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The Biography of the Bible

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Author Topic: The Biography of the Bible  (Read 884 times)
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« on: July 18, 2009, 09:40:02 pm »

and had enough ado merely to maintain their independence as long as possible. The kingdom of Israel was finally destroyed by Assyria in 722 B.C., that of Judah by Babylon in 586 B.C. Thereafter, the Hebrews ceased to exist as a political entity.

Had this been all their story, history today would reckon them among the most insignificant of ancient nations. They were important only because in their own minds they were important: precisely, indeed, because they refused to be refuted by the evidence of outward fact. Something within them told them they were a great nation in spite of everything. And they proved it, though not in the way that they intended, by their literature.

Behind history lies tradition, which may be called a kind of tribal memory, transmitted orally and growing by accretion from generation to generation. The Hebrews were not content with a nameless origin in the Arabian Desert: they claimed to have won their freedom from an earlier Egyptian bondage (which sober history, thus far, has neither been able to affirm conclusively nor to deny); and their legends went still further back to a period when they had inhabited the very land of Palestine they now desired to conquer—and even beyond that to a time when their ancestors had first come

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