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Re: Ebla articles

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  • Ambrose Hawk
    Mark, there s darn little evidence that most of the kings of any of the ancient cities and countries were real. So I doubt that there s any valid reason to
    Message 1 of 4 , May 11, 2006
      Mark, there's darn little evidence that most of the kings of any of the
      ancient cities and countries were "real." So I doubt that there's any
      valid reason to doubt the reality of Moses and his successors ... though
      the stories heaped about them are subject to interpretation! LOL.
      Somebody mentioned King Arthur in this context. Again, there's good
      reason to believe the guy lived, led, and fought ... but that he was
      connected to a tenth of the stories associated with him? Hardly.
      Taliesen, for instance, is known to have been a real bard in the post
      Arthurian period. Yet he too is loaded down with myths, some of which
      were also liberally applied to "Merlin."
      Another figure to examine is Joseph. The story of the Pharaoh's dream
      is clearly derived from Djoser. Yet Ephraim and Manneseh held
      preeminent positions in Israel until the fall of Samaria.
      There is good reason to doubt a king over all of the Israelites prior to
      Saul. The opposition to the idea of monarchy is embedded in the stories
      themselves. On the other hand, local kings and tribal princes existed
      even at the time of Exodus.
      While this is the picture from the text, I have not found good reason to
      doubt it anywhere.
      :)
      Ambrose

      --
      IN HOC MODO, MILLIS FRANGITVR!
    • Mark Swaney
      Ambrose, The problem with the stories of the OT is not just with the existence of specific persons like Moses, or Solomon. The people in the Arthur stories
      Message 2 of 4 , May 11, 2006
        Ambrose,

        The problem with the stories of the OT is not just with the existence of
        specific persons like Moses, or Solomon. The people in the Arthur stories
        that are known to have been real are known to be real because of the number
        of *other* sources that talk about those persons in an *historical* context
        - not in a "romance" which is clearly what the Arthur stories are. All
        persons in the Arthur stories that are not documented elsewhere in works of
        history are rightly doubted - including Arthur himself.

        The Bible as a source of *historical truth* is automatically suspect - a
        priory - because it is not and was never intended to be, history. It is
        religion and propaganda. It does contain information that in some cases can
        be verified, and in those cases, the Bible's information is accepted as
        fact. Where it can not be verified from *other* sources - specifically
        historical sources such as Herodotus for example who wrote history not for
        the purpose of religion and nationalism, but only to accurately record
        actual events - then the Bible is not accepted as the truth by historians
        and other people who wish to not believe in what *may* be fairy tales.

        Many of the people of the OT may have lived and done the things that are
        attributed to them, but the very nature of the events are such that no
        evidence is available - or will likely ever be available to back them up. I
        think it the height of naivety to suppose for example that Abraham's house
        has been physically discovered. The very nature of the claim is such that
        no evidence *could* be discovered that would sustain an intelligent belief
        that some old foundation was the remains of a house that actually belonged
        to the Abraham of the OT - even assuming he actually lived. Radiocarbon
        dating is not accurate enough at that distance in time to pin down anything
        closer that a few hundred years. And even if it was you still would not
        have any way to *know* (that is different from "believing") who lived in the
        house.

        But the real clincher for me on the falsity of at least much of the stories
        of the OT are the stories of the conquering of the cities in Canaan. We
        know these cities from other historical sources - their names are known,
        their locations are known - from *history* written at the time. Further,
        the actual remains of these cities exist and have been excavated - Jericho
        for example.

        And from the *physical evidence* we can know if they were violently
        conquered and/or destroyed in the general time period of the OT. In other
        words, many of the stories of the OT cannot be verified, however some of the
        stories can definitely be *falsified* based on the physical evidence.

        The story of the conquering of Canaan by Joshua and the Hebrews is
        definitely, irrevocably, FALSE. If it were true, we would know - because
        there would be physical evidence of it - such as there is for example in the
        case of the attack on Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 587BC. Actually even
        if we did have the physical evidence of an attack on a city in the bronze
        age, we would only know *that* is was attacked - *not* necessarily that it
        was done by the Hebrews as described in the OT. But at least in that case
        the physical evidence would not be *contrary* to the story.

        So - when the physical evidence contradicts an old story told for the
        purpose of illustrating a moral, or to rally a nation, it is properly
        discounted. And this is done *everywhere* where that is the case - not just
        in the case of the Bible. Truth seekers are not just doubting the Bible
        while giving the Muslims a pass for example - they don't pick on the
        Christians and Jews - they simply apply common sense and intelligent
        inquiry. When the evidence contradicts the stories of the Upanishads or the
        Koran - no one in this country complains. It's only when the *believers*
        are challenged in their beliefs that the trouble starts.

        Mark





        -----Original Message-----
        From: sacredlandscapelist@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:sacredlandscapelist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ambrose Hawk
        Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2006 12:07 PM
        To: sacredlandscapelist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [sl] Re: Ebla articles

        Mark, there's darn little evidence that most of the kings of any of the
        ancient cities and countries were "real." So I doubt that there's any
        valid reason to doubt the reality of Moses and his successors ... though
        the stories heaped about them are subject to interpretation! LOL.
        Somebody mentioned King Arthur in this context. Again, there's good
        reason to believe the guy lived, led, and fought ... but that he was
        connected to a tenth of the stories associated with him? Hardly.
        Taliesen, for instance, is known to have been a real bard in the post
        Arthurian period. Yet he too is loaded down with myths, some of which
        were also liberally applied to "Merlin."
        Another figure to examine is Joseph. The story of the Pharaoh's dream
        is clearly derived from Djoser. Yet Ephraim and Manneseh held
        preeminent positions in Israel until the fall of Samaria.
        There is good reason to doubt a king over all of the Israelites prior to
        Saul. The opposition to the idea of monarchy is embedded in the stories
        themselves. On the other hand, local kings and tribal princes existed
        even at the time of Exodus.
        While this is the picture from the text, I have not found good reason to
        doubt it anywhere.
        :)
        Ambrose

        --
        IN HOC MODO, MILLIS FRANGITVR!






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      • Ambrose Hawk
        Mark wrote: specifically historical sources such as Herodotus for example who wrote history not for the purpose of religion and nationalism, but only to
        Message 3 of 4 , May 13, 2006
          Mark wrote:
          specifically historical sources such as Herodotus for example who wrote
          history not for the purpose of religion and nationalism, but only to
          accurately record actual events - then the Bible is not accepted as the
          truth by historians and other people who wish to not believe in what
          *may* be fairy tales.
          ---
          Come on now, Herodotus faithfully preserved some very unlikely folk
          tales of his people as part of his explanation for the conflict between
          Persians and Greeks. Also, his work is loaded with Hellenic
          propaganda!
          Furthermore, very very few of the kingdoms of the fertile Crescent /
          Holy Land region are at all well documented other than in scattered
          references in an occasional record concerned usually only with the
          events of a single town. By those criteria then, none of those towns and
          tribes records are anything more than "fairy tales".
          The house of Abram was based on the discovery of a house of an
          appropriate period with bricks / tiles in it saying that it was the
          property of somebody with an appropriate name ... his father's I think,
          but it's been what, forty years? since I read the reference ...
          Like I said earlier, if one looks at the period two to three hundred
          years prior to the assumed proper date for the Exodus, the evidence of
          such conflicts is present. They say that the battle of Ai could not
          have happened, for instance, because Ai had been already overthrown.

          As for giving other faiths a pass, I could have taught the details of
          any of the Meso American pre Columbian cults, Hinduism, Buddhism,
          whatever in my classes without any problem. Only when I tried to
          explain cultural details linked directly to Christian traditions and /
          or beliefs did I get harassed.
          Furthermore, when a kid is threatened with jail time for wanting to
          thank God, just that, not even mentioning Jesus, at his graduation
          speech, I think that has nothing to do with the search for "truth" but
          the oppression of normal freedoms and behaviors. When that kids family
          is forced to pay for public displays denigrating their faith and
          culture, I'm not surprised when they feel resentful.

          :)
          Ambrose
          --
          IN HOC MODO, MILLIS FRANGITVR!
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