Says Who? … The Baffling Anonymous Bible (4)

Anonymous Writer…God created man in his own image…

~ ANONYMOUS

~~~

A bit more:

Contrary to tradition, Moses did not write Genesis or the remaining four books of the Pentateuch. And we do not know who did, or when they did, or where. Key markers were always quite apparent in the text… Moses is always referred to in the third person, always in the past tense, and often in the distant past tense, denoting a considerable passage of time between the events and their recounting. But modern scholarship has turned up still more issues, since Genesis as we know it is written in Hebrew, a language not in existence in the days of Moses. Various joints and seems are evident throughout the text, indicating that the works of several authors were combined into the larger narrative sometime later. Various people groups and place names that appear in the accounts did not exist for the periods of the Patriarchs, etc. Overall, it remains unclear who assembled Genesis and at what point in Jewish history its various parts came to be regarded as scripture. See references [11, 14, 15, 22].

The anonymity dilemma facing our beloved creation account and our claims of the divine image may be summed up briefly:

Today the majority of academic scholars agree that the Torah has multiple authors, and that its composition took place over centuries.

~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentateuch#Composition

The painful reality is that Thomas Paine’s analysis some 200 years ago has been borne out, in detail, by painstaking investigations and archaeological discoveries since:

[The books of the Pentateuch] are spurious, and that Moses is not the author of them; and still further, that they were not written in the time of Moses nor till several hundred years afterwards; that they are no other than an attempted history of the life of Moses, and of the times in which he is said to have lived, and also of the times prior thereto, written by some very ignorant and stupid pretenders to authorship, several hundred years after the death of Moses; as men now write histories of things that happened, or are supposed to have happened, several hundred or several thousand years ago.

~ Paine, Thomas (2012-03-07). The Age of Reason (p. 93). Dover Publications. Kindle Edition.

Let us ask, through serious inspection and scrutiny, what would make Genesis better than other ancient histories? What would indicate that it was more than human in origin? What evidence can speak on its behalf to indicate – quite apart from faith claims of what we wish to be true – that it is actually divine in origin?

There is not the slightest evidence that Genesis is the Word of God.

We have evidence only that it was held sacred by people.

Comments

  1. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Another indication, often found in Genesis and Exodus (though I don’t have chapters and verses at my fingertips), are the various notations that something mentioned in one of the verses is still in place, “to this day” – we don’t say that about some object that is contemporary with us, as there’s certainly nothing remarkable about it – we use it to marvel that something from the distant past, still exists.

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  2. Even Vatican admits that Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch. It doesn’t seem to embarrass anyone.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__P2.HTM

    You seem to look for reasons to disbelieve. And, of course, you find them. But if you look for reasons to believe, you will also find them.

    Seek and you will find.

    This is where I find the Bible fascinating. Especially, the NT. Often, rejecting it only confirms that it is true, much like Jesus was rejected and crucified. By the way, thanks for mentioning Peter Enns to me. I think, he uses this parallel between Jesus and the Bible itself in his book “Inspiration and Incarnation”.

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    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      I said basically the same thing, this afternoon, on a theist sight, regarding the author’s mention of the “waning belief in the Documentary Hypothesis,” that the Catholic Church, with its 1.2+ billion adherents, accepts it, which I would hardly call, “waning.” (which isn’t entirely true, as the Catholic Church itself is waning, losing more members each year, than it is gaining.)

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    • I quite agree with you. Yet I don’t think the point here is to embarrass anyone, only to point out that what has been held as God-breathed is not any more so than any other ancient text. A lot of people hold that all scripture is just that. It carries authority because God said this or that when, in fact, he did not.

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      • I think, whether Bible is the word of God is a question of faith, not a question of fact, and it has only as much authority as people give it. I don’t see a problem treating the Bible as the word of God as long as people accept authority of the Bible over themselves, in the first place. I think, when people start to apply the Bible to others, the whole teaching turns upside down and we have what we have — wars, atrocities, and strife.

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        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          “I think, when people start to apply the Bible to others, the whole teaching turns upside down and we have what we have — wars, atrocities, and strife.”

          Part of that, agrudzinsky, can be blamed directly on Christianity, which insists that it’s adherents go out and convert others.

          We can also blame cognitive dissonance – we humans can tolerate only very small doses of conflicting attitudes, behaviors and beliefs systems, hence we tend to seek out others who believe as we do, much as we have here, or we try to bring others over to our points of view.

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          • Part of that, agrudzinsky, can be blamed directly on Christianity, which insists that it’s adherents go out and convert others.

            I agree. This commandment to proselytize has done much evil. Two observations. First, if not for this commandment, Christianity would, probably, be extinct by now just according to Darwin. It’s akin the “be fruitful and multiply” (which, by the way seems to be the first God’s commandment given way before Moses) This commandment is, perhaps, the reason why it spread so much and survived millenia. On the other hand, most likely, we would have another ideology that would have a similar commandment. I’m not saying “blame Darwin that we have Christianity”, but his theory seems to explain why an ideology that makes spreading itself a priority is dominant.

            Second, there is a fundamental self-refuting “catch 22” question: how do you force people “love each other”? It’s a mind-boggling question, if you think of it. For some odd reason, whoever sets out on the path of preaching this doctrine, ends up crucified or assassinated himself or ends up burning others at the stake. It seems to be a great mystery to me. The NT seems to point this out quite well. I don’t care who wrote it and whether it describes historic events, but it seems to convey a very real and true message.

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            • archaeopteryx1 says:

              “I’m not saying “blame Darwin that we have Christianity”

              Oh, I realize that – you’re saying that religions can sometimes take on a life of their own, and behave much like living organisms, but subject to the same Darwinian rule of “adapt, or die.”

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            • Both good points. I don’t think its an accident that major world religions like Catholicism and Islam both favor broad procreation and shun birth control. I’d love to see stats on religious spread partitioned into two forcing functions: proselytizing and reproduction.

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      • Agrudzinsky,

        Let me probe a bit… What do you mean, that it is not a question of fact?

        Either there is something special about these texts or there is not. Either God inspired them in a way that makes them different from Shakespeare and Enuma Elish, or He did not.

        That question is an objective one. It isn’t up to me. Or you. It either is the case, or it is not. And the fact of the matter is not affected by anyone’s belief about it. Unless we’re god. 🙂

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    • agrudzinsky,

      I spent 34 years as a very ardent Christian, ever and always finding reason to believe. So I hear where you’re coming from. My prayer during the entirety of my deconversion was, “God, help me see,” precisely per “seek and ye shall find.” I received a rather odd answer to that persistent prayer.

      I don’t really see it as being about embarrassment. Its about whether we have any idea what we’re talking about.

      For three millennia or so, the Judeo-Christian tradition has maintained the basic notion that divine revelation is validated by the authenticity of the prophet who received it. Or in Christianity’s case, the apostle who received it. This is one very good reason why all the books of the Bible actually have authorship associated with them, and this happens to be universal among all the Abrahamic faiths, right down to Mormonism. Nobody cares much about anonymous works, and big names are attached to things like the Pentateuch, Isaiah, etc.

      That’s gone now. And a lot of believers still don’t know about it. Claiming divine revelation for a text, when you don’t really have the slightest idea where it came from or whether it was prophetically received, doesn’t make much sense. It probably doesn’t make much sense in any case.

      But the other key point is that the Jewish and Christian leaders were dead wrong about the books we now call the Bible. They were dead wrong about how authoritative they were. They didn’t know enough about those materials when they stamped them “divine” and canonized them. And people have lived and died for the book they compiled upon guesses and hearsay.

      Break out Enuma Elish! It has as much credibility: none.

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      • I’ve recently reblogged an interesting post

        http://thousayest.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/of-physical-laws-and-fictional-characters/

        adding my own comments to it. I think, it’s related to your notion that Bible is fiction. I don’t argue with this, by the way. But, in my opinion, it does not seem to matter. Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution also have no authority over anyone. They are just pieces of paper written by people (now dead) over 200 years ago. And, by the way, no living person has seen George Washington or any other founding father so, for all practical purposes, these characters are as fictional as the biblical prophets. What gives authority to these documents is faith — the way people regard these papers. It’s an obvious falsity that “all men are created equal” that most people in the U.S. believe. An ironic truth is that once people break out of one Enuma Elish, they inevitably create another one for themselves. The book of Ecclesiastes seems quite correct, regardless of who wrote it.

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        • The critical difference is that the DOI is acknowledged as an entirely human document. Founding, a keystone of the country, but quite human.

          I think you’d have to talk from the Qu’ran or Book of Mormon to draw a fair analogy.

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          • My point stands. DOI and Constitution have only as much authority as people give them. There is nothing that prevents people from believing that these documents were “inspired by God”. I don’t see a fundamental difference between the Bible and the founding documents of any nation.

            I believe, mythology defines cultures and nations. Ancient Greeks would not be ancient Greeks without their mythology. Destroy the myth of the American Revolution and you will destroy the country. Erase the myth of Exodus from the memory of people and there will be no Jewish nation.

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            • I’d say there is a bit too much hyperbole here. There actually was an American Revolution, even if its been exaggerated… we really can’t say with confidence that there was an Exodus.

              And I see two separate points, one of which does stand… the Bible only has the authority with which people vest it, concur. But on the second point, there are no major groups that actually advocate that the DOI is a divinely inspired text the way major groups make such statements regarding the Bible.

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            • archaeopteryx1 says:

              So? Let people define themselves by who they are and what they can do, not who their ancestors were or what kind of adventures they had a thousand years ago. The time to live is here, now.

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              • Is this a statement about “what is” or “what ought”? The reality is that humans are defined by their genetic, family, and cultural background. I think, accepting reality as it is and learning to live with it is a major condition for inner peace. I got this idea from Christianity and Buddhism, by the way, but I hope, atheists would agree.

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              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                “The reality is that humans are defined by their genetic, family, and cultural background.”

                Genetics are, I agree, inescapable, as for the rest, we can choose to allow these to define us, or we can choose not to do so. I’ve done it, so I know it can be done.

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              • I’m doing it too, only in the opposite direction. I was born and raised an atheist in the Soviet Union, indoctrinated with a different kind of ideology which I do not embrace any more. I see a lot of quite fundamentalist views coming from the New Atheists these days. I oppose the fundamentalism, not atheism. I usually agree with atheists on most points unless they do not try to impose their worldview on me and do not resort to ridicule. I noticed that when I do not try to impose my own worldviews on other people and don’t take the “I’m right, you are wrong” stance, people tend to agree with me more readily and are more open to discussion. By the way, I got this attitude from the Bible which often praises humility and condemns self-righteousness which I find a very practical wisdom. It’s a subtle point of many religions, often missed and perverted.

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              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                Actually, I was attempting to guess your country of origin, and had discarded a Muslim origin and settled, both by the dialect and the name, on a member of the former Soviet Bloc. Only a few weeks ago, I found myself wondering how children, born and raised in an environment where atheism is encouraged, would feel, once free to believe as they choose.

                I realize you are only one person, and certainly can’t claim to typify your entire generation, but I’d be very interested in knowing more about that era and your impressions of the great transition your people had to make, if you would care to share —

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              • Actually, I have just recently wrote about my experience.

                http://thousayest.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/my-experience-with-atheism/

                Feel free to share your thoughts.

                Not surprisingly, religion is on the rise in Russia and Ukraine. I would like to make another post about my experience with religion. I think, my experience is quite different from what most people see in the U.S.

                I might say, going through the ideologically restricted environment, be it the atheistic Soviet Union or evangelical South Baptist upbringing, can be a good inoculation to brainwashing. The key thing is to realize that you are being brainwashed. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people brainwashed with New Atheism and “scientism” these days and it bothers me.

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              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                Any form of brainwashing bothers me, no matter which side of the theism argument they stand – after all, a clean mind is its own punishment —

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              • Down with dogma.

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              • As a foreigner, I see many forms of secular brainwashing in the U.S. as well. Brainwashing by media (creating beauty stereotypes, for example, or political BS), and commercials (the “buy more stuff that you don’t need” message which is often sold as “savings”) are just a few examples. So, I appreciate what the New Atheists are trying to do, but I think, blaming just religion and just “belief in supernatural” for the woes in modern society is “barking up the wrong tree” and creating just another wrong stereotype — “another brick in the wall”, quoting Pink Floyd.

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              • archaeopteryx1 says:

                “I see many forms of secular brainwashing in the U.S.”

                Oh, absolutely! Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time….” Advertisers count on this.

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              • I’d be interested to hear what you consider the top 5 or 10 fundamentalist points of the New Atheist/movement.

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              • It’s a good topic for a blog post. I was thinking to write it, but have little time. I’ll let you know when I write it.

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  3. Am enjoying this series.

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  4. We don’t know “who,” but we have a very good idea of the “when:” mid to late 7th, early 6th Century BCE.

    And I agree with Makka: am enjoying this serious immensely.

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    • John,

      True regarding the date. But still guesswork to within a century or better. Its amazing, isn’t it, that most of the books of the Bible seem to lack two really basic pieces of metadata: author, and date. Amazing.

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    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      At the risk of beating a dead horse, which is not nearly the fun it’s cracked up to be, let me run through briefly, once again, the Graf-Wellhausen Documentary Hypothesis timeline:

      c.950 BCE – the Yahwist (J) Source writes it’s contribution to the Torah in the Southern Kingdom of Judea, at Jerusalem.

      c.850 BCE – the Elohist (E) Source writes it’s contribution to the Torah in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, at Schechem.

      c.800 BCE – the Deuteronomic (D) Source writes all of Deuteronomy during the reign of Josiah – the book is then “found” in an unused section of the temple, during renovations, at just the time when Josiah needed authoritative sources to help hold his kingdom together – it’s a miracle!

      c.750 BCE – the Elohist (E) Source, fearing an Assyrian invasion (which indeed happens, a quarter-century later), transports their religious scrolls to Jerusalem, a more highly-fortified city, for safe-keeping, where they are combined with J Source material by a redactor, to create JE.

      c.605 – 538 BCE – this date is far more nebulous, as the final contributions to the Torah were made during the Babylonian captivity, the first of three rounds of said exiles began in 605 BCE, and the Jews were finally released by the conquering Persians, in 538 BCE – sometime during those dates, a group of priests, who became known as the Priestly (P) Source, pondering the possible reasons for all of the troubles that had befallen the Jews over the past few centuries, decided that they had strayed too far from their god, and that a correction was needed. Essentially they took an Orwellian approach to the JE text and rewrote (or deleted entirely) vast sections that stated or implied that man can have a personal relationship with the biblical god without intercession by a priest. Some stories were thought to be created entirely from scratch by the authors of the Priestly Source.

      c.400 BCE– the ultimate Redactor puts the Torah together, sometimes laying two conflicting versions of the same story side-by-side, while at other times, weaving the three Sources masterfully, and nearly seamlessly together as a patchwork quilt. The Deuteronomist (D) Source remained a stand-alone volume, needing no redaction, but was inserted as is.

      The Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis, as would be expected, has of course come under attack, primarily by fundamentalists who have no reason to believe that anyone but Moses wrote the Torah, 250 years before the Jews developed a written language, describing 2300 BCE camels that wouldn’t be domesticated for another 1300 years, among other anachronisms, such as the mention of Chaldeans who wouldn’t exist as a people for at least a thousand years. However, the Catholic Church, with its 1.2 billion adherents, supports it and describes it in detail (as well as it’s many anachronisms) in The New American Bible, and I would suspect other versions as well, so it’s not as though it’s going to be overthrown anytime soon.

      Hope this clarifies —

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      • Indeed, even the dreaded Philistines wouldn’t arrive on the Levant until 1,000 years after old Abraham had his many encounters with them, and Yhwh warned Moses not to travel up the coast for fear of warring with them…. 300 years too early! Many of the stations in the Exodus narrative also weren’t around in the 13th Century, and Pithom, which the Israelites were apparently forced to build (Exodus 1:11), was in fact a project of Egyptian King Necho II, placing its date of construction no earlier than 605 BCE. Whoops!

        Out of interest, how’s the date of c.950 BCE arrived at? The first mention of Yhwh is 7th Century inscriptions at Kuntilet Ajrud and Khirbet el-Kom which read ‘YHWH and his Asherah’, ‘YHWH Shomron and his Asherah’, and, ‘YHWH Teman and his Asherah.’

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        • Yep. My reads through Finkelstein, Dever, etc., were so very revealing regarding such issues. First learned of the massive trove of problems from Enns though.

          Its amazing how insulated the evangelical community continues to remain. Amazing.

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        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          I think you’ll find a much less recent date than that, John – the cuneiform pictographs unearthed in Ugarit, dated to 1300-1200 BCE, and mention El, Baal, Asherah and even Yahweh.

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          • Interesting. Hadn’t heard of anything dating that far back, but it is believed the Canaanite pantheon was adopted from (or grew out from) the older Ugarit pantheon so its certainly feasible. Is Yhwh mentioned then as one of the 70 children of El?

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            • Just noticed the comment count is at 666. Added this one to get us through that little crisis. Whew. Feel better.

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            • archaeopteryx1 says:

              I’m not sure, John, I’ve not read translations of the tablets. The most prominent source of Yhwh of which I’m aware, is that he was an obscure desert storm god, worshiped by the Kenites/Midianites, a nomadic band of Semites of the Southern Levant – it is said that “Moses” married a daughter of the Kenite/Midianite priest, Jethro, but if as many biblical scholars believe, individuals of the ancient Bible are taken to represent a peoples, rather than an individual, then it could be concluded that a group of nomadic Jews joined forces with another nomadic group of Semites, the Kenites/Midianites, for a time, and likely decided that their own god, “El Shaddai” (Amurru) had so much in common with Yhwh, that they must be the same dude, and so, the myth grew. It was also Amurru who originally had the wife, Asherah, who was later attributed to Yhwh.

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              • Certainly sounds plausible. I’ve seen references to Yhwh being one of the 70 children, but i’ve never actually seen where that info comes from except for the references to him and Ashera, which i thought were the oldest known. The idea that individuals were in fact peoples makes an awful lot of sense. Thomas Römer says as much, with Jacob in the south, Isaac in the north and Abraham, the father figure uniting all in the middle in Hebron. String onto that family unit peoples like the Edomites embodied in Esau and a fairly nice pictogram of the narrative style becomes apparent.

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      • A very sound summary. Now, are you doing this from memory, or is this an extract from a prior post? Impressive amount of content.

        As great as the GWH is, I consider it the “best we can do”, and by no means airtight. That’s the issue with undated texts of muddled pedigree. The redactors didn’t know where/when the texts came from, and we can’t say for sure either.

        I look at it as more of a minimal certain conclusions angle. The minimal certain conclusion is, of course, that Moses did not write the text and that it does have a muddled and uncertain origination.

        My general posture toward the Pentateuch is the same as that toward the gospels: the reason that we are left to guesswork on the authorship is that the author(s) didn’t declare themselves. The reason that we are left to guesswork on the dating is that the author(s) didn’t date their work. Our low degree of certainty is anything but our fault.

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        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          “are you doing this from memory, or is this an extract from a prior post?”

          Both, actually – I have a near-eidetic memory, I both wrote it, and I can “see” it. Can’t recall even half of what I hear, and have to think a long time before I can tell you what I had for breakfast, but I can “see” things I read at 16, and repeat them to you, verbatim – unless they lack relevancy, then it’s in one eye and out the other, I have only so much storage space.

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      • . ” However, the Catholic Church, with its 1.2 billion adherents, supports it and describes it in detail (as well as it’s many anachronisms) in The New American Bible, and I would suspect other versions as well, so it’s not as though it’s going to be overthrown anytime soon.”

        How ironic! You are all talking as if this information was pretty new, but most of it I learned at a Catholic University 50 years ago, and it was taught then as if it was fairly old and substantiated back then. The thing to remember at least on this point is that the Catholic Church was not founded on the Bible because the NT didn’t exist then, actually, they take credit for creating it. That also means they don’t have quite the same feeling about it either. At least back in my day, revelation was thought to come from several sources, the Bible being only one of them. An important one, true, but just one of many. It gives one a very different take on the whole modern Christian movement.

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        • You’re right there. But probably the majority of American Protestants are entirely unaware. And most of my Catholic friends haven’t learned enough to be aware of anything pertaining to the OT origins at all.

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        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          YOU may well have learned it fifty years ago Mariah, but there are Fundamentalists out there who STILL don’t know it, and in many cases, don’t want to know it. I was on a theist site just a couple of days ago and mentioned it, but it was dismissed cavalierly by the blogger as being a “waning theory.

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      • Hey Arch,

        You follow Nate Pratt at all? http://unpackthatthought.wordpress.com/

        He had a post with a lot of traffic at Praysons: http://withalliamgod.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/nathan-pratts-journey-to-atheism/

        Good guy. He’s been in quite the long battle going over at: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/a-closer-look-at-the-journey-to-atheism-of-nathan-pratt/#comment-97389.

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  5. archaeopteryx1 says:

    On my site, comments are open for anyone, anytime.

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  6. archaeopteryx1 says:

    This may be of interest to some, I dunno:

    …material from the Book of Proverbs derives directly from the Instruction of Amenemope. (Lichtheim, Miriam (2006). Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume II: The New Kingdom. University of California Press. p. 147)

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  7. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Another piece of info that I found particularly interesting, that seems to fit into the theme of this topic, regarding a Phonician (Caananite) author, Sanchuniathon, whose work survives only through mention by Eusebius, who was trying to discredit pagan religion, not realizing that his arguments could be used against his own religion, as well:

    “Sanchuniathon is the purported Phoenician author of three lost works originally in the Phoenician language, surviving only in partial paraphrase and summary of a Greek translation by Philo of Byblos, according to the Christian bishop Eusebius of Caesarea. These few fragments comprise the most extended literary source concerning Phoenician religion in either Greek or Latin: Phoenician sources, along with all of Phoenician literature, were lost with the parchment on which they were habitually written. He is also known as Sancuniates.

    “The supposed Sanchuniathon claimed to have based his work on ‘collections of secret writings (Shades of Mormonism!) of the Ammouneis discovered in the shrines’, sacred lore deciphered from mystic inscriptions on the pillars which stood in the Phoenician temples, lore which exposed the truth—later covered up by invented allegories and myths—that the gods were originally human beings who came to be worshipped after their deaths and that the Phoenicians had taken what were originally names of their kings and applied them to elements of the cosmos (compare euhemerism) as well as also worshipping forces of nature and the sun, moon, and stars. Eusebius’ intent in mentioning Sanchuniathon is to discredit pagan religion based on such foundations.”

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  8. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Also (I believe, and I’m stickin’ to it), in keeping with this topic, it might be interesting to take a closer look at the Joseph-in-Egypt story, for that WAS the literary device used to get Jacob/Israel and his clan of goatherds into Egypt, so that Moses could rescue them in Exodus. This, from my website:

    Virtually no reliable modern day scholars have uncovered any evidence, literary or archaeological, that would attest to the historicity of the events in the Joseph narrative. Dutch biblical scholar Raymond de Hoop, in his 1999 book, Genesis 49 in its Literary and Historical Context, had this to say:

    ‘The departure from the historical approach, which sought for the exact period when Joseph rose to power, was mainly caused by the recognition of Gunkel, Greßmann, von Rad and others, that the Joseph story is a literary composition, a novella. Von Rad even stated that the Joseph Story ‘has no historical-political concern whatsoever, also a cult-aetiologic tendency is lacking, and we even miss a salvation-historical and theological orientation…the Joseph story with its clearly didactic tendency belongs to the ancient wisdom school’.”

    Literally-speaking, IMO, it’s a transitional tale, woven to connect the biblical Patriarchs with Moses.

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    • Interesting. And yes, I could see that. Interesting your mention of Euhemerizing as well. I was just listening to a Carrier lecture on how that process works (again).

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  9. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Then, there’s this from biblical scholar Magnus Magnusson, who, in his book, The Archaeology of the Bible Lands – BC (p43.), wrote:

    “Despite the mass of contemporary records that have been unearthed in Egypt, not one historical reference to the presence of the Israelites has yet been found there. Not a single mention of Joseph, the Pharaoh’s ‘Grand Vizier.’ Not a word about Moses, or the spectacular flight from Egypt and the destruction of the pursuing Egyptian army.”

    Makes one wonder, doesn’t it? Did these writers of the Bible/Tanakh write their stories based on actual folklore of the time, or did they concoct them from scratch, and knowing that they were writing for a gullible, illiterate, uneducated audience, who had no reason to disbelieve them, built an entire house of cards, based on fiction?

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    • I have to think it was folklore. I mean, how much enhancement has been added to the American Revolution or the history of Protestantism?

      I always think that this kind of nonsense is fully explained by humans doing the innate and unhelp-able story weaving to which we are so prone, without the need of appeal to direct conspiracy.

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  10. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Interestingly, Senusret I (1971 – 1926 BCE) was a particularly strong Pharaoh, wresting most of the power from the Egyptian nobles/warlords and centralizing it in the king. He was followed, after a brief reign by his son, Senusret I, by his grandson, Amenemhat II, a particularly weak king, who gave back most of the central power.

    Amenemhat II was then followed by Senusret III (1878–1843 BCE), judged by Egyptologist (and staunch theist) Dr. Charles Ailing, as being “the most important king of the 12th Dynasty.

    Biblical scholars, using biblical time periods in relation to the known dates of the actual, historical King Solomon, have backtracked past Moses, to place Jacob/Israel’s entry into Egypt at 1876 BCE. Joseph, as one might remember from Genesis, was 17 when he was sold into Egypt, and 30 when he became Grand Vizier to Pharaoh. But which Pharaoh?

    Combining actual, historical Egyptian chronology with biblical time periods, would indicate that Joseph first came to Egypt during the reign of Senusret II, continued on after his death under Amenemhat II, and finally, Senusret III would have been the Pharaoh who invited Jake to a royal audience and set aside lands for the clan.

    It’s interesting that the Bible never mentions the shift changes – you’d think they would have.

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I don’t want to start a class war; it started a long time ago and, unfortunately, we are losing.

Secular Wings

My freedom from spiritual abuse happened when I walked away from the abusers. My healing and recovery from the complex trauma of spiritual abusers, spiritually abusive faith and toxic religion happened while I was still a Christian and continues to this day. My deconversion came later after many many years of studying the Bible, Christian apologetics, cults and spiritual abuse. When I realized that the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God, the only honest thing I could do was to stop calling myself a Christian. ~ Zoe

Variant Readings

Thoughts on History, Religion, Archaeology, Papyrology, etc. by Brent Nongbri

Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

A Measure of Faith

Investigating the collision of faith, science and reason

aspiretofindtruth

Seeking answers for some of the big questions of life.

Random thoughts

Random musings about everything.

Victoria NeuroNotes

Into the Gray

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