I've been working on my new book Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
, which is coming along nicely, although it is much longer than I expected to do - what else is new? That happens with every project I set out on, because I try to be so thorough and incorporate as much of the research on a subject as I can humanly gather. In this popular subject, one can imagine there is a ton of material to sift through, in a variety of languages, dating back to remote ages. Most of my primary-source research for this project is in Greek, Hebrew and Latin, but there is also some relevant Ugaritic and other Semitic languages, as well as Egyptian, et al.
Although many scholars of the past century to today are clear on the mythical nature of the Exodus tale and the probable (to them) non-historicity of the Moses character, there are a number of historical or quasi-historical individuals and events that have gathered attention as the possible "real Moses" and "real Exodus." These events and individuals include, of course, the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, the Hyksos and Ahmose I, Osarseph and the lepers, etc. Thus, I spend much of the first part of the book addressing these issues, while the rest of my work provides the comparative religion and mythology.
For example, there is a lengthy section concerning the profound correspondences between the tales of Moses and the Greek god Dionysus. I have created one of my (in)famous lists featuring Dionysus's attributes in relation to the Moses myth, annotating each attribute with a primary source from antiquity, including the original Greek or other language as well. These parallels have been known for centuries by many among the elite; it is therefore disturbing that they are unknown and even hidden from the masses. Why aren't these similarities between Moses and the mythical figure of Dionysus being taught from the pulpit? Because the bibliolaters have a strict hold over the minds of the masses, unfortunately. Otherwise, these same masses could investigate this material with as much fascination as I do.
The following is a draft table of contents of my book Did Moses Exist?
. The order and substance will change but not very much. Table of Contents
Comparative Religion Squashed
The Allegorical 'Dark Sayings' of Old
The Book of the Law
Was Moses the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten?
A Priest of Aten?
The Exodus as History?
The Route of the Exodus
Four Decades of Desert Traumatization
Giants in the Promised Land
Manna and Magic Water
The Amalekites and the Magic Rod
No Trumpets Needed at Jericho
No Archaeological Evidence
Modern Gatherings Irrelevant
The Hyksos, Ahmose and Osarseph
Conquerors or Captives?
Osarseph and the Lepers
Thieves/Son of Joseph?
Herodotus and the Syrians from Palestine
Hyksos as Pre-Israelite Semites
The Exodus as Myth
The Parting of the Red Sea
The Ark of the Covenant
The Wilderness Sojourn
The Exodus of Osiris
Rama, Adam's Bridge and the Indian Jews
The 600,000 as Kabbalistic Motif
The Ten Commandments
The Golden Calf and Smashing of Tablets
Forty Days, Nights and Years
Who Was Moses?
Minos and Manu
The Dionysus Connection
Vine and Wine
Exodus into the Sea
Jesus and Dionysus
Orpheus and Paul
Moses and Mises
Moses and Jesus
The Hero's Birth
The Slaughter of Innocents
Smiting the Rock
Moses and the Serpent
Moses and the Tabernacle
The Great God Sun
The Origin of Yahweh
El and Yahweh
Babylonian Sun Hymn
Moses as Solar Hero
The Great Hymn to the Aten
The Great Mendes Stela
125th Chapter of the Egyptian Book of the Dead
The Declaration of Innocence Before the Gods of the Tribunal
Papyrus of Ani (c. 1250 BCE)
As an example of one "small" point I make in DME, not something I dwell upon but which is highly important, I quote Dr. George Smith, the British Assyriologist/archaeologist who discovered the tablets at Nineveh that contain the world-famous Epic of Gilgamesh and the nativity story of Sargon I. I then emphasize that this esteemed scholar's conclusions have not only been accepted into the mainstream as a foundation for Near Eastern studies but that they have since proved to be accurate, not to be dismissed as "outdated." Here is the relevant excerpt:
Concerning Moses and Sargon, British Assyriologist Dr. George Smith states:
In the palace of Sennacherib at Kouyunjik [Kuyunjik], I found another fragment of the curious history of Sargon... This text relates that Sargon, an early Babylonian monarch, was born of royal parents, but concealed by his mother, who placed him on the Euphrates in an ark of rushes, coated with bitumen, like that in which the mother of Moses hid her child (see Exodus ii). Sargon was discovered by a man named Akki, a water-carrier, who adopted him as his son, and he afterwards became king of Babylonia.... The date of Sargon, who may be termed the Babylonian Moses, was in the sixteenth century B.C. or perhaps earlier.
Since Smith's time, Sargon I has been placed in the 23rd-24th centuries BCE, long before the purported time of Moses, c. 13th-15th centuries BCE by mainstream dating. As we can see, this scholar of a past era was knowledgeable and scientific about his subject matter; indeed, he was an archaeologist on this important excavation of Nineveh, capital of the Assyrians, where he himself unearthed the legend of Sargon. Moreover, Smith is the discoverer and translator of the Epic of Gilgamesh, like the Sargon tale one of the most famous and important ancient texts of all time. Smith's work was pioneering and exemplary, and his conclusions were substantially correct, not "outdated" merely by the fact that he came to them during the 19th century. The only adjustment during the century and a half since Smith's time is the dating, which has been fine-tuned due to discoveries after that.
Many other such conclusions from earlier scholars have been verified or accepted in the past century, including the doubting of Moses and the Exodus as historical entities, comparing, for example, Moses's birth with that of Sargon's to demonstrate the mythicality of this motif, as Smith had done shortly after discovering the Sargon myth. Thus, his groundbreaking conclusions have been accepted into mainstream scholarship. Therefore, it does these great and intelligent scholars a tremendous disservice to dismiss their work merely because it occurred decades or centuries ago. In reality, we are utterly dependent on the work of this generation of scholars, so it is egregious and unscholarly to dismiss, disparage or ignore them.
At this point in DME, I note:
I comment here because there has been an appalling trend in the study of history, religion, mythology and archaeology to dismiss out of hand all research prior to the middle of the 20th century, except for primary sources and, perhaps, excavation reports such as Smith’s. In other words, according to this illogical academic snobbery or "theorem," no conclusions, interpretations or insights by these earlier generations are valid and should not even be considered. One can only hope that future generations do not behave so rashly and irresponsibly with the works of our time, including blithely dismissing and disparaging those of current writers advocating this post-1950 methodology.
There is much more to come...
This cover too is a mockup that will probably change.
Please feel free to raise issues and questions here. I'm sure there's something I haven't covered yet. <groans>
Why suffer from Egyptoparallelophobia, when you can read Christ in Egypt
? Try it - you'll like it: