A sorcerer and his magic stick (wand):
Think about this: Scientists have proven that the Creation and Great Flood stories in Genesis are fiction. Archaeologists are nearly unanimous in their belief that the Exodus, the Forty Years in the Sinai, and the Conquest of Canaan are fiction. In addition, modern historians and archaeologists are skeptical of the existence of the biblical kings David and Solomon, who the Bible claims ruled over a vast Israelite empire and built a magnificent temple (the remains of which has never been found).
And although historians believe that later kings of Israel and Judah are historical, we know that some of the stories told about these kings in the Bible are fictional. Hezekiah (and tricks performed by his god, Yahweh), did not defeat the Assyrians who had laid siege to Jerusalem as the Bible claims. Hezekiah paid a huge tribute to finally get the Assyrians to leave.
“With all seemingly lost, the prophet Isaiah gave his reply to Sennacherib: Thus says the Lord to the king of Assyria: he shall not enter this city. He shall not shoot an arrow there, nor advance a shield in it, nor shall he heap up a siege-ramp.
According to 2 Kings 19:35-37, this prophecy was speedily fulfilled when a plague smote the Assyrian army, destroying it and leaving Sennacherib to slink back to Nineveh to meet a well-deserved death at the hands of his own sons. Here, the plague imagery symbolizes the divine wrath that in the biblical view drove Sennacherib away.
In fact, the Assyrians lived on. Certainly Jerusalem’s fate hung in the balance. Then word reached Sennacherib that Babylon had again risen in revolt. He abandoned the siege [of Jerusalem]. Before he left, he extracted from Hezekiah a far greater tribute and gifts of overlordship not listed in the books of Kings, a tribute he listed in detail in his annals, and which was delivered in full directly to Nineveh over a period of years.” https://www.historynet.com/assyrian-march-against-judah.htm
Therefore, much of the Old Testament is either pure fiction or historical fiction (fiction with a few facts sprinkled in).
What if the stories about Jesus and the apostles, found in the Gospels and The Book of Acts, are just more of the same? What if the Bible is just one long collection of religious propaganda, filled with invented fables about temperamental deities, demi-gods, and magic working sorcerers (prophets and apostles)?
What Did The Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? What Archaeology Can Tell Us About The Reality Of Ancient Israel
author: William G. Dever (prominent American archaeologist)
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546
ISBN 0 8028-2126-X
Thus a “patriarchal era,” an “exodus from Egypt,” and a panmilitary” conquest of Palestine,” as portrayed in the biblical narratives, have all now been shown to be essentially nonhistorical,”historicized fiction” at best. And the proof has come largely not from radical biblical scholars, attempting to undermine the historicity of the biblical texts. It has come from “secular” archaeologists, Israeli and American, who have no theological axes to grind. So apparently archaeology, even of the “new” variety, can write histories of ancient Israel, if not conventional ones. (Page 49)
Or take the Patriarchal narratives. After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob credible “historical figures.” Virtually the last archaeological word was written by me more than 20 years ago for a basic handbook of biblical studies, Israelite and Judean History. And, as we have seen, archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus has similarly been discarded as a fruitless pursuit. Indeed, the overwhelming archaeological evidence today of largely indigenous origins for early Israel leaves no room for an exodus from Egypt or a 40-year pilgrimage pursuit. Indeed, the overwhelming archaeological evidence today of largely indigenous origins for early Israel leaves no room for an exodus from Egypt or a 40-year pilgrimage through the Sinai wilderness. (Page 71)
Israel, we may be limited. We cannot make the Bible what it is not. Fortunately, the writers and editors of the Hebrew Bible, being far more sophisticated and better historians than some would have us believe, placed in their final edition another version, back-to-back with Joshua, the book of Judges. Many scholars, puzzled by the two often differing versions of events, have attempted to harmonize them, but the obvious contradictions are too great. Joshua, written largely to glorify a great hero of early Israel, credits him with sweeping rapid military victories over most of Canaan, vanquishing the whole land. Judges, however, begins its story with Joshua’s death in Judges. 1:1, then goes on to weave a 200-year-long tale of some 12 “judges,” or charismatic figures raised up by Yahweh to deal with the very threat that Joshua has disposed of, namely the continuing presence of Canaanites and of Canaanite culture. Then later in ch. 1 we find a “negative list” of the supposed “conquest,” cities that were not taken, some of them like Hazor the very same cities that Joshua was said to have utterly destroyed. To explain the continuous struggle and the chaos, the authors or editors of judges repeat the refrain: “In those days there was no king in Israel, and every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges. 21:25). (Page 91)
End of post.