Did the Bible plagiarize its content from surrounding pagan cultures?

Atheist Challenge:

Enlighten us, Jerome Smith….

Here is the teaching opportunity you have been WAITING for!

In response to my comment:

It is not a matter of what I may or may not think. The Bible itself states:

Gen 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Gen 2:7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

My answer to the Atheist Challenge:

[I have not reproduced here the rather vulgar remarks included in the Atheist Challenge.]

If this is the best that some of you atheists and agnostics who despise the Bible and mock those who have actually read and studied it can come up with, you need to learn for yourselves what the Bible actually teaches and was meant to teach.

I have remarked before that you cannot understand a work of literature if you attempt to read it from the standpoint of your own imposed hostile worldview. You need to seek to read it by letting it speak from its worldview, not yours.

Some of you have made the claim that the opening chapters of the Bible were plagiarized from surrounding and prior cultures.

When you make that claim, you are mistaken on at least two counts:

(1) You fail to account for the differences between the biblical records and your claimed sources the Bible allegedly plagiarized. Among those differences are the worldview differences such as monotheism versus polytheism.

(2) You fail to recognize the use of polemic by the Bible writer as a rhetorical device to challenge well-known contrasting worldviews of the surrounding cultures.

Some of you have expressed support for the “Documentary Hypothesis,” a view that denies the Mosaic authorship of the first five books of the Bible. This view is faulty on numerous points:

(1) It is subjective, not objective, in its methodology, as evidenced by the fact that those who propound this view disagree when it comes to the details alleged in its support.

(2) It is based on a faulty method of literary analysis, analysis which seeks to superimpose categories of analysis that have no relevance to understanding and appreciating the literary features of the Bible’s underlying Hebrew text. For example, literary critics have supposed that the Creation account found in the first two chapters of Genesis are two different and contradictory accounts, failing to recognize the literary device of presenting an overview first then expanding the account with greater focus with additional details upon the creation of man.

(3) It is based upon a faulty evolutionary view of the development of religions. Since monotheism is supposed to have arisen very late in the history of religion, much of what is presented in the Pentateuch must have been conceived after the Babylonian Exile, according to this very mistaken view.

(4) It necessarily denies the historicity of much of the record in the books of Moses, including anything that appears to be supernatural. It denies the historicity of the Exodus account of the deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt and the events of the Passover and the wilderness journeys and the giving of the Law to Moses at Sinai. Yet all these events are reflected throughout the entire Bible and are repeatedly referred to as things that actually took place in Israel’s past. The present existence of continuing institutions that arose naturally from those recorded events demonstrates the historicity of the Exodus record.

(5) Like the flawed view of two or three “Isaiah’s” (contradicted by the oldest extant and complete manuscript copy found among the Dead Sea Scrolls) there is no extant documentary evidence that substantiates the “Documentary Hypothesis.” It is a relatively modern idea unheard of for well over a thousand years after the time of Christ.

Pro 14:8  The wisdom of a sensible person guides his way of life, but the stupidity of fools misleads them. (GW)

Pro 14:9  Foolish people don’t care if they sin, but good people want to be forgiven. (GNB)

This entry was posted in Apologetics Issues--Atheism, Bible Historicity and Validity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Did the Bible plagiarize its content from surrounding pagan cultures?

  1. kenny sagely says:

    hello jerry enjoy your discussion on does bible plagiarize the contents from other cultures i think john 5.39 answers that question just the opposite!! You search the
    Scriptures, in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which tesify
    of Me. i love that verse !!!

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