JREF Homepage Swift Blog Events Calendar $1 Million Paranormal Challenge The Amaz!ng Meeting Useful Links Support Us
James Randi Educational Foundation JREF Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   JREF Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
Click Here To Donate

Notices


Welcome to the JREF Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.

Reply
Old 6th November 2010, 11:55 PM   #1
OhMan
Thinker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 132
bronze age goat herder

I have used the phrase "The Bible was written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders" before, and I can't remember exactly where I got it from. I think maybe Hitchens.


Where did the term originate? I have been called out on it by Christians before and I don't think there is any truth to it, but it is merely used as an insult.

Can anyone comment?
OhMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 12:00 AM   #2
lionking
In the Peanut Gallery
 
lionking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 33,360
As nobody knows who wrote the OT it's just a cheap shot/educated guess. Take your pick.
lionking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 12:16 AM   #3
BobTheDonkey
Illuminator
 
BobTheDonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,501
Dawkins used it in "The Greatest Show on Earth", I believe.
__________________
TSIG: Everyone wants to be 'special' but nobody wants to admit they ride the bus.
BobTheDonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 12:27 AM   #4
Delvo
Illuminator
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,824
Why did you use it if you didn't believe it?

It's just a description. It doesn't need to have a particular point of origin. If you want to convey certain ideas/meanings, then the words for them are what you'll end up using. If I asked you to describe my car, your description would have a lot in common with anybody else's description of the same car.
Delvo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 12:29 AM   #5
Brainache
Nasty Brutish and Tall
 
Brainache's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Behind you!
Posts: 15,274
Originally Posted by OhMan View Post
I have used the phrase "The Bible was written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders" before, and I can't remember exactly where I got it from. I think maybe Hitchens.


Where did the term originate? I have been called out on it by Christians before and I don't think there is any truth to it, but it is merely used as an insult.

Can anyone comment?
It was me. Sorry.
__________________
Words cannot convey the vertiginous retching horror that enveloped me as I lost consciousness. - W. S. Burroughs

Invert the prominent diaphragm!!!

I have eaten breakfast and have not written an Epistle to any Church. - dejudge.
Brainache is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 12:38 AM   #6
OhMan
Thinker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 132
Well if it is essentially childish name-calling then obviously I would want to refrain from doing it.

But if there is truth to it then it can be used to further ridicule the theists belief in a book written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders.
OhMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 12:42 AM   #7
lionking
In the Peanut Gallery
 
lionking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 33,360
Originally Posted by OhMan View Post
Well if it is essentially childish name-calling then obviously I would want to refrain from doing it.

But if there is truth to it then it can be used to further ridicule the theists belief in a book written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders.
As I said, nobody knows who wrote the OT, so the whole thing is moot.
lionking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 01:09 AM   #8
OhMan
Thinker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 132
Well it is a question of when as well as who....

i think bronze age is too early, the bible was written in the... what, iron age?

would goat herders know how to read and write? also... probably not



So basically you guys are saying we should all refrain from using it, because it is an insult with no evidence behind it?
OhMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 01:28 AM   #9
McHrozni
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,665
Originally Posted by OhMan View Post
I have used the phrase "The Bible was written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders" before, and I can't remember exactly where I got it from. I think maybe Hitchens.

Where did the term originate? I have been called out on it by Christians before and I don't think there is any truth to it, but it is merely used as an insult.

Can anyone comment?
Well, whoever said it doesn't know that the Bronze age lasted until ~1000 B.C. (B.C.E. if you perfer), and that most of the texts we now know as the Bible were assembled in the council of Nicea, 325 A.D, and were based on texts written in the 1st century A.D.
Comments about literacy of goat herders are just as valid. Not many goat herders, or commoners in general, knew how to read and write until the 18th century (A.D.). The texts were mostly written by priests and other educated individuals.

But it's not completely impossible that a goat herder made a contribution somewhere, it's a long text after all

It's an insult and an ad hominem, nothing more. There are plenty of good reasons to criticize any religion and there is absolutely no reason to make up such cheap shots that only serve as insults.

McHrozni
McHrozni is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 01:44 AM   #10
OhMan
Thinker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 132
OK, thank you, that is all I wanted to know.
OhMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 01:48 AM   #11
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Moderator
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 28,015
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Well, whoever said it doesn't know that the Bronze age lasted until ~1000 B.C. (B.C.E. if you perfer), and that most of the texts we now know as the Bible were assembled in the council of Nicea, 325 A.D, and were based on texts written in the 1st century A.D.
You're talking about the New Testament. What is known as the Old Testament was written around 1000 BC. Whether it was Bronze or Iron Age at the time depends on exactly when it happened.

As I posted in another thread recently:
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
According to wikipedia (yes, I know), only the religious interpretation places the writing of even part of what is called the Old Testament in the Bronze Age ("Torah composed between 1446 BC and 1406 BC, with the remaining books composed between 1400 BC to 400 BC."). More objective views are that it was composed from 950 BC onwards. Of course, there may well be oral tradition going back many centuries.

It must also be borne in mind that the Ages happened at different times in different places. The Iron Age in the UK didn't start until 800 BC, while in the Ancient Near East it was 400 years earlier.
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 01:57 AM   #12
GrandMasterFox
Graduate Poster
 
GrandMasterFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,351
And I'll take an insanely wild guess and say the term "goat herders" was used due to the fact that most of the earilier portions of the bible make note of how many goats people actually had at the time.
GrandMasterFox is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 02:15 AM   #13
brodski
Tea-Time toad
 
brodski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 15,521
Originally Posted by OhMan View Post
Well it is a question of when as well as who....

i think bronze age is too early, the bible was written in the... what, iron age?
It's fairly obvious that some parts of the bible mythology originated in a culture which did not have iron, but was in contact (and conflict) with cultures which did. Which is why YHWH can't defeat iron chariots.

AS to the issue of writing, are we talking about when these stories originated, or when they where first written down?
brodski is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 02:59 AM   #14
SnnTsd
Scholar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by OhMan View Post
Well it is a question of when as well as who....

i think bronze age is too early, the bible was written in the... what, iron age?

would goat herders know how to read and write? also... probably not



So basically you guys are saying we should all refrain from using it, because it is an insult with no evidence behind it?
"The Bible was written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders" is just insulting and show lack of bible knowledge.

The truth to that sentence, is that it probably started with a bunch of bronze age goat herders(bedouins), who probably were prosperous gold traders, too. They didn't write it, but had oral traditions.

Around 1200-1000 BCE it looks like they settled and became farmers in Caanan. After a while, the less than 1 percent that knew how to write and read, started to write some of the oral traditions and laws used in court that time. Around 500 to 300 BCE, the authors collected what was written earlier in Judea, Israel, and surrounding cultures, and added some newer stuff, and it became a cultural masterpice, known as OT among christians today.

So it was probably written by an very rich elite(compared to the major population) in a time when goats still was very important.
SnnTsd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 03:02 AM   #15
SnnTsd
Scholar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by brodski View Post
It's fairly obvious that some parts of the bible mythology originated in a culture which did not have iron, but was in contact (and conflict) with cultures which did. Which is why YHWH can't defeat iron chariots.
Interesting, is there any source I can read more about that?
SnnTsd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 03:05 AM   #16
OhMan
Thinker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 132
The Bible is your source buddy:

And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
Judges 1:19

Here's an atheist website that talks about it some more:
http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
OhMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 03:07 AM   #17
catsmate1
Penultimate Amazing
 
catsmate1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Dublin (the one in Ireland)
Posts: 10,949
Three points (it's breakfast time).
1. Goat herding was an important part of the cultures that created the writings that became the bible. Hence the sheep/goat people references.

2. Much of what's now in the bible was taken from older sources from other cultures the proto-Hebrews were in contact with. So even if parts of the bible date to a particular time, the stories that comprise it are probably older.

3. The history of metal working is complicated. Typically the Bronze age is takes as beginning ~3,500 BCE and the Iron age from ~1,200 BCE. However this isn't an even transition as metalworking emerged at different times in different places. The Chinese had cast iron well before Europe (possible 1000CE). Sub-Saharan Africa never had a bronze age as such, going straight to iron. The Mayans didn't have much in the way of metalworking either.

The first tool metal was copper in use by 5000 BCE in the Near East. It makes tolerably good tools on its own but alloying improves its workability and hardness. Several important copper alloys, comparable to iron in hardness, started to appear around 3500 BCE in Egypt, the Near East0 , and north-central China. The first and most common was Arsenic Bronze which alloyed copper with ~2% arsenic; this probably was discovered by chance when arsenical copper ores were smelted. Of course arsenic is toxic and causes both short term and long term deleterious effects.
Next came Tin Bronze, what most people1 call bronze, also around 3500 BCE. This requires adding 5-15% tin to copper and is easier to cast and non-toxic. However tin is damned rare and in great demand well into the modern era 2. Lastly came brass, copper alloyed with 5-15% zinc. This is a little tricky to produce with primitive resources as smelting zinc oxide ore allows metallic zinc to evaporate.

All these new materials revolutionised civilisation, in fact they allowed civilisation as we'd recognise the concept to happen. However copper is far more scarce than iron. However iron needs temperatures of ~1,200C to smelt; iron melts at ~1,550C but that's not really possible to achieve until the late middle ages. Hence iron couldn't be produced as a convenient liquid metal. It should be remembered that iron was considered inferior to bronze as a working metal; it corroded easily, took an inferior edge, was softer than bronze (at least wrought iron was) and was far more difficult to work.

Iron, from meteoric sources has been used from ~4000 BCE (high Nickel content) but iron working emerged around 1500 BCE in the Near East with wrought iron being hammered while softened. Steel was made, in very small quantities, using charcoal fires possible with bellows for additional air flow.
Eventually two main methods of making solid steel were developed. The easier method (used extensively in Asian but basically unknown in Europe) combined finely crushed iron ore and charcoal powder in a small (usually
clay) vessel. In this the carbon completely infiltrated the iron, lowering its melting point to an achievable level (about 1,150C). The metal produced needed to be hammered into shape but this method produced small quantities of high-quality steel.
The other method is the classic blast furnace; lots of air forced through charcoal fuel in a ceramic furnace. This requires more investment and fuel 3but produces more iron (technically cast iron, containing ~5% carbon). However, as an example of the limited production of iron, the entire Roman Empire of the 1st century CE probably produced no more than 20,000 tons of iron a year. Bronze was a more common metal.



0 Yes I'm still using that term. Live with it. I mean it in the archaeological sense of Anatolia, what's now the Middle East and Mesopotamia, i.e. the "bible lands".
1 Who haven't sat through metallurgy or materials science lectures.
2 I will again refrain from linking to "The Tin Mines of Cornwall" but the tin deposits there were an important economic factor for centuries. The tin trade was an interesting factor in Mediterranean politics and economics, with the metal being imported from Hungary and Asia as well as Cornwall.
In fact one factor in the emergence of iron was the disruption of the tin trade around 1200 BCE caused by the Sea Peoples.
3 To produce X iron required 8X iron ore and about 40X charcoal in a good design. This massive requirement for fuel had its own implications.
catsmate1 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 04:36 AM   #18
Delvo
Illuminator
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,824
The books were written in the Iron Age, but fairly early in it, and the tales had come from Bronze Age oral tradition. So although it's not entirely accurate to say they were "tales written by Bronze Age people", they were indeed "Bronze Age tales" or "tales from Bronze Age people". (The stories themselves sometimes reveal this, independent of archeological evidence; for example, Goliath is described as wearing bronze armor.)
Delvo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 04:44 AM   #19
Gawdzilla
121.92-meter mutant fire-breathing lizard-thingy
 
Gawdzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Northern St. Louis County, Missouri.
Posts: 18,786
I started using "The Bronze Age Goat-herders' Anthology of Campfire Tales for Boys" at RDF back in 2008. It got me post-banned at abovetopsecret last year.
__________________
World War II Diplomatic and Political Resources
Hyperwar, WWII Military History
Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.
Gawdzilla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 05:03 AM   #20
Craig4
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,261
Parts of the OT definitely date to the Bronze Age. The Flood myth was pulled nearly entirely from the Epic of Gilgemesh which dates at least to the 2100ish BCE. I'm not expert enough to know when some of the other books were written but I think it's safe to say the oldest of the books of the OT were in the Bronze Age. The Sumerians had specialization of labor so I'd say it's not likely the writers were goat herders.
Craig4 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 05:25 AM   #21
Didaktylos
Critical Thinker
 
Didaktylos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 400
Personally I use the term "goat-shaggers" rather than "-herders".
__________________
It's untrue that blokes can't multi-task: I can avoid doing any number of things simultaneously.
Didaktylos is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 06:55 AM   #22
SnnTsd
Scholar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by OhMan View Post
The Bible is your source buddy:

And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
Judges 1:19

Here's an atheist website that talks about it some more:
http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
Joshua 17:17-18:1

17 Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, "You are a numerous people and have great power. You shall not have one allotment only, 18 but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong."

1 Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them.


Looks like you are going in the same trap as some of the fundies around here when they choose the verses that fit their faith..?

Last edited by SnnTsd; 7th November 2010 at 06:56 AM.
SnnTsd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 07:05 AM   #23
Marduk
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Posts: 10,242
Originally Posted by SnnTsd View Post
Looks like you are going in the same trap as some of the fundies around here when they choose the verses that fit their faith..?
I think you missed the point there, the passage is evidence that the Biblical authors were living in the bronze age, not that they couldn't overcome iron chariots, besides, youre guilty yourself of what you are accusing others

the passage carries on
Quote:
2 And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. 3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel: 'How long are ye slack to go in to possess the land, which the LORD, the God of your fathers, hath given you?
so it wasn't quite subdued yet was it, 7 out of 12, less than 50%
Marduk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 07:06 AM   #24
drkitten
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wits' End
Posts: 21,643
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Well, whoever said it doesn't know that the Bronze age lasted until ~1000 B.C. (B.C.E. if you perfer), and that most of the texts we now know as the Bible were assembled in the council of Nicea, 325 A.D, and were based on texts written in the 1st century A.D.
Comments about literacy of goat herders are just as valid. Not many goat herders, or commoners in general, knew how to read and write until the 18th century (A.D.). The texts were mostly written by priests and other educated individuals.
But the Old Testament dates back to an estimated 1300 BCE, which was the Bronze age, and furthermore shows many signs of being a compilation of a set of oral traditions.

So it's not at all unreasonable to believe that most of the Bible was composed by a Bronze Age goat herder, even if the first scribe who wrote the text down was a later and better-educated man.
drkitten is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 07:18 AM   #25
Marduk
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Posts: 10,242
Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
But the Old Testament dates back to an estimated 1300 BCE, which was the Bronze age, and furthermore shows many signs of being a compilation of a set of oral traditions.
such as ?
Marduk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 07:35 AM   #26
drkitten
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wits' End
Posts: 21,643
Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
such as ?
From Wikipedia:
Quote:
The documentary hypothesis (DH) (sometimes called the Wellhausen hypothesis[1]), holds that the Pentateuch (the Torah, or the Five Books of Moses) was derived from originally independent, parallel and complete narratives, which were subsequently combined into the current form by a series of redactors (editors). The number of these is usually set at four, but this is not an essential part of the hypothesis.
Other examples include the co-option of the Babylonian flood myth into the Old Testament. There are a number of striking parallels between the Enuma Elish (a Babylonian creation myth) and the Genesis creation account.
drkitten is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 07:36 AM   #27
OhMan
Thinker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 132
Originally Posted by SnnTsd View Post
Joshua 17:17-18:1

17 Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, "You are a numerous people and have great power. You shall not have one allotment only, 18 but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong."

1 Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them.


Looks like you are going in the same trap as some of the fundies around here when they choose the verses that fit their faith..?
OK so I quote Judges and you quote Joshua. Then you say I am cherry picking verses? Haha blatant hypocrite man, how the hell can you double-think your way past that? Fact of the matter is, we have a contradiction, one of MANY. That's because the Bible was written by multiple people with their own views, not by an omniscient creator. Game. Set. Match.
OhMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 07:42 AM   #28
Marduk
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Posts: 10,242
Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
From Wikipedia:


Other examples include the co-option of the Babylonian flood myth into the Old Testament. There are a number of striking parallels between the Enuma Elish (a Babylonian creation myth) and the Genesis creation account.
None of that supports an oral tradition
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrative
Quote:
Along with exposition, argumentation and description, narration, broadly defined, is one of four rhetorical modes of discourse. More narrowly defined, it is the fiction-writing mode whereby the narrator communicates directly to the reader.

Last edited by Marduk; 7th November 2010 at 07:46 AM.
Marduk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 07:44 AM   #29
Simon39759
Master Poster
 
Simon39759's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,285
Well, it all depends of what part of the OT once is looking at but, as far as I know, the oldest books (books of Amos and Nahum) seem to have been written around the 8th century and a lot where actually writen later, in the 6th and 5th century) so, pretty much in the Iron age...

In some case, for example in the book of Genesis, the Hebrews seem to have incorporated earlier traditions, which went all the way back to the Bronze age, but that's limited...


At least, it is my understanding...
Simon39759 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 07:49 AM   #30
Resume
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 10,128
I don't think it's totally out of the question to suggest that some of the oral tradition, the myths and superstitions of bronze age goat herders did indeed find inclusion in the document called the bible.

Or not.
Resume is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 07:54 AM   #31
Marduk
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Posts: 10,242
Originally Posted by Resume View Post
I don't think it's totally out of the question to suggest that some of the oral tradition, the myths and superstitions of bronze age goat herders did indeed find inclusion in the document called the bible.

Or not.
myths and superstitions are not an oral tradition, an oral tradition is where a story is recounted over and over in the same format to preserve the detail of a past event
Its usually used as evidence that the bible is innerrant, in a manner of saying, God said this and we preserved it faithfully til we could write it down, this is hardly neccessary as writing was invented and in use for two thousand years before the Hebrews existed. That there was also a library containing all these stories which was staffed by Rabbis is also something frequently overlooked by people who want to believe the bible is the definitive word of God and not as has been proven consistently an early form of plagiarism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Ashurbanipal

Last edited by Marduk; 7th November 2010 at 07:56 AM.
Marduk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 08:01 AM   #32
I Ratant
Penultimate Amazing
 
I Ratant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 18,583
Originally Posted by OhMan View Post
I have used the phrase "The Bible was written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders" before, and I can't remember exactly where I got it from. I think maybe Hitchens.


Where did the term originate? I have been called out on it by Christians before and I don't think there is any truth to it, but it is merely used as an insult.

Can anyone comment?
.
Many of us come up with that on our lonesome, after reading and investigating the books and their provenance.
.
Some might use "shagging" instead of "herding".
.
The titlement in post 19 is most appropriate, of all of the perjorative titles that book deserves.

Last edited by I Ratant; 7th November 2010 at 08:03 AM.
I Ratant is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 08:19 AM   #33
Foster Zygote
Dental Floss Tycoon
 
Foster Zygote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge
Posts: 16,029
Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
From Wikipedia:


Other examples include the co-option of the Babylonian flood myth into the Old Testament. There are a number of striking parallels between the Enuma Elish (a Babylonian creation myth) and the Genesis creation account.
Piggy once likened it to taking several different drafts of a screenplay and mashing them together.
__________________
Counterbalance in the little town of Ridgeview, Ohio. Two people permanently enslaved by the tyranny of fear and superstitution, facing the future with a kind of helpless dread. Two others facing the future with confidence - having escaped one of the darker places of the Twilight Zone.
Foster Zygote is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 09:42 AM   #34
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Moderator
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 28,015
Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
I think you missed the point there, the passage is evidence that the Biblical authors were living in the bronze age, not that they couldn't overcome iron chariots, besides, youre guilty yourself of what you are accusing others
Surely it's evidence that they were living in the Iron Age, even if they didn't have the technology themselves? If the people you're dealing with have iron, and are using it against you, and you know what it is, I think it's hard to argue that you're not in the Iron age, even if you are not benefitting from it yourself.

Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
But the Old Testament dates back to an estimated 1300 BCE, which was the Bronze age,
Depending on the accuracy of the estimate, isn't it pretty much on the cusp of the end of the Bronze age and the start of the Iron age, in that region?
Quote:
and furthermore shows many signs of being a compilation of a set of oral traditions.
I'd not argue with that.
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 09:51 AM   #35
Sledge
Grammaton Cleric
 
Sledge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swingin' on a star
Posts: 7,121
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Surely it's evidence that they were living in the Iron Age, even if they didn't have the technology themselves? If the people you're dealing with have iron, and are using it against you, and you know what it is, I think it's hard to argue that you're not in the Iron age, even if you are not benefitting from it yourself.
I'd say it means they're a bronze age people getting their arses handed to them by an iron age people. I wouldn't argue that Afghanistan is a global superpower because America is bombing them.
__________________
"The perfect haiku would have just two syllables: Airwolf" ~ Ernest Cline

"Science knows it doesn't know everything, otherwise it would stop" ~ Dara O'Briain.
Sledge is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 10:17 AM   #36
OhMan
Thinker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 132
Yes I guess you could say certain cultures were in certain ages at different times.

It is not as if one person started using Iron, and - whula - the Iron Age begun worldwide. It was culturally bound.

Now the Palenstines were far behind the Chinese, or so Hitchens says, when he is ridiculing God's sending Jesus to Nazareth instead of China, where they already had telescopes and could read and write.
OhMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 12:33 PM   #37
SnnTsd
Scholar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
I think you missed the point there, the passage is evidence that the Biblical authors were living in the bronze age, not that they couldn't overcome iron chariots, besides, youre guilty yourself of what you are accusing others

the passage carries on

so it wasn't quite subdued yet was it, 7 out of 12, less than 50%
The passage from Judges 1:19 neither prove that YHWH couldn't defeat iron chariots or that they lived in the bronze age. All it is evidence of is that Judah and the LORD failed to drive out some inhabitants of a specific valley because they happened to have chariots of iron there.

brodski wrote in post #13 "Which is why YHWH can't defeat iron chariots.", so it's not only about evidence that they lived in the bronze age.

Adding more verses will only show hard it's to use the bible to make this kind of claims, both for and against, and that was my point as well.
SnnTsd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 12:36 PM   #38
SnnTsd
Scholar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by OhMan View Post
OK so I quote Judges and you quote Joshua. Then you say I am cherry picking verses? Haha blatant hypocrite man, how the hell can you double-think your way past that? Fact of the matter is, we have a contradiction, one of MANY. That's because the Bible was written by multiple people with their own views, not by an omniscient creator. Game. Set. Match.
I cherry picked that verse to show that the bible have it's contradictions. I'm more amused at your attempt to support a claim by picking a specific verse found on a flawed atheist website who got their arguments from a fundie-islam site.

Last edited by SnnTsd; 7th November 2010 at 12:39 PM.
SnnTsd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 12:40 PM   #39
catsmate1
Penultimate Amazing
 
catsmate1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Dublin (the one in Ireland)
Posts: 10,949
[quote=OhMan;6525742]Yes I guess you could say certain cultures were in certain ages at different times.
Not to mention that bronze remained the more useful metal even during the nominal "iron age" had begun.
Originally Posted by OhMan View Post
It is not as if one person started using Iron, and - whula - the Iron Age begun worldwide. It was culturally bound.
Absolutely. This is especially true gven that there's excellent evidence that iron was first worked ~4000 BCE before bronze..........
Originally Posted by OhMan View Post
Now the Palenstines were far behind the Chinese, or so Hitchens says, when he is ridiculing God's sending Jesus to Nazareth instead of China, where they already had telescopes and could read and write.
Well paper use in China dates to before 100BCE (900+ years before the Near East and 1200 years befoe Europe) and they'd used bamboo strips before that.
catsmate1 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2010, 01:21 PM   #40
Robin
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8,595
I am not sure what is supposed to be insulting about it.

Is there something about keeping goats or living a long time ago that is supposed to be disreputable?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

JREF Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:45 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2001-2013, James Randi Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.