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Old 07-26-2001, 07:44 AM   #11
Kosh
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Quote:
Originally posted by sighhswolf:
<STRONG>
Yea, and there are those who say that Moses
WAS Achenatun.</STRONG>
Wow, now THAT could make for some interesting
parrallels... let's see:

- Moses was at one time a member of the
Egyptian royal family

- Moses was a Monotheist (as was Achenatum)

- They both were "expelled" from Egypt

Hmm. Sighswolf, any more info on this?
(Sources, links, etc).
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Old 07-26-2001, 08:36 AM   #12
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As I said, I have not finished reading the book yet. But this was posted:

"Yes it is true that Finkelstein is somewhat of an iconoclast for his downdating of Hazor, Gezer, and Megiddo. Each site features famous early Iron II city remains with remarkably similar six-chambered gates. Yadin assigned these ruins a Solomonic provenance, but Finkelstein believes they are Omride, and he is rather alone in this assertion. Still, as Dever emphasizes, the difference is only about 50 to 100 years. Finkelstein certainly is skeptical about the United Monarchy, but that these ruins are Israelite and date to the early Iron II period (10th or 9th century BCE) is not contested."

So what is the problem. I thought that the gates "proved" that the Isrealites lived in a different time period to what is normally accepted? I thought that the gist of the book is that an Isrealite nation existed but it is a lot later than earlier thought?

Regarding the book by Friedman, is he saying that the Bible is inspired or just a history book? The book is on order but it wont be here for a few weeks.

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Old 07-26-2001, 09:11 AM   #13
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Finkelstein's downdating of Hazor, Gezer, and Megiddo somewhat delegitimizes claims of a United Monarchy (i.e. the biblical period under Saul, David, and Solomon), but it doesn't take the Israelites out of their Iron Age context.

Finkelstein's strongest claim is that the Kingdom of Judah was essentially nonexistent until the 7th century BCE, and that references to it in the Deuteronomistic History are postexilic fabrications. I think that Dever does an excellent job challenging this extreme claim in his recent book ("What did the Biblical Writers Know...?")

Friedman's book is written from a secular scholarly viewpoint.

[ July 26, 2001: Message edited by: Apikorus ]
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Old 07-26-2001, 12:05 PM   #14
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Apikorus - welcome to the boards. We had several long disputes over Finkelstein's book, Dever's review of it, and related matters. You probably could have added a lot.

Review of the Bible Unearthed

The Bible Unearthed

Here are some links:

What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?: What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the Reality of Ancient Israel by William Dever

Reviewer ploni_almoni (is that you?) identifies Dever as an atheist:

Quote:
Dever is a self-identified "neopragmatist". Theologically, he is atheist/agnostic. He would vigorously agree that Genesis 1-11 is aetiological myth, that the patriarchal tales are of dubious historicity, that there is hardly a shred of evidence for the exodus, that Moses is as historical a figure as Odysseus, etc. Yet, equally vigorously, he asserts that the Deuteronomistic History (DH) contains many real historical data which are clearly supported by elements of the material record. Thus, he has as much contempt for the naive, theologically tendentious methodology of fundamentalist "scholars" as he does for their politically tendentious polar opposites, the minimalists. Indeed, in the introductory chapter of his earlier book, "Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Biblical Research" (1990), Dever provides an articulate history of the field of "biblical archaeology", which largely was influenced by the American scholar William Foxwell Albright, who envisioned that archaeology would ultimately "prove the Bible". It was only through dispassionate adherence to sound scientific methodology, coupled with the advent of modern analytical techniques, that the field of biblical archaeology matured, replacing biblical credulity with guileless objectivity. Correspondingly, Dever re-Christened his field "Syro-Palestinian Archaeology". However, just as the dragon of scholarly biblical credulity was being slain, a new beast was arising - that of biblical minimalism. At best, minimalism is hyperskepticism of a variety which, if applied to other areas of historical and anthropological research, would erase much of what is commonly accepted as fact by a large majority of scholars. At worst, it is transparently political, seeking, for example, to redress perceived modern sins of Zionism (or the Christian right) by attacking the historicity of the Hebrew Bible - a ludicrous agenda which is unforgivably appalling from a scholarly point of view.
Introduction to Composition of the Pentateuch by Alexander Rofe.
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Old 07-26-2001, 12:41 PM   #15
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More links: (when you buy the book through these links, the Internet Infidels gets a kickback, which goes to support this site.)

From Nomadism to Monarchy : Archaeological and Historical Aspects of Early Israel by Israel Finkelstein (Editor), Nadav Na'Aman (Editor)

Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliott Friedman

The Hidden Book in the Bible: The Discovery of the First Prose Masterpiece by Richard Elliott Friedman
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Old 07-26-2001, 12:56 PM   #16
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Right, I'm Ploni Almoni.

Dever is not a religious fellow. (I think he's recently converted to Reform Judaism, perhaps because he's married to a Jew? I don't know for sure. From reading his most recent book I gather he is theologically agnostic.) He really is an outstanding archaeologist and I was quite disappointed to read his BAR review of Finkelstein and Silbermann. He is a bit more respectful of Finkelstein in "What did the Biblical Writers Know...?", acknowledging that he is a serious scholar and denying that he is a minimalist.

If you are new to the field, you should know that for years Dever had been tilting with the more biblically credulous crowd of scholars. See the introduction to his earlier book "Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Biblical Research" for a pre-minimalist view of the history of the field. Now he's seemingly swung around the other way and is ferociously engaged with the minimalists (Thompson, Lemche, Whitelam, Davies, et al.). In fact I think his views have pretty much stayed the same; he believes that the biblical account contains extensive bits of storytelling, but nonetheless there is a considerable historical core. I think this is a very sensible position, and one which is abundantly supported by the material record. Unfortunately, Dever's extreme rhetoric might cause some to think that he's extreme in his scholarship, which he is not. (Well, he's got his iconoclastic moments too, such as when he opines on the Kuntillet `Ajrud inscription...)

Dever recently lost a son who was only in his 30's, and I think this was after an extended illness. Perhaps ranting against the minimalists provides a channel for his grief (though I am generally disapproving of such psychobabble).

Finkelstein is really the one who has changed his views, if you read his 1988 book and compare with TBU. But that's quite OK - scholars do that regularly. Dever argues that Finkelstein's increased skepticism has not been provoked by new data since there have been none since the first intifadeh, but rather, he hints, by political correctness. This strikes me as a bit unfair.

I do subscribe to BAR and I was pleased to see Richard Carrier's strong letter published (albeit in edited form). Carrier was perhaps unnecessarily petulant in his final paragraph, but overall he made some fine points that Dever could hardly deflect.

At any rate, my suggestion is that one not waste so much time on Dever and Finkelstein's public argument but rather by all means read both "The Bible Unearthed" and "What did the Biblical Writers Know...?" as both are very good indeed. I wrote a couple of lists on the Amazon.com web site which contain several more book recommendations, if you're interested.

[ July 26, 2001: Message edited by: Apikorus ]
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Old 07-26-2001, 02:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kosh:
<STRONG>

- They both were "expelled" from Egypt

Hmm. Sighswolf, any more info on this?
(Sources, links, etc).</STRONG>
Akhenaten wasn't expelled from Egypt, though. He set up a new capital at Akhetaten, in which he lived, and his wife Nefertiti seems to have had part-time residence in Memphis, which strongly suggests that he still dealt with ruling the country. At no time was Akhenaten kicked out of Egypt, and the religion he embraced wasn't really just simple monotheism, either. Akhenaten just seems to disappear from the records after a certain time (he most likely died) - there's no reason to believe that he was kicked out at all. It is quite possible that Nefertiti continued ruling without him for some time, (The next pharaoh to rule, Smenkare, has names that are surprisingly similar to that of Nefertiti) before she too somehow met her end.

I've also done a bit more research for uncle_onion. I’ve tracked down the city named Rameses for you – surprise, surprise, it’s exactly the same city that I mentioned in my last post – it’s Avaris! Rameses II expanded – he did not build it from scratch – the city, and made it his own residence in the Nile delta, renaming it Piramesse (pir = house of; ramesse = Rameses). It’s location has been the topic of debate for a long time, but it now seems pretty certain that it was Avaris that the king took over.

Now, I’ve also done some more reading up on the history of Avaris (otherwise known as Tell el-Dab’a), and I’ve turned up some things that may interest you.
Avaris seems to have been home to a community of Asiatics, albeit very Egyptianised ones, since the beginning of the 13th Dynasty (that’s from 1773 BC). There are also references in contemporary texts to “teams of Asiatic workmen” (note: not teams of slaves – the Egyptians had specific words for ‘slave’ and ‘workman’.) The origins of these Asiatics, assuming that they did all have a single origin, are not easy to determine. The Asiatic culture seems to have become very Egyptianised, as most of the pottery finds from this period are Egyptian, and the administration, judging from the titles of officials, seems to have been carried out on the Egyptian model. The strange cultural mix found at Avaris (there are also finds of Minoan Kamares ware pottery, and a North Syrian seal, for example) is hardly surprising, as it is built right in the centre of various different trade routes.
The hypothesis that a basic Egyptian population in the city received immigration from the Aegean, Anatolia, Cyprus, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Palestine, I outlined in my original post. This tends to be supported by a study of bodily remains at the sight, although their preservation is poor.
Hundreds of artefacts from the bronze age of Syria-Palestine have also been discovered at the site.
It may be, if the account in Exodus has some basis in actual historical events, that some of the Asiatics at Avaris were the Israelites, living there long before Rameses arrived on the scene.

The expansion of the city was temporarily checked by an epidemic, and in some parts of the site, large communal graves have been found, similar to our medieval plague pits in that bodies seem to have been placed in them with little ceremony. Thereafter, the society seems to have enjoyed less freedom, based on the patterns of buildings and cemeteries. Large houses emerge, more elaborate buildings are found in the centre of town, and servants begin to be buried with their masters.
I am hypothesising here, but perhaps this epidemic was the original event that sparked off the "Ten Plagues" myth. Don't take that idea too seriously, though - I'm only hypothesising here.

It is at this point in history that Avaris begins to be identified as the Hyksos capital, the governor of which seems to hold a high military rank. The patron god appears to have been Seth, who seems to have become associated with Ba’al, who was introduced to the region by the Asiatics. Nehesy, the ruler, assumed for a short time the title of king. He was probably an Egyptian, although the name Nehesy literally means “Nubian”. After the reign of Sobekhotep IV (who ended his reign at around 1725 BC), control of Egypt began to break up and Avaris became an obvious place to begin to become independent of the rest of Egypt.

So perhaps some of the events that are read of in the Exodus account may have their origins in Avaris.
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Old 07-26-2001, 05:26 PM   #18
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"The expulsion of the Hyksos took place under Kamose or Ahmose, not Thutmose III."

Thanks, I often get my pharohs confused.


"Identification of Moses with Akhenaten or with a prince of Akhenaten is amusing but impossibly speculative"

True, but consider the similarites between Moses 10 Commandments and the Egyptians Negative confessions;
Hail, Usekh-nemmt, who comest forth from Anu, I have not committed sin.
Hail, Hept-khet, who comest forth from Kher-aha, I have not committed robbery with violence.
Hail, Fenti, who comest forth from Khemenu, I have not stolen.
Hail, Am-khaibit, who comest forth from Qernet, I have not slain men and women.
Hail, Neha-her, who comest forth from Rasta, I have not stolen grain.
Hail, Ruruti, who comest forth from heaven, I have not purloined offerings.
Hail, Arfi-em-khet, who comest forth from Suat, I have not stolen the property of God.
Hail, Neba, who comest and goest, I have not uttered lies.
Hail, Set-qesu, who comest forth from Hensu, I have not carried away food.
Hail, Utu-nesert, who comest forth from Het-ka-Ptah, I have not uttered curses.
Hail, Qerrti, who comest forth from Amentet, I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.
Hail, Her-f-ha-f, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have made none to weep.
Hail, Basti, who comest forth from Bast, I have not eaten the heart.
Hail, Ta-retiu, who comest forth from the night, I have not attacked any man.
Hail, Unem-snef, who comest forth from the execution chamber, I am not a man of deceit.
Hail, Unem-besek, who comest forth from Mabit, I have not stolen cultivated land.
Hail, Neb-Maat, who comest forth from Maati, I have not been an eavesdropper.
Hail, Tenemiu, who comest forth from Bast, I have not slandered [no man].
Hail, Sertiu, who comest forth from Anu, I have not been angry without just cause.
Hail, Tutu, who comest forth from Ati (the Busirite Nome), I have not debauched the wife of any man.
Hail, Uamenti, who comest forth from the Khebt chamber, I have not debauched the wife of [any] man.
Hail, Maa-antuf, who comest forth from Per-Menu, I have not polluted myself.
Hail, Her-uru, who comest forth from Nehatu, I have terrorized none.
Hail, Khemiu, who comest forth from Kaui, I have not transgressed [the law].
Hail, Shet-kheru, who comest forth from Urit, I have not been wroth.
Hail, Nekhenu, who comest forth from Heqat, I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
Hail, Kenemti, who comest forth from Kenmet, I have not blasphemed.
Hail, An-hetep-f, who comest forth from Sau, I am not a man of violence.
Hail, Sera-kheru, who comest forth from Unaset, I have not been a stirrer up of strife.
Hail, Neb-heru, who comest forth from Netchfet, I have not acted with undue haste.
Hail, Sekhriu, who comest forth from Uten, I have not pried into matters.

Hail, Neb-abui, who comest forth from Sauti, I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
Hail, Nefer-Tem, who comest forth from Het-ka-Ptah, I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
Hail, Tem-Sepu, who comest forth from Tetu, I have not worked witchcraft against the king.
Hail, Ari-em-ab-f, who comest forth from Tebu, I have never stopped [the flow of] water.
Hail, Ahi, who comest forth from Nu, I have never raised my voice.
Hail, Uatch-rekhit, who comest forth from Sau, I have not cursed God.
Hail, Neheb-ka, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have not acted with arrogance.
Hail, Neheb-nefert, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have not stolen the bread of the gods.
Hail, Tcheser-tep, who comest forth from the shrine, I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the Spirits of the dead.
Hail, An-af, who comest forth from Maati, I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.
Hail, Hetch-abhu, who comest forth from Ta-she (the Fayyum), I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.
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Old 07-26-2001, 06:17 PM   #19
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There is an excellent treatment of the sheer impossibility of the exodus as described in the bible by Joseph Wheless in the SecWeb library. Is it gods word Ch. 4 If you stop and really think about what the numbers described in the bible really mean, it becomes laughable that anyone would take the story and anything more than a tall tale, written by someone who threw big numbers around in order to be impressive, but never stopped to think about what those numbers implied.
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Old 07-27-2001, 01:07 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the info

"I've also done a bit more research for uncle_onion. I’ve tracked down the city named Rameses for you – surprise, surprise, it’s exactly the same city that I mentioned in my last post – it’s Avaris! Rameses II expanded – he did not build it from scratch – the city, and made it his own residence in the Nile delta, renaming it Piramesse (pir = house of; ramesse = Rameses). It’s location has been the topic of debate for a long time, but it now seems pretty certain that it was Avaris that the king took over."

I am not too clued up on all this as I have just started researching. So is it possible that when the Bible talks of the isrealites building Rameses then it could be talking of Pirameses?

UO
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