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  • Originally posted by Mikeenders View Post
    The problem is you keep alluding to things that are "damning" and when we hear them they are not anywhere near what you claim. Worse some of it just doesn't even make sense. How you re going to talk about "what we know of Iron age Canaan" without a focus on archaeology is beyond me.
    Can we possibly open another thread on this, or some debate topic? I think this thread has long gone off topic, and the subject of the Exodus is best discussed in another thread.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Gary
      One of the key pieces of evidence for me in my deconversion from Christianity was the discovery that there is zero evidence for the Hebrew Slavery in Egypt, the Exodus, or the Forty Years of Wandering in the Sinai. None. Nor is there any evidence of the great Egyptian defeat at the hands of their fleeing slaves. None.

      Christians will often argue that the Egyptians did not erect monuments to their defeats, and that this is why there is no mention in Egypt of this Egyptian disaster. This may be true, but what about the surrounding nations? Egypt was the most powerful nation on earth at that time. Are we really to believe that the God of the Hebrews drowned the entire Egyptian army in a sea while in hot pursuit of their runaway slaves...and no one in the ancient world thought it was of enough significance to record it??

      At this point, Christians will sometimes say: "Well, it wasn't the entire Egyptian army. It was just his charioteers" or "It was just one of many Egyptians armies, so it wasn't that news worthy". Let's see what the Bible says:
      Quite - let's see what the Bible has to say about it, and ignore interpretations based on expections - whether the expectations of atheists or theists (of whatever stamp).

      Then the Lord said to Moses: 2 Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall camp opposite it, by the sea. 3 Pharaoh will say of the Israelites, “They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has closed in on them.” 4 I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, so that I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord. And they did so.
      5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the minds of Pharaoh and his officials were changed toward the people, and they said, “What have we done, letting Israel leave our service?”
      There is some time elapsed between the departure of the Israelites and the decision to pursue. Will Pharaoh recall his entire army from every point in Egypt and every hotspot in the land and among allies to give pursuit? Will he simply assemble the nearest and fastest available troops to give pursuit, or assign foot-soldiers (by far the most numerous complement of his army) to travel with his chariots? True, this does go to expectation, but a certain amount of logic needs to be exercised. Remembering that it will take no less than a full day to muster even a smallish complement of six hundred troops and a lot longer to muster and equip a full army of horse and foot, how long would it take for soldiers on foot to close with a quarry that has a significant head start?

      6 So he had his chariot made ready, and took his army with him; 7 he took six hundred picked chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out boldly. 9 The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, his chariot drivers and his army; they overtook them camped by the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.
      Six hundred picked chariots - or, chosen chariots - with captains over each. The "republican guard" so to speak, or the "king's own". The six hundred are Pharaoh's troops. the "and" of "and all the chariots", bolded, isn't in the original text, nor is "other". Again the question needs to be asked - "Did Pharaoh recall every chariot from every far flung corner of Egypt and beyond before he took up pursuit? How long would it take to send messengers to the troops concerned, and recall not only his chariots but his every foot soldier?

      ... Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.”
      ?? What about all the foot soldiers? Why wasn't the sea expected to close over them as well?

      27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29 But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
      And here, no extraneous "and" or "other" has been slapped into the translated text. The waters covered - the CHARIOTS and CHARIOT DRIVERS, the entire army that had followed them (the Israelites) into the sea.

      Gary; So unless you are Bill Clinton, "all" and "entire" mean exactly what the dictionary says they mean: all Pharaoh's army; the entire Egyptian army; was drowned in the sea. Christians can try to wiggle out of this dilemma by pulling a "Bill Clinton", claiming that words don't really mean what we all know they mean, but the facts are clear: The Holy Bible claims that the entire mighty Egyptian army drowned in the sea chasing after their runaway slaves...
      As is shown, that is nothing like what the Bible says. NOT "the entire army", but, "the entire army that followed."

      ...but no one in the entire world bothered to document the greatest Egyptian defeat in history!

      Conclusion: The absence of evidence does not prove the evidence of absence. But, the absence of evidence for a couple million people allegedly exiting Egypt in one great exodus to wander around the small geographical area of the Sinai for forty years...but not leave one shred of archeological evidence, nor any mention of their shocking, miraculous defeat of the mighty Egyptian Pharaoh and his entire army in the annals of any nation on earth, is strong evidence that this story is nothing more than a nationalistic, ancient Hebrew fable.
      No evidence of anyone being in that region during that time frame exists. Where did the native inhabitants go? Or are the Egyptian records of people living in that area in that time a fabrication?

      Having dealt with the matters raised concerning the army of Pharaoh by Gary in his private message, I'll forego the balance of that private message's rant about Gary's opinion (based on some very strange applications of the meaning of "study") of how false Christianity is.

      With all that said though, I would not be surprised to find that the number of Israelites who fled Egypt has been overstated. Archaeological findings from the areas around Israel pre-kingom don't tend to support the idea that millions of people suddenly entered the region. A few hundred thousand, perhaps even several hundred thousand, but not millions.
      Last edited by tabibito; 10-01-2015, 10:47 PM.
      1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Gary
        Hi Tabby,

        You could be right. When the passage talks about "all" Pharaoh's army and "Pharaoh's entire army" it could mean what you say: it was only part of the army that chased after the Hebrews, and only part of the army of foot soldiers that followed the chariots drowned.
        Where does it mention foot soldiers.
        However, I think one has to really stretch the reading of the text to get to that interpretation. I believe that if one sits down and reads the entire Book of Exodus, one will walk away with the impression that the entire nation of Egypt and her entire army were brought down to utter defeat and destruction by the God of the Hebrews.
        Such an interpretation would ignore the logistics involved. Or perhaps the entire Egyptian army was garrisoned in the capital, with no-one on deployment?
        I think that is the entire point of the whole story: Obey and place your complete trust in Yahweh and Yahweh will bring even the most mighty and powerful of your enemies to his knees in utter desolation.
        That would be the point of the exercise in all probability - once the point had been demonstrated, that is as far as matters need to go.

        Why would Pharaoh stop his pursuit of the Hebrews if all he lost were just a division of charioteers? I think an unbiased reading of the text clearly indicates that God (or at least the author of the Exodus story) wanted to completely desolate the mighty Egyptians. Just drowning a few charioteers and a few squadrons of foot soldiers who followed them seems very anti-climatic.
        With no means to pursue available, it would be a matter of falling back to regroup and consider a future course. What would be militarily and politically expedient? Claiming that he had expelled a group of troublemakers from the land and calling it a victory would be advisable. Loss of face gets avoided, and no-one asks the inconvenient questions.

        But, yes, you could be right.

        In regards to Pharaoh summoning his entire army from all over the country, think about this: Who would move at a faster pace to reach the Red Sea (or Reed Sea): Soldiers in chariots or even soldiers on foot, or, a mass of people with old people, young children, their sick, livestock, tents, cooking utensils, and other supplies with a large percentage of them most likely walking on foot.
        Logistics of troop movement result in a large loss of time on a daily basis in striking and making camp. Civilian groups don't have that problem and spend a lot more time per day in travel. [GUESS]The outcome would result in a faster pace by the soldiers by less than 20% - it would take a week to recover one day's head start by the civilian group.[/GUESS] Meanwhile, Egypt's borders would be left vulnerable - and allies would be stripped of obligatory support, and your fugitives would be gaining more and more distance while Pharaoh sat around waiting for messengers to get to the troops and for the troops to organise and travel to Pharaoh's location. The whole scenario of all Egypt's army taking off in pursuit, even on logistical grounds, is as crazy as anything you have accused Christians of believing. So also would be sending 600 chariots (or if we are to accept a possible alternative reading of 6000 - 7200 [600 chariots under captains, each with a squad of 10-12]) in pursuit of 600 000 men in an age range suitable for fighting. Chariots of that time would be hard pressed to take on 10 to 1 odds, 100 to 1 simply wouldn't be considered. Chariots were also high cost and high maintainence equipment. 600 is at the high end of what might be reasonably ready to hand ... in the ordinary course (i.e. not the king's own) 400 would be more likely. From memory, the only time Egypt fielded more than 500 chariots in one campaign was when they managed to capture a few hundred of the enemy's chariots.
        1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

        Comment


        • Originally posted by psstein View Post
          Can we possibly open another thread on this, or some debate topic? I think this thread has long gone off topic, and the subject of the Exodus is best discussed in another thread.
          Thing is its been off the original topic for at least 300 pages and has been more or less a thread charging the Bible and Christianity with all kinds of things. IF you thought that it was off topic then why make several pronouncements of near fact and only invoke it being off topic when someone asks you to back your claims? Not to, as the American phrase (I think) goes, bust your chops but in a thread where a skeptic is claiming the Bible is made up for a Christian to waltz in and claim as fact the things you did of Kings, Chronicles , Exodus, Joshua and Daniel and kind of duck for like a week or two giving any hard facts to back up the claims reeks of irresponsibility. Worse still no answer to the BAR article I referred you to or to the other data Nick has referred you to.

          As a thread that for weeks has been more about how to deal with skeptic claims against the Bible the issue of exodus is a pretty big related issue (favorite of online skeptics as well) one so though yeah at getting to 400 pages its probably time to wind down its not really off topic to what the thread became looooooong ago.

          So at bare minimum can you at least answer me as to what you think of the BAR article. Perhaps I am reading it wrong but they seem to be suggesting Kadesh might actually have some evidence.
          Last edited by Mikeenders; 10-02-2015, 12:09 PM.

          Comment


          • Incidentally if the mods haven't they might check Gary for spamming PM. He seems to be sending out PMs to people to get around not getting his stuff posted. I am not even remotely interested . If you can go 300 pages in a forum and offer mostly copy and paste nonsense in that time its not likely to improve in PM.

            Comment


            • I just get the message and ignore it. Gary hasn't said anything remotely troubling and doesn't read books.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Mikeenders View Post
                Incidentally if the mods haven't they might check Gary for spamming PM. He seems to be sending out PMs to people to get around not getting his stuff posted. I am not even remotely interested . If you can go 300 pages in a forum and offer mostly copy and paste nonsense in that time its not likely to improve in PM.
                You can report the PM's you get. They are private messages, so unless they are reported we don't see them AFAIK. If you feel Gary is breaking the rules in them then send a report. It should work the same way it would for any post in a thread.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Gary
                  Yes, it is possible that "all" may not mean "all". "Entire army" may not mean "entire army".
                  Sadly for your argument, these words must be interpreted for their application within the context of the surrounding text. All the ships in a country's fleet might mean every ship of that country, every ship in a particular fleet (for example, the "seventh fleet" of the USA) or even every ship in a particular convoy. You won't know what "all" means until you know the parameters set by the surrounding context. As a further example "all the students of NN High School participated in a ceremony" - without a constricting context, that would mean every student who was enrolled at the school - or would it ... if "all" means what you want it to, no student would be absent at the time. However, if the surrounding context shows that only some of the students of NN High School were on the field trip where the ceremony was held, not all the students of NN High School were in attendance, only all the students who took part in the field trip.
                  "Six hundred thousand" Hebrew fighting men may not mean "six hundred thousand men".
                  I stated that I would accept the probability of a mistake in the text that exaggerated the number. You are not quite stupid enough to have misunderstood my intention in making the statement.

                  If it is ok to reinterpret the above words, and change the understand of the text as orthodox Jews and Christians have understood it to mean for thousands of years,
                  When data shows that something is wrong with the traditional beliefs, it becomes necessary to re-evaluate whether those beliefs are properly founded in the information contained in the Bible. This involves an examination of whether the Bible actually says what it is claimed to say. If it does, error must be acknowledged. If it doesn't, the traditional interpretation is invalid.
                  then why must one believe that "resurrected" means a bodily resurrection and not some form of spiritual resurrection or even a spiritual awakening among the followers of the dead Jesus??
                  The protasis being shown to be false, the apodosis doesn't need to be addressed. However, the meanings of the words within their context does not lead to a conclusion that the traditional interpretations of the meanings of the words in the context in which they are used is in error. Empirically, either Jesus was raised in his body to new life, or the Bible is incorrect on the issue.

                  Orthodox Jews have believed for several thousand years that the Bible says that two to three million Hebrews left a devastated Egypt.
                  Actually, if what I have read is representative, the Jews claim 2 000 000. The steps are these: Archaeological evidence does not show an influx of millions to the areas that are stated in the Bible. Archaeological evidence shows that there was an influx of a significant number of people in that same region, which resulted in a change of land use and religious practice consistent with Hebrew practices. Archaeological evidence is kind of hard to argue with - so: what does the Bible itself say? If the traditional understandings can be challenged on the basis of the Biblical record, well and good. If they can't, the Bible is in error. To date, the Bible record of Noah seems highly exaggerated at best, if not wholly mythical. Babel can't even be assigned any real hope of NOT being mythical. The records of Genesis 1 and 2 can be shown to have viable alternative interpretations.

                  On what authority are you reinterpreting these ancient Jewish passages?
                  And if you can reinterpret these ancient writings, contrary to what Jews have believed for thousands of years, why is it wrong for others to reinterpret the meaning of the words "resurrection" and "appeared to" and "have seen"?
                  Argument in support of the concept that these particular matters can reasonably be re-interpreted is nothing more than wishful thinking. Again - either Christ was raised in his body from death, or the Biblical record is wrong. And the evidence available to me (I cannot speak for anyone else) is conclusively weighted to the Bible not being wrong concerning these matters. Beliefs held for thousands of years have frequently been shown to be incorrect. Beliefs held by an almost unanimous consensus of scholars have on occasion been found to be incorrect. Neither the churches nor the Jews have been shown to be immune in the past. It is necessary to interpret the meanings of words IN THEIR SURROUNDING CONTEXT and in broader context, which often constricts the application of those words: if surrounding context can be shown to call those interpretations into question, then it would be foolhardy to ignore them.
                  1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                  Comment


                  • I'm vetting Gary's posts and forwarding only those parts that would seem reasonable for inclusion if they were posted by someone else. If that isn't suitable, let me know.
                    1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                      You can report the PM's you get. They are private messages, so unless they are reported we don't see them AFAIK. If you feel Gary is breaking the rules in them then send a report. It should work the same way it would for any post in a thread.

                      I can't say he is breaking any rule especially since I just delete them because he has had nothing substantial to say. Seeing Tab was getting what upon my glance was the same message too I figured since he has an almost religious fervor of his great mission he might attempt to use PMs to spam people as well. Just a thought consistent with his behaviour have no way of knowing.

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                      • Spamming in PMs is a violation around here.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Mikeenders View Post
                          Thing is its been off the original topic for at least 300 pages and has been more or less a thread charging the Bible and Christianity with all kinds of things. IF you thought that it was off topic then why make several pronouncements of near fact and only invoke it being off topic when someone asks you to back your claims? Not to, as the American phrase (I think) goes, bust your chops but in a thread where a skeptic is claiming the Bible is made up for a Christian to waltz in and claim as fact the things you did of Kings, Chronicles , Exodus, Joshua and Daniel and kind of duck for like a week or two giving any hard facts to back up the claims reeks of irresponsibility. Worse still no answer to the BAR article I referred you to or to the other data Nick has referred you to.

                          As a thread that for weeks has been more about how to deal with skeptic claims against the Bible the issue of exodus is a pretty big related issue (favorite of online skeptics as well) one so though yeah at getting to 400 pages its probably time to wind down its not really off topic to what the thread became looooooong ago.

                          So at bare minimum can you at least answer me as to what you think of the BAR article. Perhaps I am reading it wrong but they seem to be suggesting Kadesh might actually have some evidence.
                          Sorry for my absence, it's been a bad week in terms of work and other responsibilities. I've been reading Israel in Egypt, and while I'm not totally in agreement with Hoffmeier, and there are some bad issues with his work, I would agree that Semitic slaves of some type were in Egypt. I'm far less optimistic on the historicity of the Joseph story than he is.

                          Discussing Kings/Chronicles/Daniel/Exodus/Joshua is not just a book, but a series of books. Daniel doesn't appear in the canon until the 2nd century BC. I'd really rather focus on Exodus and Joshua, for this part. About the BAR article, I want to read the full article, not just a synopsis, before I present my view. We know the Egyptians had controlled that area for a long time, so it could just be an Egyptian settlement. On the other hand, I think the New Kingdom was in decline by that point, so it's tough to tell...

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                          • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                            Spamming in PMs is a violation around here.
                            You got the PMs about the 40 days and some other nonsense as well?

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                            • Originally posted by psstein View Post
                              You got the PMs about the 40 days and some other nonsense as well?
                              I got the PMs. I just saw the usual Gary rant and didn't even bother. I have better things to do with my time, such as read actual books.

                              Comment


                              • I'll be gone all weekend so, someone else will have to approve Gary's posts if they want to.

                                "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                                "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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