a belief in the OT stories that appear to be legend?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by whag View Post
            That's what I was asking. Conservative Christians must view it as literally being true, in the same way they view the gospels? Or can they regard it as legend and not be burdened with maintaining a belief in the OT stories that appear to be legend?
            I think it is entirely possible that a conservative Christian could view a number of the OT accounts as legendary, including that of Goliath; however, the natural question then becomes, "Can the NT accounts also be regarded as legendary?" I have seen some conservative Christians who would probably be comfortable believing that the Goliath story was a legendary tale, while simultaneously asserting that Jesus' NT miracles are all actual, historical events, but the seeming disparity in judgment makes this a more difficult position to defend.
            "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
            --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jordanriver View Post
              fine tuned universe miracle

              Hawking writes "Why did the universe start out with so nearly the critical rate of expansion that seperates models that recollapse from those that go on expanding forever, so that even now, ten thousand million years later, it is still expanding at nearly the critical rate? If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size"

              whag, why are you so 'small potatoes', ?
              I don't understand the reference to Hawking. Are you saying the faith that David had gave him miraculous strength to kill a lion and dispatch Goliath? It's not so much the miraculous elements that make it look like legend. There are incredulous parts aside from that. Read it.

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              • #8
                8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
                While I think this is a great way to exercize international aggression (as it would prevent much spilled blood), it's naive to the extreme. I think both nations would know that.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                  They sound a lot like myth/legend even to those who aren't operating with naturalistic presuppositions, in exactly the same way that tales of Achilles and Beowulf and King Arthur sound a lot like myth/legend.
                  Well, if one is open to the existence of God, then one ought to be open to the possibility that the one true God revealed Himself to ancient Israel and interacted with them in the manner described in the OT.

                  That can hardly be considered "archaeological evidence consistent with the biblical account for Goliath." The fact that there actually may have been people with the name "Goliath" in no way implies that there was ever a giant named Goliath who was killed by a shepherd boy using a sling.
                  Well the archeological evidence we do have, scant as it may be, is not inconsistent with the biblical narrative.

                  Why? I know several Christians who would ardently disagree with this.
                  Well, if they believe that Jesus is God and the Bible is the word of God, then they should believe what Jesus believed about the OT. Unless they want to disagree with God?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by whag View Post
                    I think there are liberal Christias without naturalist presupposition that would regard that story legend as highly embellished.
                    You're right and even though they may believe they are operating without naturalistic presuppositions, I think their methodology often proves otherwise and undercuts a belief in the supernatural.

                    Is there anything about a 9 warrior there? Gigantism of that sort is a handicap and nothing to be feared. Also, is it believable that little David could kill a lion and that Saul would enlist him based on that account?
                    I don't think there is anything in the narrative that seems outrageous if one holds to a belief in the supernatural and a God who intervenes in space-time history.

                    That's what I was asking. Conservative Christians must view it as literally being true, in the same way they view the gospels? Or can they regard it as legend and not be burdened with maintaining a belief in the OT stories that appear to be legend?
                    They can disagree with how Jesus viewed the OT, sure, but I find that odd.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                      You're right and even though they may believe they are operating without naturalistic presuppositions, I think their methodology often proves otherwise and undercuts a belief in the supernatural.



                      I don't think there is anything in the narrative that seems outrageous if one holds to a belief in the supernatural and a God who intervenes in space-time history.



                      They can disagree with how Jesus viewed the OT, sure, but I find that odd.
                      Was Goliath supernaturally big or giant because of mere genetics?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                        Well, if one is open to the existence of God, then one ought to be open to the possibility that the one true God revealed Himself to ancient Israel and interacted with them in the manner described in the OT.
                        Would you say the same thing about the legends surrounding Osiris or Pythagoras or Mohammed or Joseph Smith?

                        Well the archeological evidence we do have, scant as it may be, is not inconsistent with the biblical narrative.
                        The archaeological evidence which we have is also not inconsistent with a great deal of non-Christian claims which have the appearance of being legendary. For example, no archaeological evidence is inconsistent with the tale of Beowulf. That doesn't mean a person is justified in believing Beowulf is an accurate historical account of actual events.

                        Well, if they believe that Jesus is God and the Bible is the word of God, then they should believe what Jesus believed about the OT. Unless they want to disagree with God?
                        Their answer would be that Jesus is also Man, and during his incarnation he took on the frailties of Man-- which includes temporarily cutting himself off from omniscience.
                        "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                        --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                          Would you say the same thing about the legends surrounding Osiris or Pythagoras or Mohammed or Joseph Smith?
                          We should be open to evaluating claims in our quest to find the one true God, sure.

                          The archaeological evidence which we have is also not inconsistent with a great deal of non-Christian claims which have the appearance of being legendary. For example, no archaeological evidence is inconsistent with the tale of Beowulf. That doesn't mean a person is justified in believing Beowulf is an accurate historical account of actual events.
                          Well, Christianity has a context that lends credence to the OT narratives - Jesus, whom there is good reason to believe rose from the dead, regarded the OT narratives as historically true. Therefore, on that basis, one is far more justified in believing the OT narratives as likewise historically true, even if we don't have proof of the narratives (which seems next to impossible any way).

                          Their answer would be that Jesus is also Man, and during his incarnation he took on the frailties of Man-- which includes temporarily cutting himself off from omniscience.
                          So basically Jesus was wrong? I think I'll stick with believing as Jesus did that all Scripture is God-breathed and cannot be broken.

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                          • #14
                            Why do you think it so unbelievable that a shepherd could have killed a lion? Shepherding was hard work. There were marauding thieves and wild beasts, and the sheep have to be moved from one place to another for grazing and water and back to the fold every night.

                            There was no gate or door on the fold. The shepherd lay down and slept in the doorway so he could protect the sheep from theft or hungry animals, as well as prevent them from wandering out and away. Not a job for weak little boys.

                            David was probably pretty buff. And a slingshot was a good weapon against wild critters as it could be used from a fair distance. I bet he was good at it, too!
                            Last edited by mossrose; 01-12-2015, 10:47 AM.


                            Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                              Well, Christianity has a context that lends credence to the OT narratives - Jesus, whom there is good reason to believe rose from the dead, regarded the OT narratives as historically true. Therefore, on that basis, one is far more justified in believing the OT narratives as likewise historically true, even if we don't have proof of the narratives (which seems next to impossible any way).
                              Obviously, I disagree that there is good reason to believe Jesus rose from the dead, but that's a conversation for another thread. Still, the logic here doesn't quite work. How would resurrection from the dead imply that all of a person's beliefs are therefore likely correct?

                              So basically Jesus was wrong?
                              Why not? I presume that you are an orthodox Christian, and therefore believe that Jesus shared fully in human experience, with the sole exception that he never sinned. Being mistaken about things is certainly a part of the human experience, and nothing in the gospel message of salvation would preclude Jesus from having held false beliefs about such non-essentials.

                              I think I'll stick with believing as Jesus did that all Scripture is God-breathed and cannot be broken.
                              I think you are confusing Jesus with some others, here. It was the author of 2 Timothy who asserted that all Scripture is God-breathed, not Jesus. However, even if Jesus did believe this, "God-breathed" and unbreakable does not imply that the text is therefore a historically accurate account of actual events.
                              "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                              --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                              Comment

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