The "Critical Text" Criticized

Red Sky at Morning

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Do we have conclusive proof that Contantine Simonides was involved in the production of the manuscript that became Codex Siniaticus?

In his vlog, "The Sinaiticus Smoking Gun?", David Daniels points out three strong pieces of evidence that have convinced him that Constantine Simonides was involved in creating the manuscript between 1839 and 1841 at Mount Athos.


1. Spyridon Paulou Lampros published a two volume catalog of the Greek manuscripts on Mount Athos in 1895 and 1890. This catalog shows that Constantine Simonides, his uncle Benedict, and the monk Kallinikos Monachos were all present on Mt. Athos,
at Panteleimon monastery. Simonides and Kallinikos are even shown to have been working on the same project at the same time.

This catalog also confirms the very existence of Kallinikos, who wrote a letter in 1862 from Alexandria, Egypt, declaring that Simonides himself was the scribe of the manuscript which was later taken by Tischendorf from the Sinai monestary. Kallinikos not only accused Tischendorf of stealing part of the manuscript ("perusing and reperusing it frequently, abstracted secretly a small portion of it"), but also of applying lemon juice to the remainder of the manuscript to cause it to look older ("to weaken the freshness of the letters").

2. The text of The Shepherd of Hermas in Codex Sinaiticus is almost identical to the text that Simonides published.

It turns out that the text of the Epistle of Barnabas in Sinaiticus is practically identical to the text published by Simonides, when corrected by the footnotes he included from the text published by Gaspareos.

The Barnabas text in Sinaiticus also contains little correction notes all through the text. When the main text is corrected with these notes it matches the main text that Simonides published!

So it is clear that the two main texts are linked by a set of published corrections! Simonides possessed the main text AND the corrections to create the Barnabas text of Sinaiticus.

3. Constantine Simonides claimed that he had written some identifying notes into the text. These notes should prove that he penned the codex. One of these notes (acrostics) was supposed to be written in the margin of the text at Genesis 24. Unfortunately, the margin, as well as other pieces of this page are MISSING. Could it be that these pieces were destroyed on purpose to obliterate the identifying marks?
 






Steven Avery

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Do we have conclusive proof that Contantine Simonides was involved in the production of the manuscript that became Codex Siniaticus? ... This catalog also confirms the very existence of Kallinikos, who wrote a letter in 1862 from Alexandria, Egypt, declaring that Simonides himself was the scribe of the manuscript which was later taken by Tischendorf from the Sinai monestary. Kallinikos not only accused Tischendorf of stealing part of the manuscript ("perusing and reperusing it frequently, abstracted secretly a small portion of it"), but also of applying lemon juice to the remainder of the manuscript to cause it to look older ("to weaken the freshness of the letters").
Greetings, Red Sky and Vigilant Citizens!
Good thread and great question quoted.

There are interconnected facts that prove that the ms. was subject to tampering in the 1850s, which cries out “fake, modern, non-ancient, 1800s.” And we can apply historical forensics to analyze what happened with the tampering of the manuscript.

We can see today that every one of the 86 pages from Leipzig 1844 (Tischendorf heisted 86 pages, five intact quires = 80 pages, and part of a sixth) is a pristine white parchment, contra normal parchment science. Oxidation, gelatinization, brittleness, is the norm. Also Leipzig has no grime, no streaks and is very supple. For the colour, see, e.g. the composite picture that is on the cover of the book by David W. Daniels. Also look at the individual pages. (Easy to do, and that is what really got David involved.!)

The British section from 1859 St. Petersburg is also in “phenomenally good condition” (Helen Shenton, British Library) as you can see in the BBC video, the Beauty of Books.
Easy-peasy page turning. However the 1859 pages, unlike the 1844 Leipzig, are yellowish, streaky and stained!

So already we have a phenomenal circumstantial evidence of the BEFORE 1844 and the AFTER 1859 of an unworn manuscript, one which was subject to the oldest fakery trick in the book — tea, and/or lemon juice, coffee, herbs, applied to parchment to give the appearance of age. The whole thing was a hack job, quite transparent. And it is quite unusual, like a gift to the researcher. When is an assessor, or an authenticity or fakery researcher, ever presented with such an amazing, right before your eyes, smoking gun evidence?!

Now, here is the historical forensics kicker and ultra-clincher.

In the years 1862-1864, it was reported in writing in the English journals, by Kallinikos and Simonides, that exactly this tampering had been observed in Sinai in the 1850s. In the interim between between the 1844 Leipzig part A heist and the St. Petersburg 1859 part B “loan”. The section that went out in 1859 was coloured by Tischendorf! Lemon juice and herbs specifically mentioned.

How could Kallinikos know? How could he dare make such an amazing accusation? ;) He was supposed to know nothing about the ms, according to the authenticity defenders. Today, with the ms. digitally reunited, we can see that what he said is 100% true!

The answer is simple. He waz dere. Kallinikos saw it in real-time.

There is so much more, but on an excellent forum like this one, I felt my responsibility to give a bit of the historical forensics backdrop!

Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY
Sinaiticus Authenticity Research Team - The SART team
 






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rainerann

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The problem with criticizing the Critical text is that it creates this ping pong effect between the Textus Receptus and the Critical Text that causes us to avoid looking at other issues. One issue, in particular, is the large absence of evidence that events in the Bible took place in the locations they claim. There is no evidence that the Hebrews exodus took place in Egypt, and whether you use the Textus Receptus or the Critical text, you are being led to the conclusion that the locations assigned when the Septuagint was written are the accurate locations where Biblical events took place.

I finished reading the book "Egypt Knew no Pharoahs nor Israelites" which documents the absence of evidence from Egyptian historical writings to suggest that the king of Egypt was ever referred to as a Pharoah; or that Egypt ever engaged in a relationship with the kingdom of Israel during the time of Solomon, David, etc. This is a glaring issue for both texts that results from the translation to the Septuagint, which designated locations based on Hebrew writings.

This brings up the Christian teaching created by writing the Septuagint that there was no revelation for around 400 years between the last prophetic writing in the Old Testament to the beginning of the New Testament. There has been a question mark about this as though it were a divine decree that God did not show his presence. However, this is more than likely because the Septuagint was being written starting 400 years before the New Testament writings. This also suggests that there was no particular order to the writings before the Septuagint was compiled.

The issues regarding the absence of a Hebrew version of the Bible in the same form of the Septuagint cause some speculation over whether the Bible is just a collection and reinterpretation of Sumerian myths. However, they are and this doesn't create any issue. The Semitic people known as the Hebrews descend from the Sumerian culture. Abraham was a Sumerian from the city of Ur. So what we have when we consider the Hebrew writings is a continuation of Sumerian teachings consequently making the teachings in the Bible the oldest religion of all religions in the world with a consistent, linear presence. The nation of Sumeria hasn't existed for thousands of years, but the teachings have continued to be taught ever since regardless because of a man named Abraham who was a Sumerian and through whom these stories were preserved.

So the reality that there is a connection between ancient Sumerian teachings and the teachings of the Bible supports the argument that the Bible is authentic. However, we do not have the same evidence when we consider an archeological discussion of the historical experience of the Hebrew people within Egypt.

Another man wrote a book I am reading called "The Bible Came From Arabia," and I recommend this book to everyone. It is free online and written by a Christian. https://www.scribd.com/document/330789718/The-Bible-Came-From-Arabia-by-Kamal-Salibi-2016-pdf

He discusses some of the evidence to suggest that pre-captivity Israel was located in southern Arabia. One of the first things to consider as evidence that this is true without looking at historical documents is from the Bible itself in regard to the conditions present when the people were being taken into captivity.

2 Kings 24:14
"And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land."

Scripture says that the poor of the true Israel never left, and we know that the Yemenite Jews are one of the oldest Jewish communities that exist. They are the poor that never left and include the ones who returned, which eventually became known as the Himyarite kingdom.

So I think it is a shame to see that when we say that the Critical text should be criticized because of the opinion that the Textus Receptus is superior, they are both still strongly influenced by the creation of the Septuagint who assigned geographical connections and collected the writings that are considered part of the Bible.

This is to say that when translating from the Textus Receptus, the translators do not deviate from the collection determined by the translators of the Septuagint because the Textus Receptus could have included writings that may have been excluded from the Septuagint, but they didn't because the translators of the Septuagint were the ones to determine what readers who were not part of the Hebrew culture could be exposed to. Translators of Hebrew writings not including the Septuagint will also still translate Hebrew words into the translated version determined by the Septuagint as well.

For example, Mizrayim is translated to mean "Egypt" because this is the association that was made when the Septuagint was being compiled. What we should do if we are going to criticize texts that use the Septuagint as a base for translation, is leave Hebrew words alone and not attempt to translate them to create associations with locations where there is no evidence to support a relationship exists based on the influence of the Septuagint.

We know that archeology regarding the ancient Sumerian civilization supports the Bible testimony. It is purely speculation, but I do wonder whether Sumerian means descendants of Shem because if you made different vowel sounds, this seems like it would be possible.

The main point is that we should be criticizing scripture in such a way that we are becoming able to make more associations with historical information that would support Biblical narratives like this the way a study of the history of Sumeria supports the early Biblical stories of creation, the flood, being carried on by the patriarch Abraham who was a Sumerian.
 






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Red Sky at Morning

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The problem with criticizing the Critical text is that it creates this ping pong effect between the Textus Receptus and the Critical Text that causes us to avoid looking at other issues. One issue, in particular, is the large absence of evidence that events in the Bible took place in the locations they claim. There is no evidence that the Hebrews exodus took place in Egypt, and whether you use the Textus Receptus or the Critical text, you are being led to the conclusion that the locations assigned when the Septuagint was written are the accurate locations where Biblical events took place.

I finished reading the book "Egypt Knew no Pharoahs nor Israelites" which documents the absence of evidence from Egyptian historical writings to suggest that the king of Egypt was ever referred to as a Pharoah; or that Egypt ever engaged in a relationship with the kingdom of Israel during the time of Solomon, David, etc. This is a glaring issue for both texts that results from the translation to the Septuagint, which designated locations based on Hebrew writings.

This brings up the Christian teaching created by writing the Septuagint that there was no revelation for around 400 years between the last prophetic writing in the Old Testament to the beginning of the New Testament. There has been a question mark about this as though it were a divine decree that God did not show his presence. However, this is more than likely because the Septuagint was being written starting 400 years before the New Testament writings. This also suggests that there was no particular order to the writings before the Septuagint was compiled.

The issues regarding the absence of a Hebrew version of the Bible in the same form of the Septuagint cause some speculation over whether the Bible is just a collection and reinterpretation of Sumerian myths. However, they are and this doesn't create any issue. The Semitic people known as the Hebrews descend from the Sumerian culture. Abraham was a Sumerian from the city of Ur. So what we have when we consider the Hebrew writings is a continuation of Sumerian teachings consequently making the teachings in the Bible the oldest religion of all religions in the world with a consistent, linear presence. The nation of Sumeria hasn't existed for thousands of years, but the teachings have continued to be taught ever since regardless because of a man named Abraham who was a Sumerian and through whom these stories were preserved.

So the reality that there is a connection between ancient Sumerian teachings and the teachings of the Bible supports the argument that the Bible is authentic. However, we do not have the same evidence when we consider an archeological discussion of the historical experience of the Hebrew people within Egypt.

Another man wrote a book I am reading called "The Bible Came From Arabia," and I recommend this book to everyone. It is free online and written by a Christian. https://www.scribd.com/document/330789718/The-Bible-Came-From-Arabia-by-Kamal-Salibi-2016-pdf

He discusses some of the evidence to suggest that pre-captivity Israel was located in southern Arabia. One of the first things to consider as evidence that this is true without looking at historical documents is from the Bible itself in regard to the conditions present when the people were being taken into captivity.

2 Kings 24:14
"And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land."

Scripture says that the poor of the true Israel never left, and we know that the Yemenite Jews are one of the oldest Jewish communities that exist. They are the poor that never left and include the ones who returned, which eventually became known as the Himyarite kingdom.

So I think it is a shame to see that when we say that the Critical text should be criticized because of the opinion that the Textus Receptus is superior, they are both still strongly influenced by the creation of the Septuagint who assigned geographical connections and collected the writings that are considered part of the Bible.

This is to say that when translating from the Textus Receptus, the translators do not deviate from the collection determined by the translators of the Septuagint because the Textus Receptus could have included writings that may have been excluded from the Septuagint, but they didn't because the translators of the Septuagint were the ones to determine what readers who were not part of the Hebrew culture could be exposed to. Translators of Hebrew writings not including the Septuagint will also still translate Hebrew words into the translated version determined by the Septuagint as well.

For example, Mizrayim is translated to mean "Egypt" because this is the association that was made when the Septuagint was being compiled. What we should do if we are going to criticize texts that use the Septuagint as a base for translation, is leave Hebrew words alone and not attempt to translate them to create associations with locations where there is no evidence to support a relationship exists based on the influence of the Septuagint.

We know that archeology regarding the ancient Sumerian civilization supports the Bible testimony. It is purely speculation, but I do wonder whether Sumerian means descendants of Shem because if you made different vowel sounds, this seems like it would be possible.

The main point is that we should be criticizing scripture in such a way that we are becoming able to make more associations with historical information that would support Biblical narratives like this the way a study of the history of Sumeria supports the early Biblical stories of creation, the flood, being carried on by the patriarch Abraham who was a Sumerian.
I have not spent a great deal of time on the Septuagint other than to note that the legend of its creation appears rather doubtful and that its current form which includes certain Apocraphal books of importance to Catholic doctrines of praying for the dead etc etc are included.

I purposely focussed on the Sinaiticus and other Alexandrian type texts as I believe there is a case to answer for the Alexandrian schools being influenced by Gnosticism.

To your point, I think that this parallel topic is of relevance...

"How did the discovery of the lost Hittite civilization provide evidence in support of the biblical record?

4661480_orig.jpg

The Old Testament mentions the ancient Hittite civilization more than 50 times, either by their Hebrew name "Chitti" or by their designation as the sons and daughters Heth. However, prior to their rediscovery in the 19th century, there appeared to be no evidence for their existence outside of the Bible. Skeptics cited the missing evidence as evidence that the Bible actually fabricated their existence. This called the reliability of the biblical account into question. Basically the skeptics said, "We can't find any evidence for the Hittite civilization outside of the Bible. This demonstrates that the Bible cannot be trusted as an historical source."

Then, in the 19th and 20th centuries archaeologists hit the jackpot, not only identifying extrabiblical references to the Hittite civilization, but by actually finding and excavating the ancient Hittite capital city of Hattusa (modern day Boрazkцy in northern Turkey). The rediscovery of this ancient civilization vindicated the Biblical record.

Evidence for the Hittites was bolstered in Egypt with the discovery of a treaty between Pharaoh Ramses II and the Hittite Empire. Originally written on silver tablets in Heliopolis and Hattusus, a huge copy was found on a wall of the great Karnak Temple. After years of fighting between the Hittites and the Egyptians, Ramses II and the Hittite king settled on a treaty whereby the territory of Syria and Canaan would be divided between them. "

https://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/hittite-faq.htm

To the Egypt question, this piece of research is of significant relevance:-


Based on a likely mistake made on identifying a particular Pharaoh ...

"In the very early years after the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs, on chronological, historical, and linguistic grounds, nearly all Egyptologists identified Shishak with Shoshenq I of the 22nd dynasty, who invaded Canaan following the Battle of Bitter Lakes."

Rather like in a maths problem, if you make an error early in the calculation, but then apply perfect logic to the rest, you still get the wrong answer!


P.s. since the Egypt / Exodus question is a separate topic to the reliability of the "Critical text", it might be worth continuing the Egyptology discussion on this thread...

https://vigilantcitizenforums.com/threads/patterns-of-evidence-the-exodus.3578/
 






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rainerann

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"The Septuagint (from the Latin septuaginta, “seventy”) is a translation of the Hebrew Bible and some related texts into Koine Greek. The title (Greek: Ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα, lit. “The Translation of the Seventy”) and its Roman numeral acronym LXX refer to the legendary seventy Jewish elders who solely translated the Five Books of Moses into Koine Greek at the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, (285–247 BCE) for the library in Alexandria, Egypt and the Jewish Community of Alexandria in general, most of whom did not speak Hebrew. The story of the elders being invited to Egypt and writing the translation is mentioned in The Letter of Aristeas, Josephus (Ant. Jud., XII, ii), Philo (De vita Moysis, II, vi), and the Babylonian Talmud (Megillah 9a-9b).
Today, there are three main manuscripts of the Septuagint, in existence: Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. The manuscripts include all of the Tanach and some additional apocryphal books that used to be in the Hebrew Bible, but were removed from it during the Talmudic period. All three manuscripts are available online now."

http://www.tanachonline.org/codex-vaticanus-and-codex-sinaiticus-septuagint-manuscripts-online/

The Septuagint is one of the primary reasons that many people have issues with the other Codex's because it is used to translate portions of the Old Testament rather than translating from the original Hebrew text. Either way, the Septuagint is a primary influence on what we consider the canon because these are the writings that the Hebrew community offered to an audience that could not read Hebrew for themselves to determine a canon otherwise. Therefore, its influence is relevant whether you are criticizing the Alexandrian texts or the Textus Receptus.

Therefore, we should criticize the text until we are able to authenticate the text with archeological findings. This is completely relevant to validating the information contained within the Bible as well as identifying the sources where the error begins with the translating of the Septuagint. Unfortunately, Egypt has been subject to more archeological study than almost every country in the entire world and there is no evidence that the king of Egypt was called a Pharoah or that there was an exodus or a relationship with a pre-captivity Israel which shouldn't take an ancient archeological dig since Israel would have been a kingdom and the people would have been taken captive in much more recent years.

This reality suggests more and more every day that whether you use the textus receptus or the other texts, there is at least one very serious error right now that we should be taking seriously.

For example, the Amarna letters that you are referencing to validate the existence of the Hittite people who are mentioned in the Bible were composed during the time that we would believe that the Hebrew people were still in Egypt. In the correspondence that is held between Egyptians, Assyrians, Hittites, Babylonians, there is no mention of the presence of the Hebrew people or anything that would indicate that there were a people that they were aware of had strange customs like circumcision, monotheism, a patriarch named Abraham, an awareness of their understanding of creation to compare with spiritual beliefs held in these major historical kingdoms. Nothing like this is contained within these letters. (Egypt Knew No Pharoahs Nor Israelites) The Amarna letters may mention the historical Hittites, but in every other way, they work against validating the Biblical account perpetuated by the translators of the Septuagint.

For example, from the even more limited amount of information that we have on the ancient Sumerian cultures in comparison to the amount of information we have about ancient Egypt, we know the epic of Gilgamesh talks about a flood, one man surviving the flood named Ziusudra, and that there was an original epicenter, or garden of Eden, called Dilmun.

In my opinion, the most interesting part of the similarities between Sumerian writings and the creation account is the way it references the firmament. "In the beginning, the heaven and the earth, or rather the heavenly firmament and the terrestrial ocean, were essentially one being, called Anki, and they came out of the primordial waters known as the goddess Nammu. Between heaven and earth there was a substance called Lil, which could roughtly be translated as "atmosphere" or "air." Nammu is important because she/it surrounded the entire known universe of Sumerians as an endless ocean." (Sumerians: A Captivating Guide to Ancient Sumerian History).

The Biblical purist would say this wasn't anything close to what the Bible says, but it is God separating oceans above from the oceans below with a female presence that scripture would call wisdom and we would also say in the beginning Christ was with God and He was God, and so the Sumerians may use different names but it is basically the same exact thing.

When the Amarna letters are read, there is nothing to suggest that there was an awareness of the Hebrews within a discussion between the major kingdoms of the time in any way that parallels the stories found in ancient Sumerians writings with the stories from the Bible.

There is also reason to believe that more information could be found in areas of ancient Sumeria. In the book, The Sumerian Controversy, a suggestion was made that one of the other reasons for going to Iraq for weapons of mass destruction had just as much to do with taking archeological relics as it had to do with oil. It would not surprise if that is another primary reason that Yemen remains such a war zone right now is so that a modern investigation cannot take place in that region. This would consequently describe oppression as information withheld is causing world events to go in the present direction that they are.

What we really know about Palestine is that it is the place where Christ was killed and the location where the witnesses will also be killed that is figuratively called Sodom and Gomorrah according to Revelation. However, the location of the original Jerusalem may still be located in southern Arabia, presently being desolated, where a remnant may return one day after everything done in the dark is finally revealed in the light.
This error contained in every text, Alexandrian or not, is perpetuated by the Septuagint and this error is relevant to how we criticize the Alexandrian texts as well as the Textus Receptus who is also influenced by the presence of the Septuagint who gives authority to the translation of locations that would otherwise be unidentifiable locations with Hebrew names.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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"The Septuagint (from the Latin septuaginta, “seventy”) is a translation of the Hebrew Bible and some related texts into Koine Greek. The title (Greek: Ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα, lit. “The Translation of the Seventy”) and its Roman numeral acronym LXX refer to the legendary seventy Jewish elders who solely translated the Five Books of Moses into Koine Greek at the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, (285–247 BCE) for the library in Alexandria, Egypt and the Jewish Community of Alexandria in general, most of whom did not speak Hebrew. The story of the elders being invited to Egypt and writing the translation is mentioned in The Letter of Aristeas, Josephus (Ant. Jud., XII, ii), Philo (De vita Moysis, II, vi), and the Babylonian Talmud (Megillah 9a-9b).
Today, there are three main manuscripts of the Septuagint, in existence: Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. The manuscripts include all of the Tanach and some additional apocryphal books that used to be in the Hebrew Bible, but were removed from it during the Talmudic period. All three manuscripts are available online now."

http://www.tanachonline.org/codex-vaticanus-and-codex-sinaiticus-septuagint-manuscripts-online/

The Septuagint is one of the primary reasons that many people have issues with the other Codex's because it is used to translate portions of the Old Testament rather than translating from the original Hebrew text. Either way, the Septuagint is a primary influence on what we consider the canon because these are the writings that the Hebrew community offered to an audience that could not read Hebrew for themselves to determine a canon otherwise. Therefore, its influence is relevant whether you are criticizing the Alexandrian texts or the Textus Receptus.

Therefore, we should criticize the text until we are able to authenticate the text with archeological findings. This is completely relevant to validating the information contained within the Bible as well as identifying the sources where the error begins with the translating of the Septuagint. Unfortunately, Egypt has been subject to more archeological study than almost every country in the entire world and there is no evidence that the king of Egypt was called a Pharoah or that there was an exodus or a relationship with a pre-captivity Israel which shouldn't take an ancient archeological dig since Israel would have been a kingdom and the people would have been taken captive in much more recent years.

This reality suggests more and more every day that whether you use the textus receptus or the other texts, there is at least one very serious error right now that we should be taking seriously.

For example, the Amarna letters that you are referencing to validate the existence of the Hittite people who are mentioned in the Bible were composed during the time that we would believe that the Hebrew people were still in Egypt. In the correspondence that is held between Egyptians, Assyrians, Hittites, Babylonians, there is no mention of the presence of the Hebrew people or anything that would indicate that there were a people that they were aware of had strange customs like circumcision, monotheism, a patriarch named Abraham, an awareness of their understanding of creation to compare with spiritual beliefs held in these major historical kingdoms. Nothing like this is contained within these letters. (Egypt Knew No Pharoahs Nor Israelites) The Amarna letters may mention the historical Hittites, but in every other way, they work against validating the Biblical account perpetuated by the translators of the Septuagint.

For example, from the even more limited amount of information that we have on the ancient Sumerian cultures in comparison to the amount of information we have about ancient Egypt, we know the epic of Gilgamesh talks about a flood, one man surviving the flood named Ziusudra, and that there was an original epicenter, or garden of Eden, called Dilmun.

In my opinion, the most interesting part of the similarities between Sumerian writings and the creation account is the way it references the firmament. "In the beginning, the heaven and the earth, or rather the heavenly firmament and the terrestrial ocean, were essentially one being, called Anki, and they came out of the primordial waters known as the goddess Nammu. Between heaven and earth there was a substance called Lil, which could roughtly be translated as "atmosphere" or "air." Nammu is important because she/it surrounded the entire known universe of Sumerians as an endless ocean." (Sumerians: A Captivating Guide to Ancient Sumerian History).

The Biblical purist would say this wasn't anything close to what the Bible says, but it is God separating oceans above from the oceans below with a female presence that scripture would call wisdom and we would also say in the beginning Christ was with God and He was God, and so the Sumerians may use different names but it is basically the same exact thing.

When the Amarna letters are read, there is nothing to suggest that there was an awareness of the Hebrews within a discussion between the major kingdoms of the time in any way that parallels the stories found in ancient Sumerians writings with the stories from the Bible.

There is also reason to believe that more information could be found in areas of ancient Sumeria. In the book, The Sumerian Controversy, a suggestion was made that one of the other reasons for going to Iraq for weapons of mass destruction had just as much to do with taking archeological relics as it had to do with oil. It would not surprise if that is another primary reason that Yemen remains such a war zone right now is so that a modern investigation cannot take place in that region. This would consequently describe oppression as information withheld is causing world events to go in the present direction that they are.

What we really know about Palestine is that it is the place where Christ was killed and the location where the witnesses will also be killed that is figuratively called Sodom and Gomorrah according to Revelation. However, the location of the original Jerusalem may still be located in southern Arabia, presently being desolated, where a remnant may return one day after everything done in the dark is finally revealed in the light.
This error contained in every text, Alexandrian or not, is perpetuated by the Septuagint and this error is relevant to how we criticize the Alexandrian texts as well as the Textus Receptus who is also influenced by the presence of the Septuagint who gives authority to the translation of locations that would otherwise be unidentifiable locations with Hebrew names.
I can't really comment on the Septuagint but I suspect @Steven Avery has some insight into it ;-)

As regards Exodus, the location of Jerusalem etc, the prior convictions of the researcher have much to do with the conclusions they draw, and thus are subject to confirmation bias.

The Muslim would seek to question the Mosaic claims thus any narrative that gave a special status to Hebrews should be attacked.

A liberal "Christian" may dislike the miraculous and seek alternative explanations that avoid such embarrassing (to them) claims of a miraculous God.

An Evolutionist likewise would seek to allegorise and emphasise the "legendary" in the events of the first few chapters of Genesis.

A Christian "Zionist" who believes that God has yet unfinished promises and business with the Jews may have yet another set of confirmation biases.

I'm sure you know all this but I'm trying to be as "neutral" as possible in my answer so as to promote examination and discussion here.

So to my question, do you still feel confident in the conventional Egyptian chronology having considered David Rohl's findings on the problems with the standard chronology?

 






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Serveto

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The Muslim would seek to question the Mosaic claims thus any narrative that gave a special status to Hebrews should be attacked.
I realize that you are speaking in general terms, which, to me, is acceptable, and the overall point of your post is well made, but it might interest you to hear a famous Muslim historian, Ibn-Khaldun (1332-1406), from a former era, on this very topic, and this apparently not in the nature of an attack:


"... This is why the Israelites after Moses and Joshua remained unconcerned with royal authority for about four hundred years. Their only concern was to establish their religion. The person from among them who was in charge of their religion was called the Kohen. He was in a way the representative (caliph) of Moses. He regulated the prayers and sacrifices of the Israelites. They made it a condition for him to be a descendant of Aaron, as it had been destined for him and his children by divine revelation. For (supervision of the) political matters which naturally arise among human beings, the Israelites selected seventy elders who were entrusted with a general legal authority. The Kohen was higher in religious rank than they and more remote from the turbulent legal authority. This continued to obtain (among the Israelites) until the nature of group feeling made itself fully felt and all power became political. The Israelites dispossessed the Canaanites of the land that God had given them as their heritage in Jerusalem and the surrounding region, as it had been explained to them through Moses. The nations of the Philistines, the Canaanites, the Armenians, the Edomites, the Ammonites, and the Moabites fought against them. During that time political leadership was entrusted to the elders among them. The Israelites remained in that condition for about four hundred years. They did not have any royal power and were harassed by attacks from foreign nations. Therefore, they asked God through Samuel, one of their prophets, that He permit them to make someone king over them. Thus, Saul became their king ..."

Source (pp. 183-184)
 






Red Sky at Morning

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I realize that you are speaking in general terms, which, to me, is acceptable, and the overall point of your post is well made, but it might interest you to hear a famous Muslim historian, Ibn-Khaldun (1332-1406), from a former era, on this very topic, and this apparently not in the nature of an attack:

"... This is why the Israelites after Moses and Joshua remained unconcerned with royal authority for about four hundred years. Their only concern was to establish their religion. The person from among them who was in charge of their religion was called the Kohen. He was in a way the representative (caliph) of Moses. He regulated the prayers and sacrifices of the Israelites. They made it a condition for him to be a descendant of Aaron, as it had been destined for him and his children by divine revelation. For (supervision of the) political matters which naturally arise among human beings, the Israelites selected seventy elders who were entrusted with a general legal authority. The Kohen was higher in religious rank than they and more remote from the turbulent legal authority. This continued to obtain (among the Israelites) until the nature of group feeling made itself fully felt and all power became political. The Israelites dispossessed the Canaanites of the land that God had given them as their heritage in Jerusalem and the surrounding region, as it had been explained to them through Moses. The nations of the Philistines, the Canaanites, the Armenians, the Edomites, the Ammonites, and the Moabites fought against them. During that time political leadership was entrusted to the elders among them. The Israelites remained in that condition for about four hundred years. They did not have any royal power and were harassed by attacks from foreign nations. Therefore, they asked God through Samuel, one of their prophets, that He permit them to make someone king over them. Thus, Saul became their king ..."


Ok Serv (using the Veto are we ;-), "Some Muslims I have interacted with" would have been better phrasing ;-)

Anyway - I have had a lot of fun watching both parts 1 and 2 of David Rohl's presentation today. It has certainly solidified my view of the historicity of the writings of Moses.

If you don't get time to watch number 1 first, watch 2 - if you think his conclusions are "too good to be true", watch 1...
 






rainerann

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I can't really comment on the Septuagint but I suspect @Steven Avery has some insight into it ;-)

As regards Exodus, the location of Jerusalem etc, the prior convictions of the researcher have much to do with the conclusions they draw, and thus are subject to confirmation bias.

The Muslim would seek to question the Mosaic claims thus any narrative that gave a special status to Hebrews should be attacked.

A liberal "Christian" may dislike the miraculous and seek alternative explanations that avoid such embarrassing (to them) claims of a miraculous God.

An Evolutionist likewise would seek to allegorise and emphasise the "legendary" in the events of the first few chapters of Genesis.

A Christian "Zionist" who believes that God has yet unfinished promises and business with the Jews may have yet another set of confirmation biases.

I'm sure you know all this but I'm trying to be as "neutral" as possible in my answer so as to promote examination and discussion here.

So to my question, do you still feel confident in the conventional Egyptian chronology having considered David Rohl's findings on the problems with the standard chronology?

Well bless you too Red. This was very interesting and useful. However, probably not in the way you would imagine. This first video actually brings up more issues than it solves when you consider the role of the Septuagint in creating this timeline that is changed by the information given by the presenter. So when he says that Rameses II is reigning during the time of Rehoboam, this would change the timeline for Biblical history by about 300 years.

According to Egyptian records, Rameses II is about 300 years before we would imagine the kingdom of Rehoboam existed. There are several problems with this that go back to the subject of the Septuagint. Basically, this proves that the creation of a timeline for Biblical events is based on how these events are mirrored by Egyptian records for when events took place and that the Biblical timeline is not based on evidence of its own.

As a result, it is likely that the absence of evidence for a historical timeline independent of the influence of Egypt is caused by the Septuagint, which was an effort to translate the Old Testament for an Egyptian audience. Suggesting that Mizraim is translated as Egypt forces Biblical narratives within the Egyptian timeline. As a result of this, for many years now, Bible believers have somewhat stubbornly believed that Rehoboam lived around 900 BC even though Herodotus lived around 500 BC and never mentions Israel in writing his histories or the event between Rameses II and Israel that is being presented in the video. So this has been a problem for some time and changing this timeline by 300 years doesn't really solve the problem.

In addition to this, it is worthwhile to remember that the Septuagint was also commissioned around 300 BC for an Egyptian audience who does not seem to have a historical familiarity with the Hebrew people the way this presenter is trying to suggest was written on their wall. All of which is pointing to the reality that Egypt is not the accurate way to translate Mizraim, and this whole problem was created by the Septuagint whose initial translation from Hebrew into another language is the influence that causes future translators to assign the same locations that are given in this translation.

The whole thing is very reminiscent of the verse from Daniel about changing the times (Daniel 7:25) because the Septuagint does create a historical timeline by making the association to Egypt that cannot be validated in a way that you would expect.

What happens because of giving up the identity of Egypt as the accurate way to translate Mizraim is actually good for Bible believers because it frees us from the constraints created by an association to Egyptian historical records. Instead of the exodus taking place around 1300 BC give or take, it is possible to entertain the potential of the exodus taking place much farther back than this. It is possible that the history of Abraham goes back farther as well.

In fact, what we should be doing is depending on Sumerian records to create a timeline for Biblical events. This video was interesting. It is trying to prove that the Bible takes the story of the flood from other myths that were circulating in the ancient world. His conclusion is that the Bible is basically plagiarized. However, if Abraham is a Sumerian, then is the Bible really plagiarized or is it the continuation of the Sumerian culture through the patriarch Abraham.


In my opinion, this provides a pretty good reason to believe that the flood happened. So what we should also assume as a result of the strong connection between these flood stories is that Abraham could have lived around 6000 BC. I am just throwing a number out there. The point is that it could be much closer to the historical timeline of the Sumerian culture. What happens then is that the gap created between Ezra's return to the promised land and the return of the Messiah is that it could be longer as well for an example. Then, what happens is that when we are reading time, time, and half of the times in the book of Daniel; this could have already happened because we only assume that there is a gap of about 400 years between the last writing of the Old Testament and the New Testament because of the writing of the Septuagint making the connection to Egypt.

Then, the most interesting part of studying Sumerian history would be finding a way to understand the sexagesimal number system that is likely the reason why the early genealogies are translated to say that people lived for hundreds of years even though this can't be supported by the study of ancient culture as well. Everything would be better if we were basing a Biblical timeline off of what we know about ancient Sumerian culture rather than using Egyptian records that we have been using because of the Septuagint.

This brings up the subject of the Sumerian controversy again and the possibility that there is a military endeavor to make a modern investigation of Iraq impossible. With a modern investigation of Iraq, we could better identify the time frame of captivity, that would consequently give a better idea for where the people were taken from, whether it was originally southern Arabia or Palestine. Essentially, being in Iraq gives TPTB control over the historical narrative which is worth much more than oil.

In addition to this, when the speaker is talking about Rehoboam living during the time of Rameses II, we are talking about Israel as a fully established cultural identity for 300 more years than we were before this. In the last 2000 years, the Jewish identity as part of the diaspora has been recognizable and recognized in every country they have found themselves sojourning. It seems even more likely that there would be more evidence of their presence if the pre-captivity Israel was located in present-day Palestine.

I would also like to note, that I don't question the exodus happened. I don't have reason to question any of these things. I don't think the original text is the problem because the original text says Mizraim, not Egypt. I think the Septuagint is the problem and the way that it has influenced all translation,s KJV, NIV, etc. in designating this location. That is what I am criticizing.

I plan to watch the second part tomorrow or the next day.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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Which came first: the biblical narrative of the Flood, or the Mesopotamian epics?

150d53ec73c1571f59cd14781326eedd.jpg

There are three choices:

  • the epics were written first, and the writers of Scripture used them;
  • the Bible was written first, and the epics copied them;
  • both the Bible and the epics were dependent on a primitive original.
Most scholars insist that the writer of Genesis used elements from local epics, but this is impossible to prove. On the other hand, the theory of a primitive original is based on no evidence whatsoever and is simply an opinion of those who hold to it. Although difficult to prove, the preferred choice is that the biblical record came first and inspired the others.

Evidence explored here...

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2005/12/A-Universal-Flood-3000-BC.aspx

ark-1100x600-2i10bo.jpg
 






Red Sky at Morning

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Well bless you too Red. This was very interesting and useful. However, probably not in the way you would imagine. This first video actually brings up more issues than it solves when you consider the role of the Septuagint in creating this timeline that is changed by the information given by the presenter. So when he says that Rameses II is reigning during the time of Rehoboam, this would change the timeline for Biblical history by about 300 years.

According to Egyptian records, Rameses II is about 300 years before we would imagine the kingdom of Rehoboam existed. There are several problems with this that go back to the subject of the Septuagint. Basically, this proves that the creation of a timeline for Biblical events is based on how these events are mirrored by Egyptian records for when events took place and that the Biblical timeline is not based on evidence of its own.

As a result, it is likely that the absence of evidence for a historical timeline independent of the influence of Egypt is caused by the Septuagint, which was an effort to translate the Old Testament for an Egyptian audience. Suggesting that Mizraim is translated as Egypt forces Biblical narratives within the Egyptian timeline. As a result of this, for many years now, Bible believers have somewhat stubbornly believed that Rehoboam lived around 900 BC even though Herodotus lived around 500 BC and never mentions Israel in writing his histories or the event between Rameses II and Israel that is being presented in the video. So this has been a problem for some time and changing this timeline by 300 years doesn't really solve the problem.

In addition to this, it is worthwhile to remember that the Septuagint was also commissioned around 300 BC for an Egyptian audience who does not seem to have a historical familiarity with the Hebrew people the way this presenter is trying to suggest was written on their wall. All of which is pointing to the reality that Egypt is not the accurate way to translate Mizraim, and this whole problem was created by the Septuagint whose initial translation from Hebrew into another language is the influence that causes future translators to assign the same locations that are given in this translation.

The whole thing is very reminiscent of the verse from Daniel about changing the times (Daniel 7:25) because the Septuagint does create a historical timeline by making the association to Egypt that cannot be validated in a way that you would expect.

What happens because of giving up the identity of Egypt as the accurate way to translate Mizraim is actually good for Bible believers because it frees us from the constraints created by an association to Egyptian historical records. Instead of the exodus taking place around 1300 BC give or take, it is possible to entertain the potential of the exodus taking place much farther back than this. It is possible that the history of Abraham goes back farther as well.

In fact, what we should be doing is depending on Sumerian records to create a timeline for Biblical events. This video was interesting. It is trying to prove that the Bible takes the story of the flood from other myths that were circulating in the ancient world. His conclusion is that the Bible is basically plagiarized. However, if Abraham is a Sumerian, then is the Bible really plagiarized or is it the continuation of the Sumerian culture through the patriarch Abraham.


In my opinion, this provides a pretty good reason to believe that the flood happened. So what we should also assume as a result of the strong connection between these flood stories is that Abraham could have lived around 6000 BC. I am just throwing a number out there. The point is that it could be much closer to the historical timeline of the Sumerian culture. What happens then is that the gap created between Ezra's return to the promised land and the return of the Messiah is that it could be longer as well for an example. Then, what happens is that when we are reading time, time, and half of the times in the book of Daniel; this could have already happened because we only assume that there is a gap of about 400 years between the last writing of the Old Testament and the New Testament because of the writing of the Septuagint making the connection to Egypt.

Then, the most interesting part of studying Sumerian history would be finding a way to understand the sexagesimal number system that is likely the reason why the early genealogies are translated to say that people lived for hundreds of years even though this can't be supported by the study of ancient culture as well. Everything would be better if we were basing a Biblical timeline off of what we know about ancient Sumerian culture rather than using Egyptian records that we have been using because of the Septuagint.

This brings up the subject of the Sumerian controversy again and the possibility that there is a military endeavor to make a modern investigation of Iraq impossible. With a modern investigation of Iraq, we could better identify the time frame of captivity, that would consequently give a better idea for where the people were taken from, whether it was originally southern Arabia or Palestine. Essentially, being in Iraq gives TPTB control over the historical narrative which is worth much more than oil.

In addition to this, when the speaker is talking about Rehoboam living during the time of Rameses II, we are talking about Israel as a fully established cultural identity for 300 more years than we were before this. In the last 2000 years, the Jewish identity as part of the diaspora has been recognizable and recognized in every country they have found themselves sojourning. It seems even more likely that there would be more evidence of their presence if the pre-captivity Israel was located in present-day Palestine.

I would also like to note, that I don't question the exodus happened. I don't have reason to question any of these things. I don't think the original text is the problem because the original text says Mizraim, not Egypt. I think the Septuagint is the problem and the way that it has influenced all translation,s KJV, NIV, etc. in designating this location. That is what I am criticizing.

I plan to watch the second part tomorrow or the next day.
The nature of the Septuagint is a really interesting one to consider. When was it written, was it all compiled and distributed at once, were other books included later by others to lend them credence etc.

In case you were wondering, I don't think God spoke in King James English! Each translation must be subject to some degree of opacity. Eg "Lord" does not capture the specific meaning of the Hebrew for El Shaddai etc. In the NT, "Love" hides within it four different words for love in Greek which have nuances that the English does not convey etc.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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Reviewing the accounts. Simonides' claims examined...


What was really interesting to me after thinking about the "what" of the whole story was the "why?". If the conclusions David draws hold water, what we have is a true conspiracy that echoes through the last 150 years.
 






Last edited:

Red Sky at Morning

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How do we know how old a text is (and why does it matter anyway?!)

The Voynich manuscript examined a little closer can reveal some interesting fingerprints...

483C1F4F-4B7C-4828-AD50-5927BF15EBED.jpeg

Does the Vinland Map really prove a pre-Columbus visitor to the Americas?

9D414DAD-E147-4ABA-94B9-BF93CAC10BBB.jpeg

In short, what test can be carried out to determine a genuine ancient document from one that the creator wishes people to believe has an ancient source?

 






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SquaredCircle

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So many times the question of the authenticity of the Bible seems to come up in these forums.

From people feeling that an original, more gnostic Christianity has been whitewashed and moved away from, to others who feel that certain important texts have been removed by the powers that be.

What of the "Book of Barnabas", the woman caught in the act of adultery, the ending of the Gospel of Mark?

Which texts can we really rely on? Do we need to stick with the KJV or ditch it for Bibles based on the Revised Version?

When I was growing up, and growing in the faith I had paraphrases with plenty of pictures in. At university, I had "The Message", the Good News Bible, the Amplified Bible, the NKJV and the NIV.

After a while I started to notice the odd verse where the end was missing where I had expected something more. Sometimes there would be a gap where a whole verse was gone!

What was going on? Why so much difference? It turned out much of the controversy turned on which manuscripts were considered "oldest and best".

Before you think this is a typical "KJV only" thread, I need to say that I grew in the faith and understood the Gospel from versions that contain phrases as incongruous as "as above, so below" in the Lords Prayer (the message), "woe to you drunken bums" (the Living Bible or were more notable for their artwork than their text! (The Good News Bible). With all their faults, I could still see the big picture. The problem came in getting into the fine detail...

View attachment 5757

Prompted by questions from @Kung Fu and @Etagloc I made it my business to look into the grounds for their questions and doubts. Was Bart Ehrman right? Were the sad looking "liberals" I grew up avoiding party to some tragic truths about the substance of what I had been brought up to believe?

A week ago I started reading a very interesting book...

View attachment 5733

Surely not?!

So much is built on it! It lends authenticity to other "alternate" readings and excluded apocryphal writings.

The Codex Sinaiticus has only very recently been available for scrutiny, and that is when the controversy began.

Searching further, I came across a playlist that represented perhaps a year and a half of research by the author and other contributors into the authenticity of this manuscript and the story of how it came to be regarded as such a cornerstone of textual criticism. I will post that up as a separate posting, as it has absorbed me for the best part of a week.

The ongoing research into this is published at http://sinaiticus.net
Its a horribly pieced together book that took mainly Hellenised /Egyptian /Sumerian tales , added some other fluff and called it divine ! I call it a book and that is it !
 






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