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Re: Gnostic Origins and the Torah
In Response To: Gnostic Origins and the Torah ()

Hi Charles,

In mentioning the ruling elite that composed the Torah during the Persian period, do you have any clue as to when the work on the Torah was actually completed? Is it possible that the final polish was done a lot later, even after the conquest of Alexander the Great and during the reign of the Ptolemies?

What do you think, did the writing of the Torah take place over several centuries, the authors adding together and rearranging a host of ancient and new manuscripts, some dating back at least to the years of the Judahite kings Hezekiah and Josiah? And could it be that the editing was not completed until during the Hellenistic period?

Ive often wondered whether the Greek translation of the Torah, the so called "Septuagint", was in fact accomplished during the very same generation that produced the final and complete Hebrew version.

At least, that would explain some strange Hebrew/Greek combined gematria/isopsephy mysteries obviously contained in the Torah, for example in relation to the high priests breastplate, as I mentioned in some previous posts:

http://www.domainofman.com/forum/index.cgi?read=2539
http://www.domainofman.com/forum/index.cgi?read=2560

As I elaborated on in those postings, the Hebrew and Greek systems mirror each other in a rather remarkable way.

By the way, Ive just finished reading "The Bible Unearthed" by Finkelstein and Silberman. Quite a good book, I think, separating as it tries to do, the biblical saga from the archaeological/historical reality. These authors put a lot of emphasis on the Judahite kings Hezekiah and Josiah, and they argue that the Torah was composed in the days of those kings and in the later post-exilic period.

However, I think there are plenty of riddles yet to be solved regarding Judah and Israel. I found this statement in the book quite interesting: "The Israeliteness of the northern kingdom was in many ways a late monarchic Judahite idea." (p. 194). One may indeed wonder if there ever was a northern kingdom of Israel or whether the region was known by other names, like the land of Bit-Humria ("House of Omri") as mentioned by Tiglath-pileser.

The so called "Israel-stele" of Merneptah mentions that

"Isra-ar (or Isriar) is laid waste,
His seed is no more;
Kharu has become
A widow for Egypt."

(Egyptian 'Kharu' [Hebrew 'Khari', sometimes translated "Hurru" or "Hurrians"] being a name for the Palestinians or Syrians).

Helge

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