by Laura Knight-Jadczyk
14 May 2008
Considering what we have all been learning about
Dominionism since the
selection of Fundamentalist Sarah Palin as VP
candidate, SOTT thought it would be appropriate to
re-run this article about the historical background of
Israel and Judaism, the creators of the
Bible on which the three monotheistic religions that
are destroying the planet are based.
The reader needs to keep in mind that religious fanatics who believe
in what is, essentially, a collection of fairy tales, are attempting
to take over the world based on what they perceive to be their
instructions from a mythical god of war, death and destruction.
A few years ago, when
The Secret History of the World was
published, I rashly promised that volume 2 would soon be completed
and ready for publication. After all, I pretty much knew what I
wanted to zoom in on - the topic of Moses and the creation of
Judaism - and I already had a good hypothesis and had tons of
supplementary support material.
I even had a title: The Horns of
Moses (triple entendre!) It should be a piece of cake, I
thought. And so, I sat down to write.
I had a pretty good flow going, Moses was coming to life on the
computer screen, and then... well, then I started to have doubts. I
knew that I knew a lot about Moses from the theological point of
view and from the point of view of a lot of alternative research.
I even knew a lot of what the scholars
knew - the people who spend their lives studying and analyzing the
Biblical texts. But I still felt uneasy. So, I went searching for
more source materials and discovered that there was a whole lot more
I needed to read before I could complete this project. That's pretty
much what I have been doing for the past year or two: reading stuff
that nobody except specialists ever reads, and collecting piles of
What has been shocking to discover is exactly how much IS known
among the scholars that is not known by the general public. I
suppose I shouldn't be surprised since I have discovered this to be
true in other fields, but when the subject is the foundation of
religion - stuff people believe in and stake their lives on and use
to determine their actions in life - well, it's pretty bad.
In the process, I've learned a lot about
the creation of Judaism which is pretty much the "foundation" of
Gee, don't you find that odd?
A religion created by
an obscure Middle Eastern tribe - basically a tribal god - somehow
got elevated to be the "God of the Cosmos" and became the model for
the Western view of "Godly being"?
And this was done at the expense of the
perceptions of spirit that were common to Western Europe before the
imposition of the Middle Eastern gods.
We are taught that Europe was a
savage, uncivilized place; but is that true?
How could it be true when there
is so much evidence around us in the form of hundreds of
thousands of megaliths, that the ancient Europeans did
things that the Middle Eastern civilizations never did?
Well, anyway, as I branched out in my
reading to include other references,
I found that the creation of
Christianity is closely associated - even in time, which
could be a shocker for some - in some very interesting ways
with the creation of Judaism
there is a direct link between
the texts of the Old Testament and the
Dead Sea Scrolls and a link
between the Dead Sea Scrolls and certain ideas that became
bit by bit, with horrifying
sureness, I have come to realize that there is nothing more
evil on this planet than the monotheistic religions born in
the Middle East.
At some point, of course, I want to
explore the role that cometary bombardment may have played in the
creation of religion and then to examine the role religion has
played in the fostering of lies and deceptions in our world.
After all, today we consider - can't say
I'm celebrating - the "birthday of Israel," an event that has
brought more misery and suffering into our modern world than any
other event since the Global Holocaust of World War II. In fact, the
two events are so intimately connected that you could say that the
Holocaust has continued as a consequence of the "Birth of the State
But there have most assuredly been other
Judaism created holocausts throughout the two thousand year history
of Western Civilization; the
crusades and witch persecutions come
immediately to mind.
Judaism supposedly created Israel, and Judaism also is the parent of
Christianity and Islam, so the issue of Judaism and Ancient Israel,
from which it supposedly emerged, are not trifling topics. The fact
is, as a growing body of scholarship demonstrates, there was no
"ancient Israel." The Hebrew Bible is not, by any stretch of the
imagination, a historical document, and trying to understand the
history of Palestine by reading the Bible is like trying to
understand Medieval history by reading Ivanhoe.
Niels Peter Lemche, a biblical
scholar at the University of Copenhagen, writes:
For some years, a discussion has
raged within biblical - particularly Old Testament - studies
between a position called "maximalist" and a second position,
usually dubbed "minimalist." This controversy is over the amount
of historical information that can be found in the pages of the
Old Testament: not much, the minimalist would say; a lot more,
the maximalist would argue. [...]
And, of course, the "maximalists" are
true believers... those who have controlled the study of the Bible
for a very long time; those who created archaeology for the sole
purpose of proving the history in the Bible is true...
But archaeology is, little by little,
becoming more scientific, and as it has done so, as it has freed
itself from the control of True Believers, it has revealed that
Bible is not a historical source.
I approached the subject by first
analyzing the biblical accounts of the patriarchs, the exodus
from Egypt, and the sojourn in the desert - in short, the
narratives in the books of Genesis through Numbers. After that,
I compare the image of the past created by the biblical writers
with ancient sources of information from the civilizations of
Syria and Palestine in the Bronze Age, which is usually
considered as the historical setting of the pentateuchal
It will be shown beyond question
that there is very little correlation between the biblical
portrait of the past and the non-biblical evidence from actual
Bronze Age cultures. We must conclude, however, not that the
biblical authors were unsuccessful historians but that they were
not at all interested in providing anything like a historical
report of the past. They wrote for other reasons, and they used
history as the vehicle for their message.
When approaching the literature of
the Old Testament, people of modern times must realize that the
ancient authors did not write primarily for posterity, that is,
for us, but for the benefit of their contemporary audience. They
followed the moral and aesthetic expectations of their time;
they would have had no idea of the rules that govern modern
historical studies and interests. [...]
Is the Exodus narrative historical reflection or literary
If we insist that the Exodus narrative is not referring to a
historical event, then we must be prepared to withstand
opposition of a far more serious kind than was the case when we
deconstructed the historicity of the patriarchal narratives.
Solid reasoning underlies this critical opposition. The social
setting of the Exodus story is vastly different from that of the
patriarchal narratives and the Joseph saga, which deal with the
fate of a particular family. [...]
Unlike the patriarchal narratives and the Joseph saga, Exodus
does not describe the fate of a single family. Now the
narratives turn to a larger question: the liberation of a
nation. The string of narratives that began with Joseph's family
migrating to Egypt ends with several hundred thousand people
leaving it. The patriarchs are now no more than the distant
ancestors of this nation. ... Later Israelites must accept the
acts of that liberated generation [of the Exodus] as their own
for the sake of national solidarity and continuity.
They are part of the national
heritage. A saying from the exile underscores the relationship
between past and present:
"The fathers ate sour grapes,
and their children's teeth feel blunt!"
It reflects the idea that the
liberation of their ancestors ("fathers") from Egypt provided
freedom for generations yet unborn, that is, the "children."
These children and those ancestors are one people. The
Israelites perceive themselves as heirs, identifying with their
deceased ancestors, their people.
This also means that the ancestors
have determined the fate of their descendants because every
successive generation relives for itself the experience of its
It is interesting to compare this
concept - that the Exodus as the liberation of the Jews provided
freedom for generations to come - with the concept of the vicarious
remission of sins by the crucifixion of Jesus whereby future
generations are "set free" by this act.
They are, essentially, the same;
peculiar Eastern ideas that have no place in a civilization that
originally took personal responsibility quite seriously.
The liberation from Egypt is a
critical moment in the history of Israel. A nation and its
religion depend upon it. Without it, Israel's nationhood would
have been a historical footnote, and its faith in
Yahweh as the
God of Israel would have remained insignificant. The Exodus
represents more than a national liberation: it marks the birth
of a nation and justifies that nation's very existence.
Two other events become important "foundation legends" for the
Israelites: the revelation at Sinai, and the occupation of
The Exodus marks the beginning of the people and the
source of its identity, but the people also need a religion and
a land. Without both, the people cannot survive but will face
annihilation. A national identity requires a concrete, physical
space within which to develop. Without its religion, the people
would wander aimlessly through the wilderness like ghostly
At Sinai, Yahweh presents himself as the God who liberated
Israel from Egyptian bondage - the very same God who at
the beginning of history entered into an exclusive relationship
with the patriarchs and promised them a beautiful land.
Keep in mind that the stories of the
patriarchs were re-written by those who were seeking to create a new
nation after the Babylonian exile and the promises of land were put
into the mouth of God to show that the manufactured Exodus story was
just a step in the fulfillment of God's plan.
Finally, at Sinai, Yahweh becomes
Israel's God in concreto. A contract or "covenant" seals this
bond between a people and its God. Thus, the law of Yahweh
becomes the legal basis for the nation and for the Israelites'
everlasting obligation to their God. Two principles of this
covenant inexorably solidify their religious identity.
First, the collective religious
consciousness of the Israelites confirms that Yahweh is and
always will be their God. Second, all Israelites must now and
forever conform to the lay of Yahweh, in effect, Israel's
"constitution." Thus, the law simplifies what it means to be an
Israelite, under God's protection. And anyone who fails to obey
is no longer a member of that people.
As for the land, the fulfillment of that promise lies in the
future. Yet God makes a pledge at Sinai: if they adhere to the
stipulations of the law, the people will inhabit the land and
own it. This is not merely a story about a divine revelation;
rather, it represents a program for the future of the Israelite
nation. Until the people finally live in the "land," one cannot
truly call the people "Israel."
In this way, the denial of the historicity of these bedrock
elements of the Israelite historical narratives comes close to a
denial of the very existence of the Israelite people. Thus,
dismissing the Exodus narrative as a historical source is far
more serious than taking a critical view of the historical
content of the patriarchal tradition. [...]
Predictably, many conservative Christians and Jews become
troubled by skeptical voices that question the historicity of
the Exodus narratives.
Both Christians and Jews consider
themselves Israel's true descendants; therefore, to them, these
criticisms represent "negative" or even heretical opinions. They
do not view these theories as objective analyses of the Exodus
or the revelation at Sinai; they see them as attacks on their
own religious identities.
If, however, we disregard such concerns - it is after all not
the purpose of a critical investigation to protect the presumed
identity between the living and the dead members of a certain
religious community - it is quite obvious that the Exodus
narrative is largely made up of literary elements that closely
resemble the ones already found in the book of Genesis. ...
The book of Exodus represents a
literary quilt, pieced together from the fragments of universal
and timeless adventure stories and legends. These are examples
of narrative art rather than specifically Israelite folk
literature. Appreciating the utility of their plots and
characters, the biblical authors appropriated these universal
tales and reconstituted them with their own Israelite template.
[W]e can see in the biblical stories images of a familiar
narrative style, and perhaps that type of mimicry contributed
some measure of credibility to an ancient historian's message.
Exodus 1-19 represents a coherent narrative unit that describes
the Israelite wanderings from Egypt to Mount Sinai. Yet many
literary substrata appear within those chapters - individual
vignettes strung together to create "scenes" within the larger
Egypt-Sinai complex. The unit begins with Moses' birth and
miraculous rescue and ends with his escape to Midian, where God
outlines his future mission. The next contains the long section
about the plagues that lead ultimately to Israel's liberation.
Finally, a third periscope describes
how the Israelites left Egypt and headed toward Sinai.
I would, of course, suggest that the
story of the plagues of Egypt is a memory of cometary bombardment,
but biblical scholars do not include such speculations in their
analyses and so, are somewhat handicapped in interpreting what may
or may not be historical.
Initially, this Exodus-Sinai complex
seems like a coherent narrative unit. Yet upon further
examination, the events and legislation at Mount Sinai represent
the narrative's literal and figurative high points.
The importance of the Sinai event is
so profound that it disturbs the narrative balance of the
Exodus-Sinai complex. Sinai simply disrupts the narrative that
takes the reader from Egypt to Canaan. Without regard for the
narrative consistency, Mount Sinai bursts into the Israelites
otherwise uninterrupted march from the Sea of Reeds to the
For years, Old Testament scholars have recognized the narrative
discontinuity between the Sinai complex and the Pentateuch's
overall narrative scheme.
They have based this observation not
on the narrative itself but on such texts as the brief credo in
Deut 26: 5-9
And you shall say before the
Lord your God, A wandering and lost Aramean ready to
perish was my father [Jacob], and he went down into
Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and he became
there a nation, great, mighty, and numerous.
And the Egyptians treated us
very badly and afflicted us and laid upon us hard
And when we cried to the
Lord, the God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice
and looked on our affliction and our labor and our
And the Lord brought us
forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an
outstretched arm, and with great (awesome) power and
with signs and with wonders;
And he brought us into this
place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk
(Amplified Translation, Zondervan)
These brief recollections of
Israel's early history, its liberation from Egypt, and its
conquest of the promised land completely ignore the Sinai
events. While Israel's life in and migration from Egypt remain
pivotal topics, Sinai is never mentioned.
Thus, almost sixty years ago,
Gerhard von Rad suggested that the Sinai complex is not one
of the original narrative components of the Pentateuch.
For him, these are two originally
independent narrative units, on the one side the Exodus and
wilderness stories, and on the other the Sinai revelation. They
were written independently and only later joined together. (See
von Rad, "The Form-Critical Problem of the Hexateuch," in "The
problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays - trans. E.W. Trueman
Dicken; New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966).
For von Rad, the borderline between the Exodus narrative and the
Sinai revelation is in Exodus 14 (Exod 15, the renowned "Song of
the Sea," is an independent unit and not part of either
complex).... clearly, the Exodus narrative is related to the
Passover, and Sinai to the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). The two
traditions merge much later.
The inclusion of the Sinai
revelation into the narrative string of the Exodus and
wilderness stories must perforce be later than the composition
of a credo text such as Deut 26: 5-9.
Of course, the late combination of two originally independent
narrative units does not exclude further elaborations and
additions, especially those which create smooth literary
transitions between the Exodus and Sinai material. Each
narrative complex carries its own religious meaning and
background. They arose independently and came together at a
later date. Consequently, we must consider their historicity
separately. If we confirm the historicity of one complex, we
cannot assume the historicity of the other.
Moses, the towering figure of the narrative, guarantees the
fundamental unity of the Exodus-Sinai wilderness complex. Moses
himself functions as the glue that holds together the
Exodus-Numbers tradition, each episode of which is inexorably
linked to and defined by its hero. There is, however, reason to
doubt that Moses is also the historical link between the Sinai
revelation and its surrounding narrative complex.
From a historian's vantage point, it
might be questionable to see one and the same person as the
center of two originally separate narrative units. This
observation is important because it is almost impossible to
separate Moses from either unit and consider him primary to one
of them while secondary to the other.
What is the Exodus
narrative without Moses? Could Israel accept the tablets of the
law from anyone other than Moses himself?
Everything points to the narrative
units' having been composed from the beginning with Moses in
When they wrote their stories about Israel's past, the authors
and the collectors of tradition saw Moses as more important than
any of the narrative elements that they combined into the
Exodus-Sinai wilderness complex. Thus, from the moment of its
composition, Moses dominates the Exodus - Numbers complex.
consequence of Moses' being an integral part of the narrative
units in Exodus-Numbers, it must be concluded that he did not
participate in any of the events recorded, which is a paradox
since the narratives would not live without his presence. [...]
This uncertainty about Moses' identity surfaces again when we
consider his many different roles. In some narratives he is
portrayed with a multitude of characteristics, while other
narratives characterize him more uniformly. The infant Moses'
rescue from the river foreshadows his role as Israel's
liberator, the figure of a prototypical ancient Near Eastern
adventurer-hero. Egyptians, Babylonians, and Assyrians all knew
of tales about such child prodigies, a noteworthy example being
the Akkadian hero-king Sargon. [...]
The legendary tales of Moses and Sargon foretell the future
greatness of two marvelous heroes. Their authors used the rescue
theme to distance their heroes from ordinary people. In this
way, the hero is allowed to transgress the social conventions
that normal people must follow. Without this freedom, no hero
would ever succeed in radically changing the fortunes of his
When we consider the several components of the image of Moses in
the Pentateuch, his role as the creator and legislator of the
Israelite religion is clearly central. At Sinai, Moses mediates
the covenant between
and Israel and conveys the content
of God's law to the Israelites. That Moses should also function
as Israel's supreme judge and ruler with the same power as the
later Israelite kings will, in light of his other functions,
hardly come as a surprise.
Moses is simply the unifying literary component in the
Egypt-Sinai wilderness complex. Thorough him the authors spin a
red thread that connects all the different episodes belonging to
this complex of narratives. Yet one question persists: does any
of this relate to a historical person called Moses? As we
already noted, the Exodus-wilderness complex on the one hand and
the Sinai periscope on the other were originally two independent
literary units. Unity between them was only reached by
introducing the figure of Moses to both narrative complexes.
Before that happened, these
narratives developed independently; without Moses, their authors
would hardly have succeeded in bringing them together.
It is frequently said that the history of Israel's origin and
religion presupposes one central and historical individual and
is totally unfathomable without that person. Thus, it is quipped
that if there had been no Moses, somebody would have to invent
one! They say that Israel's early history is inconceivable
without a genuine architect The answer is easy: yes, they did in
fact invent Him! [...]
Sinai presents another dilemma. Where exactly did God appear to
The ecclesiastical tradition that
connects the present-day Jebel Musa (the Arab name means
"mountain of Moses") with the biblical Mount Sinai only
partially conforms to the biblical tradition. In the late
narrative that begins in Exodus 19, a mountain appears. However,
the description of the journey as well as other hints preserved
by the narrative - does not point in the direction of Jebel
Musa... [but] rather leads toward the northern part of the Sinai
Peninsula and, more precisely, to the oasis Kadesh-barnea.
[A]nother problem persists. The divine revelation at Sinai
described in the Old Testament cannot be reduced to a part of
the history of early Israel. Such a revelation simply goes
beyond what is from a historian's point of view acceptable,
because God cannot be the subject of historical reflection ...
they must rely on empirical facts. By nature, the Sinai
revelation is not a historical subject. [...]
[This] applies as well to the desert wanderings. They must also
conform to the criteria and scrutiny of scientific research. ...
Already, problems arise. The census in Numbers describes a
massive migration composed of several hundred thousand people,
who wandered the desert for forty years. And yet the general
description in the Old Testament of the Israelite's desert
sojourn has little in common with living conditions in such a
place; it rather looks like a snapshot of a religious procession
within a settled culture. The number of participants is
astonishing. How could so many people survive in the desert?
Already the biblical authors were
met with such questions and they knew very well how to answer
them clearly and absolutely: God provides for his people!
Literature can handle miracles, history cannot. The biblical
authors interject an intriguing answer to Israel's desert
dilemmas, namely, God. Repeatedly, God solves the wanderers'
problems with a series of mighty deeds... [...]
So the depiction of the desert wanderings found in Exodus
through Numbers is a tradition that does not relate historical
circumstances of immigration or life in the desert. This
narrative is no more and no less than a literary fiction that
has only one goal, namely, to move the Israelites from Egypt to
Canaan. Only the most dedicated believer clings desperately to
the notion that hundreds of thousand of humans survived forty
years in the desert: clearly a barren and inhospitable
To justify the historicity of the desert wanderings, we must
modify the number of refugees leaving Egypt and tone down God's
miraculous deeds so that we can analyze the historicity of the
events they describe. Ultimately, the results will do violence
to the biblical descriptions. Why? Because they run counter to
the biblical version that not a few persons but a whole nation
took part in those events. [...]
If we reduce these stories in the usual, but unlikely, way -
taking them to be the memory of only a very small and
unimportant group of Asians who escaped from Egypt sometime in
the late second millennium BCE - then we must conclude that the
Old Testament narratives are unhistorical. The Israelite people
never lived in ancient Egypt. The authors of the Biblical
narrative may have borrowed from the remembrance of a small
group of persons who once had been in Egypt. This group
eventually might have become part of the Israelite nation and
their tradition a part of the national heritage.
When scholars accept a "small group" hypothesis, they do so to
bypass the many historical problems raised by this narrative.
Consequently, it is impossible to prove that such a group of
emigrants from Egypt ever existed. By drastically reducing the
number of people involved in the escape from Egypt, Scholars
have made them invisible to the historian. [...]
Ultimately, the authors of the book of Exodus created the
narratives as we know them. These writers - just like the
authors of the patriarchal narratives in Genesis - created their
own narrative universe. They wrote about places and events that
never existed... they describe a literary world, not historical
[T]he Exodus and Sinai narratives were combined in a religious
environment where the Law - the Torah - was already dominant, in
other words, in an Israelite, or preferably Jewish, context.
In other words, the stories were
combined, glossed, adjusted, re-written, at a time when they were
needed to underpin certain religious and political objectives, a
time when the Law was already in place, undoubtedly after the
Babylonian exile, or even later.
Some experts suggest that these stories
were created under Hellenic influences because quite a few of the
Bible stories indicate borrowings from Hellenic sources and
In spite of the preceding
observations, we cannot dispute every last historical connection
for the Sinai narratives. Both the Old Testament and ancient
Near Eastern sources provide circumstantial evidence of
Yahwistic practice at Sinai, although the god
came into possession of a major temple in Palestine.
The book of Exodus tells us how
Yahweh reveals himself initially to Moses and then later to all
The revelations take place south of
the border of ancient Palestine, where we should probably look
for Yahweh's original home. Most of the Old Testament evidence
appears in material dating from a relatively late literary
period; however, other Old Testament passages refer to the
mountain of God. As we noted previously, in 1 Kings 19 Elijah
ventures into the desert and encounters God at Mount Horeb,
evidently a second name for Mount Sinai.
In Judg 5: 5 Yahweh is
"the one from Sinai."
In such texts, Yahweh is also seen
as an immigrant from the south, ultimately from Edom or Seir.
Furthermore, Yahweh is mentioned outside the Old Testament
narratives. Egyptian sources relate stories about an area known
as "Shasu Yahweh", inhabited by Shasu peoples. According to the
Egyptian sources from the second millennium BCE, the nomadic
Shasu lived in Syria-Palestine, east of the Jordan, and on the
In this context, Shasu Yahweh is located in the
Long before scholars began to interpret the Egyptian clues about
Yahweh, many tried to find the historical background for Moses'
visit to Midian, the first place Yahweh confronted Moses. Apart
from the question of the historicity of Exodus 3, one unique
feature stands out in this Moses-in-Midian story: if Yahweh
appeared in Midian, then Israel's God lived in a foreign land
and mingled with foreigners (the Midianites). Evidently this was
Second Kings 5 provides an example of the important connection
between Yahweh and a land: the Aramaean Naaman, who had
converted to Yahwism, had to bring a "piece" of the land of
Israel back to Damascus. On this piece of land he could continue
to worship Yahweh. Thus it is only possible to worship Yahweh
"in" (i.e. "on") his own land.
This is a curious fact. It reminds me of
the legends of vampires that could only sleep in a box of earth from
their native land. Connection?
Clearly, the Old Testament
consciously connects Yahweh with the southern Palestine,
indicating the originality of the information contained in these
narratives. These historical kernels in the Exodus narratives
suggest that either the Israelites lived in southern Palestine
or Midianites (according to other biblical information, the
Kenites) brought the worship of Yahweh to Palestine.
Consequently, Yahwism spread throughout the region until finally
Yahweh became Israel's national God. In support of such a theory
scholars refer to the evidence that Moses' father-in-law was
either a Midianite of a Kenite. [...]
Here I must interject a bit about the
In the ancient Levant, the Kenites
were a nomadic clan sent under Jethro to priest Midian.
According to the Hebrew Bible, they played an important role in
the history of ancient Israel. The Kenites were coppersmiths and
metalworkers. Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, was a shepherd and a
priest of the Kenites. The Kenites apparently assimilated into
the Israelite population, though the Kenites descended from
Rechab maintained a distinct, nomadic lifestyle for some time.
The Kenites were the descendants of Kenan, but have been
understood as the descendents of Cain, the son of Adam and Eve
who murdered his brother, Abel.
Moses apparently identified Jethro's god, El Shaddai, with
Yahweh, the Israelites' god. According to the Kenite
hypothesis, Yahweh was originally the tribal god of the Kenites,
borrowed and adapted by the Hebrews.
(Wikipedia. See also:
In other words, according to their own
stories, the Jewish god is the God of Cain - the marked murderer -
who slew his brother Abel.
That leads to a whole other area of
thought and we won't go there now, but it certainly gives us pause
to think, to consider the "Mark of Cain" as being integral to
We certainly can take note of the fact that, in
Christianity and Judaism, the curse of Cain and the mark of Cain
refer to the Biblical passages in the Book of Genesis chapter 4,
where God declared that Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, was
cursed, and placed a mark upon him to warn others that killing Cain
would provoke the vengeance of God.
What kind of god would protect a murderer that way?
And does this
suggest that the Jews writing the bible were fully conscious of this
connection and wrote that part into the Genesis story to intimidate
A sort of pre-emptive accusation of "anti-Semitism"?
even wonders if circumcision is the fabled "Mark of Cain"?
[T]he Old Testament authors knew
that Yahweh once "came out of Sinai" and was a Midianite or
Kenite deity. In the re-emerging biblical narratives, Yahweh
remains the same, although he chooses another people as his own.
Or the Kenites ARE the Jews.
This study demonstrates that the
biblical portrayals of Israel's earliest history - set in the
larger contexts of Mesopotamia, Syrian Palestine, and Egypt -
are literary compositions rather than historical sources. The
biblical authors consulted various ancient tales and legends,
but did not approach them with a critical eye. ...
A literary analysis of the Pentateuch proves incontrovertibly
that its narratives are not reliable sources for the study of
antiquity; rather, they are works of art. Without regard for
exact historical data regarding the development of their people,
those writers used every weapon in their literary arsenal to
create powerful and dramatic narratives. ...
reconstruct Near Eastern history from these narratives; rather,
we must be content with what they are: adventure stories and
legends, crafted and written by late author-compilers to discuss
"the old days" with their audience. Clearly, that audience did
not measure the historic by historical standards.
Lemche: Prelude to Israel's Past, excerpts through page 63)
Well, that is damning enough when one
considers the claims of the modern state of Israel - the lies they
told and the myths they created - that justified their stealing the
land of the Palestinians.
What is even worse is that, by trying to
impose the false image of an 'ancient Israel' that never existed on
the land of Palestine, the true history of the land and the people
has been not only covered up, it has been categorically denied.
As Keith W. Whitelam writes:
The history of ancient Palestine has
been ignored and silenced by biblical studies because its object
of interest has been an ancient Israel conceived and presented
as the taproot of Western civilization. [...]
The search for ancient Israel, in which I include for shorthand
purposes second Temple Judaism, has consumed phenomenal
intellectual and material resources in our universities,
faculties of theology, divinity schools, theological colleges,
seminaries, and departments of archaeology, particularly in the
USA, Europe, and Israel.
A quick glance through the
prospectuses and catalogues of these institutions will reveal
numerous courses on the history and archaeology of ancient
Israel conducted in the context of the study of the Hebrew Bible
from Jewish and Christian perspectives. This is just as true in
'secular' universities with departments of Religious Studies
rather than faculties of theology.
Interestingly, and revealingly, I
have been able to discover very few courses on the history of
ancient Israel in departments of History or Ancient History. It
seems that ancient Israelite history is the domain of Religion
or Theology and not of History. [...]
Biblical studies has been dominated from its inception by a
concern for the history of ancient Israel as the key to
understanding the Hebrew Bible. It has been of fundamental
concern for Christian theology since Christianity is conceived
of as a religion based upon revelation within history. Philip
Davies has demonstrated, however, that the 'ancient Israel' of
biblical studies is a scholarly construct based upon a
misreading of the biblical traditions and divorced from
historical reality. [...]
[T]here are so many facets of history that our political and
theological histories do not address. ... Much of the data that
pertain to these areas of study are still in unpublished form,
hampering the realization of the project [of producing a factual
history of ancient Palestine]. However, it is the network of
connections in which these scholarly investigations are set
which is the greatest hindrance. ...
The cultural and political factors that have dominated biblical
studies discourse on ancient Israel have denied the development
of a strategy for investigating such issues. Ironically, much of
the archaeological work, the regional surveys and site
excavations, which have contributed to the paradigm shift are
colored by the overwhelming search for ancient Israel, the
material reality which, it is presumed, will help to illuminate
the Hebrew Bible. ...
It has been difficult to uncover or
document sufficiently the subtle political and ideological
influences which have shaped historical research in biblical
(Keith W. Whitelam:
of Ancient Israel - The Silencing of Palestinian History.
But that is not to say that there aren't
historical elements in the Hebrew Bible as we have already seen!
fact, if the historians and historians of religion would read their
texts with an awareness of both
of the planet at periodic intervals, what they are seeing that has
been, until now, so puzzling, would suddenly begin to make perfect
Considering Ponerology, yesterday I wrote an editorial that included
a long quote from psychopathy expert, Martha Stout, in an effort to
explain why so many people are susceptible to the machinations of
In that article I mentioned Nachman Ben-Yehuda's
exposure of the fraud of Masada, the myth created in the early part
of the 20th century, that was utilized to unify (by terror and mind
control) Jewish immigrants to Israel, and turn them into efficient
killing machines so that they would not feel any pangs of conscience
over dispossessing the Palestinians of their land and their lives.
If the reader will take a few moments (heck, it'll take an hour, but
it's worth it!) to read
The Masada Myth and
The Masada Fraud - The
Making of Israel Based on Lies, you will have an exact picture of
how the Bible itself was written. It is composed of various texts
that were written at various times with various political and social
agendas similar to those behind the creation of the Masada myth.
Some facts are retained, others are suppressed, and there are
complete inventions superimposed on the whole.
Voila! You have the
Myth of Masada and in the same way, you have the Old Testament and
the New Testament!
On the subject of mythmaking and religion, Burton Mack writes about
this topic extensively in his analyses of the New Testament. Many of
the scholars of the Old Testament also point to myth-making as the
reason for its existence but Mack makes it pretty easy to
That early Christians engaged in
mythmaking may be difficult for modern Christians to accept. The
usual connotations of the term myth are almost entirely
negative. And when it is used to describe the content of the New
Testament gospels there is invariably a hue and cry. That is
because, in distinction from most mythologies that begin with a
"once upon a time," the Christian myth is set in historical time
and place. It seems therefore to demand the belief that the
events of the gospel story really happened.
And that means that
the story cannot be "myth."
It may help some to note,
mythmaking is a normal and necessary social activity
early Christian mythmaking was due more to borrowing and
rearranging myths taken for granted in the cultures of context
than to firsthand speculation
that the myths they came
up with made eminent sense, not only for their times and
circumstance, but also for the social experiments in which they
were invested. [...]
Every culture has a set of stories that account for the world in
which a people find themselves. These stories usually tell of
the creation of the world, the appearance of the first people,
ancestral heroes and their achievements, and the glorious
beginnings of society as a people experience it. Terrain,
village patterns, shrines, temples, cities, and kingdoms are
often set in place or planned at the beginning of time.
understand these myths as the distillation of human-interest
stories first told in the course of routine patterns of living
together, then rehearsed for many generations. Telling stories
about one another is what we do. It belongs to the life and work
of maintaining human relations and constructing societies. [...]
Epic is a rehearsal of the past that puts the present in its
light. Setting the present in the light of an illustrious past
makes it honorable, legitimate, right, and reasonable. The
present institution is then worth celebrating.
And we saw exactly this process in the
discussions of the making of the Myth of Masada.
Naturally, both the past and the
present may be highly romanticized or idealized, for epic is
myth in the genre of history. The stories of
ancient Sumerian and Akkadian civilizations were epic. For the
Greeks, Homer was epic. Pindar's poetry of illustrious family
lines was epic on a small scale.
The local histories of shrines,
temples, and peoples in the eastern Mediterranean during the
Hellenistic period were epic on a medium-sized scale. And the
history of Israel, which, from the very beginning of the world
aimed at the establishment of a temple-state in Jerusalem, was
epic for the Jews.
When the [alleged] second temple was destroyed in 70 C.E., the
Jews had a problem on their hands. Not only their ancient
history, contained in the five books of Moses, but an immense
body of literature from the Hellenistic period documented their
intellectual investment in the temple-state as the proper goal
of human history from the foundation of the world. Christians
also had a problem. They had no right to claim the history of
Israel as their own.
But early Jewish Christians had wanted to
think of themselves as the people of God, heirs of the promises
to Israel, or even the new Israel for a new day. ... All of the
early myths about Jews were attempts to paint him and his
followers in acceptable colors from the Israel epic. But these
attempts were fanciful, ad hoc, and incapable of competing with
the obvious logic of the Jewish epic.
The Jewish epic was a
history that aimed at the establishment of a temple-state in
Jerusalem, not a Christian congregation. When the temple's end
came, however, and the epic's logic was in total disarray,
Christians had their chance to revise it in their favor. It was
then that revising the Israel epic became a major focus for
early Christian myth-making. [...]
And then, from the middle of the second century on, the fur
really started to fly. Both Jews and Christians wanted to read
the history of Israel in their favor, and each needed the Jewish
scriptures as documentation for social formations that did not
match the temple-state at the end of Israel's story. Two myths
were devised then, and they are still playing havoc with what
otherwise might be a reasonable conversation between Christians
and Jews about the texts we sometimes call the Hebrew Bible,
sometimes the Old Testament. [...]
Just as with each separate writing, so the Bible itself came
together at a certain juncture of social and cultural history.
The reasons for the selection and arrangement of writings in the
Bible cannot be found in any of the individual books read
separately. The reasons have to be taken from the Christian
authors of the second to the fourth centuries.
Only at the end
of this period, when we finally catch sight of the Bible as we
know it, will we see that it demands a particular way of reading
the history of Israel, puts a special spin on the appearance of
the Christ, and grants uncommon authority to the apostles and
their missions. By then it will be clear to us that the book was
important because it gave the church the credentials it needed
for its role in Constantine's empire. We may then call it the
myth of origin for the Christian religion.
It will be the
Christian myth in the form of the biblical epic that granted the
Christian church its charter. It will be that epic that
determines the Bible's hold upon our American mind. The Bible's
mystique is oddly mis-named by calling it the "Word of God." We
must come to see that, or we shall never be able to talk about
the Bible in public forum when discussing our cultural history
and its present state of affairs.
Who Wrote the New
We have to keep in mind that the event
that triggered the creation of the Christian Bible which,
ultimately, led us into the trap of the Judaic god of Cain, the
murderer, was the conversion of Constantine which, very likely, was
at a time of cometary bombardment and extreme social stress.
have a look at the list of
Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets:
Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls to get an
idea of how these events have influenced our history, creating
social chaos which is the ideal breeding ground for psychopaths and
their ascent to power.)
Constantine became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire and called
the first council of Christian bishops to meet in Nicaea in 325 CE.
Constantine knew a unique opportunity when he saw one the same way
that Shmaria Guttman saw that Masada was the ideal story to
transform into a myth of Jewish ruthlessness.
When, finally, the Jewish scriptures and the "apostolic" writings
were combined in a single book, the church was off and running; it
had its story straight. The Hebrew bible could be used to claim
extreme antiquity for the Christian religion, and served as the
"Christian Epic." Having claimed all these texts, traditions, and
ancient history, the Christian church achieved honor in the eyes of
the Greco-Roman world. (Which is why they did it!)
Without the Old
and New Testaments together, the Christian church would not have had
an appropriate pedigree in the eyes of 4th century people. And, of
course, that history was amazing! Never mind that it was created by schizoidal psychopaths who wanted to create a Jewish Temple State in
Israel with the help of the Persians, or that parts of it were used
to justify the kingship of the Hasmoneans.
It had been revised and
adjusted so many times, that whatever history had ever been
incorporated was now lost in layers of manipulative gloss.
Christianity was driven by two schizoidal urges:
thrust of Christianity is thus, backward in time, inward toward a
psychological repeating of the founding events, and toward a
specific location: Israel.
There is a certain irony to this because the original claim that
Christianity made on the epic that belonged to Israel was based on
the fact that Jerusalem was desolated and destroyed, so of course,
God had abandoned it and chosen a new people - Christians - on whom
he would bestow his favoritism. It was the destruction of Jerusalem
that made it possible for Christians to steal the Jew's epic
"history" and interpret that destruction as God's desire to expand
his territory to include the whole world.
So why, one might ask,
would Christians want to go back to Jerusalem? That's not logical.
But, not to worry: an explanation was soon forthcoming! It was
declared that God logically wanted Christians to redeem Israel.
And so, finally, the Global Temple State had a chance to come into
being under Christianity - the Catholic Church was positioned at the
apex of power; even princes bowed to the pope. The power of God was
in its hands and the intent was to shape the minds of all humanity
from kings down to the lowliest serf.
The Christian church claims to represents the kingdom of God on
earth and its whole rant is that people must prepare for a future
life in heaven under threat of an apocalyptic alternative. How's
that for mind control? The church can call society to task for not
living up to God's standards, all the while pointing to some other
time and place (never now, of course), when that kingdom of God will
the church itself is exempt from critique!
The church has the
Bible as its charter and the Bible has the universal plan, and the
Bible is exempt from analysis. The fact is, without the Bible, and
the belief in the bible by the masses of humanity as, at the very
least, divinely inspired, the church would look pretty stupid. The
Bible is the only object in the Christian religions that all forms
of Christianity have in common.
For almost 2 thousand years, the
church has forced people after people into alignment with the
Biblical epic and "history" and the history of Western Civilization
that is the result of that ancient epic. The traditions and customs
of culture after culture have been subsumed, eradicated, erased from
collective memory, and those people have been forced to adopt the
Epic of Israel as their own - as if it were their own history. To
become a Christian means that one must accept this epic as the only
one that matters.
Saying "yes" to the Epic of Israel is the price
one pays to become part of Western Civilization.
Additionally, the Bible functions as America's Epic, the dream of
creating "One Nation, Under God, indivisible..." One doesn't even
have to be a Christian to think that way. One only needs to think of
America as the "flowering of Western Civilization" - but don't
forget that the roots of that civilization are supposed to be firmly
planted in Israel.
Are you getting the impression that Christianity was created to
Well, that's not exactly the case. Israel was literally created by
Christianity in order to fulfill the Christian apocalyptic agenda.
As Keith Whitelam writes:
The production of a "master story"
of ancient Israel has formed part of a theological enterprise
conducted mainly in faculties of theology and divinity in the
The biblical epic of Israel seen through
the lens of Christianity, is based on a worldview that is
universalist in scope, monolinear in history, hierarchical in power,
dualistic in anthropology, and it requires miracles, breakthroughs
and other cosmic dramas at regular intervals to rectify social
situations that have run amok.
The fact is, the adoption of the Epic of Israel by Western
Civilization has created more problems throughout history than it
has ever solved.
We cannot go on destroying other peoples and cultures in order to
"save them." We cannot go on exploiting our planet because "God gave
it to us to do with as we wish". And unless we, as a culture and
civilization, really come to grips with the fact that we have
believed a pack of lies for over 2000 years, we aren't going to get
out of the mess we are in.
Criticism of the Bible has always been considered subversive.
the fact is, the Bible is a masterpiece of invention, the product of
energetic mythmaking very much like the making of the Masada myth,
the sacrificing of Truth. And this sacrificing of Truth is what has
shaped the soul of Western Civilization.
As Burton Mack writes:
My own fantasy is to enter a hall
and find high ceilings, lovely chandeliers, walls lined with
bookshelves, wines in the alcove, hors d'oeuvres by the windows,
and a wide table down the middle of the room with the Bible
sitting on it. And there we are, all of us, walking around,
sitting at the table, and talking about what we should do with
that book. Some rules are in order. Everyone has been invited.
Christians have not been excluded, but they are not the ones in
charge. All of us are there, and all of our knowledge and
expertise is also on the table. There are historians of
religion, cultural anthropologists, and political scientists,
but also politicians, CEOs and those who work in foreign
affairs. The ethnic communities of Los Angels County are all
well represented, as are women, the disenfranchised, the
disabled, and all the voiceless who have recently come to
Merchants are there, and workers and the airline pilots.
Everyone is present, and everyone gets to talk and ask
questions. No one has a corner on what the Bible says. We blow
our whistles if anyone starts to pout or preach. What we are
trying to figure out is why we thought the Bible so important,
whether it is so important, how it has influenced our culture,
what we think of the story, whether we should laugh or cry at
the "ending," how it fits or does not fit our current situation,
and whether the story should be revised in keeping with our
vision of a just, sustainable, festive, and multicultural world.
Wouldn't that be something?
Why can't we learn to talk about religion and culture in public
as we look for ways to imagine and create the sane societies we
desperately need in our multicultural world? If we want to do
that, and I think we must, the taboo on the Bible that is now in
place will have to be broken. [...]
The taboo is the sign that
we all are complicit in the unacknowledged agreement to let that
story stand. It is time to find out whether we think that wise.
Who Wrote the New
It's pretty easy to cast most of the
blame on Israel for all the horrors of our world today; it's
But we have to remember that it would all grind to a halt
in an instant if Christianity would withdraw its support for the
re-creation of Israel which they see as necessary to "initiate the Eschaton." One ought not to forget that it was the
British who started all this with the
Balfour Declaration. Of
course, one can think that there was blackmail - unusual and
excessive pressure - exercised by the Zionists to get what they
But that doesn't excuse the choices made by Western leaders
under the influence of their own pathological, apocalyptic agenda.
And so, what we see, in the end, is a psychopathic minority at the
top of all the governments of the world using the faith of
Christians and Jews alike (and Muslims) to pursue their rapacious
goals of seeking ever more power and plunder.
They do not even
realize that they, themselves, or their offspring, will soon find
themselves with nothing.
As Lobaczewski writes in
The following question thus suggests
[itself]: what happens if [psychopaths seek] power in leadership
positions with international exposure? ... Goaded by their
character, such people thirst for just that even though it would
conflict with their own life interest, ...
They do not understand
that a catastrophe [will] ensue. Germs are not aware that they
will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the
human body whose death they are causing.
It may be the birthday of the State of
Israel, but there is no cause for celebration.
celebrates not the birth of nationhood but a 60-year-long campaign
of ethnic cleansing of an innocent and defenseless people, justified
by a 2000-year-old lie.
Rather than celebrate, let us recognize and
mourn the fact that the whole world has been made slaves to this
Judeo-Christian doctrine of demons and subjects of the synagogue of
the vengeful and wrathful god of Cain, the murderer, that seeks to
rob us of our humanity, and let us resolve to no longer tolerate the
public spectacle of wanton cruelty that is the US, UK-backed Zionist
entity and its systematic brutalization and murder of the