Is the Bible a god-penned newspaper?

There’s no use trying to establish the historicity of the Gospels, the metaphysics of the Letters, or the veracity of any of the Hebrew Bible’s account of God’s deeds or the exploits of the Hebrews.

What we call “the” Bible is a post hoc collection of independent writings written by different unnamed people for different purposes and audiences. Certain writings became popular with the laity; others were necessary for temple carpenters, butchers, priests, and masons to do their work; others served as propaganda or social control. They were all later thrown together and that false unity is the Hebrew Bible.

Old Testament

The Hebrew Bible contains writings originally written for disparate purposes. None of them were written in the spirit of journalistic record keeping. All the numbers are exaggerated or rounded to numbers having mystical significance (like all of Solomon’s property adding up to 666).

Some of the writings were pornography:

My beloved thrust his hand into the opening, and my bowels moved for him. I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, upon the handles of the bolt. Song 5:4–5

Other writings were creation myths:

then the Lord God formed man from the clay of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. Gen 2:7

Many writings were morale boosting stories meant to encourage tired soldiers, to cheer on Our Guys in their perpetual war against Everyone Else:

Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks. Ps 137:9

Claims that David was ruler of a unified Israel and Judea and grew the empire to massive size are encouraging white lies. We now know that, even at its peak, Jerusalem was never more than one-fourth the size of the enemy city of Gath (legendary birthplace of Goliath). The number given of Israelites moseyed away from Egypt is six times the entire population of Israel at its peak. This exaggerating of numbers is common worldwide. It’s always a good morale boost to inflate the numbers—team members, productivity, wars won, enemies killed, land owned, gold owned, wives owned, etc. Scientology is famous for still doing this even though we live in an age where false claims can be exposed. In the self-report videos that are distributed and shown at events, the announcer makes membership and graduation numbers that are insanely inflated.

Some writings were fables of discipline and punishment meant to create the fearful and obedient environment helpful to the ruling class and productivity. These were writings in the service of command-based social engineering:

the prophet Elijah came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your bidding. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord indeed is God; the Lord indeed is God.” Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape.” Then they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon, and killed them there. 1 King 18:36–40

New Testament

The “New Testament” Gospels are hero stories about a charismatic follower of John the Baptizer, who was preaching the second coming of the Son of Man, a truly magical superhero character from the Book of Daniel, to kick the Romans out of the Levant. When the Son of Man never came when Jesus said he would—“any day now” or at least within Jesus’ lifetime since he expected to be installed as king—the story of Jesus and his popular Son of Man religion were re-digested into Greek culture and mythology and Jesus became a biological son of Zeus a la Hercules and Dionysus, and a dying (resurrected vegetation) god a la Tammuz, Osiris, and through direct plagiarism, Dionysus, “the true vine.”

Some are images from the cult of Dionysus that made their way into one of the fringe “Son of Man is coming soon” political movements—the one headed by John the Baptizer to which Jesus belonged. Some are things everyone knew to be true about Jesus but then changed in order to boost him. For example, the fallacious stories that try to put him in Bethlehem rather than Nazareth.