Posts Tagged ‘bible’

Soooo, I go offline to write up some stuff, and I have so much stuff to write at the moment that the only thing that prevents me from having a complete nervous breakdown is the sense of duty (DUTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY);

anyway I go offline, and the next thing I see when I stumble vaguely downwards in the general direction of the  back-to-the-internets and ah-fundies-hell

(or, rather, am summoned back from the seventh circle of hell – the circle reserved for people who have to write things, so that they can concentrate when the sweet, screeching sound of wailing of Xian sinners fills their dark bitter hearts with much needed warmth& warm fuzzy feelings of glee, schadenfreude and GLEE – by e-mails and messages asking me DID U SEE THAT DID U?????)

well, what’s the next thing?


Bible Possibly Written Centuries Earlier, Text Suggests

asdfasdfasdfghasdfghasdfghasdfghasdfghadfghasdfghasdfghasdfgh NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Well. Let’s start from the beginning

(and also make the necessary disclaimer that I can’t really say anything until I see the article in a proper scientific journal, because, LOL, this is how it works)

(unless you’re a fuckwit who believes Albright& Thiele  – as a typical person who deals with ANE, my first reaction was “WTF is Thiele?”, my second reaction was to google, my third was “Ah, USian fundies, OKAAAAY!”, my fourth to e-mail a Prof who is an actual Semitist just to make sure. The Prof’s first reaction was “LOL THIELE”, her second “LOL FUNDIES” so there – that Albright&Thiele are scholars whose research should be still taken seriously in the year 2010. For one, it’s terribly outdated, second, their methodology was, frankly, appallingly unscientific, third, they were both archaeologists, and as such, not really trained to interpret texts properly. The Wiki editors, though, seem to be strangely enamoured of them. It probably has something to do with noxious fumes and  sulfurous vapours from the influence of  Conservapaedia  >.>)


what Galil Gershom seems to claim is:

1. The inscription from from Khirbet Qeiyafa is written in Hebrew.

2. It can be dated to X century BCE.

3. The presence of writing in Israel at such an early period could prove that the Bible was written much earlier than heretofore assumed.

Ad 1> His interpretation seems to hinge on the presence of two verbs which, as he himself admits, do occur in other Canaanite languages, albeit with lesser frequency.

It has to be noted that the text itself is very fragmentary and heavily damaged.

Also, I’d like to remind everybody about the blunders that are in fact sometimes made when it comes to interpreting ancient texts, such as these, where a private letter was suggested to be a part of an epic poem.

However, even if Gershom’s interpretation is correct, it means very little for the chronology of the redaction of the  Bible.

Ad 2> I’d have to take a look at whatever was published about the excavations. If anything has been published at all.

It might not have been, yet.

Ad 3> Here, we come to the crux of the argument, and where it’s time to call bullshit.

Because, the lack of Hebrew writing system is NOT the ultimate proof for the late redaction of the Bible. There are multiple other arguments, and trying to turn the scientific consensus (VI century BCE and later redaction) into another false controversy replete with straw men and non-sequiturs is a complete, utter and total failure on the part of whoever did it, be it Gershom himself or the maverick journalist who wrote the press release(1).

There are multiple other factors that have to be taken into account when dating ancient texts, such as, for instance, the cultural background. Sometimes older words for garments, vessels, and the like, have to be explained by added glosses, because they are no longer comprehensible to later readers. There is  ample evidence for such “gloss-like” passages in the Bible. There is also plenty of other indirect evidence for the “traditional” chronology being, basically, drivel and complete bullshit, intended to alleviate crazy biblical literalists’ existential Angst about their favourite book(2) not being true.

Also, even if the Hebrew writing was a later invention, it doesn’t mean that writing was unknown in Syria and Palestine. There is evidence that the Egyptian hieroglyphics had been known since at least early III millenium BCE in Arad and Southern Canaan, where they were sometimes used as decorative motives, which might suggest the local population couldn’t read them yet. In the XIV century BCE Amarna several hundred letters to and from Syro-Palestinian kings were excavated, all of them written on cuneiform tablets in Akkadian. Also, this:

The breakthrough could mean that portions of the Bible were written centuries earlier than previously thought. (The Bible’s Old Testament is thought to have been first written down in an ancient form of Hebrew.)

Yeah. The Earth was thought to be first created flat, too.

(It most likely was indeed written in a Hebrew alphabet, but arguments like that? Oh, FFS)

Right. I’ll just go and do some work now.

(1) As usual and for anec-datal reasons, I’m a strict adherent of the “always blame the science journalist” theory.

(2) It never ceases to be amusing how some many people claim their favourite book is one they never read.

Because if it’s men, it’s only going to be funny, like calling white people “whities”, heterosexual people “heteros”, and so on.

Meanwhile, the “slut”, or, to translate the patriarchal lingo to contemporary standard  English, “a woman who has and/or enjoys sex”  is  a word that exists in a certain historical, political and social context. The context should be rather easy to understand: a woman who has and/or enjoys sex is a slut. This means she should be punished, because she “doesn’t respect herself”. If something happens to her, she was asking for it. If a man hurt her, she provoked him. She’s worthless. She’s a homewrecker in the making. No man will ever want an easy woman.

And so on.

(Cut for triggering content, mentions of sexual assault, bullying, and suicide, and also LENGHT)


(via wannabe-lesbian girlfriend! Thank you, sweetheart)

High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week.

Let’s look at the evidence!

As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don’t believe,

Very prudent!

or a legend, which I don’t believe either,

I’m a bit confused. What does he mean by “legend” here?

or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics,” Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.

“Very probable”? Hmmmmmmm. Unsurprisingly, my first reaction was more or less like in this video(1). Only louder. Fortunately for us all,  Shanon does indeed provide a satisfying explanation:

Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the “burning bush,” suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.

Ah, everything’s clear, then!

On a more serious note, what happens here (apart from the dabbling) is a typical case of the false dilemma. There exist multiple other explanations for Moses'(2) behaviour than his alleged consumption of hallucinogenic substances. In that respect Shanon’s claims are eerily reminiscent of Lewis’ trilemma, in which Jesus had to be either a fraud, or a madman, or the son of god.

There exist of course multiple other alternatives, such as “there was no Jesus” or “he was wrong”.

(On an even more serious note, professor Shanon is of course a cognitive scientist. Woe!)

(This of course, might be a serious case of bad journalism, only, it doesn’t seem so. OTOH, Benny Shanon seems to be actually a fairly sane scientist, apart from the Moses shenanigans. Will have to take a look at the actual paper tomorrow)

ETA: Fixed, uh-huh, my fail logical inconsistencies “he lied”.

(1) I have a confession to make. I’ve always identified with Daleks. A lot.

(2) That is, when you overlook the other alternative, namely that there was no Moses.

Yesterday night, I was snarling happily and reading about social categories in language. It was fun.

I should never have taken a break to check my e-mail, and troll the internet for fun stuff, because this is what I found.

(I was following a trail of links to posts about the use of the word “myth” for “Biblical stories”, by the way. Those posts were fun.)

Where should I even start? There’s so much to trash!

(Cut because the stupid, once replicated, could very well implode the internets or something)


Oh oh oh!

Posted: August 28, 2009 in atheism, internets
Tags: ,

I’m guest-blogging over at Camels with Hammers <3 There’s a lot of cool stuff there, so check it out!

In the beginning, there was PZ Myers.



Genesis 1:1 (and beyond)

Version 1: (link to the full picture at the Brick Testament)

Version 2: In the beginning Cthulhu created R’lyeh and the earth.

Version 3: Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.

Version 4: In the beginning Gloria created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was nanti form, and void; and munge was upon the eke of the deep. And the fairy of Gloria trolled upon the eke of the aquas.

Version 5 and final*: 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And darkness was upon the face of the deep; this was due to a malfunction at the Lots Road Power Station. 3 And God said, Let there be light; and there was light, but Eastern Electricity Board said that He would have to wait until Thursday to be connected. 4 And God saw the light and it was good; He saw the quarterly bill and that was not good.