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Azul
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« on: April 26, 2012, 01:18:42 PM »

Religion and rituals are based more on a crafty experience than a vivid one.Religion tends to cause soul stilness, through the repetition of the same practices,words , prayers, rituals, all over again.So my questions are : Does God love religion and did he establish any religion or religious rituals?Does God really desire a religious(formal) life from us or a personal relationship with us?Doesn`t the number of religions and religious divisions and subdivisions proove that God did not establish religion, that no religion has the substance of God in it?If it would it would have been striking and self evident.Instead we have various religions that lack truth in various parts and do not satisfy the entire need of the human soul.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 01:28:32 PM by Azul » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 01:24:38 PM »

Why should the formal and the personal be separate?

Jesus did create a religion and its rituals. Read the 6th Chapter of the Gospel According to St. John.
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 01:35:35 PM »

Why should the formal and the personal be separate?

Why should they be united?

Quote
Jesus did create a religion and its rituals. Read the 6th Chapter of the Gospel According to St. John.

Jesus seemed to be against the formal religion of that time and preach a direct relationship with God.But I`m not speaking here of Jesus or solely of Jesus,the Bible, Christianity, but all religions.Try to look at the bigger picture.. at the whole picture.

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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 01:37:02 PM »

Against the formal religion, or against Pharisees and hypocrites?

Someone who is against formal religion is not going to preach at the synagogue of Capernaum. Yet Jesus did.

Stop listening to Protestant propaganda. They invented these terms. They are foreign to the Scripture.
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 02:06:15 PM »

I think you'll find divisions and disagreements and corruption in most anything humanity has put their fingers into. That doesn't say something about God's plans (a religion, a church, etc.) so much as our propensity for messing his stuff up. But God is longsuffering!
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 02:53:21 PM »

I suggest that what you call religion could apply to your own beliefs and that people needlessly dichotomise the word religion out of some sense of spiritual superiority.
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 02:55:14 PM »

@Azul: Why do you keep lying to us and yourself with your "faith" status?
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 03:04:21 PM »

I think you'll find divisions and disagreements and corruption in most anything humanity has put their fingers into. That doesn't say something about God's plans (a religion, a church, etc.) so much as our propensity for messing his stuff up. But God is longsuffering!

Words of wisdom.  I find it best not to judge a religion based on the actions of it's followers.  If that were the case I would probably be Mormon.
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 03:38:08 PM »

I think you'll find divisions and disagreements and corruption in most anything humanity has put their fingers into. That doesn't say something about God's plans (a religion, a church, etc.) so much as our propensity for messing his stuff up. But God is longsuffering!

My point on this argument is confusion.. There is so much confusion in all religions that all of them are dividing and subdividing.. Why would God plan a ritualistic religion?If he would he would let anyone know about it wouldn`t he?Unless he is a partial(not impartial) and exclusivist God.. Isn`t the continuos subdivision of religions and the reducing of the number of practicant religious people proof that people do not really have his religion nor know and understand Him religiously?Isn`t it rather that the path is through a personal relationship and it is available to everyone?I`m just saying wouldn`t a loving and all-just God give all the same chance and treatement and be there for everyone?

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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 03:54:26 PM »

Quote
Why would God plan a ritualistic religion
By stating how things work and stipulating beliefs, not accepting variance, you can always protect truth. have you not seen what happens with an "anything goes" faith?

Here a website for an anything goes "faith" episcopalchurch.org.

Quote
If he would he would let anyone know about it wouldn`t he
He did. People choose to ignore it.

Quote
Unless he is a partial(not impartial) and exclusivist God
He is. You must worship Him in light of Jesus Christ, his Son who died for us.

Quote
Isn`t the continuos subdivision of religions and the reducing of the number of practicant religious people proof that people do not really have his religion nor know and understand Him religiously
No, it means demons are at times successful.

Quote
Isn`t it rather that the path is through a personal relationship and it is available to everyone
It is open to everyone, however, pietism will get you nowhere.

Quote
I`m just saying wouldn`t a loving and all-just God give all the same chance and treatement and be there for everyone
God is loving, however He is not just. If He were all-just, he'd have irradicated us long ago for our continued hubris.

He said all may come. So I dont understand your last comment.

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« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 03:55:41 PM by primuspilus » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2012, 01:42:07 PM »

Quote
Why would God plan a ritualistic religion
By stating how things work and stipulating beliefs, not accepting variance, you can always protect truth. have you not seen what happens with an "anything goes" faith?

One problem they don`t seem to work..

Quote
Here a website for an anything goes "faith" episcopalchurch.org.

All faiths are anything goes.. there are various interpretations and perceptions of every religious dogma/doctrine thus the continuos decimation of thought , jurisdiction and denomination among all religions...

Quote
If he would he would let anyone know about it wouldn`t he
He did. People choose to ignore it.

And exactly how he let anyone know about it and why isn`t it so self-evident?


Quote
Unless he is a partial(not impartial) and exclusivist God
He is. You must worship Him in light of Jesus Christ, his Son who died for us.

What light of Jesus Christ?There are a lot of shut doors, missing links and vaccums in Christianity, that were experienced even by saints.The saints themselves were unfulfilled.Religions tend to have a schizoid psychology that endangers the integrity of one's personality and causes personality disorder.Complexes of insuficiency, guilt sentiments and censorship.It is creating vaccuums through censorship, by narrowing things down to a single psychology.

Quote
Isn`t the continuos subdivision of religions and the reducing of the number of practicant religious people proof that people do not really have his religion nor know and understand Him religiously
No, it means demons are at times successful.

Religion does not correspond with the spiritual needs of people at least for the last tens of years if not more.. The precepts of christianity do not work in a secular world unless one becomes a sociopath.

Quote
I`m just saying wouldn`t a loving and all-just God give all the same chance and treatement and be there for everyone
God is loving, however He is not just. If He were all-just, he'd have irradicated us long ago for our continued hubris.

He said all may come. So I dont understand your last comment.

PP


God is not just?!Does anyone else share that opinion?
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2012, 01:45:21 PM »

Azul, if you are having problems with your faith, why don't you get some help? Arguing about it doesn't do anything. And if you are against the faith, give up. Don't waste your time.
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2012, 01:47:42 PM »

Quote from: Azul
Religion does not correspond with the spiritual needs of people at least for the last tens of years if not more.. The precepts of christianity do not work in a secular world unless one becomes a sociopath.

Can you elaborate on that? No, really. What does that mean?
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2012, 01:53:58 PM »

Quote from: Azul
Religion does not correspond with the spiritual needs of people at least for the last tens of years if not more.. The precepts of christianity do not work in a secular world unless one becomes a sociopath.

Can you elaborate on that? No, really. What does that mean?

Let me save you some time: it's a bunch of crap.
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 01:54:31 PM »

God is not just?!Does anyone else share that opinion?

While I said something a bit different in this thread (reply #101), I think primuspilus and I probably are fairly close in what we each are trying to say.
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 02:02:38 PM »

Quote
God is not just?!Does anyone else share that opinion?
Not in the way we view being just, no. if he were, he'd have given our JUST punishment. Fr. Damick speaks on this wonderfully.

PP
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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 02:33:55 PM »

Quote
God is not just?!Does anyone else share that opinion?
Not in the way we view being just, no. if he were, he'd have given our JUST punishment. Fr. Damick speaks on this wonderfully.

PP

Speak for yourself.
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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2012, 02:59:51 PM »

Quote from: Azul
Religion does not correspond with the spiritual needs of people at least for the last tens of years if not more.. The precepts of christianity do not work in a secular world unless one becomes a sociopath.

Can you elaborate on that? No, really. What does that mean?

I will narrow it down to this quote :

Anyone who sees and paints a sky green and fields blue ought to be sterilized. Adolf Hitler

The precepts of Christianity do not work in a secular world, those precepts are all about a virtual world.. Christianity and Christians  generally tend to have a devoid perception about reality...
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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2012, 03:23:13 PM »

Maybe it only seems to have no result because you prejudice one part of reality over another and call the part you do not care to take seriously 'virtual.' Still, you have not explained what you mean. You merely continue to assert that Christianity has no utility in reality without going any further, making it difficult for me to respond. Perhaps you think it is because Christianity advocates a radical sort of virtue and humility and love. It strikes you as impractical. After all, people must bloody their fists, give into the lusts of their heart, play hardball and look out for #1, etc. That is the way of life. Dying to the world is surely the epitome of impracticality...at least to the one who can only evaluate utility according to a materialistic measure.

I see your quote and will raise you a quote from GK Chesterton's Orthodoxy:

Quote
Paganism declared that virtue was in a balance; Christianity declared it was in a conflict: the collision of two passions apparently opposite. Of course they were not really inconsistent; but they were such that it was hard to hold simultaneously. Let us follow for a moment the clue of the martyr and the suicide; and take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. "He that will lose his life, the same shall save it," is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice.

He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying. And it has held up ever since above the European lances the banner of the mystery of chivalry: the Christian courage, which is a disdain of death; not the Chinese courage, which is a disdain of life.

And now I began to find that this duplex passion was the Christian key to ethics everywhere. Everywhere the creed made a moderation out of the still crash of two impetuous emotions. Take, for instance, the matter of modesty, of the balance between mere pride and mere prostration. The average pagan, like the average agnostic, would merely say that he was content with himself, but not insolently self-satisfied, that there were many better and many worse, that his deserts were limited, but he would see that he got them. In short, he would walk with his head in the air; but not necessarily with his nose in the air. This is a manly and rational position, but it is open to the objection we noted against the compromise between optimism and pessimism--the "resignation" of Matthew Arnold. Being a mixture of two things, it is a dilution of two things; neither is present in its full strength or contributes its full colour. This proper pride does not lift the heart like the tongue of trumpets; you cannot go clad in crimson and gold for this. On the other hand, this mild rationalist modesty does not cleanse the soul with fire and make it clear like crystal; it does not (like a strict and searching humility) make a man as a little child, who can sit at the feet of the grass. It does not make him look up and see marvels; for Alice must grow small if she is to be Alice in Wonderland. Thus it loses both the poetry of being proud and the poetry of being humble. Christianity sought by this same strange expedient to save both of them.

...

This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic. The Church in its early days went fierce and fast with any warhorse; yet it is utterly unhistoric to say that she merely went mad along one idea, like a vulgar fanaticism. She swerved to left and right, so exactly as to avoid enormous obstacles. She left on one hand the huge bulk of Arianism, buttressed by all the worldly powers to make Christianity too worldly. The next instant she was swerving to avoid an orientalism, which would have made it too unworldly. The orthodox Church never took the tame course or accepted the conventions; the orthodox Church was never respectable. It would have been easier to have accepted the earthly power of the Arians. It would have been easy, in the Calvinistic seventeenth century, to fall into the bottomless pit of predestination. It is easy to be a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one's own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob. To have fallen into any of those open traps of error and exaggeration which fashion after fashion and sect after sect set along the historic path of Christendom--that would indeed have been simple. It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.
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« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2012, 04:15:25 PM »

Quote from: Azul
Religion does not correspond with the spiritual needs of people at least for the last tens of years if not more.. The precepts of christianity do not work in a secular world unless one becomes a sociopath.

Can you elaborate on that? No, really. What does that mean?

I will narrow it down to this quote :

Anyone who sees and paints a sky green and fields blue ought to be sterilized. Adolf Hitler

The precepts of Christianity do not work in a secular world, those precepts are all about a virtual world.. Christianity and Christians  generally tend to have a devoid perception about reality...

What on Earth does that quote have to do with anything?  Huh  Angry
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« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2012, 04:52:44 PM »

Azul, I want to second Biro's suggestion that you get help for your questions from a priest or other spiritual father. The threads and posts that you make here on OC.net are not edifying, either to yourself or to others.

As to the general topic of the thread: I am glad that Christianity does not work out in the secular world. It did not work in the classical, pre-secular, largely pagan world, either. Instead it transformed it. This is what the secular world needs, because in every way that matters, it is the secular world that does not work and is not fulfilling the spiritual needs of man.

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« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2012, 10:55:17 PM »

Religion and rituals are based more on a crafty experience than a vivid one.Religion tends to cause soul stilness, through the repetition of the same practices,words , prayers, rituals, all over again.So my questions are : Does God love religion and did he establish any religion or religious rituals?Does God really desire a religious(formal) life from us or a personal relationship with us?Doesn`t the number of religions and religious divisions and subdivisions proove that God did not establish religion, that no religion has the substance of God in it?If it would it would have been striking and self evident.Instead we have various religions that lack truth in various parts and do not satisfy the entire need of the human soul.



Well you used the word "religion". 
In the EO church often some of the things you mentioned are true, which is where I have issues with the faith.  In particular, prayer ropes & the Jesus prayer 100x times.   However, that is rather trivial, and many of my issues of the church are trivial.     Liturgy usually is the same on Sunday, but I believe it is so that its repetitive.   As far as the scripture goes, god did not establish rituals as they exist today, but they were rather basic.   A baptism in the water was not with anointing, white robes, garments of byzantine kings, etc.   The symbolism within EO can be as beautiful and ornate with everything going on, and when you consider all the symbols that go into a baptism (including the priests vestment with no seams), it's can be pretty neat.

However, neatness does come at a price, and often simplicity is lost.   For me this isn't a right or wrong type of question, its a glass half full or empty question.   The way its done is right ritually, but it doesn't always have to be that way.

I believe that a priest could be in very basic or shabby clothes, performing a baptism in a murky river and it would be just as valid....  I believe without all the prayers and services of baptism he could just baptize in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit and it would be just as valid as a big ornate service with tons of clergy present in a big church.

Scripturally, there were not many "rituals".   In fact, they didn't even fast before the eucharist at the last supper....  Most of that is for us, and churchy, not right or wrong...  I just think a lot of symbols in ritualism exist to show the richness... perhaps respect... towards what is happening.
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« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2012, 11:17:20 PM »

Also a quick note to some posting about Azul, whom I don't know.

Sometimes people come to online forums, especially on sections that are hot topics intended for debate, to ask questions on issues which they either struggle or do not make sense to them.   Sometimes these issues are tough to go face to face to other people about in person, especially when you have known a person for a while and don't want to disappoint them or harm them in any way.

I don't think its fair to call Azul a liar about the faith he proclaims to be, just because his mind ponders, or he has arguments or has come to conclusions about certain issues he's having.

I know trust me.  Even though I was baptized Orthodox (OCA), attended St. Vladimir's seminary, and have been in the Orthodox church for many years, I have trivial issues against some of the practices.  That doesn't make me a complete adversary to the church, nor anybody's enemies.  It means I don't agree with certain things the church does.   It doesn't make me un-Christian nor un-Orthodox.

I think here in Azul's case, he posted a very valid question.  By extremely early Christian practice, these rituals did not exist in the elaborate form today, nor did repetitive prayer that nearly seems hypnotic.  I've posted on some of these same issues.  Prayer ropes for instance repeating the same prayer... It's not "mandatory to pray like", or even have a prayer rope.  But anyway, some of his question I don't address....
 
This does not mean he should dump the church or Orthodoxy if he has issues that differ, or wonderments.   Even the Orthodox disagree with the Orthodox (Calendar, Beards, Ecumenism, head coverings for women).  I may have issues with prayer ropes, or addressing clergy as father or master... (discussion on other threads)  That doesn't mean that I want to dump the faith all together.  Perhaps through time, my issues can be resolved and I can feel comfortable coming back into Orthodoxy, which I don't believe I have left.
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« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2012, 06:51:23 AM »

Maybe it only seems to have no result because you prejudice one part of reality over another and call the part you do not care to take seriously 'virtual.' Still, you have not explained what you mean. You merely continue to assert that Christianity has no utility in reality without going any further, making it difficult for me to respond. Perhaps you think it is because Christianity advocates a radical sort of virtue and humility and love. It strikes you as impractical. After all, people must bloody their fists, give into the lusts of their heart, play hardball and look out for #1, etc. That is the way of life. Dying to the world is surely the epitome of impracticality...at least to the one who can only evaluate utility according to a materialistic measure.

I see your quote and will raise you a quote from GK Chesterton's Orthodoxy:

Quote
Paganism declared that virtue was in a balance; Christianity declared it was in a conflict: the collision of two passions apparently opposite. Of course they were not really inconsistent; but they were such that it was hard to hold simultaneously. Let us follow for a moment the clue of the martyr and the suicide; and take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. "He that will lose his life, the same shall save it," is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice.

He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying. And it has held up ever since above the European lances the banner of the mystery of chivalry: the Christian courage, which is a disdain of death; not the Chinese courage, which is a disdain of life.

And now I began to find that this duplex passion was the Christian key to ethics everywhere. Everywhere the creed made a moderation out of the still crash of two impetuous emotions. Take, for instance, the matter of modesty, of the balance between mere pride and mere prostration. The average pagan, like the average agnostic, would merely say that he was content with himself, but not insolently self-satisfied, that there were many better and many worse, that his deserts were limited, but he would see that he got them. In short, he would walk with his head in the air; but not necessarily with his nose in the air. This is a manly and rational position, but it is open to the objection we noted against the compromise between optimism and pessimism--the "resignation" of Matthew Arnold. Being a mixture of two things, it is a dilution of two things; neither is present in its full strength or contributes its full colour. This proper pride does not lift the heart like the tongue of trumpets; you cannot go clad in crimson and gold for this. On the other hand, this mild rationalist modesty does not cleanse the soul with fire and make it clear like crystal; it does not (like a strict and searching humility) make a man as a little child, who can sit at the feet of the grass. It does not make him look up and see marvels; for Alice must grow small if she is to be Alice in Wonderland. Thus it loses both the poetry of being proud and the poetry of being humble. Christianity sought by this same strange expedient to save both of them.

...

This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic. The Church in its early days went fierce and fast with any warhorse; yet it is utterly unhistoric to say that she merely went mad along one idea, like a vulgar fanaticism. She swerved to left and right, so exactly as to avoid enormous obstacles. She left on one hand the huge bulk of Arianism, buttressed by all the worldly powers to make Christianity too worldly. The next instant she was swerving to avoid an orientalism, which would have made it too unworldly. The orthodox Church never took the tame course or accepted the conventions; the orthodox Church was never respectable. It would have been easier to have accepted the earthly power of the Arians. It would have been easy, in the Calvinistic seventeenth century, to fall into the bottomless pit of predestination. It is easy to be a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one's own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob. To have fallen into any of those open traps of error and exaggeration which fashion after fashion and sect after sect set along the historic path of Christendom--that would indeed have been simple. It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.


I was speaking of the empirical world vs the "kingdom of God" as in reality vs virtual reality.. Utility is measured in concrete things... In our empirical world christianity has low utility and does not even entirely satisfy the spiritual needs of people, how much more the material ones..The thing is being a Christian will only make you suffer.. Why?Mostly because of falsity... Because of a false appreciation of reality and a false behaviour.. Anyway my point is that so is the deal with all religions... They do not fully satisfy one in his three-dimensional existence... Body,mind and soul... My question is why?And most religion claim to be founded by Gods just like Christianity does.. Are they really of God?Why so many religions than?Did God really get down from heaven and dictate something to anyone?Do you really think that?Does God really need a ritualistic religion, fanatic religious people?Does he really desire religion and to interact through religion or directly and personally with us?

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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2012, 06:53:36 AM »

Religion and rituals are based more on a crafty experience than a vivid one.Religion tends to cause soul stilness, through the repetition of the same practices,words , prayers, rituals, all over again.So my questions are : Does God love religion and did he establish any religion or religious rituals?Does God really desire a religious(formal) life from us or a personal relationship with us?Doesn`t the number of religions and religious divisions and subdivisions proove that God did not establish religion, that no religion has the substance of God in it?If it would it would have been striking and self evident.Instead we have various religions that lack truth in various parts and do not satisfy the entire need of the human soul.



Well you used the word "religion".  
In the EO church often some of the things you mentioned are true, which is where I have issues with the faith.  In particular, prayer ropes & the Jesus prayer 100x times.   However, that is rather trivial, and many of my issues of the church are trivial.     Liturgy usually is the same on Sunday, but I believe it is so that its repetitive.   As far as the scripture goes, god did not establish rituals as they exist today, but they were rather basic.   A baptism in the water was not with anointing, white robes, garments of byzantine kings, etc.   The symbolism within EO can be as beautiful and ornate with everything going on, and when you consider all the symbols that go into a baptism (including the priests vestment with no seams), it's can be pretty neat.

However, neatness does come at a price, and often simplicity is lost.   For me this isn't a right or wrong type of question, its a glass half full or empty question.   The way its done is right ritually, but it doesn't always have to be that way.

I believe that a priest could be in very basic or shabby clothes, performing a baptism in a murky river and it would be just as valid....  I believe without all the prayers and services of baptism he could just baptize in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit and it would be just as valid as a big ornate service with tons of clergy present in a big church.

Scripturally, there were not many "rituals".   In fact, they didn't even fast before the eucharist at the last supper....  Most of that is for us, and churchy, not right or wrong...  I just think a lot of symbols in ritualism exist to show the richness... perhaps respect... towards what is happening.

My problem is with all religions starting with Judaism.Not just with the EO.Do you really think God descended from heaven and dictated mot-a-mot to Moses what he should do?
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« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2012, 08:14:11 AM »

I was speaking of the empirical world vs the "kingdom of God" as in reality vs virtual reality.. Utility is measured in concrete things... In our empirical world christianity has low utility and does not even entirely satisfy the spiritual needs of people, how much more the material ones..The thing is being a Christian will only make you suffer.. Why?Mostly because of falsity... Because of a false appreciation of reality and a false behaviour.. Anyway my point is that so is the deal with all religions... They do not fully satisfy one in his three-dimensional existence... Body,mind and soul... My question is why?

I've had a healthy dose of nonreligion for a while now and it doesn't satisfy, not for me anyway. Religion(s) are hardly perfect, but I find something about them keeps drawing me back. It's intellectual issues that I have with Christianity, or other religions for that matter (did X really say that? is doctrine Y really true?) But as ways of life, as lifestyles, as things which try to give life some meaning or purpose, or be spiritually fulfilling, I think they're great. That is, they're great so long as you're ok not understanding how everything makes sense and fits together.
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« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2012, 09:02:41 AM »

....
My problem is with all religions starting with Judaism.Not just with the EO.Do you really think God descended from heaven and dictated mot-a-mot to Moses what he should do?
Does the Torah say that?
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« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2012, 09:46:47 PM »

Religion and rituals are based more on a crafty experience than a vivid one.Religion tends to cause soul stilness, through the repetition of the same practices,words , prayers, rituals, all over again.So my questions are : Does God love religion and did he establish any religion or religious rituals?Does God really desire a religious(formal) life from us or a personal relationship with us?Doesn`t the number of religions and religious divisions and subdivisions proove that God did not establish religion, that no religion has the substance of God in it?If it would it would have been striking and self evident.Instead we have various religions that lack truth in various parts and do not satisfy the entire need of the human soul.



Well you used the word "religion".  
In the EO church often some of the things you mentioned are true, which is where I have issues with the faith.  In particular, prayer ropes & the Jesus prayer 100x times.   However, that is rather trivial, and many of my issues of the church are trivial.     Liturgy usually is the same on Sunday, but I believe it is so that its repetitive.   As far as the scripture goes, god did not establish rituals as they exist today, but they were rather basic.   A baptism in the water was not with anointing, white robes, garments of byzantine kings, etc.   The symbolism within EO can be as beautiful and ornate with everything going on, and when you consider all the symbols that go into a baptism (including the priests vestment with no seams), it's can be pretty neat.

However, neatness does come at a price, and often simplicity is lost.   For me this isn't a right or wrong type of question, its a glass half full or empty question.   The way its done is right ritually, but it doesn't always have to be that way.

I believe that a priest could be in very basic or shabby clothes, performing a baptism in a murky river and it would be just as valid....  I believe without all the prayers and services of baptism he could just baptize in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit and it would be just as valid as a big ornate service with tons of clergy present in a big church.

Scripturally, there were not many "rituals".   In fact, they didn't even fast before the eucharist at the last supper....  Most of that is for us, and churchy, not right or wrong...  I just think a lot of symbols in ritualism exist to show the richness... perhaps respect... towards what is happening.

My problem is with all religions starting with Judaism.Not just with the EO.Do you really think God descended from heaven and dictated mot-a-mot to Moses what he should do?

You are speaking of the Torah that was dictated from our Father, YHWH, to Moses.   I do believe that there is some significant historical evidence of it happening.   It coincides with the geography, and other evidences that were found in the Torah.  They found Sodom, there are pyramids, Egypt was abandoned by slaves, they found Jericho, Babylon.

I don't believe that Moses could have made it up with so much accuracy, laws, and wisdom.   Moses could not also have known of the Trinity, and how God created man in OUR image.   There are references like that in the Torah.
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« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2012, 09:59:08 PM »

I was speaking of the empirical world vs the "kingdom of God" as in reality vs virtual reality.. Utility is measured in concrete things... In our empirical world christianity has low utility and does not even entirely satisfy the spiritual needs of people, how much more the material ones..The thing is being a Christian will only make you suffer.. Why?Mostly because of falsity... Because of a false appreciation of reality and a false behaviour.. Anyway my point is that so is the deal with all religions... They do not fully satisfy one in his three-dimensional existence... Body,mind and soul... My question is why?

I've had a healthy dose of nonreligion for a while now and it doesn't satisfy, not for me anyway. Religion(s) are hardly perfect, but I find something about them keeps drawing me back. It's intellectual issues that I have with Christianity, or other religions for that matter (did X really say that? is doctrine Y really true?) But as ways of life, as lifestyles, as things which try to give life some meaning or purpose, or be spiritually fulfilling, I think they're great. That is, they're great so long as you're ok not understanding how everything makes sense and fits together.

I have found that much of it makes sense so long as one doesn't try to apply every single absolute that we hold as "true".  For instance saying "trinity".   Not in concept, of 3 being in one, and one being in 3, but rather the formula of 3=1 represented by the "Tri - Uni".

I can understand that god would have different parts, albeit even 3, even the Jews believe in multiple parts of the same God... This isn't what bothers me.   It's the label given, because that would apply the math, which logistically doesn't make sense.   The term was actually something that was "made up".

Again, the concept and belief of what the trinity "is" doesn't bother me at all, and I believe in it completely.  It's the TERM that can bring confusion.

Also I have found that taking a "churchy scriptura" approach is bringing more truth to me.  Not completely sola scriptura, but not going into all the bends and twists that church doctrine has taken.    Not as in right or wrong, but "why do we really need this" approach.
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« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2012, 07:37:46 AM »

Religion and rituals are based more on a crafty experience than a vivid one.Religion tends to cause soul stilness, through the repetition of the same practices,words , prayers, rituals, all over again.So my questions are : Does God love religion and did he establish any religion or religious rituals?Does God really desire a religious(formal) life from us or a personal relationship with us?Doesn`t the number of religions and religious divisions and subdivisions proove that God did not establish religion, that no religion has the substance of God in it?If it would it would have been striking and self evident.Instead we have various religions that lack truth in various parts and do not satisfy the entire need of the human soul.



Well you used the word "religion".  
In the EO church often some of the things you mentioned are true, which is where I have issues with the faith.  In particular, prayer ropes & the Jesus prayer 100x times.   However, that is rather trivial, and many of my issues of the church are trivial.     Liturgy usually is the same on Sunday, but I believe it is so that its repetitive.   As far as the scripture goes, god did not establish rituals as they exist today, but they were rather basic.   A baptism in the water was not with anointing, white robes, garments of byzantine kings, etc.   The symbolism within EO can be as beautiful and ornate with everything going on, and when you consider all the symbols that go into a baptism (including the priests vestment with no seams), it's can be pretty neat.

However, neatness does come at a price, and often simplicity is lost.   For me this isn't a right or wrong type of question, its a glass half full or empty question.   The way its done is right ritually, but it doesn't always have to be that way.

I believe that a priest could be in very basic or shabby clothes, performing a baptism in a murky river and it would be just as valid....  I believe without all the prayers and services of baptism he could just baptize in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit and it would be just as valid as a big ornate service with tons of clergy present in a big church.

Scripturally, there were not many "rituals".   In fact, they didn't even fast before the eucharist at the last supper....  Most of that is for us, and churchy, not right or wrong...  I just think a lot of symbols in ritualism exist to show the richness... perhaps respect... towards what is happening.

My problem is with all religions starting with Judaism.Not just with the EO.Do you really think God descended from heaven and dictated mot-a-mot to Moses what he should do?

You are speaking of the Torah that was dictated from our Father, YHWH, to Moses.   I do believe that there is some significant historical evidence of it happening.   It coincides with the geography, and other evidences that were found in the Torah.  They found Sodom, there are pyramids, Egypt was abandoned by slaves, they found Jericho, Babylon.

That is flaw reasoning.Just because something religiously corresponds with geography it doesn`t make their religious claims true.

Quote
I don't believe that Moses could have made it up with so much accuracy, laws, and wisdom.   Moses could not also have known of the Trinity, and how God created man in OUR image.   There are references like that in the Torah.

Who said Moses was a real person?Much of the Torah(Pentateuch) in the form we have it today it was written around the 6th century BCE.. Here is something about Genesis :

Quote
According to Christian tradition the book of Genesis was written somewhere between 1513-1440BCE, at around the time of the Israelite’s alleged exodus from Egypt. However, according to the overwhelming amount of archeological, textual and extra-biblical evidence, the book of Genesis was more than likely written some time during the 6th to the 5th centuries B.C.E, whilst the Israelites were exiled in Babylon or even after they had returned, also known as the exilic and post exilic periods. Such a fact may appear to be insignificant but it is important, especially within the context of the archeologically proven fact that the Chaldeans, Sumerians and Babylonians, all had near identical myths from the creation of heaven and earth, the fall of man, the great flood, the tower of Babel, the Ten Commandments and even a Garden of Eden, to name a few. All of these ancient Babylonian myths pre-dated the Hebrew Scriptures by over a thousand years or more.


The ‘Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies’ has the following to say regarding biblical archeology and the Babylonian origin of the myths contained within the book of Genesis:

These (anthropological responses) took various forms: cultural, religious, and historical. The cultural responses were based upon the discovery of Assyrian and Babylonian texts which resembled the biblical accounts of creation and flood and the laws of Exodus 21–4. They illuminated the cultural context of ancient Israel and disclosed the history, religion, and culture of ancient Mesopotamia as never before. One conclusion that was drawn from these discoveries was that everything that was thought to be unique to the Old Testament was, in fact, derived from Babylon (Delitzsch 1901–2).

There are a number of reasons to consider the probability that the book of Genesis was written well after the traditional date and even more reasons to suggest that it was composed in post exilic times (after the Jewish exile to Babylon).


The Hebrew Language

The first and foremost reason for considering a much later date for the composition for the book of Genesis than is held by the Judeo-Christian tradition, is the fact that the Hebrew language was not yet in existence during the period in which the book was allegedly written. There are two major forms of script in Hebrew, the ‘Ketav Ivri’, which is derived from the Phoenician (ancient Lebanese) language and the ‘Ketav Ashuri’, rooted in the Acadian or Babylonian language. Neither Hebraic Scripts originate with the actual Hebrews themselves they are borrowed languages from people who worshiped other gods. Whether the original manuscripts of Genesis were penned in the Babylonian Hebrew or the Phoenician Hebrew, one thing is almost certain and that is, the earliest possible date that the book of Genesis could have been written is no earlier than 1000 B.C.E.

With regards to the relatively late development of the Hebrew language the ‘Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages’ relates that:

No extant inscription that can be identified specifically as Hebrew antedates the tenth century BC, and Hebrew inscriptions in significant numbers do not begin to appear before the early eighth century BC.

Camels

The next reason for questioning the traditional date of composition for the book of Genesis is the presence of camels in the narrative. According to Zoological Archeologists at Tel Aviv University, camels were not domesticated until after 1000BC. There is no evidence whatsoever of domesticated camels prior to this time and following this period there is a wealth of archeological evidence regarding the domestication of camels. So why is this important?

In Genesis 12:16 Abram is rewarded by the Pharaoh of Egypt for giving the Pharaoh his “sister,” who was actually his wife/half-sister. For this gift of prostitution, the Pharaoh rewarded Abram with sheep, asses, slaves, and a camel. However, as mentioned above camels were not domesticated until after 1000BC and this story is traditionally said to have taken place before 2000BC. Therefore, the author was living in a time when camels were domesticated, which according to the archeological evidence must have been some time after 1000BC. This pushes both the story of Abraham and the book of Genesis to after 1000BC at least.

The ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ corroborates the above point, whilst disagreeing only slightly on the date of the introduction of the Camel to Canaan and Egypt. It states:

There is however no archaeological corroboration for the camel being known in Palestine or Egypt at the beginning of the second millennium B.C., as the seventeen references to the camel in Genesis might suggest, and those references are therefore considered anachronisms.

In addition 2 Jewish Rabbis, Messod and Roger Sabbah, discuss this point in their bestseller, ‘Secrets of the Exodus: The Egyptian Origins of the Hebrew People’, arguing that the appearance of camels within the narratives found in the Book of Genesis are telltale signs that the book was composed much later than previously believed:

Biblical researchers believed that the presence of camels in the story of the patriarchs was an error of the scribes. However, the scribes went into great detail, as if they wanted to pass on a message. "He caused the camels to kneel ..." (Genesis 24:11). "Rebecca looked up and alighted from the camel ..." (Genesis24:64). Presenting Biblical characters alighting from camels' backs is an anachronism that the scribes apparently wished to present.
By the sixth century BC, the camel, a symbol of wealth and power, had already been domesticated in Babylonia.
Had they forgotten that camels did not exist in ancient Egypt?
Couldn't they have presented and described Abraham's power and wealth without camels? The camels give a Mesopotamian twist to the story, which would have been pleasing to their captors.

Chaldea

Further, the book of Genesis describes Abraham’s birthplace as being in Ur in Chaldea, which as previously mentioned, is more popularly known today as Babylon. At Genesis 11:28, 31 and 15:7, the Hebrew word ‘Kasdim’ (Eng. Chaldee) is used to describe the ancient region of Babylonia. The problem with the use of the word ‘Kasdim’ is that it was not used to describe ancient Babylonia until the 6th century BCE, which is known as the Neo-Babylonian Period. Before this it was known as ‘Sumeria’, yet the account given in Genesis refers to this region as Chaldea. This fact provides further evidence that the book of Genesis was more than likely written sometime during or after the 6th century BCE. According to Messod and Roger Sabbah, the story of Abraham was a 6th century composition constructed to pander to the Jew’s Babylonian captors and masters. They say:

Although the city of Ur existed in Sumeria, the name "Chaldea" (Chaldees) does not appear until sometime around the sixth century BC. Chaldea has never yielded any archeological proof of the existence of the great patriarch, Abraham. In order to survive and for their traditions to survive as well, the Yahuds introduced anachronisms into the history of the Patriarchs. They made the story compatible with sixth-century Babylon. They recast a large part of their history at that time, probably under considerable restrictions. The new text of the story had no historical reality at all.

Moreover, the ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ informs us that:

“In the OT, Ur is mentioned four times (Gen. 11:28, 31; 15:7; Neh. 9:7), in each instance as the home of the patriarch Abraham before his migration to Harran and Canaan, and in each instance the Hebrew phrase “Ur Kasdim” is used. Kasdim here almost certainly indicates the "Chaldeans" (cf. already the Septuagint), which suggests that the phrase as a whole refers to the southern Mesopotamia!! Ur of the period of the Neo-Babylonian/Chaldean Empire. To be sure, this period is much too late for Abraham…”

It appears that the accounts of Abraham’s birth and travels were created no earlier than the 6th century B.C.E, which seems to indicate that the writer was either in Babylon during the exile or had already returned to Israel. Either way, one thing is almost certain, and that is that the authors of the Hebrew Scriptures had ample opportunity to copy and re-script the mythologies of the ancient Babylonians to suit their own social and theological needs.

Kings in Israel

Genesis 36:31 says;

And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

The obvious implication of this statement is that at the time the author was writing this passage, there had been numerous kings who had reigned in Israel as evidenced by the term used, ‘any king’.
The very first king of Israel was Saul and his reign has been dated from 1020BCE-1000BCE. Thus, the author must have been writing the account in Genesis following this period. There may well be good reason to suggest it was long after this period, due to the fact that the author says; “before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.” Use of the phrase, ‘any king’ implies that he was aware of more than one king. If only one king had reigned it would have made more sense for the author to name that king, or if there were two, to use the phrase ‘either king’, or ‘both kings’, or use their names, but it definitely seems as if there had been many kings which preceded the account. This evidence coupled with the textual and archeological evidence showing that Saul was the first king of Israel in the 10th century B.C.E, seems to indicate that the account in Genesis was written well after this date.

Bozrah in Edom

The next clue to the late composition of the book of Genesis can be found within the reference to an Edomite king by the name of Jobab ruling in place of King Bela who was reported to have died. Jobab’s father was Zarah, a king from Bozrah. (Genesis 36:33)
Recently Bozrah was excavated by Archeologists who discovered that it came into being no earlier than the 8th century B.C.E.

The archeologist responsible for excavating Bozrah, Bennet said:
"There is no archaeological evidence to support the story of the king of Edom refusing passage to Moses, or for a powerful kingdom of Edom in the time of David and his son Solomon. Biblical traditions such as Genesis 36:31 and Numbers 20:14 probably reflect 8th-6th century BC conditions. The evidence for a very impressive occupation and a city with all the appetencies of prosperity is overwhelming during the Neo-Assyrian period and is supported by the records in the Assyrian annals, and 8th century BC biblical references to Bozrah (especially Amos 1:12)."

The ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ supports this conclusion, stating:

Excavations by Crystal-M. Bennett reveal that it flourished in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. and probably continued into the fourth.
As is the case with other Edomite sites, it does not appear to have existed before the eighth century B.C., which raises serious questions about the historical accuracy of the Edomite king lists in which it is mentioned (Gen. 36:33; 1 Chron. 1:44).

In providing evidence contrary to the alleged conquest of Canaan by Joshua, the Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies discounts the existence of Bozrah, prior to the traditional date of Joshua’s alleged conquest, reporting:

Thus the traditional picture of Israel’s ‘conquest’ of Canaan has been dramatically revised as a result of archaeological excavation and survey in the hill country.
The evidence from Canaanite cities, formerly used to support the conquest theory, no longer works; certain cities named in the conquest narratives—Jericho, Ai, Heshbon, and Arad—were not Late Bronze Age cities. The kingdom of Edom, mentioned as an obstacle to Israel’s migration in Num. 20: 14–21, did not yet exist, as was shown by the excavations of Bennett at Umm el-Biyarah, TaWleh, and Busayra and the surveys of B. McDonald…

One clue which seems to suggest that the account was written in the post exilic period is that the author, if living within the 7th century would have known that, contrary to the account given in Genesis (36:31), there were kings in Israel before there were kings in Edom. Quite a lot of time would have to elapse before this fact would be forgotten by the people of Israel and the author or authors of Genesis. As a result of this historical inaccuracy, it may not be unreasonable to suggest that the book of Genesis could have possibly been written as late as the 6th to 5th centuries B.C.E.

Nineveh

Yet another piece of evidence which seems to show that Genesis was written in either the exilic or post exilic period is the primary reference to Nineveh, listed first and foremost amongst the cities of Babylonia. During the period in which Genesis was traditionally believed to be written, the capital city of Babylon was Asshur, yet there is no mention of this city, instead we see three major cities listed; Nineveh, Rehoboth and Calah.
Genesis 10:11-12 lists the cities of Babylonia as follows;
…Nineveh and the city Rehoboth and Calah.
And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
The fact that Nineveh is the first mentioned city is of great importance from a literary point of view. It seems to indicate that it was the most significant city, probably the capital. Moreover, in verse 12 it is given first place again over the city of Calah. The issue here is that it did not become the capital city until the 7th century BCE.
According to the Harper Collins Bible Dictionary:

Ninevah was the capital of Assyria at its height from the time of Sennacherib, who assumed the throne in 705 B.C. to its fall in 612 B.C.

There is little doubt that the author of Genesis saw Nineveh as the chief city of Babylon, leading him to give it pride of place as the first city mentioned and that in so doing demonstrated that he belonged to a period later than the 6th century B.C.E.

Finally, with regards to the late composition of the book of Genesis, referring to the ‘Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies’, we are able to establish the probable truth that the book of Genesis was written during and more than likely after the 7th century B.C.E:

Attempts to identify Abraham’s family migration with a supposed westward Amorite migration at the collapse of the Early Bronze Age c.2100–1800 bce, or to explain personal names, marriage customs, or laws of property by reference to fifteenth century Nuzi or Mari documents have failed to convince. Abraham’s life-style is no longer seen as reflecting Intermediate Early Bronze/Middle Bronze bedouin, or donkey caravaneers trading between Mesopotamia and Egypt, or tent-dwellers living alongside
Middle Bronze Age cities in Canaan; rather, with its references to Philistines and Aramaeans, Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites, Ishmael and his descendants Kedar, Nebaioth, and Tema, Assyria and its cities of Nineveh and Calah, camel caravans and spices, Genesis reflects the first millennium world of the Assyrian empire. With its emphasis on the southern centres of Hebron and (Jeru)salem (Gen. 14: 18) and the northern centres of Bethel and Shechem, the Abraham story reveals knowledge of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah (cf. Gen. 49: 8–12, 22–6), in its present form probably deriving from Judah’s Floruit in the seventh century bce.

From all of the available evidence of which I have only canvassed a small sample, the authors of Genesis were more than likely living some time during or after the 6th century BCE. This places them in the exilic or post exilic period, thus affording them ample opportunity to copy the myths of their hosts, the Babylonians. http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?74291-Genesis-Late-Composition-The-Evidence-and-Possible-Implications&highlight=genesis+late+composition

The Torah is not that wise... Not wiser that the code of Hammurabi..  Some of the commandments in the Torah of Moses have no moral reasoning.. Moses was not the only mythological law giver :

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Moses is known as the Law Giver, the giver of the Ten Commandments, the Mosaic Law. However, the idea of a Law being passed from God to a prophet on a mountain is also a very old motif. Moses is just a law giver in a long line of law givers in mythological history. In India, Manou was the great law giver. In Crete, Minos ascended Mount Dicta, where Zeus gave him the sacred laws. While in Egypt there was Mises, who carried stone tablets and upon them the laws of god were written.http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0408/oldprophecy.html


Comparing Moses and Hammurabi's law :

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One of the earliest and most famous law codes created was that of Hammurabi, a Babylonian king.  The law code of Hammurabi originates in ancient Babylon and dates to 1760 BC,  this predates the law code of Moses which dates to 1312 BCE.  When one is to compare these two ancient codes it is quite easy to see their shocking similarities.  Both of these codes have religious backgrounds, Hammurabi receiving the laws from the god Shamash, and Moses receiving his code of law from God.  In fact some scholars argue that due to their similarities these two different bodies of work may in fact be related to one another, the thought is that Hammurabi’s code was a direct predecessor of Moses’ law.  These two works have influenced lawmakers of governments to this day, although the punishments of old are much more severe, the presumption of innocence and the thought of a trial were given birth to in these two early codes.  In the following we will take an in depth look at the vast array of similarities and differences in these two codes, and also a look at the two men who delivered them.

          Hammurabi was a Babylonian king, he was the best known ruler from the Amorite dynasty.  Little is known of Hammurabi’s early life, until the time he inherited the throne in 1792 BC at a particularly young age.  Known mostly for his code of laws which were  “once considered the oldest promulgation of laws in human history” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010) Hammurabi strived to be a just ruler, which was commonplace for all Mesopotamian rulers at the time.  His code of laws were “inscribed on a diorite stela set up in Babylon’s temple of Marduk, the national god of Babylonia” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010) so that all citizens could see them.  In all there were 282 case laws that varied from family law, criminal law, economic provisions, and civil law, the punishments set forth in his laws are considered extremely harsh in current times.

            Moses, most known for his delivery of the ten commandments, was born of Hebrew descent in a time where all Hebrew male children were to be killed as ordered by the pharaoh of Egypt, through some luck Moses was raised in the pharaohs palace and was taught many things.   After some time of living in Egypt after witnessing a Hebrew slave being brutally beaten Moses fled Egypt to become a herdsman in the desert.  Moses was then chosen to deliver the Hebrew people from slavery, and also was in charge of being their chief lawmaker, where upon Mt. Sinai God himself instructed Moses of the ten commandments.  Later Moses would more in depth create a code of laws in five books, which are published in the old testament of the bible.          

            One common occurrence found with Moses and Hammurabi are the laws about the respect one should show for their parents.  In these ancient times family interaction was a part of everyday life, and their were many laws governing family affairs.  In both codes we can see that the father of a household was the primary decision maker and overall leader of the unit, and disrespect towards him was intolerable.  Law 195 of Hammurabi’s code states that “If a son strike his father, his hands shall be hewn off. “ (King, 1910) with this law we can already begin the see the seriousness of the offence.  According to Moses’ law "Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death." (The Holy Bible, Exodus 21:15)

            Another area that is touched upon by both codes of law is that which pertains to thievery.  A mans possessions are considered sacred in ancient times as they are today, taking that which is not rightfully yours is considered the utmost of disrespect and was considered a very serious offense.  An example of this can be seen in Law 14 of Hammurabi’s code which states “If any one steal the minor son of another, he shall be put to death.” (King, 1910).  In comparison to the law of Moses which states “If a man is caught kidnapping one of his brother Israelites and treats him as a slave or sells him, the kidnapper must die.” (The Holy Bible, Deut. 24:7).  This principal does not only apply to the theft of a person but to the theft of a persons belongings, Hammurabi Law 21 “If any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole and be buried.” (King, 1910) this law does differ from the law of Moses which states “"If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; but if it happens after sunrise, he is guilty of bloodshed. A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft." (The Holy Bible, Exodus 22:2-3), where no matter the instance the offender should be put to death according to Hammurabi’s law we see in Moses’ law that depending on the time of the day the offender may only be required to pay back what was taken, if he could not he would be sold into slavery, also it is important to note in Moses’ code that if the offender was killed in daylight hours than the defender would be held accountable for his death.

            A very famous quote that is said to this day is “ an eye for and eye”, this quote in fact originated with the Law of Hammurabi.  In ancient times ones personal body was considered to be a temple, and any assault on it in any fashion was the highest of crimes.  We can see this illustrated in the Law of Hammurabi which says “ If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out….If he break another man's bone, his bone shall be broken. …If a man knock out the teeth of his equal, his teeth shall be knocked out.” (King,1910) this law almost directly mirrors the law of Moses which states "If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured." (The Holy Bible, Leviticus 24:19-20) the only difference here is that with the Law of Hammurabi if the offender is of higher social status than he who he injured, the offender may be required to pay only a fine for his offense.

            As we can see in the quotes from the previous paragraphs there is a distinct similarity in a general perspective of law in ancient times according to Hammurabi and Moses.  It is until we take an even deeper look do we see that in actuality there are subtle differences that set these two codes of law apart, and create with that great uniqueness to both works.  Although both codes were spiritually derived, the law of Moses was the only to touch upon religious proceedings and the proper way to go about them, giving specific instructions on special feasts and on the proper practices of sacrifice, the law of Hammurabi does not in an in-depth fashion touch upon religious ceremonies in any form.  Also differences can be seen in the unique punishments given for certain offenses committed, where as one may be put to death for a crime according to the law of Moses the offender may only be fined according to the law of Hammurabi.  In the end we can see how the morals and values of ancient times were fairly similar across the board, we can now see that after taking a closer look at these two codes of law that they were obviously created in two different time periods with two separate understandings of what was deemed suitable punishment for a certain crime, but without a doubt it is quite easy to see the moral similarities these two different people shared.


Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/265896_comparing-hammaurabi-and-moses#ixzz1A4yawzmJ

The Egyptian book of the death could have been another source for the law :
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And as far as the Ten Commandments, they are taken outright from Spell 125 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. What the Book of the Dead phrased “I have not stolen” became “Thou shall not steal,” “I have not killed” became “Thou shall not kill,” “I have not told lies” became “Thou shall not bear false witness” and so forth.

http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0408/oldprophecy.html

The stories of the Torah(Pentateuch) are very similar with Sumerian and Babylonian mythologies :


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How similar are the Tanakh`s stories with Ancient Babylonian stories?

Let’s start with the birth story of Moses. The Moses story is very similar to the birth story of Sargon of Akkad, also known as Sargon the great. Sargon is accredited with founding of Babylon. The story of Sargon was written in cuneiform long before the existence of Moses. Sargon started from the north in Elam and stretched his empire throughout Mesopotamia as far as Iran. Incidentally his reign was way before Hammurabi. Sargon lived from ca. 2270 BC – 2215 BC. Sargon was the first King of Babylon while Hammurabi was the sixth.

We know with the Moses story. Moses’ mother feared for the life of her infant son so she hid him under bulrushes in a basket and put the basket along to riverbank to sail down the Nile River. At the other end, the Pharaoh’s daughter found the infant when she went to bathe. She immediately recognized the child was Hebrew and decided to raise him as her own. She looked for a Hebrew woman to be the infant’s wet nurse and hired Moses’ own mother to care of the child. The name Moses is a combination of Egyptian words that mean child of the water.

Sargon’s mother was a high priestess. She hid the birth of her child too. She also put him in a basket and sent him down the river. The river she sent him down was the Euphrates in Mesopotamia. Directly from the poetic text of the Epic of Gilgamesh, we have from Sargon tale…She abandoned me to the river from which I could not escape. The river carried me along: to Aqqi, the water drawer, it brought me. Aqqi, the water drawer, when immersing his bucket lifted me up. Aqqi, the water drawer, raised me as his adopted son. Aqqi, the water drawer, set me to his garden work. During my garden work, Istar loved me (so that) 55 years I ruled king…

http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/sargon.html

Sargon was the founder of Babylon and lived 1000 years before Moses and Moses is the founder of the state of Israel.

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Another Moses story that is similar to Babylonian legend again goes back to Hammurabi. Hammurabi’s God Shamash, gave him the tablets, which was the code of law. Hammurabi was chosen to give the code law to his people just like Moses was chosen by God to give the 10 commandments, the Hebrew law, to the Israelites. http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/bios/b1hammurabi.htm


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The Gilgamesh and the Great Flood

The Epic of Gilgamesh is probably the oldest written document discovered to date. It is written in poetic form in ancient cuneiform.

According to Babylonian legend in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the God Enlil was displeased with the noise of the world and he sent a great flood to destroy it. The Goddess Istar took pity on one family and decided to save them.

The theme of saving one family from the Great Flood parallels the Bible story of The Great Flood. God destroyed mankind from all its wickedness with the exception of Noah and his Family.

Both Utnapishtim and his family, and Noah and his build a great ark. Each family brought on animals and survived many days and nights on the ark. In both stories it was a bird that first discovered the presence of land. In each of the stories the ark found a resting on a Mountaintop. Mount Nasir in the Babylonian story was the final resting place for the ark. Mount Ararat was the final resting place for Noah’s ark in the Biblical story.

However the stories are not completely the same. Utnapishtim’s family received immortality and lived in paradise (Dilmun) while Noah’s family was given the sign, the ark of the rainbow, and God’s promise that there would never be any more great floods to destroy the earth and its inhabitants.



The Gilgamesh stories and the Story of Samson and Delilah demonstrate the hero and the harlot theme. In Samson and Delilah, Samson the strong man falls in love with the harlot Delilah. She is working for the enemy and gets him to reveal the secret of his great strength, which happened to be his long hair. She betrays his confidence to the roman soldiers who cut his hair. Without his hair, Samson is greatly weakened. In the Babylonian epic, Gilgamesh actively enlists the help of a harlot, Shamhat, to reveal her naked charms to his enemy, Enkidu. Enkidu loses something as well; he loses his innocence.

Creation stories:

Adam and Eve fall from paradise and immortality because the serpent tempted Eve and she ate from the apple from the tree of knowledge. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is resting. He had a magic flower that gave him immortality. The serpent steals the flower and Gilgamesh also looses his immortality because of it.

The legend of Adapa employs the same theme of robbing humans of their immortality. In the Garden of Eden the serpent tricks Eve into believing that God has lied to her about the tree of knowledge.

In the legend of Adapa, “Adapa, son the god of Wisdom, Ea, broke the wing of the Storm bird who attacked him in the Persian Gulf. Ea summoned Adapa to question his violence and warned him that, having displeased Anu, King of Heaven, the gods would offer him the food and drink of death, which he must refuse. Anu, however, learning of this indiscreet disclosure, tried to foil Ea by offering Adapa the bread of life and the water of life instead. When Adapa refused, Anu sent him back to earth as a mortal.” http://www.usbible.com/Creation/creation_myths.htm

The Pentateuch is it's ultimate condition was not written by Moses.. The Pentateuch mentions the city Dan.


Genesis 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

Deuteronomy 34:1 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land--from Gilead to Dan,


The city of Laish does not receive the name of Dan untill after the time of the Pentateuch in Judges, when the Danites conquer it and name it after their forefather Dan:

Judges 18:29 They named it Dan after their forefather Dan, who was born to Israel--though the city used to be called Laish.

The Pentateuch was most probably written, composed , edited and re-edited among many centuries.. The stories of the Pentateuch paralels very good old Babylonian mythology which makes us think that it was written mostly around the 6th century BCE.. The creation, the fall , the flood , the patriarch are most probably stories stolen from Babylon.. The story of Moses and the story of Sargon are almoust perfectly the same..One "the founder of the state of Israel" the other the founder of Babylon.Except that Sargon lived 1000 years earlier than Moses.. God giving codes of law on a mountain to a law-giver are ideas present in many mythologies, the Babylonian included.. That paralels the code of Hamurrabi... So considering that it was composed over houndreds of years it had time to look smart/wise... Yet not that wise after all is it? Also it says in the Pentateuch that Moses died.. How could Moses write that being death?Or in Samuel it says that Samuel died, I think even in 1Samuel how could Samuel write that being dead?Than we have 2 differnent authors of the death of the giant Goliath from Gat : David and Elchanan.. And from that point on the inconsistencies of numbers/names/stories beggin... Inconsistencies between Kings and Chronics and so on... There is no substantial proof of a large Jewish migration from Egypt or of a militar campaign in Canaan... Many of the cities atributed to the conquering of "the Israelites" were in ruins for centuries or were conquered by the Egyptians..

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"The Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land [of Canaan] in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the twelve tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united kingdom of David and Solomon, described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom."

The famous battle of Jericho, with which the Israelites supposedly launched this campaign of conquest after wandering for decades in the desert, has been likewise debunked: The city of Jericho didn't exist at that time and had no walls to come tumbling down. These assertions are all pretty much accepted by mainstream archaeologists.

 In particular, the account of Joshua's conquest of Canaan is inconsistent with the archaeological evidence. Cities supposedly conquered by Joshua in the 14th century bce were destroyed long before he came on the scene. Some, such as Ai and Arad, had been ruins for a 1000 years.

The Book of Judges, which directly contradicts Joshua, and shows the Israelites settling the land over a prolonged period, is nearer historical reality; but even it cannot be taken at face value. The archaeological surveys conducted over the past two decades indicate that the origin and development of the Israelite entity was somewhat different from either of the rival accounts in the Bible. The survey was conducted by more than a dozen archaeologists, most of them from Tel Aviv University's Institute of Archaeology.

Around 1200 bce, semi-nomads from the desert fringes to the east and the south, possibly including Egypt, began to settle in the hill country of Canaan. A large proportion - probably a majority of this population - were refugees from the Canaanite city states, destroyed by the Egyptians in one of their periodic invasions. The conclusion is somewhat startling to Bible readers who know the Canaanites portrayed in the Bible as immoral idolaters: most of the Israelites were in fact formerly Canaanites. The story of Abraham's journey from Ur of the Chaldees, the Patriarchs, the Exodus, Sinai, and the conquest of Canaan, all these were apparently based on legends that the various elements brought with them from their countries of origin. The consolidation of the Israelites into a nation was not the result of wanderings in the desert and divine revelation, but came from the need to defend themselves against the Philistines, who settled in the Canaanite coastal plain more or less at the same time the Israelites were establishing themselves in the hills. http://freethought.mbdojo.com/archeology.html



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1 – The OT history is unsupportable.  The period during which, according to the original scriptures,  Abraham settled in Canaan, the Israelites were enslaved by Egypt, Moses led the exodus, and the army of Israel invaded Canaan, is variously held to begin from 2000-1700 BC and end from 1500-1200 BC.  These stories are the ancient history of Israel, and form the basis of the early books of the OT.

But scriptural documentation doesn’t begin until 700 BC.  So, in order to believe that these stories are genuine, we must accept that they were passed through the generations by word of mouth, without any embellishment, for at least a thousand years!  Unsurprisingly there’s no credible archaeological evidence for these events (though an economic migration to and from Egypt is certainly feasible).

There are untold narrative errors and impossibilities to be found in the history, but here’s an unassuming one.  The books describe the use of domesticated camels during the early experiences of the Israelites.  However this would have been impossible – camels weren’t domesticated in the region until much later.  The only explanation is that the writers added their own contemporary experience to the story – in other words, the stories, even if actually passed down, had been corrupted.

 2 – The OT is derived from conflicting sources.  The roots of the Torah (the first five books) were composed by two different people (or schools) in 700 BC.  One was based in the north, one in the south, and each was influenced by his own local cult, which had its own god and its own hero (Abraham in the south, Moses in the north).

These weren’t joined together until 620 BC, when the Torah was presented as a written compilation for the very first time, by a further writer or school.  The original stories had already been rewritten to reflect the editor’s local bias – in particular Moses grew in importance.  We have no way of knowing the full extent of the adaptations required to overcome this conflict.

 3 – Many key Biblical stories weren’t added until later.  Many episodes weren’t provided by the three key early writers, but added during subsequent revisions.  In particular, the specific detail in the Creation myth in Genesis and the story of the Ten Commandments were not introduced to the OT until 600 BC at the very earliest.  These two items are now considered amongst the most crucial in the Torah, but they were only added at least a century after it was first written.

 4 – The OT’s teachings vary according to political conditions.  When the Torah was first edited, the Israelites appeared to have regained control of their land.  Self-protective and embittered, the writers of the Torah advocated compassion and understanding towards their countrymen, but hatred and violence towards all others.

But in 590 BC, under Babylonian occupation and with dissenters in exile, the Torah was edited again.  This was a face-saving manoeuvre – the editors had to explain how their all-powerful god came to be dethroned.  No longer in control of their country, the editors added the concept of ‘concern for others’ – a direct plea to their oppressors.

By 530 BC the Persian empire ruled the Middle East, and allowed religious freedom in conquered lands.  The editing and expansion of the scriptures began again.  This time the writers returned to the bloodthirstiness expressed previously, and advocated bloody violence against anyone who opposed their local god or challenged the status of Israel.  Israelites could act without fear of consequence, in any way, so long as that act represented the wishes of their god or was in defence of Israel.

In 500 BC, with more Israelites returning from exile, and the country appearing to be safe, the scriptures were edited and expanded again.  Only then were the concepts of monotheism and Zionism introduced.

 5 – Even at the time, the scriptures were considered corrupted.  The OT was so poorly organised that it even included a critic of the scriptures, Jeremiah, within its books.  His contribution includes a direct criticism of its integrity (Jeremiah 8:8-9).  The Torah’s editors were not interested in truth, but in reflecting the cultural and political interests of the period.

 6 – The OT’s development was prematurely aborted.  As with most religious scriptures, the tragedy of the OT is that it was canonised.  Once the contents were settled, the editing process ended.  Successive generations would surely have continued to update the contents to reflect contemporary politics and ethics, just as their predecessors did.  As a result of canonisation, however, religious communications to people living 2,500 years ago are being applied as literal moral instructions for people today. http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Am-Debunking-The-Bible/974875

Do you really think God came in person to Moses, Abraham the prophets,etc talked, conversed with them and dictated them things to write?
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« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2012, 05:19:26 PM »

Religion and rituals are based more on a crafty experience than a vivid one.Religion tends to cause soul stilness, through the repetition of the same practices,words , prayers, rituals, all over again.So my questions are : Does God love religion and did he establish any religion or religious rituals?Does God really desire a religious(formal) life from us or a personal relationship with us?Doesn`t the number of religions and religious divisions and subdivisions proove that God did not establish religion, that no religion has the substance of God in it?If it would it would have been striking and self evident.Instead we have various religions that lack truth in various parts and do not satisfy the entire need of the human soul.



Well you used the word "religion".  
In the EO church often some of the things you mentioned are true, which is where I have issues with the faith.  In particular, prayer ropes & the Jesus prayer 100x times.   However, that is rather trivial, and many of my issues of the church are trivial.     Liturgy usually is the same on Sunday, but I believe it is so that its repetitive.   As far as the scripture goes, god did not establish rituals as they exist today, but they were rather basic.   A baptism in the water was not with anointing, white robes, garments of byzantine kings, etc.   The symbolism within EO can be as beautiful and ornate with everything going on, and when you consider all the symbols that go into a baptism (including the priests vestment with no seams), it's can be pretty neat.

However, neatness does come at a price, and often simplicity is lost.   For me this isn't a right or wrong type of question, its a glass half full or empty question.   The way its done is right ritually, but it doesn't always have to be that way.

I believe that a priest could be in very basic or shabby clothes, performing a baptism in a murky river and it would be just as valid....  I believe without all the prayers and services of baptism he could just baptize in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit and it would be just as valid as a big ornate service with tons of clergy present in a big church.

Scripturally, there were not many "rituals".   In fact, they didn't even fast before the eucharist at the last supper....  Most of that is for us, and churchy, not right or wrong...  I just think a lot of symbols in ritualism exist to show the richness... perhaps respect... towards what is happening.

My problem is with all religions starting with Judaism.Not just with the EO.Do you really think God descended from heaven and dictated mot-a-mot to Moses what he should do?

You are speaking of the Torah that was dictated from our Father, YHWH, to Moses.   I do believe that there is some significant historical evidence of it happening.   It coincides with the geography, and other evidences that were found in the Torah.  They found Sodom, there are pyramids, Egypt was abandoned by slaves, they found Jericho, Babylon.

That is flaw reasoning.Just because something religiously corresponds with geography it doesn`t make their religious claims true.

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I don't believe that Moses could have made it up with so much accuracy, laws, and wisdom.   Moses could not also have known of the Trinity, and how God created man in OUR image.   There are references like that in the Torah.

Who said Moses was a real person?Much of the Torah(Pentateuch) in the form we have it today it was written around the 6th century BCE.. Here is something about Genesis :

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According to Christian tradition the book of Genesis was written somewhere between 1513-1440BCE, at around the time of the Israelite’s alleged exodus from Egypt. However, according to the overwhelming amount of archeological, textual and extra-biblical evidence, the book of Genesis was more than likely written some time during the 6th to the 5th centuries B.C.E, whilst the Israelites were exiled in Babylon or even after they had returned, also known as the exilic and post exilic periods. Such a fact may appear to be insignificant but it is important, especially within the context of the archeologically proven fact that the Chaldeans, Sumerians and Babylonians, all had near identical myths from the creation of heaven and earth, the fall of man, the great flood, the tower of Babel, the Ten Commandments and even a Garden of Eden, to name a few. All of these ancient Babylonian myths pre-dated the Hebrew Scriptures by over a thousand years or more.


The ‘Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies’ has the following to say regarding biblical archeology and the Babylonian origin of the myths contained within the book of Genesis:

These (anthropological responses) took various forms: cultural, religious, and historical. The cultural responses were based upon the discovery of Assyrian and Babylonian texts which resembled the biblical accounts of creation and flood and the laws of Exodus 21–4. They illuminated the cultural context of ancient Israel and disclosed the history, religion, and culture of ancient Mesopotamia as never before. One conclusion that was drawn from these discoveries was that everything that was thought to be unique to the Old Testament was, in fact, derived from Babylon (Delitzsch 1901–2).

There are a number of reasons to consider the probability that the book of Genesis was written well after the traditional date and even more reasons to suggest that it was composed in post exilic times (after the Jewish exile to Babylon).


The Hebrew Language

The first and foremost reason for considering a much later date for the composition for the book of Genesis than is held by the Judeo-Christian tradition, is the fact that the Hebrew language was not yet in existence during the period in which the book was allegedly written. There are two major forms of script in Hebrew, the ‘Ketav Ivri’, which is derived from the Phoenician (ancient Lebanese) language and the ‘Ketav Ashuri’, rooted in the Acadian or Babylonian language. Neither Hebraic Scripts originate with the actual Hebrews themselves they are borrowed languages from people who worshiped other gods. Whether the original manuscripts of Genesis were penned in the Babylonian Hebrew or the Phoenician Hebrew, one thing is almost certain and that is, the earliest possible date that the book of Genesis could have been written is no earlier than 1000 B.C.E.

With regards to the relatively late development of the Hebrew language the ‘Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages’ relates that:

No extant inscription that can be identified specifically as Hebrew antedates the tenth century BC, and Hebrew inscriptions in significant numbers do not begin to appear before the early eighth century BC.

Camels

The next reason for questioning the traditional date of composition for the book of Genesis is the presence of camels in the narrative. According to Zoological Archeologists at Tel Aviv University, camels were not domesticated until after 1000BC. There is no evidence whatsoever of domesticated camels prior to this time and following this period there is a wealth of archeological evidence regarding the domestication of camels. So why is this important?

In Genesis 12:16 Abram is rewarded by the Pharaoh of Egypt for giving the Pharaoh his “sister,” who was actually his wife/half-sister. For this gift of prostitution, the Pharaoh rewarded Abram with sheep, asses, slaves, and a camel. However, as mentioned above camels were not domesticated until after 1000BC and this story is traditionally said to have taken place before 2000BC. Therefore, the author was living in a time when camels were domesticated, which according to the archeological evidence must have been some time after 1000BC. This pushes both the story of Abraham and the book of Genesis to after 1000BC at least.

The ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ corroborates the above point, whilst disagreeing only slightly on the date of the introduction of the Camel to Canaan and Egypt. It states:

There is however no archaeological corroboration for the camel being known in Palestine or Egypt at the beginning of the second millennium B.C., as the seventeen references to the camel in Genesis might suggest, and those references are therefore considered anachronisms.

In addition 2 Jewish Rabbis, Messod and Roger Sabbah, discuss this point in their bestseller, ‘Secrets of the Exodus: The Egyptian Origins of the Hebrew People’, arguing that the appearance of camels within the narratives found in the Book of Genesis are telltale signs that the book was composed much later than previously believed:

Biblical researchers believed that the presence of camels in the story of the patriarchs was an error of the scribes. However, the scribes went into great detail, as if they wanted to pass on a message. "He caused the camels to kneel ..." (Genesis 24:11). "Rebecca looked up and alighted from the camel ..." (Genesis24:64). Presenting Biblical characters alighting from camels' backs is an anachronism that the scribes apparently wished to present.
By the sixth century BC, the camel, a symbol of wealth and power, had already been domesticated in Babylonia.
Had they forgotten that camels did not exist in ancient Egypt?
Couldn't they have presented and described Abraham's power and wealth without camels? The camels give a Mesopotamian twist to the story, which would have been pleasing to their captors.

Chaldea

Further, the book of Genesis describes Abraham’s birthplace as being in Ur in Chaldea, which as previously mentioned, is more popularly known today as Babylon. At Genesis 11:28, 31 and 15:7, the Hebrew word ‘Kasdim’ (Eng. Chaldee) is used to describe the ancient region of Babylonia. The problem with the use of the word ‘Kasdim’ is that it was not used to describe ancient Babylonia until the 6th century BCE, which is known as the Neo-Babylonian Period. Before this it was known as ‘Sumeria’, yet the account given in Genesis refers to this region as Chaldea. This fact provides further evidence that the book of Genesis was more than likely written sometime during or after the 6th century BCE. According to Messod and Roger Sabbah, the story of Abraham was a 6th century composition constructed to pander to the Jew’s Babylonian captors and masters. They say:

Although the city of Ur existed in Sumeria, the name "Chaldea" (Chaldees) does not appear until sometime around the sixth century BC. Chaldea has never yielded any archeological proof of the existence of the great patriarch, Abraham. In order to survive and for their traditions to survive as well, the Yahuds introduced anachronisms into the history of the Patriarchs. They made the story compatible with sixth-century Babylon. They recast a large part of their history at that time, probably under considerable restrictions. The new text of the story had no historical reality at all.

Moreover, the ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ informs us that:

“In the OT, Ur is mentioned four times (Gen. 11:28, 31; 15:7; Neh. 9:7), in each instance as the home of the patriarch Abraham before his migration to Harran and Canaan, and in each instance the Hebrew phrase “Ur Kasdim” is used. Kasdim here almost certainly indicates the "Chaldeans" (cf. already the Septuagint), which suggests that the phrase as a whole refers to the southern Mesopotamia!! Ur of the period of the Neo-Babylonian/Chaldean Empire. To be sure, this period is much too late for Abraham…”

It appears that the accounts of Abraham’s birth and travels were created no earlier than the 6th century B.C.E, which seems to indicate that the writer was either in Babylon during the exile or had already returned to Israel. Either way, one thing is almost certain, and that is that the authors of the Hebrew Scriptures had ample opportunity to copy and re-script the mythologies of the ancient Babylonians to suit their own social and theological needs.

Kings in Israel

Genesis 36:31 says;

And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

The obvious implication of this statement is that at the time the author was writing this passage, there had been numerous kings who had reigned in Israel as evidenced by the term used, ‘any king’.
The very first king of Israel was Saul and his reign has been dated from 1020BCE-1000BCE. Thus, the author must have been writing the account in Genesis following this period. There may well be good reason to suggest it was long after this period, due to the fact that the author says; “before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.” Use of the phrase, ‘any king’ implies that he was aware of more than one king. If only one king had reigned it would have made more sense for the author to name that king, or if there were two, to use the phrase ‘either king’, or ‘both kings’, or use their names, but it definitely seems as if there had been many kings which preceded the account. This evidence coupled with the textual and archeological evidence showing that Saul was the first king of Israel in the 10th century B.C.E, seems to indicate that the account in Genesis was written well after this date.

Bozrah in Edom

The next clue to the late composition of the book of Genesis can be found within the reference to an Edomite king by the name of Jobab ruling in place of King Bela who was reported to have died. Jobab’s father was Zarah, a king from Bozrah. (Genesis 36:33)
Recently Bozrah was excavated by Archeologists who discovered that it came into being no earlier than the 8th century B.C.E.

The archeologist responsible for excavating Bozrah, Bennet said:
"There is no archaeological evidence to support the story of the king of Edom refusing passage to Moses, or for a powerful kingdom of Edom in the time of David and his son Solomon. Biblical traditions such as Genesis 36:31 and Numbers 20:14 probably reflect 8th-6th century BC conditions. The evidence for a very impressive occupation and a city with all the appetencies of prosperity is overwhelming during the Neo-Assyrian period and is supported by the records in the Assyrian annals, and 8th century BC biblical references to Bozrah (especially Amos 1:12)."

The ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ supports this conclusion, stating:

Excavations by Crystal-M. Bennett reveal that it flourished in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. and probably continued into the fourth.
As is the case with other Edomite sites, it does not appear to have existed before the eighth century B.C., which raises serious questions about the historical accuracy of the Edomite king lists in which it is mentioned (Gen. 36:33; 1 Chron. 1:44).

In providing evidence contrary to the alleged conquest of Canaan by Joshua, the Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies discounts the existence of Bozrah, prior to the traditional date of Joshua’s alleged conquest, reporting:

Thus the traditional picture of Israel’s ‘conquest’ of Canaan has been dramatically revised as a result of archaeological excavation and survey in the hill country.
The evidence from Canaanite cities, formerly used to support the conquest theory, no longer works; certain cities named in the conquest narratives—Jericho, Ai, Heshbon, and Arad—were not Late Bronze Age cities. The kingdom of Edom, mentioned as an obstacle to Israel’s migration in Num. 20: 14–21, did not yet exist, as was shown by the excavations of Bennett at Umm el-Biyarah, TaWleh, and Busayra and the surveys of B. McDonald…

One clue which seems to suggest that the account was written in the post exilic period is that the author, if living within the 7th century would have known that, contrary to the account given in Genesis (36:31), there were kings in Israel before there were kings in Edom. Quite a lot of time would have to elapse before this fact would be forgotten by the people of Israel and the author or authors of Genesis. As a result of this historical inaccuracy, it may not be unreasonable to suggest that the book of Genesis could have possibly been written as late as the 6th to 5th centuries B.C.E.

Nineveh

Yet another piece of evidence which seems to show that Genesis was written in either the exilic or post exilic period is the primary reference to Nineveh, listed first and foremost amongst the cities of Babylonia. During the period in which Genesis was traditionally believed to be written, the capital city of Babylon was Asshur, yet there is no mention of this city, instead we see three major cities listed; Nineveh, Rehoboth and Calah.
Genesis 10:11-12 lists the cities of Babylonia as follows;
…Nineveh and the city Rehoboth and Calah.
And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
The fact that Nineveh is the first mentioned city is of great importance from a literary point of view. It seems to indicate that it was the most significant city, probably the capital. Moreover, in verse 12 it is given first place again over the city of Calah. The issue here is that it did not become the capital city until the 7th century BCE.
According to the Harper Collins Bible Dictionary:

Ninevah was the capital of Assyria at its height from the time of Sennacherib, who assumed the throne in 705 B.C. to its fall in 612 B.C.

There is little doubt that the author of Genesis saw Nineveh as the chief city of Babylon, leading him to give it pride of place as the first city mentioned and that in so doing demonstrated that he belonged to a period later than the 6th century B.C.E.

Finally, with regards to the late composition of the book of Genesis, referring to the ‘Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies’, we are able to establish the probable truth that the book of Genesis was written during and more than likely after the 7th century B.C.E:

Attempts to identify Abraham’s family migration with a supposed westward Amorite migration at the collapse of the Early Bronze Age c.2100–1800 bce, or to explain personal names, marriage customs, or laws of property by reference to fifteenth century Nuzi or Mari documents have failed to convince. Abraham’s life-style is no longer seen as reflecting Intermediate Early Bronze/Middle Bronze bedouin, or donkey caravaneers trading between Mesopotamia and Egypt, or tent-dwellers living alongside
Middle Bronze Age cities in Canaan; rather, with its references to Philistines and Aramaeans, Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites, Ishmael and his descendants Kedar, Nebaioth, and Tema, Assyria and its cities of Nineveh and Calah, camel caravans and spices, Genesis reflects the first millennium world of the Assyrian empire. With its emphasis on the southern centres of Hebron and (Jeru)salem (Gen. 14: 18) and the northern centres of Bethel and Shechem, the Abraham story reveals knowledge of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah (cf. Gen. 49: 8–12, 22–6), in its present form probably deriving from Judah’s Floruit in the seventh century bce.

From all of the available evidence of which I have only canvassed a small sample, the authors of Genesis were more than likely living some time during or after the 6th century BCE. This places them in the exilic or post exilic period, thus affording them ample opportunity to copy the myths of their hosts, the Babylonians. http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?74291-Genesis-Late-Composition-The-Evidence-and-Possible-Implications&highlight=genesis+late+composition

The Torah is not that wise... Not wiser that the code of Hammurabi..  Some of the commandments in the Torah of Moses have no moral reasoning.. Moses was not the only mythological law giver :

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Moses is known as the Law Giver, the giver of the Ten Commandments, the Mosaic Law. However, the idea of a Law being passed from God to a prophet on a mountain is also a very old motif. Moses is just a law giver in a long line of law givers in mythological history. In India, Manou was the great law giver. In Crete, Minos ascended Mount Dicta, where Zeus gave him the sacred laws. While in Egypt there was Mises, who carried stone tablets and upon them the laws of god were written.http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0408/oldprophecy.html


Comparing Moses and Hammurabi's law :

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One of the earliest and most famous law codes created was that of Hammurabi, a Babylonian king.  The law code of Hammurabi originates in ancient Babylon and dates to 1760 BC,  this predates the law code of Moses which dates to 1312 BCE.  When one is to compare these two ancient codes it is quite easy to see their shocking similarities.  Both of these codes have religious backgrounds, Hammurabi receiving the laws from the god Shamash, and Moses receiving his code of law from God.  In fact some scholars argue that due to their similarities these two different bodies of work may in fact be related to one another, the thought is that Hammurabi’s code was a direct predecessor of Moses’ law.  These two works have influenced lawmakers of governments to this day, although the punishments of old are much more severe, the presumption of innocence and the thought of a trial were given birth to in these two early codes.  In the following we will take an in depth look at the vast array of similarities and differences in these two codes, and also a look at the two men who delivered them.

          Hammurabi was a Babylonian king, he was the best known ruler from the Amorite dynasty.  Little is known of Hammurabi’s early life, until the time he inherited the throne in 1792 BC at a particularly young age.  Known mostly for his code of laws which were  “once considered the oldest promulgation of laws in human history” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010) Hammurabi strived to be a just ruler, which was commonplace for all Mesopotamian rulers at the time.  His code of laws were “inscribed on a diorite stela set up in Babylon’s temple of Marduk, the national god of Babylonia” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010) so that all citizens could see them.  In all there were 282 case laws that varied from family law, criminal law, economic provisions, and civil law, the punishments set forth in his laws are considered extremely harsh in current times.

            Moses, most known for his delivery of the ten commandments, was born of Hebrew descent in a time where all Hebrew male children were to be killed as ordered by the pharaoh of Egypt, through some luck Moses was raised in the pharaohs palace and was taught many things.   After some time of living in Egypt after witnessing a Hebrew slave being brutally beaten Moses fled Egypt to become a herdsman in the desert.  Moses was then chosen to deliver the Hebrew people from slavery, and also was in charge of being their chief lawmaker, where upon Mt. Sinai God himself instructed Moses of the ten commandments.  Later Moses would more in depth create a code of laws in five books, which are published in the old testament of the bible.          

            One common occurrence found with Moses and Hammurabi are the laws about the respect one should show for their parents.  In these ancient times family interaction was a part of everyday life, and their were many laws governing family affairs.  In both codes we can see that the father of a household was the primary decision maker and overall leader of the unit, and disrespect towards him was intolerable.  Law 195 of Hammurabi’s code states that “If a son strike his father, his hands shall be hewn off. “ (King, 1910) with this law we can already begin the see the seriousness of the offence.  According to Moses’ law "Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death." (The Holy Bible, Exodus 21:15)

            Another area that is touched upon by both codes of law is that which pertains to thievery.  A mans possessions are considered sacred in ancient times as they are today, taking that which is not rightfully yours is considered the utmost of disrespect and was considered a very serious offense.  An example of this can be seen in Law 14 of Hammurabi’s code which states “If any one steal the minor son of another, he shall be put to death.” (King, 1910).  In comparison to the law of Moses which states “If a man is caught kidnapping one of his brother Israelites and treats him as a slave or sells him, the kidnapper must die.” (The Holy Bible, Deut. 24:7).  This principal does not only apply to the theft of a person but to the theft of a persons belongings, Hammurabi Law 21 “If any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole and be buried.” (King, 1910) this law does differ from the law of Moses which states “"If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; but if it happens after sunrise, he is guilty of bloodshed. A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft." (The Holy Bible, Exodus 22:2-3), where no matter the instance the offender should be put to death according to Hammurabi’s law we see in Moses’ law that depending on the time of the day the offender may only be required to pay back what was taken, if he could not he would be sold into slavery, also it is important to note in Moses’ code that if the offender was killed in daylight hours than the defender would be held accountable for his death.

            A very famous quote that is said to this day is “ an eye for and eye”, this quote in fact originated with the Law of Hammurabi.  In ancient times ones personal body was considered to be a temple, and any assault on it in any fashion was the highest of crimes.  We can see this illustrated in the Law of Hammurabi which says “ If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out….If he break another man's bone, his bone shall be broken. …If a man knock out the teeth of his equal, his teeth shall be knocked out.” (King,1910) this law almost directly mirrors the law of Moses which states "If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured." (The Holy Bible, Leviticus 24:19-20) the only difference here is that with the Law of Hammurabi if the offender is of higher social status than he who he injured, the offender may be required to pay only a fine for his offense.

            As we can see in the quotes from the previous paragraphs there is a distinct similarity in a general perspective of law in ancient times according to Hammurabi and Moses.  It is until we take an even deeper look do we see that in actuality there are subtle differences that set these two codes of law apart, and create with that great uniqueness to both works.  Although both codes were spiritually derived, the law of Moses was the only to touch upon religious proceedings and the proper way to go about them, giving specific instructions on special feasts and on the proper practices of sacrifice, the law of Hammurabi does not in an in-depth fashion touch upon religious ceremonies in any form.  Also differences can be seen in the unique punishments given for certain offenses committed, where as one may be put to death for a crime according to the law of Moses the offender may only be fined according to the law of Hammurabi.  In the end we can see how the morals and values of ancient times were fairly similar across the board, we can now see that after taking a closer look at these two codes of law that they were obviously created in two different time periods with two separate understandings of what was deemed suitable punishment for a certain crime, but without a doubt it is quite easy to see the moral similarities these two different people shared.


Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/265896_comparing-hammaurabi-and-moses#ixzz1A4yawzmJ

The Egyptian book of the death could have been another source for the law :
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And as far as the Ten Commandments, they are taken outright from Spell 125 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. What the Book of the Dead phrased “I have not stolen” became “Thou shall not steal,” “I have not killed” became “Thou shall not kill,” “I have not told lies” became “Thou shall not bear false witness” and so forth.

http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0408/oldprophecy.html

The stories of the Torah(Pentateuch) are very similar with Sumerian and Babylonian mythologies :


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How similar are the Tanakh`s stories with Ancient Babylonian stories?

Let’s start with the birth story of Moses. The Moses story is very similar to the birth story of Sargon of Akkad, also known as Sargon the great. Sargon is accredited with founding of Babylon. The story of Sargon was written in cuneiform long before the existence of Moses. Sargon started from the north in Elam and stretched his empire throughout Mesopotamia as far as Iran. Incidentally his reign was way before Hammurabi. Sargon lived from ca. 2270 BC – 2215 BC. Sargon was the first King of Babylon while Hammurabi was the sixth.

We know with the Moses story. Moses’ mother feared for the life of her infant son so she hid him under bulrushes in a basket and put the basket along to riverbank to sail down the Nile River. At the other end, the Pharaoh’s daughter found the infant when she went to bathe. She immediately recognized the child was Hebrew and decided to raise him as her own. She looked for a Hebrew woman to be the infant’s wet nurse and hired Moses’ own mother to care of the child. The name Moses is a combination of Egyptian words that mean child of the water.

Sargon’s mother was a high priestess. She hid the birth of her child too. She also put him in a basket and sent him down the river. The river she sent him down was the Euphrates in Mesopotamia. Directly from the poetic text of the Epic of Gilgamesh, we have from Sargon tale…She abandoned me to the river from which I could not escape. The river carried me along: to Aqqi, the water drawer, it brought me. Aqqi, the water drawer, when immersing his bucket lifted me up. Aqqi, the water drawer, raised me as his adopted son. Aqqi, the water drawer, set me to his garden work. During my garden work, Istar loved me (so that) 55 years I ruled king…

http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/sargon.html

Sargon was the founder of Babylon and lived 1000 years before Moses and Moses is the founder of the state of Israel.

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Another Moses story that is similar to Babylonian legend again goes back to Hammurabi. Hammurabi’s God Shamash, gave him the tablets, which was the code of law. Hammurabi was chosen to give the code law to his people just like Moses was chosen by God to give the 10 commandments, the Hebrew law, to the Israelites. http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/bios/b1hammurabi.htm


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The Gilgamesh and the Great Flood

The Epic of Gilgamesh is probably the oldest written document discovered to date. It is written in poetic form in ancient cuneiform.

According to Babylonian legend in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the God Enlil was displeased with the noise of the world and he sent a great flood to destroy it. The Goddess Istar took pity on one family and decided to save them.

The theme of saving one family from the Great Flood parallels the Bible story of The Great Flood. God destroyed mankind from all its wickedness with the exception of Noah and his Family.

Both Utnapishtim and his family, and Noah and his build a great ark. Each family brought on animals and survived many days and nights on the ark. In both stories it was a bird that first discovered the presence of land. In each of the stories the ark found a resting on a Mountaintop. Mount Nasir in the Babylonian story was the final resting place for the ark. Mount Ararat was the final resting place for Noah’s ark in the Biblical story.

However the stories are not completely the same. Utnapishtim’s family received immortality and lived in paradise (Dilmun) while Noah’s family was given the sign, the ark of the rainbow, and God’s promise that there would never be any more great floods to destroy the earth and its inhabitants.



The Gilgamesh stories and the Story of Samson and Delilah demonstrate the hero and the harlot theme. In Samson and Delilah, Samson the strong man falls in love with the harlot Delilah. She is working for the enemy and gets him to reveal the secret of his great strength, which happened to be his long hair. She betrays his confidence to the roman soldiers who cut his hair. Without his hair, Samson is greatly weakened. In the Babylonian epic, Gilgamesh actively enlists the help of a harlot, Shamhat, to reveal her naked charms to his enemy, Enkidu. Enkidu loses something as well; he loses his innocence.

Creation stories:

Adam and Eve fall from paradise and immortality because the serpent tempted Eve and she ate from the apple from the tree of knowledge. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is resting. He had a magic flower that gave him immortality. The serpent steals the flower and Gilgamesh also looses his immortality because of it.

The legend of Adapa employs the same theme of robbing humans of their immortality. In the Garden of Eden the serpent tricks Eve into believing that God has lied to her about the tree of knowledge.

In the legend of Adapa, “Adapa, son the god of Wisdom, Ea, broke the wing of the Storm bird who attacked him in the Persian Gulf. Ea summoned Adapa to question his violence and warned him that, having displeased Anu, King of Heaven, the gods would offer him the food and drink of death, which he must refuse. Anu, however, learning of this indiscreet disclosure, tried to foil Ea by offering Adapa the bread of life and the water of life instead. When Adapa refused, Anu sent him back to earth as a mortal.” http://www.usbible.com/Creation/creation_myths.htm

The Pentateuch is it's ultimate condition was not written by Moses.. The Pentateuch mentions the city Dan.


Genesis 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

Deuteronomy 34:1 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land--from Gilead to Dan,


The city of Laish does not receive the name of Dan untill after the time of the Pentateuch in Judges, when the Danites conquer it and name it after their forefather Dan:

Judges 18:29 They named it Dan after their forefather Dan, who was born to Israel--though the city used to be called Laish.

The Pentateuch was most probably written, composed , edited and re-edited among many centuries.. The stories of the Pentateuch paralels very good old Babylonian mythology which makes us think that it was written mostly around the 6th century BCE.. The creation, the fall , the flood , the patriarch are most probably stories stolen from Babylon.. The story of Moses and the story of Sargon are almoust perfectly the same..One "the founder of the state of Israel" the other the founder of Babylon.Except that Sargon lived 1000 years earlier than Moses.. God giving codes of law on a mountain to a law-giver are ideas present in many mythologies, the Babylonian included.. That paralels the code of Hamurrabi... So considering that it was composed over houndreds of years it had time to look smart/wise... Yet not that wise after all is it? Also it says in the Pentateuch that Moses died.. How could Moses write that being death?Or in Samuel it says that Samuel died, I think even in 1Samuel how could Samuel write that being dead?Than we have 2 differnent authors of the death of the giant Goliath from Gat : David and Elchanan.. And from that point on the inconsistencies of numbers/names/stories beggin... Inconsistencies between Kings and Chronics and so on... There is no substantial proof of a large Jewish migration from Egypt or of a militar campaign in Canaan... Many of the cities atributed to the conquering of "the Israelites" were in ruins for centuries or were conquered by the Egyptians..

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"The Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land [of Canaan] in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the twelve tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united kingdom of David and Solomon, described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom."

The famous battle of Jericho, with which the Israelites supposedly launched this campaign of conquest after wandering for decades in the desert, has been likewise debunked: The city of Jericho didn't exist at that time and had no walls to come tumbling down. These assertions are all pretty much accepted by mainstream archaeologists.

 In particular, the account of Joshua's conquest of Canaan is inconsistent with the archaeological evidence. Cities supposedly conquered by Joshua in the 14th century bce were destroyed long before he came on the scene. Some, such as Ai and Arad, had been ruins for a 1000 years.

The Book of Judges, which directly contradicts Joshua, and shows the Israelites settling the land over a prolonged period, is nearer historical reality; but even it cannot be taken at face value. The archaeological surveys conducted over the past two decades indicate that the origin and development of the Israelite entity was somewhat different from either of the rival accounts in the Bible. The survey was conducted by more than a dozen archaeologists, most of them from Tel Aviv University's Institute of Archaeology.

Around 1200 bce, semi-nomads from the desert fringes to the east and the south, possibly including Egypt, began to settle in the hill country of Canaan. A large proportion - probably a majority of this population - were refugees from the Canaanite city states, destroyed by the Egyptians in one of their periodic invasions. The conclusion is somewhat startling to Bible readers who know the Canaanites portrayed in the Bible as immoral idolaters: most of the Israelites were in fact formerly Canaanites. The story of Abraham's journey from Ur of the Chaldees, the Patriarchs, the Exodus, Sinai, and the conquest of Canaan, all these were apparently based on legends that the various elements brought with them from their countries of origin. The consolidation of the Israelites into a nation was not the result of wanderings in the desert and divine revelation, but came from the need to defend themselves against the Philistines, who settled in the Canaanite coastal plain more or less at the same time the Israelites were establishing themselves in the hills. http://freethought.mbdojo.com/archeology.html



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1 – The OT history is unsupportable.  The period during which, according to the original scriptures,  Abraham settled in Canaan, the Israelites were enslaved by Egypt, Moses led the exodus, and the army of Israel invaded Canaan, is variously held to begin from 2000-1700 BC and end from 1500-1200 BC.  These stories are the ancient history of Israel, and form the basis of the early books of the OT.

But scriptural documentation doesn’t begin until 700 BC.  So, in order to believe that these stories are genuine, we must accept that they were passed through the generations by word of mouth, without any embellishment, for at least a thousand years!  Unsurprisingly there’s no credible archaeological evidence for these events (though an economic migration to and from Egypt is certainly feasible).

There are untold narrative errors and impossibilities to be found in the history, but here’s an unassuming one.  The books describe the use of domesticated camels during the early experiences of the Israelites.  However this would have been impossible – camels weren’t domesticated in the region until much later.  The only explanation is that the writers added their own contemporary experience to the story – in other words, the stories, even if actually passed down, had been corrupted.

 2 – The OT is derived from conflicting sources.  The roots of the Torah (the first five books) were composed by two different people (or schools) in 700 BC.  One was based in the north, one in the south, and each was influenced by his own local cult, which had its own god and its own hero (Abraham in the south, Moses in the north).

These weren’t joined together until 620 BC, when the Torah was presented as a written compilation for the very first time, by a further writer or school.  The original stories had already been rewritten to reflect the editor’s local bias – in particular Moses grew in importance.  We have no way of knowing the full extent of the adaptations required to overcome this conflict.

 3 – Many key Biblical stories weren’t added until later.  Many episodes weren’t provided by the three key early writers, but added during subsequent revisions.  In particular, the specific detail in the Creation myth in Genesis and the story of the Ten Commandments were not introduced to the OT until 600 BC at the very earliest.  These two items are now considered amongst the most crucial in the Torah, but they were only added at least a century after it was first written.

 4 – The OT’s teachings vary according to political conditions.  When the Torah was first edited, the Israelites appeared to have regained control of their land.  Self-protective and embittered, the writers of the Torah advocated compassion and understanding towards their countrymen, but hatred and violence towards all others.

But in 590 BC, under Babylonian occupation and with dissenters in exile, the Torah was edited again.  This was a face-saving manoeuvre – the editors had to explain how their all-powerful god came to be dethroned.  No longer in control of their country, the editors added the concept of ‘concern for others’ – a direct plea to their oppressors.

By 530 BC the Persian empire ruled the Middle East, and allowed religious freedom in conquered lands.  The editing and expansion of the scriptures began again.  This time the writers returned to the bloodthirstiness expressed previously, and advocated bloody violence against anyone who opposed their local god or challenged the status of Israel.  Israelites could act without fear of consequence, in any way, so long as that act represented the wishes of their god or was in defence of Israel.

In 500 BC, with more Israelites returning from exile, and the country appearing to be safe, the scriptures were edited and expanded again.  Only then were the concepts of monotheism and Zionism introduced.

 5 – Even at the time, the scriptures were considered corrupted.  The OT was so poorly organised that it even included a critic of the scriptures, Jeremiah, within its books.  His contribution includes a direct criticism of its integrity (Jeremiah 8:8-9).  The Torah’s editors were not interested in truth, but in reflecting the cultural and political interests of the period.

 6 – The OT’s development was prematurely aborted.  As with most religious scriptures, the tragedy of the OT is that it was canonised.  Once the contents were settled, the editing process ended.  Successive generations would surely have continued to update the contents to reflect contemporary politics and ethics, just as their predecessors did.  As a result of canonisation, however, religious communications to people living 2,500 years ago are being applied as literal moral instructions for people today. http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Am-Debunking-The-Bible/974875

Do you really think God came in person to Moses, Abraham the prophets,etc talked, conversed with them and dictated them things to write?

Yes I do.

With that said many of the sources quotes that you gave speak on their own authority with nothing backing it up.  If you want very good answers to your issues with the Torah, forgive me, but I don't think you will find the most experts on a Christian forum.  Though there is very much knowledge amongst the brothers & sisters here, I think deep rooted questions on the Torah would best be answered by Jews.

The sources cited are ignoring much historical evidence of the exodus, the time frames of the exodus.   Stating 700BC is completely outrageous.  Also comparing to Hammurabi is pretty incredible as well.

Consider Isaiah for example who was 700bc with tons of backing and historical evidence behind it.  Don't you think that the Torah pre-dates Isaiah?  Otherwise what would be Isaiah's point?

What about the respect of other biblical personages of the Torah?  Solomon to David for example.
What about the records of the kings, the lands, and other artifacts that coincide in the time frame of the scripture?

So yes, I believe the Torah is accurate.  I'm not about to go debate the Torah accuracy as I have gone through a lot of research into the Torah, with several Jews.

Your question though is do I believe that God talked to them.
This is a faith based question.    No way I can prove it.  No way anybody can prove it.   You are either going to believe it or not.

But when you think of it, its probably pretty hard for you to prove that your great, great, great, great, great grandfather existed.  It was in the last couple hundred years when he was alive.   Obviously you exist... Obviously you had a 5x g. grandfather.   We can't prove it.  I can't prove mine at least...

I do believe these men talked with God.  I've witnessed enough miracles to believe in God.  (Yes, it does make me weaker because those who believe without seeing...)  I have no reason to believe they did not speak with God, and through their words of accurate prophecy spoken, I do think it is very fair and rational to see the Torah as true.
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« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2012, 03:29:57 AM »

Religion and rituals are based more on a crafty experience than a vivid one.Religion tends to cause soul stilness, through the repetition of the same practices,words , prayers, rituals, all over again.So my questions are : Does God love religion and did he establish any religion or religious rituals?Does God really desire a religious(formal) life from us or a personal relationship with us?Doesn`t the number of religions and religious divisions and subdivisions proove that God did not establish religion, that no religion has the substance of God in it?If it would it would have been striking and self evident.Instead we have various religions that lack truth in various parts and do not satisfy the entire need of the human soul.



Well you used the word "religion".  
In the EO church often some of the things you mentioned are true, which is where I have issues with the faith.  In particular, prayer ropes & the Jesus prayer 100x times.   However, that is rather trivial, and many of my issues of the church are trivial.     Liturgy usually is the same on Sunday, but I believe it is so that its repetitive.   As far as the scripture goes, god did not establish rituals as they exist today, but they were rather basic.   A baptism in the water was not with anointing, white robes, garments of byzantine kings, etc.   The symbolism within EO can be as beautiful and ornate with everything going on, and when you consider all the symbols that go into a baptism (including the priests vestment with no seams), it's can be pretty neat.

However, neatness does come at a price, and often simplicity is lost.   For me this isn't a right or wrong type of question, its a glass half full or empty question.   The way its done is right ritually, but it doesn't always have to be that way.

I believe that a priest could be in very basic or shabby clothes, performing a baptism in a murky river and it would be just as valid....  I believe without all the prayers and services of baptism he could just baptize in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit and it would be just as valid as a big ornate service with tons of clergy present in a big church.

Scripturally, there were not many "rituals".   In fact, they didn't even fast before the eucharist at the last supper....  Most of that is for us, and churchy, not right or wrong...  I just think a lot of symbols in ritualism exist to show the richness... perhaps respect... towards what is happening.

My problem is with all religions starting with Judaism.Not just with the EO.Do you really think God descended from heaven and dictated mot-a-mot to Moses what he should do?

You are speaking of the Torah that was dictated from our Father, YHWH, to Moses.   I do believe that there is some significant historical evidence of it happening.   It coincides with the geography, and other evidences that were found in the Torah.  They found Sodom, there are pyramids, Egypt was abandoned by slaves, they found Jericho, Babylon.

That is flaw reasoning.Just because something religiously corresponds with geography it doesn`t make their religious claims true.

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I don't believe that Moses could have made it up with so much accuracy, laws, and wisdom.   Moses could not also have known of the Trinity, and how God created man in OUR image.   There are references like that in the Torah.

Who said Moses was a real person?Much of the Torah(Pentateuch) in the form we have it today it was written around the 6th century BCE.. Here is something about Genesis :

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According to Christian tradition the book of Genesis was written somewhere between 1513-1440BCE, at around the time of the Israelite’s alleged exodus from Egypt. However, according to the overwhelming amount of archeological, textual and extra-biblical evidence, the book of Genesis was more than likely written some time during the 6th to the 5th centuries B.C.E, whilst the Israelites were exiled in Babylon or even after they had returned, also known as the exilic and post exilic periods. Such a fact may appear to be insignificant but it is important, especially within the context of the archeologically proven fact that the Chaldeans, Sumerians and Babylonians, all had near identical myths from the creation of heaven and earth, the fall of man, the great flood, the tower of Babel, the Ten Commandments and even a Garden of Eden, to name a few. All of these ancient Babylonian myths pre-dated the Hebrew Scriptures by over a thousand years or more.


The ‘Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies’ has the following to say regarding biblical archeology and the Babylonian origin of the myths contained within the book of Genesis:

These (anthropological responses) took various forms: cultural, religious, and historical. The cultural responses were based upon the discovery of Assyrian and Babylonian texts which resembled the biblical accounts of creation and flood and the laws of Exodus 21–4. They illuminated the cultural context of ancient Israel and disclosed the history, religion, and culture of ancient Mesopotamia as never before. One conclusion that was drawn from these discoveries was that everything that was thought to be unique to the Old Testament was, in fact, derived from Babylon (Delitzsch 1901–2).

There are a number of reasons to consider the probability that the book of Genesis was written well after the traditional date and even more reasons to suggest that it was composed in post exilic times (after the Jewish exile to Babylon).


The Hebrew Language

The first and foremost reason for considering a much later date for the composition for the book of Genesis than is held by the Judeo-Christian tradition, is the fact that the Hebrew language was not yet in existence during the period in which the book was allegedly written. There are two major forms of script in Hebrew, the ‘Ketav Ivri’, which is derived from the Phoenician (ancient Lebanese) language and the ‘Ketav Ashuri’, rooted in the Acadian or Babylonian language. Neither Hebraic Scripts originate with the actual Hebrews themselves they are borrowed languages from people who worshiped other gods. Whether the original manuscripts of Genesis were penned in the Babylonian Hebrew or the Phoenician Hebrew, one thing is almost certain and that is, the earliest possible date that the book of Genesis could have been written is no earlier than 1000 B.C.E.

With regards to the relatively late development of the Hebrew language the ‘Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages’ relates that:

No extant inscription that can be identified specifically as Hebrew antedates the tenth century BC, and Hebrew inscriptions in significant numbers do not begin to appear before the early eighth century BC.

Camels

The next reason for questioning the traditional date of composition for the book of Genesis is the presence of camels in the narrative. According to Zoological Archeologists at Tel Aviv University, camels were not domesticated until after 1000BC. There is no evidence whatsoever of domesticated camels prior to this time and following this period there is a wealth of archeological evidence regarding the domestication of camels. So why is this important?

In Genesis 12:16 Abram is rewarded by the Pharaoh of Egypt for giving the Pharaoh his “sister,” who was actually his wife/half-sister. For this gift of prostitution, the Pharaoh rewarded Abram with sheep, asses, slaves, and a camel. However, as mentioned above camels were not domesticated until after 1000BC and this story is traditionally said to have taken place before 2000BC. Therefore, the author was living in a time when camels were domesticated, which according to the archeological evidence must have been some time after 1000BC. This pushes both the story of Abraham and the book of Genesis to after 1000BC at least.

The ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ corroborates the above point, whilst disagreeing only slightly on the date of the introduction of the Camel to Canaan and Egypt. It states:

There is however no archaeological corroboration for the camel being known in Palestine or Egypt at the beginning of the second millennium B.C., as the seventeen references to the camel in Genesis might suggest, and those references are therefore considered anachronisms.

In addition 2 Jewish Rabbis, Messod and Roger Sabbah, discuss this point in their bestseller, ‘Secrets of the Exodus: The Egyptian Origins of the Hebrew People’, arguing that the appearance of camels within the narratives found in the Book of Genesis are telltale signs that the book was composed much later than previously believed:

Biblical researchers believed that the presence of camels in the story of the patriarchs was an error of the scribes. However, the scribes went into great detail, as if they wanted to pass on a message. "He caused the camels to kneel ..." (Genesis 24:11). "Rebecca looked up and alighted from the camel ..." (Genesis24:64). Presenting Biblical characters alighting from camels' backs is an anachronism that the scribes apparently wished to present.
By the sixth century BC, the camel, a symbol of wealth and power, had already been domesticated in Babylonia.
Had they forgotten that camels did not exist in ancient Egypt?
Couldn't they have presented and described Abraham's power and wealth without camels? The camels give a Mesopotamian twist to the story, which would have been pleasing to their captors.

Chaldea

Further, the book of Genesis describes Abraham’s birthplace as being in Ur in Chaldea, which as previously mentioned, is more popularly known today as Babylon. At Genesis 11:28, 31 and 15:7, the Hebrew word ‘Kasdim’ (Eng. Chaldee) is used to describe the ancient region of Babylonia. The problem with the use of the word ‘Kasdim’ is that it was not used to describe ancient Babylonia until the 6th century BCE, which is known as the Neo-Babylonian Period. Before this it was known as ‘Sumeria’, yet the account given in Genesis refers to this region as Chaldea. This fact provides further evidence that the book of Genesis was more than likely written sometime during or after the 6th century BCE. According to Messod and Roger Sabbah, the story of Abraham was a 6th century composition constructed to pander to the Jew’s Babylonian captors and masters. They say:

Although the city of Ur existed in Sumeria, the name "Chaldea" (Chaldees) does not appear until sometime around the sixth century BC. Chaldea has never yielded any archeological proof of the existence of the great patriarch, Abraham. In order to survive and for their traditions to survive as well, the Yahuds introduced anachronisms into the history of the Patriarchs. They made the story compatible with sixth-century Babylon. They recast a large part of their history at that time, probably under considerable restrictions. The new text of the story had no historical reality at all.

Moreover, the ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ informs us that:

“In the OT, Ur is mentioned four times (Gen. 11:28, 31; 15:7; Neh. 9:7), in each instance as the home of the patriarch Abraham before his migration to Harran and Canaan, and in each instance the Hebrew phrase “Ur Kasdim” is used. Kasdim here almost certainly indicates the "Chaldeans" (cf. already the Septuagint), which suggests that the phrase as a whole refers to the southern Mesopotamia!! Ur of the period of the Neo-Babylonian/Chaldean Empire. To be sure, this period is much too late for Abraham…”

It appears that the accounts of Abraham’s birth and travels were created no earlier than the 6th century B.C.E, which seems to indicate that the writer was either in Babylon during the exile or had already returned to Israel. Either way, one thing is almost certain, and that is that the authors of the Hebrew Scriptures had ample opportunity to copy and re-script the mythologies of the ancient Babylonians to suit their own social and theological needs.

Kings in Israel

Genesis 36:31 says;

And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

The obvious implication of this statement is that at the time the author was writing this passage, there had been numerous kings who had reigned in Israel as evidenced by the term used, ‘any king’.
The very first king of Israel was Saul and his reign has been dated from 1020BCE-1000BCE. Thus, the author must have been writing the account in Genesis following this period. There may well be good reason to suggest it was long after this period, due to the fact that the author says; “before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.” Use of the phrase, ‘any king’ implies that he was aware of more than one king. If only one king had reigned it would have made more sense for the author to name that king, or if there were two, to use the phrase ‘either king’, or ‘both kings’, or use their names, but it definitely seems as if there had been many kings which preceded the account. This evidence coupled with the textual and archeological evidence showing that Saul was the first king of Israel in the 10th century B.C.E, seems to indicate that the account in Genesis was written well after this date.

Bozrah in Edom

The next clue to the late composition of the book of Genesis can be found within the reference to an Edomite king by the name of Jobab ruling in place of King Bela who was reported to have died. Jobab’s father was Zarah, a king from Bozrah. (Genesis 36:33)
Recently Bozrah was excavated by Archeologists who discovered that it came into being no earlier than the 8th century B.C.E.

The archeologist responsible for excavating Bozrah, Bennet said:
"There is no archaeological evidence to support the story of the king of Edom refusing passage to Moses, or for a powerful kingdom of Edom in the time of David and his son Solomon. Biblical traditions such as Genesis 36:31 and Numbers 20:14 probably reflect 8th-6th century BC conditions. The evidence for a very impressive occupation and a city with all the appetencies of prosperity is overwhelming during the Neo-Assyrian period and is supported by the records in the Assyrian annals, and 8th century BC biblical references to Bozrah (especially Amos 1:12)."

The ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ supports this conclusion, stating:

Excavations by Crystal-M. Bennett reveal that it flourished in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. and probably continued into the fourth.
As is the case with other Edomite sites, it does not appear to have existed before the eighth century B.C., which raises serious questions about the historical accuracy of the Edomite king lists in which it is mentioned (Gen. 36:33; 1 Chron. 1:44).

In providing evidence contrary to the alleged conquest of Canaan by Joshua, the Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies discounts the existence of Bozrah, prior to the traditional date of Joshua’s alleged conquest, reporting:

Thus the traditional picture of Israel’s ‘conquest’ of Canaan has been dramatically revised as a result of archaeological excavation and survey in the hill country.
The evidence from Canaanite cities, formerly used to support the conquest theory, no longer works; certain cities named in the conquest narratives—Jericho, Ai, Heshbon, and Arad—were not Late Bronze Age cities. The kingdom of Edom, mentioned as an obstacle to Israel’s migration in Num. 20: 14–21, did not yet exist, as was shown by the excavations of Bennett at Umm el-Biyarah, TaWleh, and Busayra and the surveys of B. McDonald…

One clue which seems to suggest that the account was written in the post exilic period is that the author, if living within the 7th century would have known that, contrary to the account given in Genesis (36:31), there were kings in Israel before there were kings in Edom. Quite a lot of time would have to elapse before this fact would be forgotten by the people of Israel and the author or authors of Genesis. As a result of this historical inaccuracy, it may not be unreasonable to suggest that the book of Genesis could have possibly been written as late as the 6th to 5th centuries B.C.E.

Nineveh

Yet another piece of evidence which seems to show that Genesis was written in either the exilic or post exilic period is the primary reference to Nineveh, listed first and foremost amongst the cities of Babylonia. During the period in which Genesis was traditionally believed to be written, the capital city of Babylon was Asshur, yet there is no mention of this city, instead we see three major cities listed; Nineveh, Rehoboth and Calah.
Genesis 10:11-12 lists the cities of Babylonia as follows;
…Nineveh and the city Rehoboth and Calah.
And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
The fact that Nineveh is the first mentioned city is of great importance from a literary point of view. It seems to indicate that it was the most significant city, probably the capital. Moreover, in verse 12 it is given first place again over the city of Calah. The issue here is that it did not become the capital city until the 7th century BCE.
According to the Harper Collins Bible Dictionary:

Ninevah was the capital of Assyria at its height from the time of Sennacherib, who assumed the throne in 705 B.C. to its fall in 612 B.C.

There is little doubt that the author of Genesis saw Nineveh as the chief city of Babylon, leading him to give it pride of place as the first city mentioned and that in so doing demonstrated that he belonged to a period later than the 6th century B.C.E.

Finally, with regards to the late composition of the book of Genesis, referring to the ‘Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies’, we are able to establish the probable truth that the book of Genesis was written during and more than likely after the 7th century B.C.E:

Attempts to identify Abraham’s family migration with a supposed westward Amorite migration at the collapse of the Early Bronze Age c.2100–1800 bce, or to explain personal names, marriage customs, or laws of property by reference to fifteenth century Nuzi or Mari documents have failed to convince. Abraham’s life-style is no longer seen as reflecting Intermediate Early Bronze/Middle Bronze bedouin, or donkey caravaneers trading between Mesopotamia and Egypt, or tent-dwellers living alongside
Middle Bronze Age cities in Canaan; rather, with its references to Philistines and Aramaeans, Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites, Ishmael and his descendants Kedar, Nebaioth, and Tema, Assyria and its cities of Nineveh and Calah, camel caravans and spices, Genesis reflects the first millennium world of the Assyrian empire. With its emphasis on the southern centres of Hebron and (Jeru)salem (Gen. 14: 18) and the northern centres of Bethel and Shechem, the Abraham story reveals knowledge of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah (cf. Gen. 49: 8–12, 22–6), in its present form probably deriving from Judah’s Floruit in the seventh century bce.

From all of the available evidence of which I have only canvassed a small sample, the authors of Genesis were more than likely living some time during or after the 6th century BCE. This places them in the exilic or post exilic period, thus affording them ample opportunity to copy the myths of their hosts, the Babylonians. http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?74291-Genesis-Late-Composition-The-Evidence-and-Possible-Implications&highlight=genesis+late+composition

The Torah is not that wise... Not wiser that the code of Hammurabi..  Some of the commandments in the Torah of Moses have no moral reasoning.. Moses was not the only mythological law giver :

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Moses is known as the Law Giver, the giver of the Ten Commandments, the Mosaic Law. However, the idea of a Law being passed from God to a prophet on a mountain is also a very old motif. Moses is just a law giver in a long line of law givers in mythological history. In India, Manou was the great law giver. In Crete, Minos ascended Mount Dicta, where Zeus gave him the sacred laws. While in Egypt there was Mises, who carried stone tablets and upon them the laws of god were written.http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0408/oldprophecy.html


Comparing Moses and Hammurabi's law :

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One of the earliest and most famous law codes created was that of Hammurabi, a Babylonian king.  The law code of Hammurabi originates in ancient Babylon and dates to 1760 BC,  this predates the law code of Moses which dates to 1312 BCE.  When one is to compare these two ancient codes it is quite easy to see their shocking similarities.  Both of these codes have religious backgrounds, Hammurabi receiving the laws from the god Shamash, and Moses receiving his code of law from God.  In fact some scholars argue that due to their similarities these two different bodies of work may in fact be related to one another, the thought is that Hammurabi’s code was a direct predecessor of Moses’ law.  These two works have influenced lawmakers of governments to this day, although the punishments of old are much more severe, the presumption of innocence and the thought of a trial were given birth to in these two early codes.  In the following we will take an in depth look at the vast array of similarities and differences in these two codes, and also a look at the two men who delivered them.

          Hammurabi was a Babylonian king, he was the best known ruler from the Amorite dynasty.  Little is known of Hammurabi’s early life, until the time he inherited the throne in 1792 BC at a particularly young age.  Known mostly for his code of laws which were  “once considered the oldest promulgation of laws in human history” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010) Hammurabi strived to be a just ruler, which was commonplace for all Mesopotamian rulers at the time.  His code of laws were “inscribed on a diorite stela set up in Babylon’s temple of Marduk, the national god of Babylonia” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010) so that all citizens could see them.  In all there were 282 case laws that varied from family law, criminal law, economic provisions, and civil law, the punishments set forth in his laws are considered extremely harsh in current times.

            Moses, most known for his delivery of the ten commandments, was born of Hebrew descent in a time where all Hebrew male children were to be killed as ordered by the pharaoh of Egypt, through some luck Moses was raised in the pharaohs palace and was taught many things.   After some time of living in Egypt after witnessing a Hebrew slave being brutally beaten Moses fled Egypt to become a herdsman in the desert.  Moses was then chosen to deliver the Hebrew people from slavery, and also was in charge of being their chief lawmaker, where upon Mt. Sinai God himself instructed Moses of the ten commandments.  Later Moses would more in depth create a code of laws in five books, which are published in the old testament of the bible.          

            One common occurrence found with Moses and Hammurabi are the laws about the respect one should show for their parents.  In these ancient times family interaction was a part of everyday life, and their were many laws governing family affairs.  In both codes we can see that the father of a household was the primary decision maker and overall leader of the unit, and disrespect towards him was intolerable.  Law 195 of Hammurabi’s code states that “If a son strike his father, his hands shall be hewn off. “ (King, 1910) with this law we can already begin the see the seriousness of the offence.  According to Moses’ law "Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death." (The Holy Bible, Exodus 21:15)

            Another area that is touched upon by both codes of law is that which pertains to thievery.  A mans possessions are considered sacred in ancient times as they are today, taking that which is not rightfully yours is considered the utmost of disrespect and was considered a very serious offense.  An example of this can be seen in Law 14 of Hammurabi’s code which states “If any one steal the minor son of another, he shall be put to death.” (King, 1910).  In comparison to the law of Moses which states “If a man is caught kidnapping one of his brother Israelites and treats him as a slave or sells him, the kidnapper must die.” (The Holy Bible, Deut. 24:7).  This principal does not only apply to the theft of a person but to the theft of a persons belongings, Hammurabi Law 21 “If any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole and be buried.” (King, 1910) this law does differ from the law of Moses which states “"If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; but if it happens after sunrise, he is guilty of bloodshed. A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft." (The Holy Bible, Exodus 22:2-3), where no matter the instance the offender should be put to death according to Hammurabi’s law we see in Moses’ law that depending on the time of the day the offender may only be required to pay back what was taken, if he could not he would be sold into slavery, also it is important to note in Moses’ code that if the offender was killed in daylight hours than the defender would be held accountable for his death.

            A very famous quote that is said to this day is “ an eye for and eye”, this quote in fact originated with the Law of Hammurabi.  In ancient times ones personal body was considered to be a temple, and any assault on it in any fashion was the highest of crimes.  We can see this illustrated in the Law of Hammurabi which says “ If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out….If he break another man's bone, his bone shall be broken. …If a man knock out the teeth of his equal, his teeth shall be knocked out.” (King,1910) this law almost directly mirrors the law of Moses which states "If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured." (The Holy Bible, Leviticus 24:19-20) the only difference here is that with the Law of Hammurabi if the offender is of higher social status than he who he injured, the offender may be required to pay only a fine for his offense.

            As we can see in the quotes from the previous paragraphs there is a distinct similarity in a general perspective of law in ancient times according to Hammurabi and Moses.  It is until we take an even deeper look do we see that in actuality there are subtle differences that set these two codes of law apart, and create with that great uniqueness to both works.  Although both codes were spiritually derived, the law of Moses was the only to touch upon religious proceedings and the proper way to go about them, giving specific instructions on special feasts and on the proper practices of sacrifice, the law of Hammurabi does not in an in-depth fashion touch upon religious ceremonies in any form.  Also differences can be seen in the unique punishments given for certain offenses committed, where as one may be put to death for a crime according to the law of Moses the offender may only be fined according to the law of Hammurabi.  In the end we can see how the morals and values of ancient times were fairly similar across the board, we can now see that after taking a closer look at these two codes of law that they were obviously created in two different time periods with two separate understandings of what was deemed suitable punishment for a certain crime, but without a doubt it is quite easy to see the moral similarities these two different people shared.


Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/265896_comparing-hammaurabi-and-moses#ixzz1A4yawzmJ

The Egyptian book of the death could have been another source for the law :
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And as far as the Ten Commandments, they are taken outright from Spell 125 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. What the Book of the Dead phrased “I have not stolen” became “Thou shall not steal,” “I have not killed” became “Thou shall not kill,” “I have not told lies” became “Thou shall not bear false witness” and so forth.

http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0408/oldprophecy.html

The stories of the Torah(Pentateuch) are very similar with Sumerian and Babylonian mythologies :


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How similar are the Tanakh`s stories with Ancient Babylonian stories?

Let’s start with the birth story of Moses. The Moses story is very similar to the birth story of Sargon of Akkad, also known as Sargon the great. Sargon is accredited with founding of Babylon. The story of Sargon was written in cuneiform long before the existence of Moses. Sargon started from the north in Elam and stretched his empire throughout Mesopotamia as far as Iran. Incidentally his reign was way before Hammurabi. Sargon lived from ca. 2270 BC – 2215 BC. Sargon was the first King of Babylon while Hammurabi was the sixth.

We know with the Moses story. Moses’ mother feared for the life of her infant son so she hid him under bulrushes in a basket and put the basket along to riverbank to sail down the Nile River. At the other end, the Pharaoh’s daughter found the infant when she went to bathe. She immediately recognized the child was Hebrew and decided to raise him as her own. She looked for a Hebrew woman to be the infant’s wet nurse and hired Moses’ own mother to care of the child. The name Moses is a combination of Egyptian words that mean child of the water.

Sargon’s mother was a high priestess. She hid the birth of her child too. She also put him in a basket and sent him down the river. The river she sent him down was the Euphrates in Mesopotamia. Directly from the poetic text of the Epic of Gilgamesh, we have from Sargon tale…She abandoned me to the river from which I could not escape. The river carried me along: to Aqqi, the water drawer, it brought me. Aqqi, the water drawer, when immersing his bucket lifted me up. Aqqi, the water drawer, raised me as his adopted son. Aqqi, the water drawer, set me to his garden work. During my garden work, Istar loved me (so that) 55 years I ruled king…

http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/sargon.html

Sargon was the founder of Babylon and lived 1000 years before Moses and Moses is the founder of the state of Israel.

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Another Moses story that is similar to Babylonian legend again goes back to Hammurabi. Hammurabi’s God Shamash, gave him the tablets, which was the code of law. Hammurabi was chosen to give the code law to his people just like Moses was chosen by God to give the 10 commandments, the Hebrew law, to the Israelites. http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/bios/b1hammurabi.htm


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The Gilgamesh and the Great Flood

The Epic of Gilgamesh is probably the oldest written document discovered to date. It is written in poetic form in ancient cuneiform.

According to Babylonian legend in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the God Enlil was displeased with the noise of the world and he sent a great flood to destroy it. The Goddess Istar took pity on one family and decided to save them.

The theme of saving one family from the Great Flood parallels the Bible story of The Great Flood. God destroyed mankind from all its wickedness with the exception of Noah and his Family.

Both Utnapishtim and his family, and Noah and his build a great ark. Each family brought on animals and survived many days and nights on the ark. In both stories it was a bird that first discovered the presence of land. In each of the stories the ark found a resting on a Mountaintop. Mount Nasir in the Babylonian story was the final resting place for the ark. Mount Ararat was the final resting place for Noah’s ark in the Biblical story.

However the stories are not completely the same. Utnapishtim’s family received immortality and lived in paradise (Dilmun) while Noah’s family was given the sign, the ark of the rainbow, and God’s promise that there would never be any more great floods to destroy the earth and its inhabitants.



The Gilgamesh stories and the Story of Samson and Delilah demonstrate the hero and the harlot theme. In Samson and Delilah, Samson the strong man falls in love with the harlot Delilah. She is working for the enemy and gets him to reveal the secret of his great strength, which happened to be his long hair. She betrays his confidence to the roman soldiers who cut his hair. Without his hair, Samson is greatly weakened. In the Babylonian epic, Gilgamesh actively enlists the help of a harlot, Shamhat, to reveal her naked charms to his enemy, Enkidu. Enkidu loses something as well; he loses his innocence.

Creation stories:

Adam and Eve fall from paradise and immortality because the serpent tempted Eve and she ate from the apple from the tree of knowledge. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is resting. He had a magic flower that gave him immortality. The serpent steals the flower and Gilgamesh also looses his immortality because of it.

The legend of Adapa employs the same theme of robbing humans of their immortality. In the Garden of Eden the serpent tricks Eve into believing that God has lied to her about the tree of knowledge.

In the legend of Adapa, “Adapa, son the god of Wisdom, Ea, broke the wing of the Storm bird who attacked him in the Persian Gulf. Ea summoned Adapa to question his violence and warned him that, having displeased Anu, King of Heaven, the gods would offer him the food and drink of death, which he must refuse. Anu, however, learning of this indiscreet disclosure, tried to foil Ea by offering Adapa the bread of life and the water of life instead. When Adapa refused, Anu sent him back to earth as a mortal.” http://www.usbible.com/Creation/creation_myths.htm

The Pentateuch is it's ultimate condition was not written by Moses.. The Pentateuch mentions the city Dan.


Genesis 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

Deuteronomy 34:1 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land--from Gilead to Dan,


The city of Laish does not receive the name of Dan untill after the time of the Pentateuch in Judges, when the Danites conquer it and name it after their forefather Dan:

Judges 18:29 They named it Dan after their forefather Dan, who was born to Israel--though the city used to be called Laish.

The Pentateuch was most probably written, composed , edited and re-edited among many centuries.. The stories of the Pentateuch paralels very good old Babylonian mythology which makes us think that it was written mostly around the 6th century BCE.. The creation, the fall , the flood , the patriarch are most probably stories stolen from Babylon.. The story of Moses and the story of Sargon are almoust perfectly the same..One "the founder of the state of Israel" the other the founder of Babylon.Except that Sargon lived 1000 years earlier than Moses.. God giving codes of law on a mountain to a law-giver are ideas present in many mythologies, the Babylonian included.. That paralels the code of Hamurrabi... So considering that it was composed over houndreds of years it had time to look smart/wise... Yet not that wise after all is it? Also it says in the Pentateuch that Moses died.. How could Moses write that being death?Or in Samuel it says that Samuel died, I think even in 1Samuel how could Samuel write that being dead?Than we have 2 differnent authors of the death of the giant Goliath from Gat : David and Elchanan.. And from that point on the inconsistencies of numbers/names/stories beggin... Inconsistencies between Kings and Chronics and so on... There is no substantial proof of a large Jewish migration from Egypt or of a militar campaign in Canaan... Many of the cities atributed to the conquering of "the Israelites" were in ruins for centuries or were conquered by the Egyptians..

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"The Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land [of Canaan] in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the twelve tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united kingdom of David and Solomon, described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom."

The famous battle of Jericho, with which the Israelites supposedly launched this campaign of conquest after wandering for decades in the desert, has been likewise debunked: The city of Jericho didn't exist at that time and had no walls to come tumbling down. These assertions are all pretty much accepted by mainstream archaeologists.

 In particular, the account of Joshua's conquest of Canaan is inconsistent with the archaeological evidence. Cities supposedly conquered by Joshua in the 14th century bce were destroyed long before he came on the scene. Some, such as Ai and Arad, had been ruins for a 1000 years.

The Book of Judges, which directly contradicts Joshua, and shows the Israelites settling the land over a prolonged period, is nearer historical reality; but even it cannot be taken at face value. The archaeological surveys conducted over the past two decades indicate that the origin and development of the Israelite entity was somewhat different from either of the rival accounts in the Bible. The survey was conducted by more than a dozen archaeologists, most of them from Tel Aviv University's Institute of Archaeology.

Around 1200 bce, semi-nomads from the desert fringes to the east and the south, possibly including Egypt, began to settle in the hill country of Canaan. A large proportion - probably a majority of this population - were refugees from the Canaanite city states, destroyed by the Egyptians in one of their periodic invasions. The conclusion is somewhat startling to Bible readers who know the Canaanites portrayed in the Bible as immoral idolaters: most of the Israelites were in fact formerly Canaanites. The story of Abraham's journey from Ur of the Chaldees, the Patriarchs, the Exodus, Sinai, and the conquest of Canaan, all these were apparently based on legends that the various elements brought with them from their countries of origin. The consolidation of the Israelites into a nation was not the result of wanderings in the desert and divine revelation, but came from the need to defend themselves against the Philistines, who settled in the Canaanite coastal plain more or less at the same time the Israelites were establishing themselves in the hills. http://freethought.mbdojo.com/archeology.html



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1 – The OT history is unsupportable.  The period during which, according to the original scriptures,  Abraham settled in Canaan, the Israelites were enslaved by Egypt, Moses led the exodus, and the army of Israel invaded Canaan, is variously held to begin from 2000-1700 BC and end from 1500-1200 BC.  These stories are the ancient history of Israel, and form the basis of the early books of the OT.

But scriptural documentation doesn’t begin until 700 BC.  So, in order to believe that these stories are genuine, we must accept that they were passed through the generations by word of mouth, without any embellishment, for at least a thousand years!  Unsurprisingly there’s no credible archaeological evidence for these events (though an economic migration to and from Egypt is certainly feasible).

There are untold narrative errors and impossibilities to be found in the history, but here’s an unassuming one.  The books describe the use of domesticated camels during the early experiences of the Israelites.  However this would have been impossible – camels weren’t domesticated in the region until much later.  The only explanation is that the writers added their own contemporary experience to the story – in other words, the stories, even if actually passed down, had been corrupted.

 2 – The OT is derived from conflicting sources.  The roots of the Torah (the first five books) were composed by two different people (or schools) in 700 BC.  One was based in the north, one in the south, and each was influenced by his own local cult, which had its own god and its own hero (Abraham in the south, Moses in the north).

These weren’t joined together until 620 BC, when the Torah was presented as a written compilation for the very first time, by a further writer or school.  The original stories had already been rewritten to reflect the editor’s local bias – in particular Moses grew in importance.  We have no way of knowing the full extent of the adaptations required to overcome this conflict.

 3 – Many key Biblical stories weren’t added until later.  Many episodes weren’t provided by the three key early writers, but added during subsequent revisions.  In particular, the specific detail in the Creation myth in Genesis and the story of the Ten Commandments were not introduced to the OT until 600 BC at the very earliest.  These two items are now considered amongst the most crucial in the Torah, but they were only added at least a century after it was first written.

 4 – The OT’s teachings vary according to political conditions.  When the Torah was first edited, the Israelites appeared to have regained control of their land.  Self-protective and embittered, the writers of the Torah advocated compassion and understanding towards their countrymen, but hatred and violence towards all others.

But in 590 BC, under Babylonian occupation and with dissenters in exile, the Torah was edited again.  This was a face-saving manoeuvre – the editors had to explain how their all-powerful god came to be dethroned.  No longer in control of their country, the editors added the concept of ‘concern for others’ – a direct plea to their oppressors.

By 530 BC the Persian empire ruled the Middle East, and allowed religious freedom in conquered lands.  The editing and expansion of the scriptures began again.  This time the writers returned to the bloodthirstiness expressed previously, and advocated bloody violence against anyone who opposed their local god or challenged the status of Israel.  Israelites could act without fear of consequence, in any way, so long as that act represented the wishes of their god or was in defence of Israel.

In 500 BC, with more Israelites returning from exile, and the country appearing to be safe, the scriptures were edited and expanded again.  Only then were the concepts of monotheism and Zionism introduced.

 5 – Even at the time, the scriptures were considered corrupted.  The OT was so poorly organised that it even included a critic of the scriptures, Jeremiah, within its books.  His contribution includes a direct criticism of its integrity (Jeremiah 8:8-9).  The Torah’s editors were not interested in truth, but in reflecting the cultural and political interests of the period.

 6 – The OT’s development was prematurely aborted.  As with most religious scriptures, the tragedy of the OT is that it was canonised.  Once the contents were settled, the editing process ended.  Successive generations would surely have continued to update the contents to reflect contemporary politics and ethics, just as their predecessors did.  As a result of canonisation, however, religious communications to people living 2,500 years ago are being applied as literal moral instructions for people today. http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Am-Debunking-The-Bible/974875

Do you really think God came in person to Moses, Abraham the prophets,etc talked, conversed with them and dictated them things to write?

Yes I do.

With that said many of the sources quotes that you gave speak on their own authority with nothing backing it up.  If you want very good answers to your issues with the Torah, forgive me, but I don't think you will find the most experts on a Christian forum.  Though there is very much knowledge amongst the brothers & sisters here, I think deep rooted questions on the Torah would best be answered by Jews.

The sources cited are ignoring much historical evidence of the exodus, the time frames of the exodus.   Stating 700BC is completely outrageous.  Also comparing to Hammurabi is pretty incredible as well.

Consider Isaiah for example who was 700bc with tons of backing and historical evidence behind it.  Don't you think that the Torah pre-dates Isaiah?  Otherwise what would be Isaiah's point?

What about the respect of other biblical personages of the Torah?  Solomon to David for example.
What about the records of the kings, the lands, and other artifacts that coincide in the time frame of the scripture?

So yes, I believe the Torah is accurate.  I'm not about to go debate the Torah accuracy as I have gone through a lot of research into the Torah, with several Jews.

Your question though is do I believe that God talked to them.
This is a faith based question.    No way I can prove it.  No way anybody can prove it.   You are either going to believe it or not.

But when you think of it, its probably pretty hard for you to prove that your great, great, great, great, great grandfather existed.  It was in the last couple hundred years when he was alive.   Obviously you exist... Obviously you had a 5x g. grandfather.   We can't prove it.  I can't prove mine at least...

I do believe these men talked with God.  I've witnessed enough miracles to believe in God.  (Yes, it does make me weaker because those who believe without seeing...)  I have no reason to believe they did not speak with God, and through their words of accurate prophecy spoken, I do think it is very fair and rational to see the Torah as true.

Historila evidence to the Exodus?Like what?Care to point it out?

Apparently you didn`t bother reading too much of what i gave you.It does not say the Exodus happened in 700 BC, but that than is when the Torah according to one of the sources started being written.I gave you all sort of proofs that the Torah in today's form is relatively from around the 6th century BCE , when Israel was in the Babylonian captivity.. That also explains why the Torah has a lot of the stories that coincide with Babylonian mythology.Even the story of Moses.. Also that could as well be the time when some of the books of the Prophets have been written.. They had to explain their situation and why did god allow that to happen to them.. Moses , the prophets and probably every person in the Bible didn`t even existed.. This is what i`m trying to suggest.. The bible was made by people composed from various sources..

Do you really think Abraham, Moses and other mythological personalities seen God and audibly conversed with him?Do you really think that God came in his whole Personhood and audibly commanded genocide and the killing of babies to some of this characters?

Those prophecies could be bend to mean anything and could have easily been written after the events took place..
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Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
Mahatma Gandhi
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