Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver

 
Veronica95
 
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13 May 2014 15:35
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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13 May 2014 22:21
 

I was raised as a Reform Jew, but I always was taught and I always accepted that Moses was real.  Much, much later, I was stunned to hear that Moses was mythical.  I just had never questioned it.

I don’t think we have any proof of Moses, except the Biblical stories, all of which seem mythical and epic.

I’ve also read that there’s no certainty that the Jews were slaves in Egypt.  Kind of a mindblower for me too.  But it helps me understand how other people come to believe in their religious myths.

 
GAD
 
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13 May 2014 23:30
 

Without peeking let me guess, all the links you posted are for promoting Acharya S books, blogs and websites. How’d I do?

 
 
Veronica95
 
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15 May 2014 15:42
 
Hannah2 - 13 May 2014 08:21 PM

I was raised as a Reform Jew, but I always was taught and I always accepted that Moses was real.  Much, much later, I was stunned to hear that Moses was mythical.  I just had never questioned it.

I don’t think we have any proof of Moses, except the Biblical stories, all of which seem mythical and epic.

I’ve also read that there’s no certainty that the Jews were slaves in Egypt.  Kind of a mindblower for me too.  But it helps me understand how other people come to believe in their religious myths.

That’s right, Hannah2, I’m reading the book now and it covers all of those topics and many more.

“...After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac or Jacob credible ‘historical figures.’... [A]rchaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus has similarly been discarded as a fruitless pursuit. Indeed, the overwhelming archaeological evidence today of largely indigenous origins for early Israel leaves no room for an exodus from Egypt or a 40-year pilgrimage through the Sinai wilderness. A Moses-like figure may have existed somewhere in the southern Transjordan in the mid-late 13th century B.C., where many scholars think the biblical traditions concerning the god Yahweh arose. But archaeology can do nothing to confirm such a figure as a historical personage, much less prove that he was the founder of the later Israelite religion.”

- Did Moses Exist?, page 75, quote from Dr. Dever

“The exodus from Egypt is unknown to history save what is written in the Hebrew Bible. Outside of the most meager of circumstantial evidence we possess nothing to substantiate the text.”

- Did Moses Exist?, page 75, quote from Dr. Oblath

“No direct evidence [of] the Israelite sojourn in Egypt and the Exodus can be extracted from archaeology.”

- Did Moses Exist?, page 75, quote from Dr. Finkelstein

“...the early date of Pentateuchal sources according to the Documentary Hypothesis is entirely lacking in external corroboration, since archaeological evidence, including an analysis of written finds in Judea and at Elephantine, does not support the existence of any written Pentateuchal materials prior to the third century BCE.”

- Did Moses Exist?, page 25, quote from Russell Gmirkin

- Evidence for Moses and the Exodus?
http://www.freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=4663

Hey,

Also be sure to check out my thread:

The Mythicist Position and the Reason Project
http://www.project-reason.org/forum/viewthread/28459/

[ Edited: 15 May 2014 16:17 by Veronica95]
 
Poldano
 
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20 May 2014 05:55
 

The clincher for me was the simple fact that the books supposedly written by Moses himself refer to events after Moses died. Clearly, no historical person could have existed, as attributed exactly in the Bible. The question then became, is there some historical person to whom the plurality of actions of the literary Moses could be accurately attributed?

 
 
Veronica95
 
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05 June 2014 14:57
 

Is anybody else here reading this book? The information is fantastic. If everybody knew about all of this the world would be a better, more peaceful place.

 
Veronica95
 
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26 August 2014 14:07
 

A review of Did Moses Exist?
http://www.amazon.com/review/R2PFCVC4RIFMSL

Ezekiel’s Wheel within a Wheel Revealed
http://stellarhousepublishing.com/ezekielwheel.html

Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl2IHrh101Q

Jesus Christ, Sun of Righteousness
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faILHU82-Cw

 
Veronica95
 
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19 September 2014 17:46
 

“Our tribal customs have become the core of your moral code. Our tribal laws have furnished the basic groundwork of all your august constitutions and legal systems. Our legends and our folk-tales are the sacred lore which you croon to your infants. Our poets have filled your hymnals and your prayer-books. Our national history has become an indispensable part of the learning of your pastors and priests and scholars. Our kings, our statesmen, our prophets, our warriors are your heroes. Our ancient little country is your Holy Land. Our national literature is your Holy Bible. What our people thought and taught has become inextricably woven into your very speech and tradition, until no one among you can be called educated who is not familiar with our racial heritage.

“Jewish artisans and Jewish fishermen are your teachers and your saints, with countless statues carved in their image and innumerable cathedrals raised to their memories. A Jewish maiden is your ideal of motherhood and womanhood. A Jewish rebel-prophet is the central figure in your religious worship. We have pulled down your idols, cast aside your racial inheritance, and substituted for them our God and our traditions. No conquest in history can even remotely compare with this clean sweep of our conquest over you.”

By Jewish writer Marcus Eli Ravage, published in The Century Magazine, v. 115, no. 3, The Century Co., NY, 1928, p. 346ff

- Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver, page 497

Is Jesus a Myth?
http://tbknews.blogspot.com/2009/05/is-jesus-myth.html

The Truth about Judaeo-Christianity
http://www.freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2682

[ Edited: 19 September 2014 17:48 by Veronica95]
 
Veronica95
 
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15 December 2014 20:32
 

Star Worship of the Ancient Israelites
http://astrotheology.net/star-worship-of-the-ancient-israelites/

2,750-year-old solar-aligned temple discovered in Israel
http://freethoughtnation.com/2750-year-old-solar-aligned-temple-discovered-in-israel/

“I find it undeniable that many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets, and constellations.” “I find myself in full agreement with Acharya S/D.M. Murdock”
- Dr. Robert Price, Biblical Scholar with two Ph.D’s

“This book is a slightly revised version of my doctoral dissertation entitled “Solar Worship in the Biblical World” which was submitted to the Graduate School of Yale University in the Spring of 1989. As may be judged from the title of that work, I had at one time planned to cover more territory than sun worship in ancient Israel, but found the material pertaining to ancient Israel so vast that I never got beyond it.”

- Rev. Dr. J. Glen Taylor, “Yahweh and the Sun: Biblical and Archaeological Evidence for Sun Worship in Ancient Israel” (1993)

“At Stonehenge in England and Carnac in France, in Egypt and Yucatan, across the whole face of the earth are found mysterious ruins of ancient monuments, monuments with astronomical significance. These relics of other times are as accessible as the American Midwest and as remote as the jungles of Guatemala. Some of them were built according to celestial alignments; others were actually precision astronomical observatories ... Careful observation of the celestial rhythms was compellingly important to early peoples, and their expertise, in some respects, was not equaled in Europe until three thousand years later.”

- Dr. Edwin Krupp, Astronomer and Director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

 
James Clovispoint
 
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James Clovispoint
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30 December 2014 23:39
 

Interesting topic Veronica.

May I add that what has been written or said about the legendary Moses is quite probably true about most if not all of the characters of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

There is no corroboration, no accreditation of any parts of either one of these scriptures. History and Archaeology show that some of the background for the myths and legends they contain are perfectly normal in as much as they only prove that their writers placed the events within their own environments of the times. Just like a novelist like Jules Verne writes of Paris, London and other elements of true localities and environmental situations in his book, “20,000 leagues under the sea”, it does not make Captain Nemo a true person or the Nautilus of his time a real submarine. BTW, there is not one corroborated calendar date in all of the scriptures. So much for historicity in these.

As for the authors of such scriptures, we may ask, “Luke who, Mark who, Matthew who” and so forth. We have no documents as to their dates of birth, no credentials as to their relevance nothing but a first name. The whole of these scriptures is based on hearsay; she said, he said and oral tradition. They can only be taken on through faith.

It only takes a quick look at the mythical discourse of Jesus with his father (Aka himself) to see how this word of mouth tradition works. Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane and he speaks to Yahweh. But several times in the scriptures it says that all of the disciples are asleep every time. Who then took note of what is now in the Bible? Jesus never wrote a diary and the disciples were illiterate.

[ Edited: 30 December 2014 23:46 by James Clovispoint]
 
PhishPhanPhil
 
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13 April 2015 04:43
 
Hannah2 - 13 May 2014 08:21 PM

I was raised as a Reform Jew, but I always was taught and I always accepted that Moses was real.  Much, much later, I was stunned to hear that Moses was mythical.  I just had never questioned it.

I don’t think we have any proof of Moses, except the Biblical stories, all of which seem mythical and epic.

I’ve also read that there’s no certainty that the Jews were slaves in Egypt.  Kind of a mindblower for me too.  But it helps me understand how other people come to believe in their religious myths.

I was taught in high school that Charles Darwin discovered that the beaks on some finches were longer than others as a result of a drought of some sort, the longer beak was the result of “evolution” and “natural selection” as the finches were able to eat whatever food they could for survival ( seeds).  This made some sort of rational sense to me, it supposedly explained how one species could become a brand new one (transmutation) and this perfectly explained the diversity of species that we have on our planet and in such a variety of places as well.  It was only later that I learned that the finches beaks actually returned to the normal length when the drought was over showing how micro-evolution has always been a means for a species to REMAIN a species not make some magical jump through the gene pool and come out on the other side as a new species.  As I read more of the actual facts, the stuff you’re not taught in school, I grew more interested as I read of Darwins own doubts of his so-called “evolutionary theory”( although there is only one word that can be linked to evolution in the origin of species, and he only lightly eludes to the idea of monkeys magically becoming men).  Sure enough the more I looked into the fairy tale of evolution the more I discovered that micro-evolution, which can be supported by objective evidence, was being pawned off as macro-evolution, a combination of well-known fallacies.  One proposes a truth that is evident and provable and then proposes a variation of it and concludes that it too is proven.  Really I’ve seen a combination of the composition/division fallacy and the false cause fallacy used most often in an attempt to claim that humans evolved from monkeys as being anything more than wishful thinking for the deluded skeptic.  This relates to the topic at hand in this way.  While evolution makes the false claim to be “scientific” and based on “facts” and “reason”( easily the most laughable claim) none of these are in the slightest bit true.  Religious people don’t say that they believe in their god because they discovered an artifact or because of some other archeological discovery, basically they present reason as their evidence, not science, which by its very definition can not answer the questions that so many blind atheists try to claim it does ( or that it will someday).  Science is not a mechanism to prove anything to be true, it is a process, a very social process, by which we build models that attempt ever more detailed and more predictive explanations of nature.  Only somebody with a very narrow and ultimately false understanding of science would make a claim like “if man was meant to know it science would prove it”, or anything to that nature.  So that brings us to the so-called “scientific proof” as to whether or not a man did or did not exist some 6,000 years ago in Egypt or not.  It takes no truly deep thought to come to the conclusion that people are simply wasting their time trying to speculate on something that is just that, pure speculation.  It can’t be shown to be true or false, and no I am not concluding that it must be true if it is not proven false, I am concluding that it’s an entirely ridiculous argument to take up in the first place, and to even try to make some sort of truth claims on such a topic is the result of unbridled arrogance and ignorance.  By contrasting the truth claims of something like Darwinism, with the truth claims, of the portion of the Bible that a lot of world religions hold to be true their is a very clear and undeniable difference that I am hoping you see.  We can see that science (as we know it today, remember science by design “evolves” or is designed to progress from one theory to another as more evidence shreds light) shows us that the theories behind the creation of the universe, all time,matter and energy, being the result of some natural process that we know of today, and spinning atomic particles accounting for absolutely everything, including the theory of evolution is simply not believable to the logical mind.  It requires a high degree of illogical, willing ignorance, sticking your head in the sand, so to speak, to make these sort of claims.  Does nobody else see the pure hypocrisy in writing a book that attempts to show that man has no actual free will, his every thought is the exclusive result of a process that is outside their control and has no purpose, and then writing a book about morality?  If somebody wants to stick out their chest and claim that they have the “hard facts”, and their reasoning and intellect for that matter, has simply evolved beyond those people who don’t believe something that is highly improbable, they also need to be willing to accept the tag of being delusional.  I could sit here and name at least two dozen directly hypocritical self-defeating claims and quotes I’ve read in books over the past 13 years by best-selling authors, but thats clearly outside of the scope here.  What isn’t is the fact that you can not claim to have “the facts”, and “evidence” on your side and then make a claim like Adam or Moses never existed.  It’s simply hypocrisy, in it’s clearest form, evident to a nine year old even.  It’s on par with a quote like the following: “Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.  The only sense to make of tragedies like this is that terrible things can happen to perfectly innocent people. This understanding inspires compassion.” - Sam Harris
In the same line of thought he grants God sovereign power as a foundation for the argument that he is also either impotent ( the polar opposite, an obvious logical fallacy), evil, or imaginary.  Considering this comes from the mouth of somebody who claims there is no God to begin with and that we have no free will, a pure naturalist if you would, to make any sort of accusation based on morality is self-contradicting, especially when you follow it up with “perfectly innocent people”.  Do his readers just take these whopping blind assumptions as fact?  Does nobody practice even a shred of critical thought here?  As if this quote isn’t funny enough it goes on to make another entirely errant stereotype, and right in step with most of his stereotypes it is of massive proportion: Religious faith, on the other hand, erodes compassion. Thoughts like, ‘this might be all part of God’s plan,’ or ‘there are no accidents in life,’ or ‘everyone on some level gets what he or she deserves’ - these ideas are not only stupid, they are extraordinarily callous. They are nothing more than a childish refusal to connect with the suffering of other human beings. It is time to grow up and let our hearts break at moments like this.”  Okay, so assuming for a minute that I’m some brain dead minion that just believes whatever close-minded prejudiced thoughts I read in a book I am expected to believe that to be a theist means that you entirely lack compassion on thousands of lost lives??  Let’s get a grip here people.  Nobody has or can prove that monkeys turned into men, that requires the famous “blind leap of faith” that atheists love to stereotype others with, just like nobody can prove that Moses or Adam or Jesus ever existed.  There seems to be an ever more evident line being drawn in the sand here, where you’re either an ignorant neanderthal who commits the unforgivable sin of believing his thoughts are correct and all others are wrong, or you believe the “truth”, we are just DNA factories, and please ask no further questions because this view answers none of them.  When I read a thread entitled something like “Atheists will always be more moral than theists” I just have to shake my head in disgust, at how far we’ve degraded as a society and culture in regards to our hypocrisy, arrogance, and blind willing ignorance.  The truth is that (living in America) I had been automatically indoctrinated with the false pretenses of naturalism and humanism and evolution, and every effort was made to marginalize anybody with a religious belief and prevent them with proposing a set of beliefs contrary.  The polar opposite of the stereotype that is being projected by these pop-philosophers/theologians who tell their readers they are “free-thinkers” as long as they think the same things, and believe everybody who doesn’t is wrong.  It’s sickening.

 
hannahtoo
 
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14 April 2015 00:18
 

Mr Phish,
You make many claims that I believe to be in error, but I will answer to just one:

I was taught in high school that Charles Darwin discovered that the beaks on some finches were longer than others as a result of a drought of some sort, the longer beak was the result of “evolution” and “natural selection” as the finches were able to eat whatever food they could for survival ( seeds).  This made some sort of rational sense to me, it supposedly explained how one species could become a brand new one (transmutation) and this perfectly explained the diversity of species that we have on our planet and in such a variety of places as well.  It was only later that I learned that the finches beaks actually returned to the normal length when the drought was over showing how micro-evolution has always been a means for a species to REMAIN a species not make some magical jump through the gene pool and come out on the other side as a new species.

Never was it claimed that Darwin’s finches developed longer beaks in response to drought.  There is no evidence that their beaks returned to the same length.  Not sure where you got these ideas.

The various species evolved on islands due to isolation under different conditions.  Indeed many small changes eventually result in the formation of new species.  The 13 species of Darwin’s finches remain different to this day.

Here is one source.  You could google many others.

You are making this mistake:  People who claim that small genetic changes cannot lead to new species recognize that species contain enough genetic variability to account for many observable differences.  The microevolution you cite would then merely select for survival of one genetic variation over another suited to the conditions.  In cyclical changes, such as drought and plenty, the frequency of a key gene in the population could follow the cycle.

However, evolution occurs when mutations happen in isolated populations, conveying new traits for natural selection.  (BTW, mutations happen all the time, and they may be beneficial, harmful, or neutral.)  These mutations are not part of the genetic composition of the parent population.  The finches that arrived on the Galapagos could have comprised a small flock that was blown over in a storm.  The conditions on the first island were quite different from the mainland.  Over the generations, those finches with beneficial mutations survived the rigors of the new environment best. The accumulated changes became more pronounced.  Over the millennia, finches from the first island were blown to other islands, giving rise to more new species. 

I have been fortunate to visit the Galapagos and can vouch for the fact that the islands are strikingly distinct from one another in ecology.  The same process that happened with finches also happened with giant tortoises, so that there are endemic species on each island.  Land tortoises can be swept offshore in a storm and apparently can survive on the sea for long enough to float between islands.

Evolution is a huge topic.  Too much to cover here.  Definitely, it happened.

[ Edited: 14 April 2015 00:21 by hannahtoo]
 
Twissel
 
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14 April 2015 06:19
 

@Hannah

actually, there is currently some doubt about the necessity for populations to be isolated in order to produce different specie - the change can be much more gradual. Concerning the Finches, there seems to be the possibility (for some of them) of cross-breeding, they just have very little inclination to do so.

Physical isolation is not really necessary if there is another mechanism for separation (like slightly different food preferences, different nesting habits etc.). Then over time, the low frequency of cross-breeding coupled with preference for ‘pure-breeding’ will cause the species to separate, even if they are but a stones-throw apart in physical space.

This is probably the way the London Underground Mosquito developed.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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15 April 2015 22:50
 
Twissell - 14 April 2015 04:19 AM

@Hannah

actually, there is currently some doubt about the necessity for populations to be isolated in order to produce different specie - the change can be much more gradual. Concerning the Finches, there seems to be the possibility (for some of them) of cross-breeding, they just have very little inclination to do so.

Physical isolation is not really necessary if there is another mechanism for separation (like slightly different food preferences, different nesting habits etc.). Then over time, the low frequency of cross-breeding coupled with preference for ‘pure-breeding’ will cause the species to separate, even if they are but a stones-throw apart in physical space.

This is probably the way the London Underground Mosquito developed.

True, isolation is not an absolute necessity for all speciation.  But it plays a big role in many cases.

Here is information that I found on the Galapagos finches.

Can you cite a reference on the possibility of cross-breeding of the finches?

 
splog
 
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11 December 2015 18:30
 

Isn’t it curious that the Moses name was given to him by the Egyptian princess who found him? Does that mean that he had an original name that his mother gave him?
Why hasn’t that been recorded? His sister and brother’s names are known to us, so why not his?
It all smacks of a myth.
Actually, the story of a child being sent down the river in a container, found by a princess, and later achieving great accomplishments is a very common theme in mythology.

 
GAD
 
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11 December 2015 20:10
 
splog - 11 December 2015 06:30 PM

Isn’t it curious that the Moses name was given to him by the Egyptian princess who found him? Does that mean that he had an original name that his mother gave him?
Why hasn’t that been recorded? His sister and brother’s names are known to us, so why not his?
It all smacks of a myth.
Actually, the story of a child being sent down the river in a container, found by a princess, and later achieving great accomplishments is a very common theme in mythology.

Of course it’s a myth.