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Historical Accuracy of Nehemiah

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by tomspug, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. tomspug

    tomspug Absorbant

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    http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=64
    This find confirms the historical accuracy of Nehemiah's documentation of the rebuilding of the First Temple in present-day Jerusalem. Surprising or not?
     
  2. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism Staff Member Premium Member

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    Disciple of Yeshua.
    Not surprising to me. I watched a TV show about looking for any historical evidence of King David and they found evidence of Goliath.
     
  3. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule Well-Known Member

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  4. Francine

    Francine New Member

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    Let me guess, a larger than normal skull with a hole where the temple should be?
     
  5. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism Staff Member Premium Member

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    Disciple of Yeshua.
    Actually, it was his name carved in stone.
     
  6. tomspug

    tomspug Absorbant

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    My point is that, time and again, archeology and history tends to point TOWARDS the historical authority of the Bible, not AWAY. The general assumption of today is that, of course, the Bible is mostly infallible because it mentions miracles (and those don't exist), therefore most of it is probably bull. This is simply an opinion of the uneducated.
     
  7. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    To what extent would you say this find confirms the historical accuracy of the book of Nehemiah? Would you say it confirms that Nehemiah is accurate in every detail? That Nehemiah is mostly accurate? That Nehemiah is partially accurate?
     
  8. tomspug

    tomspug Absorbant

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    Whenever a historical document is found to have accurate information, it increases the historical strength of that document. In other words, the more information we have that finds the Bible to be historically accurate, the more reliable of a historical document.

    In other words, since there is historically accurate information in Nehemiah, it presents a stronger case for the historicity of the rest of the information within it. The only way to counter this process is to have information that directly contradicts certain passages of the document, then the document becomes historically unreliable.

    So, if there is nothing but historical accuracy within a document, it becomes a historically authoritative document. However, one small contradiction will greatly diminish this authority.

    So, with the Bible as a whole, each book should be examined in this way, attempting to find historical inaccuracies within them. In the case of the gospel of Matthew, there are several instances of miracles, but they can not be proven to contradict with history without an authoritative source. Because there are no contradictions of history within Matthew (as far as I'm aware of) it is technically a historically reliable document. Whether or not you accept the miracles part is entirely up to you, but the fact that it documents them does not automatically make Matthew an historically unreliable document.
     
  9. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    Eilat Mazar has found a seal that may have the name Tamah/Temech on it. The reading is by no means certain. In addition, Eilat makes the claim that this is the "Temech family seal" -- as opposed to, say, the seal of a person named Temech.

    I'd like to see some more discussion of Eilat's reading of the seal, and also of the questions:

    How common were "family" seals in the ancient Near East?
    How is a family seal distinguished from an individual's seal?

    However, let's assume for the sake of argument that Eilat's reading of the seal is correct and that her conclusions are also correct. In that event, exactly how much of Nehemiah's account would be confirmed?

    To put it another way, if I find evidence that a family named Earnshaw lived in Yorkshire in the 19th century, will you consider that evidence of the historical accuracy of Wuthering Heights?
     
  10. tomspug

    tomspug Absorbant

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    This is less about the family of Temech and more about the reconstruction of the temple. Essentially, the Babylonian king had a large amount of the Jews captured and indoctrinated into their culture. Somehow, over hundreds of years, apparently the Jewish religions survived this (see Daniel, Esther, 1 Chronicles), even after the Persian nation conquered Babylon. After all of this, for some strange reason, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem for the purpose of rebuilding their nation and their temple.

    This seal is evidence of the construction of this temple around the correct time period. Not only that, it bears Babylonian influence, which implies that it was not constructed solely by the Jews of Jerusalem but were influenced by the Babylonian occupation. So the point of this seal is less about the Temech family and more about the confirmation of a Biblical EVENT.
     
  11. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    19,902
    Actually, it was less than a hundred years from the fall of Jerusalem to the return of the exiles, and during that short interval the religion of the captives was considerably influenced by other religions.

    As far as I know, neither the Babylonian captivity nor building of the Second Temple is considered fictitious by any serious scholar, and most scholars accept that the exiles returned with a syncretized version of Yahwism that differed significantly from the Yahwism of "the people of the land."
     
  12. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    The measurement given is 6 cubits and a span in KJV 1 Samuel 17:4. A cubit is around the length of fingertip to the elbow, which is roughly 46 cm (or 18 inches). And a span is half a cubit, so 23 cm or 9 inches. In total that would mean 297.1 cm, near 3 metres (or 9 feet and 9 inches).
    I do remember the documentary, and none of the tall skeletons found came close to these figures. If there were really Goliath, then it is none of these. So the evidence is still not there.
    I also recall that the measurements were different, depending on which translation you are relying on. So you different figures, on different translations, which really don't help much, except to frustrate anyone investigating them.
     
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