Sketches on Atheism

Kadesh Barnea, Gaza, & The Exodus

The Jewish origin tale recounted in the Pentateuch is a work of geopolitical fiction. This is the uncontested consensus of biblical archaeologists and bible scholars. It has been the consensus position amongst professionals for nearly three generations now, but as the Chief Archaeologist at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum, Professor Magen Broshi, explained: “Archaeologists simply do not take the trouble of bringing their discoveries to public attention.” So solid is the consensus, and so definitive the evidence supporting it, that in 1998, the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the primary American professional body for archaeologists working in the Middle East, changed the name of its professional publication from Biblical Archaeologist to Near Eastern Archaeology simply because the bible had been determined to be (beyond all doubt) an entirely unreliable historical source to direct research into the early Jews, pre-Babylonian captivity. Indeed, in that same year, even Christianity Today’s Kevin D. Miller conceded: “The fact is that not one shred of direct archaeological evidence has been found for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the 400-plus years the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt. The same is true for their miraculous exodus from slavery.”

These are just the facts. They are not a secret. The information has been in the public domain for decades, and today even the majority of Jewish rabbi’s openly concede their origin narrative is a work of fiction cast as a family unity tale: Isaac in the north (Israel), Jacob in the south (Edom), and Abraham, the father, right in the middle in Hebron (Judah) uniting them all. Imagined in the 8th and 7th century BCE, the story was designed to place Judah at the centre of the Jewish world so as to capitalise on a weakened Mamlekhet Yisra’el (whose name is derived from El, the father of the Canaanite pantheon, not the Judean Yhwh) after its sacking in 722 BCE. Coincidently, the 8th/7th century was precisely when the high priest, Hilkiah, miraculously rediscovered the supposedly “long-lost” scroll of the law, the Sefer Torah, hidden in a wall, telling this fantastic tale how his kingdom, Judah, was in fact the center of the Jewish world.

Convenient and timely discoveries aside, it is, however, known today that the very hills where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel would be found were not inundated with 2.5 million “arriving” slaves in the 14th Century BCE, rather they were first settled 50 years after the well-documented landing of the Philistines on the Levant in 1100 BCE. This is known today as the Settlement Period, it lasted for about a century, and the total population of the initial 11 villages never exceeded 30,000 during that entire period.

Libraries of evidence exist which confirm this more pedestrian history of the early Jews, but there is a contemporary case study which helps illustrate how just one element of the Exodus tale, for example, can be graphically shown to be myth.

In the Exodus tale, Kadesh Barnea (today known as Tell el-Qudeirat) is the site between the Wilderness of Paran (Num 13:3) and the Wilderness of Zin (Num 13:21) where the 2.5 million Hebrew refugees (Exodus 12:37) spent 38 continuous years in the 14th Century BCE before entering Canaan.

For a visual reference, this is what a temporary encampment of just 2 million extremely well-organised people without animals, food, water, or belongings of any sort looks like for one week at the 2016 hajj.

hajj-3

Over four decades in Kadesh Barnea, they built homes, got married, raised children, died, and were buried. For four decades they conducted business, practiced law, and dealt with the affairs of state, including defence which would have demanded fortifications and guard towers. The daily nutrition needs of 2.5 million people (a population roughly the size of Chicago) would have demanded the establishment of extensive farms, roads for transportation and distribution, and, importantly, enormous food depots and storage facilities. No doubt, the presence of 2.5 million people (half the population of the Egyptian Kingdom at the time) would have drawn traders from nearby towns eager to service this huge (static) population. Trade would require some sort of currency, so a mint and central bank would have had to of been established, and guarded. Indeed, to satisfy the material needs of 2.5 million people, mines would have been sourced, secured, and worked. Industrial-sized smelters and metal forgery’s would have to of been constructed, turning out everything from weapons to farming equipment. Colossal pottery enterprises would have had to of been built that would have demanded equally enormous supplies of raw materials and the construction of industrial kilns. Brickworks would have been established, as well as the public infrastructure for sewage and general waste disposal. At a minimum (and not including bathing, irrigation, or other uses), 2.5 million people would consume 5 million litres of water every day, requiring dozens of deep wells feeding local aqueducts and immense reservoirs. Schools and places of worship would have been built and adorned. Multi-seated entertainment venues would have hosted music and theatre. Governing bodies would no doubt need a permanent place to meet, and this central government apparatus would almost certainly have been supported by numerous satellite councils which operated medical clinics, garbage collection, and other day-to-day civil services.

In Kadesh Barnea, according to the narrative, the Hebrews had to wait until all the original men of fighting age had died, meaning a minimum of 600,000 graves. Naturally, when considering all other deaths in the forty year period, the real number of burials would be closer to 2-3 million.

For a visual reference, this is Wadi us-Salaam (“Valley of Peace”) cemetery in Najaf, Iraq. The cemetery has been in use for over 1,400 years, covers an area of 1485.5 acres, and contains an estimated two to three million bodies.

wadi-us-salaam-31

Given all this, and more, it should not come as any surprise to anyone that Kadesh Barnea was the very first site archaeologists (many of whom were American evangelicals) poured over in the first half of the 20th Century, eventually spending decades looking for evidence of this enormous city: its foundations, graveyards, drainage systems, fireplaces, landfills, etc.

Those decades of exhaustive work can be summarised in one sentence:  nothing was found from the 14th Century BCE. The site was first occupied in the Iron Age (a tiny, primary 12th to 10th Century BCE settlement), then adorned with a small fort which stood from the 10th to 8th Century BCE.

Now, it does not take any great intellectual effort to understand that this was extraordinarily strange, and just a little northwest of Tell el-Qudeirat is a living example of just how strange this total and complete absence of hard archaeological evidence was: Gaza.

In 1948 the virtually undeveloped Gaza strip (home to approximately 35,000 in Gaza City, excluding Bedouins) became home to 233,000 Palestinian refugees experiencing their own forced Exodus, the Nakba. Here they established eight main refugee camps: Beach Camp (housing 23,000 refugees), Bureij Camp (13,000), Deir el-Balah Camp (9,000), Jabalia Camp (35,000), Khan Younis Camp (72,000), Maghazi Camp (24,000), Nuseirat Camp (16,000), Rafah Camp (41,000).

To be clear, this 233,000 is an eleventh of the total number of refugees who are said to have settled Kadesh Barnea.

Today in the Gaza Strip, 68 years after Nakba, that initial refugee population of 233,000 has become 1.26 million (1.76 million Gazans in total), for whom the United Nations Relief and Works Agency alone operates 245 schools, two vocational and technical training centres, 22 primary health centres, six community rehabilitation centres, and seven women’s programme centres.

And that’s just that one UN agency.

To make this point perfectly clear, let’s focus on one camp only: Beach Camp, also known as “Shati.” The 0.52 square kilometres camp is on the Mediterranean coast and initially accommodated 23,000 refugees who’d fled mostly from Lydd, Jaffa, and Be’er Sheva. Through natural birth rates, today, 68 years later, the camp has nearly quadrupled in size to 87,000 (still thirty-times less than the 2.5 million refugees who settled Kadesh Barnea), and includes 32 schools.

And here is a brief photographic journey through the history of the Beach Camp: Shati.

Beach Camp, 1948.

Gaza, Beach Camp, 1948

Beach Camp two years later, 1950, school operated by Jordanian government.
ByDlthJCQAEGHVe

Beach Camp four decades later in the 1990’s.

Gaza, Beach Camp, 1980

Beach Camp in 2006, population 80,000.

GAZA-BEACH-CAMP

The photo above is what 23,000 refugees can do in a few decades. To make life bearable, it’s what they must do. And so now take a look at the following two photographs: the first is what archaeologists found when they first arrived at Kadesh Barnea, where 2.5 million refugees allegedly spent four decades. The second is Kadesh Barnea today; the excavation in the foreground is the remains of the 10th to 8th Century BCE fort. Nothing from the 14th Century BCE has ever been unearthed… Not even a single pottery shard.

ths is what they found

kadesh-in-the-bible

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174 thoughts on “Kadesh Barnea, Gaza, & The Exodus

  1. Once again we are fighting a fight that has already been won, but because some childishly say “did not” we continue on. (Great summary, though.) That there are so many Americans who believe in these OT fairy tales and don’t even question why, for example, an all powerful deity who can create a universe full of stars in one day needs the help of angels and cherubim, etc. is not a mystery. “Believing in God” comes with attendant fairy tales, but it satisfies some psychosocial needs. For one, if one surrounds oneself with “God believers” one tends to feel safe as the morality of those in one’s community is vouched for.

    So, they aren’t believers because of evidence, so no evidence will change their minds, especially not evidence from a spawn of the Devil, which you clearly are. (As you can tell I will be blogging on this topic shortly.)

    There is a guy who wrote a short book claiming that the events that got inflated into the Biblical Exodus story actually occurred in Arabia (Yemen mostly). Even if there is an historical acorn from which this mighty oak of a story grew, the fact that it has been labeled “holy scripture” and “inspired by God” shows how deluded folks are willing to be to receive the solace that being a God believer brings.

    In my coming post I am likely to point out that the psychosocial needs satisfied by religion are mostly pathetic and hardly worth the cost of the religious beliefs, but if we want to convert God believers into intellectually honest folks, that’s where we need to insert our pry bars.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Fighting a fight that has already been won…. Perfectly said! And yes, there are all sorts of excuses proffered, including one Orthodox Jewish rabbi who claims a tribe was commissioned to clean everything up.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Do you think James or any of the others read here? I know they occasionally read my blog. This is real, amazing and for Christians with opened minds, heartbreaking stuff. Thanks john

        Liked by 2 people

      • “and for Christians with opened minds, heartbreaking stuff”

        Mike, I take it you must be referring to someone other than James.

        In my case I became aware of the Exodus ‘problems’ in 2012, but it still took me until 2015 until I deconverted. I sort rationalised it all using the logic of ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It`s such a pathetic, wilfully ignorant excuse, as there is mountains of evidence, and it all indicates an entirely different story of the early Jews.

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      • Pathetic it might be John, but that does not stop it being used. When our beliefs are challenged then the normal response is emotional rather than rational so reason does not get much of a look in.

        This is why it is so hard to get believers to accept facts that contradict their beliefs. An attack on their beliefs is like an attack on themselves so they become defensive and become less open to reason and argument. It is only really when the believer themselves start to value truth about belief that they become open to facts.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Excellent.
    The photographs and comparisons give a far greater understanding of perspective.

    These are the type of images that Christians of all stripes need to see to begin to get a more accurate mental picture outside of the bible, of just what 2.5 million people would have looked like.

    Even if one were to apply the numbers Evangelicals and Apologists try to insinuate into the equation the story still doesn’t gel. And even if we were to factor in the supernatural in terms of provision ( A thriving Manna and quail industry) there would be evidence of some sort of farming/processing.

    As you mentioned, an entire peripheral infrastructure would have also had to have existed had this ”town/city/oasis” existed as described. Even with huge down-scaling there would have been evidence.

    And of course, while all this temporary residence was going on, over in Canaan one would expect the locals to have shown signs they were none to pleased having all these folk parked on their doorstep.

    As we have the Armana letters one would expect some sort of communication between Canaan residents and Egyptians about the former saves practically in their midst.
    And in forty years the Egyptians would have had plenty of time to resurrect another army to avenge the loss of the original one – which they surely would have done.

    Once upon a time ….

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s an interesting point about the Egyptians. If they were truly pissed about half their population suddenly leaving, then they had the perfect opportunity to annihilate them. Not to mention, the Egyptians had garrisons not that far from KD, so it’s a little odd (and that’s putting it mildly) that nothing happened. And you’re right, the trade between KD and Canaan would have been enormous, something akin to Puerto Rico suddenly having the United States right there on their border…. Needing (desperate) all sorts of goods immediately.

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  3. Great post JZ.

    The only problem is no true religiot will EVER let the truth get in the way of their fairy tales. Save for the very few courageous souls who have the will to follow the facts to the one inescapable conclusion.

    There must be an equation or a meme somewhere that can correlate the density of religious believers to that of lead.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. No traces left? Why, these were people who lived in perfect harmony with nature and supports the Mormon claim that native Americans are of Hebrew descent just like Iron Eyes Cody, the most environmentally minded NA ever.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Reblogged this on The Recovering Know It All and commented:
    To paraphrase a well known verse from Psalm 113,”If the foundations be destroyed, what can the ‘Christians’ do?”. The only answer to this age old question is to Ask more questions, Seek better answers than what your Teachers and Leaders have allowed you, and start Thinking for yourselves. If the very foundational truths, evidence and historical proof of what you believe is non existent, if instead the Historical, Archaeological and Scientific evidence that DOES exist points in the opposite direction and conclusively proves your Faith is built on Myths, Legends and Lies… “what is the Righteous to do?”…
    If they are Honest, Open and have any shred of Intellectual Integrity left, the will Deconvert from Christianity and go into ‘Recovery’ from Knowing It All-ism.
    Thanks again to John Z. for such a well researched and presented piece. Truly heartbreaking for the Christian, but I’d rather live in the Real world than for a Dead ‘Savior’. -KIA

    Liked by 4 people

  6. The Jewish origin tale recounted in the Pentateuch is a work of geopolitical fiction.

    You had me hooked right there John! 😀 I too have been outspoken about as a whole the unreliability of all three Abrahamic “Holy Scriptures” as you know.

    If I may, and as a show of complete support for you and this post, may I offer my latest 3-part series on this geopolitical and religious non-sense? Here is a link: The Circus of Recycling — Part 1

    John, your photographic journey of Beach Camp: Shati is as poignant as the bogus scriptural “history” of Hebrew (Habiru/Hapiru?) tribes “chosen” by some supreme deity. Well done!

    Mankind — and I’m purposely specifying MEN not women — over many thousands of years seem to have a genetic marker or mental pathology of some sort that lends itself heavily to ego-mania, or what many today would call “faith”… religious faith. It is a psychological coping mechanism for a life of strife and temporary instability in order to regain some sort of control over the perceived (uneducated?) lack of control. What sprouts off from this collective mentality over time is increased paranoia and fear when one human group’s method isn’t compatible with another’s method, paradoxically exactly what the first coping-mechanism was trying to alleviate, and unless modified or overhauled a snowballing effect proceeds, i.e. armed conflict.

    And as humanity has or has not learned is that when we allow ourselves to sit in a closed-system of unbending segregating ego-mania or faith, like the frog in the frying pan, the Laws of Nature and Natural Selection soon prevail. Humanity is WAY PAST DUE for major paradigm shifts and overhauls in order to collaborate as a species for more important global and Cosmic issues!!! Groups choosing to stay in the “Scriptural or Faith” frying pans cannot survive so hyper-polarized.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I read that article of yours. Awesome, and beautifully researched! I’d recommend it to everyone and anyone.

      ”It is a psychological coping mechanism for a life of strife and temporary instability in order to regain some sort of control over the perceived (uneducated?) lack of control.”

      Very well said, Professor. “Life, as we find it,” said Freud, “is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks.” To bear it, he stated, we invent, employ, and deploy three principle solutions, or what he called “palliative measures:” ‘powerful deflections,’ which cause us to make light of our misery; ‘substitutive satisfactions,’ which diminish it; and ‘intoxicating substances,’ which make us insensitive to it. Religion, it can be argued, draws upon all three. It promotes suffering by selling the notion of reward – an afterlife – for endurance in the face of hardship where suffering is celebrated and tallied by the devout like the accumulation of chips at a casino. Religion employs substitutive deflections by promoting the displacement of responsibility, and lastly, religion as an intoxicant is perhaps the most powerful palliative measure as it quite literally emboldens the devout to wilfully ignore reality.

      We can only hope Evangelicals and Muslims soon start to mirror their Jewish counterparts and accept their religions are erected on a historical cartoon.

      Liked by 4 people

    • I’ve never noticed that there are more men than women who have unquestioning faith that their particular religious beliefs are the truth, but you may be right that for men ego is at least partly involved. I think some believe that the only reason there are so many women with this kind of unquestioning faith is because they are under the thumbs of their controlling men. You sound too smart to believe this ad hoc tale though.

      I do believe you may be blaming this kind of religious faith on lack of education. If so you must really like preaching to the converted, because you’ll never convince anyone who doesn’t have a strong opinion one way or the other with that sort of attitude. In fact, leaving religion aside for a moment, it’s what so many right-wingers believe of liberals, that they are all snobs and elitists, and that they will never ever convince them how to think. They’re not correct about the former, but about the latter they sure are!

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      • “…but you may be right that for men, ego is at least partly involved.”

        That was one of my implicit points: they human society for thousands of years and more so in specific historical and geopolitical time periods… patriarchal socio-economic dominance cannot be denied — many of John Zande’s and my female followers would more than adequately argue this point! 😉 And from a psychological-cognitive as well as an endocrinological POV, it is MOST CERTAINLY involved with governing peoples, or in certain cases oppressing types of peoples/subjects. And you are correct Sir… I am too smart to believe that bogus “ad hoc tale” of gender superiority. Thank you for noticing. LOL

        Regarding your last paragraph MJF, I am indeed pointing the finger at a “lack of education”. However, I would further describe it as an education — i.e. up to 8th or 9th grade like the Amish or Minnonites limit — greatly limited to the dictated confines of a controlling (historically) patriarchal system of leadership. A very narrow-minded world-view teaching. Beyond the basic primary education (8th-9th grades), those religious followers increasingly rely on the elusive ‘vapors’ if you will, of “faith”. A faith, ironically, that is no where CLOSE to being universal or standardized globally. And one of the biggest reasons this type of inadequate education has persisted for over 2-3 millenia is what I think you and I are pointing out MJF… “Faith-followers” one to use ONE lens and one lens only. That sort of unbending fear-based mentality is most certainly near impossible to get through to much less comprehend.

        Nevertheless MJF, I’m in agreement with you about each opposing “group” calling the other all sorts of derogatory names makes EVERYONE foolish and borderline imbeciles when dialogue devolves to such behaviour, so during the perceived mud-slinging the “group” which maintains the highest composure, respect, and stoicism always wins to the objective intelligent unemotional bystander or spectator; i.e. reason and reality always prevail. 😉

        Thanks MJF. Best wishes to you Sir.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. John facts seem not to sway the faithful. I used to listen to sermons by the late Ray Stedman. I will quote from one here:

    Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, the great Bible expositor, for years was pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. He used to have a kind of a forum after the message, much as we have here on Sunday mornings, when people could ask him questions. In one of these question hours one rather skeptical person said, “Dr. Barnhouse, what explanation do you give for the fact that almost 2,000,000 people could live in a total desert for 40 years? How do you explain that kind of a thing?” Dr. Barnhouse answered with one word, “God. Next question please.”

    In regard to the food, the faithful will focus on the Manna from heaven. So food and water is not an argument they will accept.

    But what the Bible does say is that the whole generation died in the wilderness so there should be lots of human bones as the Jews buried their dead they did not burn bodies.

    Also I wonder how the assembled multitude of over 2 million could possibly have heard Moses when he addressed them.

    Essentially every Biblical scholars admits that the large numbers n the Bible accounts create difficulties that they can’t solve. The number translated as ‘thousand’ could also refer to a group of folk say 30 people. However that solution only works in some verses, in other verses it must be thousands or they make no sense. In the end reputable scholars have to leave this as a ‘Holy Mystery’ which is pretty much them admitting that the Biblical text cannot be accorded with reality.

    Thanks for the post John, you provided much good information.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cheers, Pete! You`re right, i’ve seen all sorts of mental gymnastics exercised, even pushing the date back to the 15th/16th Century in a vain attempt to make the story fit jericho, which is madness as it only compounds the already impossible dating problems. So much or the innerency, huh? 🙂

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      • If we take the Bible at its word then the key verse for dating is:

        ‘In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD.’ (1 Kings 6:1)

        Now the general consensus among scholars is that the temple built by Solomon had to have commenced construction around 1,000 bc. This would place the EXodus at 1480 BC and the conquest at 1440 BC. However this led to a huge debate among Biblical Archaeologists in the first half of the 20th century. Those who favoured what the archaelogy seemed to say, led by Albright (who died in 1971) suggested that the Exodus and conquest occurred in the 13th century BC, but the more literal Bible believers ‘reinterpreted’ {i.e. ignored} the archaeology and stuck with the 15th century BC date.

        But in the 45 years since Albright’s death much has changed. Albright assumed the Bible was basically true (even if a few dates were off), so he interpreted the archaeological evidence in that regard. Subsequent archaeologists who have started with the evidence (rather than with the conclusion) have concluded that the Bible accounts right up to and including Solomon are unreliable as history.

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  8. As motivation for the biblical myth, I would add the necessity of pretending that the Hebrew El is different from the Canaanite El, and hence of denying that the Canaanites, and the Israelites, were actually the same people. This IMO if the purpose of the myths (Deuteronomy, Joshua) of replacement and genocide.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good point, although the Sons of God (El`s 70 children, of which Yhwh was just one) are rife throughout the OT, demonstrating the different authorship (Judah and Israel), culminating in Psalms where they`re called upon to fall in line behind Yhwh. A supernal coup d’etat.

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      • So many Christians are totally ignorant of this. They look at differnet names of ‘God’ in the Bible as different ways of God revealing himself to humanity. So The Christians will use the different names for Bible study purposes. A good example is this video

        I really loved this video when it came out two years ago. Gee I really was still a true believer then. It staggers my mind.

        P.S. if you find the video offensive then delete this comment

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh my Thor! I never heard THIS many names even when I was a dedicated worshipper. And what’s so disturbing is the True Christian™ believes EVERY title presented in the video. Plus, as the music ascends and amplifies, the Christian becomes more and more encompassed by “Godly” emotion. Phew! I remember the feeling as well, Peter. It just reveals how manipulative the whole movement can be.

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      • Nan I first saw it at a church meeting and duly sent it to most of my non Christian relatives and even to my non Christian boss at work and was surprised that they were somewhat underwhelmed. Those who did respond were gracious and humoured me in my delusion.

        So many Christians mistake the emotion that music can create to a moving of the Spirit of God.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. In response to this post, allow me to quote Democrat presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton (she was responding to the slaughter 4 Americans in Benghazi :

    “WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?”

    The Bible, especially the Old Testament stories are like other great works of ancient literature.

    They are a compendium on the nature of God, man and universe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for that SOM. Poetry, as always.

      What difference does it make? Well, it raises some rather awkward problems regarding the credibility of Jesus. In total, Moses is mentioned a whopping eighty-five times in the New Testament with Jesus directly naming him twice in Matthew (including a rather bizarre face-to-face meeting detailed in 17:3-4), and in John 5:45 where he says: “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” Now this is an unambiguous statement; a clear and definitive declaration that Jesus believed Moses was a real person. Of course, we know now that he wasn`t, and this reveals a colossal blunder on the part of Jesus. It doesn’t, after all, speak too highly of a witness’s authority, intelligence, competence, insight or judgment if he couldn’t distinguish the difference between inventive geopolitical myth and actual historical fact; a history he, as god, was allegedly and intimately involved in. Indeed, if Jesus’ claims are to be taken seriously then there can be zero tolerance for even minor bungles in his knowledge of any earthly event, let alone one he supposedly participated in, and yet here is an oversight so outrageous that it is the equivalent of a charismatic preacher three-hundred years from today proclaiming Batman existed. This bumbling ignorance of basic regional history exposes Jesus (if he indeed existed) to be little more than an amateurish charlatan masquerading as a supernaturally inspired magi… a naïve magician whose word was and is, by definition, thoroughly worthless.

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      • John,

        The Western Heritage starts out with the Greeks and Hebrews trying to work out and understanding of the kinks in human nature.

        Geopolitics is another topic entirely.

        And it is completely irrelevant to Judeo-Christian religious faith.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Putting your throwaway quote in some kind of context, Hillary was responding to questions and criticism of the lack of action when it was realized that the attack was under way. The (Republican-generated) report of the incident confirmed that there was no possibility of getting to the site and doing something about it in time. It indeed made little difference what actions were taken after the attack began. Only protection that was in place before the attack could have made any difference. Or if the ambassador would not have insisted on going (out of his own dedication to the people of Libya), despite being warned of the dangers. Not saying mistakes were not made, they were just made before the incident and it indeed made “no difference” what was done after initiation of the attack, at least in terms of saving lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. John, producing facts to support your view of a Biblical fiction, or belief that the Bible is fiction, fails. The Bible is not a Journal, or ships log, written as events happen, but written later. Embellishments and grandiosity? perhaps, but utter fiction? not likely.

    I sense a prolonged desperation that the said narrative has to be fiction. The commentators pat you on the back also praising you for your insightful knowledge of the facts you claim. Facts that prove there is no God, no moral absolute, no lawgiver, no Judge, and no damnation.

    http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/exodus/exodus-fact-or-fiction/

    We have this thing, the Bible. Millions of the faithful live in it daily, engulfed in God’s promise. He has touched countless millions with peace, love, and prosperity. For the many millions it is as real as the smile we see in the mirror every morning. It consumes us, and our spirits long to return to it’s source. I suppose for you, when it concerns the things of the Spirit World, it is the same has me when the guys at work are speaking Spanish, I have no idea what they are saying.

    I have been studying the American Indians recently. People thought to have migrated to North America 12,000 years ago from the Bering land bridge that joined Siberia to Alaska. When the Europeans discovered America and it’s Indians, they thought they were savages, but were they really. Different yes, but not really savages. Number eight speaks to that…

    10 Pieces Of Wisdom & Quotes From Native American Elders

    1. “The Great Spirit is in all things: he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us.” –Big Thunder (Bedagi) Wabanaki Algonquin

    2. “The first piece, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the Universe and all its powers and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells the Great Spirit and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” –Black Elk – Oglala Sioux

    3. “Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” –Cree Indian Proverb

    4. Go Forward With Courage

    When you are in doubt, be still, and wait;
    When doubt no longer exists for you then go forward with courage.
    So long as mists envelop you, be still;
    Be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists
    As it surely will.
    Then act with courage.
    -Ponca Chief White Eagle

    5. Ancient Indian Proverb

    Treat the Earth well.
    It was not given to you by your parents,
    It was loaned to you by your children.
    We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors,
    we borrow it from our children.

    6. “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” –Chief Seattle

    7. From Chief Dan George

    May the stars carry your sadness away,
    May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
    May hope forever wipe away your tears.
    And above all, may silence make you strong.

    8. “Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didn’t have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. Without a prison, there can be no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys and therefore, among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn’t afford a horse, a tent, or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to civilized property. We didn’t know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don’t know how to explain how we were able to manage these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.” –John (Fire) Lame Deer Sioux Lakota

    9. “Oh Great Spirit, help me always to speak the truth quietly, to listen with an open mind when others speak, and to remember the peace that may be found in silence.” –Cherokee Prayer

    10. “Peace and happiness are available in every moment. Peace is every step. We shall walk hand in hand. There are no political solutions to spiritual problems. Remember: if the Creator put it there, it is in the right place. The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears. Tell your people that, since we were promised we should never be moved, we have been moved five times.” –An Indian Chief

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Roy. I’m sure you know more than Israeli professors of archaeology and bible scholars. I’m certain you know more than the entire multi-disciplinary staff of the second edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica (which assess all theological, archaeological and scientific evidences) who conclude that Moses and the Exodus he allegedly led was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.” Indeed, I have no doubt that you know more than the 41 biblical scholars and rabbis who contributed to the Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary (the first authorised commentary on the Torah since 1936, published in 2001 by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism in collaboration with the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Publication Society) whose essays concede the Pentateuch is little more than a self-serving myth rife with anachronisms and un-ignorable archeological inconsistencies, and rather than triumphant conquest, Israel instead emerged slowly and relatively peacefully out of the general Canaanite population with monotheism only appearing in the post-Exilic period, 5th Century BCE. Absolutely, I’m entirely convinced you know more than Orthodox Rabbi Norman Solomon whose 2012 book, Torah from Heaven: The Reconstruction of Faith, 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) was not rooted in reality but was rather a “foundation myth;” an origin dream, not a descriptive historical fact. Positively, you know more than the entire professional membership of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR).

      Yes Roy, I am certain your know more than these people.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I know exactly what you know John, and exactly what they know, next to nothing. History is rife with holes. Scratching in the dirt for clues and looking to ancient text leaves us forlorn and leads us to even more speculation.

        Number 10 above speaks to our dilemma, then as now.

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      • as Conservative Rabbi David Wolpe said:

        “A tradition cannot make an historical claim and then refuse to have it evaluated by history. It is not an historical claim that God created us and cares for us. That a certain number of people walked across a particular desert at a particular time in the past, after being enslaved and liberated, is an historical claim, and one cannot then cry “unfair” when historians evaluate it.”

        Well Roy, historians have evaluated it. They’ve been grading the historical credibility of the Torah and Nevi’im for over a century and the conclusions are in: the narrative is a historical fabrication; a dramatic dream sequence that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the actual early history of the Jewish people. The revealed religions are missing the supposed revelation.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is the problem. You have contemporary men evaluating antiquity, something they wholly are unable to verify. Since they can not verify it, does not make it automatically false.

        Antiquity and the buildings of the ancients cannot be replicated. They can not be rebuilt using modern building techniques. The ancient words and stories in the Bible can not, and never will be, verifiable. It is wholly impossible and will forever be.

        This impossibility does not make it fiction in and of itself.

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      • John, you took Conservative Rabbi David Wolpe words out of context, omitting the whole to skew his intended belief, to prove your false view. It’s a pattern you and your back-patters seems to like. And it is why you never give source links to the meanings of words you put into other peoples mouths. Shame on the extolers of perpetual falsehood.

        Liked by 1 person

      • John,

        There exist Bible scholars of all stripes and colors.

        As with scripture, you simply cherry pick your sources and hallucinate into them the necessary authority to make whatever argument you are making, work out for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Can you show me a tenured bible scholar, or non-Orthodox Jewish rabbi, who`ll say, in writing, “The Patriarchs were real historical characters, the Jews were enslaved in Egypt, Moses was a real historical character, an Exodus of some 2.5 million people occurred, followed by a triumphant military campaign across Canaan”?

        Please, I’d be thrilled to see one, if you can find one.

        Here`s one of the world`s leading bible scholars, Baruch Halpern, Professor of Jewish Studies of Pennsylvania State University: “The actual evidence concerning the Exodus resembles the evidence for the unicorn.”

        Niels Peter Lemche of the University of Copenhagen: “The Genesis and Exodus accounts are a fiction.”

        Robert Coote, Senior Research Professor of Hebrew Exegesis at San Francisco’s Theological Seminary: “The period of the patriarchs, exodus, conquest, or judges as devised by the writers of Scriptures never existed.”

        Like

      • Please make your links open a new window: target=”_blank”

        Three sentences down from your quote he writes, “That God’s hand is in the Bible is a pillar of belief for many, myself included. That human hands are in there as well does not detract from its sanctity, but reminds us that God and human beings are partners in this world in ways that we did not, when we first learned our Bible lessons, even imagine.

        He goes on to state,

        “Truth should not frighten one whose faith is firm. As the Israeli Orthodox rabbi and scholar Mordecai Breuer writes: “Unable to withstand the contradiction (between faith and modern biblical scholarship) most men of faith consciously avoid biblical scholarship in order to safeguard their traditional belief.” Those who hold that people should never explore such questions have very circumscribed notions of why God gave us brains. The Talmud ringingly declares: “God’s seal is truth” (Shabbat 55a).

        I stand behind the obvious fact you took his words out of context to extol your falsehood. Anyone who is honest and reads the entire article would have to agree.

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      • Did I ever say Wolpe wasn`t a theist? If you look above, I believe I even mention Wolpe`s beliefs in an earlier comment to Shelldigger.

        Rabbi Wolpe, though, does not believe the Exodus happened. That was what his now famous 2001 Passover Sermon was all about. He stands firmly within the archaeological consensus. I know, I’ve spoken to him many times. Have you, Roy?

        As Wolpe said to me an email: “The Torah is not a book we turn to for historical accuracy.”

        And here he is quoted at Answers in Genesis, taken from his essay in Etz Hayim, Torah and Commentary: “The rejection of the Bible as literally true is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis.”

        https://answersingenesis.org/archaeology/conservative-jews-reject-torah-allegedly-in-light-of-archaeology/

        Like I said, be very careful who you level your poorly thought-though accusations at, Leroy. Perhaps you should purchase and read Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary. You might learn something?

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      • Common John. Nobody in their right mind reading your blog believes all the quotes you reference, or all the twisted meaning given to the words written by others, are indeed true. It’s all make believe.

        In fact, I would bet everything I own, against everything you own, that every time you quote the Bible to prove your point you take it out of context and into falsehood, just to prove a false idea. I’ve seen it time and time again.

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      • Wolpe is just a man John. One of Billions.

        Please make your links open a new window!

        Your Link; Further in the article, “There are a few voices of mild dissent among Conservative Jews. “I think the basic historicity of the text is valid and verifiable,”

        And,

        “As Grossman says about the story in Genesis: “There’s no evidence that it didn’t happen. Most of the ‘evidence’ is evidence from silence.” In other words, the debate is not really about historical facts that conflict with the Biblical record-the issue is whether an absence of confirming facts proves that the events never took place. Of course, this is untrue.”

        And,

        “By rejecting the historical accuracy of God’s revelation, these Jewish scholars have chosen to build their beliefs on the shifting sands of human opinion and false assumptions. Thus they undermine the only logical basis for the distinctiveness of the Jewish people.”

        You take one sentence out of eighty-nine and infer an out-of-context meaning. Foul!

        Poorly thought out response ? BS. You know me John, nothing is ever poorly-thought-out.

        Slayer

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      • You’re feeding me quotes from the Creationist, Ken Ham`s AIG? LOL!

        ”There’s no evidence that it didn’t happen. Most of the ‘evidence’ is evidence from silence.”

        Really? Perhaps you should actually read Wolpe`s Belief Net article, Roy, it might save you some embarrassment.

        ”However, the archeological conclusions are not based primarily on the absence of Sinai evidence. Rather, they are based upon the study of settlement patterns in Israel itself. Surveys of ancient settlements–pottery remains and so forth–make it clear that there simply was no great influx of people around the time of the Exodus (given variously as between 1500-1200 BCE). Therefore, not the wandering, but the arrival alerts us to the fact that the biblical Exodus is not a literal depiction. In Israel at that time, there was no sudden change in the kind or the volume of pottery being made. (If people suddenly arrived after hundreds of years in Egypt, their cups and dishes would look very different from native Canaanites’.) There was no population explosion. Most archeologists conclude that the Israelites lived largely in Canaan over generations, instead of leaving and then immigrating back to Canaan.”

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      • I linked to that AIG ramble for your benefit, not mine. You evidently have an aversion to academic texts and authorities, so I thought you`d feel more comfortable reading the words of a fellow evangelical confirming Wolpe’s rejection of the bible as true. If you want to read Wolpe’s essay, I’d suggest you read the Etz Hayim. His essay, though, is somewhat insignificant. We’re only discussing him here because you brought him up. My post concerns archaeology, and Wolpe is not an archaeologist. I do, however, find the consensus position of Jewish rabbis to be thoroughly persuasive in presenting the evidence. It’s why I’ve interviewed so many of them, including many, many Israeli orthodox rabbis, like Rabbi Shalom Carmy who rather candidly admitted to me: “Outside the Bible and the literature it engendered, we do not presently have direct reference to Moses.” Orthodox aside, these are learned men and women who have devoted their lives to studying the Tanakh and have more invested in their origin narrative being true than you, Roy, could ever hope to have in 10,000 lifetimes. It’s their story, after all, and they would never dismiss it as myth (as they have) unless the evidence was beyond compelling… which it is. If you want to read more on the consensus position of jewish rabbi’s then read this article:

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

        But of course, you parrot the old evangelical trope: the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. As Wolpe confirms, this is an exercise in willful ignorance. There are libraries of evidence… Including the subject of this post.

        As Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine wrote so bluntly in his book, A Provocative People: “The Jews did not emerge as a nation under the leadership of Moses. They were never rescued from slavery in Egypt. They never stopped at Sinai.”

        I’d urge you to read his book, too.

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      • John,

        Tenure means nothing.

        Again, you are hallucinating a ridiculous standard of authority and then expecting that I bend over and grab my ankles.

        If you had a mind and brain of your own you wouldn’t have to depend on “experts” to tell you what and how to think.

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      • That’s true, SOM, but its been years since I’ve had the time to gather a team of peers and undergrads and trot off to the Sinai for a season in the field, excavating sites, carbon dating the finds, publishing papers in ASOR, and, of course, fulfilling my obligations on the global speaking circuit. Alas, until I can rejoin those happy times, I’ll have to rely on the work of others.

        Like

    • Just because some people refer to supernatural entities in the singular doesn’t make them worshiping the same deity you are. If they were, why hasn’t any tribe known about Jesus before the Europeans came over? A simpler explanation is that they’re not referring to the same thing, and you trying to profit off of it is quite disingenuous.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I believe there is a Spiritual component to mankind and that we all go back, like Nan stated. Jesus Christ just happens to be my path back but I will not condemn any other spiritual person seeking that path via another means.

        She quoted an Aboriginal proverb:

        “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love. And then we return home.”

        I fell that and it warms me.

        Like

      • No, you don’t get to hide behind general spirituality when you assert above that the OP failed to assert the Bible is fiction. He brought up a very specific instance of how there should be archaeological evidence to support a Biblical claim, and you offered generalized quotes from Native Americans as a rebuttal. If you are asserting that the Bible is not literally true, then you’re in agreement with Mr. Zande’s post. However, if you’re asserting otherwise, you’re going to need to do a better job of backing up your position.

        Or, better still, you can have the integrity to admit that at the least, here is a point that you will concede.

        Liked by 3 people

      • There is evidence. Are there not Jews and Christians. Antiquity is ancient in meaning and only so much, if anything at all can be proven 100%. It is so with the Bible as with many other ancient texts, sites, peoples and beliefs. We can only guess about absolute certainty.

        The Native American thing is a side do. Like Nan said, SPIRITUAL BEINGS.

        I do not know for a fact the Bible is literally true, I have faith it is. I do not have to prove anything to anyone, nor can anyone prove with 100% certainty is is wholly false. I have mine and no one can take it.

        My position is as it has always been…what you see before you is not all there is.

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      • YOU are putting your own spin on thjngs. In actuality, the individual that put this on his blog has an entirely different interpretation. And it doesn’t include “spiritual beings.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • “I do not know for a fact the Bible is literally true[;] I have faith it is.”

        This is where you are not actually engaging the people here in a discussion. When you are disputing an idea that someone else puts out there, it is common courtesy to justify why you are doing so above a level than just mere contradiction.

        While I understand you believe in supernatural beings, I think integrity and honesty demands that someone at least point out to you that merely coming by and saying so isn’t really doing anyone any favors. In other words, it’s fine that you believe in whatever, but it doesn’t actually dispute what Mr. Zande is writing here.

        Liked by 2 people

      • So really Nan, you pilfer something not really knowing what it actual means? More parrots we need not.

        Shall I start addressing you as Polly. Sorry, maybe I’m still sore you banned me after inviting me over for dialog, because you do not like my ideas. You want to talk here but least I pollute your blog with my reason. Just stopped by and it’s a love fest of like-minded you-who’s. No one like me, I suppose they all get band when they say, wrong.

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      • I DO know how the person interprets it but chose not to share it.

        And, as is your usual style, you are getting personal with your comments so I will cease and desist any further communication with you on John’s professionally run blog.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you my dear. The second greatest laugh today.

        Everything is personal. Life is personal. Interaction is personal, upfront and sometimes brutal. If you want dialog to like-minded God-haters stick to your blog or don’t interact with the opposite here.

        I did say sorry and I still love you, since I truly love imperfection, Lord knows I’m Full Of It, imperfection that is.

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      • Drunk with the Holy Spirit.

        Satan is my enemy. He is the deceiver. He is the fulfillment of lies and untruth, spreading lies and deceptive, and using those as yourself. Those that accept his biding and further his cause are complicit. They may reject their master but this rejection does not make it unreal. They work and further his cause all the while denying any knowledge of an agenda. Those that have ears hear.

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      • Before I meld off into my drunken stupor I would like to share a Facebook post I made on my birthday a few months ago.

        “Thanks to you all for the Birthday Wishes.
        I took Monday off from Work to celebrate. I was at O’Sheas Pub & Grill on ___________ about a mile from my house. It rained all weekend so it was easy to fish in a puddle outside the the pub. A well-dressed gentleman was coming into the Pub and I could tell he was thinking I was a “Poor Old fool.” So, he invited me inside for a drink. As we sipped our whiskeys, the gentleman thought he’d humor me and asked, “So how many have you caught today?”

        I replied, with a big grin, “You’re the eighth.”

        Thanks again guys and gals, and if you too want to buy a friendly old fool fishing in a rain puddle a drink, lets meet at O’shea’s. God Bless You. Peace.”

        All you guys and gals commenting here are not my enemies. I’ll kick back a double-shot of Beam Cinnamon in you honor.

        Like

    • “We have this thing, the Bible. Millions of the faithful live in it daily, engulfed in God’s promise. He has touched countless millions with peace, love, and prosperity. For the many millions it is as real as the smile we see in the mirror every morning. It consumes us, and our spirits long to return to it’s source.”

      nice fallacy there, Leroy. It also seems that you are making the usual claim that everyone “really” agrees with you with your claims about Native American tribes.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I am not sure I understand your critique of John’s thesis. Besides an ad hominen attack on John the only counter argument is one website which is not peer-reviewed nor seems to fairly examine counter evidence to the exodus not happening, nor substantiates it’s claim that “most scholars agree that the exodus happened in some fashion”. A statement itself that is full of ambiguity.

      The rest of your argument seems to argue that because other cultures have developed the concept of a creator that is evidence that there is a creator. This neither disproves John’s thesis or lends any support to Christianity being the one true religion, and if anything supports John while damaging your own argument. If religions are developed independently by humans it is unlikely that any one religion is completely right. It may be an argument for God existing at best. All cultures have developed a lot of things to help them cope with the challenges of the world, language, agriculture, food preservation. This lends more support to the idea of God as invented idea and put into practice along with all our other ones.

      The fact that humans are spiritual does not imply that spirits exist. An exploitation of our intelligence or consciousness. The fact that we can become addicted to drugs serves no evolutionary purpose yet it is a byproduct of our biology that we might become addicted to such euphoric feelings. The “peace and love” you speak of is very similar to what many describe while on drugs like marijuana or mushrooms. I am not suggesting that people who have strong beliefs are like addicts (although there is lots of evidence to say there are a lot of similarities) I am simply saying that this “spiritual” nature might be explained in a very physiological way. The fact that you choose not to doesn’t change the fact that it’s likely a combination of factors associated with our biology. As all cultures on the planet are human it is no surprise that we might each have that biology that supports ideas that lead to euphoric pleasure. Feelings of peace and love. When drugs aren’t easily available, a powerful idea is a great substitute.

      Now I am going to quote you and change it around a little bit:

      “We have this thing, money. Millions of the faithful live in it daily, engulfed in the promise of comfort. Money has touched countless millions with peace, love, and prosperity. For the many millions it is as real as the smile we see in the mirror every morning. It consumes us, and our spirits long to make sure we don’t run out”.

      My point here is that when you think about it money is a fiction. One that we invented. That doesn’t mean that as a fiction it has no value of course. It is a place holder so that I don’t have to directly barter and trade with someone. If I need a car I don’t have to produce enough tomatoes to trade in for the price of one car. I can sell tomatoes now to a lot of different people collect the money as a place holder and then by the car. In terms of things I need for my survival it was the ability to grow tomatoes and the car, money was the medium in which I made my car purchase possible. The idea that millions of people subscribe to an idea, doesn’t make the idea less of a fiction, even if it is a useful one. This of course also ignores the fact that like money, the concept of God has also touched countless millions with war, hate, and destitution.

      So if you are going to ignore arguing with the sources and points John has made, you could at least present arguments that don’t utilize basic logical fallacies, like the genetic fallacy, fallacy of appeal, and straw man arguments.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Hello Swarn Gill,

        Don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of a direct response.

        My objection with the post is John first starts with the self-avowed atheist view – there is no God. He then weaves a commentary biased to the premise. “There is no
        proof, so it is fiction.”

        Antiquity! There is no proof for a lot of things. There is no proof exactly how the ancient Egyptians managed to quarry and move many thousands of multi-ton stones and erect the largest structures on Earth. No one knows how ancient people moved and erected Stonehenge or who taught these people about the stars. There are archaeological sites in Peru like Machu Pikchu where we have no idea how they were able to build it. On and on are mysteries. The Vedas of the Hindu’s describes the Gods interaction with humans.

        Every ancient culture has these myths of contact with teachers and Gods. The Native American “savages” knew, KNEW, of the Spirit world and the sanctity of human beings.

        There is no proof how and why for many ancient things. There is no proof of the Exodus or Moses, or anything. All we have are ancient writing and pottery buried in the sand. Come on…

        What you see before you my friend is not all there is. Example: My hands are clenched. In the left is a black stone and in the right is a white stone. You can not see these stones since my hands are clinched into fists. Prove what is contained in my clinched fists. If your only proof is I told you what my clinched fists contained then JZ will say you have no proof.

        Perhaps the Bible is correct and true, perhaps the Hindu Vedas is true, perhaps the Native Americans where given insight into real spiritual things, where indeed the spirit of the human being moves on after death.

        Nan quoted an an ancient Aboriginal proverb:

        “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love. And then we return home.”

        You bastardize my words and replace “Bible” with “money”. The Bible warns us about the love of money, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” Fitting you would use money to prove a point unto which the subject labels it corrupt. The Aboriginal people of Australia are perhaps the oldest race still in existence. Research their Spirituality and religion. Every culture has it and every culture is wrong? Not likely.

        I’m not ignoring John’s “sources and points”. I’m telling him everything he states is speculation, doesn’t matter the “credentials” of the speculator. There is no proof what is in my clinched fists, any guess is speculation.

        Like

  11. An ancient Aboriginal proverb:

    “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love. And then we return home.”

    (Credit: The Ethical Warrior)

    (Notice: no mention of Great Spirit, God, Jesus, etc. This is the real story. Not the mish-mash that one finds in a centuries old book written by dozens of different people who obviously liked to create “stories.”)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly Nan. Spiritual beings never die. Jesus words exactly, the greatest commandment is to love each other as you love yourselves. Call him Ralph if that helps. Ralph said the greatest commandment is to love! Return Home???? Return home to the Creator indeed.

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      • You don’t read well, do you, Leroy. NO mention of spiritual beings, no mention of Jesus or “Ralph” or Creator. As is usual, believers like to put their own spin on things. As with the bible, they “see” what they want to “see.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Really? Maybe you need to reread what you quoted. If we humans are just “visitors” and “return home” after death then we have to be Spirit.

        If we are here to “observe, to learn, to grow, to love” then we can find numerous faiths admonishing these things.

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      • It seems that Christians of Leroy’s type, must pretend that only his god and his savior are the only ones who came up with the golden rule. It tracks along with the common Christian claim that any humane person in history simply “must” really be a Christian and that any god that might be considered benevolent is “really” their god in disguise. It’s a need for external validation, and the need to pretend that they are the special snowflakes.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Didn’t <> say “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” was the first and greatest commandment?

        And as to loving your neighbors as yourself…

        What if your neighbors are the likes of Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy?

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ah the golden rule, ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. It is not the greatest commandment but rather the ‘other’ commandment.

      According to William Barclay this was the only truly original teaching of Jesus. Even then Barclay notes that a form of the teaching predated Jesus, but it was in the negative, ‘don’t do unto others what you would not have them do unto you’. So the contribution of Jesus was to turn it from a negative command to a positive command.

      Now I understand that it was originally a buddhist teaching that the Jews co-opted.

      Liked by 3 people

      • The Golden Rule was so common it was even in pop culture 600 years before Jesus. The concept dates back to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (c. 2040–1650 BCE) “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.” It also emerged in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (1780 BCE), as well as in the Mahabharata (8th Century BCE) “The knowing person is minded to treat all beings as himself,” in Homer’s Odyssey (6th century BCE), “I will be as careful for you as I will be for myself in the same need,” 6th century BCE Taoism, “Regard your neighbour’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbour’s loss as your own loss,” in 5th century BCE Confucianism, “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself,” in 4th century BCE Mohism, “For one would do for others as one would do for oneself,” and was articulated by the Greek, Pittacus (640–568 BCE), who said: “Do not do to your neighbour what you would take ill from him.”

        Liked by 2 people

      • Perhaps our friend Leroy would see this as evidence of a great Spirit behind all religions.

        I tend to favour a simpler solution. It is hardly that profound. Most of learn that how we treat others impacts on how they treat us. Those who don’t learn this by the time they reach adulthood are either dumb or a sociopath.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Bingo! Enlightened self-interest. That’s what it all boils down to. Nothing revolutionary there, and although the first formal recording of the idea might have been 2,000 BCE, I have no doubt the meme reaches back to the upper Paleolithic. In fact, I would argue it was this meme that fueled complex clanship; the foundation of civilisation.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Peter, John, Club, and All,

        Why most every ancient religion has the golden rule is fascinating,

        I believe the source of all true religions is one. And this single source is the One True Invisible God that has been made known. All peoples of both the Eastern and Western worlds, of both the Eastern and Western schools and philosophies, have been guided by the Merciful and Living God, through the appearance of the Divine Manifestations of Himself, into this Universal Teaching of this Universal Law of Justice, Mercy and Love!

        The word “religion” comes form the Latin “religio” which means to “bind together” (like a bundle of sticks). But today people are DIVIDED up according to the many religions, cults and sects. Thus this is NOT religion, but it is truly IRRELIGION, as it separates the gathering of the peoples.

        I really don’t see God the way you say I do Club. Sure, the Bible says this and that about Gods judgment but it also says, and shows, God has great mercy. If you live your life following a form of the Golden Rule then at Judgment God will see your loving heart and he will have mercy. I have faith he will see your loving, generous heart and have mercy on you. That is my hope.

        Perhaps follow the simple Golden Rule of the Native American Iroquois people. The Great Law of Peace, as written in The Constitution of the Five Nations, or The Iroquois Book of the Great Law.

        Simply stated, “Respect for all life is the foundation.”

        An interesting article is 10 Pieces of Native American Wisdom That Will Inspire the Way You Live Your Life, found at http://buddhaimonia.com/native-american-wisdom/

        I especially like #3

        So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; Respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.

        Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, Even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

        When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

        Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

        When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

        – Chief Tecumseh (Crouching Tiger) Shawnee Nation 1768-1813

        legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/iroquois.asp
        upliftconnect.com/great-law-of-peace/
        uhj.net/the-golden-rule.html
        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

        Like

  12. Very well researched John. Of course, the other issue is that the Amarna letters show that the Canaan region was controlled by Egyptian vassal city-states during the time period the Exodus should have happened. If slaves left Egypt, it seems unlikely they’d go back to Egyptian controlled territory.

    Archaeologists Israel Finkelstein noted that the stories in the Bible about 2nd millennium events (patriarchs, Exodus, Joshua conquests, etc) show a preoccupation with 8th century middle eastern political realities.

    If a historical Moses did exist, we’d probably be shocked by how different he was from the Biblical version.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very true. There were Egyptain garrisons right across Canaan, so if we`re to believe the story then we must take it as something like Lichtenstein invading (and defeating) France in 1943… without the 280 German wehrmacht divisions noticing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • At its peak in 211 AD the Roman Army contained 450,000 troops and controlled Europe, the Middle-East and North Africa. So how does this compare to the 600,000 men of fighting age in the Jewish Exodus?

        Well what does God say? “Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you” (Deuteronomy 9:1)

        So if I understand it correctly the land of Canaan according to God contained multiple nations a number of which were greater and mightier than the Jews with their 600,000 fighting men, a force greater than the Roman empire at its height.

        Yet we know from archaelogy at the time that Canaan was under Egyptian control and the Canaanite kings from time sort Egyptian help. In one example Egypt sent 40 troops which were sufficient to solve the problem.

        So what do I conclude from this. Well using logic it would suggest that the individual Egyptian soldier must be very skilled indeed. Perhaps one Egyptian soldier benchmarked to 1,000 Romans troops.

        No seriously – any serious scholar cannot help but conclude that the Bible accounts cannot be taken literally. Even most Christian scholars acknowledge that there is a problem with the numbers recorded in the Bible, every indication suggests they are just way too high. Whilst Christian Biblical Scholars acknowledge that the numbers in the Bible seem incorrect they tend not to draw the logical conclusion this implies.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. “The daily nutrition needs of 2.5 million people (a population roughly the size of Chicago) would have demanded the establishment of extensive farms, roads for transportation and distribution, and, importantly, enormous food depots and storage facilities.”

    I think you’re forgetting just how many people a loaf and a fish could feed in those parts, John.

    [Someone else here must have pointed this oversight out – yes?]

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Also beware of the three-eyed and four-armed Shiva a.k.a. The Destroyer. Not to be trifled with.

    Only YHWH is worse (AFAIK).

    BTW, John Zande. I agree with Victoria Neuronotes. This blog post of yours is a very good one. I’ve spread your words to many Swedish atheists I know. Very good ammunition and therefore also very useful while debating religious bullshit (in any language and any country).

    Hurrah for you! I’m sure G-d will punish you very painfully for this. Lucky you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: Indoctrination or simply plain bloody stupid? – A Tale Unfolds

      • Is the comment vulgar, pornographic, or in need of censoring? No, no, and no.

        Is it directly related to the topic at hand and not unnecessarily prolix? Yes and yes.

        Like

      • So, as predicted, you are censoring, deleting, and editing comments on your blog. You just can’t help your utter hypocrisy, can you, John? This is why you should not have any contact whatsoever with children. You have no honour.

        So, let’s deal with your article here, shall we?

        Firstly, it seems you didn’t read the article. Freidman (a theologian, not an archaeologist) is saying the Exodus narrative is FICTION.

        He’s saying it never happened.

        He’s saying the bible is false.

        What he is suggesting, without actually any evidence to support his idea, is an entirely different story. His ‘idea’ is that a small group of people (the Levites) entered Canaan and assimilated with the Jews… Jews who were never in Egypt.

        Of course, there is no evidence for this completely different story. What he points to to support his idea is other bible verses, which is circular reasoning at its best.

        But that’s not really important. What is important is that he is saying, quite candidly, that the Exodus narrative is, again, FICTION, and therefore so too the conquest narrative is FICTION. No Conquest, no David.

        In other words, the entire Jewish origin tale is, wait for it, FICTION.

        That is what your linked article says.

        That is what your so-called “authority” is stating in black and white.

        So, by posting this article I’m guessing you must also agree that the Exodus narrative is FICTION.

        So, as I asked you on your blog, but which you have deleted, I’d like to hear what method you use to determine which parts of the bible are true, and which parts are FICTION.

        I look forward to reading your answer…

        Liked by 2 people

      • What method in picking lies from truth jz? Ah, your usual trick question.

        How is this for an example: I am so hungry I can eat a horse.

        Is my statement about hunger or a horse? Context, common sense, and an ability to reason without bias is how most people discern truth from fiction.

        Your bias against a God of heaven and earth automatically disqualifies you from ‘picking truth from lies……….’ from the very place you call attention to.

        Sorry, jz, but that’s a fact. And your comment here proves your bias against Friedmans own words that the Exodus was NOT fiction.

        At least he believes there was an exodus. Give him that will you. Don’t take his words and make them your own; that is theft.

        (wrong place?)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes or no: is Friedman saying the Exodus narrative in the bible is true?

        Yes or no…

        It’s a really simple question. Please answer it without a song and dance…

        Like

      • Of course he is saying it happened; I suppose he just so happens to embellish to not offend others. But hey, ask him, it is clear enough what he said.

        He is being correct and biblically political. A good and a bad thing. At least he stuck his neck out.

        Liked by 2 people

      • He says the Exodus narrative as detailed in the bible is true?

        Is that what you’re saying, John?

        2.5 million Hebrew slaves left Egypt (after 500 years enslavement), spent four decades in Kadesh Barnea, then marched on Canaan and conquered 24 cities in the 13th Century BCE…

        Is that what Friedman is saying?

        Like

      • Oh brother. The issue is whether a man ‘crossed the street.’

        Now you confuse yourself with what he did once he got to the other side. Totally irrelevant, and I will take my own advice and not play pong on your site either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are certainly welcome to draw your own conclusions sir, but saying Friedman denies the Exodus is rather arrogant on your part, since he specifically said it is NOT fiction. 😉 😉 😉

        But you were always good at creating diversions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • John reading the exchanges between CS and yourself here and elsewhere remind me of the Irresistible Force against the Immovable Object.

        For a bonus point I would ask you to discern who I have pegged as the Irresistible Force and who I have pegged as the Immovable Object.

        Liked by 2 people

    • CS I don’t think you read Friedman’s views very carefully. He argues that only the Levites were involved in the Exodus not the other tribes. If you accept Friedman’s position then you are admitting that the Bible is in error. Is that your position?

      Liked by 4 people

      • Of course I read Friedman’s position carefully.

        As stated, one can prove anything playing pong. He like many others, picks and chooses what is literal and what is not; he is entitled to do that.

        Surely you must know he also has no use for the Jewish Messiah, but at least he uses his God given brain in believing what he says is obvious; ie, the Exodus

        You may have noticed his own admission that many things can be interpreted differently, such as the days of Genesis, where there is no shortage of controversy.

        As for me? I do not need Friedman to tell me the Exodus occurred, not do I need Wolpe to say it did not.

        I’m pretty sure I made it clear that the scriptures need no defense.

        Like

      • “I’m pretty sure I made it clear that the scriptures need no defense”

        Saying this repeatedly does not make it true. The evidence strongly suggest that the the scriptures actually need defending. Indeed if no defense was necessary then there would not be the Christian apologetics industry.

        When I called myself a Christian I was impressed by Dr John White’s argument:

        Charles Spurgeon, the well-known preacher, said that to defend the Bible is like defending a caged lion. It is foolish, he pointed out, to stand outside the cage with a drawn sword to protect the lion from its attackers. The most effective way to defend the lion would be to open the cage and release it. The Bible, like the lion, is well able to look after itself. The best way to convince people that it is the Word of God is to encourage them to read it for themselves with an open mind.

        However I now see this is just part of the delusion of Christianity, putting the Bible ahead of the reality of the world. Most Christians have developed ways of explaining away why the promises of the Bible fail.

        Of course you will conclude I was never a true Christian. That is your right to conclude this, but don’t accuse me of not having read the Bible and earnestly seeking to put it into practice. It was not for want of trying that I left Christianity.

        Liked by 3 people

  16. Hello again, John. I have wanted to comment sooner, but I was so daunted by the sheer size of the article. I’m going to have to address it in segments.
    Firstly, about:
    “In the Exodus tale, Kadesh Barnea (today known as Tell el-Qudeirat) is the site between the Wilderness of Paran (Num 13:3) and the Wilderness of Zin (Num 13:21) where the 2.5 million Hebrew refugees (Exodus 12:37) spent 38 continuous years in the 14th Century BCE before entering Canaan. Here they built homes, got married, raised children, died, and were buried. For four decades they conducted business, practiced law, and dealt with the affairs of state, including defence which would have demanded fortifications and guard towers….”
    It is my understanding that the Bible account says that the 12 spies were sent into Canaan from Kadesh Barnea, to which they returned soon after. Then, because they were afraid to enter into Canaan, they were made to spend a generation in the wilderness (not in Kadesh). Also, it is my understanding that they dwelt in tents and that they were miraculously given water, quail and manna.
    I don’t understand why you made the claims I quoted above.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi. Not sure I understand what claims you’re referring to. The figure of 2.5 million is a natural extrapolation out from the 600,000 men of fighting age. They spent 38 years in Kadesh Barnea.

      ”ka’-desh-bar’-ne-a (qadhesh barnea`; Kades): Mentioned 10 times; called also “Kadesh” simply. The name perhaps means “the holy place of the desert of wandering.” There are references to Kadesh in early history. At En-mishpat (“the same is Kadesh”) Chedorlaomer and his allies smote the Amalekite and Amorite. Abraham dwelt near Kadesh, and it was at Beer-lahai-roi between Kadesh and Bered that the Angel of Yahweh appeared to Hagar (Genesis 14:7; Genesis 16:14; Genesis 20:1). It was an important camp of the Israelites during their wanderings, and seems to have been their headquarters for 38 years (Deuteronomy 1:2; Deuteronomy 2:14; Judith 5:14). There the returning spies found the camp (Numbers 13:26); there Miriam died and was buried (Numbers 20:1); from thence messengers were sent to the king of Edom (Numbers 20:14 Judges 11:16). There the people rebelled because of the want of water, and Moses brought water from the rock (Numbers 20:2); it was called therefore Meribath-or Meriboth-Kadesh (Numbers 27:14Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28). It was situated in the wilderness of Zin (Numbers 20:1; Numbers 33:36, 37) in the hill country of the Amorites (Deuteronomy 1:19), 11 days’ journey from Horeb, by the way of Mt. Seir (Deuteronomy 1:2), “in the uttermost” of the border of Edom (Numbers 20:16), and on the southern border, probably the Southeast corner, of Judah (Ezekiel 47:19; compare Judith 19). See Cobern, Homiletic Review, April and May, 1914.”

      http://biblehub.com/topical/k/kadesh-barnea.htm

      Living in tents for four decades? Have you ever tried living in a tent for one week? The photo’s demonstrate what just 23,000 refugees can (must) do in 40 years to make life bearable.

      miraculously given water, quail and manna

      For 2.5 million people, every day, three times a day? (a number that would have increased in the four decades to probably +3.5 million). Bear in mind, that is the population of Chicago.

      You’re certainly free to argue that, but it’s not terribly persuasive. For starters, I’m almost certain news of 2.5 to 3.5 million people being fed miraculously in the desert for four decades would have drawn some (extra-biblical) attention.

      But still, we’re not debating supernatural claims in this post, just the physical residue that 2.5 to 3.5 million people based in one spot (Kadesh Barnea) for four decades would have left.

      Like

  17. John, don’t you see that your reasoning is faulty? There are tribes all over the middle east that ALWAYS live in tents. Secondly, you deny the supernatural and then say that the account could not have happened naturally. It says it was done supernaturally. Why is that impossible for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apologies, have no idea why, but your comments went to Moderation.

      Regarding the supernatural, there’s need to prosecute these outlandish claims, as archaeology has revealed a completely alternative early history of the Jews. The Settlement Period, for example, shows that the hills where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel would be established were not flooded with millions of arriving refugees in the 14th/13th Century, rather were first settled fifty years after the landing of the Philistines on the Levant in 1,100 BCE.

      Perhaps you’re not aware, but the only area where there is still a live debate regarding biblical archaeology is whether or not Judah had an urban society in the 9th Century BCE, which relates to the narrative concerning the United Kingdom. That’s it. That’s all there is. The Patriarchs, Egypt, Moses, Exodus and Conquest are dead subjects in the field of serious archaeology. They were dismissed as myth nearly two generations ago, and nothing has changed in that time to alter this consensus. As Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, announced recently:

      “Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and 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.”

      That last sentence is important: nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.

      Like

  18. John, I don’t see my earlier post. Maybe it didn’t ho through. Three points:
    1. Yes, many cultures live in tents.
    2. Your argument is based completely on a naturalistic worldview. There is no way you can argue that something supernatural did not happen.
    3. Your statement that the Israelites spent 38 years at Kadesh stands in opposition to the biblical account in Exodus 33.
    John, as a friend, I want to offer a word of advice. You spend too much time bantering with people who agree with you. It negatively affects the intellectual rigor of your work.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bedouins (transient herders) live in tents. Are you suggesting the Hebrew’s were Bedouins?

      You’re suggesting Yhwh cleared away all the evidence of a city which housed 2.5 to 3.5 million people for four decades? Removed the foundations for stone and brick buildings, filled in the drainage and sewage systems, erased the farmland, leveled each and every one of the public and private buildings and hid the material, tore up the roads, erased all evidence of potters, metal works, clothes makers, evaporated the graveyards where tens of thousands of Hebrews would have been buried in the four decades, vaporised the enormous middens of animal bones and strata of general waste, picked up and carried away every broken pottery shard, smoothed over every fireplace and removed the carbon residue… etc. ?

      That’s interesting. Does the narrative speak of this colossal supernatural cover-up?

      I’m afraid to tell you, 38 years is the recognised time the story has them at Kadesh Barnea. Perhaps you should read the biblehub link.

      Like

    • I don’t see any reference to tents in this passage.

      And are you aware that the majority of the stations named were not in existence in the 13th/14th Century BCE, but did exist in the 7th Century BCE, precisely when the story was penned? We know this via extra-biblical records, and hard archaeological evidence. That is one of the clues as to how we know today the narrative is a work of 7th Century geopolitical fiction, written in the 7th Century to service 7th Century needs of Judah and her priests after the sacking of Israel in 722.

      Like

  19. The term the Bible uses for the Israelite community is “camp.” And every man stayed in his own “tent” or “booth.”

    Like

    • Well, again, there is no mention of tents (or booths) in this passage. Of course, when anyone is on the move they’ll opt for temporary shelter, that is only natural, but to even suggest a single person (let alone 2.5-3.5 million people) would live in a tent for four decades is conspicuously ludicrous.

      Look at the pictures in the post. You can see the Palestinians started in tents. Two years later, there were already built structures, on foundations, with roads between.

      Like

    • Is that so?

      And the strength of your argument is…Yhwh cleaned-up every pottery shard, scrubbed every fireplace (millions of them) clean of carbon residue, removed the human skeletons in every grave (well over 600,000, as the Hebrews had to wait in Kadesh Barnea until all the original men of fighting age had died, so the real number would be closer to 2-3 million graves), removed every trace of every garbage tip (no doubt each being tens of meters thick), carried away every animal bone (tens of millions), filled in sewage pits, covered over drainage channels, vaporised huge drinking wells, ripped up every road, tore down every public and private building while making sure to hide every fragment of every building material used, melted massive industrial kilns, erased all evidence of mining and metal works…?

      I see.

      And Yhwh did all this magically, why, exactly? To baffle archaeologists 3,300 years later?

      Liked by 3 people

  20. John, when you spend all your time talking with people who agree with you, it is no wonder that your skills grow weak. I think your point about the bones is interesting. Not sure if clay pots are. Have you posted on other forums beside your own? I am curious. Let me know. I want to see your stuff.

    Like

    • Nothing would thrill me more than to hone my skills. I’m still waiting for someone to pen a formal rebuttal to my Owner of All Infernal Names thesis. Many have promised, but none have materialised. Regarding this subject, biblical archaeology, for that to actually happen the content would first have to be challenged in some meaningful, coherent, and intellectually compelling manner. No such luck on that front yet…

      Other forums, concerning biblical archaeology? I had an article published in Raw Story in April to coincide with Passover. It’s a shorter version of this:

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

      http://www.rawstory.com/2016/04/most-rabbis-think-passover-and-other-old-testament-stories-are-fiction/

      BTW, could you use the Reply option. Every comment of yours is starting a new thread, which is a tad silly. Cheers.

      Like

      • Ok, I will check out the links. By the way, I am just reading now Judges 4. In verse 21, it says, “But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a ‘tent peg’ and a hammer…” Here are people, years after the exodus, still living in tents.

        Like

      • Hi John,
        OK, I read your article at http://www.rawstory.com/2016/04/most-rabbis-think-passover-and-other-old-testament-stories-are-fiction/. Similar to several of your other articles. I also just bought your book.
        Listen about the tents.
        The feast of booths is cultural evidence about them living in tents.
        Also, as I wrote earlier, the book of Judges talks about the Kenites (who were among those who came out of Egypt with Moses, living in tents.
        Just another point before I start reading your book that I want to bring up, something that came to mind after reading your article at rawstory: I don’t understand why a book that was manufactured to create national identity for returned exiles would include so much detail about obscure things, especially things that view the Jewish people in a negative light. The examples are legion. I am thinking of Ehud, the left handed assassin, of Barak the coward, of Ahab’s corruption, of Jezebel, and Athaliah, and Samson. Of Jacob’s deceit, of Abraham and Isaac’s weakness (especially Isaac’s which portrayed the Philistine king more honorably than Isaac). It doesn’t make sense that that would help build nationalism.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. The personal fictions of people are a fascinating thing indeed, despite the wealth of evidence that might exist to the contrary, as you have explained here with such resounding clarity. I suppose it comes down to what makes people happy, and what keeps them well connected within their respective communities. These narratives often have little to do with the validity of the information itself.
    Great post, John. I’ve been very remiss in my visits, but it’s a pleasure to read your words again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. You haven’t been posting or otherwise all that active for a long time, you lout~!

    Too long … what gives?

    Seen the light, have we? Too busy praying to gentle Wotsit (the meek and mild and pass the ammo guy) to shed some darkness?

    Like

  23. Pingback: Liars for Jesus or simply plain Ignorant? – A Tale Unfolds

  24. Pingback: For Wally’s Reading Pleasure on his Israel Trip | The Recovering Know It All

  25. Pingback: Am I the untouchable (touch four) | Just me being curious

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