The Frailty of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Traditions: Houses Built on Sand

Ironically, in Matthew 7: 24 – 27, Jesus gives a parable of two houses; one built on the shifting sands which falls down under light pressure and one built on solid rock which could stand the test of time and the scrutiny its environment.   The irony of this parable is that Jesus has predicted his religious tradition’s own demise by presenting a scenario of the historical fallacy for both himself and his famous Jewish father, King David (the dogmatic belief that the Messiah Jesus would be born the “Son of David” is only a Biblical perceptive).

Honestly, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God (if he existed) could not have created a more weak and frail religious system.  Fact is, compared to the well document textual and archaeological remains left behind by the dynasties of Egypt, the great civilization of Sumer, the Assyro-Babylonian empires, the Hittites, in Ebla and even the city of Ugarit in “Northern Israel”, for the three great monotheistic religions,  faith is the only real evidence for a late (post 250 BCE text) document called the Hebrew Bible as proof that the Patriarchs, Moses, Joshua, Saul, David and Solomon existed.  Fact is, since none of the above ancient civilizations ever heard of the Israelite God, Yahweh - much less the mighty acts Yahweh did against the Egyptians, Assyrians and other known major civilization of the ancient Near East. For believers, the Bible remains one of the most highly manipulated text (either knowingly or unknowingly) used to enable three of these major Book Religions to not only hold power, but allow it’s religious leaders to continue to make money; lots of money!

Thus, when NOVA presented a three hour special last Wednesday night entitled The Bibles Buried Secrets (Link: ) (presented now, due to the up coming Passover / Easter events on April 5), I watch with interest to see how Nova would spin the facts especially about David and Jesus.  I was particularly interested due to the fact that for both a Judean King called David and a Christian Messiah called Jesus, we only have two dubious textual supports as historical fact:  For a King David it's the Tel Dan Inscription and for Jesus it's the Testimonium Flavianum (the testimony of Josephus).  Since I already have a number of posts on this blog why a Historical Jesus never existed, I’ll focus on what Nova used to authenticate a Historical David and to then Nova used the same extra-Biblical text to assume the existence of King Solomon.

To do this, the last third of Nova’s program focused on an Aramaic text known as the Tel Dan Inscription to authenticate a Historical King David; a text which has been rightfully disputed based on its own internal evidence. 
The alphabetic letters used in this inscription are written in what is commonly know as Paleo-Hebrew.  As is well known that unlike Masoretic Hebrew, Paleo-Hebrew has no vowel points.  Thus, “ביתדוד” could be read beloved or uncle since the author did not use a  literary device known as a word divider “.” or a dot in the text between words in the phase.  Thus, "מלך.ישראל "(King (of) Israel) of line 8 (the preceding line) clearly proves this point as does the “.” after the word in question in line 9. So, when we consider the evidence based on a direct epigraphic and paleographic objective reading, the scribe clearly meant for the text to be read as one word and not as two separate words as in Bth Dvd
The Tel Dan Inscription with phase marked
To recap the evidence, while the Tel Dan Inscription does clearly read “King (of) Israel” in line 8, for line 9 however, for the text to read “House of David”, this would have to be a forced eisegesis in total disregard of the word dividers in the rest of the inscription. (The use of dots as word dividers are well established grammatical facts known from the Semitic alphabetic text of the Mesha Stele to the cuneiform alphabetic texts of Ugarit.)  In light of such textual evidence, Nova’s historicity of King David cannot be proven using the Tel Dan Inscription unless the scholar translating the text totally ignores the use of the word division dots and gets creative.
realize that Nova is basically preaching to a believing choir who need David to have existed.  Then by using inductive logic, Nova next assumes the extensive account of King David in the Hebrew Bible (a figure who holds more Biblical text than any other figure) must be true, so too must Solomon be a historical figure; even if he is never mentioned in any known inscription.

In conclusion, the entire frail reality of the Biblical text is supported by faith of the believers be they Jews, Christians or Moslems and by their subjective mercenary scholars who all too often are employed by religious universities and seminaries whose main purpose is to apologetically defend the Bible so graduates can find employment; who will in turn, use religion to convert a working class whose money will then fund a clergy system which supports and build more religious universities and seminaries hiring more subjective scholars who continue the circular process and all under the guaranteed protection of the government.   It is in this context that the final hour of Nova’s Passover / Easter special was par for the course for two major religious figures who each have one very flimsy textual evidence a peace