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A corollary from the Sinai mass revelation discussion. Another argument for the uniqueness (and by implication divinity) of the Torah that I have heard a few times is that the leading figures in Torah are all imperfect. The Torah describes all their sins very openly. Other (men-written) texts from the time glorify their leaders.

Yes, you have these perfect stories about some leaders. They list victory after victory and nothing else. Every king has a record of his accomplishments which conveniently forgets the defeats. We have many inscriptions of greatness, but who remembers the party that lost. Actually, this is not a phenomenon that we have left behind, even today biographies of great persons are sometimes "cleaned up" because we want our hero to be perfect.

But there are also plenty of non-biblical stories of flawed heroes around. Greek and Roman mythology would be nothing without a character flaw. Romulus, founder of Rome, kills his own brother. Odysseus is overly proud. And so on. For that matter Greek and Roman gods are not better, they are angry, jealous, unfaithful and arrogant. Norse gods (Odin, Thor, etc) are a bunch with pretty much the same qualities as their southern counterparts. Iceland’s famous Njál saga is full of people deceiving and killing each other. And these are just a few examples.

Stories of perfect beings are just not that interesting. And stories are created to teach a character lesson. We need to see the hero overcome their flaws – or go down because of them. So in itself stories with flawed heroes are not rare. Still, I would say there is a difference between the examples I listed above and the stories about the patriarchs, Moses and the other great Jewish leaders. But what exactly is the difference?

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