Answering Anachronistic charges against the Bible.
The writings we recognize as scripture we written near 2,000 years (NT) and much beyond to a predominantly Jewish audience with a culture very different than our own. One category of challenges lobbed by skeptics at the bible is actually due to failing to recognize the important truth. There expectations are unfair, culturally biased and anachronistic.
Dictionary.com defines an Anachronism as, “something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, especially a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time:” (Dictionary.com)
In our culture we are constantly crunched for time. We schedule things tightly and see time as a minute by minute resource. David X. Cohen and his staff were so crunched for time when working on the animated sitcom Futurama that the added Blernsday to the calendar, the joke even found it’s why its way into the show in altered manner, “Blernsball is named for Blernsday, an extra day added to the production schedule during season one.” It’s not entertainers who face this pressure, it’s all of us in the west, we see time as “both limited and important, we talk about it as if it were a commodity that can be saved, traded or spent like money.” (Richards Pg. 137)
In their work, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes Removing Cultural Blinder to Better Understand the Bible, authors Richards and O’Brien distinguish between Chronos and Kairos time. Chronos is used “to describe the more quantitative aspects of time such as chronology or sequence.” (Richards Pg. 144) Karios refers, “to the more qualitative aspect of time, when something special happened.” (Richards Pg. 144) The authors note, “This term is used much more often-almost twice as frequently in the Bible.” (Richards Pg. 144) Karios is used of generalities, seasons, and eras, not specific moments on the clock and it’s this time of passage the time that biblical culture was more concerned with.
“While the, biblical authors were intentional about the sequence in which they presented, “(Richards Pg. 149) it should be noted that, “they weren’t preoccupied with historical, chronological order.” (Richards Pg. 149) Because the authors were more concerned with theme than chronology this lead the authors to record events in a different way than a modern western journalist or historian would. This does not make their methods wrong, only different than our own. This explains why the gospels have different orders of events and details. Such as why Luke and Matthew differ on the order of the location of the temptations of Jesus. It is not a contradiction but a matter of the author’s emphasis and the way they used one incident in connection to another to tell the gospel to their original intended audience. It would not be fair to expect them to write like a modern historians, it would be anachronistic if they did so. The author’s must be judged their cultures standards, in any attempt to do otherwise, would be just as unfair as expecting them to have written in .docx format.
A commentary on: A Leela of her own theinfosphere http://theinfosphere.org/Commentary:A_Leela_of_Her_Own updated 5/5/201 (accessed: September 24:2015)
anachronism. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/anachronism (accessed: September 24, 2015).
Richards, E. Randolph. P, O’Brien, Brandon J. Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible IVP Books Downers Groove, Il 2012
(A NOTE ABOUT the book Misreading Scripture… I’m reading for a class assignment and at this point I have found some important truths that need to be communicated, but I’ve also found error and others areas where I think poor thinking and over emphasis are occurring to the point I can’t recommend the book)