The Bible and African-Egyptian History – Moses and the Bible

Charles van doren, in A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future: the Pivotal Events, People, and Chievements of World History (Ballantine Books: New York), 1991

Moses and the Bible and Egyptian Pharaohs:  14th century B.C. (1400 B.C. – 1300 B.C.):

Van Doren stated:

“The authorship of Genesis has been one of the most discussed issues in biblical studies. .. Traditionally, Moses .1300 B.C.) was regarded as the main author of Genesis and the following four books. However,  it was accepted that certain remarks (e.g. Genesis 12:6; 36:31) showed that some parts of thebook had been added later.  The text of Genesis does not claim Moses as its author, in any case. From the 19th century A.D. onwards mainline critical scholarship minimized the role of Moses in the composition of the Pentateuch.  Indeed, the most widely-accepted view came to be that Genesis was composed from three major sources:”J” (10th century B.C..) “E”  (9th century B.C..) and “P”  (6th century B.C.).   Genesis, it was held, went through a series of odifications with new material being added with each new edition.

“… So far, no theory has emerged to replace the old source – critical consensus, so it is stilll  assumed in many textbooks and commentaries. … “Whether the author of Genesis used many sources or just one, what matters is the book as it stands.  It is a beautifully constructed whole, full of vividly told stories, that convey a vision of God and His truth which is presupposed throughout the rest of the Bible.  So what this commentary focuses on is the present final form of the text.”

When did Yahweh, or Jehovah, take on the universal character that he possessed by the time of Jesus, and that he posseses to this day?  Charles van doren concluded:

“ … Suffice it to say that the god of Abraham, perhaps once a tribal deity and as such one  (perhaps the greatest) among many, is now the one God worshipped by Jews, Christians, and Moslems the world around.”  [Charles Van Doren, in A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future: the Pivotal Events, People, and Chievements Of World History (Ballantine Books: New York), 1991, stated:

“In one small corner of the world, “a race of men” [a population embraes a certain religious belief created and propagated by an intellectual religious and political elite] grew up calling themselves Jews [after the 80 A.D. revolt and ultimate dispersal of those who revolted against the Romans in the province of Judea] and affirming a novel story of “the Creation”.

Van Doren summarized it as follows:

“In the beginning, these people said, the one god had made a paradise from which man, through his own fault (or rather the fault of woman), was exiled.  Henceforth, God told man, he would have to work for a living.  But since God loved man, he gave him the earth and all it contained for his sustenance and survival.  The exploitation of the animal and vegetable kingdom was therefore justified by divine decree.  This too, was the law of force, justice being the interest of the stronger.  Since it was divine, it was also right.

Prior to stating this, Van Doren, (who has advanced degrees in both literature and mathematics and has written and edited more than a score of books, many of them in the field of history, was then the associate director of the Institute for Philosophical Research in Chicago), had stated:

“In several parts of the world, in Egypt, in Mesopotamia, in Persia, in India, in China, empires had been formed or were in the process of being formed to rule over vast areas and millions of subjects.  These empires gave their people law, which is to say, a measure of peace and security against the violence of other people like themselves.  But they provided no security against the rulers themselves, who ruled by violence and guile, and whose will was absolute.  Almost everywhere priests, whose business it was to interpret the equally absolute and despotic will of the gods, joined with the temporal rulers to keep people in submission.  The ruled submitted because they had no choice.  Probably they did not even imagine an alternative.  Nowhere in the world did people think that they could rule themselves instead of either dominating others or being ruled by them.

“Everywhere, in short, a state of war exised between one people and another and between a ruler and his people.  Everywhere, as thucydides wrote, the strong did what they wished and the weak suffered what they had to.  There was no arbiter except force, and justice and the right was everywhere and lways no other than the interest of the stronger.”

Closing with the statement:

“  Even so, the human race prospered, and its numbers grew.”

[Author Harold L Carter’s Note:  We are reminded of Hobbes’ famous declation:

It should be noted that the following was stated by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan, Parts I And II, [1651 A.D.]

Hobbes on “Equality” and “War”

Of the natural condition of mankind as concerning their felicity and misery: [hobbes 1651, 1958: 104]: nature has made men so equal in the faculties of the body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet, when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as heFor as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself. and as to the faculties of the mind, setting aside the arts grounded upon words, and especially that skill of proceeding upon general and infallible rules called science ‑ which very few have and but in few things, as being not a native faculty born with us, nor attained, as prudence, while we look after somewhat else.

Hobbes on “Equality”:

I find yet a greater equality among men than that of strengthFor prudence is but experience, which equal time equally bestows on all men in those things they equally apply themselves unto. that which may perhaps make such equality incredible is but a vain conceit of ones wisdom, which almost all men think they have in a greater degree than the vulgar ‑ that is, than all men but themselves and a few others whom, by fame or for concurring with themselves, they approve.  For such is the nature of men that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty or more eloquent or more learned, yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves; for they see their own wit at hand and other mens at a distance.  But this proves rather than men are in that point equal than unequal.  For there is not ordinarily a greater sign of the equal distribution of anything than that every man is contented with his share.  and that for which hobbes is more widely known:

Hobbes on “war” – “a time of war”:

Whatsoever, therefore, is consequent to a time of war where every man is enemy to every man, the same is consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withalIn such condition there is … No arts; no letters; no society; and, which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

===============

Robert Graves & Raphael Patai, in Hebrew Myths: Stories of Cosmic Forces, Deities,  Angels, Demons, Monsters, Giants and Heroes – Interpreted in the Light of Modern Anthropology and Mythology (Anchor Books: Doubleday: New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Auckland, Australia), 1963, 1964

Moses – Traditionally, Moses (1300 B.C.) was regarded as the main author of Genesis and the following four books.

“From the 19th century A.D. onwards mainline critical scholarship minimized the role of Moses in the composition of the pentateuch.  Indeed, the most widely-accepted view came to be that Genesis was composed from three major sources: ‘J’ (10TH Century B.C.) ‘E’(9TH century B.C.) and ‘P’ (6TH Century B.C.).   Genesis, it was held, went through a series of modifications with new material being added with each new edition.

Wikipedia Encyclopedia:  “Genesis creation narrative:  According to Old Testament scholar Gordon Wenham, this creation account bears the marks of a carefully contrived literary creation, written with a distinct theological agenda: the elevation of Yahweh, the God of Israel, over all other gods, and notably over Marduk, the god of Babylon.”  [Footnote: Gordon Wenham, Exploring the Old Testament, Volume 1, The Pentateuch, SPCK (2003), PP. 15-18

“Traditionally attributedto Moses, today most scholars accept that the Pentateuch is >a composite work, the product of many hands and periods.[39  Genesis 1 and 2 are seen as the products of two separate authors, or schools.

“Genesis 1 is by an author or school of authors called the P (for Priestly) while Genesis 2 is by a different author or group of authors called J (for Jahwist B sometimes called non-P).  There are several competing theories as to when and ho9w these two originallycomplete but separate narratives spanning the entire biblical story from creation to the death of Moses, while others believe that J is not a complete narrative but rather a series of edits of the J material, which itself was not a single document so much as a collection of material.  In either case, it is generally agreed that the J account (Genesis 2) is older than P (Genesis 1), that both were written during the 1st millennium B.C. and that they reached the combined form in which we know them today about 450 B.C.

1280 – 1260 dates approximately for the Exodus

1291 B.C.- 1279 B.C. – Egyptian Pharaoh Seti I

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About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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