Moses: Fact or Fiction?

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Part One: The Importance of Moses and the Exodus.

I am beginning preliminary research on the subject for my thesis on the topic of a historical Moses. I began to be interested in the topic after conversations with several Atheists who make the claim that Moses isn’t real. In fact, these gentlemen would make the claim that the historical consensus has dictated that Moses is a myth.[1] In this regard, they would be correct; the historical consensus would indicate that the Exodus account didn’t take place. However, when presented with contrary evidence, the atheist scholar indicates that they will only accept ‘unbiased’ work, which means they will only accept a historical thesis by a none Abrahamic believer. The truth of the matter though is that all people have biases when it comes to forming the narrative and conclusions on historical events, a historian learns this in Historiography 101. It’s natural that the secular scholar will not actively search for a result that contradicts their beliefs, but expects scholars of faith to do so.

Where’s the evidence? Now, this isn’t a philosophical discussion that relies on the metaphysical like the discussion whether there is a supreme being or not. The thesis being discussed is whether Moses was a living breathing actor in the temporal world. The secular assertion is mostly based on the lack of archaeological evidence, notwithstanding, I personally, as one who has operated in the field of history, do not believe that archaeology has the final say on all events—especially ones where archaeological evidence would be hard pressed to find—in deserts spanning over three thousand years. This debate is as important, if not more, than the metaphysical debate about the existence of God. The ramifications, of course, are that those who wish to discredit the historicity of Moses expand their assertion to the understanding that if Moses is fictional, then Christianity is fiction, due largely to the Transfiguration of Christ, among other events. It’s important for our ability to make fishers of men refute such secular biased scholarship. Egyptologist K.A. Kitchen writes, “Throughout the Hebrew Bible, there is no single event (or theme, if the status of ‘event’ be denied) to which its various writers hark back so pervasively as the tradition of the ancestral Israelites being liberated from servitude in Egypt, then forming a community under their deliverer deity YHWH.”[2]

Scholars to fully consider whether Moses is truly a historical actor must understand that it’s certainly okay as scholars, and furthermore as the faithful, to disregard the consensus, especially if one is seeking to argue against it. There are other modern scholars who have argued for the case for a historical Moses and are basing their findings on archaeological evidence. One of them by the name of Gerard Gertoux, who is a Ph.D. candidate in France, who based on his biography at Academic.edu has been black balled by French academia, not by his dissertation on Moses and Exodus, but because he is a Jehovah Witness. Gertoux has published another essay on the topic writing:

“Some atheists refuse to take into account the Bible because that book states clearly the existence of God as well as miracles. However, in my opinion, searching the truth must be the fundamental purpose of any honest historian.“What is truth” Pilate said to Jesus (Jn 18:38). For honest and scientific historians, “truth” is based on two main pillars: 1) an accurate chronology anchored on absolute dates(Herodotus’ principle) and 2) reliable documents coming from critical editions(Thucydides’ principle)”[3]

 Again, as one who has worked in the field of history, I thoroughly support Gertoux on the above statement. After explaining what Gertoux considers truth he runs through a list of scholarly experts making claims that the Exodus story and Moses are fiction.

Here is an example:

Modern archaeology has shown that the concept of archives kept in Jerusalem with writings of the tenth century, is an absurdity based on a biblical witness and not on factual evidence. Bible stories would rank therefore among national mythologies, and would have no more historical foundation than the Homeric saga of Ulysses, or that of Aeneas, founder of Rome, sung by Virgil –Israel Finkelstein, Israeli archaeologist[4]
Gertoux makes a clear distinction in his essay by stating, “An objective reader should note that most reasons put forward by these prestigious scholars are ideological, not based on any verifiable factual data”[5]

Now it’s important to note that I am not necessarily endorsing Gertoux’s thesis if this were the case I wouldn’t be interested in researching the topic myself. However, I do agree with is introductory comments on the topic. Here is his thesis:

According to Egyptian accounts the last king of the XV the dynasty, named Apopi, “very pretty” in Hebrew that is Moses’ birth name (Ex 2:2), reigned 40 years in Egypt from 1613 to 1573 BCE, then 40 years later hemet Seqenenre Taa the last pharaoh of the XVII the dynasty and gave him an unspecified disturbing message.”[6]

However, there are two particulars of the debate that I would like to discuss, and one of them is the term myth. The modern understanding of this word often renders that anything labeled as a myth is fiction; however, this is an incomplete definition of the word. Most ancient oral traditions that would be considered myths effectively conveyed truth to folks who continued to tell the events–a method that was vital before the advent of writing.  The book of Exodus to be read as a historical account written by those from a different cultural standpoint, as well as many of the other books of The Bible. It is an account, albeit a cultural one that is a reflection of those who wrote it, of the revelation of God to man to his chosen people. Thus, it is the empiricists who have difficulty understanding that with those who continue to look to this collection of books that appear to reject empirical evidence for valuable information. Empiricists will do their best to dismiss the entirety of the Bible as a credible source, but they negate the fact that it was written by authors who would have recorded events from oral histories that predate the invention of modern historical research and writing. The second part, perhaps broken into subparts, is that does Christianity—due to the Transfiguration—require Moses to be truly historic, and how much of the account of Exodus has to be factual due to oral traditions? (An important point throughout the entire Exodus narrative)

 

[1] William G. Dever ‘What Remains of the House That Albright Built?,’ in George Ernest Wright, Frank Moore Cross, Edward Fay Campbell, Floyd Vivian Filson (eds.) The Biblical Archaeologist, American Schools of Oriental Research, Scholars Press, Vol. 56, No 1, 2 March 1993 pp.25-35, p.33:’the overwhelming scholarly consensus today is that Moses is a mythical figure.’

[2] K.A. Kitchen On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2003), 241.

[3] Gertoux, Gerard. “Moses and the Exodus: What Evidence?” Moses and the Exodus: What Evidence? Accessed March 24, 2016. https://www.academia.edu/13001480/Moses_and_the_Exodus_what_evidence.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

165 thoughts on “Moses: Fact or Fiction?

    1. Indeed, it’s a very interesting topic. I am planning on going through several aspects of Exodus. I have research from biologist explaining manna that is still currently found in the desert today. I also take a look will take a look at Moses infancy narrative compared to the infancy narrative of Sargon. There’s other topic like what does Moses’ name tell us?

      I also will take a look at the plagues of Egypt and the settlement pattern of names from Egypt to Israel with the Levites.

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  1. I firmly believe in Biblical scripture and see it all as truth, but we all have to remember who each individual book was written to as we take in the culturaly distant practices of people who lived over 3,000 year ago. These books might have been written for our benefit, but not written to us. Genesis and Exodus, for example, were written to a people who had been chosen to exemplify pure worship but had lived amongst Egyptian practices and ideoligies for centuries. How would Genesis and exodus have to be worded to best help THEM reach their calling?

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    1. Thanks for the Comment.

      I agree in the aspect of the scripture being Truth, but again, in many respects we have to explain what we mean by Truth. You’re certainly right in regard to viewing scripture with a proper historicism such as taking into consideration the authors and their audiences. Furthermore, we have to understand the challenges proposed to us by skeptics that apply anachronisms to these records.

      Of course, when reviewing scripture, one has to always take into account the genre of the book they’re reading. For Example, Genesis and Exodus wouldn’t necessarily be in the same genre.

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  2. I have been interested with the character Moses for some time, and I am curious how you harmonize the biblical tale with the physical evidence that now points to a relatively peaceful internal settlement pattern for the Israelites who are believed to have emerged from the general Canaanite population with a complete lack of evidence for the Israelites being in Egypt as per the bible and no evidence of Exodus or Conquest?

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    1. I am most interested in the historical figure is Moses. Do you have a specific source in which I can respond? I would imagine what I consider evidence and yourself will probably end up in nothing more than a circular argument.

      Richard Friedman is releasing a new book on the subject around Sept. 12 that the numbers described in Exodus are exaggerated, which is Characteristic of ancient sources, however, the settlement pattern of the Levites do indicate that they spent time in Egypt. Also, there is the dispute of dating in Egyptology, some of Egyptologist fail to review their own flimsy dating system, therefore the Pharoah of Exodus could be either Akhenaten, Tutankhaten, or both.
      Furthermore, I would certainly opine that the indication that there is no evidence in the Sinai desert is, of course, “well duh.” It’s common sense to find nothing of a smaller nomadic tribe in a desert.

      Kathleen Kenyon’s dig didn’t present any evidence for Jericho and her “findings” sway most opinions on he matter as Gibbon’s 19th-century opinions still sway opinions on Rome. However, Bryant Wood discovered that she dug in poor sections of town, he found the pottery in another location, as well as discovered she had also found the pottery herself. Of course, the Battle of Jericho is the hinge of many discussions and opinions of Israel’s movement into Canaan.

      In regards to evidence in Egypt. There is evidence indicating Semitic and Nubians in the Tomb of Rekhmire at Thebes, there’s the Merneptah Stela, as well as even discovered papyrus.

      It appears in my response, I never used the Bible as a source.

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      1. Wood’s review of Kenyon’s data was subsequently overturned. I am surprised you are unaware of this? Her dating still stands and has been ratified by carbon dating I believe and is accepted by all genuine archaeologists as far as I am aware.
        (I stand under correction of course)

        Archaeological evidence has shown that the entire area was under Egyptian rule so this would suggest any mass of people would never have made it undetected across the desert, even if they took a circuitous route.

        The exaggerated numbers hypothesis has been suggested by several scholars, I believe?

        From what I understand these suggestions always seem to come up against other problems.
        There is no archaeological evidence of any kind at kadesh to suggest a prolonged stay
        as described in the bible as any time and digs have turned up nothing.

        In truth the hard evidence does not point to Captivity, Exodus and Conquest and I cannot think of any archaeologist or non fundamentalist biblical scholar who considers the biblical tale is anything but a foundational myth likely composed sometime during the Babylonian Captivity.

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      2. Oh yeah, you’re right, Wood’s dating was rejected by the Carbon Dating on grain alone rather than pottery, which Wood still to this day defends his position on the dating of the pottery.

        http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/08/Carbon-14-Dating-at-Jericho.aspx
        http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/05/01/Did-the-Israelites-Conquer-Jericho-A-New-Look-at-the-Archaeological-Evidence.aspx

        However, as I surmised, as truth isn’t your goal in this conversation you failed to then mention the Aardsma solution between the discrepancy of biblical and secular, which is why I originally asked to address a specific source rather than a generalization of a comment of mine, granted even the, let’s acknowledge that there is objection to this solution as well.

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      3. However, as I surmised, as truth isn’t your goal in this conversation …

        That is a rather rude and unnecessary remark.
        I generally accept consensus when it is backed by verifiable evidence, especially as I am not an archaeologist. Thus, the overwhelming archaeological and scholarly view, including that of Rabbis and certain Christians (excluding fundamentalists and biblical innerantists, of course) is the tale is a foundational myth.
        As for source: The Internal Settlement Pattern was first proposed by Finkelstein if memory serves, and the evidence suggests this is what happened.

        No evidence has been produced to demonstrate anything of the captivity exodus or conquest on any scale as far as I am aware?

        Is there an archaeologist who is on record as supporting the biblical tale?
        I would be genuinely interested in reading what they have to say especially if it refutes the current overwhelming view.
        (Kitchen is a biblical innerantist and an Egyptologist)

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      4. I apologize for the comment, but as I suspected by those who challenge the biblical narrative, I was being led rather than having an actual honest discussion.

        What or who Kitchen is doesn’t matter, a rejection of his research based on those qualifications is an ad hominem.

        For example, by your formula for credibility, why would I not assume that Finkelstein et al do not carry any bias of their own? Would it be safe for me to assume that any name I’d put forward in favor of exodus there would be an issue of him or her being an “inerranist” because their conclusion doesn’t agree with yours? The well, by those qualifications, has already been poisoned, as we refrain from debating the substance of interpretation of evidence but rather reach a conclusion based on identity.

        So if anyone I can name can’t be a Jew, Christian, Muslim: there’s no point to carry on with the exercise.

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      5. I think it would be fair to say that an evangelical Christian such as Kitchen would be at a loss to enter the fray if they did not have a presuppositional point of view.

        Albright began his archaeological digging with the primary intent to prove the biblical tales to be correct. While an excellent archaeologist he failed in his quest to establish any true veracity, as the archaeological world of pretty much all stripes acknowledges.
        Dever originally entered the fray with a similar mindset – his father was a minister, as I am sure you are aware – until eventually he was unable to deny what the evidence was telling him.

        Kitchen’s work in Egyptology is renowned.
        However his theories regarding the Exodus have not garnered any support from mainstream archaeology or Egyptologists and he has not put forward any evidence in this regard that has been accepted by his peers.
        As far as I am aware, neither has he led any digs regarding the Exodus.
        I stand under correction once again.

        For example, by your formula for credibility, why would I not assume that Finkelstein et al do not carry any bias of their own?

        It would be fair to say that after the six day war Israeli archaeologists went into the Sinai with the express intent of finding the ”title deeds” to Israel.
        They found nothing.

        And you can appreciate that the Israelis had an awful lot more at stake than anyone else!
        For the Jews to admit there is no truth to the biblical tale of Exodus is a monumental admission! But hats off to them that they seem to have come to terms with this fact.
        Of course any land claims are in fact strengthened as they are originally from Canaanite stock!
        And as already mentioned the evidence of the internal settlement pattern has shown that there was no conquest as described in the bible and as already mentioned the Israelites emerged from within the general Canaanite population.
        This is the view shared by almost every archaeologist and modern biblical scholar.
        I have no foundation in archaeology so all I am doing is ”parroting” the current overall global view.

        So if you know of an archaeologist that
        has evidence that bucks the consensus view then by all means give me a link to read. I feel sure there must be plenty of Israeli archaeologists and scholars who would like nothing more than to be able to present evidence that even alludes to the veracity of the biblical tale. But so far, nothing has been put forward that refutes the hard evidence.
        I am very serious, by the way. I have asked one or two people, but to date no one has bothered to offer me someone I can read.

        So, please. Give me a name I can research. I would really appreciate it.

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  3. The Book of Exodus and the Bible is not suppose to be read as a historical account per say.

    Exodus most certainly is. It’s presented as an historical event. It was only after archaeology started to dismantle the narrative did apologists start to shift the goal posts, like you’re doing here, so as to maintain their belief system.

    Are you aware of the Babylonian tale of King Sargon of Agade? It predates the Pentateuch by 1,000 years, and begins:

    “My humble mother bore me secretly. She put me in a basket of rushes and sealed me in with asphalt. Then she put me into the river…. The river held me up, and carried me to Akki, the irrigator who drew water from the river for the people. As he dipped his jug into the river, Akki carried me out. He raised me as his own son.”

    Sound familiar?

    So definitive is the evidence against a historical Moses (and the Exodus he supposedly led) that the second edition Encyclopaedia Judaica (which assess all theological, archaeological and scientific evidences) concludes that the entire narrative was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.”

    Just so you know, 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 three generations ago, and nothing has changed in that time to alter this consensus. As Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, announced in 2014:

    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.”

    The majority of non-Orthodox Jewish rabbis understand and accept this. As Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine so eloquently put it:

    The Jews did not begin with Abraham. The Jews did not emerge as a nation under the leadership of Moses. They were never rescued from slavery. They never stopped at Sinai

    But even the Orthodox world is being dragged into accepting the simple reality that the Jewish origin narrative is historical fiction. In early 2012 Orthodox Rabbi Norman Solomon published his book, Torah from Heaven: The Reconstruction of Faith, in which he presented the case that 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.

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    1. All right, I finally read your comment, yes, I am aware of Sargon.

      So taking a look at the Moses narrative, secular scholars, like yourself, have attempted to shut the case of Moses very quickly by dismissing the infancy narrative. The Sargon account written on Cuneiform texts discovered in the same library as the epic of Gilgamesh give a stirring account that is very similar to that of the infancy narrative of Moses. Werner Keller in his book The Bible as History gives this account of Sargon:

      “I am Sargon, the powerful king, the king of Akkad. My mother was an Enitu priestess and bore me in secret. She put me in a little bod made of reeds, sealing its lid with pitch. She put me in the river… The river carried me away and brought me to Akki the drawer of water. Akki the drawer of water adopted me and brought me up as his son.”

      At this point, the secular scholar, like yourself, will assert it’s the same story, it’s not likely to occurred to two different people (even though it would two people in a span of one thousand years), and it predates Moses, so Moses must be fictional. Egyptologist K.A. Kitchen asserts that “People have usually dimissed both tales as legendary, and therefore sometimes Moses likewise. But the latter does not follow; legendary infancy or not, Sargon of Akkad, of great renown was a real king, and inscriptions are known from his reign both in the originals and in Old Babylonian copies. So a “birth legend” (even a popular kind) does not automatiicaly confer mythical status.” However, the earliest text of the Sargon infancy narrative date to the Neo-Assyrian period or later, which would date the text to the 8th century B.C. The Exodus sources of Jahwist and Elohist are dated to the 10th and 8th centuries, and would make the Exodus sources early than any recorded source in support of the Sargon infancy narrative. It may appear true that the Exodus infancy narrative is similar in regards to the basket and river, however, as Professor James Hoffemier concludes that because the Exodus sources are earlier it “diminishes the case for the Sargon legend influencing Exodus.”

      Furthermore, in the context of the two narratives there are fundamental differences. A full comparison of the Sargon infancy narrative with the Moses Infancy narrative must be analyzed for a proper critique. The Exodus narrative reads:

      2 Now a man from the house of Levi went and took to wife a daughter of Levi.2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3 And when she could hide him no longer she took for him a basket made of bulrushes, and daubed it with bitumen and pitch; and she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds at the river’s brink. 4 And his sister stood at a distance, to know what would be done to him. 5 Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, and her maidens walked beside the river; she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to fetch it. 6 When she opened it she saw the child; and lo, the babe was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” 8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. 9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son; and she named him Moses,[a] for she said, “Because I drew him out[b] of the water.”

      Egyptologist Donald Redford has collected and studied all the known stories of what is called the “exposed child” motif in the ancient Near East. Redford had concluded in the thirty-two examples that all of the stories fit into three categories:

      1. The Child exposed due to shameful circumstances
      2. A Powerful political leader is attempting to kill the child.
      3. A Massacre threatens the life of the child.

      After examining the two narratives what appears to be the correct categorization as Redford concludes is that the Sargon Infancy Narrative fits into the first category, whereas the Moses Infancy Narrative fits into the third category. At first glance at examining the two narratives side by side there appears to be similarities, but the differences make it far too likely they influenced each other. For example, in the Sargon story his mother bore him in secrecy, which was the reason she decided to place him in the basket to send down river. Hoffmeier explains that “Sargon claims that his mother was a priestess, but his father was unkown, perhaps because she was to remain sexually chase in her role as a priestess, she sought to cover up this birth by placing the baby in the reed basket.” Moses’ mother saw that he was good and this was the cause for her actions. She did place him in the basket but hid him among the reeds, there’s no indication that he traveled down stream. Redford claims that according to the motif the two narratives “are not true parrells.” Even if one is not convinced that these are differences enough between the two narratives, Werner explains, “The basket-story is a very old Semitic folk-tale. It was handed down by word of mouth for many centuries. The Sargon legend of the third millennium B.C. is found on Neo-Babylonian cuneiform tablets of the first millennium B.C. It is nothing more than the frills with which posterity has always loved to adorn the lives of great men.” Werner’s analysis indicates that both stories are probably fictional to both men as the basket-story was merely added for dramatic flare. If there were similarities, they would have no bearing on whether Moses is real or not because the story is probably not real for Sargon either.

      The Exodus infancy narrative also gives an explanation to the naming of Moses. Werner confirms that his “name can be connected with a Semitic root meaning ‘bring or take out, remove extract, but can also be interpreted as Egyptian. ‘Moses’ means simply ‘boy, son’. A number of Pharaohs are called Ahmose, Amasis, Thutmose.” The idea of Moses being truly an Egyptian was explored by Sigmund Freud for novel purposes. The idea, furthermore, has been hijacked, in my opinion, by academics looking to further the ideas of multiculturalism and diversity. Barbara Johnson, former Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature and the Frederic Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society at Harvard University, examines Freud’s research on the topic of Moses and the monotheistic religion of Akhenaten in her essay “Moses, the Egyptian.” Johnson, in her essay, explains that “The opposition between history and memory seems especially useful in the cases of Moses and Egypt. no amount of historical accuracy will counteract the impact of a strong tradition. The mythic memory of Egypt still has a hold on us today, in spite of the facts that contradict it.” It’s important to understand the layers of Johnson’s comments here. Again, The Book of Exodus and the Bible are not suppose to be read as entirely a historical account. It’s an account of the revelation of God to man. Furthermore, the writing reflects the ideas and culture of those who composed the text, therefore, this is a danger to input postmodern ideas and fascination with racial tensions like Barbara Johnson. Egyptologist K.A. Kitchen explains, “The name of Moses is most likely not Egyptian in the first place! The sibilants do not match as they should, and this cannot be explained away. Overwhelmingly, Egyptian s appears (samekh) in Hebrew and West Semitic, while Hebrew and West Semitic (samekh) appears as tj in Egyptian…It is better to admit that the child named by his own mother, in a form originally vocalized Mashu, ‘one drawn out.’”

      Hoffmeier asserts that it has been shown by J. Gwyn Griffiths that “Egyptians personal names with the Egyptian “s” that are transliterated into Semitic languages…Some cases of Egyptian names with “s” appear as “s” in Semetic texts…the ‘rule’ that the Egyptian “s” should always appear in Semitic as (samekh) is not consistent.” Hoffmeier believes Griffiths argument to be more convincing than Kitchen’s due to the literary analysis that it appears that Pharaoh’s daughter pulls Moses from the river.

      After examining the accounts of both the Sargon Infancy Narrative and the Moses Infancy Narrative, as well as the naming of Moses, it must be admitted that it doesn’t give any other proof towards the existence of a historical Moses. However, one must conclude that the Sargon account does not dismiss the historicity of the Moses account.

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      1. secular scholars, like yourself, have attempted to shut the case of Moses very quickly by dismissing the infancy narrative

        No, there’s a lot more than that.

        There is no corroborating evidence for any of the narrative. What does exist are great swaths of evidence painting a completely alternative history.

        The hills where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel w0uld be founded were not inundated with 2.5 million “arriving” foreigners (with unique language, customs, technology, architecture, pottery etc) in the 14th Century BCE, rather they were settled 50 years after the landing of the Philistines on the Levant, in 1110 BCE.

        This is the actual early history of the Jewish people. They were refugees from the Canaanite coastal states, who fled into the hills in 1100 BCE.

        The well-documented landing of the Philistines even explains why the Jews (as a cultural/identity matter) do not eat pork. In none of the settlements (there were 11 original villages for the first 100 years of the “settlement period”) were found pork bones. Not a single one, yet down on the Levant great middens have been unearthed in successive digs, all dating to after the arrival of the Philistines. It seems, archaeologists believe, that not eating pork was a way of distinguishing “us up here,” from those terribles “down there.”

        At this point, the secular scholar, like yourself, will assert it’s the same story

        Again, no. A catchy part of an older, well-known narrative was lifted…. borrowed.

        No more. No less.

        The second edition Encyclopaedia Judaica (which assess all theological, archaeological and scientific evidences)concludes that the entire narrative was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.”

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    1. John, frankly it’s because I don’t like you. Heck, I didn’t even bother to read your comment.

      Every piece I’ve read on your blog, comment sections etc. You’re rude, obnoxious, and condescending. I’ll even discuss stuff with Ark because at least he puts on a society face.

      In fact, what proves this is a recent post by one of your blog friends in which you guys then give each other virtual high fives at my proposed expense. I am a working man and I don’t have time to engage in circular reasoning and one either a lack of integrity. I’ve notified Ark that we can continue the conversation, if you have anything you want to address, you can see if he can present it.

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      1. We’ve interacted on Praetorian and Citizen Tom, when Tom allowed your presence. I’ve seen you call folks dumb, stupid, use profanity etc.

        I really have nothing more to say other than what is already stated in the post. It’s clear that you come from a minimalist perspective. I do not. Also, I do not think Archaeology has the last say on the matter, as I come from a historic school–obviously as I address it in the post. I only commented to Ark because our interactions have been polite, albeit I feel that he’s leading me at times.

        Sure, there’s no hard evidence, but all other evidence is rather contextual anyway. In fact, Ark is correct that the consensus indicates a myth, of course I do address the idea is myth in the post.

        From a historical standpoint, the classical notion of any myth begins with some sort of truth. Of course, there’s a common example of George Washington and the Cherry Tree. The event probably never happened, however, George Washington was real. So, as I indicated with Ark, the Friedman position is the one I most agree with that a small group of Levites left Egypt in a small exodus, may be even multiple ones, and settled in Canaan. Heck, even if they integrated peacefully with the Canaanites or had small skirmishes, There’d be no issue. I do believe there was some group of Hebrews in Egypt and it’s certainly possible that they were led by a man whose name was Moses.

        At any rate, Ark is convinced by consensus–which doesn’t always convey truth and from authority–which also doesn’t convey truth. In accord with Christian scholarship, I’m apart of Calculation Theory school of thought in accord to Christian datings– this is not the consensus position!

        I would be willing to debate if it’s polite and followed the rules of logical debate with integrity.

        I’ve asked Ark what criteria would be necessary for acceptable scholars, he’s only asked me to present someone; however, so long as I don’t know what acceptable criteria would be sufficient, it would be a waste to present anything or anyone.

        Perhaps, it would be wise to have a blind approach? I present an argument without knowing where it came from and we can discuss what is right and wrong by the presented idea. Therefore, the idea wouldn’t be supported or denied based on its source.

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      2. I’ve seen you call folks dumb, stupid, use profanity etc

        Absolute nonsense. I’m quite civil in my dialogues, and I have never sworn at anyone with malcontent.

        At any rate, Ark is convinced by consensus–which doesn’t always convey truth and from authority–which also doesn’t convey truth.

        It’s not just Ark. The overwhelming majority of Jewish rabbis are also convinced, and these learned men and women have far more invested in their original narrative being true than you could ever hope to have in 10,000 lifetimes. As stated by Conservative Rabbi Steven Leder

        “Defending a rabbi in the 21st century for saying the Exodus story isn’t factual is like defending him for saying the Earth isn’t flat. It’s neither new nor shocking to most of us that the Earth is round or that the Torah isn’t a history book dictated to Moses by God on Mount Sinai.”

        This is not new information, and there is no room for conjecture. As Professor William Dever (now retired) explained:

        “Scholars have known these things for a long time, but we’ve broken the news very gently.”

        And as Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, announced in 2014:

        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.

        Let’s repeat that last line: nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.

        So, I guess the question is: what are you proposing is persuasive evidence for the Jewish origin narrative being true?

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      3. What I’ve already posted.

        Persuasiveness is an opinion, I don’t care or need to persuade you. Your goal is to do nothing but try to ridicule me in some way. And I don’t care. I’ve already said what I wanted to say in the original post and the reply to Sargon.

        Thanks.

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      4. Persuasiveness is an opinion?

        What does that even mean?

        Ridicule? No. Could you please stop being so aggressive. It’s not becoming, and rather tiresome.

        I simply asked you to name the evidence (not opinion) for the Jewish origin narrative being true.

        (I see you once went by Phadde2. I recall emailing a teacher of yours. Is that correct? Is that why you’re acting so unnecessarily aggressive?)

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      5. Did he reply? I doubt it. Why would someone reply to a stranger who engages with a former student on the internet… odd.

        I also recall being called all sorts of names and profanities, but you claimed not to do that in earlier comments. So, of course, that would make you a liar, wouldn’t it?

        I also recall in those conversations that no matter what I presented, there were always some sort of issue with it.

        Let’s take an example for this post. I presented a reputable Egyptologist who agrees with your conclusion, however, he disagrees with the Sargon Nativity assessment. You just brush it off without acknowledgement.

        So what is your end goal with this discussion? You’re not going to change my mind. And I have the power to delete all of your comments here on this blog, seems strange how much time you spend here and other blogs.

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      6. Yes, he did. He knew you as Phadde2. He was a little shocked you’d repeated something that wasn’t his public position, concerning the historical nature of Moses.

        I told you this at the time.

        Phadde2/Philip, you made an issue of Sargon. As a simple but interesting anecdote, I merely showed you how Moses’ birth narrative was borrowed from another story. I didn’t mention anything else of the story, did I?

        So what is your end goal with this discussion? You’re not going to change my mind.

        That’s a tremendously strange thing for a “scholar” to say.

        And I have the power to delete all of your comments here on this blog

        Of course you have that power. But deleting words (censorship) doesn’t change reality. Plus, you’ll have to look at yourself in the mirror every single day, knowing what you’ve done, and why.

        As Rabbi Sherwin T Wine to eloquently put it:

        Facts are facts. They are enormously discourteous. They do not revere old books, they do not stand in awe before old beliefs. They do not bow before famous ancestors. They are simply the stuff out of which reality made, and the final judge of truth.”

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      7. Yeah, it seemed odd to me at the time, too. I don’t know your real name, of course, so I merely introduced myself and said I was engaged with a blooger (named Phadde2) who’d claimed he had said some things, and I was just verifying if that was indeed his positition. When he wrote back, he made a note to say he knew you, which would mean he knew who Phadde2 was.

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      8. John, the point of my last comment is that I’ve looked over the accounts written by Kitchen, Hoffmeier, etc. I’ve studied the historical record, as well as the discipline of historiography–which is why I allude to culture writing styles, I doubt you son it understand when I allude to such things– I’ve examined Finkelstein’s minimalist school and I’ve already arrived at my conclusion. You won’t be the one to change my opinion.

        So let me ask you, in your opinion, What do you find the most convincing argument to the exodus/Canaan narrative that supports at least somewhat the Bible and what’s wrong with it?

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      9. The Hyksos, even though they were rulers, not slaves, and were kicked out, rather than escaped. If there’s a kernel there, that’s probably it. Perhaps a family or two of the Hyksos settled in Canaan, leaving the others to keep heading north. Generation after generation the story was told and retold (i believe the Americans call this the Phone Game), and the story morphed.

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      10. Also, if you will, did the professor either confirm or deny what I had claimed? He never told me to keep the comments private. And it would definitely impact my thoughts on him if what he told me is not his “public position”

        I’m of the mind if you belief something you stand by it. You surely could respect that .

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      11. I told you this at the time. I was polite, he was polite, but curt, in return. Yes, he did confirm what you had said he’d said, but he made it clear to me that that wasn’t his public position. I didn’t push it. I wasn’t out to embarrass anyone. I thanked him, and that was that.

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      12. I think it’s a little sad, to be honest. A lot of Christians I talk to who try to cling to the Jewish origin narrative being true seem to be motivated by emotional needs only, truth be damned.

        I have a lot of respect for Jewish rabbis because of their honesty in this matter.

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      13. You know I presented much of our last conversation to Jesuit, his response was, Moses doesn’t matter to Christianity. The Transfiguration is only typology of the Gospel writers to the Old Laws and Prophets. Now, I couldn’t quite agree with him, but what are your thoughts?

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      14. The problem for the Christian (and the Muslim) is that Jesus names Moses as a real historical character. If he was who he claimed to be (Yhwh), then bumbling basic regional history (a history he was supposedly intimately involved in) is not easy to reconcile.

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      15. The same Jesuit said that he disliked all of the Gospel quotations from Jesus, as he was being taught–from what I gathered–that none of the quotations are genuine. Odd for a Christian, I thought, but I think Ehrman, as well as many scholars, authentic teaching of Christ being found in only Mark. Now, just doing a word search on the Gospel of Mark, every reference to Moses is brought forth by the Pharisees, save for one, when Jesus quotes Moses and the Ten commandments. However, if that was the cultural understanding of where the commandments came from, I don’t think it would be unusual for him to reply in such a manner.

        thoughts?

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      16. Do you believe there was a first-century man Jesus? The consensus still holds to a historical Jesus. And from the most part most scholars do conclude that the only authentic words from Jesus are in Mark.

        Mark 7:10 is the only direct reference from Jesus to Moses.

        10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’

        It’s also in a preference to the commandments. It appears to me there would be enough wiggle room. However, I’m not interested in it, but it’s something you may want to explore.

        But I have to go to a dinner party, so I’ll detained.

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      17. For example, you’re having a conversation with yourself because I articulated that Exodus is a historical narrative written by a cultural understanding. How modern historians, 19th century historians write is not how ancient people wrote history. As, I’ve commented to Ark, I’m not claiming this for example.

        The hills where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel w0uld be founded were not inundated with 2.5 million”

        You have committed a straw man in attempt to belittle what I have already presented. As I said originally, you lack integrity and you proved it again.

        Conversation is over.

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      18. For example, you’re having a conversation with yourself because I articulated that Exodus is a historical narrative written by a cultural understanding.

        Exodus is presented as an historical event. I’m not even sure I know what you’re meaning when you say “cultural undersatnding”.

        How modern historians, 19th century historians write is not how ancient people wrote history.

        The story goes into great detail, naming Stations, routes taken, numbers, and years spent.

        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.”

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  4. Furthermore, John is correct when he objects to my assertion, “The Book of Exodus and the Bible is not suppose to be read as a historical account per say.”

    He says, “Exodus most certainly is. It’s presented as an historical event. It was only after archaeology started to dismantle the narrative did apologists start to shift the goal posts, like you’re doing here, so as to maintain their belief system.”

    In respect to John’s comment, I have amended the original post to now say, “The book of Exodus to be read as a historical account written by those from a different cultural standpoint, as well as many of the other books of The Bible. It is an account, albeit a cultural one that is a reflection of those who wrote it, of the revelation of God to man to his chosen people.”

    This is done in accordance with Pope Pius X Encyclical letter PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS

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  5. I think it would be most unfortunate if you remove this post.
    Vigorous debate, even if it gets very heated at times is necessary in order to hammer out the grey areas and uncover genuine evidence to reveal the truth. This is important in religiously based themes where a great deal is at stake, especially for those folk who have been brought up to believe that non-belief and in particular non-correct belief will result in them spending eternity in Hell, in which ever way their particular Christian denomination defines it.

    I have asked for you to link or identify scholars that support the biblical narrative because the overwhelming majority of scholars and archaeologist and Rabbis do not, and it is my experience that those that push for a factual historical understanding of the biblical tale have all been fundamentalist and the ones I have read primarily Christian.

    In the case of Bryant Wood, he is also a Young Earth Creationist,(apparently) and I am sorry, ad hominums or not, this type of approach from someone who flatly denies evolution is idiotic. and thus, I have no trust in his judgment or his approach to the topic at hand.

    Others such as Kitchen and JK Hoffmeier are evangelical inerrantists and this too presents its own problems as they will surely approach their archaeology convinced the bible cannot possibly be wrong and it is only a matter of wrong interpretation.

    If there is factual historical truth for the biblical tale of Captivity, Exodus and Conquest, backed by hard evidence then all parties should pursue this topic and surely it is in the believers interest not to close down dialogue simply because they don’t like some of the interlocutors.

    There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone such as John Zande.
    Many people do. He is Australian after all, so disagreement is perfectly understandable.
    Personally, I have always found him to be erudite, almost always civil and on this particular subject extremely well-researched. Which might seem surprising considering his ancestors that settled Australia were very likely criminals. I don’t hold this against him though, and in all fairness, neither should you.

    I hope you will reconsider removing this post and also try to find some more neutral scholars/archaeologists that can provide alternative perspective for us all to consider?

    Ark

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of Absence”. (William Lane Craig)

    In these crazy days in which there are raving leftist lunatics who are trying to destroy all physical traces of a history they don’t like it’s not hard to imagine how archeological evidence might get destroyed and erased.

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      1. Bringing down statues of historical figures that are deemed “racist”, “slaveholders” and what have you.
        As how that relates to this post. You don’t think that there might have been people in the past who destroyed monuments and other symbols that they didn’t like? I let you figure out how that relates to this post.

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      2. I did not write my original comment for you.
        It is obvious how this relates to this post and everyone should be able to understand it.
        If you stil don’t get, I don’t care. Not my problem.

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      3. I realise the comment was not directed at me, specifically. But this is an open thread which one normally associates with general dialogue.
        Sorry if you were not interested in dialogue but I am interested in this topic and was just curious as to what you think might have been erased and by whom and why?

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      4. It’s not my job to go the extramile so that everyone understands my comment. I’m open to questions but I expect some thinking effort on your part. I program computers for a living. Computers are stupid and you have to tell them every teeny little thing. Now, I’m not saying that you are stupid but I got the impression that you don’t want to understand or that you pretend that you don’t understand. In my freetime, when interacting with humans, I don’t want to the same as I do in my job.
        You don’t like it? Too bad.

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      5. I understand what you are alluding to.
        I am simply curious who you think would have erased such history and why?

        The Internal Settlement Pattern of Canaan, for which there is evidence, seems pretty straightforward.
        Rohl’s suggestion at re-dating Egyptian chronology has some very interesting points to it but is has not gained traction.

        What evidence do you think has been erased from the historical record regarding Moses, for example?

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      6. Alright, Ark, I’ll actually continue our civil conversation.

        Ryan Bonfigilio, British Professor, examines much of what you’ve said:

        “Of the 31 cities mentioned as defeated or destroyed, 20 have been identified and excavated. Only two of these, Bethel and Hazor, show convincing evidence of destruction at the time of the conquest (see the following chart for a summary of archaeological evidence). This means that, among other things, the ruined walls of Jericho, which the Israelites were said to have knocked down in Josh 6:1–21, were not found! ”

        He also says, ” The book of Judges offers a substantially different picture of how the settlement process took place. In fact, Judges suggests that if a conquest occurred, it was anything but quick or decisive—Canaanites remained in the land, victories were only partial, and local struggles for control continued for many generations after Joshua died. At the very least, reading Judges alongside of Joshua suggests that the latter does not provide a straightforward historical account of the emergence of Israel in Canaan.”

        The above position wouldn’t contradict a smaller group of Levities leaving Egypt and settling slowly. It’s also possible that there could have been skirmishes to the degree that the collective memory attached conquest theory to Israelites in Canaan.

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      7. The above position wouldn’t contradict a smaller group of Levities leaving Egypt and settling slowly. It’s also possible that there could have been skirmishes to the degree that the collective memory attached conquest theory to Israelites in Canaan.

        Yes, this theory might hold water.
        But it rubbishes the biblical narrative.
        And the Internal Settlement Pattern still seems the stronger option, back by the better evidence.

        Is this the same Ryan Bonfiglio?

        http://www.ctsnet.edu/faculty/bonfiglio-ryan/

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      8. He sounds like a Christian, and sounds American, not English!
        🙂
        I don’t know how neutral this bloke could be?

        But if he is disagreeing with the Exodus narrative … then he has an interesting perspective.

        Could you cope with this view bearing in mind all the implications?

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      9. I found the article on Oxford, which is why I assumed the Britishness.

        Could I cope? As, I’ve said with John, I’ve recently has a discussion with a Jesuit who basically says, “No, Exodus, No Moses, no big deal.” I’m not thoroughly convinced of that conclusion.

        I’ve read a lot of Greek ‘histories’ to know that numbers are meaningless to ancient people. So, I’d be okay with fitting the narrative of Exodus into the frame work of Friedman’s smaller Levite exodus.

        You see the problem I have with no Egyptian Hebrews is how these Babylonian Captivity Hebrews could know so much about Egypt:

        Exodus is punctuated with authentic Egyptian loanwords, including “Nile”, “reeds”, “magicians”, “fine…linen”, “emerald”, and gold “leaf”. Likewise, the names of key individuals in the book, such as Moses, Miriam, and Hur are based on native Egyptian names. As in Exodus, sources from the second millennium BC depict Semitic and other foreign slaves conscripted to work for Egypt as field hands and laborers for large construction projects. Evidence that slaves were supervised by armed taskmasters is also attested at this time, as is the fact that production quotas were set for brickmakers.

        I think the most convincing, The book is acquainted with local conditions described in the story, such as the Egyptian agricultural calendar and the use of acacia wood for the structure and furnishing of the Tabernacle. The later detail is significant because this particular hardwood is indigenous to parts of Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula but is not found in Palestine.

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      10. Well, the Egyptians controlled the whole area for quite some time so the loan words and knowledge of Egyptian culture is not that difficult to understand – trade and other forms of commerce.
        The Armana letters help bolster such ideas.
        Though my knowledge of these things is pitiful, I must admit.
        And the Egyptians ran creches where children of foreign notables were placed to educate.

        So the problems you have can be explained in the same way as me being English born and raised yet now residing in South Africa and punctuating my lexicon with South African words and my English cultural foundation with a great many South African ones.
        No biggie.

        For me the Kadesh Barnea issue is the one than needs to be addressed as it takes up 38 years of the supposed 40 year sojourn.

        The total lack of evidence simply cannot be resolved.
        When we view this lack alongside the available archaeological evidence that we do have of the Internal Settlement Pattern it puts the narrative in such a poor light that suggests it cannot possibly be true and must be viewed as nothing but historical fiction.

        The Jews accept this as there are no real implications for their religion that they cannot resolve.this is not the case for Christianity and Islam.
        From my perspective, this not only creates an Elephant In The Room but a sizable Herd of Pachyderms.

        I am going to turn in. It is late down here.
        Pick this up another time?

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      11. What do you make of William Dever’s most recent comments giving a plug for his new book releasing in October?

        “The most radical of the skeptics were and still are the European Biblical revisionists of the Copenhagen and Sheffield schools.a As a leading member of this circle, Thomas Thompson put it, “There is no more ‘ancient Israel.’ History no longer has room for it.”2

        This is simply extreme skepticism, another example of the pervasive influence of postmodernism, a theory of knowledge according to which there is no knowledge; there are no facts, only interpretations—and one interpretation is as good as any other.”

        In hopes of answering that question, we have only two sources of information: the Biblical texts and the artifacts—the material culture remains, including of course other texts brought to light by archaeology.

        Both sources are valuable, but both have obvious limitations. Beyond recognizing that fact, sound method and honesty require that these two sources for history be dealt with independently and then compared. At that point, we have what I call “convergences”—points at which the parallel lines of evidence come together.”

        “If it is as obvious as I have argued that new and better histories of ancient Israel are needed and indeed possible, why then have more not been written?…

        Many archaeologists simply do not see themselves as historians, and almost none has any training in the discipline of history. (Exactly, my point when articulating that prior to the invention of historical writing, ancient people wrote history in quite a different method.) Now in my mid-80s, I have nothing to lose—and nothing to gain. So I have plunged ahead. Mine is not the “history of ancient Israel,” but is only one attempt at improving the employment of the burgeoning, all-important archaeological data.

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      12. Dever has always tried to tread softly. As he once said:

        “Scholars have known these things for a long time, but we’ve broken the news very gently.”

        I don’t see any problem in the facts of the matter, not for Jews at least, which Dever is now. He converted to Judaism. A simple compunctious shrug of the shoulders and downturned smile is all it takes to admit the Torah and the Deuteronomistic History of the Nevi’im (including the books of Joshua, Judges and Samuel) are fatally flawed as historical documents.

        What’s ultimately most important to the Jewish people is their cultural identity, and that is as dependent on a fictitious god and mythological characters like Abraham and Moses as much as the Greek cultural identity is dependent on Zeus, Perseus and Mount Olympus. The Jews are on bedrock cushioned with a rich wisdom tradition like that found in the Ketuvim and have no discernable distance to fall.

        Christians and Muslims aren’t, however, so fortunate. Their central figures of devotion, Jesus and Muhammad, unknowingly erected belief systems upon on a convoluted historical cartoon, and addressing this disastrously awkward corporeality is not going to be at all fun for anyone with even the slightest emotional investment in the god of the Bible… because the only people endowed with the authority to bury that god, the authors of the single source document – the Jews – are either in the process of burying, or already have buried him.

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      13. Dever has at one time or another been quite fixed in his views then become more flexible; being at odds with people like Finkelstein to moving more in his direction.
        I was unaware he had converted to Judaism, as John has mentioned.

        The essence of his archaeological views and beliefs probably won’t change that much.

        I truly believe the Jews will eventually see no need to hold on to anything religious beliefs and merely retain a cultural identity.
        They have no need to fight over their sovereign right to the land, they were there all along! We know now there was no invasion o conquest.

        Maybe they will come out and officially denounce the historical myths leaving Christianity and Islam high and dry?

        If they do, it will be difficult to see how the other two Abrahamic faiths can continue in any degree of honesty, can you?
        I also suspect that considering his father was Christian, Dever must look back with a shrewd sense of irony!
        I can only wish him a peaceful and relaxed retirement

        Liked by 1 person

      14. From Ronald S. Hendel:

        “In its existential actuality, the Exodus, more than any other event of the Hebrew Bible, embodies William Faulkner’s adage: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”1

        But is it true? Well, yes and no.

        Does the story contain real history? Very probably yes, although it’s not easy to pinpoint.”

        “All this suggests that many of the local settlers in early Israel had memories, direct or indirect, of Egyptian slavery. These memories were linked to no single pharaoh, but to pharaoh as such, that is, to the array of pharaohs whose military campaigns, vassal tributes, mass deportations and support of the slave trade forced many Canaanites into Egyptian slavery. Not all of these slaves need to have escaped with Moses—or to have escaped at all—to create the bitter memory of Egyptian slavery among the early population of Israel. In this cultural setting, the story of a miraculous deliverance from Egyptian slavery would find ready ears. The indefiniteness surrounding the memory of which pharaoh may be a sign of the widespread resonance of this collective memory.” ( an assertion that would support an internal settlement, but also a smaller exodus as well, as Hendel allows)

        “The Egyptian empire was crumbling during the early decades of Israelite culture, and it is no surprise that the settlers defined themselves, at least in part, as former victims of an oppressive regime.”

        And here is the kicker:

        “The details of Moses’ life that best withstand historical scrutiny—and hence are the most likely to be historical—are his name and his marriage to a Midianite woman. Everything else about Moses’ life is so interwoven with narrative motifs and religious ideology that it is impossible to disengage the history from the tradition. But Moses’ name and his wife’s ethnicity are details that are unlikely to have been invented by tradition.13 His name is Egyptian, a fact that has been forgotten in biblical tradition. And his wife’s Midianite affiliation (a group later hated by the Israelites—Numbers 31:1–12) seems too peculiar to have been invented by folklore or ideology.”

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  7. “The details of Moses’ life that best withstand historical scrutiny—and hence are the most likely to be historical—are his name and his marriage to a Midianite woman.

    I don’t see why there must be any historical assumption of veracity that the biblical character was a real person.
    If the Egyptians controlled the area then their cultural influence on the tale is perfectly understandable.
    If I was writing a story then why not give the hero an Egyptian name? And get him to marry one of the tribe’s enemy’s?
    Gives the tale a nice twist and the Jews have always been known for their off the wall sense of humour/irony.

    Why there seems to be this desperate need to hold on to the this tale as some sort of crucially important facet of cultural identity is beyond me as all the reasons are nonsensical and unnecessary.

    It only serves to point up negative differences in the human experience and maintain a thinly veiled reason to continue an Us and Them mentality, much like identity based upon skin colour.

    When you strip away all the hoopla and actually analyze this story it is all about worship of a pathologically violent fictitious deity named Yahweh.

    It really is time to shows gods the door. We are not children and such childish nonsense does nothing but reinforce our savage history and a perverted need to glorify such horrific violence.

    .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I was writing a story then why not give the hero an Egyptian name? And get him to marry one of the tribe’s enemy’s?
      Gives the tale a nice twist and the Jews have always been known for their off the wall sense of humour/irony.

      Exactly. I’ve heard this “argument” presented before, regarding the name, and I am as baffled by it today as I was the first time I heard it.

      In penning his work of historical fiction, Tom Clancy did not call the captain of the Red October, Bill Shepperd, but rather Marko Ramius, a Lithuanian in the Soviet navy. Surprise, surprise, that’s a Lithuanian name.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Richard Elliot Friedman anticipates John’s objection of names created for the purposes of a story in his new book released today on the Exodus, He asserts:

        A) This still begs the questions of why all the named figures are Levites; no one invented a single Egyptian name for anybody else in the story.

        B) The Egyptian names appear in texts from at least twenty different authors and editors, spread out over five hundred years. These authors and editors did not all work together to invent this…We cannot attribute all the Egyptian names to an editor who threw them in when he assembled the text.

        C) We can know for a fact that it cannot be that the authors deliberately gave characters Egyptian names in order to fool us? How? Because we can see where the authors themselves did not that the names were Egyptian…the point is that author of this story is treating the name Moses as Hebrew. the author is manifestly not trying to give the hero an Egyptian name…The Egyptian names are real, native to the text, and they belong to only Levites.

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      2. Everything to do with his assertion. The hero (Moses) had been raised as an Egyptian prince, blessed with all the pleasures that rank instilled, but he threw all this away to join his “people” in their struggle for “freedom.”

        It’s a great story. Hits all the right marks.

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  8. I do take scholars seriously. I just don’t think they make strong enough arguments, especially in the face of all the contradictory evidence or evidence that can be explained using far more straightforward answers.

    Martin Noth proposed that Moses was a composite figure, and even this view is not held by many today.

    If the larger body of Jewish academia consider that the character Moses is simply a work of narrative fiction who are we to argue against this position?

    Moses does not feature in any Egyptian writings and notwithstanding the Egyptian penchant for trying to eradicate certain evidence of past failures you would expect some mention of a person responsible for supposedly bringing Egypt almost to its knees, if not by the Egyptians themselves then a mention by kings or leaders of the states the Exodus and Moses came into contact with, even if only in passing.

    As far as I am aware there is nothing.

    And if as it seems this is the first time you have been confronted by these issue then it would seem prudent and in your best interest to try to uncover everything there is out there.

    I did when I first read that Moses was not considered a real historical person and to date I have not found evidence of him in this regard anywhere.

    And this fact alone should make you stop and pause and wonder why not?

    If you do not care to wonder then, yes, there seems little point in continuing.

    After all, you have your faith which requires no evidence at all.

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      1. If I may

        Interesting, but odd. Hebrew is recognised as having only been first evidenced in the 10th Century BCE (Gezer Stone). It contains 22 letters, whereas the Proto-Sinaitic language (of which there is much evidence of its use) contains 27 consonants. This aligns quite well with the settlement pattern of the Judean hills, which began in 1150 BCE, 50 years after the landing of the Philistines on the Levant.

        I say “odd” because if Petrovich is right, then we have a complete absence of the language in use for some 850 years, which seems fantastic beyond belief. Doesn’t rule the possibility out, but it’s a hole that cannot be ignored.

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      2. John, Did you catch the comment below the article. The professor made comment corrections of the Post’s article.

        “Just a couple of factual corrections to make: (1) The original alphabet consisted of 22 pictographic Hebrew letters. (2) Sinai 115’s caption depicts Manasseh (Joseph’s son), Manasseh’s obscure son Shechem, and an Egyptian attendant to Manasseh, but not Joseph. (3) Sinai 375a–which contains the name Ahisamach, the father of Oholiab, one of the two men instructed to build to tabernacle–is located in the inner recesses of the Harvard Semitic Museum. Sinai 115 is located at Serabit el-Khadim, in Sinai. (4) The 16 PCH (proto-consonantal Hebrew) inscriptions I have translated actually include the caption of Sinai 115 as one of them, even though it is written mostly in Middle Egyptian (hieroglyphics). My book, The World’s Oldest Alphabet: Hebrew as the Language of the Proto-Consonantal Script, is available from Carta (Jerusalem). I am immeasurably grateful to the Jerusalem Post for running this article, because these discoveries are for the Jewish people more than anyone else in the world. Shalom. –Douglas Petrovich, Ph.D., M.A., Th.M., M.Div. (U.S. citizen, residing in Canada).”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what he means there. I’m by no means an expert. The 850 year gap between his claim and the currently recognised first use of Hebrew, though, seems to be an important note. Don’t forget, the Exodus narrative paints a picture of a successful nation arising in the 13th Century BCE, so one would think we’d find the language in common use at least 300 years before we do see it clearly come into view. The current date fits well with the settlement pattern of the Judean hills, starting in 1150 BCE, 50 years after the landing of the Philistines on the Levant.

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      4. Where he works.
        Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada
        ( now known as Laurier in Ontario)
        ‘Nuff said.
        Also, another commenter on that thread said he was mentioned on a Creationist site.

        No academic street cred.
        Check mate. He’s pushing an agenda.

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      5. Petrovich finds the biblical name Ahisamach by reading the first three letters from right to left, then the three below them.

        LOL.

        So, using that method, I can take just about any doodle and make it read: “John Zande climbs trees better than any living human being” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Brilliant!

        You can imagine it can’t you? Jesus hanging from the cross covered in pterodactyl shit!
        Or two pterodactyls sitting either side of the cross beam having a conversation like the crows in Jungle Book!
        ”Is he dead yet?”
        ”Dunno”
        ”So give him a peck.”
        ”I’ve got dibs on his eyes!”

        Better than all the pigeon poop on Nelson’sColumn!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Is he mentioned, any one can mention anyone, or does he write for them? These, of course, are all ad hominem. I did appreciate the Millard response. Did you guys know about this exchange prior, it seems like new information, as you guys never previously mentioned it. What about other Millard opinions on other topics, are they considered respectable?

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      8. I mean Millard comments on Moses:

        He doesn’t think that the Sargon narrative proves anything against Moses:

        “Before we dismiss either or both as fiction, however, we should note that Babylonia and Egypt are both riverine cultures and that putting the baby in a waterproof basket might be a slightly more satisfactory way to dispose of an infant than throwing it on the rubbish heap, which was more usual. Today unwanted babies are frequently dumped on hospital doorsteps or in other public places in the hope that they will be rescued. The story of the foundling rising to eminence may be a motif of folklore, but that is surely because it is a story that occurs repeatedly in real life.”

        He also comments that the text, of course doesn’t date to the Exodus, but dates before the Babylonian Captivity:

        “However, the absence of Aramaic, Persian or Greek influence in grammar and vocabulary of the sort visible in the books that are dated by obvious criteria after the Babylonian Exile (sixth century B.C.) makes it likely that the Exodus text is earlier.”

        ” If it is legitimate to argue that the Exodus was composed in a late period (even a Hellenistic date has been argued for recently by some so-called Biblical minimalists), then it is also legitimate to explore the possibility that it comes from the age of the events it describes, to read it in the context of the Late Bronze Age and to see if it is compatible with that time.”

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      9. Sorry, but if he writes for Creation Ministries he has an agenda and I have no interest in pursuing the writing of someone who likely believes in a 10,000 year old earth and Vegetarian dinosaurs.
        And even if he doesn’t, no respectable scientist/academic would lend their name to a bunch of nobs like Creation Ministries.

        But you carry on.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Here are some interesting comments from Israel Finklestein on Exodus:

        “The fourth answer would be that all this does not mean that there was no group of people coming from Egypt. To follow Egyptologist Donald Redford, perhaps the expulsion of Canaanites [the Hyksos] from Egypt in the 16th century [B.C.E.] could have left a memory and that memory became some sort of a myth that later found its way into the Biblical text in a process that we cannot fully reconcile. And even this is a somewhat simplistic answer.

        So your Exodus question was a nice attempt to trap me, Hershel, because it’s really easy to say “No, there is no history there.” But I cannot say that. What I am saying is that there is no 13th-century B.C.E. history in the text. There is no 13th-century B.C.E. major migration of people—Asiatics, Canaanites, Hebrews, whatever you want—from Egypt and the Sinai to Canaan. The larger scene makes it [an Exodus] impossible, [considering] what we know about Canaan, what we know about Egypt, etc.

        Some scholars suggest that there was a group of people who came from Egypt with egalitarian ideas different from the local belief or faith in Canaan, and that they were the nucleus for the people in the Canaanite highlands who became Israel. I cannot detect this archaeologically.

        But you know archaeology is not about individuals. Archaeology is not about ten people crossing in the desert. Archaeology is not even about a hundred people crossing the desert. This is beyond the resolution of archaeology. Do you agree with me?

        “Now, I am not against the word “Exodus,” because “Exodus” is part of my identity, part of my heritage. But when you look at research and you use the word “Exodus,” you imply immediately the Biblical story is fully historical. Let me just tell you that I am ready to accommodate that: In the background there was a movement of people inside and outside of Egypt in the Late Bronze Age and in the Iron Age, and a memory was developed about a possible ancient event, and this memory later picked up importance, and was transmitted orally for many generations and finally became the Exodus story in writing. I am not saying that there is no historical germ whatsoever in it. You’ll never catch me saying that. But I don’t see it as fully historical either.”

        The irony here is that for much of what Finkelstein’s explains here, I’ve attested as possiblities for the Exodus as a historical account.

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      11. I have not flatly denied that there could have been some sort of movement of people.
        But if you wish to champion this approach then we are not talking Biblical Exodus as an historical event.
        People moved around all the time.
        Consider the migratory patterns of early hominids across the Bering Strait, or the outward flow from Africa.
        However, if you wish to suggest there was group of Israelite slaves in Egypt ( and you have yet to specify a particular number, I believe) that left after their god … or more pertinently your god, devastated Egypt etc etc ad nauseum then before we continue I firmly recommend you make an appointment with a neurologist.
        Because THIS is what we are discussing here.
        The Exodus as per the bible.

        So if you would lie to clarify your position so there are no misunderstandings I would appreciate it.

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      12. I think I understand our difference and it’s mostly has nothing to do with religion but rather what we consider to be historical. I assert that Moses is real and that he led a group out of Egypt. They may have been slaves. These are the historical kernels to which Finkelstein hints are possible. Of course, this would support Friedman’s conclusion as well, which I’ve said that I agree with most.

        However, historically speaking, let’s look at another cultural event that moved the lives of another great people. The Trojan War. I don’t entirely think it’s fantasy. I think there is likely a war and quite possible men in the story were real men who had their stories turn into hyperbole. There are gods in the Iliad, God in Exodus; however, taking the religious facet out of both stories, Yes, I do believe there were historical events that led to their documentation.

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      13. The Trojan War has no theological bearing upon the world view of several billion people.
        If honesty prevailed and the story of the Exodus was admitted to be nothing but a foundation myth at the very best it would have little effect on the inventors of the tale, the Jews, who already accept it as such, as is already clearly apparent.
        The major issue lies with Christianity and Islam, for whom having a real live Moses and a real live Exodus are almost crucial.

        And you have still to provide a reason why these ”slaves” would go free. How many of them were there,
        How they survived etc etc.

        And then once they supposedly arrived on Canaan soil how they usurped the Canaanites under the noses of the Eqyptians.

        And even if you were able to do this, it still means little or nothing in terms of the biblical text, which is palpable nonsense,

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      14. Why do I need a number? I don’t see why that matters. I could say 20, 50, 100 Levites, they settled in Canaan region, they converted those people to their laws of Judaism–ultimately becoming the Priests of Yahweh rather than El which the Israelite tribes worshiped in Canaan, which is a rough paraphrased version of what I remember from Friedman’s thesis.

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      15. Friedman’s hypothesis effectively bypasses Christianity altogether.
        Something I cannot see you accepting.
        Or could you see yourself kicking into touch the biblical tale and all its supernatural elements?

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      16. Strictly speaking, as a Catholic, I do believe in Miracles and God’s revelation; however, as you and others do not, there’s no need at least in our discussion to bring forth the supernatural. Now, if I was talking to a group of Theists, we might discuss how the revelations fit into Friedman’s outlined thesis, I guess making a new Thesis or rather Thesis 1.A, but that’s not really a concern of mine at thiw point or in this discussion because of your lack of belief in such things.

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      17. Naturally, a challenge for me, which is why I do appreciate you and John’s counter arguments, is that there a very few Catholics who concern themselves with these questions and assertions. I do believe these are vital questions and you and John’s position are valid and need answers. Of course, this leaves me with mostly work done by YEC, Jewish, and Secularist scholars, which I’m glad when I present an idea, you guys always pinpoint where YEC theory begins to creep in, because as a Catholic, I don’t hold to that model.

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      18. Why is it a challenge?
        If you accept Friedman’s model your faith is effectively up the creek without a paddle.

        That is the bottom line.
        Anything less and you are simply lying to yourself. You might as well face facts and ditch your supernatural world view. It’ll save a lot of headaches

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      19. Except, I’m free to develop my own thoughts based on others works, I’m not solely tied to every single facet of everyone’s thesis. So, for example, I can take Friedman’s idea of a smaller Levite exodus who went to Canaan ( correlates with Finkelstein indication that it has Kernel of historical value), much of this I already knew and agree with knowing that ancient writers simply exaggerated numbers, those Levites could have met tribes in Canaan and intergrated with those who had internal settlement already. Of course, all of this can still be injected with revelation of God, therefore, I’m up creek with a paddle, because of Datur Tertium.

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      20. Because, as a Christian what you are now doing is cherry-picking.
        If you are going to dismiss the miracles of the Pentateuch then why do you hold to the veracity of the miracles of the New Testament?

        Liked by 1 person

      21. It’s not that simple. As a Catholic, in regards to Theology, I take the text as is, Do I believe God revealed himself to Moses? Yes. The plagues? There are natural explanations, which of course God could control, honestly in this regard, I can’t say how much of the narrative is kernel of historic event or cultural explanations. Honestly, this part I’m undecided. In regards to Red Sea crossing, some argue a translation error, I do remember taking a geology class in college, a public school, that explained that a Mediterranean storm could recede waters in an area. Of course, natural explanation, but a natural explanation for me doesn’t negate God but affirms it as it indicates it could have happened. Hurricane Irma, for example, showed the ocean disappearing.

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      22. Most Ancient history is exaggerated Truth–Look at Plutarch, Adrian, etc. It is difficult to judge it, I’ll admit. Now, I am fully aware of my faith. Naturally, when I look to Greek history, I take out any reference to the gods, which when it comes to the history of exodus, I say let’s do the same. If it’s my preference to add it later, then that’s different. However, if there is a mass miracle like the plagues, look for natural reasons, if it’s likely to have a natural reason, it can be accepted as non bias. All numbers in Ancient writings are either exaggerated or are used for cultural reasons, in many ways one really doesn’t need to pay much attention to them. Of course, this is just a broad stroke of some thoughts off the top of my head.

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      23. You could certainly argue that, but we’re discussing Exodus. You reference to Christ is a red herring, Jesus, for example, we have more eye witness testimony or testimony during the life of eye witnesses. Exodus has none of these.

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      24. Because like all Christians there comes a point where you tend to behave in a disingenuous manner,or maybe you are simply not aware of what you are doing?
        Religious people are incredibly adept at moving the goalposts when confronted with cold hard reality pertaining to their faith -based beliefs and sometimes the distinction between fact and fabrication is for people such as yourself almost one and the same thing.
        Eusebius was apparently renowned for this.
        One might even say that the past-time of Lying for Jesus is an art form unto itself.

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      25. I think what the likes of John and I find so odd is the lengths Christians like yourself go to to justify the biblical tales, especially those of the OT, when it is quite obvious that in the case of the Exodus for example what historicity there may be to any sort of ”Exodus” is so far removed from the nonsense of the bible one has to wonder why you bother?
        As the foundation of your faith is undeniably grounded in the geopolitical fiction of
        the Pentateuch one has to ask why on earth are you a Christian for?
        And on this point I am serious.
        Why are you a Christian?

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      26. That does not actually answer the question of why are you a Christian.
        I could acknowledge that he came back to life and it would have no effect on me whatsoever, other than develop a high degree of curiosity as to how it was done.

        Furthermore, if you are able to interpret the Pentateuch text to ensure what ever is revealed by archaeology and science does not actually touch your faith then why was it make s a mockery of Marcion being declared a heretic?

        Based on the machinations Catholics (among others) now employ in their interpretation of the bible, the modern believer would also likely be declared a heretic and some might well have been burned at the stake.
        Raymond Brown immediately comes to mind.

        So as you seem little bothered by the lack of veracity of the OT and especially the Pentateuch why bother being a Christian when the New Testament is just as riddled with erroneous text?

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      27. But How has Archaeology disproved Exodus exactly? Archaeologist Eric Cline says, “the archaeological record can neither be used to confirm nor deny the existence of the Exodus.” Sure, we have Reform Judaism magazine with an article based of Sperling and Wolpe’s opinion on Exodus claiming that it never happened– although Wolpe articulates that it didn’t occur as the Bible says it did. We have to ask what is meant by saying “it did not happen the way it is told in the Bible?” And, “What are the ramifications of this?” This is at the heart of everything that is asserted here. Sure, there’s miracles like plagues, the sun going dark, the red sea, etc. However, whether these are believed or not, archaeology has nothing to do with it. Archaeology hasn’t proven that any of the miracles of the Bible’s Exodus story to be true or false.

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      28. That you have to ask this question clearly indicates that you are probably unaware of the archaeological evidence and the consensus regarding the story of the Exodus.
        John has much more in depth knowledge and on hand information than I do, having spent over a year in communication with many of the top Israeli scholars and archaeologists in this field, and it would be better if he handled this side of your question.

        Archaeology has no interest in miracles as they are plainly nothing but tales of fantasy.

        What archaeology has established is that the Exodus as per the biblical tale did not happen.
        Finkelstein’s outline of the settlement pattern, the radio carbon dating at Jericho, (including the grain samples) the current view regarding Hatzor, and the lack of appropriate evidence at Kadesh – for any time frame you wish to consider – and the fact the Egyptians controlled the area under question (See: Armana Letters) demonstrate that the biblical tale is nothing but a foundation myth likely composed during or after the Babylonian Captivity.
        As I mentioned, John is way more clued- up on this than I am and If he is still following along he will help you out with specific details I’m sure.

        Suffice to say,it did not happen and the evidence actually does show this to be the case.

        Which still leaves the question of why you are a Christian? Especially as the Pentateuch is little more then historical fiction and thus leaves some rather awkward questions regarding why Jesus the Nazarene believed Moses was an actual historical person.
        Surely you muyst have a beteer reason for being a chriatian than this?
        Unless of course you were brought up Catholic and simply followed in your family’s cultural footsteps?

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      29. He is culturally Jewish, I don’t know if he religiously. I can’t find anything with a quick search. He teaches at University of Georgia, he writes for the Huffington Post, on NPR, and CNN. He could be religiously Jewish, but that doesn’t bother me. Or I suppose he could be politically biased. Everyone, of course, has bias.

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      30. In fact, you articulate that the consensus of scholars agree that the narrative of Exodus in the Bible did not occcur in that manner, Avi Faust asserts that “most scholars agree that the narrative has a historical core, and that some of the highland settlers came, one way or another from Egypt.”

        Again, Finkelstein asserts, ” The basic situation described in the Exodus saga–the phenomenon of immigrants coming odwn to Egypt from Canann and settling in the eastern border regions of the delta–is abundantly verified in the archaeological finds and the historical texts.”

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      31. I am not doubting this. As I mentioned, there is historical and archaeological evidence of movements of people throughout most of our history. However, such movement as occurred in and around the Levant /Nile Delta has absolutely nothing to do with the biblical Exodus, a foundation tale composed
        during or after the Babylonian captivity.

        So, as only fundamentalists consider there is any veracity to the nonsense of the biblical Exodus the question of why you are a Christian, when your faith has this myth in it and Jesus considered Moses to be real as per the biblical tale.

        While I realise it is not strictly on topic it is still a crucial pat of your faith and I’m finding it disappointing that you seem to be steadfastly avoiding this part of the question.

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      32. I’m Catholic because I believe it. I have two siblings who were brought up in the same household, less education, that are more or less atheists, at least one to be sure. Also, our political beliefs are all different from our parents, etc. The idea the someone must be the product of their upbringing is unbecoming of someone who is a proponent of science.

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      33. I’m Catholic because I believe it.

        This is like me saying, I smoke because I like it. In itself it might be true, but it ignores the addictive aspects of nicotine. This I believe is what you are carefully avoiding.
        So, the obvious follow up question is, why do you believe it?

        I did not say anyone MUST be a product of their upbringing, but a great many children are indoctrinated by their parents and their church.
        So are you saying you are not a product of your upbringing and you converted as a teen/adult?

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      34. I was raised Catholic, I went to Catholic School. I wasn’t a serious Catholic until after I graduated college. I attended Catholic School; however, out of 13 students, only two are practicing Christians. Also, as I alluded to in my family, out of the three children 1/3 of us are Catholics. My mother is the oldest of 11 and she is the only practicing Catholic, which she didn’t start going back to Church until I decided I wanted to go. I wouldn’t argue that something didn’t stick with my from my youth, but I would say that it wasn’t until my mid-twenties until I started practicing my faith, which is when I went back to college and got my degree in History. I did research on Christmas and Sola Invictus calculation dating and become convinced by that and other evidence of Christian claims.

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      35. evidence of Christian claims.

        I have never found a single claim to have any veracity whatsoever.
        I would be interested in which evidence you allude to, especially as your siblings did not follow the same path.?

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      36. I’m sure there similar claims to which you have found “any veracity”, so there’s no reason to reexamine this exercise.

        Ehrman articulates that evidence of the Gospels indicate an empty tomb where Jesus was buried. The Gospels attest to having women discover it, which culturally would be the worse witnesses to push to support a claim, and so on. However, I’m really not going to get into much more depth, as again this a post about Moses, and I’m sure you’re just waiting behind your keyboard to refute these most basic claims.

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      37. The criteria of embarrassment thing has been refuted often enough.
        Of course women would be the first at the tomb. This is what women DID.
        But of course there is no tomb only a claim of one of course.
        But surely this was not what made you suddenly develop faith?
        Were you not obliged to admit to being a sinner and in dire need of salvation?
        It seems odd that you would have suffered such an emotional upheaval in a family where your siblings were atheist.
        Cold, hard logic never made a convert. Ever.

        Actually I am watching a movie, and flipping between widows, so if I seem distracted you will forgive me.

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      38. My siblings and I really don’t discuss that matter, I suppose Atheist isn’t the right term, they just don’t practice or concern themselves with thinking about God. I suppose baptized as a Catholic as an early age, I never had a revelation that I was a sinner, in Catholic theology original sin is washed completely a way. Do I do less than moral things? I would say “Yes, I do sin.” In Catholic theology this brought upon by concupiscence Regardless of how I act, I do believe there is clear Right and Wrong, even if I could be ignorant of it. Perhaps somewhere in there it lies. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa has always persuaded me on the argument for God, but I say Summa because often folks take the 5 ways out of the context of the entire body of work.

        I think it might lie in my sense of Justice, although I can argue that from a religious perspective too. And the reason why I say this is because my retort to there being no God is that I would simply choose chaos rather than order. Rebellion rather than obedience to man.

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      39. Furthermore, for me, I simply do not believe that a smaller Exodus event does anything to the Bible, it’s just smaller–there’s no way I could give a specific number. It’s a cultural event, as Finkelstein alludes, if there were a supernatural presence, it’s not to be determined by this particular narrative, but nonetheless, an event.

        Granted, I know John disagrees with this conclusion, as he stated that Exodus was written as history–however, I do not disagree;as one with historical training, and studying at length a more focalized specialization of historiography, history written today is an invention of 16-17th century Bacon and 19th Century Van Ranke– more so anything written prior to Thucydides, which is written a century after the Babylonian Exile, would be written in the context of hyperbole and grand narrative.

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      40. If the supernatural bits are true, why would one ever feel the need to embelish the story?

        I mean, seriously…

        This is essentially what you’re saying:

        The Bible’s origin tale is categorically wrong. Every historical event and date the bible mentions is a lie… except it did all happen, just not the way it was said to have happened… except for the supernatural stuff. That all happened exactly as the bible says it happened, which you should otherwise ignore because it’s wrong on absolutely everything else. But isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      41. Except, your assertion doesn’t matter to what I said. Essentially, If an author was recording anything their writing style would be of that time.

        And, you’ve committed a straw man again, the Exodus doesn’t name two Pharoahs, so the dating has been guess work to begin with, furthermore, the dating of Egyptology is suspect.

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      42. Yes, The reference from Kings. Exodus doesn’t give a date and doesn’t reference Pharaohs, Catholic Biblical scholarship asserts that the each book should be treated as one of many. Granted, I understand the Divine inspiration in which you’ll counter; however, The Bible is full of numbers used for multiple reasons that many Bible Scholars have admitted for along time. However, I was just focusing on the Exodus text itself.

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      43. Let’s just speak plain. I know you know that many attempt to date Exodus to Egyptian kingdoms. And many assert there are two Pharaohs in Exodus, even if you aren’t talking about this, you’re smart enough to know it.

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      44. He doesn’t think that the Sargon narrative proves anything against Moses

        It’s merely evidence that the narrative was stiched together using numerous stories and traditions, including the Egyptian Admonitions of Ipuwer and Code of Hammurabi.

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