So I've thoroughly debunked the O.T.-- (well, okay maybe I have sketched it...) shown how the stories of Abraham and Isaac were concocted to give the hill people the deed to the land they were inhabiting. I have revealed that there is no evidence for King David or Solomon-- that they are never mentioned in ancient documents and the first king of Israel who is actually documented is King Omri-- the father of Ahab. And the fact is that if David and Solomon were as important as the bible claims they were, they would be mentioned by someone of that period.
So, no King David? Then no Davidic lineage for the spiritual guru who supposedly entered the scene during the reign of Caesar Augustus in 3 b.c.e... ish. But if there was such a man, it can be confidently assumed that he wasn't the same man the pastor speaks about on easter morning.
The documents that exist seem to point to a Teacher who was either a part of or part of a sub group of the Zealots-- a rebel group that came to a bad end when the rebellion did finally catch Rome's attention in 70 A.D. And that is what most scholars think the evidence points to.
The stories in the N.T.? Well, once again, man meets myth.
Joseph Campbell has done the most comprehensive and impressive work on the Monomyth: stories that are universal and timeless-- the hero's journey. In them a "A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man." The name of the hero is unimportant. What is significant is the need to recall the hero in different stories that are told in different cultures and at different times for essentially the same purpose. So Jesus... Dionysus... Buddha... Mohammed... Moses... all essentially the same character with a new name, new setting and different details to the story. What is perhaps most significant is that the stories are predated to Egyptian mythology, once again, and one can see connections with the Jesus myth in the story of Osiris who was also raised from the dead.But what happens when we change myth into history? Joseph Campbell said "Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history, or science, it is killed. The living images become only remote facts of a distant time or sky. Furthermore, it is never difficult to demonstrate that as science and history mythology is absurd. When a civilization begins to reinterpret its mythology in this way, the life goes out of it, temples become museums, and the link between the two perspectives becomes dissolved." ("The Hero With a Thousand Faces", Joseph Campbell, p. 249, Fontana, 1993)
Which brings us to those who completely agree with me that the bible is myth and is significant only in it's metaphor...
Why are they so disgruntled about my lack of belief in god? Why do so many "liberal" christians (or even New Agers) want to make an issue out of what an atheist believes or, in fact, doesn't believe? Why do so many liberal authors feel the need to write books like "The case for god" and "The evolution of god"? Having come from a fundamentalist faith and moved to a more liberal faith and then finally releasing the need to believe in any deity, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that my life is lived more in accord with what liberal theology purports to offer than it did when I was a bible thumper. And having witnessed the ethic most atheists live by, I can, with some degree of confidence, say that they do too. Christian mythology would try to convince everyone that Atheists are nihilists when in fact most are humanists and they try to better the world in some way. They are most often pacifists (although there is a spectrum on the issue of war), conservationists and they stand up against human rights violations.
This, supposedly, is what most liberal indoctinates believe they are supposed to be doing. Supposedly they are not terribly concerned with whether Jesus was born of a virgin or whether he died on the cross for sin. That is all metaphor... From my perspective, atheists and "liberal" christians are only centimeters apart in what they believe to be their role in the world (and most fundamentalists would agree with me whole heartedly by the way!). The bottom line seems to be about belief in god...
So maybe the fundamentalists are right-- that it's all about what you believe.
But if they're right about how important it is what you believe then they are probably right about all the other little issues that you think aren't important! And as such, you had better get your doctrine straightened out!!!
Aren't you worried??
(Fortunately I am not plagued with such fears).