Skip to comments.In Israel, diggers unearth the Bible's bad guys
Posted on 07/08/2011 5:19:43 AM PDT by SJackson
TEL EL-SAFI, Israel At the remains of an ancient metropolis in southern Israel, archaeologists are piecing together the history of a people remembered chiefly as the bad guys of the Hebrew Bible.
The city of Gath, where the annual digging season began this week, is helping scholars paint a more nuanced portrait of the Philistines, who appear in the biblical story as the perennial enemies of the Israelites.
Close to three millennia ago, Gath was on the frontier between the Philistines, who occupied the Mediterranean coastal plain, and the Israelites, who controlled the inland hills. The city's most famous resident, according to the Book of Samuel, was Goliath - the giant warrior improbably felled by the young shepherd David and his sling.
The Philistines "are the ultimate other, almost, in the biblical story," said Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University, the archaeologist in charge of the excavation.
(Excerpt) Read more at charlotteobserver.com ...
> the giant warrior improbably felled by the young shepherd
> David and his sling.
No bias there.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
After its international hit We Con the World, Latma, Israels premier satire website (run by Caroline Glick), brings you The Audacity of Dopes Band singing Guns, Guns, Guns in honor of this years attempted flotilla to Hamastan in Gaza
“Improbably felled” in this context means he was felled in a manner that was improbable, not that the story is improbable.
A little sensitive for a Friday morning, aren’t we?
I'm not so sure. I had to read that part a couple times. They don't say allegedly felled by, they say improbably felled by.
Think about it, if you were in the Philistine camp and some young punk with a sling persists in mocking and calling out your biggest goon, your going to think the chances of that biggest goon getting killed are "improbable".
> Improbably felled in this context means he was felled
> in a manner that was improbable, not that the story is
A distinction without a difference.
> A little sensitive for a Friday morning, arent we?
So, there is no anti Judeo-Christian bias in the news. I’m just being “sensitive”, right?
If you read the story carefully, it doesn’t look like the stone, actually killed him. Probably stunned him or momwntarily knocked him out, but it took his beheading to kill him.
The sling was a military weapon that could kill most men, because stones the size of a man’s fist were use and they were thrown in high velocities.
The jawbone of an ass.
OK. You could read it either way: that Goliath was dead when he hit the ground, or that he died when David removed his head. Given the nature of oriental narrative, I submit that you are correct in assuming the latter is more likely.
You are correct. No Bias.
I think your spidey senses are off today.
dey vas Greeks! Hellenes!
Is bias the same thing as not believing something is true?
Yes, you are. Depending on what news one chooses to read, there is lots, little, or none.
noun, adjective, adverb, verb, bi·ased, bi·as·ing or (especially British) bi·assed, bi·as·sing.
1. an oblique or diagonal line of direction, especially across a woven fabric.
2. a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice.
3. Statistics . a systematic as opposed to a random distortion of a statistic as a result of sampling procedure
When I studied journalism, our reports would be marked-down for even the slightest hint of bias.
"Biased reporting" was regarded as a contradiction in terms.
Bias was limited to the editorial page.
That was almost 50 years ago.
Nowadays, "biased reporting" has been transformed from an oxymoron to a redundancy.
You’ll shoot your eye out.
I point that out to my (6th grade) CCD classes when we get to the story of David and Goliath. I’ve never had a kid who has heard it before.
Use golf balls... they REALLY go.
How is the word improbable, preventing unprejudiced consideration?
What would you say instead, if you thought something from history was improbable? Would you say it happened, or didn’t happen? Or would you qualify your statement somehow?
The severed head would seal the deal regardless.
I like the idea, though, that the Philistine died by his own sword.
> How is the word improbable, preventing unprejudiced consideration?
It expresses the opinion of the reporter. In my journalism class, the use of such a word would get you a zero.
In REAL journalism, the reporter is allowed to report the opinions of others, but must keep his own opinions out of the story.
And truly balanced reporting would try to counter-balance opinions expressed.
For example, at an accident scene, the reporter may express the opinion of one of the officers at the scene regarding the cause of the accident. However, the reporter should seek the opinion of another witness that balances or even opposes what the officer said. Readers are left to make up their own minds.
The reporter’s job is to provide information, and in as balanced a manner as possible. Not to express his opinions.
thx thx interesting.
What would you say instead, if you thought something from history was improbable? Would you say it happened, or didnt happen? Or would you qualify your statement somehow?
That would include the era of the kingdom ruled from Jerusalem by David and Solomon, if such a kingdom existed as described in the Bible. Other Philistine sites have provided archaeologists with information about earlier and later times but not much from that key period.
Emphasis added, as the saying goes.
> What would you say instead, if you thought something from
> history was improbable? Would you say it happened, or
> didnt happen? Or would you qualify your statement
OK, you don’t understand what journalism is supposed to be.
Neither does much of anybody else these days.
You see, as a reporter, it’s not supposed matter what *I* think. That’s the place for an editorial.
As a reporter, I would simply report what different factions SAY about an historical event, with as much balance as possible, and leave my bloody opinion out of it.
As a reporter, I could say something such as, “The prevailing opinion among authorities with whom this reporter spoke is that this event took place as described in the original account.”
I could then get into the details of differing points of view, their sources, and their background.
But I must never, as a RESPONSIBLE journalist, impose my own opinion on the report.
The report is biased. It’s lousy reporting, but it’s standard fare for what passes as “journalism” these days.
OK. We know what you could say, what would you say?
Well, for example, you could read in a history context about Japan’s improbable defeat of the Russian Empire at Port Arthur. The adjective in this case referring to the fact that tiny japan was outmanned and outgunned by the giant Russian empire. No one doubts that the event occurred.
The word is used in the same fashion by the autor. However, expressions of non-credulity do come later on in the article, in the last few paragraphs.
As Joseph Heller has King David reminisce in the book “Oh God”:
When I Looked at Goliath I knew two things: One, as a shepherd I had nothing better to do than practice my sling all day, and I could knock an apple off a tree or hit a wolf between the eyes at 200 paces every time. And two even If i missed I could easily outrun that lumber lummox with all that metal hanging off him.
A real combat sling in the hands of an expert was one of the deadliest weapons of the ancient world. A bullet (and that’s where that word comes from) to the unprotected head was a killing blow. What’s described in the bible is perfectly consistent with a skull fracture where parts of the skull explode into the brain and paralyze the victim-an injury a sling could easily inflict.
(though Goliath’s armor as described is anachronistic by about 2-300 years, being the armor of a Greek Hoplite)
> OK. We know what you could say, what would you say?
Do your own homework.
See if you can clean up this guy’s sloppy, opinionated reporting on your own.
In archaeology this is a very big deal and a far from settled question. Yes, to the writers fo the bible the Kingdoms of Israel and Judea were vast and powerful and wealthy, but what exactly did they have to compare them to? In a time when the average person traveled no more than 200 miles form the place of their birth in their entire lifetime, and mass media did not exist, how would those chroniclers have gained perspective on the relative power an importance of their land?
We have no doubt these kingdoms existed, but on what scale? To make them historical rather than religious places, we need hard, objective evidence. Something that’s been somewhat hard to come by owing to A) the political situation in the geographical area, and B) the fact that as one of the crossroads of the world, the area has been re-built and re-conquered countless times, each time destroying important historical evidence
***The jawbone of an ass.***
When my worthless brother-in-law (If you know him he probably owes you money) starts mouthing off, I understand how the Philistines felt.
That’s ok, it’s not that important, thanks
well, of course to be absolutely precise, these were not even hellens but Mycenean Greeks more related to the Ionians rather than the Dorians who pushed them out. Though I have read theories that these were Minoans leaving their island after Santorini
LOL. My dad did the same thing for me!
When I was 8, I got a ticket (like a $1,000) when I was 10 for firing rocks back at light speed at arab “protestors” (who were throwing rocks by hand and couldn’t reach) at a deal at Arbaham’s tomb.
I’m probably lucky I didn’t go to prison.
i did NOT know that! I just checked it up -- thank you!
The accounts I’ve read only say they were Greek as a general description of a “sea people” of “Aegean origin”. I’ve read that some people link them to the Myceneans but I’ve not read a study that clearly links them with such a specific group. Late Helladic IIIC pottery is said to link them and if that’s true I’d like to read the research.
I was wrong — Santorini blew in 1700 BC, so these wouldn’t have been Cretans there. These could have only been Myceneans or Hittites. But since the Myceneans were sea-farers while the Hittites weren’t, we’re left with only the Myceneans as the Sea peoples, imho
Take a look at the dating of the Trojan War and the appearance of the Sea Peoples in Egypt and the Phillistines along the coast near the old kingdom of the Israelites.
All these events occurred around 1200 B. C..
I don’t believe this is a coincidence. These colonizing events could easily be the result of a migration of Greeks outward and beyond the Aegean arm of the Mediterranean. Another theory is that this represents an escape of the Trojans and their allies from invading Greeks from the European mainland.
One recent archeological paper in the online Journal of Science sets the return of Odysseus to Ithaca to April 16, 1178 B.C. The researchers used references in the the Odyssey to known astrological occurences as clues for their conclusions. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/23/odysseus-return-date-from_n_108765.html
I think I’ll post the article as it may have general interest past this particular thread.
thanks, please ping sunkenciv and blam and me to this! maybe even odds would like it
I tried to post the article on the astronomical paper about the return of Odysseus—but got a censorship notice that articles from the Huffington Post aren’t welcome and could not be posted on FR.
Although I have been a member of FR for so long that I no longer remember my first login date, and although I am firmly in the conservative-leaning Libertarian camp, I am brought up short by the inflexible spirit of Know-nothingness that is exposed here, eg. no individual consideration of acceptable material or academic freedom where ideas can be explored.
Which brings me to the question. Does GGG deserve its own site? Is GGG really suited to a site dedicated to political ideological purity? Or am i over-reacting?
i wonder how much Mycenean Greek had diverged from Indo-European base by that time
it does, but we try to bring “individual consideration of history” to the masses :)
I’ve always heard that Palestine was a Roman word indicating “land of the Philistines”. Over time that word may be very different than what it was originally.
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