Archive for Canaan

A Counterfeit Messiah

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, history, life, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , on July 8, 2010 by chouck017894

The “conquest” of the Near-East region of Canaan by Israelites is presumed to have occurred between 1230 and 1220 BCE.  It was, so the scriptural “history” account claims, a destiny that God had preordained.  Thus Moses led the Israelites to the borders of the “Promised Land” where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were said to have dwelt.  But it was up to Joshua to mount hard-striking military campaigns to defeat powerful kings to gain possession of the land which God promised was just for them.  Why the Lord did not or could not keep Canaan a virgin territory for his chosen ones is not too clear.  Anyway, the Israelites had to fight tooth and nail to “inherit” their “Promised Land.”

Joshua was an eager messiah, concocting holocuastic strategy that only fanatic priest-authors could invent or approve.  Interestingly, the saga of the conquest of Canaan begins with the book of Deuteronomy, a book claimed to be linked with the Moses chronicles, but which did not see the light of day until c. 629 BCE, or around 600 years after “inheriting” Canaan, when the book was conveniently “discovered” in the Temple wall during remodeling.  (More on this in Scripture’s Contrived History, June 2010.)  And what an eye-opening discovery it was, telling of the famished Israelite “army,” accompanied by women, children and aged, achieving stunning and murderous victories in rapid succession over heavily fortified Canaanite cities.

According to scriptural “history,” God commanded that Joshua should establish a bridgehead for the invasion of Canaan at the city of Jericho, which was across the Jordan River from the land of Moab.  The tale of the walls of Jericho falling to the Israelites after priests marched around the city seven times blowing trumpets is too well-known to detail here.  But is it not strange that priests would provide the frontline of an invasion attack?  Not if the authors of the tale were priests.

There followed in rapid succession the storming and defeat of other alleged fortified cities, such as Ai, Gibeon, Lachish, Hazor, etc.  Apparently God had watched it all as a sports fan would watch and cheer for his favorite team: and when the Israelites at last moved in a surprise attack against the Jerusalem coalition, God became so excited that he hurled great stones from heaven at the assembled Canaanite kings!  The priestly account brags, “…they were more which died because of the hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.” (Joshua 10:11)

In rapid  follow-up Joshua then commanded the Sun to stand still upon Gibeon and the Moon to stand still in the valley of Ajalon so the Israelites could continue their bloody rampage.  The kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and of  Eglon were alledly defeated and then publicly ridiculed and slain, their bodies strung up in trees for display.  And the holocaust continued, “And the Lord delivered them (Israelite enemies) into the hand of Israel, who smote them…” (Joshua 11:9)  Thus did the Israelites and God himself ignore the 6th Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”  The final carnage is depicted as having taken place in the north where the Israelites met a Canaanite coalition headed by Jabin of Hazor; a coalition consisting of “…a great host, in number like the sand that is upon the seashore, with very many horses and chariots” (Joshua 11:4).  But of course the capital city of Hazor fell to the Israelites, and it was subsequently reduced to ashes.

So the story goes.  The priest-authors could never have imagined that ages later an investigative science, archaeology, would expose the fabrication that the priest-tales presented as holy truth.  An armed invasion of Canaan never occurred between 1230 and 1220 BCE.  There was, however, a group named Israel established there by 1207 BCE that endured a defeat by Egyptians according to the Egyptian upright stone slab known as the Merneptah Stele.  Indeed, in the timeframe of 1230 and 1220 BCE, the Canaanite “kings” of Jerusalem, Shechem, Megiddo, Hazor, and Lachish were vassals of Egypt.  Furthermore, the “cities” of Canaan in this age were only small villages, and being under the protection of Egyptian forces they had no need for fortified city walls. 

In the timeframe of the 13th century BCE, presented as the era of the Joshua-led invasion of Canaan, careful archaeological digs have revealed a dramatically different setting than is presented in Deuteronomy or in the book of Joshua.  We must repeat: archaeological research has shown that the cities of Canaan were not wall-fortified.  More disturbing to the faithful than a lack of Jericho’s walls is the revelation that in the timeframe of the 13th century BCE no settlement at all existed at the site claimed for Jericho.  So the walls did not come tumbling down as priests sounded trumpets and paraded around Jericho with the Ark of the Covenant. 

Joshua’s second conquest is alleged to have been the city of Ai, a name that translates in meaning as “ruins.”  By the 13th century BCE, whatever settlement that had once stood there had already been reduced to ruins.  Nonetheless, Joshua is said to have ambushed the inhabitants of the ruins in order to capture the site.  The rest of Joshua’s alleged campaigns may be judged accordingly.

As noted in an earlier post, Years of Heavenly Havoc, June 2010, unsettling events in the heavens had occurred from at least c. 1600 BCE until around 750 BCE, and all of planet Earth was periodically shaken—literally.  In the Bible the focus of events is kept upon the land of Israel.  The 13th century BCE was one of the rough times in the planet’s history, and people around the world experienced  upheaval, social breakdown, mass migration, cities and villages ignited and burned to the ground: in short, the Bronze Age kingdoms everywhere, not just in Canaan, were plunged into momentous transformations.

Priest-Style History

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, history, humanity, life, politics, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by chouck017894

After the little kingdom of Israel fell to Assyria, c. 722 BCE, the more rugged central hill country of Judah south of Israel experienced an influx of refugees and the modest village of Jerusalem burst forth in sudden expansion c. 720-718 BCE.  Until this time Jerusalem had covered no more than ten-and-a-half acres, but it quickly expanded outward from its narrow ridge site to engulf the entire western hill and envelop one hundred and fifty acres with closely packed residences, workshops, businesses and public buildings.

In this timeframe Jerusalem was not yet regarded as a “holy city”—except, perhaps, by the priests of Yahweh who had long dreamed of making their temple in Jerusalem the center of political spirituality.  The common understanding has long been nourished that Jerusalem and the region around it was always devoted to belief in one god and one god only.  In truth there was a widespread diversity of worship practices throughout Judah, and there was a widespread mixing of other gods with that of Yahweh in the Jerusalem Temple.  Archaeology finds have shown conclusively that the claimed golden age of tribal and Davidic fidelity to Yahweh was not a historic reality.  Indeed, cults of various gods and goddesses were prevalent throughout Judah.  So diverse were the customs of the people that some of them regarded the Ugaritic mother-goddess Asherah as the consort of YHWH.  This, of course, was deemed blasphemous by the priests of Yahweh.

Scriptural accounts of coexisting kingdoms of Israel and Judah (as noted in the previous post Scriptures’ Contrived History, June 16) is priestly fabrication, for Judah developed extensively only after Israel’s fall to Assyria.  The priest account of defensive forts said to have been erected by Solomon’s son Rehoboam were actually erected 200 years later than the implied c. 931-914 BCE date as II Chronicles 11:5-12 would have us believe.  The same is true of the palaces and gates that Solomon is claimed to have commissioned.

The political minded priests in Jerusalem recognized that they had to blend the popular Creation myths known in Israel with their own myths if they were to lure the refugees into becoming part of the “chosen people” of Yahweh.  Thus chapters one and two of Genesis present noticeable differences in Creation sequences, as well as the different versions that Adam and Eve allegedly played in the Creator’s scheme of  things.  The two accounts are mismatched enough that Bible scholars refer to them as the “J” and “E” versions.  The “J” version was written by priests in Judah whose God was addressed as Yahweh: the version that was known in Israel is referred to as the “E” account because the authors of that tale referred to the Creator as Elohim.

It should be noted that the “J” version of Genesis does not exactly make it clear as to whether or not Yahweh was the sole creator of heaven and earth and Man.  In trying to bond the two accounts the authors of the revision suddenly have God muse aloud, “Let us create man in our image…” (Genesis 1:26).  But in the second chapter it says, “God (again singular) formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…” (Genesis 2:7).  The political reason for this description of man being fashioned from dust was to block any idea that man might share some divine attributes of the Creator as other cultures believed.  The “J” authors were determined to bind the act of Creation to ordinary time, which allowed themselves the liberty to compose a “history” in which those who believed in Yahweh could be presented with the status of having been “chosen.”  And with the characters of Moses and Abram/Abraham there was set in place the means by which they could claim the special destiny of owning the land of Canaan. 

For the fundamentalists who assert that every word in scriptures is to be taken as God-sent, it might be wise to note that the uncertainty that is revealed in the two patched together Creation myths is reason to pause for reassessment.  That the scriptures were written with political intent, not spiritual enlightenment, is only faintly disguised somewhat later (in II Kings) with the priestly assessment of Manasseh who came to the throne of Judah at age 12, c. 692 BCE, after his father, Hezekiah, revolted against Assyria and was defeated (even though priests assured him that God approved his policy of religious purification).  It was up the Manasseh to pick up the pieces and try to restore Judah to an operational kingdom.  His subjects were primarily country folks and few of them had ever embraced Yahweh as the one-and-only God that the priests demanded.  As a result, religious pluralism returned.  The priest authors in Jerusalem were a spiteful group, and in their writings expressed only denunciatory outrage at Manasseh for letting this happen.  True to the revisionist style of history making, we find Manasseh being presented by the priest authors as the most sinful monarch that the kingdom Judah ever had (II Kings 21: 1-18).

Archaeological evidence reveals that Manasseh was nothing of the sort.  Under Manasseh the kingdom of Judah was revived and prospered.  For the sake of the kingdom and the people Manasseh became a vassal of Assyria—and went on to reign for fifty-five years—the longest, most prosperous and most peaceful reign of any Israelite or Judean king.  The population grew and the nation flourished under his policies.  But the priests continued to fume with jealousy over the blessings enjoyed under his rule—all of which occurred without the benefit of priestly intercession with Yahweh. 

Fundamentalists, take note:  The settlements and cities that were established during Manasseh’s reign survived and thrived after his death.  Indeed, it was only after the priests had again finagled themselves into political influence that Judah fell c. 587 BCE.

Heaven in Turmoil

Posted in agnoticism, Astronomy, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, history, life, prehistory, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by chouck017894

Curiosities abound throughout the “authorized” accounts of humankind’s history.  Few, however, are as baffling as to why the celestial body we know as planet Venus suddenly became the object of worldwide attention around the general timeframe 1650-1600 BCE.  In this timeframe the Babylonians were well-schooled in mathematics, calculations, algebra, and quadratic equations, and they had become increasingly nervous about disturbances taking place in the heavens.  Astronomical records were being kept in the reign of Ammisaduga, and from these it is clear that astronomers were fully aware that the routine rotation of stars around Earth was an illusion that was caused by Earth revolving on it own axis.  The plotting of heavenly mechanics such as the equinoxes and solstices were routine to them. 

So it was a situation of uneasiness to witness the looming presence in the sky of an unknown celestial object—especially since its presence coincided with an alteration in Earth’s rotation and tilt.  And there was also the small matter of the volcanic mountain Stroggili on the Isle of Thera (Santorin) having erupted in the Mediterranean—one of the planet’s oversized volcanic eruptions.  It was in this period that the new celestial entity began being addressed as a deity—a goddess of awesome beauty and terrifying power—an awe and fear that would possess the people of the world for many generations.  Indeed, this period of frightening and dramatic celestial changes is attested to in later Roman literature, such as the book Of The Race of the Roman People by Marcus Varro.  In this book the author related that the planet we know as Venus had “…changed its color, size , form, course, which had not happened before nor since…”  Varro backed up his account saying that renowned astronomers affirmed that the event had indeed happened to the “Morning star,” and it had never happened before or  since.  Varro also noted, “…we read from the divine books that even the sun itself stood still when a holy man Joshua, the son of Nun, had begged this from God.”  Let us note here that even “saint”  Augustine quoted from this man’s book. 

The timeframe in question here, c. 1600s BCE, is another period that has often been accepted as the period-setting for the Exodus story—as well as being the “time of Agog,” who allegedly laid the foundation of Thebes (Egypt).  It can be understood how recollections of such chaotic events could be confused, condensed and intermingled by later historians.  There is, as example, a Samaritan chronicle that relates that during the time period in which Joshua supposedly led an invasion into Canaan a new star was born in the east.   If this star-birth event took place in the time allotted to Joshua, then it predates the timeframe for the Moses tale by centuries.  The Samaritan account of the new star said it held power “against which all magic is vain.”  That pretty much discredits the claim that Joshua had any influence over the heavenly bombardment that took place. 

Of interest  in connection with this are the findings unearthed by recent archeologists that confirm that events of the Joshua story were in reference to celestial conditions and activities that took place earlier than events that make up the Moses epic.  The later priest-historians at work  in Jerusalem (c. 800 BCE) found it more beneficial to their purpose to reinterpret past events to provide themselves with a history that supported their claim to authority. 

There are other scriptural stories that tell of these heavenly happening and the continuing threats from the heavens that went on for generations.  Approximately fifty-two years after c. 1600 BCE, or around 1548, the celestial body that had so traumatized Earth seems to have emerged out of decades of clouded skies to appear as a radiant new member of the solar family—that is to say it had attained a fairly orderly orbital pattern among the neighboring planets. The Assyrians called the new planet Ishtar: the Greeks called it Aphrodite: the ancient Mexican records name it Quetzalcoatl: and the Romans would call it Venus. 

The heavens were not yet peaceful, however, and Earth had more to endure.  The awe and fear that the new planet still inspired is shown in it being addressed as beautiful but fearsome celestial deity.  Even some 750 years later(c. 800 BCE) the new planet still exerted strong influence upon planet Earth to trigger exogenous disturbances in Earth’s rotation, which coincided with a  reverse in Earth’s magnetic field.  And this is the timeframe of the “prophet” Isaiah who had this to say about the adjustment of the new-neighbor planet: “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer (Venus), son of the morning!  How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12-13)

Even as late as c. 606 BCE, the timeframe of the “prophet” Jeremiah, the inhabitants of Earth were still apprehensive of the orbital irregularities of planets Venus and Mars—for the Venus intrusion had serious effect on the orbit of the once peaceful Mars.  In this period, even in spite of the recent Babylonian invasion and destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews still gave Venus devotion as “queen of heaven” and burned incense and offered wine to her on the roofs of buildings.  Jeremiah was an astronomer, and was portrayed as a “prophet” simply because he could chart the likely times of violent planetary interactions.  Thus in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 44, the account says all the men knew that their wives had burnt incense unto other gods (meaning to Venus).  And the women adamantly continued to “burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our father, our kings, and our  princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem…”

Reference to the heavens once being in disarray can be found in many ancient records and texts.  And even when they are part of accounts deemed sacred there is a peculiar self-inflicted blindness that such planetary caroming through the skies could have once taken place.  Even today’s science denies it.  And the heavens remain indifferent at mankind’s lack of curiosity.

Walls of Jericho

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, history, humanity, random, religion with tags , , , on August 6, 2009 by chouck017894

In the priest-written version of the chosen people’s “history,” the first city to fall to the Israelites in their invasion of Canaan was Jericho.  Basically the plot-line of Joshua’s leading Israelites into the “Promised Land” is strangely similar to the Moses tale.  The differences are in minor details that reveal major fabrication.  The parting of the waters of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds) by Moses is echoed in Joshua leading the Israelites across the Jordan River (symbol of the flow of life).  Remember, parting waters is the opening scene of scriptural Creation myths.  There is, however, a big inconsistency with the Moses/Joshua episodes: it is the crafty upsetting of time frames.

Archaeology has shown conclusively that the fall of Jericho did indeed occur c. 1400 BCE, so the Joshua character has to be placed at c. 1400 BCE.  On the other hand, the Moses tale is commonly accepted as having occurred in the general time of Rameses II, c. 1300-1224 BCE—which means the Moses tale used events that happened from one hundred to two hundred years after the events used to fashion the Joshua tale.  Only holy priests could make time turn backwards.

As mentioned, the little town of Jericho did fall: and it did fall to vibration.  In the explanation given in the book of Joshua we are told (6:3-4), “And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once.  Thus shalt thou do six days (echoing the six days of Creation).  And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of ram’s horns…and the priests shall blow the trumpets.”  Of course after the seventh traipsing around the perimeters of Jericho while tooting ram’s horns the walls came tumbling down.  The priest-authors, as usual, take credit for doing what god could have done with a mere sigh.  Not content with destroying Jericho, the priests then placed a curse upon it.  The only person saved in Jericho was the harlot, Rahab, who lived in the wall of Jericho.  (The reason for and the meaning of this is explained in The Celestial Scriptures.)  In typical priestly compassion the story relates, verse 21: “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”

Wait a minute, dude!

Rationality falls flat with the walls.  Didn’t Joshua and his holocaustic hoard just come out of the wilderness?  Hadn’t they been starving and emaciated?  Wouldn’t they not only want  life-supporting things, but desperately need them to survive?  If we are to believe scripture, however, “…the silver and gold and vessels of brass and iron…” were more important!  The reason?  To “consecrate unto the Lord…”  Like, maybe the Lord was running a pawn shop?

No: this is another take on the Creation myth, so the precious metals are symbolic of the mineral and chemical elements through which life is to be made manifest (just as in the Genesis account where gold, bdellium and the onyx stone are said to be in Eden even before biological life is created: see earlier post Inner Relationship of All Things, July 27.)

Anyway, according to priest-authors, the walls of Jericho fell flat (much like the priestly rationality for Joshua’s heartless carnage); and the priests could not  legitimately take credit for the earthquake that did actually rumble through the area.  In fact, the Israelites could have been nowhere in the vicinity when it happened either.  Even more damning to the story,  archaeological research has shown irrefutably that villages or cities of Canaan did not have fortifying walls.  Furthermore, extensive archaeology research has shown that in thirteenth century BCE there would have been, at most, only an insignificant settlement at that location.

The tragedy of such holy stories is the encouragement of hatred and inhumane behavior toward others that they have inspired and which now roils through the species of  life called man.

Hanky-Panky in the Promised Land

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, Bible, culture, freethought, history, nontheism, prehistory, random, religion, sex taboos with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by chouck017894

As the stories in the Bible have been passed down from the editing pens of priest-authors, the deliberate misinformation that was incorporated as “holy word” has well served them as the core of a mind control system that is held in regard as religion. We have also seen in previous web postings that modern archaeological and anthropological finds have proven that a heady amount of revered “holy” accounts simply do not jibe with evidence that has been systematically unearthed and studied. The conquering of the “Promised Land” known as Canaan, it is shown, did not occur through an invasion of war as the “holy book” stories imply.

This means that all the blood and guts of Joshua’s holocaustic indugences was simply priestly abuse of facts–probably fabricated in the hope of intimidating the more powerful neighbor-nations around them.

The priest-authors were often sloppy about characterization and plotlines, and certainly would have made lousy generals. But taking of Canaan–supposedly promised to them by god, of course–was made into an epic with a cast of thousands. Moses and Aaron are portrayed as leading the Israelites out of Egypt under god’s promise that “…you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:6. Curiously, the Creator of all things seems always to have to rely on the bestial side of his favorites to accomplish anything of merit among humans.

There are a number of things that are rather sidestepped in the epic of “capturing” Canaan for god–and his priests. After the invasion was set, Moses appointed twelve men to advance and reconnoiter the land to be occupied. Among those men selected were Joshua, son of Nun, and Caleb, a member of the tribe of Judah. Much is made over Joshua’s bloodlust as a heroic obsession which propelled him into virtual savior status among Jews. (So admired was he that even the name Jesus is derived from the name Joshua.) But of Josua’s buddy, Caleb, there are some tolerable references but a sparse storyline.

Part of the priest-authors’ downplay of Caleb rests in the name itself, which is Keleb in Hebrew, and means “dog.” Although Caleb had been admitted into the tribe of Judah, the later account says that Caleb “…again separated himself from god, while remaining faithful to the q’deshim” (or “holy ones”). The part that is brushed aside with this statement is that Caleb adopted Canaanite religious customs, the q’deshim cult in particular, according to Deuteronomy.

Genuine history shows that early Hebrews had sacred prostitutes in their temples–a common custom in Babylonian, Assyrian and other neighboring cultures of the time. Female prostitutes were known as q’deshah–and the male equivalents were the q’deshim, who were known as dog-priests for the positions they assumed for their service. That Caleb was an acknowledged member of the tribe of Judah is consistent with the legend that Judah himself was an unashamed user of temple prostitutes.

Apparently in that historic age the Lord had not yet gotten all his prejudices sorted out, for a personal favorite of his, David, came from the tribe of Judah (and he had loved Johathan), and David had used Caleb’s territory, Hebron, as his capital until he supposedly captured Jerusalem.

Pre-Biblical Hebrew Documents

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2009 by chouck017894

Long before the Torah account became the official declaration–and well before the version known as the Old Testament became installed as the official accounting of how everything came into being, there were many documents written in Hebrew that were held as sacred but which over time became conveniently lost or purposely suppressed. Among those was a text known as The Book of the Story of Adam, which is alluded to in Genesis 5:1 (where it reads, “This is the book of the generations of Adam”) and which implies that the ten generations from Adam to Noah had been more detailed.

In spite of heavy censoring of pre-biblical texts, a few of those early poetic Hebrew-style writings have been discoverd, but most are known primarily through brief fragments that have been quoted from in authorized books such as Numbers 21:14 (“Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord…”); Joshua 10:13 (“Is it not written in the book of Jasher?”); and in Samuel 1:18 (“…behold, it is written in the Book of Jasher.”)

Among the documents that were shoved into oblivion were epic accounts such as The Book of the Wars of Yahweh; another was known as the Book of Yashar. Both of these covered a more in-depth account of the Israelites’ alleged desert ordeal and a more grandiose version of the invasion of Canaan than the account passed down as the authorized version now found in Exodus and Numbers. From the book of Joshua 18:9 it can be discerned that another seven-part version once existed which glowingly described the coveted land of Canaan and its cities. In the book of Isaiah, 34:16, it says, “Seek ye out the book of the Lord, and read…” The book referred to there was the text known as The Book of Yahweh which was likely a collection of allegorical fables about the habits and traits of animals from which moral significance could be drawn.

Other books which would probably throw a different light on things held sacred by their mythic references might well have been presented in documents known as: 1) Acts of Solomon, 2) the Book of Geneaology, 3) the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, 4) Of Kings of Israel, and 5) Of the Sons of Levi.

It would be up to much later generations to add to the sacred accounts in attempts to clarify Mosaic Law and add moral, historical and anecdotal texts. But they, too, dipped into mythic material to validate the prescribed laws, social customs and rituals. With these little pieces of an ancient puzzle we are privileged to see how the so-called “revealed word of God” evolved.

First Israelites

Posted in Atheist with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2009 by chouck017894

As mentioned in an earlier post, archaeological work in the Near East has shown that the Old Testament stories are not particularly reliable as a true recording of historical events. Certainly very little is ever presented in regard to the day-to-day life styles of the people that are supposedly represented. Where, for example, is there any information on the type of settlements that the “Israelites” favored? Where is it explained how the Israelites, fresh from a forty-year tromp through the wilderness and after many debilitaing battles, managed to support themselves after wresting the land from those who had dwelt there?

As history the Old Testament fails in presenting the how, why, where, and when of the take over of the Canaan region that would give support to the claims that are made. Ignored, for example, is any explanation of how the unkempt, bedraggled immigrants could have so quickly mastered the farming techiques that would be vitally necessary for successful settlement of the uplands and narrow valleys that they allegedly “conquered.” Instead, that which is offered as the “holy” accounting is a blindsided focus on more material things such as the alleged battle campaigns or the details of lands claimed by various tribes (as presented in Joshua). Or (as Judges) there is little but exaggerations of wars with enemies of the “kingdom” of Israel.

The seeming immediate adaptation of the forty-year wanderers to a sedentary way of life is nowhere explained. The reason for this omission is apparent when archaeological evidence is brought to light. The signs of “Israelite” arrival in the region is indisputable, but there has been found no supporting evidence that they marched in as a warring people. If any struggle took place, as the tales relate, it was in occassional scattered conflicts between desert herdsmen and established agriculturists, with the refugees gradually adopting the advantages of the sedentary way of life. Farmers and herders were not that difficult to evolve as components of a single society.

Sites that can be said to have been purely “Israelite” were located in the wooded regions of the central hill country of Canaan which were settled in the main during the Iron Age I (c.12th-11th centuries BCE), and the sites were continuously occupied into the period of the claimed Judaic  monarchies. Canaanite cities were beginning to break up in the Iron Age period and a transformation in lifestyle brought about the sudden establishment of over two hundred hilltop communities, and from a historical point these account for the first Israelites. These villages were not fortified, which is glaringly at odds with the biblical claim that there was almost continual warfare between the Israelites and their neighbors.

Where’s the Proof?

Posted in Atheist, freethought, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2009 by chouck017894

Intensive modern archaeological research of the “Holy Land” conducted on up-to-date stratigraphic principles has been going on for well over a century. The century-plus search to confirm the claimed biblical past has unearthed absolutely nothing to verify the existence of any of the legendary persons such as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Saul, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus or the alleged twelve apostles.

There have been hundreds of excavations conducted through the Near East region, especially modern Israel and Palestine, that did indeed serve to identify numerous sites used as the setting for biblical stories. From those careful digs there have been amassed detailed chronologies that range from the earliest permanent settlements of the Paleolithic Age up to the Late Bronze Age city-states. Atop these there has been unearthed an impressive hoard of material evidence of later Judean kingdoms on through the Roman and Byzantine periods. Even so, there is yet to be found any archeological find that provides evidence that any of the starring characters of the biblical tales were real persons. The names of minor biblical characters have been found, however, on inscriptions, seals and seal impressions. But inclusion of precise atmospheric details such as political names do not attest that the stars of biblical lore were real any more than using world-known personalities of today in some fictional story mean the main characters are real.

Surveys and excavations of early settlement sites on the West Bank which have long been claimed to be of Israelite origin have brought into doubt the scriptural accounts of the ancient “conquest” of Canaan. Territories traditionally claimed as “god given” to the Israelites have yielded nothing to lend verification that the claim carries historical truth. This presents an ominous threat to the traditions of the three major religions of the western world. As another example, there has been nothing unearthed that could support the traditional accounts of the Islamic Conquest; rather the carefully sifted evidence shows that Islamic domination over the region was not the result of a swift military campaign but resulted as a gradual shift in social structure.

What has to be acknowledged is that religious and political “traditions” most commonly arise from storyline manipulation of various events for the purpose of mass control. This in turn demonstrates that religious belief systems are history’s most powerful form of brainwashing.