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Old 02-07-2001, 11:30 PM   #11
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I'm afraid I'm not that knowledgeable in patriarch part of the Bible, but anachronisms can be detected rather straightforwardly. To take an example, imagine a history of colonial-era US that described the city of Washington, DC in rather gory detail. We know that there must be something wrong with that history, since Washington, DC was founded *after* the colonial era was brought to an end after the Revolutionary War. In fact, it was founded to serve as the capital of the new nation.

This does not mean that such a history was worthless; it does mean that there is some gross error that a reasonable historian ought to have known not to make, and that there may be other such errors.

As to Joseph's tomb in Egypt, is there any inscription stating "Here lies Joseph the Hebrew"?

And as to a defeat not getting recorded, there is a certain problem. If it is too big to hide, then some spin would have been put on it. Consider the spin that Sennacherib's chroniclers had put on the Assyrians' failed siege of Jerusalem. They had surrounded Hezekiah's palace for about a month or so, but he had refused to give up. So Sennacherib might have said "Forget it!" and moved onward. However, that would have been too embarrassing, so Sennacherib's chroniclers decided to record all the loot that their armies had acquired and how Hezekiah had been "trapped like a caged bird", despite that being a rather atypical goal of a siege.

So let us imagine that you are an Egyptian chronicler, recording the events of Exodus from an Egyptian point of view. How would you make it seem like a victory? You'd note that a lot of slaves had left Egypt and thought "What circumstances would their leaving Egypt seem like a victory for us?" And you'd think, "They must have been deported". But why would they be deported. You'd think of those Ten Plagues and decide that those slaves had somehow been the cause of those disasters. So you write down in your chronicle that these slaves had been expelled because they were bad luck, that they had caused lots of nasty things to happen.

And if you wanted to discuss Moses, you would make him seem like some sort of turncoat, some lover of bad-luck slaves -- and someone whom you are glad to see banished from Egypt.
Old 02-08-2001, 06:42 AM   #12
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"This does not mean that such a history was worthless; it does mean that there is some gross error that a reasonable historian ought to have known not to make, and that there may be other such errors."

Thank you. Although your Washington D.C. example is plausible, I believe that it is one-sided. For example, we are thousands of years removed from the events we are talking about. Now, *we today* say that a certain city must not have existed before a certain time because we *interpreted* arhaeological data to say this, but that does not make it the truth. There is plenty of human error to go around in archaeology as well...

Try thinking of your example from people's perspective thousands of years from now. Let's say that sometime in the future another country invades and conquers. Let's say they demolish Washington D.C. and all its monuments because they represent everything this counrty hated. A thousand or so years after that when the historical records of our country are fragmentary, some archaeologists decide to try to find Washington D.C. but can find nothing and some conclude that it must never have really existed or wasn't as prestigious as historical documents proclaim. Anyway, this analogy is full of holes too, but I hope it at least gets my point across.

"As to Joseph's tomb in Egypt, is there any inscription stating "Here lies Joseph the Hebrew"?"

Well, I was being a little fecetious when I mentioned David Rohl's work. I was trying to make a point about non-mainstream archaeologists. However, his work is definitely thought provoking and I think his work has been on TLC or A&E in the past. I believe he did uncover some sort of inscriptions that led him to believe he had found Joseph's tomb. I don't have the book with me at the moment, but I'll check.

As to the Egyptian's record keeping. The Egyptian's would surely record their own campaigns against other countries and spin the ones that had gone poorly (called saving face). However, I still do not believe they would have recorded something they did not instigate at least in stone monuments, especially with the dire consequences. Perhaps they would have recorded them on Papyrus although most of what we have on Papyrus from those times (if anything) are transactions and accounting.

Old 02-08-2001, 11:01 AM   #13
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You know, if nothing else, I'd think someone, somewhere in Egypt, would have mentioned something like "DON'T MESS WITH THE JEWS." People who kill off a good chunk of the next generation and call all forms of terror to effectively destroy a country would be people worth noting not to ever cross again.
Old 02-08-2001, 05:19 PM   #14
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This period of Egyptian history & "The Amarna Period" is full of strife for Egypt, Civil wars, war with the Hittites & 'the people of the sea' (Minoans)not to mention getting over 400 years of foreign rule by the Hyksos, & tossing out a monotheistic tyrant & his followers, that they cared that a small group of Canaanites in Goshen up & left for quieter places is most unlikely.
Read Redfords 'Egypt Canaan & Israel in Ancient Times' or 'A History of Ancient Egypt' by Grimal & Shaw.

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