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Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby Excited Guy » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:52 pm

what historical sources are there for any of those documents existing pre-babylon? any manuscripts surviving from say 1000BC?
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Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby jimwalton » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:15 pm

> any manuscripts surviving from say 1000BC?

You're joking, right? Manuscripts from 1000 BC? Manuscripts don't last that long. It's almost miraculous that we have the DSS, and that's from only c. 150 BC. What we have from before then is carvings in stone, pottery sherds, and the like. "Paper" doesn't last 3000 years.

If I'm right, the oldest copy of any biblical text is Numbers 6.24-26, a set of 2 silver scroll amulets dating to the 6th or 7th c. BC.

The further back we go, the fewer artifacts are available, and understandably so. But lack of evidence is not evidence that they weren't around.

The evidences for the antiquity of the biblical text are things like...

    * Genesis 23 contains information about Hittite culture and Hittite contracts that has been lost for 3500 years. There is no indication that the Babylonians or the exilic (or even pre-exilic) Israelites could have known what is recorded there. It was not until archaeologists dug up artifacts that they came to realize that the content of Genesis 23 could only have a source from about 2000-1200 BC.
    * The linguistics and tenor of the Book of the Covenant (Ex. 21.1-23.19) betrays a very early source, not even close to exilic or pre-exilic. It matches records from Hammurabi, Lipit-Ishtar (about 1875 BC), King Bilalama of Eshunna (about 1800 BC), Ur Nammu (2050 BC), and the Hittite laws of about 1450 BC. Form criticism tells us these correlations.
    * There are some hotly debated artifacts from about about 1200 BC that some scholars believe contain the name of Moses and references to Ex. 4 and Numbers 21.

We can't judge the date of a piece of writing by the oldest manuscript in existence. If so, Homer wrote the Odyssey in AD 300, Josephus wrote in the 11th century AD, and Tacitus wrote his "Annals" in about AD 900.
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Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby Conga » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:18 pm

>Yes, but this was after Jesus.

If somebody has access to that, at that age of Jesus, maybe an angel was helping Him, named Gabriel.

> It would be my perspective that God did NOT send the alleged revelation like Gatha, Ginzah, and Qur'an. God sent the Torah, and there are hints of the Trinity in it, but only shadows.

Please, Trinity doesn't exist in Gospels, and even in Matthew if you twist the meaning of "baptism" is possible. God gave revelation to messengers and in the specific case of Jesus, he was able to use Hebrew fluently and the original of Gospels should be Hebrew.

> Jesus always proclaimed himself as God, and the Gospel writers intent is to proclaim him as God. Jesus as deity is consistent in the Gospels and in Paul's epistles, as well as the general epistles and Revelation.

Jesus calls himself as "son of adam" more than 60 times in Gospels. Also Gospels uses "Son of god" to various humans. It is a language trick still used in certain languages to underline being lucky or kept away from hazards.
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Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby jimwalton » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:32 pm

> If somebody has access to that, at that age of Jesus, maybe an angel was helping Him, named Gabriel.

Well, if we're free to make things up we can concoct any theory we wish. But that's not scholarship, and it's not reliable information to form a truthful perspective on things.

> Please, Trinity doesn't exist in Gospels

Of course it does.

* Matthew 28.19[20: The Father and the Son share divine authority
* John 10:30: The Father and the Son share the same divine essence
* John 1.1: The Word (Jesus) is God
* John 14.15-18: the Son and the Spirit are one and same who come back to earth
* Jesus's baptism scene in the Synoptic Gospels is a place where Father, Son, and Spirit all function as a unity.
* There are many places in the Gospel of John where Jesus equates Himself with the Father and the Spirit (Jn. 4.14; .37-39, for instance)
* Matthew 1.23: Jesus is "God with us"

That's enough to carry the case.

> God gave revelation to messengers and in the specific case of Jesus

This is true.

> he was able to use Hebrew fluently and the original of Gospels should be Hebrew.

????? There is no evidence that there is a Hebrew version of the Gospels that predates the Greek versions.

> Jesus calls himself as "son of adam" more than 60 times in Gospels.

You're right, in a sense. He calls himself the "son of man" (Gk. anthropos, not the Hebrew "'adam"). "Son of Man" was a messianic title from Daniel 7.13.

> Also Gospels uses "Son of god" to various humans

Once or twice. But when the Gospels use it of Jesus, we have to do the diligence to see what they meant by it. This is no place or time for shoddy scholarship.

> It is a language trick still used in certain languages to underline being lucky or kept away from hazards.

Now this you have to give evidence for. First, you have to show that's the way it was used in the culture, and secondly, you have to give evidence that's what the Gospel writers meant by it. I would say, once again, you are fabricating things to fit a predetermined case of yours.

Let's keep talking. We have to follow the evidence and the texts; you can't just make up your own facts.
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Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby Excited Guy » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:00 am

> any manuscripts surviving from say 1000BC? You're joking, right?

of course im not joking, im just expecting evidence for claims. its not my fault if chemistry isnt doing us any favors here.

> What we have from before then is carvings in stone, pottery sherds, and the like.

why dont you start with that instead of making a hubbub about how paper doesnt last that long? as if i would care whether its paper or stone or metal.

> If I'm right, the oldest copy of any biblical text is Numbers 6.24-26, a set of 2 silver scroll amulets dating to the 6th or 7th c. BC.
> The further back we go, the fewer artifacts are available, and understandably so. But lack of evidence is not evidence that they weren't around.

lack of evidence also isnt evidence for your claims.

> Genesis 23 contains information about Hittite culture and Hittite contracts that has been lost for 3500 years.

a quick google search tells me that thats not exactly a matter of solid historical fact that the biblical sons of heth actually were the same people as who came to be known as the hittites

> The linguistics and tenor of the Book of the Covenant (Ex. 21.1-23.19) betrays a very early source, not even close to exilic or pre-exilic. It matches records from Hammurabi, Lipit-Ishtar (about 1875 BC), King Bilalama of Eshunna (about 1800 BC), Ur Nammu (2050 BC), and the Hittite laws of about 1450 BC. Form criticism tells us these correlations.

that sounds more interesting

> There are some hotly debated artifacts from about about 1200 BC that some scholars believe contain the name of Moses and references to Ex. 4 and Numbers 21

what are those

> We can't judge the date of a piece of writing by the oldest manuscript in existence. If so, Homer wrote the Odyssey in AD 300, Josephus wrote in the 11th century AD, and Tacitus wrote his "Annals" in about AD 900.

thats fair enough. whats the evidence for the concept of the messiah predating 600 BC? and whats the evidence for the biblical david or isaiah or micah ever existing as opposed to being purely or mostly mythological figures?
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Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby jimwalton » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:27 am

> im just expecting evidence for claims. its not my fault if chemistry isnt doing us any favors here.

I never claimed there were documents. There are many forms of evidence (linguistic, cultural) that are not documentary. You were the one who asked for "manuscripts surviving from say 1000BC." I was responding to your request for "historical sources for pre-babylon."

> lack of evidence also isnt evidence for your claims.

Correct. Lack of evidence doesn't lend support to either the affirmative or the negative position.

> a quick google search tells me that thats not exactly a matter of solid historical fact that the biblical sons of heth actually were the same people as who came to be known as the hittites

A quick Google search is not how we do scholarship and responsible research. Whether or not the biblical sons of Heth are the Hittite people group are not pertinent to our discussion. My point was that Genesis 23 contains information about the Hittite culture that would have been unknown to the people of the exilic era, giving evidence that the content comes from much further back in history. My objective was to show the pre-Babylonian historical sources.

> what are those (hotly debated artifacts from about about 1200 BC that some scholars believe contain the name of Moses)

Inscriptions "Sinai" 360, 361, and 377, steles interpreted by Douglas Petrovich of proto-consonantal script discovered in Mine K and the site of Bir Nash. Here's one of many articles about it (https://www.bibleinterp.com/PDFs/Charles4.pdf). As I said, this is highly and hotly debated, with wide disagreement. But we have to consider all the evidence and continue to study it and weigh it.

> whats the evidence for the concept of the messiah predating 600 BC?

Well, that depends on your dating of biblical writings, which is highly debated. I think we have reasonable evidence fo Deuteronomy as coming from Moses as its tradent from c. 1300 BC. I mentioned it briefly before, but will go into a little more detail here.

* The unity of thematic material in the entire Torah (Pentateuch) points to a single author.
* The unity and antiquity of the book of Deuteronomy is evidenced by the fact that it takes the structure of an ancient Near Eastern vassal treaty from the mid-2nd millennium BC.
* The 5 books recount a single story
* The 5 books share a central theme: the covenant and the land
* The 5 books share the theme of faith in YHWH
* The poetic texts of the 5 books suggest a single author
* The laws are purposefully arranged as a textual strategy (with the Golden Calf debacle at the center).
* The 5 books share the promise of a coming eschatological king.
* Internal evidence (Dt. 31.9, 24)
* Frequent references to Moses as the source, authority, and tradent of the Torah (Josh. 8.31, 32; 23.6; 2 Ki. 14.6; Neh. 8.1, et al.)
* Deuteronomy consistently purports to record the speeches of Moses, and there is no credible evidence to question this.
* If the Pentateuch has a single author (and evidence points in this direction), we can discern that he was a well-educated man of the time, familiar with Egyptian culture, thoroughly familiar with desert life, and believably has written from that environment, with many apparent eye-witness accounts. All of these could see Moses as the author.
* The usage of terms known only to the 2nd millennium: The text of Genesis uses a pronoun for "she", which appears in the Torah as hiw' instead of the usual hi', which is a term distinctly known only to the 2nd millennium. Another example is the word young girl, spelled na'ar instead of na'ara (the feminine form). It would be like us spelling the way Wm. Shakespeare did, or actually more like the author of Beowulf.
* The text and details of Genesis 14 have been analyzed to be from an ancient, non-Israelite source, but with an uncanny accuracy to what we (in the 21st century) know of history. The geographic details and language form speak to a text from the 2nd millennium BC.
* There are parts of the Book of the Covenant (Ex. 21-23), according to Brevard Childs, that reflect the antiquity of the text. "During the era of form criticism, this text was originally assigned to J, while others attempted to assign it to E. Since then, a growing consensus has emerged that the Book of the Covenant is an older collection of laws that are independent of and preceding the usual critical sources. ... All of these indicate a historical setting for this section prior to the rise of the monarchy."
* Some spelling and grammar from Genesis are from much later than the 13th c. BC, but the age of the present form doesn't determine the age of its contents. Modernizing works was common in the ancient Near East.
* The absence of Aramaic, Persian, or Greek influences in the grammar and vocabulary of the sort visible in the books that are dated by obvious criteria after the Babylonian Exile (6th c. BC) makes it likely that the Genesis text is earlier than 6th c. BC.

Many evidences point to the plausibility that Genesis-Deuteronomy are an ancient text edited by later scholars. There is no substantial evidence that the book is not an accurate record of the words of Moses. Moses can be affirmed as the dominant, principal, and determinative voice in the book.

> whats the evidence for the biblical david or isaiah or micah ever existing as opposed to being purely or mostly mythological figures?

The Tel Dan Stele, discovered in Dan in 1995, has the phrase "house of David." It dates from the 9th century BC, giving evidence of the dynastic name of the kingdom of Judah, and may refer specifically to the Davidic dynasty, and, by extension, to the historical David.

In 2017 a bulla was found in the Ophel part of Jerusalem that may have belonged to Isaiah the prophet (the Bible never records Isaiah as being anywhere but in Jerusalem). It has the name "Isaiah" on it, and then a word with the last letter missing, which is probably "prophet" (nvv'). It was found in the same stratigraphy as evidences of King Hezekiah (Isaiah and Hez were contemporaries) and as artifacts from that era.

There is no documentary or artifactual evidence of Micah, though form criticism of his writing puts him in the same era as Isaiah. We know very little about Micah except that he was from Moresheth. We don't his occupation, his parents, or anything else about him. Archaeology has confirmed that Moresheth existed in Micah's era (735-700 BC). Excavations show considerable occupation in the late 8th century. It served as a fortified center of the region, and was destroyed by Sennacherib's Assyrian army in 701 BC.
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Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby Conga » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:31 am

Matthew 28:18-19-20, is a key verse, the meaning of baptism isn't somewhat ablution (2nd century example) or proselytizing. In Quran there is an equivalent with the next one as well Neesa 4:59 talks about who to follow. The word rasoul is firstly message, in Matthew 28:18, Jesus says he is the messenger, and has the authority over who woud enter into Heaven, by what is said in laws. And with baptising he advises apostles to call men to God, to the message, and to person who is in charge. Matthew 28:20 underlines the message is ultimate definition in case of conflict. So baptise is the key word there, how you define it matters.

John 10:30 talks about togetherness, Jesus talks about Almighty's rule.

John 1:1 is open to pulling around. Buddhists claim various things too with a similar verse. God gave explanation Himself to each verse and we have to follow His decree.

John 14:15-18 talks about again what is said in Gospels and what Jesus confirmed from Torah, the laws exist already.

John 4:15 the water example should have a place in Midrash as these examples should exist in Jewish culture because the audience would be "mocking" him, as Jesus confirms a proverb in John 4:37, because God sends messengers who could use the language of audience and among those people. A man of people.

> There is no evidence that there is a Hebrew version of the Gospels that predates the Greek versions.

Yes, but we know that Jewish scholars, when Jesus entered into Jerusalem had admitted him into the Temple. He was able to exchange with them, those scholars were the leaders of religion and having no less knowledge than any religious leader we know now. And Jesus talked constantly about revelation with allegories. We know he didn't get a formal education from those scholars as Gabriel helped him since birth.

So what Jesus said should be able to relatable to Hebrew as they didn't deny him for not talking Hebrew or anything, but they tested his knowledge and resisted him.

> Now this you have to give evidence for. First, you have to show that's the way it was used in the culture, and secondly, you have to give evidence that's what the Gospel writers meant by it. I would say, once again, you are fabricating things to fit a predetermined case of yours.

God gave the same common core of religion since first man. He sent Jesus -pbuh as messiah and we have the last book.

Maybe this would be a start: https://depts.drew.edu/jhc/eisenman.html
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Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby jimwalton » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:32 pm

> Matthew 28.19-20

The discussion at hand is Trinitarian claims, not the definition of baptism (though I disagree with what you are saying about that, also. But that's another discussion). your claim was that the "Trinity doesn't exist in Gospels." Matthew 28.19 is an explicit and early reference to the Trinity. Matthew's singular use of the term "name" (τὸ ὄνομα) indicates that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share a singular identity.

> Matthew 28:18, Jesus says he is the messenger, and has the authority over who woud enter into Heaven, by what is said in laws.

Yes, Jesus is always explicit about his being sent by the Father (Mt. 10.40; 15.24; Jn. 4.34; 5.24, and many others).

> And with baptising he advises apostles to call men to God, to the message, and to person who is in charge.

Baptism is not the discussion here. The deity of Christ is, and that the Trinity exists in the Gospels. Even the Qur'an identifies Jesus as holy, like Allah (Surah 3.45-46). In Surah 4.171, Isa is identified as the Word of Allah and as the Spirit of Allah, a status not shared by any other prophet in the Qur'an (Sura 21.91). The Word and the Spirit of Allah are part of Allah himself. Isa has power over death (3.49), a power not given to another other prophet. And Isa himself is able to lead us to heaven (3.50-55). Even Muhammad claimed he did not have that ability (46.9). Muhammad didn't know where he would go after death, but Isa traveled the path from Allah to Earth and returned to Allah in heaven, and he alone is qualified to show the way.

> John 10.30 talks about togetherness, Jesus talks about Almighty's rule.

Jesus is asked if he is the Messiah (10.24). He affirms that he is (10.25). His works confirm his words (Jn. 5.36). He is the one who gives eternal life, as the Qur'an even affirms (Surah 3.50-55, as previously mentioned; Surah 3.50 instructs Muslims to obey Isa). In John 10.30, Jesus is not making a statement about togetherness, but about a unity of essence. He and God the Father are one in essence and nature. The Jews who heard him understood very well what he was claiming (Jn. 10.31, 33), and Jesus never backs away from that to correct them or to say they misunderstood.

And nowhere in this section is there any hint of the Almighty's rule. Nowhere.

> John 1:1 is open to pulling around.

It is not. The Greek is clear. Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

Ἐν ἀρχῇ: "In the beginning," an evident allusion to Genesis 1.1, a statement of preexistence and basic causality. "At the root of the universe." There was never a time when the Word was not. There never was a thing that did not depend on him for its existence (v. 3). The first predicate of the Word is eternity.

ἦν ὁ λόγος: "Was the Word." Imperfect, the tense of continuing action in past time. It conveys no idea of origin of the Word, but rather of continuous existence.

καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν: "And the Word was with God." Another imperfect. *Pros* (πρὸς) with the accusative presents a plane of equality and intimacy, face to face with each other, living in union and communion. *Pros* (πρὸς) also connotes personality. The Word is not an impersonal principle or a metaphor, but is to be regarded as a living, intelligent, active personality.

καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. "And the Word was God." God is the predicate (and not the subject of the preposition); The Word is the subject. Imperfect tense again. He inherently shares the same nature as God. As Marvin Vincent writes, "Notice that theos is without the article which could not have been omitted if he had meant to designate the word as God; because, in that event, theos would have been ambiguous; perhaps a god. Moreover, if he had said God was the Word, he would have contradicted his previous statement by which he had substantially distinguished God from the word, and logos would, further, have signified only an attribute of God. The predicate is emphatically placed in the proposition before the subject, because of the progress of the thought; this being the third and highest statement respecting the Word—the climax of the two preceding propositions. The Word God, used attributively, maintains the personal distinction between God and the Word, but makes the unity of essence and nature to follow the distinction of person, and ascribes to the Word all the attributes of the divine essence."

We learn that the Word was eternally preexistent, personal, and divine.

> John 14:15-18

Of course Jesus is confirming the Torah, but he explicitly identifies himself as one and the same with the Spirit (v. 18). He says the Spirit will come to you, and he says "I will come to you." The Spirit's presence inside and individual is identical to Jesus's presence inside an individual.

> John 4:15

This was a mangled typo on my part. My apologies. I meant to write John 1.14; 5.37-39.

> Yes, but we know that Jewish scholars, when Jesus entered into Jerusalem had admitted him into the Temple. He was able to exchange with them, those scholars were the leaders of religion and having no less knowledge than any religious leader we know now. And Jesus talked constantly about revelation with allegories. We know he didn't get a formal education from those scholars as Gabriel helped him since birth.

First of all, you're admitting that your statement (" there is a Hebrew version of the Gospels that predates the Greek versions") is false. Secondly, your paragraph here has nothing to do with that subject. What's the point you're making?

If your point is that Jesus conversed with the men in Hebrew, that is questionable. Aramaic was the most common language of the day in 1st-c. Palestine. Hebrew was definitely spoken, but it's difficult to determine by whom and how much. The evidence tells us that Hebrew was *written,* but it's hard to know how much it was *spoken*. It's likely that Jesus spoke Hebrew as a second language (as He also would probably have spoken Greek), but it's impossible to know if he conversed with the scholars in Hebrew or the more common Aramaic.

> We know he didn't get a formal education from those scholars as Gabriel helped him since birth.

This is not a claim the Bible makes. I don't even think it's in the Qur'an. From where did this idea come? And what's your point?

> God gave the same common core of religion since first man.

This is true, but the many religions on the planet show how widely and harshly God's revelation has been distorted. i think there's good evidence that Christianity is the true religion.

> He sent Jesus -pbuh as messiah and we have the last book.

God did send Jesus as Messiah, and the New Testament is the last book and the record of Jesus's revelation to the world. Hebrews 1.2 mentions Isa as God's final revelation humanity, and Revelation 22.18 adds that a person will be accursed for adding to what the New Testament has said (also for taking anything away from the NT).

> https://depts.drew.edu/jhc/eisenman.html

Your link pertains to several scholars' opinions of Paul as a Herodian (a view that is not widely held), but is meaningless as support of your contention that "God gave the same common core of religion since the first man." The author even admits, "Though these matters are hardly capable of proof, and we have, in fact, proved nothing..."
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Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby Excited Guy » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:28 pm

> You were the one who asked for "manuscripts surviving from say 1000BC."

that was an example of what i would find convincing as evidence, not a die-hard requirement

> Correct. Lack of evidence doesn't lend support to either the affirmative or the negative position.

only true if we had no reason to expect evidence if the claim was true. theres no evidence of an exodus, but if the exodus of the bible happened, we would have every reason to expect lots of evidence of it, so the absence of evidence for it is evidence that it didnt happen

> > a quick google search tells me that thats not exactly a matter of solid historical fact that the biblical sons of heth actually were the same people as who came to be known as the hittites
> A quick Google search is not how we do scholarship and responsible research.

of course not, but its a simple sniff-test for your claims.

> Whether or not the biblical sons of Heth are the Hittite people group are not pertinent to our discussion.

if you wanna cite the hittites as support for biblical narratives as being historical, then sure it is

> My point was that Genesis 23 contains information about the Hittite culture that would have been unknown to the people of the exilic era, giving evidence that the content comes from much further back in history.

how does this not require that the hittites are people described in the biblical narratives? thats not to say i buy that claim per se, just that i dont follow your objection

> I think we have reasonable evidence fo Deuteronomy as coming from Moses as its tradent from c. 1300 BC.

i think the moses of the bible is a pretty decisively mythological figure

> Deuteronomy consistently purports to record the speeches of Moses, and there is no credible evidence to question this.

sure there is, the complete lack of any historical evidence for a moses ever existing. if the narrative itself was evidence of moses, then we'd be taking every mythological narrative as evidence of the people in them being historical

> If the Pentateuch has a single author (and evidence points in this direction)

so far, youve said nothing that suggests thats true; none of this:

> The unity of thematic material in the entire Torah (Pentateuch) points to a single author.
> The unity and antiquity of the book of Deuteronomy is evidenced by the fact that it takes the structure of an ancient Near Eastern vassal treaty from the mid-2nd millennium BC.
> The 5 books recount a single story
> The 5 books share a central theme: the covenant and the land
> The 5 books share the theme of faith in YHWH The poetic texts of the 5 books suggest a single author The laws are purposefully arranged as a textual strategy (with the Golden Calf debacle at the center).

...suggest anything about a single author to me

> Internal evidence (Dt. 31.9, 24)

spiderman comics frequently refer to peter parker being spiderman. does that mean there is a peter parker that can shoot webs from his hands, or any peter parker at all? myths arent evidence that theyre true.

> Frequent references to Moses as the source, authority, and tradent of the Torah (Josh. 8.31, 32; 23.6; 2 Ki. 14.6; Neh. 8.1, et al.)

why would there not be references to that if they were all following the same mythological tradition? it would be surprising if there wasnt references to earlier myths, thats necessary to continue the narrative

> If the Pentateuch has a single author (and evidence points in this direction), we can discern that he was a well-educated man of the time, familiar with Egyptian culture, thoroughly familiar with desert life, and believably has written from that environment, with many apparent eye-witness accounts. All of these could see Moses as the author.

all of those could be the result of a nation-myth coagulating after brooding for a couple centuries and being given a form by a small group of editors.
> The usage of terms known only to the 2nd millennium: The text of Genesis uses a pronoun for "she", which appears in the Torah as hiw' instead of the usual hi', which is a term distinctly known only to the 2nd millennium. Another example is the word young girl, spelled na'ar instead of na'ara (the feminine form). It would be like us spelling the way Wm. Shakespeare did, or actually more like the author of Beowulf.

joseph smith wrote his forgeries in english from centuries gone by. does that mean his writings are from the 16th instead of 19th century? i would agree that that sounds like slight evidence for the age of the texts, but given the type of literature they are, artificially aging the texts, either to deceive on purpose or by rhetorical tradition, doesnt seem far fetched to me either

> The text and details of Genesis 14 have been analyzed to be from an ancient, non-Israelite source, but with an uncanny accuracy to what we (in the 21st century) know of history. The geographic details and language form speak to a text from the 2nd millennium BC.

thats quite vague, i cant interact with that

> There are parts of the Book of the Covenant (Ex. 21-23), according to Brevard Childs, that reflect the antiquity of the text. "During the era of form criticism, this text was originally assigned to J, while others attempted to assign it to E. Since then, a growing consensus has emerged that the Book of the Covenant is an older collection of laws that are independent of and preceding the usual critical sources. ... All of these indicate a historical setting for this section prior to the rise of the monarchy."

how large a consensus is it, and what drives it? that sounds like theres worthwhile evidence to be had there

> The absence of Aramaic, Persian, or Greek influences in the grammar and vocabulary of the sort visible in the books that are dated by obvious criteria after the Babylonian Exile (6th c. BC) makes it likely that the Genesis text is earlier than 6th c. BC.

that sounds like pretty good evidence; language takes time to change, and it becomes harder to immitate grammar and vocabulary the more distant it is to ones own

> There is no substantial evidence that the book is not an accurate record of the words of Moses.

how about the complete absence of evidence for the biblical moses ever existing? if you think "this story from more than 3000 years ago says this guy said X Y Z, so i see no reason to doubt that" is a reasonable approach to history, then i will disagree with that. i expect much more corroboration than that, especially given the mythological nature of the narrative and the superstitiousness of the time and region it emerged from

>>whats the evidence for the biblical david or isaiah or micah ever existing as opposed to being purely or mostly mythological figures?

> The Tel Dan Stele, discovered in Dan in 1995, has the phrase "house of David." It dates from the 9th century BC, giving evidence of the dynastic name of the kingdom of Judah, and may refer specifically to the Davidic dynasty, and, by extension, to the historical David.

thats what google told me in 5 minutes too; for one, thats hardly conclusive, founding myths are nothing new - and yet rome was not built by two human sons of a wolf. even if that did refer to a historical king david, how does it tell us anything about his biography, let alone constitute evidence that any of the magic attributed to him in the bible ever happened?

> In 2017 a bulla was found in the Ophel part of Jerusalem that may have belonged to Isaiah the prophet (the Bible never records Isaiah as being anywhere but in Jerusalem). It has the name "Isaiah" on it, and then a word with the last letter missing, which is probably "prophet" (nvv'). It was found in the same stratigraphy as evidences of King Hezekiah (Isaiah and Hez were contemporaries) and as artifacts from that era.

again, how does a bulla with a name on it demonstrate that the biblical prophet isaiah ever lived and did anything mentioned in the biblical narratives? even if that demonstrated that there was any person that called themselves a prophet - which you say the bulla "probably" says, so even that bit isnt clear from the bulla - then how do we know that person wasnt mythologized and had things attributed to him that never happened? right now, there are people that are believed by thousands to be able to raise the dead. whats the value of those narratives, and how much less valuable would they be if they were from thousands of years ago, tethered to history by tiny fragments like bullas with names on them? how much less credible still would they be as historical evidence if they originated from a region and time that was superstitious beyond modern appreciation?

> There is no documentary or artifactual evidence of Micah, though form criticism of his writing puts him in the same era as Isaiah.

at best, it puts the narrative in the same era as that of isaiah. the narratives arent evidence that the narratives are true.
Excited Guy
 

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby jimwalton » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:28 pm

> only true if we had no reason to expect evidence if the claim was true

There is actually no hard evidence to discredit anything in the Bible. The hard evidence we have bears out the truth of the record, and so if we are following the evidence where it leads, we would favor the historicity of the text over an assumption that it's not true.

> theres no evidence of an exodus

The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Much of the record of the exodus (Ex. 1-14 bears out many many elements very accurate to the era, situation, politics, geography, and culture. We can wonder why there is no evidence of the exodus, but the record rings true in many aspects. But as we wonder, we understand...

1. I wouldn't expect a group of poverty-stricken slaves wandering in the desert, livings in makeshift tents or whatever, who take everything with them, to leave much behind for an archaeologist to find.
2. Most of what an archaeologist might hope maybe to find is skeletons, but since they would be scattered about, even that would be a challenge. The egalitarian nature of Israelite society, however (confirmed by excavations in Canaan during Joshua's era, when they know Israelites were present in the region) yields precious little artifacts, even skeletons of the dead. The Israelites buried in simple inhumations outside settlements, in open fields with no grave goods.
3. Very few archaeologists are digging randomly in the wilderness. They tend to concentrate their work on the tels.
4. No documentary records remain from ANY era from the Nile Delta (3000 years). It's too wet and humid for anything to have survived.

In other words, (1) what Exodus records that is confirmable is accurate history, (2) there are good reasons we may not have evidence of the Exodus event, and (3) there is no hard evidence to show that the Bible records anything false.

> how does this not require that the hittites are people described in the biblical narratives?

What I'm saying is that (1) the information the Bible has about the Hittites is confirmable accurate, and (2) it's information that could not have been known in the period of the exile.

As far as the Hittites descending from Heth (which seems to be your sticking point), the origin of the Hittites is uncertain in scholarship and the historical record. It's true that it can't be confirmed that they descended from Heth, but it's also true that records from the 3rd millennium BC and further back in time are pretty scarce. This does nothing to support your case. Because it's unknown doesn't prove the Bible to be untrue. The Hittites were confirmable around during the time of Abraham, and what Genesis records about them is true.

> i think the moses of the bible is a pretty decisively mythological figure

Well, what's your evidence? I gave you a long list substantiating Moses's authorship of the Pentateuch, and I gave you some evidence of Moses's historicity. If you have a counter claim, I expect to see some rebuttal evidence, not just a statement. "Pretty decisively" doesn't cut it.

> sure there is, the complete lack of any historical evidence for a moses ever existing.

That's where you're ignoring the evidence we have. The Bible gives us many evidences of a historical Moses. Douglas Petrovich gives us questionable evidence from archaeology. Again, as is always true, an absence of historical or documentary evidence doesn't prove something to be untrue.

> so far, youve said nothing that suggests thats true; none of this:

It all suggests the possibility of truth. Where the lack is in ANY refutation evidence coming from you. I can only assume you have nothing except opinions, which don't carry any weight in refuting the points I gave.

> spiderman comics frequently refer to peter parker being spiderman. does that mean there is a peter parker that can shoot webs from his hands, or any peter parker at all? myths arent evidence that theyre true.

Of course not, but similarity between the Spiderman comics would lead us to a common author. Stay on course, here, instead of throwing out red herrings. It doesn't wash.

> why would there not be references to that if they were all following the same mythological tradition?

When it comes down to evidence, we have a biblical record FILLED with historically accurate information, along with much information that is unconformable. In rebuttal, we have NO evidence that it's merely mythological tradition. Again, that's an opinion of yours with no evidence to support it.

> all of those could be the result of a nation-myth coagulating after brooding for a couple centuries and being given a form by a small group of editors.

You can make up anything you want, but until you support SOMETHING with evidence, you're just blustering.

> joseph smith wrote his forgeries in english from centuries gone by. does that mean his writings are from the 16th instead of 19th century?

Joe wrote in King James English, which is no surprise from someone who was taught the King James Bible as a child. This argument holds no water. I think you'd be hard-pressed to write and spell even in colonial-era English (late 18th century), let alone Beowulf English, which is what I was talking about.

> "David" - thats what google told me in 5 minutes too; for one, thats hardly conclusive, founding myths are nothing new

You and your 5-minute Google searches. Sigh. It makes me think that person I'm talking to barely has a clue, but you're sticking to your guns based on opinion and with bias.

> how does it tell us anything about his [David's] biography

It doesn't. The question was about his historical existence. The Tel Dan Stele alludes to his historical existence. It's evidence "of the dynastic name of the kingdom of Judah, and may refer specifically to the Davidic dynasty, and, by extension, to the historical David." You can't just assume mythology any more; there is some evidence of the Davidic dynasty, and possibly to the historical David. In other words, now there is more evidence that points to historicity. "Myth" can no longer be the default.

> how does a bulla with a name on it demonstrate that the biblical prophet isaiah ever lived

Now see, this just makes you seem closed-minded and biased. Only more important people had bullae, It names him by name and plausibly identifies him as as prophet, it was found in Jerusalem where he lived, and it was found in the layer appropriate to his era, and only a short distance from another bulla naming King Hezekiah. If we're talking about the history of David and Isaiah, there are at least some artifacts leaning us toward historicity, rather than further away from it.

> the narratives arent evidence that the narratives are true.

Of course this is true. But more and more evidence is unearthed that bears out the reliability and historicity of the biblical record.
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