History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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The Old Testament and the Axial Age

August 19th, 2016 · No Comments



It is pretty hard for me to consider the Old Testament as anything more than a document in testimony to primitive monotheism. I would thus be hard pressed to disagree with Coyne here, more or less.
However, I would recommend a look at my Enigma of the Axial Age to see how confusion on both sides has produced another now sterile debate.
Using my historical model we can see how the myths of revelation arose and their real meaning, and that this model clearly distinguish ‘macro determination’ and ‘free agency’: the Old Testament appears in a definite process called the Axial period, but its contents are made up by primitive Canaanites in the Israel/Judah phases (with some material inherited as ‘saga’ from earlier times).
The question strongly resembles the case of the synchronous emergent Homeric epic, and the historical status of Old Testament figures resembles that of the heroic figures in the Iliad, Achilles to Odysseus (actually I would claim that more probably that Old Testament figures are fuzzy pointers to real people, with that historical aspect growing more vexed the farther back we go. I would suspect that Moses has been lost to legend, while the eighth century prophets are in some fashion likely historical figures, whatever the weaving of their histories into OT saga…(etc)…

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