Quote of the Moment: Your Myths vs. My Myths

Dean Galbrraith over at Remnant of Giants found this quote in a review of the new movie Jack the Giant Killer at the Christian Post:

Unlike our fairy tale teenager Jack, David was a real life, flesh and bone adolescent who faced up to a giant bigger and badder than any we will face. There was no beanstalk or imaginary kingdom in the clouds in this event, but there was a nine foot tall gargantuan monstrosity named Goliath who mocked the God of Angel Armies.

- Lane Palmer, “You Can Be a Giant Slayer!”, Christian Post, 4 March 2013

Your myths are false nonsense, mine are true wisdom …

One thing that Palmer doesn’t realize is that even taken at face value there are complexities in the Biblical text that raise questions about the story of David and Goliath. See Atheist Biblical Criticism for a deconstruction of the text.

  • http://nagamakironin.blogspot.com/ Michael Mock

    No, see, it’s completely different, because David and Goliath was written down, while Jack and the Beanstalk was… oh, wait.

    • Irreverend Bastard

      Written up?

      • http://nagamakironin.blogspot.com/ Michael Mock

        That must be it.

  • Greg G

    A nine-foot giant is much more believable than a beanstalk giant. The bottle of oil that never runs out in 1 Kings 17 is much more believable than a goose that lays golden eggs.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      And talking snakes and donkeys are much more believable than…

      • OverlappingMagisteria

        …a singing harp lady!

        At least snakes and donkeys are alive, and I’ll bet with a lot of patience you could train a donkey to bray out a few phrases.

    • CoffeeJedi

      I’m with you on the giant. There have been actual human beings in recent history who were that tall. Granted, they generally had pretty debilitating health conditions and wouldn’t make very good warriors, but as a display of “look how big our dudes are” on the battlefield, they’d probably be pretty effective.

      I’m no biologist, but I could theoretically conceive of a bird that lays metallic eggs through a combination of a mineral-rich soil and genetic mutation. Highly improbable to actually produce a completely solid gold egg, but you could probably find a scenario that most of us would say “close enough”.

      But a bottle of oil that never runs out? That just defies every law of physics! It’s got to come from somewhere, so… trans-dimensional portal? We’ve never seen one of those outside of science-fiction, so I’m going to say no to that one. Converting the organic molecules in the air into oil? That would require a tremendous amount of energy and would probably result in a massive explosion. So, the golden egg laying goose is definitely more believable than the never ending bottle.

      • Michael

        Well, there are no actual human beings who have been measured at nine feet, but then again the earliest discovered texts describe Goliath as being 6′ 9″.

        Also, there is not nearly enough methane in the air to turn into oil, nor nearly enough gold in the soil to make golden eggs. Both are equally impossible.

    • Nox

      But that paragraph does not only say a nine foot giant was more believable than a beanstalk giant. It says this particular nine foot giant actually existed. A much less believable proposition.

  • Igor

    My mythological deitific structure is better than your mythological deitific structure because I have this book, and even though you have a book too, my book is better than your book because my mythological deity wrote it; and even though you say your mythological deity wrote yours, mine’s better ’cause it’s real and you made yours up. And oh yeah, my dad can beat up your dad.

    How can you argue with facts like that?

  • vasaroti

    Interesting, first I’d ever heard that there were multiple versions of the Goliath story.

  • http://vovatia.wordpress.com Nathan

    I also believe that different manuscripts give different heights for Goliath. The generally accepted version is six cubits and a span, but some versions say four cubits and a span, which would put him at a more likely height of under seven feet. Mind you, like fish, giant warriors probably grow bigger every time someone tells the story.

    • kessy_athena

      The other thing is that humans were much shorter at that time then they are now, due to poor nutrition. They’d probably have considered someone six feet tall to be a giant.

  • Bob Jase

    Of course it would be nice if the bible was consistant about David too. He is introduced in Samuel 1 as “16:18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war,” not as a boy as usually depicted.

    And not just any man of war but a veritable Heracles, “17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: (17:34-35)
    “There came a lion, and a bear … I caught him by his beard, and smote him.”
    David caught a lion (and a bear?) “by his beard” and then killed him.
    17:35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
    17:36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: “,
    who kills bears & lions with his bare (& lyin) hands.

    Nor was David wearing just a loincloth as usually depicted, “7:38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
    17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go” but in full armor and carrying a sword.

    Nor do Christians much mention David’s homosexual activities, “20:40 And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.
    20:41 And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.”

    Then again there is the problem of did David actually kill Goliath or did someone else, “2 Samuel 21:19 And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.” Although the KJV inserts a phrase to say it was Goliath’s brother that Elhanan killed the original texts are pretty clear in was Elhanan.

    But hey, its an inerrant book so what can you expect.

  • Bob Jase

    Of course it would be nice if the bible was consistant about David too. He is introduced in Samuel 1 as “16:18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war,” not as a boy as usually depicted.

    And not just any man of war but a veritable Heracles, “17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: (17:34-35)
    “There came a lion, and a bear … I caught him by his beard, and smote him.”
    David caught a lion (and a bear?) “by his beard” and then killed him.
    17:35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
    17:36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: “,
    who kills bears & lions with his bare (& lyin) hands.

    Nor was David wearing just a loincloth as usually depicted, “7:38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
    17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go” but in full armor and carrying a sword.

    Nor do Christians much mention David’s homosexual activities, “20:40 And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.
    20:41 And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.”

    Then again there is the problem of did David actually kill Goliath or did someone else, “2 Samuel 21:19 And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.” Although the KJV inserts a phrase to say it was Goliath’s brother that Elhanan killed the original texts are pretty clear in was Elhanan.

    But hey, its an inerrant book so what can you expect.

  • Bob Seidensticker

    What’s the problem? Goliath had short- and medium-range weapons and David had a long-range weapon. And he was faster, so he could make sure that he maintained the distance that played to his advantage.

    Also, David took 5 stones. He didn’t count on God magically delivering the fatal stone to Goliath’s head.


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