Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Episode 3 Skeptics Sunday School


Our third episode features a new segment: The Skeptics Sunday School. In this segment we draw upon biblical criticism, archeology, comparative mythology and the bible itself to present biblical stories and doctrines as you may have never seen them before. Fascinating , sometimes disturbing, facts you would never encounter at church. But facts which are nevertheless common knowledge amongst reputable biblical scholars. In this segment we take a look at some intriguing passages from the Hebrew bible referring to child sacrifice...and ask the difficult question: did the ancient Israelites actually preform the "detestable" practice that their scriptures so passionately condemns?

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1 comment:

Vincent said...

I recently discovered your podcast and am listening from the beginning.
I have a criticism of this episode:
All of the evidence you gave of human sacrifice is from the bible, and almost all of it condemning or criticizing those who did it.
This is not very good evidence that anyone actually practiced such.

It's quite common in story telling to say X are bad because they do or did Y, even though it may not be true.
An example is the jus primae noctis (right of the first night). That was the commonly made claim that lords had the right to sleep with the young brides of their vassals on the wedding night. It is universally described in terms of what those barbarians over there do or what our uncivilized predecessors used to do. There is no evidence that anyone actually ever did it and historians conclude it's just a slander.

Since all of the biblical examples of child sacrifice you gave seemed to be of this sort, it would be a mistake to conclude that they, or anyone else described in the bible actually did so.

Just a note for historical rigor. Enjoying the show. Keep it up :)