Saturday, May 16, 2015

Fun Facts 4: Moses vs. Mohammed

The Literal Interpretation of Genesis One (Pt 2): Hebrew Poetry and Prose

Roman Catholic Apologists, ever pushing Evolution and allegorical interpretations of the Bible in many places (especially prophecy * ),
also wish to downplay or avoid a literal interpretation of Genesis chapter One.
One apologist recently tried to sell Genesis One as a kind of 'hymn' or poetic allegory.
 The creation account in Genesis 1 resembles a hymn, and is thus sometimes called the Hymn of Creation, or the Poem of the Dawn.
No reference is given.
Just disembodied unknown 'people' of unknown authority.
The bogus practice of using the Passive Voice to avoid identifying the Subject of the Action,
has long been recognized as a charlatan's debating technique.

Whenham indeed calls Genesis 1 a "hymn", but even he does not call Genesis 1 itself poetry. Instead he compares it to poetry such as that found not in Genesis, but in
the Book of Psalms:.

In his commentary,
Wenham understands Genesis 1 to be unique in the Old Testament. He notes that it is neither typical poetry (Wenham 1987, p. 10) nor normal Hebrew prose as “. . . its syntax is distinctively different from narrative prose.” He instead calls it a “hymn” believing it to be elevated prose(Wenham 1987, p. 10). Wenham sees the use of phrases in day one that become a formula in the subsequent days as making the narrative highly stylized (Wenham 1987, p. 37). Because of this, Wenham believes Genesis 1
. . . invites comparison with the psalms that praise God’s work in creation (e.g., 8, 136, 148) or with passages such as Prov 8:22–31 or Job 38 that reflect on the mystery of God’s creativity (Wenham 1987, p. 10).
Does Genesis, as Wenham and others claim, invite comparison with Hebrew poetry? Psalm 8 is often used as a comparison with Genesis. However, Robert Alter states:
The poem [Psalm 8] might be described as a kind of summarizing paraphrase of the account of creation in Genesis 1 . . . The difference in form, however, between the two texts is crucial, and instructive. Genesis 1, being narrative, reports creation as a sequence of events . . . Psalm 8 assumes as a background this narrative process, but takes it up after its completion . . . (Alter 1990, p. 117).

Actually Genesis 1 contains NO instances of Hebrew parallelism,
which is a stylistic feature fully identified and described
in scholarly analysis. One feature of Hebrew parallelism
is that the parallel lines be consecutive and joined by VAV.

From the  Jewish Encyclopedia:

It is now generally conceded that parallelism is the fundamental law, not only of the poetical, but even of the rhetorical and therefore of higher style in general in the Old Testament. By parallelism in this connection is understood the regularly recurring juxtaposition of symmetrically constructed sentences. The symmetry is carried out in the substance as well as in the form, and lies chiefly in the relation of the expression to the thought. The same idea is expressed in its full import—that is, in its various aspects and turns—not in a continuous, uninterrupted sentence, but in several corresponding clauses or members with different words. Hencethe name "parallelismus membrorum" or "sententiarum." It has also been aptly called "sinnrhythmus" (Ewald). For the parallel members are related to each other as rhythmical protasis and apodosis, as προῳδός and ἐπῳδός.
(1) The synonymous, in which the same sentiment is repeated in different but equivalent words (Ps. xxv. 5; comp. ib. exiv.; Num. xxiii. 7-10; Isa. lx. 1-3; etc.).
"Shew me thy ways, O Lord;
Teach me thy paths"

(2) The antithetical, in which the parallel members express the opposite sides of the same thought (Prov. xi. 3; comp. ib. x. 1 et seq.; Isa. liv. 7 et seq.; Ps. xx. 8, xxx. 6).
"The integrity of the upright shall guide them, But
the perversity of the treacherous shall destroy them"

(1) There is nothing like this in Genesis 1.

(2) Its also a common feature of non-poetry, as stated above.

My opinion of the historical accuracy of Genesis 1 has no
bearing at all on whether or not its author intended it to be read
as narrative rather than poetry.

However, in hindsight, I think I would now modify my opinion:

As the first post in this thread correctly indicates,
after having taken a serious and thoughtful look at Genesis 1,
I have come to the conclusion first of all that it is indeed intended
to be a historical narrative, not poetry or parable.

Its accuracy is another matter, which I haven't evaluated,
except as to the question of its compatibility with what is known today
from science (see last half of first post).

I would now modify my original opinion,
and state that I would limit the allegorical or parable-like interpretation
of the Genesis text generally to the story of Adam and Eve.

However, even interpreting that text (Genesis 2 etc.)
as purely allegorical has its problems, because again,
from a scientific point of view there had to have been a physical
Adam and Eve, i.e., historical characters that were ancestors
at least of early (EME) Semitic tribes.

What I have shown however in this thread is that Genesis 1
most plausibly is read as a historical text.


I strongly suggest anyone try the following experiment:

(1) Find a few Jewish friends (more than one is a good idea).

(2) Make sure they can actually read Hebrew reasonably well.

(3) Ask them to take a fresh look at Genesis 1 in the Hebrew text.

(4) Limit your question to this very specific one:

"Regarding the form of the text here,
does this read to you more like poetry, or a simple narrative?"

Make sure you are clear that you are not asking about whether
your friend thinks the narrative is true or not.
Make sure you are clear that you are not asking him if he believes
it to be literal or figurative, or allegorical.

(5) Just get him to commit on one simple question:

"Does the text look like narrative or poetry to you?"

Get all the other opinions you want from them, but nail them down
on this one question.
Do this with more than one Jewish person who can actually read Hebrew.

Then count up the votes.


* In regard to false versions of Prophetic Interpretation, see our articles on that elsewhere.


The Literal Interpretation of Genesis One (Pt 1): Narrative, Poetry, Science

(1) Genesis 1 is not Hebrew Poetry.

Hebrew poetry is distinguished by three main features:
(a) Parallelism of Clauses
(b) Metaphoric and figurative language
(c) Lack of Narrative structure

(2) Genesis 1 is most closely related to Narrative.

Hebrew narrative is distinguished by:
(a) the conjunctive WAW to coordinate clauses
(b) Lack of figurative and metaphoric language
(c) lack of repetative parallelism.

(3) Genesis 1 has minor literary and poetic features.

(a) Delayed Parallelism of phrase regarding 'night and day'.
(b) Title and summary statements at the beginning and end of divisions.
(c) Genesis 1 reads as a structured narrative to a Hebrew reader.

(4) The Uniqueness of Genesis 1 is based on structure and content.

Unique features include:
(a) The content and topical focus is unique: i.e., Creation
(b) The narrative unfolds in 7 'days'.
(c) It contains literary forms common for AME documents and tablets.

(5) Genesis 1 presents primarily as a historical and descriptive document.

(6) Genesis 1 has no overt allegorical or parable-like features.

(7) Genesis 1 was in its earliest history interpreted literally (Exod 20:11, 31:17)

(8) Some Key Logical/scientific questions concerning the sequence
and order of events in Genesis 1 are non-existent.

(a) No Contradiction with Science having Light on 1st Day, the Sun on 4th Day.

If we check any scientific account of the Origin of the universe,
its obvious we have the creation of energy and light before
any stars including the Sun were formed.
Genesis has the order correct.

(b) No Contradiction with Science in having Light and Dark cycles prior to the Sun.

If the Light/Dark cycles were describing those we experience on earth, then
both the earth and the sun would have to exist. Since the narrator knows
in advance that neither have been created, the Light/Dark cycles described
cannot be intended as descriptions of what an observer on earth would experience.
Its a false contradiction, since what is described is not what takes place on earth.

(c) No Contradiction with Science in regard to the length of time for first 3 days.

Popular scientific theories like the Big Bang pose that drastic changes occurred
in the very short time-span of seconds and minutes in regard to the formation of
the universe. While the events do not correspond closely between Genesis 1 and
modern hypotheses, the modern hypotheses are speculative and allow for free energy
and light to appear within 24 hours of creation.

(d) No Contradiction with Science on relative age of Earth and Moon on Day 4.

Astrophysicists agree that the rough age of both the earth and moon are the same.
The only remaining issue is the interpretation of the overall length of time
between the creation of both and the present.

(e) No Contradiction with Palaeobiology on the Order of species creation.

The geographical record suggests that plants existed before animals,
and that sea creatures formed before land animals, and that birds (dinosaurs)
formed before mammals, with man coming late.

Biological science agrees that plants had to come before animals.
Palaeontology agrees that land animals came after sea creatures,
birds predate mammals, and man came last.

Given that the the Genesis account is so brief,
the only issue remaining is the actual
assigned time-periods between events.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Daniel (Pt 19): The Four Empires - more Details

We can be very satisfied that there were indeed Four Empires,
and that Daniel was indeed talking about them.

Secular records and non-Biblical historians of all ages will confirm the most basic and important details about each Empire and Era.

Thus it is appropriate to condense our chart and also add the main events
to the timeline on the right-hand side for reference and confirmation:

Again, we will provide a large and a small version for re-posting.

Smaller version:

Gospel of Barnabas: Medieval Muslim Forgery

Here are some exerpts from a booklet examining the question of
the authenticity of the so-called Gospel of Barnabas.

It exists in Italian and Spanish, and has been translated into English, and Arabic.

It has been circulated widely in the Muslim world, particularly in places
like Pakistan and India, where copies are printed.

It is claimed to be "the original gospel", but like so many others,
is a lame forgery, by a Medieval muslim, probably a Spanish Moor.

What Muslims don't know, but should be aware of, is that it not only
contradicts the New Testament and Old Testament, but also the Quran!

Barnabas Preaches against Paul:
The author of this book uses strong language to denounce the teaching of Paul in particular, especially regarding circumcision; the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus; and the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God. The whole book abounds in discourses levelled against those things which the author particularly takes Paul to task for, and there can be no doubt that the author of this book is poles apart from Paul and his doctrine and is diametrically opposed to his preaching and teaching.
There is such a contrast between the real Barnabas who through all these events chooses Paul as his companion, and the pseudo-author of the Gospel of Barnabas, who has a positive antagonism to Paul and his teaching, that we cannot help but conclude that the Gospel of Barnabas is a forgery. It was not written by Barnabas but by someone else who made a major tactical blunder in choosing a close companion of Paul as the author of this book.

Barnabas is made into an Apostle:

Here the author of the Gospel of Barnabas makes his first serious blunder for he suggests throughout his book, not only that Barnabas was actually one of the twelve disciples of Jesus during his ministry on earth, but also that he was known by this name “Barnabas” throughout that period of ministry. On more than one occasion in the book we find that Jesus allegedly addressed him by name and the first occasion, which comes particularly early in the book, is this one:
Jesus answered: ‘Be not sore grieved, Barnabas; for those whom God hath chosen before the creation of the world shall not perish’ (The Gospel of Barnabas, p.21).
Now we have here a patent anachronism which destroys the possibility that this book was really written by the Apostle Barnabas. The apostles only gave him the name “Barnabas” (Son of encouragement) after the ascension of Jesus because of the generous act he had done which had heartened the spirits of the early Christians. But the Gospel of Barnabas makes Jesus call him by this name some three years before he ascended to heaven.

Barnabas makes Circumcision Necessary for Salvation:

in the Gospel of Barnabas, we read that one of the “impious doctrines” that Paul was holding to was repudiation of circumcision. That he repudiated it as an essential element of salvation we will readily concede (Galatians 5. 2-6) – but his chief partner in this repudiation is none other than Barnabas! Once again the author has blundered in making Barnabas the author of his deplorable forgery. Indeed, according to the Gospel of Barnabas, Jesus is alleged to have said to his disciples:

‘Leave fear to him that hath not circumcised his foreskin, for he is deprived of paradise’ (The Gospel of Barnabas, p.26).
Thus circumcision is an essential element and a prerequisite of salvation in the Gospel of Barnabas and the author obviously assents to this doctrine. But of the real Barnabas we read that he joined with Paul in furiously debating against the doctrine of the Judaisers that circumcision was necessary for salvation.

Barnabas doesn't know what "Christ" means:
Two points from within the Gospel of Barnabas also show that the author could not be the real Apostle Barnabas.

Firstly, this book makes Jesus constantly deny that he is the Messiah ...and yet the same book calls Jesus himself the “Christ” (p.2). Now any man with a basic knowledge of Greek knows that “Christos” is the Greek translation of Messiah (a Hebrew word) and that “Jesus Christ” is an anglicised form of the Greek “Iesous Christos”, meaning “Jesus the Messiah”. The very real contradiction that exists here in the Gospel of Barnabas is further evidence that the author was not Barnabas himself. He came from Cyprus, an island where Greek was the common tongue, and Greek would have been his home language. The real Barnabas would never have made such a mistake as to call Jesus the Christ and deny that he was the Messiah!

Barnabas doesn't know the Quran endorses John
the Baptist:

Secondly, the author ...has deviously taken the testimony of John to Jesus in the Bible and changed it into a supposed testimony of Jesus to Muhammad. Whether Jesus ever predicted the coming of Muhammad or not is not at issue here. What is obvious, however, to anyone who has read the life of Jesus in the Bible, is that the author of the Gospel of Barnabas has tried to make Jesus a herald of the coming of Muhammad in the very mould of John the Baptist who was a herald of the coming of Jesus, and to achieve this he has put Jesus in the shoes of John and has made him say of Muhammad what John really said of him!
Accordingly the author has had to omit the person and ministry of John from his book altogether. But there is clear and plain endorsement in the Qur’an of the ministry of John the Baptist as a herald of Jesus (Surah 3.39)

Medieval Origin of Gospel of Barnabas:

(a) Barnabas mistakes Jubilee of Pope Boniface (c. 1300 AD) for Jewish Jubilee:

A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you. Lev. 25.11
About 1300 AD Pope Boniface the Eighth gave a decree that the jubilee should be observed once every hundred years. This is the only occasion in all history that the jubilee year was made to be only once every hundred years. After the death of Boniface, however, Pope Clemens the Sixth decreed in 1343 AD that the jubilee year should revert to once every fifty years as it was observed by the Jews after the time of Moses. Now we find in the Gospel of Barnabas that Jesus is alleged to have said:
‘And then through all the world will God be worshipped, and mercy received, insomuch that the year of jubilee, which now cometh every hundred years, shall by the Messiah be reduced to every year in every place.’ (The Gospel of Barnabas, p.104).
The author of the Gospel of Barnabas could only have quoted Jesus as speaking of the year of jubilee as coming “every hundred years” if he knew of the decree of Pope Boniface. This is a clear anachronism.

(b) Quotations from Dante.

Dante was an Italian who, significantly, also lived about the time of Pope Boniface and wrote his famous “Divina Comedia” in the fourteenth century. This was basically a fantasy about hell, purgatory and paradise according to the Roman Catholic beliefs of his times.
Now in the Gospel of Barnabas we read that Jesus allegedly said of the prophets of old:
‘Readily and with gladness they went to their death, so as not to offend against the law of God given by Moses his servant, and go and serve false and lying gods’. (Gospel of Barnabas, p.27).
The expression “false and lying gods” (dei falsi e lugiardi) is found elsewhere in the Gospel of Barnabas as well. On one occasion it is Jesus again who supposedly uses these words (p.99) and on another it is the author himself who describes Herod as serving “false and lying gods” (p.267). Nevertheless this expression is found in neither the Bible nor the Qur’an.What is interesting, however, is that it is a direct quote from Dante! (Inferno 1.72).

Likewise the expression “raging hunger” (rabbiosa fame) is also reminiscent of the first canto of Dante’s Inferno. Both speak of the “circles of hell” and the author of the Gospel of Barnabas also makes Jesus say to Peter:
‘Know ye therefore that hell is one, yet hath seven centres one below another. Hence, even as sin is of seven kinds, for as seven gates of hell hath Satan generated it: so there are seven punishments therein’. (The Gospel of Barnabas, p.171).
This is precisely Dante’s description found in the fifth and sixth cantos of his Inferno. We could go on and quote many more examples

One striking quote must be mentioned, however, because in this case the Gospel of Barnabas agrees with Dante while contradicting the Qur’an. We read in the Qur’an that there are seven heavens:
He it is who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. (Surah 2.29)
On the contrary we read in the Gospel of Barnabas that there are nine heavens and that Paradise like Dante’s Empyrean – is the tenth heaven above all the other nine. The author of the Gospel of Barnabas makes Jesus say:
‘Paradise is so great that no man can measure it. Verily I say unto thee that the heavens are nine … I say to thee that paradise is greater than all the earth and all the heavens together’. (The Gospel of Barnabas, p.223).

(c) The Mediaeval Environment of the Barnabas Gospel:

Again we read in the Gospel of Barnabas that Martha, her sister Mary, and her brother Lazarus were the overlords of two towns, Magdala and Bethany (GB, p.242). This proprietorship of villages and towns belongs to the Middle Ages when the system of feudalism was rooted in European society. Certainly no such practice was known at the time of Jesus when the occupying Roman forces controlled most of the land of Palestine.
A similar example of the mediaeval environment of this Gospel is the reference in it to wine casks (p.196), for wine was stored in skins in Palestine (Matthew 9.17) while wooden casks were used in Europe in the Middle Ages.

It does well appear to be a forgery of the Middle Ages written by a Muslim who, probably frustrated at being unable to prove that the true Gospels in the Bible are corrupted, wrote a false Gospel.

Ignorance of Palestinian Geography:
Having arrived at the city of Nazareth the sea-men spread through the city all that Jesus had wrought. (The Gospel of Barnabas, p.23).
In this passage Nazareth is represented as a coastal city, a harbour on the lake of Galilee. After this we read that Jesus “went up to Capernaum” (p.23) from Nazareth, as though Capernaum was in the hillside near the sea of Galilee. But ... Capernaum was the coastal city and Nazareth is believed to be up in the hills, if it indeed existed in the time of Jesus.

Barnabas contradicts Quran about the Jesus as Messiah:

Jesus confessed and said the truth: ‘I am not the Messiah … I am indeed sent to the house of Israel as a prophet of salvation; but after me shall come the Messiah’. (The Gospel of Barnabas, pp.54, 104).
Other passages in the Gospel of Barnabas contain similar denials by Jesus that he was the Messiah. It is clearly one of the express purposes of this book to establish Muhammad as the Messiah and to subject Jesus to him in dignity and authority. Here, however, the author of this book has overreached himself in his zeal for the cause of Islam.

For the Qur’an plainly admits that Jesus is the Messiah on numerous occasions and in doing so it confirms the teaching of Jesus himself that he was indeed the Messiah (John 4.26, Matthew 16.20). One quote from the Qur’an will suffice to prove this:
‘O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter’. - (Surah 3.45)

Barnabas Contradicts the Quran on the Virgin Birth:
The virgin was surrounded by a light exceeding bright and brought forth her son without pain. (The Gospel of Barnabas, p.5).
This is a clear repetition of Roman Catholic beliefs of the Middle Ages. The bright light and the painless birth find parallels in the beliefs about the Virgin Mary in the churches of Europe in Mediaeval times. No such details are found in the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus but the Qur’an directly contradicts the Gospel of Barnabas when it says:
And the pangs of childbirth drove her unto the trunk of the palm tree. - (Surah 19.23)
The Gospel of Barnabas was obviously written as an ideal “Islamic” Gospel, setting forth a life of Christ in which he is made to be the Isa of the Qur’an rather than the Lord Jesus Christ of the Christian Gospels. But since it so hopelessly contradicts both the Qur’an and the Bible on the fact that Jesus was the Messiah and does this so often and so consistently, it must be rejected as a forgery by Christian and Muslim alike. There is no room here for apologetics or efforts to reconcile this book with the Qur’an or the Bible.

It is a (Medieval) counterfeit.


What Should Muslims Do?

...this book is truly a “bare-faced forgery” as George Sale so succinctly put it but the evidence given [here] should be sufficient to convince any reasonable Muslim that, while he might feel it would be very useful for a Gospel to be discovered wherein Jesus foretells the coming of Muhammad, the Gospel of Barnabas just does not provide him with the honest evidence he needs.

Muslim interest in this book is understandable but, in the name of truth and honesty, the Muslims of the world should admit that it is not a book contemporary with the life of Jesus, which proves that he really was the Isa of the Qur’an, but rather a lamentable forgery which, far from promoting the cause of Islam, must ultimately damage it if foolish men continue to propagate it as a true account of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Daniel (Pt 18): The Ten Horns of the Fourth Empire

The Ten Horns of the Fourth and Final Empire are a natural difficulty for any
and every interpretation of Daniel's prophecy in chapter 7 .
... The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.   As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. ...(Dan. 7:23-24)
However those who claim that the author of Daniel is really an imposter faking prophecy by writing history in disguise around 169 BC are forced to construct
the most non-credible and disunited explanations for this section.

Because they want to compress Daniel into the tiny zone  c. 168-164 BCE,
they must try to identify the Ten Horns/Kings in this last era of the Greek Empire, which is a hopeless task:
'In addition, ...Rowley [arguing for a late date] completely fails to support the Grecian empire interpretation by any consensus among its followers, and his discussion is a hopeless maze of alternating views which he either rejects or accepts often as mere matters of opinion.
While the diversity of interpretation is indeed confusing to any expositor of this portion of Scripture, if the book of Daniel is a sixth-century writing, and therefore genuine Scripture, it follows, even as Rowley indirectly admits, that the Roman view is more consistent than the Greek empire interpretation. This is especially true among those following pre-millennial interpretation.'  
- John F. Walvoord, Daniel

The reasonably literalist interpretation of the chapter allows one to make straightforward connections to well-established history.

For instance, Emperor Constantine, although temporarily re-uniting the Roman Empire, completely transformed it, relocating his headquarters to Byzantium,
and effectively starting a brand-new Empire in the East, while simultaneously abandoning the Western half of the Empire (the Roman half) to barbarian hordes.

These barbarian tribes quickly moved in and took over many areas of
the old Roman West, permanently installing themselves as independent kingdoms.

The resulting lists of Ten Kingdoms (assumed by ten kings) in circa 475 A.D.,
 is quite a sensible interpretation of the 'Ten horns' of Daniel 7, coming at the
end of the 'iron mixed with clay' phase of the Empire:

Other slight variants in the list of Ten Kingdoms are possible, and Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible gives some reasonable alternative lists,
based on one's view of the relative importance of various kingdoms in Europe.

And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise,..... Or ten kingdoms which sprung out of the Roman empire, or into which it was broken and divided upon the dissolution of it, about A.D. 476; which,
according to Mr. Mede (k), were thus divided, A.D. 456,
1. Britons; 2. Saxons; 3. Franks; 4. Burgundians; 5 Visigoths; 6. Suevians and Alanes; 7. Vandals; 8. Almanes; 9. Ostrogoths; 10. Greeks.
The list Bishop Lloyd (l) has given of them is,
1. Hunns, who erected their kingdom in that part of Pannonia and Dacia, which was from them called Hungary, about A.D. 356. 2. Ostrogoths, who settled themselves in the countries that reach from Rhetia to Maesia, even to Thrace, about 377; and afterwards came into Italy under Alaricus, in 410. 3. Visigoths, who settled in the south parts of France, and in Catalonia, about 378. 4. Franks, who seized upon part of Germany and Gaul, A.D. 410. 5. Vandals, who settled in Spain; afterwards set up their kingdom in Africa, A.D. 407; their king Gensericus sacked Rome, 455. 6. Suevians and Alans, who seized the western parts of Spain, A.D. 407; and invaded Italy, 457. 7. Burgundians, who came out of Germany, into that part of Gaul called from them Burgundy, 407. 8. Herules, Rugians, and Thoringians, who settled in Italy under Odoacer, about A.D. 476. 9. Saxons, who made themselves masters of Great Britain about the same time, 476. 10. Longobards, called likewise Gopidae, who settled in Germany, about Magdeburg, A.D. 383; and afterwards succeeded the Heruli and Thuringi in Hungary, about the year 826.
Sir Isaac Newton (m) reckons the ten kingdoms in the following order:
1. the kingdom of the Vandals and Alans in Spain and Africa; 2. of the Suevians in Spain; 3. of the Visigoths; 4. of the Alans in Gallia; 5. of the Burgundians; 6. of the Franks; 7. of the Britons; 8. of the Hunns; 9. of the Lombards; 10. of Ravenna;
Even without 100% agreement on the list, the kingdoms are certainly real enough, and mark the end of the Roman Empire and even the original residents from that time.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Daniel (Pt 17): The Four Empires are not Local Kingdoms

In part, our perceptual difficulty with Daniel arises from the over-literal translations of the text, which don't take the context into consideration sufficiently.

For all the so-called 'scholarship' expended (usually to disprove or critique the book) very little common sense or simple logic is applied, either by translators or interpreters.  This leaves readers wading through ambiguities that shouldn't even exist.

One is the issue of 'kingdoms' vs. 'Empires'.

There is a clear difference between a local 'kingdom' or nation of city-states (such as early Italy or classical Greece) and a world-dominating Empire.

The problem is, until Empires came into existence, and for a long time afterward, there was no specialized language or name for "Empire".

In fact, the word "Empire" as we have come to know it, is a late invention, coming out of the experience of the Roman Empire (c. 29 BC - 310 AD).
An Empire is a multi-nation state spread across the globe, usually run or controlled by an "Emperor" - a word which is understood as an 'Uber-Dictator' as opposed to a local 'king' (which is nearly colorless by comparison).

When Daniel interpreted the dream of the very first 'Emperor', he had to use the language available.  King Nebuchadnezzar was naturally called 'king', because in every language, including Hebrew, Aramaic and Chaldean, there was no word for 'Emperor' yet coined.

The best one could do was say 'great king', or 'king of kings', or 'king of the world', or some such descriptive title that might try to convey the size and scope of the rulership and territory.

So Daniel uses 'king' and 'kingdom' by convention of the time, naturally in the language of his contemporaries.

We however, are not so limited, and are quite able to distinguish between local 'kingdoms' and vast Empires, and in modern English we now have modern words suited for translation and exposition that convey the meaning intended by Daniel.

The strongest argument of course is context, and here we must seriously take this context into account, and give it its due.

The main and obvious context is the fact that Daniel himself is a minister in the very court of the first multi-national Empire in existence, at the center of civilization.    From here, we understand instinctively that when Daniel talks about the 'great kingdoms' he plainly means 'Empires' in modern parlance.

When Daniel envisions and talks of great beasts with multiple horns, he is speaking of successive Empires and their Emperor-dictators, not local kingdoms or short-term events.

The ploy by critics to 'localize' or minimize the vast size and scope of Daniel's prophecy is a desperate attempt to account for the sharp accuracy of Daniel's prediction in naturalistic terms, by claiming it to be a late forgery.   The position of critics is that a priori, accurate detailed prophecy is impossible.

This fails however, because the very LATEST the book of Daniel can be dated is about 167 BC, because it was known to have been widely circulated by this time.

The very first prophecy however, extends to 300 AD.

Most importantly:

Each 'kingdom' (World Empire) is very clearly and plainly identified:

(1)  Each Empire involves the same basic vast area of land.

(2)  Each Empire is successive, replacing its predecessor.

(3)  Each Empire is headed and administrated by a different ethnic nation.

(4)  Each Empire is founded by a Warlord through warfare.

(5)  Each Empire conquers the preceding Empire.

(6)  Each Empire's beginning is clearly defined on a timeline.

(7)  Each Empire's end is clearly defined on a timeline.

(8)  Each Empire has a unique character or trademark.

(9)  Each Empire imposes tribute on other nations through force.

(10)  Each Empire rules over the land and nation of Israel.

(12)  Each Empire at some point oppresses the People of God.

(13)  One Empire (Babylon) is known and two (Persia/Greece) are named.

These distinctive features, most of which are contained in the prophecies of Daniel, leave no room at all for mistaking the size and scope of the prophecy or mistaking the identity of the Empires described.

Lets look closer at these characteristics:
(3) Each Empire is headed and administrated by a different ethnic nation.

(4) Each Empire is founded by a Warlord through warfare.

(5) Each Empire conquers the preceding Empire.

(6) Each Empire's beginning is clearly defined on a timeline.
To be clear, each Empire begins as a small and local ethnic kingdom.

They are not mere internal 'coups', political regime changes,
or even dramatic changes in administration or infrastructure.

Thus, the passing of kingship from father to son, or to co-ruler/general,
do not count as 'new Empires' (as occurred in Babylon and Persia).

Nor do internal administrative reorganizations count, such as
the (re)division of provinces or sattraps (as occurred in Persia).

Not even the failure of an heir, and division into relatively independent regions
count as a 'new Empire'. The Greek Empire remained in the control of
the Greek generals and they continued the plan of Hellenization, even
when Alexander died childless.
Thus Four Horns sprouted but remained on the same beast, 

- the Goat (Greek Empire).

Each small kingdom begins as a local one, made up of a distinct and
independent nation (Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman).
And each of these kingdoms becomes an 'Empire' through
the conquering of foreign powers and essentially occupies
the same 'Empire Territories'.

The transition from local kingdom to world-class Empire is plainly
demarcated by the rise of powerful individual Warlord, who
relatively quickly conquers the previous dynasty and ruling nation/culture.

Even the 4th Roman Empire conquers through a handful of great military generals.

Finally, this 4th Roman Empire is NOT reconquered by a foreign power,
but remarkably, seems to implode from internal fighting and disharmony,
just as the prophecy of Daniel predicts (the feet of iron and clay).

The New Kingdom of God is according to the prophecy a physical earthly one,
but 'made without hands'. (Dan. 2:34,45)

"I will destroy this temple (Herod's) made with hands,
and in three days build a temple 'made without hands' !"

(Mk 14:58)

It is clear in the original quotation of Jesus (in Mark)
that He interprets Daniel to be referring to
Jesus' own spiritual kingdom 'not of this world' (Jn. 18:36, Jn. 17:16)

Jesus self-describes His kingdom in a parable as
'a mustard seed' expanding to fill the world.

We get the sense of this in the subsequent history of Jesus' underground church
and 'body/temple' expanding to ultimately 'destroy' the Roman Empire
by 'disloyalty' to Rome and loyalty to Jesus.

In the end, Constantine found it expedient and necessary to:

(1) End persecution of Christians
(2) Legalize Christianity

(3) Assist Christianity with the commandeering of pagan temples and wealth,
(4) Become a Christian,
(5) Hold Councils intended to unite Christians under a central authority.

He did this not least because Christianity had spread so deeply and become
so popular that one could not command a Roman Army without
acknowledging and protecting Christians.

This final "Empire" was indeed such a revolutionary difference in kind,
that it ceased to mean 'Empire' in the normal oppressive sense.
It retained its army and policing power, its ability to defend itself,
and its use of military force, but nonetheless transformed, if briefly
into an unprecedented and entirely new 'thing'.

Initially all religions were granted 'rights' of practice and worship.

Christians were for the first time given powers as councillors in the court
of the Emperor.

The change was so radical that Constantine chose to abandon Italy
entirely and choose Greece as his new Capital and central base for
his new 'Empire'.

In doing this, he let the Western half fall into the Dark Ages,
fullfilling a great and terrible fate upon the old 'Roman Empire'.

This new partially Christianized 'Empire' must be recognized as the
obvious and clear fulfilment of Daniel's prophecy concerning
the 'made without hands', and having a Spiritual element unknown
to previous earthly empires.

We do not here equate Constantine's Empire with Christ's,
but do acknowledge the obvious and deeply rooted connection,
due to the rapid and successful evangelization of the old Roman world.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Beatles and Epstein Began the Homo Culture Hijack

Many people don't know about it,
because back in the 60s, Europe was a different world
than the real West (i.e., Canada, USA).

In those days, the main exposure to vulnerable youth
was not through Television, which was live, and also an expensive luxury.

It was through the record industry and radio.

Many bands 'made it' through air-play on radio stations,
and the competition was done by record companies
pumping out and distributing "45s" (small single song records played at 45 rpm).

(I'm explaining this because most young people today don't really know
these details. Older folks can be impatient just a bit longer.)

The early bands in their early years (like Elvis, the Beatles, and Rolling Stones),
got exposure mostly through radio and records.

Why is this important?
Because even back in the early career of the Beatles,
songs were sometimes loaded with double-meanings.

This was no 'conspiracy' but more of a 'covert operation',
something like what Shakespeare himself used to do:

Shakespeare would write a play and perform it,
so that one part of the audience, the common masses,
serfs, merchants, blacksmiths (blue-collar workers)
would hear jokes and maxims that they would recognize and appreciate,
while the rich lords, and members of the king's court (upper class)
who sat high up in the balcony seats would hear and appreciate
the more sophisticated jokes and ironies (i.e., the secret mocking of the
uneducated farmers etc.).

So what you had was actually two simultaneous plays for two audiences.

The Beatles did something similar,

by using the audio alone as a medium to reach their massive common fan base,
while putting out VIDEOS which contained a different message,
and would completely alter the meaning of a song.

In those days, (with typically only one or two government-run TV channels),
the video portion of their message formed a separate media which
reached a completely different and more sophisticated older audience,
(namely middle-class and upper-class who could afford TV).

A perfect example of this Dual-Message targeted to different audiences
is the following song:

"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"

The audio song has all the appearance of a simple but poignant and
well-written love-song, with no hint however of a homosexual sub-text.

One might well be accused of being a conspiracy-nut for suggesting
it is really all about homosexuality, and transvestitism,

if not for the video which was released alongside it.

The video is as old as the song, and features the Beatles' homosexual manager,
Brian Epstein, actually dressed up as a woman.
He is so well dolled-up, you might actually mistake him for a woman,
if you did not know him in person (something only virtual insiders would).

Original Video for Hide Your Love Away

The extended exchanges of glances and meaningful stares between
all the band members and Brian Epstein speak volumes about the question.

Of course, homosexual behaviour was still a scandal in the 60s,
even though apparently rampant in private schools and in English society.

The recent revelations about massive pedophile rings operated by
the upper class to sexually abuse and traffic children, especially boys,
are quite enlightening in this context.

The Beatles were at the start simply a bar-band, with little conception of
a future beyond seedy bars in Germany (where they played for 10 years,
with little fame or financial success).

What propelled them to the 'top' was BACKING.

And that backing came from both the homosexual elite of Britain,
and even the Royal Family.
Brian Epstein was not a 'lone gunman' but represented by proxy
a whole cult and secret mafia of pedophiles and perverts.

Once the agenda was agreed upon, the backing (and fame) was secured.

Every edge was given them, including international gigs,
and access to the British philharmonic orchestra and professional
engineers and composers who helped to arrange and even ghost-write
and train these four fop-heads for their new role as
LGBT programmers for the brainwashing of the whole post-war baby-boom generation.

The whole point of the Beatles was to push an agenda,

one which has turned out to be surprisingly old and stale.

The truth of Lennon's homosexual experiments with Epstein and the other Beatles,
is actually moot and almost irrelevant, except to explain how they could
go along with the plan.

The Four Mop Tops, it must be remembered were the very first band
(among many quick copycats) to sport the new girlish long-hair style,
which in hindsight hardly looks like more than maybe a delay of haircut!

But its still a significant ice-breaker, as these BEFORE AND AFTER photos show:

"The MercyCats" pre-fame and pre-stardom haircuts.

The Gay MopTops: -
sponsored by royalty, managed by the LBGT community.

The 'public persona' of the band,
that of being 'eligible bachelors' available to the mob of young girls at large,
was largely a complete piece of fakery.
Most of them got married young, which was kept secret.

The thing to remember is not that these were hardcore homos themselves,
but wild and careless experimenters who had no moral or ethical grounding,
and were themselves easily manipulated by jaded wealthy homo elite.

They took the money and the fame, a contract signed by satan himself,
the father of all homos.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Armageddon: - what and where?

John Ramsden's discussion of Armageddon (BibleMagazine)
is a good start for Christians and Jews to look at, when trying to nail down the meaning of this unique word (found in Rev. 16:14,16):
'For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.' (Revelation 16:14, 16).
"Some say that it was originally spelt "Har-Megiddo" and therefore means a Hill at the end of the Megiddo valley.

The problem with that is that we never read in the Bible of a battle on any such hill. On the contrary the Biblical battles fought at Megiddo were on a plain -- such as when Josiah was killed by Pharoah Necho (see 2 Chron 35:22).
Meanwhile, another expert assures us that even though in the 1881 Revised Version of the Bible the word Har-Mageddon appears (and it is the only major version of the Bible to carry this description), the earliest known interpretation extant is in Arabic and means "a level trodden place".

Nevertheless, the general consensus among popular writers and preachers is that Armageddon refers to a place in Northern Israel where a future battle is to be fought out. " (ibid.)
Interestingly, a violent battle recently WAS fought on the plateau east of
this supposed valley, on the Golan Heights, which modern Israel nearly lost,
if not for perhaps some tactical and strategic bungling by Egypt and Syria, and hesitating support from the USA.



The result of that conflict was a new border,
which now acts as a buffer to protect Israel from invasion:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dome of the Rock & Underground Chambers (Pt 1): Overview

Many Westerners are dimly aware that currently the site of the Jerusalem Temple is occupied on top by a Muslim mosque, called the Dome of the Rock,
for its gold dome.

A closer look gives more sense of the size of this eye-sore bearing the symbol of the Satanic Moon-god on top.

A closer look gives more sense of the size of this eye-sore bearing
the symbol of the Satanic Moon-god on top.

The mouseque has an inscription that runs around it,
which for Christians is an open proclamation of Blasphemy:

The Inscription

The Dome of the Rock also contains an inscription, 240 meters long, that includes some of the earliest surviving examples of verses from the Qur‘an – in an architectural context or otherwise. The bismillah (in the name of God, the merciful and compassionate), the phrase that starts each verse of the Qu’ran, and the shahada, the Islamic confession of faith, which states that there is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet, are also included in the inscription. The inscription also refers to Mary and Christ and proclaim that Christ was not divine but a prophet. Thus the inscription also proclaims some of the core values of the newly formed religion of Islam.

The construction of this puss-ball is shown in the diagram below:

The cut-away side view below shows the location and size of the first chamber which is directly below the apparent location of the original altar-stone.

A couple of photos of the interior of the giant outhouse that the Arabs built overtop show the rough state of affairs and give a sense of what the original altar stone looks like from inside:

Meanwhile, the Arabs have been privately and without authorization carrying on construction and digging inside the temple site, and have damaged archaeological artifacts and weakened the foundations of both the Mount and their own mosque:

The Decade that Scholars became LIARS

One of the most common phrases in apologetic works is the magical and spell-binding "Simon says" gimmick,

"Most scholars agree..." 

Its invoked whenever the author wants to intimidate the naive and uncertain reader into accepting some claim or disproof as "fact", when its actually a simple exaggeration or inaccuracy meant to bolster some ideological position.

Common variants on this theme are,

"Most/all scholars/experts/scientists agree/hold/maintain ..."  

Its become common fare in all product advertising in certain variants:

"Most doctors agree..." 
"4 out of 5 dentists recommend..." 
"Nutritionists have proven that..." 

As the 'science' of selling, advertising and programming people advanced,
such techniques became rampant.

What is saddening however is that the same selling techniques spilled over into the scientific and academic world, as competition for funding heated up and ideological agendas became more sophisticated.

The more extreme and overt (and less convincing) versions of this phrase did not expand, however, the 'softer' (more plausible) versions of this phrase continued to rise in frequency among so-called 'scientific' and 'scholarly' papers throughout the last 60 years.

This trend can be traced to the remarkable popular book from the 50s,
How to Lie with Statistics, by Darrell Huff (1954, Norton & C),
which has not only gone through some 50 printings, but quickly became
a University Textbook and runaway bestseller.   According to Wikipedia, 
' It has become one of the best-selling statistics books in history, with over one and a half million copies sold in the English-language edition.  It has also been widely translated.'
 The following chart, from the Google Ngram Viewer, shows the alarming and ridiculous rate at which our phrase has increased its appearance in both popular and scholarly literature:

The slower rise in usage of less popular sayings acts as a double-check
for what the expected increase in usage of the popular sayings should have been.

Sadly, what Darrell Huff intended as a warning and a vaccination against fraud and misrepresentation of data, became a handbook for millions of liars and con men throughout the 20th century and beyond. 

Apologists, Ideologues and salesmen found it was far easier to con people than help instruct them on how to protect themselves from fraudulent claims.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Ten Commandments (Pt 2): Their Context

The next thing to consider about the Ten Commandments is the context in which they materialized.

God did not just hand out flyers, or repeat earlier prophetic messages,
or paint them in the sky in every language.

Nor were they doled out separately, as if each could and would stand alone.
The Ten Commandments were given as a package, and enveloped in a Covenant.
They were given in the form received by Moses as the basis of a national charter,
a city-state, a set of core-values meant to serve first as a way to implement
an orderly and moral society, and secondly as an example, a role-model,
a means of instruction and transmission to the rest of humankind.

When taken in their proper historical context, they can be seen as a basis, and set of core-values.

But as such, they were from the beginning (for Israel and Moses) given with
the recognized understanding that they would require explanation, exposition,
interpretation, expansion, enforcement, and dispersion of benefits and liabilities.

From the beginning then, they formed the basis of an agreement between God and Israel, that is, a Covenant between God and specific tribal confederation, people, and nation.

From the beginning also, they required a system of government (a theocracy),
in which the implications and implementation of the Ten Commandments
would require an infrastructure of support for their practice.

The point here is that the Ten Commandments, although valuable as a Statement of Terms, or a Catechism, or Prospectus, would be incomplete without a supporting infrastructure.

The Ten Commandments needed an infrastructure and were intended to be used
in the context of an ongoing and consistent application throughout a whole society and community.

The danger of taking the Ten Commandments alone, or merely applying them individually, without the support of a community, is well described by various prophets in later times, when conditions had deteriorated to a point where acknowledgement and obediance to the Ten Commandments was no longer the norm.
The skeptical Preacher in Ecclesiastes observes the problem,
and ironically suggests one should not be TOO righteous,
in an environment where righteousness has become too lax:
'I have seen both of these:the righteous perishing in their righteousness,
and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
16 Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?
18 It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
Ecclesiastes 7:15-17

When an authentic Theocratic government was no longer being sustained at all,
when the content of the Ten Commandments were no longer being practised
throughout the society and community of Israel, horrible injustices were multiplied, even against innocent third parties who depended upon both the infrastructure and the implementation of these core values:
  'Thus justice is repelled,
righteousness stands apart, at a distance;
for truth stumbles in the public court,
and uprightness cannot enter.
Honesty is lacking,
he who leaves evil becomes a target.

Adonai [The Lord] saw it, and it displeased him
that there was no justice.'

Isaiah 59:14-15 - (Complete Jewish Bible - CJB)

'And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off:
for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
Yea, truth faileth;
and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey:
and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.'

Isaiah 59:14-15 (KJV)

So we can see that for real and practical justice to prevail,
a whole society and community must commit to (the same) core set of values,
for people to actually benefit.

The Ten Commandments were never meant to stand independent of
or outside of a society and community which is committed to keeping them
and implementing them fairly through a supporting infrastructure.

Standing alone they DO instruct us about moral values,
but without consent, commitment, and integration into the community,
they cannot deliver the blessings God intended.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Ten Commandments (Pt 1): Borrowed from Egypt? No.

The "Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance" Website attempts to make a case that the Ten Commandments were plagiarized from the Egyptian Book of the Dead:
'According to Wikipedia:
"Some historians....have argued that the Ten Commandments originated from ancient Egyptian religion, and postulate that the Biblical Jews borrowed the concept after their Exodus [c. 1491 BC] from Egypt . Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead [c. 1800 BC] ... includes a list of things to which a man must swear in order to enter the afterlife. These sworn statements bear a remarkable resemblance to the Ten Commandments..."
 Many religious liberals, historians, and secularists have concluded that the Hebrew Scripture's Ten Commandments were based on this earlier document...'

 The "many historians"  however, are not named; (as is usual with exaggerated claims), nor are their credentials offered.

The fraudulent presentation however has much deeper flaws and dishonest aspects.

For instance, they only quote a portion of the Book of the Dead (BoD) namely 13 crimes, rather than the whole passage, to give the impression of a nearly equal number of crimes/sins (their secondary source lists only 11 crimes, so they must be fully aware of the fudging).

The actual passage  however, lists over TWENTY-NINE specific crimes, after five general statements of innocence, so there is no numerical similarity with the Hebrew Decalogue of TEN unique commands intended to summarize a whole moral code.

The 29 'crimes' are a long and random (but not exhaustive) list of common offences, with no hierarchy or indication of relative importance.  They are merely an expression of a wordy prayer and claim of general innocence.

In no way can they be interpreted as a "Law Code", nor is there any evidence that the list is based on any earlier formal Egyptian Legal Code now lost.   Rather, this is just an ordinary funeral text, a prayerful plea meant to impress God(s) with its attempt at thoroughness of claim.

This discrepancy in the count makes it more obvious how dissimilar the two lists are.

Even the supposed "matches" are often at best only approximately similar in meaning:

(TC 6) Do not kill -  
(BoD 7) - I have not killed

(TC 7) Do not commit Adultery - 
(BoD 13,14) - I have not Sodomized with a Sodomite.
(the interpretation here of "adultery" is dubious, since the text says literally:
"I have not penetrated the penetrator of a penetrator",
suggesting buggery.)
 (BoD 14) - "I have not masturbated"  Adultery?  another implausible stretch.

(TC 8) Do not steal - 
(BoD 1)        - I have not cheated the Orphan of his goods. 
(BoD 20)      - I have not taken milk from babies' mouths. 
(BoD 11,12) - I have not taken the offerings of the Gods/dead.
(BoD 15-19) - I have not cheated with various weights and measures. 

Certainly these are examples of modern "stealing", but there appears to be
no specialized word for "steal" in early Egyptian,  and these were handled as separate crimes, as the text plainly illustrates.

Even the truncated source that the Ont. Consultants on Religious Tolerance (OCORT) use doesn't render any part of the BoD text as "stealing".

Other 'renderings' offered appear to contain 'glosses' or interpretations that reflect the modern liberal ideologies of the website rather than ancient Egyptian priests:

" I have not murdered or given such an order...." (unsourced quote)
"I have not killed; I have not turned anyone over to a killer." (unsourced)  

Both of these quotes appear to be 'interpretations' or elaborations offered by various unnamed translators.   The Egyptian text seems not to support it, if the UCL and JISC supported sites are reliable.  They give this for the portion of the text under consideration:

"I have not killed; I have not harmed the offering-cattle;" (Chapter 125a)

Which seems to have quite a different meaning than that offered by OCORT.

Out of 29 possible crimes in BoD, only ONE appears to correspond directly to a commandment in the Decalogue:  "murder".

But the context in both cases gives no indication that the two cultures had similar views on how to define "murder" or what the punishment should be in various nuanced cases.   We know that "Do not Kill" was a crime moderated by manslaughter and 'crime of passion' considerations, from the fact that Israelites allowed fugitives to flee to another city of refuge.  Nothing in Egyptian culture seems to correspond to these legal nuances.

OCORT do admit the following:
"One major difference between the two documents is that statues of the Gods and Goddesses formed a major part of the ancient Egyptian religion. The religion of the ancient Hebrews forbade any image or statue of Yahweh. Another difference was the Decalogue's emphasis on the Sabbath -- one day of rest each week. It is not found in the Book of the Dead or in ancient Egyptian culture."

This is not a small difference.  Hebrew Law forbade idolatry, while Egyptian culture celebrated it.   The Sabbath was completely foreign to Egyptians.
Thats  at least two, possibly three Commandments which are are directly opposed to Egyptian legal ideas.  Statistically twice the clear disagreement (20%) as seemingly direct agreement (10%).

And this is being generous in the use of statistics.
From the BoD viewpoint, only 1 match out of 29 crimes is a much lower agreement: (3.4%).  That is, while TC agrees with the BoD list for 10% of its own commandments, the BoD only agrees with TC for 3.4% of its crime list.

The other differences are just as serious.  The Egyptians appeared to have no 'core set' of values like the Hebrew Decalogue.   Instead, they had a complex and often arbitrary set of laws, enacted by Pharoahs and seemingly based on Egyptian religious values and social sensibilities, but unorganized or reasoned out by any unified worldview or legal philosophy.

But from early times, it appears that Hebrew culture embraced at least a legal awareness or core-value system, based on their careful preservation of early history in Genesis.

While Egyptians held core religious beliefs based on early history or myth (i.e., the afterlife and Osiris), they appear not to have based a legal code on their stories.

There seems no evidence that Hebrews borrowed their legal code from Egypt, although they may have been culturally influenced to a significant degree by their interaction, and service to the Egyptian state.

The similarities (e.g., prohibition of murder) can best be understood as universals that arose from situations common to all early peoples and hardly traceable to a specific culture or nation.