[quote="Cachonga, post:17, topic:346193"]
I have examined programs from Nova, PBS, Nat Geo and others, and I find them to be consistently biased against the divine inspiration of Scripture.
Well, then I would guess that you would reject most modern historiography, including that used by Catholic scholars (e.g., John Meier, Pope Benedict XVI) and most other Christian scholars (e.g., Craig Evans, Craig Blomberg, N.T. Wright, Daniel Wallace). Every single one of them uses what's called the "historical-critical" approach.
This approach to scripture is based on understanding that a text was written in a particular historical context, with a particular audience in mind. It's a basic part of both exegesis and of historical studies of the Bible.
If you start from the presumption that God wrote Scripture in an inerrant manner, it becomes impossible to conduct objective historical research. I don't want to presume that you do so, but could you reference for me scholars that you think are both credible and objective?
So if there is no evidence that the conquest of Canaan didn't happen as described in the OT, then why should I doubt the truth of Scripture?
Because for just about every major battle that ends in the destruction of a city, there is a very clear archaeological record. While it's possible to do mental gymnastics to come up with a historical explanation that avoids any of the troubling lack of evidence, it's impossible to objectively discount all archaeology because it doesn't support your view of scripture. God doesn't want us to suspend our reason!
Again, I have examined many "mainstream" views and find them just as unreliable as anything found on PBS, Nova or Nat Geo.
It seems as though you define reliability on the basis of the conclusions that researchers draw. I would suggest that you instead define reliability on the basis of using the methods of professional historiography. If a historian uses methods that are widely accepted by other historians (who can be Christian, atheist, Muslim, or any other religion), then their conclusions should be treated with equal regard as those of any other historical work. If the work is done carefully and objectively and their conclusions are based on documentation of sufficient evidence, that to me defines "reliable."
Bart Ehrman, for example, is an atheist/agnostic text critic. That is true. He is also the author of an "Introduction to New Testament" textbook that is (from what I've heard) the most widely-used textbook in Christian seminaries. Does his being an atheist disqualify his scholarship? Not at all. If he uses adequate methods, it's valid work.
Granted, Ehrman engages in much polemical debate in which he talks about the "copies of copies of copies" of biblical manuscripts, but he reaches conclusions that I don't believe any modern Biblical critic dismisses out of hand. For example, the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8 is not in any of the earliest manuscripts we have. Does the fact that he, an atheist, thinks it was added to the manuscript by later Christians mean that he's "unreliable?" Or does the fact that the story's not in any of the earliest manuscripts of John provide evidence? Or, I suppose, we could do mental cartwheels to say that the "real manuscripts" were somehow destroyed, but that's not scientific!
The point of quoting 2 Tim is that Scripture is God-breathed, which (I would assert) removes it from other human writings, and therefore the historical-critical method of interpretation may not be the best (just curious, but how would the historical-critical method help you interpret the book of Judith?).
Well, how about we turn to 2 Timothy itself? It claims to be written by Paul. Was it? Here is a quotation from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's introduction to the epistle in the New American Bible:
From the late second century to the nineteenth, Pauline authorship of the three Pastoral Epistles went unchallenged. Since then, the attribution of these letters to Paul has been questioned. **Most scholars are convinced that Paul could not have been responsible for the vocabulary and style, the concept of church organization, or the theological expressions found in these letters.* A second group believes, on the basis of statistical evidence, that the vocabulary and style are Pauline, even if at first sight the contrary seems to be the case. They state that the concept of church organization in the letters is not as advanced as the questioners of Pauline authorship hold since the notion of hierarchical order in a religious community existed in Israel before the time of Christ, as evidenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Finally, this group sees affinities between the theological thought of the Pastorals and that of the unquestionably genuine letters of Paul. Other scholars, while conceding a degree of validity to the positions mentioned above, suggest that the apostle made use of a secretary who was responsible for the composition of the letters. A fourth group of scholars believes that these letters are the work of a compiler, that they are based on traditions about Paul in his later years, and that they include, in varying amounts, actual fragments of genuine Pauline correspondence.
For a counter-argument, here's a reference. I'll note that David Wallace, the author (whom I respect very much as a scholar) teaches at an institution where the (unbiblical) doctrine of Biblical inerrancy is promoted.
And even if we assume (against most evidence) that Paul wrote the letter, which I'm absolutely willing to do, I still don't get how you conclude from that text that this means that we don't have an obligation to look at scripture objectively.