Q. How can you be so sure of yourself? You keep saying the bible scholars have this and that wrong, etc, etc. What makes you so right when you are not a scholar nor an archaeologist, or anything, are you?
A. Wow, good question and you are so right, I am not a trained scholar and I am not an -- well, I'm not anything but a self-educated bible student. I don't claim any special abilities or intelligence. What I do is compare and point out the inconsistencies and the complete errors and in some cases what appears to be deliberate shadowing of truth.
Let me give you an example of an error that is repeated over and over within the circles of scholarly debate. This example is so clearly seen for what it is that one has to wonder how any other conclusion can be drawn from the word of record found in the very book these scholars and institutions claim to be studying for us. This one example is enough to prove the point and to put you on guard, a warning if you will, about putting your trust in "professed" professional that may not be working for the right team.
This example may even prove to be an educational one worthy of a note in your own study bible.
2 Samuel 21:19 In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod. NIV
2 Samuel 21:19 And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim the Bethlehemite slew Goliath the Gittite ... ASV
2 Samuel 21:19 And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. KJV
Please notice that it is only the KJV that says "the brother of Goliath". When you check the KJV out you will see that the two words, "the brother" are italicized indicating an addition to the original. In other words, the KJV translators entered these two words not found in the original manuscripts. The later, newer, translations like the ASV and the NIV follow the original copies a little closer and left those two descriptive words out. Now comes the scholars and their explanation of this verse, which seems to be saying that Elhanan killed the giant Goliath and not David as discribed in 1 Samuel 17.
Let me go to a couple of sources for the explanation and then my explanation and you be the judge. Hang with me I'm getting there but first let me quote a couple of sources.
Harpers Bible Dictionary, under Goliath: "... the callow Israelite shepherd , who fell his heavily armed opponent with a sling stone. According to 2 Sam. 21:19, however, Goliath was defeated by Elhanan, one of David's warriors. Perhaps the name of the Philistine slain by David was not given in the older tradition, and the name of Elhanan's victim was substituted for the anonymous adversary of the better-known David.
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, page 519, Goliath: "Another account of this incident attributes the death of Goliath to Elhanan, a Bethlehemite, 2 Sam. 21:19, and its parallel passage records that Elhanan killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath, rather than Goliath (1 Chr. 20:5). David thus probably killed a Philistine warrior whose name was not preserved. Perhaps the name Goliath found its way into 1 Sam. 17 from 2 Sam. 21:19. Some scholars regard Elhanan as David's original, preregnal name."
I know this is only two examples but they will do in making my point. And my point is this; When you read the full context of the scriptures and not just a single verse you will see clearly that the time frame sets the story straight and clears the whole matter up, that is, unless you just want the scriptures to contradict, or appear to contradict itself.
Read all of 2 Samuel 2:15-22 and you will see that at the time Elhanan killed "Goliath" king David was KING. When David killed "Goliath" he was but a Shepherd and a long way from being a king. I believe the KJV translators got it right in entering the extra text to remove the confusion and explain, with only two words, the two Goliaths. How is it some scholars miss this "time-line"? If they can miss somthing this obvious, well, we must continue testing "every spirit".
Come on, now, why is it so many the bible scholars to have a problem with this verse? Like, no one can have the same name? Two Goliaths, maybe, another possibility, possibly? My name is Dan and there are several Dans in our family line, is that so unreasonable? It seems so with some bible scholars when it comes the bible, the very book they are supposed to be so knowledgeable about.
Reading the context one can see plainly that there were more than one giant roaming the land and David did not kill the biggest one either. The context of the scripture found surrounding that single verse (19) explains it all. No, Elhanan is not another name for David -- that is totally off the mark. No, Elhanan was not robbed of his victory over a Goliath with David taking the credit to enhance his history, otherwise why even mention Elhanan, why not cover it up? And on top of all that the context shows that other warriors of David's men killed their giants too.
OK, the answer to your question -- if I might paraphrase -- what makes me smarter than a scholar? Nothing, I am not, but I trust the Scriptures to give me the story and to tell me the truth. The Holy Bible is just this side of God Himself talking to us. This book is the best thing we have and it proves to be the true over and over, no matter how often some scholars raise useless questions and make unfounded observations in what seems to be an effort to discredit the written word. Some of these scholars are wonderful, hard working, Bible believing men and woman but there are too many that seem to be more critic than scholar and in a subtile way attempting to discredit the written Word.
Now why would they do that? Please, read 2 Samuel 21:15-22 and go to other sources and ask yourself why would they go to such lengths to make it look like there is a conspiracy to build the "David myth"? Perhaps a scribal error? If that were the case someone should have gotten fired, or worse, in those days -- imagine, the big coverup - David, the King made to look like the giant killer, but wait! Who put this other story in here about this guy Elhanan? Politically this would have blackened the image of the King? Hey, where is the earaser! What do you suppose the problem is? Maybe you can come up with and answer? Have a look at my page on, Jesus is Not His Name, and I give some examples, near the bottom of that page, of how the Scholars have handled the birth-name of our Savior.
We are charged with "rightly dividing the truth", this is not just for the Bible but for other books as well and we need to use our Bible more often in establishing what the truth is and not what we think or want it to be. A lot of things like this have nothing to do with our salvation, as such, but in the bigger picture there is something going on that even an honest scholar does not see or gaurd against. It is the refusal of the modern mind to accept the fact that Satan wants control over everything and anything that would lead mankind to truth. By introducing small errors and suspicions into our thinking he can fire up our natural spirit, not the Holy 'Spirit, but the natural, the very spirit that sets us apart from the animals or the angels, and cause us to doubt the truth. Once we follow the path of doubt we might as well stop reading the Bible. That is not to say that doubt will never come to our minds but to continually follow that path and not fight against it that is the doubt Satan would have us enjoy.
Education for the Masses
I was watching a documentry on the Discover Channel, David The Poet Warrior, an observation was made concerning King David and his legacy, the same observations as the two dictionaries I quoted above -- David really hadn't killed Goliath -- the politics of the time dictated that David steal the glory from this other person and take credit for the killing of the giant, or so they suggested, thus making the Bible unreliable. Now, if I had just accepted that as fact I would have been totally wrong as they were and are. I, instead, went to my Bible and looked it up for myself -- once again the quoted scholars, of this Discover presentation, were trying to lead you and me down the wrong path. This documentry had some really good things to present in getting you to think about this man David, but they slipped in something totally misleading. I'm no scholar, as the orginal question presents, but I can read and I have been given a mind with which to discern the cunning attempts of our adversay, Satan, to burn doubt and hesitation into our minds, Stick with the written word -- the Bible -- as your measuring stick, your guide, and you will not go wrong.
If you find a scholar that teaches the word straight up you will have found a pot full of nuggets and as valuable as gold but never let your guard down, always check what your bible says. Let every man be a liar and our God true (Romans 3:4)
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