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kmt_sesh

Was the Bible written earlier than thought?

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It's a bit too quiet lately for my liking, so I thought I'd start a new discussion. Given that this is kmt_sesh starting a thread, it is certain not to last long. And it is academically based (sorry, no aliens or levitation or Atlanteans, blah blah). I could've put this in the Archaeology forum, but it likely would've received three views and one "Cool" comment before fading away immediately. As it is there is some controversy surrounding this subject, and many folks in the Ancient Mysteries forum like to debate the Bible. So here I put it.

The following article concerns research being conducted by doctoral students from Tel Aviv University, under the supervision of Israel Finkelstein:

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/hebrew-bible/when-was-the-hebrew-bible-written/?mqsc=E3894298&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=BHDDaily Newsletter&utm_campaign=ZE7A6VZ00

Apologies if there's a pop-up window. I use this organization's articles and archives for a lot of reading and have always enjoyed it, even if some of the material is slanted toward the religious view. And I like Finkelstein, as controversial as he tends to be. The gist of the article is, was the Bible written before the Babylonian Exile (586. BCE) or after? What are the pros and cons? The article covers both. I would say thrusting all of it before or after is overly simplistic and not historically realistic, but that's my thought. What do others think?

Now, let the boredom debate begin!

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Checking back in. Already a number of views and...zero comments.

LOL Yep, this is a classic kmt_sesh thread.

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I'm siding with Christopher Rollston. I think the claims are being extrapolated from to little actual data. I'm also initially skeptical of Finkelstein and Biblical Archaeology for their tendency to favor religious interpretations of things. 

 From what I'm aware, there are a number of influences in the Old Testament that show clear influence from Babylonia captivity. 

 I do wonder though, if it had been written down if it isn't the case that they would have lost those records after being conquered. Allowing for verbal recall to open influence to the stories. 

/completely uninformed opinions abounded. 

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Wow, a comment!

Shadowsot, help yourself to milk and cookies in the UM breakroom. You can have extra since it's so damn quiet here today. What's the deal? Do people have a social life? What's that like?

Finkelstein has actually become more moderate over time but one of the big early complaints about him was that he's too minimalist: one of those scholars who tend to see the Bible as largely purpose-made and written late in history. He and another scholar I like, William Dever, like to diss each other in their books. Their animosity is a good example to the woo-crowd that academics obviously don't always agree or get along. Anyway, they've both authored books I've enjoyed very much.

As to the article, I also have to favor Rollston's cautionary note (I've enjoyed some of his writing, too). Personally I think some if not a good chunk of the Old Testament dates to an oral tradition well before the Exile, and that a lot of it was crafted and edited and redacted during Exile and after. I think the whole thing is too complex to cram it all into one timeframe. But that's just me.

How are those cookies? And milk? It's not that almond crap but real cow juice, you know.

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Real milk? Excellent! Theses had better not be raisins though. 

I tend to agree, I think a lot of influence came in during captivity. The flood narrative, a few stories lifted directly with a quick name change. But there had to be some earlier development that these were brought into. 

 I don't think it being purpose made makes sense, that just isn't how history or people works. Except in the case of scams. 

 I do remember hearing an idea ages ago, don't remember where. Might have been here. That the works were compiled to document the Jewish religion as it was fading, something like Grimms Fairy tails. But by compiling the disparate legends and traditions together it actually resolidified the religion. 

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As for where everybody is... No clue. It's a Thursday. Even people with a social life don't do anything on Thursdays surely. 

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Posted (edited)

I know so little about these peoples about that time. :blush:

Some of the texts in the Bible are clearly taken out of Sumerian tests, like the book of Job. I read about the same story in Lorsque les dieux faisaient l'homme by Kramer and Bottéro, although the conclusion was different. When the Sumerian Job ask: "Gods, did you forget me" or something to that effect, they answer something like "oh! Indeed, sorry about that. We'll fix it now. Next time, pray more and don't forget to buy these paying dolls at the temple, we so busy up here." Or something like that, I thought it was hilarious.

There's also parts of Gilgamesh which goes like the Noah and genesis story. Although I read these back in the second millennium, my memory could be a bit rusty.

Maybe the Hebrews have taken them while in captivity in Babylon, but maybe these are two versions of an older original story. And maybe both are true. Also some of the story could come from the Canaanite tales mixed in.

Edited by Gingitsune
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The trouble comes from missing most of the build up. 

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Posted (edited)

The problem here isn't so much a right or wrong answer. It's asking the right question. It shouldn't be: "When was the Bible written?" so much as "When did Our Past Basset Masters decide it was time to fire up the disinformation mines and begin hiding their presence behind the idea of Jehovah/the Elohim?"

But They -- you know who I mean, the cartel of historians, archaeologists and associated academic -- will hardly let a question like that out into the world.

--Jaylemurph

Edited by jaylemurph
grammar
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isnt "Tel Aviv" a jewish phone company?

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I think it would be odd for it to be written pre-Exile, as (text wise) there's not a lot of material before JWYH decides the Chosen People have been too naughty to remain in the Chosen Land. 

If it was, I'd have expected more adventures and tales before the limes of the Book of Daniel.

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1 hour ago, kmt_sesh said:

It's a bit too quiet lately for my liking, so I thought I'd start a new discussion. Given that this is kmt_sesh starting a thread, it is certain not to last long. And it is academically based (sorry, no aliens or levitation or Atlanteans, blah blah). I could've put this in the Archaeology forum, but it likely would've received three views and one "Cool" comment before fading away immediately. As it is there is some controversy surrounding this subject, and many folks in the Ancient Mysteries forum like to debate the Bible. So here I put it.

The following article concerns research being conducted by doctoral students from Tel Aviv University, under the supervision of Israel Finkelstein:

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/hebrew-bible/when-was-the-hebrew-bible-written/?mqsc=E3894298&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=BHDDaily Newsletter&utm_campaign=ZE7A6VZ00

Apologies if there's a pop-up window. I use this organization's articles and archives for a lot of reading and have always enjoyed it, even if some of the material is slanted toward the religious view. And I like Finkelstein, as controversial as he tends to be. The gist of the article is, was the Bible written before the Babylonian Exile (586. BCE) or after? What are the pros and cons? The article covers both. I would say thrusting all of it before or after is overly simplistic and not historically realistic, but that's my thought. What do others think?

Now, let the boredom debate begin!

I would tend to side not only with Christopher Rollston, for the reasons given in the article, but also to believe that ANY evidence of literacy before the Babylonian Exile doesn't automatically equate to parts of the Hebrew Bible itself being written that early. And as we know parts of the OT are reworkings/rewritings of previously extant stories from the Middle East/Mesopotamia so are not even original to the Hebrews to begin with. 

cormac

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the zionist want people to believe that the hebrew religion is the oldest, wisest, and therefore the most "gravitas" of the 3 torah based religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 

but... ironically the hebrew religion is the freshest of the three, dont forget although it looks like good practicing jews have been placing prayers in the wailing wall since the good ol' roman days, there were almost no jews in what is now the "jewish homeland" only going back 100 years. the hebrew dogma has remained flexible, that has insured its survival. and from egypt to spain to germany, they have proven difficult to abolish. they have had no choice but to re-invent themselves time and time again, and the goal of the rabbinical research is to prove the hebrew books as the oldest and most accurate word of the torah god; at any cost. so when i hear that some study about the bible was done at Tel Aviv i immediatly equate it to a study done by a christian science university showing proof that the world is only 10,000 years old and that if you look at the moon through a rele good telescope u can see Jesus waving back at you...

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57 minutes ago, grimsituation6 said:

the zionist want people to believe that the hebrew religion is the oldest, wisest, and therefore the most "gravitas" of the 3 torah based religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Zionists? Did somebody switch the year back to 1911 and not tell me? I mean, mentioning Zionism is one fringe step away from going around quoting The Protocols of the Elders of Zion at people. Eesh.

--Jaylemurph

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1 hour ago, jaylemurph said:

Zionists? Did somebody switch the year back to 1911 and not tell me? I mean, mentioning Zionism is one fringe step away from going around quoting The Protocols of the Elders of Zion at people. Eesh.

--Jaylemurph

Come to Pensacola, you can collect Neo Nazi flyers sometime. 

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11 hours ago, kmt_sesh said:

 I would say thrusting all of it before or after is overly simplistic and not historically realistic, but that's my thought. What do others think?

I would say you are very astute  :o

Whenever there are arguments in favour of A or B, it's always more likely to be A and B


That said, just because something could have been written earlier than thought, doesn't mean it was.   After all, there were literate women in the 19th century but I still don't think the Harry Potter books were written over 100 years ago.

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23 hours ago, jaylemurph said:

The problem here isn't so much a right or wrong answer. It's asking the right question. It shouldn't be: "When was the Bible written?" so much as "When did Our Past Basset Masters decide it was time to fire up the disinformation mines and begin hiding their presence behind the idea of Jehovah/the Elohim?"

So I guess it's no coincidence that the words "God" and "dog" are so similar, right? I've long had my suspicions. I can't figure out how the divine word "cat" figures into it, but I know you don't want to go there.

Quote

But They -- you know who I mean, the cartel of historians, archaeologists and associated academic -- will hardly let a question like that out into the world.

As a loyal member of the Cabal, I can attest that we have a vested interest in keeping "THE TRUTH" from the lowly masses.

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I want to thank everyone for commenting. I know how dry my threads can be most of the time. The subject matter fascinates me but I know other posters are less than enthused by it.

Aliens! :alien: :alien: :alien:

There, does that help?

Anyway, I do take note in the article I posted of Rollston's reminder that the ostraca in question actually date from the seventh to sixth centuries BCE. This means it's not realistic to use the ostraca by themselves as a reliable census for general literacy. However, it's interesting that evidently every-day soldiers and other "simple folk" appear to have been literate, even if not widely so. This was not the case in most other Near Eastern societies, which does in fact suggest at least a certain level of literacy that might've been more pronounced than we realize, or that the archaeological record preserves.

I always think of the Ketef Hinnom silver amulets, which were the subject of a very interesting BAR article some years back. Or was it in Archaeology? I can't remember for sure, but it was probably the former. These little amulets were found in a tomb and contained inscriptions of material that would later be found in the Old Testament. Here's an article.

The amulets date to the seventh century BCE. That's definitely prior to the Exile in Babylon. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that there was a full-fledged Torah around 650 BCE, because there probably wasn't. But it does show an extant, religious, Hebraic tradition that was slowly leading toward biblical codification. I think the little silver amulets are fascinating. But that's just me. I'm too boring and prosaic to believe in...

Aliens! :alien: :alien: :alien:

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22 hours ago, grimsituation6 said:

the zionist want people to believe that the hebrew religion is the oldest, wisest, and therefore the most "gravitas" of the 3 torah based religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 

but... ironically the hebrew religion is the freshest of the three, dont forget although it looks like good practicing jews have been placing prayers in the wailing wall since the good ol' roman days, there were almost no jews in what is now the "jewish homeland" only going back 100 years. the hebrew dogma has remained flexible, that has insured its survival. and from egypt to spain to germany, they have proven difficult to abolish. they have had no choice but to re-invent themselves time and time again, and the goal of the rabbinical research is to prove the hebrew books as the oldest and most accurate word of the torah god; at any cost. so when i hear that some study about the bible was done at Tel Aviv i immediatly equate it to a study done by a christian science university showing proof that the world is only 10,000 years old and that if you look at the moon through a rele good telescope u can see Jesus waving back at you...

You don't know the history of these religions very well, do you? Do you know any devout Jewish people? Have you ever spoken at length with rabbis? Sorry to be so blunt; I just found your post a bit off-putting.

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It says these were at a military site, how common was military service to these people? I can see a greater need for literacy as you ascend the ranks of the military, but how much it would go out to the average civilian would vary, I would think.

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Some posters have mentioned the tendency for the ancient Hebrews to have helped themselves to older traditions from such places as Mesopotamia. Two good examples are Noah's flood and Moses' origin in a basket (both of which stem from Mesopotamian stories). I often emphasize this in biblical-themed threads, but I want to be sure to say that the Jews did this way back then is not at all unusual. All of the societies of the ancient Near East borrowed freely from one another, be it stories or even deities. My own forte is pharaonic Egypt, but I know I'm not the only one here who is aware how often the Egyptians latched on to others' ideas. Arguably the Greeks and Romans did it much more so. Which means...it's all good!

And as I also like to say, of all of those mighty empires and their far-reaching grasp, little Israel is all that survived of them.

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To be fair, I'm not sure if borrowing is the right term. They all sort of existed together and spun out of and back into the same pool. 

 And not sure if Israel really counts. 

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6 minutes ago, ShadowSot said:

It says these were at a military site, how common was military service to these people? I can see a greater need for literacy as you ascend the ranks of the military, but how much it would go out to the average civilian would vary, I would think.

I'm not as familiar with the ancient Hebrew military as I am with Egypt's, but in Egypt you were beamed up at age ten and trained ruthlessly by Klingons. Or something like that. No?

Okay, seriously, most smaller kingdoms like Judea probably didn't have a professional standing army. That kind of army usually belonged to the true superpowers like Egypt, Assyria, and Persia. And Egypt itself didn't even assemble a permanent, professional army until the New Kingdom (c. 1550 BCE). Prior to that it was all conscripted on an as-needed basis. The king and his court got the word out that he needed fresh meat soldiers, and the governors would round them up. This means a great many soldiers actually spent most of their time at home in their fields growing wheat and chasing sheep. I imagine this was how it worked in Judea, too.

Most farmers, herdsman, laborers, and other simple people were not literate beyond the ability perhaps to write their names. Certainly most soldiers in Near Eastern armies were illiterate. This is why it struck me as interesting that the Arad ostraca were written by every-day soldiers. You know who wasn't involved at all?

Aliens! :alien: :alien: :alien:

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