[b-hebrew] Ark of the Covenant

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Thu Aug 19 19:48:24 EDT 2004

In a message dated 8/19/2004 12:24:01 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
peterkirk at qaya.org writes:

> Marianne, you weaken your argument by trying to disprove a straw man. 
> For many centuries even highly conservative scholars have accepted that 
> there are parts of the Torah which Moses did not write himself, such as 
> the account of his death and some obvious anachronisms like a reference 
> to the city of Dan. While different people may vary on what they accept, 
> and I can't speak for Karl, this implies a general acceptance that there 
> has been some kind of later redaction of the Torah. That further means 
> that occasional anachronisms do not imply that the main part of the text 
> was not written by Moses sometime in the second millennium. After all, 
> we are talking about a text which is known to have been copied many 
> times, not a stela which claims to be an original text from an earlier 
> time than it actually is.

Why would any copiers throw in so many anachronisms into a text they 
considered "holy"?  And why is it necessary for Moses to have written "any" of the 

> By the way, how do we know that Manetho was not taken in by the kinds of 
> forged stelae which you mentioned?

They are rarities.  I know of only the two I mentioned.  While these texts 
are pseudographic, there is really nothing in them to be "taken in" by.  The 
Famine Stela mention "seven lean years" in Egypt during the time of Djoser.  
Manetho never mentioned them--but maybe the Bible does.  Seven low Niles in a row 
would have been a rare happening in Egypt.  The Bekhten Stela (also called the 
Bentresh Stela) refers to a marriage between Ramesses II and a daughter of a 
king of a place called "Bekhten", which some feel is Afghanistan.  It records 
that another daughter of this same foreign king was possessed by a demon and 
required an Egyptian physician to either heal her or act as an exorcist.  
Manetho doesn't mention this, either.  Yet Hecataeus of Abdera was told by priests 
of the Ramesseum (the mortuary temple of Ram. II) that the pharaoh had fought 
in far-flung locations, so there was a legend there that had persisted.

> -- 

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list