Are Scholars Forgetting The Old Testament Period From 733-538 BCE?


Are Scholars Forgetting The Old Testament Period From 733-538 BCE?

Since I can remember teachers and scholars have imbued into me that the Bible is a source of historical information and importance for credible citations. The scholar Ehrman wrote: …However, else the Gospels are used—for example, in communities of faith—they can and must be considered historical sources of information…[Bart D. Ehrman (2012), Did Jesus Exist: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, p. 71, HarperOne, New York] So, if the NT is a historical source then it applies to the Old Testament (OT) also!

To start with I do not claim to be above or better knowledgeable than biblical and New Testament scholars of today. That said, the majority of scholars, including the likes of Bart D. Ehrman mentioned above, see Samaria aka the old kingdom of Israel (931-721 BCE) at the time of Jesus as Jewish homeland! They forgetting that from the conquest by the Assyrians of the kingdom of Israel was complete by 721 BCE, that the land was vacated of all Israelites as per the Hebrew Old Testament. Which states: The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns. 2 Kings 17:24 NIV 

With all evidence showing that all Ten Tribes of the then kingdom of Israel being dispersed (2 Kings 18:10-11) throughout the Assyrian empire and lost for all time (see the Ten lost tribes of Israel Although 1 Chronicle 5:26 does state some 370 years after the fact that the tribes Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh were located in Mesopotamia. However, these tribes were the first to be taken in 732 BCE, also mentioned in 2 Kings 15:29. Who were resettled along the banks of Rivers Halah, Habor and the province of Hara and also the river of Gozan? Where they are to this day as written in 1 Chronicle, which is dated by scholars to c. 350 BCE.

What of Galilee the northern region of Samaria where Jesus lived and grew up! That too was not populated by Israelites (they had been dispersed in 721 BCE, see above) or Jews in the time of Jesus. Matthew 4:14-15 calls this region Galilee of the Gentiles, referring to the Samaritans, whom the Jews despised. Also in Jewish tradition, no self-respecting Jew would live amongst Gentiles/Samaritans away from his Temple or Synagogue unless forced to do so through a diaspora or war or colonisation! Scholars are still out on when synagogues came about, some say after the destruction of the 2nd Temple, others after the release from captivity from Babylon or even in the 3rd century BCE. However, the oldest synagogue in existence is not Jewish, but that of a Samaritan synagogue.  

Further proof of the animosity between Jew and Samaritan can be seen in the conflict of the late 2nd-century BCE. If we acknowledge the Exodus all information from biblical sources attest the Israelites crossed the Jordan (Deuteronomy 27:12) and came into the land of Canaan and sited the Ark on Mount Gerizim (Joshua 27:12). In what later became the Northern Kingdom of Israel aka Samaria—which was not Jerusalem in Judah as having the premiere, Temple. It was the people that replaced the Israelites (Pagan who later became the Samaritans) and became a Judaized nation. Converted from Paganism to the Judaism and revered the Holy mount of Gerizim and not the Jews, who call the Samaritan’s foreigners, Gentiles. On Pagan conversion see 2 Kings 17:27-28.

The Samaritan Temple on Mount Gerizim was built to honour the God of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Aaron, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel and Eliezer to name but a few. It was destroyed in 112/111 BCE! Not by an empire-building enemy, but by the Judean Priestly Class, under the leadership of the Hasmonean Priest-King, John Hyrcanus (164-104 BCE) aka Yohanan Cohen Gadol (John the High Priest). 

It was destroyed in a war and sheer hatred by the Judeans for the Judaized loving Samaritans, who even to this day still revere Mount Gerizim as their sacred mountain. Mount Gerizim was the most Holy of Holies to the Exodus tribes, as Moses had proclaimed in Deuteronomy 11:29 also see Joshua 8:33.  

So, if Samaria and its northern territory of Galilee as I have stated were inhabited by Gentile/Samaritan by none Jews, how is it that biblical historians have forgotten the Israelite dispersion and place Jews in place of Samaritans. I will concede that John Hyrcanus conquered the lower part of Samaria during 112/111 BCE and Jews could have colonies the new land a century before Jesus. However, in Matthew time Galilee was still known as Galilee of the Gentiles!

We also are told that any Israelite or Jew that hid before the diaspora of 721 BCE and 586 BCE converted to Paganism as did the first of the Babylonian Jews come out of captivity in 538 BCE—Nehemiah 13:23-28.

The implications of telling the Israelite and Jewish story has very serious consequences for Christianity, What do you say?



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