Sketches on Atheism

How Those Who’re Paid to Know, Know The Pentateurch is Historical Fiction

ARTOnce upon a time

Let there be no doubt whatsoever, to the Yahwehist – the practicing Jew, the Christian and the Muslim – whose entire religious faith rides E X C L U S I V E L Y  on the historical validity of the Pentateuch this quote from Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, is murderously troublesome in two torturously uncomfortable ways. Firstly, it announces without fanfare what’s been known within archaeological and scholarly circles for well over two generations: the entire Jewish foundation narrative is a myth, and characters such as Moses are nothing but inventive fiction knitted together to service the geopolitical needs and territorial longings of Judah after the fall of Mamlekhet Yisra’el (Kingdom of Israel) in 722 BCE. Secondly, and phenomenally more importantly, the author concedes in the last line that the field of biblical archaeology has not only flat-lined, but is now beyond hope of resuscitation.

cvggo_takingNow it might not seem at all obvious at first, but one way to understand why precisely Hareetz would make such a sweeping public admission one need only study Caravaggio’s 1602 masterpiece, The Taking of Christ. It’s a remarkable painting for any number of reasons, his use of three different light sources not least among them, but don’t let that distract you. Look at it carefully. Study its characters. Caravaggio’s treatment of this famous New Testament scene actually explains an awful lot about how historians know today the Pentateuch is a work of 7th and 6th Century BCE geopolitical fiction that was simply made to appear historical. That is to say: historical fiction. The Roman soldier with his black metal gauntlet wrapped around Jesus’ throat is the key. Now even someone with a rudimentary understanding of history can see he’s dressed in medieval plate armour with a steel pauldron, bevor and visored sallet helmet; field battle wear common to the day of the painting but as unheard to the 1st Century CE Roman soldier as prokaryotes were to the lifeless proto-earth 3.6 billion years ago. Plate armour simply didn’t exist at the time the scene depicts, nor would it exist (as shown) for another 1,300 years, and this leaves later scrutinisers a relatively simple task of fingering, if need be, the probable date of the paintings actual composition as opposed to the date it alludes to.

black-sheep-of-the-family

The same conspicuously obvious period-blunders saturate the miracle-filled Hebrew Bible from the tales of the Patriarchs to Joshua’s military conquest of Canaan; the very bits which introduce a ghastly god named Yahweh. These sometimes catastrophic bungles are, in effect, the soft underbelly of the archaeology; the finer, more obscure details which complement the larger, physical excavations like those conducted at sites such as Cades Barnea (Kadesh-Barnea) where exhaustive excavations have revealed nothing of the two million Jews who were supposedly encamped there for decades before allegedly entering Canaan. If there was going to be a site where the Exodus was going to be verified it was Cades Barnea, and that was exactly where the first “bible in one hand, spade in the other” field work was done, and didn’t stop for over 70 years. Nothing was found.

Ignoring the awkward fact that there is no evidence whatsoever for the Israelites ever being enslaved in Egypt or them then crossing the Sinai, many of the stations named in the Exodus narrative (Etham, Pi-hahiriroth and Baal-zephon to name just three) simply weren’t in existence in the 14th Century, but were well-establish (and well-known) in the 7th Century BCE… precisely when it’s now known the story was first knitted together. A city even more out-of-place is Pithom which the Israelites were apparently forced to build (Exodus 1:11), yet this site has been discovered to of in fact been a project of Egyptian King Necho II, placing its date of construction no earlier than 605 BCE; in plain sight to the authors of the tale yet nothing but a barren field when the slaves were said to have been hauling stone. Even more carelessly, numerous Canaanite cities which were supposedly razed by a marauding Joshua –  including the famed Jericho which was in fact destroyed in the late 17th Century BCE – were found to have been long-abandoned at the time of the alleged conquest, or worse still, simply non-existent in that critical period. Harder however to explain than even missing cities is the revelation that Canaan was in fact under Egyptian military rule at the time Joshua was said to be raping the land, yet strangely no mention is made of this otherwise impossible-to-ignore geopolitical reality of the day. Egyptian garrisons were stationed at strategic points across Canaan including Jerusalem and Megiddo, and administrative centers were located in Gaza, Yaffo and Beit She’an, as well on both sides of the Jordon River which the Israelites supposedly crossed en masse before launching their assault on Canaan. Here the biblical authors bungled so dreadfully that it can only be compared in absurdity to a storyteller 500 years from today writing a “European history” where Luxembourg invades, defeats and then occupies France in 1942 without mentioning the Nazis.

Perhaps the ugliest of all the out-of-place warts are, however, the dreaded Philistines; a people (origins unknown) who invaded the coastal plains of the Levant and who greatly annoy the Jews throughout the narrative. The Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) have many dealings with them (Genesis 20:1-18; Genesis 21:22-31; Gen. 26:1-11; Gen. 26: 13-33), and at the onset of the Exodus narrative Yahweh warns Moses not to travel up the coast for fear of warring with them (Exodus 13.17).  Evidently unknown to the authors but the Philistines (the “sea people”) didn’t arrive on the eastern Mediterranean coast and begin to establish themselves in cities like Tel Dor (after first warring with Ramsses III) until sometime between 1,150 and 1,200 BCE; long after the purported Exodus, and many, many, many hundreds of years after the supposed age of the Patriarchs.

Out-of-PlaceEven such seemingly benign details as camels are as out-of-place in the biblical narrative as Caravaggio’s 1602 armour. Abraham, we’re told, owned many, his servant Eliezer used them as both beasts of burden and transportation, we’re informed that they were in the Canaanite foothills in great numbers, in the north in Padan Aram, the Ishmaelites apparently had huge herds, the Hagarites had 6,000, 1 Chronicles 5:21 speaks of soldiers mounted on 50,000, and the Midianites had so many that “Their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude” (Judges 7:12). Camels are everywhere, from the Sinai to northern Syria, which sounds like an entirely reasonable garnish to the meat of the story until an archaeozoologist sits down at the table. While there’s reason to believe camels might have been domesticated in small numbers in Egypt as early as 2,000 BCE there is simply no evidence (bones and teeth, textual references, inscriptions) of their presence on the Levant until after 1,000 BCE, roughly a thousand years after the Patriarchal age. There are bones, plenty have been found and are documented in the National Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv, but none that date from before this period. Further still, 1 Kings 10:2 talks of “very great camel trains” entering Jerusalem supposedly around 950 BCE, yet by cross-referencing texts and trade practices it’s known today that camel trains did not start passing through Judah until some 250 years later in the 7th century BCE when it became a vassal state of the Assyrians and villages like Jerusalem began to grow in import; precisely when the story was first conceived of. Prior to this period Jerusalem was little more than a hillside hamlet, “a typical mountain village… [with] wretched material infrastructure,” as noted by famed Israeli archaeologist, Israel Finkelstein, and therefore hardly an epicenter of regional trade, let alone the seat of a grand united monarchy.

In a sentence: where the Jewish foundation narrative doesn’t flatly contradict the archaeology (the excavations, the cross-textual analysis, settlement patterns, population maps, steles, reliefs, amulets and diplomatic correspondences) it’s been found to be simple mythology superimposed over a dream landscape using descriptions of places and events that were present and unraveling in the 7th and 6th Century BCE; not the 14th Century, and certainly not 1,800 BCE. It’s also now known the authors borrowed heavily from far older mythology such as the Babylonian tale of King Sargon of Agade around which they invented the character Moses, then simply fashioned a heroic origin tale using contemporary reference points to make that tale sound historically plausible. In total, the profound inconsistencies have left even conservative biblical advocates like Professor Mazar no option but to concede that the entire Masoretic text and Deuteronomic history of the Hebrew Bible – the first and only document to mention a god named Yahweh – to be nothing but an inventive 7th Century geopolitical myth, with positively nothing on the horizon which even remotely hints at threatening this consensus position.

210 thoughts on “How Those Who’re Paid to Know, Know The Pentateurch is Historical Fiction

  1. Sorry, but atheists don’t get to tell the Jews, the Christians and the Muslim where their faith lies.

    The lack of historical evidence dating from antiquity means nothing.

    Most of that past is forever buried in the sands of time.

    The memory of what happened to the Jews and Christians was saved on a hard drive called ceremony and tradition.

    The Jewish Passover and the Catholic Mass are windows into the distant pass.

    They tell of time, witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people, when God interacted in time and space with mankind, His children.

    They are history from an ancient world that is still alive today and celebrated by modern man.

    • Afraid to say, SOM (my shape-shifting jester), but without the Pentateuch practicing Jews, Christians and Muslims have no god. That is, of course, unless you can show me another document (or source) for a god named Yahweh…

      • Awwww, come on, John~! You know damn’ well that Christianity wasn’t built on history … it was built on the revealed love of God as expressed by His Beloved Son Jesus Christ and the descendants-in-Christ, his Holy Church.

        What has the One True Love of the holy and most compassionate to do with a dead bunch of dead words, ancient dead bricks, and dusty dead tombs? Sure — the history base of the narrative collapses; but it was only ever a garnish, a recognised point of entry into the arms of Jesus. The Holy Truth lives and even as the ‘history’ is being picked pedantically apart by cynics like you it is expanding as the Time approaches. Be warned, lest ye be consumed by the everlasting fires of the most Holy, the Most Compassionate*.

        Sheesh! How often do you have to be told — great sheep shot by the way, ewe got it in one.
        ———————
        * and no time off for good behaviour, don’t forget. No remission, no parole, no fresh bread even, just toast. For eternal forever, like always

    • “The lack of historical evidence dating from antiquity means nothing.” ??!!
      You may want to consider the definition differences between *lack* of evidence and *contradictory* evidence and their relevance to your claim.
      There are a host of things inconvenient to the abrahamic narratives to be found in various fields of scientific endeavor, [I.E.] archaeology, literary criticism, history, philology, and social sciences; and therefore the bible cannot be considered to be anything beyond a weak claim of a gods existence and most certainly not an inerrant source of historical authority.
      For instance, the civilizations that predate Judaism by some 3000 years in the middle east, and more advanced civilizations elsewhere. [Hint: China ] This would *contradict* the genesis account of Adam and Eve.
      Where do you suppose the idea for the 10 commandments came from?
      Research the history of the 7 day week- The result definitively “dates” the writing of the bible well after an [documented, independently verified from multiple sources], account of Mesopotamia.
      The timelines don’t match. Pick a birthday for Methuselah and do the math.
      When the conclusions are sacred, *contradictory evidence* must be ignored…..

      • So why mix and match? The faith doesn’t these days need the narrative the writers originally gave it. It stands by itself; with, without, or despite the narratives.
        Redundant now the Old Testament can be discarded—and sometimes is; kept alive only for the purists.

        Faith doesn’t need facts.

        The Holy Bible can be dropped down a cesspit but the Holy Church (covered in gold leaf and encrusted with jewels) will survive and thrive in even the poorest neighbourhoods. Especially in the poorest neighbourhoods; at least until displaced by something younger with more evangelical energy and (if possible) even fewer morals or human conscience.

    • Your comment on the lack of historical evidence would be true if there was a lack of evidence, but what John has indicated (well, the field of archaeology) is that the evidence, which is present, indicates the exact opposite. Therefore, the bible is wrong. If it is wrong in these rather large points of fact, then it is likely to be wrong in other points of fact, most interestingly, on whether or not that nasty fella Yahweh existed. All the evidence points to no, and there is no lack of it.

    • Question . Is not the Medieval Soldier in the painting merely artistic licence, or is there some evidence that the artist was genuinely trying to represent a Roman soldier?

      • Ah, good point, and well worth asking. My first draft said Caravaggio wasn’t daft and was more than likely taking artistic license. I removed that bit, but I think it still stands. He, though, was making art, whereas the authors were writing a “history.” I just thought the analogy worked in this instance…. The result of watching copious arts programs over Christmas! :)

  2. Abrahamic believers should be glad that these foundation documents are fiction. No God hardening Pharaoh’s heart in order to show off by hideous collective punishment of his subjects; none of the other Pentateuchal massacres; no genocidal displacement of the Canaanites either.

    Karen Armstrong also makes the point about the unhistoric camels, but like you (my only complaint about this excellent piece) she gives no links to sources.

    • The camels come from Israel Finkelstein’s, The Bible Unearthed. It’s actually quite an old criticism (something I’ve pretty much ignored until this piece) and has spurred a lot of apologists to seek camels out, hence now the belief that camels might have been domesticated in Egypt and further east around the Persian Gulf around 2500BCE. Christian apologists like Kitchen (an Egyptologist) claim there are inscriptions, but it’s pretty inconclusive. What has been found is a camel hair rope from 2500 BCE in Egypt. The important point though is camels on the Levant, which the National Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv says (which Finkelstein cites) weren’t around until after 1000 BCE.

      Here’s a link from a Christian apologetics site which tries to argue the opposite. Always good to hear both sides:

      http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=858

      You’re right about the benefits of it all being myth. A god ordering the ripping apart of pregnant women and the dashing babies on rocks is not a chap you really want at your dinner table.

      • Apologetics Press is the house press of a sect calling themselves “Churches of Christ”, who were caught infiltrating a Scottish publicy funded school and distributing their book, Truth be Told, Exposing the Myth of Evolution (the episode and the book are discussed here: http://wp.me/p21T1L-7U). Truth be Told informs me that there are human footprints in coal seams and that “archaeologists have documented time and again that the period between the time of Abraham and the time of Jesus was about 2000 years,” leaving me skeptical about how reliably the Press’s authors describe the literature.

      • Are you familiar with the work of Gary Rendsburg, Brandeis? very approachable and helpful, lots of stuff on his University web page. Impatient with both traditionalists and minimalists, he combines archaeology with close textual reading and argues that Samuel has been reworked (I would compare it to a Wikipedia page in our own time?) by theocratic antimonarchists, and members of the factions associated with the names of David and Saul.

  3. I love reading mythology. Jason and Medea and Ulysses and Zeus and Thor and
    I love mythology. Jason and Medea and Hercules and Thor and Gilgamesh and well all the rest. Great stories with life lessons to be learned…if you want.

    And the stories of the Bible make wonderful stories! Heroes and Super Heroes and villains and talking animals.
    If only people didn’t believe them. :(

  4. “The lack of historical evidence dating from antiquity means nothing”.
    It means, and says everything. Great article, my friend. And this quote shows exactly why the truth means nothing to those who won’t face it.

  5. In his research “The Historical Figure of Jesus”, E.P. Saunders also found discrepancies of accounts in the New Testament and the realities that disputed them. There is the tale in Matthew 8:28 – 32 where Jesus is alleged to have cast demons into the bodies of a nearby heard of swine who then “ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.’

    Saunders notes on page 155

    “The story is strange on all counts. It is by far the most dramatic exorcism attributed to Jesus, and it combines exorcism with ‘nature’ – the swine. One of its details renders it unlikely. Gerasa is about thirty miles south-east of the Sea of Galilee, and there is no other large body of water around. Matthew shifts the scene to Gadara, six miles from the sea, perhaps thinking that this reduces the problem – though a six mile leap is just as impossible as one of thirty miles. I am at a loss to explain the story in the sense of finding a historical kernel.”

    • The New Testament is a mess of geographic inconsistencies. Far more patient people than I have dived into that soup and come out filthy with the soot of error. It’s remarkable the story still exists.

      Regarding the pigs, i think we’ve spoken about it before, but i’ve always found this story to be truly horrible. The poor farmer! Losing his whole herd like that must have been devastating.

      • No one ever pulls JC up for this act. The RSPCA would have had a field day.

        That EP Saunders makes mention of it is quite remarkable, and one can admire his honesty, him supposedly being the most respected NT scholar for the past 25 years or so.

        But, while those who have actually read the bible scream “Cliff? What effing cliff?” the likes of Unklee and WLC, Lee Strobel, Habermass and other members of Liars For Jesus Fan club simply turn a blind eye to such tales.
        Very much in the same vein as ‘Luke’ being an excellent historian (ralph) who knows his geography. “Er…Nazareth was …er…there! No..wait a mo…there…or there.

        Ah, John,…..if it smells like BS then it probably is.

      • I’ve been “chatting” with the always wonderful Diana “everyone except Christians are cannibals” recently and she informed me just yesterday that the Greeks had no input whatsoever in western civilisation. That type of crazy is highly specialised!

      • In any other environment it would be considered cause for urgent psychiatric evaluation.
        I suppose people only sit up and take notice after such people form mass suicide pacts or apply for a pilot’s licence while wearing a gingham tea- towel on their head?.

      • Well, she’s home-schooling her kids, so wouldn’t that (shouldn’t that) be considered abuse? Her kids are being taught a fantasy history of the world and simply wont be able to cope in the real world.

    • Riding like a girl! Yeah, over in Iraq camels were domesticated earlier, but the point here was on the Levant they didn’t make an appearance until after 1000 BCE. Well, that’s going by the bones and inscriptions.

  6. If faith was based on some sort of truth or validity, we wouldn’t need faith. Christians are taught to believe the unbelievable in order to prove their genuine faith in God. Asking for proof is heresy; historical fact doesn’t come into it and the holy texts are defined to be true because they are holy.

    Faith is a viscious circle that can’t be escaped from if you’re in it and you can’t enter it unless you make that leap right into its center.

    The evidence you put forward is extremely interesting, not for believers since they can’t deny their God by unbelieving, but for atheists and doubters. I have noticed that on the whole atheists appear to be better versed in Christian dogma. Perhaps this is obvious since atheists need (dis)prove where Christians are satisfied with faith and belief.

    Keep ‘m coming John, I am beginning to believe in you!

  7. What Mazar actually said was, ” “It is impossible to treat any of the episodes until the conquest of Canaan as historical.” HOWEVER, he adds, “Starting from the narratives of the judges, the social-economic-political-international background is very consistent with the archaeological reality. That holds also for the United Monarchy.” This is the complete quote.

    http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/the-keys-to-the-kingdom-1.360222

    • I have the article, thanks, and what you’re referencing here is the only area where there is still debate in biblical archaeology, which is: was Judah an urban society prior to the 7th century. Maximalists think maybe, Minimalists say there is no evidence.

      After the mythological Conquest the narrative makes a fairly fluid transition to being a relatively accurate historical document. I never said anything to the contrary. The problem for people like yourself is the very bits which introduce your Middle Eastern god are proven to be simple mythology.

      I’ve presented this challenge to many Christians, so I guess I will to you, too. Produce a single reputable archaeologist (someone with current tenure, preferably an Israeli, and who has actually led digs) who will categorically state, in writing “The Patriarchs were real, the Israelite were in Egypt, there was an Exodus followed by a triumphant conquest of Canaan.”

      This challenge extends to finding a single Jewish Rabbi who’ll also commit to this in writing.

      (if you’re interested, the last 4 or 5 posts are all to do with this subject…. Real history!)

    • I stand corrected. Seems I misquoted Mazar. In my notes on this article (taken quite a while ago, I must confess) it looks like Mazar said that, but I had to recheck the original and I see that I was wrong. Apologies. I erred, correction made. Still, the point stands: Mazar, an extremely conservative archaeologist, admits the entire Pentateuch and Deuteronomic history is myth. This, of course, is the position of every leading archaeologist in the world today. Seems only evangelical Christians and Muslims still actually believe the nonsense. Thanks, though, for picking me up on the error. Unlike you I do strive to be as accurate as I can in what I write.

  8. Reblogged this on paarsurrey and commented:
    Paarsurrey says:
    “Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and the Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the patriarchs, the exodus from Egypt and the conquest of Canaan, nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.”
    “Let there be no doubt whatsoever, to the Yahwehist – the practicing Jew, the Christian and the Muslim – whose entire religious faith rides E X C L U S I V E L Y on the historical validity of the Pentateuch.”
    I refer the above starting lines from your post.
    Since you have included name of “Muslim” along-with Jew and Christian and then mentioned “whose entire religious faith rides E X C L U S I V E L Y on the historical validity of the Pentateuch”.
    Please quote from Quran where it has been mentioned that Islam is based exclusively on the historical validity of the Pentateuch.
    I don’t agree with you

      • Do you, or do you not believe in the god of Abraham and Moses?

        In Islam, Musa (Moses) is considered a prophet and is named 136 times in the Qur’an and Abraham is named 69 times and even described as the Middle Eastern gods best friend: “Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in Faith? For Allah did take Abraham for a friend.” (An-Nisa Verse No:125)

        You all believe in the one god: Yahweh… the god of the Pentateuch.

      • That is a wrong question; we believe prophets from Adam- the first man evolved with whom the One-True-God conversed with. Why choose one man Abraham to bully the Muslims?

        Your premise is wrong to start with. Please delete the name Muslim from your post and be a good Atheist with morals.

        Thanks

  9. “Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and the Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the patriarchs, the exodus from Egypt and the conquest of Canaan, nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.”
    “Let there be no doubt whatsoever, to the Yahwehist – the practicing Jew, the Christian and the Muslim – whose entire religious faith rides E X C L U S I V E L Y on the historical validity of the Pentateuch.”

    I refer to the above starting lines from your post.
    Since you have included name of “Muslim” along-with Jew and Christian and then mentioned “whose entire religious faith rides E X C L U S I V E L Y on the historical validity of the Pentateuch”.
    Please quote from Quran where it has been mentioned that Islam is based exclusively on the historical validity of the Pentateuch.
    I don’t agree with you

    • Please quote from Quran where it has been mentioned that Islam is based exclusively on the historical validity of the Pentateuch. I don’t agree with you

      I would never presume to answer for John, but my own take is quite simple.

      It matters not whether you agree or disagree. Your opinion is just that. Opinion. It does not alter the facts.

      In the Qu’ran, the Patriarchs are mentioned. Abraham for one.
      The Qu’ran is considered the revealed word of Allah via the angel Gabrielle to Mohammed.
      The Pentateuch is now regarded by all except idiots as fiction. This is based of evidence.
      Ergo, Muslims who continue to regard the Qu’ran the literal revealed word of god are either uniformed, willfully ignorant or…idiots.

      Which one are you?

      • I refuse to argue semantics with you.
        The Pentateuch is regarded by almost every recognized archaeologist and most recognized scholars around the world as fiction.

        As the characters (Patriarchs) featured in the Pentateuch are also featured in the Qura’n then the Qu’ran is also a work of fiction.

        My definition of an idiot in context of this dialogue would be one who is unable to recognize the truth in these statements.
        Someone like you, in actual fact.

      • Moses in the Pentateuch s the same character as the Moses in the Qu’ran.
        Ergo, the Quran is fiction and for you to deny this suggests you are an idiot.

      • Hey, i buggered up a little. Mazar didn’t actually say that at the beginning. My notes on the article looked like he did, but he didn’t, so i’ve edited the beginning. He still admits it’s all myth, so nothing changes, it just isn’t as punchy now.

      • There is no restriction in joining Atheism on ignorant and idiots; perhaps there are already some out there or many if not all.

        Quran does not claim to be a book of history or archaeology; if you think it does; then please quote from it.

      • Quran does not claim to be a book of history or archaeology; if you think it does; then please quote from it.

        I agree with John, the first sentence of your comment makes no sense.
        However, this part I will reply to…

        While you are absolutely correct that the Qu’ran makes no claims to being a history book or one on archaeology, it is claimed to be the inerrant word of your god, Allah, as passed on by Gabriel to Mohammed.

        This leaves us with a rather interesting conundrum.

        A) Either your god imparted false information concerning the Patriarchs and the Pentateuch or

        B) Mohammed was a damn liar.

        There can only be one answer. Which one do you choose, A or B?

        I

      • Quran in the very beginning make it known that it is a book for guidance to humanity to the God-fearing and as such it should be referred to in the ethical, moral and spiritual matters. Why persist to use it otherwise?
        Besides the historians or the archaeologists always do search for specific sites; might be mentioned in the Bible so the conclusion they drew was specific for Bible; it has no bearing on Quran whatsoever. It isJohn Zande’s oblique imagination or his ambition that he included Quran/Islam or Muslim in his post.
        If he is a man of reason he should correct his stance.

      • No one is disputing the Qu’ran is different to the Bible. Neither is anyone disputing archaeology where it pertains solely to the bible.

        The specific references the Qu’ran pertain to the characters found in the Pentateuch: namely Moses & Abraham.

        Therefore, if these characters featured in the Bible are the same as those featured in the Qu’ran then it stands to reason that as the Biblical characters are now regarded as fictional then so are the same characters in the Qu’ran.

        While it is acknowledged that the original word as supposedly lost by the Israelites the God of the Pentateuch, Yahweh, is the same god of the Qu’ran, Allah, who is the god of Moses and Abraham.

        Whether the story has been changed is immaterial, the characters are the same, and the characters are fictional.

        Thus the Qu’ran is a story about fictional characters.

      • The Archaeologist were not digging locations for God or Abraham or Moses; they must be excavating sites mentioned in the Bible; if they did not find anything in them that is related only to the book that mentioned them that is Bible.

      • You are missing the point.
        There is no archaeological evidence to support the biblical characters and events in the Pentateuch. None.This is acknowledged by almost every recognized archaeologist and scholar on the planet.

        Simply put, there was no factual information about Moses or Abraham that could have possibly been passed on to Mohammed as these characters were narrative constructs. The Israelites made them up in other words.

        This means that Mohammed was either delusional or a liar.

      • How can anyone excavate the bones of a fictional character?
        Let me state this one more time. Moses and Abraham are fictional characters. The Israelites made them up. They have admitted they made them up.

        Thus Mohammed was delusional or a liar.
        Do you understand?

      • They did not excavate for nothing, they excavated in an attempt to verify the biblical account.
        However, there is no evidence to support the accounts in the Pentateuch.

        Thus, once more. The Pentateuch os fiction and so are the characters. Thus , Mohammed was either delusional or a liar.

      • No one is saying it is. But the Characters Moses and Abraham feature in the Torah and the Qu’ran.
        The Pentateuch is fiction, thus so is the Qu’ran.
        And Mohamed was ether delusional or a liar.

      • There’s also a “C.” option you left out: Parrsurrey is a non-restricted, ignorant, i-diot, or, as “The Quran” WOULD say had I written it: “An i-diot is a person who lacks even two brain cells capable of operating in unison, and simultaneously, with each other on any one thought.”

  10. Loved the Caravaggio comparrison. This reminds me of how few decades ago a lot of people got really upset when archaeologist Simon James commented the cultures of the British isles by saying that they never were really Celtic. People felt he was attacking their cultural identity and heritage and despite his very well argumentation and evidence, people do not want to give up such things. And it was not so much British people who were upset, because to them it meant that the isles had an indipendent line of cultural evolution, but to people who had moved from the isles often even generations ago, but had taken the idea of Celtic heritage with them to other parts of the world.

    For a long time during history the national identity and justification for indipendence of nations was based on a tribal moralist ideal, that they have earned it by conquering their land from some primitive, or even evil natives. It was the result of the ideals of petty kingdoms and mighty empires – a consequense of the logic that might makes right (very much like the authority of gods). An authoritarianist excuse for misuse of power. Today we understand, that such is a very questionable justification, because of the harm it imposed on the previous people and a lot of “historical” conquest stories have been re-evaluated. The migrations of entire nations has been found to have been a lot less frequent and total, than thought before.

    Hence for the modern morals it is more tastefull for even the Jews, that their ancestry did not do their lord’s bidding in driving the natives (or previous conquerors) out, but rather that they are the natives of their own land. When mitocondrial DNA is compared between the conquerors and the previous people, we often find that the female line has continued unbroken through the virgins given to the conquering men as prize by the gods who ordered, or at very least sanctified the conquest.

    Gods tend to evade any research, because they are excused by not being of any researchable material. However, in archaeology the absense of evidence is often evidence of absense. And therefore this is the research field where gods die. Because, if a divine story has described something, that would have left evidence of itself and it is not to be found there, then we have no excuse to assume it ever was.

      • Yes, but it is also very interresting and terrifying (in the sense how brainless people can be) how believers are able to set aside historical evidence and even claim, that it is not evidence. The mythological nature of the Exodus seems to create similar reactions as the far better known mythological nature of the flood story. The faithfull will simply put it aside either by claiming, that the evidence is false and that the entire Pentateuch is absolutely true, or by dismissing it by saying that it is a myth, but it is some sort of metaphysical allegory for what their god wanted us to understand about how to live our lives. The fact that neither options make any sense even if either of them was true, seems not to really bother them…

      • In the off chance that you haven’t already seen this piece of astonishing nonsense, here is Dawkins interviewing a Creationist. The stupidity of this person, Wendy Wright, is palpable:

  11. The problem with proving Jewish history before they settled in Israel is that the patriarchs were nomadic and built no lasting structures. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob weren’t city builders. Then the Jews lived in Egypt for hundreds of years and wandered around a desert for decades. What kind of archaeological proof do you expect to find?

    But once they began to settle down and build cities and structures the archaeology lines up with the scriptures. This matches up with Mazar’s statement.

    • No one’s doubting the settlement period. That’s well-documented and is supported by population maps… none of which match the era of the supposed Exodus (14th century), and certainly no evidence of some 2 million people suddenly arriving with an Egyptian-influenced lexicon, architectural styles, pottery.

      Diana, not even Jewish Rabbis believe the story anymore. You’re really behind the times on this one. Read my article a few done, “Of course what you say is true….” It’ll help bring you up to date.

  12. How do they know the history is a lie?

    “The truth is out there,” continues Rabbi Chalom. “They’ll find this archaeological, evidence-based version of Jewish history… and then they’ll say, why did you lie to me?”

    Seems to me the Rabbi is making a declaration without any proof.

    • “without any proof”

      Well, sure, if you chose to simply ignore a century of detailed archaeological work that has painted a picture so profoundly conclusive that even Orthodox Rabbis are today admitting the foundation narrative is nothing but a myth.

    • @Diana.

      Seems to me the Rabbi is making a declaration without any proof.

      And Christians do have proof do they? Lol!

      It is somewhat ironic that while,most Jews are quite open about the mythological/fictional nature of the Exodus and all the characters involved, it is Christians ( especially ones like you, Diana) who are bleating the loudest.

      That you have absolutely nothing to refute the consensus speaks volumes about how shakey the ground is you (and every Christian and Muslim) stand upon.

      I am sorry, my dear, but your house of cards is in imminent danger of collapse. This is perfectly clear for all to see.
      The question is not whether this is true or not , but rather how are you going to deal with it when it eventually catches up with you?

      • It’s interesting that Mazar believes archaeology confirms the narrative of the judges onward. He didn’t concede that “the field of biblical archaeology has not only flat-lined, but is now beyond hope of resuscitation.”

        I think you embellished his position there.

        Here is his quote again:

        “It is impossible to treat any of the episodes until the conquest of Canaan as historical.” HOWEVER, he adds, “Starting from the narratives of the judges, the social-economic-political-international background is very consistent with the archaeological reality. That holds also for the United Monarchy.”

        As soon as the Jewish people began to settle down and build, Mazar said the archaeological evidence began to accumulate to the point that the Old Testament narrative became consistent with “archaeological reality.”

        This is not an indication on Mazar’s part that the field of biblical archaeology is dead.

      • Events detailed after 722 BCE are relatively accurate. I’m not doubting that. No one is doubting that. The narratives of the Patriarchs, Moses, Exodus and Conquest have all been roundly debunked as simple myth. Even Maximalists admit this. As famed Israeli archaeologist, Professor Ze’ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University in the foreword to his 1999 essay, Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho: “The patriarchs’ acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land… Those who take an interest have known these facts for years.” Reviewing Herzog’s paper, Professor Magen Broshi, archaeologist at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, endorsed the essays startlingly blunt opening remarks, stating, “There is no serious scholar in Israel or in the world who does not accept this position. Herzog represents a large group of Israeli scholars, and he stands squarely within the consensus. Twenty years ago even I wrote of the same matters and I was not an innovator. Archaeologists simply do not take the trouble of bringing their discoveries to public attention.”

        Mazar, a Maximalist, might try to cling to some notion of a united kingdom in the 10th century, but he is well and truly in the minority.

        Diana, as I have pointed out to you, not even Jewish Rabbis believe in the story anymore… and even Orthodox rabbis are conceding itsa all myth. Did you even read my post on it? Did any of it sink in? Are you suggesting Jewish Rabbis (who have more invested in the story than you will ever have) are all conspiring here? Do you think there is some grand Jewish conspiracy?

        My challenge stands: present a reputable archaeologist and Rabbi who will state, in writing, “The Patriarchs were real, the Israelite were in Egypt, there was an Exodus followed by a triumphant conquest of Canaan.”

        Now surely, if there was some truth to the story then you should have no problem finding at least ONE reputable archaeologist, right?

  13. Someone above said “might makes right”. And that sums it up perfectly. That is the source of all organised religions, dynasties, governments.

    The next religion with the armed might to take over, will. Until then it’s just verbal sparring (okay, squabbling).

    I say it again: seeing that we have to have religion—why not set the current holy fathers of each in equal numbers about a table in a locked room, oodles of cudgels on hand, plentiful supply of booze … and wait however long it takes for the survivor to crawl out with THE one unique revealed True Holy Word of God(s) to be adopted by all signatory states for ever? (For volunteers only, no compulsions—damn! I’ve just blown it … )

    • I’m quietly hoping that when we do away with the Abrahamic faiths (which is coming faster than anyone presently thinks) the religiously minded shift toward the eastern wisdom traditions. There’s some true worth in those mental meanderings.

      • True. Some truth and a great deal of wisdom.

        But I can’t go along with the world on the back of a turtle, try as I might … lots do, apparently.

      • Bummer … I thought ol’ Terry took his inspiration from the Hindoos … doesn’t matter, he’s a profit without peer in my book.

        (Spouse and I watch his ‘Johnny and the Bomb’ kiddy Dvd a couple of times a year at least, he raises some interesting thoughts about time travel. And I’d give a year’s supply of bones to attend Unseen University for a week—or a single lunch with Granny Weatherwax).

      • Oh, you might be right. I don’t know enough about Hinduism. 33 MILLION gods so i’m sure there must be a spacefarring turtle in there somewhere ;)

  14. Pingback: Is Islam based on the historical validity of the Pentateuch? | paarsurrey

  15. Reblogged this on Dead Wild Roses and commented:
    Simply too good not to reblog. JZ brings the smack down from on high on our religiously deluded friends. Read it all, propagate the post widely, and let loose the rational atheist argumentative dogs of war!

  16. Nice blog there John. I had to read it twice just to garner all the facts. Very refreshing and hugely informative. Thank you.

    Happy new year to you, look forward to seeing you at my place soon.

  17. It seems lots of historical fictions were made similarly back then, no? Homer’s works, the Mahabharata, the Tanakh and many more.

    Loved the camels stuff — heard it before but always fun to hear again. An outline of arguments and counters (Apologists) would be fun.

    I must agree that lots of people I know still believe this stuff and they aren’t idiots. Just shows how partitioned the mind can be, eh?

  18. I think it is kind of sad that the Osiris myth stands at the foundation of biblical myth, it must, yet it doesn’t receive accolades like the Pentateuch. The continued stories about the Hebrews being entangled as a sub-culture within the predominating Egyptian culture, it smacks of someone trying to get in the game. So I’m curious to know why everyone takes the bible at face value while discarding the Egyptian myth. Is the whole monotheism thing?

    • One day very soon popular culture will catch up to the archaeology (and Jewish Rabbis) and the Pentateuch will be assigned to the shelves of mythology forever. Myths are great, but one must always remember that they are just that: mythology.

      • Agreed, though it may take some time. It seems that for every Finkelstein, there’s an entire team of Christian archaeologists and their fabulous blogs of proof, operating on the confirmation bias principle.

      • There’s a very, very, very good reason why the Christian funded “archaeology” never gets published in actual scientific journals. These nutters have to face the facts that not even Jewish Rabbis believe in the foundation narrative anymore. Hell, even Orthodox Rabbis are now starting to admit it. If the captains of Judaism jettison the story then its pretty much over, and someone ought to tell the Christians and the Muslims.

  19. “How would you define the word “idiot”? Please don’t quote from a dictionary; give your own definition.” This question wasn’t asked of me, but I’m an authority on it because I say so, so I’ll answer it and stick my nose into a conversation that doesn’t need my nose stuck in it because I’m really digging it and all kinds of shit about how full of shit religion is that I didn’t know before. So, to the point: An idiot is the opposite of a diot, in the same way, linguistically speaking, an a-theist is the opposite of a theist. The inclusion of the letter “i” before the root word “diot” signifies this morphologically. If anyone would like to know more about on the diots and their various political activities throughout history, just read the Bible, in Aramaic, backwards, and all will become very clear to you.

      • I see that. I had no idea the god of Moses and Abraham was NOT the god who also spoke to Mohammed. If I’m not careful, I’ll lose brownie points with my diot pals. I sure don’t want to become an idiot. I hear those fuckers eat babies!

      • Did you see that Ken Ham (your bestest mate ever) is going to debate Bill Nye at the Creation Museum on Feb 4th?

        I think Nye is making a huge error. You can’t “debate” clinically insane people.

      • I agree. Why bother debating this dude? You can not debate people who can not ever admit when they’re wrong. I just wrote a new blog post which was fun and it includes Ham, PZ, and Dawkins. Whacky.

  20. Yes, but where will the Young Earth Creationists go?

    And I disagree that accepting all of the bad Yahweh behavior in the Pentateuch leaves Jews and Christians with less to explain, these stories were invented by people who wanted to believe in such a god. This was their description of the god to be worshiped. It is even worse than if it were just mistaken history of the time, the invented that shite!

    • They have a very safe place in Ken Hams little theme park. Kentucky can take them all.

      You’re right, the Jews of the 1st millennium BCE did want a ghastly god (a god who married his mother, no less!), but Christians don’t… and that’s what makes this so funny.

    • The Jews? They’re fine. Hey, if you can have atheist rabbis running temples and synagogues i think its safe to say there’s enough flexibility built into Judaism to handle anything.

      Interesting point though which you make. What does happen when a religion dies? Obviously it doesn’t happen over night, but there must be historical examples. The Egyptians went nuts when Akhenaten killed the old religion and replaced it, that we know, but what about Mithraism? You’re the Classics expert, have you seen any dialogues or laments about the demise of Mithraism?

      • Not that I can talk of. I will see what comes up.

        The Jews are doing well then. Maybe their breakaway children will return and say we have been blockheaded for so long and now we return.

  21. Pingback: Quran does not claim to be a book of history or archaeology | paarsurrey

  22. John Zande wrote:
    “If the captains of Judaism jettison the story then its pretty much over, and someone ought to tell the Christians and the Muslims.”

    Paarsurrey @ John Zande

    The quote given by you in the beginning of your post from the archaeologists is with reference to Bible not with reference to any narrative of Quran.

    • Paarsurrey, please show me where the god of the Qur’an is a different god to the god of the Pentateuch: the god of Abraham and Moses. If you can show me that Muslims worship a different god than the god of Abraham and Moses then i will convert to Islam instantly!

      • The One-True-God is for everybody whether somebody believes in Him or disbelieves in Him. He is as much God of Abraham or Moses as He is of John Zande or ARKENATEN; He is for all the humanity past, present and the future. He is not racial; cannot be confined to one tribe, race or people. This point has been very truly clarified in the very first chapter of Quran named Al-Fatihah or the Opener:

        The Holy Quran : Chapter 1: Al-Fatihah
        [1:1] In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
        [1:2] All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds,
        [1:3] The Gracious, the Merciful,
        [1:4] Master of the Day of Judgment.
        [1:5] Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help.
        [1:6] Guide us in the right path —
        [1:7] The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, those who have not incurred Thy displeasure, and those who have not gone astray.

        http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=1

      • You haven’t demonstrated that its a different god…. therefore, your god is the god of the Pentateuch: the first and ONLY source for the existence of this god. So, as we’ve proven the Pentateuch to be a lie, your god is therefore also a lie.

      • In fact if they did not find anything at sites mentioned in the Bible that proves Quran right as Quran mentions very clearly that the scribes and Jews had manipulated the Revelation of Moses:

        [5:14] So, because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed them, and have hardened their hearts. They pervert the words from their proper places and have forgotten a good part of that with which they were exhorted. And thou wilt not cease to discover treachery on their part, except in a few of them. So pardon them and turn away from them. Surely, Allah loves those who do good.

        http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=5&verse=13

      • “the scribes and Jews had manipulated the Revelation of Moses”

        Small problem here, Para: the never was a Moses! He’s fictional. Now, how didn’t Mo know this? Bit of a blunder, wouldn’t you say?

  23. There is no archeological proof for the existence of whole hosts of people and rulers who existed in antiquity, and whose existence is firmly taught in history and anthropology courses today. We know about these people mostly through testimony passed on through oral or written tradition and written down by later generations. These are called primary sources. The bible is one such primary source. If you want to judge it as historical source material apply the same standards of provenance as you would to any other ancient document.

    Denial of the Exodus and the reality of the Biblical account is nothing new. Neither are these arguments. The skeptics have been around for over 200 years, and much of their teaching has been the accepted wisdom in universities for a long time. The theories are now being recycled because of a lot of new archaeological evidence that Professor Finkelstein and others have uncovered. This evidence, it is claimed, provides no evidence for the Exodus or the Bible.

    Two hundred years ago, there was a period in intellectual history known as the “Enlightenment.” During that period, scholars proudly proclaimed all the wonderful things the human mind could accomplish, if only it could set itself free from bondage to religion. The human mind, they said, should be autonomous (that means “self-legislating”), subject only to its own authority. Intellectual autonomy was the highest principle of the Enlightenment.

    The Enlightenment, of course, was not really anything new. The same attitude, the same emphasis on autonomy, was present two thousand years earlier in Greek philosophy, four hundred years earlier among the Renaissance humanists, and has existed whenever and wherever people have tried to carry on the work of the mind without God. From a biblical viewpoint, it is simply the attitude of unbelief. It’s the attitude that says ”My mind is my own.”

    For people who claim autonomy, the biblical message of salvation is irrelevant. Who needs salvation from sin? For one thing, the would-be autonomous thinker says, we are not sinners; for we decide what sin is, and we’re not guilty of it. And if we have any imperfections, we will either leave them alone or else deal with them the way we deal with everything else: by autonomous thought.

    Talk to a secularized scholar and try to get him to consider the hypothesis that God created the world. You’ll find that his resistance to the idea greatly exceeds the bounds of normal rational discourse. Why? There are two possibilities, aren’t there? Either the world is basically personal or basically impersonal. We know that the world contains impersonal objects and forces: matter, motion, time, space, chance. We also know that it contains persons– beings with minds, with self-consciousness. The two possibilities are: either the impersonal reduces to the personal or the personal reduces to the impersonal. That is, either the persons in the world are nothing more than matter, motion, time, space and chance; or the matter, motion, time, space and chance are the creations of a great person, who uses them for his wise purposes.

    If the world is basically impersonal, it is a pretty dark, dreary, and hopeless place. Happiness, justice, love, beauty might spring up for a while, but they are cosmic accidents of no ultimate importance. Finally they will be consumed in various cosmic explosions, and nothing will remain to remember them. Ultimately they are meaningless. If the world is basically personal, the situation is different: personal values like happiness, justice, love, and beauty are wrapped up in the very core of the universe. They are what nature and history is all about. In time, it will be the matter of the world that will be burned up, to be replaced by a new heaven and earth wherein dwells righteousness.

    So: is the world basically personal, or basically impersonal? One would think that either hypothesis is at least worth considering at the outset of the discussion. But do the secularists give equal attention to both? Do they consider equally the evidence for both? My sense of it is that they routinely assume that the universe is impersonal, and they do not give any serious consideration to the other possibility. Consider Darwinian evolution, Marxist economics, Freudian psychology. Did Darwin, Marx, or Freud consider the evidence for the existence of God and conclude objectively that God did not exist? Certainly not. They assumed that God did not exist, and they went on from there to develop impersonalist explanations of life, history, economics.

    Why? Because impersonalism and autonomy go together. If God exists, then autonomy is at an end; we must bow the knees of the mind. But if God doesn’t exist, then we are on our own, free. We can set our own standards, believe what we want to believe. So to assume autonomy, the secularist also assumes an impersonal universe.

    P.S. You have a small typo in your second sentence. “such as Moses are noting but” – ‘noting’ should be ‘nothing’.

    • Hi bobbierileyjr

      Thanks for the pick-up. Appreciated.

      Of course there’s nothing new here. This post was just detailing some of the more obscure things biblical maximalists and minimalists both accept as true. The Patriarchs are anachronistic of the northern people, southern people, and Abraham (the father) in the middle in Hebron uniting the family. It’s poetry. And I’m afraid to inform you, there is nothing which even mildly supports the period of slavery, Exodus or conquest. Even Orthodox Jewish rabbis today are beginning to concede this fact; see Orthodox Rabbi Norman Solomon “Torah from Heaven: The Reconstruction of Faith, in which he admits the concept of Torah Mi Sinai (the claim that the Five Books of Moses were dictated by the god Yahweh to Moses on Sinai) is not rooted in reality but is rather a “foundation myth.” If you’d like to see how the vast majority of Jewish rabbis view the Masoretic Text and Deuteronomistic history then read this post linked below. It’ll help bring you up to date on current thinking.

      http://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/of-course-what-you-say-is-true-but-we-should-not-say-it-publically-13/

      Now ask yourself, why would Jewish Rabbis admit it’s all myth? Are you suggesting they’ve missed something? Perhaps you’re suggesting there’s a global Jewish conspiracy and the Rabbis (and every archaeological department in every university on the planet) are in the middle of it?

      There’s really no point hooting or hollering about it all: you Middle Eastern god, Yhwh, is a fabrication. Of course, we all knew this already, but now we can actually identify the mythological nature of the narrative and dismiss that deity (like all deities) with a great deal of historical certainty. What you’re witnessing here is just the systematic reassigning of the Abrahamic religions to the shelves of mythology. Popular culture hasn’t yet caught up, but it is, slowly, and the demise of Christianity (like Mithraism before it) is already well-established.

      Now, you go off on quite a tangent, but all you’ve really detailed is a daydream; a wish. That’s fine, you’re entitled to dream, but you seem to be animating “science” with far too much personality… which is a common error made by the theist who needs to believe in something just to give their life meaning.

      You do ask a question is worth pausing on: why not consider a god? The question is in fact, why consider a god? There has been no supernatural event ever recorded in all of human history… so why should anyone be led to suspect something supernatural is going on? The god of the Pentateuch is invisible and inaudible. It gives off no odour and has no perceptible taste. It generates no heat signature, produces no electromagnetic field and provokes no resonance at any frequency. It cannot be detected with any instrument and no measurement of any natural phenomena has ever indicated its presence. Its influence cannot be inferred from any secondary observation, no earthly geological record speaks of its intervention, and no examination of any biological or astronomical system has ever alluded to its agency. Temporally speaking, the god of the Pentateuch is entirely absent from all but the last 1.25% of human history, and even after its literary debut in the 6th Century BCE failed to register as anything other than a minor Middle Eastern artistic anomaly envisaged by no other culture on the planet. It didn’t materialise independently in mainland Europe, emerge unassisted on the British Isles, or rouse a single word across the entire Far East. It inspired no one in any of the 30,000 islands of the South Pacific, energised nothing across the African continent, stirred naught in North America, and didn’t move anything or anyone in Central or South America. No one across the vast Indian Great Plains or Russian steppes ever heard of it. No Azorean fisherman suddenly spoke of it, no Scandinavian shipwright carved its name in a stone, no Japanese mother ever thought she’d heard it speak in whispered tones, and no Australian aborigine ever dreamed of it. Outside the pages of the bible there is positively nothing in the natural or anthropological landscape which might even remotely lead a person blissfully ignorant of the claims made in bible to suspect that that particular Middle Eastern god has ever inspired anything except the imaginations of a few linguistically specific Iron Age Canaanite hill tribes looking to add a little supernatural spice to their otherwise perfectly terrestrial lives.

      • Brother, that was some outstanding writing. You state your argument in such a precise way I do not believe it can be better or more clearer said. To believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible after reading this, your original post and then this reply, is tantamount to delusional schizophrenia. If one wishes to have “faith” that god is real, so be it, but to argue that this being is here, or ever was here, in a physical tangible sense is ridiculous. As is the insistence by too many that the characters and situations written about in the Bible, the Old Testament in particular, actually existed and/or took place exactly as described. As you keep pointing out, many Rabbis are now saying these are just stories. Frustrating. You, my friend, are a calm breath of reason in a tumultuous sea of insanity. Thank you.

    • I think the flaw in your argument John is that since there is no proof it must not be true. I realize this argument conveniently disregards a basic axiom of logic: The burden of proof is always on the claimant. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

      It is logically impossible and logically contradictory to require another person to prove that something does not exist. We can only prove that something exists; nobody can prove that something supernatural does not exist.

      There are many instances where people had no proof of a fact, thought they were right in there beliefs, and later discoveries proved them wrong.

      An analytically inclined mind will stipulate that unless something manifests itself objectively, it does not exist. It may still exist in somebody’s mind as absolute truth, a hallucination, or in another dimension, or in the deep sea. However, as far as human beings are concerned, if an object or event does not manifest itself in any form, manner or shape to human beings, it simply does not exist. If it does not manifest itself to human beings, it obviously has no effect on our life and we can safely disregard it.

      So, that is your answer to why I know God is real. People of faith, who have the Spirit of God dwelling within them have the proof. It manifests itself in their lives in various way. People who do not have this faith will not experience this and believe it is not true. Faith is what separates us. I have it and you do not. My faith enables God and His promises to manifest in my life and gives me all the proof I need.

      ^^^

      As requested, I asked myself, “why would Jewish Rabbis admit it’s all myth?”

      So I ask you, “Why does anyone lose their faith?”

      A ninth century Jewish philosopher named Saadia Gaon was the first Jewish thinker to examine the question: Why do so many people have doubts about their faith in God? Although he was speaking to a medieval audience, his ideas are very relevant for the people of 21st century. Saadia writes:

      “My heart grieves for humankind and my heart is affected on account of my own people, Israel, who I see in my own time. Many who follow their faith, but they have a distorted understanding of their faith; consequently, their faith is replete with unenlightened views and absurd beliefs that are current among those who follow Judaism. Others, who deny their faith, proudly denigrate their unbelief, ridiculing those who truly believe . . . I also saw people drowning in a sea of doubt, overwhelmed by the waves of confusion with no diver to raise them up from the depths, with no swimmer to bring them to rescue…”

      Men and women of all faiths have abdicated their responsibility to care and shepherd their people. Every day, there are countless stories about clergy either participating or covering up crimes of pedophilia, fraud, or committing what seems to be an endless string of social crimes. Unenlightened views of God and religion are especially evident in communities around the globe where religious leaders often encourage their followers to commit acts of violence, terror and mayhem against its political foes and innocent civilians.

      Such amoral behavior hardly inspires belief in a kind or benevolent Deity, especially when God’s followers commit the worse kind of human atrocities and moral indecencies in God’s Name! Religious people are guilty of the worse kind of moral atheism that makes people proudly say, “I cannot believe” Is it not any wonder why serious-minded people like yourself have arrived at the conclusion that religion is an illusion that has long outlived its contemporary usefulness?

      Someone asked Rabbi Reuben: What is the most reprehensible act a person can possibly do? He replied, “to deny God’s existence. For no man violates the commandments, ‘You shall not murder’, ‘You shall not steal’, till he has already renounced his faith in God.”

      Former believers who have lost their faith is not a new phenomenon. An article in the Scientific American details a study on how critical thinkers lose their faith.

      scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-critical-thinkers-lose-faith-god

      New research suggests that whether we believe, or not, may have to do with how much we rely on intuition versus analytical thinking. Perhaps the reason I have faith and you do not is that I am ‘tuned’ and ‘connected’ to God through an enhanced conscious intuition and you reject faith solely from an analytical thinking viewpoint.

      • Perhaps the reason I have faith and you do not is that I am ‘tuned’ and ‘connected’ to God through an enhanced conscious intuition and you reject faith solely from an analytical thinking viewpoint.

        It’s called inculcation, whether you are prepared to acknowledge it or not.

      • It’s called a spell. And it was cast by Satan on this poor fellow. Faith is powerful and not to be trifled with lightly. Thus, just believe what I’m saying because I told you to, or be prepared for endlessly circular arguments about the uselessness of things like, evidence, verifiable and repeatable experiments, and the inability of some people to admit that maybe, just maybe, there’s a slim chance they are wrong.

      • Faith=Absolute Truth. I have Faith in my God. She tells me your Faith is wrong. Thus, your Faith is wrong because you do not have Faith. Worse than that, however, is that you THINK you have Faith, but you do not. You have an illusion of Faith cast by Satan to lead you into your false belief and later into Hell. There can not be two Faiths which are so infallibly correct as not require a shred of physical evidence to be true. Thus, my God and my Faith are correct, while yours is spun from the Devil to damn you. You walk an evil path my friend. I’d suggest getting on board the bus with those of us who understand what true Faith is before it is too late for you. While John is damned for his non-belief, you are twice as condemned because you espouse a Faith that is corrupt, evil, and created by the Devil so he can have your eternal soul with him in Hell to burn for eternity. I am so sorry you do not have the only true Faith there is: Mine.

      • I don’t think inculcation fits for I chose to believe in God. Sure, as a child I had no say in what I was taught but as an adult I posses the ability to search the knowledge available to me and make a choice, to either accept a belief or reject it.

        Isn’t the variety of life incredible. There are so many beliefs and so many variations of living things all around us. That, I feel, is humanities greatest treasure. We mature and ultimately posses the ability to embrace spiritual concepts and connect to a belief that, although we try, we never fully understand, I live by faith.

        I will condemn no man who believes contrary to me. That’s way above my pay-grade. Your own conscious will convict you, so by all means, keep ignoring it.

      • Religion is nothing but creative terror management; a residue of our ability to foresee our own mortality. It’s really not terribly complicated.

        Tell me, if your religion was true why didn’t it emerge twice anywhere on the planet?

      • “I think the flaw in your argument John is that since there is no proof it must not be true.”

        What a strange statement. Are you consciously ignoring the mountain of contradictory evidence, or is that simply an automatic response in your head? I’m guessing you’re a Christian, so shall we start with the creation story of your religion. Are you suggesting there isn’t a universe of contradicting evidence to the 6-part event? Are you a young earth creationist? Is there evidence for it, or against it?

        If you’re a Christian (and I’m guessing you are) then let’s move onto Jesus. You would certainly claim he was god, or some representation of god, correct? With that in mind I can prove to you Jesus was a charlatan. In John 5:45 Jesus says: “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” We now know with a great deal of certainty that Moses was a fictional character; a 7th Century fabrication which borrowed from far older myths such as the Babylonian Tale of King Sargon. Simply put: Moses never existed, yet it’s clear to see that Jesus wasn’t aware of this fact. How do you explain Jesus not knowing Moses was a fictional character, Bobbie? What could possibly explain this frightful blunder?

      • Why must it appear twice? Did it not only require one time to get where it is today? Is not the fact that many people believe the Bible indicate one time was enough? I work in corporate America. When I want to impart important information to my employees I call my managers into a meeting. I pass on my instructions and they intern pass this down the line to every employee. I only give my instructions one time. I don’t travel to L.A., then Chicago, then Houston, giving the same message.

        As we mature, are we not moving towards tolerance of differing beliefs and customs? If we could get the Jihadist on board the world would be a safer place. If we could move away from the religious intolerant, dictators, violent leaders, and oppressors insisting we believe this or that we would be free from the time, energy, and expense required to protect ourselves from those intolerant men.

        We have so many problems that need fixing it’s sad many are focused on if God exists and who is right and who is wrong. There is a great enemy of hate, intolerance, and global problems facing you and I. I don’t see our differing opinions about God being a major problem.

        Anyway, you ask a lot of questions of me John. I’ve seen them all before. Pick one and I will answer you.

      • Where it is today? Only 22% of the world believe in your god, and that number is plummeting.

        I agree fully with you that there are many pressing problems to deal with, and religion is one. Humans must cast aside superstition and childish beliefs in supernal father figures and take responsibility for themselves. Indeed, the sooner we do away with religion the sooner we can all start acting like adults.

      • 2012 – In the U.S., 77% Identify as Christian

        gallup.com/poll/159548/identify-christian.aspx

        There are approximately 2.2 billion Christians in this world.

        The number of Christians around the world has nearly quadrupled in the last 100 years, from about 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion in 2010. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population today (32%) as they did a century ago (35%).

        pewresearch.org/daily-number/number-of-christians-rises-but-their-share-of-world-population-stays-stable/

        pewforum.org/2011/12/19/global-christianity-exec/

        So you are wrong about the 16%.

        Next, because of your analytical thinking, I “must cast aside superstition and childish beliefs”. Why? Because you say so. Your heart is hardened hence you can not find the proof you require so you insist on trampling my freedom of belief and expression? Glad your not the dictator of the Country I live in. Perhaps you would kill all the Christians.

        You want us all to act like adults yet in the same breath you ridicule and laugh at me, just like a child who does not understand the value of tolerance would do.

        As far as John 5:44-46 goes first lets read it. “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.”

        In the 5th Chapter of John we see disbelief in the face of all the testimony must be motivated by pride; it is a deliberate disbelief. Jesus attacks the roots of this disbelief with vigor. If it were an intellectual problem it could be met by explanation; but it is really a problem of the moral orientation of life and of the love of God, and so it is met by prophetic accusation. What the Jews are rejecting is not one sent from God—they willingly accept self-proclaimed messiahs (5:43). What they are really rejecting is the demand to place their trust in Jesus as Messiah sent from God, as indicated by his divine prerogatives. The failure to accept Jesus, to trust in him, is ultimately to prefer self, and ultimately to reap the consequences for one’s choice. It is a decision to remain in the darkness rather than come to the Light.

        If your really interested in an explanation of why Jesus would say the real person of Moses wrote about him read

        westmont.edu/~work/faq/characters.html

        Moses was given the law and as such these writings are attributed to Moses. Moses did not need to literally write every word for them to be the books of Moses. We are not speaking of a modern book. These writings are form 1500 BC and many of the teachings are passed down. The word of God comes from God regardless of who the book itself is named for. When Jesus quotes Moses he definitely quotes Moses.

        You state that, “We now know with a great deal of certainty that Moses was a fictional character.” I disagree, just like I disagree with your 16% figure above.

      • It’s 22% (updated it earlier), and i’m being very, very generous. Churches don’t have a disenrollment form, so figures thrown out by the likes of the Catholic church are completely bunk. I, for example, am still counted as a Catholic… and there’s no denying church numbers are plummeting. Yours is a dying religion.

        I’m not ridiculing you, or laughing at you. I’m here to give you a hand if you’d like one. I understand you Americans are a caught up in a superstitious bubble and that can terribly hard to break free of.

        You seem to be deliberately ignoring the point. Moses NEVER existed. Moses is a fictional character. Jesus didn’t know this, thus proving him to be a charlatan who couldn’t distinguish between basic regional history and historical fiction. You think Moses was real? Please, show me your evidence… your evidence which contradicts even Jewish Rabbis interpretation… Rabbis who concede Moses was fiction. (Have you ever read the Babylonian tale of King Sargon?). Are you even aware that Orthodox Rabbis are today admitting Moses was fiction?

      • You might want to also look at the second edition Encyclopaedia Judaica which concludes that the entire Exodus narrative was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.”

        And that link you provided is just an essay of excuses. I can understand and sympathise with the awkwardness of the position you find yourself in, its not easy admitting Jesus blundered so badly, but coming to grips with it will help you eventually shed the superstitious mindset which presently envelopes you.

      • I do acknowledge your steadfast conviction and faith that there is no God. You are as convince as I in our separate and different beliefs but you’re just not making sense. How do you know Moses did not exist, you were not there.

        There is no archeological proof for the existence of whole hosts of people and rulers who existed in antiquity, and whose existence is firmly taught in history and anthropology courses today. We know about these people mostly through testimony passed on through oral or written tradition and written down by later generations. These are called primary sources. The bible is one such primary source. If you want to judge it as historical source material apply the same standards of provenance as you would to any other ancient document.

        I sense you are mad at me but it isn’t my fault you can’t understand that God loves you and wants you back John. Please don’t hate us for simply loving you.

      • Why on earth should I be mad at you? I have nothing but heartfelt sympathy for you. If it helps, The Clergy Project now has over 550 former priests and pastors who’ve realised there is no god. Even if you’re not a preacher I’m sure you can contact them and they’ll talk to you honestly about their experiences and the nature of rational thought.

        http://www.clergyproject.org/

        (You might want to also talk to some Jewish Rabbis to get your head straight on the historical veracity of Pentateuch…. Or you could just read my post on the matter)

      • Bless your heart friend. Thank you.

        Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The misconception by many is that they do not understand ones faith was a gift of God and not an effort of ones self. We do not earn our faith by anything we do and this gift of faith comes only by grace.

        Grace is resistible—a person can either receive or resist the grace that brings faith.

        God’s grace came to you in ten thousands “moments of grace” and each time you had a choice: resist or receive that grace. When your mother read you a Bible story you could either receive it or resist it. When you said “amen” in your spirit God’s grace flowed and fortified your faith even though it was a simple Bible story. Throughout your childhood and teen years you probably faced millions of these “moments of grace” where you could either resist or receive. You probably didn’t receive grace in every case, none of us do, but in most cases you said “yes” to God’s grace and thus the gift of faith in you grew strong. But there was never a time when your faith was secure and beyond the possibility of loss.

        God’s gift of faith does not come in one massive lifetime dose. Ones faith is no more permanent than ones marriage. Both must be tended. Left alone, faith diminishes. To “keep the faith” you continually surrendered to God’s grace and see your faith remain, even grow. Perhaps you thought that you yourself were “keeping faith” but actually you kept the faith by staying open to grace. And God kept on giving you faith. As you kept your heart open to God’s grace he continually built your faith and it became strong because it was a gift from God — all you did yourself was “refuse to refuse.”

        Faith can be lost in a gigantic landslide if you reject grace in a moment but most people who lose faith do so gradually. There is a way to get it back.

  24. One way to prove that Mohammed was really a prophet (or any of the others actually if the location of their remains is known) is that it is written that one of the signs of being a prophet is that his (always a he) body never decomposes. Supposedly if you dig up Mohammed’s body today, it will look as if he died yesterday. One sure way that Muslims have to prove without a doubt that Mohammed was a prophet is to dig up his body and let the world choke on ever denying him as a speaker for god. Now, why have they never taken that step and will never take that step? Because that would be defiling the body? Wouldn’t it be worth it just to prove all the haters wrong? Mohammed would have said go ahead since he governed every single thought and action Muslims took. He believed he was a prophet so why would he care if his believers wanted to prove it to the world? A few hundred million more people on this planet might convert wholesale on the spot. God would be pleased.

    • I didn’t know that claim. Excellent…. I’m going to start hitting that one home whenever a Muslim starts ranting. There’s an easier way to blow Mo out of the water, though. The Qur’an is littered with references to Moses (Musa), so as we now know with a great deal of certainty that Moses was a fictional character (his birth story lifted straight from the older tale of King Sargon) then evidently the Qur’an is bunk.

    • Of course not. If they exposed his desiccated corpse tomorrow, nothing would change except that the heathen comics would have a more accurate image to draw. They would say he died while fasting, or that thieves had stolen all the yummy bits.

  25. @ John Zande

    Quote:
    “Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and the Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the patriarchs, the exodus from Egypt and the conquest of Canaan, nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.” Unquote

    Please provide full reference and link of the article to which the above quote belongs.

    • Sorry, but i can’t take anything from that site seriously. It’s skewed, biased Christian nonsense. It also ignores the vast reserve of contradictory evidence, like for instance all the other cities Joshua supposedly conquered which don’t line up. Finding evidence of ash is normal. Cities of antiquity fell and were rebuilt numerous times. The larger narrative, though, has to match up… and it simply doesn’t. I see the authors are also trying to shift the date of conquest back to the 15th century. Sneaky, but easily picked-up. The enslaved Israelites were supposed to have built Pi-Ramses, so it’s simply IMPOSSIBLE for the exodus to have occurred any time earlier than the 14th Century. You see, Christians just aren’t truthful, and that is precisely why they’re ignored.

      Diana, if there was anything (and I mean ANYTHING) which even remotely hinted at the narrative being true Jewish Rabbis would be all over it. The fact that they today admit its all myth is proof in and by itself of the solidness of the position. That is, of course, unless you believe there’s a global conspiracy going on to thwart Chrstians.

      Do you think there’s a global conspiracy, Diana?

      Again, my challenge stands: present a single reputable archaeologist (preferably an Israeli professor with current university tenure who’s actually led digs) who’ll categorically state, in writing, “The Patriarchs were real, the Jews were enslaved in Egypt, there was an Exodus of some 2 million people followed by a triumphant military conquest of Canaan.”

      Surely if there was any truth to your position then should be an EASY task, right? Surely you can find one expert willing to make this statement…

      • Hehehe, no, that’s not in dispute. Jericho’s been around for quite some time, but it had also been abandoned for some 200 years at the time Joshua was said to have been going on his merry rampage.

        I dismiss that site because i’ve been through it in some detail. You’re not the first apologist to point me to it. It’s a one-stop shop for Christians looking for confirmation bias.

      • The city of Jericho with all of the evidence that matches the biblical record is intact. (Walls collapsed from the inside out, destruction, fire, grain in the storage bins, etc . . . )

      • … Date wrong :)

        Diana, Jericho’s “walls” have fallen multiple times. You can’t just identify one thing (in a wrong era, mind you) then say IT’S ALL TRUE! You must look at the entire narrative. What about all the other cities? Settlement patterns, for example, also FLATLY contradict the conquest narrative. You’re also ignoring the fact that Canaan was under Egyptian military rule at the time. You’re equally ignoring the fact that there was never an Exodus which set the stage for the alleged conquest. No Exodus, no requirement to assault and steal the land.

        Diana, once again, the findings are so conclusive Jewish Rabbis admit its all myth. Now, you either must accept their studied and learned position (as they have far more invested in this story than you will ever have), or state clearly that you believe Rabbis and Archaeologists are in on a global conspiracy.

        Do you, Diana, believe Jewish Rabbis and just about every archaeologist and biblical scholar in the world are involved in a global conspiracy to thwart Christians?

        Yes, or no?

      • I don’t know about a global conspiracy to thwart Christians. lol. You have a flair for the dramatic, John!

        What I do know is that the city of Jericho has been found in the exact condition the Bible describes–walls fallen outward, city destroyed, burnt, and grain still in the bins, yet you believe an archaeologist who dated the fall of the city at a different time because she didn’t find a piece of pottery she thought should be there.

        Yeah. Let’s dismiss the evidence we’re looking straight at because a middle-aged woman thousands of years after the event couldn’t find a little piece of a bowl she thought should be there–and they actually find a few years later!!! Yet people cling to the Kenyon account. Why? You tell me. Maybe you can figure it out.

      • Jericho’s “walls” (which don’t even come close to matching the biblical description) have fallen three times, Diana, and none of those times were when Joshua was said to be going on his merry rampage. Why are you simply ignoring this? Why are you also ignoring the fact that it was destroyed last in the 17th Century BCE? (Please, follow the link Ron provided, you might learn something about the accuracy of carbon dating). Why do you think Kenyon is the only person to have ever dated the site? Why are you ignoring the fact that the city was abandoned at the alleged time of the conquest, and had been for hundreds of years? Why are you also ignoring all the other cities which Joshua supposedly ruined which either 1) weren’t in existence at the time, or 2) show no evidence of destruction at the said time? Why are you ignoring the settlement patterns which don’t support any influx of people, let alone TWO MILLION foreigners returning after 400 years in another culture?

        Now, here’s that link again. It will educate you on carbon dating Jericho.

        https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/1666

    • “Bronze-age Jericho fell in the 16th century at the end of the Middle Bronze Age, the calibrated carbon remains from its City-IV destruction layer dating to 1617–1530 BCE. Notably this carbon dating c. 1573 BCE confirmed the accuracy of the stratigraphical dating c. 1550 by Kenyon.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jericho#Bronze_Age

      Radiocarbon, Vol 37, No 2 (1995)

      Tell Es-Sultan (Jericho): Radiocarbon Results of Short-Lived Cereal and Multiyear Charcoal Samples From the End of the Middle Bronze Age

      Hendrik J. Bruins, Johannes van der Plicht

      Abstract

      “The final destruction of MBA Jericho occurred during the late 17th or the 16th century BC. ”

      https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/1666

      • There you go! Ron, you always come through with the goods. If I thought it’d change Diana’s mind i would have done it myself, but Diana isn’t however interested in actually learning anything. She’s a young earth creationist who believes the Greeks didn’t contribute anything to Western civilisation, and that the world was populated with cannibals until Christianity came along. Oh, and she believes Christians defeated the Nazis… and slavery…

      • Yes, it’s been sunshine, lollipops and rainbows since Christianity came onto the world stage. Just ask the native American tribes how well receipt of the “good news” worked out for them.

        You’re right that Diana won’t be convinced by facts and evidence (in fact, she’s more likely to hunker down even further), but I do it for the benefit of the lurkers who might be following the discussion.

        In any case, the story is a logistical nightmare even without the carbon dating evidence — because according to the narrative, an army of 40,000 men simultaneously descended upon an area encompassing 40,000 sq. metres. Which means that each man would have had less than one square metre of maneuvering room once you factor in all the buildings, furniture, livestock and inhabitants. And how many residents could such an area even accommodate? My guess would be three to four thousand people, tops. So a combatant ratio of 10:1 seems like slight overkill. But then again, if there’s one thing biblical Lord Genocide is keen on, it’s overkill.

      • Double-overkill considering even in his most generous estimates Finkelstein’s population maps (which no one seems to be objecting to) places the entire hill population at no greater than 50,000 (in the 11th and 10th centuries BCE) spread out over 11 sites/villages.

        That’s an excellent link. Fascinating study.

  26. Two comments. the David of the Bible is obviously such a shit (mercenary, turncoat, assassin, with an inside track to the battle of Gilboa, and what about killing the messenger?) that I see him as historical, although how much territory he ever controlled is another matter. And it’s ok to use a work of fiction as a source of insight and example (think of Hamlet); we expunge the biblical YHWH from history, but presumably the rabbis would regard him as a fictional representation, from which much might still be learned, of a real God.

    • I think there are probably kernels of truth in most narratives; dream sequences which get weaved into stories designed to serve other purposes. The history of Yhwh is purely political, and terrestrial. He married his mother in the early 7th century BCE so as to be elevated in the Canaanite Pantheon, then usurped the father (El) and turned against his 70 brothers and sisters just as Judah began to move in on the ruined Kingdom of Israel. Nasty, Machiavellian fucker :)

  27. @ JOHN ZANDE’s comments dated January 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I have read the original article on Haaretz titled “The keys to the kingdom” written By Asaf Shtull-Trauring on May 6, 2011 | 11:22 AM, as per the link provided by John Zande.

    I quote following passages from the article:

    1. “In striking contrast, the archaeologist Amnon Ben-Tor, from the Hebrew University, who is presently directing the Hatzor excavations, passionately defends the dating of the finds at his site. “What can I say but that with our meager powers and our ceramic knowledge we determined that the gates do in fact belong to the 10th century?” Similarly, Amihai Mazar maintains, “There is a certain problem of dating at Megiddo. At Hatzor and at Gezer there is no problem at all. The gates can be dated to the 10th century BCE, not with certainty but with no little measure of probability.”
    2. Who is a Judahite?
    Criticism of the earlier finds by Finkelstein and others may please Garfinkel. It enables him to claim that Khirbet Qeiyafa is different from all the sites hitherto investigated in that it is the first Judahite settlement that has been radiocarbon-dated to the 10th century BCE and also shows a highly developed level of construction. In other words, for Garfinkel this is the first site that attests saliently to the existence of an established kingdom in the 10th century and definitively rebuts the notion that David was “a sheikh in a Bedouin tent” – the viewpoint he attributes to Finkelstein.
    3. However, Prof. Gershon Galil of the University of Haifa, who recently published a deciphering of the inscription, maintains that “30 major researchers accept our reading, which shows that the inscription is in Hebrew – the earliest Hebrew inscription discovered to date. Of the 18 words that appear in the inscription, eight appear only in the Bible.”

    It is very clear from the article that there are two groups among the Archaeologists; one the conservative one and the other the non-conservative; both have opposing opinions.
    It is wrong to conclude from the article that there is any consensus on the issue; there could be loose agreement but nothing is yet conclusive; the research is going on and is still open.
    One thing is clear that the search or the research is based on the sites mentioned in the Bible; no site excavated is mentioned in Quran; hence, it has no bearing on Quran and the Truthful Religion.

    • Yes, there are Maximalists and Minimalists. What you seem to be confusing here is what they’re actually disagreeing about. The Patriarchs, Moses, Exodus, Conquest is without controversy among both groups: none of these events happened. The article is not, however, about that. It’s about whether or not Judah had an urban infrastructure in the 10th Century BCE. This relates then to whether or not there was a united Kingdom as described in the bible. Minimalists say “No, there is no evidence to support this.” Maximalists say “Not so fast, maybe.”

  28. The proof is out there for any who wants to look for it. You can go on heresy or seek the knowledge for yourself. Many of your claims care proven false by evidence that man made protocols cannot deny.
    Science can explain how things work, but not how things came to be. New discoveries are made everyday. We (you and I) are here now, but the one who made us has provided the answers since the beginning of time. Science hasn’t been around a fraction of that time. I will continue to trust in Yahweh who is both older and wiser than our ancestors or your so called scientists. Yahweh bless.

      • I do believe in the five books of Moses. I have read those books. They are the first books of the OT in the Bible. Thanks for the link. Its not surprising that a supposed Rabbi males these claims. Did you know that many Christian preachers are atheists?
        This has no effect on my faith because I don’t base my whole belief by others commentary or opinions. I asked the source and He taught me by His word. This is the only way to know for sure what is real or what is fabricated. That’s why I encourage others to do the same. It changed my life forever. Yahweh bless.

      • Evidently you didn’t actually read the article as its far from just one Rabbi, rather the majority of non-Orthodox Rabbi’s from the largest movements of Judaism (Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist) who admit the Patriarchs, Moses, Exodus and Conquest is myth. That said, even Orthodox Rabbis are also today conceding its myth (see Orthodox Rabbi Norman Solomon’s book, Torah from Heaven: The Reconstruction of Faith,).

        Now, if the Jews admit their own foundation narrative is nothing but inventive myth then I think you better start rethinking your “faith.”

        What, precisely, do you have “faith” in?

      • That’s simple. I trust in Yahweh. The Mighty One of Israel. The author of life. The King of Kings.

        Yahweh has always been in my life. I nearly died several times through carelessness, and by the hands of others. Yahweh saved me every time. Yahweh is faithful to discipline me when I do wrong. Yahweh is still faithful to bless me when I do right. Every action, every thought, and every word said or done by anyone has been explained and written down in prophecy before our time. You’re feelings and words prove the Bible true. The doubt shown by the people who claim that it’s a myth proves the Bible true. The evil, the pain, and the misery of this world prove the Bible true.

        If words could break my faith then I never had it to begin with. Faith needs a foundation of divine understanding. Anyone can get it if they truly seek it from the only one who can give it. Blessing..

    • @NIKKIJR

      Many of your claims care proven false by evidence that man made protocols cannot deny.

      Specifically which ones and what evidence do you have that shows that JZ’s claims are false?

      Science can explain how things work, but not how things came to be.

      Er. No. Science has a bevy of cosmological explanations as how things came to be. Google “evolution” and the “big bang theory” for starters.

      but the one who made us has provided the answers since the beginning of time.

      Bullshite. Where does god mention cancer in the bible? You’d think the all knowing and all powerful would have mentioned that somewhere in his magic book.

      Science hasn’t been around a fraction of that time.

      How long something has been around is not a reliable indicator of how useful something is. Science provides an empirical description of how our world works as opposed to religion which offers nothing but mendacious hand-waving constructed (by humans) to keep scared ignorant people docile.

      I will continue to trust in Yahweh who is both older and wiser than our ancestors or your so called scientists.

      Tell me when the big “Y” will make her appearance on the BBC to be interviewed. You do realize that you are telling us that you’re talking to your imaginary friend and this imaginary friend is better than evidence based argumentation.

      I would suggest that the talking to imaginary friends habit is best left in childhood along with belief in dragons and unicorns.

  29. @NIk

    I do believe in the five books of Moses.

    And as the JZ’s article demonstrates it is nothing more than the harried, delusional, wish fulfillment of ignorant people. The depths or strength of your belief does not make the books any less erroneous.

    I asked the source and He taught me by His word.

    Really? How exactly did you know it was Him? I’m pretty sure that it was Allah just pulling your leg for funsies.

    This is the only way to know for sure what is real or what is fabricated.

    Actually this is the way that people resist honestly arguing with people who have evidence based arguments on their side. This the mighty shield of complicit ignorance that provides a ‘safe haven’ against rational thought and discourse.

    That’s why I encourage others to do the same.

    Because the world needs more mythology and magic, not less.

  30. @JZ

    Now, if the Jews admit their own foundation narrative is nothing but inventive myth then I think you better start rethinking your “faith.”

    What, precisely, do you have “faith” in?

    I would offer that there is much comfort to be found in faith and that preserving that comfort outweighs any sort of rational impulse to understand how the world works.

    Suckling at the teat of ignorance, in this particular way, with these particular stories and sky-daddies keeps the existential fear at bay.

    And here you go JZ trying to change the teat and the huggy-blanket with facts and evidence. It just isn’t done!

  31. There is one argument for the existence of God that makes me feel sick. It’s the argument “God exists because He saved my life.” What, then, of all those whose lives He did not save; are they as nothing to Him?

    • Headline reads: PLANE CRASH: MIRACLE BABY SURVIVES! Hidden away on the body of the text is the 230 people whose dental records have suddenly become highly valuable documents.

    • Millers 1998 article? Know it well. Not sure I know what you’re asking.

      If you’re referring to Kitchen and Hoffmeier then that’s nothing new. These are same two clowns Christians always roll out. Both men are evangelical Christians, which is an immediate flag of suspicion. Hoffmeier teaches at Trinity Evangelical Divinity College. Kitchen is an Egyptologist and has never even led a dig in that country, let alone one in Israeli or the Sinai… neither has Hoffmeier. Hardly experts. What they do is re-interpret crumbs of data to try and best fit their needs, then make sweeping and often absurd claims. This includes simply ignoring the biblical chronology and moving the date of the Exodus way, way back so that it matches the final destruction of Jericho in the 17th Century… as opposed to the bibles account which would place the event (Conquest) no sooner than the 13th century. Like most evangelicals they simply ignore the reservoir of contradictory data and try to needle a point here or a point there. For this reason they’re not taken seriously in any academic field.

      In all, the total absence of evidence of the Israelites ever being in Egypt or of massive encampments in the Sinai is devastating, but truly the most ruinous evidence to the narrative is the complete absence of any correlating data pointing to their alleged arrival in Canaan. Population maps and settlement patterns are very well studied and are without controversy. They paint an extremely clear and clean picture: there was positively no arrival of some 2 million people (foreigners who would have had a variant language, urban building style and pottery, for example) in the Canaanite hills. Indeed, in the 10th Century (the supposed time of the grand United Kingdom, itself a myth) the total population of the Canaanite hills was believed to be at most 50,000 scattered over 11 villages.

      Kitchen and Hoffmeier (again, who have never worked in Israel and are, at best, amateurish Egyptologists) simply ignore these facts. They say what Christian evangelicals want to hear and that sells their books.

  32. Pingback: Is it impossible for the god of the Bible to exist? « Enquiries on Atheism

  33. Pingback: The Exodus, courtesy of Arch. | A Tale Unfolds

  34. Pingback: Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “let my people go……. For a long weekend!” the peculiar story of the “exodus”, part 1 | Club Schadenfreude

  35. Pingback: Not So Polite Dinner Conversation - “let my people go……. For a long weekend!” the peculiar story of the “exodus”, part 1 | Christians Anonymous

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