ABRAHAM THE FOUNDATION OF THREE FAITHS
by Justin Taylor | Genesology
Abraham The Foundation of Three Faiths
The Bible tells us that around 2200 BC, Abraham lived and founded the Hebrew people. This, straight from the first book of the Bible – Genesis. What our modern day Historians, Archaeologists, and Scholars tell us – is vastly different. *****In fact, most will agree that Abraham probably never really existed. It’s merely a word play taken from Brahman, and a story wrapped around it giving the Hebrews a rich and abundant history as any people would like to have had.
At first glance, the story of Abraham and his family seems real enough. The cities, places, rituals and peculiarities of everyday life Genesis describes – they all really pretty much existed at one time or another. But theologists, historians and archaeologists have found that on closer inspection, the story of Abraham doesn’t hold water. Most serious bible researchers have concluded that we shouldn’t take it literally. It’s a beautiful story – but a story it is. ***As are most, if not all of the Bible stories. They are myths and allegories to set up a deeper spiritual Truth hidden within the parable.
*****For starters, the Abraham epic is full of errors.
(1) The bible repeatedly tells us that Abraham possessed camels (Gen 12:16, Gen 14:10). Yet Abraham lived 1,300 years before camels were domesticated.
(2) In Genesis 37:25, Abraham’s son Joseph is sold to a caravan of camels ‘loaded with spices, balm and myrrh’ on its way to Egypt. But trade in these goods only blossomed 1,200 – 1,300 years later. And there are many more mistakes like this.
(3) In Genesis 14:14, Abraham chases four kings to the city of Dan – a city which according to the bible itself was founded only a thousand years later (Judges 18:19).
(4) Abraham is said to have lived among the Chaldeans (Gen 11:31) and the Philistines (Gen 21:34). But both peoples weren’t around yet.
(5) And how about Abraham’s son Isaac visiting the city of Gerar? (Gen 26:1) You guessed it – Gerar didn’t exist yet.
(6) According to the bible, Abraham lived about 2,200 BC: the time when Stonehenge was built and the pyramids were relatively new.
(7) **** Most serious researchers realise that Abraham never existed as a real literal historical personage. We know nothing about individual people who lived back then. Abraham would make an incredible exception.
Genesis gives us even the tiniest details about Abraham’s life and times. It quotes him. It tells us all about his dad Terach, his brothers Haran and Nachor, his wife Sarah, his mistress Hagar and his sons Ishmael and Isaac. Of course, it is more likely the story of Abraham was invented much, much later. As the Dutch journalist and writer Marcel Hulspas put it:
“Abraham’s story is so vivid and rich in details that it seems as if in Genesis, suddenly a powerful light torch is lit that pierces forty centuries of darkness to unexpectedly give us a clear view on one individual human life. Not the life of a king, but that of a simple kettle herder.”
(8) Abraham’s story reflects other, older myths from earlier civilizations and peoples. Also, loosely based on the Hindu Brahman. At best, Abraham’s story may contain some loose elements out of the lives of other legendary people that really did exist. In that respect, Abraham would be much like King Arthur or Santa Claus – ***one percent truth, but 99 percent myth.
So then, why do we find it in the Bible and why is this the man that all three Abrahamic faiths are based upon? According to leading Jewish Bible archaeologists, Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, it has to do with politics. Most likely, it was witten later on as a ‘literary attempt to define the unity of the people of Israel.’ It gave the Israelites a mighty and heroic history, a ‘pious past’. The Abraham epic assured everyone – you have a right to be here, because God has been friends with you for over a thousand years already.
For the ancient Hebrews, once a wandering nomadic tribe perhaps having called the Hibiru’s, they went from polytheistic peoples, to co-mingling with the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, The Egyptians, Buddhists, Hindu’s, and all the other faith systems that had influence over the ancient people of the day, and over the course of time, developed their own stories based upon others. This becomes more evident when you translate scripture back into the Greek and Hebrew and find the names and meanings of the people, places, and stories. There were all symbolic, with deeper allegorical meaning. Teachings within stories that may or may never have happened. Sometimes, it’s not about the story, but about the lesson contained within it.
It is most unfortunate that over the courses of the past two millennia, the world has continued to spin and endless web of war and destruction based on competing religions that more than likely are based on events and peoples that never were. Whether it be Abraham, Moses, Jesus/Joshua, Muhammad, or any other religious figure, more than likely, much of what has been recorded has been fabricated … or at the very least rewritten, revised, and reedited multiple times among multiple languages and power struggles.
The bottom line is that ALL religious leaders from among ancient times preached love, peace, and joy. Where has that message gone so terribly wrong?
I will close this with a quote from Joseph Campbell:
“A Myth is something that never was, yet always is.”
Just a thought …
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.
Thanks to Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman: “The Bible Unearthed”
ARCHEOLOGISTS AGREE: MOSES NEVER EXISTED.
The main book of Judaism, called the Torah (the first 5 books of the Old Testament, “OT”) is filled with stories of a man called Moses, the story of Exodus and the persecution of Jews by an Egyptian king who allegedly enslaved them.
The Torah is obvious mythology. The fact that it is fiction is obvious from Book 1, Page 1. The Earth is not 4000 years old. Cultures (unknown to the scribes) flourished much before. Written records and archeological evidence using carbon dating show man’s presence tens of thousands of years ago, probably over a 100,000 years ago. A million people cannot live in a vast desert (without water or food) in a hostile nation for 40 years–and leave no trace.
The techniques of higher criticism showed that the Old Testament was weaved together out of four source documents and was produced much later than claimed.
See “The Forgery of the Old Testament” by Joseph McCabe:
Also see: “The age of Reason”, Thomas Paine, in which Paine labels the OT as “spurious.”
Furthermore, archaelogical and historical evidence has proven *****Moses, Exodus, Abraham, Joshua, King David, etc. to be basically myths copied from African and Eastern/Middle Eastern cultures.
For eg., according to Prof. Ze’ev Herzog who teaches in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University, in “Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho”, states as follows:
“This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom…… Most of those who are engaged in scientific work in the interlocking spheres of the Bible, archaeology and the history of the Jewish people – and who once went into the field looking for proof to corroborate the Bible story – now agree that the historic events relating to the stages of the Jewish people’s emergence are radically different from what that story tells.” (in an article in the Jewish magazine Haaretz, as republished on):
For further evidence, see:
Ancient Egyptians, who kept one of the most detailed ancient historic details, make no mention of any Jews there or other historic events of any “Moses or any “Jew” slaves escaping, though they make mention of one Egyptian slave who once escaped and was caught. The Moses myth was copied from the African myth of Mises.
The fact is there was no Abraham, nor Moses, nor any King David, no enslavement in Egypt, and no Exodus. All these stories are myths copied from prevalent Zorastrian, Egyptian (i.e. African) and other Eastern myths (such as Sargon & Mises/Manu myths, the Code of Hammurabi, etc.) prevalent around that time in the Near East and projected back in time. Moses never existed.
Moses could not have parted the Red Sea, not only because it violates the laws of physics, and there was no Moses, but because there was no Red Sea to cross, since Egypt and Israel have a common land border!
Were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Real People?
The Book of Genesis tells the story of ancient heroes from Israel’s distant past. It describes the adventures of men and women who struggled to define their relationship to divinity, as well as their place within a hostile world. But were the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob real historical figures? From the perspective of historians, that is a question we simply cannot answer. Unlike other biblical stories, the patriarchal narratives contain almost no connection with known historical events that historians can substantiate through other sources.So when it comes to a person such as Abraham, we simply don’t have any empirical evidence that he was real.
Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that he wasn’t, but I believe it’s important to note that there is a real difference between history and the past. The patriarchs in Genesis may have been people from the past, but if so, they are completely lost to us in terms of history. History requires evidence. And historians do not possess any of it beyond the traditions in Genesis. For this reason, scholars cannot show that men such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob actually existed.
There’s little doubt that the stories concerning these figures, at least in part, derive from oral tradition. The written sources that appear in Genesis cannot be dated earlier than the 9th or 8th centuries B.C.E. (some perhaps even much later). These sources were originally written in Hebrew, and Hebrew did not exist as a written language until the 10th or possibly 9th century B.C.E. The internal chronology of the Bible indicates a date of around 2100 B.C.E. for Abraham and approximately 1876 for his grandson Jacob’s move down into Egypt. If Abraham was a real person from the past, this would mean that the stories about him derive from oral traditions that circulated for basically a thousand years before they were eventually put to writing.
This observation explains why, for example, the Philistines are mentioned in the Genesis stories (Genesis 21:32-34; 26:1, 8, 14-15), even though the Philistines did not appear in the land until the twelfth century. Likewise, the Arameans assume a prominent role in the Genesis account concerning Jacob, but they are only attested in the eleventh century B.C.E. Abraham’s story mentions the town of Beersheba, yet we know from archeological evidence that Beersheba was not settled before the twelfth century. These types of anachronisms appear throughout the Book of Genesis. They certainly call into question the historical reliability of its stories.
The question is sometimes asked whether it is reasonable to assume that Israelites would have told stories about imaginary ancestors. Why would ancient Israelites have accepted traditions about these people if they were not in fact real? The truth is, however, that we have plenty of examples in the ancient world where mythological figures (including divinities) were understood to be real, even though we know that they weren’t.
Moreover, as historians, we have absolutely no way of determining how many Israelites knew anything about Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob at the time the Genesis material was written. We simply have no idea what most Israelites believed about the past. The Genesis sources were produced by a small subset of Israelite and Judean scribes. We would have to assume that the religious and historical views of the general population were quite different from what this small group of elite court officials believed.
Taking this into consideration, some biblical scholars maintain that the traditions concerning the patriarchs were originally independent ancestral stories that were combined in the Genesis sources in order to define the relationship of the people of Israel to one another. According to this theory, the patriarchal history may have been developed as a way to link the people of the land together for political reasons.
Some scholars theorize that the ancestor stories were created in such a way to connect the origins of Israel with Mesopotamia, Abraham’s original homeland, rather than the land of Canaan. Genesis insists on distinguishing Israelites from Canaanites (who are defined throughout the Hebrew Bible as slaves and sexual deviants). The archeological record, however, tells a different story.
The Israelites were Canaanites. There is really not any archeological evidence to support the idea of an intrusion of a different material culture into the land of Canaan at the time of the Israelite conquest. The Bible’s constant effort to disparage Canaanites may have been an attempt to deny origins and create a new history. According to this reading, by defining certain well-known tribal ancestors in the region as “family,” while excluding other groups, the biblical story creates a bond between the people of Israel through an invented genealogical succession.
Reading the patriarchal stories from this perspective provides scholars who adopt this view with a whole new meaning to the biblical traditions. Since the narratives about each patriarch in Genesis are connected with very clear geographical regions, some scholars have looked at this evidence to uncover historical clues for each story’s original place of origin. Abraham, for example, typically appears connected with southern Canaan. His primary residence in the Genesis stories is in the southern region at a place known as the “oaks of Mamre” near Hebron (Genesis 26:32; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1). Isaac appears linked specifically with Beersheba (Genesis 26:32-33) and Beer-lahai-roi (Genesis 24:62; 25:11). In contrast, the stories in Genesis connect Jacob with the north, primarily with Shechem (Gen 33:18-19) and Bethel (Genesis 28:18-19; 35:1-8), although he also appears connected with Gilead (Genesis 31:43-50, 32:2-3; 32:30; 33:17).
By using this evidence, some biblical scholars maintain that the traditions about Abraham derive from stories about an early patriarchal ancestor told by the people of the Judean Hill country. The Isaac narratives may be traditions regarding an ancient figure recounted by the people who inhabited southwestern Judah and the Negev. Jacob, in turn, may actually be the earliest of these ancestor traditions. His stories were perhaps told over the centuries by a group of people from the central Ephraimite hills.
This theory, often called “The History of Traditions,” makes sense of the fact that Jacob’s name was also known as Israel, and this is the title by which the people who occupied the heartland of the country were known. According to this historical reading, the patriarchal stories that connected these separate legendary figures as a single family group may have been created to increase cohesiveness between the population of Canaan, a people that eventually came to be known as Israel.
Thus, trying to make sense of the history conveyed through Genesis is much more complicated than simply asking the question, “why would biblical authors have made-up patriarchal figures who were not real people of the remote past?”
When it comes to history, scholars cannot use the Book of Genesis to understand whether or not its central characters such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were real people. They certainly might have been, and their authenticity is important for many religious views. But if they were real, this fact has been lost to historians. The patriarchal stories belong to the genre of “legend” rather than “historiography.” Hence, from an academic perspective, the Book of Genesis tells historians much more about the time period in Israelite and Judean history when its sources were created than it does about the Patriarchs themselves.
Religious readers who wish to make sense of biblical figures such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as real individuals from the past must recognize that they hold this perspective as a matter of faith. This view cannot be established through empirical evidence. And that’s OK (at least it should be). Whether such a view is necessarily to sustain a religious connection to the text is another issue entirely.
Biblical Characters are Based on Egyptian Pharaohs
Archaeology experts have found absolutely no evidence what so ever that Hebrew Jews lived as slaves in Egypt or of their exodus from Egypt…… The plain truth is that Moses didn’t lead Hebrew slaves out of Egypt anymore then Chilton Heston did….. There is not one shred of archeological evidence for the existence of Moses or of any of the bible’s main cast of Hebrew characters – from Abraham to Jacob to King David to King Solomon…… There is however plenty of evidence for the existence of Egyptian pharaohs who these biblical characters are based on…..
Evidence shows that the ancestral patriarch of the Hebrew Jews is Amenemhet the first and that his biblical name is Abraham. Since pharaoh Amenemhet worshipped the god Amen, are Amen and the biblical god the same god?
Since Yakubher is the Aramean name for Jacob, Egyptology experts interpret this as factual evidence that the biblical Jacob and the hyksos king Yakubher were one of the same,
Moses closely matches Thutmosis the third, even the names Moses and Thutmosis are almost identical.
King David reigned for 50 years, Egyptian history reveals that pharaoh Psusennes also ruled Canaan for 50 years at the same time as the biblical king David – both battled the same enemy called the sea people or philistines.
Pharaoh Siamun and King Solomon reigned at exactly the same time and fought the same enemies in Canaan called the Matani, the Hittites and the Philistines.
(Jacob: 1758 – 1611 BC, King Yakubher reign: 1655 – 1646 BC)
(King David reign: 1012 – 962 BC, Psusennes reign: 1039-991 BC)
(Moses: 1527 – 1407 BC, Thutmose the third reign: 1479 – 1425 BC)
(Abraham: 2055 – 1880 BC, Amenemhet the first reign: 1991 – 1962 BC)
(King Solomon reign: 970 – 931 BC, Siamun reign: 978 – 959 BC)
I becomes evident that Biblical Patriarchs like Moses, Exodus, Abraham, Joshua, King David, Isaac, and Jacob were all legendary mythical characters used by the early writers of the Bible to tell their stories. This means the basis of the Bible was legendary and mythical, but skilfully told, is accepted by most as historical upon which faith has been built. All religions have been built on mythical legends and gods and have great followings, i.e., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Daoism, and many others. That is the nature of religions.
But when a religion or religions become Totalitarian Supremacist and destructive to the world community, it is time it was examined critically and openly declared it for what it is (like a fascist doctrine,) and steps taken to ban it altogether, because no religion is above another and that is because all gods are legendary or mythical and thus all gods are equal in rank and authority.