How to Read the Bible by Marc Zvi Brettler. He has a Ph.D. in Bible studies and teaches at Brandeis University. The book is filled with citations but is written in a very readable (non academic)style. It was published in 2005 and I found it a week ago in the new book section in my library and have been reading it.
This guy knows the Bible in Hebrew as well as the history of the period and really opens up a lot of various aspects of what is going on at the time and how what was written interacts with that.
I give this book my highest recommendation for anyone interested in the Bible and Near Eastern History issue.
There was no worldwide flood in recorded human history.
And an understatement to be sure, no evidence of worldwide flood found for a long time before that!
But the problem is people are free to teach and believe whatever nonsense they want: that the earth is hollow, that there are human vampires that are undead (I don't mean weird goths who drink a little blood for mental reasons), or that grey alliens are abducting people and giving them rectal exams.
I mean I'd love to go to all these people and set them straight but you know any efforts in that direction would just more deeply convinced them of a conspiracy. The thing about the paranoid capacity of the human brain is that it can fit anything into a system if it's motivated enough.
After all science is just Satan's attempt to hide the truth revealed in the Bible don't cha know. All that evidence was just dummied up by the devil to deceive those who don't have spiritual sense. Once you believe that then it's easy to believe all the other stuff. And people routinely believe just those sorts of things.
In fact it appears much easier for many humans to believe that sort of stuff than it is to believe that the square root of 2 is irrational, or that nothing can go faster than the speed of light. Those are things we have very good evidence for but it's hard for the brain to grasp. Some how allien rectal exams or talking snakes or a world wide flood seems quite reasonable to many people.
Did you know that every culture has a worldwide flood story? Even the cultures that had no exposiure to the Bible do. And they all say the same basic thing. "Eight people were told by god or gods to buld a boat because he was going to flood the whole world."
I still don't know that. You need to cite real scholarship showing that the Chinese, the Egyptians, Australian Bush people, and Mayans have such stories with such details.
You know people out there are teaching things that don't stand up. They haven't done the research and probably don't care to. They are telling you fantasies, stories, wishful thinking. It's takes more than saying it. You have to have solid citations by scholars in the respective fields, not stuff made up by those evangelizing and recruiting to their religion. You are being taken, duped, and misled.
Edited by lfen, : had left out the word "know" in the first sentences. I inserted it.