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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:28 pm 
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Thor
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2 million hebrews walking 3 feet apart equals 6 million feet or about 1,130 miles. Walking two abreast they form a column about 520 miles long and four abreast about 260 miles long and so forth. They could have passed their possessions from the Nile delta to Jerusalem with six rows of people passing things hand to hand. Of course if you exclude children and the elderly and people preparing food and head breaks there might only have been enough people for two lines.

This would not have had the production values Cecil B. DeMille needed for the movie.

As Acharya noted regarding all the miracles in the Exodus story a snap of the divine fingers instantly transporting everyone to bibleland would have been more impressive. That would have lacked the production values needed for a good movie or the kind of thing needed for the art of storytelling.

Is the bible history? Go to the library and read some real history. Not a popularized history, not a historical novel but real history. Popular history is to real history as Sagan's Cosmos is to one of Sagan's papers in an astrophysical journal. Real life does not tell a story. Neither does real history. Either can be told by fitting it into one of the story themes, Exodus == triumph over adversity. Why all the heart hardening and trials in the desert? More adversities to triumph over. (Subplot, the priests of Yahweh are worse than Stalin's secret police.)

Is a recounting boring reality or entertaining? If the latter, such as the Iliad, then fiction. Thus Exodus is fiction by inspection.

We can also look to categorize the type of fiction. Again the Iliad and the centuries old debate as to it being historical fiction like Shakespeare's Julius Caesar or ahistorical fiction like Lord of the Rings. [Sidebar: The latest research indicates Ilium in that time frame did have a wall long enough to match the story.]

For Christians there are both old and new testaments. This neatly exemplifies the two. After some 150 years of digging and archaeology in bibleland, the most dug place in the world, not one single bit of physical evidence supports the OT therefore it is ahistorical fiction like Gilgamesh. The NT is set in the Roman Empire and roughly 1st and 2nd c. AD Roman empire. So it is historical fiction.

But when it comes to writing history we have an identified inventor of the form of literature, Herodotus in the mid 5th c. BC. He more of an entertaining from of history. He was immediately followed by Thucydides who wrote much more of our kind of history by researching everything he could and interviewing participants where possible.

The current believers in the least fantastic version of OT writing would have us believe the OT was written after the return from the (mythical) captivity in Babylon nearly a century earlier than Herodotus. This includes the historical books of the OT. Thus we have a choice. Was the writing of history invented by the civilized and literate Greeks or by illiterate farmers in the hill country of Palestine? Sort of a no-brainer for me. Note 1: Neither the Babylonians nor Persians invented writing history. Note 2: The script (shape of letters and the sounds they represent) we recognize as "Hebrew" is Aramaic. The script found in bibleland prior to Aramaic is Phoenician. Note 3: What is called "Hebrew" is most likely an ancient pidgin of Greek and Aramaic. See "Hebrew is Greek" by Yehuda Bauer. Note 4: There is no physical evidence of any captivity in Babylon only believers' arguments almost as bad as the Egypt/Exodus myth.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Thanks. That's the conclusion I also reach, of course, in my book Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver.

There is so much scholarship on this subject that I am swamped. The comparative mythology study is absolutely fascinating.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:18 am 
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Comparative mythology bothers me as an approach not to denigrate it of course. My view is it all started as storytelling and the best stories became the myths. There have been many stories of outer space but very few Star Treks and Star Wars.

Before mass media people entertained themselves and one of the forms was storytelling. Tell a story a thousand times and change it by what the audience likes and you get a myth. As someone noted about Star Wars, it sure much be easy to make a sequel when hundreds of thousands of fans are telling you what they want to hear.

It all indicates to me the common mythological components are based upon what people want to hear because it relates to their lives. And storytellers about Jesus were not particularly creative. There were many reasons to fall into the job skill as well as simply being the best in the family.

So yes, if you want a (re)birth for a population that is 90+% farmers connecting it with the sun is sort of a no-brainer. And if connected with the sun then it makes the character more heroic. OR connect a heroic character to the sun. Makes no difference.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:55 pm 
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In regards to Star Wars, there is much to be said about comparative mythology.



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