Last night at 7pm CST Nova presented a very good show on the bible. Its origins in myth and history. I thought was well done. However, I can see the fundies tearing their clothes over the show. Fundies believe in the inerrancy of the bible and every word is true. The show clearly showed that the bible is a collection of poems, myths and stories gathered from previous relgions and cultures. Around 1000 BCE it then begins to be more historical of the hebrew people. The hebrew people didn't conquer palistine they were the Canaanites, the poor and oppressed part of the population, that rebeled against the wealthy and powerful. All the stories in the bible are a people trying to develop a national identy.
The one true God was one among many and he had a wife! It was after the exile in Babylon that the only one God idea gained ascendency.
In other words the religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam are based on man made myths and stories. Some of the stories may have kernal of truths in them, but those kernals are hopelessly buried in the myths and foundation stories. The religious fundies will claim that they know the truth of the bible, new testament and the quaran as they can feel it or just know it. Either they are feeling gas or their desire to believe overcomes all reason and logic. And this is dangourous. Don't get me wrong, I am agnostic, I just admit I don't know. And there is no way to know. I am just being honest about it. The fundies are not, I repeat not honest about it at all. And it is that dishonesty and certainity and desire to spread their beliefs that causes trouble and has for thousands of years. 9/11/2001 case in point.
How is all of this known. By historical records from the Egypt, Mesopotamia and the archeology. The scholars were being honest as only good scientists can be. There are many other sources coming out now with archeology and other disciplines shedding light on the subject. I heartily recommend going to NOVA website and checking out the show, The Bible's Buried Secrets.