/* */ Rosa Rubicondior: Silly Bible - History The Authors Got Wrong

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Silly Bible - History The Authors Got Wrong

The Bible is not only full of bad science - which is at least understandable given that the earliest parts of it were based on myths and legends from, as Christopher Hitchens put it, the fearful infancy of our species - but it is full of very bad history too.

Much of the 'history' is a retrospective attempt to give legitimacy to land claims or to give credence to the claim to power and authority of dubious regimes, or supremacy over neighbours, of course. Giving this spurious credence to despots and insecure rulers of one form or another has frequently been the role of 'historians' and 'genealogists' throughout history, no less in Canaan and the Levant, than in more recent times and places.

The problem is, much of this 'history' was written by people who knew little or nothing of actual history, so they made what can only be described as wonderfully anachronistic schoolboy howlers. Not that they expected their readers (or mostly listeners) to realise this of course. They would have been equally ignorant of real history.

It is only with modern archaeology, and by drawing on other resources that we now know enough to know these Bible tales were either simply made up or elaborations of a few tenuous threads of oral tradition and folk memory. Their objective was to produce a tale that was believable, and which told the tale the commissioners wanted, not one that was historically accurate for future generations to be able to regard as a primary source or in same way definitive.


Tower of Babel, Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Babel Babble

Let's gloss over the nonsense of a six-day creation, Adam and Eve and talking snakes, nephilims and behemoths, and Noah and his Ark, mentioning the latter only as the starting point for our first howler - the Tower of Babel. The Tower of Babel is a hopelessly inept attempt to explain why there are so many different languages if we all came from Noah and his family just a few thousands years ago. When it was written, Noah's ark had supposedly been very recently or course.

The first thing to notice here is in the immediately preceding chapter of Genesis, there is a different attempt to explain the different languages as the sons of various of Noah's descendants each spoke with different tongues (Genesis 10). But turn the page and the first thing we see is:

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

Genesis 11:1

Oops!

Clearly, Chapters 10 and 11 were written by different people who were unaware of one another's tales.

But it gets worse. Remember too, that this was set at a time when Heaven was just above the sky over the Middle East, easily within reach of man-made structures. Also remember, the god in this tale was not omniscient but had to 'go down' to find out what was going on.

Now check back to Genesis 10 again and count the generations since Noah. There have been five. Just five generations and there are supposedly enough people to undertake a major engineering project the like of which had never before been undertaken and has never been done again! The problem is, we now know it takes a massive support system to provide enough surplus value in terms of food and services to maintain a vast workforce in a major project such as this. Compared to the number of people employed in the actual construction, there would need to have been several times that number just to grow the food they ate, at a time when work was highly labour intensive.

In just five generations, starting with eight people.

Ah, but didn't they live a long time them? Couldn't they each have had hundreds of children? The problem here is that the only 'record' of fecundity at the time is that of Noah who, in his alleged 900 years, managed just three sons.

There simply could not have been the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people living in that place at that time, especially since Chapter 10 has them dispersing far and wide, not staying together in the same place.

The Tower of Babel did not happen. The story means the Bible MUST be wrong in at least one of three ways:

  1. Noah's Ark didn't happen so there were not just eight people five generations earlier.
  2. There were very many more than five generations between the Ark and Babel, so the Bible's narrative is hopelessly wrong in its timeline.
  3. The Tower of Babel never happened.

Of course, any or all of those can be wrong, but at least one of them must be. Given that the Ark tale is completely implausible, as is the Tower tale, the matter of five generations and the fecundity of centenarian men and women, and women breeding at a rate that would make an aphid proud, is merely academic.

In all probability, the Babel tale was written by someone who didn't know the Ark tale was going to appear in the same book.

The next example is one mentioned by Thomas Paine in The Age of Reason. This is unusual in that the Bible itself provides evidence of its own falsehood.

Abram and Lot

Chased them unto Dan.

This event takes place in what was supposedly a minor skirmish at a time of petty kingdoms and robber barons in which Abram's brother Lot is taken captive. The fateful give-away line is:

And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

Genesis 14:14

The problem with this is that there was no place called Dan at that time. As we read in Judges, set much later in this 'history':

And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came to Laish, to a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire. And there was no deliverer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no business with any man; and it was in the valley that lies by Bethrehob. And they built a city, and dwelled therein. And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.

Judges 18:27-29

The city called Dan was named after someone who hadn't been born when Abram was chasing people there. In those days, it was called Laish. This is the equivalent of someone writing a supposed history of America and having someone going to New York - in 1066. Maybe the kind of thing an imaginative schoolboy who knew little of history might write, but I would suggest little credence would be give to such a 'history'.

In fact, you pays yer money and takes yer chance with this one. Either the tale about Abram is wrong or the tale in Kings relating how Laish was renamed is wrong.

Did the author of Genesis 14 simply assumed the city of Dan had always been there and set his tale in the area? Or did the author of Kings just make up a tale of conquest? In any case, these two tales were obviously never intended to be read in the same book, deemed inerrant.

This tale of the rescue of the hapless Lot by his uncle Abram (Abraham) is just the prequel to the even more bizarre tale of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot's incest with his daughters. It has all the hallmarks of a badly thought-out propaganda piece and includes some parts that are frankly unflattering to the god involved. The reason for this tale probably has more to do with the relationship between the Canaanite kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and the neighbouring related, often hostile tribes of Moab and Ammon.


Lot and His Daughters, Pieter-Jozef Verhaghen, c.1810
After this rescue and supposedly because of tensions between them, Lot and Abram decide to go their separate ways with Abraham going on to found the 'Tribes of Israel' and Lot and his people settle in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Here, their debauched and amoral behaviour soon attracts the attention of God, who in those days, as at Babel had not developed omniscience and had to 'go down' to see for himself what was happening. So outraged was he that he decides the only thing to do is to destroy the cities and everyone in them, saving only Lot and his family because he was a 'righteous man'.

To accomplish this, God sends down a couple of angels who spend the night at Lot's house where they attract a sex-crazed mob who besiege the house demanding to have sex with the angels. Instead, righteous man Lot offers them his two daughters to use as they please. However, God intervenes and blinds everyone.

The next day, Lot and his wife and daughters head out for the hills as God rains down fire and brimstone on the cities, pausing only to turn Lot's unfortunate wife into a pillar of salt for looking back!

And so we have righteous man Lot living in a cave with his daughters where he manages to impregnate them both, apparently whilst in a drunken stupor! Presumably, they managed to gather together a plentiful supply of wine prior to their journey. The daughters each have a son, Moab and Ammon, who go on to found the Canaanite tribes of that name.

So, what has this to do with the relationship between the kingdom of Judah and their neighbours? According to Silberman and Finkelstein, in The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, the whole tale is simply to cast the Moabites and Ammonites in an unfavourable light as the inferior relatives of the Hebrew kingdoms of Judah and Israel on the other side of the Dead Sea.

This was not history but, to borrow a phrase from Donald Trump, fake news.

Camel Train Derailed.

Perhaps one of the best examples of a Bible author wrongly assuming things had always been as he knew them, can be found in a single verse, Genesis 37:25

In this verse we are told:

And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

Except that archaeology shows that camels were not used as beasts of burden in the Middle East until well after 1000 BCE.

Indeed, excavations at the site of Tell Jemmeh in the southern coastal plain of Israel — a particularly important entrepôt on the main caravan route between Arabia and the Mediterranean — revealed a dramatic increase in the number of camel bones in the seventh century. The bones were almost exclusively of mature animals, suggesting that they were from traveling beasts of burden, not from locally raised herds (among which the bones of young animals would also be found). Indeed , precisely at this time, Assyrian sources describe camels being used as pack animals in caravans. It was only then that camels became a common enough feature of the landscape to be included as an incidental detail in a literary narrative.

Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2002-03-06).
The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts (Kindle Locations 658-663). Free Press. Kindle Edition.

Additionally, the trade in "spicery and balm and myrrh" from Arabia was not established until the time of the Assyrian Empire. The author of this tale simply assumed that things had always been as he knew them, with camel caravans passing through bearing goods for sale in Egypt. He knew little or nothing of the times in which he was setting his story.

Philistines

Apparently, Isaac had an encounter with Abimelech, "king of the Philistines", at the city of Gerar:

And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.

Genesis 26:1

Er... except that:

The Philistines, a group of migrants from the Aegean or eastern Mediterranean, had not established their settlements along the coastal plain of Canaan until sometime after 1200 BCE. Their cities prospered in the eleventh and tenth centuries and continued to dominate the area well into the Assyrian period.

Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2002-03-06).
The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts (Kindle Locations 665-667). Free Press. Kindle Edition.

The same verse also mentions the Philistine city of Gerar.

Gerar is today identified with Tel Haror northwest of Beersheba, and excavations there have shown that in the Iron Age I — the early phase of Philistine history — it was no more than a small, quite insignificant village. But by the late eighth and seventh century BCE, it had become a strong, heavily fortified Assyrian administrative stronghold in the south, an obvious landmark.

Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2002-03-06).
The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts (Kindle Locations 670-673). Free Press. Kindle Edition.

Again we see the author of these tales in Genesis was ignorant of the times in which he set his tale and simply assumed it was pretty much like the time he was writing in - almost certainly the 8th or 7th-century BCE.

So the combination of camels, Arabian goods, Philistines, and Gerar — as well as other places and nations mentioned in the patriarchal stories in Genesis — are highly significant. All the clues point to a time of composition many centuries after the time in which the Bible reports the lives of the patriarchs took place. These and other anachronisms suggest an intensive period of writing the patriarchal narratives in the eighth and seventh centuries BCE.

Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2002-03-06).
The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts (Kindle Locations 679-683). Free Press. Kindle Edition.

In other words, during the 8th and 7th-centuries BCE, most likely in the southern Hebrew state of Judah or possibly in northern Hebrew state of Israel, someone made up a 'history' or at best linked together some scraps of an oral folk tradition into a narrative, and wrote it down, filling in and making up stuff where necessary to give it an added heroic grandeur and a special relationship with their tribal god. This is of course in the best traditions of upstart despots seeking to give a legitimacy to their rule and to enhance their standing amongst their neighbouring states.

Much of what is commonly taken for granted as accurate history — the stories of the patriarchs, the Exodus, the conquest of Canaan, and even the saga of the glorious united monarchy of David and Solomon — are, rather, the creative expressions of a powerful religious reform movement that flourished in the kingdom of Judah in the Late Iron Age. Although these stories may have been based on certain historical kernels, they primarily reflect the ideology and the world-view of the writers.

Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2002-03-06).
The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts (Kindle Locations 467-470). Free Press. Kindle Edition.

The Children Of Israel Crossing The Red Sea,
Henri-Frederic Schopin c.1855

Exodus Blunders

Next we come to the glorious howlers in Exodus and the tales leading up to the supposed escape of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Firstly, or course, there are no records at all in Egyptian history of any of the events associated with the Exodus story, the plagues, the death of the first born, the presence of a vast population of slaves or of their departure.

And, as Silberman & Finkelstein point out, there is absolutely no archaeological evidence that a very large tribe of approximately 3 million people wandered around Sinai for 40 years. That they left not so much as a camp fire, a buried body, dead livestock or even a worn-out shoe is inconceivable. And there is no reason why a journey that could have been accomplished in a matter of days would take 40 years. Additionally, the Sinai desert would have been incapable of providing food for that number of a nomadic people for that time.

But there are other major anachronisms of which the author was unaware of or even cared about.

In Exodus 1 we are told:

Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.

Exodus 1:8-11

The problem is, building the 'City of Raamses' was not started until after the traditional date of the Exodus when, according to the mythology, there were no Hebrew slaves in Egypt. There also appears to be a muddle over the purpose of these cities and even their name. Pi-Ramesses was built as a capital, not a store (treasure) city or depot. For some reason, the full name has been shortened by the writer, unlike the name Pi-Atom or Pi-Atun (City of Atun) (Pithom). A contemporary who referred to Pi-Atun would have used the name Pi-Ramesses (city of Rameses), possibly Pi-Raamses. Ramesses was, after all the name of a pharaoh, not a city.

Perhaps the worst blunder however is the notion that the Israelites would have escaped from Egypt by crossing the Red Sea into Sinai. Sinai was Egyptian territory at the time. They would not have been leaving Egypt at all, merely moving to a different part of it. The northern coastal route from the Nile Delta to the Levant and Canaan would have been patrolled by the Egyptian army. The idea that 3 million people, guided by a pillar of smoke by day and of fire by night, could have wandered around unnoticed is absurd.

The author simply did not know his geography or history, and nor did his audience.

Incidentally, this tale contains another howler, though not so much an anachronism as a blunder in continuity. One of the plagues supposedly killed all the cattle, including, explicitly, all the horses, yet here was Pharaoh able to put 600 chariots in pursuit of the escaping Israelites. Carriots, of course, require horses!

Joshua and the Israelites before the Walls of Jericho,
Christoph Murer c.1600, National Gallery of Art [CC0],

Jericho's Wobbly Wall

The problem with writing 'history' intended for immediate consumption by people who are ignorant of true history, is that someone at some time in the future is going to check. Not that this will matter to the author or the person who commissioned the scribe to make it up of course. But the problem with the Bible is that people now take it seriously.

They even take it seriously now we have checked and know better.

In Joshua, for example, we have the exciting, though implausible account of 40,000 Israelites walking around outside the walls of Jericho for seven days, then seven priests blowing seven trumpets while the people shouted at the wall, which came tumbling down. One little quibble here is that one of those seven days would have been the Sabbath when they should all have been resting, but let that pass as there is an even bigger quibble.

Archaeology has shown that the city of Jericho did not have a wall at that time.

Later on in the continuing adventures of Joshua, who is turning out to be something of a psychopathic war criminal, there is this curious account:

Joshuah Ordering the Sun to Stand Still, Joseph-Marie Vien [Public domain],
Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.

Joshua 10: 12-13

So, according to that tale, the sun stood still for a whole day!

This might well have made sense to people who believed the sun was a mere lamp that moved across the sky, pushed around by angels or some such, although they didn't know where it went at night. With a geocentric universe, such things are quite believable. To us now, though, now we know the Universe is not geocentric but the apparent movement of the sun across the sky is due entirely to the rotation of Earth in orbit around it, this idea is ludicrous to the extent that it is possible to say without any shadow of doubt that it did not happen.

For the sun to have appeared to be stationary for 24 hours, Earth would need to stop spinning abruptly, in contravention of the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum. The result would have been catastrophic and, even if they had survived which is very unlikely, it could not possibly have gone unnoticed by the Chinese, Indian, Greek and Egyptian civilisations at the time.

Earth rotates at roughly 1000 miles per hour at the equator. The inertia acting on the land masses and oceans would have ripped them from Earth and sent them and everything with them, hurtling into space at up to 1000 miles an hour. Earth would have literally disintegrated. Even if a god had magically suspended the natural laws of motion to allow this to happen, it still could not have gone unnoticed by every other civilisation at the time. Tides would have changed; ships at sea would have been unable to navigate. There would have been panic and riots in the streets as the people believed the world was about to end. Major cosmological phenomena such as this do not go unnoticed, nor are they confined to a small part of the Middle East.

Why was Joshua commanding the sun to do anything when it was Earth that needed to obey him? Because the author of this tale did not know how the solar system works. He lived on what he thought was a small, probably flat, and certainly geocentric, Earth with a dome over it from which the sun hung.

Like the Tower of Babel and Noah's Ark, Joshua commanding the sun to stand still in the sky for 24 hours, unequivocally did not happen.

Let's move on now to the New Testament where, as we shall see the howlers continue unabated. These tales were made up by different people. Whereas the tales in the Old Testament were made up by Canaanites speaking Hebrew and Aramaic, and intended to create 'histories' and genealogies to justify various claims by the two rival petty kingdoms of Judah and Israel, the New Testament was written by Greek-speaking people attempting to graft the new religion onto the older Judaic religion to give credence to the claim that the founder was the prophesied Jewish Messiah.

This doesn't quite fit because the Jewish Messiah or 'anointed one' was to be a chosen man, not a god, but the intended readership were probably not expected to be aware of that subtle distinction, and giving 'Jesus' the attributes and power of a god, probably had greater and wider appeal than making him a mere prophesied future king of Israel - a born again legendary King David.

Nativity, Master of Vyšší Brod, Bohemia, c. 1350

Jesus Birth Muddle

The first problem we encounter is, in their eagerness to fit Jesus retrospectively into Jewish prophecies, two different writers come up with two different accounts of his birth, which can't both be true.

The first account is by the writer of Matthew, who sets his tale in 'Judea in the days of Herod the king' (Matthew 2:1). This gives us a reference of a sort because Herod, King of Judea, died in 4 BCE, so we know that our author was writing, knowingly or otherwise, about an event before 4 BCE. The reason for this, as it transpires, is because he needs to place Jesus in Egypt to make it look like he was a fulfillment of and obscure 'prophecy' in Hosea - "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt." (Hosea 11:1).

This account includes the supposed Herodian Massacre of all male children under the age of two, which John the Baptist appeared to avoid and which no historian alive at the time, and none of the other authors of the Bible, seem to have noticed.

The second account is by the author of Luke. He sets the birth of Jesus 'when Cyrenius was governor of Syria' (Luke 2.1). This writer needs to place the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, so he harks back, probably to some dimly remembered census but adds the absurd notion that people had to go back to the town or village of their ancestor of some 1000 years earlier! Who could possibly know that? How could the Roman authorities know that people had gone to the right place? And what purpose would it serve?

But whatever his reason, Luke gives us another date range. Cyrenius was governor of Syria between 6 and 12 CE. Clearly, both these dates cannot be correct. Two of the very few facts concerning Jesus mentioned in the Bible, which can be checked against extra-Biblical evidence show us that at least one of them must be wrong!

Crucifixion, Andrea Mantegna, c.1458

Crucifiction

Then we come to the hopelessly muddled attempt to write a tale (or tales) of the trial and execution of this supposed Messiah, whose death has now been elevated to an act that somehow offers mankind salvation.

Let's consider this 'salvation' thing for a moment. Salvation from what, exactly and how did killing Jesus achieve it? The best explanation Christian apologists come up with is that Jesus' death somehow offers us salvation from the Original Sin of Adam and Eve, when mankind 'fell from grace' by disobeying God.

This then begs the question, why did God wait? If it was going to need the birth and sacrifice of Jesus to save us from this 'sin' why didn't he impregnate Eve, have Adam nail Jesus to a cross, and have done with it? No need for Noah's Ark or any of this need for forgiveness and redemption.

Anyway, that aside, there is the little matter of what Jesus was tried for, who tried him and who carried out the execution.

According to the Bible, Jesus was arrested soon after his attack on the Temple (the so-called cleansing of the Temple), and he was arrested by Romans. Possibly then he was arrested for leading a band of extremists and causing a breach of the peace. However, we have him being accused of blasphemy by claiming to be the son of God. And we have the account of the Roman governor, Pilate, saying he could find no sin in him, and washing his hands of the affair. Jesus is then handed over to the secular authority for trial under the local religious law.

Yet, when it comes to the execution, Jesus is not stones to death as prescribed for blasphemy, but crucified - a method of execution by the Roman authorities for a breach of Roman law. There was no Roman law against blasphemy at that time, least of all, blasphemy against the local religion in Judea! Rome was officially polytheist and people living within the Empire were free to worship which ever gods they wished, or none, in whatever manner they wished.

The Romans would not have crucified Jesus for blasphemy and the Temple authorities would not have crucified him.

Whoever wrote this retrospective 'history' did not understand the relationship between the Roman overlords and the secular leadership at the time. So we end up with Jesus apparently being crucified by the Romans for an offense that didn't exist under Roman law.

It begins to be obvious now why no contemporaneous accounts of these events exists and no historian working in that place at that time appear to have noticed anything. It didn't happen.

The little matter of this supposed execution happening on different days at different times pales into insignificance besides this howler, but they are worth mentioning as an illustration of how the writer knew little or nothing of the culture in which he set his tale. In John 19:14 we are told that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for Passover (i.e the day before Passover) at the 6th hour. Given that the Jewish day begins at sunrise, this is at about noon. In Mark 15:25 we are told Jesus was crucified on Passover on the 3rd hour - i.e at 9.00 a.m.

This last account is most certainly wrong. An execution would never be carried out on Passover, which is also the Sabbath. In his desperation to fit the tale into a probably hazy notion of the Jewish idea of a scapegoat and a blood sacrifice for sin, he has invented a narrative which simply would never happen.

The Conversion of Paul, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1567

Paul's Lie

The last blunder in the Bible of major significance is the tale of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus, and in particular his reason for being there. The story is that Paul as Saul was a zealous hunter and persecutor of heretical Christians who travelled around hunting them down and bringing them back to Jerusalem for trial and execution by the Jewish Temple authorities.

According to this tale, travelling with a writ or letter of authority he was on his way to Damascus to arrest Christians when he was struck down, saw lights and heard the voice of Jesus. He immediately converted, changed his name to Paul (the Greek version of the Hebrew Saul) and became the leading apostle for the new religion.

However, under Roman law at that time, there was no crime of blasphemy, as I pointed out earlier. Rome was polytheistic and tolerant and any religious laws were left to the local secular authority to enforce in their province. This is the same problem we met above with Jesus' supposed trial.

Jerusalem was in Judea; Damascus was in Phoenicia. Any authority from the Temple Authorities in Jerusalem would have had no effect in Damascus. Under Roman law, Saul would have been kidnapping Christians in Damascus, not arresting them and the Jerusalem authorities would have had no more jurisdiction over them than they would have had over Brittons or Romans.

Paul could not have been going to Damascus for the reasons stated in Acts 9:2. This is a lie, written by someone who didn't know the geography or the law of the time and place in which he set it. It also neatly plays into the hands of people who want to believe Christianity triumphed against oppression and persecution by Jews and that Paul was acting on direct orders from Jesus.

So we see time and again that when the Bible is compared to facts we now know, in its 'history' no less than in its science, it is wrong. The bad science in the Bible might not so much have been written to mislead, as to state the primitive understanding as it was then in an age before the wheel was invented and people thought Earth was small, flat and ran on magic. The 'history' in the Bible shows a clear intent to mislead, stating things as factual that simply could not and did not happen.







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