I am writing in response to the Feb. 8 letter to the editor titled “The Bible is a reliable source, should not be criticized.”
There is a tendency in our society to view the Bible as a single document, which should either be accepted as an infallible account of history and reality or discarded as a completely malicious human fabrication.
It isn’t that simple. The Bible is not one document — it is a compilation of hundreds of documents, many of which have been discarded from or added over the course of thousands of years. In its current form, The Bible consists of between 66 and 81 books, which were written by more than 40 authors. Some of the claims in these documents are historically accurate. Many of them have led to historical discoveries, like The Hitties.
However, some of these documents contain claims about history that are absolutely false. For example, the story of Joshua’s conquest of Canaan is unilaterally rejected by historians. Similarly, the historicity of Jesus is not as simple. Today, scholars agree that he was crucified, but disagree about virtually every other facet of his life. Despite what many evangelists claim, biblical scholars agree that there are no eyewitness accounts of his resurrection, nor did any contemporary historians mention the event.
The Bible isn’t a reliable source or a mythology. It’s a collection of reliable sources, unreliable sources, facts and mythologies that span thousands of years.