|The Bayeaux Tapestry and Understanding Biblical Narrative|
An account of the Battle of Hastings has an interesting parallel to Biblical studies and such things as how I explain the death of Judas and differences in Gospel accounts.
For background, this battle on British soil in 1066 was the one where William the Conqueror kicked up the armies of King Harold. There is a sewing project called the Bayeaux Tapestry that depicts in a sort of cartoon format how the battle went. It is dated to about 10 years after the battle, and there are written accounts later than that.
Our subject of interest is a part of the tapestry that specifically says it depicts the death of Harold. The picture shows a man on the left with an arrow in his eye; then, to the right, the same man from the looks of it is being cut down by a rider with a sword. Here's the scene concerned:
The issue? As one site puts it:
It is very doubtful if Harold was shot in the eye with an arrow from over the ranks of his front line. He was probably run through by William's lance, accompanied by three others who were in at the kill, and who savaged him brutally.
And herein lies an interesting parallel. The historical method is followed here; a practical improbability is cited as a reason why the tapestry cannot be accurate. It is also added that later written accounts do not mention this death blow. What have been the solutions to this?
In all of this our point to be made is that the sort of answers that are produced to resolve Biblical "contradictions" have their parallels in secular historical work. It is unreasonable to pretend that something new or innovative is being done when we suggest looking at the reports of the Bible through different lenses, particuarly those of ancient writers of narrative.