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584Writers of the Past (27)

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  • Ken
    Aug 4, 2011
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      The following is a group of posts from a thread that took place on Loki's Potting Shed back in late 2004.  The kind of discussions that we have here sometimes, concerning the Bible being "the Word of God," and all that, are nothing new.  Ever since I came out with no longer subscribing to the Christian faith, I have had discussions with other ex members of the fellowship about why I don't believe, etc.

      One type discussion would occur when I explained why I could not consider the Bible to be the Word of the One True God.  Typically, my reasons would be ridiculed, when actually they were very reasonable.  This piece of the thread from Loki's is a good sample of the type of discussions that we have had in the past.

      This is a rather lengthy post, as it contains several long posts from Loki's Potting Shed.  However, if you find it useful, follow the links back to Loki's and you can read through the whole thread. 

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      George said:

      Guys, listen to me: we MUST seriously consider that the conquest of
      Canaan indeed took place. If it did take place, then the conquerors
      must have come from somewhere outside of Canaan. There is no
      archaeological evidence, as far as I am aware, that they came from
      any other place. If there is no evidence that they came from Egypt
      then it is as likely place as any other. So, why not believe that it
      was the case. After all, there is a record, the biblical record.

      Ken responded:

      The archeological records that have been found so far indicate that
      there were many different factions that settled in the region of
      Palestine. Once the domination of Egypt was thrown off, then
      different factions sought to gain dominance. They did not have to
      be an invading force from the outside, as you state. Just like the
      USSR dominated the Eastern Block Nations after World War II, so it
      could have been in the land of Palestine. A lot of those nations
      had a common ancestery, but broke off into different tribes and
      nations, who then strove to be dominant. They were already living
      right next door to each other.

      If you read the book of Judges you will find this was the case. At
      various times Israel dominated the region, and at other times they
      were dominated by the other nations. Ancient cultures, when they
      would gain dominance, would give thanks to their particular
      dieties. Likewise, when they were conquered, they would cry out to
      their deities to set them free. This is the account in the book of
      Judges.

      So Israel is thought by many archeologists to have been one of the
      tribes of the land of Canaan that on and off gained dominance in the
      land. They did not come out of Egypt in the physical sense, but,
      like the rest of the land of Canaan, they threw off Egyptian
      dominance. Like the history of all the world, that region had
      different times and different nations dominating the land.

      The fact that there is no record of the enslavement of the Hebrews
      in anything found in Egyptian records is significant. This
      indicates that the story of the Exodus is in fact a legend. Since
      there has been much uncovered of Egypt during the period when this
      enslavement would have been in effect, and there has been nothing
      found to corroborate it, then it is logical to assume that the
      account of this enslavement, and subsequent exodus, is not factual.

      Mythology is inspired. It is very attractive. I love it,
      actually. Heck, I like Superman and Conan the Barbarian. I always
      kind of thought that Conan might have been real. As I have said
      before, I like Star Trek, which has been called modern mythology.
      It is very tempting to "just believe". But I can't. That big
      muscle between my ears keeps objecting. That's the way it goes.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lokispottingshed/message/2740  

      November 28, 2004

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      Rahab said:

      But there is the fact that the Egyptians were not above re-writing
      their history when it suited them. There were 2 rulers of Egypt who
      were pretty much obliterated from the records. One was a woman and
      the other was King Tut's father. His history and even his name were
      removed from everything they could think of.

      If the Exodus account was true, it would not be a big stretch to
      think that the rulers, especially the priests, would have a vested
      interest in denying that it ever happened. Hard to get people to
      give big bucks to a deity who had his butt handed to him at the Red
      Sea, ya know?

      I, too, would rather have hard archeological evidence of the Exodus.
      However, just because we haven't found it doesn't mean it doesn't
      exist. The last 100 years of archeology has been amazing in what has
      been discovered. At one time the biblical accounts were ridiculed
      because there were no such people as the Hittites and the Hivites and
      such. Guess what? We finally dug deep enough to discover their
      civilizations. Hard telling what we will turn up in the next 50
      years.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lokispottingshed/message/2742

      November 28, 2004

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      Rehab said:

      At one time the biblical accounts were ridiculed because there were
      no such people as the Hittites and the Hivites and such. Guess what?
      We finally dug deep enough to discover their civilizations. Hard
      telling what we will turn up in the next 50 years.

      Ken responded:

      Not to mention a certain species of ants.

      Even in cases where rulers attempted to obliterate historical
      records there has been some information that survived. In the case
      of a nation being enslaved for as many years as the Hebrews were
      supposedly, there would still be plenty references that would be
      found, especially in a society that had as many records, many
      written in stone, as Egypt did. It is, therefore, very significant
      that none has been found. That period of time has been well
      examined by archeologists.

      Biblical scholars have never even been able to decide which Pharaoh
      was supposedly drowned in the Red Sea. Archeological evidence from
      the area of Palestine strongly indicates that the Israelites arose
      as one of the local tribes and nations. They did not, apparently,
      invade from Egypt.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lokispottingshed/message/2743  

      November 29, 2004

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      Ken said:

      It is, therefore, very significant that none has been found. That
      period of time has been well examined by archeologists.

      Jerrie said:

      Ken that is not even close to the truth.
      The earliest evidence for Asiatics at Rowaty (the city that later
      named Rameses) occurs in the late 12th Dynasty (mid 19th century BC).

      We can divide the history of the site into three periods: pre-
      Hyksos, Hyksos and post-Hyksos. The Hyksos were a Semitic people
      from Syria-Palestine, who took up residence in the eastern Nile
      Delta and eventually ruled northern Egypt for some 108 years, ca.
      1663-1555 BC (15th Dynasty). Jacob and his family arrived in Egypt
      around 1880 BC, based on an Exodus date of ca. 1450 BC. That was in
      the pre-Hyksos period when the name of the town was Rowaty, "the
      door of the two roads".

      Since 1966 till now, extensive excavations have been undertaken
      there under the direction of Manfred Bietak of the Austrian
      Archaeological Institute, Cairo.

      1. The Egyptian word Hyksos means "foreign rulers." In common usage,
      however, the term is used to refer in general to the Asiatics who
      settled in the eastern Delta of Egypt in the Second Intermediate
      Period. The dates for Hyksos rule are not known precisely. Those
      used here are based on the following:

      A. Expulsion of the Hyksos in approximately the 15th year of Ahmose
      (Bietak 1991b: 48)
      B. A total of 108 years for the rule of the Hyksos according to the
      Turin papyrus (Bietak 1991b: 48)
      C. The chronology of Wente and Van Siclen for the 18th Dynasty
      (Wente and Van Siclen 1977: 218). This chronology gives a death date
      for Tuthmosis III of 1450 BC, which correlates with the Biblical
      date for the Exodus. According to Scripture, the Pharaoh of the
      Exodus perished in the Yam Suph (Exodus 14:5-9,18,28; 15:4,7; Psalm
      106:9-11; 136:15), therefore, we correlate the date of the Exodus
      with the death date of the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The chronology of
      Wente and Van Siclen also incorporates the low date of 1279 BC for
      the accession of Rameses II accepted by most scholars today.

      2. In the 14th Dynasty, toward the end of the 18th century BC, the
      name of the town was changed to Avaris, "the (royal) foundation of
      the district" (Bietak 1996:40). When the Hyksos later established
      their capital there, they retained the name Avaris. It was probably
      the Hyksos rulers who forced the Israelites to build the store
      cities of Pithom (= Tell el-Maskhuta) and Rameses (= Tell el-Dab`a =
      Avaris) (Exodus 1:11). When Rameses II rebuilt the city in the 13th
      century in the post-Hyksos period, and long after the Israelites had
      left Egypt, the name was changed to Rameses.
      The location of Pithom has also been a matter of some debate. Now,
      however, it seems quite certain that it should be located at Tell el-
      Maskhuta at the eastern end of the Wadi Tumilat, 15 km west of
      Ismailiya. Asiatic remains similar to those found at Tell el-Dab`a
      have been found there and attributed to the Hyksos (Holladay 1992b:
      588-89; 1997:332-34). According to Holladay, the Hyksos occupation
      at Tell el-Maskhuta took place ca. 1750-1625 BC. It would have been
      sometime during this time period, then, that the Israelites built
      the store city of Pithom.

      Ken, I could go on and on but I do not want to bore the pants of
      everyone. For you to say what you have about the Israelites in Egypt
      is akin to saying that the jewish holocust never happened.

      j18_2

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lokispottingshed/message/2746  

      November 29, 2004

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      Jerrie said:

      Ken, I could go on and on but I do not want to bore the pants of
      everyone. For you to say what you have about the Israelites in Egypt
      is akin to saying that the jewish holocust never happened.

      I try to refrain from the "attack the messneger" tactic that is so
      often used by people who simply do not want to debate. I have to
      say, though, that this ranks amongst one the most unintelligent and
      outright stupid statements that I have ever read anywhere. (And no,
      this is not a "pissing contest", but the truth).

      There are photos of the Holocaust, films, as well as testimonies on
      film and transcripts of survivors. These are real and reliable, not
      ancient writings that were handed down for centuries as with the
      Bible. In fact, all evidence now points to the books of Moses being
      written by David and Solomon's scholars from traditions and legends
      that were handed down verbally for centuries. To call that "the
      Word of God" and say it is in any way the same as the evidence we
      have of the holocaust indicates what I call the religous mind at
      work.

      The problem with people who have religious beliefs is that they have
      already drawn the conclusion regardless of the facts. They see all
      the facts through that religious mind. If you already absolutely
      believe that the Bible is the Word of God, then to you the
      enslavement of the Jews as recorded in Exodus is already a fact.
      None of what you wrote proves this at all, and everything I am
      reading on the subject indicates that there is no evidence in
      archeology that this particaular enslavement and exodus actually
      took place. Instead there is a large consensus that the Hebrews
      were one of the peoples of the land of Canaan, who after they threw
      off Egyptian domination rose as a nation who dominated the region at
      various times.

      I do not say that there is no truth to some of the legends in the
      Old Testament. Many legends have some basis in fact, but the
      accounts tend to be glamorized. There may have been a tribal leader
      of the Hebrews named Joshua who won some significant wars in the
      land of Caanan, but certainly he didn't have the sun and moon stop
      in space.

      That brings up something else. This God of the Bible does all these
      fantanstic miracles during these ancient times when there is no
      technology to really record them. Nothing like the parting of the
      Red Sea, or the aforementioned stopping of the sun and moon happens
      now. Not now that we have the instrumentation to record it. Unlike
      the Holocaust, there are no films of people walking on water. There
      have been some metephysical events recorded both in and outside of
      the Christian religion, such as physical healings, but nothing on
      the scale of these things. How convenient.

      If you want to know what it is like to try and talk to hardened
      religious people about archeology and history in regards to their
      religion, then take up an argument with a Moslem. Any evidence that
      you present to them that would indicate that the Prophet Mohammed
      was anything less than God's premier prophet will be rejected, and
      they will have their own variation of the history and archeology
      that you are presenting.

      When you make statements like the one you made about my rejection of
      the Exodus account of the enslavement of Israel being in any way
      equivalent to someone rejecting the holocaust's reality, then I have
      to wonder if there is any point in responding to you. When someone
      gets to the point where there mind is that hardened in religion, it
      usually becomes impossible to discuss things sensibly with that
      person. I find that religious people only give in to overwhelming
      evidence and then adjust their "doctrine". It was believed by many
      Christians at one time that God would not ever let any animal become
      extinct. Only when fossil discoveries made that view impossible to
      maintain did that belief change.

      As more and more evidence comes in that the Bible is in no way a
      holy book written by the inspiration of the one true God, it will be
      interesting to see how Christians react. And just because some of
      it is true, does not mean all of it is true. That is another false
      assumption. Although there may have been a flood in the area of
      early civilization, for example, that does not mean that all of the
      Noah's ark story is true. Scientifically speaking, it can't be
      true. And yet still some maintain it is.

      When you ask them how could all of the land based animals, including
      things like insects and spiders, be on a mountain in what in now
      modern day Turkey just 4,000 years ago, rather than admit that this
      could not be, they just say, "I don't know." Again, how
      convenient. It is acceptable to say I don't know in certain
      instances. In this case the only sensible answer is, "They couldn't
      have been." But that violates the religious mind. Can't have that.

      I am beginning to wonder if there is any point at all in debating
      religious people and I am beginning to think that there isn't. When
      we write things on Slam the Door and here about the fellowship, I
      have to wonder if it makes any difference. It seems that no matter
      how many facts you put in front of people they assert that you are
      wrong and the fellowship is great. Only when they are looking to
      get out do they begin to listen. As long as someone maintains a
      hardened religous point of view then intelligent discussion is very
      difficult, if at all possible. Again, try it with a Moslem.

      I could say more, but that is enough. If the statement about my
      speculating that the enslavement and exodus of the Israelites in
      Egypt as described in the Bible was purely legend is tantamount to
      saying the Holocaust never took place, is not retracted, then I will
      refrain from futher discussion with jerrie. If that is what he
      really thinks, then there is no point.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lokispottingshed/message/2757

      November 29, 2004

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      Cross posted from Escape From the Fellowship

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Escape_from_the_Fellowship/