EGreg wrote: ....If the exodus happened, and all the nations heard about it and were afraid, then someone outside the Jewish nation would have written about it. But instead, we don't find any corroboration. Jews say Egyptians didn't want to record their defeats. But their enemies certainly would have wanted to.
EGreg wrote: If the exodus happened, then Egypt would be devastated and its army decimated. But history shows that Egypt carried on a war with the Hittites for another 50 years after that, and they came to a mutual peace treaty. Why didn't the hittites utterly come and subjugate the devastated empire? The Talmud says that the Egyptian army was unable to recover for a long time.
ooberman wrote: I think the OP alludes to a very interesting question.If Jesus had been aware of the scientific evidence against the historical claims in the Bible he probably wouldn't have become a prophet of Yahweh.The whole basis of Christianity is that Jesus believed the truth of the Bible in a way that is simply not accepted anymore.Jesus was wrong to believe OT was a reliable document, as was Paul and the other authors.That is what is so ironic. They were so utterly wrong, but the Christian Apologist must believe all of it is true because it would make Jesus and others look like typical religious nuts.As they do.
EGreg wrote: Okay let's take it one by one. According to the Exodus story, 600 thousand male adult Jews left Egypt. If we estimate one wife and two children for each of them, we get 2.5 million people.What does history tell you was the population fo Egypt around 1400 - 1000 BCE ? Wouldn't there be major changes in Egypt and its history before and after the exodus?
EGreg wrote: Furthermore, how do we interpret Deuteronomy 7 verse 7 -- is it just hyperbole? What is the purpose of it?
EGreg wrote: Errors in the thousands are fine, we are talking about millions of people. http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/people/index.html#rem2Would you expect such a major population change to be reflected in e.g. the history of Egypt or maybe contribute to its decline as a major power?By the way, if you are well versed in history, then how do you square this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt#Ancient_Egypt [/quote] " Egyptologists tend to dodge the issue of population numbers, as there are no statistics available and all such numbers are based on more or less educated guesswork:"The above was taken from the second link you provided and agrees fully with my earlier statement. When you say "reflected in the history of Egypt", what type of history are you referring to? If you mean written records, how many of the contemporary records from that era survive? I'm guessing very little. Of course written records are merely one way in which to evaluate the question. EGreg wrote: with Genesis 11, and Jewish tradition, that says a flood killed everyone around 2104 BC? Shouldn't that convince you that the flood story couldn't possibly be true?
EGreg wrote: with Genesis 11, and Jewish tradition, that says a flood killed everyone around 2104 BC? Shouldn't that convince you that the flood story couldn't possibly be true?
EGreg wrote: ...* if 2.5 million people wandered in the desert around Sinai and subsequently all died without entering Israel, shouldn't we find the remains of this activity? Bones from people, goats, sheep and other livestock, tools they used, and so on?
EGreg wrote: * shouldn't we find the egyptian chariots and other corroded things at the bottom of the red sea?
EGreg wrote: * Jericho and other cities mentioned in the book of Joshua as having big walls were found to be no more than villages, with no evidence of ever having had big walls
EGreg wrote: Israel Finkelstein is an archaeologist that gained notoriety in the last decade, for his findings regarding Biblical archaeology. His theory was that Judaism was the result of a national history put together sometime during the time of King Solomon and later. His book "The Bible Unearthed" talks about this theory in light of the evidence, and how Solomon's kingdom, far from being the richest in the entire earth, was more like a village. This is where he claims that the monotheism pushed out the polytheistic Caananite culture and became the dominant religion, with its own national history legend.
EGreg wrote: Okay so what does this mean for Christianity?
gleaner63 wrote: Hi EGreg, You asked some interesting questions and I'd like to attempt to answer just a portion of one of them. I have an undergraduate degree in history and so I think I can shed some light on the issue of historical claims and if, in fact, they are open to "ultimate proof". In my opinion, they are not. In your reference to the alledged historical events of the OT, including that of a universal, or local flood, even if we had geological proof of such an event, it would not convice the ardent atheist. Why? They would simply have a fallback position and say somehting like this; "...floods...*any* flood, is a *natural* event, and so does not require divine intervention. So even IF there was a universal flood, that would in no way prove that a diety was invovlved or that said diety actually exists...". And, I think they would be right. I once talked with an atheist and asked that if Noah's Ark was discovered, would he then become a believer? His response was "no, all you would have discovered was a boat. Period." Let's look at another widely disputed event from the OT, that of the Exodus. The lack of evidence for this event, especially in the Egyptian records, leads many to say it didn't happen. But even if it could be proven, the "fall back" position for the atheist would be "...so what? Does the migration of hundreds of thousands of slaves require a diety?". The "unbelief" of the average atheist is not really about evidence at all, it's really about a built in bias, one that they want to protect at all costs. I have had these conversations with atheists all to many times to believe that the verification of the historical events of the OT would make *any* difference at all. If you don't believe me, just go to any atheist blog and pose the question. The Red Sea may have parted, but surely it wasn't GOd that did it. That would be a typical aresponse. Let me use two modern examples that will help illustrate this. Show a skeptic a flight log by a military pilot that he visually spotted and chased a UFO. The invariable first query will always be "...did they pick the UFO up on radar...?". If you respond no, they will retort, "...see, if it was a solid, mechanical object, they would have picked it up on their radar...". Now, when you point out a similar case, of a pilot who made a vivual ID and painted the target on radar, the response then becomes "...radar is unreliable...". Tell them the UFO was "painted" by *five* seperate radar systems, including gound and air. The response now becomes "...so what...". But do you see what is happening here? I asked an atheist on another blog what proof he required for the ressurection and he said "...a time machine...". Another said he would "...have to see it with his own eyes...". Another said "...when God comes down from heaven and introduces himself to me then I will believe he exists...". No proof will be enough for the hardcore atheist....and *they* know this, they just refuse to admit it.
oobermann wrote: I think this highlights a real problem for the Apologist.1. This is kind of a Red Herring. The basic question is "is there evidence for a global flood?". Gleaner doesn't answer (there isn't), but tries to show that even if there was (there isn't) it wouldn't convince the atheist. That's true.