Reason 16 - Dramatic Changes by the Torah to the Ethos of the World
The dramatic changes to the ethos of the world effected by the Torah
Taylor says the following at 180-1:
The Torah is out of sync with the era in which it came about, many of the commandments showing a drastically different approach to the lifestyle, ethic, and outlook of the time. In fact, it is because of these more advanced ideas of civilized society that are found in the Torah that the critics insist that it must have been written at a later time, rather than accept the Divine authorship. Some examples:
In Dennis Prager’s The Rational Bible - Exodus he says the following on pages xx-xxi:
THE TORAH IS NOT MAN-MADE
For reasons I develop throughout the commentary, I am convinced the Torah is divine, meaning God, not man, is its ultimate source. The Torah is so utterly different – morally, theologically, and in terms of wisdom – from anything else preceding it…..that a reasonable person would have to conclude either moral supermen or God was responsible for it.
To cite just a few examples of what the Torah introduced to the world:
Another major reason I am convinced the Torah is not man-made is it so often depicts the people of the Book, the Jews, in a negative light. Had Jews made up what is, after all, their book and story, they would never have portrayed themselves as critically and even negatively as the Torah (and the rest of the Hebrew Bible) often does. There is no parallel to this in any ancient national, or and religious, literature in the world.
A contemporary Jewish thinker, Rabbi Saul Berman, stated his position on the divinity of the Torah in words as close to my own as I could imagine:
The more I study the Torah, the more I am convinced that it is the revealed word of God. The more I study ancient cultures, the more I see the absolutely radical disparity between the values of pagan civilizations and the values which Torah brought into the world. Torah was God’s weapon in the war against idolatrous culture; and war it was.
I would only add that the Torah’s battle, and sometimes war, with many of the dominant ideas of our time is as great as it was with the cultures of three millennia ago, when the Torah came into the world.