Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Comparative Chronology


Jewish chronology of the Torah period

3760 BCE Adam & Eve created

c. 2500 BCE period of "mighty men that were of old, the men of renown" Genesis 6:4

Tuval-cain was the first man to work with iron (Genesis 4:22). According to Jewish tradition he was the brother in law of Noah who, according to Jewish tradition, was born in 2704 BCE.

2102 BCE The Flood

1765 BCE The Dispersion

1313 BCE Exodus from Egypt, Revelation at Mt Sinai

1272 BCE Joshua leads Jews into Israel


Gentile chronology of the Torah period

3300 BCE Bronze Age begins in the Middle East

3200 BCE writing begins in Egypt and Sumer

2600-2400 BCE Stonehenge constructed

2540-2560 BCE Giza Pyramid constructed

2500 BCE the earliest iron tools are smelted 

c. 2200 BCE A severe climatic event causes a cultural upheaval. It is very likely to have caused the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt as well as the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia.

c. 1700 BCE the written history of China begins

c. 1700 BCE Vedic culture begins in India

1550 BCE Jericho destroyed

1206 BCE the entire eastern Mediterranean area is mysteriously, suddenly destroyed (approximately corresponding to the time of the Ten Plagues in 1313 BCE) 

1200 BCE Hazor destroyed

1200 BCE Egyptian inscription mentions Israel

1200 BCE Israelite highland settlements established

c. 1100 BCE oldest Hebrew inscription

Broadly, there is an agreement between archeology and the Torah and relatively minor differences I believe can be attributed to the inaccuracy of current archaeological knowledge. If the Torah was indeed fabricated by Ezra the Scribe as atheists believe, then he really made some lucky guesses. In contrast, the Book of Mormon for example is entirely baseless archeologically.

Regarding the prehistoric era, prior to the Bronze Age, the Torah is silent, however I have a theory about that.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Broadly, there is an agreement between archeology and the Torah"

How so? Where's the agreement regarding creation of Adam and Eve? If you assume, as I think you do, that Adam and Eve were the first two human beings on earth and the parents of all humanity, then the 460 years from creation to the beginning of the Bronze Age (in the middle east, as you say, and not mentioning the rest of the world) seems too short to encompass creation, fall, Babel and Bronze Age.

So, again, how does the archaeology agree with the Torah on this?

Where do you get 1272 for Joshua? At least one source speculates that Joshua lived from 1500-1390, so he was dead by 1272. Also, the battle of Jericho is usually placed at 1400 BCE, which disagrees with 1550 BCE. That's 150 years. Tell me, does it matter whether 9/11 happened in 2001, 1851, or 2151?

I can come up with plenty more questions, gaps and oddities, but I think even a small sample shows that your post holds little to no solid support for its claim.

Ironmistress said...

Fundamentalist Christian chronology begins from 4004 BC. It uses solar years instead of lunar. Otherwise the dates are same as in Jewish.

In my opinion, both Christian and Jewish chronologies are Bravo-Sierra, but they coincide pretty well with the history of steady settlements and civilizations - the first true civilizations and societies were born at that time. It is not the history of world let alone universe nor Homo sapiens, but that of civilization.

Ezra did not have lucky guesses. He did not write Torah; he compiled it. He used four sources: Elohistic (Israeli) source, Jahvist (Judean) source, Levitic (priestly) source and deuterocanonic sources. Both Christian and Jewish theologists agree that Ezra did compile Torah - and he did incredibly skillful work. It was noticed only in the 17th century that the Torah has been compiled of four sources.

The Jahvist source is the oldest: it dates to the reign of Rehabeam (ca. 950 BCE). Elohist dates to the dynasty of Omri (ca. 850 BCE), while the Levitic source is of the era of later Judean kings. Deuterocanonical source dates back to 7th century. The Jahvist-Elohist synthesis occurred during the reign of Josiah.

jewish philosopher said...

"How so?"

The Torah says that the first man was created, which I believe means the first modern man able to speak, and he was created in the Middle East. Archeology says that soon afterwards, civilization began in the Middle East.

The Torah says that super men lived. Archeology says the Pyramid and Stonehenge were built.

The Torah says the Deluge wiped out mankind. Archeology says sever climate changed wipe out most civilization.

The Torah says the Dispersion happened. Archeology says civilization appeared outside south west Asia for the first time.

The Book of Joshua says the Israelites entered Palestine. Archeology says Hazor was destroyed and the Israelites appeared in Palestine.

"Where do you get 1272 for Joshua?"

These dates are Jewish tradition.

"Ezra did not have lucky guesses."

He, or his sources, could have written anything. They could have said the gods gave birth to the first Jews 20,000 years ago on Mount Hermon. Alternatively, archeologists could have discovered the cradle of civilization in China or Peru, not Mesopotamia. Joseph Smith just made things up and the archeology is completely different, not even remotely close.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon

"He used four sources"

Not true.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/12/documentary-hypothesis-critique.html

Anonymous said...

"The Torah says that the first man was created, which I believe means the first modern man able to speak, and he was created in the Middle East."

Well there's your problem right there. It doesn't matter what you "believe" Torah means. The only thing that matters is what the sages believe Torah means.

Beyond this, I see nothing in your supposed agreements that are actual agreements. Equating "supermen" (!!!) with Pyramids/Stonehenge is way beyond a stretch.

jewish philosopher said...

" It doesn't matter what you "believe" Torah means. The only thing that matters is what the sages believe Torah means."

Rashi on Genesis 2:7 writes

A living soul.
Animals and beasts are also called living souls. But, the one of man is the most alive for he additionally was given intelligence and speech.

http://www.tachash.org/metsudah/b01r.html#ch02

Therefore, civilization, with bronze tools, writing and cities began in that time and area.

"Equating "supermen" (!!!) with Pyramids/Stonehenge is way beyond a stretch."

Why?

natschuster said...

Ironmistress:

I recommend reading "Who Really Wrote the Bible?" It thoroughly dissects the Documentary Hypothesis you are siting.

And ther is lots of evidence for massive flooding all over the world. All around the coasts of the Indian Ocena are unconsolidated seafloor sediments. Geologists attribute these to a meteor strike. The Northeast has evidence of massive catastrophic flooding. Scientists claim that a glacier dam broke and released water from a pleistocene dam. The coast line of the Black Sea grew grew suddenly in historic times. Again, scientists say it was a ice natural dam bursting. And there is evidence of catastrophic flooding in New York Harbor, All this flooding happened recently. So it could have a natural explanation, or it could be the flood.

Ironmistress said...

"He used four sources"

Not true.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/12/documentary-hypothesis-critique.html


Yes, it is still true.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentary_hypothesis

http://www.cs.umd.edu/~mvz/bible/doc-hyp.pdf

Ezra made really good job. It took the scientists almost 2000 years to decipher his text.

jewish philosopher said...

"Yes, it is still true."

In my post I explain why DH is wrong.

Joe said...

What are the evidence there was men before Adam? maybe there was, for example, reptilian men who had the similar intelligence like us . and after the ice age (which is evident from the Torah when it says the world was filled with water) God created mammalian men and called them "Adam".

Just throwing it out there.

Ironmistress said...

And those links I submitted explain why you are wrong.

Ironmistress said...

Ironmistress:

I recommend reading "Who Really Wrote the Bible?" It thoroughly dissects the Documentary Hypothesis you are siting.

And ther is lots of evidence for massive flooding all over the world. All around the coasts of the Indian Ocena are unconsolidated seafloor sediments. Geologists attribute these to a meteor strike. The Northeast has evidence of massive catastrophic flooding. Scientists claim that a glacier dam broke and released water from a pleistocene dam. The coast line of the Black Sea grew grew suddenly in historic times. Again, scientists say it was a ice natural dam bursting. And there is evidence of catastrophic flooding in New York Harbor, All this flooding happened recently. So it could have a natural explanation, or it could be the flood.


See Burckle Crater.

The Flood may well be a historical event, but not necessarily in the way the Bible describes it. If the Burckle crater is indeed an impact crater and its dating is correct, it correspond well with the Fundamentalist Christian chronology, which uses solar years instead of lunar.

Such an asteroid impact would indeed create a megatsunami, which would raise the water level for miles and cover even mountains. Likewise, an awful lot of seawater would vaporize and come down as rain for weeks.

And asteroid impacts do occur.

It is clearly evident that the Torah has been compiled from different sources - it is somewhat incoherent compared to Nevi'im and Ketuvim. That is not to say those sources were fabrication, but it is just that they have not been dictated by God himself nor Moses.

jewish philosopher said...

"And those links I submitted explain why you are wrong."

How so? I don't see an explanation of the Samaritan acceptance of the Pentateuch, even though they were enemies of Ezra.

natschuster said...

Actually, Dr. Chaim Shor. did some statistical analysis of the different passages. His scientific finding support a single author. Moreover the fact that the different passages have different styles is not proof of different authors. Many human authors write using different styles in different contexts.

Ironmistress said...

"And those links I submitted explain why you are wrong."

How so? I don't see an explanation of the Samaritan acceptance of the Pentateuch, even though they were enemies of Ezra.


Non sequitur. Christians do approve it just as well, while they do not stick to halakha - ten commandments, dual commandment of love and seven Mosaic laws are them enough. Torah is an integral part of the Christian bible.

That does not make the four-source documentary hypothesis any less valid.

Ezra did not fabricate Torah. He compiled it from earlier sources.

Ironmistress said...

The story of giants or supermen on is simply a compilation error.

The word "nephilim", "giants" is a cognate to similar Akkadian word, which means "mighty men" or "big men" - that is, kings. This is elsewhere in the Bible referred as Hebrew word "gibborim". A king is a "mighty man" or a "big man" - greater than other men by status but not necessarily physical size.

Who are the sons of Elohim mentioned in the same chapter? [Remember "Elohim" is plural.]

Ironmistress said...

A certain Christian source offers translation "bully" or "tyrant" for "nephilim". These were not high in stature, as our English word portrays, but rather high on pecking order. The Hebrew states these are men who have turned away from God, and are behaving with reckless ferocity. They are impious and daring men who spread devastation and carnage wherever they go.

This Hebrew word should not have been translated "giants," and is very misleading. This verse should have been translated as follows:

"There were ungodly tyrants in the earth in those days."

Which correspond well with the idea of mighty - and brutal - regents of the Mesopotamian city states, and their wanton brutalism and cruelty, which is well documented in archaeology.

Likewise, a better translation for "men of renown" would be "men of notoriety". "Shem" (name) can mean to be both renown and notorious.

jewish philosopher said...

The Christians accept the Torah because they came after Ezra and accept Ezra as well. However if Ezra wrote the Torah why would Samaritans accept it?

What's interesting about the Pyramids and Stonehenge is: how could they have been built using the technology of that period? And if they could be built using that technology, why was nothing else similar constructed later? So I believe that the Torah hints at an answer.

Anonymous said...

"So I believe that the Torah hints at an answer."

Is there any physical evidence supporting that particular answer?

Meanwhile, see wikipedia on construction of stonehenge: "conventional techniques using Neolithic technology have been demonstrably effective at moving and placing stones of a similar size."

On the construction of the pyramids, wikipedia notes that there are several decent hypotheses: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_pyramid_construction_techniques.

In neither article was "supermen" presented as a hypothesis with any reasonable support or physical evidence.

jewish philosopher said...

"In neither article was "supermen" presented as a hypothesis with any reasonable support or physical evidence. "

And why was nothing similar built in ancient times? The Giza Pyramid remained the world's tallest building for over 3,500 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_and_structures_in_the_world#History

If the Torah was indeed fabricated by Ezra the Scribe as atheists believe, then he really made some lucky guesses.

Ironmistress said...

The Christians accept the Torah because they came after Ezra and accept Ezra as well. However if Ezra wrote the Torah why would Samaritans accept it?

For the same reason why the Protestant Christians approve the Masoretic Tanakh instead of Septuaginta: it is the best compilation available.

While the Septuaginta is the oldest version available of Tanakh today - there were several different Hebrew Bibles around until the council of Jamnia 90 CE, it is still merely a translation. It differs in minor details on the Masoretic Tanakh, but is quite identical of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Yet the Masoretic Tanakh is the approved version of the Old Testament in the Protestant churches, and all Protestant Christian priests study Hebrew.

This is the same reason why Samaritans approve the Ezraic Torah: it is the best compilation available.

What's interesting about the Pyramids and Stonehenge is: how could they have been built using the technology of that period?

Easily. Our ancestors were not civilized or educated, but they were not stupid. It was by trial and error. See here and here

And if they could be built using that technology, why was nothing else similar constructed later?

A lot and even more impressive was indeed built later. Great Wall of China, Colosseum, Tenotchitlan, Machu Picchu, Borbodur etc etc...

jewish philosopher said...

"This is the same reason why Samaritans approve the Ezraic Torah: it is the best compilation available."

Why should they accept a document written by a despised enemy instead of their own tradition? It would be like Christians accepting the Koran.

"A lot and even more impressive was indeed built later. Great Wall of China, Colosseum, Tenotchitlan, Machu Picchu, Borbodur etc etc... "

None of those were as technically challenging as the Giza Pyramid or Stonehenge. No controversy exists about their construction. 

Jeff said...

"If the Torah was indeed fabricated by Ezra the Scribe as atheists believe, then he really made some lucky guesses."

The real reason not to believe in the divine origin of the Torah is because of the psychopathic and almost comical god that it portrays. Which god do you worship, JP? The angry,jealous and murderous god of the desert Israelites? Or the compassionate god of Jacob and Joseph who answers prayers? Or the all knowing god of Creation? Or the miscalculating and remorseful god of Noach? The partially embodied god that Moses sees? Or the invisible god of the Talmud?

Who is your god, Jacob?

The truth is, JP, you have no idea who the f-k your god is, and neither does any other religious person.

Ironmistress said...

"This is the same reason why Samaritans approve the Ezraic Torah: it is the best compilation available."

Why should they accept a document written by a despised enemy instead of their own tradition? It would be like Christians accepting the Koran.


No, it's like Protestant Christians approving the Masoretic Tanakh instead of Septuaginta.

Because it is the best compilation available.

If you have ever read Koran - I have - you can well see why Christians won't approve it: it is incoherent and garbled rambling of trivialities, bigotry, hate and intolerance with no internal cohesion whatsoever.

Muhammed was an illiterate bandit and pedophiliac sex addict whose message is completely in contradiction with the Christian ideals. Merely the very concept of humanity - Allah created humans as his slaves, God as his children - is enough for the Christians to reject Koran.

"A lot and even more impressive was indeed built later. Great Wall of China, Colosseum, Tenotchitlan, Machu Picchu, Borbodur etc etc... "

None of those were as technically challenging as the Giza Pyramid or Stonehenge.

Yes, they are. Merely the concepts of arc and vault are far more advanced than techniques employed in the Pyramids or Stonehenge. The incredible beauty and architecture of Gothic cathedrals far exceeds that of the Neolithic Stone Age and Bronze Age - which are impressive only by their massivity.

The fact that the Egyptians used ramp and wooden rollers was already known by Ptolemy. They also used bronze saws and granite sand to cut limestone, and wedges and levers to employ it. Wheel was known already during the 4th millennium BCE.

Nothing is impossible if you have will, vision and abundant amounts of unpaid labour.

jewish philosopher said...

"The real reason not to believe in the divine origin of the Torah is because of the psychopathic and almost comical god that it portrays."

I know. Atheists, who are generally remorseless and egocentric individuals, debauched libertines and/or murderers, absolutely abhor the idea of a divine ruler and lawgiver who will inevitably hold them accountable for everything they have ever thought, done or said. This is their most horrifying nightmare which must be fought at all cost.   
 
"If you have ever read Koran - I have - you can well see why Christians won't approve it: it is incoherent and garbled rambling of trivialities, bigotry, hate and intolerance with no internal cohesion whatsoever."

Muslims will tell you the New Testament stinks. 

"Nothing is impossible if you have will, vision and abundant amounts of unpaid labour."

Just about impossible, according to experts on these subjects:

How did prehistoric builders without sophisticated tools or engineering knowledge construct Stonehenge? The question has baffled scholars and intrigued visitors to the famous site for centuries. Recently, researchers have introduced two new theories, adding to a long list of possible answers to one of history’s greatest riddles.

http://www.history.com/news/2010/12/13/solving-the-riddle-of-stonehenges-construction/

But Smith is quick to point out that planning, building, and managing construction of the pyramid was no small feat. "The stones weigh up to 20 tons. The Giza Pyramid was originally 481 feet high, while its base covers an area of 13.1 acres. It contains 3.4 million cubic yards of material and is about two-thirds the size of Hoover Dam.

"The logistics of construction at the Giza site are staggering when you think that the ancient Egyptians had no pulleys, no wheels, and no iron tools. Yet, the dimensions of the pyramid are extremely accurate and the site was leveled within a fraction of an inch over the entire 13.1-acre base.

"This is comparable to the accuracy possible with modern construction methods and laser leveling. That's astounding. With their `rudimentary tools,' the pyramid builders of ancient Egypt were about as accurate as we are today with 20th century technology."

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_1999_Feb_5/ai_53718895/

natschuster said...

Jeff:

What exactly is your basis for saying that G-d is immoral? What is your basis for saying anything is immoral? What is your basis for saying morality even exists.

Ironmistress said...

"The real reason not to believe in the divine origin of the Torah is because of the psychopathic and almost comical god that it portrays."

I know. Atheists, who are generally remorseless and egocentric individuals, debauched libertines and/or murderers, absolutely abhor the idea of a divine ruler and lawgiver who will inevitably hold them accountable for everything they have ever thought, done or said. This is their most horrifying nightmare which must be fought at all cost.


Let's say that the God - or rather image of God - portrayed in Tanakh is not a coherent and consistent one.

The god in Torah is a psychopathic bully. He is a typical Semitic war god. He is whimsical, tyrannical, petty-minded and has all the emotional maturity of a three-year old. He rules with intimidation and coercion. He is unreliable as an ally and horrific as an enemy, and he is as dangerous to even his own as a live high voltage wire or blast furnace. If there ever was a war between Mt. Olympus and Mt. Sinai, the god in Torah would alone equal a battalion of Olympians.

The god portrayed in Nevi'im is still an angry and jealous one, but far more plausible and reasonable. He posesses common sense, does not require absolute obedience without questions but dedication, and he cares of his creations. The book of Isaiah is good reading, and portrays a far more plausible portrayal of God than Torah.

The god portrayed in Ketuvim is like a heavenly father, who is a stern disciplinarian, but rather rules with guidance and care. He calls the whole world and promises to care of his own. The Psalms are especially beautiful reading. If the Jews did read less Torah and more the Ketuvim, Judaism would appear far more appealing religion.

The god in New Testament is portrayed as a loving and caring deity, who wishes everyone to come towards him, and declares that all sins have been forgotten already. Instead of the 613 mitzvot, he gives just two - Dual Commandment of Love and Golden Rule "which contain all the prophets and the whole law". Of course, the Ten Commandments and Seven Noahide Laws still apply.

I interprete this as cultural evolution. As the culture evolves, so does the image of God. Torah is the oldest part of Tanakh, and the Jahvist source is from the 10th century BCE - Late Bronze Age. It was one of wars and strifes, and brutal culture creates brutal deities. The Semitic deities of war weren't exactly nice, and Ares, the psychopathic and cowardly Greek deity of war, reflect this period.

Once the civilization advances, the societies and culture evolve too, and they become less brutal and less bloodthirsty. This is well reflected in the book of Isaiah, which is the favourite reading of Christians. So does the image of God: he is no more the deity of war, but the supreme deity and the king instead of generalissimus.

The god portrayed in Ketuvim is again more pleasant and nicer than that of the older parts of Tanakh. It again reflects the cultural evolution and the society.

I personally do not consider Torah as good reading. I like more the Psalms, book of Ruth, book of Isaiah and the historical books (Chronicles and Kings). They are beautiful, philosophical and far more pleasant reading than the Torah.

jewish philosopher said...

I describe God here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/12/higher-power-as-i-understand-him.html

There is no evolution.

jewish philosopher said...

Lamentations, for example, is in the Writings, as is Job.

Ironmistress said...

"If you have ever read Koran - I have - you can well see why Christians won't approve it: it is incoherent and garbled rambling of trivialities, bigotry, hate and intolerance with no internal cohesion whatsoever."

Muslims will tell you the New Testament stinks.


Yes, they will. They simply cannot understand a society which does not condone slavery, polygamy and wanton violence. As Allah created humans as his slaves and women as slaves of men, the very concept of redemption and humans being children of God stinks. They do not have the faintest idea of ethics nor the basic concepts of neither Christianity nor Judaism.

Allah is not a loving and caring deity. Allah is a whimsical, supreme tyrant who is completely irrational and wants absolutely submission of his creations. Such religion creates a completely paralyzed and ossified society where absolutely no progress can occur.

It is not merely chance why 95% of all Nobel prizes have gone to either Christians or Jews. Both religions appreciate education, thinking and self-development, "growing towards God". If we discount the peace prizes, the Islamic cultures have produced only two Nobel laureates. Finland, a nation of 5.2 million, publishes annually more books than the whole Arabic world combined.

"Just about impossible, according to experts on these subjects:"

How did prehistoric builders without sophisticated tools or engineering knowledge construct Stonehenge?


With blood, sweat and tears. Lots of all of them.

It is perfectly possible to construct Stonehenge using only stone, bone, wooden or copper tools. It is just abysmally slow, tedious and labour intensive. Experimental archaeology has discovered several methods how it has been possible; not to say they would have been pleasant to the workers.

Mind you that the Polynesians inhabitated the whole Pacific and its islands with Stone Age technology. They were just brilliant navigators - just like my own Viking ancestors. [Both us Scandinavians and the Polynesians have kept the old skills alive despite sextants, Decca and GPS.]

Ironmistress said...

The question has baffled scholars and intrigued visitors to the famous site for centuries. Recently, researchers have introduced two new theories, adding to a long list of possible answers to one of history’s greatest riddles.

We have a quite good idea on how it was done. We don't have a certainty, but know several possible ways on how it all was done.

But Smith is quick to point out that planning, building, and managing construction of the pyramid was no small feat. "The stones weigh up to 20 tons. The Giza Pyramid was originally 481 feet high, while its base covers an area of 13.1 acres. It contains 3.4 million cubic yards of material and is about two-thirds the size of Hoover Dam.

Just enough time, effort and abundance of unpaid labour. That will fit the bill.

"The logistics of construction at the Giza site are staggering when you think that the ancient Egyptians had no pulleys, no wheels, and no iron tools.

They had levers, rollers and copper tools. A copper saw enhanced with granite sand will cut limestone quite neatly.

Yet, the dimensions of the pyramid are extremely accurate and the site was leveled within a fraction of an inch over the entire 13.1-acre base.

They had water levels, which are not exactly modern technology. The Romans built their aqueducts and sanitation with help of water levels. The Aqueduct of Valens is almost 250 km (!) long, and supplied water to Constantinople. It is still today in use in the modern day Istambul.

"This is comparable to the accuracy possible with modern construction methods and laser leveling.

Similar accuracy can be achieved with water leveling. If we spoke of fractions of millimeter, that would be laser leveling.

That's astounding. With their `rudimentary tools,' the pyramid builders of ancient Egypt were about as accurate as we are today with 20th century technology."

As were the Romans, the Chinese and the Medieval Europeans. [Russians weren't. There is a word "ryssiä" in Finnish, meaning "to do sloppy and careless work".]

Ironmistress said...

JP, how you understand as God is very much similar as what Christians do understand him - and what also the near-death experiences let us understand.

In this light it is somewhat strange why you hold Torah - where God appears as a psychopatic bully with all the maturity of three-year-old child - in so high esteem, while there are far more plausible and philosophical parts in the Tanakh as well.

I mean, with your intellect you could do better.

You mentioned Lamentations and Job. Yes, they are good reading too. As are the Ecclesiastes and Proverbs.

I do not know if there is a god or higher power. But if there was, I sincerely hope he would not be Allah.

jewish philosopher said...

I don't believe similar "mystery" and "astonishment" is applied by experts to any monuments other than those built during what the Torah calls the era of "the mighty men of old, men of renown".

Coincidence? I think not.

jewish philosopher said...

"In this light it is somewhat strange why you hold Torah - where God appears as a psychopatic bully with all the maturity of three-year-old child - in so high esteem, while there are far more plausible and philosophical parts in the Tanakh as well."

The later writings merely reemphasize the Torah.

jewish philosopher said...

There's no bullying. There is crime and punishment.

Ironmistress said...

Draconian legislature, irrational chapters and unreasonable punishments for minuscule misdemeanourss are forms of bullying.

jewish philosopher said...

He made the universe, He makes the rules. That's fair.

Ironmistress said...

What you claim is in contradiction with omniscience, omnibenevolence and omnipotence principles. If what you think is "fair", then God is evil.

A caring and loving God does not appear as a psychopathic bully and tyrant nor does he make draconian, irrational and whimsical laws and punishments out of proportion. An evil one does.

Jeff said...

JP, let's come from a different angle. You like to use the flow of history to support the torah and Jewish god.

Now a thought experiment:

Let's imagine that the Muslim view of God is correct, and that Muhammad was a true prophet who wrote the Quran with God's guidance.

If that were true, how would the flow of history be different than it is now?

Next, run the same experiment using the Christian model. How would the world look and history play out?

If you want, do the same with Hinduism and Buddhism.

Now, let's return to our real world. Is reality significantly closer to any one of the world's religions visions?

It is quite obvious to anybody with eyes in their heads that every religion tries to "build" their religion around the reality that they see, and then fit the facts to their dogma.

Jeff said...

" That's fair."

How are you judging what is "fair"?

jewish philosopher said...

"It is quite obvious to anybody with eyes in their heads that every religion tries to "build" their religion around the reality that they see, and then fit the facts to their dogma."

I think that orthodox Judaism explains many things which atheists find inexplicable:

Where did the universe come from?
Where did life come from?
How did civilization begin?
How were the Giza Pyramids and Stonehenge built? (see Genesis 6:4)
How did all the global flood legends originate?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_flood_myths
How did Judaism, the world's most original and influential religion, originate?
Why have the Jews survived so long?
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/01/eternal-jew.html
Why is Jewish literature divided into six distinct, descending eras?
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/03/jewish-literature-seeing-effects-of.html
Why do we feel like we have free will?
Why did the Holocaust happen?
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/holocaust-clear-evidence-of-gods-hand.html

Therefore Judaism makes more sense than atheism.

"A caring and loving God does not appear as a psychopathic bully and tyrant nor does he make draconian, irrational and whimsical laws and punishments out of proportion. An evil one does."

Talmudic law actually contains remarkable wisdom.

In 35 years as an orthodox Jew I have never been asked by a rabbi to do something illegal, dangerous or painful.

In addition, thanks to Talmudic law, orthodox Jews are remarkably peaceful, kind and sober.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatzolah
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/08/samsons-struggle-satmar-and-others.html

We're happier too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_happiness

Violent crime, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, abortion, HIV and divorce, social catastrophes which overwhelm secular societies, are much rarer in the orthodox Jewish world.

Atheists, with no restraints on their animal instincts, will turn quickly to mass killing if the state allows it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism

or even if it doesn't

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/10/atheists-have-license-to-kill.html

With no solace in faith or prayer, atheists often turn to the bottle or the needle. God will make you sober.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/09/god-will-make-you-sober.html

Atheism is the cruel, merciless religion which leads mankind into violence, depression, addiction, selfishness, low fertility and eventually extinction.

Jeff said...

To each and every one of your questions, the various religions give answers that are no further from reality than are judaisms answers.

jewish philosopher said...

Buddhism - one guy.
Christianity - one guy.
Islam - one guy.
Mormonism - one guy.
Judaism - 600,000 witnesses at Mount Sinai.

Do the math.

jewish philosopher said...

The evidence in favor of the Torah is clear and overwhelming.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/12/truth-of-judaism.html

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/03/jewish-literature-seeing-effects-of.html

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/gods-wisdom.html

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/05/torahs-amazing-honesty.html

Any other religion, not so much.

Jeff said...

Your weighing of evidence is faulty, otherwise the whole world would long ago have been convinced.

"Judaism - 600,000 witnesses at Mount Sinai."

I heard that rumor, too. Too bad there aren't any videos. So we have to count on one guy, too: Moses.

Religions are like fad diets. Each one has its pros and cons, and has some kernel of factual basis. But the fact that so many different diets exist shows that none of them really work. The failure rate is 95%. The diet you pick is entirely subjective.

jewish philosopher said...

"Your weighing of evidence is faulty, otherwise the whole world would long ago have been convinced."

I tend to be a little more cynical about human nature. Rather than be rational judges of truth, history proves 99% of mankind believes whatever makes them happy.

"The diet you pick is entirely subjective."

Picking your diet based on the best factual evidence is probably the wisest thing.

Mr. Cohen said...

Our Rabbis taught:

The Torah IS NOT A HISTORY BOOK.

Its purpose is to reveal what G_d wants us to do, not to teach history.

By comparing the Torah to secular history, you are missing the whole point of the Torah.

Ironmistress said...

We're happier too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_happiness

Violent crime, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, abortion, HIV and divorce, social catastrophes which overwhelm secular societies, are much rarer in the orthodox Jewish world.


In Israel, those things are rampant. Israel is far more religious than any Western countries. How would you explain that?

Jeff said...

"history proves 99% of mankind believes whatever makes them happy. "

I don't know what evidence you have for that.

Does the world believe that the earth revolves around the sun, or in double helix DNA, "because it makes them happy"?

Ironmistress said...

Where did the universe come from?

The modern science answers it became from singularity. We know the history of the universe pretty well until the first picosecond.

Funnily enough, the first to do the calculations and suggest the Big Bang was a Christian priest, Georges Lemaitre. Albert Einstein's reaction was: Your calculations are correct, but conclusions horrific!

Where did life come from?

By Miller-Urey syntheses and chemical evolution.

How did civilization begin?

Cultural evolution.

How were the Giza Pyramids and Stonehenge built? (see Genesis 6:4)

By the bullies and tyrants of the old, who had vision, means and endless supply of unpaid labor.

How did all the global flood legends originate?

A cataclysmic asteroid strike on Indian Ocean, and the subsequent megatsunami? See Burckle Crater.

How did Judaism, the world's most original and influential religion, originate?

Same way as other religions. I would consider Buddhism as the most original, but agree of the influence; without Judaism there would not be Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Baha'i

Why have the Jews survived so long?

Cultural evolution and memetics.

Why do we feel like we have free will?

Do we?

Why did the Holocaust happen?

Because we humans are b*stards. The same reason why porrajmos happened and holodomor happened.

jewish philosopher said...

"The Torah IS NOT A HISTORY BOOK."

It includes a lot of history.

jewish philosopher said...

"In Israel, those things are rampant"

Not among the orthodox.

"I don't know what evidence you have for that."

I am referring to topics such as religion and politics, where the evidence is often vague and where people have strong personal biases. We've gone through Zeus, Thor, Jesus, Mohammed, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and thousands of others now in the dustbin of history. The new fad of Darwin is no different.

"The modern science answers it became from singularity. We know the history of the universe pretty well until the first picosecond."

The problem is that if the universe is eternal, that violates the first law of thermodynamics and/or the second law of thermodynamics. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion 

If the universe came from nowhere that violates the law of conservation of mass.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_mass

So the existence of the universe is supernatural.

"By Miller-Urey syntheses and chemical evolution."

As science progresses, the question actually is becoming more baffling.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/science/22origins.html

"Cultural evolution."

What's interesting is that humans existed for hundreds of thousands of years however only very recently thought of any technology beyond a stone ax. What changes 6,000 years ago?

"Cultural evolution and memetics."

We were the only community in Europe to refuse to accept Christianity. We have been proven to be uniquely stubborn and persistent.

"Do we?"

Do you feel like a zombie? I don't.

Jeff said...

"I am referring to topics such as religion and politics, "

Evolution is not religion or politics, any more than heliocentrism is.

"where the evidence is often vague and where people have strong personal biases"

As in Judaism as well, which you utterly fail to see.

jewish philosopher said...

As I explain here, atheism is a religion and evolution is its god.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/05/atheism-in-nutshell.html

If you want to base religious beliefs on global opinion polls, there is no global consensus and never has been. The most popular belief system right now might be Sunni Islam, but it still includes only a fraction of humanity.

Ironmistress said...

We were the only community in Europe to refuse to accept Christianity. We have been proven to be uniquely stubborn and persistent.

Your reference group has never been subject to a similar forced conversion on pain of total annihilation or enslavement like my nation was. Finns were converted to Christianity by fire and sword. Along came slavery by a foreign oppressor. Our Pagan deities were of no avail. Christianity was result of forced conversion. No wonder so many Finns have relinguished religion completely and have secularized thoroughly.

The heathen Prussians similarly resisted conversion. They were utterly annihilated by the Teutonic Order. Only their name remains today.

Jews have never been subject to forced conversion since they traditionally have been a middleman minority in the feudal society. True, they have been despised, hated and persecuted, but at the same time their usefulness has always been recognized by the powerholders. They have always had a special status as a niche ethnicity in the Western society, whereas truly outcast groups, like Gypsies, have always been subject to outright persecution. See here. Other uniquely stubborn and persistent groups (which have not been middleman minorities) have been simply obliterated completely.

jewish philosopher said...

Jews were often massacred, always despised, but never gave in even when "the whole world" knew we were wrong.

Ironmistress said...

Jews were often massacred, always despised, but never gave in even when "the whole world" knew we were wrong.

They have never been subject to similar outright extermination like Pagans.

The Prussians never gave in. They were killed to the last man, woman and child. Now talk about stubbornness!

The concept of middleman minority is here the key. As merchants and moneylenders they have been too useful to be forcibly converted or annihilated. [After a forced conversion you no more have the benefits of such middleman minority.]

In places, where true forced conversions occurred, such as late Medieval Spain, both Judaism and Jewishness disappeared quickly, within three generations. And in such conditions many converted willingly; the main Inquisitor of Spain, Tomás de Torquemada, was a Jewish convert.

jewish philosopher said...

"The Prussians never gave in. They were killed to the last man, woman and child. Now talk about stubbornness!"

That isn't true.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_uprisings

That's why I delete some of your comments. They don't make sense and I suspect you're drunk.

natschuster said...

Ironmistress:

Nobody believes in the Miller Urey synthesis anymore. It requires a reducing atmosphere. The evidence shows tat the Earth's early atmosphere was oxidizing.