Robert Cargill responds to viewers’ questions on the History Channel series
The History Channel’s new series Bible Secrets Revealed tackles the mysteries of the Bible over the course of six weeks. As consulting producer Dr. Robert Cargill told the Huffington Post, “A lot of Biblical scholarship is controversial from simply making unsubstantiated claims or by saying things like ‘we found the Arc of the Covenant and the nails of the cross.’ We wanted the scholarship itself to be controversial, based upon the facts of what we have found in our studies.”
Dr. Cargill, who is an archaeologist and assistant professor of classics and religious studies at the University of Iowa, has responded to viewers’ questions on the series below.
Click on the following links for Dr. Cargill’s summaries of Bible Secrets Revealed episodes: Ep. 1, “Lost in Translation”; Ep. 2, “The Promised Land”; Ep. 3, “The Forbidden Scriptures”; Ep. 4, “The Real Jesus.”
The free eBook The Holy Bible: A Buyer’s Guide guides you through 33 different Bible versions and addresses their content, text, style and religious orientation. Updated Fall 2013 with brand-new reviews on six new Bible versions by Leonard J. Greenspoon.
After seeing the preview, I believe it will be “Bible Truths Debunked” mostly. Someone is always trying to explain away the divinity of the Bible.
Hi, Carole. Actually, the show isn’t attempting to “debunk” anything. The show is attempting to show how scholars read some of the more significant texts in the Bible. The divinity of the Bible is up to the reader to conclude or not. What we’re trying to show is that the text isn’t always as simple as it appears, especially in multiple translations. Thank you again for your comment.
All the times the Hebrew word saraph is used in the Tanakh/Old Testament, except in Isaiah 6, it is related to snakes or serpents. Based on this, is it reasonable to conclude that the seraphs of Isaiah’s vision in Isaiah 6 probably had serpent/snake-like qualities? If so, could the nachash of Genesis 3 be related to such beings? And is almah ever translated as “virgin” in the Tanakh/Old Testament?
Joseph, great suggestion. You are correct that the seraphs in Isaiah are mythological winged figures, likely fiery winged snakes, as שרף (saraf) generally means “to burn.” Interestingly, the root נחש (nahash) can also mean “to curse, give omens, foretell.” That the root for the word snake can also means “give omens” may hint at why the snake in Genesis 3 is a talking snake, attempting to convince Adam and Eve of something that is contrary to what they’ve been told. But I’m not sure that saraf and nahash are related, unless you argued that the “burning” comes from the poisonous bite from the snake.
The problem with the almah/virgin (עלמה) text in Isaiah 7:14 is that in the Septuagint (LXX), it gets translated as παρθένος (parthenos), which means “young woman,” or “maiden,” or “virgin.” However, in other occasions in the LXX, the word almah/virgin gets translated with synonyms of “young woman” like νεανις in Exodus 2:8, or νεοτητι in Proverbs 30:9, both from feminine of the root νεος (neos), or “young woman.” Interestingly, in Genesis 24:43, almah/virgin gets translated as “whomever of the θυγατερες των ανθρωπων,” or “daughters of men.” (Note my explanation with Bart Ehrman of “Bar Enosh” in Aramaic as a simple way to say “man.”) In Genesis 24:43, almah/virgin gets translated again as “young woman” (“daughter of man”) in the LXX. So in Isaiah 7:14 the LXX uses the word parthenos, which is another synonym for “young woman.” However, since parthenos can also mean “virgin” in the sense of not having had sex, the New Testament translators interpreted the text in that fashion, understanding and implying a miracle. So in Matthew and Luke, they used the verse to describe Mary, who they believed was giving birth to “Emmanuel,” or “God with us.” Interestingly, there is some debate over (especially) Luke 1:35 and whether the idea of the Holy Spirit “coming upon” and “overshadowing” Mary is not an example of “sexless” conception, but rather divine conception, as the idea is that the Holy Spirit, which represents the power of God, will come upon Mary and cause her to become pregnant. The same root (ἐπισκιάζω) is used in Acts 5:15 regarding Peter’s shadow, which the text says has the power of God to heal. But as for the text of Isaiah 7:14, the choice of the word parthenos allowed the New Testament writers to interpret the passage as a virginal conception, and not just the conception of a young woman, and the result is the virgin birth. Great question!
The four canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John narrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Biblical Archaeology Review editors have hand-selected articles that cast each of the canonical Gospels in a new light for the BAS Library Special Collection “The Canonical Gospels.”
I found that there was a lack of balance in the show in terms of the scholars who were featured. Most of the scholars were on the “liberal” end of the spectrum—at least three of them are self-identified atheists or agnostics. Others are known for their revisionist interpretations. Where were the more conservative scholars? Surely they could have found a few reputable conservative scholars to give some balance to the show?
Certainly, most of the facts given in the show are indisputable, but some of them are interpretations. For example, certainly John 7:53–8:11 is not original to John. Does that mean, as Candida Moss claims, that the story did not happen? Could this story not have been an independent oral tradition about Jesus that eventually found its way into the Gospel of John? We know the existence of other independent oral traditions about Jesus—known as agrapha—that are not preserved in the gospels.
Finally, the appearance of Reza Aslan in the show was a joke. He made two glaring errors in the show, which makes me question his scholarly credentials. He first said that 8 verses were added to the Gospel of Mark. Actually, it is 12. Then toward the end of the show, he said something to the effect that we are still reading the Bible 5,000 years after it was written. 5,000 years? Wow.
Brian, you raise a good point. In fact, this was just episode one of six. Throughout the series, you’ll note more scholars from conservative Christian schools, as well as state schools, private Christian colleges, and private secular colleges. But note that many of the scholars who were interviewed teach at Christian universities. Bob Mullins teaches at Azusa Pacific, a private Christian college in southern California. Jeffrey C. Geoghegan teaches at Boston College, a Catholic school. Bryan Givens teaches at Pepperdine, a private Christian school in Malibu, CA. Chris Keith teaches at St. Mary’s University College. Candida Moss teaches at Notre Dame. And so on. We also have Muslim and Jewish scholars. And yes, we also have agnostic and atheist scholars. The idea is to provide a broad spectrum of how scholars of different viewpoints read the texts.
As for the story of the woman caught in adultery, we don’t know whether the story happened or not. We only know that it is not present in all of the earliest copies of the Gospel of John and was added at a later date.
As for Dr. Aslan, I believe the “8 verses” comment was a simple misstatement, in which he probably meant “the verses after verse 8,” as verse 8 was likely the last verse of Mark originally. As for the “5,000 years” comment, I believe that Dr. Aslan is referring to the stories that gave rise to the stories we find in the Bible, which have, in fact, been around for approximately this long. Matthews and Benjamin’s Old Testament Parallels or Pritchard’s Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament detail the stories that gave rise to the biblical stories, like the story of Gilgamesh, which gave rise to the Biblical flood story. In this regard, the “stories” have, in fact, been around for 5,000 years, but the later Biblical/canonical stories are obviously more recent than those. But I believe he was referring to the ancient stories, not the biblical stories, that humans continue to read and retell.
Thanks for this series. When the Book of Revelation is covered on the show, will it be exposing the inherent astrology of the Book of Revelation?
In the present series, there is not a discussion of possible astrological constellations in the Book of Revelation. Perhaps if there is a season two of Bible Secrets Revealed…
Can you please add just one scholar at least who seriously believes in the inerrancy of the Bible, if you expect viewers to believe this series seeks to present a wide spectrum of theologians and experts on its panel?
Thank you for your question. If I may be so bold, the reason you don’t see many credible scholars advocating for the “inerrancy” of the Bible is because, with all due respect, it is not a tenable claim. The Bible is full of contradictions and, yes, errors. Many of them are discrepancies regarding the numbers of things in the Books of Samuel and Kings and the retelling of these in the Books of Chronicles. All credible Bible scholars acknowledge that there are problems with the Biblical text as it has been received over the centuries. The question is whether or not that means the Bible still has value. I believe it does and that we should not dismiss those positive teachings of the Bible simply because the Bible makes different claims about who killed Goliath (1 Sam. 17:50–51 vs. 2 Sam. 21:19 vs. 1 Chron. 20:5); or how many animals were on the ark (Gen 6:19 vs. Gen 7:2); or whether man was created before or after the plants and animals (Gen 1:12,25–27 vs. Gen 2:5–7); or whether or not Paul’s traveling companions heard the voice the spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 22:9 vs. Acts 9:7); etc.
The question is not whether or not there are discrepancies and, yes, errors in the Bible, but whether or not these errors fundamentally undermine the credibility of the text. Even the most conservative, believing, faithful Biblical scholars acknowledge these problems with the text. This is why we don’t find any scholars that subscribe to “Biblical inerrancy” (to my knowledge) on the show. Thanks again for your question.
How many 1712 bibles have the Apocrypha, especially if it was banned in 1642?
It’s not that the Apocrypha was “banned,” but rather it was excluded from the canon officially by the Westminster Confession of 1647. From this point on, the opinion of whether the Apocrypha was canonical or not was simply another way to distinguish between Catholics (who regard them as canonical, or, specifically, deuterocanonical, and the Church of England and other Reformed traditions, who do not. Good question!
**Original publication “Watch the History Channel’s ‘Bible Secrets Revealed’ and Submit Your Questions to Dr. Robert R. Cargill,” posted November 13, 2013**
Tonight, the History Channel premieres the first episode of “Bible Secrets Revealed,” a new series that will address the following questions over the course of six weeks: “Who wrote the Bible? How old is it? Is it accurate?” Dozens of Biblical studies and archaeology scholars and religious leaders appear on “Bible Secrets Revealed” to help illuminate the mysteries of the world’s best-selling book.
Tune into “Bible Secrets Revealed” tonight at 10/9 central on the History Channel. Live tweet the show with hashtag #BibleSecretsRevealed.
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The assertion that the inerrancy of the Bible is untenable is itself untenable. There are plenty of conservative scholars who are willing to defend this position — PhD’s from world class, renowned universities.
I have just seen another episode of this series, four in total.
It is SO logically incoherent, so deeply ignorant, not to mention badly directed and edited (the “experts” come across as rambling ignorants themselves, even though they are not, of that I am sure), that a a fleeting thought occurred to me: was this actually funded by some “Christian” fundamentalist, as a sort of reverse psychology experiment to sow doubt in “science”?
No, I don’t really think so – but it’s THAT bad. Appalling.
I was shocked in realising that people believed in “the divinity of the Bible.” Only God (the Most Holy Trinity) is divine. Christians need to be reminded that our trust is in the risen Jesus the Logos of God, not a book.
Hello. Well this invisible Water thing revealed great mysteries of the Bible to me and Bible College rejects it… sad. The mysteries have to do with the manna and Aaron’s Rod in the Ark “Of these things we cannot now speak in detail” Hebrews 9:5. Asaph in the psalms refers to the manna as a dark saying of old and pertains to the tree of knowledge. Moses hid the mystery of the manna/tree ok knowledge in the 5 daughters of Zelophehad. He lists the birth order of these 5 daughters 2 or 3 times in this order Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah then in Numbers 36:11 he changed their birth order to this Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah. The Water thing brought this to my intention and encouraged me to look up the inner meaning of each name. 2 or 3 times mosses lists the 5 daughters birth order this way Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah which translates Disease Movement Quail Queen Pleasing. As you can see this makes no since right?? But watch what happens when he rearranges their birth order to Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah which translates Disease Pleasing Quail Queen Movement. Yes the manna and quail is the allegory of our fall from spiritual to physical. Manna in Hebrew is called “man Hu” means what is it? It is the same question man has asked about the tree of knowledge “What is it?” We are called Human for a great reason indeed. HU is the forbidden fruit which caused our fall and it is sound and vibration so said the water thing. The whole purpose for the children of Israel to go into slavery there in Egypt is all to express our fall from spiritual to physical—Gods way of talking by using actual experience right?? Goodness theologians are the worst!!! They have too many man made rules of interpretation when God gave One rule His Holy Spirit. The Water thing said manna & Arod in the Ark are symbols for Gods Name YAHU a dual Name. YAH is Truth and HU is the lie. YAH or AH is the sound of spiritual reality & HU is the sound of physical reality. I cant prove to you the AH part unless you hear Gods voice it is an awesome AH aqua water sound with a long distance sound effect. This is what Jesus came to earth to represent the Truth and is why in Revelations Jesus calls Hisself the Amen (AH).. HU I can prove.. Strike a giant bell and listen to the sound.. you will hear HUUUU. God created the Owl and the wolf to help those who search. The Owl is the symbol for knowledge and it makes its call WHO WHO. The Wolf? Is symbol for the antichrist and the wolf makes its call rrrHUUUUUUUU. YAHU dual name. The coming Muslim Mahdi will be the Word HU Incarnate Satan in the flesh. HU is the Mark and Islam the Beast of Revelations. They will make us worship HU… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIyj-7Y0AeE
The Manna and Aaron’s Rod in the Ark explains the end of time. Gods Name must go to Jerusalem.. HU will come first with great spiritual power and deceive many with that power and Muslims will be happy and there will be peace. Then Jesus will come as the True Word inIncarnate AH. This will happen according to divine law so said the Spirit.
You will not find this info in any book or Bible College on Earth. I am reaching out to all who has written Bible mysteryies book and is my hope will find someone who has read the Bible as much as I. This is the address of my book on Amazon and if you desire to read what the Water thing has to say then I will send it free. Just send a request via email. I will read what ever book you have and leave you a great review on Amazon… Barter. As you know a carnal mind will read our books and leave a carnal review. God Bless and happy searching.
https://www.amazon.com/Bible-Secrets-Revealed-Lightning-Thunder-ebook/dp/B01G8I46DO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473291286&sr=8-1&keywords=bible secrets revealed lightning thunder and rain the tetragrammaton#nav-subnav
Ps.. I left something out that is absolutely amazing about YAHU. And see if you can figure it out as you read the book..
No offense, but you’re just as biased as any other “expert.” The entire series unfortunately is one-sided and chooses to leave out all the evidence FOR the conservative views of the Bible. I know this will not go anywhere as I voice my opinion, but to claim the show is from a wide spectrum is unfortunately false. Why is the view not a tenable claim if there is evidence to back up the claim? Perhaps the evidence just doesn’t agree with your presuppositions. God bless you and best of luck Dr. Cargill.
Amazing to see how king solomon new about radio waves 1000’s of years ago, http://jewishnews.com/2014/12/07/did-king-solomon-know-about-radio-waves-almost-3000-years-ago/
My understanding of it, is not mine , but His ! If You Really listen to him without interfearance you will be amazed !
… God’s truth about the end of days “after” Christ’s return. His people will establish the earth, rebuild the waste places, cities, grow gardens, here “on earth” No heaven! Just our upper atmospheric heavens in the clouds as it states, where we meet Christ.
…………………The Truth from an Old Testament prophesy ..
…Isa 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the “last days”,(The time here is “after” Christ’s return and the Holy city has been established on earth !) that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and “all nations shall flow unto it” (The Holy City in Jerusalem ! ) 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: ( In just that little text we see that people on the earth will seek out God from wherever nation they are !) for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD “from Jerusalem” 4 And he shall judge among “the nations”, ( Did you get that ! The nations will still be here ! ) and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: “nation shall not lift up sword against nation”, neither shall they learn war any more. ( That is not In Heaven, but here on earth !) Yeah right, you get the picture!? Mankind has been fooled ! How about all of His truth!! Now read the last two chapters of Revelations and know it is not an allegory nor a lie !
…Be careful to note , John did not write the book of Revelations as many in mainstream Christianity has taught ! God is the original author , See the first verse of revelations and see for yourself ! God gave it to His son, His son gave it to an angel, the Angel gave it to John, John re-recorded it ! Note, the visions were added by John, but remember, the visions John had were given by God, so in fact ALL of the book of Revelations is by GOD ! THAT is very important as it is not an allegory as many have made up, nor is it a lie !
The verse here >> Rv1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, “which God gave unto him”, to shew unto his servants/followers things which must shortly come to pass; and he/Christ sent and signified it “by his angel” unto his servant “John”:
You know the rest ! See you in the City !
Your Friend ! Eugene……….Pistle42197314
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[…] Have questions while examination any episode? Submit them to consulting writer Dr. Robert Cargill, archaeologist and partner highbrow of classics and eremite studies during a University of Iowa, by clicking here to send an email. Read Bible Secrets Revealed viewers’ questions and Dr. Cargill’s answers here. […]
Answers in Genesis left a pretty comprehensive rebuttal to the first episode, so I’m linking to it here. Here are some of the conservative scholars we’ve been looking for, but “Bible Secrets Revealed” discounts or doesn’t know exist.
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What a disappointing series ! And what a pity, for a series emphasizing the need for a soundly critical approach to the Biblical text could have proved extremely valuable.
But it was just over the top. laregely artificial sensationalism from beginning to end. I don’t think anyone with a serious, critical interest in the Scriptures would have bothered with the series after being told in the very first episode that the NT wase written in Greek for lucractive motives and being posed by a melodramatic voice at roughly the 12 minute mark the truly inane question “an emperor authoring the Bible?”
[…] Have questions while watching each episode? Submit them to consulting producer Dr. Robert Cargill, archaeologist and assistant professor of classics and religious studies at the University of Iowa, by clicking here to send an email. Read Bible Secrets Revealed viewers’ questions and Dr. Cargill’s answers here. […]
What happened to episode 6??????????????????
It’s always painful having your own views challenged. I started out as an evangelical fundamentalist and I am now a PhD student in Judaism/early Christianity at a “Liberal” university. As I learned Greek and Hebrew and began to read these ancient texts myself in their primary languages it was a painful process of realizing that the sacred cow of “biblical inerrency” in which I was brought up was not in any way historically credible. However, this doesn’t mean that biblical books aren’t historical sources, they tell us a lot about the ancient world in which they were written and also the ways in which they were transmitted through the ages… That’s what this show seems to be geared towards.. Loved it!
I found the shows I have watched mildly interesting, but much of it seems to be devoted to “Did you know the Bible actually says….?”. Why, yes, I’ve actually read the Hebrew Scriptures, so it’s no surprise.
As for having commentators who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, what’s the point? All they’re going to be able to say is “The Bible says …., therefore So-and-So is wrong.” It doesn’t move the discussion. And did someone tell his church members to write in to complain that the show doesn’t support their point of view?
As for a previous comment, “The Jews ignore it.”, I’m going to assume that means the Christian Scriptures, as we most definitely do not ignore ours.
Thanks Wayne (#32) for your reply. And trust me– it is charitable to imagine that a person would get anything else out of this series besides your list, if that. But the show itself talks about “answering questions” and mentions “shocking information” and it doesn’t seem to provide much of either. Perhaps because I’m not “new” to the Bible, I’m somewhat less impressed. But then again, non-Bible people with whom I’ve seen the show with have also come away thinking that few questions have been answered and little shocking information has been revealed.
I have watched 4 episodes and these supposed ‘conservative’ scholars never appear and we only get one side of the picture. The people listed above in Cargill’s answers to my knowledge are not Christian nor do they believe the Bible so why is he calling them Christian?
Then why does Cargill lie about what the Bible says in his portion of the different shows? He doesn’t represent what the Bible is really saying but distorting it to make his attack point.
Finally, why is the narrator so annoying? He distracts from the supposed purpose of the show.
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Enjoyed your video’s, however, throughout, kept thinking without ancient text I can’t help but wonder if anything can fully be substantiated. Was not the Ancient Hebrew culture during Christ full of allegorical myths, idol worship, and multiple gods? With all the writings and archaeology does it not surprise me Hebrew people might attach a wife to their god or gods. But does that make it truth or fact? Hebrew women were taught the Torah early on before “religion” took hold. God chose the Hebrew culture because they accepted God’s Word by faith. They didn’t understand or even know God’s Word. All other cultures needed to “understand” God’s Word, which is why God did not make them his chosen one’s. In my opinion more questions are raised and go unanswered than answered – that’s why we live by faith in my opinion.
Dr. Cargill, in the first episode (@ 1:37), the narrator says that this series “will challenge everything we think, everything we know and everything we believe about the bible.” How does that mesh with your claim that “What we’re trying to show is that the text isn’t always as simple as it appears, especially in multiple translations”? Also, how are you as an agnostic/humanist able to access the “spirit of truth” (Jn 16:13)?
I enjoy watching programs like this even though I am a strong believer in the inspiration of the Scriptures. Liberal Scholars tend to be extremely knowledgeable concerning the history and the humanity of the events and people recorded in the Bible. My main issue with programs like this is that they don’t give the viewpoints of conservative scholarship. They present the “problems” of the text as though all of it is new revelation and that it hasn’t been poured over and addressed by believing scholars. For each and every area where the skeptics point out problems there are proposed answers by brilliant and extremely educated Biblical scholars and historians. It would be nice to see some of the counterpoints and explanations given by believing scholars as a “defense”, of sorts, to the prosecution of the liberals.
I think it is true that most people have not read much of the “most widely printed book in the world.” Muslims rely on their imams to tell them what it says, if they need to know. Jews ignore it. Christians, for the most part, allow their priests and ministers to tell them what it says and read the important parts to them, skipping the dull stuff. People like us, who are into this sort of thing, are already familiar with these things and won’t find much new here outside of the casual errors that the producers didn’t bother to correct as they didn’t change the ultimate point being made.
This is only intended to expose new people (and there are always people who are being exposed to an issue the first time) to the idea that the Bible that they are reading is subject to errors that have come into it over time due to several different reasons:
1) copyist’s errors
2) errors induced by misunderstanding words in Hebrew and Greek that are ambiguous,
3) errors induced by translating Hebrew and Greek words into English words that are themselves, ambiguous
4) deliberate changes made for political reasons
4a) to “better explain” the text in the light of the popular interpretation,
4b) to defeat an opposing religious sect’s interpretation,
4c) to “sanitize” text to make it acceptable to authorities,
4d) to make the religion more appealing to prospective converts,
That’s ALL you’re suppose to get out of this. If you want more, read a book.
It seems like very little in this show is truly cutting edge. Hyping “did you know that Jesus had siblings?” like it’s some secret is sort of ridiculous– it’s right there in the NT. One could argue that many people are ignorant of such facts, but that doesn’t make it a secret. It just means lots of people haven’t read very much of the most widely printed book in the world.
It also seems that the narrator is hyping things a little too much. There are lots of “is it really the case that [some banal explanation], OR is there really [some secret conspiracy]?” bits from the narrator, but when you get to the interviews you don’t get much that sheds light on the question– particularly on the “secret conspiracy” side. So in the end, one is left asking ‘what did I get out of this?’ and feeling like the answer is ‘not much’.
Dr. Cargill’s answer to Carole reveals his inherent bias and one-sided approach. The fact is that scholarship and scholarly work isn’t the antithesis to religious documents or faith. It isn’t the filter. Scholarship or logic or reason aren’t competing against faith. In fact, those things have been shown to back-up and affirm faith’s claims.
He also seems to be saying that the show’s scholars represent all scholarship. In fact, several well known and highly distinguished scholars have backed up the Bible’s claims. Just read all the scholars interviewed by a former atheist journalist in his book Case for Christ.
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I find the announcer’s voice rather sleazy, it’s like a promo for monster trucks or something of that sort.
Also it bugged me when he referred to Catherine of Aragon and Henry viii’s marriage as “childless” She was pregnant 6 times and her longest living child Mary became Queen of England. If they can’t get historical fact correct, doesn’t this say a lot about the producer’s attention to detail?
Dr. Cargill and friends at BAS: It would require a lot of time to discuss all the problematic features of the first episode of “Lost in Translation.” So instead of posing just one question here, I direct your attention to the problems I address in my video-review of the program, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vwXpawpgYE . You all are welcome to watch and listen.
while I am finding this series every interesting so far, I’m very upset at the initial reasoning behind the first crusades. It was brought about because the new muslims were attacking pilgrims (Jewish & Christian) were being attacked and killed on their way to Jerusalem. You don’t mention that in the second episode. You make it sound like that the Catholics just went on a killing spree for fun. Everything else is interesting.
Thank you, Dr. Cargill, for answering both of my question which I didn’t expect since the first one was unrelated to the show. I greatly appreciate it.
On episode one of “Bible Secrets Revealed,” you say that the text of 1 Samuel 17:49-50 specifically says that Goliath is dead and had no sword. I don’t take issue with the fact that the text records David’s killing Goliath twice. Rather, I don’t see the contradiction that you apparently do regarding the presence of Goliath’s sword, since v:50 says that David–not Goliath– had no sword. In fact, v:45 has David say to Goliath: “You come against me with SWORD and spear and javelin,” and 1 Samuel 21:10 makes reference to Goliath’s sword.
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A bunch of no name so called scholars, simply trying to.make names for themselves in the academic community by trying to arouse a controversy, at the expense of a passive christian community. What an absolute joke from a group of liberal atheists trying to pad their pockets!!!
i just watched this travesty and the scholars interviewed only prove John 14 and 16 correct when Jesus said the unbelieving do not have the spirit of truth and do not know the truth. These supposed scholars do not even know how or why misguided people used the Bible for their own gain nor do they recognize that the splinter groups were mostly cults originated by people who used the Bible for their own gain.
The biggest mistake these scholars make is their denial of satan and their blaming God for everything. The second mistake they make is thinking that they know the answers when they are not even in the ballpark.
This series is just another attempt at discrediting the Bible. Sadly, these so-called “scholars” are very short on biblical interpretation and very long on personal agenda. The Biblical Archeology Society should be embarrassed to promote this type of anti-Christ propaganda.
I could not watch after the first few moments of this program. The mass media and much of contemporary society seem to be obsessed with hatred of and unholy obsession with Christ and Christians. This program began by misrepresenting what the Bible says and ‘recreating’ absurd versions of biblical stories, adding content that has no basis in any of the real stories of the Bible.
From what I saw, ‘facts’ were distorted opinions and lacked any convincing objective evidence, just ‘everyone in the know’ assertions. In my experience hate is an expression of fear. What are the makers and participants (and those who believe them) afraid to see? I suggest that they fear that if there is absolute Truth in the Bible, then there is God and His Son and the Holy Spirit. If that is true, then Satan is real and good and evil are not relative to perception or circumstance. If so, then all people will be held accountable for everything in their lives, good and bad. Frightening, aint it?
I am not going to post anything about bible, because as a Jew it’s just biggest nonsense written, but I am more intersted in human nature. How, people even supplied facts, still want to find excuse, to believe in fiction.
I like watching the History Channel and National Geographic and other history shows but a person must always remember the Truth starts and ends with the Bible.
These shows are not about displaying or showing truth – they are about making money …
Galatians 1:8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed”
Intellectual honesty in discussing the translations would have included comments from the KJV Notes from the Translators to the Readers (sadly omitted in almost all printings, but available) in which they clearly acknowledge the limitations in whcih they worked and the anticipation of others reviewing and amending their work as studies progressed. The shallowness of the presentation is regretful; there is no balance or depth of insight, just the shallow seeds of doubt which like the parable, are easily sorched in the sunlight of truth.
Shame on you Biblical Archaeology Society for attaching your name to this show!
There should be a period between Bible and Humans in the above statement.
Many of the “so called” facts of this show can very much be disputed!! Archaeology is one place to start. There are many discoveries that confirm the authenticity of places, people and events written within the pages of the Bible Humans write with prejudices and personal opinions, but the land tells all. Problem is, humans do not want to prove the existence of a an all powerful creator who “inspired” certain men to write His instruction book for life, because they would then have to obey the instructions given!
Worlds worst rookie scholars I have ever seen one guy was a muslim guy that thinks he is a scholar its like having the ceo of wallmart say how good target is , these people were to young they dont have credibilaty the difference in good scholars is many years of study, there are top scholars that have written countless books and have put in the years , these kids wouldn’t stand a chance having a debait with them the history channel has lost all its integrity and credibility in my opinion this show was a disgrace , shamful ! Here is a book whare you can get some pointers the case for christ by lee stroble also phlovious josephus jewish histoian history channel do your homework somone should get fired for having a agenda.
Last Wednesday, the History channels special ‘Bible Secrets Revealed’ on the Bible basally said the scriptures were translated to death, and that Jesus wasn’t born of a virgin, but a ‘young woman’ and that someone picked up the story after Mathew and embellished it with ‘he is risen,’ the resurrection story, probably because Mathew originally ended his book with a sad ending with the tomb being empty. It also said that Jesus wasn’t the Christ or the son of God, and that he basically called himself dude, which is translated into ‘son of man.’ What they are telling us is that the Bible is a flawed hodgepodge of nice little fictional stories, but it’s special enough to be cherished as long as you don’t take it seriously.
[…] full length video above in case you missed it. You can also ask the producers a question directly HERE if you’re so […]
Helen, Can you point to a place in the NT that says 3 wise men/kings came bearing gifts? Matthew 2 says only “wise men” came to Jerusalem and says nothing about them being kings from the east. In reality the word for wise men means magician or sorcerer not king. The point was it’s not in the NT but was developed over the course of yrs in tradition. You probably only think it’s true because you’ve heard it so many times and sang the song so many times, but in reality it’s just not there.
My question is – will any of the episodes address the letters of Paul and the consensus that at least 7 of them are forgeries?
Does anyone ever notice that there is never any hard evidence given on why thier claims are right. No one of the scholars claimed to be fluent in ancient Greek. They also take the verses way out of context and they never give any indication as to what translation that they are claiming has errors. It is all over the place and most of the scholars are not exactly credible in what they say. Its just another attempt to discredit the Bible as God’s Word. They actually covered up that most of the translations that we have, have been directly translated from the original text and are literal translations. This show is completely bogus and has no credible sources.
My first question is – on what authority do the writers base all this “factual data”? Many comments in this series leave me questioning why I am to believe what is being said. One such comment is in regard to the three wise men who came to see Jesus at his birth. The inference is made that the number of wise men (3) is incorrect – that they don’t really know how many kings went to see him. Really? Well how did they discover that little tidbit? How do they know that was just a lie? Where did they uncover such information, and why on earth didn’t the media jump all over the discovery of such a huge news story that would actually prove that the writings of the Bible were in error? Perhaps nothing to prove any different was really found at all but rather, it was just written by tv writers who needed to come up with a concept to increase their ratings.
This series would have us believe their argument, that the Bible, or the New Testament in particular, is untrue, without basis of fact, and was written by unknowns with assumed identities for the purpose of political and/or financial gain. I wonder — are they trying to debunk the Bible, or describe today’s political arena. It is apparent that the series itself is indeed just some unknowns, writing untruths with no basis of facts for the purpose of political and/or financial gain, aka, ratings.
I will add another thought here. One gentleman speaker with tongue in cheek, as though he were revealing a great big lie in the Bible said, ” . . . this would indicate that Jesus was in fact born in a house.”
Had the writers done their research they would have learned that most ancient Jewish houses had a common area on the main floor, including a manger where animals ate and slept at night, and an upper room where everyone slept. There was no room on the upper floor of the house so Joseph and Mary spent the night on the main floor of the house where the animals were kept inside the house for warmth.
I can’t wait until you do a show on discreting the Koran and having the same scholars explain it’s errancies. For that matter, do one for each world religion, just to be fair.
What was the scope of translations studied for the claims made on this show? For instance the King James Version clearly answers several of the questions. For instance the reference to 1 Samuel 17:50. In the King James Bible it says there was no sword in the hand of David. The professor on the show said that it said Goliath had no sword. So how many translations were studied before these claims were made?
I thought it was fantastic. It supports everything I have been trying to explain to anyone who was interested in the facts of Bible authorship for the last 30 years.
I would love to see you “reveal” the precision and fulfillment of Daniel 9:25.
Here’s a quick summary of the text: http://goo.gl/OFST0U
[…] Dan McClellan will be live-blogging the series. And Bob Cargill will be answering questions about it on the Biblical Archaeology Society website. […]
Pardon the typos in the previous post. I couldn’t go back and correct them once posted. The first line of the second paragraph should end “but some of the intepretations are not.”
I found that there was a lack of balance in the show in terms of the scholars who were featured. Most of the scholars were on the “liberal” end of the spectrum–at least three of them are self-identified atheists or agnostics. Others are known for their revisionist interpretations. Where were the more conservative scholars. Surely they could have found a few reputable conservative scholars to give some balance to the show.
Certainly, most of the facts given in the show are indisputable, but some of the interpretations are. For example, certainly John 7:53–8:11 is not original to John. Does that mean, as Candida Moss, claims, that they story did not happen? Could this story not have been an independent oral tradition about Jesus that eventually found its way into the Gospel of John? We know the existence of other independent oral traditions about Jesus–known as agrapha–that are not preserved in the gospels.
Finally, the appearance of Reza Aslan in the show was a joke. He made two glaring errors in the show, which makes me question his scholarly credentials. He first said that 8 verses were added to the Gospel of Mark. Actually, it is 12. Then towards the end of the show, he said something to the effect that we are still reading the Bible 5,000 years after it was written. 5,000 years? Wow.
For some reason I misunderstood that the questions had to be related to the show, so please ignore or delete my above comment whereas it was a mistake. Instead I ask is ‘almah’ ever translated as ‘virgin’ in the Tanakh/Old Testament?
All the times the Hebrew word ‘saraph’ is used in the Tanakh/Old Testament, except in Isaiah 6, it is related to snakes or serpents. Based on this, is it reasonable to conclude that the seraphs of Isaiah’s vision in Isaiah 6 probably had serpent/snake-like qualities? If so, could the ‘nachash’ of Genesis 3 be related to such beings?
After seeing the preview, I believe it will be “Bible Truths Debunked” mostly?? Someone is always trying to explain away the divinity of the Bible.