History of Biblical IsraelQUESTION: What is the relationship between secular history and the history of biblical Israel?ANSWER:
The relation between secular history and the history of biblical Israel is the land on which Israel is located. Modern Israel is not a religious Israel in terms of government and law. Modern Israel is based on basic principles of law that have been accepted by many Western nations throughout history. Though some laws may seem to find their origin in biblical text, the motivation is purely secular. However, the land on which Israel is located carries an influence on how the country is governed and how modern Israel relates to its biblical past.
In the United States, it is widely understood that the state is separate from the church. Yet, many also understand that the roots of the nation and its original motivation behind its constitution and law are biblical in nature. In much the same way, modern Israel is connected to its biblical past. Though the nation is secular by definition, the roots of the nation are biblical, evidenced by the many landmarks within its borders.
It is not difficult to see that Israel is a religious nation. From North to South and East to West, Israel is covered by historical landmarks with biblical association. As a result, the modern Israeli government, without defining itself as a Jewish or religious government, protects its heritage and even promotes it for tourism and history sake. In a sense, the government has an obligation, despite its secular stance, to uphold its religious image. At its core, Israel is the most religious state in the world. Three major religions find their origin or at least a major piece of its existence in the land. This is why Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics website states that there were 205,000 visitor arrivals in April 2007. People flock to Israel because of its religious history, despite the tensions that constantly surround the nation.
Israel is as modern as any western civilized nation in the world today. However, its rich religious history connects it to its biblical past. As long as Israel remains the home of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic tradition and religious landmarks, the nation will always remain a religious nation despite its secular modern spirit.