Solomon's Divided Child, a plagiarism

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The excerpt below and the link from which it is obtained expand upon what was discussed in the Intro post (and more coming in the sequence covering them) about David's and Solomon's existence, or lack thereof. The link is to Vexen Crabtree's excellent site with a wealth of religious criticism. The mention of White's Warfare of Science and Theology sounds like a pretty interesting read from the 19th century.

Apart from the grandiose images of stately buildings, many minor stories also fail to pass muster. The first chapter of the book of Ruth ends...

“... with an account of Solomon's judgment between two mothers, each of whom claimed a living child as her own and the dead child as that of her rival. This judgment has often been referred to as showing the wisdom of Solomon. He understood a mother's boundless love, that the true mother would infinitely prefer that her rival should retain her infant than that the child should be divided between them. However, this tale, like many an other Biblical story, is found imbedded in the folk-lore-myths of other peoples and religions. Prof. White's 'Warfare of Science and Theology' quotes Fansboll as finding it in 'Buddhist Birth Stories.'”

"The Woman's Bible" by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1898)4

If Solomon was such a great and wise man, why did people find the need to write already existing stories about inspiring people, and pretend that Solomon was the key character? Were there not an array of stories about Solomon himself that could be told? It appears not. "The able Biblical critic, Henry Macdonald, regards [...] Solomon as unreal as Mug Nuadat or Partholan"4 (two Irish mythological heroes).

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