Today the old testament is a part of the christian's bible. But as far as I know, it is supposed to be oldet than 2000 years.
Maybe someone has answers to my questions:
1. Did the old testament exist in a written form at around 300 BCE?
2. Was it then in Hebrew and a part of the jewish religion?
3. How far spread was the knowledge?
4. Had it been translated into Greek?
5. Could it have been known by Greek philosophers?
6. Considering the little distance between Greece and Israel, how much cultural interchange was there between the Greek and the Hebrew learned people?
I am not denying the evil of any religion. I am just treating christianity as one of many religions, it has no special meaning to me to focus on it, just because I am an ex-christian. I am not fighting any backlash in myself by focussing on fighting christianity more than other religions. The christian god had never any personal meaning for me, he was less than the easter bunny. The bunny brought sweets once a year, from god I never got or expected any benefits. I attempt to keep out of the harm of all religions with a cold and detached distance.
Well, Steven, not exactly. Wars develop between followers of the same religion, too. Wars are actually more about power, land and resources than they are about religion. It took many wars in Japan, for example to unify the whole country, yet there was no difference in religious beliefs among the factions. The same can probably be said for pre-modern Germany, and many others that don't immediately come to mind.
However, religion CAN be used to unify a group of people against another, an US vs. THEM kind of proposition. But again, look at the countries where people of different beliefs and ethnic groups HAVE managed to coexist. Nepal is one, where there are distinct Buddhist and Hindu communities, but when it came to overthrowing the king, they managed to do it without any involvement in religion.
In the middle of a very interesting read. The title of the book is The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, by Israel Finklestein and Neil Silberman. The authors are two Israeli archaeologists who postulate the first 5 or so books of the old testament were actually written in the time of King Josiah of Judah circa 600 B.C.E. The stories of Abraham and Moses were fabrications in an attempt to stir up a common sense of nationalism between the chiefdoms of Israel and Judah. They go on to say that while there is archaeological evidence for the existence of King David (a leader of a minor city state), there was no conquest of Canaan by the Israelites. In fact, the Israelites were the Canaanites. Haven't finished it yet, but so far the authors make a pretty compelling argument based on the archaeology (including actual writings found in the sites) of modern day Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
This is a serious problem for god-believers. Of course, they'll never give up their Jesus drug will they? The problem seems to be one of destruction. Hebrew wars along with all those outsiders invading these areas - destroying everything they could find causes history much anxiety.
A fine example regarding Christians would be the 'Truscan' subset of academics of the Roman Empire - nearly completely destroyed by Christians - along with the most famous library in the entire world at the time in Alexandria, Egypt.
In modern times - in Afghanistan those sevral stories tall carvings were destroyed by the Taliban...thus erasing history.
Seems obvious to me that there is a gradual shift from the undeniable mythology of Genesis to the archaelogical veracity of David. Abraham and Moses are, as you say, most probably based on legends, and there MAY be a grain of truth in those stories, and then again maybe not. But if the point was to make a nation out of scattered tribes, then the stories did the job they were supposed to do!
I enjoy studying the history of the Jewish people (because I am one), and there is far more written history than non-Jews are even aware of. The Christian approach to the Jewish Holy Writings are naive, unhistorical, and biased. That offends me. And it's why I appreciate your reference to that book -- I would much rather view my ancient history and mythology as based on archaeological and scientific evidence, rather than take the views of uneducated aliens (i.e. Christians and Muslims). And I view it as a cultural experience, and not a recipe for belief! :-)
Natalie - may I recommend a book written just recently - that i'm certain you'd relate to in many ways - "Leaving Judaism" by James Einbein.
It might be found on Amazon but I'll provide as much info as i can for you to get a copy. The author was kind enough to present me a copy free as we enjoyed quite a conversation over a period of time. www.leavingjudaism.com
James Einbein - 2700 NE 51st Street # 131 Fort lauderdale, Florida 33308 754-423-2638.
I had no idea of how Israel Jews felt about the entire world (Goys)...and even American born jews are way way below the 'chosen' status of Israel born Jews. Quite a good read.
Natalie - You've made my point. Religion poisons everything. Most major wars in our lifetime are 'religion' based and certainly all the the bibical wars are all God based.
Certainly, land and economic problems are the 'only' things involved in some wars. However, land guaranteed by God to the Hebrews caused multiple wars. It's still going on today. The world I live in is religion based - western and middle-eastern civilization's are all having 'wars' that are obviously religion based....but not all disputes involve such concepts - point taken.
The Old Testament, or Torah, was not written until 500 years before the common era. It was written to legitimize the rule of the Priests class. yes, it was written into Greek. There were NO JEWS until they appeared out of Babylon, Josephus wrote of this in his works. The writings of prophecy and the history of the Jews, those who followed the mythical figure of Moses, were written many years after the fact, whatever they were because there is no historical Moses. There was much commerce between Greeks and the rest of the known world, their known world. The Torah is NOT the oldest known religious writings. That award belongs to the Hindu who have had the oldest known religion. Also, ancient texts do not in any way represent the reality of the ancient world where they fought over who's god was the strongest and most loving. A lot like today's religions.
I'm tired of the bullshitting I see here. Yes, you're right, there is no archaelogical or literary record of the existence of Moses, but that doesn't mean that the early Jewish tribe didn't exist in Canaan WELL before the Bablylonian exile. As relatives of the Canaanites, they practiced much the same tribal practices, except that they had already given up the eating of pork. They used an early Canaanite script, and even called their god El, which is STILL one of the names of god used today.
Yes, the Jewish scriptures are gory, but EVERYONE at the time was fighting amongst themselves, the whatever the literature of the other tribes may have been, they weren't venerated and preserved, especially after the forced Muslim conversions of ~7th century. The Jews did NOT commit genocide, any more than the other tribes of the area did.
Until you folks learn to recognize that the Jewish writings are a historical document of a culture, and don't need to be attacked on theological terms (we ALL know they're just as theologically mythological as the Greek, Roman, Norse, Vedas and other cultural writings), I'm really not very impressed by your rants.