Old Testament Texts / Another Look
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18-06-2017, 10:01 AM
RE: Old Testament Texts / Another Look
Great stuff- thanks.
Most fundamentalist Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Mormons completely discount archaeology and biblical textual analysis. So as richly informative as the information is, it won't do anything to dissuade believers from claiming that the Bible or the Koran or the Book of Mormon is the word of God. The only thing that can do that is to highlight those portions of the scriptures that say or imply things they don't believe.
I have an acquaintance who is a fundamentalist Christian. I argued that the old and new testament books represented two very different visions of reality. For example, the old testament authors didn't believe in anything Jesus said about the forgiveness of sins. Jesus said that we should forgive the sins of those who sin against us 70 times 7 times (Matthew 18:22), and that the only unforgivable sin is the sin of blasphemy (Matthew 12:31). But there is no passage in the old testament that says anything like that. Instead the old testament authors described a completely different process for the forgiveness of sins called a "sin offering". That was a ritual sacrifice of a perfect bull, and it's a type of ritual that no Jewish synagogue or Christian church performs today. This point made a real impression on her because she had to admit that it's true (even though she couldn't bring herself to saying so). But I can tell you from experience that arguments on the basis of archaeology, however well founded, will never have the same kind of impact. And my argument is much simpler, more direct, and it is based on the actual biblical text, which is the only thing that Christian fundamentalists actually trust.
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22-06-2017, 04:23 PM
RE: Old Testament Texts / Another Look
(18-06-2017 10:01 AM)thereverent1 Wrote:  ... I can tell you from experience that arguments on the basis of archaeology, however well founded, will never have the same kind of impact.
Yes, I can testify that in my evangelical daze I would simply assume that any conflicting archeological or scientific evidence was fabricated or misconstrued in some way. I was, of course, happy to accept non-conflicting evidence.

Fundamentalists don't understand how bass-ackwards it is to start with a conclusion and work toward it, rather than to look at evidence and follow it TO a conclusion. We were taught to fear where an objective, neutral look at evidence might lead. We lived in terror of being doctrinally wrong.

Fundamentalism is all about being right, not about being good, or happy, or wise.
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24-06-2017, 03:36 PM
RE: Old Testament Texts / Another Look
(03-09-2012 01:50 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Archaeology has scientifically proven that the Genesis environment, as described in the Bible, was around 700 BCE (first video).

I dispute that.

That the bible is plagiarized is obvious by simply reading it and comparing to ancient texts (texts that are older than the bible). You mentioned "J" and Sumer/Akkad.

Yes, "J" was very familiar with all things Summerian and Akkadian.

Let's examine the following passage intimately:

Genesis 2:10 Now a river flowed in Eden to water the orchard, and there it divided into four headstreams. 2:11 The name of the first was Pishon; it ran through the entire land of Havilah, where there was gold. 2:12 (The gold of that land was pure; pearls and lapis lazuli were also there). 2:13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it runs through the entire land of Khush. 2:14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it runs to the east in Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

Note the level of detail provided for each of the rivers.

The writer provides extremely detailed information about the Pishon, because at the time the writer wrote this (4000 BCE – 2000 BCE) the Pishon had been dead for several thousand years.

The River Pishon died around 7,000 BCE about the same time that the Arabian Peninsula and the steppe lands of North Africa and the Iranian Plateau died and became desertified. The Pishon is the River Kuwait, which flowed from the Hijazz Mountains in present-day Saudi Arabia east where it merged with the River Euphrates in the present-day Basra Delta.

The Gihon is the River Karun that flows northwest through the Zagros Mountains then south to the present-day Basra Delta. 14,000 years ago, the Karun merged with the Tigris. The writer and the target audience know where the “land of Khush” is, and, no, it isn’t Africa.

If the Tigris is to the east, then the writer must be located to the west of the Tigris.

Right? Makes sense?

The writer is sitting on the banks of the Euphrates. He doesn’t need to describe it for he, and his target audience know exactly where it is. He needs only mention the name of the river and that's why he does not provide detailed information about it.

That is a very ethnocentric view, and it is a world view that is centered in Sumer and Akkad.

If Moses had written that, then the Euphrates would be "to the east...." as well, but whoever wrote the text was way, way, west of the Euphrates.

Compare:

Exodus 10:8 Cush was the father of Nimrod; he began to be a valiant warrior on the earth. 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. (That is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.”) 10:10 The primary regions of his kingdom were Babel, Erech, Akkad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar. 10:11 From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, 10:12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and the great city Calah.

(That is also a world view centered on Sumer and Akkad)

I Chronicles 1:8 The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 1:9 The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. 1:10 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who established himself as a mighty warrior on earth.

There is no evidence whatsoever showing Nubians were ever in Asia Minor. The underlined text is a later insertion by the Hebrews, who were confused between Khush and Kush.

This is an excellent example of an orthographic error. Classical Biblical Hebrew has two sounds, "k" and "kh" and they are represented in the alphabet by a "backward 'C'" and a "backward 'C'" with a dot in the center of the 'C.'

The Khush (Kassites or Cassites) were destroyed by the Gutians circa 2500 BCE. There's no possible way a Hebrew could ever have met a Khusite, however the Nubians were known to the Hebrews.

What you have here is an Hebrew scribe copying the text and saying, "Well where the hell is Khush?" and he thinks it's an orthorgraphic error and sticks a dot in the backward 'C' changing the word from Khush to Kush (and 'k' and 'c' are transliterated interchangeably just like 'k' and 'q' for Koran and Qu'ran)

The statement “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter…” is found repeatedly in Sumerian and Akkadian texts (but never in Egyptian texts). The statement, as it appears in dozens of Sumerian and Akkadian texts that pre-date the Old Testament by 1,000s of years, reads “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Enlil.”

As far as Deuteronomy, that was most likely written by Jeremiah's scribe named Baruch.

That someone like Abrahm brought the texts with him from Akkad is more than obvious. Abrahm's father Terah was the chief priest for the Sumerian/Akkadian god known as "Ninurta".

The texts were in clay tablets. Since clay tablets were not paginated (i.e. numbered), lines were repeated ("catch-lines") to show continuity from one tablet to the next. The following is evidence that the first 36 chapters in Genesis were recorded on clay tablets:

1:1 God created the heavens and the earth.
2:4 When they were created (that is the first tablet)

5:2 When they were created
6:10 Shem, Ham, and Japheth (this is the 2nd tablet)

10:1 Shem, Ham, and Japheth
10:32 After the Flood (this is the 3rd tablet)

11:10 After the Flood
11:26 Abram, Nahor, and Haran (this is the 4th tablet)

11:27 Abram, Nahor, and Haran
25:12 Abraham’s son (this is the 5th tablet)

25:19 Abraham’s son
36:1 Who is Edom (this is the 6th tablet)

36:8 Who is Edom (this is the 7th tablet)
36:9 Father Edom

36:43 Father Edom (this is the 8th tablet)

Now, later, those tablets were written on other media, and information was both added and deleted from what was contained in the original texts. Most of that is En (E1, E2, E3...etc) and we know that the "E" texts were merged with the "J" texts and "P" texts and that farther down the road an editor, identified as "R" made lots of changes to the texts, mostly to conform with all of the theological changes in Deuteronomy (and we know "R" is Jeremiah and a few editors who followed after him).

Many deletions occurred when Hebrew theology shifted from polytheism to henotheism (ie one god among many different gods -- a logical step in the evolution of religious thought -- then from henotheism to monotheism and then from monotheism to deism (and hopefully from deism to atheism).

Anyway, when you string it altogether, the texts point to an origin of 4,000 to 2,000 BCE when they were written.

The enemy numbered six hundred - including women and children - and we abolished them utterly, leaving not even a baby alive to cry for its dead mother. This is incomparably the greatest victory that was ever achieved by the Christian soldiers of the United States. -- Mark Twain
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24-06-2017, 04:00 PM
RE: Old Testament Texts / Another Look
Quote:He then said to me "look ups Ur of the Chaldees". I had no idea what he was talking about but then when I did look it up I realized that this is where Abraham was supposed to have come from.

Then you missed his point. The Chaldeans did not move into the region until around 1,000 BC well after the end of the Late Bronze Age which surely dismisses any of the patriarchal crap about Abraham and the rest of the mythic patriarchs being Early Bronze Age figures.

Whoever wrote that tale in the OT did not understand the recent nature of the Chaldeans arrival. He only knew that they were there when he wrote it, probably in the mid first millenium. It is similar to "god" telling Moses to avoid the route through Philistia in the exodus story. This was supposed to be another LBA ( or earlier, depending on which fundie you ask ) story but the Philistines did not arrive until c 1200 BC, which is the beginning of the Iron Age and they did not seem to disposses the Egyptians of their Canaanite territories until 50 years after that. But to the goat herders who scribbled this bible crap down centuries later, they had always been there.

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24-06-2017, 06:32 PM (This post was last modified: 25-06-2017 06:16 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Old Testament Texts / Another Look
(24-06-2017 03:36 PM)Mircea Wrote:  I dispute that.

That the bible is plagiarized is obvious by simply reading it and comparing to ancient texts (texts that are older than the bible).
.....

Anyway, when you string it altogether, the texts point to an origin of 4,000 to 2,000 BCE when they were written.

They do not. In any way. There is no general agreement what "Pishon" refers to, exactly. (Ref : James A. Sauer, "The River Runs Dry," Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol. 22, No. 4, July/August 1996, pp. 52-54, 57, 64 ).

There was no such concept in human thought at the time called "plagiarism". There is no evidence for that. None.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presentism_..._analysis)
There was no Moses. Moses wrote nothing. There was no Abraham. There is not a shred of evidence he existed, or took or had any written texts, oral traditions, or tablets. The writers would have NO WAY of knowing about a river which "dried up" thousands of years before, FAR away. You're dot-connecting a series of unsupported assumptions.
Everything they wrote was mythically colored, and some scholars say the Pison, or Pishon River may have even been the Ganges. They had no specific geographical knowledge of other regions.
You MISSED the entire POINT of the text here. It is attempting to locate "Eden" here, not where anyone was when the text was written. The (mythical) "tree of life" was "placed" in a mythical place. The river in Eden had it's ONE source outside the garden, through which it flowed, AND THEN divided into four.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ble-Bull-s
Your premise is false. It is called "syncretism". It was commonly done, ie assembling common circulating myths.
No scholar agrees with your dating and there were no Hebrew tribes in existence in 2000-4000 BCE to write anything, AND you have no written evidence to support that assertion.
I suggest you read "Who Wrote the Bible" (Dr Richard Elliot Friedman), or "How the Bible Became a Book: The Textualization of Ancient Israel" by Dr. William M. Schniedewind.
Gomes, Jules Francis (2006), The Sanctuary of Bethel and the Configuration of Israelite Identity, Walter de Gruyter & Co
They actually know what they're talking about. In fact, the Hebrews weren't even writing in 2000 BCE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleo-Hebrew_alphabet
"The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE"
http://phys.org/news/2010-01-ancient-heb...hered.html

"Archaeological attestation of the name Canaan in Ancient Near Eastern sources relates almost exclusively to the period in which the region operated as a colony of the New Kingdom of Egypt (16th–11th centuries BC), with usage of the name almost disappearing following the Late Bronze Age collapse (c. 1206–1150 BC). The references suggest that during this period the term was familiar to the region's neighbors on all sides, although scholars have disputed to what extent such references provide a coherent description of its location and boundaries, and regarding whether the inhabitants used the term to describe themselves. The Amarna Letters and other cuneiform documents use Kinaḫḫu [Kinakh'khu], while other sources of the Egyptian New Kingdom mention numerous military campaigns conducted in Ka-na-na."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaan

The known sources of which Genesis is composed simply didn't exist in the period claimed here.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestly_source
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elohist
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jahwist



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24-06-2017, 07:00 PM (This post was last modified: 24-06-2017 07:19 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Old Testament Texts / Another Look
(18-06-2017 10:01 AM)thereverent1 Wrote:  Great stuff- thanks.
Most fundamentalist Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Mormons completely discount archaeology and biblical textual analysis. So as richly informative as the information is, it won't do anything to dissuade believers from claiming that the Bible or the Koran or the Book of Mormon is the word of God. The only thing that can do that is to highlight those portions of the scriptures that say or imply things they don't believe.
I have an acquaintance who is a fundamentalist Christian. I argued that the old and new testament books represented two very different visions of reality. For example, the old testament authors didn't believe in anything Jesus said about the forgiveness of sins. Jesus said that we should forgive the sins of those who sin against us 70 times 7 times (Matthew 18:22), and that the only unforgivable sin is the sin of blasphemy (Matthew 12:31). But there is no passage in the old testament that says anything like that. Instead the old testament authors described a completely different process for the forgiveness of sins called a "sin offering". That was a ritual sacrifice of a perfect bull, and it's a type of ritual that no Jewish synagogue or Christian church performs today. This point made a real impression on her because she had to admit that it's true (even though she couldn't bring herself to saying so). But I can tell you from experience that arguments on the basis of archaeology, however well founded, will never have the same kind of impact. And my argument is much simpler, more direct, and it is based on the actual biblical text, which is the only thing that Christian fundamentalists actually trust.

I don't waste my time arguing with Fundamentalists, using their idiotic fallacies, disproved by Archaeology and scholarship
For example, arguing about prophecies that never happened feed into the false idea that the role of a prophet was to tell the future. It's DISHONEST to even go down that road.
Essentially you're saying the ends justify the means. It's unethical. It would actually be far better to debunk their entire approach to these texts, that attempting to pick at singles pieces. It's harder, but in the end I propose the effect is more educational. No one is going to listen to anything they are not ready to hear anyway. They will find some excuse, such as "well we just don't know what God means here".
It's the way religion works with "compartmentalizing" cognitive dissonance".

But, whatever floats your boat.

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07-07-2017, 04:37 PM
RE: Old Testament Texts / Another Look
I don't see how you can maintain this position.

I live in the Near East and you are talking as though this place had no indigenous history predating the Old Testament that anyone had any idea of or had any way of transmitting.

It may be there was no one called "Moses", but that doesn't mean that the story was made of whole cloth. Nor does the migration of people from "Ur" to Egypt have to be a total myth.

What you do is you ignore the history of the Near East and Mesopotamia and you take the Old Testament and "just say" it's invented because you can pick holes in it. I don't, with respect, think you have any real idea of the lay of the land in this neck of the woods.

I've pointed out to you that Ur could be the city of Sanliurfu or it could be Ur. In either case, this coincides with the view of Josephus that the people of "Abraham" were Assyrians. Here is one take on it from a book I haven't read and which you will immediately try to debunk:

"The area of Armenia lies north of the Mesopotamian valley in the area of Lake Van. An ancient historian of the Armenian, Moses Khorenatsi, called by some the “Herodotus of the Armenians” noted that the local tribesmen called themselves Hai, pronounced by the people in the Lake Van region as Kh(o)ai, meaning Ram. They recognized themselves as the People of the Ram and their supreme deity was (K)Hal-di. Thus was derived the land of the original Khaldini, later corrupted by Greeks in the times of Achaemenian to Chaldea. (Fasold, David, The Ark of Noah, Wynwood Press, New York, NY, 1988. p 184)

According to Josephus, Shem, the third son of Noah, had five sons who colonized the land from the Euphrates delta valley to the Indian Ocean. The Persians were in descent from Elam, and the Elamites. The Assyrians came from Asshur who dwelled in Nineveh. Arphaxad descendants were called the Arphaxadites, now known as the Chaldeans. The Syrians came from the Aramites, or the son Aram and the Lydians were in descent from the son, Laud, and his descendants, the Laudites. (Josephus, Flavius, The Complete Works of Josephus, translated William Whiston A.M., Kregel Publication, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49501, 1981, p. 33)

David Fasold, believes that the thirteen B.C.E. Urartu was in reality the area of the Khaldini and consistent with the claims of descent from Arphaxad, born twelve years after the flood from an offshoot of Kesed, reputed son of Nahor (Fasold, Ibid. p. 185) In the Book of Jubilees, it confirms this idea with a long genealogy

Terah as noted earlier resided in Harran, and was the oracle high priest of the temple of Harran, copied after the divine city of Nippur. Tell Harran, recognized as a typical tell in the Mesopotamian valley, located eighteen kilometers from the modern Syrian border therefore became the focal center of the Abram story, the area of his roots, in the land of the People of the Ram from the House of Terah. In Daniels time, the Chaldeans spoke Syriack (Daniel 2:4 KJV), now known as Armenian, or the language of ancient Syrian. In the Jewish Kabballah, when the divine visitors announced to Abram that Sarai, his wife was in child, he laughed and said, “No! Not Sarah! As a child, my Lord, I spent much time jesting with the young men of the mountains of Urartu. Yes, I played satire with the men of Ur…” (Fasold, Ibid, p. 186) In Ezekiel’s day, (Ezekiel 1:3 KJV, Greek spelling) the land of the Chaldeans was by the river Kebar, or in Ur Kasdim by the modern Khabor River in upper mesopotamian valley. Therefore Ur of the Chaldeas was the area above the bifurcation of the Euphrates River in the area of Padan Aram, near the Khabor River and the Syrian border in the town of Harran, now known as Tell Harran. The people are known today as Armenians, who spoke the ancient language of Syriack in the land near the mountains of Urartu. The linkage of Abram to Ur of Sumeria and Ur in Chaldea which has puzzled historians and archeologists for years, may reside in the fact that Abram probably lived and received social notoriety in both the rural and cosmopolitan region."

The problem I have with all this is that this area of the world has been subjugated by the Ottomans for 1400 years until the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1923 or so. After that, there was a depression and a world war and then huge strife until the modern time. Now, the excavations at Gobelke Tepe have ground to a halt because of the Syrian war and Erdogan has flooded large areas of huge archaeological importance, as we have finally arrived in a "modern" time where things like this should not happen.

There are important historical and archaelogical sites which continue to be looted before they have even been looked at. Dura Europos is a perfect example of a site which was only seriously excavated in the 1980s and has now been largely destroyed by ISIS. There are many, many more like this. We know very little about this area because Islam does not interest itself in antiquities. I made a point earlier about walking on Roman ruins which someone, probably you, mocked. I made the comment because, here, in Islamic countries, the people and the governments allow ancient ruins to be desecrated and trod on by dog walkers. You can drive around the countryside here, pick up pieces of Roman buildings and put them around your garden for decoration. That is how little concern or interest there is now for the history of this place and it was worse, zero, until only decades ago.

Here's a bit about Duro-Europa from Wiki:
"The site of Dura-Europos, a former city and walled fortification, was excavated largely in the 1920s and 1930s by French and American teams. Within the archaeological site, the house church is located by the 17th tower and preserved by the same defensive fill that saved the nearby Dura-Europos synagogue.

The building consists of a house conjoined to a separate hall-like room, which functioned as the meeting room for the church. The surviving frescoes of the room serving as the baptistry are probably the most ancient Christian paintings. The "Good Shepherd", the "Healing of the paralytic" and "Christ and Peter walking on the water" are considered the earliest depictions of Jesus Christ.[5]

A much larger fresco depicts three women (the third mostly lost) approaching a large sarcophagus. This most likely depicts the three Marys visiting Christ's tomb.[6] There were also frescoes of Adam and Eve as well as David and Goliath. The frescoes clearly followed the Hellenistic Jewish iconographic tradition, but they are more crudely done than the paintings of the nearby Dura-Europos synagogue.[7]

Fragments of parchment scrolls with Hebrew texts have also been unearthed; they resisted meaningful translation until J.L. Teicher pointed out that they were Christian Eucharistic prayers, so closely connected with the prayers in Didache that he was able to fill lacunae in the light of the Didache text."

You say there was no "Eden". In Turkish, which is derived from Sumerian, if you say "ee" "den" you are saying "good" "from". And, there is a place called Aden which is in Yemen. Yemek means a "meal" or "eating" so put the possesive "n" on the end and you have your "garden of Eden".

It seems to me, maybe I'm wrong, that you want to cherry pick your archaeology to suit your theory while ignoring the vast amount of local custom, recorded history in other cultures, yet to be interpreted archaeology, any alternative theory, all in aid of...what?

I just don't get what your object is in all of this. You should live here for a few years and you would see the world from a different perspective and all this stuff you call nonsense, you will see in a different light, which is unexplained by your theorizing and deeply rooted in oral customs, traditions and practices which have as much legitimacy as theories made up by Western academics to justify their own world views.

Your turn.
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07-07-2017, 04:56 PM (This post was last modified: 07-07-2017 05:42 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Old Testament Texts / Another Look
(07-07-2017 04:37 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I live in the Near East and you are talking as though this place had no indigenous history predating the Old Testament that anyone had any idea of or had any way of transmitting.

All totally false and utter bullshit. I never said anything of the sort.
Have a nice day doing you imaginary dot-connecting.
BTW, "living in the area" gives you no knowledge, or and special understanding of anything, in the ancient world.
The archaeologists (the best in Israel) in the video above know FAR FAR more than you do, and say nothing about your clap-trap dot connections.

Quote:You say there was no "Eden". In Turkish, which is derived from Sumerian, if you say "ee" "den" you are saying "good" "from". And, there is a place called Aden which is in Yemen. Yemek means a "meal" or "eating" so put the possesive "n" on the end and you have your "garden of Eden".


LMAO. Using THAT bullshit method, one could literally connect absolutely ANYTHING to ANYTHING in the universe. Bulllshit starts with a "b" and "dumber" starts with a "d". See where that goes, "db" ? Laugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out load


In fact I wrote an entire post saying exactly what you claim I didn't.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ic-Origins

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16-07-2017, 12:29 PM
RE: Old Testament Texts / Another Look
(07-07-2017 04:56 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(07-07-2017 04:37 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I live in the Near East and you are talking as though this place had no indigenous history predating the Old Testament that anyone had any idea of or had any way of transmitting.

All totally false and utter bullshit. I never said anything of the sort.
Have a nice day doing you imaginary dot-connecting.
BTW, "living in the area" gives you no knowledge, or and special understanding of anything, in the ancient world.
The archaeologists (the best in Israel) in the video above know FAR FAR more than you do, and say nothing about your clap-trap dot connections.

Quote:You say there was no "Eden". In Turkish, which is derived from Sumerian, if you say "ee" "den" you are saying "good" "from". And, there is a place called Aden which is in Yemen. Yemek means a "meal" or "eating" so put the possesive "n" on the end and you have your "garden of Eden".


LMAO. Using THAT bullshit method, one could literally connect absolutely ANYTHING to ANYTHING in the universe. Bulllshit starts with a "b" and "dumber" starts with a "d". See where that goes, "db" ? Laugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out loadLaugh out load


In fact I wrote an entire post saying exactly what you claim I didn't.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ic-Origins

Well, if you live in an area you tend to take more of an interest in its history, culture and language. I have studied Turkish for two years and have seen what Islam is like, in real life, by living in a Muslim society. Turkish for "man" is "adam" by the way... The language is very simple with a limited number of root words many of which have multiple different meanings. It has the same structure as Sumerian, Turkey occupies the same area as northern Sumer and Mesopaotamia and "Tur" is the Akkadian word for "Sumer". So, yes, it does make a difference to live in a place because you become intimately familiar it. It also gives you a different perspective on things. You realize that a book, written by someone with a POV and no experience of a place, will portray a place according to preconceptions of the people whose works he has relied on and ignored many aspects of a society and culture which are plain and obvious if you live in the place.

You laugh, for instance, at the idea that Jesus was a Prince who went through a circumcision after converting to "Judaism" and that Horus worship had any influence on...well, anything. However, you can't escape the Eye of Horus as a motif everywhere you look in Turkey. The thing is on every front door, tied to car fenders, made into jewellery, key chains. It's everywhere. And it's called the "Nazar". Young Turish boys are circumcized at about age 6. They go through a ceremony which involves dressing up as a Prince and riding a horse through town, being showered with gifts and followed by a throng of family and friends. http://www.turkeytravelcentre.com/blog/t...ty-sunnet/

None of this comes out of Islam and I would not have known about it unless I had lived here in the area and travelled around Turkey. It's all very well to call this "dot joining", but it isn't. You simply observe a wide range of cultural differences in a country if you live there that you would not know about if you did not. These cultural and social phenomena aren't created by someone writing a book either but are handed down and have survived the imposition of Islam.

I did try to endure the video you posted but I have to admit that I gave up on it because it seemed to turn into a political piece with a discussion, as I recall, about how we all owe our notions of justice to the writer of Deuteronomy, who pointed out that Yahweh was more powerful than worldy rulers so "you all better watch out" or some such thing.
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16-07-2017, 12:35 PM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2017 12:44 PM by Deltabravo.)
RE: Old Testament Texts / Another Look
Here is a view which seems to me to be a better explanation of the origins of Judaism than anything I have read anywhere else and explains the origin of the names of the Jewish god and the Muslim god, and that they are one and the same, and that the word "Hebrew" is nothing more than a misinterpretation. The book is R A Boulay's "Flying Serpents and Dragons", a genre into which the whole Old Testament fits neatly:

NB. I don't agree with Boulay that Akkadian appeared out of nowhere. All Indo-European languages descend from Sumerian/Turkish via a process called "anagramatization". Because of its complex and rigid structure and limited vocubulary, Sumerian and Turkish are very unwieldy and awkward languages. The word order is back to front so that the verb is at the end of each sentence and all it's modifiers are suffixes, so you don't know what you are being told until the very end of a long and complex sentence. European languages were formed by breaking down Sumerian/Turkish so that the agglutinative endings, such as "a" "de" could be used as individual words and put in an order which is easier to comprehend.

"Chapter 4 THE ANUNNAKI AS REFLECTED IN THE SCRIPTURES

Is there evidence in Western religious literature that corroborates the activities of the Anunnaki as it is found in the numerous myths, poems, and hymns of Mesopotamia? These Sumerian sources deal with the same events - the creation of Man, its subsequent modification into a modern man or Homo sapiens, the existence of god-kings, the coming of the Deluge, and many of the subsequent events of recorded history.

There is a large body of religious literature besides the Book of Genesis which deals with the period before the Deluge. Sources such as the three books of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, the Gnostic teachings, the Dead Sea scrolls, the Haggadah or the oral tradition of the Jews, the Rabbinical writings, the works of Josephus, and many works of the Pseudepigrapha.

Much of what is not intelligible in these ancient religious writings is explained in part in the large library of available Sumerian, Babylonian and other cuneiform inscriptions. It will be demonstrated that the Scriptures and Sumerian literature, regarded in a historical context, and stripped of their spiritual and mythological verbiage, support and augment each other remarkably. For it is clear that Sumer was the fountainhead for the events and stories of the Old Testament and other Western religious writings.

Much as Biblical apologists have tried to avoid or cloud the issue of the origin of the Old Testament, the historical facts clearly show that its antecedents are in the valley of Mesopotamia.

The Sumerian culture, which can be traced as far back as the beginning of the Fourth Millennium BC, was the source of all the myths of Middle Eastern civilizations that followed, such as the Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian people who inherited much of the Sumerian culture. This culture was subsequently transferred to the west to the lands of Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Anatolia.

The actual language of the Sumerians was superseded rather early by Akkadian, a Semitic tongue. Sumerian is non-Semitic and its origins are unknown. It seems to have no affinities at all and to have suddenly appeared on Earth out of nowhere. The Akkadians and Sumerians later intermingled and eventually formed a fusion of the two languages. From this Sumerian-Akkadian milieu evolved the Semites and eventually the Hebrews or Jews. The Hebrews did not invent their language or literary forms - their culture was inherited from the older Mesopotamian and Canaanite cultures.

It should be more widely realized that when those famous Biblical figures Noah and Abraham lived, there was no such thing as a Hebrew in existence. Both the Jews and Arabs traditionally claim descendancy from Abraham who was neither Jew nor Arab but a resident of the city of Ur in Mesopotamia.

The earliest reference in the Old Testament said to show Abraham’s alleged Hebrew ancestry is an error perpetuated by mistranslation. In their eagerness to prove Hebrew antiquity, translators have incorrectly referred to Abraham as such in Genesis 14.

The context in which this reference appears is the invasion of the eastern kings into Canaan and Abraham’s reaction when his nephew Lot is taken prisoner. As the text goes,

"The invaders seized all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food, and departed, taking with them Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, together with his possessions; he had been living in Sodom. A fugitive brought the news to Abram the Hebrew who was camping at the terebinths of Mamre the Amorite, kinsman of Eshkol and Aner, these being the confederates of Abram."

Evidently, Abraham (Abram) was a stranger in the land at the time; he had just migrated from the city of Ur in Mesopotamia. Manifestly both he and Lot were visitors or travellers. The translation of the word "ibri" as "Hebrew" has no linguistic support. The root "br" means "to pass through or to cross." Hence, "ibri" as it appears in the text of Genesis would mean one who is passing through or a visitor. In reality, the news was brought to Abraham that his nephew, his friend and fellow-traveller, had been captured by the invaders.

[Comment: Interestingly, in the Ethiopic linguistic traditions, in some of the oldest of all modern-day civilizations, the word "bir" means "dollar bill." Since a dollar bill passes from hand to hand, or crosses from one person to another, it is easy to see how this linguistic root-word still influences even modern languages.]

The Semitic "ibri" is obviously related to the Akkadian "ibru" from whence it probably derived. In the Akkadian version of the Gilgamesh Epic, his friend Enkidu, with whom Gilgamesh shares most of his adventures, is referred to as "ibru." The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary defines it as a relationship between persons of the same code of behavior and the obligation of mutual assistance. This definition fits the situation of Abraham and Lot perfectly.

Abraham’s subsequent activities in the land of Canaan leave no doubt that he was a stranger and a visitor. For example, after his battle with the invading army he had to report to Melchizedek, the King of Salem, where he paid a tithe of ten percent of all the loot which had been recovered.

[Comment: This Melchizedek, King of Salem, is the man from whom the later Order of Melchizedek originated; and his name presumably has some sort of occult significance in the pseudonym of the modern "prophet" John Grace, more popularly known as Drunvalo Melchizedek.]

Later, when Abraham eventually settled in the land of Canaan near Gerar, it was at the sufferance of Abimelech, the Philistine king who also controlled the lands around Gerar and Beersheba. Abraham had a later confrontation at Beersheba with Abimelech, who made it clear that he was in command of the land, backing up his claim with troops led by General Phicol.

Abraham later had to purchase a plot of land in order to bury his wife Sarah; he paid 400 shekels of silver for this land, an extremely large amount of money for a small piece of land containing a cave. While this sum was abnormally high, Abraham as a foreigner was in no position to demur.

These activities of Abraham were not the actions of a native, and Abraham lived among the Canaanites with their forbearance. It was the custom if not the law of the land that a stranger or alien could not own landed property. This probably accounts for the high price that Abraham had to pay.



THE BORROWED LEGENDS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

The oldest part of the Bible, Genesis Chapters 1 through 6, which deal with the antediluvian period, was not written down in its present form much earlier than 800 BC. On the other hand, most of the Sumerian stories and legends were composed and published about 2500 BC or not long afterwards. The cuneiform tablet versions reported events that took place before the Deluge as well as activities just after the event.

[Comment: If, as I hypothesize, the Planet Nibiru were "parked" above our North Polar Axis from about 1590-690 BCE - from the time of the Exodus and the Santorini Cataclysm to the time of Sargon’s genocidal campaign and the series of "great earthquakes," as per the theories of Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky, including that entire segment of ancient history that was duplicated due to mass contemporaneous confusion and only reinterpreted in this century in the book Ages In Chaos - then this part of Genesis was written while the Nibiruans were in this vicinity to "dictate it" to their demi-god scribes.]

The uniqueness of the events of the Old Testament comes under critical scrutiny since there is nothing here that cannot be found in the ancient myths and literature of Mesopotamia and the land of Canaan. If the activities of Abraham can be dated to about 2100 BC, and his antecedents are in Mesopotamia, then all the events of the Old Testament which took place before Abraham and the Deluge must have had their origin among the indigenous people.

What is not often perceived is that the Jews had at their disposal a vast store of creation and other myths wholly unknown to us, from which they borrowed selectively. For instance, we know that the Eden of the Bible was located in the river delta region of Mesopotamia, and that the story of the creation of Adam is a Sumerian account. The story of the Ark, the Deluge and Noah came from Sumerian accounts. In fact, the story of the Deluge was not limited to the Middle East but was universally known.

There are also Ugaritic (northern Canaan) parallels to the Hebrew Bible. The story of Daniel was taken from a north Canaan poem dated as far back as 1500 BC. The Ugarit Epic of Keret deals with the capture of a bride of King Keret by a distant king. It later became the Helen of Troy motif. But more importantly, it is the source of the stories of Genesis 12 and 20 where twice Abraham had to get his wife Sarah back from the hands of other kings.

The story of Job comes from a Babylonian poem about a virtuous man named Tabu-utul-bel who was sorely afflicted for some inscrutable reason and tormented by the gods.

The story of Jonah has many origins and apparently was universal, for Hercules was swallowed by a whale at precisely the same place, Joppa. Persian legends tell of their hero Jamahyd who was devoured by a sea monster that later vomited him out safely upon the shore. A similar tale appears in India in the epic classic Samedev Bhatta where Saktedeva was swallowed by a fish and later escapes.

The story of Samson is so strange and foreign to Hebrew lore as to indicate that it was borrowed in toto from Canaanite mythology; in fact, his name is derived from Shamash, the Canaanite sun god who ruled Lebanon.

[Comment: As we know, Shamash equals Prince Utu of the Planet Nibiru, the same "god" as the Greek Sun-God Apollo. Prince Utu was in charge of the Sinai Spaceport and its satellite airport at Baalbek, Lebanon, under the command of Nibiruan Airfleet Commander Princess-Royal Inanna, the sister and secret lover of Prince Utu. See Lord Hellespontiacus.]

There are so many parallels that there is no question of contemporary borrowing by the Hebrews. How then did this influence penetrate the Bible so completely?

Sometime during the Second Millennium BC, the Babylonian script, language, and literature permeated the lands west of Mesopotamia. Babylonian had become the diplomatic language of the Middle East so that correspondence between princes of Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine with their Egyptian overlords were carried out in Babylonia.

[Comment: This statement is corroborated by the research of Dr. Velikovsky. One might think of Babylonian as the "English of the Ancient World."]

Therefore, in order to learn the writing and language of the Babylonians, it is necessary for these peoples to study their literature and for this purpose texts were required. Among the tablets discovered at Tel-Amarna in Egypt were copies, in the form of school exercises, of the Babylonian stories of Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld, and the story of Adapa, the mortal who was misled into refusing the food and water of immortality. So it is not unreasonable to assume that many of the Sumerians and Babylonian traditions, such as the stories of Creation and the Deluge, were known also to the Hebrews, or at least to their leaders.

When he left Ur in the valley of Mesopotamia, Abraham presumably brought these Sumerian traditions with him. His father Terah was a high priest in the government of Ur and would certainly have had an intimate knowledge of Sumerian culture.

It is therefore manifest that Sumerian tales of the gods of heaven and earth, the creation of Man, and the Deluge were the fountainhead from which nations of the ancient world drew their knowledge and beliefs.



THE "INVISIBLE" BIBLE

It is now generally accepted that the Old Testament is a condensed version of events that happened in Man’s early history. It is also evident that the Bible is the result of a long process of selection, and for that reason excludes a large amount of sacred texts and other ancient writings.

Many Christian texts or "Apocrypha" and Jewish texts called "Pseudepigrapha" were left out largely due to the fierce political and religious rivalry in early days between sects, between Jews, Christians, and Gnostics. In fact, the Pseudepigrapha was completely lost from the transmitted heritage, documents that stem from 200 BC to AD 200.

The term Pseudepigrapha has evolved from the Greek meaning "writings with false superscriptions," but the term is used today by scholars, not because it denotes something spurious, but rather because the term has been inherited and is now universally used.

What was retained in books of the Old Testament after centuries of emendation by the priesthood was a highly introspective version of the vast amount of literature available. Manuscripts such as the three books of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees and others tell a different story of the Creation, of Adam and Eve, and the activities of the antediluvian Patriarchs. These "lost" books of the Bible explain many of the puzzles and inconsistencies of the Old Testament.

The Gnostic literature was completely left out of the Scriptures. Being serious rivals to the early Christians, the Gnostics were harassed and utterly defeated and their literature was consigned to oblivion.

In the early Christian church the most systematic and organized Gnostic cult was Manichaeism, which spread from Mesopotamia through Asia Minor to North Africa and the European territories of the Roman Empire. In the first four centuries, Gnosticism was so popular that it posed a serious challenge to the early Christian church.

In the Second Century, Valentinus, a major Gnostic Thinker, sought selection as Pope in Rome and almost succeeded. This marked the high point of Gnosticism. Had he not been defeated, one wonder what that major influence St. Augustine, born a Manichaean, would have later done and probably changed the course of history of the Catholic Church.

As a result, Gnostic texts disappeared or were left uncopied, which achieved the same end. Until recently all that was available of Gnostic literature were the refutations to the Gnostics by the early Christian fathers. Then in 1945, extensive Gnostic treatises were found in earthenware jars in Egypt at a small town called Nag Hammadi. The find was as significant to Biblical research as that of the Dead Sea scrolls to Palestine.

It is in the Gnostic tracts that the existence of the serpent-gods is clearly indicated. It is Eve who gave life to Adam, and the serpent in the garden is a noble and virtuous creature. It is easy to see why the Manichaeans were persecuted so avidly. Even so, as a religion it persisted in Europe as late as the Thirteenth Century.

The Albigensians in southern France were the last stronghold of the Manichaeans; however, they were exterminated by Pope Innocent III who organized a military crusade against them. It was then that the Inquisition came into being with the main mission to crush the remnants of the Gnostic heresies.

Thus, as more and more ancient sources are found, it is abundantly clear that an enormous amount of information from ancient sources has been omitted from the Old Testament. Analysis of these sources provides us with insight into the stories of the Book of Genesis, and in particular the period before the Deluge which is covered by only six short chapters of the book. These ancient documents describe, although camouflaged in religious and symbolic terms, the organization and operation of the Sumerian gods and their activities here on Earth.



THE PLURAL GODS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

It is generally agreed that two traditions make up the books of the Old Testament,

the older or Elohist tradition which refers to the deity in generic terms,
and the Priestly tradition where the deity is called Yahweh, often called Jehovah, somewhat erroneously, due to a mistranslation from the Greek Septuagint.
The two main streams are intertwined throughout the Old Testament and sometimes exist side-by-side as, for example, in Genesis where there are two versions of the Creation.

The deity is called "El" (plural "Elohim") some of the time and "Yahweh" the rest of the time. Biblical scholars agree that the usage of Yahweh appears to be an anachronism and may have been inserted at later times.

Hebrew "Elohim" is grammatically a plural form and is often translated as "God" at times but also "Gods" or "divine beings" at other times, mainly because the text is often ambiguous. Generally, the name for the deity is "El" which appears to be the generic term for the deity in western Semitic as well as Biblical Hebrew. It apparently was borrowed from the pantheon of indigenous people of the land of Canaan. Who then was this El who was the supreme deity of the Canaanites?

[Comment: This "El" later became the Islamic "Allah."]

As the ruling god of the Western Semitic pantheon, the leading Sumerian deity Enlil was transcribed syllabically as "ilulu," then became "ili" in Akkadian or Semitic, and later "el" in Hebrew. El thus became the name for Enlil, the supreme being in Palestine and carried over into the Old Testament.

[Comment: Why Sitchin couldn’t see this simple fact is beyond belief. I’m not anti-Jewish, but I will say that there are a lot of Jewish people in the publishing industry in New York City; and probably Sitchin was forced into the position he takes in the final chapter of Divine Encounters just to sell more books to his own people.]

While the rest of the world believed in many gods, the compilers and editors of the Old Testament tried to proclaim a faith in a sole god. In spite of these monotheistic attempts, however, there remain many instances where the Biblical narrative falls into the plural form of El or Elohim. In Genesis, or example, when the notion to create Adam is brought up, the words used are all plural: " And Elohim (plural) said: ’Let us create man in our image and after our likeness.’"

[Comment: One thing everybody seems to forget when talking about the monotheistic traditions of the Jews, Christians and Moslems is that that whole philosophy originated with the Hebrews as a rebellion against the polytheistic tradition of the Greeks. The ancient Hebrews did everything they could to distance themselves from the Greek traditions. This was as much a sociopolitical or cultural matter as it was a religious one. Also, in the book The Stellar Man by John Baines it is stated that the Hebraic monotheistic tradition only arose at the time of Moses when the idea of a single God had to be invented by the Hebrew priests to cover the blunder that Moses made when bargaining with the Archons of Destiny.]

Later, in the garden of Eden, when the serpent is tempting Eve, he says:

"You are not going to die. No, the gods (Elohim) will know that the moment you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be the same as the gods (Elohim) in telling good from bad."

Again later, after the Fall, the deity complains,

"Now that man has become like us (plural) discerning good from bad."

In other cases, the deity often addressed remarks aside as if to other members of the celestial staff. Even after the Deluge, when man was trying to erect a tower in Babel, the deity remarked to an associate,

"Let us, then, go down and confound their speech."

Therefore, notwithstanding attempts by early editors to proclaim a policy of monotheism, evidence of a pantheon has not been completely erased from the text of the Old Testament.



THE PROBLEM OF THE USAGE OF YAHWEH

According to the Book of Exodus the appellation Yahweh did not come into use until the time of Moses, for Moses is told by the deity that,

"I am Yahweh, I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, but I did not make myself known to them by my name Yahweh."

Scholars agree that the name Yahweh was a later addition by priestly scribes. The tetragram YHWH or Yahweh became the distinctive personal name for the god of Israel and is used most frequently throughout the Old Testament to represent the deity.

[Comment: Once again you are referred to The Stellar Man by John Baines for additional details.]

The origin of Yahweh is unknown; and while many explanations for its meaning have been proposed, the most logical seems to be that the divine name is a form of the verb "to be" or HWH, thus meaning "the one who is." This is manifest in Exodus 3 where Moses queries the Lord on his real name so that he can inform the tribes of Israel who wish to know what to call their god:

"God said to Moses, ’I am who I am,’ and he said, ’Say this to the people of Israel: "I am" has been sent to you.’"

This verse has given scholars all kinds of problems, and it is footnoted in most translations of the Bible with the caveat that it can also mean "I am what I am" or "I will be what I will be." Its ambiguity is probably due to the fact that it is a liturgical epithet. It means exactly what it says: "I am the one who is or who exists."

In ancient times, divine names were held to have intrinsic power in themselves and certain appellations could only be used by the priesthood. In the Sumerian and Babylonian pantheon only descriptive names are used. The true names of the gods are not known.

Yahweh or "the one who is" is probably an attempt by Hebrew priests to substitute an innocuous name for that of the deity, thereby defusing any possible harmful consequences. This is also found in the Rabbinical tradition where the name Yahweh holds certain powers, and in ancient times only a few priests were allowed to pronounce the name.

[Comment: According to the secret Hermetic traditions that were recently released to the general public via the works of John Baines, to utter the name of Yahweh aloud would be to invoke the name of the Archon who played the dirty trick on Moses. Uttering this name aloud only further empowers this Archon.]



EL SHADDAI, THE FEARFUL AND TERRIBLE GOD

As we have seen, in addressing Moses, the deity informed him that he had appeared to his ancestors as El Shaddai. This El Shaddai name appears in Genesis no less than six times and is considered to be the descriptive title for the god of the Hebrews.

The Hebrew root "shadad" from which it is believed to be derived means "to overpower," "to treat with violence," or "to lay waste." These meanings give the deity a fearful character, that of devastator or destroyer. It is partly for this reason that the god of the Hebrews is known as an uncompromising and vindictive god.

Shaddai may also be connected linguistically to the Assyrian word "shadu" or mountain. In actuality, both of these meanings can be applied to the Hebrew God El Shaddai, for he is none other than the God of Lightning and Thunder of the Hittites, a northwesterm version of the Sumerian god Ishkur and the Semitic Adad. He was the Anatolian mountain god and is often depicted with thunderbolts in hand.

[Comment: He is thus the Zeus of the Greeks.]

After the Deluge, when the Anunnaki redescended to rebuild the cities of Mesopotamia, the lands known as "the fertile crescent" were divided among the children of Enlil. Nannar/Sin was given authority over all of Mesopotamia and the Western Lands, except for Anatolia which was assigned to Ishkur/Adad and Lebanon which was allotted to Utu/Shamash. The goddess Inanna/Ishtar moved her base of operations to Lebanon and ruled there with Shamash.

The pantheon of the Levant consisted of three major deities after the Deluge: Adad, Shamash, and Ishtar. From Anatolia, the land of the Hittites, Adad extended his influence as far south as Jerusalem. This is illustrated in Ezekiel 16 where the origins of Jerusalem are found in the statement "your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite."



THE LESSER GODS: THE NEFILIM AND THE ANGELS

[Comment: I take issue with this statement. I feel that the Nefilim were the Higher Gods and the Anunnaki, the Lesser Gods.]

Not only does the Old Testament suggest that there were many deities but these lesser gods seem to have descended to Earth to interfere in the affairs of Man. This is explicit in Genesis 6 which states:

"Now when man began to increase on Earth and daughters were born to them, the divine beings (Elohim) saw how beautiful were the human daughters and took as their wives any of them they likes. . . . It was then that the Nefilim appeared on Earth, as well as later, after the divine beings had united with human daughters to whom they bore children."

[Comment: In the Ethiopic renditions of the Scriptures, if my memory serves me correctly, these "Nefilim" are thought of as "Sky People."]

The Biblical term for these lesser deities seems to have been Nefilim. Is the descent of the Nefilim reflected in the literature of Mesopotamia? Could they be the Anunnaki who also descended to Earth in the antediluvian period? We shall see that these were different names for the same group of people.

The term "Nefilim" has given theologians and translators problems over the centuries, so much so that today it is the policy to leave the term intact in modern translations. "Nefilim" is derived from the Hebrew NFL, literally "the fallen ones" or better still "those who dropped down." It has been interpreted to mean "fallen angels" in the sense of those who were cast down, or the evil angels, although the text does not justify this conclusion.

The Noted Jewish Biblical commentator of the 19th Century, Malbim, claimed that in ancient times the rulers of countries in the Middle East were the sons of deities who arrived on Earth from the heavens. He maintains that they were the sons of pagan deities and called themselves Nefilim.

Genesis asserts that they came down to Earth in two groups: "It was then that the Nefilim appeared on Earth, as well as later." The descent of the two separate groups of Nefilim or "angels" down to Mount Harmon in northern Palestine is reported in the Book of Jubilees. A group descended in the days of Jared in the 10th Jubilee; later in the 25th Jubilee, during the days of Noah, another group came down to Earth. Since a Jubilee years is 50 regular years, this source claims that they descended to Earth about 750 years apart.

In the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian account of the Creation, there is a group of Anunnaki who also descended to populate the Earth. These divine beings also intermarried with the daughters of Man.

The so-called angels of the Old Testament have become a general term to describe lesser deities who have been quite active in the affairs of Man. In Biblical Hebrew the word often used is "malakh"; however, other terms such as "bene elohim" or sons of god are often translated as angels. It has been used as a cover term for any of the lesser deities coming in contact with Mankind.

These messengers got around very easily by some sort of flying device; hence, the representation of angels with wings, a symbol of their ability to fly. This was the only way the ancients knew how to convey this fact. The incident of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah illustrates the ability of these angels to fly about at will.

As events unfold in Genesis 18 and 19, several angels were briefing Abraham on the coming destruction of the cities. The traditional translation states that when they decide to visit Sodom, they "set out from there and faced Sodom." The distinguished Biblical scholar E. A. Speiser in his work Genesis suggests that this translation is erroneous and that it could be more accurately rendered as "they looked down upon the face of Sodom." This reading, of course, gives a completely different meaning to the incident.

[Comment: You can tell that Boulay worked for the U.S. Government when he makes such casual statements as the "angels were briefing Abraham."]

Later, after the angels take Lot and his family to safety outside the city, the traditional text states "led him safely outside the city." Again, Speiser suggests an alternate translation of "brought them out and deposited them outside the city."

Thus, the revised text makes it quite clear that the angels first reconnoitered the cities by air; then seeing the necessity to rescue the relatives of Abraham, removed them by some sort of aircraft and deposited them outside at a safe place.



THE DENIZENS OF EDEN: THE LEGGED SNAKES OR REPTILES

According to Genesis and other documents, and long before humans ever existed, the serpent (we shall call him that for want of a better word, for he is obviously a lizard) lived in the garden of Eden and did all the necessary work to maintain it.

This Biblical serpent was not just a lowly snake. He could converse with Eve, he knew the truth about the Tree of Knowledge, and he was of such stature that he unhesitatingly challenged the deity. Additional information of this creature is available from other sources.

Ancient Jewish legends describe the serpent of Eden as manlike - he looked like a man and talked like a man. This is further elaborated on in the Haggadah, that vast reservoir of stories and legends which form the oral tradition of the Jews.

The section that deals with the Creation describes the serpent who inhabited the garden before the creation of Adam as an upright creature that stood on two feet and who was equal in height to the camel. He is given many excellent qualities and mental abilities which are superior to that of Man. In fact, the Haggadah states that it was his superior mental ability that led to the ruin of Man as well as his own.

The task of the serpent, according to this source, included supplying the deity with gold, silver, gems, and pearls, an obviously mundane commercial task for a group of supposedly spiritual beings. It is noteworthy that again we have that preoccupation with gems, as in Genesis which describes the products of Eden:

"The gold of that land is choice; there is bdellium and lapis lazuli."

Preceding Man and then later cohabiting the garden of Eden with him, the serpent was manlike in many ways. He was tall and stood upright on two legs. He did all the work of the gods, particularly the mining and agricultural work. And above all, the serpent had an intellect superior to Man. These are all the attributes of the Anunnaki.

The term "serpent," as applied to this creature, raises many problems. It could best be described as a large lizard or reptile in modern-day terms. The ancients may have given a different meaning to the word serpent which today we define as a legless reptile.

In this respect, the problems are due to giving modern meaning to the translation of the ancient word. For example, ancient or classical Greek had no word for serpent, per se. The word "drakon" was applied to serpents as well as other fabulous snake-like creatures. In fact, compound words based on snake or serpent were variations of "drakon"; for example, the word for snaky or twisting like a road was "drakonforos." "Drakonktonia" meant the slaying of a snake or serpent.

In the Septuagint, the pre-Christian Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures, the word "drakon" is used to denote snakes, large reptiles, and other large terrible or ferocious creatures.

In this way, the confusion of dragon and serpent led to mythological creatures who were winged, legged, and fire-breathing. The serpents of the ancient world were later represented as large lizard-like animals with wings to denote their ability to fly about - a metaphor for some sort of aircraft. Their ability to defend themselves by flame-throwing devices or perhaps their dangerous rocket exhaust was transformed into the mythological appearance of a fire-breathing dragon.

It is against this background that Man is interjected into the antediluvian civilization of the serpent-gods. The Sumerian cuneiform tablets are more specific in this matter. The Anunnaki or children of the serpent-gods tire of their burden of performing all the distasteful tasks of mining and agriculture and appeal to the chief god to alleviate their suffering. It is here that Man enters upon the scene."
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