Forum

In With the New, Out With the Old

Richard,

There was a time when I was ready to accept the current academic position that the Bible is mostly fantasy. But no longer. It is a very serious collection of historical memories, some amazingly specific and intimate in detail. Of course, each author had his or her particular biases and agenda, but this does not exclude these works from being considered histories.

Ancient authors also used techniques that are strange to us now, such as composite characters, but again we can untangle them with a little patience. Extreme understatement is also a literary device used by Biblical authors, for example giving the naive reader the impression that shepherd-kings were humble herdsmen of animals rather than of entire populations, or that Solomon ruled from a provincial city, palace and temple rather than the capital of the known world.

Egyptologists imagine an elaborate ancient beaurocracy where lowly clerks and soldiers could work their way up the ranks and even take power. This is a delusion. At any given time, the work force and armies of Egypt were controlled by a very small group of people closely related to the ruling family. Royal persons especially held many different titles and wore many hats. The greater the person the more names and offices they held.

There was never any threat to the ruling king other than from natural disasters or members of his own family. Whenever you hear about an invasion from Nubia or Libya or Syria or the Hyksos, etc, it always involves someone from the royal family. The interlopers are often described on monuments and in the Bible as "foreign" kings, but this is only role playing and deliberate misdirection. The New Kingdom pharaohs did not save Egypt from the Hyksos. They were one branch of the Hyksos.

Each new pharaoh projected himself as savior from the chaos that preceded. Maintaining Maat? What a joke! Mafia-style networks, once firmly established, are nearly impossible to remove. Oppressive regimes can go on indefinitely.

I'm not one for trying to patch up old models of the ancient world (or of religion). I'm offering a completely new one. It's far from perfect, but also far superior to what we previously had to choose from.

Still waiting to see the fruits of your own research Richard!

-Charles