|"More Problems for Bibliolaters": Response|
Actually there are only two matters in these "more problems" --
Let's consider, for example, a statement in 1 Kings 15:5, where it was brazenly asserted that "David did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, and returned [sic] not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite."...Both 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21 clearly depict David as having sinned for taking a census of the Israelites. David himself said on this occasion, "I have sinned greatly in that which I have done" (2 Sam. 24:10; 1 Chron. 21:8)...
While fleeing from Saul, David needed food and weapons. To procure them, he lied to Ahimelech the priest and said that he was on a secret mission for king Saul (1 Sam. 21:1-8). Later, when he had gathered around him a band of 600 men and found refuge in Philistia, he became a guerrilla marauder who raided Philistine villages, killed all of the people in the villages so that there would be no witnesses to report his activities, and then returned home and lied to Achish the king about where he had been (1 Sam. 27:8-12). Do these sound like the activities of a man who never strayed from Yahweh's commandments "except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite"?
The latter issue involves a hierarchy of morals -- is it wrong to lie to the enemy, to the Nazis, to Stalin's thugs?
As to the former, it should be obvious that "returned [sic] not aside from anything that he commanded him" is not the same as "never sinned" -- and in the case of the census, David did follow a command to do the census (2 Sam. 24:1), a case of God giving the disobedient what they desired, as He commanded Samuel to choose a king in 1 Samuel 8:7. (For more on the census issue, see Glenn Miller's item here. And actually, there's no need to make much about that phrase about Uriah, because it is a late add-on to the text -- it does not appear in the LXX.
To cause a problem here the critics need to find a place where David disobeyed a direct command from Yahweh -- not places where he committed sins.
From another perspective, it is asked, what "is the difference between disobeying a command from God and committing a sin? Aren't the two identical? Isn't 'disobeying God' the very definition of sin?" It is if we want to broadly define it that way, but we have no reason to suppose that God followed David around saying, "Don't take that cookie" or "Don't use that mustard." The difference here is a matter of disobeying direct intervention versus disobeying the contents of a paradigm. The use of the specific word in the Bible ("commanded") seems to imply cases of direct contact and personal interchange.
It is also worth noting that a critic sets against us, on the point about the LXX, the words of "another conservative Christian scholar" who "argues (rather passionately) that the LXX actually does not even exist" - and offers a link to an item on the Chick Publications website. If any critic thinks that this represents the work of a "scholar" (and that the level of "passion" makes an iota of difference) then little needs to be said: The idea that the LXX did not exist belongs in the realm of UFO conspiracies and alien invasions.