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Old 07-18-2001, 09:57 PM   #21
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I've spent a few years walking around the desert in N. AZ and found pottery shards, pottery making sites, arrowheads, chipping grounds, spearheads, fossilized bones, crude stone tools so old the stone was deteriorating -- plus traces of things people left behind since then. Once you learn how to look, the traces of people are there and obvious. And this part of the country certainly never had cities prior to the last 150 years. If there was anything to find in the Sinai, I'm sure they would have found it by now.
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Old 07-18-2001, 10:45 PM   #22
Les Benton
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Probably not all, but most of the stories in the OT were created by Jews to make the Jews look superhuman. The stories were told to their children to give them the courage to rebel against slavery.
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Old 07-18-2001, 11:51 PM   #23
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actaully emuse the argument is valid andd is used to prove several thereoms in number theory.

Argument ttle will be plced heer when i find my book.
The method:
step one: Assume claim to be evaluated is true.
step two: Determine what also must true if claim is true.
step three: show that step two's statement is false.
step four: abandon claim.

I shall edit this post after i find my book so that it will be more precise.
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Old 07-19-2001, 03:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by E_muse:
<STRONG>

On top of this - scholars can be wrong!

A desire to prove the Bible wrong can also hinder scientific objectivity - a desire to prove it right can have the same effect!

It would appear that any scholastic conclusions are purely theorectical. It is unfair to say that there is no evidence for the people of Israel ever having been in Egypt - the article cited above says that evidence in not conclusive.

However, even the theory links Egypt, Cannan and the people of Israel albeit in a different way suggesting that the Biblical accounts cannot be entirely fabricated.</STRONG>
You know I would be more inclined to believe
the Biblical account if it had not been proven that the Egyptians did not use slave labor for the pyramids construction.

Digging around the Great Pyramid unearthed
a "city"/"settlement" for the construction workers.
What was found there, indicated that not only were slaves not used as construction workers, but that it was a project of national pride to work on the monument and
Egyptians wanted to do the work and felt honored to be part of the project.

Remains indicated that the workers were well
fed, with fresh produce and meat.

The bodies showed a high level of Medical
care, and it was determined that whole families lived and worked together.

So the image of the Egyptians as slave drivers, has been modified because archeology has proven that image to be false.

If that image has been wrong for thousands of years, what else is wrong?
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Old 07-19-2001, 06:09 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Les Benton:
<STRONG>Probably not all, but most of the stories in the OT were created by Jews to make the Jews look superhuman. The stories were told to their children to give them the courage to rebel against slavery.</STRONG>
Wow, Les Benton, congratulations! So we agree now, the Old Testament has fabricated stories in it. As for "...the courage to rebel against slavery.", that kind of 'slavery' applied in those times to about all people, except the ones of the ruling casts in the established empires.
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Old 07-19-2001, 09:27 PM   #26
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sighhswolf, I shall attempt to reply to your points but please excuse me if my reply is of some length. All my Bible quotes are taken from the New King James version.

Quote:
You know I would be more inclined to believe the Biblical account if it had not been proven that the Egyptians did not use slave labor for the pyramids construction.
Well firstly, accepting for a moment that the children of Israel were indeed slaves (which I shall come on to question later), the Bible makes no mention of them being used to build the pyramids. The only construction work which is mentioned in any detail is city building.

Quote:
"Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses."

Exodus 1:11
So, no mention of pyramids.

Now, following Joseph's favour with Pharaoh at the end of Genesis I would suggest that the Biblical text claims that Israel were living and working quite happily in Egypt and had no intentions of leaving. Far from it, it claims that they were prospering there, increasing in number and making the new Pharaoh (who was unaware of Joseph) feel insecure. The Pharaoh's response to this situation is to want to deal "shrewdly" with Israel (ch1 vs 10).

This I believe is the first indication that Pharaoh is doing something far more subtle than placing the Israelites in direct slavery.

Although many translations use the term slavery and this is how the situation is commonly understood I would like to raise a few points.

Firstly, in verse 11, we find the term 'taskmaster' used in the NKJV. The NIV translates this 'slave masters'.

The NIV is a translation which is intended to be easy to read and I think there is always a lot of compromise in translation when this occurs.

The actual Hebrew word is translated in Strongs as 'to drive (an animal, a workman, a debtor, an army)' - Strongs 5065. Only by implication does it mean to tax, harass or tyrannize.

Nowhere is there a suggestion that these people were slave drivers though. The suggestion seems to be that these people ensured that certain tasks got done. It was their job to motivate people to fulfill certain duties and obligations as directed by the King. The word used seems to suggest that they may have used certain pressures to achieve this but not that they were slave owners. In much the same way that a boss can use intimidating techniques to get more work out of his employees.

Chapter 1, verse 13 says:

Quote:
"So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor"
Again the word 'rigor' here is Strongs 6531, 'perek' meaning to break apart or fracture and alludes to severity.

I would suggest that the Biblical text is claiming that Pharaoh was seeking to break the spirits of the Israelites in the way they were treated in the carrying out of their work commitments but once again I don't think that this suggest slavery but rather the way they were being related to by the Egyptians.

Further attempts to break their spirit are found later in chapter 1 when midwives are commanded to kill newborn sons. Presumably the Israelites would only have thought that they were suffering a lot of still births and again it would have broken their spirit as well as control numbers.

Chapter 1 verse 14 says:

Quote:
"And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage-"
Bondage is Strongs 5656, 'Abodaw' which can simply be translated as 'work of any kind'. It can simply refer to an area of responsibility or service.

None of this suggests slavery. It could simply mean that when Pharaoh employed various people, he ensured that the Israelites were given hard labour jobs such as building work and that in this work he ensured that they were driven as hard as possible.

None of this suggests that they were overtly seen as second class citizens or unpaid for that matter (more of this later).

I think that the final bit of evidence which points away from any idea that the Israelites were slaves in the traditional sense can be found in Exodus 5. As Pharaoh is continuing to increase the work load of the Israelites (under the arguement that they are lazy) we find the following comment in verse 10:

Quote:
"And the taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people saying...."
The word that I'm interested in here is '0fficers'. Again, using Strongs 5860, the word is 'shotare' and translated as "a scribe, an official, superintendent or magistrate:- officer, overseer, ruler."

In short a position of responsibility and of some rank I would suggest.

Now to Exodus 5:15-16

Quote:
"Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, 'Why are you dealing thus with your servants? There is no straw given to your servants, and they say to us, 'Make brick!' And indeed your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people"
The highlighted phrase is the interesting one. Whilst identifying themselves as Pharaoh's servants they distinguish themselves from the taskmasters who they refer to as Pharaoh's people. My suggestion is that these officers were Jewish.

This raises a number of interesting questions:

Would a slave refer to themselves simply as a servant?

Would a slave, someone with no civil rights, take issue with someone as powerful as Pharaoh over how they were being treated or complain about being beaten? If they are slaves and are doing this then I suspect that this provides some evidence that they expected to be treated well and fairly despite their status.

Could someone with no civil rights, a slave, be called an officer and have a position of rank?

On the point of the beatings - these appear to be a form of corporal punishment for not reaching required quotas in brick making, not the continued beatings administered to sweating Jews heaving huge bricks up the sides of pyramids of seen at the cinema!

I would suggest that the Israelites were not slaves but employed by Pharaoh. However, I would also suggest that Pharaoh ensured that Israelites were only employed in tasks which required hard labour such as field work or building projects. Within this they were treated harshly. On top of this Jewish officers were set up to help oversee the work. In doing this Pharaoh was intending to break the Spirit of the Israelites and divide them against themselves.

I'm not offering this as proof that the Bible is historically accurate but as a means of interpreting the text.

Quote:
Digging around the Great Pyramid unearthed a "city"/"settlement" for the construction workers.
What was found there, indicated that not only were slaves not used as construction workers, but that it was a project of national pride to work on the monument and
Egyptians wanted to do the work and felt honored to be part of the project.
Well, as I've mentioned above, I'm not sure the Biblical text actually mentions slaves in its original language.

If they were slaves the Biblical record only mentions them building two supply cities and not the pyramids. Also, if they were slaves, I don't think they were treated in the way which tradition normally portrays.

Would it be these supply cities that are found around the Great Pyramid?

Quote:
Remains indicated that the workers were well fed, with fresh produce and meat.
Well, as we've already seen above, the Biblical text claims that the people of Israel were involved in the construction industry.

In Exodus 16 we read of the Israelites beginning their life in the wilderness a couple of months after they have left Egypt.

They soon find that they are without food and begin to complain:

Quote:
"Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
And the children of Israel said to them, 'Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into the wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'"
Not only does this make reference to the Israelites being well fed in Egypt but they seem to be saying, "Why didn't God just kill us in Egypt instead of bringing us out here to do it?"

The book of Numbers picks up further along the story of the people's life having left Egypt. In chapter 11 we read of them complaining against Moses and Aaron, and this is after God has sent them manna from Heaven.

Quote:
"Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; to the children of Israel also wept again and said: 'Who will give us meat to eat?
We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;

but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!'"


Numbers 11:4-6
So is this more evidence of historical accuracy?

I think there's plenty of evidence in the Biblical text to suggest that the Israelites didn't want to leave Egypt.

Exodus 12:31 onwards clearly states that the nation was expelled, it didn't escape or go of its own volition.

In Numbers 14 a group of Israelites hatch a plot to try and return to Egypt!

Quote:
The bodies showed a high level of Medical care, and it was determined that whole families lived and worked together.

So the image of the Egyptians as slave drivers, has been modified because archeology has proven that image to be false.

If that image has been wrong for thousands of years, what else is wrong?
Indeed. I don't think it's just archeology that proves such notions to be false either.

[ July 19, 2001: Message edited by: E_muse ]

[ July 20, 2001: Message edited by: E_muse ]
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Old 07-19-2001, 09:45 PM   #27
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Quote:
Probably not all, but most of the stories in the OT were created by Jews to make the Jews look superhuman. The stories were told to their children to give them the courage to rebel against slavery.
But what evidence do you possess for the basis of this claim?

The 40 years in the desert is put down to the consequence of disobedience and rebellion against God and, as I've said above, having come out of Egypt they wanted to go back! How does that present them in a superhuman light?

[ July 19, 2001: Message edited by: E_muse ]
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Old 07-20-2001, 12:39 AM   #28
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E_Muse,
Quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ok: all of New York City burned to the ground and was rebuilt in less than a year. Do I have any evidence for it? No.But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So your independent claim is intended to be held on the same level as the purported chronicle of a nation's history?
No, I was explaining to you that absence of evidence is, in many cases, definately evidence of absence. Its not my fault that you are too weak minded to figure out this simple concept.
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The fact that tons of overwhelming evidence would be mandatory for such an event, yet none exists.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Such as?
Such as records in Egypt of all the plagues, countless bodies at the bottom of the Red Sea, many artifacts in the dessert, etc. None are found.
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"seems" to you, because you are incapable of thinking rationally.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

O.K, down to the personal insults already. As I'm so incapable you'd better help me out then.
OK: go back to kindergarden so that you can be with other people of your own intellectual caliber.
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Old 07-20-2001, 01:13 AM   #29
Les Benton
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e muse, I will settle this for you folks.Your first question. Evidense that the Jews were teaching their children to believe that they were a special people lay in the fact that the Jews are still teaching their childreb that they are a special people.Other evidense is availabe by calling your local synagog and ask for the rabbi. Don't call the synagog librarian. They don't know anything about Jews.
On the desert. The Jews believed in one god. They left their god. They wandered (symnolic)in the wilderness (without a god) for 40 years. 40 years means until all the older generation had died off. ex;(40 lashes less one means lashed 39 times. Or until almost dead) After the old generation died the young generation (the children of Israel) went back to the god of their fathers. You will never find any evidense of people wandering for 40 years in a literal desert.
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Old 07-20-2001, 10:06 AM   #30
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Quote:
e muse, I will settle this for you folks.Your first question. Evidense that the Jews were teaching their children to believe that they were a special people lay in the fact that the Jews are still teaching their childreb that they are a special people.Other evidense is availabe by calling your local synagog and ask for the rabbi. Don't call the synagog librarian. They don't know anything about Jews.
I wouldn't doubt this at all. I'm convinced that the Jews taught their children that they were and are special.

They wouldn't need to invent a history to do it though.

Quote:
On the desert. The Jews believed in one god. They left their god. They wandered (symnolic)in the wilderness (without a god) for 40 years. 40 years means until all the older generation had died off. ex;(40 lashes less one means lashed 39 times. Or until almost dead) After the old generation died the young generation (the children of Israel) went back to the god of their fathers. You will never find any evidense of people wandering for 40 years in a literal desert.
Is this type of symbolism found in Rabbinic teaching? What is the source of this theory and where can I find more information on it?

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews seems to treat it as a literal history.

[ July 20, 2001: Message edited by: E_muse ]
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