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Old 09-30-2001, 01:07 AM   #1
lpetrich
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Question Biblical History Compared with Outside Sources -- How Good?

I wonder if anyone has done a systematic comparison to see which events are recorded by outside sources and which ones that might be are not?

For example, the siege of Jerusalem by King Sennacherib of Assyria is described in both places, and both places tell a broadly similar story: King S's army besieges Jerusalem -- and eventually quits without conquering the city. One does have to read in between the lines in King S's version to find that out, however; why else would King S brag about keeping King Hezekiah trapped like a caged bird?

However, there is no trace of the events of Exodus in any Egyptian records, though a record of those events would likely present it as a triumph for Egypt: something like

"We drove those jinxed slaves and their traitorous leader into the eastern desert -- good riddance!!!!!"
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Old 09-30-2001, 01:27 PM   #2
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Ipetrich said the Following;
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However, there is no trace of the events of Exodus in any Egyptian records, though a record of those events would likely present it as a triumph for Egypt: something like

"We drove those jinxed slaves and their traitorous leader into the eastern desert -- good riddance!!!!!"
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I do not know of any evidence of the exodus other than the bible, but there is evidence that the Israelites did live in Egypt at some time. They found Egyptian writings that say that a group of people called the Israelites were living in the Valley of Hebron. Since it is obvious that the Israelites did live in Israel at some time, it would be logical to conclude that the Israelites did leave Egypt. Whether what happened in Exodus is true or not is another story though.
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Old 09-30-2001, 03:32 PM   #3
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"However, there is no trace of the events of Exodus in any Egyptian records, though a record of those events would likely present it as a triumph for Egypt"

Conversely there is no evidence of Egypts enemies saying "hey some big god just drowned the Pharohs army! lets go kick their ass!"

Egypt throughout ancient history had, with the seasonal flooding of the Nile, a reliable harvest of food, it was not unusual for foreigners to go there when there was a famine somewhere else, "will work for food".
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Old 10-01-2001, 12:38 PM   #4
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lpetrich


I have wondered about some of the same things and also I have had a few thoughts about this big issue:

According to xian theory, Jesus was put to death (he died in one day when a crucified person normally laste two or three) and was raised from the dead. Don't you think that would have made the news someplace like maybe the Jerusalem Tribune or some other recording of the time?
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Old 10-02-2001, 09:47 AM   #5
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Not really, the Pharisees didn't want anyone to know, remember. They even paid the gaurds to say that they were asleep. Since the Pharisees were such a predoniment group, they probably had a tight leash on the equievelent to the "Jerusalem Times"
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Old 10-02-2001, 09:34 PM   #6
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Oh, for heck's sake, please read The Bible Unearthed by Neil Asher Silberman and Neil Asher Silberman. It is a book-length treatment of this exact subject, with respec to the Old Testament.

== Bill
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Old 10-02-2001, 09:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by beachbum:
<STRONG>According to xian theory, Jesus was put to death (he died in one day when a crucified person normally laste two or three) and was raised from the dead. Don't you think that would have made the news someplace like maybe the Jerusalem Tribune or some other recording of the time? </STRONG>
This seems reasonable to people like ourselves, but it would never have crossed the mind of a citizen of the times.

In those days, all written materials were hand copied by scribes, and this was a very expensive and laborious process. It also tooks weeks (if not months) to make journeys to various parts of the Roman Empire from other parts thereof. Finally, few people could read or write.

And another argument is that the people of those days did not have the same sense of time that we have, and thus also lacked the sense of history-in-the-making which creates a demand for "news." In those days, it was common to sign a peace treaty that would last "for fifty years," and then a few years later, everybody would have forgotten when the treaty was signed, so they would just declare that (obviously) fifty years had passed and go to war again.

There was absolutely nothing at all like our modern news media (no newspapers, etc.) before the invention of the printing press. There were, in Europe, "town criers" who would go shout important news around the town. But those folks were on the payroll of the ruling heirarchy, and what they mostly shouted was what the rulers wanted the people to believe. So much for "unbiased" news sources!

As much as I've read about history, I've never heard of anything at all which resembled a news media in the ancient world. At best, the town elders would get together in an appointed building in the center of town and essentially gossip about what they may have heard from elsewhere. But a written record of the news of the day would have been almost unheard of. Only if one of the gossipers thought it was important enough to write down in something that would end up being preserved to modern times would we have any clues about what was getting talked about during those gossip sessions.

So, it really isn't a very good argument to use against the resurrection story to say that the equivalent of the news media of the day didn't record the event for posterity. People of 2,000 years ago didn't really believe much in posterity (not in the same sense that we do, attempting to preserve time capsules for decades or centuries into the future). The only posterity the wealthy cared about was what they could pass on to their heirs in their will. So, that was about all the further ahead any of them thought. And as for looking back, they left that to historians. The few major histories are all we have left of "the events of the day." This is part of why we argue so much over things like this topic. Really, there isn't any facts to support these allegations one way or the other. You either choose to believe the incredible story or you do not. I, for one, do not.

== Bill
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