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kmt_sesh

Was the Bible written earlier than thought?

101 posts in this topic

I was under the impression that the document we know as the Bible consisted of various different materials, some of them dating to the early 1st millennium BC (and other material, ancient Near Eastern folklore cycles and so forth, perhaps much older), that were assembled by various different editors at various different times, and then subsequently edited by other people with varying agendas and motivations.  A mish-mash and hotchpotch, in other words ...

But I'm not a Bible scholar: a specialist might have very different views ...

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Windowpane said:

I was under the impression that the document we know as the Bible consisted of various different materials, some of them dating to the early 1st millennium BC (and other material, ancient Near Eastern folklore cycles and so forth, perhaps much older), that were assembled by various different editors at various different times, and then subsequently edited by other people with varying agendas and motivations.  A mish-mash and hotchpotch, in other words ...

But I'm not a Bible scholar: a specialist might have very different views ...

Windowpane,

PhD Richard Friedman agrees with your summary.  In this video clip, Friedman explains what he believes actually happened.  It was the Levites who were the key players.

Edited by atalante
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11 hours ago, cormac mac airt said:

It would also not preclude two pan-dimentional mice named Frankie and Benjy (who 'could' later be confused as God) from leading this alleged Abraham out of Mesopotamia either, needless to say I don't see that happening. I see the above as baseless speculation. 

cormac

I thought baseless speculation was the purpose of this subforum.

Be glad I didn't mention how Greenlantis was moved to it's current locale via geyser propulsion or the Atlantean trading post in Antarctica which controlled the global trade of Cocaine between the Americas and Egypt after their Homeland sank into the sea. 

Compared to some of the ideas put forth on this site, the conjecture that a clan chieftain named Abraham actually existed and later a Jewish origin mythology grew around him seems rather tame. 

Regardless the thread still focuses on a less interesting area than Central/South America or even the Far East. I mean seriously, in a rather short span post Neolithic they managed to kick desertification into overdrive and reduce the productive capability of their environment. Compared to the soil fertility levels still found in Rural Asia or South America prior to the industrialized "Green revolution" the Near East seems a bit lacking.

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50 minutes ago, Jarocal said:

 

Be glad I didn't mention how Greenlantis was moved to it's current locale via geyser propulsion or the Atlantean trading post in Antarctica which controlled the global trade of Cocaine between the Americas and Egypt after their Homeland sank into the sea. 

 

We well know that you are under mind control by the Smithsonian archaeology hobgoblins.

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1 minute ago, Hanslune said:

We well know that you are under mind control by the Smithsonian archaeology hobgoblins.

Well when you make a living smacking rocks with blunt objects and stacking them in a pile you can let your mind wander a bit while working. Just think how much time I would have if we still knew how to liquify stone and mold it into odd shaped blocks that fit together so tight you can't fit a sheet of paper between...

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1 hour ago, atalante said:

PhD Richard Friedman agrees with your summary.  In this video clip, Friedman explains what he believes actually happened.  It was the Levites who were the key players.

 

Thanks, Atalante ...  In fact, I read Friedman's Who wrote the Bible? a while back, and was therefore probably influenced by what he wrote.

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2 hours ago, Jarocal said:

Well when you make a living smacking rocks with blunt objects and stacking them in a pile you can let your mind wander a bit while working. Just think how much time I would have if we still knew how to liquify stone and mold it into odd shaped blocks that fit together so tight you can't fit a sheet of paper between...

Or if you could just move them with a stern look!

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12 minutes ago, Hanslune said:

Or if you could just move them with a stern look!

Is stern look the new code word for Geyser?

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2 minutes ago, Jarocal said:

Is stern look the new code word for Geyser?

No that would be 'drop kick to the face'. Have Harte send you the latest copy of 'SECRET JARGON FOR HIDING THE TRUTH'.

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17 minutes ago, Hanslune said:

No that would be 'drop kick to the face'. Have Harte send you the latest copy of 'SECRET JARGON FOR HIDING THE TRUTH'.

Wow the Cabal is really picking some violent jargon.

Makes me feel like typing some thing similar to "Oh Ryan!" thrice in the hopes someone miraculously appears to disseminate his thoughts on this(among other) topics.

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On 6/22/2017 at 10:33 PM, kmt_sesh said:

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?

Yes, actually.  I was at a science fiction convention... have another one this coming weekend and a third (NASFiC) the weekend after.  So... yeah. :)

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10 hours ago, Jarocal said:

I thought baseless speculation was the purpose of this subforum.

Be glad I didn't mention how Greenlantis was moved to it's current locale via geyser propulsion or the Atlantean trading post in Antarctica which controlled the global trade of Cocaine between the Americas and Egypt after their Homeland sank into the sea. 

That's from page 2,395 of the Secret History of the Cabal. Sir, I must ask, how did you get your hands on that!

Quote

Regardless the thread still focuses on a less interesting area than Central/South America or even the Far East. I mean seriously, in a rather short span post Neolithic they managed to kick desertification into overdrive and reduce the productive capability of their environment. Compared to the soil fertility levels still found in Rural Asia or South America prior to the industrialized "Green revolution" the Near East seems a bit lacking.

Mummies rule.

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19 hours ago, Hanslune said:

What I go away for three days and you do THIS?

Well, I was bored. All of you people left me alone and there was no one around to keep me in line.

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1 hour ago, kmt_sesh said:

That's from page 2,395 of the Secret History of the Cabal. Sir, I must ask, how did you get your hands on that![/quote]

 Vyse' s journal, well the unpublished notes to it actually...

Mummies rule.

Which is why Mummies have been found in Asia and South America also. 

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On 6/23/2017 at 4:56 AM, 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. ...

I have not visited this forum for quite some time as practically all my suggestions have been shot down so far (most of them by you!) :)

I find it strange that archaeologists and biblical historians swear by certain dating techniques, and that's it. If the first known version of a document can be dated to a specific era through radio-carbon dating, for instance, then that seems to imply, to them at least, that no earlier copies have ever existed. If we take into account that no photocopiers or digital scanners existed in ancient times, it could very well be that treasured documents were manually re-recorded on paper or carved onto clay tables every 100 or 200 years, for a thousand or even thousands of years. Even the style of the recording could have changed, depending on who rewrote that piece of text. So, all that we can deduce from specific dating techniques is that the documents or history in question is at least as old as suggested by the dating technique itself, but that it could theoretically be much older.

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It may seem that way to you, but depending on the text we're talking about there's a reason why the phrase "oldest extent copy of" is referred to. As well as the expectation that oral accounts t likely predate the written narratives. 

 While you also have, for example in the Gilgamesh epic indications of earlier narratives that didn't survive. 

 Now you can get a finite date. Something written by a known historical figure, like say Churchill, would have to be written within his lifetime. 

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1 hour ago, Riaan said:

I have not visited this forum for quite some time as practically all my suggestions have been shot down so far (most of them by you!) :)

I find it strange that archaeologists and biblical historians swear by certain dating techniques, and that's it. If the first known version of a document can be dated to a specific era through radio-carbon dating, for instance, then that seems to imply, to them at least, that no earlier copies have ever existed. If we take into account that no photocopiers or digital scanners existed in ancient times, it could very well be that treasured documents were manually re-recorded on paper or carved onto clay tables every 100 or 200 years, for a thousand or even thousands of years. Even the style of the recording could have changed, depending on who rewrote that piece of text. So, all that we can deduce from specific dating techniques is that the documents or history in question is at least as old as suggested by the dating technique itself, but that it could theoretically be much older.

It's actually more complicated, and a lot of research has gone into this. The first writing of something is in fact the first archaeological (physical) proof, yes, but that doesn't mean something like it did't exist before. After all, that first written form had to have come from something. A good example is the Pyramid Texts. Although these texts in Egypt aren't physically attested prior to late Dynasty 5 (c. 2400 BCE), nearly all Egyptologists agree they're far older and were probably kept on papyrus scrolls that didn't survive (or have yet to be found). And prior to that they were most likely part of a religious oral tradition. The same is true to an extent for the Old Testament.

One of the chief purposes of scribal schools and priestly scribes in all of these Near Eastern societies, was the copying and re-copying and re-re-copying of textual material. It's evident when examining these copies that in many cases the scribes were copying exactly what they had been seeing, right down to spelling and grammar mistakes and outdated language styles. Occasionally scribes would write margin notes to suggest what they thought were corrections. Linguists have tracked how these ancient languages developed and changed, so even vocabulary and grammar changes are evident in writing. That's another way to pin a date to an ancient document.

In the case of the Old Testament, there is no evidence for the emergence of a Hebrew culture until the end of the Bronze Age (1200 -1100 BCE). The earliest evidence for the Hebrew language—as scanty as the earliest emergence for it is—dates to a little later. This is also an important consideration when dating Hebrew tradition. This is also why the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is so important. That discovery pushed back the earliest evidence for physical manuscripts to the last couple of centuries BCE, which is a lot earlier than the previously extant manuscripts. These texts also showed how the Hebrews themselves were changing their texts to meet the purposes and sensibilities of their time.

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23 hours ago, Jarocal said:

Which is why Mummies have been found in Asia and South America also. 

You're right, of course. Our own museum has a large collection of Peruvian mummies. They're rarely displayed but I enjoy them.

But let's be honest. Those South Americans are unlikely to have intended mummification, which was a byproduct of the cold and arid environment in which those folks were buried. And natural mummification—the product of environment—is arguably the case with most mummies around the world. The book is out on some of those Chinese mummies, as I understand it. Mummies like Lady Dei are amazing in their preservation but there's a lot of debate over whether preservation was even a goal by the people who buried them.

Egyptian mummies, on the other hand, were purpose-made. They rock!

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On June 25, 2017 at 8:34 PM, Kenemet said:

Yes, actually.  I was at a science fiction convention... have another one this coming weekend and a third (NASFiC) the weekend after.  So... yeah. :)

LOL For whatever reason I never pegged you as a fan of sci-fi conventions. I've never been to one. Did you dress up?

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5 hours ago, kmt_sesh said:

It's actually more complicated, and a lot of research has gone into this. The first writing of something is in fact the first archaeological (physical) proof, yes, but that doesn't mean something like it did't exist before. After all, that first written form had to have come from something. A good example is the Pyramid Texts. Although these texts in Egypt aren't physically attested prior to late Dynasty 5 (c. 2400 BCE), nearly all Egyptologists agree they're far older and were probably kept on papyrus scrolls that didn't survive (or have yet to be found). And prior to that they were most likely part of a religious oral tradition. The same is true to an extent for the Old Testament.

One of the chief purposes of scribal schools and priestly scribes in all of these Near Eastern societies, was the copying and re-copying and re-re-copying of textual material. It's evident when examining these copies that in many cases the scribes were copying exactly what they had been seeing, right down to spelling and grammar mistakes and outdated language styles. Occasionally scribes would write margin notes to suggest what they thought were corrections. Linguists have tracked how these ancient languages developed and changed, so even vocabulary and grammar changes are evident in writing. That's another way to pin a date to an ancient document.

In the case of the Old Testament, there is no evidence for the emergence of a Hebrew culture until the end of the Bronze Age (1200 -1100 BCE). The earliest evidence for the Hebrew language—as scanty as the earliest emergence for it is—dates to a little later. This is also an important consideration when dating Hebrew tradition. This is also why the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is so important. That discovery pushed back the earliest evidence for physical manuscripts to the last couple of centuries BCE, which is a lot earlier than the previously extant manuscripts. These texts also showed how the Hebrews themselves were changing their texts to meet the purposes and sensibilities of their time.

The bold portion above would imply, at least to me, that Egyptologists agree that the Pyramid Texts in total and with some degree of specificity are far older. I have not actually seen this in print, can you tell me where I can find it?

cormac

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7 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

The bold portion above would imply, at least to me, that Egyptologists agree that the Pyramid Texts in total and with some degree of specificity are far older. I have not actually seen this in print, can you tell me where I can find it?

cormac

Hanslune's Atlantean spirit, Rupert, told me that. What, don't you trust him?

I couldn't form a list of all the times I've read this. Probably one of the best examples I've encountered, however, is in James Allen's translations of the Texts, in the introductory section. He talks about the scribal errors being preserved in later versions and how the Texts probably go back to the beginning, as funerary texts used by the public at large (not just for royalty).

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31 minutes ago, kmt_sesh said:

Hanslune's Atlantean spirit, Rupert, told me that. What, don't you trust him?

I couldn't form a list of all the times I've read this. Probably one of the best examples I've encountered, however, is in James Allen's translations of the Texts, in the introductory section. He talks about the scribal errors being preserved in later versions and how the Texts probably go back to the beginning, as funerary texts used by the public at large (not just for royalty).

Thanks, can't find my copy of Allen's book at the moment but an electronic copy pointed me to the answer, that being that there is no specificity mentioned in the Introduction as to which texts or parts thereof go back to the beginning which is inline with most everything else I've read. 

Quote

EDITORIAL HISTORY
Although they are first attested in the pyramid of Unis, most of the
Pyramid Texts are undoubtedly older. With few exceptions, their grammar
is that of a stage of the language that disappeared from secular inscriptions
at least fifty years earlier, and the architecture of the pyramid chambers
that they reflect (see below) came into use at the end of the Fourth
Dynasty, more than a hundred years before Unis’s time. Some of the texts
also reflect burial practices that are even older, in earthen graves beneath
tombs built of mudbrick.

http://phantocomp.weebly.com/uploads/1/9/8/3/19830307/pyramid_texts_-_james_p_allen.pdf

cormac

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25 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

Thanks, can't find my copy of Allen's book at the moment but an electronic copy pointed me to the answer, that being that there is no specificity mentioned in the Introduction as to which texts or parts thereof go back to the beginning which is inline with most everything else I've read. 

http://phantocomp.weebly.com/uploads/1/9/8/3/19830307/pyramid_texts_-_james_p_allen.pdf

cormac

Oh, I may have misunderstood you. I guess you're looking for specific examples. In that case I've read only of the facts but haven't seen mention of specific examples (Utterance this, Spell that). I couldn't say, short of transcribing the actual monuments and comparing them with the published works. I just don't have the time for that, or the money for a plane ticket to Egypt. Allen and others talk about the errors in pronoun and gender usage, which shows more variability and a wider usage originally. That the errors were oft repeaetd shows rigid, verbatim copying from pyramid to pyramid, in the manner I described in my reply to Riaan.

Which spells were there originally can't even be known for sure, short of finding Early Dynastic scrolls containing the Texts (they were all destroyed by the geysers, you know...LOL). It can only be surmised, just as the Osiris sections must've been added later. I can't find my own copy of Allen. I moved to a lower unit in my building a few months ago due to my health problems...and can't find anything now. I hate moving! :angry:

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On 6/25/2017 at 9:53 AM, Windowpane said:

 

Thanks, Atalante ...  In fact, I read Friedman's Who wrote the Bible? a while back, and was therefore probably influenced by what he wrote.

Windowpane,

Richard Friedman has written a new book about the Exodus, which will be released on Sept 12, 2017. 
 
I expect this Exodus book will bring the biblical Documentary Hypothesis into general alignment with the findings of modern archaeology. 

 

 

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Again, thank you, Atalante.

Given the continuing controversy over whether or not the Exodus ever really took place, that might be an interesting read ...

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