God is a plagarist

by RunningMan 12 Replies latest jw friends

  • RunningMan

    I was doing a little research into some of the Bible stories that originated from other sources. I was aware that many of the Bible myths, such as the story of Moses, the flood, Solomon's wisdom, and the Queen of Sheba are simply copies of myths or stories borrowed from other cultures. But, I was surprised to learn that portions of the Bible are actually direct quotations from other writings. For exampple:

    “In the book of Hebrew Proverbs, chapters fifteen (15), seventeen (17), twenty (20), and chapter twenty two, verse seventeen (22,v17) to chapter twenty four, verse twenty two (24,v22), are taken almost verbatim from Amenemope's Book of Wisdom.
    The first Psalm of the Hebrew Book of Psalms was written by Amenemope and is the heart of the teaching of Akhenaton”.: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/6177/akhen.html

    Jehovah, that old cheater, couldn't even write his own stuff, he copied from the Egyptians.

  • LittleToe

    Have you heard of David Kohl's research on revised timelines for Egyptian chronology?
    It places Akhenaton as contemporary with the Davidic line.
    (I think his book is called "Pharoahs and Kings", or something similar)

    I don't find this surprising at all.

    In addition, many of the laws of Moses have direct comparisons in the laws of Hammurabi.

    Most modern laws are based, not just on biblic precedents, but on community based conscience, too. Murder, theft, etc.

  • kes152

    hey LittleToe!!!

    just dropping a line.. how are you? :)

    Peace to you!


  • cornish

    What is the difference in the estimated daing of Proverbs compared to Amenemope's Book of Wisdom?

  • bebu

    (Actually, the name is David Rohl, not Kohl. A little mistype there, LT )

  • LittleToe

    Oops, my bad.
    I found his work fascinating. He had a documentary on British TV, last year, I believe

    It all sounds very plausible, but he's facing flak from the traditionalists in Egyptology.
    Hmmm - sounds like the same kind of squabbles you get between religionists, huh?

  • bebu

    Yes, it does.

    The knife cuts both ways--if you're a traditionalist anything (Christian or Egyptologist), you can find that your theories get challenged/upended.

    BTW, have you read CS Lewis's book "Miracles"? Chapt. 14 is called The Grand Miracle, and it relates to the core accusation of the thread here, that God is a plagarist. Here's an short excerpt, which I'd posted on another thread. I think it's a great chapter.

    ...(D)oes not the Christian story show this pattern of descent and re-ascent because that is part of all the nature religions of the world? We have read about it in The Golden Bough. (1) We all know about Adonis, and the stories of the rest of those rather tedious people; is not this one more instance of the same thing, "the dying God"?

    Well, yes it is. That is what makes the question subtle. What the anthropological critic of Christianity is always saying is perfectly true. Christ is a figure of that sort. And here comes a very curious thing. When I first, after childhood, read the Gospels, I was full of that stuff about the dying God, The Golden Bough, and so on. It was to me then a very poetic, and mysterious, and quickening idea; and when I turned to the Gospels never will I forget my disappointment and repulsion at finding hardly anything about it at all. The metaphor of the seed dropping into the ground in this connexion occurs (I think) twice in the New Testament, (2) and for the rest hardly any notice is taken; it seemed to me extraordinary. You had a dying God, Who was always representative of the corn; you see Him holding the corn, that is, bread, in His hand and saying, "This is my Body", (3) and from my point of view, as I then was, He did not seem to realize what He was saying. Surely there, if anywhere, this connexion between the Christian story and the corn must have come out; the whole context is crying out for it. But everything goes on as if the principal actor, and still more, those about Him, were totally ignorant of what they were doing. It is as if you got very good evidence concerning the sea-serpent, but the men who brought this good evidence seemed never to have heard of sea-serpents. Or to put it in another way, why was it that the only case of the "dying God" which might conceivably have been historical occurred among a people (and the only people in the whole Mediterranean world) who had not got any trace of this nature religion, and indeed seemed to know nothing about it? Why is it among them the thing suddenly appears to happen?

    The principal actor, humanly speaking, hardly seems to know of the repercussion. His words (and sufferings) would have in any pagan mind. Well, that is almost inexplicable, except on one hypothesis. How if the corn king is not mentioned in that Book, because He is here of whom the corn king was an image? How if the representation is absent because here, at last, the thing represented is present? If the shadows are absent because the thing of which they were shadows is here? The corn itself is in its far-off way an imitation of the supernatural reality; the thing dying, and coming to life again, descending, and re-ascending beyond all nature. The principle is there in nature because it was first there in God Himself. Thus one is getting in behind the nature religions, and behind nature to Someone Who is not explained by, but explains, not, indeed, the nature religions directly, but that whole characteristic behaviour of nature on which nature religions were based. Well, that is one way in which it surprised me. It seemed to fit in a very peculiar way, showing me something about nature more fully than I had seen it before, while itself remaining quite outside and above the nature religions...

    ...I'm a Lewis fan, as you can tell!


  • LittleToe

    I haven't read that before, though I intend to read some more of Lewis. He had a fascinating mind and testimony.
    I grew up with the Narnia series of books.

    The parallels between other forms of spirituality and the Christ story are too close to miss. It's a shame that there's so many entrenched viewpoints, intolerance, and defensiveness. It all gets in the way of the whole purpose, IMHO...

  • Azalo

    LT, i thought you were still a devout christian post jw, maybe i havent read enough of your posts but i do enjoy them all. oh that is beside the point of the thread, which i find intersting but not surprising since i am very cynical of all religions.

  • bebu

    "God is a plagarist". Therefore: ___ (Fill in the blank.)

    After researching the exact nature of this 'plagarism', is the conclusion reasonable? Is your conclusion that God does not exist/the Bible is only borrowed mythology from a mythical god? Or that there were shared stories from before Abraham? That sometimes God's truths are recognized in other cultures/stories, and bringing them into the Bible reaffirms them? Sometimes conclusions go too far, I think.

    I have been long aware of certain forms and ideas in the OT are brought in from the culture of the patriarchs and those prior to them. But where, in turn, did their prior ideas come from? Enoch? Seth? "Man & Woman #1" of the area? No one ever has lived in a cultural vaccum, neither Abraham nor his own ancestors; not Jesus, not Paul, and certainly not you nor I.

    Biblical characters all got their paradigms shifted; why wouldn’t we?

    The deeper truth I have seen here is this: the message God has for people is not diminished by culture, but shows a gracious respect and tolerance for our cultural excesses and limitations. He works within our milieus, whatever they are. He bends down to speak with children with the ways they understand, while revealing Himself even more to them (and us). This is quite gracious of God! He is a God of camels as well as computers and current scholars.

    Therefore, I find it a easier in general to be patient with people who think quite differently than I do--whether agnostic, pagan, or born agains (like myself).

    But complicating this issue is the fact that there is, I believe, such a thing as "intellectual sin". It is the irrational stubbornness that affects us ALL. The entrenchment you (Little Toe) speak of. None of us has arrived at that final destination, so all of us are prone to be challenged.

    Personally, I do not find questioning the Bible/my beliefs frightening. I can’t help but love God; I sense Him near me and with me, and affirming that at the end of every 'quest' I will adore Him more fully. When there are times that Jesus seems to have been "killed and buried", and there is a period of uncertainty. But I wait until the ‘3rd day’... and the outcome is resurrection. I expect this process now, in even more unusual ways. God is still God.

    Lastly, an analogy: sometimes an explosion, which appears from the distance to be a bomb effectively bringing down an entire building, is merely a cleanup crew doing some sandblasting. The building itself still stands--and is getting a facelift to boot! If sandblasting were to bring down the whole building--it was certainly never a safe place in the first place!

    I've seen different changes thru the years, but my faith in God has only grown, not collapsed, and this is what helps me to look at any serious challenge or objection. The explosions I hear haven't destroyed the building, but have simply reveal what is not essential to the building. The building can stand with or without the non-essential accumulations. This particular criticism is an example of what I mean.

    Such is my perspective, before the next big shift occurs!


    (of the ohwhy-do-I-get-into-these-big-debates-I-hate-them-so-much class)

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