Author Topic: The Dan Stele contradiction  (Read 744 times)

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Offline tapdancingcow

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The Dan Stele contradiction
« on: May 15, 2013, 04:42:41 PM »
Some of you might be interested in this little tid-bit of information.  I hope it's ok to copy some of it and post it here, if not I can just post a link.  This is what is written on the Dan Stele which mentions the house of David.  Bible folk get all excited about it  but don't read any further.  So here it is:


1 [... ...] and cut [...]
2. [...] my father went up [against him when] he fought at [...]
3. And my father lay down, he went to his [ancestors] (viz. became sick and died). And the king of I[s-]
4. rael entered previously in my father's land. [And] Hadad made me king.
5. And Hadad went in front of me, [and] I departed from [the] seven [...-]
6. s of my kingdom, and I slew [seve]nty kin[gs], who harnessed thou[sands of cha-]
7. riots and thousands of horsemen (or: horses). [I killed Jeho]ram son of [Ahab]
8. king of Israel, and killed [Ahaz]iahu son of [Jehoram kin-]
9. g of the House of David. And I set [their towns into ruins and turned]
10. their land into [desolation ...]
11. other [... and Jehu ru-]
12. led over Is[rael ... and I laid]
13. siege upon [... ]

    It is obvious that the inscription is badly broken. Still, the two new fragments have provided additional context and helped to clarify the date and setting of the inscription. The monument was erected by one of the kings of Aram (ancient Syria) a little before 800 B.C.E. Dan was the northernmost city of ancient Israel and bordered on the territory of Aram (Map 1). The Bible uses the expression "from Dan to Beersheba" several times to refer to the full extent of Israel (Judg. 20:1; 1 Sam. 3:20; 2 Sam. 3:10; 17:11; 24:2, 15). The two new fragments mention the names of Jehoram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, both of whom the author of the inscription claims to have killed. This claim contradicts the Bible, which credits the Israelite general Jehu with the two assassinations (2 Kings 9-10). The contradiction is further reason for considering the inscription genuine. A modern forger would almost certainly parrot the Bible rather than inventing a blatant contradiction to it. The context of the references to these two kings makes it relatively certain that the phrase in line nine means "the house of David."

    However, "the house of David" was a title for the nation of Judah or its ruling dynasty. It tells us nothing about David the person or his life. Its occurrence in the Tel Dan stele does seem to support the Bible's claim that David was the founder of the country of Judah and its ruling family. The inscription was written within one hundred fifty years of David's lifetime. It is much closer than anything we had before and shows that David was not a late fiction. But a century and a half is still enough time for legends to develop, especially in a culture without photographs or newspapers. So we must be cautious. The Tel Dan inscription does not prove that David was a historical figure, though it does seem to tip the scales in that direction. Unfortunately, the other two inscriptions are just as ambiguous if not more so and add further complications.


So the Israelite general Jehu took credit for killing Jehoram and Ahaziaah, according to the Bible,  but an ancient Syrian king did the deed...according to the Dan Stele inscription.  Another example of the Bible bending the truth.

I just feel like nit-picking the Bible today. Why, the hell not.

here's the link to the whole article.

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/m/mckenzie-david.html

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Offline screwtape

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Re: The Dan Stele contradiction
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 08:11:35 AM »
Next I suppose you are going to try to tell me Exodus didn't happen and Jericho wasn't conquored by some guys tooting horns?

Another abrahamic hero bites the dust.  Abraham wasn't real.  Moses wasn't real.  jesus wasn't real.  Now we find out David wasn't real. The ancient hebrews were a bunch of self-aggrandizing liars.  All hat and no cattle.

edit:
good line in the essay:
Quote
Also, the writer(s) who put together the final product were primarily interested in David not as a historical figure but as a religious model.

This is important to remember when arguing with xians.  It is not important whether david existed or didn't.  Because they may find evidence tomorrow that he did.  It is important to point out the fact that the bible is not biographical.

edit2:
following the link to the review at the top of the piece...
Quote
 
Was King David a Jew? For decades, scholars have quietly entertained doubts.

ZOMG!  How great would that be?  David was real...but he was Egyptian.  I can see the Hassids freaking out and rioting now.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 08:20:14 AM by screwtape »
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Offline tapdancingcow

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Re: The Dan Stele contradiction
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 02:54:53 PM »
screwtape,

Yeah, Moses wasn't real, Jericho didn't have high walls, the Hobbits aren't real and Scarlett O'Hara isn't real.  We all have to realize that humans love to make heroes out of characters from stories.  Scarlett O'hara has a facebook page for christ's sake and she has lots of "friends". The Hobbit stories have a huge following.  Just think about the Star Trek conventions.

I accept and understand that people have imaginations which take them to places that aren't real.  That's fine.  I've done a little of that myself.   It's when they start believing the story is real and make others believe it too  that I have to part ways.

I've given up trying to convince  religious people that the bible is a storybook but once in a while I come across something like this.  It's a small thing and easy to overlook.  General Jehu didn't actually kill two Israeli kings- an ancient  Syrians did, according to the carving on the stele,   but it points to the retelling of history which is so prevalent in the bible.  Retelling stories that aren't true and then written in a book is called......a storybook, a fable and a novel. 

Here I am preaching to the choir again.  Sorry.

Screwtape, my guess is that David might have existed but was just the head sheppard with the most sheep  and  one day threw a rock at a passing goat farmer. 

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Online Jag

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Re: The Dan Stele contradiction
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 10:33:19 AM »
Screwtape, my guess is that David might have existed but was just the head sheppard with the most sheep  and  one day threw a rock at a passing goat farmer. 

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As likely an explanation as any. The Bible doesn't require taking it with a grain of salt, an entire block is more like it.
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline screwtape

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Re: The Dan Stele contradiction
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2013, 11:10:22 AM »
perhaps a pillar of salt?
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Online Jag

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Re: The Dan Stele contradiction
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 12:48:35 PM »
^^^Kicking myself for not thinking of that. Well played sir!
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."