Alvin Boyd Kuhn wrote in Lost Light (1940) that:
It is the purpose of the present volume to set forth to the modern mind the extent of the wreckage which splendid ancient wisdom suffered at the hands of later incompetence. [. . .] It involves the reversal of that mental process which in the days of early Christianity operated to change myth and allegory in the first instance over to factual history. As third century ignorance converted mythical typology to objective history, the task is now to convert alleged objective history back to mythology, and then to interpret it as enlightened theology. The almost insuperable difficulty of the project will consist in demonstrating to an uncomprehending world, mistaught for centuries and now fixed in weird forms of fantastic belief, that the sacred scriptures of the world are a thousand times more precious as myths than as alleged history. 24 [emphasis in the original].
While I would have strongly rejected that final statement only a few years ago, I now strongly agree with just about everything that Kuhn says above, and especially his concluding assertion.
My only real objection to any of his wording is the phrase "third century ignorance," because while I believe that a great many of those who teach the literalist approach to the scriptures do so in all honesty and sincerity, themselves believing that the texts were intended to convey literal history along with all their other layers of meaning, I believe that there is significant evidence today to conclude that not all of those who have propagated literalism throughout history -- and most especially those who pushed it into prominence during the third and fourth centuries AD -- did so in "ignorance" of what they were doing.
For what I believe to be evidence conclusive evidence of that assertion, see the speeches of Ambrose of Milan cited in this previous post.
In any case, I believe the evidence that these texts were in fact changed from "myth and allegory" over into "alleged objective history" is overwhelming. In the new video above, I present some of this evidence visually, using the outstanding open-source planetarium app Stellarium, available at stellarium.org.
CAUTION: The above video contains very strong evidence that the stories of the Bible are built upon the system of celestial metaphor common to all the ancient sacred stories and traditions of the human race -- that like the myths of the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians, Vedic Hindus, Norse, Australians, Native Americans, and of virtually everyone else on our planet, the myths preserved in the Bible are "Star Myths."
If you are not comfortable exploring this evidence, please DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO.
If you are comfortable with exploring that evidence, and wish to explore the subject further, there are many more blog posts on that subject in the "Star Myth Index" here.
This video will examine the celestial foundations of the story of the birth of Jesus in the Manger. While this story is dealt with at some length in The Undying Stars, it has not been explicated in this blog before. If this idea is uncomfortable to you, please do not watch the video. This information is for those who are already seeking it, or who are already interested in this subject matter, or who already believe with Alvin Boyd Kuhn that these sacred scriptures of the world are a thousand times more precious as myths than as alleged history.
It is not intended as a "club" with which to "beat people up" over their beliefs. I strongly believe that we can and must respect the rights of all others with whom we come in contact in this incarnational life on this world. To the extent that literalistic interpretations of ancient scripture have been used in the past (and continue to be used in the present) to support the violation of natural law rights, I believe those violations should and must be strongly opposed. However, to the extent that someone rejects the violation of the rights of others, their beliefs should be seen as proper to their own individual "kingdom" or "domain," and respected accordingly.
Note: I have re-worked the original video in order to improve the visual resolution. Here is the link to the new, high-definition version (also embedded at the top of the post).