Originally published as a newsletter in February 2004, this article concerns the naivete of people who hold to an evangelically fundamentalist religious viewpoint when it comes to 'Biblical Infallibility'.
In the matters of Religion and Science, the west has undergone a tremendous upheaval during the last one hundred years or so, and if the rise of various religious fundamentalisms is any indication, despite our reliance upon science, as human creatures, we seem to need an inherent 'Reliance' on the 'scientifically dubious' Divine Power.
Many folk wonder why it is that their children have turned from their religious traditions to new or exotic forms of religious observance, and it is not at all unreasonable to suggest that this is because our materialistic, logical, and science driven society, has robbed us of the inner emotional stability which comes through 'trusting in a higher power'.
As far as Christianity in all its forms is concerned, fundamentalism has as its catchcry, 'God says!', or 'The Bible says!' or other such foundations of authority. This willingness to 'Rely on God', often flies in the face of the 'scientifically' demonstrable. But we don't worry about that because 'Faith is all we need'.
Now on the matter of 'Faith' versus 'Science', I personally prefer 'faith'. I have seen enough 'dubious' scientific results and pressures on society which were ultimately overthrown, never to blindly trust in science, or any person irrespective of their qualifications.
But in the matter of the historical content of the Bible, it is in fact a very difficult thing to ignore the evidence of archaeology and history, which demonstrates that the chronology of the Bible is incorrect, and of course, this is what 'The King's Calendar:The Secret of Qumran' is all about; demonstrating that while it appears to be erroneous, it is in fact quite reliable.
But what facinates me, is that many 'fundamentalists', while publicly preaching the Bible to be the Word of God, will, when confronted by the anomolous situation between the chronological facts of history and the chronological record of the Bible, maintain that biblical chronology is not important, saying "we don't feel that the historical information is important".
If the Bible was inspired and ordained by God, how dare anyone who holds to this position then maintain that God couldn't get the factual details recorded correctly. It is a blatant contradiction to that persons 'foundational faith', and in terms of psychology, is explained as 'compartmentalisation'.
Now while we have this type of person maintaining that the Bible is actually the Word of God whilst ignoring the facts of history, we also have others who while maintaining that the Bible is inspired of God, have so sold out to 'academia', that they just accept as gospel everything that they are told, and have given up even bothering to find the answer to this chronological problem, or worse, have allowed themselves to be convinced that God does not exist at all.
When I first put the results of my research on the internet, I fully expected to become known as a 'crackpot'. In a telephonic conversation (c 1996) with Professor D.J. Wiseman of the British Academy he kindly pointed out that my task would be difficult, for over two dozen 'crackpots' each year claim to have solved the problem.
I expected to be called a crackpot, or to be ignored, but I never expected that the religious communities would have so completely sold out to academia, or so completely retreated from reality, as to tell me that it doesn't matter that the historical details of the Bible are wrong.
As an example of how the religious communities have blindly accepted academic opinion, allow me to draw your attention to the Battle of Qarqar in 853 BCE.
The date for this battle is apparently fixed beyond question, and I certainly would not gainsay it. However this event and this date severely interferes with Biblical Chronology.
The Academics admit that the information in the 'Kurkh Stela' is erroneous and exaggerated, and that despite it's claim that Ahab alone (irrespective of all the other kings in Syro-Ehraimitic alliance) had more chariots than the enemy, that not only was such not possible, but had such been the case, he could hardly have been the lacky of the Syrian King. Not only this, but when the two records of this event are compared, in one, Ahab is not even mentioned.
The real reason why they ignore the true evidence and prefer the obvious fraud, is that it enables them to build their own neat little history of Israel.
Unfortunately as I have already said, too many 'fervent' religious people, either suffer a form of religious 'denial', or else 'sell out their faith'.
What a pity that so few people in the world are able to submit their own faith to real honest to goodness scrutiny.
The Full Version of this article:
What is the King's Calendar?
R.P.BenDedek is the Author of 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' and a guest columnist at Magic City Morning Star News.
"The King's Calendar" [ on sale - while the economic recession is on], is a chronological study of the historical books of the Bible (Kings and Chronicles), Josephus, Seder Olam Rabbah, and the (Essene) Damascus Document of The Dead Sea Scrolls. See Chapter Precis page.
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