Friday, 1 November 2013

Drawn Into Knocking Revelation-Theology Nourishkeit

I was attracted by a tweet from someone I usually respect. I’m still not entirely sure they mean it seriously, but I wandered off after this link,


To be honest I assumed the title of the post - ‘Because it says so in the tow-raw’ – suggested one would find a certain critical integrity in the piece itself. I was mistaken

So I offered this as a commentary and a 200 word attempt to reject literalist revelation theology.



Aside from anything else nowhere does the Tanach say that God wrote the Tanach. Instead there are references to all kinds of books written down, discovered, lost, collated... the Torah sounds like a collection of texts from different times, written by different authors – that’s what it says in the ‘tow-raw’.


Then there are those Chumash verses that speak from a time after the Chumash time period has passed  ('Thus spoke Moses from the other side of the Jordan' for a start).


And then there is that nagging notion that much of the quasi-historic quasi-scientific recounting in the Torah is non-historical and non-scientific (it's not enough, Gerald Schroeder and co., to find some overlap between Torah and science, anything out-of-kilter should be enough to make either literal-revelation theology or God nonsense. Birds and fish created first, and then animals?!)


The only meaningful defence for a literal revelation theology I've encountered is that these, and so many other proofs, are booby traps set by the Divine to catch out those of us without the pure simple faith described in the article. But that turns God into .... it's certainly unpersuasive for me.


A forceful defence of simplicity must be fun to write, it's just simply untrue. And that, speaking non-literally, is precisely the problem Abraham had with his father's foolishness. Jews were once proud iconoclasts, we should be so again.

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