Henry said:

For the sake of argument, let's say we can use extra-Biblical information like science to help us interpret Scripture (although I react strongly against this- more later).

Not just Science, but understanding Greco-Roman rhetoric techniques, the honor/shame dynamic in the Mediterranean, other texts written in Hebrew/Aramiac/Greek/cognates (to help us understand how the same words were used in the Bible), etc. There are differences in how we go about using these sources of information to help us understand the biblical texts, but they all do so.

Granted this, we still are driven to the conclusion that the generations alive before modern geology, cosmology, etc., all the way back to the anceint Israelites, were completely handicapped in their understanding of Scripture because they didn't have access to the latest C-14 figures, etc.

Some would be. Those in the original audiences and closer to the time the documents were written would have understood them. Moses' original audience would have understood them.

What we are basically saying is that only we modern folks are able to correctly interpret Scripture. I don't know about you, but that sounds a bit troubling to me.

That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that we moderns are able to see things that aren't in a lot of the literature from the past that we have.

Part of this is because we have more extra-Biblical information to help us. Part is due to the fact that we have more refined historical investigative methods. Other things as well I'm sure.

Did the Mosaic Jews understand that the structure of the covenants was just like the international treaties of the surrounding nations? Sure. Is this understanding missing from the bulk of the literature of the Church until recently? As far as I know. But now we know (thanks to Mendenhall, Kline, and Kitchen) that the covenants followed the formal structure of ANE international treaties/covenants.

The right interpretation was there, and it didn't _require_ that we have the results of modern scientific investigation. It's just that now we have had more reason to re-examine our thinking on the interpretation of the text.

As a side note, my comments will come in spurts. I don't have tons of extra time, so please be patient with my putting up replies.