Review: Moses and Akhenaten: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus (Paperback) by Ahmed Osman
The impression I get with the Old and New Testaments is that it is too cosmetic, too clinical, and too comprehensive and too immediate. The whole basis of the doctrines of Judaism (and Christianity) in the Bible essentially rests on the tablets and the message brought down from Mount Sinai by Moses. But did Judaism really appear suddenly in 1314 BC out of the genius of Moses and his seeing the “Burning Bushes” or did the religious beliefs of Moses and monotheism evolve from existing religions, gods, cultures, and traditions of the peoples in Egypt? And If it did evolve from Egyptian religious cultures, why has this fact been suppressed all this time?
Egyptian historical evidence has proven that the Pharaoh Akhenaten (1380 – 1334 BC) also known as Pharaoh Amenhotep IV abolished polytheism and replaced it with a single god Aten who was spiritual without image or form. Akhenaten ruled Egypt for seventeen years, but his vision of a mono-theist god upset the people and especially the fundamentalists polytheist priests to such an extent that he was forced to abdicate the throne and allowed his successor to allow the people to include the worship of the old gods of Egypt, Amun. The animosity of the polytheists and the followers of the monotheists were irreconcilable at that point in time. Akhenaten was forced to seek refuge in Sinai taking with him his Egyptian and Israelite supporters. And this was the beginnings of Judaism.
Sigmund Freud had suggested that Moses was in fact one of the Egyptian priests from the Aten Temples who started the religion of Judah. But as he was Egyptian, it was convenient if his identity was removed so as not to alienate the Jews since there was not much love between the Egyptians and the Jewish people.
But Egyptian scholar Ahmed Osman hypothesized that in fact Moses as depicted in the Old Testament was, in fact, a spiritual representation of Akhenaten. They were one and the same person although the accounting differed in the different texts.
The Egyptians, of course, divorced themselves from this blasphemy. The Jews wanted a new identity also divorced from any Egyptian connections. The Romans and Christians were determined to suppress any connections to the Egyptian polytheist culture as it would have undermined their own narratives, independence and authority.
The lives of Amenhotep IV, Akhenaten, Moses, the creation of Aten, the Temples of Aten, and monotheism all occurred about the same time in history. Was it simply coincidence, or is there some credibility in the hypothesis of Sigmund Freud and Ahmed Osman? Only further archaeological findings will prove of disprove such hypothesis but the evidence and timing is too coincidental to be chance.