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The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

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  • The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

    I would think because it was included in the Bible that it then must be based upon historical fact. Apparently many scholars, etc disagree. Some even think it shouldn't have been included in the the Scriptures in the first place. So then, is this even an inspired writing? If yes, can inspired writings be based solely on fiction? Can anyone show how the story connects with other Scriptures in the Bible? Thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

    To me, it speaks of Obedience to God... when you are called into a position of service, fulfill the calling
    A message of hope

    Even when God is not visible, He is still in Control
    The LORD is my Miracle

    G_d was gracious He has shown favor


    Hope is a seed
    God plants in our hearts
    to remind us
    there are better things ahead.
    -Holley Gerth

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

      A scholar I am not. But as I read on, I then come to this passage for instance.

      Esther 2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;
      6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.

      The first thing I have to ask myself,,,is this passage based on historical fact, especially verse 6? If it is, and if the book of Esther is allegedly fictitious according to many scholars, then what are historical facts doing in a book of fiction? What would be the point? Especially since we're talking about the Bible here? Like I said, a scholar I'm not. But don't scholars take passages like this into consideration while trying to determine if this book is based on historical facts or not?

      And one more thing.

      Esther 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces: )

      Esther 2:8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

      Esther 5:1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

      The point being. Since this is the Bible we are talking about, do fictitious things come to pass in the Bible?

      The reason I brought this topic up in the first place is because this topic is a current topic on another board. The majority of them seem to side with scholars who see this book as fictitious and pretty much find my arguments as not being valid.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

        Originally posted by divaD View Post
        I would think because it was included in the Bible that it then must be based upon historical fact. Apparently many scholars, etc disagree. Some even think it shouldn't have been included in the the Scriptures in the first place. So then, is this even an inspired writing? If yes, can inspired writings be based solely on fiction? Can anyone show how the story connects with other Scriptures in the Bible? Thoughts?
        Prior to the 19th century, archaeologists and other scientists gave the Bible the benefit of the doubt and used the Bible as source material for places to dig and investigate. However, today, the default position is that the Bible is nothing more than a few moral stories and fables that has no basis in actual fact. I think you will find this a-priori assumption to be the default position in all the most recent scholarly works. Given this assumption, scholars demand that the Bible "prove" itself, (which it has on many occasions lately.) It has been the fashion of modern scholars to doubt the veracity of the Bible for no other reason but as a way to gain intellectual respectability

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

          Originally posted by divaD View Post
          A scholar I am not. But as I read on, I then come to this passage for instance.

          Esther 2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;
          6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.

          The first thing I have to ask myself,,,is this passage based on historical fact, especially verse 6? If it is, and if the book of Esther is allegedly fictitious according to many scholars, then what are historical facts doing in a book of fiction? What would be the point? Especially since we're talking about the Bible here? Like I said, a scholar I'm not. But don't scholars take passages like this into consideration while trying to determine if this book is based on historical facts or not?

          And one more thing.

          Esther 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces: )

          Esther 2:8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

          Esther 5:1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

          The point being. Since this is the Bible we are talking about, do fictitious things come to pass in the Bible?

          The reason I brought this topic up in the first place is because this topic is a current topic on another board. The majority of them seem to side with scholars who see this book as fictitious and pretty much find my arguments as not being valid.
          What it comes down to is, "do you believe the Bible is the Word of God", and if so, "is God a liar"?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

            Originally posted by rejoice44 View Post
            What it comes down to is, "do you believe the Bible is the Word of God", and if so, "is God a liar"?
            Yes, it may come down to that. But I also think David is asking another question, which involves how to evaluate the writings of those in our society who purport to teach us?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

              Originally posted by rejoice44 View Post
              What it comes down to is, "do you believe the Bible is the Word of God", and if so, "is God a liar"?
              How do you get to that

              Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?
              The LORD is my Miracle

              G_d was gracious He has shown favor


              Hope is a seed
              God plants in our hearts
              to remind us
              there are better things ahead.
              -Holley Gerth

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

                Originally posted by rejoice44 View Post
                What it comes down to is, "do you believe the Bible is the Word of God", and if so, "is God a liar"?


                Here's the way I look at it. First of all, if it can be proven the book of Esther is an inspired writing, then to say the book is based on fiction, that in my my mind seems to indicate the Bible is not trustworthy. In my mind, since at least 3 times we're told something came to pass, that should tell us we're dealing with historical facts, since the Bible is not a book of fairy tales. This doesn't have to mean everything written in the Bible has to be based on historical facts for it to be true, but the point is, since when do fictitious things come to pass in the Scriptures? I can't find any place in Scripture, where something was said to have come to pass, and that it wasn't based upon historical fact. Yet these on the other board say my argument is invalid, while in my mind, I feel I'm holding the trump card, so to speak. But of course, that's only if the book of Esther is inspired writing, IOW, the same way rest of the Bible is.

                If we're to rely on scholars because they would obviously undertand things we probably wouldn't, then why aren't all scholars on the same page with each other?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

                  Originally posted by divaD View Post
                  I would think because it was included in the Bible that it then must be based upon historical fact. Apparently many scholars, etc disagree. Some even think it shouldn't have been included in the the Scriptures in the first place. So then, is this even an inspired writing? If yes, can inspired writings be based solely on fiction? Can anyone show how the story connects with other Scriptures in the Bible? Thoughts?
                  It is not a fictional story, all of the books in the Bible were placed there because it was God's Will. This story connects to the rest of the Bible because it's a type for the church in the end times. Some things are hidden in the old (testament), but revealed in the new testament (like Christ). Esther is a type for the Bride, the church. God's name was never mentioned in the Bible, we can see His providence throughout (protecting His church). All of the people in the book of Esther has a type role for the end times, for instance, Haman was the Beast that was put into power.
                  People will probably disagree, but this is how I see it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

                    Originally posted by BroRog View Post
                    Yes, it may come down to that. But I also think David is asking another question, which involves how to evaluate the writings of those in our society who purport to teach us?
                    How can we expect the world to have spiritual discernment without Christ? It becomes the blind leading the blind. God's ways are past finding out. Knowledge will increase, yet they will not come to the truth. Christ is the truth and in him is the answer to life.

                    If we could come to the truth in our own knowledge then we wouldn't need faith, yet it is not a blind faith because God is light.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

                      Originally posted by Ta-An View Post
                      How do you get to that

                      Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?
                      Those that challenge the validity of the Bible are unbelievers. Either the Bible is true, or it is not, there is no middle ground. God has told us his Word is his Son. Is God's Word good? Is Jesus good? Let God be true, and all men liars.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

                        Originally posted by divaD View Post
                        Here's the way I look at it. First of all, if it can be proven the book of Esther is an inspired writing, then to say the book is based on fiction, that in my my mind seems to indicate the Bible is not trustworthy. In my mind, since at least 3 times we're told something came to pass, that should tell us we're dealing with historical facts, since the Bible is not a book of fairy tales. This doesn't have to mean everything written in the Bible has to be based on historical facts for it to be true, but the point is, since when do fictitious things come to pass in the Scriptures? I can't find any place in Scripture, where something was said to have come to pass, and that it wasn't based upon historical fact. Yet these on the other board say my argument is invalid, while in my mind, I feel I'm holding the trump card, so to speak. But of course, that's only if the book of Esther is inspired writing, IOW, the same way rest of the Bible is.
                        We cannot expect to prove the Bible to anyone but ourselves, and that through study and a relationship with Christ. Each individual has to come to a saving knowledge through faith, and it is that faith that gives you strength to hold fast to the Word.

                        If we're to rely on scholars because they would obviously undertand things we probably wouldn't, then why aren't all scholars on the same page with each other?
                        Scholars who don't have a saving knowledge of God don't posses truth, only an opinion that comes without knowledge.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

                          Originally posted by divaD View Post
                          If yes, can inspired writings be based solely on fiction?
                          Yes, I see no reason why not. Not saying that Esther is fiction, we just don't really know. But it's been suggested that Job is likely fictitious too, along with the Genesis creation account, global flood story, etc.

                          Regardless, it's not the actual historicity of these stories that is important. Rather, it's the ideas behind them that God wants people to know.
                          If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. - John 8:36

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

                            Originally posted by Knight Templar View Post
                            But it's been suggested that Job is likely fictitious too, along with the Genesis creation account, global flood story, etc.

                            If that's the case, then that kind of makes God a phony, doesn't it? I mean, He can't actually make real things happen to real people. He can't interract with real people, so He has to resort to fables instead. I just don't buy it. And like I already pointed out, I'm not suggesting that everything written in the Bible has to be based upon historical facts. I'm just saying that where a story is being told, and there are actually people and places with names in the story, I would think that should be understood as historically factual.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The book of Esther. Based on historical fact or fiction?

                              Originally posted by Knight Templar View Post
                              Yes, I see no reason why not. Not saying that Esther is fiction, we just don't really know. But it's been suggested that Job is likely fictitious too, along with the Genesis creation account, global flood story, etc.

                              Regardless, it's not the actual historicity of these stories that is important. Rather, it's the ideas behind them that God wants people to know.
                              If we doubt the validity of any story in the Bible, then where does the doubting stop? God did not put these stories in the written Word as fiction, it's satan who is deceiving people into believing these stories are not true or at the very least, questioning the nature of them.

                              Comment

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