Breaking down the Bible to see why and when it was written

Discussion in 'Religion, Beliefs and Spirituality' started by Insurgency, May 20, 2010.

  1. #1 Insurgency, May 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2010
    My class has required me to read the Bible and a couple other books of archeological finds. I would love to share with you guys these ideas, which is very thought provoking.

    Evidence or a lack of evidence, at many excavations throughout Israel and Egypt suggest that many of the famous stories of the Bible are in fact, a reflective style of writing that authors used to explain geographical, emotional, and political issues.

    Lets begin,

    Lets start with the first five books of the Bible. We see doublets, or reoccurring stories, primarily in Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers. These doublets are interesting however, because they use identifiable characteristics of terminology and geographical focus. You will also realize throughout the Bible that names to describe God of Israel vary. One name we see is YHWH, which seemed to be used more towards (or interested in) the territory of Judah. The other names are Elohim or El for God, and these names are used more with concern towards territories in the north.Knowing that, and also for later use in this thread, we will use "J" which scholars use for Yahwist sources, and "E" for the Elohist sources. (sources meaning the territory for which they were written)

    Now we must try and find the stages in which all the history and experiences of these kingdoms were merged into a single society, or a single scripture.

    Remember to not regard the Bible with historical basis no more than Homer's Illiad and the Odyssey.

    Genesis: (skipping the creation story)
    We have the first saga of the Bible. From creation to the beginning of the lives of the Patriarchs and new decedents. We begin to see the relationship between God and humanity, and receive our moral codes to live by. Hopefully we all agree that the Bible, in this case Genesis, offers a very accurate chronological order of decedents and geographical locations. Correlations of there dates and archeological finds contradict however.

    We have the father of all, Abraham, who will eventually be the founder of all the tribes. Abraham would also become the center character who is responsible for creating alters throughout the region. However, there is no archaeological evidence that any of these patriarchs existed, including Issac and Jacob.

    We must know try and understand when the Bible was written. The answer is the during the 7th century BCE. The places and names throughout Genesis and the other four, recognize historical places but have conflicting dates with actual evidence. During this time, these stories of the patriarchs is the basis for this group of people to come together, as they are all related and from the same father.

    Moses was credited for writing the first five, but how is this possible. Moses used names of place and people who would not have existed by the time of his death. His death also is greatly portrayed, but how, if he is dying how can he write the story?

    Another evidence is (take this as you want, but i find it very important) the Bible tells stories of the patriarchs traveling through the desert with camels or herds of camels, and in Genesis 37:25, we also see camels described as beasts of burden used in caravan trade. Archaeological research has shown that camels were not domesticated as beasts of burden earlier than around the time of 1000 BCE. If this is so, this would set off the time frame of the biblical stories for Joseph. Excavations have revealed numerous camel bones dating to the 7th century BCE. These bones were also mature adults, with no children (packs of camels) which suggests that they were beasts of burden used for traveling and caravans.

    Not important? Think again, these findings could suggest an intensive period of writing from "patriarchal narratives" during the 8th and 7th centuries BCE.

    Biblical scholars have placed the Exodus at 1440 BCE. I will try and explain some possible events and findings that will prove that the basis of Exodus took place at a different time, but most likely reflected the people who wrote it around 800-650 BCE.

    We all know the story of how Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to begin the journey to the promise land.

    To start, you should know that the empire of Egypt played a huge role as a shelter and retreat place for many people of Canaan when life was difficult due to environmental and climatic change. People would come to Egypt because of its location on the Nile Delta, which would always produce, even during drought seasons.

    Now, have you ever heard of the Hyksos? They lived in the land between Egypt and Canaan and had a gradual immigration to the land. Eventually they would establish rule of Egypt, which scholars say happened around 1670 BCE up until their expulsion from Egypt in 1570. It is also important to note that names of these rules are found on seals, and they were in Semitic, which is another name for Canannite. The story of the Hyksos parallels the story of the Israelites in Egypt and also shadows Josephs high authority in Egyptian government.

    Also, the Bible tells us the Israel slaves were forced to construct the city of Ramses, which the Bible said would have happened around 1600 to 1500 BCE. This is weird because we do not even see the first Ramses pharaoh until 1320 BCE in Egyptian records. Also, Egyptian records show that this city was not even constructed until 1279 to 1213 BCE.

    Now in the Bible, there is no mention of anything Egyptian outside of Egypt. The funny thing is that during this time, Egypt was at the height of its power. They kept social, economical, and political records (maybe environmental as well) which are very accurate. What this means is that Egyptian fortifications were all over and there were many that were stationed on the supposed path that the Israelites took to get to Canaan. Now does one actually believe the Egyptians, with their vast amount of records and tightly controlled borders, did not record some kind of mass exodus of people? In NO WAY could a large group of people pass through Egyptian border forts without being reported.

    One last point i will make with Exodus is that there is no evidence that nomads roamed the deserts. We also see no evidence of the presence of people at cities (excavation sites now) like Kadesh-barnea, Ezion-Geber, and Arad. We do find evidence of people but at a much later time, which would throw off the Exodus stories date.

    Summary for Exodus is that there is no evidence of Israelite presence in Egypt before the 13th century BCE. The basic idea of Exodus is true, which could mean that the story could reflect the immigration and peaceful takeover of the Hyksos but then the sudden expulsion of the entire group. Exodus gives accurate geographical places, but it more reflects back on certain things, but it seems to reflect more on a time much later than the supposed "Exodus time"

  2. I'm not religious and havn't read the bible so take this as you will.

    I remember from a class I took a couple years back that the first disciple to write his part of the bible was 50 or so years after Christs death. The last disciple to write was over 400 years after his death.

    When I say 400 years later I mean that the disciple vocally preached the information and it was passed year after year and then one student finally decided to write it down.

    Another interesting part of the bible that contradicts itself is Jesus' birthday. Look into this and you can find some cool info similar to what you've found.
    -It talks about shepards not being able to operate in certain times of the year so there was no way there could have been one at the birth.
  3. Just so you know, you are talking about New Testament and the life of Jesus. This is very different from the Old Testament, which is from ancient Summarian beliefs and also the books of Jewish Torah, etc. The New Testament is very much Christian because it makes Jesus a divine humangod, which other religions do not recognize.
  4. I'm just simply amused by the story of Jesus walking on water; the only witnesses were himself and a few people, who worshiped him, in the boat with him..

    The Bible does pretty much falsify itself in terms of being a historical source. The Bible is basically made of old folk stories. Like an old Brothers Grimm book..
  5. I think you guys are missing the point i am trying to make with this thread. It is not to prove if the Bible is historical or if any of the stories are true or not, but rather it reflects the people of a much later time.

    It was not written during a time of great cities and powerful heroes, it was during a time of struggle where people needed to fight for there future. During a few decades of spiritual ferment and political agitation at the end of the 7th century BCE, a group of Judahite officials, scribes, priests, peasants and prophets came together to form a new movement, which at its core is the unparalleled literary and spiritual genius of the Bible.

    The Bible has persuaded the world that Jerusalem was always central to the experience of all the people of Israel, but in actuality it was just another group or clan fighting to remain in power despite all the internal strife and threats it received from the outside world.
  6. Disclaimer: I actually read the OP

    I have thought along these lines for a while now, that the bible especially the stories of Moses have to have more behind the scenes going on. I have not went in depth as you but when reading there is certain stuff that simply can not be overlooked to make you question what was really going on. People seem to ignore the fact that Moses recorded his own death, and also wrote in detail about occurences that happened before he was even thought of. I'm glad that you touched on that. To be honest I don't know much in depth knowledge because the only bible study I do is on my own and as you can imagine that is a difficult task. When I get in school and get some guidance that will definitely change.

    Also there are so many Tanakh stories that must be missing, before their were scribes there were orators, I doubt that all of their stories survived to be written down, or maybe they have, what answers do they hold to give light upon such a mysterious book?

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