“Scripture cannot be broken” said Christ. And tradition has spelled out the canon. And so I accept the biblical canon like a baptist fundamentalist, though as a cradle protestant I have mixed feelings about the “apocrypha” or deutero-canon (the non-hebrew books added to the old testament during the Greek era). The story of Susannah and the Elders though, is an extremely nice response to the Greco-Roman mores evident in the Rape of Lucretia. They come to opposite conclusions about Act vs. Reputation. In other words, it’s a guilt-culture ethics rejecting a shame-culture ethics. Shame cultures tend to favor suicide as the way of keeping up your family/clan’s reputation, and guilt cultures don’t, which of course I think is better.
OK, enough rambling.
I don’t have a problem with Genesis either. I don’t have a problem with the “unscientific” stuff as when you take into account (1) future scientific discoveries and (2) the constraints of communicating true scientific facts into 3,000 year old hebrew with no word for “hydrogen” or “quantum” in the first place–it might turn up it’s all just been mis-portrayed in translation.
I don’t have a problem with all the polygamy and sexism of the patriarchs–the biblical narrator never celebrates or condones it, it feels more like a formal statement of the bald facts on the ground. The biblical authors aren’t pushing for that behavior, they are just describing what is already there in the culture.
But I do have a problem with Joshua’s conquest of Canaan. It seems to fly in the face of everything else I know about God. It contradicts everything else about the Character of God in the Old Testament (and of course the New Testament too).
I’m not going to scrap the biblical canon over it. I’m not going to buck tradition over it. But by God, it cannot be what it appears, because by God’s own morality, what it appears as certainly is wrong.
I guess we’ll figure it out when we get to heaven.