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RE: [atheists-93] Meetup Cancelled: VENUE SUGGESTION - PANAHAR?

From: J. Michael S.
Sent on: Sunday, April 12, 2009 10:20 PM

I think what’s important (and especially its disingenuousness is important) is the concept of a massive victimization of this group of people, which didn’t happen.  It’s not an isolated incident, just look at the distance between the actual conditions in Gaza and the West Bank today, and that group’s rhetoric concerning it.

 


From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Chris Jones
Sent: Sunday, April 12,[masked]:44 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [atheists-93] Meetup Cancelled: VENUE SUGGESTION - PANAHAR?

 

Unfortunately reality is probably a great deal more complex than whether the stories are "true" or "not true" and whether the lead characters existed or didn't exist.  Did the various stories happen as told?  Certainly not.  It may be going too far to take a complete minimalist approach and concluding the opposite -- that there were no historical elements or so much as a tiny kernel of reality behind what became mythicized folk tales.  There are good reasons to think that SOME bits and pieces had some historical basis, and the most explanatory historical reconstructions that I've seen do include historical elements.  For example, Dever and Finkelstein, who are at odds with respect to the interpretation of many archaeological details of the history, both have reconstructions that  assume that the vast majority of what became Israel was actually more or less a continuation of Canaanite civilization after it began to disintegrate.  Both also assume that some outside influence (here's the Egyptian connection) brought new elements to the culture.  That was probably a handful of people who were in fact enslaved in Egypt and fled, though certainly not 1.3 million and certainly not people who arrived in Egypt as described in Genesis.  This seems the most likely source of YHWH (possibly of Midianite origin) becoming a player in what was formerly a Canaanite offshoot (El was the main god).  On this much less grandiose view of Exodus, we see agreement among scholars such as Richard Friedman, Frank Moore Cross, and David Noel Freedman (the latter two analyzing the Song of the Sea in "Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry).  

 

Some agreement of this picture and of the possible existence of some sort of Moses (again, NOT as depicted in the Pentateuch) can be discerned from the apparent strife in the Pentateuch between the J and E sources, which appear to have been descended from Aaronid and Mushite priestly families, respectively.  Again, reference "Who Wrote the Bible?", Richard Elliott Friedman.  A priestly family of Mushite descent would imply some sort of historical Moses figure, though as I keep repeating, the Pentateuchial narratives are pretty much fabricated some centuries later just as they were with the other Patriarchial tales.  I don't have a good reason to suppose these patriarchs were entirely fictitious, as many such tales tend to be based on a real guy even if those tales are greatly exaggerated along the way and other episodes are entirely made up.  Anyway, I'm wandering off topic here.  

 

These are my views, everyone is welcome and encouraged to draw whatever conclusions they are most inclined to draw.

 

--Chris

 

On Sun, Apr 12, 2009 at 5:50 PM, GeminiMoon <[address removed]> wrote:

Moses was probably a fictional character ? the Egyptians kept excellent records, they never held the Jews in slavery.

 


From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Lindy Gustafsson
Sent: Sunday, April 12,[masked]:45 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: RE: [atheists-93] Meetup Cancelled: VENUE SUGGESTION - PANAHAR?

 

I have no clue what you?re trying to say, really, or exactly how it relates. I was more interested in the History Channel?s  ?Banned from the Bible?. I couldn?t care less what Moses did or didn?t do.

 





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