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Contrary to most of the untruths Bachmann has chattered about during her professional life, she has not learned them from Fox News or the right-wing heel. It is a statement I recall that I have heard many a time in the churches - Christmas bands, Bible bonfires, retreat for groups of young people, and so on.
This was something that was presented to us, and Bachmann presented it to us for the same reason. "Any archaeological find has only proven the genuineness of the Bible" makes no point for anyone who knows anything about archaeology. And it doesn't make much of a point for anyone who has the Bible with their noses open.
According to Bachmann, "authenticity" relates to a very special series of conceptions about the Bible. It is the faith that the Bible is a consistent narrative of journalism in which every detail of every narrative, every verse, every parable and every myth is founded on incidents that happened exactly as they were made. If you have studied the Bible thoroughly, the issue is what happens.
Bible scholar and sincere Bible study learn that the Bible contains several contradictory reports in its "stories. "This is something that even right-wing Protestant biblical Bible scholars recognise to be true (but, shhhh, tell no one or you can get them in trouble). Biblical literature'stories' give us competitive and contradictory facts, incidents and time lines - with irreconcilablely different representations of the same incidents.
Now, in addition to this mixture, we have more than a hundred years of meticulous archeological studies throughout Palestine and Egypt and all the old countries of the Bible. The lessons we have learnt from this do not resolve the differences between the contradictory biblical narratives, but introduce another one.
That does not mean that archeological finds refute the "authenticity" of biblical stories, but it shows that their authenticy contains something other than the kind of verbatim, objective, modern historic reports that Bachmann et al. want or need or anticipate to find in its pages. We know a few other things about him from archaeology.
It is Jenkins who is discussing how the historian tries to grasp this discrepancy, and he is drawing a peremptory analogy between this notion and the way in which a new biblical exodus is trying to draw lessons from the archeological records (or absence thereof) that this incident contains. "This is a controversial theorie - or class ofories - about the make-up of the first five Bible Bibles, i.e. the Pentateuch or the Torah, or the "Books of Moses".
However, the underlying concept is that these different authors dealt with different issues or interests,** and that they have formed their own narratives (and the "facts" of these narratives) to strengthen these issues. It is not the aim to compel them to an embarrassing "harmonization", nor is it the effort to find out which of these representations is the most precise representation of "what really happened" (that is what archaeology is for).
Rather, it is an effort to comprehend their different points of views and to use these diverse points of views to create a kind of parallel perspective that we cannot obtain from a singular point of perspective. Nothing of this is important to fundamentals like Bachmann. You have no interest or interest in any theory about the make-up of Moses' accounts.
And from their point of views, every so-called "biblical scholar" who says otherwise is a renegade who gave up the real religion when he went to his chic colleges and seminars to work with elite intellectuals. You already know and acknowledge what he knows and acknowledges - that archaeology provides little assistance for something like a "literal" exit and that something like the doctrinal assumption is necessary to comprehend the variety of contradictory perceptions within the Bible itself.
The assertion is particularly preposterous for Bachmann and the basicist ministers I learned about in my childhood, because these are also young earth recreationists. In the not quite verbatim "literalism" of the interpretation pattern they apply to the Bible, "teaches" them that the earth and the whole world and the whole world are only about 6,000 to 10,000 years old.
This assertion cannot even stand up to a look into archaeology, which provides piles of proof for centuries.