<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="utf-8"> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /> <title>Note: Christian Tractatus (Theo Todman's Web Page)</title> </head><body> <a name="Top"></a> <h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages</h1><hr><h2>Christian Tractatus</h2><p class = "Centered">(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)<hr> <P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B> Since Christianity is a historically-based religion, it is essential that the historical events that undergird it can find a place within the historical framework constructed from other sources.</B><ol type="1"><li>In what follows, I have pursued a (perhaps tedious & tendentious) analysis of the Biblical history, by epoch. Throughout, it must be remembered that the Bible has as much right to a hearing as any other ancient source, which are themselves to be expected to show bias and selectivity in the events they record.</li><li>With regard to <a name="1"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_4/Notes_468.htm">primaeval</A><SUP>1</SUP> history, there is obviously a major discrepancy between the Bible (as literally interpreted) & modern theories of Palaeontology.</li><li>The <a name="2"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_4/Notes_469.htm">patriarchal</A><SUP>2</SUP> stories are difficult to confirm from secular history, which is not surprising given the nomadic lifestyle of the patriarchs.</li><li>The complete silence in <a name="3"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_4/Notes_470.htm">Egyptian</A><SUP>3</SUP> records with respect to the Exodus requires explanation.</li><li>The history of Israel under the <a name="4"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_4/Notes_471.htm">judges</A><SUP>4</SUP> appears to contain legendary elements (eg. much of the Samson narratives), but the history of the struggles against the Philistines seems to be based on fact. The theological interpretation of events in the Book of Judges (ie. the association of ill-fortune with a "turning away from the Lord") may be seen either as a simple fact or as a naive system of rewards morality that elements of the later prophetic tradition sought to correct.</li><li>Similar remarks apply to the history of Israel under the Kings. There may be some embellishments (eg. the greatness of Solomon's kingdom may be exaggerated, some of Elijah's and Elisha's escapades appear to be legendary, etc.) and there are notorious problems with datings, but the over-all tenor does not seen unreasonable. In the later history, there are some cross-connections with secular records: eg. Jehu's submission to the Assyrian Shalmaneser III.</li><li>The history of the fall of Israel and Judah seems to fit well into the contemporary scene, though Daniel is contentious as an historical figure.</li><li>The historical narratives of the New Testament, where they impinge on secular history, are generally precise and reliable, particularly in Luke/Acts (though there is some controversy about this: eg. the governorship of Quirinius and Augustus's census). However, there do appear to be legendary episodes here as well (as in the stories of the Magi, Herod Agrippa's death [though the romanticisation of the latter's demise is shared with Josephus] etc).</li><li>So far, we have placed the emphasis on the relationship of the Biblical accounts of historical episodes to those recorded in secular history, rather than on whether the narrative material in the Bible that cannot be <a name="5"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_4/Notes_472.htm">cross-checked</A><SUP>5</SUP> can properly be called history.</li><li>In summary, we note that, in general and despite some legendary material, the historical records of the Bible seem to be consistent with secular history. Discrepancies have been much exaggerated by those reacting against a strict fundamentalism. </li></ol></P> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><TR> <TH WIDTH="25%">Note last updated</TH> <TH WIDTH="50%">Reference for this Topic</TH> <TH WIDTH="25%">Parent Topic</TH></TR> <TR><TD WIDTH="25%">12/08/2007 10:17:46</TD> <TD WIDTH="50%">402 (Problems - Christianity Historical)</TD> <TD WIDTH="25%"><A href ="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_184.htm">Problems</A></TD></TR> </TABLE></center> <hr><h3>Summary of Note Links from this Page</h3> <CENTER> <TABLE Class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR> <td bgcolor="#ffcccc" WIDTH="20%"><A href = "../../Notes/Notes_4/Notes_472.htm"><span title="Low Quality">Problems - Checking History</span></A></TD> <td bgcolor="#ffcccc" WIDTH="20%"><A href = "../../Notes/Notes_4/Notes_470.htm"><span title="Low Quality">Problems - Egypt</span></A></TD> <td bgcolor="#ffcccc" WIDTH="20%"><A href = "../../Notes/Notes_4/Notes_471.htm"><span title="Low Quality">Problems - Judges</span></A></TD> <td bgcolor="#ffcccc" WIDTH="20%"><A href = "../../Notes/Notes_4/Notes_469.htm"><span title="Low Quality">Problems - Patriarchs</span></A></TD> <td bgcolor="#ffcccc" WIDTH="20%"><A href = "../../Notes/Notes_4/Notes_468.htm"><span title="Low Quality">Problems - Primaeval History</span></A></TD> </TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P class = "Centered">To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.</P> <BR><HR><BR><h3>Summary of Note Links to this Page</h3> <CENTER> <TABLE Class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR> <td bgcolor="#ffff4d" WIDTH="20%"><A href = "../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_184.htm#2"><span title="Medium Quality">Problems</span></A></TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> </TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P class = "Centered">To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.</P> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><br><hr><br><h3 class = "Left">Text Colour Conventions</h3><OL TYPE="1"><li><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li></OL><BR> <center><BR><HR><BR><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD><TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD><TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T17:26" pubdate>02/08/2018 17:26:09</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD><TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD></TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR></BODY></HTML>