Made in Alexandria, the Origin of the Yahweh Cult

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Made in Alexandria, the Origin of the Yahweh Cult

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

Made in Alexandria
The Origin of the Yahweh Cult
by Matt Giwer, © 2011

Introduction
As we know for a fact that the Old Testament could not possibly have been written in bibleland by the people living in bibleland it is of interest to examine where it was created and by whom.

There is a fundamental difference between belief and knowledge. People believe the darnedest things. Belief is a matter of choice. Knowledge is based upon what is experienced through the senses.

Disagreements with this based upon sophistry are not of interest. Abstraction from immediate, primary experience does not change the source of knowledge.

Hundreds of millions of people believe many things about the Old Testament. But when it comes to knowledge the situation is much different.

 

  • No one knows why the books of the Old Testament were written.
  • No one knows who wrote them.
  • No one knows when they were written.
  • No one knows the original language in which they were written.
  • No one knows when the idea they were religious works started.
  • No one knows when they became a component of a religion.
  • No one knows why any particular selection of books was made.

I will endeavor to address these issues and more in what follows. However there is a short summary for the impatient.

The shortest form is, we know where the books could not have been written and we know the dates they could be no older than. These exclude bibleland and any date prior to the 3rd c. BC. Those two facts preclude all current religious beliefs about its origin.

Before you go further keep in mind what I say cannot possibly be true because it contradicts religious and political beliefs. For believers that means the most superficial and known false single data proves what I say is wrong. Further it justifies the most scurrilous personal attacks the filthiest believing minds can invent.


A fair bit of progress since my last post. 46k words of my text plus 16MB of reference material.

 

To whet appetites www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/proxy-war.html for Josephus on the start of the Maccabe war.

At the same time that Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, had a quarrel with the sixth Ptolemy about his right to the whole country of Syria,
a classic local power struggle. note it says whole of Syria. Palestine was part of Syria. Judea was in Palestine. Judea was part of the quarrel.

a great sedition fell among the men of power in Judea, and they had a contention about obtaining the government; while each of those that were of dignity could not endure to be subject to their equals.

a classic local power struggle for control of the city-state of Judea

However, Onias, one of the high priests, got the better, and cast the sons of Tobias out of the city; who fled to Antiochus,

The fight was started by the Maccabean side not the "bad guys." Note it is always portrayed as though the Maccabean side were the innocent party.

and besought him to make use of them for his leaders, and to make an expedition into Judea. The king being thereto disposed beforehand, complied with them, and came upon the Jews with a great army,

with an army lead by the sons of Tobias. Also into Judea only not Samaria or the Galilee. Against the only place Jerusalem ruled.

and took their city by force, and slew a great multitude of those that favored Ptolemy, and sent out his soldiers to plunder them without mercy.

done by the army lead by the sons of Tobias not Antiochus. Note Onias clearly lead a faction favoring Ptolemy. The leaders were quarreling over which Greek to side with. They were not looking for independence.

He also spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months.

the sons of Tobias stopped the daily sacrifice. What might the quarrel that started this have been about? It implies daily was contentious practice.

But Onias, the high priest, fled to Ptolemy, and received a place from him in the Nomus of Heliopolis, where he built a city resembling Jerusalem, and a temple that was like its temple concerning which we shall speak more in its proper place hereafter.

The man who started the fight was protected by Ptolemy to the point of having a city built for him. To get ahead of the story this city existed until it was destroyed by Tiberius as part of putting down the 76AD revolt. The reason is not recorded.

The high priest Onias heads for Egypt and has a city built for his use. Clearly this is unlikely the usual accommodation given to a refugee. It also has a temple indicating the idea of one and only one temple in Jerusalem had yet to be invented. This continued to be an important city for the Judeans as late as 76AD when Titus destroyed the city as part of putting down the revolt in Judea.

Whoever or whatever one considers Onias to have been he brought wealth, power or influence commensurate with what he received from Ptolemy.

 

Here we have an explicit statement of the missing components. There were partisans for each side in Judea. The partisans for Antiochus were expelled and Antiochus gave them armies to lead.

...

John Judah Maccabe
Son of the priest Mattathias. Interesting name that. Thais from the Greek Theos not from Yahu as in another name Mattayahu. A Greek name. How odd. But it perhaps explains why his son also had the Greek name John.

Maccabe, an Aramaic name meaning hammer. What a happy coincidence that he had a name suitable for a military commander. Without the sarcasm we see the same thing today with nom de guerres, war names where the name would be Abu Maccabe, alias The Hammer. So we really have the name John alias The Hammer.

Clearly this is what Hanukkah is all about, an Egyptian proxy victory. Live with it. Amun is Yahweh right down to the curly horns and forelocks.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


Brian37
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Noony,You rail against the

Noony,

You rail against the Hebrew faith and tradition, BUT for the wrong reasons. You are for whatever reason, and it miffs me being an atheist that you blindly swallow the "virtue of the oppressed" when defending Palestine.

BOTH of what drives each side into their trenches is the meme both claim that their particular sky daddy gave them land. This beef goes way before current excuses both sides make, which is something you continue to fail to see. Something Israel ALSO fails to see.

The first Hebrews were merely the group, wherever they lived, that took old polytheist myths and motifs and characters and successfully marketed their new product. I get that. There has never been a god invented that did not come from prior superstitions EVER.

But that is what you DONT focus on. You act like blacks, or a Native American, or an IRA member crying about the past when there isn't a fucking thing you can do about it now.

If you really want to undermine Israel, and I DO TOO, you don't do it with the "us vs them", you do DO NOT do it by demanding the same thing they seek which is a state based on religious favoritism. You do it like the founders did in "NO RELIGIOUS TEST". BOTH sides are not getting that concept and THAT is why this conflict continues.

If Palestine wants to win, the best way they can do it is to lead by example and value the same pluralism and secularism the west values in government neutrality.

Until BOTH sides give up on this bloodthirsty notion of a religious state, this crap will continue. This has gone on for far to long for me to chose sides. It is just Muslims vs Jews and as bad as Bloods vs Kripts.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote:

Noony,

You rail against the Hebrew faith and tradition, BUT for the wrong reasons. You are for whatever reason, and it miffs me being an atheist that you blindly swallow the "virtue of the oppressed" when defending Palestine.

What might aitheism have to do with a completely areligious political issue? And why try to make this into a political issue when it is no different from discussion the invention of the gospels or the Koran?

Quote:
BOTH of what drives each side into their trenches is the meme both claim that their particular sky daddy gave them land. This beef goes way before current excuses both sides make, which is something you continue to fail to see. Something Israel ALSO fails to see.

Several times I have attempted to correct your abysmal ignorance of the subject but you insist upon repeating the stupid nonsense that Palestinians make a pretension of sky daddy land claim. They make no religious claim to the land. It is not clear why you repeat that stupid, ignorant nonsense. It is not clear why you are incapable learning the facts of the matter. Pardon if this reads as an insult but have you suffered some kind of head injury? I really am curious how you found yourself in this condition.

I see no point to attempting to discuss with you something you pathologically incapable of understanding.


 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


Brian37
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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Brian37

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Noony,

You rail against the Hebrew faith and tradition, BUT for the wrong reasons. You are for whatever reason, and it miffs me being an atheist that you blindly swallow the "virtue of the oppressed" when defending Palestine.

What might aitheism have to do with a completely areligious political issue? And why try to make this into a political issue when it is no different from discussion the invention of the gospels or the Koran?

Quote:
BOTH of what drives each side into their trenches is the meme both claim that their particular sky daddy gave them land. This beef goes way before current excuses both sides make, which is something you continue to fail to see. Something Israel ALSO fails to see.

Several times I have attempted to correct your abysmal ignorance of the subject but you insist upon repeating the stupid nonsense that Palestinians make a pretension of sky daddy land claim. They make no religious claim to the land. It is not clear why you repeat that stupid, ignorant nonsense. It is not clear why you are incapable learning the facts of the matter. Pardon if this reads as an insult but have you suffered some kind of head injury? I really am curious how you found yourself in this condition.

I see no point to attempting to discuss with you something you pathologically incapable of understanding.

 

 

What am I missing?

Your entire argument has been who did what when and who owns what and who was here first.

MY POINT has always been I DONT GIVE A FUCK AT THIS POINT.

Your virtue of the oppressed is as tired as when I hear it from Jews.  Both of you need to buy each other some Viagra.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


A_Nony_Mouse
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Brian37 wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Noony,

You rail against the Hebrew faith and tradition, BUT for the wrong reasons. You are for whatever reason, and it miffs me being an atheist that you blindly swallow the "virtue of the oppressed" when defending Palestine.

What might aitheism have to do with a completely areligious political issue? And why try to make this into a political issue when it is no different from discussion the invention of the gospels or the Koran?

Quote:
BOTH of what drives each side into their trenches is the meme both claim that their particular sky daddy gave them land. This beef goes way before current excuses both sides make, which is something you continue to fail to see. Something Israel ALSO fails to see.

Several times I have attempted to correct your abysmal ignorance of the subject but you insist upon repeating the stupid nonsense that Palestinians make a pretension of sky daddy land claim. They make no religious claim to the land. It is not clear why you repeat that stupid, ignorant nonsense. It is not clear why you are incapable learning the facts of the matter. Pardon if this reads as an insult but have you suffered some kind of head injury? I really am curious how you found yourself in this condition.

I see no point to attempting to discuss with you something you pathologically incapable of understanding

What am I missing?

Your entire argument has been who did what when and who owns what and who was here first.

MY POINT has always been I DONT GIVE A FUCK AT THIS POINT.

Your virtue of the oppressed is as tired as when I hear it from Jews.  Both of you need to buy each other some Viagra.

If you do not give a fuck why is it you insist upon intruding your embracement of war criminal Jews into an a political issue? If you are missing NOTHING why do you LIE about the Palestinians in saying they are making a religious claim?

Are you belatedly discover that like Oedipus you do have social limits?

In which case take it to it to a political discussion. This is about another issue entirely.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


A_Nony_Mouse
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current list of topics

 

Reference material

I am here trying to include all relevant material that is not readily accessable. I want no one to take my word for what I say. Read the material. Decide for yourself. It is the only freedom you truly have.

 

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


A_Nony_Mouse
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false religious beliefs

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/belief-list.html

                                                                                    Belief and Knowledge

The physical evidence is conclusive. It is impossible for the Old Testament to have been written in bibleland prior to the arrival of Greeks and for all practical purposes not for a century or more later.

All the physical evidence points to the Septuagint, aka Old Testament, having been written in Egypt no earlier than the mid 2nd c. BC when the Egyptian empire sponsored the Maccabean revolutionaries against the Seleucid empire. This was created as a backstory to legitimize Maccabean rule as priest-kings.

Knowledge comes from what is experienced by the physical senses. Belief comes from what we are told by other people who have no physical evidence to support what they tell us. Only knowledge matters. Belief is not knowledge. Belief is worthless.

Regarding knowledge one needs explain observed facts. An explanation of facts is called a theory. If you like it can be called an hypothesis, sort of a theory in waiting, until it is discarded as false or confirmed and elevated to a theory.

A theory must explain all the available facts. If there are different theories for different facts then both are wrong.

When it comes to theories which explain facts the simplest is most likely correct. A basic theory which explains some facts and then has added complications to explain other facts is trumped by a single theory which explains all the facts.

No matter how impressive a theory a single contrary fact demonstrates that it is at best incomplete and most likely wrong. That is what Einstein said about his theories. Extraordinary evidence is not required. A single fact will do.

That the Yahweh cult was created in Alexandria in the mid 2nd c. BC is the simplest explanation and explains all the available facts and is contradicted by no physical evidence.

On the contrary every other explanation fails to explain all the evidence and are also all contradicted by well known physical evidence which their proponents simply ignore, pretending it does not exist, hoping no one will notice, pretending imaginary future discoveries will vindicate them.

 


 

Things everyone thinks they know that no one really knows

We might warn a child, "Don't eat that. You don't know where it came from." It is just as important to warn an adult "Don't believe that." for the same reason.

Back on the home page I gave a list of seven items which are only beliefs. They all refer to beliefs that have been with us for centuries but are only religious traditions not knowledge. We don't know where they came from. Take the same good advice you would give to a child.

Religious traditions pretend to claim replace "no one knows" with "everyone knows" even though there is no physical evidence to support what everyone is supposed to know. This supposed knowledge is nothing more than worthless belief.

No one knows why the books of the Old Testament were written.
You can read every word of the Old Testament and discover there is not one single statement as to why they were written. There is no statement Yahweh ordered it. There is no statement as to who commissioned them. The only one mention is of undescribed "other records."

The very nature of the historical books indicates they were written after the 5th c. BC when the Greeks invented writing history. One cannot write chronological history until it is invented. Anchronisms are not allowed.

No one knows who wrote them.
At one time there was a tradition that Moses wrote the first five books, the Torah, the books Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Leviticus. This is a long discarded idea save for some few very benighted fundies. Back when this was believed all kinds of internal evidence was found to show they were oldered.

These days it is more popular to believe they were written after the return from the (mythical) captivity in Babylon but even then there is no statement as to who did it. They just sort of appear in this belief system but retain all the indications of the Torah being older that were invented to explain differences under the belief that Moses wrote them.

No one knows when they were written.
As with the above, the "when" varies from Moses and then forward in chronological order starting with Moses to the bulk of them at one time after the mythical return from Babylon. The former is absurd and the latter presents its own problems. The most obvious is back when everyone declared Moses wrote them people saw signs of the language evolving. Now that they were all written at once the signs of evolving are still there. The differences require an explanation that does not involve centuries of change.

This brings up a requirement for an explanation of the facts, a theory. An explanation must apply to everything. Mutually exclusive explanations are not permitted. If one invokes creation after the return to explain one problem it is not permitted to invoke Moses and creation over centuries to explain a different problem. Only one can be correct.

Thus it is an absolute test of the plausibility of an explanation, a test of a hypothesis, to apply it to all aspects of the Old Testament. If it creates more problems than it answers, if contradicts other explanations rather than explaining them all then it is back to the drawing board.

No one knows the original language in which they were written.
By rights had the first five been written by Moses they would have been written in Egyptian. If we go by the written language in bibleland they would have been written in Phoenician or in Babylonian if the authors had recently "returned" from captivity there. If they were written later then Phoenician would have evolved into what we call Aramaic.

If they were written after the arrival of Alexander and Greek rule they would have been written in Greek. Unsurprisingly the oldest known version of the Old Testament is the Septuagint in Greek.

As what is called Hebrew is a pidgin of Aramaic and Greek the simplest explanation for the differences which once indicated age differences are simply translations of the Septuagint by people with varying mastery of Greek. This neatly accounts for all of the Koine Greek constructions that are found in "Hebrew."

Before Koine Greek was discovered in Alexandria in the late 19th c. there was only classical Greek. Believers pointed to the "Hebraicisms" in the Septuagint to show it was a translation from Hebrew. After Koine Greek was discovered it was clear the "Hebrew" was derived from Koine Greek. The "proof" the Septuagint was a translation now proves the Hebrew is the translation.

Note this has been known for over a century but some believers will still cite the Hebraicisms as though it had never been discredited. Note also this suggest the suspicion or perhaps belief that the Septuagint was the original existed long enough ago for believers to "refute" the idea by pointing out the Hebraicisms. In other words my conclusion is far from original but goes back well over a century, long enough ago that it was at one time refuted. I have yet to find evidence for this.

No one knows when the idea they were religious works started.
Take two Hollywood examples. The Clash of the Titans and The Ten Commandments. While both are entertaining only the latter could be considered religious. The references to the Septuagint from ancient times indicate indicate it was considered in the category of Clash of the Titans rather than The Ten Commandments. They were just stories about gods having no more meaning or value than any other story about gods.

Without a suggestion of special importance for a religion we cannot assume they had any special importance to anyone. When Josephus tells the story of the life of Moses he tells of him leading armies and conquering Nubia. This is not particularly different from the apocryphal gospel of Jesus as a child. There is no recorded reaction, positive or negative, to either additional material in ancient times. It is a modern attitude that rejects the gospel while Disney makes a movie of the Prince of Egypt using material from Josephus. Go figure.

No one knows when they became a component of a religion.
Clearly Josephus in the late 1st c. AD does not consider them to be an important part of Judaism. While parts of his Antiquities of the Jews largely parallels the Septuagint he refers to his source as temple records rather than an existing collection. In fact his entire exercise in writing Antiquities of the Jews makes no sense if in fact the Septuagint were taken as a component of the religion as they would be the fundamental basis for and the most important of temple records simply in a language other than Greek.

Additionally in the second book of Against Apion where reference to the Old Testament as authoritative is almost imperative as it trumps Apion Josephus does not mention it at all. In the world of Josephus citing an ancient text would have carried much greater weight than it would today.

Rather when Josephus obliquely raises the Septuagint for discussion it is with citation and quotation from the forged Letter of Aristeas. And his citation is used to promote the "miraculous" accuracy of the translation into Greek. Contrast this with later opinions claiming erroneous translations of terms such as young woman into virgin and the like in the Septuagint.

In the first book of Against Apion Josephus declares the Jews were really the Hyksos who ruled Egypt for a century which is clearly in total contradiction to the story in the Exodus. Obviously Josephus did not consider Exodus to be a "true" story in our sense of a factually correct story.

 

Note here regardless of your opinion of correct or incorrect translation the Septuagint dates from no earlier than the mid 2nd c. BC. Tradition holds it was created in the mid 3rd c. BC based upon the forged Letter of Aristeas. In any event it is a minimum of 2100 years ago.

If you like creation of the Torah by Moses it was "translated" only ten centuries after Moses wrote it. If you like creation after the mythical return from Babylon then it was written only three centuries after the original. No matter how you look at it and considering the early citation of accuracy of translation, that the Septuagint is so much closer to the religious tradition of an "original" text in Hebrew that its translation of intended meaning and usage at the time of translation and for centuries later is accurate. People sitting around centuries later attacking Christianity may be able to argue their much more distant meaning and usage of words but cannot claim the Greek is wrong when Jews living at the time extolled its accuracy.

The Septuagint were first adopted by Christianity in the 4th or 5th century as books to be included in collections which included the gospels and epistles. The authors of the Mishna use them as a starting point to purge the murderous nature of the Torah.

When Christians began taking note of a version of the Septuagint in a language other than Greek it was not taken as superior to the Greek merely different from it.

No one knows why any particular selection of books was made.
Josephus refers to the Jews as having only 22 holy books. While there have been some vain attempts to mix and match the Septuagint/Old Testament books into 22 there is no evidence such a grouping ever existed. The number used by both Jews and Christians is a near match to the Septuagint.

Bel and the Dragon is out which is perhaps unfortunate as it has the best stories. It is unclear if the Book of Enoch was ever in the Septuagint although was very popular up through the 3rd c. AD. In this light the earliest uses of the books by the people appear to have been as entertainment.

The book of Ester is in even though it has no religious content whatsoever but is purely about human intrigue. No, it does not tell of a god looking after his people as there is no god mentioned nor credited. It is all a Cinderella story of the power of a beautiful woman over a man. As such it is clearly entertainment.

Save for Ester they were simply god stories like the stories about the Greek gods not to be taken seriously. If a more entertaining story came along it was the more truthful story even if it contradicted the previous. The more powerful the story the more truthful it was in those days. They did not view physical evidence as the sole criteria for what is true.

For example the issues I raise in this work are largely of fact. They are all asking what really happened. Raising such issues two thousand years ago would have elicited a blank "why does it matter" stare. However a dialog on whether the trials of Moses or those of Hercules were truer should not have been hard to start. Neither would the king of Egypt as a tragic hero. The discourse would be on the aesthetic qualities of the stories in accordance with the standards of the day.

This is something we have read of many times in our own history. Prior to modern times questioning the occurrence or even existence of person or event was far from common. Rather the great debates were over conflicting stories and which was truer to the nature of the story's theme.

 

 

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml