FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-16-2001, 11:29 PM   #11
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
I suggest you look into the writings found in the Wadi Mukatteb Valley in the Sinai... if that isn't proof I don't know what is. (If you don't have any idea what I'm talking about look up Wadi Mukatteb on a search engine and you'll find plenty of info)
</font>
I did look this up. There are only scant references to it. One site, the Catholic Encyclopedia, says:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14011a.htm

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
In 1892 Mrs. Smith Lewis found at Sinai a fourth-century palimpsest Syriac text of St. Luke's Gospel. Sinai is rich in valuable inscriptions. M. de Vog gives 3200 Egyptian and Semitic inscriptions found in the Wdi Mukatteb, the ruins of the temple of Ischta, or Astaroth-Carmain, and the iron and turquoise mines and granite and marble quarries, which were extensively worked under the twelfth and eighteenth Egyptian dynasties.
</font>
Please explain how this validates a wandering of Hebrews through the Sinai.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Also worth investigation is the writings found on tombs on top of Sarbut-el-Khadem in the Sinai. The Bedouin call it "the graveyard of the Jews", and it seems likely to be Kibroth-Hattaavah.
</font>
Your source for this claim, please? A web search showed that this only appeared on a Velikovsky supporter's website, without any sources.
 
Old 03-17-2001, 01:44 AM   #12
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Omnedon1:
Your source for this claim, please? A web search showed that this only appeared on a Velikovsky supporter's website, without any sources.</font>
If your having trouble finding anything, here are a couple of relevent websites:
http://www.layevangelism.com/qrefere...pter38b.htm#10
http://members.aol.com/JAnder9616/scripture.index.html

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Also worth investigation is the writings found on tombs on top of Sarbut-el-Khadem in the Sinai. The Bedouin call it "the graveyard of the Jews", and it seems likely to be Kibroth-Hattaavah.

Your source for this claim, please? A web search showed that this only appeared on a Velikovsky supporter's website, without any sources.</font>
Unfortunately there seems to be only a very brief mention of this on the web at http://www.layevangelism.com/qrefere...pter38b.htm#10 which only gives one paragraph about it.
This is almost an extension of the other point though. Barthold Niebuhr a German explorer discovered a mountain graveyard in 1761 on top of an almost inaccessible mountain in Sinai called Sarbut-el-Khadem. There are numerous engravings of quail in the cemetery and many similar themed inscriptions which read (to give one of several examples I have here) "The apostates smitten with disease by God by means of feathered fowl". The local Bedouin call the place "the graveyard of the Jews".

But as I said, the inscriptions found in the Wadi Mukatteb Valley are far more important, these confirm several important points of the Exodus. (See website above for details)

My source for all this information is a seminar given by the head of a bible translation society. (I have copies of all the slides used) A book is mentioned in it called "Sinai Photographed" by Charles Foster but as the date of publication was apparently 1862 you might find that it's out of print! (These inscriptions are nothing new and have been known about since at least 10BC when Diodorus Siculus wrote his "Library of History")
 
Old 03-17-2001, 06:59 AM   #13
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Tercel writes:
"Um, you seem to be forgetting that you also have a .5% chance when picking that none of them are correct. Not that I know much about the issue, but do a very large number of other world religions actually have divinely inspired texts? The idea of writing was (as far as I know) foreign to most non-European races until relatively recently, have there been a huge number of religious texts written in that time? I have a tendency to agree with CS Lewis in saying that there are only 3 main world religions: Christianity,Hinduism, and polytheism/paganism. The third is not practiced today in any form that anyone would take seriously. Christianity and Hinduism seem to be the only 2 real full religions and I would agree with Lewis again in saying that all other religions are just heresies of these."
---------------
Well for one, according to you if it's written down that makes it valid and true?! I think not. (if that's the case I shall write my own Bible and say it's valid) Also, evidently you have not delved too deep into biblical errancy or you just refuse to even look at it. Not sure what Bible you read but the one I have read has two very different accounts of creation and can't seem to agree on the resurrection either. My whole point was/is Christianity bases its validity on the Bible being true. Once you disprove the Bible (and MUCH research has) it is no more valid than the 200 or so world religions. If you want to get picky I have seen estimates on the major religions anywhere from 10-30. I have seen estimates on minor ones anywhere from 70 - 1000. This is not counting the religions that no longer are in existence. I chose a conservative estimate of 200. I could have weighed my argument by saying there's over 1,000 which really drops your odds. You in effect did that by going the opposite direction and picking only 2 or 3.

As for the bigger is better theory, well, I don't buy it nor do I buy the assertion that to be a religion it has to have a text/bible/etc. On that note, out of the 3 you pick, which one is right? Do you base it on a religious text? If you do prove to me your religious tome is valid and inspired by God.

You write:
"Well they'd hardly be religions if they didn't have divine revelation of some sort, would they?"

My point (that you refuse to see or just can't) is/was once you disprove the religious tome/text/book (if they even have have one) of any religion what do you base your belief on. Divine events? Many, many, (more than I mentioned) all have some sort of divine event, spiritual event, etc. Your comment was not even relevant.

"Doesn't it say something that Christianity has so many derivatives compared to other religions? "
Yes, it tells me it is very illogical. If you have a divinely inspired religion by a perfect God it would make perfect sense. I should not have to speak Hebrew, Latin, and have a Ph.D. in religious or biblical studies to understand it. Also, most of the Christian versions believe the other branches are wrong and are going to hell.

--T

[This message has been edited by Thomas (edited March 18, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Thomas (edited March 18, 2001).]
 
Old 03-17-2001, 08:24 AM   #14
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Smile

Check out the book 'The Bible Unearthed' featured on the home page here, my copy just arrived this week. Also re: Egypt & the Exodus, You will find that Egypt was under foreign domination by The Hyksos just prior to the time of the Exodus, These foreigners were driven out of Egypt at the beginning of the Age of Gold, who could they have been? Watch " Egypt: The Age of Gold" When it's repeated on PBS.
 
Old 03-17-2001, 07:38 PM   #15
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

I'm going to deal with these one at a time. First, regarding Wadi el-Mukatteb:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
If your having trouble finding anything, here are a couple of relevent websites:
http://www.layevangelism.com/qrefere...pter38b.htm#10
http://members.aol.com/JAnder9616/scripture.index.html
</font>

I found these two last night. However, The websites themselves are not references for the claim; they are repeating information from somewhere else. The problem is that neither of these sites tell me where they get their information. I'm looking for a verifiable reference for the specific claims that you are making. I was hoping for a book title with an author's name, so I could look it up.

The reasons that I am asking for this are as follows:

(a) finding Semitic writings in Sinai is not unusual. There were several Semitic languages in the Egypt-Sinai-Yemen area, so without further information it's hard to nail this down to anything more specific.

(b) The language that the first website is talking about is not clear. It mentions "Hamyarite" as the ancient Arabic language; but I am not sure what this refers to. Now there is a branch of the Hamito-Semitic language family known as "Egyptian"; however, it was not spoken past 1600 BCE - so it died out as a spoken language before the (alleged) Exodus. I know of a region called Hamyar, and a family name in Yemen called Hamyar. But Arabic developed from the south central branch of the Hamito-Semitic family. So the ancestor of Arabic is not something that Jews would have spoken natively, nor would Hebrews in Israel have learned it from Egyptians, who also would not have spoken a South central Semitic language.

(c) the one verified reference that I did find (the Catholic Encyclopedia) mentions the Egyptian and Semitic writings as though they were taking place (being written) at about the same time. That would be very different than the Exodus story.

(d) the enchorial script your website mentions is another name for the demotic script that developed in Egypt as a form of cursive writing. However, that script did not come into existence until the 7th century BCE - which was six hundred years too late, for the purposes of the a 13th-century Exodus story. The 13th century Hebrews could not have written their story on the rocks, using a script that wouldn't be invented yet for another 600 years.

(e) this same website above claims that there is no historical records indicating that any Egyptians ever lived in the Sinai.. This contradicts the Catholic Encyclopedia, which plainly tells us about:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
the iron and turquoise mines and granite and marble quarries, which were extensively worked under the twelfth and eighteenth Egyptian dynasties.
</font>
It should also be noted that all the names of explorers, scholars, etc. in the website refer to people that are at least 140 years ago, sometimes over 250 years. Something as valuable as 3200 inscriptions in an ancient language should have been meticulously studied in the present day. So there ought to be a modern reference to these, perhaps with photographic plates and a side-by-side comparison. For an example of what I mean, have a look at the Behistun inscription from Iran.
http://www2.southwind.net/~bjbutter/...histun_txt.htm


 
Old 03-17-2001, 08:46 PM   #16
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

On Serabit el-Khadim:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Unfortunately there seems to be only a very brief mention of this on the web at http://www.layevangelism.com/qrefere...pter38b.htm#10 which only gives one paragraph about it.

This is almost an extension of the other point though. Barthold Niebuhr a German explorer discovered a mountain graveyard in 1761 on top of an almost inaccessible mountain in Sinai called Sarbut-el-Khadem. There are numerous engravings of quail in the cemetery and many similar themed inscriptions which read (to give one of several examples I have here) "The apostates smitten with disease by God by means of feathered fowl". The local Bedouin call the place "the graveyard of the Jews".
</font>
AHA! The placename was spelled wrong. No wonder I could not recognize it. It's Serabit, not Sarbut.

Items to note:

(a) I think you mean Carsten Niebuhr. He traveled through Sinai, Arabic, Sana'a, and Mecca between 1760 and about 1765. Barthold Neibuhr lived in the 1800s, and is not connected to the Sinai in any way I can discover.

(b) Serabit el-Khadim is a famous and well-known mine for turquoise and copper:
http://www.geographia.com/egypt/sinai/serabit.htm
It can't really be "inaccessible" as the sight claims. It appears on the itineraries of Middle east tourist trips:
http://www.panworld.com.eg/panworld/Safaris.htm
What makes the place famous is the inscriptions, in a Semitic text that may be a precursor to our own alphabet, in a very long chain of transmission.

(c) The inscriptions from the mines were brought back to the West by Flinders Petrie. They show the Canaanite workers at this place had a knowledge of writing, and had created a proto-alphabet. From Britannica:

Inscriptions that Petrie found on the Sinai Peninsula represented an intermediate stage (not later than 1500 BC) of written communication between Egyptian hieroglyphics and the Semitic alphabet. Although he wrote The Formation of the Alphabet (1912), language was not Petrie's forte, and he depended on a sixth sense for free translation of inscriptions and for establishing dates through the study of the forms of hieroglyphs.

The reason that this is important is because the Exodus is supposed to be a 13th century event. So these examples of Canaanite intermediate text were written at least 2 centuries before the (alleged) incident mentioned in Numbers 11:31. Remember the stories that your website talks about?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
There are numerous engravings of quail in the cemetery and many similar themed inscriptions which read (to give one of several examples I have here) "The apostates smitten with disease by God by means of feathered fowl".
</font>
Well, these stories would have all been written down no later than 1500 BC - at least two hundred years too early to be a reference to the Exodus.


(d) Again, it would be nice to have a reference for this.

[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited March 17, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited March 17, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited March 17, 2001).]
 
Old 03-17-2001, 10:12 PM   #17
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by marduck:
The Bronze and Iron Ages are full of wonderful and fantastic stories of the supernatural, what makes you think the Hebrew tales are real and not the others?
The Egyptians have stories of when the sun rose in the west & set in the east, The Sumerians tell of half man half fish people who came out of the sea in the daytime to teach humans lessons in civilization, the Hebrews claim a superhuman entity parted a sea so they could walk away from Egypt. Archaeologists have found the remains of what the people who built the pyramids had for dinner 4500 years ago but nothing from 600,000 people living in the desert for 40 years. Why do you believe these myths & not the others???
</font>

Meta =&gt; YOu really need to come to terms with the more liberal view of things. There is no reason to supposse that only the Bible is a link to the divine, or that God has dealt with only one culture. All cultures have some experinces of God. Even St. Paul says this if you will look at Acts 17 and Romans 2.

But the thing is, you first must ask what kind of document the Bible is. It is a mixture of differing genres. IT is primarily a record of a people's experiences of God, not a dictation as a business executive dictates to a secreitary. All religions seek to mediate trascendence and all offer an ultimate transformative experince. That doesn't mean, however, that all mediate this experince equally.

Christianity offers direct solidarity with God through his Son, who was incarnated in history. That doesn't preclude other religions from having their own dealings with God indirectly, though mystical expeince. But it means that in one case the nature of God is communicated directly through Jesus who was in the incarnate logos.

 
Old 03-17-2001, 10:29 PM   #18
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

One of the lost teachings of Jesus:
"Blessed are yee who belive before the Scientific Method is inventedth.
Blessed are yee who forsake logic and common sence in my name, for thine is the Kingdom of Gullibility.
Blessed are yee who placeth weapons to the vital organs of non believers, and converteth or killeth them for my names sake."
 
Old 03-18-2001, 06:01 AM   #19
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Tercel writes:
"I have a tendency to agree with CS Lewis in saying that there are only 3 main world religions: Christianity, Hinduism, and polytheism/paganism."
------
My response:
A religion is an organized practice of worship of God or Gods. Some have sacred texts and writings; some have traditions passed down through generations. Some have both. Trying to pin down the current number of world religions is much like trying to herd cats (or argue with a theist). Most research categorizes religions by numbers of followers. The more members the more likely the religion to be counted as a "major world religion." Still, I cannot find a solid number as to what is major and what is minor. I have seen estimates from 10-50 major world religions and anywhere from 100-1000 minor world religions. Worse yet, what about all those religions who are no longer practiced?

One version which leaves out many I would still consider "major":
(based on 1997 statistics)
Judaism:
12.8 Million
Sacred text: Torah

Christianity:
2 billion
(various flavors and branches)
Text: Bible (differing versions and heated debates regarding it, even among Christian biblical scholars-then of course there's the issue of biblical errancy)

Islam:
1 Billion
Text: Qur'an

Hinduism:
750 million
Texts: Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata, & Ramayana

Buddhism:
3 million
Texts: collection of writings called Tripitaka & Theravada

Jainism:
8 million
Text: scriptures called Siddhanta & Anuyega

Sikhism:
16 million
Texts: Guru, Granth, & Sahib

Shintoism:
Millions of worshipers.
Texts: numerous sacred texts & writings

Taoism:
15,000 plus priests throughout China; followers throughout China and elsewhere
Texts: hundreds of sacred texts & writings

Baha'l:
5 million
Texts: many including the Kitab-I-Aqdas

So here we have 10 "major" religions. Which one is right? Which text is right? Are they all "divinely inspired"? What about Native American religions that have been around for thousands of years? What about African religions? South American? What about one of the past religions that's no longer practiced? What about current (or past) cults, sects, shamanism, animalism, etc., etc., that profess some sort of belief in either a God, Gods, beings, rocks, forces, trees, supernatural, and so on?

I think the burden of proof is on each religion to prove to the non-theist the legitimacy of their system. Most claim their "sacred text" is divinely inspired yet most do not hold up to scrutiny. Most have had a leader, prophet, etc., who claim to have had a "divine" experience. (e.g., Mohammed of Islam, Joseph Smith of the Mormon faith & the Native American Medicine Man Wovoka-just to name a FEW-all claim divine experiences of some sort) Almost all have some sort of creation myth. Many have a heaven or hell. (or heavens and hells) Many condone the killing of members of opposing faith. All have had leaders and members who lie, cheat, steal, kill, etc., in the name of their religion. Some provide a moral guide to live without harming others but the same could be said of non-religious ethical systems. All have fantastic mystical and supernatural stories.

I agree totally with "marduck"! Why discount all other myths and believe the Hebrew (bible?) ones?

Tercel writes:
"I believe in the miracles of the Bible because: They often have multiple attestations; Many other parts of the Bible have been shown to be historically correct; Many accounts in the Bible were written by those who saw the miracles; The Bible has been well preserved; The miracles always have a reason... etc etc."

I am too tired to take this comment on, it would be re-inventing the wheel so to speak. Others have delved into biblical errancy much better than I could. Tercel, at least take a look at:

http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...y/errancy.html

or pick a book or two at:

http://www.infidels.org/infidels/pro...y/errancy.html

And an oldy but a goody is Ingersole's "Some Mistakes of Moses."

Of course people (i.e., Tercel) will believe what they will. It would at least be nice if some of them could get past their egocentric and culturecentric views.

--T


[This message has been edited by Thomas (edited March 18, 2001).]
 
Old 03-18-2001, 06:23 AM   #20
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up

Metacrock writes:
"Christianity offers direct solidarity with God through his Son, who was incarnated in
history. That doesn't preclude other religions from having their own dealings with
God indirectly,"

My response:
From what I can tell of the Bible, those "other dealings" you refer to are not very healthy for "other religions".

From Dt.12:2-3:
12:2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods,upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:
12:3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

Or...

2 Chr.15:13:
That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether
small or great, whether man or woman.

Just to name a few...

-T


[This message has been edited by Thomas (edited March 18, 2001).]
 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:58 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.