Last post I talked about the mythology sections of the Bible. Another chunk of the Bible deals with histories. Now, this is tricky, too, because oral histories are not the same thing as what we think of as history. We endeavor to record history exactly like we try to bring out facts in a trial, or facts in a newspaper. I don’t believe that was always the case. For example, I think Herodotus had a more thematic set of goals that modern historians. But I honestly don’t know.
Histories are intended to be read differently that myths. So, for example, the words on the pages of Exodus indicate that the Red Sea parted. The words in Joshua indicate that the Israelites slaughter thousands, not hundreds of people. Now, Judges and Ruth seem to be more about folk tales so I’m not sure where you put them. Likewise, the Bible declares stories of Jesus healing people of disease. Not making them feel better; not just healing their souls.
I should have saved these for last because they are the most challenging for me. I don’t know what to do with miracles. Are they examples of where allegory sort of gets mixed into the oral tradition to point to more of a thematic truth? I think that is what happened with the feeding of the five thousand; I think the miracle was that Jesus convinced the greedy to be generous. But you can’t do that with healing stories. I am conflicted.