A Comparison of Exodus to Egyptian History

A More Plausible Explanation for the Exodus Based on Egyptian History.
Submitted by Trou.

I used to think the Bible was the truth, every word of it. I studied it, assured of this fact, and used it as the backbone of my worldview. But as I became more educated and exposed to new ideas, I began to realize that the Bible was not true and it could not provide answers to the questions and challenges that were generated by scientific knowledge. Yet, I was fascinated by the stories told in the Bible. How did they come to be told and from where did these stories originate? These were the initial questions that spurred me to read as much as I could on the subject.

In my reading, I happened upon quite a few authors who wrote of the Egyptian origins of the Jewish people and religion. Although they do not all agree on the details, the general Egyptian genesis thesis can explain the early stories of the Bible, the literary figures and the religious concepts that we find in Genesis. There is very little if any historical or archaeological evidence for the early time period when Israel became a people and no historical evidence whatsoever of the patriarchs, the flood, and the exodus that corroborates the Bible version. However, there is historical and archaeological evidence for events and religious beliefs that can be shown to bear a striking similarity to the events as described in the Bible. Let me give you a background of the political and religious climate of the 18th dynasty and make a case that this was the time, the place and the events that the Book of Genesis based its myths on.

In the first part of the 19th century the remains of the city of Akhetaten were found. This was the first anyone new of the city and scholars and Egyptologists found evidence of the existence of a pharaoh who was not included in the pharaoh's list of succession. It was soon evident that this pharaoh, named Akhenaten, had been blotted out of history and the city that he had built had been destroyed.

He began his reign under the name of Amenhotep IV and ruled as coregent with his father Amenhotep III. After the first few years of his reign he changed his name to Akhenaten to signify his devotion to the god Aten instead of the god Amen. At this point his whole reign became first and foremost about the worship of Aten. This was not unusual except that this was done to the exclusion of, and not in addition to, the worship of the other gods of the Egyptian pantheon. Akhenaten funded only the priesthood that was devoted to Aten and ignored all the rest of the priesthood to their detriment. He built a new city call Akhetaten in the honor of his Aten and situated it away from the traditional worship centers of the other gods. Such disrespect for the gods and the traditional priesthood would not be forgotten.

Akhenaten is credited with being the world's first monotheist. He was innovative in several things that today we associate with Judaism. Akhenaten didn't allow any graven images of the god Aten. As the unseen God, Aten could not be represented in animal or human form as the other false gods were depicted. Aten was … "an abstract entity not known to man but designated only by a symbol of the daylight that radiated from the disk of the sun by which his power was manifest." (Akhenaten, p262, 245) This disc had rays emanating from it with ankh symbols at the end of the rays positioned near the nostrils of the pharaoh and his wife. This was an indication of the fact that Aten was responsible for the breath of life also a concept familiar to those of us who have read the creation story in the Bible.

The great hymn of Aten reads, concept for concept, just like Psalms 104. Many think that Akhenaten himself wrote this psalm. The hymn and the psalm both depict creation and the giving of life by God and it is also reminiscent of the Genesis creation account. So, the monotheism of Akhenaten featured the one god, without an image, who was the creator and sustainer of life, along with the concepts of king and father, all of which we associate with the Abrahamic faiths. (Moses and Akhenaten, p. 163-164.)

The monotheistic Atenists only had power for 12-17 years until both Akhenaten and his son Smenkare died. After this, Tutankhamen, who changed his name from Tutankhaten, came to be the boy pharaoh. His vizier, and a future pharaoh Ay, was the one with the power and influence who orchestrated the move back to the worship of the neglected gods. We can assume that a young boy would not change his religious preference from Aten to Amun, as his name change indicates, without being influenced by someone. The Aramaic bible, called the Targum, which is the oldest copy of the torah that we know of, speaks of Adon Ay when referring to the god of the exodus. The Sabbah brothers think that this is a reference to this vizier/pharaoh who, as royalty, had the status of a god, and in fact, one of his titles was Father of the God. They believe he was the one responsible for ridding the country of the followers of Aten and returning Egypt to the religious ways of the past.

The Stela of Restoration of Tutankhamen reveals some very interesting things about the conditions facing the pharaoh when he ascended to the throne and what Tut was to accomplish during his reign. A translation of a portion of the stela by John Adams Wilson (Egypt, Life and Death of a Civilization) reads, "He drove out deceit from one end of the two lands to the other. And Maat was re-established. The lie (monotheistic religion) became an abomination within the land." The monotheists were called the liars or deceivers by those who later came to power. Another translation of the text states, "Now when his majesty appeared as king, the temples of the gods and goddesses from Elephantine [down] to the marshes of the Delta [had... and] gone to pieces (or fallen into neglect). Their shrines had become desolate, had become mounds overgrown with [weeds]. Their sanctuaries (or chapels) were as if they had never been. Their halls were a footpath (or trodden roads). The land was topsy-turvy and the gods turned their backs upon this land."

Ay, seeing what monotheism had done to Egypt, was committed to returning to the old ways. There had been too much damage politically and to the infrastructure of the kingdom. But, it would not suffice to just return to the worship of the other gods because the threat that the Atenists could regain power would always loom as a future possibility. He devised a plan in which he promised a land flowing with milk and honey, the Egyptian province of Canaan, to the Atenists whose removal would appease the Amunists. This would also benefit Egypt by populating a region of the empire with an Egyptian presence in order to create a buffer in a rather troublesome region that had been giving the realm fits for a few years. The stela of restoration says "If [the army was] sent to Djahi (region in Canaan, possibly in the Judean hills.) to extend the frontiers of Egypt, no success of theirs came at all." Political unrest is indicated in the Armana letters also, (http://nefertiti.iwebland.com/a-rib-addi.htm) so it was necessary for Ay to initiate a military campaign that would help to pacify the region so this relocation of the monotheists could be carried out.

This was accomplished with the help of the Egyptian military under the leadership of Ramses and Horemheb (later pharaohs). Evidence for this can be seen in the restoration stela of Tutankhamen, the war records of Ramses I and Seti I. (http://nefertiti.iwebland.com/ramses_i_stela.htm) (http://nefertiti.iwebland.com/seticampaign.htm). There is an indication that Horemheb, as a general, fought in campaigns in Canaan as he is depicted receiving honors for his victories during the reign of Tutankhamen. This military activity continued through the reign of Ay then Horemheb, Ramses I and his son Seti who finally pacified the region.

Seti I, in his first year as pharaoh, had a series of battles that subdued all resistance to Egyptian rule. If you compare the battles of Seti to the battles of Joshua you will find similarities. The bible says that Joshua conquered 31 fortified cities in Canaan and Phoenicia. Sabbah says, "The many cities taken by Sety I during his campaign – Megiddo, Lachish, Beth-Shean, Yenoam, Geder, Tyre, etc. –correspond to those reportedly taken by Joshua." Claude Vandersleyen, "The kings of Jerusalem, of Hebron, of Jarmuth, of Lachish, and of Eglon were Amorites; Hittites and Amorites are found in the hill country of Judaea. This area corresponds to the lands traversed by SetyI and is confirmed by the texts at Karnak." (http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/setiwar.htm). The fact that both Seti I and Joshua are said to have erected victory stelae is also noteworthy. Sety erected 2 at Beth-Shean and Joshua set one at Shechem. These 2 places, it seems to me, are very near to one another. This all took about 40 years. The bible says it took 40 years of wandering in the desert till it was time for Joshua to lead the battle to clear out the promise land. The land, now free of turmoil, was ready to allow the Aten priests and their deported followers to settle there after they had been temporarily living in Moab. (Secrets of the Exodus, p.125)

I know of no direct, historical evidence that these priests were said to have been the beginnings of the Hebrews. However, the Aramaic Bible, called the Targum, does say as much by calling these priests Yahuds from which comes the word Judah. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jew) The word Yahuda (Judah) comes from Yahu-Hodah meaning praise god or one who praises or adores god. The Egyptian Yahu-Daeh means adoration, prayer, homage and giving praise. The Yahuds of the Aramaic Bible correspond to the monotheistic priests who left Egypt where, as priests of Aten, they rendered homage to the dawning light. It is clear that not just anyone could have the status to worship Aten so referring to Yahuds as Jews would not be precise enough. They were the priestly class. The Aramaic Bible makes a clear distinction between the Hebrews (Children of Israel) and the Yahuds. The Hebrew Bible does not make such a distinction. (Secrets of the Exodus, p.47) The Targum also mentions that the Yahuds were escorted out of Egypt by the armies of Ay. (Aramaic Bible, Exodus 12:41. "On exactly that day, all the armies of Ay left the land of Egypt".) The Hebrew Bible reads it differently calling them the hosts of Jehovah which makes one think of a group of people and not an army. A military escort makes sense and the direction of their travel takes them by several Egyptian military outposts that would have posed a problem for them had they been fleeing instead of being led away or deported.

One other link to the restoration stela gives further credence to the idea that the Yahuds were exiled to Canaan. The stela says, "He allocated waab-priests, God's Servants and the heirs of the Chiefs of the Cities to be the sons of wise men whose reputation is established." I quote Sabbah, "According to Claude Vandersleyen, the Stela specifies that Egypt, lacking enough priests for the restoration of the cult of Amun, organized a massive recruitment drive. "The only written indication of social reorganization of the priests states that from then on, the priesthood would consist of children of the functionaries of their cities." If the customary and historic rite of succession of the priesthood had to be changed for this occasion then that must have meant that there was a shortage of priests. Where could they have gone? Could it be they chose deportation to Canaan over performing the priestly duties to Amun?

I commented earlier in a post that the Levi and Cohen names are associated with the Jewish priesthood and have a genetic marker on the Y chromosome that indicates this lineage goes back 10,000 years. Since the Jewish people can only account for 3500 years of history how can this bloodline have gone back nearly 3 times that far into the past? This thesis that I'm presenting accounts for that nicely. The Israelites came from the monotheistic priests and their followers who were formerly a part of the Egyptian priestly class and were Egyptian through and through and the Egyptian priesthood extended from father to son back into the beginning of Egypt.

Why does this whole thesis seem such a foreign concept to most scholars. First of all, Horemheb erased all mention of the Armana pharaohs from history and claimed his place in the kings list right behind Amenhotep III eliminating 4 of the pharaohs involved in this saga. In a fit of revenge at what Akhenaten did to the country, the city of Akhetaten was dismantled bit by bit to be used as building blocks for other projects so there was no knowledge of Aten and the impact his worship had on religion and culture. Also, the Bible wasn't compiled and in its final or more modern form or formalized into a holy book until the Babylonians conquered them and took them captive at about 600 BC. The Bible stories were changed to make them more acceptable to their conquerors who were enemies of the Egyptians. "The commentary of Rashi, discussing Ex, 12-40, shows that this practice was known in the oral tradition. He wrote, "This is one of the passages of the Torah which was modified to please King Ptolemy."" Sabbah, p.95. So all things Egyptian were disguised and some of it was placed in a Chaldean context to please the Babylonians. Things like camels were added to the text which were yet to be domesticated for a few hundred years, for example.

So I think that the Egyptian origins thesis fits nicely with the historical evidence that we have. In fact, what I have just written is by no means the only support for this theory. The traditional biblical version, on the other hand, is not backed up historically at all. The more one digs into the archaeology and history of Genesis the less likely is seems that there is any literal truth to it at all.

Secrets of the Exodus by Messod and Roger Sabbah

Moses and Akhenaten by Ahmed Osman

Akhenaten by Cyril Aldred

The Mystery of the Copper Scroll of Qumran, The Essene Record of the Treasure of Akhenaten by Robert Feather

Great Hymn of Aten ; http://www.touregypt.net/hymntoaten.htm

Great Hymn and Psalms 104; http://kemet.250x.com/psalm104.html

91 comments:

Kenneth Burchfiel said...

Interesting thoughts. I'd love to read further into this concept as an accompaniment to books like Kitchen's "On The Reliability of the Old Testament." Thanks for giving us a fresh perspective.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Lee, Trou - I believe it would be more accurate to claim that there are competing views of historical evidence (not solely on biblical accounts either - I learned in college that the grade school history book that I read was not the same as the one as I was presented at a later age - makes me wonder - who is right?) - but this stance happens to be the one you embrace. I think it's fair (and accurate) to say that historical accounts can be a product of the researcher's perspective and agenda.

The main point of scripture is that Y'shua/God never claimed to be an historical figure.

akakiwibear said...

shock horror, the bible is neither inerrant nor literal. WOW!

That said, interesting research - be good to see it peer reviewed.

Hamba kahle - peace

Evan said...

MMM you boggle my mind:

The main point of scripture is that Y'shua/God never claimed to be an historical figure.

How do you support this? The Bible is written as a history. The gospels (certainly Matthew and Luke) attempt to be historical by nailing down Jesus to a given time and locale.

Yet you feel these are all false?

zilch said...

Fascinating stuff, trou. While l admittedly don't know enough about the subject to judge how plausible this theory is, the parallels are tantalizing. And religions are certainly known to appropriate history and other beliefs and bend them to their own ends.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Evan, thanks for the response. I

To me, the bible details the accounts of those people seeking to reach out to connect with or reject divinity. I think it is evident to say that people tend to view life with diverse understandings and abilities to relate such. Having said that, I also believe that diversity is for our edification and an expression of a creative God and a way to practice faith in understanding and loving. Yet, it is not uncommon to view, interpret and respond to various levels of life as a threat and as justification to exercise fight or flight by scrutinizing, judging, condemning and/or eliminating/cloning to our own ideals. Y'shua gives no such justification.

I don't always have the faith to love people the Way He can, but at the smallest, most immature level of faith, I have grown to respect that people are loved by Him - quite a narrow path but one worth pursuing.

At any rate, thanks once again, Evan. The best to you.

3M

Evan said...

MMM,

You really didn't respond at all to my question so I guess I'm still at a loss.

Do you believe that the people who wrote the Bible and the gospels thought they were writing myths or do you think they thought they were writing histories?

It's a simple binary question. You should be able to answer it quickly without long words.

Harry McCall said...

Why the Exodus is has more in common with fantasy than any historical facts:

A. By the Bibles own chronology, the year of the Exodus fell during Egypt’s heyday under the 18 Dynasty during the imperium of the puissant Thutmosis III (1490-1436 BCE). It is simply “impossible”- so many have said - that the Hebrew slaves attained liberation at the very apex of Egyptian power.

B. The absence of any recognizable Israelites in the Amarna letters, tablets which describe in detail the conditions in 14 century BCE Canaan (See William Moran “The Amarna Letters” John Hopkins Press, 1992).

C. Most scholars would place Israelite origins in the late 13 century BCE or the beginning of the Iron Age where we fine hundreds of new settlements in the hilly Israelite heartland (Finkelstein, 1988). From exactly the same period, Pharaoh Merneptah’s victory stele hyperbolically vaunts his “eradication” of a group called “Israel” (see Ancient near Eastern Text, pp 376 -378).

D. A greater problem is that the new highland settlements in Canaan from the 13 – 12 centuries BCE show very little connection with Egyptian material culture. Similarly, the Hebrew language is a purely Canaanite dialect, with only Egyptian borrowings of trade words such as found throughout the Near East (Thomas Lambdin, “Egyptian Loan Words in the Old Testament” and Muchiki, “Egyptian Proper Names and Loanwords in North-West Semitic). Much more Egyptian words and culture should be present in the highlands of Canaan if the Israelite did indeed spent 400 years living in Egypt and then resettled in Canaan.

E. Another problem is the Bible’s complete silence on the Egyptian forays into Syria-Palestine in the late 13 to early 12 centuries BCE under Merneptah and Ramesses III. Had the Israelites completely forgotten these inconvenient facts?

F. Even if we re-date the Exodus in favor of a conquest in the early Iron Age, our problems still remain. All the cities the Bible cites as being present during the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites (Kadesh Barnea, Gibeon, Heshbon and Dibon along with the kingdoms of Moab and Edon did not exist until well into the later Iron Age (William Dever, “Who Were the Israelites and Where did They Come From?) The same problem is evident in Joshua’s purported conquest; virtually none of the cities he is said to have conquered shows any evidence of any occupation for the appropriate period. (Dever, 37-71).

Any Christian (Including JP Holding) who wants to reject such facts MUST deal with William H. C. Propp’s 2 volume commentary in “The Anchor Bible” series.

Propp’s final conclusion is that the Exodus story is a Romantic myth based on fantasy (see: “The Historicity of the Exodus from Egypt”, vol. 2, pp. 735 -756).

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Evan, for some reason or other, the initial part of my last comment disappeared - I intended to write that I consider your stance to be somewhat solid so was intrigued that you found my previous comment to be "mind boggling". Honestly, I had no idea - I consider myself to be chronically benign but I thank you for sharing your impression.

As always,
3M

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Evan, I didn't see your second comment to me - Also, I didn't realize that I was answering with long words. Thanks for the awareness alert -

You wrote, "he Bible is written as a history. The gospels (certainly Matthew and Luke) attempt to be historical by nailing down Jesus to a given time and locale."

Is it?? I doubt it. If it were strictly an historical account, more attention and priority would have been given to dates, and such. I respect that such matters are a priority with you - it must be somewhat frustrating to not have that written out to gratify your expectations. But then again, the gospel frustrates such pursuits.

Any way, good talking to you again, Evan!

3M

michael behe's hat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Trou said...

"Much more Egyptian words and culture should be present in the highlands of Canaan if the Israelite did indeed spent 400 years living in Egypt and then resettled in Canaan."

That's the exact same argument for why I think we should see more Egyptian influence on the Bible than it reveals.
The answer to both our questions, I believe, lies in the fact that the Aten priests were the ones exiled and they were educated and could write. They were not the ones in the Canaan highlands but in the south. According to Israel Finklestein they were the lesser of the powers between Judah and Israel. The Omrides developed into quite a powerful nation state and it was thought that some of the archaeological finds were Solomon's but it is now certain that they were not. Devers writes of their folk religion which is Canaanite and not so Jewish as we are led to believe from the religious.
Anyway, this power imbalance says to me that the north developed with less of an influence from Judah than is insinuated in the Old Testament. Logical in that after the defeat by Babylon the south was able to rewrite history from their perspective which was one of jealous posers.
I believe that the Bible was influenced by Egypt because it was written by the priestly class who came from there. As a minority they were not as culturally influential as they led us to believe when writing 700 years later. They changed much of the biblical writings that had to do with Egypt to save their asses but the connection can still be made if you look carefully.

"Propp’s final conclusion is that the Exodus story is a Romantic myth based on fantasy (see: “The Historicity of the Exodus from Egypt”, vol. 2, pp. 735 -756)."

I will have to read this but my first thought is that it probably is a romantic myth but I think the basis is in some history that was built upon and made to fit a religious agenda. Much like the New Testament and Jesus the Christ.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

To Lee, Trou or whoever wants to take responsibility for this ridiculous article...I have some questions before I get back with a rebuttal:

1- What is your time frame for events here, especially the reign of Akhenaten? Give me some approximate dates please.

2- Are we to assume that Moses (the biblical account) mimics Akenhaten's concept of monotheism?

3- Are we to assume that you are affirming that there is no independent archaeology that confirms a physical Israel's presence either in Egypt or Canaan?

4- Are you setting forth the notion that for the 17 years that Akhenaten reigned that All of Egypt was accepting of his rendition of religion?

5- Is there a law code in which Aten defines a relationship with his followers?

6- You seem to vacillate between myth and physical reality...but are you saying that the "Yahuds" were real people (Priests of Aten)exiled Egyptians that went on to be called "Israelites"

7- IF so, then are the Egyptians then responsible for the OT narrative?

8- Why would Horemheb erase the memory of Armana pharaohs. Which ones and what did they do?

9- Are you aware of any studies of historical revision that may affect your premise?

10- Who was Manetho?

11- Who or what was Ipeuwur (sp) speaking about?

12- Was it normal or did Egypt maintain the historical records and conquests of other exiled Egyptians in their historical records? What was their purpose for doing so?

13- Is the Egyptian record real or is it a myth also?

That'll at least help give me a little more clarity. Thanks.

Trou said...

DSHB.
You reap what you sow Harvey.
I've read your comments and find them rude, ignorant and contentious. You cut and paste from Christian web sites real well, though.
If you want to present your ideas with citations from where they were found, then we can all have an exchange of ideas.
I'm not interested in defending this research to the extent that I get bogged down in a pissing match with an evangelical, and a condescending one at that.
Offer your thoughts and do it politely or I will ignore you.
And don't act like I'm offending you for no reason. You started your comment with the word "ridiculous" in the first line and then offered no objection to anything I wrote. Now you ask me to jump through all these hoops like you know something that I don't. I'm not interested in getting jerked around by you.
Answer the questions yourself. You made your bed now you go sleep in it.

Inqoinf said...

I have a similar theory but I have not had the time to nurture it and develop it as you have. It seems likely that the Israelites were first influenced by the Egyptians (maybe similar to what you have stated in this blog) and then later influenced by the Persians and the religion of Zoroaster/Parsi. Here are some striking similarities: Ahura Mazda (all good uncreated god), Amesha Spentas (arch angels), Yazatas(angels), Spenta Mainyu(holy spirit), Saoshyant(savior born of a virgin), Ahriman(the devil), Asmodeus (arch fiend), Daeva/Drug (demons), Mashya/Mashyana (Adam & Eve), Minoi (heaven).

The Israelites were under Persian control and influence for hundreds of years and probably adopted some of the same ideas present in these other religions. Not perfect but another avenue to explore.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Trou~ "You started your comment with the word "ridiculous" in the first line and then offered no objection to anything I wrote."

[It is ridiculous. I'll let you know all the reasons why I think so. BUT First, I have some questions which WERE NOT pasted and cut from anywhere. In fact I haven't done anything but read your article.

Now, based on your response, you must have seen some Christian apologetics already that may have been based on some of what I'm asking...That's well and good. If you think they can answer my questions better, then direct me to them. I don't plan to do a lot of research here because you offer a fallacious argument to begin with and one that genders more questions than gives answers...Don't jump through hoops...Just answer the questions you choose and I'll let you know what I think and why....You can count on that.]

Peace!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Trou ~ "I believe, lies in the fact that the Aten priests were the ones exiled and they were educated and could write. They were not the ones in the Canaan highlands but in the south. According to Israel Finklestein they were the lesser of the powers between Judah and Israel."

[So you believe that the canaanites were actually the Aten Priests?

So in your opinion Israel was real and there was an Exodus?

Is that corect?

So which one was it...I'm sorry but I'm lost at your explainations. That's why i can't answer until you clear up a few things first.

Peace!

Trou said...

"It seems likely that the Israelites were first influenced by the Egyptians (maybe similar to what you have stated in this blog) and then later influenced by the Persians and the religion of Zoroaster/Parsi."

I agree. As I stated to Harry, I believe at this point that it makes sense that the initial myths in Genesis came from the religion and experiences of the deposed Aten priesthood. Without the support of the royalty and the state, they would be nothing more than fish out of water in the new land. They were self important due to their lineage and elite former position in society but lacking the power and support to live up to their inflated self importance. In the new land there would have been plenty of influence from other cultures and we see a lot of that and you just mentioned several examples.
However, in compiling the scriptures many centuries later, the basis of these stories could have been Egyptian with a dash of other influences to flavor it.
Also, as Lee as been saying, the original Egyptian myths could have been cross pollinated with other bronze age myths from the orient and we do see similarities that indicate an exchange of ideas due to the meeting of cultures from trading.
It's not a simple subject and there are no pat answers so I will not defend this idea too fiercely but it does interest me and as yet I see no evidence that counters this thesis but am willing to listen to other ideas.

Harry,
I failed to respond to the fact that Joshua's supposed conquest included cities that did not exist at the time they were conquered. Kind of like Nazareth not existing at the time Jesus supposedly lived there. Same deal but since the Old Testament was written hundreds of years after this was alleged to have occurred then it is not surprising to me that they would be making stuff up. It still makes sense to me that the historical event that they plagiarized was an actual military campaign that they recalled from the beginnings of their state. There is record of the military conquest of Seti I and the biblical version bears resemblance to it in scope and in some details. Maybe they were just lying to take credit for others deeds but fabricating a past that was independent and inimical to Egypt so as to gain favor from their conquerors in Babylon. We have evidence that changes to stories occurred to please Ptolemy and this seems plausible to me.

Scott said...

M3 wrote: Is it?? I doubt it. If it were strictly an historical account, more attention and priority would have been given to dates, and such. I respect that such matters are a priority with you - it must be somewhat frustrating to not have that written out to gratify your expectations. But then again, the gospel frustrates such pursuits.

So, if I understand you correctly, you claim it's impossible to have an account that is historically accurate and address salvation accurately?

Do you have some information to back this up or is it merely an assertion on your part? Because it does not follow that these things are mutually exclusive. Nor does it follow that a historically inaccurate account guarantees an accurate account of God or salvation.

Unless you rely on divine revelation, it seems likely that both would be equally inaccurate. But, using divine inspiration to validate divine inspiration seems quite circular. Not to mention the existence of many competing religions that say their divinely inspired religion is the one true religion.

Perhaps you've just picked the divine inspiration that you find most attractive and presents a world you'd most like to live in?

DingoDave said...

Interesting article Trou, but I'm not convinced about your equation of Seti 1 with the Biblical Joshua. I tend to think that Joshua, if he ever existed, was more likely to have been one of the leaders of the group of people known as the 'Habiru'.

As you mentioned in your article, the Armana letters (found at the site of ancient Akhetaten) indicate that Palestine was under Egyption control during the 14th century BC, and that Palestinian cities were coming under attack by groups of itinerant marauders known as the 'Habiru', or 'Hapiru'.

"Carol Redmount who wrote 'Bitter Lives: Israel in and out of Egypt' in The Oxford History of the Biblical World, concluded that the term 'Habiru' had no common ethnic affiliations, that they spoke no common language, and that they normally led a marginal and sometimes lawless existence on the fringes of settled society. She defines the various Apiru/Habiru as "a loosely defined, inferior social class composed of shifting and shifty population elements without secure ties to settled communities" who are referred to as 'outlaws', 'mercenaries', and 'slaves' in ancient texts.
In that vein, some modern scholars consider the Habiru to be more of a social designation than an ethnic or a tribal one. That does not, however, exclude the possibility that the Biblical Hebrews were descended from one specific group of Habiru and that with them it eventually became an ethnic name; such shifts in the meaning of names and designations are well-known elsewhere.
Abdi-Heba, the Egyptian vassal ruler of Jerusalem in the Amarna period (mid-1330s BC), wrote a series of letters to the Egyptian king in which he complained about the activities of the 'Habiru'. The Habiru were plundering the lands of the king.
Abdi-Heba wanted to know why the king was letting them behave in this way; why was he not sending archers to protect his, the king's properties? If he did not send military help the whole land would fall to the Habiru." -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habiru

Perhaps Moses (if he ever existed) was one of the exiled priests of Aten who teamed up with the Habiru and founded his own little theocracy in Palestine, or perhaps the name 'Moses' could be just a conflated name for a GROUP of Aten priests. Moses certainly sounds just like a shortened version of several well known Egyptian names, such as Ahmose or Thutmose. It is interesting to note that a Pharaoh named Kahmose (brother of Ahmose 1) defeated and expelled the 'Hyksos' from Egypt around around 1550 BC.
Khamose's expulsion of the hyksos could have contributed to the legend of the exodus. Perhaps the Hyksos and the Habiru were one and the same, or at least related?

"Many scholars now believe that at least part of the population of Ancient Israel had its origin in Canaan and in the border zones to the North and East.. But most concede that some tribes could have come from Sinai, and may have experienced an escape from Egypt. Others believe the story about the exodus to be a result of the Canaanite's own traditions around the Hyksos period (1650-1525 BC), possibly mixed with the suppressed memory of the religious reforms of pharao Akhnaton... Despite conflicting views, there seems to be a common agreement that the early Israelites were a mixed people, and that it took a few hundred years to make the different groups and tribes into a single people with a common identity." - Bente Groth and Lynn C. Feinberg

The 'Great Hymn to Aten' does indeed bear a striking resemblance to Psalm 104, which I agree certainly strengthens the Egyptian connection.

One thing's for sure though, archaeologists have pretty well proven that the exodus and the Hebrew settlement of Palestine as it is narrated in the Bible, certainly never happened!

Trou said...

"...there seems to be a common agreement that the early Israelites were a mixed people, and that it took a few hundred years to make the different groups and tribes into a single people with a common identity."

What's interesting to me is that this is becoming the common agreement even though the Bible leads us to believe that the Hebrews were a people with a culture impervious to Egyptian affectations even though they lived in Egypt for 430 years. Also, the language remained untainted.
We know now, and can see hints of it in the Bible, of the real conditions of life and culture of the Israelites and how it was a pot pouri of influence of gods and culture.
The reason it seems coherent and monolithic is because it was written by the scribes who wanted to reflect it in that way.
Thanks for your comment. I found it interesting and may need to do more reading on the Hyksos. I think, though, that they come too early in history to be the people of the exodus. The Habiru, as bands of militant nomads, seem too divergent culturally to be the basis for the Hebrew people, although it's possible that they may have become part of the group of people who later became identified with the Israelites.
I'm still hung up on the idea that these stories, to be recorded, had to have been recorded by a group of people who were educated which in those days would have been priests. Hence my leaning towards the belief that the deported Aten priesthood were responsible for the stories of the exodus and the conquest of Canaan. Whether or not they were even the prime molders of the culture is questionable as other influences seem obvious. It could be that the Israelites formed an identity that drew from differing cultures and people and yet in the telling the stories of the people and their history the writers (priests) plagiarized other more ancient historical events and painted a picture that made them look grander and different than they ever were.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Dingo~ I think you may understand my argumentation a little better than most and I appreciate the research and insightfulness in your answer. You answer at least sounds more plausible than anything I've read (in counterpose) regarding this issue so far.

Couple of items though. Manetho's chronology was reviewed by Velikovsky and Courville and they found 600 EXTRA years ending with Alexander The Great. That threw off every other GAD (Generally Accepted Date) in the region. Has there been any revision of their work (as far as you know) and if so, what is the basis for rejecting their work?

I am not asking because I have some great bomb to drop, I'm asking because this seems to be a crucial point for actually placing the correct time frame on events.

The accounts of Ipuwer match EXACTLY if these date revisions stand, and that would be one serious obstacle out of the way.

Further, the biblical report of Israel is that they took nothing but "gold earings" etc. They didn't take weapons, had no army and the account did not indicate ANY type of sophisticated line of leadership, as would have been expected if these individuals were banished royal egyptians, priestly or otherwise.

These were hardly the type of people who could raid, plunder and cause trouble for anyone in Canaan, as many of them had never ventured beyoned the borarders of Egypt.

There's more I could interject, but help me put a little better shape to the alternative hypothesis first. Thanks.

Peace.

DingoDave said...

Trou wrote:
"We know now, and can see... the real conditions of life and culture of the Israelites... was a pot pouri of influence of gods and culture. The reason it seems coherent and monolithic is because it was written by the scribes who wanted to reflect it in that way."

Yes indeed trou.
The ancient Hebrew culture and religion certainly is a hodge-podge of seemingly contradictory traditions. You might also be interested in taking a look at the Ras Shamra documents from ancient Ugarit, which I believe also help to shed some light on why this is the case.
The Early Israelites seem to have borrowed quite a lot of their religious imagery from the Canaanite myths and religious texts about El, Baal and Ashera, which have been discovered at Ras Shamra (Ugarit), the capital city of ancient Canaan.

"The discovery of the Ugaritic archives has been of great significance to biblical
scholarship, as these archives for the first time provided a detailed description of Canaanite religious beliefs during the period directly preceding the Israelite settlement. These texts show significant parallels to Biblical Hebrew literature, particularly in the areas of divine imagery and poetic form. Ugaritic poetry has many elements later found in Hebrew poetry: parallelisms, meters, and rhythms. The discoveries at Ugarit have led to a new appraisal of the Old Testament as literature." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugarit

"Ugaritic religion centered on the chief god, Ilu or El, the "father of mankind", "the creator of the creation". The Court of El or Ilu was referred to as the 'lhm or Elohim. The most important of the great gods was Hadad, the king of Heaven, Athirat or Asherah , Yam (Sea, the god of the primordial chaos, tempests, and mass-destruction) and Mot (Death). Other gods worshipped at Ugarit were Dagon (Grain), Tirosh, Horon, Resheph (Healing), the craftsman Kothar-and-Khasis (Skilled and Clever), Shahar (Dawn), and Shalim(Dusk).

Ugaritic texts have provided scholars with a wealth of material on the religion of the Canaanites and its connections with that of the Israelites.
The religion of Ugarit and the religion of ancient Israel were not the same, but there were some striking overlaps. For example, the name of the ultimate divine authority at Ugarit was El, one of the names of the God of Israel (e.g., Gen 33:20). El was described as an aged god with white hair, seated on a throne. However, at Ugarit, El was sovereign, but another god ran things on earth for El as his vizier.
That god’s name was Baal. At Ugarit Baal was known by several titles: “king of the gods,” “the Most High,” “Prince Baal” (baal zbl), and— most importantly for our discussion—“the Rider on the Clouds.” -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugarit

It amuses me when I hear Christians refer to Yahweh as their 'Lord' or 'the Lord'. What they are actually doing, even though they may not be aware of it, is addressing him as their
'Baal'. 'Baal' In the Canaanite language simply means 'Lord'. The terms 'Lord Yahweh', and 'Baal Yahweh' mean exactly the same thing. LOL :-D

Another very interesting article which you might enjoy is called "Ugarit and the Bible", which you can find online here . - http://www.theology.edu/ugarbib.htm
It contains information such as;

"El was the chief god at Ugarit. Yet El is also the name of God used in many of the Psalms for Yahweh; or at least that has been the presupposition among pious Christians. Yet when one reads these Psalms and the Ugaritic texts one sees that the very attributes for which Yahweh is acclaimed are the same for which El is acclaimed. In fact, these Psalms were most likely originally Ugaritic or Canaanite hymns to El which were simply adopted by Israel, much like the American National Anthem was set to a beer hall tune by Francis Scott Key. El is called the “father of men”, “creator”, and “creator of the creation”. These attributes are also granted Yahweh by the Old Testament."

and

"In 1 Kings 22:19-22 we read of Yahweh meeting with his heavenly council. This is the very description of heaven which one finds in the Ugaritic texts. For in those texts the “sons of god” are the sons of El."

and

"Other deities worshipped at Ugarit were El Shaddai, El Elyon, and El Berith. All of these names are applied to Yahweh by the writers of the Old Testament. What this means is that the Hebrew theologians adopted the titles of the Canaanite gods and attributed them to Yahweh in an effort to eliminate them. If Yahweh is all of these there is no need for the Canaanite gods to exist! This process is known as assimilation."

and

"As had already been mentioned, one of the more important lesser deities at Ugarit was Baal. Baal is described as the “rider on the clouds” in KTU 1.3 II 40. Interestingly enough, this description is also used of Yahweh
in Psalm 68:4."

Psalm 68:4- reads; "Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds; his name is the LORD, exult before him!"

and

"There is one Ugaritic text which seems to indicate that among the inhabitants of Ugarit, Yahweh was viewed as another son of El. KTU 1.1 IV 14 says: sm . bny . yw . ilt “The name of the son of god, Yahweh.”

This last text fits in well with what we read in Deuteronomy 32:7-9 which reads,

"[7] Remember the days of old,
consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you;
your elders, and they will tell you.
[8] When the Most High (El Elyon) gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God (EL).
[9] For the LORD's (Yahweh's) portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.

Of course, die-hard apologists like Harvey Burnett and Dan Marvin will probably just close their eyes and put their fingers in their ears about all this stuff, but the evidence is there for anyone to to see, if only they have the courage and honesty to recognise it.

Trou said...

Very interesting Dingodave,
I'm heading off to get some sleep but I will say that there is a lot of reference to the god Amen in the psalms also. I was always told that the word meant verily or truth but it is more likely that the word is a dedication of the psalm to the god Amen and reflects the origin of the psalm.

"The word or root amen, certainly means "what is hidden," "what is not seen," "what cannot be seen," and the like, and this fact is proved by scores of examples which may be collected from texts of all periods. In hymns to Amen we often read that he is "hidden to his children, "and "hidden to gods and men," and it has been stated that these expressions only refer to the "hiding," i.e., "setting" of the sun each evening, and that they are only to be understood in a physical sense, and to mean nothing more than the disappearance of the god Amen from the sight of men at the close of day."

In the times approaching the Ptolemaic period the name Amen appears to have been connected with the root men, "to abide, to be permanent;" and one of the attributes which were applied to him was that of eternal."

http://www.touregypt.net/amen.htm

It seems like the word meaning changed a bit and was kept in the psalms as a remnant of a past that was not completely remembered.

It's interesting that we seem to be able to find connections to the Bible from several different cultures which is not a strong indication that the Bible came as a revelation from one source. I wrote this article with the awareness of this but wanted to add Egypt to the list as it has been excluded. I don't know why. After all, the Israelites claim to have spent 430 years there. How long has the United States of America been a nation? 232 years. A little over half and I don't see groups of people being able to keep themselves isolated from our common culture. Maybe the Amish, but even they have been greatly affected by modern life. I don't see how it was possible for Israel to have come away from Egypt without basically being Egyptian. So my conclusion is that, just like Freud, they were Egyptian. The bondage stuff was just a story reflecting the fact that all subjects of the king were servants. They just lied a little for their benefit to deceive king Ptolemy into thinking that the Israelites were enemies of Egypt also. They allowed the Egyptian part of their past to be lost due to self preservation and it has been beneficial to the religious to never question this so that they can maintain a facade of divine inspiration and a role as the chosen ones. I think this needs to be challenged and I think there is evidence of all kinds of cultural drift and some of it, maybe the initial thrust was Egyptian.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Scott wrote, "So, if I understand you correctly, you claim it's impossible to have an account that is historically accurate and address salvation accurately?"

I'm saying that to look solely to any historical documentation for proof or non-proof of the divine is to take a view through the perspective of fallible humanity. One text is no more or less credible, no matter the source. But there are accounts that show man's fallibility to be true and one account that portrays a God with no ulterior motives other than to express Himself in His creation and share it in gracious and edifying connection with fallible humanity.

Some say there are no historical records to back the OT stories but that is not accurate - it is more accurate to say that you discard the historical accounts provided by the OT and prefer others instead.

BTW, Y'shua never claimed to be an historical or literary figure, but of divine and eternal nature. Because of Him being alive and well as He has described, in the form of a free spirit, I am opening up to trust and honor what He honors, which is the community that paved a path for Him - the divine manifested amongst men in a way that we could see and begin to understand the innocence of God. It makes sense that various cultures throughout the history of mankind have bits and pieces of God's nature, but no one except Y'shua and the spirit that comes through Him, personifies the truth of God's gracious salvation.

As for divine revelation, I know this much for certain - that God can still express Himself, even to modern-day people, in ways that are described in OT miracles - not for sensationalism, nor to appease arrogant demands, but for the purpose of compassionate rescue.

Scott also wrote, "Perhaps you've just picked the divine inspiration that you find most attractive and presents a world you'd most like to live in?" Now why would someone who has been "cynicized" by empowered authority be drawn to someone claiming divine and total empowerment? Nope, no preference - had to be apprehended! Remember, He picks us first - until one gets that epiphany, then it is simply idolotry. But yes, it is more than preferable when one learns that the One laying claim to the highest power doesn't abuse it!

Enough! 3M

Evan said...

MMM,

You are still as confusing as a piece of seaweed on the top of Mt. Everest.

You say:

BTW, Y'shua never claimed to be an historical or literary figure, but of divine and eternal nature.

OK one of two possibilities MUST be true.

The first one is that there was a live human being on earth at a given time in history and his name was something like Jesus of Nazareth. He interacted with other human beings in a memorable way and while the stories about him may or may not be completely accurate, he was actually God and he actually died on a cross.

The second possibility is that it's a legend.

Which one do you believe? Your answer will hopefully allow me to understand you a bit better.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Dingo~ I hear ya...common language roots...this is what I would expect from a nomad peopel as the bible describes...We're not talking about language...Just because we use Greek words today doesn't make us greek in any way...
There are many parallels in American Society that I can draw. So that whole argument is moot.


I'm still waiting on the answer to at least a few of the questions I pose, and I'd like things cleared up not only for my benefit but for the benefit of others that you guys are trying to confuse...

So far, all I get is that the article's theory is that the Israelites were (or maybe not) a myth...the Exodus story as found in the bible wasn't real, and if it was it was a bunch of exiled Priests of Amen that egypt was compelled for some reason to keep a historical record of...The original Israelites who didn't appear to 600BC were children of the Egyptian priest, exiled class.

Those are only the basic fallacies that I've read so far. I'm just trying to get a full picture here of the argument because it's sooooo fantastic and I admit I've NEVER heard this one before...I'll deal with the language suff tomorrow because you're backwards as a triple meat bean pie there too.

But what say you regarding the revised dating? As I said, if those revisions are plausable, there is no story here and the bible is ONCE AGAIN proven to be accurate...if the revision is somehow flawed, show me where.

Later!

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Evan - lol! I've never been referred to as a piece of seaweed before (especially atop Mt.Everest) however, what do you speculate the odds of my getting there via Noah's Ark might have been if I were a piece of seaweed at the elevation?

Any way, I need to be more succinct here - I am a believer in the God of Easter.

At any rate, take care Evan!

3M

DingoDave said...

Trou wrote:
"Thanks for your comment. I found it interesting and may need to do more reading on the Hyksos. I think, though, that they come too early in history to be the people of the exodus."

According to the dates conventionally ascribed to the exodus, then I'd be inclined to agree. But we don't know how confused the Biblical account might be, or how many different traditions and folklore might have gone into manufacturing the legends of the exodus.

"I'm still hung up on the idea that these stories, to be recorded, had to have been recorded by a group of people who were educated which in those days would have been priests."

We don't know when the stories were actually first written down. I suspect that it was pretty late, and relied mainly on folktales handed down orally from generatinon to generation.

"It could be that the Israelites formed an identity that drew from differing cultures and people and yet in the telling the stories of the people and their history the writers (priests) plagiarized other more ancient historical events and painted a picture that made them look grander and different than they ever were."

I'm inclined to agree that this is the most likely explanation.

Harvey Burnett wrote:
"Couple of items though. Manetho's chronology was reviewed by Velikovsky and Courville and they found 600 EXTRA years ending with Alexander The Great. That threw off every other GAD (Generally Accepted Date) in the region. Has there been any revision of their work (as far as you know) and if so, what is the basis for rejecting their work?

I have read most of Velikovski's work on the subject, and I agree that some of his arguments do sound convincing to a layperson such as myself.
However his work has been heavily criticised by professional Egyptologists and ancient historians because of what they find to have been sloppy research and some very strained, and often downright wrong readings and/or interpretations of the texts which he used in support of his thesis.


"The accounts of Ipuwer match EXACTLY if these date revisions stand, and that would be one serious obstacle out of the way."

It's possible that the Ipuwer Papyrus describes the aftermath of the the eruption Thera in 1600 BC. , but that would only add further problems to the supposed dating of the Biblical 'plagues of Egypt' and the Exodus. If the Ipuwer papyrus is actually describing real events relating to Thera and/or the Exodus, then it would necessitate the Exodus to have taken place around 1600 BC, because that is when the eruption of Thera is dated to have taken place. This is far earlier than the generally accepted date of when the exodus is supposed to have occured.

"Further, the biblical report of Israel is that they took nothing but "gold earings" etc. They didn't take weapons, had no army and the account did not indicate ANY type of sophisticated line of leadership, as would have been expected if these individuals were banished royal Egyptians, priestly or otherwise."

There you go again Harvey. You're simply assuming that if it's written in the Bible, then it must be true. The thesis bing made here is the the Bible stories about the Exodus, and the subsequent conquest of Palestine are actually a mish-mash of various folk tales which were handed down over the centuries, and conflated together into one grand unified saga by later priestly writers, in order to falsely glorify their history, and to boost their own power and authority over the people.
This is almost certainly how and why these Bible stories came to be written in their current form.
As the old song goes; "things that your liable to read in the Bible, aint necessarily so".

"These were hardly the type of people who could raid, plunder and cause trouble for anyone in Canaan, as many of them had never ventured beyond the borders of Egypt."

According to the Bible, that's exactly what the Israelites are supposed to have done, albeit after a forty year delay spent wandering aimlessly around in the Sinai desert.
Of course there's absolutely no archaeological evidence that 2 million people wandered around in the Sinai desert for 40 years before invading Palestine in a genocidal conquest, but if the Bible is to be believed that's exactly what we should find.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Evan, a thought came to mind about expressing what I believe in a different way - the term "historical figure" is a concept that we, as human beings, can relate to and involves identifying periods of time.I cannot find where Y'shua ever refers to Himself as being an historical figure - while He can reveal Himself to mankind in a way that we might try and relate historically, His being is ongoing and eternal. I don't believe He sees Himself limited to an historical event and I don't believe exact dating/documentation of such is emphasized in scripture because God's priority is for us to know Him in a way that is different than what an historical account can render. Nonetheless, His grace allows for such.

3M

Scott said...

BTW, Y'shua never claimed to be an historical or literary figure, but of divine and eternal nature. Because of Him being alive and well as He has described, in the form of a free spirit, I am opening up to trust and honor what He honors, which is the community that paved a path for Him - the divine manifested amongst men in a way that we could see and begin to understand the innocence of God.

For us to know that Jesus was of divine and eternal nature, he must have made this claim at some observable point in the past. If this was not part of history, then what exactly was it?

But there are accounts that show man's fallibility to be true and one account that portrays a God with no ulterior motives other than to express Himself in His creation and share it in gracious and edifying connection with fallible humanity.

And If our salvation hinges on a historical and physical crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, then we are dependent on the factualness of it's occurrence in space and time.

As for divine revelation, I know this much for certain - that God can still express Himself, even to modern-day people, in ways that are described in OT miracles - not for sensationalism, nor to appease arrogant demands, but for the purpose of compassionate rescue.

While I understand you're association of Jesus with "compassionate rescue", this assumes there must be some historical series of events that originally necessitates rescue in the first place.

But, since nothing is necessary for God, what possible necessary chain of events could have results in such a situation? What could have caused such a need despite God's omnipotent will? We can only require rescue if God deems that rescue is required. We only need to be saved if God, in his divine will, deems salvation necessary.

Since nothing is necessary for God, he could have forgiven each and everyone of us for any possible transgression without any requirements. This includes a need to send Jesus to die for us. If you claim otherwise, then you imply there are some things which are necessary, even for God.

And if there are things that are necessary for God, then how can you be sure he save us?

tigg13 said...

MMM,

I think the reason Evan is having trouble understanding you is that he, like pretty much everybody else, uses the phrase "historical figure" to describe someone who actually existed at some point in history - not just somebody whose existance was recorded in a history book.

To say that someone was not a historical figure is to say that they never existed - this is a fairly universal definition.

To say that Y'shua never referred to himself as a historical figure is silly. (Have you ever referred to yourself as a historical figure? Have you ever heard of anyone reffering to themselves as a historical figure)

To futher say that you don't consider him to be a historical person based on this creates a logical paradox; how could Y'shua say he never really existed unless he actually did exist?

This is what Evan is finding so confusing.

Oh, one other thing I'd like to mention. "Easter" comes from Astarte or Ishtar; ancient pagan goddesses of fertility whose symbols included rabbits and eggs. Guess what the "God of Easter"'s job was. (wink wink)

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Scott, Trigg, thanks for your offering insight - I am beginning to see the affirmation here in our conversations, of the reason God has trouble expressing His love in a way people can fully understand. I am recalling that I used to have so much of the finite world and indictment within me that it was difficult to imagine someone approaching me without some sort of accusation, insensitive demand, punishment or indictiment to project on me. Especially someone claiming authority.

I can see clearly from your responses that I am failing to convey the gospel message here. Trigg, my use of the word "Easter" inspired your sharing the origin of that word - thanks! I don't have an offense for such - resurrection, lifegiving processes, Easter, etc. etc. can all be acts of edifying love.

As far as the term "historical figure" here - to me, the term Historical means, "relegated to the past". In fact, Y'shua claimed eternal and divine existance, able to express Himself visibly to us within a timeframe that we ourselves might relegate to a past historical event. But to Him, He was and is still in the business of living, and able to manifest Himself to us on various levels.

Scott, I really value your input - my heart is burdened in that I am unable to effectively communicate God's Way. I can see in your responses that I have failed to convey this or to even inspire a thirst for such.

I know it is so easy to be prideful in religious practices and get deceived into believing one must "protect" God and in doing so, condemn those who do not agree. But by faith, I have come to share in caring about what He cares about - people - no condemnation necessary!


3M

Evan said...

MMM:

One option for your problem is one that you are probably not considering when you say,

Scott, I really value your input - my heart is burdened in that I am unable to effectively communicate God's Way. I can see in your responses that I have failed to convey this or to even inspire a thirst for such.

That option would be that what you have to communicate makes no sense.

When you can't explain what you believe in plain speech or a mathematical equation, it is usually a red flag that what you believe makes no sense. It is possible that someone else might be able to communicate the idea you are trying to express in a way that we could understand it.

From my point of view, your position is that of liberal christianity. I've tried that out and it is simply a collection of nonsensical platitudes that people can spout who don't want to tell people they aren't a christian any more and that doesn't offend anyone.

However you can prove me wrong whenever you like by making a sensical statement.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Evan -I value your input as well - I appreciate your sense of humor and your mathematical way of perceiving things. I know about black and white, binary perspectives - I learned that my capacity to care and live and love could be increased beyond black and white choices.

You mentioned my being liberal -I'm not too sure about liberal Christianity since I don't attend religious services very often - I don't want to enable people to endure unnecessary suffering and sometimes I think the term "liberal" is associated with licentiousness to me. Like I said, I'm not sure, but thanks anyway.

Take care!

3M

DingoDave said...

MMM wrote:
"You mentioned my being liberal -I'm not too sure about liberal Christianity since I don't attend religious services very often... sometimes I think the term "liberal" is associated with licentiousness to me."

Liberalism:

-A movement in modern Protestantism that emphasizes freedom from tradition and authority, the adjustment of religious beliefs to scientific conceptions, and the development of spiritual capacities.

-A 19th-century Protestant movement that favored free intellectual inquiry, stressed the ethical and humanitarian content of Christianity, and de-emphasized dogmatic theology.

-A movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

First may I address a few issues here:

Trou ~ “"It could be that the Israelites formed an identity that drew from differing cultures and people and yet in the telling the stories of the people and their history the writers (priests) plagiarized other more ancient historical events and painted a picture that made them look grander and different than they ever were."

Dingo~ “I'm inclined to agree that this is the most likely explanation.”

Dingo~ "There you go again Harvey. You're simply assuming that if it's written in the Bible, then it must be true. The thesis bing made here is the the Bible stories about the Exodus, and the subsequent conquest of Palestine are actually a mish-mash of various folk tales which were handed down over the centuries, and conflated together into one grand unified saga by later priestly writers, in order to falsely glorify their history, and to boost their own power and authority over the people"

[This is a theory that was noted and put down years ago. When documentary hypothesis was created it did not adequately take into account archaeology, some of which was under excavation. This has proven to be its downfall.

You say that Israel (former Aten priests) took actual events and modified them somehow. You also use the argument of silence as validation that Israel was not in Egypt or at best plaigerized the history of surrounding nations. There are a number of flaws with all of these assertions. Information, access to information, historical time frame all speak against your theory.

Let’s look at a few of the more glaring problems shall we?

Point 1
One of the problems that you have is Israel’s historical records of monotheism in contrast with the historical records of polytheism of surrounding nations. Polytheism is confirmed by those societies own records. In contrast, Israel records a monotheistic history. These concepts were totally incompatable with Israelite history. Further, the way that each society applied their polytheism and could not have hardly been borrowed.

“Alexander Heidel says this “The Babylonian creation stories are permeated with crude polytheism. They speak only of successive generations of gods and goddesses proceeding from Apsu and Tiamat, with all of them in need of physical nourishment, since all of them consist of matter as well as spirit, but they speak also of different creators.

Against all of this the opening chapters of Genesis as well as the OT in general refer to only one Creator and Maintainer of all things, one God who created and transcends all cosmic matter. In the entire OT there is not a trace of theogony [battle of the gods], such as we find, for example in Enuma elish and Hesiod. To this faith the Babylonians never attained.” (Heidel, “The Babylonian Genesis” 1963, pg. 96-97)

If religion was borrowed why would they have not borrowed all aspects of pagan religion which included female deities of surrounding pagan religions? We see no creator female as we see in pagan religion. This is another aspect that most critics claiming borrowing totally overlook, and therefore seriously damage if not totally eliminate your assertions.

G. E. Write says this concerning the God/goddess paradox ABSENT in Israel’s historical records: “ The duality of male and female is to be found only in the created world it is not part of the Godhead, which is essentially sexless. Biblical Hebrew has no words for goddess. Equally phenomenal is the preservation of God’s mystery of holiness by prohibition of images, either of God himself or any other spiritual being in heaven or in earth, a prohibition preserved in the oldest law which the OT contains. (Wright, “ The Old Testament Against It’s Environment” 1950 pg. 23)

Ooh, wait a minute, you said that they specifically borrowed the Egyptian religion and most specifically Akhenaten’s 17 year rule with an approximate 10 years of highly despised brand of monotheism…

Well according to Shemkhkare, Akhetaten was abandoned within 3 years after Akhenaten’s death virtually unused. OK. Anyway, This is where I speak directly to a support to one of the critical points levied in the article. Israel borrowed from Egyptian monotheism of Aten.
As a supposed parallel, the article says Ahkenaten banned “images” and therefore this is a parallel of what Moses borrowed from Egyptian religion. Please note that Ahkenaten did not apply this rule to himself.

1- Three foot high limestone alter found at Akhenaten’s home picturing, Ra and he and the royal family.
2- Stele S, one of the 14 boundary markers of the kingdom, essentially has the same imagery.
3- Another picture with a rendition of Ra carved on a limestone block as refrenced in the article.


Moses did no such thing and had no such rendition ever made to show an example of himself in communion with God. Excavations in Megiddo turned up no images of God, not to mention the Bible never mentions that his people created or depicted themselves in any images of God at all. The contrary is true under Ahkenaten’s reign. He proudly displayed the image of he and his god because he believed himself to be god on earth. Moses though no such concept and did not call on Ra or the sun for any favors or blessings at any time.

Professor Albright amplifies the separateness of Israel’s recorded religious system against the Canaanites as such,

“Nothing can alter the now certain fact that the gulf between the religions of Israel and of Canaan was as great as the resemblance between their material cultures and their poetic literatures.” (“The Bible After 20 Years of Archaeology”, 1952)


Yes, we do see syncretism, that I allude to in my prior post just as the Bible declares. The Israelites often picked up practices and imagery that was pagan and foreign to their religious practice. There have been numerous Baalistic idolotry figures found just as the biblical account specifies. A great deal of the biblical narrative deals with the punishments of God on such behavior.

Point 2-
Most critics argue that the Israelites were less sophisticated and therefore could not have devised the complex law code unless it was borrowed. Your article follows similar misconceptions however you take a variation by saying that the true adherants were possibly more complex because they were ex-Aten-priests were writing the material or at least handing it down to their descendents. Either way you believe the narratives were finally developed late. (600 BC – 500 BC)

You don’t say that they were not complex because you know that we have examples of advanced law codes from antiquity (for example: The code of Hammurabi 2000-1700 BC) What surprises me is that you also know that there is nothing to justify late writing whether Aten Priests were doing it or not. This is the most outrageous part of your fantasy. That the Aten priest class loved what Akhenaten did so much that they wanted to take it and revise it so badly in order to create a super religious class of people. PURE FANTASY.

The problem is that none of these Biblical laws and codes mirror Egyptian religion either. If Aten priests were rewriting, there would have been a symbolence because that’s all they had to compare with. Any alleged similarities are fabrications made to fit your radical hypothesis.

Further The Merneptah Stela offers compelling evidence and verification of the Biblical account and offers a more clear picture of Israel’s presence in the region as an agricultural force as confirmed by the Bible. http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a015.html

Still more archaeology to debunk the critical claims that Israel did not exist as a people. This is called the Tel el-Dab'a discovery:

“In 1966, Manfred Bietak --head of the Austrian Institute of Archaeology-- excavated ruins at Avaris () in the Nile Delta, and discovered a settlement of "Asiatics," which is a term that Egyptians used for people from Canaan/Palestine. The inhabitants of Tel el-Dab'a were not Egyptians, but were Semitic Canaanites. They were of the Syro-Palestinian Middle Bronze Age Culture, and none of the remains are Egyptian. The U-shaped floor-plans, and the walls of their buildings are exactly like those later constructed by the Hebrews in Israel. Their burial methods were different than the Egyptians. This particular Semitic settlement at Tel el-Dab'a had a population of about 30,000 people, and is dated as being from the Late Hyksos or the early 18th Dynasty of Egypt. This time would be not long after the time of Joseph (see Genesis chapters 37-50) --perhaps somewhere around 1500 BC.” “In Genesis 46:27 we read that when Joseph's family immigrated to Egypt (because of famine), there were only 70 people involved in the move --however, the families of Jacob and Joseph surely intermarried with other Asiatics who fled the famine, and by the time the Semites were established well enough to have built cities with walls, there was a population of almost 30,000 in Tel el-Dab'a. --There may have been other Semitic cities as well.

Thus, we have direct archaeological evidence of the presence of at least several tens of thousands of Semites with Hebrew culture established in cities in the Nile Delta around the very time that the Bible says the Hebrews were there.”

Yet more evidence says, “Possibly much more significant is a line from the "Leiden Papyrus 348," which dates from the time of Ramesses II. It has orders that food be given to "the Apiru who are dragging stones to the great pylon" which was part of some unspecified construction.” And don’t forget the meaning here, “The word "Apiru" meant a "state-less" individual, and many scholars think it was used to refer to the Hebrews --and indeed, Dr. Frank Moore Cross of Harvard University directly says that "the term 'Apiru' is the origin of the term Hebrew."
The Apiru (Hebrews) were being employed as slaves in Egypt.”

There seems to be an abundance of information to dispell your darkness in this area. I mean you can create fantasies out of possibilities, but anything is possible, but not probable given the circumstances. Now you can recreate a story, but one can’t recreate evidences that they had nothing to do with, unless you’re an atheist committed to radical historical interpretations and rampant conspiracy theories.

In short, as I said from the beginning ridiculous article does not hold water. And Trou, I pasted some of this for time and convenience sake.

If this is a duplicate posting please delete it. Thanks.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Thanks Dingo - now I know for certain that I'm not a liberal - the first meaning about freedom from tradition and authority - not me. The freedom I know comes from bonding with a free spirited authority - One that is not abusive with power. At any rate, thanks again, Dingo.

DingoDave said...

Harvey Burnett wrote:
"Polytheism is confirmed by those societies own records. In contrast, Israel records a monotheistic history. These concepts were totally incompatable with Israelite history."

I'm afraid that you're 'bearing false witness' again Harvey.
The Bible contains numerous passages which mention other gods.
Please read the following examples.

Gen.6
[2] the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose.
[4] The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.

Deut.32
[8] When the Most High (El Elyon) gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.
[9] For the LORD's (Yahweh's) portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.

Exod.15
[11] "Who is like thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, majestic in holiness, terrible in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

Exod.18
[11] Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, because he delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians

Deut.10
[17] For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God

Job.1
[6] Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.

Job.2
[1] Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.

Job 38
[4] "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
[7] when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

1 Kings 22
[19] And Micai'ah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left;

1Chr.16
[25] For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be held in awe above all gods.

2Chr.2
[5] The house which I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods.

Ps.82
[1] God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
[6] I say, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;

Ps.89
[5] Let the heavens praise thy wonders, O LORD, thy faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!
[6] For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings (gods) is like the LORD,
[7] a God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible above all that are round about him?

Ps.84
[7] They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

Ps.95
[3] For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Ps.96
[4] For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.

Ps.97
[7] All worshipers of images are put to shame,...all gods bow down before him.

Ps.135
[5] For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.

Ps.136
[2] O give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures for ever.

Ps.138
[1] I give thee thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing thy praise;

Ps.139 [9] If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
This verse should read, "If I take the wings of Shahar" (the dawn goddess)

Jer. 7:[17] Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
[18] The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.

Jer.23
[18] For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to perceive and to hear his word, or who has given heed to his word and listened?

Jer. 11
[13] For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, altars to burn incense to Ba'al.

Jer.44
[17] But we will do everything that we have vowed, burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no evil.
[18] But since we left off burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine."
[19] And the women said, "When we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out libations to her, was it without our husbands' approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out libations to her?"
[25] Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have declared with your mouths, and have fulfilled it with your hands, saying, `We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out libations to her.' Then confirm your vows and perform your vows!

Ezek. 8
[14] Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
[16] And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD; and behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east.
(Tammuz was the Akkadian vegetation-god, counterpart of the Sumerian Damuzi and the symbol of death and rebirth in nature. He is the son of Ea and husband of Ishtar.)

DingoDave said...

Harvey wrote:
“The Babylonian creation stories are permeated with crude polytheism. They speak only of successive generations of gods and goddesses proceeding from Apsu and Tiamat, with all of them in need of physical nourishment, since all of them consist of matter as well as spirit, but they speak also of different creators.

According to the Bible, Yahweh also needed physical nourishment in the form of sacrifices.
Please read the following passages.

Lev.3
[9] Then from the sacrifice of the peace offering as an offering by fire to the LORD he shall offer its fat, the fat tail entire, taking it away close by the backbone, and the fat that covers the entrails, and all the fat that is on the entrails,
[10] and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the appendage of the liver which he shall take away with the kidneys.
[11] And the priest shall burn it on the altar as food offered by fire to the LORD.
[15] and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the appendage of the liver which he shall take away with the kidneys.
[16] And the priest shall burn them on the altar as food offered by fire for a pleasing odor. All fat is the LORD's.

Num.28
[1] The LORD said to Moses,
[2] "Command the people of Israel, and say to them, `My offering, my food for my offerings by fire, my pleasing odor, you shall take heed to offer to me in its due season.'
[3] And you shall say to them, This is the offering by fire which you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs a year old without blemish, day by day, as a continual offering
[24] In the same way you shall offer daily, for seven days, the food of an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD; it shall be offered besides the continual burnt offering and its drink offering.

Ezekial 44:
[6] Thus says the Lord GOD: O house of Israel, let there be an end to all your abominations,
[7] in admitting foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, profaning it, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood.

Exodus 29
[18] and burn the whole ram upon the altar; it is a burnt offering to the LORD; it is a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the LORD.
[25] Then you shall take them from their hands, and burn them on the altar in addition to the burnt offering, as a pleasing odor before the LORD; it is an offering by fire to the LORD.

Leviticus 2:
[8] And you shall bring the cereal offering that is made of these things to the LORD; and when it is presented to the priest, he shall bring it to the altar.
[9] And the priest shall take from the cereal offering its memorial portion and burn this on the altar, an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD.

Sounds very primitive doesn't it?

DingoDave said...

Harvey wrote:
"Against all of this the opening chapters of Genesis as well as the OT in general refer to only one Creator and Maintainer of all things, one God who created and transcends all cosmic matter."

Then why does he refer to himself as 'us'?

Gen.1
[1] In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth. (the word translated here as God, should read 'Elohim', or 'Gods')

Gen.1
[26] Then God (Elohim/ the gods) said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness;
[27] So God (Elohim/ the gods) created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Gen.3
[22] Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil;

Gen.11
[7] Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."

DingoDave said...

Harvey wrote:
"In the entire OT there is not a trace of theogony [battle of the gods], such as we find, for example in Enuma elish and Hesiod."

Poppycock! You need to read your Bible more carefully Harvey.

Psalm 89
[8] O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as thou art, O LORD, with thy faithfulness round about thee?
[9] Thou dost rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, thou stillest them.
[10] Thou didst crush Rahab like a carcass, thou didst scatter thy enemies with thy mighty arm.

Ps.74
[13] Thou didst divide the sea by thy might; thou didst break the heads of the dragons on the waters.

Job.9
[7] who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars;
[8] who alone stretched out the heavens, and trampled the waves of the sea;
[12] Behold, he snatches away; who can hinder him? Who will say to him, `What doest thou'?
[13] "God will not turn back his anger; beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab.

Job 26
[11] The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astounded at his rebuke.
[12] By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he smote Rahab.
[13] By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

Isa.27
[1] In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.

Isa.51
[9] Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not thou that didst cut Rahab in pieces, that didst pierce the dragon?

Isa.30
[7] For Egypt's help is worthless and empty,therefore I have called her "Rahab who sits still."

DingoDave said...

Harvey wrote:
"If religion was borrowed why would they have not borrowed all aspects of pagan religion which included female deities of surrounding pagan religions? We see no creator female as we see in pagan religion. G. E. Write says this concerning the God/goddess paradox ABSENT in Israel’s historical records: The duality of male and female is to be found only in the created world it is not part of the Godhead, which is essentially sexless. Biblical Hebrew has no words for goddess. "

Harvey, have you ever heard of the goddess Ashera, the wife of Yahweh?
There is a fact that is little known among most Christians, but which has been long known to archaeologists and scholars regarding ancient Israelite religion - namely that the Israelite god (Yahweh) had a consort, that her name was Asherah, and that she was part of the Canaanite pantheon.

The goddess Asherah, whose worship Jeremiah so vehemently opposed, was worshipped in ancient Israel and Judah as the consort of Yahweh and Queen of Heaven (the Hebrews
baked small cakes for her festival)
"Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger." - Jeremiah 7:17–18 "... to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem ..." - Jeremiah 44:17
Figurines of Asherah are strikingly common in the archaeological record, indicating the popularity of her cult from the earliest times to the Babylonian exile. More rarely, inscriptions linking Yahweh and Asherah have been discovered. An 8th century BCE ostracon inscribed with the words "Berakhti et’khem l’YHVH Shomron ul’Asherato" was discovered by Israeli
archeologists at Quntilat 'Ajrud in the course of excavations in the Sinai desert in 1975. This translates as: "I have blessed you by Yahweh of Samaria and His Asherah". Another inscription, from Khirbet el-Kom near Hebron,
reads: "Blessed be Uriyahu by Yahweh and by his Asherah; from his enemies he saved him!".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah

Tilde Binger notes in her study, Asherah: Goddesses in Ugarit, Israel and the Old Testament (1997, p. 141), that there is warrant for seeing an Asherah as, variously, "a wooden-aniconic-stela or column of some kind; a living tree; or a more regular statue." A rudely carved wooden statue planted on the ground of the house was Asherah's symbol, and sometimes a clay statue without legs. Her cult images— "idols"— were found also in forests, carved on living trees, or in the form of poles beside altars that were placed at the side of some roads. Asherah poles are mentioned in the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, Judges, the Books of Kings, the second Book of Chronicles, and the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah

The majority of the forty references to Asherah in the Hebrew Bible derive from the Deuteronomist, always in a hostile framework: e.g., Deuteronomy 16:21 reads: "Do not set up any [wooden] Asherah '[pole]' beside the altar you build to the LORD your God." The Deuteronomist judges the kings of Israel and Judah according to how rigorously they uphold Yahwism and suppress the worship of Asherah and other deities: King Manasseh, for example is said to have placed an Asherah pole in the Holy Temple, and was therefore one
who "did evil in the sight of the Lord" (2 Kings 21:7); but king Hezekiah "removed the high places, and broke the pillars, and cut down the Asherah", (2 Kings 18.4), and was numbered among the most righteous of Judah's kings before the coming of the monotheistic reformer Josiah, in whose reign the Deuteronomistic history of the kings was composed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah

DingoDave said...

Harvey wrote:
"Equally phenomenal is the preservation of God’s mystery of holiness by prohibition of images, either of God himself or any other spiritual being in heaven or in earth, a prohibition preserved in the oldest law which the OT contains."

Are you referring to Deuteronomy 5: [8] "`You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth ?

Then what was Solomon THINKING when he built the temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem?

1Kgs.6
[2] The house which King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high.
[23] In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olivewood, each ten cubits high.
[25] The other cherub also measured ten cubits; both cherubim had the same measure and the same form.
[27] He put the cherubim in the innermost part of the house; and the wings of the cherubim were spread out so that a wing of one touched the one wall, and a wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; their other wings touched each other in the middle of the house.
[28] And he overlaid the cherubim with gold.
[29] He carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, in the inner and outer rooms.
[31] For the entrance to the inner sanctuary he made doors of olivewood; the lintel and the doorposts formed a pentagon.
[32] He covered the two doors of olivewood with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers; he overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubim and upon the palm trees.
[35] On them he carved cherubim and palm trees and open flowers; and he overlaid them with gold evenly applied upon the carved work.

1Kgs.7
[27] He also made the ten stands of bronze; each stand was four cubits long, four cubits wide, and three cubits high.
[28] This was the construction of the stands: they had panels, and the panels were set in the frames
[29] and on the panels that were set in the frames were lions, oxen, and cherubim. Upon the frames, both above and below the lions and oxen, there were wreaths of beveled work.
[36] And on the surfaces of its stays and on its panels, he carved cherubim, lions, and palm trees, according to the space of each, with wreaths round about.

1Chr.28
[18] for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.

2Chr.3
[1] Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Mori'ah,
[7] So he lined the house with gold -- its beams, its thresholds, its walls, and its doors; and he carved cherubim on the walls.
[10] In the most holy place he made two cherubim of wood and overlaid them with gold.
[11] The wings of the cherubim together extended twenty cubits: one wing of the one, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and its other wing, of five cubits, touched the wing of the other cherub;
[13] The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits; the cherubim stood on their feet, facing the nave.
[14] And he made the veil of blue and purple and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and worked cherubim on it.
[16] He made chains like a necklace and put them on the tops of the pillars; and he made a hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.

2Chr.4
[1] He made an altar of bronze, twenty cubits long, and twenty cubits wide, and ten cubits high.
[2] Then he made the molten sea; it was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits high, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference.
[3] Under it were figures of gourds, for thirty cubits, compassing the sea round about; the gourds were in two rows, cast with it when it was cast.
[4] It stood upon twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; the sea was set upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.

2Kgs.18
[1] In the third year of Hoshe'a son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezeki'ah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign.
[4] He removed the high places, and broke the pillars, and cut down the Ashe'rah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had burned incense to it; it was called Nehush'tan.

Doesn't it seem strange how the Israelites had somehow 'forgotten' all about the commandments against 'graven images' until the 'book of the law' was suddenly 'found' in the temple
by Hilkiah the priest, during the reign of King Josiah around 600 BC.

2 Kings 23:
[2] And the king went up to the house of the LORD, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which had been found in the house of the LORD.
[21] And the king commanded all the people, "Keep the passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant."
[22] For no such passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah;
[23] but in the eighteenth year of King Josi'ah this passover was kept to the LORD in Jerusalem.
[24] Moreover Josi'ah put away the mediums and the wizards and the teraphim and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilki'ah the priest found in the house of the LORD.
[25] Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.

It should obvious to anyone reading these verses, that nobody in Israel had ever even HEARD of the law of Moses until the time that Hilkiah 'found' it.
Who wants to bet that it was actually Hilkiah and his cronies who really wrote the 'Law of Moses'?

Harvey wrote:
"The inhabitants of Tel el-Dab'a were not Egyptians, but were Semitic Canaanites. They were of the Syro-Palestinian Middle Bronze Age Culture, and none of the remains are Egyptian...This particular Semitic settlement at Tel el-Dab'a had a population of about 30,000 people, and is dated as being from the Late Hyksos or the early 18th Dynasty of Egypt.
...Thus, we have direct archaeological evidence of the presence of at least several tens of thousands of Semites with Hebrew culture established in cities in the Nile Delta around the very time that the Bible says the Hebrews were there.”

The town you are referring to is Avaris, the capital city of the Hyksos invaders. The Hyksos were the RULERS of Egypt at that time, not slaves.

“Possibly much more significant is a line from the "Leiden Papyrus 348," which dates from the time of Ramesses II. It has orders that food be given to "the Apiru who are dragging stones to the great pylon" which was part of some unspecified construction.”

We've already discussed the 'Apiru', or 'Habiru' with reference to the Armana letters.

APIRU - the designation used for a group of nomadic people who were present all over the Ancient Near East in the 2nd millennium B.C.E. Since the word `Apiru (sometimes
"Habiru") is so similar to the word "Hebrew," some scholars at first believed the `Apiru were identical to the Hebrews. Now we know the `Apiru were not an ethnic group but a class of people who lived on the fringes of the dominant society. Often the `Apiru were enslaved, while at other times they were employed for menial labor or as common mercenaries. At times the `Apiru were associated with outlaws who were also outside the dominant social structure. Individuals who had become burdened by debt could fairly easily escape the small city-states of the day to flee to other locations where they might find work (even menial) or live as outlaws. The `Apiru ceased to exist as a class after 1000 B.C.E.
http://religion.ucumberlands.edu/hebrewbible/hbgloss/a.htm

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Dingo~ One thing is for sure, ...you certainly don't know what the Bible says...Don't quit your day job.

Dingo- ~ "Are you referring to Deuteronomy 5: [8] "`You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth ?

Then what was Solomon THINKING when he built the temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem?"

[Aaaaaa....Maybe he was thinking that the temple he was building was NOT to himself but unto GOD....the scipture says...

"You shall not make for yourself"
say it ONE more time...
"You shall not make for yourself"
once more...
"You shall not make for yourself"

He acted in accordance with Gods command...NOW WHAT?]

Dingo~ "Doesn't it seem strange how the Israelites had somehow 'forgotten' all about the commandments against 'graven images' until the 'book of the law' was suddenly 'found' in the temple"

[No that seems to be the way people are...lovers of self and sin...such as the anti-Christ advocates on this site]

Dingo~ "The town you are referring to is Avaris, the capital city of the Hyksos invaders. The Hyksos were the RULERS of Egypt at that time, not slaves."

[There you go tyring to make another argument...read it again it's accurate, not talking about Hyskos capital, I'm talking about Tel el-Dab'a.]

Dingo~ "It should obvious to anyone reading these verses, that nobody in Israel had ever even HEARD of the law of Moses until the time that Hilkiah 'found' it."

[As smart as Hilkiah was he couldn't have reached across the sands of time and made archaeology fit with the narrative...face it YOU DON'T HAVE A PADDLE]

Dingo~ "There is a fact that is little known among most Christians, but which has been long known to archaeologists and scholars regarding ancient Israelite religion - namely that the Israelite god (Yahweh) had a consort, that her name was Asherah, and that she was part of the Canaanite pantheon."

[He says FACT...yea right...the only FACT is that Ashera was a IDOL goddess worshipped in Canaan...in face this was one of the reasons along with Moleck and Baal that they were displaced...Don't forget wicked Kings that the Bible affirmed that encouraged paganism...again, you offer nothing that average bible student is not aware of.And certainly nothing to move away from the MONOTHEISM that god requires early and spells our explicitly]

Dingo~ (regarding dueling gods) "Poppycock! You need to read your Bible more carefully Harvey."

[well, Poppycock back to you Buuuuuddy!...Biblical illiteracy...it's not just a job, it's your full time adventure!]

Dingo~ "Then why does he refer to himself as 'us'?"

[Bible 101...this is the beginning of his revelation of Godhead. The trinity is affirmed from Genesis to revelation...keep reading you MIGHT learn something if you stop hatin' so much-LOL]

Dingo~ "According to the Bible, Yahweh also needed physical nourishment in the form of sacrifices."

[Me dost take it that thou dost not know what sacrifices are to an immaterial God...there dost not be any physical being to receive physical sacrifice...placest that in thou pipe and smoke it with the rest of thou weed that thou be on-LOL]

Dingo~ "The Bible contains numerous passages which mention other gods."

[I noticed you left these out,

"Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you." ~ Isa. 41:23-24

"The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him." ~ John 10:33-38

To the point all of the gods the bible mentions were only gods in their own sight or the site of pagans and those who believed inpaganism whether Jews or not...There are no other Gods...except maybe this one that YOU worship at the alter of

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." ~ 2 Cor. 4:3-4

Sorry my friend you'll have to do much better than that.]

Good Day Dingo!

Trou said...

"This is a theory that was noted and put down years ago. When documentary hypothesis was created it did not adequately take into account archaeology, some of which was under excavation. This has proven to be its downfall."

I doubt whether it was noted and put down. You said in an earlier comment that this was the first you had heard of it. Archaeology doesn’t help your case. Read Dever and Finklestein for an unbiased look at this topic. These are real experts in the field not some apologists.

"You also use the argument of silence as validation that Israel was not in Egypt or at best plaigerized the history of surrounding nations."

There is no evidence at all that Israel was in Egypt. The Bible doesn’t count as evidence. I did not say that the Aten priests plagiarized the surrounding nations. I’ve been a bit perplexed as to how you have been so confused about what I have written. You asked many questions that were already answered in the body of my article and you have drawn conclusions that are entirely different from what, I feel, was plainly written. I said that they took stories from their past and changed them to take credit for what was not their doing.
Seti I pacified Canaan with a decisive military campaign. They, 700 years later, changed the story to feature Joshua as the leader and God as the one who gave them all the power. That is plagiarism but it was a story that they were a part of at one time and it was changed to protect their interests when they were brought into captivity in Babylon. A history replete with positive mentions of Egypt would not stand them in good stead with their captors. Rashi, a Jewish scholar from the middle ages, commented that some scriptures were changed to please Ptolemy. This is not just pulled out of thin air. It happened and Rashi plainly tells why. Other modifications of religious beliefs that Dingodave has brought up are simply a result of cultural assimilation. The Mesopotamian flavor is due to trying to shape the past to make it seem that the Israelites had a shared past with the Babylonians but stories of riding camels when none were domesticated reveals the lies that were told.

"One of the problems that you have is Israel’s historical records of monotheism in contrast with the historical records of polytheism of surrounding nations."

Once again, I did not say that any other nation at the time was monotheistic. I did say Akhenaten instituted the first monotheistic religion which nobody of note disputes. Evidently you didn’t read the Great Hymn of Aten and compare it to Psalms 104. Akhenaten disregarded the other gods as just stone carvings. He defaced the representations of the other gods. This angered the priests of Amen and the other gods. This is surely true because it is written about and the same was done to Akhenaten when he died. All reference to him was erased.

"Genesis as well as the OT in general refer to only one Creator and Maintainer of all things, one God who created and transcends all cosmic matter."

This is almost the exact phrasing found in the Great Hymn to Aten.

"If religion was borrowed why would they have not borrowed all aspects of pagan religion which included female deities of surrounding pagan religions?"

The religion wasn’t borrowed it was the very religion they practiced in Akhetaten and they chose to keep it even though they were deported for it. Would you change your religion for any reason? Neither did they. But when they arrived in Canaan some of their followers who settled in the north did take up the worship of Baal El and his consort Asherah. Both are mentioned in the Bible so you should be aware of this fact.
This, however was something that happened over a few hundred years. This is written about by Dever and Finklestein in their books.

"Biblical Hebrew has no words for goddess. Equally phenomenal is the preservation of God’s mystery of holiness by prohibition of images, either of God himself or any other spiritual being in heaven or in earth, a prohibition preserved in the oldest law which the OT contains. (Wright, “ The Old Testament Against It’s Environment” 1950 pg. 23)"

Look up Asherah in your concordance and you will find reference to this female deity.
As to the prohibition of images, this was something that Akhenaten instituted after the first few years of his reign when he changed his name then changed his cartouche and removed the image of Ra-Horakhty and replaced it with the symbol of Aten, the disk that represented the sun (Aten was the unseen one and could not be depicted so Aten was indicated by a solar disk).

"Well according to Shemkhkare, Akhetaten was abandoned within 3 years after Akhenaten’s death virtually unused."

Not according to Smenkhare. Not much is known of him. He died soon into his reign. Akhetaten was used but was abandoned because the inhabitants were deported. It was disassembled during the reign of Horemheb and the blocks were used in other building projects. We can read the writing on these blocks called talatats which identifies these as being from Akhetaten. The city was used because there have been found therein records of diplomatic letters written in Akkadian the language of diplomacy.

"1- Three foot high limestone alter found at Akhenaten’s home picturing, Ra and he and the royal family.
2- Stele S, one of the 14 boundary markers of the kingdom, essentially has the same imagery.
3- Another picture with a rendition of Ra carved on a limestone block as refrenced in the article."

Early in his reign, Akhenaten did have Ra-Horakhty in his cartouche and this is probably during this short time. Soon after he became sole pharaoh he made a change decreed that Aten’s image could not be depicted and removed the hieroglyphics of Ra-Horakhty and simply used the sun disk symbol for Aten.

"That the Aten priest class loved what Akhenaten did so much that they wanted to take it and revise it so badly in order to create a super religious class of people. PURE FANTASY."

The pure fantasy is that you have credited me with saying that which I never said. I really don’t even understand your point. I only know that it doesn’t resemble anything that I wrote.

"The word "Apiru" meant a "state-less" individual, and many scholars think it was used to refer to the Hebrews --and indeed, Dr. Frank Moore Cross of Harvard University directly says that "the term 'Apiru' is the origin of the term Hebrew."

Dr. Cross would be one or the few who think this. If you start trying to shoe horn the Hebrews into anything that may fit some part of the story then you will end up being in conflict with the Bible some other way. There were a lot of different peoples living in the realm of Egypt. Were the Apiru slaves? Did they conquer the land of Canaan? Were the Hebrews nomadic like the Apiru? One aspect might look like a possibility but then several more aspects don’t resemble the Hebrews at all.

"Now you can recreate a story, but one can’t recreate evidences that they had nothing to do with, unless you’re an atheist committed to radical historical interpretations and rampant conspiracy theories."

I have given historical evidence that seems plausible to me. Whether it’s true or not, I don’t care. I’m an atheist so I know god didn’t do anything miraculous because he doesn’t exist. I think it reasonable to assume that the Bible has some stories that may have had a shred of some real event hidden at its core.
I see you haven’t challenged the Restoration Stella and have said nothing of the genetic evidence I presented. Oh well, I didn’t write this with you in mind. I hoped that some other person may have some information that would interest me. You certainly didn’t present anything that would challenge my thesis.
I do thank you for your rebuttal with your references cited. Much better than asking questions that were already answered in the text of my article.

DingoDave said...

Dear Harvey,
I will attempt to address everything you wrote in your last comment to me. Please forgive me if I unwittingly omit anything.

I consider that you have not refuted anything I have previously written. All you seem to have done is ignore my evidence, and then offer a couple of scattered contradictory Bible verses in response.
The Bible was written by goodness-knows how many different authors over a long period of time. They didn't all think the same things! The Bible shows every sign of having been edited and re-written over time, and reflects a developing and evolving theology.
That is why there are so many contradictory passages in it.
You made some blanket assertions about what the Bible contains and I feel that I have successfuly refuted all of them by offering numerous proof texts in opposition to your claims. Or are you suggesting that the passages I cited don't really exist?
I understand that you don't like some of the logical conclusions which come from a careful reading of these texts, but that's something that you'll have to grapple with yourself I'm afraid.
I think you'll find that both Modern Bible scholarship and Archaeology backs me up.
I don't know how you can call me a 'Bible illiterate', as I appear to be more familiar with the texts than most preachers I know. (cough cough)

You wrote:
-"You shall not make for yourself"
say it ONE more time...
"You shall not make for yourself"
once more...
"You shall not make for yourself"

So, are you saying that it was OK for the King and the Yahwist priests to make graven images, but that it was not OK for the common people to do so? Give me a break Harvey.

-"He acted in accordance with Gods command...NOW WHAT?"

Are you saying that Yahweh ordered Solomon to break his own stern commandment about graven images, thereby contradicting himself and setting a bad example for the entire Israelite people?
What sort of a moronic, simple minded god do you claim to worship Harvey?
Besides which, I challenge you find me a single passage in the Bible where Solomon was instructed by Yahweh to make 'graven images' for the temple. I wish you luck in finding one. Sorry Harvey, but I'm afraid this argument holds no water with me.

-"No that seems to be the way people are...lovers of self and sin...such as the anti-Christ advocates on this site."

Are you seriously asking me to believe that the 'book of the Law' somehow got LOST from 'the time of the judges' (aprox. 1400 BC) until 600 BC, when it was suddenly miraculously 'found' by Hilkiah the priest in the temple?
The text makes it absolutely clear that no one had ever even heard of 'the law' prior to this time. Please read 2 Kings 22-23, and 2 Chronicles 34-35 again, and then honestly tell me that you don't 'smell a rat'.
Now about that bridge Harvey...

-"There you go trying to make another argument...read it again it's accurate, (it's) not talking about (the) Hyskos capital, I'm talking about Tel el-Dab'a."

Dear Harvey, read this:
'Tell el Dab'a (Egypt)' - By K. Kris Hirst
"Tell el Dab'a is the modern name of the capital city for the Hyksos in the Nile delta region of Egypt, called Avaris. Avaris was occupied by the Asiatics from the end of the 12th through the 13th dynasty (early second millennium BC). the site is known primarily for its Minoan frescoes." http://archaeology.about.com/od/dterms/g/daba.htm

Harvey, you really need to get up to speed about some of this material if you expect to be taken seriously.

-"Ashera was a IDOL goddess worshipped in Canaan...in face this was one of the reasons along with Moleck and Baal that they were displaced...Don't forget wicked Kings that the Bible affirmed that encouraged paganism...again, you offer nothing that average bible student is not aware of."

Once again you display your ignorance about Bible history Harvey. The goddess Ashera was worshipped alongside Yahweh for the majority of Israelite history. This fact is virtually undisputed by reputable Bible scholars, and the archaeological evidence backs this up.

-"As smart as Hilkiah was he couldn't have reached across the sands of time and made archaeology fit with the narrative...face it YOU DON'T HAVE A PADDLE"

I'm afraid that it's you who doesn't have the paddle Harvey. Are you aware that modern archaeology most certainly does NOT support many of the claims which are made in the Bible? And so what if Hilkiah's forgery DID support some of Israelite history? Does the fact that New York exists, prove that all the stories about 'Spiderman' are true?

You wrote:
"In the entire OT there is not a trace of theogony [battle of the gods]"
followed up by,
"Well, Poppycock back to you Buuuuuddy!...Biblical illiteracy...it's not just a job, it's your full time adventure!"

You made the claim that, "In the entire OT there is not a trace of theogony [battle of the gods]", and I refuted it by quoting verses FROM YOUR OWN BIBLE.
The texts I presented to you render your claim PATENTLY FALSE, yet you have the audacity to accuse ME of Bible illiteracy? What's with that? I suggest that you 'pull the log out your own eye', before picking 'the mote' out of mine.

-"Bible 101...this is the beginning of his revelation of Godhead. The trinity is affirmed from Genesis to revelation...keep reading you MIGHT learn something if you stop hatin' so much -LOL"

I've had this pathetic excuse presented to me before Harvey, and what else COULD you say as a die-hard Bible apologist? This is very weak and strained apologetics Harvey, and I'm not buying it for one minute.
There is absolutely no indication that these passages refer to a 'triune godhead' (except in your own mind), and there is every indication that they mean exactly what they say. ie. that these passages refer to the polytheistic concept of a 'Divine Council', with the god Yahweh at it's head as it's 'commander in chief'.

By the way Harvey, I don't hate you, in fact I quite like you. It's only your bullshit apologetics that I hate.
It's a case of "hate the sin, but love the sinner". I'd like to think that you feel the same way towards me. :-)

-"Me dost take it that thou dost not know what sacrifices are to an immaterial God...there dost not be any physical being to receive physical sacrifice...placest that in thou pipe and smoke it with the rest of thou weed that thou be on-LOL"

What part of, "And the priest shall burn it on the altar AS FOOD offered by fire to the LORD" or "when you offer to me MY FOOD" or "And the priest shall burn them on the altar AS FOOD offered by fire...", don't you understand Harvey?
Or don't you believe that these authors really meant what they wrote? If not, then why not? What gives you the ability to read their minds?
What I suspect is that you see these texts as being far too primitive to be believed, so you automatically reject their plain and obvious meaning in order to try and salvage your own personal theology. In my opinion you are refusing to let the texts speak for themselves.
I hate to dissappoint you Harvey, but those authors really WERE that primative, and they really DID mean exactly what they wrote, whether you like it or not.

-"(they) were only gods in their own sight or the sight of pagans and those who believed in paganism whether Jews or not...There are no other Gods..."

The texts which I quoted to you were written by worshippers and 'prophets' of Yahweh, NOT pagan priests. I selected them carefully for that very reason.
They clearly demonstrate that the authors believed that other gods existed, however Yahweh was to be worshipped as the 'King of Kings', and 'God of Gods'.
Remember the commandment, "You shall have no other gods BEFORE me"? Well, I put it to you that these texts mean exactly what they say, and not what you WANT them to say!
The Israelites were definitely polytheistic for most of their history, but the editors of the Bible have tried to disguise this fact. Unfortunately for them they failed to do a very good job of it.

-"Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?"

The author of this particular passage was blatantly mis-quoting and mis-using the original text for his own nefarious purposes, as should be obvious to anyone who carefully reads the original text. Please read it again Harvey. Here it is.

Ps.82
[1] God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
[6] I say, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you.."

I'm afraid that it's YOU who needs to go back to 'Bible Study 101' Harvey, not me.
None are so blind as those who refuse to see!

Now, about that bridge again Harvey...

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Dingo ~ “I consider that you have not refuted anything I have previously written. All you seem to have done is ignore my evidence, and then offer a couple of scattered contradictory Bible verses in response.”

[You have only offered regurgitated fantasies that do not hold water and a lack of substance to your argument. The biblical verses you quote are taken TOTALLY out of context in support of your claims and there’s over 2,000 years of interpretives to back my positions…As I said you don’t have a paddle]

Dingo ~ “The Bible was written by goodness-knows how many different authors over a long period of time. They didn't all think the same things!”

[The fact is that there are at least 36 different authors, who wrote in 3 continents, in many countries, in 3 languages, and from every possible human standpoint. Authors were kings, farmers, mechanics, scientific men, lawyers, generals, fishermen, ministers and priests, a tax-collector, a doctor, some rich, some poor, some city bred, some country born—inclusive of all the experiences of men—extending over 1500 years. Thoughts of the people were not in questions as man did not formulate God and you and anti-Christ advocates believe and teach]


Dingo~ “The Bible shows every sign of having been edited and re-written over time, and reflects a developing and evolving theology.”

[You already know that ALL theological evolutionary modes DON’T begin with monotheism. Allthough that so called field of study is debunked, you would be further out in the sea than you already are if you try that. The bible shows evidence of developing human understanding of God and his will and ways just as we would expect. I’m unaware of any problematic redactions. Experiences are in every way according to what should be expected in response to an infinate, all knowing being we call God]

Dingo ~ “That is why there are so many contradictory passages in it.”

[All contradictions are only apparent and anything and EVERYTHING you’ve offered are no more than mere biblical difficulties which have been adequately answered. The problem is that you’re a radical atheist. You’re an extremist that willo not accept proof because you have an anti-God and antisupernatural bias. I can’t help that, that’s your problem not mine]

Dingo~ “You made some blanket assertions about what the Bible contains and I feel that I have successfuly refuted all of them by offering numerous proof texts in opposition to your claims. Or are you suggesting that the passages I cited don't really exist?”

[No. I suggest that you don’t know what the heck you’re reading…your interpretations are a big hint to that]

Dingo~ “I understand that you don't like some of the logical conclusions which come from a careful reading of these texts, but that's something that you'll have to grapple with yourself I'm afraid.”

[You’re entitled to draw your own conclusions but your understanding is jacked]

Dingo ~ “I think you'll find that both Modern Bible scholarship and Archaeology backs me up.”

[Aaaaa.Nope…here’s some more against one of your fallacious positions:

Gleason Archer in "Survey Of The Old Testament Introduction" 1964 and 1974 p134 states, "It is an incontestable fact of history that no other nation(apart from those influenced by the Hebrew faith) ever did develop a true monotheistic religion which commanded the general allegiance of it's people. Isolated figures may be pointed out like Akhanaton and Xenophanes (both of whom spoke of Gods in the plural number) but it remains incontrovertible that neither the Egyptians nor the Babylonians nor the Greeks EVER embraced a monotheistic faith on a national basis"

James Orr in "Problem Of The Old Testament 1917 p. 40-41 states that during the time frame polytheism and idolatry were the modern trend among the Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians and even Israel's Palestinian neighbors were corrupt and polytheistic.

Only radical and extreme scholars agree with your positions and assertions and they are the minority opinion. As I said you don’t have a paddle.]

Dingo ~ “So, are you saying that it was OK for the King and the Yahwist priests to make graven images, but that it was not OK for the common people to do so? Give me a break Harvey.”

[No, I don’t agree with the doctrine of the Kings Meat as you describe…The Cheribims were not taken to the houses of people neither were there renditions in homes or tents. The renditions were DEDICATED to God and in HIS house or tabernacle. The test condemns making depictions, statues, images and taking them home for worship or carrying them as mantras for good luck etc. You totally miss that because you misinterpret scripture and misread the test to support a fallacious and unfounded argument. I asked this question to my 12 year old today…COLD…and he got it without hesitation…Why, because he’s biblically literate…what makes that so good is that I can’t say that I’ve ever taught just on that issue and he STILL got it right because he READS and UNDERSTANDS what he reads…I only wish that you would put your extremism down, take a course on biblical interpretation, and actually seek to pull out of the text what it says rater than read into ot what you want it to say]

Dingo ~ “What sort of a moronic, simple minded god do you claim to worship Harvey?”

[If he’s a moron…he’s certainly got you stumped]

Dingo ~ “Besides which, I challenge you find me a single passage in the Bible where Solomon was instructed by Yahweh to make 'graven images' for the temple. I wish you luck in finding one. Sorry Harvey, but I'm afraid this argument holds no water with me.”

[The word of God was given to Moses, it was actualized in the reign of Solomon…No brainer]

Dingo~ “The text makes it absolutely clear that no one had ever even heard of 'the law' prior to this time. Please read 2 Kings 22-23, and 2 Chronicles 34-35 again, and then honestly tell me that you don't 'smell a rat'.”

[I smell and EXTREMIST looking for anything to validate their non-belief…surely many of the people had never heard of the Law because it wasn’t being taught the people had gotten away from it for a number of years and there was a new generation that was dependent upon the elder of their community for their identity…As a black man I can easily understand this because our community has experienced much of the same…there’s a lot I could say regarding this but I don’t need to for this]


Dingo ~ “Dear Harvey, read this: 'Tell el Dab'a (Egypt)' - By K. Kris Hirst
"Tell el Dab'a is the modern name of the capital city for the Hyksos in the Nile delta region of Egypt, called Avaris.”

[You say tomato I say tomato]

Dingo~ “Once again you display your ignorance about Bible history Harvey. The goddess Ashera was worshipped alongside Yahweh for the majority of Israelite history. This fact is virtually undisputed by reputable Bible scholars, and the archaeological evidence backs this up.”

[The undisputable fact is that you don’t know the bible and very little bible history. These pagan gods and goddesses were worshipped before Israel got to canaan. They are one reason that the canaanites were displaced…rebelious individuals set up groves and worshipped Ashera along with other baalistic idols. This was always and thoroughly condemned by the priests and prophets….That was the background of most of the prophecies…but in the extremist world, it’s exactly the opposite because everybody loves a conspiracy….Please. NO PADDLE]


Dingo ~ “I'm afraid that it's you who doesn't have the paddle Harvey. Are you aware that modern archaeology most certainly does NOT support many of the claims which are made in the Bible? And so what if Hilkiah's forgery DID support some of Israelite history? Does the fact that New York exists, prove that all the stories about 'Spiderman' are true?”

[OK…you forced my hand,

Sir Leonard Woolleys systematic excavations from l92234 uncovered the immense ziggurat or temple tower at Ur near the mouth of the Euphrates in Mesopotamia. The name Abraham appears in Mesopotamian records, and the various nationalities the patriarch encountered, as recorded in Genesis, are entirely consistent with the peoples known at that time and place. Other details in the biblical account regarding Abraham, such as the treaties he made with neighboring rulers and even the price of slaves, mesh well with what is known elsewhere in the history of the ancient Near East.
(Kenneth Kitchen, The Patriarchal Age: Myth or History? Biblical Archaeology Review (hereafter BAR), March/April 1995, 48ff)

The famous Israel Stele (an inscribed stone or slab) of Pharaoh Merneptah states, “Israel his seed is not.” This is the earliest reference to Israel in nonbiblical sources and demonstrates that, as of c. 1230 BC, the Hebrews were already living in the Promised Land. Furthermore, even if there were no mention whatever of the Hebrews in Egyptian records, this also would prove nothing, especially in view of the well-known Egyptian proclivity never to record reverses or defeats or anything that would embarrass the majesty of the ruling monarch. Would any pharaoh have the following words chiseled onto his monument: Under my administration, a great horde of Hebrew slaves successfully escaped into the Sinai Desert when we tried to prevent them? In fact they even tried to eliminate one of their own Pharahos after 10 years of extreme monotheism to the SUN in the sky.

When Dame Kathleen Kenyon excavated at Jericho in the 1950s, she claimed not to have found any collapsed walls or even evidence of a living city at Jericho during the time of Joshuas invasion nothing for him to conquer. She did, indeed, find an earlier, heavily fortified Jericho that c. 1550 BC was subject to a violent conquest with fallen walls and a burnt ash layer a yard thick, indicating destruction by fire. That, in her view, was before Joshua and the Israelites arrived. Critics immediately seized on her interpretation as solid evidence that Joshuas conquest of Jericho must have been folklore. Archaeologist Bryant G. Wood, however, editor of Bible and Spade, found that Kenyon had misdated her finds and that the destruction of Jericho actually took place in the 1400s BC when Joshua was very much on the scene, according to earlier (1400 rather than 1200 BC) datings of the Israelite invasion. In a brilliant 1990 article in BAR, Wood based his chronology on stratigraphy, pottery types, carbon-14 datings, and other evidence, including collapsed walls, to show a rather surprising archaeological confirmation of the biblical detail recorded in Judges 6 and following.

Some of the most dangerous peoples of biblical antiquity were the Philistines, the people after whom Palestine itself would be named. Their earliest depiction is on the Temple of Rameses III at Thebes, c. 1150 BC, as “peoples of the sea” who invaded the Delta area and later the coastal plain of Canaan. The Pentapolis (five cities) they established namely Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gaza, Gath, and Ekron have all been excavated, at least in part, and some remain cities to this day. Such precise urban evidence measures favorably when compared with the geographical sites claimed in the holy books of other religious systems, which often have no basis whatever in reality.

Shishaks Invasion of Judah.
First Kings 14 and 2 Chronicles 12 tell of Pharaoh Shishaks conquest of Judah in the fifth year of the reign of King Rehoboam, the brainless son of Solomon, and how Solomons temple in Jerusalem was robbed of its treasures on that occasion. This victory is also commemorated in hieroglyphic wall carvings on the Temple of Amon at Thebes.

The Moabite Stone.
Second Kings 3 reports that Mesha, the king of Moab, rebelled against the king of Israel following the death of Ahab. A three-foot stone slab, also called the Mesha Stele, confirms the revolt by claiming triumph over Ahabs family, c. 850 BC, and that Israel had perished forever.

Obelisk of Shalmaneser III.
In 2 Kings 910, Jehu is mentioned as King of Israel (841814 BC). That the growing power of Assyria was already encroaching on the northern kings prior to their ultimate conquest in 722 BC is demonstrated by a six-and-a-half-foot black obelisk discovered in the ruins of the palace at Nimrud in 1846. On it, Jehu is shown kneeling before Shalmaneser III and offering tribute to the Assyrian king, the only relief we have to date of a Hebrew monarch.

Burial Plaque of King Uzziah.
Down in Judah, King Uzziah ruled from 792 to 740 BC, a contemporary of Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah. Like Solomon, he began well and ended badly. In 2 Chronicles 26 his sin is recorded, which resulted in his being struck with leprosy later in life. When Uzziah died, he was interred in a field of burial that belonged to the kings. His stone burial plaque has been discovered on the Mount of Olives, and it reads: Here, the bones of Uzziah, King of Judah, were brought. Do not open.

Hezekiahs Siloam Tunnel Inscription.
King Hezekiah of Judah ruled from 721 to 686 BC. Fearing a siege by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, Hezekiah preserved Jerusalems water supply by cutting a tunnel through 1,750 feet of solid rock from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam inside the city walls (2 Kings 20; 2 Chron. 32). At the Siloam end of the tunnel, an inscription, presently in the archaeological museum at Istanbul, Turkey, celebrates this remarkable accomplishment. The tunnel is probably the only biblical site that has not changed its appearance in 2,700 years.

The Sennacherib Prism.
After having conquered the 10 northern tribes of Israel, the Assyrians moved southward to do the same to Judah (2 Kings 1819). The prophet Isaiah, however, told Hezekiah that God would protect Judah and Jerusalem against Sennacherib (2 Chron. 32; Isa. 3637). Assyrian records virtually confirm this. The cuneiform on a hexagonal, 15-inch baked clay prism found at the Assyrian capital of Nineveh describes Sennacheribs invasion of Judah in 701 BC in which it claims that the Assyrian king shut Hezekiah inside Jerusalem like a caged bird. Like the biblical record, however, it does not state that he conquered Jerusalem, which the prism certainly would have done had this been the case. The Assyrians, in fact, bypassed Jerusalem on their way to Egypt, and the city would not fall until the time of Nebuchadnezzar and the Neo-Babylonians in 586 BC. Sennacherib himself returned to Nineveh where his own sons murdered him.

The Cylinder of Cyrus the Great.
Second Chronicles 36:23 and Ezra 1 report that Cyrus the Great of Persia, after conquering Babylon, permitted Jews in the Babylonian Captivity to return to their homeland. Isaiah had even prophesied this (Isa. 44:28). This tolerant policy of the founder of the Persian Empire is borne out by the discovery of a nine-inch clay cylinder found at Babylon from the time of its conquest, 539 BC, which reports Cyruss victory and his subsequent policy of permitting Babylonian captives to return to their homes and even rebuild their temples.

This list of correlations and finds between Old Testament texts and the hard evidence of Near Eastern archaeology could easily be tripled in length. Extremists like you keep saying statements like this,

“Are you aware that modern archaeology most certainly does NOT support many of the claims which are made in the Bible?” I guess the ones I mention (which cover about the whole of the text) aren’t included in your list of what is not covered.]


Dingo ~ “There is absolutely no indication that these passages refer to a 'triune godhead' (except in your own mind), and there is every indication that they mean exactly what they say. ie. that these passages refer to the polytheistic concept of a 'Divine Council', with the god Yahweh at it's head as it's 'commander in chief'.

[Can’t help it if you don’t like it…thems are DA breaks]

Dingo ~ “By the way Harvey, I don't hate you, in fact I quite like you. It's only your bullshit apologetics that I hate. It's a case of "hate the sin, but love the sinner". I'd like to think that you feel the same way towards me. :-)

[I wasn’t talkin’ about hatin personally just the argument and information…so we good, whether the reader believes it or not-(LOL)]

Dingo ~ “What part of, "And the priest shall burn it on the altar AS FOOD offered by fire to the LORD" or "when you offer to me MY FOOD" or "And the priest shall burn them on the altar AS FOOD offered by fire...", don't you understand Harvey?”

[Oooh, I see you think SACRIFICE means FOOD….hahahahahahahahahahahaha! I’m not laughin at ya…I’m laughin with ya…hahahahahahahaahahahah! You gonna invite me over for one of dem 16 oz STEAK sacrifices anytime soon? Let me know!]

Dingo ~ “Or don't you believe that these authors really meant what they wrote? If not, then why not? What gives you the ability to read their minds?”

[I know they didn’t mean what YOU think they meant- LOL]

Dingo~ “What I suspect is that you see these texts as being far too primitive to be believed, so you automatically reject their plain and obvious meaning in order to try and salvage your own personal theology. In my opinion you are refusing to let the texts speak for themselves.
I hate to dissappoint you Harvey, but those authors really WERE that primative, and they really DID mean exactly what they wrote, whether you like it or not.”

[Here comes the primative argument…I thought we’d escape that one, but I really don’t have the energy…Keep reachin’ nothin’ new and nothin’ that hasn’t been debunked already by man others. Another problem is that you don’t even look at the translations. That’s one of your flaws. Just because we use a word in a particular way in modernity does not mean it was used that way then…that’s why we have Lexicon’s and concordances…Of course, you already know that]

Dingo~ “They clearly demonstrate that the authors believed that other gods existed, however Yahweh was to be worshipped as the 'King of Kings', and 'God of Gods'.”

[Have you ever heard of FIXATION Dingo? This really must mean a lot to you…Yes people tend to worship and exalt things as a god in their lives…that’s not in dispute. What is in dispute is that you give what people honor and worship the same status or equally opposite status as God himself. That’s not what the scripture taught in any way. He is King of kings and Lord of lords and God of gods indicating his vast difference, uniquness and supremacy above all that is called god, king or lord…There is and NEVER was never any duality or fight played out in biblical history. You reach and try but to persist only reaffirms your radical and extremist views]

Dingo~ “The author of this particular passage was blatantly mis-quoting and mis-using the original text for his own nefarious purposes, as should be obvious to anyone who carefully reads the original text. Please read it again Harvey. Here it is.”

[It’s always a conspiracy with ya Dingo…The context of Ps. 82 is clear and it means NOTHING like you think it does. Take the word in context…in the sense intended and it is easily understood. But that’s right, you don’t think we can get to the contextual meaning…Yea right!]
Good Day Dingo…I’ll let you have the last word here because you offer nothing new and certainly haven’t overturned anything that a rational person can examine for themselves. You have although proven your extremist ways…Look forward to debunking the debunkers once again…c-ya!]

One more thing…if ANY of you think that Psalm 104 resembles Aten’s Hymn to the Sun…You need to give that weed back to Dingo and ask for a refund because you’re a lost cause.
One thing I cracked up on was that Psalms 104 used the word “beams” and the “borrowing theorists” believe that was referring to “sun beams” or “rays” in the hymn… When the word “beam” was referring to a support structure of a building, Had nothing at all to do with sun rays…THAT WAS 2 FUNNY…but that shows the lengths that a radical extremist will go to to make a point or suggest a parallel. That whole argument is BOGUS to the top.

Scott said...

I am beginning to see the affirmation here in our conversations, of the reason God has trouble expressing His love in a way people can fully understand.

Have you ever asked yourself why would God have difficulty with this task? Because, if God has the properties you claim he does, why would this be a problem for him?

I am recalling that I used to have so much of the finite world and indictment within me that it was difficult to imagine someone approaching me without some sort of accusation, insensitive demand, punishment or indictiment to project on me. Especially someone claiming authority.

It seems that some of the finite world still remains, as you conceder God finite in where it is "convenient" for you.

For example, while It might be difficult for finite beings to express their love to others, why would an infinite God suffer from the same limitation?

I can see clearly from your responses that I am failing to convey the gospel message here.

It's not that the specific goals of the gospel, as you view them, are without value when taken individually. It's that these goals fail to make sense in the context of an omnipotent, omniscient God who created everything from nothing.

It's like the story of an omnipotent, omniscient pilot who sacrifices himself to save his passengers from a crash that occurred why he was flying the plane. It might make a good story, but if the pilot really was omnipotent and omniscient, they never would have crashed in the first place.

This is what leads me to believe that the Christian God, as with the many God before him, is an elaborate plot devices designed to illustrate the ideals of an ancient culture. This doesn't mean that all of these ideals are completely without value, it simply means they are not the will of an divine being and are subject to rational scrutiny. Nor are they dependent on God remaining coherent in a dogmatic way.

If you say that God put us in a situation is designed to teach us something, then you're saying there are things God cannot teach us on his own. Because, unless everyone who has passed away was saved, then there are some of us who did not "learn" what God was trying to teach.

For example, the orthodox story says God created us from nothing. This supposedly resulted in beings with an initial state of free-will. However, something happened where we "fell" and we entered another state of "bondage." But, ultimately, God really want's us in a third state where we discover his love. We do this by believing he sent Jesus to die for us and asking for forgiveness.

This results in three states...

A. Free will being created by God
B. Fallen man.
C. Saved by God's love and a belief in Jesus.

So, we have human beings which are intentional agents that transition between state B and C.

But, what actually happens in this transition? What is the end result? If God has the power to create us as whole, free beings in state A, why can't he make up the difference while resulting in a free-being in state C?

In other words, the goal of the gospels assumes that the state we reach could not be duplicated by God alone. It would be impossible for God to replicate without resulting in human "robots". This limitation simply does not follow given that God supposedly created man in state A with free-will in the first place.

Is there a reason he could not identically recreate the end result since he is omnipotent and omniscient? Why would it be any different had we done so ourselves? Or is God merely "keeping score" and demanding "payback" for Adam's mistake?

Again, this seems to be a convenient limitation of God that allows him to participate as a plot device in the struggle of humanity.

goprairie said...

scott, it is that old most-likely thing again. the god they say exists is so full of holes and contradictions that it is highly unlikely that it could actually exist. a made-up god would be very likely to have the same 'flaws' and inconsistencies we do.
and why do we have 'flaws'? they claim it is because we did something (well, some ancient ancestor, specifically a WOMAN ancestor) to make ourselves imperfect.
but the reality is we are perfect but perfectly suited to exist in the presence of conflicting needs. we have the need to protect ourselves so we build shelter and go inside, yet we have the need to find food and mates, so we venture outside the shelter. and so it goes. everything they call a flaw, a fault, a 'sin' serves some need in some situation in the right amount. THAT makes more sense than the god created us perfect but in such a way that we could become sinners scenario. it takes a lot of work and stretching and jiggling to make any kind of nearly logical god make sense, but god is a flawed concept and so there will never be a right way to look at god. such a lot of work they go to for nothing.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Scott wrote:

"A. Free will being created by God
B. Fallen man.
C. Saved by God's love and a belief in Jesus."

I don't believe we are born free - I believe we are born separate but blind and helpless with base instincts - I believe we are infected by the influences and dispositions of prideful territorialism.

When God rescues, it is by grace and spiritual awakening - I think when one suffers (as opposed to succeeding) at pridefulness, people are drawn to spiritual grace instinctively.

In light of God's spirit, I have no just cause to hate other people - I think I've written this before, but God isn't a hypocrite - when He advises to love our enemies, that's because He loves all people - it's just that some people have better success and prefer the mechanisms of fear.

If I understand you correctly, I believe you are basically asking, why does God bother allowing us to be separate and individual? Why not just bypass all this life and the suffering and pain and evil and keep everything close to home in the spiritual realm? I don't seek to stifle creative or lively expression anymore - fear infected people tend to do that. But that is not the goal and by faith, I don't view many attitudes or worldly values as potent or impressive or intimidating anymore. But, what happens between B and C of your formula is life - a life of value and the grace to mature a sensitivity for faithful love (or something else) - what lies between B and C is something worth sacrificing for.

On a final note, I know a lot of people are confounded by the many understandings and interpretations of God, but God allows time and grace for that - we are the ones that perish when we are not instructed about what it means to connect in a loving parent/child relationship and our teachers are often infected with wrongful expressions and definitions of what it means to "love".

That's all for now !
3M

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Scott wrote:

"A. Free will being created by God
B. Fallen man.
C. Saved by God's love and a belief in Jesus."

I don't believe we are born free - I believe we are born separate but blind and helpless with base instincts - I believe we are infected by the influences and dispositions of prideful territorialism.

When God rescues, it is by grace and spiritual awakening - I think I've written this before, but He isn't a hypocrite - when He advises to love our enemies, that's because He loves all people - it's just that some people don't love and connect with Him in return.

If I understand you correctly, I believe you are basically asking, why bother allowing us to be separate and individual? Why not just bypass all this life and the suffering and pain and evil and keep everything close to home in the spiritual realm? I don't seek to stifle creative or lively expression anymore - fear infected people tend to do that. But that is not the goal and by faith, I don't view many attitudes or worldly values as potent or impressive or intimidating anymore. But, what happens between B and C of your formula is life - a life of value - something worthy of sacrificing for.

And BTW, I know a lot of people are disturbed by the many understandings and interpretations of God, but I believe the God with the ultimately the most spiritualto-pragmatic expression is the God that exemplifies a loving parent/Father/child relationship. Jesus exemplified the ultimate Godly power - not only minus the abuse (which is quite a paradigm shift for us) but gracious.

3M

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Scott wrote:

"A. Free will being created by God
B. Fallen man.
C. Saved by God's love and a belief in Jesus."

I don't believe we are born free - I believe we are born separate but blind and helpless with base instincts - I believe we are infected by the influences and dispositions of prideful territorialism.

When God rescues, it is by grace and spiritual awakening - I think I've written this before, but He isn't a hypocrite - when He advises to love our enemies, that's because He loves all people - it's just that some people don't love and connect with Him in return.

If I understand you correctly, I believe you are basically asking, why bother allowing us to be separate and individual? Why not just bypass all this life and the suffering and pain and evil and keep everything close to home in the spiritual realm? I don't seek to stifle creative or lively expression anymore - fear infected people tend to do that. But that is not the goal and by faith, I don't view many attitudes or worldly values as potent or impressive or intimidating anymore. But, what happens between B and C of your formula is life - a life of value - something worthy of sacrificing for.

And BTW, I know a lot of people are disturbed by the many understandings and interpretations of God, but I believe the God with the ultimately the most spiritualto-pragmatic expression is the God that exemplifies a loving parent/Father/child relationship. Jesus exemplified the ultimate Godly power - not only minus the abuse (which is quite a paradigm shift for us) but gracious.

3M

Scott said...

I don't believe we are born free - I believe we are born separate but blind and helpless with base instincts - I believe we are infected by the influences and dispositions of prideful territorialism.

But how exactly how did we arrive in this scenario? What necessary event caused us to be "infected by the influences and dispositions of prideful territorialism" which God was helpless to prevent? It seem that, as far as you're concerned, God didn't even exist before Jesus was born.

Unless there is some necessary acquisition to be obtained, there could be no necessary previous series of events that would require us to be saved. But, even then, nothing is supposedly necessary for God. The pilot should never have to save us since there would be no necessary reason for us to have crashed in the first place. We're left with the conclusion that we suffer because God must want us to since he would have the ability to prevent it.

When God rescues, it is by grace and spiritual awakening - I think when one suffers (as opposed to succeeding) at pridefulness, people are drawn to spiritual grace instinctively.

So, you're essentially saying God's approach is like being taught how to swim by being thrown into a lake. We either learn to swim on our own or God must helplessly watch us drown. Is this what you really expect from an omnipotent being?

If I understand you correctly, I believe you are basically asking, why does God bother allowing us to be separate and individual? Why not just bypass all this life and the suffering and pain and evil and keep everything close to home in the spiritual realm?

You're created a false dichotomy. Will those who are admitted into heaven have the desire to sin? If not, will they be robots without identities? What of those who do not believe in God because we did find enough evidence for his existence. Will we be forced to continue our disbelief despite actually being in his presence since we did not "learn" what we needed to know before we died?

But, what happens between B and C of your formula is life - a life of value and the grace to mature a sensitivity for faithful love (or something else) - what lies between B and C is something worth sacrificing for.

So this is something God is helpless to instill in us. He must watch some gain this sensitivity while others do not. His hand are tied, despite being an omnipotent and omniscient entity that created us from nothing. It's a good story, but It doesn't actually make sense.

But, what happens between B and C of your formula is life - a life of value - something worthy of sacrificing for.

More false dichotomy. God is conveniently is limited in ways that allow him to take part in the struggle of humanity, yet he's not too limited to save us.

Again, either God wasn't paying attention during the past events which require us to be saved, or he was helpless to prevent them from occurring. Which was it?

If he was helpless from preventing their occurrence, how can you be sure he can deliver you from them? If he allowed them to occur, then what was necessary for us to acquire or learn that God could not give us on his own?

DingoDave said...

Harvey Burnett wrote:

-"Gleason Archer in "Survey Of The Old Testament Introduction" 1964 and 1974 p134 states, "It is an incontestable fact of history that no other nation(apart from those influenced by the Hebrew faith) ever did develop a true monotheistic religion which commanded the general allegiance of it's people."

Is this the same Gleason Archer who wrote the 'Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties'? Nope, no contradictions in the Bible. Only so many that Archer had to write a 480 page book on the subject in an attempt to harmonise them all.

It's clear from reading the Bible that the Israelites, apart from a couple of short periods of religious reform, worshipped all manner of gods besides Yahweh. Otherwise why would the Yahwist priests and prophets have felt the need to continuously fulminate against both the Kings AND the ordinary people for constantly worshipping other gods? Think about it for a minute. Read the books of Kings and Chronicles and see for yourself how many kings were described as doing 'evil' in the sight of Yahweh by endorsing the worship of other gods.
Apart from King Josiah, there was hardly one King in the entire history of either Israel or Judah that the Yahwist prophets had anything good to say about. Yet the Israelites followed "a true monotheistic religion which commanded the general allegiance of it's people."?
Give me a break Harvey! If you believe that, then you'll believe just about anything. I'm afraid that Gleason Archer has been pulling your leg, and you fell for it.

-"The Cheribims were not taken to the houses of people neither were there renditions in homes or tents."

Who cares, they were still 'graven images'. And what about all those bulls, and palm trees, and flowers, and pomegranates, and gourds?
Have you also forgotton about "the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had burned incense to it"
The people of Israel had been worshipping a snake on a pole which they called 'Nehustan', right up until King Josiah's religious reforms in 600 BC, yet they were monotheists?
Does a bronze snake on a pole count as a graven image?
Wake up and smell the coffee Harvey.

-"The text condemns making depictions, statues, images and taking them home for worship or carrying them as mantras for good luck etc."

What a load of rubbish! The texts about 'graven images' say no such thing. Here they are.

Exodus 20
[4] "You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
[5] you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God

Lev.26
[1] "You shall make for yourselves no idols and erect no graven image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone IN YOUR LAND...

Deut. 4
[16] beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
[17] the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air,
[18] the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth.

[23] Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make a graven image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you.

[25] "When you beget children and children's children, and have grown old in the land, if you act corruptly by making a graven image in the form of anything...
[26] I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon utterly perish from the land you... will be utterly destroyed.

Deut. 5:
[8] You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth
[9] you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God

You're just making stuff up as you go along Harvey, and then hoping that no one will notice. In effect what you are doing is mentally re-writing the Bible in order to suit your own pre-concieved notions about what you think it SHOULD say. Unlike you, I happen to believe that these authors actually meant what they wrote.

-"The word of God was given to Moses, it was actualized in the reign of Solomon…No brainer"

Wrong! The word of God was given to Moses, and was DISOBEYED in the reign of Solomon...No brainer.

-"Surely many of the people had never heard of the Law because it wasn’t being taught"

According to the texts, the Yahwist priests had never heard of the law either. Please explain away that little inconvenient fact.

-"You say tomato I say tomato"

Dear Harvey, please allow me to refresh your memory.
I wrote:
"The town you are referring to is Avaris, the capital city of the Hyksos invaders. The Hyksos were the RULERS of Egypt at that time, not slaves."
To which you replied:
"There you go trying to make another argument...read it again it's accurate, (it's) not talking about (the) Hyskos capital, I'm talking about Tel el-Dab'a."

Let me get this straight Harvey. You asserted that Tel el-Dab'a was NOT the hyksos capital of Avaris, which I refuted, and the best you can come up with in response is "You say tomato I say tomato"? You could at least do me the courtesy of admitting that you were mistaken. Or is humility not part of your apologetic arsenal when doing battle with the godless hordes?

-"These pagan gods and goddesses were worshipped before Israel got to canaan. They are one reason that the canaanites were displaced…rebelious individuals set up groves and worshipped Ashera along with other baalistic idols. This was always and thoroughly condemned by the priests and prophets"

So you admit that the Israelites continued to worship Ashera and other popular gods right alongside Yahweh for almost all of their entire history. So much for the myth of Israelite monotheism. Thanks for making my point for me.


-"Are you aware that modern archaeology most certainly does NOT support many of the claims which are made in the Bible?” I guess the ones I mention (which cover about the whole of the text) aren’t included in your list of what is not covered."

Harvey, please take Trou's advice and read Dever and Finkelstein's book 'The Bible Unearthed, Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origins of Its Sacred Texts' for an unbiased look at this topic. These are real experts in the field of archaeology, not some apologists.

Are you aware of the work of the Israeli archaeologist Israel Finkelstein?
Finkelstein is 'Professor of Archaeology' at Tel Aviv University.
Over the past decade he has spearheaded a movement in biblical archaeology that flies in the face of the interpretation of the Bible as a largely historical document. He argues that the traditional dating of many archaeological finds relating to biblical events is out by up to one-and-a-half centuries. His conclusion is uncompromising: many famous biblical stories are probably pure fiction. The exodus of the Israelites from Egypt never happened, and Joshua never attacked Jericho, let alone brought its walls down. “There is no evidence that Jericho even had city walls at that time.” Finkelstein says. David and Solomon were not great kings who ruled over the ancient land of Canaan in the 10th century BC from a palace in Jerusalem, as the Bible portrays; at best they were minor chieftains of some small-time tribe in that area. Their memory was later inflated and mythologised in the 7th century BC to serve particular political and military agendas. - New Scientist No. 2658 ( May 31, 2008 )

He has stated;
"The archaeological findings show that Israel was a large, prosperous state, and was the main story until its destruction in the eighth century. Its geographic location was excellent, on the coast, near Phoenicia, Assyria and Syria. It had a diverse demographic composition: foreign residents and workers, Canaanites, Phoenicians; there was an Aramean population in the Jordan Valley, and there were mixed marriages. It was only 150 years after Israel's destruction that Judah rose to greatness, becoming self-aware and developing the monotheistic approach: one state, one God, one capital, one temple, one king."
He believes the core historical books of the Old Testament were written in the late seventh century BC (the days of king Josiah) as political propaganda to support his reforms. Thus for Finkelstein, a Biblical writer was not actually describing the period about which he was writing, instead he was inventing history about that period. -Shanks 2002: 43

Finkelstein has publicly declared that he does not deny the existence of either David or Solomon (Shanks 2002: 45). The bad news is that he does not believe they were who the Bible described them to be. As an archaeologist, Finkelstein sees no evidence for David's capital in Jerusalem and no evidence for his kingdom anywhere else in the region. Neither is there a capital city or temple in Jerusalem during Solomon's time, nor is there archaeological evidence of Solomon's reign elsewhere – especially at Megiddo, Hazor and Gezer (I Kgs 9:15).

He has also stated; "I can separate my convictions about my culture and my identity on the one hand from my research on the other. I think this is critical for archaeology. If you cannot make this separation you are finished. Unfortunately, most people who work in biblical archaeology fail to make this separation. It’s a serious problem.” - New Scientist No. 2658 ( May 31, 2008 )

-"Oooh, I see you think SACRIFICE means FOOD….hahahahahahahahahahahaha!"

No, I don't think that sacrifice means food, but the people who wrote those texts certainly did. They clearly described the sacrifices made to Yahweh as food. Please read them again. Sloooowly...
I'll ask you once again; What part of "when you offer to me MY FOOD, the fat and the blood..." don't you understand Harvey?
You're damned right that these texts sound primitive. That's because they ARE primitive.

-"He is King of kings and Lord of lords and God of gods indicating his vast difference, uniquness and supremacy above all that is called god, king or lord…There is and NEVER was never any duality or fight played out in biblical history."

What part of "God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment" don't you understand Harvey? Why is this so difficult for you to comprehend?

-"The context of Ps. 82 is clear and it means NOTHING like you think it does."

Then I'm forced to ask you once again;
What part of "God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment...I say, "You are gods, sons of the Most High...", don't you understand?
How could these texts be any plainer? It seems to me that you've adopted a policy of 'intentional blindness' in order to defend your own personal convictions regarding how these texts are to be interpreted.

-"One more thing…if ANY of you think that Psalm 104 resembles Aten’s Hymn to the Sun…You need to give that weed back to Dingo and ask for a refund because you’re a lost cause...One thing I cracked up on was that Psalms 104 used the word “beams” and the “borrowing theorists” believe that was referring to “sun beams” or “rays” in the hymn… When the word “beam” was referring to a support structure of a building"

For starters, it's not 'Aten’s Hymn to the Sun', it's Akhenaten's 'Great Hymn To Aten'.
For Pete's sake Harvey, you can't even get the name right, yet you ridicule and accuse US of having no understanding. Does the word IRONY mean anything to you?
And what the hell are you talking about with your incoherant blatherings about sun beams and house beams? Who on this thread ever confused sun beams with house beams except for you? I know that I certainly didn't.
By the way, you need to read this - 'Great Hymn and Psalms 104' ; http://kemet.250x.com/psalm104.html - before pouring out any more scorn or ridicule on other people who are participating in this discussion. If you do actually read it, then at least you'll have some idea about what we mean when we say there are similarities between the two texts.

-"That whole argument is BOGUS to the top"

In my opinion, it's YOUR whole argument which is 'bogus to the top' Harvey. Especially when you go around making the kind of spurious and and unfounded allegations such as you made in your last comment. In spite of all my faults, at least I can still string a coherent sentence together in support of my arguments, which is more than can be said for the majority of your postings.

P.S You didn't address the verses I provided which describe Yahweh fighting the mythical chaos dragon Rahab/Tiamat.

P.P.S Please do not interpret any of this as some kind of 'flame war', I'm simply 'vigorously defending my position' . :-)

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Dingo~ "Harvey, you can't even get the name right, yet you ridicule and accuse US of having no understanding."

[I meant Ahkenaten's hymn to the sun. Same difference...either way what was being talked about was the SUN...who they thought was God. I've read three to 4 versions and interpretations it's still a FARCE...no resembleance to Ps. 104. Although the reference you provide is weaker and interpretation worse than most I've studied, it still proves the point. You'll have to REACH and I do mean REACH to make a connection...just more radical wishful thinking]

Dingo~ "Are you aware of the work of the Israeli archaeologist Israel Finkelstein?"

[Old news Dingo and Fink is NOT a relaible source at all...

Here's the word on Fink and his counterparts...

" In 2001, Israel Finkelstein, a revisionist archaeologist with similar views, along with Neal A. Silberman, penned a widely read book: The Bible Unearthed: Archaeologys New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. This new vision controverted traditional Jewish and Christian views of both the historical reliability of the Hebrew Bible and how it came to be. An even more popular vetting of this vision was a much-discussed article written by Daniel Lazare in the March 1, 2002, issue of Harpers. One-sided, trenchant, and biased to the extreme, the article follows a sensationalist title that says it all: False Testament: Archaeology Refutes the Bibles Claim to History. Harpers has a proud history going back to Abraham Lincolns time, thus lending credibility to its contents."

"There never was a united Hebrew monarchy in this overcritical view, and, according to Finkelstein, the architectural accomplishments of David and Solomon should rather be ascribed to King Ahab of Israel. As for religious beliefs, monotheistic Judaism was itself a late development again in contrast to biblical evidence when also the heroic stories of the patriarchs and judges were crafted to show that Israel owned the land by rite of conquest. Probably not until we reach King Hezekiah in the eighth century BC do the extreme critics begin to grant historicity to the Old Testament narratives."

"Such extreme views invite dismissal of this assault as the work of a cadre of sensation-seeking quasischolars whose radical revisionism almost guarantees attention in the media."

SENSATIONALISTS, SENSATIONALISTS, SENSATIONALISTS, SENSATIONALISTS

The information I provided DEBUNKS his theories...for they are cfactual. He can revise if he wants but his arguments are weak and unsupported.

This is his and other revisionists basic problems.

"1.Overusing arguments from silence or absence of archaeological evidence. Such arguments have often been rendered moot by subsequent discoveries that provide such missing evidence.

2.Assuming that archaeology can tell us more than is warranted by the finds. Archaeology is not the only source of evidence, for it must also be supplemented by relevant data from both sacred and secular history.

3.Assuming that archaeology is dispassionate and objective, when, in fact, some excavators are quite the opposite; unfortunately, recent political pressures have also impinged on the discipline.

4.Assuming that there is agreement among archaeologists as to time grids involving uncovered strata and the artifacts therein. In fact, their interpretations of excavated evidence often differ widely.

5.Suggesting that revisionist criticism represents the latest and best scholarly and archaeological research on biblical origins today. In sober fact, recent issues of journals such as BAR and Bible and Spade are crammed with criticism of the minimalist position, and the debate between traditional and radical views among biblical scholars continues to rage.

6.Condoning reports, such as Lazares in Harpers, that are so hopelessly one-sided that bias screams out in every other paragraph.

7.Opting for sensation rather than sense, as is the case with extremists in any discipline.

8.Using results very selectively rather than accounting for all the evidence. Failure to evaluate evidence on the other side or even misrepresenting it results in torque, not truth.

Perhaps, though, we are asking too much of early sacred records. No religion or culture on earth has, in fact, more specificity in its earliest historical records than the Torah, and it is always the case that the earliest records of any peoples will be more spotty and compressed than the later ones. We certainly see in the Old and New Testaments, not a progressive historicity in the sense that the earlier records are not historical and the later records are as the radical revisionists claim but rather a progressive historical specificity."

"Radical revisionist biblical scholars and pseudoscholars, like members of the notorious Jesus Seminar, are well aware of this sad sensationalizing formula for success and exploit it regularly. This may, admittedly, be impugning the motives of some in that category who are driven instead by a desire merely to be politically correct when it comes to biblical scholarship; that is, to be ultracritical of anything biblical. In this connection, sadly, secular historians of the ancient world often have a much higher opinion of the reliability of biblical sources than some biblical scholars themselves!

Lest this critique be written off as the meaningless chatter of some conservative curmudgeon, however, I must point out that, in fact, it represents the majority view in biblical scholarship today. University of Arizona archaeologist William Dever, for example, is well known for his objection to the term biblical archaeology, since it seems to convey a probiblical bias; yet he assails some of the unwarranted conclusions of biblical minimalists in a strongly worded article in BAR: Save Us from Postmodern Malarkey. He does not have kind words for the minimalists in his book, What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? either. I suggest, he writes, that the revisionists are nihilist not only in the historical sense but also in the philosophical and moral sense.

BAR, which provides the literary arena for the traditionalist vs. minimalist battles and tries to keep a neutral stance in the process, similarly found the Harpers article to be only one side of a very hot debate in the field. Nowhere does [the author] try to evaluate the merits of the other sides case. In fact he gives no indication that hes even aware there is another side.

Let the debate continue, but let all the evidence be admitted. Ever since scientific archaeology started a century and a half ago, the consistent pattern has been this: the hard evidence from the ground has borne out the biblical record again and again and again. The Bible has nothing to fear from the spade."

Courtesy- Dr. Paul Maier the Christian Research Journal, volume 27, number 2 (2004)

Have at it Dingo...I'm off to other topics. I had to come back and address this because you continue to offer sensationalists in support of your views and that's a travesty.

C-Ya round the way Dingo]

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Dingo Since you keep crampin my style on these things I must refer you back to what I said from the beginning

["Still more archaeology to debunk the critical claims that Israel did not exist as a people. This is called the Tel el-Dab'a discovery:

“In 1966, Manfred Bietak --head of the Austrian Institute of Archaeology-- excavated ruins at Avaris () in the Nile Delta, and discovered a settlement of "Asiatics," which is a term that Egyptians used for people from Canaan/Palestine. The inhabitants of Tel el-Dab'a were not Egyptians, but were Semitic Canaanites. They were of the Syro-Palestinian Middle Bronze Age Culture, and none of the remains are Egyptian. The U-shaped floor-plans, and the walls of their buildings are exactly like those later constructed by the Hebrews in Israel. Their burial methods were different than the Egyptians. This particular Semitic settlement at Tel el-Dab'a had a population of about 30,000 people, and is dated as being from the Late Hyksos or the early 18th Dynasty of Egypt. This time would be not long after the time of Joseph (see Genesis chapters 37-50) --perhaps somewhere around 1500 BC.” “In Genesis 46:27 we read that when Joseph's family immigrated to Egypt (because of famine), there were only 70 people involved in the move --however, the families of Jacob and Joseph surely intermarried with other Asiatics who fled the famine, and by the time the Semites were established well enough to have built cities with walls, there was a population of almost 30,000 in Tel el-Dab'a. --There may have been other Semitic cities as well."]

Dingo said, "You asserted that Tel el-Dab'a was NOT the hyksos capital of Avaris, which I refuted, and the best you can come up with in response is "You say tomato I say tomato"?

[What I said was this, "read it again it's accurate, (it's) not talking about (the) Hyskos capital, I'm talking about Tel el-Dab'a."]

[Maybe this additional information will help clear this up:

The Bible tells us that Moses belonged to a large group of Semitic settlers whose ancestors had arrived in Egypt from the land of Canaan. This rings very true, for archaeological evidence shows that such groups of people from Canaan were settling in parts of the Eastern Delta from around the middle of Egypt's 12th Dynasty. Evidence has been unearthed, for example at Tell el-Dab'a in the Delta, that these newcomers were of mixed origin, including pastorial nomads like the Hebrews described in Genesis 47:1-11. Though we cannot positively identify Israel's ancestors in Egypt, it is intriguing to note that during the 17th century BC the site of Tell el-Dab'a was developed a the Hyksos capital known as Avaris, and in the 13th century BC, it was absorbed by the sprawling city of Piramesse, which had its center a short distance to the north.

It should also be noted that the route chosen by the escaping Israelites, from Piramesse to Tjeku (biblical Succoth: Exodus 12:37) and eastwards, was precisely the same that was used by two escaping slaves of the late 13th century BC, as reported in Papyrus Anastasi V.]

[It should be noted...NOT ONLY DID THE HYSKOS LIVE THERE BUT OTHER SEMITES DID ALSO]

Dingo said ~ "The town you are referring to is Avaris, the capital city of the Hyksos invaders. The Hyksos were the RULERS of Egypt at that time, not slaves."

[I said I WASN'T talking about the Hyskos, I was talking about the REMAINS of the people that lived there and since AVARIS is the same as Tel el-Dab'a THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH WHAT I SAID
http://www.egyptsites.co.uk/lower/delta/eastern/daba.html

Further what I said was this

"The inhabitants of Tel el-Dab'a were not Egyptians, but were Semitic Canaanites. They were of the Syro-Palestinian Middle Bronze Age Culture, and none of the remains are Egyptian. The U-shaped floor-plans, and the walls of their buildings are exactly like those later constructed by the Hebrews in Israel."

Facts are that the inhabitants of Avaris, or Tel el-Dab'a as I states were NOT Egytptian but Semetic peoples CONSISTENT with the salves aka Israelites as EVIDENCED.

What you try to do is shift the argument to one of credibility as you do always. I gave the argument no consideration until you burried yourself with your persistent rambling.

You want to believe that the remains were only of Hyskos kings because Hyskos lived there, but the evidence from the discovery IS NOT in your favor. There was a significant slave class of people there also. NOW that's ARCHAEOLOGY...I don't care about Hyskos...that had NOTHING to do with any of the argument...These were non Egyptian SLAVES and the period is totally consistent with the biblical narrative.

Additionally, "The claim that there never was an Exodus from Egypt stems from the argument that Egyptian records do not speak of such an event. This is an argument from silence and is not based on reality. Surviving Egyptian records were, for the most part, propagandistic records carved in stone extolling the accomplishments of the Pharaohs. An event that demeaned Pharaoh would never be recorded. Writing was believed to be sacred, giving reality to the statements being recorded. If an event was not recorded, then it never happened. (See Gerald Wheeler, “Ancient Egypt’s Silence about the Exodus,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 40 [2002]: 257–64.)"

courtesy- Associates For Biblical Research: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/04/From-the-Mailbag.aspx#comment

NOW don't get it twisted any more Dingo]

One more word from me regarding this idol worship issue:

Dingo I’ve already refuted your fallacious arguments and you simply keep coming back for more. Obviously you can’t get over the fact that Israel’s prohibition from God was in making graven images for them to worship. At no time do you see the people worshipping any image or likeness of God. NONE have been found although baalistic idols have been found. Even the Charibims you mentioned were used IN worship they were not the OBJECT of worship…But I see you need a new course on this sort of thing because you have a short and slim understanding based on the fallacious understandings of your peers. As I stated already, the bible is COMPLETELY clear that worship and serving idols and other gods including ashera was condemned and NOT done alongside worship to the true and living God.

Since you like to try to quote the bible look at this:

Clear call to monotheism

The Hebrew Shema
Deut. 6:4 ~ “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

Israel was commanded to serve only ONE God and that was NOT ashera or aten…further aten did represent the SUN as I said. Egypt was one of the nations that had an astral concept and an astral religion. Aten was no more than the sun itself…that’s obvious and CLEAR.

Ex. 23:12 ~ “And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.”

Deut: 6:13-16 ~ “13Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. 16Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah”.

Deut. 7:25-26: “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. 26Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.”

Deut. 8:19-20 ~ “19And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. 20As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.”

Deut. 11:15-17 ~ “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 17And then the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.”

Deut. 18:12-14 ~ “For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. 14For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.”

Deut. 17:2-7 ~ “2If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, 3And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 4And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: 5Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. 6At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. 7The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.”

Deut. 12:30-31~ “0Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.”

The promise of God against idolatry was CLEAR:

Ezek. 5:1-8 ~ “5Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. 6And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. 7Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you; 8Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.”

Judg. 10:13-15 “13Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. 14Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. 15And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day.”

The are approximately 50 plus more scriptures that I can quote regarding this subject and the one’s you offered when UNDERSTOOD properly confirm all that I have said regarding the topic. Jer. 44 also deals with Israel serving “other gods” and burning incense to them and mentions specifically serving those gods of Egypt (which aten would be included.) It is without question that God condemned serving any other gods and NEVER condoned any of his people serving anyone other than himself. The extremist such as yourself says that because other god’s were mentioned then they were authentic…The text mentions many things that were pagan practices and NEVER validates the authenticity of paganism, however those were the practices of the people.

Another thing is that you mentioned kings that did wickedly etc. The account is historical and not in question…the narrative itself speaks of idolatrous and wicked kings of Israel and Judah. It’s no grand conspiracy that the people served other gods and reversed themselves to serve idols. In fact. Judg. 10:12 as mentioned above confirms such. Anti-Christ advocates act as if that’s some big mystery and secret or reason that we shouldn’t believe the bible…PLEASE!. But the condemnation of that practice was CLEAR and against everything that God said. It was because of SIN in the hearts of people that they disobeyed, sometimes for complete generations.

Now for a SENSATIONALIST such as yourself, the very biblical revelation that the people would turn from God is proof that the national religion of Israel was polytheistic and that they worshipped other gods besides the God of heaven…But to any rational individual looking for an authentic account of events, the bible stands head and shoulders above the rest because it gives information that would be embarrassing. To mention the fact that people would turn and actually worship other gods AGAINST the commandment of the Lord makes the biblical story HIGHLY credible. In fact the very practice of including contrary or otherwise embarrassing information was not an eastern literary practice…That’s why Ahkenaten’s references are missing and minimized amongst Egyptian literary records, that’s the same reason why the Syrian records of their defeats in battles are left out of their history and so on…The biblical record indicates that Israel disobeyed God and served idols against the will of God and were brought into God’s judgement and punishment because of it. That there was ONLY one god that Israel served is not in question. This is EXACLTY as the bible states when God reveals himself to Adam in the garden, Abram in Mesopotamia, and Moses on Mt. Siani and further to the nation in general through the giving of the law.

Dingo if your reading and comprehension skills are indicative of the new atheists…you’re ALL destined to a sorry existence…You may claim that what you’re doing is just literary criticism, but what you are doing is intentionally distorting biblical truths, rewriting history using the worst possible evidence available and proliferating substandard critics, and above all you have proven that you don’t know how to interpret what you read (at least when it comes to the Bible)…however I will give you this, I know that satan, can blind minds and hearts, (2 Cor. 2:4 ~ “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”) so from that standpoint I can have mercy on you because it’s hard to believe that your understanding can be so fruitless and darkened by itself.

All I know is this, I can’t wait to get to the pulpit tomorrow, sorry you and your anti-Christ buddies can’t be there, even you would be blessed.

God bless.

Trou said...

Harvey,

I realize that you are ignoring me, possibly because I ignored your attempt at bullying by asking questions whose answers were already contained in the article for anyone who had a smattering of reading comprehension.
I will let Dingodave continue to point out the flaws in your argument as he is so capable of doing without my help.

"William Dever, for example, is well known for his objection to the term biblical archaeology, since it seems to convey a probiblical bias; yet he assails some of the unwarranted conclusions of biblical minimalists in a strongly worded article in BAR: Save Us from Postmodern Malarkey. He does not have kind words for the minimalists in his book, What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? either."

You don't know crap about
Finklestein or Dever for that matter. I doubt that you have read them. Avalos gives a good summary of Dever as a man who can't seem to bring himself to admit the truth even though all the archaeology that he has practiced and written about debunks the Biblical account of history. Even though you quote him in your favor, you should read him because he says what we have been saying. He just can't bring himself to admit it.


"the hard evidence from the ground has borne out the biblical record again and again and again. The Bible has nothing to fear from the spade."

That's not true. Read Dever, like I suggested and also read Hector Avalos. There is no evidence of Solomons temple or of the conquests of David, etc. Saying something enough times doesn't make it true. There has to be evidence and none has been forthcoming.


"Surviving Egyptian records were, for the most part, propagandistic records carved in stone extolling the accomplishments of the Pharaohs. An event that demeaned Pharaoh would never be recorded."

Generally true but the conquest of the Hyksos of Egypt was recorded, the failures to protect their interests in the Canaan territories was written about as I referenced in my article also.


"In fact the very practice of including contrary or otherwise embarrassing information was not an eastern literary practice…That’s why Ahkenaten’s references are missing and minimized amongst Egyptian literary records,..."

You are wrong as usual. All reference to Akhenaten was destroyed or otherwise erased because of the blight that was monotheism. Everyone agrees about this. You have no business pronouncing your ill informed opinions as fact.

"All I know is this, I can’t wait to get to the pulpit tomorrow, sorry you and your anti-Christ buddies can’t be there, even you would be blessed."

I doubt that I would be blessed in your church given the way you behave on this blog. I don't see how you turn the supposed love of Jesus on and off like a faucet. I don't think you know what love is. What excuses are you going to give when you you get to answer to Jesus for the way in which you treated people here? (Really you don't have to worry, there is no life after death so you'll be fine.)

DingoDave said...

Harvey Burnett wrote:

-"Fink is NOT a relaible source at all..."

How do you know that? Are you a professional archaeologist? Are you the head of an archaeology department at a major university?
Having worked in the biology department of a major university myself, let me assure you that nobody gets to become the head of a department if their work is unreliable or sub-standard.
Universities are not like Bible colleges. Everything you do is scrutinised by your peers, and they take great delight in tearing your work to shreds if your observations or methodology is sub-standard in any way. I hope you'll excuse me if I pay greater heed to Professor Finkelstein's conclusions than yours when it comes to the subject of Palestinian archaeology.

-"As for religious beliefs, monotheistic Judaism was itself a late development again in contrast to biblical evidence when also the heroic stories of the patriarchs and judges were crafted to show that Israel owned the land by rite of conquest."

Exactly my point. These stories were 'crafted' to artificially aggrandize Israel's history, for the glory of the Yahwist priests.

-"The information I provided DEBUNKS his theories...for they are factual. He can revise if he wants but his arguments are weak and unsupported."

And your evidence for this is what? Are you an archaeologist? Are you an ancient historian? What qualifies you to make such a claim?

-"Ever since scientific archaeology started a century and a half ago, the consistent pattern has been this: the hard evidence from the ground has borne out the biblical record again and again and again. The Bible has nothing to fear from the spade."

Then why is it that Archaeologists such as Israel Finkelstein or anyone else for that matter, can't seem to find the evidence that should be there if the Bible stories are correct about what they claim?

-"Overusing arguments from silence or absence of archaeological evidence. Such arguments have often been rendered moot by subsequent discoveries that provide such missing evidence."

Fine. If or when the evidence ever presents itself, then I'll consider changing my mind on the subject. In the field of archaeology, absence of evidence is definitely evidence of absence.

-"Assuming that archaeology is dispassionate and objective, when, in fact, some excavators are quite the opposite..."

Up until very recently, most 'Biblical archaeologists' have been religious believers with a strong bias to interpret their discoveries in the light of what they already believe, and many of their claims have since been debunked by archaeologists like Finkelstein and Dever.

-"Using results very selectively rather than accounting for all the evidence. Failure to evaluate evidence on the other side or even misrepresenting it results in torque, not truth."

That is a very serious allegation to be making within the academic community. Does he have any evidence to back it up, or is it just more handwaving? I suspect the latter.

-"Lest this critique be written off as the meaningless chatter of some conservative curmudgeon, however, I must point out that, in fact, it represents the majority view in biblical scholarship today."

That's hardly surprising, considering the majority of Bible scholars were already Bible believing Christians before they even embarked on their careers as Bible scholars.
They were already biased on the subject to begin with, what does he expect?
And he is a conservative curmudgeon.
About as conservative as they come.

-"Courtesy- Dr. Paul Maier the Christian Research Journal, volume 27, number 2 (2004)"

The 'Christian Research Journal'? Hardly an unbiased source is it Harvey?
"Dr. Paul Maier is Second Vice President of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod...Paul strongly identifies as a Christian and his role as an apologist has recently become apparent in his co-writing of 'The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction?' with Christian apologist Hank Hanegraaf." - Wikepedia

HaHa. That's hilarious. You could not have picked a worse example of biased scholarship if you had tried.

Just as I suspected, he's simply another handwaving apologist lying for Jesus. And he's not even an archaeologist for crying out loud.
Sorry Harvey, but I'd rather trust Dever and Finkelstein's opinions concerning Palestinian archaeology than Maier's opinions, any day.
I saw Maier interviewed on Penn and Teller's TV show 'Bullshit', (the one dealing with the Bible). He was up against Michael Shermer and he didn't impress me in the slightest.
He can shove his opinions where the Sun don't shine for all I care.

I'm half way through rebutting the claims you made in your following comment, and I'll post them as soon as I get the opportunity.
In the meantime enjoy your Sunday.

Regards, David.

DingoDave said...

Harvey Burnett wrote:

-"Facts are that the inhabitants of Avaris, or Tel el-Dab'a as I states were NOT Egytptian but Semetic peoples CONSISTENT with the salves aka Israelites as EVIDENCED."

You appear to be very confused Harvey.The Hyksos WERE semitic people. They were not Egyptians. The Hyksos were semitic invaders, probably from Canaan, who conquered the Egyptians and then ruled over Lower and Middle Egypt for more than 100 years. The Hyksos had Canaanite names, as seen in those which contain the names of Semitic deities such as Anath or Ba'al.

-"I said I WASN'T talking about the Hyskos, I was talking about the REMAINS of the people that lived there and since AVARIS is the same as Tel el-Dab'a THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH WHAT I SAID"

The people who lived in Avaris WERE the Hyksos Harvey.

-"This particular Semitic settlement at Tel el-Dab'a had a population of about 30,000 people, and is dated as being from the Late Hyksos or the early 18th Dynasty of Egypt...You want to believe that the remains were only of Hyskos kings because Hyskos lived there, but the evidence from the discovery IS NOT in your favor. There was a significant slave class of people there also. NOW that's ARCHAEOLOGY...I don't care about Hyskos...that had NOTHING to do with any of the argument...These were non Egyptian SLAVES and the period is totally consistent with the biblical narrative."

What the hell are you talking about Harvey? Now you are making no sense to me at all.
The fact that Avaris was the capital city of the Hyksos has EVERYTHING to do with the argument. The Hyksos were NOT non-Egyptian slaves, they were the RULERS of Lower and Middle Egypt at that time. How could they have been both the rulers of Egypt, and the slaves of Egypt at the same time?
The fact that the Hyksos owned slaves comes as no surprise, because every culture practiced slavery in those days. So what's your point?
And the fact that the remains of pastorial nomads have been found there also comes as no surprise, because Avaris would have been a major trading centre with Canaan at the time.

If your point is that the Hyksos were really the Hebrews, then your argument fails for the reasons I just stated. ie. They were the RULERS of Lower Egypt, not slaves.
If your point is that the Hebrews were slaves of the Hyksos, then this argument also fails, because that goes against what the Bible tells us is supposed to have happened at the time of the exodus.
According to the Bible, the Hebrews were trying to ESCAPE from Egypt but were supposedly prevented from doing so by the Pharaoh, but the Hyksos were
forcibly DRIVEN OUT by the armies of Pharaoh Kahmose. You're in a lose/lose situation either way you cut it.

The most plausible hypothesis that I think we can draw from all of this, is that the stories about the exodus as we read them in the Bible, represent a confused and fading memory about the expulsion of the Hyksos by Pharaoh Kahmose in 1550 BC, embellished with all kinds of miracle stories, in order to boost the power and prestige of the Yahwist priests who wrote them. They were probably written by Hilkiah the priest during the reign of King Josiah around 600 BC.
Do you remember the 'Book of the Law' which was 'found' in the temple by Hilkiah the priest? You know, the the law which nobody had ever heard of before? Well that's when I think that the exodus story was written, along with most of the Jewish law.
This hypothesis requires no miracles, it fits in well with what we read in the Bible, and it's just the kind of thing we could expect from a group of vicious, power hungry priests who wanted to boost their own credibility, and do away with any competition from other gods or goddesses at the same time.

By Jove Harvey, I think we've cracked it! :D

DingoDave said...

Harvey burnett wrote:

-"Obviously you can’t get over the fact that Israel’s prohibition from God was in making graven images for them to worship."

This is where you fail to understand my arguments Harvey. The prohibitions didn't come from God. God didn't write a single word of the Bible. People with vested interests wrote the Bible. What else would you expect them to say? They didn't like competition from other religions.
The texts say that the Israelites were forbidden from making any graven images whatsoever. Period. The texts do not say that was OK for the Israelites to make graven images just so long as they didn't worship them. You're re-writing the Bible again Harvey.

-"At no time do you see the people worshipping any image or likeness of God."

Wrong again Harvey. What do you think the 'golden calves' at the temple of Bethel were? They were images of the god El / Yahweh, and were worshipped by the 10 tribes of the Northern Kingdom right up until the time that it was conquered by the Assyrians. We also see ALL the tribes of Israel worshipping images of all kinds of other gods and goddesses for almost all of their entire history. Yahweh was only one god among many who were worshipped for most of Israel's history. You appear to have fallen for the propoganda of the Yahwist priests who were responsible for editing the Bible into the form we are familiar with today.
They intentionally tried to make it appear as if the Israelites had always considered Yahweh to be the one true god of Israel, and that whenever the people of Israel worshipped other gods, then they were straying from the one true faith. But just by reading the Bible, we can see that this is pure fiction.

Have you ever wondered what the word Israel means Harvey? It means "El Rules". The Hebrew word yisra-el is derived from two root words, Yisra and El. Yisra means "To Rule" and 'El' is the name of the high god of the Canaanite pantheon. To the Canaanites, El was the father of the gods. He was God of gods, Lord of lords and King of kings. Sound familiar? If Yahweh had always been the primary god of the Israelites, then the name would be 'Israyah', not 'Israel'.

-"Since you like to try to quote the bible look at this: Clear call to monotheism"

I'm well aware of all those texts Harvey. What about them? They were written by a Yahwist priest. Probably by Hilkiah himself. They say exactly what I'd expect them to say if they had been written by Hilkiah.
What about the polytheistic texts I quoted to you. You have failed to give me any reason why I shouldn't think that they mean exactly what they say.
Just quoting contradictory verses to me will not make the polytheistic ones go away.

DingoDave said...

-"As I stated already, the bible is COMPLETELY clear that worship and serving idols and other gods including Ashera was condemned and NOT done alongside worship to the true and living God."

You have got to be kidding me Harvey! The Israelites were as polytheistic as they come, until Hilkiah the priest
mysteriously 'found' the 'book of the law' in the Jerusalem temple.
Up until then, the people of Israel had been worshipping nearly every god and goddess known to man, including Ashera and the Sun. This was being practiced all over Judah and Israel, and even inside the Jerusalem temple itself until King Josiah decided to put a stop to it. The Bible tell us that this had been going on for centuries.
"Since the time of the judges".(1400 BC)
It wasn't until the 18th year of the reign of King Josiah (600 BC) that the cult of Yahweh became the official state religion of Judah, and it never was the official state religion of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Read this and weep.

2 Kings 23
[2] And the king went up to the house of the LORD, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which had been found in the house of the LORD.
[3] And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book; and all the people joined in the covenant.
[4] And the king commanded Hilki'ah, the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel.
[5] And he deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places at the cities of Judah and round about Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, and the moon, and the constellations, and all the host of the heavens.
[6] And he brought out the Asherah from the house of the LORD, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves of the common people.
[7] And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes which were in the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah.
[8] And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beer-sheba; and he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one's left at the gate of the city.
[10] And he defiled To'pheth, which is in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech.
[11] And he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
[12] And the altars on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, he pulled down and broke in pieces, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.
[13] And the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
[14] And he broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men.
[15] Moreover the altar at Bethel, the high place erected by Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, that altar with the high place he pulled down and he broke in pieces its stones, crushing them to dust; also he burned the Asherah.
[19] And all the shrines also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the LORD to anger, Josiah removed; he did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel.
[20] And he slew all the priests of the high places who were there, upon the altars, and burned the bones of men upon them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
[21] And the king commanded all the people, "Keep the passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant."
[22] For no such passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah;
[23] but in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this passover was kept to the LORD in Jerusalem.
[24] Moreover Josiah put away the mediums and the wizards and the teraphim and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.
[25] Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.

Dear Harvey, after reading this passage, how could you possibly still assert that other gods were not worshipped alongside Yahweh in Israel and Judah?

It's interesting to note that not long after all this happened, King Josiah was killed in battle by Pharaoh Neco at Megiddo.
You'd think that after all he'd done for Yahweh, he might have been entitled to a little bit of divine protection.
I guess that Yahweh just didn't give a shit about poor old Josiah, or maybe he figured that he'd outlived his usefulness.

Of course after Josiah's death, the people of Israel went straight back to worshipping other gods, just as they had always done before him.

DingoDave said...

Harvey Burnett wrote:

-"Aten was no more than the sun itself…that’s obvious and CLEAR."

Try this verse on for size.
Ps.84
[11] For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

-"The promise of God against idolatry was CLEAR... It is without question that God condemned serving any other gods and NEVER condoned any of his people serving anyone other than himself."

Like I said before, God didn't write one word of the Bible, people did.

-"The extremist such as yourself says that because other god’s were mentioned then they were authentic…"

No, I don't believe that all the other gods mentioned were authentic. I believe that all gods are make believe. They only exist in people's imaginations.

-"Anti-Christ advocates act as if that’s some big mystery and secret or reason that we shouldn’t believe the bible…PLEASE!"

What's the mystery? All I'm arguing is that for the vast majority of Israelite history, they were polythistic. And the Bible backs me up on this, as I have demonstrated.

-"Now for a SENSATIONALIST such as yourself..."

I'm afraid that it's you who is the sensationalist Harvey. You are the one who is making the sensational claims. You claim that stupendous miracles occured, and that there is an omni-everything being that lives somewhere over the rainbow. I prefer to search for more mundane, natural explanations for what I read in the Bible. Between the two of us, I'd say that I'm the conservative one.

-"To mention the fact that people would turn and actually worship other gods AGAINST the commandment of the Lord makes the biblical story HIGHLY credible."

They were always polytheistic. The unusual event was when they turned TO Yahweh, not against him.

-"That there was ONLY one god that Israel served is not in question."

I think that I have already well and truly shot THAT idea down in flames.

-"Dingo if your reading and comprehension skills are indicative of the new atheists…you’re ALL destined to a sorry existence…"

Now there's a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black!

-"what you are doing is intentionally distorting biblical truths, rewriting history using the worst possible evidence available and proliferating substandard critics, and above all you have proven that you don’t know how to interpret what you read (at least when it comes to the Bible)…"

Then I'm in good company, because a lot of highly credentialed Bible scholars and historians conclude the same things that I do.

-"however I will give you this, I know that satan, can blind minds and hearts, (2 Cor. 2:4 ~ “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Gee wiz, and all this time I thought that it was God who sends the strong delusions. It says so right here in my Bible.

2 Thessalonians 2
[11] Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false,
[12] so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Then I guess that Yahweh must be the same as the Devil huh? Who'da thunk it?

-"so from that standpoint I can have mercy on you because it’s hard to believe that your understanding can be so fruitless and darkened by itself."

Dear Harvey, I neither want nor need your mercy. But thanks all the same for the thought.

Scott said...

Harvey,

Let's take a look at one of your examples, shall we?

Deut. 11:15-17 ~ “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 17And then the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.”

But why did the Israelites worship these other Gods? At the time, everyone thought the Gods were integral to the day to day workings of the world. People aligned themselves with a particular God as a protector and facilitator. Their worship ensured their God of choice would give them good weather, bountiful crops, etc. But, when things inevitably go wrong (as we know the weather, crops and natural disasters are controlled by complex natural processes, not Gods) they turn to other Gods in hope of better results. We see examples of this kind of behavior in the OT.

But what does the one true God say when confronting humanity? Surely, he would reveal their worship of these other Gods for what it really is - a supernatural protection racket with no basis in reality, right? Instead, he makes an appeal to the very same superstitious fear as all rest. Worship me or I'll turn off the rain, prevent your crops from bearing fruit and cause your premature demise.

Does this sound like the actions of an omnipotent, omniscient being or one of many competing creations of a superstitious culture?

Can you not see the obvious problem in God's response here? He is manipulating the Israelites instead of revealing the truth to them. Why would he do this?

Of course, I'm sure you'll come up with some ad-hoc reason to explain it.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Trou~ "I doubt that I would be blessed in your church given the way you behave on this blog."

[As if a blog indicates behavior...if that were the case I can be sure that you would not even pass go but you'd go STRAIGHT to HELL...but that's a moot point...Tell me this Mr. Primordial slime apologist...where's the last utility bill you paid for anyone else besides yourself? Where is the last water bill you paid for anyone beside your family? How about gas, or trip to work for anyone other than your family or to your benefit...How about comforting a family (BESIDES YOURS)at 3:00Am when they've lost a loved one?
Don't worry, I already know the answer...It's people like you that do NOTHING for society or anyone other than yourself and have nerve enough to talk about what Love is and criticize God...WHAT A FARCE! All I know is that LOVE is action and I've got plenty of action to back me and I can talk in light of my record WELL...Love is also telling the TRUTH to the ungodly...too bad you don't like it...the more you don't the more I do!

Dingo~ You're a lost cause for all practical purposes but I LOVE to be hated for Christ sake- LOL...One thing all you Anti-Christ advocates say is that I don't know what I'm talking about...but why spend so much time especially in this thread if I'm wrong...y'u-know why? 'Cause I'm on point and YOU know it...you just don't like it...Too bad!

Dingo~ "How do you know that? Are you a professional archaeologist? Are you the head of an archaeology department at a major university?"

[No need to...their work speaks for itself...and accolades mean NOTHING...I know PLEANTY of U Profs. that are OFF the deepend...totally backwards...your assumption of title MEANS NOTHING! I'm totally unimpressed...besides you don't know my credentials or what I may NOT have said in any internet profile.]

Dingo~ "And your evidence for this is what? Are you an archaeologist? Are you an ancient historian? What qualifies you to make such a claim?"

[What the HECK qualifies you Dingo? Are YOU and archaeologist...are YOU and ancient historian? what QUALIFIES YOU? Play your little game elsewhere! You and they have no more credibility than ANYONE else. I've got MUCH more scholorship that supports my position over a LONGER peoriod of time and many of them were not believers until they examined the archaeological proofs. What's even better my scholarship isn't revisionary, radical or make-believe scholarship as FINK and his bunch...Now YOU get real Dingo!]

Dingo~ "HaHa. That's hilarious. You could not have picked a worse example of biased scholarship if you had tried."

[What UNBIASED opinions have you offered...let me count...NONE! Get off the weed Dingo"

Dingo~ "Just as I suspected, he's simply another handwaving apologist lying for Jesus. And he's not even an archaeologist for crying out loud."

[Just as I suspected another handwaving anti-Christ advocate lying PERIOD. End of story!]

Dingo~ "The texts say that the Israelites were forbidden from making any graven images whatsoever."

[Ex. 25:17-22 ~ "17And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel."

Ex. 26:1 ~ "Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them."

Ex. 37: 7-9 ~ "And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat; 8One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 9And the cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubims."

There are 62 more refrences that I can point out. Where were they at Dingo? IN THE TABERNACLE NOT in homes or in peoples pockets

Dingo you said this~ "The texts say that the Israelites were forbidden from making any graven images whatsoever."

YOU either LIED or HAVE NO IDEA what you're reading...Who said it Dingo?...God! YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND IT...GET OVER IT!]

Dingo~ "Yahweh was only one god among many who were worshipped for most of Israel's history. You appear to have fallen for the propoganda of the Yahwist priests who were responsible for editing the Bible into the form we are familiar with today.They intentionally tried to make it appear as if the Israelites had always considered Yahweh to be the one true god of Israel, and that whenever the people of Israel worshipped other gods, then they were straying from the one true faith. But just by reading the Bible, we can see that this is pure fiction."

[ Dingo you are full of pure fiction...

Ex. 32:19-28 "And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. 20And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
21And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? 22And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. 23For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 24And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf. 25And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) 26Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men."

what happened Dingo?...GOD wasn't pleased with the act of erecting the calf AT ALL... if it was El and El was God, as you persist in saying, there would have been NO anger from the Lord, no reason to change or kill anyone...

"These accounts demonstrate Israel's strong conviction that God cannot be lowered to the level of a pictoral presentation. God as soveriegn Lord allows NO PHYSICAL IMAGE of himself and anyhuman effort to create such an image invites his judgement"- Robert William Prince III (Holman Bible Dictionary 1991 Holman Publishers, pg. 566)

That HOW TO ACCURATELY INTERPRET THE BIBLE Dingo...you know nothing of the sort because you're an extreme radical atheist...not given to reason when it comes to the biblical narrative...TOO BAD , but Get over it!]

Dingo~ "Just quoting contradictory verses to me will not make the polytheistic ones go away."

[You NEVER follow the complete story and certainly don't know what you're reading as I've PROVEN...Like I said there is no argument here, you have NONE.]

Dingo~ "The people who lived in Avaris WERE the Hyksos Harvey."

[NOT exclusively Dingo...you won't admit such because you know the implications for your FALLACIOUS argument]

Dingo~ "If your point is that the Hyksos were really the Hebrews, then your argument fails for the reasons I just stated. ie. They were the RULERS of Lower Egypt, not slaves."

[OK Dingo...according to you the slaves of the Hyskos were Hyskos themselves...YOU ARE A FARCE! Just unbelievable!]

Dingo~ "According to the Bible, the Hebrews were trying to ESCAPE from Egypt but were supposedly prevented from doing so by the Pharaoh, but the Hyksos were
forcibly DRIVEN OUT by the armies of Pharaoh Kahmose. You're in a lose/lose situation either way you cut it."

[Let's see that's one right, maybe two in about the last 200 tries...Israel walked out, the Hyskos capital wasn't totally abandoned after the Hyskos were expelled...The slaves remained...but you'll give that no creedence]

Dingo~ "You have got to be kidding me Harvey! The Israelites were as polytheistic as they come, until Hilkiah the priest
mysteriously 'found' the 'book of the law' in the Jerusalem temple.
Up until then, the people of Israel had been worshipping nearly every god and goddess known to man, including Ashera and the Sun. This was being practiced all over Judah and Israel, and even inside the Jerusalem temple itself until King Josiah decided to put a stop to it. The Bible tell us that this had been going on for centuries.
"Since the time of the judges".(1400 BC)It wasn't until the 18th year of the reign of King Josiah (600 BC) that the cult of Yahweh became the official state religion of Judah, and it never was the official state religion of the Northern Kingdom of Israel."

["II Chron. 34:14 - "14And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses. 15And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do it."

What did they see in the BOOK OF THE LAW that told them to follow through with the reform Dingo? If worship of Canaanite god's (which you finally admit to) were allowable there would have been no reason to change...It speaks for itself...all the scriptures I quoted in the other post were the command of God BUT SIN canused men to eliminate HIS command just as you advocates do...so it's no surprise, as I said the record tells the whole story not just what is comfortable to look at...It's CLEAR...Paganism and polytheism was condemned...Like I said GET OVER IT Dingo!]

Dingo~ "You'd think that after all he'd done for Yahweh, he might have been entitled to a little bit of divine protection.
I guess that Yahweh just didn't give a shit about poor old Josiah, or maybe he figured that he'd outlived his usefulness."

[Life for the real Christian or in this case servant of God, is about more than self-preservation, besides he died in the promise...he was quite allright and the people, even your family and mine, must live out their convictions after we're gone...this adds no value to anything but it reaffirms your hate for God and selfish and self preservationaist nature aka SIN NATURE]

Dingo- "Of course after Josiah's death, the people of Israel went straight back to worshipping other gods, just as they had always done before him."

[That's what unbelievers do...worship themselves and flesh...SIN NATURE...what's why we need a savior and HIS name is Jesus!]

Dingo~ "Try this verse on for size.
Ps.84
[11] For the LORD God is a sun and shield;"

[Now you're going to use poetic analogy to prove your point. That's OK, but read it in light of the text it was referring to.

Is. 60:19-20~ "19The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended."

The Lord is the "LIGHT" not SUN, the reference was to that effect in Psalms...Not a problem Dingo...Ooh in the NT

Jn. 8:12~ "2Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

Jn. 9:4 - "5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

Jesus is the "Light" of the world NOT SUN...

Mt. 5:14 ~ "14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."

Refrencing BELIEVERS that believe on Jesus share that "light" with HIM...

Ps. 119:105 ~ "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

Who is Jesus? The WORD of illumination...

Now according to the miserable interpretives if you read these verses Prov. 15:3 ~ "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." Ps. 91:4 ~ "4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler."

God would be a Quadrazillion-eyed being with wings and feathers...THAT'S HOW YOU INTERPRET WHEN YOU THINK IT BOLSTERS YOUR POINT...NOW THAT'S FUNNY!]

Dingo~"No, I don't believe that all the other gods mentioned were authentic. I believe that all gods are make believe. They only exist in people's imaginations"

[Do I exist in your imagination Dingo?]

Dingo~ "Between the two of us, I'd say that I'm the conservative one."

[No Dingo, between the two of us, I'm the only one that will consider sound scholarship, given to reason, and know how to interpret what I read in the Bible and weigh out ALL evidence objectively without an antisupernatural bias...]

Dingo~ "Gee wiz, and all this time I thought that it was God who sends the strong delusions. It says so right here in my Bible."

[ Yes Dingo and it also says this,
Rom. 1:28 ~ "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;"

That's hand in what you quoted in 2 Thess. 2:12 ~ "so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

When you LOVE unrighteousness (as you do)you're given over to it...You love to hate and disbelieve...you're given over to your unbelief...and by the way that's the ONLY reason you can't obtain the blessing and peace of God...Unbelief...

Heb. 3:15-19 ~ "While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."

End of you Dingo...Happy Father's day (and I'm making an assumption)

Scott~ (concerning the techniques that God uses in communicating what not to do to people)"Does this sound like the actions of an omnipotent, omniscient being or one of many competing creations of a superstitious culture?"

[Penalties and rewards are yet the MOST effective way to deal with humanity no matter how sophisticated we want to believe that we are. Fear of penalty keep you from running a Stop sign when you don't see the police. In fact that same fear make you file your taxes on time and you may have never received a call from the IRS EVER in your life...but you comply. fear of penalty, keeps your lights on, gas in your car and you at work on time. If left without penalty or reward, man would not actively engage himself in any profitable or orderly venture in society, because contrary to what you think, our hearts are wicked...we offer no moral equivalency to God, that's why he could not have been created by the mind of men as all of you claim...

Jer. 17:9-10 ~ "9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."

The only difference here is that I believe what I KNOW about me and what the assessment of God is for me AND that assessment is positive IN HIM. I have no problem accrediting ALL of my successes to HIM and my failures are only temporary and what I'm weak in I can count on his strength. I have a GREAT and WONDERFUL hope. The anti-Christ advocate has NONE. But you do you...I wouldn't make you change if I could, because you must be happy with yourself at the end of the day.

Besides, God told them all to survive, be blessed and do well, they CHOSE not to follow HIS command...It's really that simple.]

Anyway, back to the game CELTICS RULE!

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Scott wrote: "Can you not see the obvious problem in God's response here? He is manipulating the Israelites instead of revealing the truth to them. Why would he do this?"

The truth was revealed in Jesus, the Messiah, who the OT people did not yet have. Jesus said it was wrong to spend time conjecturing about people's wrongdoings or sin when bad things happened to them - He was leading us to know that we ought to respond with compassion rather than wondering if God was punishing people.

3M

Trou said...

Your behavior on this blog does reveal who you are. You are rude, lack reading comprehension, behave like a bully and for someone who believes in hell you sure could give a rat's ass if any of us ended up there. I really believe you just like to think you are right. You couldn't really believe in hell or you would lose a lot more sleep than you do for someone who claims to love like you do.

So go ahead and play the fool with your derogatory name calling if it makes you feel good but just do us all a favor and understand something. We are not anti-Christ. We just don't believe there ever was or is or will be a Christ. We can't be anti-something-that-doesn’t-exist. Are we anti-Zeus or anti-tooth fairy? So get that through your head. We don't believe there is a god, we aren't anti-Christ but anti-what this belief does to some people as most of us have experienced. We don't believe in hell or heaven for that matter so quit trying to get us to go to one place or the other.

It’s funny/strange that you use the primordial slime crack which just shows everyone your ignorance by acting as if the default position on abiogenesis and evolution is creationism. You must be smart enough or aware enough to realize that you are in the minority view. I would suspect you are in the minority as to your religious beliefs also.

I do commend you for your generosity within your community, however. I like to hear that you are helping those in need. You undoubtedly do more in this regard than I do, although I've opened up my home before and helped people in need (not of my family), sometimes anonymously.

It's good to hear that you like basketball. Good thing you are thousands of miles away or I would educate you old school. lol ;-D

Well that’s 2 things that I like about you. That leaves you just below my mother-in-law on my likeability scale. You need to try harder.

Scott said...

Scott~ (concerning the techniques that God uses in communicating what not to do to people)"Does this sound like the actions of an omnipotent, omniscient being or one of many competing creations of a superstitious culture?

Harvey,

Let me reformulate my comment as you seem to have completely missed the point I was making. Because you've jumped to the conclusion that I'm questioning God's use of punishment and reward in general. Instead, I'm questioning why God, if he is omnipotent and omniscient, didn't simply expose all of these "other" false Gods as the phonies you claim he supposedly knew they were.

We know that Gods and Goddesses do not control the weather, crops and cause natural disasters. These were explanations created by a superstitious culture who simply didn't have enough information at the time to come up with a better answer. This being the case, there would be times where people would still experience drought, poor crops, disasters, etc., despite following the rules of their particular false God. Often, such results would often lead them to seek the favor of other Gods in times of trouble or confusion.

With me so far?

But, when the supposed one true Christian God reveals his will to humanity about these false gods, what does he tell us? Being Omniscient, he too would have known that these "false gods" had nothing to do with the weather, crops and fortunes of the people who worshiped them.

Right?

But does he tell the Israelites this? No he does not.

instead, he beats his chest and, in a shocking case of originality, threatens to - you guessed it - negatively influence the weather, crops and fortunes of the people who worship other gods.

Doesn't this seem the least bit conspicuous to you?

If God knew these "false Gods" were just made up by the Israelites, why didn't he just come out and say so? Why would he leave this out, yet threaten them with the same exact punishment or reward they expected from other Gods.

So he could pray on their superstitions? Does this seem like a moral thing for God to do? Does it sound like a solution formulated by an omniscient being? I don't think so.

However, as Dingo has illustrated, the Bible fails to explicitly indicate these false Gods were complete fictions. Instead, it depicts them as rival Gods who compete for the same mindshare and exhibit the same methods of reward and punishment. Conveniently, the Abrahamic God just happens to be more powerful and "rules" over the rest. Not much of a surprise here.

In fact, It seems clear the Bible couldn't dispense of the whole idea of a world run by supernatural beings who control the weather, crops and disasters. Otherwise, it would alienate the whole cultural foundation of supernatural reward, punishment and struggle for power. And that's bad for business.

This is similar to moderate Muslims who do not completely denounce the radical aspects of Islam, as it would undermine the entire idea of divine revelation.

Scott said...

The truth was revealed in Jesus, the Messiah, who the OT people did not yet have. Jesus said it was wrong to spend time conjecturing about people's wrongdoings or sin when bad things happened to them - He was leading us to know that we ought to respond with compassion rather than wondering if God was punishing people.

That's great advice, M3. However, such advice was 'revealed' long before Jesus was born, by people who didn't believe in the existence of God or Gods.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Trou~ Based on your last response...YOU'RE not all that bad! OK, I'll lighten up a little bit...for the record I do care...so far as the HELL part, but I don't care more than you do...Anyway,

Now an anti-Christ advocate is a mouthpiece for the anti-Christ agenda, and since his agenda is against God and against Christ, unfortunately you guys fit the bill well. That terminology may sound offensive but think it through in light of this:

1 Jn. 2:22-23 "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also."

1 Jn.4:3- "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

2 Jn. 2:7- "7For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist"

Now I'm not callin' you the devil...just an advocate for his reign in the world...redeemable? Yes. Hopeless? NO. Sorry but accurate.

So far as the game is concerned...I'll let you know when I come your way, you'll be looking up a lot at the bottom of my shoes-(LOL-LOL!) in small print...(maybe 15 years ago-LOL)

Anyway, as with most of you that I've had dialogue with...we're good!

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Scott wrote: "That's great advice, M3. However, such advice was 'revealed' long before Jesus was born, by people who didn't believe in the existence of God or Gods."

The purpose of God's love is so that we do not perish - I was capable of giving compassion as a nonbeliever, but I was perishing inwardly and my boundaries were trampled. Jesus said that He knew when to lay His life down and when to take it up - that is the Way of the spirit - it is not under compulsion to gratify the demands or sensitivities of others - one can be compassionate but manipulated to be involved in situations that are an ill fit. And sometimes my "solutions" were not sensitive or foresighted and created more problems than peace -

At any rate, Scott, good talking to you! 3M

DingoDave said...

Harvey Burnett wrote:

-"You're a lost cause for all practical purposes but I LOVE to be hated for Christ sake- LOL"

I don't hate you Harvey. I've told you that already.

-"but why spend so much time especially in this thread if I'm wrong...y'u-know why?"

Because it's fun and it's intellectually stimulating.

-"No need to...their work speaks for itself...and accolades mean NOTHING...I know PLEANTY of U Profs. that are OFF the deepend...totally backwards...your assumption of title MEANS NOTHING! I'm totally unimpressed...besides you don't know my credentials or what I may NOT have said in any internet profile.]"

Have you read their work Harvey?
Qualifications in a specialised field such as archaeology mean plenty. Would you take your children to some unqualified quack doctor, or would you prefer to take them to someone who knows what they're doing?
You're right Harvey, I don't know what your qualifications are, that's why I asked you the question.
I also noticed that you didn't answer me.

-"What the HECK qualifies you Dingo? Are YOU and archaeologist...are YOU and ancient historian? what QUALIFIES YOU?"

No, I'm not a qualified archaeologist or an ancient historian. That's why I listen to what the professionals have to say, rather than just blowing them off and pretending that I know as much as they do about their chosen field.
It would be nice if you had the humility to do the same.

-"I've got MUCH more scholorship that supports my position over a LONGER peoriod of time and many of them were not believers until they examined the archaeological proofs. What's even better my scholarship isn't revisionary, radical or make-believe scholarship as FINK and his bunch..."

The creationists and the flat-earthers have a very similar attitude towards new learning as you do. Thank goodness they're in the minority.(at least in my country)
I'd pit Finkelstein's knowlege of Palestinian archaeology against yours or mine any day of the week.
How many professional archaeologists do you know who have converted to Christianity because of the archaeological evidence that's been presented to them? I'm betting none.

-"What UNBIASED opinions have you offered...let me count...NONE! Get off the weed Dingo"

He (Finkelstein) has also stated;
"I can separate my convictions about my culture and my identity on the one hand from my research on the other. I think this is critical for archaeology. If you cannot make this separation you are finished. Unfortunately, most people who work in biblical archaeology fail to make this separation. It’s a serious problem.”
New Scientist No. 2658 ( May 31, 2008 )

There's one example for you right there Harvey. You do realise that he's Jewish don't you?
And there's no need for personal insults Harvey. You appear to be a bit upset. Have I touched a nerve?

-"Dingo you said this~ "The texts say that the Israelites were forbidden from making any graven images whatsoever."
YOU either LIED or HAVE NO IDEA what you're reading...Who said it Dingo?...God! YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND IT...GET OVER IT!]"

You have just provided a litany of contradictory verses Harvey, and of course I am aware of them.
I've been saying all along that the Bible contradicts itself, and the verses you quoted are living proof of that.
I have read the Bible cover to cover Harvey. How many of your congregation can say the same?

While we're on the topic of Moses contradicting his own instructions, here's another little gem for you to ponder.

One of the Ten Commandments says "You shall not kill", yet as soon as Moses gets to the bottom of Mount Sinai, after only having just received the ten commandments, he orders his followers to slaughter members of their own families.
Here are the passages in question.

Commandment No. 6
Exodus 20
[13] "You shall not kill".

Exod.32
[19] And as soon as he (Moses) came near the camp and saw the (golden) calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot, and he threw the tables out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain.
[25] And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose...
[26] then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Who is on the LORD's side? Come to me." And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.
[27] And he said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, `Put every man his sword on his side, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor."
[28] And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

Not one killing, not two killings, but THREE THOUSAND!!!
So much for "You shall not kill". What a joke!

Both Yahweh and Moses either had split personality disorders, or virtually no short term memory. Either way, they both appear to have been mentally ill.

What kind of weird fantasy world are you living in that you can swallow such glaring contradictions without questioning them?
I wish that you could somehow come to grips with the fact that more than one person wrote the Bible.
The authors of the Bible didn't all think the same things, that's why it's so chock full of contradictions such as these.

Stay tuned. More to come.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Scott- "We know that Gods and Goddesses do not control the weather, crops and cause natural disasters. These were explanations created by a superstitious culture who simply didn't have enough information at the time to come up with a better answer."

[The problem is that I won't agree to certain aspects of your arguments so that you can make a point. These assumptions you make here do not include the God of the bible. You assumption is not what I affirm.
As I've demonstrated there is only ONE true and living God and he is in control of ALL things. If in your statement you mean by "control", that that natural disasters are somehow beyond his ability to stop, maintain or otherwise regulate, I disagree...Secondly, the God of the bible WAS NOT created by the imagination of man. God created man, not the other way around. So in short we miss each other because it appears that you sneak subtle affirmations in your line of reasoning that do not pan out in a biblical world-view and that do not match my biblical realities. Therefore the point is sabotaged along the way many times.]

Scott~ "But does he tell the Israelites this? No he does not."…"If God knew these "false Gods" were just made up by the Israelites, why didn't he just come out and say so? Why would he leave this out, yet threaten them with the same exact punishment or reward they expected from other Gods."

[Now that's making big assumptions about what God did not revealed to man in the Pre-Pentateuch age of conscience. My claim is that the narrative states that God spoke to man's conscience and hearts plainly and thereby gave him the ability to relate and communicate with HIM, however SIN birthed within the hearts of individuals caused then to turn their hearts and practices away from the True and Living God.

Gen:4:26 ~"26And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD."

As I stated, early as Genesis (pre-Pentateuch) we see the concept of worship and communication with God taking place. This was the introduction of a community practice of worship where “men began” to "call upon the name of the Lord".

Next progression wee see is the individual relationship:

Gen. 5:24 ~"4And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."

The direction of God was clear to man even BEFORE there was a written narrative. Written narratives were not as valued as personal experience which is EXACTLY the opposite of our modern culture in many respects.

I propose that the voice, command and direction of God was not unusual or strange to his people and that the command to worship God ONLY was not something that caught the people by surprise.

This is further demonstrated by Abram's response to God in Gen. 15 when God spoke to Abram. Until that point, Abram understood the Mesopotamian bilateral covenant of agreement whereby 2 parties acted an participated. The blood covenant was understood to be of the highest order but BOTH parties had to participate. That understanding of “blood covenant” emanated from Gen. 3:21 when God made “coats of skins” for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness as they exited the Garden.

God INTRODUCED a totally new unilateral covenant of agreement that did not require Abram's participation, done in terms that he could understand through "blood" which was accepted "by faith". The “by faith” part was not a spiritual concept up until that time, and was not a normal part of what Abram understood in association with “worship”.

This act, for Abram, sealed the fact and thought that there was only ONE true and Living God to be worshipped above all that was "called" God. You never see him, his sons, or their family worshipping or bowing themselves to ANY OTHER GOD. Why? Because the message had ALREADY been communicated.

The scope of God's message and directions are confirmed in:

Is. 48:16 ~ "Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me"

God's requirements were "not spoken in secret" he plentifully spoke to the conscience of man as it pertains to following the True and living Lord.

The problem WASN'T that God did not know how to differentiate himself from false God's or that he didn't send the necessary information clearly...The problem was (Is) that man, due to the absence of God's perceived presence chose to serve images that they could see, touch and feel and enter into the area of divination. There are a number of reason for this

1- Partially because there is a spiritual reality that undergirds the physical and natural life that we live, which seeks it’s place in communion with God, even if that place is to deny God. Although the antisupernaturalist doesn't agree, disagreements don't change the spiritual reality that we are not merely physical beings and the people of that day’s desires were similar if not more pronounced than ours.
2- There were 430 years that separated between the call of Abram and the exit from Egypt. After the patriarchs died (Abraham, Isaac & Jacob) there easily would have been exposure to false systems of worship and idolatry as evidenced and witnessed in Egypt.

There's more I could say, but to suggest that God did not address that other “god's” had no power was already a foregone conclusion. God dealt with his people by displaying the results (end) of following "dumb idols" and what they could expect his reponse to be to their sins.

People chose what "floated their boat" JUST like people do today...NO DIFFERENCE.

Hab. 2:18-20~ "18What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? 19Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. 20But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him."

1 Cor. 12:2 ~ "Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led."

In short, the whole premise of your question is wrong. I believe the most plausible retort is that Israel was monotheistic BEFORE the experience in Egypt and their monotheism had NOTHING to do with Aten priests, and that Moses was a conduit whereby the "written" narrative took shape. Further, I believe that Dingo and many others improperly interpret historical narratives such as Kings, Chronicles, Ezra etc as Law when that is not the proper interpretive for such books. They carry law and reveal certain aspects of God's nature and actions, however the primary use of such works are to reveal and document both God’s response to the sins of man (including idolotry) and man's response to the call of God.]

Now, I’ll conclude my time here and leave you guys to hash out and debate the details...because I believe we’ve looked at this from about every way possible and I’ve outlined my position clearly. I’ll await for and read your responses but I won't respond unless you ask me to. I appreciate the dialogue.

Jennifer said...

Lee,
I haven't read through all of the comments so excuse me if I am repeating what has already been said.

Very interesting perspective. I wrote about this in much less detail here, with a different perspective.

I think a very important and overlooked aspect to this is that history has been written, re-written and continues to be subject to the biases and perspective of the writers. Akhenaten was the second Pharoah, if I remember right, to have his/her record scratched. There is a whole section of the Code of Hammurabi scratched out...makes one curious to know more about what else has been edited and erased in secular history, if there is such a thing.

Trou said...

Harvey,
Nice to hear kinder notes from you.

"1 Jn.4:3- "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." "

I want you to try to understand me. There is a difference between not believing in the existence of God or Jesus and what this verse is talking about.
This verse, as and example, refers to the ongoing debate between those who thought that Jesus came in the flesh and those that thought that he was spirit. I, as well as others on this site, think that he did not exist, or if he did, he was simply a man. Therefore, it's not like he was god or he was man, but he was not, period. It's not heads or tails, it's a nice cold beer.
By the way, I don't believe in Satan either.
I can understand if this is inconceivable to you but please leave me out of your mythology. I like it better when treated kindly.
Either way, 15 years ago sounds about right for lighting you up on the court. Then I would have broken your ankles with my deadly cross-over dribble but now I would probably just try to stave off a heart attack. I'd still beat you though. I can bring it from downtown. ;-D

Scott said...

As I've demonstrated there is only ONE true and living God and he is in control of ALL things. If in your statement you mean by "control", that that natural disasters are somehow beyond his ability to stop, maintain or otherwise regulate, I disagree.

Harvey, I think it's perfectly obvious what I mean. Yet you continue to avoid the obvious by attempting to sidetrack the discussion.

Are you implying that God is constantly manipulating the weather or causing natural disasters, such as the earthquakes and tsunamis? Is God actively causing crops to fail or flourish depending on those who worship him or not? We've identified natural processes that influence these events and they are relatively uniform instead of being controlled by some mysterious force. There are no Gods to be found.

My claim is that the narrative states that God spoke to man's conscience and hearts plainly and thereby gave him the ability to relate and communicate with HIM, however SIN birthed within the hearts of individuals caused then to turn their hearts and practices away from the True and Living God.

Care to actually address the issue at hand? An omnipotent God would have known these "false gods" had nothing to do with controlling the environment. Otherwise, they wouldn't be false, now would they?

I propose that the voice, command and direction of God was not unusual or strange to his people and that the command to worship God ONLY was not something that caught the people by surprise.

I'm proposing the same thing. This is how all protection rackets work. Pay us and we'll protect you. However, if you don't pay us, don't be surprised if bad thinks happen to you. If these Gods were false, they couldn't keep their promises. God, being omnipotent would have known this, yet he failed to expose them for the phonies they supposedly were. Again, why didn't he?

The problem WASN'T that God did not know how to differentiate himself from false God's or that he didn't send the necessary information clearly...The problem was (Is) that man, due to the absence of God's perceived presence chose to serve images that they could see, touch and feel and enter into the area of divination. There are a number of reason for this

And what would the perceived absence of God's presence be? The presence of drought, poor crops, disasters, etc. despite worshiping God. They switched sides because they felt their current God simply wasn't fulfilling their part of the bargain. Are you sure you're not trying to make my point for me?

Partially because there is a spiritual reality that undergirds the physical and natural life that we live, which seeks it’s place in communion with God....

Just because we're looking for God doesn't mean he actually exists. You'll need to do more than simply assert this as fact.

even if that place is to deny God.

Let me guess, the denial of the existence of Zeus, aliens or Santa Clause proves they exist too?

disagreements don't change the spiritual reality that we are not merely physical beings and the people of that day’s desires were similar if not more pronounced than ours.

You've put the cart before the horse. Spiritual reality is precisely what's in dispute here. You're making assertions based on circular references and an argument from ignorance.

There were 430 years that separated between the call of Abram and the exit from Egypt. After the patriarchs died (Abraham, Isaac & Jacob) there easily would have been exposure to false systems of worship and idolatry as evidenced and witnessed in Egypt.

So why didn't God use this as a perfect example of how these false Gods were just that, false, and failed to protect them as promised? Could it have been that God's record really wasn't that good either?

God dealt with his people by displaying the results (end) of following "dumb idols" and what they could expect his reponse to be to their sins.

You mean by beating his chest and making his own protection offer the Israelites "could not refuse?" Really makes sense, doesn't it?

In short, the whole premise of your question is wrong.

In other words, I'm simply not supposed to be asking these questions. They are off the table and not open to rational discussion.

Scott said...

Jesus said that He knew when to lay His life down and when to take it up - that is the Way of the spirit - it is not under compulsion to gratify the demands or sensitivities of others - one can be compassionate but manipulated to be involved in situations that are an ill fit.

Again, great advice. If it's really worth following, then it's true independent of the existence of God or Jesus.

Or are you saying that Jesus has to use divine revelation to reveal exactly how to be compassionate in every situation?

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Scott, I used to be confused about the difference between "works" and expressions of faith in acts of love. And I used to be deceived into thinking that it was better to be humanistic and avoid the involvement of authority in my life, never realizing or coming to terms with the dissonance between the romantic notions of "the goodness of mankind" and the "evil of mankind".

Consider this: Jesus's most stern words were reserved for the following personalities: Empowered, status seeking, Clean cut, church going, charitable, prayerful, familial, law abiding, moral,community minded folks - yet He deemed them the "sons of Hell". Would you be able to tell why that was? Would you be able to approach these people and confront them and on what basis? They weren't breaking any laws - yet I tell you and I tell you the truth - there is a difference between God's righteousness and self righteousness.

Yet by His grace God has lowered the nets, even to the religious hypocrite.I do not condemn those who use Jesus's name with hypocrisy because He Himself viewed such with compassion while letting us know it is a way of alienating ourselves from Him.

Scott, you can believe it possible to be compassionate without the aid of divine inspiration - I used to. I preferred it that way, but never examined why.

At any rate, that's enough for now - bye! 3M

DingoDave said...

Harvey wrote:

-"what happened Dingo?...GOD wasn't pleased with the act of erecting the calf AT ALL... if it was El and El was God, as you persist in saying, there would have been NO anger from the Lord, no reason to change or kill anyone..."

In the story, it was Moses who wasn't pleased with the making of the golden calf. Yahweh (being nothing more than a monstrous fiction) had nothing to do with it.
(Not that I believe that any of this ever actually happened.)
The story was obviously written by the Jerusalem priests as a polemic against the priests and the golden bulls in the temple at Bethel in Northern Israel, which at the time that this was written, was in competition with the Jerusalem temple for the minds and money of the people.
Oh, and as a side note, this story gives the lie to your previous assertion that the Israelites didn't possess weapons when they fled from Egypt during the exodus, because the story maintains that they had weapons enough to butcher 3000 of their own people.

-"These accounts demonstrate Israel's strong conviction that God cannot be lowered to the level of a pictoral presentation. God as soveriegn Lord allows NO PHYSICAL IMAGE of himself and any human effort to create such an image invites his judgement"

It demonstrates the convictions of the Yahwist priests who wrote them, not the convictions of the common people.

You appear to have a distorted view about the function of idols and graven images in ancient religions Harvey. Most of the people who used idols as part of their worship routines, no more believed that their idols were actually THE gods, than most Christians do when they kneel before their crucifixes in their churches today. The idols were viewed simply as AIDS to worship. The idols were not actually the OBJECTS of worship. Can you understand that?

-"Dingo~ "Just quoting contradictory verses to me will not make the polytheistic ones go away."
"You NEVER follow the complete story and certainly don't know what you're reading as I've PROVEN...Like I said there is no argument here, you have NONE."

Then I'll ask you once again Harvey; What part of "Ps.82:1 "God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment" don't you understand?
How is this verse (among the many others I quoted for you) anything BUT polytheistic?
Here's another example just for good measure.
Ps.89
[5] Let the heavens praise thy wonders, O LORD, thy faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!
[6] For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings (gods) is like the LORD,
[7] a God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible above all that are round about him?

You appear to be in deep denial about these verses Harvey.

-"OK Dingo...according to you the slaves of the Hyskos were Hyskos themselves...YOU ARE A FARCE! Just unbelievable!"

This makes absolutely no sense to me Harvey. I never said that, and I'll thank you for not putting words into my mouth which I never uttered.
I'd also ask you to keep a civil tongue in you head if you don't mind.
What I DID ask you was whether YOU were asserting that the Hebrews were actually the slaves of the Hyksos.
And what's so unusual about a people keeping other members of their own people as slaves anyway? The Israelites owned Israelite slaves didn't they?

-"Let's see that's one right, maybe two in about the last 200 tries...Israel walked out, the Hyskos capital wasn't totally abandoned after the Hyskos were expelled...The slaves
remained...but you'll give that no creedence"

Once again you're not making any sense Harvey. The Israelites walked out but the slaves remained? How do you know that? What does it even mean? :-/

-"What did they see in the BOOK OF THE LAW that told them to follow through with the reform Dingo? If worship of Canaanite god's (which you finally admit to) were allowable there would have been no reason to change...It speaks for itself..."

What they saw in the 'book of the law' was basically what we read in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, with all their talk about tearing down pagan alters, and burning the Asheras, and slaughtering the pagan priests, and all the other violent and ridiculous nonsense which is commanded in those revolting books. That's why Josiah took such extreme measures to purge Judah of all pagan influences. Hikiah, and the other Yahwist priests who wrote this stuff, really were nasty pieces of work.
And what do you mean when you say that I "finally admit" that the Israelites were worshipping Canaanite gods? That's what I've been saying all along! :O

-"this adds no value to anything but it reaffirms your hate for God and selfish and self preservationaist nature aka SIN NATURE"

Oh, I can just FEEL the love oozing out of you Harvey. If you had lived back in those days, I suspect that you would have been one of the people waiting eagerly on the front line, ready to stone me.
"I'd like two points, two flats, and a packet of gravel please." - Life of Brian :-D

-"That's what unbelievers do...worship themselves and flesh...SIN NATURE...what's why we need a savior and HIS name is Jesus!"

I don't worship anything or anyone Harvey, least of all myself.

-"Now you're going to use poetic analogy to prove your point. That's OK, but read it in light of the text it was referring to."

Has it ever occurred to you that Aten being represented by a Sun disk, might also be poetic analogy Harvey? Or in your mind, is poetic analogy only allowed in your own religion.
Like I said to you before, the 'idols' that people supposedly 'worshipped' were generally not themselves the objects of worship, but were merely representations of a higher spiritual reality which were used as aids to worship.
And before you go accusing me of claiming that those gods really existed, I don't mean for you to take my use of the word 'reality' literally. :-)

-"God would be a Quadrazillion-eyed being with wings and feathers...THAT'S HOW YOU INTERPRET WHEN YOU THINK IT BOLSTERS YOUR POINT...NOW THAT'S FUNNY!"

The description of Yahweh as having wings and feathers (which is not uncommon in the Bible), is probably an analogue of the Persian high god Ahura Mazda. Feel free to look it up.
Ahura Mazda was represented as a 'King of kings', riding on a winged sun disk.
Do a simple 'google image seach' and you'll see what I mean.

-"Do I exist in your imagination Dingo?"

I'm not even going to dignify that ridiculous question with a response.

-"No Dingo, between the two of us, I'm the only one that will consider sound scholarship, given to reason, and know how to interpret what I read in the Bible and weigh out ALL evidence objectively without an antisupernatural bias"

When it comes to doing science or history, I follow the principle of 'methodological naturalism'. It works, and it's how we've managed to progress our way out of the dark ages. Therefore I'll stick with it if you don't mind.

-"When you LOVE unrighteousness (as you do) you're given over to it...You love to hate and disbelieve..."

It should be apparent to anyone reading this thread that it's YOU who seems to be doing most of the hating Harvey, not me.
And what does it mean to "love unrigteousness" anyway?

-"and by the way that's the ONLY reason you can't obtain the blessing and peace of God...Unbelief."

How can I force myself to believe something that I don't believe? Are you suggesting that I should lie to myself? That would hardly be honest would it?

-"Fear of penalty keep you from running a Stop sign when you don't see the police. In fact that same fear make you file your taxes on time and you may have never received a call from the IRS EVER in your life...but you comply."

You take a very childish approach to the subject of ethics and morality Harvey. Has it ever occured to you that we atheists are capable of obeying the law because by doing so it benifits everyone in our community, not just ourselves. If there wasn't a big stick looming over you, would you run riot and selfishly do anything you wanted? If so, then please don't abandon your religion, because you would end up being a menace to society.

-" I have a GREAT and WONDERFUL hope. The anti-Christ advocate has NONE."

You have a great and wonderful DELUSION Harvey, and society would probably be better off without it. What we atheists have is REALITY, and I'd rather choose reality any day.

-"Anyway, back to the game CELTICS RULE!"

Only in your dreams Harvey.

DingoDave said...

Scott wrote:
-"But why did the Israelites worship these other Gods? At the time, everyone thought the Gods were integral to the day to day workings of the world. People aligned themselves with a particular God as a protector and facilitator. Their worship ensured their God of choice would give them good weather, bountiful crops, etc. But, when things inevitably go wrong (as we know the weather, crops and natural disasters are controlled by complex natural processes, not Gods) they turn to other Gods in hope of better results. We see examples of this kind of behavior in the OT.
And,
-"This is how all protection rackets work. Pay us and we'll protect you. However, if you don't pay us, don't be surprised if bad thinks happen to you."
And,
-"And what would the perceived absence of God's presence be? The presence of drought, poor crops, disasters, etc. despite worshiping God. They switched sides because they felt their current God simply wasn't fulfilling their part of the bargain."

There is a perfect example of this principle in action in the book of Jeremiah, where Jeremiah was trying to convince the people of Jerusalem to abandon the worship of Ashera, the 'Queen of Heaven'.

Jeremiah 44
[15] Then all the men who knew that their wives had offered incense to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who dwelt in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah:
[16] "As for the word which you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you.
[17] But we will do everything that we have vowed, burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no evil.
[18] But since we left off burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine."
[19] And the women said, "When we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out libations to her, was it without our husbands' approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out libations to her?"
[20] Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who had given him this answer:
[23] It is because you burned incense, and because you sinned against the LORD and did not obey the voice of the LORD or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies, that this evil has befallen you, as at this day."

'Divine protection rackets' and 'dualling gods' indeed!

Scott hit the nail squarely on the head with his analogy.
"That's a nice country you've got there. It'd be a shame if anything bad happened to it."

'Don Yahweh' has a nice ring to it. I can almost hear the Italian accordian music playing in the background as I type. :D

DingoDave said...

Hi Jennifer.

On your blog you wrote:

"Toward the end of this page "The Great Hymn to the Aten" is mentioned, and it's similarity with Psalm 104. As I read it and thought of what the Aten meant to Akhenaten (if the interpretation is correct), I thought it sounded just like what King David would write. It seems, according to these different sources, that the Aten was just the symbol of the reality which lay beyond. It seems he was not worshiping the sun, but he was worshiping some being who's essence seemed to him to be similar to the sun just as the Israelites chose a bull."

I'm glad that you can see the similarities between 'The Great Hymn' and Psalm 104.
I'm also glad you recognise that to Akhenaten, the sun disk was probably just a symbol, or manifestation of Aten, rather than actually being Aten himself.
Of course, being an atheist, I draw different conclusions from all of this than you do. :)
I guess it's just a case of 'different strokes for different folks'.

-"...makes one curious to know more about what else has been edited and erased in secular history, if there is such a thing."

Probably quite a bit.
History is generally written by the winners, and this is especially true of religious history and/or propaganda. This would also include the Bible.

Edward O. Wilson once wrote - "Every major religion today is a winner in the Darwinian struggle waged among cultures, and none ever flourished by tolerating its rivals."

How true those words ring when we look around us today, or honestly study the history of religions and cultures.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Dingo~ "In the story, it was Moses who wasn't pleased with the making of the golden calf. Yahweh (being nothing more than a monstrous fiction) had nothing to do with it."

[Once again, I will blame this on your inability to accurately read and interpret biblical narratives:

Ex. 32:9-10 ~ “And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.”

By the way the "my wrath may wax hot against them" means before HE(GOD) becomes MORE upset or angry at them than he already was. Further in the same chapter:

Ex. 32:14 ~ "And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people"

Very important here that the technical sense of the word "repented" as it applies to God here means to turn from, however unlike human repentance there is an absence of sorrow, remorse or guilt. Linguistics say that there was quite no word equivalent to describe what God actually does when he "repents" only that it is not the same as the repentance of mankind.

Now, you’re right in a sense, Moses displayed righteous indignation, (v.19) the same type that Jesus displayed when he expelled the money changers from the temple (John 2:13-16). This led Moses to order the 3,000 killed.

However, you raise the question of the righteousness of God, Moses and the narrative by setting up one of the weakest SCAMS I’ve ever heard.

You say that God had just gave Moses the Commandments and # 6 said, “Thou shalt not kill” You go on to basically say...see I told ya the bible is a contradiction...OK

Has murder or killing (other than self-defense) been sanctioned in your area or part of the world? Are there laws ON THE BOOKS against murder and killing where you live?

In contrast, does CAPITAL PUNISHMENT exist there also? It may not, BUT in many places where there are laws against killing and murder there are also laws in favor of capital punishment...for example in Illinois and Texas the laws of Capital Punishment exist, as well as laws against murder and killing.

There are times that people are sentenced TO DEATH...But the LAW is NOT to kill or murder...WHY is the judge exempt UNDER THE LAW when ordering capital punishment aka ordering THE DEATH of certain criminals and individuals found guilty of their actions?

The same is TRUE of Moses. He was the leader/prophet/judge under God and HIS law and acted out of RIGHTEOUSNESS indignation not self and self-will or for selfish reasons.

Your misleading in this area is intentional and is TOTALLY ABSURD.

EOS aka End Of Story]

Dingo~ "How is this verse (among the many others I quoted for you) anything BUT polytheistic?
Here's another example just for good measure.Ps.89"

[This is the KJV which seems to clear up much of your confusion regarding who is actually being referred to:

Ps. 89: 5-14 ~ "5And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints."

Your version quotes: [5] Let the heavens praise thy wonders, O LORD, thy faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!

You think “Holy Ones” refer to some other supernatural beings. It actually refers to the PEOPLE OF GOD who trust in HIM for righteousness MEANING...Saints aka Holy Ones.

V6.For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?

Your version quotes: [6] For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings (gods) is like the LORD,

Note that YOU insert "gods" after beings in effort to support your point that this verse is referring to competitive supernatural beings.

You fail to understand that heaven is full of company Rev. 4:8-11 ~ "And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 9And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

Additionally you fail to understand that God called his host "sons" Job. 2:1 "1Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD."

But ONE of you biggest failures here is to understand that "mighty" was the generic form of El which is often used in a general sense. You try to make "mighty" the overarching part of the scripture when that’s not the focul point of the verse. The latter part of the verse asks who among them all can be likened (placed in a similar class or category) of The Lord?

Clearly you misinterpret once again and miss the complete meaning due to your iesegesis of scripture. If you were a doctor your name would be Kevorkian(sp) because YOU'RE KILLING ME with your ERRONEOUS and FALLACIOUS interpretations!

Look further:

7God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

Your version says: [7] a God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible above all that are round about him?

Once again to think “holy ones” mean some pantheon of gods...It actually refers to the PEOPLE OF GOD who trust in HIM for righteousness MEANING…Saints aka Holy Ones.

The rest of the verses drive home the point that THERE IS NO COMPARISON to God AT ALL! ANYWHERE.

8. O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? 9Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. 10Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm.”

You also indicate that Rahab is supposed to have some special implication to polytheism. In V.10 Rahab is figurative language for EGYPT who was defeated at the hands of God.

Your IESEGESIS of TEXTS...IS NOT the proper way to understand the bible and besides it shows your anti-God bias, not very becoming of you. So far as Ps. 82, I already answered your ridiculous assertions earlier, there’s nothing new...Live with it!]

Dingo~ "And what do you mean when you say that I "finally admit" that the Israelites were worshipping Canaanite gods? That's what I've been saying all along! :O"

[NO. You have said that they were the gods of Israel that were taken either out of Egypt or from Canaanan and that the practices were somehow sanctioned by God and the people until the was somehow changed or revised by the priests...DON’T change on me now! I’ve asserted that you were WRONG from the beginning. I've also pointed out that although the people got caught up in idolatry against the command of the Lord, God was NEVER PLEASED WITH SUCH AND INDICATED HIS DISPLEASURE EVEN BEFORE THE WRITTEN NARRATIVE. You’re changing again Mr. Chameleon]


[Also let me correct a few things that you seem to proliferate here that I have paid little attention to:]

Dingo~ You said this to Scott, “There is a perfect example of this principle in action in the book of Jeremiah, where Jeremiah was trying to convince the people of Jerusalem to abandon the worship of Ashera, the 'Queen of Heaven'.”

[Anat is sometimes identified with the “queen of heaven,” to whom the Jews offered incense in Jeremiah’s day (Jer. 7:18; 44:17–19, 25). But some scholars identify the “queen of heaven” with the Assyro-Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Anat was the patroness of sex and passion; lewd figurines of this nude goddess have been discovered at various archaeological sites in Palestine.

The goddess Asherah (1 Kin. 15:13; 2 Chr. 15:16; Asherahs, Judg. 3:7) was portrayed as the wife of El (or sometimes Baal) in Canaanite mythology. Asherah was a favorite deity of women. Some of the wives of David and Solomon worshiped her (1 Kin. 15:13), as Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, also probably did (1 Kin. 16:31–33). King Asa suppressed the worship of Asherah (1 Kin. 15:13), and King Josiah destroyed “the articles that were made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven” (2 Kin. 23:4). The worship of Baalistic gods in general including Asherah was for farming and crop productivity. There was no known “salvation” offered other than whatever the deity was being worshipped for.

“The word "Asherah" also refers to a wooden pole, or cult pillar, that stood at Canaanite places of worship—perhaps the trunk of a tree with the branches chopped off—and associated with the worship of the goddess Asherah”. ~ Youngblood, Ronald F., General Editor; F.F. Bruce and R.K. Harrison, Consulting Editors, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995.

Again you said: "There is a perfect example of this principle in action in the book of Jeremiah, where Jeremiah was trying to convince the people of Jerusalem to abandon the worship of Ashera, the 'Queen of Heaven'."---That is inaccurate, this referred to the goddess Anat.

Additionally, your linguistics problem:

You like to use parallels as if a parallel prove your language assertions that God and EL were the same being, or at least similar beings.

I must offer this to clear up the understanding of the names of God. I’ve noticed that you offer a very convoluted and INACCURATE view of the useage of names and how they were constructed. You have set forth that “EL” was representative of the God of the Bible because the root “EL” can be associated with his the God of the Bible’s name in many instances. Let’s look at this for a minute:

Names of God and use of EL ~ a root name for God in the Old Testament is El. By itself it refers to a god in the most general sense. It was widely used in ancient eastern cultures whose languages are similar to Hebrew and therefore may refer either to the true God or to false gods. The highest Canaanite god was El, whose son was Baal.

This is a common biblical word and name. In the Bible the word is often defined properly by a qualifier like Jehovah: “I, the LORD (Jehovah) your God (Elohim), am a jealous God (El)” (Deut. 5:9).
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba “and there called on the name of the LORD (Yahweh), the Everlasting God (El Olam) (Gen. 21:33). Jacob built an altar on a piece of land he purchased at Shechem and called it ELElohe Israel (“God, the God of Israel”), commemorating his wrestling with the angel at the place he called Peniel (“the face of God”), and receiving his new name Israel (Yisrael “God strives”) (Gen. 32:28–30; 33:20). El Shaddai (God Almighty), signifying God as a source of blessing, is the name with which God appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ex. 6:3).

Elohim is the plural form of El, but it is usually translated in the singular. Some scholars have held that the plural represents an intensified form for the supreme God; others believe it describes the supreme God and His heavenly court of created beings. Still others hold that the plural form refers to the triune God of Genesis 1:1–3, who works through Word and Spirit in the creation of the world. In any event, Elohim conveys the idea that the one supreme being, who is the only true God, is in some sense plural.

The appearance of El with many biblical words and even aspects of God’s nature are NO MORE than neologisms which are COMMON to many cultures and peoples and especially those of the Bible because of close proximity and similarity of linguistic constructs. Neologisms are something that we do every day when we use words such as data-base, and home-run. The industrial revolution and the computer “boom” gave way to many neologisms in current use today that did not exist together prior to this time.

You CLEARLY misuse and abuse the Biblical text to proliferate untruths, lies and anti-God dogmas with your preselect iesegesis of scripture and assumption of borrowing based on parallels which is the ABSOLUTE worst way to properly contextualize history and gain true meaning of texts. No more than a Yugo is a Lexus simply because both are called cars than is God associated in ANY way with Baal of the Canaananite religion, Ra of Egypt or any other deity of antiquity simply because they were called gods…

Your premise and your basis for suggesting these fanatical notions are TOTALLY ridiculous and not based on any acceptable method of interpretive science.]

Now I really am committed to not doing this so please make your assertions without asking me to respond.

Celtics take it at home GAME 6 Baby!

Scott said...

There are times that people are sentenced TO DEATH...But the LAW is NOT to kill or murder...WHY is the judge exempt UNDER THE LAW when ordering capital punishment aka ordering THE DEATH of certain criminals and individuals found guilty of their actions?

So why did God force humans to do his dirty work?

01. Unlike human law makers who can't be everywhere at once and lack the skills / equipment / knowledge to actually administer capital punishment in a humane way, God has no such limitations. Of course, a God who didn't actually exist would find it rather difficult to do his own dirty work.

02. Humans misinterpret God's laws. It's not a question of "if" it happens but how often. As such, God runs the risk that humans will kill someone he didn't intend to punish. Clearly, God, who is supposedly omnipotent and omniscient wouldn't accidentally kill the wrong person. I guess accidental death isn't a concern for God.

03. Why condition people to kill others unless it's absolutely necessary? It's traumatic and desensitizes people to acts of violence and murder. Not exactly a good strategy to reduce incidences of violence and death perpetrated by others.

DingoDave said...

Harvey Burnett wrote:

-"Once again, I will blame this on your inability to accurately read and interpret biblical narratives"

What evidence do you have that Yahweh spoke to Moses Harvey? The only evidence you have is that the author of the story said that he did. This kind of 'he said she said', 3rd hand testimony would not be accepted in any court of law in the country. Do you believe that Allah spoke to Mohammed? If not why not? Do you believe that the god Chemosh really spoke to the king of Moab? If not why not?

Just because the author of this story SAID that Yahweh spoke to Moses, does not automatically make it true. Fictional people are made to speak to one another all the time in fictional stories. I also don't believe that Ret Butler ever really said "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn", to to Scarlet O'Hara in 'Gone With the Wind', and for the very same reason.

-"Has murder or killing (other than self-defense) been sanctioned in your area or part of the world? Are there laws ON THE BOOKS against murder and killing where you live?"

Yes, and if any religious leader in my country ordered his followers to slaughter 3000 members of their own families because he claimed that God told him to, he would be locked away in a lunatic asylum for the term of his natural life.

-"WHY is the judge exempt UNDER THE LAW when ordering capital punishment aka ordering THE DEATH of certain criminals and individuals found guilty of their actions?"

Australia did away with capital punishment decades ago, following the philosophy that 'two wrongs don't make a right'.
But even if we did still have the death penalty, any judge who ordered the massacre of 3000 people because they made a statue, would be immediately struck off the bench and punished to the full extent of the law.

-"The same is TRUE of Moses. He was the leader/prophet/judge under God and HIS law and acted out of RIGHTEOUSNESS indignation not self and self-will or for selfish reasons."

This story is more than likely pure fiction. It was probably written by Hilkiah and his cronies as a polemic against the temple at Bethel.
By the way, the people who flew those passenger jets into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre were acting out of righteous indignation as well. Does this mean that that you agree that they were right to do so?
My wife and I had been standing at the top of one of those towers only twelve months prior to when those religious fanatics crashed their planes into them.
3000 people died as a result of their little fit of 'righteous indignation', just as 3000 people supposedly died as a result of Moses' little hissy fit.
Fuck religious intolerance and fuck 'righteous' indignation!

-"This is the KJV which seems to clear up much of your confusion regarding who is actually being referred to"
"Your version quotes: [5] Let the heavens praise thy wonders, O LORD, thy faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!"

It's not MY version. I had nothing to do with translating that passage, it was translated by a team of qualified Bible scholars.
The RSV and the NASB are generally acknowleged be the most accurate translations on the market. I quoted the RSV.
"The Revised Standard Version (RSV) is... perhaps the clearest and... most authoritative of all the English-language Bibles. For these reasons, it is the Bible of choice for serious study...The main advantages of the RSV Bible are that it is a very clear, very scholarly, widely accepted word-for-word translation. " - Rev. Bill McGinnis.
In contrast, the King James version is notoriously unreliable, and is rarely if ever used by Bible scholars. It is also the only translation that I'm aware of (apart from the 'New KJV'), which translates 'holy ones' as 'saints'.

-"Note that YOU insert "gods" after beings in effort to support your point that this verse is referring to competitive supernatural beings."

Not "competitive supernatural beings" Harvey, but members of Yahweh's polytheistic 'Divine Council'.

-"You fail to understand that heaven is full of company Rev. 4:8-11"

I don't care what the author of Revelation had to say. That has nothing whatsoever to do with either Psalm 82 or Psalm 89. They were written by completely different authors who were separated by centuries of theological development.

-"Additionally you fail to understand that God called his host "sons" Job. 2:1 "1Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD."

In the Old Testament, Satan is portrayed as a servant of Yahweh, not a competitor. He is portrayed as mankind's accuser in the Divine Council of Yahweh. His job was to act like a kind of prosecuting attorney. Not once in the Old Testament does Satan disobey Yahweh's instructions. As this passage also indicates, he is portayed as being one of Yahweh's sons.

"If you were a doctor your name would be Kevorkian(sp) because YOU'RE KILLING ME with your ERRONEOUS and FALLACIOUS interpretations!"

They're not MY interpretations. They are the interpretations of qualified Bible scholars.

-"Once again to think “holy ones” mean some pantheon of gods...It actually refers to the PEOPLE OF GOD who trust in HIM for righteousness MEANING…Saints aka Holy Ones."

As I mentioned before, the word 'saints' is a mis-translation which only appears in the KJV and the New KJV. How many 'people of God' do you know who hang around up in heaven, and participate in 'Divine Councils'? Give me a break Harvey.

-"You also indicate that Rahab is supposed to have some special implication to polytheism. In V.10 Rahab is figurative language for EGYPT who was defeated at the hands of God."

Rahab is the name of the mythical chaos dragon whom Yahweh is supposed to have defeated at the foundation of the world. She is the functional equivelant of 'Tiamat'.

"In Hebrew thought, however, the most prominent concept of chaos is that of the primeval disorder that preceded God's creative activity. When “darkness was upon the face of the deep,” God through His word destroyed the forces of confusion (Genesis 1:2). Throughout the Scriptures, chaos is personified as the principal opponent of God. In ancient Semitic legends, a terrible chaos-monster was called Rahab (the proud one), or Leviathan (the twisting dragon-creature), or Yam (the roaring sea)." - Holman Bible Dictionary

"Another example is from Psalm 89, a hymn to God as the defender and supporter of the Davidic monarchy and therefore of Israel. First, God is exalted as the creator. God who has conquered and subdued the chaos, again in the figure of the dragon Rahab (Psa 89:9-10): "You ruled the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them. You crushed Rahab like a carcass, you scattered you enemies with your mighty arm." Then the psalm continues to affirm God’s presence with the king, again using the imagery of conquest of the power of chaos represented by water (v. 25): "I will set his [the king] hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers." - (Genesis Bible Study Lesson Three: Creation 1, God and Boundaries) - Dennis Bratcher

-"NO. You have said that they were the gods of Israel that were taken either out of Egypt or from Canaanan and that the practices were somehow sanctioned by God and the people until the was somehow changed or revised by the priests...DON’T change on me now!...You’re changing again Mr. Chameleon"

What an absurd accusation to make.
I defy you to show me where I ever wrote anything LIKE that.
I said that the Israelites had always been polytheistic up until the time that the high priest of the Yahwist cult mysteriously
'found the book of the law' in the Jerusalem temple, after it had supposedly been lost for for over 800 years.
I also said that nobody had ever heard of this law until Hilkiah claimed to have 'found it' in the temple. I also suggested that it was probably a forgery written by Hilkiah himsef, in order to boost the prestige of the Yahwist priesthood, and to do away with any competition from other religions.
Hilkiah's forgery obviously worked, because it motivated King Josiah to exterminate the pagan priests and to ban the worship of all gods other than Yahweh. I also pointed out that after King Josiah's untimely death, the Israelites reverted straight back to their traditional polytheistic ways.
How you came to misunderstand what I actually said to the extent that you claim, simply beggars my imagination.

Dingo~ You said this to Scott, “There is a perfect example of this principle in action in the book of Jeremiah, where Jeremiah was trying to convince the people of Jerusalem to abandon the worship of Ashera, the 'Queen of Heaven'”... The goddess Asherah (1 Kin. 15:13; 2 Chr. 15:16; Asherahs, Judg. 3:7) was portrayed as the wife of El (or sometimes Baal) in Canaanite mythology. Asherah was a favorite deity of women...That is inaccurate, this referred to the goddess Anat."

So what? They were essentially all the same goddess. They were simply worshipped under different names in different countries. Ashera was also addressed as the queen of heaven as was the Egyptian goddess Isis.
It was the women who confronted Jeremiah, and it was the women who 'wove hangings for the Ashera' and burned incence to her within the Jerusalem temple.

2 Kings 23
[6] And he brought out the Asherah from the house of the LORD, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves of the common people.
[7] And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes which were in the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah.

Compare this with the passage in Jeremiah 44.
[17] But we will do everything that we have vowed, burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no evil.

And why wouldn't El's wife qualify for being addressed as the 'Queen of Heaven'? Catholics even to this very day, refer to the virgin Mary as 'Queen of Heaven', and she wasn't even married to Yahweh when he supposedly had his wicked way with her. : D
Anyway, it doesn't matter whether the women of Jerusalem were worshipping Isis, Ishtar, Anat, Ashtoreth, Astarte, or the Virgin bloody Mary, it was the PRINCIPLE that I was referring to, not the details.

-"The worship of Baalistic gods in general including Asherah was for farming and crop productivity. There was no known “salvation” offered other than whatever the deity was being worshipped for."

The priests of Yahweh promised and threatened exactly the same things as the priests of those other gods Harvey. If you insist on asserting otherwise, then please back it up with some evidence. I'm afraid that empty assertions don't cut any ice with me.

-"You have set forth that “EL” was representative of the God of the Bible because the root “EL” can be associated with his the God of the Bible’s name in many
instances...The highest Canaanite god was El, whose son was Baal."

The Bible itself states that Yahweh was one of the sons of El. What more proof do you need? I've already quoted the relevant verse to you, and the fact that you have chosen to ignore it is not my problem.

-"Some scholars have held that the plural represents an intensified form for the supreme God; others believe it describes the supreme God and His heavenly court of created beings...In any event, Elohim conveys the idea that the one supreme being, who is the only true God, is in some sense plural."

My point exactly. Except that originally Yahweh's heavenly court consisted of Yahweh, his wife Ashera and their sons, just as El's heavenly court consisted of El, his wife Ashera and their sons.

-"In any event, Elohim conveys the idea that the one supreme being, who is the only true God, is in some sense plural."

You're damned right it's plural. It's plural in the sense that the word Elohim means GODS (plural), not GOD (singular). It's only Christian apologists such as yourself who seem to have a problem with this concept.

-"No more than a Yugo is a Lexus simply because both are called cars than is God associated in ANY way with Baal..." etc.

The word God is merely a title, or a job description. It's not a proper name. The appropriate phrase to use when discussing individual gods would be to say 'the god Yahweh', or 'the god Chemosh', or 'the god El'.
Using the generic word 'God' with a captal G to describe any individual god intentionally confuses the issue at hand. It's much the same as saying something like "my favourite brand of washing powder is Washing Powder".

-"Your premise and your basis for suggesting these fanatical notions are TOTALLY ridiculous and not based on any acceptable method of interpretive science."

Harvey, I suspect that you wouldn't recognise an 'acceptable method of interpretive science' even if it walked up behind you and bit you on the butt.

Drow Ranger said...

That's nice but it's completely incorrect. All the evidence points to Israelite presence in Egypt in the 12th Dynasty, not the 18th.

Sesostris I is known to have had a vizier, or prime minister, named Mentuhotep who possessed extraordinary power Egyptologist, Emille Brugsch, writes in his book Egypt Under the Pharaohs, ‘In a word, our Mentuhotep…appears as the alter ego of the king. When he arrived, the great personages bowed down before him at the outer door of the royal palace.’13 Brugsch’s description appears to corroborate Joseph’s status in Genesis 41:43, ‘He (Pharaoh) had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, ‘Bow the knee’: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.’

Joseph’s ultimate claim to fame was his ability to interpret dreams. The Egyptians attached significant importance to dreams. Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s perplexing dreams to mean that seven years of plenty would be followed by seven years of the most severe famine. Convinced by Joseph’s interpretation, Pharaoh appointed Joseph to supervise the gathering of grain during the seven years of plenty.

Two clues from Egyptian inscriptions appear to confirm the Genesis account. First, a large relief on ‘Hungry Rock’ states, ‘…Because Hapy [the river god] had failed to come in time in a period of seven years. Grain was scant, kernels were dried up, scarce was every kind of food…’14

Second, a tomb belonging to Ameni, a provincial governor under Sesostris I, says:

No one was unhappy in my days, not even in the years of famine, for I had tilled all the fields of the Nome of Mah…thus I prolonged the life of its inhabitants and preserved the food which it produced.12


You wouldn't expect to find Israelite evidence in 18th Dynasty items because they were already long gone.

http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1682

http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/4857

Dr Rosalie David, in charge of the Egyptian department of the Manchester Museum, writes about Semitic slavery in Kahun during the second half of the 12th dynasty:

It is apparent that the Asiatics were present in the town in some numbers, and this may have reflected the situation elsewhere in Egypt. It can be stated that these people were loosely classed by Egyptians as ‘Asiatics’, although their exact homeland in Syria or Palestine cannot be determined … The reason for their presence in Egypt remains unclear.15

The Bible makes it quite clear why the Israelite slaves resided in Egypt:

Now there arose a new king over Egypt who did not know Joseph, and he said to his people, ‘Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we’…Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens…And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage… (Exodus 1:8-14).

Dr Rosalie David also writes about the slave presence at Gurob, Egypt:

The scattered documentation gives no clear answer as to how or why the Asiatics came to Egypt in the Middle Kingdom…There is nevertheless firm literary evidence that Asiatic slaves, women and children were at Gurob.16

Another piece of circumstantial evidence that supports the biblical account is the existence of pyramids built with mud bricks and straw during this dynasty. Amenemhet III, a pharaoh whose statues are sour-faced and cruel-looking in appearance, was likely the Pharaoh who answered the complaining Hebrew supervisors, ‘You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick as before Let them go and gather straw for themselves (Exodus 5:7).’

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Excellent information Drow Ranger. Add some insight to these radicals.

Good job, I'll be looking up the info.

Trou said...

"Excellent information Drow Ranger. Add some insight to these radicals."

You seem to like the fact that Dow Ranger pushed the date so far back that in discounts the dates as given in Genesis. How strange that you say I'm a radical for looking for a time period that jives with the Biblical time frame and you accept without evidence that which denies the Bible.

Seems like rather light weight, circumstantial evidence anyway.
There are pictures of the vizier and future pharaoh Ay being bowed down to as if to a king. He held the same position as Joseph with the same duties.
The dream of the fat a lean years is a rather common literary or mythical device that is mentioned in the Book of the Dead (ChristianeDesroches Noblecourt) and not as amazing as it is portrayed to be. Any pharaoh would be familiar with its meaning.
The whole city of Akhetaten was build with bricks so that is not so uncommon either.
Point is, you are trying to find another time period that fits for you and are overlooking the fact that you are choosing a period that conflicts with Biblical dates because you find an account of a vizier treated like a king, Asiatic slaves and a common myth. None of this was uncommon in Egypt in most any period but in grasping for this you choose to contradict the dating of the Genesis account.
You just strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel.
How does that taste?
Sorry, I couldn't resist using poor taste, but I am confused as to why the 18th dynasty is so unacceptable. Canaan was a territory of Egypt and there are communications to prove it. If Israel was established in the 12th dynasty then what became of it in the meantime. The first mention that we have archaeologically was just after the 18th dynasty. If I was a Christian I would love to find that there is at last some real, historical, and archaeological evidence that supports the Bible in some sort of fashion, even if it is not literal. It would be better than no evidence at all, or contradictory insinuations that conflict with the Bible.

Gadfly said...

Pish on the Yahud priests as origin idea.

Mark Smith is, I believe, likely right in tracing "Yahweh" to the old Midianite verb HWY, which means "to storm/blow/thunder."

In other words, Yahweh was a Midianite Zeus, like his Greek counterpart on Olympus, sitting on a dormant volcano, Sinai.

jwest said...

While the article may be well written, it does contain a few errors.Akhenaten had no desire to set up a monotheistic religion. He never claimed that other gods didn't exist, only that there was one supreme god superior to all the other gods.Historians claim that Akhenaten was so pre occupied with a new religion that he abandoned the Egyptian armies fighting the Habaru in Canaan. The truth is that He refused to send troops because of a famine that had been ravaging Canaan and Syria for years.Akhenation lost daughters to the plague.
Akhenaten was errased form history because the loss of all the Egyptian city states in Canaan was a black mark on the Egyptian gods, most especially Aten. While the idea of monethism may have been present there is no proof that Akhenaten diod not get the idea from the Hebrews instead the other way around. There were no monotheistic Atenists,other than perhaps Akhaneten. The Egyptian priests were not very agreeable with only one supreme god.They blamed the plague and the loss of Canaanite territory on Aten.
The plague was still rampant through the reign of Akhenaten's son.Hittite military carried it back to Hatti where Royal family members aslo died.

"Now when his majesty appeared as king, the temples of the gods and goddesses from Elephantine [down] to the marshes of the Delta [had... and] gone to pieces (or fallen into neglect). Their shrines had become desolate, had become mounds overgrown with [weeds]. Their sanctuaries (or chapels) were as if they had never been. Their halls were a footpath (or trodden roads). The land was topsy-turvy and the gods turned their backs upon this land."

That particular texts is referring to the past when the Hyksos rulled the Nile delta and had no particular interest in the egyptian gods or theit temples. The land was topsy turvy because of the Egyptian Ahmose who destroyed the city of Aviris when He ran the Hyksos out. The queen Hatheshepsut left a similiar inscription in the 13th century bc.

If you want to accuse someone of copying texts form another nationality, blame Seti for copying from the records of either Joshua or the Amarna tablest which are similiar but occured long befor Seti.


There are many Egyptian words that are similar to Hebrew simply because both languages originated from the Semitic root language just as Arabic did. The similarity of Egyptian names to Israelite names means little in most cases.The word Yahuda is a Semitic word. The name Bar Yuseph in Egypt is also Semitic.

Did the Hebrews borrow historical events and words for the Egyptians? According to archeologists, it was the other way around. The written history of any nation only goes back so far. That's why they call any area before that prehistory. The written history of the Hebrew Semites goes back over 6,000 years.

I'm thinking that the author of that article isn't very familiar with Egyptian history. It was common for an Egyptian King to dismantle buildings and monuments of predecessors and use the material to build their own. Most Kings did it, including Akhenaten and Ramesse the great builder.Ramesses even went so far as to take out the names of predecessors and chisel in his own, giving Him the nickname of the "Great Chiseler" by archeologists.
It didn't take much for the Egyptians to disvow the god of a predecessor and try to erass their name from history. They refused to continue commerating a god that would bring disaster upon them.

Anyone who wishes to become an atheist should become one based on something other than the history of one nation being similiar to another nation. Perhaps the Egyptian stole the idea of a water god from the Akkadians. Maybe they stole the name of the Salt Sea in Egypt from the Canaanites.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Jwest said,

"I'm thinking that the author of that article isn't very familiar with Egyptian history"

Believe me, if it's on this site, the author of the article, doesn't CARE what Egyptian history is. They only care to amke irrational assumptions, leaps and assertions that God doesn't exist and the history of Israel and especially that recorded in the biblical text doesn't exist...That's the extent of it.

Thanks for adding a true dimension to this historical narrative.