Thread: proof of exodus??
04-04-2005, 11:04 AM #1
proof of exodus??
what of the phylactery scroll (part of the dead sea scrolls)
written on it (translation of course)
1. (1)And spoke
2. the Lord to
4. saying, (2)"Consecrate
5. to Me every first-born
6. the first issue of every womb of the
7. Israelites, man
8. and beast is Mine."
9. (3)And Moses said to the people,
10. "Remember this day
11. on which you went (free)
12. from Egypt, the house of bondage,
13. how with a mighty hand
14. the Lord freed you from it; no
15. leavened bread shall be eater. (4)This day
04-04-2005, 01:57 PM #2
What of it?
04-04-2005, 03:16 PM #3
well its an archaeological find that also references events that happened in the book of exodus.
04-04-2005, 11:03 PM #4
The Dead Sea Scrolls date to a few hundred years AD.
The Exodus is supposed to have happened about 1500 BC.
So, whoever wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls wrote with the disability of about 1800 years between him and the supposed events, so he could not have been an eyewitness to the event.
Also, bear in mind that the Dead Sea Scrolls merely recount the Hebrew tales which had been part of Jewish tradition for centuries beforehand.
Nothing new here, nothing significant. Dunno why you brought it up . . . might as well have pointed out that Charlton Heston referenced events that happened in the book of Exodus in the Hollywood movie, "The Ten Commandments."
04-05-2005, 12:20 AM #5Originally Posted by Tock
Here Tock, your evidence.
A look at all the archaeological evidence shows that the best fit of the data is to identify the Exodus with the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt around 1570-50 BC The most important discovery is the Merneptah stele that mentions Israel which forced the revision of a number of liberal theories. Before the discovery of this stele scholars placed the date of the exodus and entry into Canaan much later. They were now forced to admit that Israel was already in Canaan at the time of Merneptah. This puts a terminus ante quem date of 1210 BC for the exodus.
Most scholars will place the Jews, pro-Israelites, or even Jacobites in Egypt at the time of the Hyksos. There are many scarabs with the name "Jacob-El." This seems most likely to refer either directly or indirectly to Jacob of the Old Testament.
Therefore the best explanation for all of the archaeological evidence seems to be that Israel is a confederation of Hapiru tribes in the hill country of Canaan, that formed the nation of Israel in the Iron Age. Originally, Abraham was part of an Amorite migration south into Canaan from Mesopotamia which continued down to Egypt climaxing in the Hyksos rule. The exodus is to be identified with the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt by Ahmose (1570-50 BC; Frerichs and Lesko, 1997, 82, 96). Then they wandered in the wilderness being included among the Shasu, and caused the fall of MBIIIC cities in Canaan (the conquest). The Conquest was not total but just in the highlands for Egypt controlled the lower lands and coast. They were called Hapiru (from which the name Hebrew originates) in the Amarna period (time of the judges) until their league was consolidated into 12 tribes which became the nation of Israel in the Iron Age.
04-05-2005, 08:33 PM #6Originally Posted by books555
That stele has only one single line about Israel, and it doesn't mention anything whatsoever about a bunch of Hebrews leaving Egypt, and it doesn't mention anything whatsoever about the subsequent destruction of the Egyptian army.
Like a beauty pagent contestant who stuffs her bra with socks, you're trying to pump this into something it's not . . .
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
(Redirected from The Merneptah Stele)
The Merneptah Stele is the reverse of a stela erected by Amenhotep III written by Merneptah. The stele was made to commemorate a victory in a campaign against the Libyans, but a short portion of the text is devoted to a campaign in the Levant. It is also known as the "Israel stela", as it is the first—and only—Egyptian document to mention "Israel", thus becoming the first known documentation of Israel. It was discovered at his mortuary temple at Thebes and now sits in the Egyptian Museum at Cairo, but a copy of the Stele was also found at Karnak. It stands some ten feet tall, and its text is mainly a prose report with a poetic finish, mirroring other Egyptian New Kingdom steles at the time.
Because of the fact it mentions "Israel" and is the first known record of "Israel" in history, the stele has gained some fame. Some scholars have dubbed it the "Israel stela" because of this, however, this title is an erroneous one, as the stele is clearly not about Israel at all. In fact, the stele contains only one line about Israel—"Israel is wasted, bare of seed"—and very little about the region of Palestine as a whole, as Merneptah inserts just a single stanza to the Canaanite campaigns and multiple stanzas to his defeat of the Libyans.
There are two debates by scholars surrounding the details of the Stele. For one, there is disagreement over whether or not Merneptah actually did campaign in Canaan and didn't just merely recount what was there, mirroring later Assyrian documents that could never admit that Assyria could lose. This argument holds some weight, as a stele by Merneptah's predecessor, Ramesses II about the Battle of Qadesh, indicates firm control of the Levant, making it strange that Merneptah had to reconquer it—unless Merneptah had in fact lost it. On the flip side, if taken literally, Merneptah may have faced a revolt that he crushed, meaning that regardless Merneptah's rule over Caanan was most likely precarious at best.
The other debate surrounds "Israel". As the stele mentions just one line about Israel it is difficult for scholars to draw any information at all about Israel. The stele does point out that Israel, at this stage, refers to a people since a determinative for "country" is absent regarding Israel (whereas the other areas had a determinative for "country" applied to them). However, after that there is not much else that can be drawn about Israel at this time. A theory by Donald Redford states that "Israel" was a band of Bedouin-like wanderers known to Egyptians as "Shasu". Redford notes that among the Shasu in a 15th century BC list is one labelled "Yhw- in the land of the Shasu", thus providing a possible explanation for the origin of Israel. As far as what "Israel" became after that, there is little that can be drawn. The next extra-Biblical source about Israel, detailing a campaign against Moab by Omri, appears some 300 years later in the Mesha Stele, and Biblically-speaking, the 200 years between the Stele and the foundation of the Kingdom of Israel by Saul in c.1000 BC are treated in a rather cursory manner, leaving much in the air over how Israel became a kingdom. Regardless, the Stele becomes an important source for Israelite history simply because it is the first official record in history of an "Israel", even if this record does not explain much.
Donald Redford, "Egypt, Caanan and Israel in Ancient Times"
David Noel Freedman, "The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 'Merneptah'"
Miriam Lictheim, "Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume II: The New Kingdom"
James Pritchard, ed., "Ancient Near East Texts"
George Arthur Buttrick, ed. "The Interpreter's Dictionary of The Bible, Vol. 3"
04-05-2005, 09:14 PM #7
To be someone who doesn't respect Christianity, you sure "know" a lot about it...
04-05-2005, 10:14 PM #8Originally Posted by subsailor
So, ya, I know a lot about Christianity . . . lots more than most people who call themselves "Christian."
04-06-2005, 03:46 AM #9Originally Posted by Tock
04-06-2005, 08:29 PM #10Originally Posted by books555
The stele does NOT say anything about the mass exodus of Hebrews from Egypt, it says nothing about the destruction of the Egyptian army.
You still have not presented any evidence that corroborates the events as presented in the Old Testament book of Exodus. And we're still waiting . . .
04-06-2005, 10:07 PM #11Originally Posted by Tock
There are possible explanations for the questions you raise. Tock, you are unable to dent the arguements presented, instead you rebuttal with a weak STRAWMAN arguement. I thought you left Christianity because you smartened up? Smartened up, are you sure.
04-07-2005, 08:52 PM #12Originally Posted by books555
But not all things are probable, I'm sure you'll agree.
Originally Posted by books555
Your method of dodging tough challenges is to toss out a meaningless reply, then later on, assert you produced a valid response and refuse to deal with any further specifics.
Well, well, well . . . that's a find how-do-you-do.
04-07-2005, 09:22 PM #13
is it probable that the universe was the first cause? no. is it possible? well, no. ok, not a good example.
04-07-2005, 09:27 PM #14Originally Posted by Tock
Tock, Possible and inprobable are two different things. Definition: Capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances.
-Lets here your toughest question, I will respond ASAP. I have no problem with going into details if that what it takes. Please show me a invalid response.
04-08-2005, 08:29 PM #15Originally Posted by books555
1) I asked for corroboration for the story mentioned in the book of Exodus regarding (a) the destruction of the Egyptian army at about the same time as (b) an exodus of over half the country's population. You seem to think the stele, which does NOT say anything about the mass exodus of Hebrews from Egypt, provides that corroboration, but it says nothing about the destruction of either the Egyptian army, or the leaving of the majority of the country's population.
I'm still waiting for corroboration, not pumped-up blather from some half-baked wanna-be bible apologist.
And I'm still waiting for a reasonable explanation for Paul's travel companions, why the bible says they saw something in one verse and then says they didn't in another (as mentioned in another thread) . . .
I suppose you could provide a reasonable explaination for a couple things in the Noah's Ark tale, as well:
1) Calculating the total possible floor space of the Ark as given by the measurements in the book of Genesis (which totals up to about 2.5 acres), how did pairs and sevens of all the animals on the planet, along with food and water to keep them alive for 14 months, possibly have fit in such a small area?
2) Calculating the total volume of water that would have needed to submerge the planet under water, as the Book of Genesis claims happened (which would equal roughly the difference between the volume of the planet at sea level and the difference of the high-water line above the highest point on Earth, Mt. Everest), it would take a cube of water about 1000 miles on a side to provide all the water necessary to flood the planet to such a level . . . my question is, where did all that water come from, and where did it go to?
04-09-2005, 07:28 AM #16
i dont know a scientific answer, but if you believe in the Ark and the in the flood and that it was God's commandment to Noah, etc, then its very easy for me to believe that God provided for the 14 month trip, just as he turned a few loaves of bread and fish into enough food to feed 5000. of course the water came from the sky. it rained. where did it go? well if God made it rain, and his plan was to wipe out everything but noah, im sure he could make the water go away as if it never happened. im sure you are going to rip apart this answer, but until there is scientific proof, its all on faith. the whole bible isnt on faith, but because of that which can be proven true and that which can be assumed true thru other than scientific means, i can base my faith on things that cant be proven true in any way at all and believe that it is true.
04-10-2005, 11:18 AM #17Originally Posted by max2extreme
The Bible is just another book of fiction.
Originally Posted by max2extreme
Originally Posted by max2extreme
The Bible is no different.
Originally Posted by max2extreme
04-10-2005, 12:05 PM #18
the answer to everything in your post is God.
reality is totally created by faith! do you have faith that your alarm clock will go off in the morning? yes. is it guaranteed? no. but because youve seen it happen, you put faith that its going to go off tomorrow morning. you put faith that the time is correct. you put faith in everything your alarm clock is. this type of thing happens everyday to everyone. and its all based on faith, because what if electric goes off, then your time is wrong. will your alarm go off? probably not.. just as i have seen miracles of God, i have faith in everything else about Him.
04-10-2005, 12:52 PM #19Originally Posted by max2extreme
Alarm clocks? I expect mine to work with the same reliability it's always had, based on previous experience. I also expect that one day it'll break down, because eventually, all mechanical things break down; that's what I've seen over and over and over again. But prayer? Well, the Bible quotes Jesus as saying in the 7th chapter of Matthew,
"7": Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
"8": For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
"9": Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
"10": Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
"11": If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
. . . and Matthew Chapter 18 quotes Jesus as saying,
"19": Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
"20": For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
YET -- of all the people who ask for cures for cancer, hemmoroids, for all the people who prayed for the pope's health, for all the greif-stricken mothers praying with their churches for the health of their terminally ill children, millions and millions of these ernest and faith-filled prayers go unanswered.
Ya, watching all these prayers go unanswered on a regular basis leads me to conclude that my alarm clock works as reliably as prayer doesn't.
04-10-2005, 01:36 PM #20
weve gone over this before, actually weve gone over those exact verses before in matthew. no time right now to go thru them again. in fact this same subject i believe weve gone over.
04-10-2005, 05:00 PM #21AR-Hall of Famer / Retired
- Join Date
- Aug 2001
- Wherever necessary
*sigh* - I really wish I had the time to sit here and really answer these - tock, you would find me a lot more fun I certainly know that you will not change your beliefs (For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins) but at least I can answer some of your challenges - and others much greater than I have answered them before me
04-20-2005, 09:19 PM #22
An expert weighs in: The Exodus story is only fiction
From the august magazine, "Biblical Archeology Review:"
BIBLICAL ARCHEOLOGY SPECIAL:
Originally from Ha'aretz Magazine, Friday, October 29, 1999
By Ze'ev Herzog
Prof. Ze'ev Herzog teaches in the Department
of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
at Tel Aviv University. He took part in the
excavations of Hazor and Megiddo with Yigael
Yadin and in the digs at Tel Arad and Tel Be'er
Sheva with Yohanan Aharoni. He has conducted
digs at Tel Michal and Tel Gerisa and has
recently begun digging at Tel Yaffo. He is
the author of books on the city gate in Palestine
and its neighbors and on two excavations, and
has written a book summing up the archaeology
of the ancient city.
Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs' acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and doesn't want to hear about it
This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, YHWH, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai.
Most of those who are engaged in scientific work in the interlocking spheres of the Bible, archaeology and the history of the Jewish people—and who once went into the field looking for proof to corroborate the Bible story—now agree that the historic events relating to the stages of the Jewish people's emergence are radically different from what that story tells.
What follows is a short account of the brief history of archaeology, with the emphasis on the crises and the big bang, so to speak, of the past decade. The critical question of this archaeological revolution has not yet trickled down into public consciousness, but it cannot be ignored.
Inventing the Bible Stories
The archaeology of Palestine developed as a science at a relatively late date, in the late 19th and early 20th century, in tandem with the archaeology of the imperial cultures of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. Those resource-intensive powers were the first target of the researchers, who were looking for impressive evidence from the past, usually in the service of the big museums in London, Paris and Berlin.
That stage effectively passed over Palestine, with its fragmented geographical diversity. The conditions in ancient Palestine were inhospitable for the development of an extensive kingdom, and certainly no showcase projects such as the Egyptian shrines or the Mesopotamian palaces could have been established there. In fact, the archaeology of Palestine was not engendered at the initiative of museums but arose from religious motives.
The main push behind archaeological research in Palestine was the country's relationship with the Holy Scriptures. The first excavators in Jericho and Shechem (Nablus) were biblical researchers who were looking for the remains of the cities cited in the Bible. Archaeology assumed momentum with the activity of William Foxwell Albright, who mastered the archaeology, history and languagess of the Land of Israel and the ancient Near East. Albright, an American whose father was a priest of Chilean descent, began excavating in Palestine in the 1920's. His stated approach was that archaeology was the principal scientific means to refute the critical claims against the historical veracity of the Bible stories, particularly those of the Wellhausen school in Germany.
The school of biblical criticism that developed in Germany beginning in the second half of the 19th century, of which Julius Wellhausen was a leading figure, challenged the historicity of the Bible stories and claimed that biblical historiography was formulated, and in large measure actually 'invented', during the Babylonian exile. Bible scholars, the Germans in particular, claimed that the history of the Hebrews, as a consecutive series of events beginning with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and proceeding through the passage to Egypt, the enslavement and the exodus, and ending with the conquest of the land and the settlement of the tribes of Israel, was no more than a later reconstruction of events with a theological purpose.
Albright believed that the Bible is a historical document, which, although it had gone through several editing stages, nevertheless basically reflected the ancient reality. He was convinced that if the ancient remains of Palestine were uncovered, they would furnish unequivocal proof of the historical truth of the events relating to the Jewish people in its land.
The biblical archaeology that developed following Albright and his pupils brought about a series of extensive digs at the important biblical tells: Megiddo, Lachish, Gezer, Shechem (Nablus), Jericho, Jerusalem, Ai, Giveon, Beit She'an, Beit Shemesh, Hazor, Ta'anach and others. The way was straight and clear: every new finding contributed to the building of a harmonious picture of the past.
The archaeologists, who enthusiastically adopted the biblical approach, set out on a quest to unearth the 'biblical period': the period of the patriarchs, the Canaanite cities that were destroyed by the Israelites as they conquered the land, the boundaries of the 12 tribes, the sites of the settlement period, characterized by 'settlement pottery', the 'gates of Solomon' at Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer, 'Solomon's stables' (or Ahab's), 'King Solomon's mines' at Timna—and there are some who are still hard at work and have found Mount Sinai (at Mount Karkoum in the Negev) or Joshua's altar at Mount Ebal.
Slowly, cracks began to appear in the picture. Paradoxically, a situation was created in which the glut of findings began to undermine the historical credibility of the biblical descriptions instead of reinforcing them. A crisis stage is reached when the theories within the framework of the general thesis are unable to solve an increasingly large number of anomalies.
The explanations become ponderous and inelegant, and the pieces do not fit together smoothly. Here are a few examples of how the harmonious picture collapsed.
The researchers found it difficult to reach agreement on which archaeological period matched the Patriarchal Age. When did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob live? When was the Cave of Machpelah (Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron) bought in order to serve as the burial place for the patriarchs and the matriarchs? According to the biblical chronology, Solomon built the Temple 480 years after the exodus from Egypt (1 Kings 6:1).
To that we have to add 430 years of the stay in Egypt (Exodus 12:40) and the vast lifetimes of the patriarchs, producing a date in the 21st century BCE for Abraham's move to Canaan. However, no evidence has been unearthed that can sustain this chronology.
Albright argued in the early 1960s in favor of assigning the wanderings of Abraham to the Middle Bronze Age (22nd -20th centuries BCE). However, Benjamin Mazar, the father of the Israeli branch of biblical archaeology, proposed identifying the historic background of the Patriarchal Age a thousand years later, in the 11th century BCE—which would place it in the 'settlement period'. Others rejected the historicity of the stories and viewed them as ancestral legends that were told in the period of the Kingdom of Judea. In any event, the consensus began to break down.
The Exodus from Egypt, the wanderings in the desert and Mount Sinai:
The many Egyptian documents that we have make no mention of the Israelites' presence in Egypt and are also silent about the events of the Exodus. Many documents do mention the custom of nomadic shepherds to enter Egypt during periods of drought and hunger and to camp at the edges of the Nile Delta. However, this was not a solitary phenomenon: such events occurred frequently over thousands of years and were hardly exceptional. Generations of researchers tried to locate Mount Sinai and the encampments of the tribes in the desert. Despite these intensive efforts, not even one site has been found that can match the biblical account.
The power of tradition has now led some researchers to 'discover' Mount Sinai in the northern Hijaz or, as already mentioned, at Mount Karkoum in the Negev. The central events in the history of the Israelites are not corroborated in documents external to the Bible or in archaeological findings. Most historians today agree that at best, the stay in Egypt and the exodus events occurred among a few families and that their private story was expanded and 'nationalized' to fit the needs of theological ideology.
One of the formative events of the people of Israel in biblical historiography is the story of how the land was conquered from the Canaanites. Yet extremely serious difficulties have cropped up precisely in the attempts to locate the archaeological evidence for this story. Repeated excavations by various expeditions at Jericho and Ai, the two cities whose conquest is described in the greatest detail in the Book of Joshua, have proved very disappointing. Despite the excavators' efforts, it emerged that in the late part of the 13th century BCE, at the end of the Late Bronze Age, which is the agreed period for the conquest, there were no cities in either tell, and of course no walls that could have been toppled.
Naturally, explanations were offered for these anomalies. Some claimed that the walls around Jericho were washed away by rain, while others suggested that earlier walls had been used; and, as for Ai, it was claimed that the original story actually referred to the conquest of nearby Beit El and was transferred to Ai by later redactors.
Biblical scholars suggested a quarter of a century ago that the conquest stories be viewed as etiological legends and no more. But as more and more sites were uncovered and it emerged that the places in question died out or were simply abandoned at different times, the conclusion that there is no factual basis for the biblical story about the conquest by Israelite tribes in a military campaign led by Joshua was bolstered.
The Canaanite cities:
The Bible magnifies the strength and the fortifications of the Canaanite cities that were conquered by the Israelites: 'great cities with walls sky-high' (Deuteronomy 9:1). In practice, all the sites that have been uncovered turned up remains of unfortified settlements, which in most cases consisted of a few structures or the ruler's palace rather than a genuine city. The urban culture of Palestine in the Late Bronze Age disintegrated in a process that lasted hundreds of years and did not stem from military conquest.
Moreover, the biblical description is unfamiliar with the geopolitical reality in Palestine. Palestine was under Egyptian rule until the middle of the 12th century BCE. The Egyptians' administrative centers were located in Gaza, Yaffo and Beit She'an. Egyptian presence has also been discovered in many locations on both sides of the Jordan River. This striking presence is not mentioned in the biblical account, and it is clear that it was unknown to the author and his editors.
The archaeological findings blatantly contradict the biblical picture: the Canaanite cities were not 'great,' were not fortified and did not have 'sky-high walls.' The heroism of the conquerors, the few versus the many and the assistance of the God who fought for his people are a theological reconstruction lacking any factual basis.
Origin of the Israelites:
The conclusions drawn from episodes in the emergence of the people of Israel in stages, taken together, gave rise to a discussion of the bedrock question: the identity of the Israelites. If there is no evidence for the exodus from Egypt and the desert journey, and if the story of the military conquest of fortified cities has been refuted by archaeology, who, then, were these Israelites? The archaeological findings did corroborate one important fact: in the early Iron Age (beginning some time after 1200 BCE), the stage that is identified with the 'settlement period', hundreds of small settlements were established in the area of the central hill region of the Land of Israel, inhabited by farmers who worked the land or raised sheep. If they did not come from Egypt, what is the origin of these settlers?
Israel Finkelstein, professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University, has proposed that these settlers were the pastoral shepherds who wandered in this hill area throughout the Late Bronze Age (graves of these people have been found, without settlements). According to his reconstruction, in the Late Bronze Age (which preceded the Iron Age) the shepherds maintained a barter economy of meat in exchange for grains with the inhabitants of the valleys. With the disintegration of the urban and agricultural system in the lowlands, the nomads were forced to produce their own grains, and hence the incentive for stable settlements.
The name 'Israel' is mentioned in a single Egyptian document from the period of Merneptah, king of Egypt, dating from 1208 BCE: 'Plundered is Canaan with every evil, Ascalon is taken, Gezer is seized, Yenoam has become as though it never was, Israel is desolated, its seed is not.' Merneptah refers to the country by its Canaanite name and mentions several cities of the kingdom, along with a non-urban ethnic group. According to this evidence, the term 'Israel' was given to one of the population groups that resided in Canaan toward the end of the Late Bronze Age, apparently in the central hill region, in the area where the Kingdom of Israel would later be established.
A Kingdom With No Name
The united monarchy:
Archaeology was also the source that brought about a shift regarding the reconstruction of the reality in the period known as the 'united monarchy' of David and Solomon. The Bible describes this period as the zenith of the political, military and economic power of the people of Israel in ancient times. In the wake of David's conquests, the empire of David and Solomon stretched from the Euphrates River to Gaza ('For he controlled the whole region west of the Euphrates, from Tiphsah to Gaza, all the kings west of the Euphrates,' 1 Kings 5:4). The archaeological findings at many sites show that the construction projects attributed to this period were meager in scope and power.
The three cities of Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer, which are mentioned among Solomon's construction enterprises, have been excavated extensively at the appropriate layers. Only about half of Hazor's upper city was fortified, covering an area of only 30 dunams (7.5 acres), out of a total area of 700 dunams which was settled in the Bronze Age. At Gezer there was apparently only a citadel surrounded by a casemate wall covering a small area, while Megiddo was not fortified with a wall. The picture becomes even more complicated in the light of the excavations conducted in Jerusalem, the capital of the united monarchy.
Large sections of the city have been excavated over the past 150 years. The digs have turned up impressive remnants of the cities from the Middle Bronze Age and from Iron Age II ( the period of the Kingdom of Judea). No remains of buildings have been found from the period of the united monarchy (even according to the agreed chronology), only a few pottery shards. Given the preservation of the remains from earlier and later periods, it is clear that Jerusalem in the time of David and Solomon was a small city, perhaps with a small citadel for the king, but in any event it was not the capital of an empire as described in the Bible. This small chiefdom is the source of the title 'Beth David' mentioned in later Aramean and Moabite inscriptions. The authors of the biblical account knew Jerusalem in the 8th century BCE, with its wall and the rich culture of which remains have been found in various parts of the city, and projected this picture back to the age of the united monarchy. Presumably, Jerusalem acquired its central status after the destruction of Samaria, its northern rival, in 722 BCE.
The archaeological findings dovetail well with the conclusions of the critical school of biblical scholarship. David and Solomon were the rulers of tribal kingdoms that controlled small areas: the former in Hebron and the latter in Jerusalem.
Concurrently, a separate kingdom began to form in the Samaria hills, which finds expression in the stories about Saul's kingdom. Israel and Judea were from the outset two separate, independent kingdoms, and at times were in an adversarial relationship. Thus, the great united monarchy is an imaginary historiosophic creation, which was composed during the period of the Kingdom of Judea at the earliest. Perhaps the most decisive proof of this is that we do not know the name of this kingdom.
YHWH and his Consort
How many gods, exactly, did Israel have?
Together with the historical and political aspects, there are also doubts as to the credibility of the information about belief and worship. The question about the date at which monotheism was adopted by the kingdoms of Israel and Judea arose with the discovery of inscriptions in ancient Hebrew that mention a pair of gods: YHWH and his Asherath. At two sites, Kuntilet Ajrud in the southwestern part of the Negev hill region, and Khirbet el-Kom in the Judea piedmont, Hebrew inscriptions have been found that mention 'YHWH and his Asherah', 'YHWH Shomron and his Asherah', 'YHWH Teman and his Asherah'. The authors were familiar with a pair of gods, YHWH and his consort Asherah, and send blessings in the couple's name.
These inscriptions, from the 8th century BCE, raise the possibility that monotheism, as a state religion, is actually an innovation of the period of the Kingdom of Judea, following the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel.
The archaeology of the Land of Israel is completing a process that amounts to a scientific revolution in its field. It is ready to confront the findings of biblical scholarship and of ancient history as an equal discipline. But at the same time, we are witnessing a fascinating phenomenon in that all this is simply ignored by the Israeli public. Many of the findings mentioned here have been known for decades. The professional literature in the spheres of archaeology, Bible and the history of the Jewish people has addressed them in dozens of books and hundreds of articles. Even if not all the scholars accept the individual arguments that inform the examples I have cited, the majority have adopted their main points. Nevertheless, these revolutionary views are not penetrating the public consciousness. About a year ago, my colleague, the historian Prof. Nadav Ne'eman, published an article in the Culture and Literature section of Ha'aretz entitled 'To Remove the Bible from the Jewish Bookshelf', but there was no public outcry. Any attempt to question the reliability of the biblical descriptions is perceived as an attempt to undermine 'our historic right to the land' and as a shattering of the myth of the nation that is renewing the ancient Kingdom of Israel. These symbolic elements constitute such a critical component of the construction of the Israeli identity that any attempt to call their veracity into question encounters hostility or silence.
It is of some interest that such tendencies within the Israeli secular society go hand-in-hand with the outlook among educated Christian groups. I have found a similar hostility in reaction to lectures I have delivered abroad to groups of Christian Bible lovers, though what upset them was the challenge to the foundations of their fundamentalist religious belief.
It turns out that part of Israeli society is ready to recognize the injustice that was done to the Arab inhabitants of the country and is willing to accept the principle of equal rights for women - but is not up to adopting the archaeological facts that shatter the biblical myth. The blow to the mythical foundations of the Israeli identity is apparently too threatening, and it is more convenient to turn a blind eye.
Professor Israel Finkelstein, Archaeologist, Tel Aviv University:
"Professor Herzog is essentially correct. At the beginning of the present century, archaeology in the Land of Israel was carried out with a far more fundamentalistic approach Only at a later stage arose a more sober view and doubts about the reliability of the biblical account of the Patriarchal Period and the Conquest of the Land, and so forth. In some subjects, and with regard to some eras, local finds are unambiguous and make clear that the biblical account does not comport with the reality. In other subjects, everything is open to interpretation.
The leading edge of the dispute today is the question whether the United Monarchy of David and Solomon was a large and glorious kingdom. Confrontation with the archaeological finds raises argument whether one should read the Bible literally. When all is said and done, the biblical text is highly ideological, and so one must learn to read between the lines.
Most people just don't want to hear all this and are not comfortable with it. For scholars the matters are clear enough, and they know where there is, and is not, agreement, but they cannot compel the public to listen. By and large modern research is respectful of religious faith and has no wish to compel anyone to change his or hers; for that reason they have not forced anyone to pay attention to our discoveries. Today more than 90% of scholars agree that there was no Exodus from Egypt, 80% feel that that the Conquest of the Land did not take place as described in the Bible, and about 50% agree that there was no powerful United Monarchy."
Professor Magen Broshi, Archaeologist at the Israel Museum:
"The notion of the Conquest of the Land in the Book of Joshua is an epic, no more. In the twenties the German scholar Albrecht Alt took this position. But the genius of William [Foxwell] Albright was so dominant and his image so influential on research worldwide, that of his own accord he managed to put off the recognition that the Conquest never happened as described [in the Bible]. In reality Israeli scholars were not religious, but they were glad to have reasssurances that the received text of the Bible is to be relied on.
Alt provided the assurance by uncovering internal contradictions in the Book of Joshua, whereas the archaeological surveys and exacavations showed that the picture on the ground is 180 degrees different from what is described in the various history books of the Bible.
I think there is no serious scholar in Israel or in the world who does not accept this position.
Herzog represents a large group of Israeli scholars, and he stands squarely within the consensus. Twenty years ago even I wrote of the same matters and I was not an innovator. Archaeologists simply do not take the trouble of bringing their discoveries to public attention.
Even the extreme leftists, avowedly secular, find it hard to accept the notion that the stories they grew up with are not true, that the greatness of David and Solomon is a matter of epic, not of history. I tried all this out on my friends, but they simply are not ready to hear it.
The Bible is a fundamental book of culture. The schools are not going to have an easy time contending with the undermining of biblical authority, but in the final analysis the idea will get through. Only when the educational establishment treats this all seriously will it have political influence, and then the screaming will start."
04-20-2005, 11:28 PM #23Originally Posted by Tock
-Your babble at the top is retarded. So is the rest of it. You throw stones at others, yet you dont know how to defend your own foundation.
04-21-2005, 01:43 PM #24Originally Posted by Tock
I have already answered the first question.
Ill answere the second too soon.
04-21-2005, 08:08 PM #25Originally Posted by books555
Originally Posted by books555
04-21-2005, 09:45 PM #26
tock, you're hilarious...there is no way to argue with tock...I forget which passage it is in the bible but it speaks of people such as yourself. I think it is in romans. Something about those who denounce God, he will only give you the knowledge or ability to denounce him more...I dunno, but when I heard the verse, I immediately thought of ole tock typing away on AR denouncing God
04-21-2005, 10:55 PM #27Originally Posted by 50%Natural
Tock has no conclusive rebuttals, His arguements are weak. He cant defend his atheistic philosophy. Instead he uses StrawMan arguements to attempt to dicredit chritianity.
04-22-2005, 08:22 PM #28Originally Posted by 50%Natural
IMHO, there's always a chance (however remote) that there really is a Creator, but whatever sort of entity it is, it's gonna be of such a nature that humans won't have a clue about what it's all about.
The Bible, however, is just a bunch of folklore, nothing to take seriously.
04-22-2005, 08:31 PM #29Originally Posted by books555
I am, however, still waiting for substantiation for the Exodus fable. Oh, and a reasonable explanation for where all the water for Noah's flood came from and went to. And while you're at it, a reasonable explanation of how a few hundred thousand animals -- and food and water for 14 months -- fit on Noah's ark, when it only had a total floorspace of about two and a half acres.
As far as "defending atheistic philosophy," I don't really have one. I have my take on things, and of all the systems of thought I've encountered, determinism makes the most sense to me. IMHO, every action (and I mean EVERY ACTION) has its consequent reaction, and every consequent reaction forms the basis for further consequent reactions. In short, nothing happens without a reason.
Makes sense to me.
04-23-2005, 12:06 AM #30
Tock......I believe the flood was really a local phenomenon......and there is evidence for that.......remember what the "whole world" was to the ancients....probably about a few hundred miles
04-23-2005, 11:39 PM #31Originally Posted by Badgerman
Genesis 7:19-21 --->
"19": And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
"20": Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
"21": And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man
It would be unlikely for local mountains to be covered with 15 cubits of water and not have it flow away . . . but by all means, beleive what you like, beleive what you must.
04-24-2005, 11:33 PM #32
In that area probably all things did die.......remember it is a human account........your pure literalism will cause trouble in every account
04-25-2005, 08:13 PM #33Originally Posted by Badgerman
Genesis 7:19 -- And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
20: Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
. . . then either the mountains were covered, or they weren't. If they were, then it's likely that all the non-aquatic animals did drown. If they weren't, then the Bible exaggerates the story, and is therefore not perfect. And, if this story is not perfect, then it stands to reason that other stories are similarly imperfect.
Ok, so which slippery slope do you want to stand on?
The Bible also says, "21": And all flesh died that moved upon the earth"
so, according to the Bible, not only did everything in that area drown, but "all flesh that moved upon the earth." I dunno how your "liberal permissive theology" figures that only local animals drowned. The Bible quite clearly says that Jehovah killed everything.
Originally Posted by Badgerman
Originally Posted by Badgerman
Last edited by Tock; 04-25-2005 at 08:17 PM.
04-30-2005, 08:47 AM #34Originally Posted by Tock
Actually, Badgerman's view point is held by some very renowned scholars. I am sure you know of Hugh Ross, Tock. One of the top Astrophysicists of our time. http://www.reasons.org/
I personally believe the flood was global.
04-30-2005, 09:03 AM #35Originally Posted by Tock
-I have no problem showing that Noahs Ark is not illogical. Let me do some quick research.
-My question for you: If Atheism is true, then nothing is absolute. so:
If atheists appeal to the scientific method to explain the laws of logic then they are using circular argumentation because the scientific method is dependent upon logic; that is, reasoned thought applied to observations.
If logic is not absolute, then no logical arguments for or against the existence of God can be raised and the atheist has nothing to work with.
If logic is not absolute, then logic cannot be used to prove or disprove anything.
Atheists will use logic to try and disprove God’s existence, but in so doing they are assuming absolute laws of logic and borrowing from the Christian worldview.
I would like to hear a rebuttal? Tock.
04-30-2005, 09:05 AM #36Originally Posted by Tock
05-01-2005, 11:06 AM #37Originally Posted by books555
Originally Posted by books555
Originally Posted by books555
But, oddly enough, "Dr." Ken Ham at the august organization Answers In Genesis
has heard of your Dr. Hugh Ross, and has this to say about him:
The teachings of Dr Ross seemingly allowed Christians to use the term ‘creationist,’ but still give them supposed academic respectability in the eyes of the world, by rejecting six literal days of creation and maintaining acceptance of billions of years.
However, AiG speakers and writers have spent considerable time alerting Christians to the fact that in reality, Ross’s position still has the same basic compromise of evolutionary theory with Scripture as does Theistic Evolution, and ultimately undermines the authority of the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Through such efforts, I have noticed in recent times that many who previously embraced Ross’s teachings are now realizing how bankrupt they are—how much they undermine God’s Holy Word—and how such teaching can lead people away from the Gospel.
So . . . in light of this evaluation, are you gonna recant your support for this guy and go along with Dr. Ken Ham's group "Answers In Genesis" or what? Who's right here? Huh? Huh?
Originally Posted by books555
But, both can be mistaken . . .
Originally Posted by books555
Now tell me where all the water came from to cause the flood, and where it all went to afterward.
If you do the math ----> the Bible says water covered the mountains with 15 cubits of water. Calculate the volume of a sphere the size of the Earth at sea level, then subtract that number from the volume of a sphere the size of sea level plus the height of the tallest mountain plus 15 cubits. You'll come up with a volume approximating a cube 1000 miles on a side. Now, 'splain where all that water came from and went to. Check my math, though, if you like, or even if you don't like.
05-01-2005, 11:40 AM #38Originally Posted by books555
Originally Posted by books555
You're assuming that atheists use logic to disprove the existance of gods and goddesses and tooth fairies and Santa Claus, when actually, atheists don't need to disprove the existance of such things -- it's the folks who allege they exist who need to prove that they do.
You'll note that atheists don't need to disprove the existance of Odin, Thor, Zeus, Osirus, the boogy man, pink elephants on Mars, warts on your tush , the headlines of the latest issue of the Weekly World News, http://www.weeklyworldnews.com/ or the veracity of the Bible. If you or other theists make an extraordinary claim, it's up to YOU to prove it.
If the Weekly World News claims that President Bush is a space alien, well, that qualifies as an extraordinary claim, and for them to be taken seriously, they need to provide evidence to support their claim. If you assert that people walked on water, that humans have immaterial and immortal "souls," you should be prepared to provide persuasive evidence, or else be laughed out of town.
So . . .
Say what you like. Tell us there is one god. Tell us there are three. Tell us there are three in one, or one in three, or a thousand, or ten thousand. But tell us why we should beleive what you say. Otherwise, we'll just ignore you, and on Sunday morning we'll go to the lake for a picnic instead of to church to listen to dogmatic blather.
05-01-2005, 12:00 PM #39Originally Posted by books555
Take something as simple as the answer to the question, "Which way is up?"
The answer for folks in Boston is different from the answer you'd get from folks in Nome, Rome, or where your home might be.
Or the answer to the question, "Is it beneficial to murder?"
For your next door neighbor, the answer most likely is no. For a French spy in Nazi Germany, the answer would be yes; it would be beneficial to murder Adolf Hitler.
However, if you start from an assumption such as, "Only Allah is God," or "Only Jehovah is God," or "Everything that Harvard University professors say is true," or "Jerry Falwell speaks for God," then you can rule out a lot of possibilities. If you evaluate a question like, "Is homosexuality un-natural?" from the viewpoint of Allah, Jehovah, or Jerry Falwell, you arrive at one conclusion. But, if you evaluate the question from the viewpoint of zoology, or what actually happens amongst animals in nature, you'll find that homosexuality regularly occurs in a % of some animal species.
So . . . no, there really isn't any such thing as an absolute "truth." Everything we humans conclude is based on presumptions which in turn color our thought process and our final conclusion.
So, I hope that answers your question.
05-01-2005, 10:47 PM #40Originally Posted by Tock
Is it true that all truth is relative. How can that statement be true. Self defeating, God exists (apart from God there are no absolutes. Tock you need a different worldview.
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