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By: Anonymous Muslim



Rebuttal to Shamoun, Shamoun's silly claims the Corrupted Bible is an "accurate history book"


Shamoun's writing here deals with the claims that the Bible is a miraculous and perfectly accurate history book.  Most of Shamoun's claims come via fundamentalist Pagan Christian "scholars" like Josh "the fool" McDowell (read a great rebuttal here to McDowell's 12 best "historical prophecies in the bible" rebuttal done by Steven Carr: http://www../library/modern/steven_carr/non-messianic.html


And go here for a rebuttal to Josh McDowell on the alleged biblical "historical Jesus": http://www../library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html




Now again to excerpts from Shamoun's article

Shamoun's full article can be found at the following link: http://./Responses/Shabir-Ally/nab.htm



He Wrote

Archaeology has also solidified the case for the eyewitness nature and accuracy of the Holy Bible. It should be first mentioned that most attacks on the Bible stem from arguments from silence, i.e. the fact that no independent archaeological research has been discovered in support of certain recorded biblical events. Yet, such arguments only prove that as of yet archaeology has failed to furnish evidence in regards to an event related in the Bible.

This is far different from archaeology providing evidence to show that certain events did not occur in the same manner in which the Bible says it did. In fact, not one archaeological discovery has ever proven the Bible wrong; discovery after discovery has demonstrated the amazing historical accuracy of scripture. The following quotations from the world's leading archaeologists affirms this fact:

"Nowhere has archeological discovery refuted the Bible as history." (John Elder, Prophets Idols and Diggers [New York; Bobs Merrill, 1960], p. 16)

"Near Eastern archeology has demonstrated the historical and geographical reliability of the Bible in many important areas. By clarifying the objectivity and factual accuracy of biblical authors, archaeology also helps correct the view that the Bible is avowedly partisan and subjective. It is now known, for instance, that, along with the Hittites, Hebrew scribes were the best historians in the entire ancient Near East, despite contrary propaganda that emerged from Assyria, Egypt, and elsewhere." (E. M. Blalklock, editor's preface, New International Dictionary of Biblical Archeology [Grand Rapids, MI; Regency Reference Library/ Zondervan, 1983], pp. vii-viii)

The late William F. Albright, one of the world's foremost archeologists, stated:

"There can be no doubt that archeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition." (J. A. Thompson, The Bible and Archeology [Grand Rapids, MI; Eerdmans, 1975], p. 5)

Nelson Glueck, world-renowned Jewish archeologist, concurs:

"As a matter of fact, however, it maybe clearly stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a single biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible." (Norman Geisler & Ron Brooks, When Skeptics Ask; A Handbook on Christian Evidences [Wheaton, IL; Victor, 1990], p. 179)

It should be noted that both Albright and Glueck were not conservative Christians and did not believe in the inspiration of scripture. Their conclusions were based strictly on the archaeological data, forcing them to make the above admissions. Earl Radmacher, former president of Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, notes:

"I listened to him [Glueck] when he was at Temple Emmanuel in Dallas, and he got rather red in the face and said, 'I've been accused of teaching the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scripture. I want it to be understood that I have never taught this. All I have ever said is that in all my archaeological investigation I have never found one artifact of antiquity that contradicts any statement of the Word of God.'" (Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands A Verdict, p. 22)

Sir Frederic Kenyon mentions, "The evidence of archaeology has been to re-establish the authority of the Old Testament, and likewise to augment its value by rendering it more intelligible through a fuller knowledge of its background and setting."

Millar Burrows of Yale states, "On the whole, archaeological work has unquestionably strengthened confidence in the reliability of the scriptural record."

Archaeologist Joseph P. Free confirms that while thumbing through the book of Genesis, he mentally noted that each of the 50 chapters are either illuminated or confirmed by some archaeological discovery. He also affirms that this would be true for most of the remaining chapters of the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament. John Ankerberg & John Weldon comment on Fee:

"As Joseph P. Fee (1910-1974), who did extensive excavations at the city of Dothan for ten years, observed, 'In my lifetime I have heard many messages or sermons that could have some point driven home by the effective use of some archaeological item.'17 He further points out that archaeology 'has confirmed countless passages that have been rejected by critics as unhistorical or contradictory to known facts.'18" (Ankerberg & Weldon, Ready With An Answer For the Tough Questions About God [Harvest House Publishers; Eugene, Oregon 97402 1997], p. 263)

Continuing further, the same authors note:

"In considering the Old Testament, archaeology has vindicated the biblical record time and again. The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, written by a score of experts in various fields, repeatedly shows that the biblical history is vindicated. To illustrate, the editor's preface remarks, 'Near Eastern archaeology has demonstrated the historical and geographical reliability of the Bible in many important areas. By clarifying the objectivity and factual accuracy of biblical authors, archaeology also helps correct the view that the Bible is avowedly partisan and subjective. It is now known, for instance, that, along with the Hittites, Hebrew scribes were the best historians in the entire ancient Near East, despite, contrary propaganda that emerged from Assyria, Egypt, and elsewhere.'36" (Ibid, p. 269- bold emphasis ours)

Sir William Ramsey, considered one of the world's greatest archaeologists believed that the New Testament, particularly the books of Luke and Acts, were second-century forgeries. He spent thirty years in Asia Minor, trying to dig up enough evidence to prove that Luke-Acts was nothing more than a lie. At the conclusion of his long journey however, he was compelled to admit that the New Testament was a first-century compilation and that the Bible is historically reliable. This fact led to his conversion and embracing of the very faith he once believed to be a hoax. Dr. Ramsey stated:

"Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy ... this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians."

Ramsey further said:

"Luke is unsurpassed in respects of its trustworthiness." (Josh McDowell, The Best of Josh Mcdowell: A Ready Defense, pp. 108-109)

Another one time skeptic was Dr. Clifford Wilson who, due to the discoveries made, concluded:

"It is the studied conviction of this writer that the Bible is ... the ancient world's most reliable history textbook..." (Wilson, Rocks, Relics And Biblical Reliability [Grand Rapids, MI; Zondervan/Richardson, TX: Probe, 1977], p. 126)



My Response:

Shamoun in his words wants us to be believe the Bible is an error free "history textbook" and that "no archeological evidence has ever contradicted the Holy Bible"


Let us see about that!!!!


First on the biblical account of the "Exodus" let us read a long excerpt from the following article: http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/moses.html

Exodus - The Evidence

Exodus chapters 1 through 12 tells the story of the miraculous escape of the Israelites under the leadership of Moses from Egypt. It is this story, together with Joshua’s conquest of Canaan (see next section), that provide the main anchor for Israelite identity as a people and as a religion. What does the textual and archaeological evidence tells us about the event describe in Exodus? Until recently most biblical scholar and “biblical archaeologists” took it for granted that, however much the story may have been overlaid by myths, there was a historical core to it. (Anonymous Muslim point- go to the link: http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/moses.html to see the similarities of Biblical account to earlier Babylonian myths.)  Until the late 1980’s even skeptical scholars accepted the idea that there may have been a “historical kernel” to the story of the Exodus. However since the last decade of the twentieth century, archeological evidence have begun to accumulate which have led most mainstream archaeologists to cast extreme doubt on the historicity of any type of mass Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.

Before presenting the archaeological evidence on the historicity of the Exodus, we should point out that even a casual reading of the account in the Pentateuch would give one room to pause with respect to its general veracity.

It is also clear that by the time the different strands of tradition were put in writing, many of the details have already been lost or corrupted. How else would we explain the following discrepancies?

The name of Moses father-in-law is no longer known; for we have two different names for him:


Exodus 3:1 (also 18:1)
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian...

Numbers 10:29 (also Judges 4:11)
And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law...


There are two different account of the burial of Moses’ brother-in-law, Aaron:


Numbers 33: 38 (Also Numbers 20:22-29)
And Aaron the priest went up into
mount Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and died there...




Deuteronomy 10:6
And the children of
Israel took their journey from Beeroth of the children of Jaakan to Mosera: there Aaron died, and there he was buried...


That Moserah and Mount Hor are not the same place can be seen from the fact that Numbers 33:30-37 placed the former six stages before Mount Hor. [5]

The Bible apparently gives a very exact date for the Exodus:


I Kings 6:1
It happened in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of Yahweh..


Correlating this with the other dates in the Bible (see the Biblical Chronology given in table 3.2 in the previous chapter) gives this as 1495 BCE. However the Bible also says that the Israelites were forced by the Egyptians to built the city of Ramses:


I Exodus 8:11
Now there arose a new king over
Egypt, who didn’t know Joseph. He said to his people, “Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it happen that when any war breaks out, they also join themselves to our enemies, and fight against us, and escape out of the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. They built storage cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses.


Now the first Egyptian Pharoah named Rameses came to power only in 1320 BCE. It would be impossible to built a city of that name before that time. However there is evidence from Egyptian sources that a city called Pi-Raamses was built under Ramesses II who was Pharoah from 1279-1213 BCE. Thus the story of the forced labor to built the city could only happen during this time.

Furthermore there the testimony of a 7-1/2 foot stela made of black granite found in Merneptah’s Temple in Thebes in 1896. Dated to around 1208 BCE, the stela, erected to commemorate the military victory of Pharoah Merneptah, son and successor of Ramses II, tells of a violent Egyptian conquest of Canaan. This is the relevant part for our purposes:


The Canaan has been plundered with every sort of evil;
Ashkelon has been overcome;
Gezer has been captured;
Yanoam is made non-existent;
Israel is laid waste and his seed is not;


The stela says nothing about an Israelite escape from Egypt but merely that they were in Canaan before 1208. Bracketted by the dates of the Pi-Rameses and the Merneptah Stela, the Exodus, if it happened at all, had to happen around the end of the 13th century BCE. [6]

However the moment we start looking for sources outside the Bible for this event we come up empty handed. Now according to Exodus 12:40, the Israelites lived in Egypt for 430 years. Yet for all this time, there is simply no literary nor archeological evidence outside the Hebrew scriptures that records the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt. As the archaeologists Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman noted:


[W]e have no clue, not even a single word, about the early Israelites in Egypt: neither in monumental inscriptions on the walls of temples, nor in tomb inscriptions, nor in papyri. Israel is absent - as a possible foe of Egypt, as a friend, or as an enslaved nation. [7]


It is amazing that four centuries of settlement left not a single trace. When we comes to the actual Exodus, things are even worse. According to the Pentateuch that more than a million people were involved in the Exodus:


Exodus 12:37 (Also Numbers 1:45-46)
The children of
Israel traveled from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, besides children.


With six hundred thousand men, besides children and presumably women, we are talking about an Exodus of more than one million people. We are also told (Joshua 5:6) that this one million plus wandered for forty years in the wilderness in Sinai Now surely more than more than a million people wandering around for forty years would have left some traces for archeaologist to find. Yet not a single archeological evidence have been found. This is not for want of trying. Between 1967, when Israel captured the Sinai peninsula from Egypt, and 1982, when it was returned in the peace treaty, Israeli archaeologists made dozen of expeditions throughtout the peninsula. Yet, not a single shred of evidence for an ancient Isrealite presence was found. [8]

The case is not helped by arguing that the numbers stated in Exodus may have been exaggerated and that these people were mainly wandering in the desert without any permanent station.

Firstly, modern archaeological techniques, as archaeologists Finkelstein and Silberman point out, are capable of detecting even the smallest remains of hunter-gatherers and pastoral nomads all over the world. Secondly, in this case, even a relatively small group of escape slaves, would not have escaped detection by the Egyptians. Archeaologists have discovered a letter dated to 13th century BCE from an Egyptian border guard who reported the escape of two slaves from the city of Ramses into the desert. Thirdly, although the Pentateuch do describe wanderings in the desert, thirty eight out of the forty years was supposedly spent in one location: Kadesh-Barnea (Numbers 13:26, 20:1, 20:14; Deuteronomy 1:46.). The location of Kadesh-Barnea has been safely identified. Yet after despite many expeditions and digs over the entire area not a single evidence of occupation earlier than the tenth century BCE - 300 years after the supposed Exodus - has surfaced. Ezion-Geber, which the ancient Israelites supposedly encamped (Numbers 33:35), is another site has been identified by archaeologist. Yet here too no artifacts dating to the time of the Exodus can be found. [9] Needless to say despite numerous digs on Mount Sinai, on the southern tip of Sinai peninsula, no evidence has been found of any ancient Israelite presence there. [10]

It is not that the archaeologists found nothing in Sinai dating to the 13th century. In fact much evidence about the situation in Sinai was discovered. What they found is further evidence that the Exodus story is myth. Elizier Oren, an Israeli archaeologist, led expeditions over a period of ten year studied more than 1,300 sites on northern coast of Sinai. What he found was ancient campsites, forts, cities, cemetaries and granaries for the Egyptian army. This infrastructure allowed the Egyptian army to cross the Sinai peninsula quickly and with ease. Contemporary Egyptian texts tell us that the Egyptian troops could reach Gaza from the eastern delta (some 250 kilometers) in only ten days. Excavations in Canaan also found Egyptian strongholds dating to the time of the Exodus and conquest. In short, the evidence shows us that in the 13th century Egypt was at the height of its powers and had complete control over not only Egypt but also Canaan. Throughout the period of the New Kingdom (c1569-1076 BCE), Egyptian armies have been known to march through Canaan as far north as the Euphrates in Syria. From the 15th to the 11th century BCE, Canaan was a province of Egypt!

It is important here to pause and let this evidence sink in and how it relates to the story of the Exodus and the Conquest of Canaan (see below). If Canaan was under complete control of the Egyptians throughout this period, then the Israelites could not have escaped from Egyptian rule. They would be merely leaving one admistrative region and entering another - all under the administrative control of the empire of Rameses II! [11]

Even archaeologist, William Dever, normally associated with the more conservative section of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, have labelled the question of historicity of Exodus “dead.” [12] Israeli archeaologist Ze’ev Herzog, provides the current consensus view on the historicity of the Exodus:


The Israelites never were in Egypt. They never came from abroad. This whole chain is broken. It is not a historical one. It is a later legendary reconstruction - made in the seventh century [BCE] - of a history that never happened. [13]


Of course, if the Exodus itself is unhistorical we can safely dismiss the stories of the miracles [the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21), the manna from heaven (Exodus 16:15-35) and the supply of water from the Rock in Horeb (Exodus 17:7)] as mythical addition to an already fictitious account.

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Riedel et.al., The Book of the Bible: p27-28
Keller, The Bible As History: p122-123


ibid: p123


Barthel, What the Bible Really Says: p118-119
Hooke, Middle Eastern Mythology:p147
Riedel et.al., The Book of the Bible: p31


Barthel, What the Bible Really Says: p119
Riedel et.al., The Book of the Bible: p34


Stiebing, Out of the Desert: p20


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p56-57
Marcus, The View from Nebo: p56
Laughlin, Archaeology and the Bible: p87,90
Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So: p104


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p60


Marcus, The View from Nebo: p75
Laughlin, Archaeology and the Bible: p91
Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So: p72


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p61-63
Marcus, The View from Nebo: p56
Laughlin, Archaeology and the Bible: p90-92
Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So: p71-72


Finkelstein and Silberman, The Bible Unearthed, Appendix B: p326-328


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p60-61
Marcus, The View from Nebo: p76
Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So: p69-70


Quoted in Laughlin, Archaeology and the Bible: p92


Quoted in Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So: p74



Now on to the biblical "history" on David(PBUH) and Solomon(PBUH) how will the biblical "error-free textbook" stand up?!!!!


Excerpts from the article located at the following link: http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/david.html


Apart from Abraham and Moses, King David is certainly one of the main characters in the Old Testament. Told principally in I & II Samuel and I Kings 2, we see a king whose conquests united Israel and Judah into one kingdom and whose empire included Syria and Hamath to the north, Moab, Ammon to the east, Philistine to the west and Edom to the south. (II Samuel 8: 3-13; 10). Surely such a vast empire would leave immense archeaological evidence.

The date normally ascribed to King David’s reign is 1005-970 BCE. Although no one doubts the existence [a] of King David, there is no archaeological evidence for his kingdom beyond his existence. As archaeologist John Laughlin noted:


[T]here is little in the overall archaeological picture of the tenth century BC that can be connected with David.[1]


Whatever evidence there is points to the fact that the story about the granduer of David’s empire is a myth of a fictional golden age created by later writers. Earlier discoveries which were touted as evidence of David’s feats have been discredited. Perhaps the most well known, as described in the rose tinted “biblical archaeology” book, The Bible as History, was the “discovery” in 1867 by British explorer Charles Warren of the water shaft that runs into the city from the Gihon spring, the one that was supposedly used by David in his attack on Jerusalem. (II Samuel 5:8) [2] However according to archaeologist Ronny Reich of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who led the extensive digs in Jerusalem in the late 1990’s, the “Warren Shaft” as it is now called, is a natural fissure in the rock that has nothing to do with the Jerusalem water system or with David’s surprise attack. There is nothing there dating from the time of David. There are only potteries dating to the 18th century BCE (Canaanite) and 8th century BCE (Israelite). The “Warren Spring” is just one example of an archaeological dead end. [3] After 150 years of archeaological digs the is not a single piece of evidence of the Davidic capital. [4]

What of David’s vast empire? It never existed. One would have expect to find such a vast empire to be described by the neighbouring kingdoms. Yet there is no description of any kind about any vast empire in Palestine during that time in the texts of the Egyptians, Babylonians and Assyrians. The extensive conquests narrated of David would have required enormous infrastucture and manpower. Yet extensive archaelogical studies concentrating on Judah - David’s base - have shown that the Judah of the tenth century BCE was sparsesly populated - only 5,000 inhabitants including Jerusalem - with no major urban centers. It consisted of Jerusalem which was “no more than a typical highland village”, Hebron and about twenty small villages. [5]

This above findings explain why there is so no archaeological evidence found for the tenth century empire of David. Judah was still remote and underdeveloped. If David was indeed king, he was never king over the vast regions described in the Bible. [6]


Now on to Solomon, excerpts from the article: http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/david.html



According to the Bible, Solomon, David’s son and successor, who was king around 970-931 BCE, ruled over an even larger empire than this father. His vast kingdom spans from the Euphrates to the border of Egypt (I Kings 4:21). Solomon’s fame and influence spread far and wide. (I Kings 10:1) His diplomatic skills is proven by his securing alliances with other nations such as Egypt (I Kings 3:1) and Tyre (I Kings 5). He was also known for his massive architectural projects including the Temple in Jerusalem (I Kings 6) and the royal palace on Ophel (I Kings 7). He also improved on the fortifications of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer (I Kings 9:15). He also built 40,000 stalls of horses for his 14,000 chariots and 12,000 horseman (I Kings 4:26).

As in the case with his father, David, modern archaeology simply have no evidence for this empire nor any of his supposed architectural undertakings. Solomon’s Temple is described in details in I Kings 6 yet despite the extensive archaeological digs in the city, in the words of archaeologist John Laughlin, “not a single piece of this building has been found.” [7] There is also no sign of any of the other grand architectural works that he supposedly built; his palace, or the fortifications at Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. [8]

Discoveries in the earlier part of the twentieth century that supposedly showed the extensive building network of Solomon has been discredited by modern research.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s an expedition to Megiddo was made by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. On the lowest level of the excavation, they found two sets of buildings. Each of these buildings have long chambers connected to one another. Inside each chamber are two low partition walls made up of pillars and throughs (like mechanical gears spread out horizontally). This was identified by one of the leaders of the expedition, P.L.O. Guy, as the famed stables of King Solomon. He based his interpretation on passages in I Kings which mentioned Solomon’s building techniques, his activity at Megiddo and his cities for chariots and horseman (I Kings 7:2, 9:15, 9:19, 10:26). He even counted the stalls for horses (450) and shed for chariots (150). [9]

However things got a little more complicated soon after. In the 1960’s further excavations were done at Megiddo. Below the layer of the “stables” were found buildings with architecture which parallels a distinctive (and common) Syrian palace architectural style known as bit hilani. This architecture was similar to the one discovered in Hazor in the 1950’s which was attributed also to Solomon. This means that the “stables” being on a higher stratum could not have been from the time of Solomon. Since then even the building at Hazor have been proven to be of a later date than Solomon. For one thing bit hilani palaces appear in Syria only in the early ninth century BCE, after the time of Solomon. How could a copy preceed the original? Finally improved dating methods with architectural styles, pottery and carbon-14 have supported the conclusion that the buildings discovered at Hazor and Megiddo date to the early 9th century BCE. Long after the death of Solomon! [10]

We are also told that Solomon was a skilled diplomat and that his influenced was felt outside his empire as well. Yet this is no corroborated by any extra-Biblical sources. In no ancient Near Eastern text do we hear even a whisper about Solomon’s great kingdom. He was supposed to have married the Pharaoh’s daughter and secured an alliance with Egypt (I Kings 3:1), yet we find no reference to this in contemporaneous Egyptian records. This silence is deafening. It speaks volumes against the historicity of the description of the extend of Solomon’s empire and influence. [11]

The archaological evidence on the population, settlement patterns and economic resources of Judah mentioned in the section on David extends to the time of Solomon also. As the archaeologists Finkelstein and Silberman succintly put it:


As far as we can see on the basis of archaeological surveys, Judah remained relatively empty of permanent population, quite isolated and very marginal right up to and past the presumed time of David and Solomon, with no major urban centers and with no pronounced hierarchy of hamlets, villages and towns. [12]


The archaeological evidence shows that Jerusalem rose in prominence only in the ninth century BCE when the united monarchy had split back into two parts. Jerusalem was, at best, only a small town during the time of David and Solomon. It may have been the capital of Judah but it was never the capital of Israel. [13]

Like the story of his father, David, the story of Solomon told in the Bible is a piece of historical fiction.




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The discovery of the “Tel Dan Stela” in 1993, a ninth century BCE inscription seems to clinch this. The inscriptions tells of the invasion of Israel by Hazael, King of Damascus around 835 BCE. In the inscription is written how this king slew the king who was of “The House of David”. (See Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed, p128-129; Laughlin, Archaeology and the Bible, p122 and Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So, p.162-164)



Laughlin, Archaeology and the Bible: p124


Keller, The Bible as History: p190-191


Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So: p143-144


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed, p132-134
Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So: p145


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p132, 142-143
Marcus, The View from Nebo: p125


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p132, 142-143


Laughlin, Archaeology and the Bible: p127


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p131-135


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p135-137
Keller, The Bible as History: p205-207


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p137-142


Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So: p181


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p132


Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So: p146



Now on to the Prophet Abraham(PBUH) to see if the Corrupted Bible can hold up to Shamoun's silly and fraudulent claim it is an error-free history textbook and never contradicts archeological or other historical discoveries.


The following is from this link: http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/abraham.html


Mythological Elements in the Story of Abraham and the Patriarchal Narratives

From obviously mythical characters such as Adam and Eve and Noah we come now to characters that even the more “liberal” Christians accept as historical. We will look at the patriarchal narratives, the stories in Genesis about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.

These characters are accepted as historical primarily because they refer to elements in their story which seemed historical. Thus we find in the patriarchal narratives stories relating to domesticated camels, caravan trade routes, neighboring peoples (Philistines, Ishmaelites etc) and actual cities (such as Gerar). Certainly some of these, domesticated camels and camels used as beasts of burdens, can still be seen in the Middle East today. The neighboring peoples were real and the cities have been found.

It is "historical" elements such as these that separate the stories in the patriarchal narratives from the myths of many other religions in the region. Let us see how strong this position is today.

The Large Gap Between Abraham's Life and the Written Account

First we will need to get a firmer date on the earliest possible sources on the character mentioned in the Pentateuch. We show elsewhere that Moses could not have written the first five books of the bible; and that, in fact they were written at a much later date. There is a verse that reveals to us, the earliest possible date for its composition:


Genesis 36:31
These are the kings who reigned in the
land of Eden, before any king reigned over the Israelites.


It is obvious from the verse above, the author was writing at a time when the Israelites already had, at least, a king. The first king of the Israelites was Saul who became king around 1025 BC. [a] Thus the earliest possible date for the composition of the Pentateuch, or parts of it, would be the tenth century B.C. Scholars vary in their estimate on exactly when the oldest portion (called the “J” document) of the source document for these books was written. Some estimate the document to be written as early as the tenth century BC (during the reign of Solomon, David’s son), while others estimate it to have been written as late as the sixth century (during the time of the Babylonian exile). These estimates are not relevant to our current analysis. The only point worth noting is that the verse above, have set an upper limit on the date of composition of the Pentateuch. [1]

Now calculating from our table of biblical chronology, Abraham lived around the twentieth second century BC. (As a mark of the historical uncertainty surrounding this date, there exist many different estimates for these dates. Abraham has been estimated to live in the 25th, 21st, and the 16th century BC; i.e. the estimates fall within a span of 1,000 years! [2]) Taking the latest estimated dates for these patriarchs and the earliest estimated date for the composition of the “J” document -in other words the “best case” scenario for believers- we still have a gap of 600 years between the “historical” Abraham and his story in Genesis! The historian Robin Lane Fox (b.1946) has this to say about the effect of this time gap on the historicity of the Pentateuch:


Its chances of being historically true are minimal because none of these sources [the source documents for the Pentateuch] was written from primary evidence or within centuries, perhaps a millennium, of what they tried to describe. How could an oral tradition have preserved true details across such a gap? At most, it might remember a great event or new departure: like... the Israelites Exodus from Egypt...As for...the exploits of Jacob or Abraham, there is no good reason to believe any of them. [3]


Thus save for very rough social memories of major events or turning points in the history of these people, we should dismiss all the rest as myths accreted through the centuries of oral transmission. Note that we are not simply dismissing the rest as myths without any evidence. In fact in many cases where references were made to events or things that could be verified historically, we find the stories in the Bible to be false or anachronistic. Such is the case with the following examples taken from the patriarchal narratives.

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Anachronism #1: Domesticated Camels

In our first example. note that there are two references to domesticated camels in the story of Abraham:


Genesis 12:14-16
[W]hen Abram was come into
Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.




Genesis 24:10-11
And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to
Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.


As noted earlier, Abraham’s lifetime has been estimated anywhere between the 25th century BC and the 16th century BC. The above passage implies that camels were already domesticated and in use during that time.

However, based on every other available evidence we have, tame camels were simply unknown during Abraham's time. Egyptian texts of that era mentioned nothing of them. Even in Mari; the kingdom that is situated next to the Arabian deserts; which would have had the greatest use for camels; and of which archaeologists have a large collection of documents; not a single mention is made of camels in contemporaneous text.

In fact, it was only in the 11th century BC that references to camels started to appear in cuneiform texts and reliefs. After the 11th century, references to camels become more and more frequent. [4] This suggests that camels were domesticated around the 12th or 11th century BC. [b]

Thus there could have been no domesticated camel during Abraham’s lifetime. It must be, then, that the above stories are later additions to the legend of Abraham.

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Anachronism #2: The Arabic Camel Caravan Trade

The next anachronism concerns the story of how Joseph's brothers planned to sell him off to slavery. The brothers initially threw Joseph into a pit (Genesis 37:22-23). They then left the pit for a while and this is how the next phase is narrated


Genesis 37:25-28
And they [Joseph's brothers] sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmaelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. And
Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content. Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.


Before analyzing further we need to make known some archaeological facts.

In the first place, as we have shown in anachronism #1, camels were not yet domesticated during that time. Furthermore excavations in the southern coastal plain of Israel found that camel bones increased dramatically only in the seventh century BCE. More importantly these bones were of adult camels, as one would expect of beast of burden used in traveling to different places. For if they were bred there one would expect to find a scattering of young camel bones as well. This means that camels were commonly used in the caravan trades during that time.

This is further supported by Assyrian sources that mentioned camels being used as beast of burdens in caravans during that time. The items being traded, gum, balm and resin, [written as "spicery, balm and myrrh" in the KJV above] were Arabian exports that were traded commonly only from the eight and seventh century BCE under the control of the Assyrian empire.

Now on to a bit of chronology. Even if we accept the rather unusually long ages of the patriarchs, we will see that the incident referred to must have happened only around 260 after Abraham was born (refer to the biblical chronology). Thus during the time of Joseph, camels were still not domesticated, there were still about (at the very best case) another five hundred years before Arabic (Ishmaelites was the Bible name for Arabs) camel caravan trade in gum, balm and resin, could be referred to in an "incidental manner" as above. [5]

Thus the story of Joseph's abduction, specifically the mention of the Arab camel caravan trade and the Arab traders buying Joseph, is also littered with anachronisms.

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Anachronism #3: Circumcision

The second story from Abraham we will look at is the one regarding the institution of circumcision.


Genesis 17: 9-11
And God said to Abraham, “...This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.”


This is definitely another late accretion to the Abraham legend. We know that circumcision was widely practiced in ancient times in the fertile crescent; in particular, the Egyptians and the Canaanites, the people Abraham would have had most contact with, practiced the rite.

Thus the question arises, how could the act of circumcision be “a sign of the covenant” between God and Abraham when everyone else is doing it? It was only during the time of the Babylonian captivity, during the sixth century, that this custom could have set the Jews apart. For the Babylonians of that time did not practice circumcision. [6]

Thus, the story of circumcision being a sign of covenant between God and Abraham is also mythical.

Anachronism #4: The Philistine City of Gerar

Next we discuss an incident from the story of Isaac, son of Abraham:


Genesis 26:1
And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.


Now Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old (Genesis 21:5). Thus the events narrated above happened (if it did happen) somewhere between 24th and 15th century BCE, depending on where Abraham is located in time. (The Biblical chronology points to 24th century BCE.)

Archaeological evidence shows that the Philistines did not have any settlements in the coastal plain of Canaan until after 13th century BCE. Archeological excavation at Gerar (now identified as Tel Haror northwest of Beersheba) shows that it was no more than a "small, quite insignificant" village during the initial settlement of the Philistines during the Iron Age I (1150-900 BCE). Gerar only became a significant city only in the seventh century BCE.[7]

Thus there would have been no city of Gerar and no king of the Philistines to meet with Isaac during the historical period in which he would have lived.

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Conclusions on the Patriarchal Narratives

What can we conclude from the above?

Firstly, at the very least, we can conclude that many elements in the patriarchal narratives are unhistorical. The story of Isaac meeting the Philistine king in Gerar for instance could not have happened because there was simply no Philistine settlement in Canaan during that time and Gerar has not yet existed. The story of how Joseph got shipped to Egypt is in the same boat (pardon the pun). For there were simply no Arabic camel caravan trade groups during the time of Joseph.

Secondly, there is a more disturbing (for believers) conclusion. Thomas Thompson, Professor of Old Testament at the University of Copenhagen, noted that if the specific references in the patriarchal narratives have been shown to be anachronistic, then they add nothing to the story; but these very references were the historical anchors that supposedly rooted the narratives into history in the first place. Without them how are we to distinguish the narratives from other completely mythical folk tales?[8]

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This verse is taken from the portion of Genesis believed to have formed part of the original “J” document. The “J’ document is generally believed the be the oldest source documents for the Pentateuch.


The general consensus among archaeologist about camels and their domestication can be summed up by the two quotes: The first quote about the domestication of camels is from, Lawrence Stager, Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel and Director of the Semitic Museum at Harvard University, who had excavated in Israel, Tunisia and Cyprus, in his article in the recent book Oxford History of the Biblical World (1998):


W.F. Albright’s Assessment, based on contemporary texts and limited faunal remains, that dromedary camels became important to the caravan trade only towards the final centuries of the second millennium BCE is still valid.[9]


The second, is from another archaeologist, Wayne T. Pitard of the University of Illinois, has this to say about camels and their uses :


Scholars have also observed a number of anachronisms in the stories, another characteristic of oral literature…Camel caravans are mentioned in Genesis 26 and 37, but camels were probably not used before the beginning of the iron age (1200 BCE) when Israel was already emerging as a nation.[10]


Fundamentalist apologists have tried to present this by providing what they claimed are examples of camel domestication. One such example is this website. However a close examination of their "evidence" reveals a few fatal flaws:

  • Camel bones and artifacts made from camels found in ancient settlements. These by themselves only show that camel parts were used by the community. For instance in the website sited, much is made of camel bones found at Umm an-Nar (Oman) excavation. Yet the fact that dugong (a sea cow) bones were found at the same location is ignored. Nobody would suggests that finding the sea cow bones in the settlements indicate that they were domesticated! (A good write up on the Umm an-Nar finds can be found here. This website correctly summarized the archaeological evidence favors a late second millennium date for the domestication of dromedary (i.e. one hump) camels.) Obviously the bones signify the animals were hunted and were eaten and leftovers used to make rope, tents etc. Thus such evidence does not show domestication.
  • Carvings and potteries. Most of the evidence for camel domestication prior to the end of the second century BCE depends more on the interpretation of ambiguous carvings and potteries. As the reader can see from the Christian apologist website referenced above, even drawings that merely show the camel lying down is taken as "evidence" of domestication! Animals represented in pottery, carvings of drawings were not exclusively domesticates. In the Umm an-Nar site, relief drawings include camels, oxen, oryx and serpents!
  • The "conclusive evidence" referred to in the website involved "finds" in the early twentieth century. The two archaeologists referred to, G. Möller and G. Schweinfurth , were active during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century! This should give the reader pause. If these early findings are conclusive that camel domestication stretches to the third millennium BCE. Why do most archaeologists today still deny this? The reason is simple, the time of the supposed findings (the early years of the twentieth century) is marred by poor stratigraphy, inaccurate pottery chronology and, in the words of the rather conservative archaeologist William Dever in his book What did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did they Know it? (Eerdmans, 2001; p56), “[Showed] An almost exclusively … biblical biases in their work.”! Indeed almost all “biblical archaeology” until around 1970 was dominated by a desire to show that the Bible is true after all. Most of the archaeological works there were funded by American Protestant seminaries. (Devers, p57) Any conclusions on dates from findings that are dated to this time (early years of the twentieth century) has to be treated as suspect.



Anderson, A Critical Introduction to the Old Testament: p34
Fox, The Unauthorized Version: p58
Livingstone: Dictionary of the Chrsitian Church: p143


Barthel, What the Bible Really Says: p78-79
Stiebing, Out of the Desert: p33


Fox, The Unauthorized Version: p176


Barthel, What the Bible Really Says: p79
Keller, The Bible As History: p168


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p37


Asimov, Asimov's Guide to the Bible: p80
Barthel, What the Bible Really Says: p77-78
Riedel et.al., The Book of the Bible: p205-206


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p37-38


Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: p38


Coogan (ed), Oxford History of the Biblical World : p109


Coogan (ed), Oxford History of the Biblical World : p28


Again this can be located at the link: http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/abraham.html



Let us know quickly browse through other aspects of the "history" of the Corrupted Biblical Old Testament and authentic history!


First on the biblical Old Testament account of Joshua: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_History



Jericho and other settlements do show signs of violent disruption at the end of the Middle Bronze Age, an event common throughout early history in the area, and which most scholars associate specifically with the power vacuum left by the fall of Hyksos in Egypt. In particular the remains of destroyed walls at Jericho have been found. They date to sometime in the mid-second millennium BCE and may have been destroyed by a siege or an earthquake. Opinions differ as to whether they are the walls referred to in the Bible. The walls were originally dated by John Garstang to c. 1400 BCE. Kathleen Kenyon excavated Jericho from 1952-1958 using improved methods of stratigraphy. She dated the city by the absence of a type of imported pottery common to the era around 1400 BCE, and concluded that the ruins of the walls dated to the end of the Middle Bronze Age, around 1550 BCE.

More recently Bryant G. Wood published an article in Biblical Archaeological Review stating there were serious problems with Kenyon's conclusions and that Garstang's original dating was correct. Garstang and Wood's date is consistent with the dating of Joshua used by many Christian Bible scholars. Wood argues that that the archaeological data supports a Jericho invasion around 1400 BCE consistent with the book of Joshua. However archaeological evidence shows no large population increase at the time. (The population is estimated to have been between 50,000 and 100,000. link). Wood however argues that there is archaeological data which correlated with the Biblical narrative. Wood's redating is not accepted by most scholars, and the standard cited date for the destruction of the walls is still Kenyon's date.

In addition the earliest archaeological evidence of a recognizably Israelite presence dates to the 13th century BCE. While this date is in conflict with that dating of Joshua by Christian Bible scholars it is however in agreement with the traditional Jewish dating. No matter when one dates the conquest (if a conquest indeed occurred), one cannot match up the destructions of all the relevant sites - Jericho, Ai and Hazor were all destroyed, but not in the same time period.



(Note: This is the source list for all excerpts from the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_History)


Sources on Biblical maximalism versus Biblical minimalism:

Biran, Avraham. "'David' Found at Dan." Biblical Archaeology Review 20:2 (1994): 26-39.

Cassuto, Umberto. The documentary hypothesis and the composition of the Pentateuch: eight lectures by U. Cassuto. Translated from the Hebrew by Israel Abrahams. Pp. xii, 117. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew University, 1961

Coogan, Michael D. "Canaanites: Who Were They and Where Did They Live?" Bible Review 9:3 (1993): 44ff.

Davies, Philip R. 1992, 2nd edition 1995, reprinted 2004.In Search of 'Ancient Israel' . Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

Dawood, N.J. 1978. Tales from the Arabian Nights, Doubleday, A delightful children's version translated from the original Arabic.

Finkelstein, Israel and Silberman, Neil A. 2001 The Bible Unearthed. New York: Simon and Schuster

Garbini, Giovanni. 1988. History and Ideology in Ancient Israel. Translated by John Bowden from the original Italian edition. New York: Crossroad.

Harpur, Tom. 2004. "The Pagan Christ. Recovering the Lost Light" Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto.

Kitchen, Kenneth A. 2003 On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Lemche, Niels P. 1998. The Israelites in History and Tradition London : SPCK ; Louisville, Ky. : Westminster John Knox Press.

Mazar, Amihai. 1992. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: 10,000-586 B.C.E. New York: Doubleday.

Na'aman, Nadav. 1996 ."The Contribution of the Amarna Letters to the Debate on Jerusalem's Political Position in the Tenth Century B.C.E." BASOR. 304: 17-27.

Na'aman, Nadav. 1997 "Cow Town or Royal Capital: Evidence for Iron Age Jerusalem." Biblical Archaeology Review. 23, no. 4: 43-47, 67.

Mithraic Studies: Proceedings of the First International Congress of Mithraic Studies. Manchester U. Press, 1975.

Shanks, Hershel. 1995. Jerusalem: An Archaeological Biography. New York: Random House.

Shanks, Hershel. 1997 "Face to Face: Biblical Minimalists Meet Their Challengers." Biblical Archaeology Review. 23, no. 4: 26-42, 66.

Steiner, Margareet and Jane Cahill. "David's Jerusalem: Fiction or Reality?" Biblical Archaeology Review 24:4 (1998): 25-33, 62-63; 34-41, 63. This article presents a debate between a Biblical minimalist and a Biblical maximalist.

Thomas L. Thompson. 1999. The Bible in History: How Writers Create a Past. London.

________. 1992. The Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written and Archaeological Sources. Leiden and New York: Brill.

William G. Dever, What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 2001

Wood, Bryant G., "Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho? A New Look at the Archaeological Evidence," Biblical Archaeological Review 16(2) (March/April 1990): 44-58.

Yamauchi, Edwin, The Stones and the Scriptures. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1972.


(The preceding were excerpts from the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_History)



Next, on to the "Later Kings" period to measure the Corrupted Bible against True History!


The following is from the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_History


Later kings

It is generally assumed that the Biblical account of the history of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, as presented in the Books of Kings, is largely historical, even if not unbiased. Archeological evidence and chronologies of neighboring countries have corroborated the general picture presented in the Bible, although not every detail. For example, the existence of King Ahab is corroborated in Assyrian chronology, where he is mentioned as having participated in the Battle of Karkar. King Omri of Israel is mentioned in the Mesha Stele. Some later kings who paid tribute to Assyria are mentioned in Assyrian records, although these same records claim Jehu was a king of the House of Omri, suggesting that he may have been related in some way to Ahab.



By the way this "Battle of Karkar" is NOT discussed anywhere in the Corrupted Old Testament!  Could it be because the "Israelites" did NOT succeed in this battle and by some accounts may have LOST to the forces of the Assyrians under their leader; Shalmaneser III.  Thus it is VERY LIKELY the "Israelites" like most ancient people have their War God "Yahweh" and believed he led them to their victories!  This doesn't prove the existence of Yahweh it only proves that the "Israelites" all these THOUSANDS OF YEARS AFTER  (Battle of Karkar occurred in 9'th Century BCE 800's BCE) the time of Abraham(PBUH) and Moses(PBUH) believed their Hebrew Torah was God's Word (which it was NOT) and that they were under "Yahweh's" protection.  I bet the Assyrians ascribed their victories to some "pagan" god also!


See Battle of Karkar in the following excerpts from the article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Karkar


The Battle of Karkar (or Qarqar) was fought in 853 BC when the army of Assyria, led by king Shalmaneser III, encountered an allied army of 12 kings at Karkar led by Hadadezer (Ben Hadad) of Damascus and King Ahab of Israel. This battle is notable for having a larger number of combatants than any previous battle, and for being the first instance some peoples enter recorded history (such as the Arabs). It is recorded on The Kurkh Monolith. …


Shalmaneser boasts that his troops inflicted 14,000 casualties upon the allied army, capturing countless chariots and horses, and describes the damage he inflicted on his opponents in savage detail. However, the inscriptions of kings from this period never acknowledge defeats (Anonymous Muslim's point: Why would the Israelites be any different they would NOT acknowledge their defeats!), and sometimes claim victories won by ancestors or predecessors. If Shalmaneser had won a clear victory at Karkar, it did not immediately enable further Assyrian conquests in Syria.



Now on to the period after the "Babylonian Exile" let us judge the "historicity" of the Corrupted Bible!  Again these excerpts are from the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_History


The Exile and after

The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, which document the return from exile in the Persian period, are generally seen as fairly reliable history by most scholars[citation needed], although there is little corroboration from outside sources. The Book of Daniel, which purports to tell the story of the Jewish prophet Daniel who lives in Babylon from the time of Nebuchadnezzar to that of Cyrus, is thought to date from Hellenistic times, and to contain mainly fictional elements within an historical setting. Traditionalists continue to defend its historicity and note, for instance, that Belshazzar, described as King of Babylon just before the Persian conquest in Daniel, and long considered to be a fanciful creation of Daniel's author, has been discovered to be the son and coregent of Nabonidus, the last King of Babylon. The historicity of the Book of Esther, which tells of the beautiful and virtuous Esther, a Jewish woman who becomes the queen of King Ahasuerus of Persia and saves the Jews from destruction at the hands of their enemies at court, has also been questioned by many although the initial arguments against it which attempted to relate it to Babylonian and Elamite mythology have subsequently been overturned.



Let us quickly see that Esther and the Old Testament "book of Esther" are clear fiction and fables!


We will read excerpts from the following article located here:



The problems with the book of Esther would be evident as we discuss the information in various encyclopedias and commentaries. The Universal Jewish Encyclopaedia, under "Esther", says:

The majority of scholars, however, regard the book as a romance reflecting the customs of later times and given an ancient settings to avoid giving offence. They point out that the 127 provinces mentioned are in strange contrast to the historical twenty Persian Satrapies; that it is astonishing that while Mordecai is known to be a Jew, his ward and cousin, Esther, can conceal the fact that she is a Jewess - that the known queen of Xerxes, Amestris, can be identified with neither Vashti nor Esther; that it would have been impossible for a non-Persian person to be appointed prime minister or for a queen to be selected except from the seven highest noble families; that Mordecai's ready access to the palaces is not in consonance with the strictness with which the Persian harems were guarded; that the laws of Medes and Persians were never irrevocable; and that the state of affairs in the book, amounting practically in civil war, could not have passed unnoticed by historians if this had actually occurred. The very tone of the book itself, its literary craftsmanship and the aptness of its situations, point rather to a romantic story than a historical chronicle.

Some scholars even trace it to a non-Jewish origin entirely; it is, in their opinion, either a reworking of a triumph of the Babylonian gods Marduk (Mordecai) and Ishtar (Esther) over the Elamite gods Humman (Haman) and Mashti (Vashti), or of the suppression of the Magians by Darius I, or even the resistance of the Babylonians to the decree of Artaxerxes II. According to this view, Purim is a Babylonian feast which was taken over by the Jews, and the story of which was given a Jewish colouring.[19]

Published about one hundred years ago, The Jewish Encyclopaedia already asserted that:

Comparatively few modern scholars of note consider the narrative of Esther to rest on a historical foundation..... The vast majority of modern expositors have reached the conclusion that the book is a piece of pure fiction, although some writers qualify their criticism by an attempt to treat it as a historical romance.[20]

The more recent JPS Bible Commentary is quite frank about the exaggeration and the lack of historicity of the story in the biblical book of Esther. It labels the story in the book of Esther as a "farce":

The language, like the story, is full of exaggeration and contributes to the sense of excess. There are exaggerated numbers (127 provinces, a 180-day party, a 12-month beauty preparation, Haman's offer of 10,000 talents of silver, a stake 50 cubits high, 75,000 enemy dead)... Esther's attempt to sound like a historical work is tongue in cheek and not to be taken at face value. The author was not trying to write history, or to convince his audience of the historicity of his story (although later readers certainly took it this way). He is, rather, offering a burlesque of historiography... The archival style, like the verbal style, make the story sound big and fancy, official and impertinent at the same time - and this is exactly the effect that is required for such a book. All these stylistic features reinforce the sense that the story is a farce.[21]

The Peake's Commentary On The Bible discusses the historicity of the characters and events mentioned in the book of Esther. It aptly describes the book as a novel with no historical basis. Furthermore, it deals with possible identification of Esther, Haman, Vashti and Mordecai with the Babylonian and Elamite gods and goddess.

The story is set in the city of Susa in the reign of Akhashwerosh, king of Persia and Media. This name is now prove to refer to Xerxes, who reigned over Media as well as Persia. The book correctly states that his empire extended from India to Ethiopia, a fact which may well have been remembered long afterwards, especially by someone living in the East, but in other matters the author is inaccurate, for instance in regard to the number of provinces. Xerxes' wife was named Amestris, and not either Vashti or Esther. The statement in Est. 1:19 and 8:5 that the laws of Persia were unalterable is also found in Dan. 6:9, 13. It is not attested by any other early evidence, and seems most unlikely. The most probable suggestion is that it was invented by the author of Daniel to form an essential part of his dramatic story, and afterwards copied by the author of Esther.

It is therefore agreed by all modern scholars that Esther was written long after the time of Xerxes as a novel, with no historical basis, but set for the author's purposes in a time long past. It is pretty clear that the author's purpose was to provide an historical origin for the feast of Purim, which the Jews living somewhere in the East had adopted as a secular carnival. This feast and its mythology are now recognised as being of Babylonian origin. Mordecai represents Marduk, the chief Babylonian God. His cousin Esther represents Ishtar, the chief Babylonian Goddess, who was the cousin of Marduk. Other names are not so obvious, but there was an Elamite God Humman or Humban, and Elamite Goddess Mashti. These names may lie behind Haman and Vashti. One may well imagine that the Babylonian festival enacted a struggle between the Babylonian gods on the one hand and the Elamite gods on the other.[22]

The authors of The New Interpreter's Bible, like the other writers that we have mentioned earlier, state that the biblical book of Esther is work of fiction that happens to contain some historical elements. It then lists the factual errors in this book only to conclude that the book of Esther is not a historical record.

Although much ink has been spilled in attempting to show that Esther, or some parts of it is historical, it is clear that the book is a work of fiction that happens to contain some historical elements. The historical elements may be summarized as follows: Xerxes, identified as Ahaseurus, was a "great king" whose empire extended from the borders of India to the borders of Ethiopia. One of the four Persians capitals was located as Susa (the other three being Babylon, Ecbatana, and Persepolis). Non-Persians could attain to high office in the Persian court (witness Nehemiah), and the Persian empire consisted of a wide variety of peoples and ethnic groups. The author also displays a vague familiarity with the geography of Susa, knowing, for example, that the court was separate from the city itself. Here, however, the author's historical veracity ends. Among the factual errors found in the book we may list these: Xerxes' queen was Amestris, to whom he was married throughout his reign; there is no record of a Haman or a Mordecai (or, indeed, of any non-Persian) as second to Xerxes at any time; there is no record of a great massacre in which thousands of the people were killed at any point in Xerxes' reign. The book of Esther is not a historical record, even though its author may have wished to present it as history...[23]

Even the Roman Catholic scholars have not spared criticism of the book of Esther. The Jerome Biblical Commentary brands the book of Esther as a "fictitious story" and a book that was freely embellished and modified in the course of its transmissional history.

Literary Form. On this point, scholarly opinion ranges from pure myth to strict history. Most critics, however, favor a middle course of historical elements with more or less generous historical embellishments... The Greek additions in particular appear to be essentially literary creations. That neither author intended to write strict history seems obvious from the historical inaccuracies, unusual coincidences, and other traits characteristic of folklore... On the other hand, there is no compelling reason for denying the possibility of an undetermined historical nucleus, and the author's generally accurate picture of Persian life tends to support this possibility. Several details of Est [i.e., Esther] suggest a fictitious story. The very fact of variations between the Hebrew and the deuterocanonical additions show that the book was freely embellished in the course of its history. Then there are many difficulties concerning Mordecai's age, and the wife of Xerxes (Amestris). Moreover, the artificial symmetry suggests fiction: Gentile against Jews; Vashti as opposed to Esther; the hanging of Haman and the appointment of Mordecai as the vizier; the anti-Semitic pogrom and the slaying of the gentiles. A law of contrasts is obviously at work... As is stands, it has been developed very freely as the "festal legend" of a Feast of Purim, which is itself otherwise unknown to us.[24]

Interestingly enough, A New Catholic Commentary On Holy Scripture correctly points out that the book is given credence only by those who believe that since the book of Esther is a biblical book, it must be true. It then goes on to wonder if there is a significance in the similarity between the names mentioned in the book of Esther and the Babylonian and Elamite gods and goddess.

To what extent the story of Esther is factual is debated. On the face of it, not many people would give much credence to Est [i.e., Esther] as history but for the fact that it is a biblical book and 'the Bible is true'. The evidence we have suggests that we have a tale set against an historical background, embodying at least one historical character (Xerxes) and some accurate references to actual usages of Persia, but a tale making no serious attempt to chronicle facts, aiming rather at producing certain moral attitude in the reader... Yet it appears that Xerxes' queen was neither Vashti nor Esther but Amestris; we have no further information inside or outside the Bible (e.g. Sir 44ff) of a Jewish queen who saved her people or of a pious Mordecai who rose to such heights in the Persian court... One may wonder whether there is a significance in the similarity between the name Esther and the name of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, between the name Mordecai and the name of the god Marduk, so that one would have to look for the source of the tale among the myths of Elamite gods. But one can only wonder.[25]

To conclude the historicity of the book of Esther, it is a:

... a tissue of improbabilities and impossibilities... Further, notwithstanding the dates which he gives us, the author had in reality no notion of chronology... That the Book of Esther cannot be regarded as a genuine historical work is avowed even by many adherents of ecclesiastical tradition. Since, however, the most essential parts of the story, namely the deliverance of the Jews from complete extermination and their murderous reprisals by means of the Jewish queen and the Jewish minister, are altogether unhistorical, it is impossible to treat the book as an embellished version of some real event... and we are forced to conclusion that the whole narrative is fictitious.[26]

References & Notes

[1] Ludoviico Marraccio, Alcorani Textus Universus Ex Correctioribus Arabum Exemplaribus Summa Fide, Atque Pulcherrimis Characteribus Descriptus, 1698, Ex Typographia Seminarii: Patavii (Italy), p. 526. The original text says:

Onfundit Mahumetus Sacras historias. Ponit enim Haman Consiliarium Pharaonis, cùm Assuero Persarum Regi à consiliis suerit. Fingit prætereà Pharaonem jussisse extrui sibi Turrim sublimem, ex cujus vertice Deum Moysis inferiorem sibi videret: quod commentum haud dubium est, quin ex Babelicæ turris ædificatione dusumpserit. Certè nihil hujusmondi de Pharaone in Sacris literis habetur, & quidquid sit, inanissimam praesefert fabulum.

This translation of the Qur'an by the Luccan monk and his associated commentary was well received in Protestant missionary circles. Prominent Methodist missionary Adam Clarke (1760/1762 – 1832 CE), an executive member of the colonial-missionary organisation the British And Foreign Bible Society, described the translation as:

A work of immense labour: the translation is good and literal, and many of the grammatical and philological notes possess great merit.

See A. Clarke, The Bibliographical Miscellany; Or, Supplement To The Bibliographical Dictionary, 1806, Volume I, W. Baynes, Paternoster-Row: London, p. 286.

This statement should be understood in the context of Clarke's working environment. Armed with the intention of specifically targeting Muslims, he was employed by the British And Foreign Bible Society in the preparation of their Arabic Bible and played a pivotal role in introducing the Arabic Bible to the African continent. See C. J. S. Teignmouth, Memoir Of The Life And Correspondence Of John Lord Teignmouth, 1843, Hatchard and Son: London, Chapters XVI, XVII & XVIII; also see P. Mirrlees, "John Hill And The Early Attempt To Study A West African Language", in S. Batalden, K. Cann & J. Dean (Eds.), Sowing The Word: The Cultural Impact Of The British And Foreign Bible Society 1804-2004, 2004, Sheffield Phoenix Press: Sheffield (UK), pp. 98–120.

[2] G. Sale, The Koran Commonly Called Alcoran Of Mohammed Translated Into English Immediately From The Original Arabic With Explanatory Notes Taken From The Most Approved Commentators To Which Is Prefixed A Preliminary Discourse , 1825, Volume II, London, p. 239, footnote 'h'.

[3] Th. Noldeke, "The Koran", Encyclopædia Britannica, 1893, Volume 16, Adam And Charles Black: Edinburgh, p. 600. This article was reprinted many times with slight modifications. T. Nöldeke (J. S. Black [Trans.]), Sketches From Eastern History, 1892, Adam and Charles Black: London & Edinburgh, p. 30. This article was reprinted and edited by N. A. Newman, The Qur'an: An Introductory Essay By Theodor Nöldeke, 1992, Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield (PA), p. 9; Also see Th. Nöldeke, "The Koran" in Ibn Warraq, The Origins Of The Koran: Classic Essays On Islam's Holy Book, 1998, Prometheus Books, p. 43; Also see Th. Nöldeke, "The Koran" in C. Turner (Ed.), The Koran: Critical Concepts In Islamic Studies, 2004, Volume I (Provenance and Transmission), RoutledgeCurzon: London & New York, p. 77.

[4] Rev. A. Mingana & A. S. Lewis (eds.), Leaves From Three Ancient Qur'âns Possibly Pre-`Othmânic With A List Of Their Variants, 1914, Cambridge: At The University Press, p. xiv. Also reprint in A. Mingana, "Three Ancient Korans" in Ibn Warraq, The Origins Of The Koran: Classic Essays On Islam's Holy Book, 1998, op. cit., p. 79.

[5] H. Lammens (Translated from French by Sir E. Denison Ross), Islam: Beliefs and Institutions, 1929, Methuen & Co. Ltd.: London, p. 39.

[6] J. Horovitz, Koranische Untersuchungen, 1926, Walter De Gruyter: Berlin & Leipzig, p. 149.

[7] C. C. Torrey, Jewish Foundation of Islam, 1933, Ktav Publishing House, Inc.: New York, See pages 117 and 119.

[8] A. Jeffery, The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur'an, 1938, Oriental Institute: Baroda, pp. 284.

[9] G. Vajda, "Haman" in B. Lewis, V. L. Menage, Ch. Pellat and J. Schacht (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of Islam (New Edition), 1971, Volume III, E. J. Brill (Leiden) & Luzac & Co. (London), p. 110.

[10] A. J. Wensinck [G. Vajda], "Fir`awn" in B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat and J. Schacht (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of Islam (New Edition), 1965, Volume II, E. J. Brill (Leiden) & Luzac & Co. (London), p. 917.

[11] A. H. Jones, "Haman", in J. D. McAuliffe (Ed.), Encyclopaedia Of The Qur'an, 2002, Volume II, Brill: Leiden, p. 399.

[12] See for example Dr. A. A. Shorrosh, Islam Revealed: A Christian Arab's View Of Islam, 1988, Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, p. 209; R. Morey, The Islamic Invasion: Confronting The World's Fastest Growing Religion, 1992, Harvest House Publishers: Eugene (OR), p. 142; `Abdallah `Abd al-Fadi, Is The Qur'an Infallible?, 1995, Light of Life: Villach (Austria), pp. 35-36 and p. 88; N. A. Newman, Muhammad, The Qur'an & Islam, 1996, Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield (PA), p. 380; W. E. Phipps, Muhammad And Jesus: A Comparison Of The Prophets And Their Teachings, 1996, Continuum Publishing Company: New York (NY), p. 90; D. Richardson, Secrets Of The Koran: Revealing Insights Into Islam's Holy Book, 1999, Regal Books From Gospel Light: Ventura (CA), p. 34; S. Masood, The Bible And The Qur'an: A Question Of Integrity, 2001, OM Publication: Carlisle, UK, p. 86; E. M. Caner & E. F. Caner, Unveiling Islam: An Insider's Look At Muslim Life And Beliefs, 2002, Kregal Publications: Grand Rapids (MI), p. 89; Abdullah Al-Araby, Islam Unveiled, 2002 (10th Edition), The Pen Vs. The Sword: Los Angeles (CA), p. 42 and p. 44; M. Elass, Understanding the Koran: A Quick Christian Guide To The Muslim Holy Book, 2004, Zondervan: Grand Rapids (MI), p. 181, note 3.

A gentle, sensitive but inadequate treatment is done by John Kaltner concerning the issue of Haman in the Bible and the Qur'an. See J. Kaltner, Ishmael Instructs Isaac: An Introduction To The Qur'an For Bible Readers, 1999, The Liturgical Press: Collegeville (Minnesota), pp. 134-135; Also see J. Jomier (Trans. Z. Hersov), The Great Themes Of The Qur'an, 1997, SCM Press Limited: London, p. 78.

[13] Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not A Muslim, 1995, Prometheus Books: Amherst (NY), p. 159.

[14] J. D. Levenson, Esther: A Commentary, 1997, SCM Press Limited, p. 23.

[15] M. V. Fox, Character And Ideology In The Book Of Esther, 1991, University of South Carolina Press: Columbia (SC), pp. 131-139.

[16] ibid., p. 131.

[17] L. B. Paton, A Critical And Exegetical Commentary On The Book Of Esther, 1992 (reprinted), T. & T. Clark: Edinburgh (UK), pp. 64-77. After discussing the arguments for and against the book's historicity, Paton says:

In the presence of these analogies there is no more reason why one should assume a historical basis for the story of Est. than for these other admittedly unhistorical works which it so closely resembles.

[18] C. A. Moore, Esther: Introduction, Translation, And Notes, 1971, The Anchor Bible, Doubleday & Company Inc.: Garden City (NY), pp. xxxiv-xlvi; For a similar assessment see C. A. Moore, "Archaeology And The Book Of Esther", The Biblical Archaeologist, 1975, Volume 38, pp. 62-79.

[19] "Esther", The Universal Jewish Encyclopaedia, 1941, Volume 4, The Universal Jewish Encyclopaedia Inc.: New York, p. 170.

[20] "Esther", The Jewish Encyclopaedia, 1905, Volume V, Funk & Wagnalls Company: London & New York, pp. 235-236.

[21] A. Berlin, The JPS Bible Commentary: Esther, 2001, The Jewish Publication Society: Philadelphia, pp. xxvii-xxviii.

[22] M. Black & H. H. Rowley (Eds.), Peake's Commentary On The Bible, 1962, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.: London & New York, p. 381.

[23] L. E. Keck et al. (Eds.), The New Interpreter's Bible: General Articles & Introduction, Commentary, & Reflections For Each Book Of The Bible, Including The Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books, 1994, Volume III, Abingdon Press: Nashville (TN), p. 859.

[24] R. E. Brown, J. A. Fitzmyer & R. E. Murphy (Eds.), The Jerome Biblical Commentary, 1968, Volume I (The Old Testament), Geoffrey Chapman: London (UK), pp. 628-629.

[25] Rev. R. C. Fuller, Rev. L. Johnston, Very Rev. C. Kearns (Eds.), A New Catholic Commentary On Holy Scripture, 1969, Thomas Nelson & Sons, pp. 408-409.

[26] "Esther", The Rev. T. K. Cheyne & J. S. Black (Eds.), Encyclopaedia Biblica: A Critical Dictionary Of The Literary, Political And Religious History, The Archaeology, Geography And Natural History Of The Bible, 1901, Volume II, The Macmillan Company: New York, Columns 1401-1402.

The preceding excerpts were from the link: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Contrad/External/haman.html



Go to these links to see contradictions in alleged "history" inside the bible itself and outside the Corrupted Bible, these are must reads!:









And some more info, excerpts from the article: http://www../library/modern/alex_matulich/why_i_believe/2_stones.html

One cannot deny that much evidence exists from archaeology supporting certain events and places described in the Bible. Kennedy identifies numerous examples, but he omits some crucial information.

Let us first consider the Flood, of which Kennedy writes three short paragraphs. Ignore, for now, the non-archaeological fact that a flood as described in the Bible would require an enormous volume of water to be present on the earth, and that the earth does not have a tenth as much water, even if we count the ice at the poles. Many cultures do have ancient flood stories. The fact is, there are no archaeological records supporting the notion of a world-wide deluge.

Judging from genealogies, Noah's Flood would have taken place about 2400 BC. However, Kennedy neglects to mention that continuous written records exist during that time from both Egypt and Mesopotamia (especially the former); scribes kept writing their chronicles through that period as if nothing whatsoever had happened except for the usual annual overflow of the Nile.

It is likely that the Biblical Flood story was based, if not on legend, on some actual but local flood in Sumerian history.[1]

Sumeria was a flat land between two large rivers. As in the case of our own Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, unusual rises bring about floods. A country as flat as Sumeria would not require much flooding before large portions of the entire region are covered. A particularly bad flood would live on in the memories of later generations, and such bad floods definitely occurred. In 1929, English archaeologist Sir Charles Leonard Woolley found water-deposited layers at least ten feet thick in his excavations near the Euphrates, indicating that roughly around 3000 BC there were indeed drastic floods of at least a local nature. Such deposits were not found everywhere, however, and records of Sumerian culture showed no overall break.

Inevitably, as the story got told and retold, a flood spreading out over Sumeria and neighboring regions, with a great loss of life, would be said to have covered "all the world," meaning the entire region. And of course, later generations, having a much broader knowledge of geography, would accept the phrase "all the world" literally. The same sort of thing happened with Alexander the Great, who "conquered the world" and then wept for "other worlds to conquer," when he had actually conquered only 4 or 5 percent of the earth's land surface.

Some people suspect rain alone cannot account for the seriousness of the Flood, and suggest that there may have been a sudden rise in the Persian Gulf, leading to a disastrous invasion of water from the sea. Asimov proposes a meteorite splashdown resulting in a huge wave that moved inland catastrophically, sweeping everything in its path. Indeed, Genesis 7:11 supports this concept: ". . . were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." In other words, a tidal wave plus rain.

In 1872, English archaeologist George Smith deciphered ancient tablets from the remains of a royal Assyrian library and found a tale of Gilgamesh trying to obtain the secret of eternal life from a man claiming to be a former king of a Sumerian city who rode out a flood in a large ship. The tale is based on still older legends dating back to Sumerian times. Because the details of this Sumerian flood tale are so similar to a number of points in the Bible, it seems likely that the Biblical Flood story is a version of this much earlier tale.

Aside from the Flood, archeological evidence provides inadequate support for the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites and the genocide that they, according to their own account, allegedly practiced on the previous inhabitants. In particular, for Joshua's conquest of Jericho, Kennedy again omits crucial information:

  • Walls can fall outward without supernatural help, contrary to the chapter's claim. Most likely, while the attention of Jericho's defenders was occupied by the slow procession of Joshua's army about the city, accompanied by an awesome trumpeting, they might not have seen nor heard Joshua's sappers slowly undermining the city's walls.[2]
  • Archaeological evidence does not establish that the destructions of Jericho, Hazor, and Gibeon were the work of invaders, let alone the same invaders (the Israelites).
  • In fact, at site after site, firm negatives face the cities and walls Joshua supposedly stormed. Archaeology reveals that Jericho's walls were flattened centuries before Joshua came along! Biblical historian Robin Fox writes, "After 1320 BC there may have been a fair-sized village, but nothing like a city or an impregnable wall. After 1300 the place was not settled at all; on the usual dating of the Exodus and Conquest (circa 1250 - 1230 BC), the Israelites would not even have needed to blow a trumpet to take the site by storm."[3]

Similarly, a fortunate find in 1973 dated the ruin of Lachish (see Joshua 10:32) conclusively to the reign of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses III (circa 1194 - 1163 BC), far too late for a conquest by Joshua. Several other sites in Palestine, named in the books of Joshua and Judges, either show no signs of walled urban settlement during Joshua's time, or they show no signs of a single wave of common destruction.[4]

So much for the declaration, at the end of the chapter, that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Here's a short list of some other historical events in the Bible that should be supported by archaeological evidence, but aren't:[5]

  • There are no Egyptian records of the events of the Exodus, had they happened as described in the Bible. The confrontation with the Israelites, the natural disasters, the pursuit of the Israelites, and the drowning of the Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea are all events that could not have escaped the notice of any Egyptian chronicler.
  • Joshua's telling the Sun to stop moving across the sky (Joshua 10:12-14) should be recorded in numerous existing chronicles; it would have happened around 1240 BC, when there were scribes at work not only in Egypt and Mesopotamia, but also in ancient Turkey and Crete.
  • In the Book of Jonah, we find that Jonah got the people of the Assyrian capital of Nineveh to repent of their sins. This remarkable event is not confirmed anywhere else in the Bible, nor in the chronicles and libraries of Nineveh or any neighboring city.
  • The massacre of baby boys ordered by Herod (Matthew 2) is mentioned nowhere else in the Bible, or by any outside historians, some of whom describe Herod in great detail.
  • The Star of Bethlehem (Matthew 2) is also mentioned nowhere else in the Bible, and historical evidence contradicts the generally accepted birthdate for Jesus as 4 BC. We know from Roman history that Halley's comet appeared over Rome in 12 BC when the famous commander Marcus Agrippa died, and Chinese astronomical records allege a comet appearing at that time, which might explain a moving, not fixed, star guiding the Wise Men to Bethlehem. It's likely that Matthew's story isn't history but rather was constructed from messianic prophecies, and the Wise Men were added as another legend.[6]
  • How could Jesus (according to Luke) be born at a time when a census was ordered by Caesar Augustus, when Quirinius governed Syria and Herod ruled the Jews? Historical evidence says that Herod's rule ended in 4 BC and the census did not occur until 6 AD when Quirinius was governing Syria.[7]

For more information on historical myths in the Bible as they relate to archaeology, try the book Out Of The Desert by William H. Steibing Jr.

This chapter seems like a good place for Kennedy to address the classic argument about the age of human civilization as indicated by the Bible versus evidence from archaeology, but he neglects to do so. This is an interesting topic so I'll examine it here.

By our calendar, the Jews of the Middle Ages calculated the date of creation as October 7, 3761 BC, and this is still used in calculating the Jewish calendar year. The most familiar and accepted Christian calculation for the date of creation is one worked out by James Ussher, an Anglican archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, in 1654. He determined that the creation took place in 4004 BC. This is the date often found at the head of the first pages in King James editions of the Bible.[8]

4004 BC is actually a pretty good date for the establishment of prehistoric times, as humans began to have a proper history only after the invention of writing a bit before 3000 BC. However, ignoring that 4004 BC contradicts geologic evidence for the age of the earth, this date also opposes archaeological evidence of the age of human civilization. The first cities were organized as early as 8,500 BC. In the Far East, 14,000-year old evidence has been found of agriculture and pottery and other expressions of human culture and technology.

Sources lacking credibility

Dr. Kennedy commits another logical fallacy throughout Chapter 2: argumentum ad verecundiam, otherwise known as Appeal To Authority, which uses the admiration of the famous to try and win support for an assertion unrelated to the field of expertise for that authority. It proves nothing to say that "Newton believed in God" (Newton's achievements in physics have little to do with his personal beliefs), or "Roger Penrose concluded that intelligent computers are impossible" (Penrose is a famous mathematician, not necessarily well-qualified to speak about machine intelligence). Kennedy quotes archaeologist William F. Albright (who is neither linguist nor historian) to support his assertion that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, when current knowledge about ancient religious traditions, language analysis, and internal inconsistencies in Genesis point to the fact that the Pentateuch had several authors.[9] Most Biblical scholars agree on this point,[10] even without pondering the fact that the end of Deuteronomy contains an account of Moses's own death.

I noticed also, that to give his claims an appearance of authority, Kennedy uses superlatives like "most outstanding archaeologist of the twentieth century," "one of the great scholars of our time," "renowned," etc. to describe his sources (Albright, Kenyon, and Glueck, respectively). Possibly some are true, at least in Kennedy's intellectual circle, although I think those qualifications are debatable.

In chapter 2, Kennedy cites Josh McDowell's book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, five times. I am not familiar with most of the other references in this chapter, but I am acquainted with McDowell's books, which even many Christians cannot take seriously. One reviewer, James Meritt, in the introduction to his meticulous 50+ page commentary on this book, describes its intellectual dishonesty:

The entire text is rife with circular reasoning, attempts at incremental confirmation, pleading to authority, and insufficient set definition, but there are many other logical errors. . . . Since his title seems to indicate some judicial standpoint, using "verdict," I believe that this will show that it is either wrong, unconfirmed, debatable, or biased. Thus, it "demands" no such thing. Given the wide press this book gets, I expected better.[11]



[1] The following discussion of the Flood story is summarized from Isaac Asimov, Asimov's Guide to the Bible (1981), pp. 38-40.

[2] Asimov, p. 213.

[3] J. R. Bartlett, Jericho (1982) pp. 83-107, summarized by Robin Layne Fox, The Unauthorized Version (1993), pp. 226-227.

[4] Fox, p. 228.

[5] Many of these examples of historical inaccuracy come from "Biblical Satanic Verses" by Loren Petrich (petrich@netcom.com). Much of the material in that article is taken from The Born-Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible by Ruth Hurmence Green, available from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, PO Box 750, Madison, WI 53711.

[6] Fox, p. 35.

[7] Lloyd J. Averill, Religious Right, Religious Wrong (1989), p. 59.

[8] Asimov, p. 36.

[9] Biblical scholars identify in the Pentateuch various documents, or strands of tradition, such as J, E, and P. Those portions of the first few books that were put into final form by priestly hands soon after the Exile are known as the Priestly document, or P, which is characterized by impersonality and a heavy reliance on statistics and genealogies. The J document, which begins the second creation account at Genesis 2:4, is a strand of early tradition characterized by its use of "Jehovah" ("Yahveh Elohim," translated as "Lord God") in connection with God. The E document simply uses "Elohim" for God. Both J and E are much more informal and personal than P, and tell stories with circumstantial detail. In the eighth century BC, the priests of Judah incorporated the century-old E into their own J tradition. During and after the Babylonian Exile, the priesthood took this JE version and added P material of their own, producing Genesis as we have it now. For more information, see the Anchor Bible, which attempts to identify the source of each verse.

[10] The Anchor Bible, published by Doubleday. These volumes represent some of the latest and most profound thinking on the Bible.

[11] James Meritt, "Evidence That Demands a Verdict: A Commentary," 24 July 1992.

Again the preceding information were excerpts from the full article: http://www../library/modern/alex_matulich/why_i_believe/2_stones.html



Quickly let us see how the Corrupted New Testament is full of historical errors:


There is NO proof a historical Jesus of Nazareth existed:

By: Anonymous Muslim


Concise Refutation of a "historical" Jesus(PBUH)


The following is a portion of a great dialogue showing there is no proof of a historical Jesus(PBUH).


The following is from the link: http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=55229


As others have noted, there is NO contemporary evidence for Jesus or the Gospel events.

See here for a list of the contemporary and early writers :

There ARE however, various references cited as evidence for Jesus - here is my sceptical analysis of that list :

JOSEPHUS (c.96CE)  (Lived from: 37CE to a little after 100CE)

The famous Testamonium Flavianum in the Antiquities of the Jews is considered probably the best evidence for Jesus, yet it has some serious problems :
* the T.F. as it stands uses clearly Christian phrases and names Christ as Messiah, it could not possibly have been written by the Jew Josephus (who remained a Jew and refused to call anyone "messiah" in his book which was partly about how false messiahs kept leading Israel astray.),
* The T.F. comes in
several versions of various ages,
* The T.F. was not mentioned by any of the early Church fathers were reviewed Josephus. Origen even says Josephus does NOT call Jesus the Messiah, showing the passage was not present in that earlier era.
* The T.F. first showed up in manuscripts of Eusebius, and was still absent from some manuscripts as late as 8th century.
* (The other tiny passage in Josephus is probably a later interpolation.)
An analysis of Josephus can be found here:

In short - this passage is possibly a total forgery (or at best a corrupt form of a lost original.)
But, yes,
it COULD just be actual evidence for Jesus - late, corrupt, controversial but just POSSIBLY real historical evidence.

TACITUS (c.112CE)  (Lived from: circa 56CE to circa 117CE)

Roughly 80 years after the alleged events (and 40 years after the war) Tacitus allegedly wrote a (now) famous passage about "Christ" - this passage has several problems however:
* Tacitus uses the term "procurator", used in his later times, but not correct for the actual period, when "prefect" was used.
* Tacitus names the person as "Christ", when Roman records could not possibly have used this name (it would have been
"Jesus, son of Joseph" or similar.)
* Tacitus accepts the recent advent of Christianity, which was against Roman practice (to only allow ancient and accepted cults and religions.)
* This passage is paraphrased by Sulpicius Severus in the 5th century without attributing it to Tacitus, and may have been inserted back into Tacitus from this work.

This evidence speaks AGAINST it being based on any Roman records -
merely a few details which Tacitus gathered from Christian stories circulating in his time (c.f. Pliny.)
this passage is NOT evidence for Jesus,
it's just evidence for
2nd century Christian stories about Jesus.

PLINY the Younger (c.112CE)   (Lived from: 63CE to circa 113CE

About 80 years after the alleged events, (and over 40 years after the war) Pliny referred to Christians who worshipped a "Christ" as a god, but there is no reference to a historical Jesus or Gospel events.
Pliny is not evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth,
just evidence for 2nd century Christians who worshipped a Christ.

SUETONIUS (c.115CE)    (Lived from: 69/75CE to after 130CE)

Roughly 80-90 years after the alleged Gospel events, (about 75 years after the war) Suetonius refers to a "Chrestus" who stirred the Jews to trouble in Rome during Claudius' time, but:
* this
"Chrestus" is a Greek name (from "useful"), and is also a mystic name for an initiate, it is not the same as "Christos"
* this Chrestus was apparently active in Rome, Jesus never was.
this passage is not evidence for Jesus,
it's nothing to do with Jesus,
it's evidence for Christians grasping at straws.

IGNATIUS (107CE? 130-170CE?)

The letters of Ignatius are traditionally dated to c.107, yet:
* it is not clear if he really existed, his story is suspicious,
* his letters are
notoriously corrupt and in 2 versions,
* it is probable that his letters were later forgeries,
* he mentions only a tiny few items about Jesus.
Ignatius is no evidence for Jesus himself,
at BEST it is 2nd century evidence to a few beliefs about Jesus.


Quadratus apparently wrote an Apology to Hadrian (117-138), but:
* we have none of his works,
* it is not certain when he wrote,
* all we have is 1 sentence quoted much later.
Quadratus is uncertain evidence from about a century later.

THALLUS (date unknown)   (Lived from: middle of 1st century CE to the late 2nd Century CE)

We have NO certain evidence when Thallus lived or wrote, there are NONE of Thallus' works extant.
What we DO have is a 9th century reference by George Syncellus who quotes the 3rd century Julianus Africanus, who, speaking of the darkness at the crucifixion, wrote: "Thallus calls this darkness an eclipse".
there is NO evidence Thallus made specific reference to Jesus or the Gospel events at all,
as there WAS an eclipse in 29. This suggests he merely referred to a known eclipse, but that LATER Christians MIS-interpreted his comment to mean their darkness. (Also note the supposed reference to Thallus in Eusebius is a false reading.)

Richard Carrier the historian has a good page on Thallus:

Thallus is no evidence for Jesus at all,
merely evidence for Christian wishful thinking.

PHLEGON (c.140)

Phlegon wrote during the 140s - his works are lost. Later, Origen, Eusebius, and Julianus Africanus (as quoted by George Syncellus) refer to him, but quote differently his reference to an eclipse. There is no evidence Phlegon actually said anything about Gospel events, he was merely talking about an eclipse (they DO happen) which LATER Christians argued was the "darkness" in their stories.
Phlegon is no evidence for Jesus at all -
merely evidence for Christian wishful thinking.


(Anonymous Muslim's Personal note: Some Pagan Trinitarian Christians also attempt to say Phlegon wrote other things about Jesus(PBUH), this is a LIE.  Some important details follow:

*Phlegon was born in 80CE (decades after Jesus) and didn't write by some accounts till around 140CE.

*Phlegon's works do NOT exist today; even read from this link of a pro-Christian apologist propagandist (http://www.garyhabermas.com/books/historicaljesus/historicaljesus.htm) quoting from his article: "Phlegon. The last reference to be discussed in this chapter is that of Phlegon, whom Anderson describes as “a freedmen of the Emperor Hadrian who was born about A.D. 80.”(85) Phlegon's work is no longer in existence and we depend on others for our information."

*Phlegon is allegedly quoted by the Pagan Christian apologist Origen who lived from 185CE or 186CE to 254CE.

*Very importantly, Phlegon was NOT a reliable historian he was a sensationalist (in essence a modern day tabloid style writer).  Let us read an excerpt from this article: http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/jesus_myth_history.htm

"The two surviving works of Phlegon are Book of Marvels and On Long-lived Persons.

William Hansen, who provided the first English translation of Phlegon's Book of Marvels, noted that the work was perhaps, "the earliest surviving work of pure sensationalism in Western literature," and that Phlegon sought out, "written and oral sources for items of sensationalistic import."

The fragments of Phlegon's historical works that survive have led scholars to regard him as one of the least reliable and more outrageous writers of his time. A review of Hansen's translation and commentary on Phlegon notes the following:

Phlegon's untypicality lies in the sensational quality of his material. Other paradoxographers maintained at least a pretence of purveying "scientific" information, generally relating to the physical world. Phlegon on the other hand gives us a superb ghost-story, evinces an interest in side-show freaks and includes other "facts" (like a thousand-year old Sibyl or items drawn from mythology) which fall outside even the most elastic definitions of plausibility.
- Review of Phlegon of Tralles' Book of Marvels

So, the great source of conformation for the events following the death of Jesus is a second century writer, who wrote after the Gospels had been published, who collected bizarre tales from around the empire and collated them into even more fantastic stories. Obviously this isn't the type of confirmation that one would look for in an ancient source, but there are more problems here than just this. Phlegon talks about events that supposedly took place in Bithynia, an area in what is now northern Turkey. Even if an earthquake and eclipse really did happen there, such an earthquake couldn't have been felt in Jerusalem, unless it was the largest earthquake ever known, and if it was then not only should we expect someone else to have written about it but we would also expect to have archeological evidence of it as well.


VALENTINUS (c.140CE)     (Lived from: 100CE to 153CE)

In mid 2nd century the GNOSTIC Valentinus almost became Bishop of Rome, but:
* he was several generations after the alleged events,
* he wrote of an esoteric, Gnostic Jesus and Christ,
* he mentioned no historical details about Jesus.
Valentinus is no evidence for a historical Jesus.

POLYCARP (c.155CE)    (Lived from: 69CE to 155CE)

Polycarp wrote in mid 2nd century, but :
* he is several generations after the alleged events,
* he gives many sayings of Jesus (
some of which do NOT match the Gospels),
* he does NOT name any evangelist or Gospel.
Polycarp knew sayings of Jesus,
but provides no actual evidence for a historical Jesus.

LUCIAN (c.170CE)   (Lived from: 120CE to after 180CE)

Nearly one-and-a-half CENTURIES after the alleged events, Lucian satirised Christians, but :
* this was several generations later,
* Lucian does NOT even mention Jesus or Christ by name.
Lucian is no evidence for a historical Jesus, merely late 2nd century lampooning of Christians.

GALEN (late 2nd C.)       (Lived from: 129CE to circa 200 or 216CE)

Late 2nd century, Galen makes a few references to Christians, and briefly to Christ.
This is far too late to be evidence for Jesus.

NUMENIUS (2nd C.?)

In the 3rd century, Origen claimed Numenius "quotes also a narrative regarding Jesus--without, however, mentioning His name" - i.e. Numenius mentioned a story but said nothing about Jesus, but by Origen's time it had become attached to Jesus' name.
This not any evidence for Jesus, it's just later wishful thinking.

TALMUD (3rd C. and later)

There are some possible references in the Talmud, but:
* these references are from 3rd century or later, and seem to be (unfriendly) Jewish responses to Christian claims.
* the references are highly variant, have many cryptic names for Jesus, and very different to the Gospel stories (e.g. one story has "Jesus" born about 100BC.)
the Talmud contains NO evidence for Jesus,
the Talmud merely has much later Jewish responses to the Gospel stories.

(Anonymous Muslim Personal note: Further when most people discuss the Talmud they are referring to the Babylonian Talmud (the other being the Jerusalem Talmud)/

The Jerusalem Talmud came earlier: The Jerusalem Talmud or Talmud Yerushalmi (Hebrew: תַּלְמוּד יְרוּשָׁלְמִי), often the Yerushalmi for short, and also known as the Palestinian Talmud, is a collection of Rabbinic notes about the Jewish Oral tradition as detailed in the 2nd-century Mishnah.

The Jerusalem Talmud predates its counterpart, the Babylonian Talmud, by about 200 years and is written in both Hebrew and Aramaic. It includes the core component, the Mishna, finalized by Rabbi Judah the Prince (c. 200 CE) along with the written discussions of generations of rabbis in the Land of Israel (primarily in the academies of Tiberias and Caesarea) which was compiled c. 350-400 CE into a series of books that became the Gemara (גמרא - from gamar: Hebrew "[to] complete"; Aramaic "[to] study"). The Gemara, when combined with the Mishnah, completes the Talmud. (From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_Talmud)


Then on the Babylonian Talmud: The Talmud (Hebrew: תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs and history. The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah (c. 200 CE), the first written compendium of Judaism's Oral Law; and the Gemara (c. 500 CE), a discussion of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Tanakh. The terms Talmud and Gemara are often used interchangeably. The Gemara is the basis for all codes of rabbinic law and is much quoted in other rabbinic literature. The whole Talmud is traditionally also referred to as Shas (a Hebrew abbreviation of shishah sedarim, the "six orders" of the Mishnah).


The older compilation is called the Jerusalem Talmud or the Talmud Yerushalmi. It was compiled sometime during the fourth century in Israel. The Babylonian Talmud was compiled about the year 500 C.E., although it continued to be edited later. The word "Talmud", when used without qualification, usually refers to the Babylonian Talmud.


The first complete edition of the Babylonian Talmud was printed in Italy by Daniel Bomberg during the 16th century. In addition to the Mishna and Gemara, Bomberg's edition contained the commentaries of Rashi and Tosafot. Almost all printings since Bomberg have followed the same pagination. In 1835, a new edition of the Talmud was printed by Menachem Romm of Vilna. Known as the Vilna Shas, this edition (and later ones printed by his widow and sons) have become an unofficial standard for Talmud editions.

(From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_Talmud)


The Manuscripts of the Babylonian Talmud

A detailed list of the manuscripts of the Babylonian Talmud was produced by Michael Krupp.[72] We will be dealing with some of the earliest and important ones here.

MS Oxford Bodleian Lib. 2673: It is the oldest firmly dated manuscript of the Babylonian Talmud. It is dated from 1123 CE and contains Keritot with lacunae.

MS Florence National Lib. III 7-9: It was completed in 1177 CE. It comprises about one third of the Babylonian Talmud. It is written in Italo-Ashkenazic script.

MS Hamburg 165: It was written in 1184 CE at Gerona. It is an exemplary representative of Spanish manuscript tradition.

MS New York Jewish Theological Seminary No. 44830: It is dated to 1290 CE and contains Avoda Zarah.

MS Munich Cod. Heb. 95: It contains the entire Talmud, written in Ashkenazic script and dated to 1342 CE. Its completeness makes it certainly the most important Talmud manuscript.

(From: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Sources/BBCandA.html)



MARA BAR SERAPION (date unknown)

A fragment which includes -
"... What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King?",
in the context of ancient leaders like Socrates.
It is NOT at all clear WHEN this manuscript was written, nor exactly who it is referring too, but there is no evidence it is Jesus.

(More from: http://www../library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html#mara)

The value of Bar-Serapion's letter as an independent witness to the historical Jesus is further decreased by our uncertainty concerning its date. McDowell quotes the conservative scholar F.F. Bruce as stating that the letter was "written some time later than A.D. 73, but how much later we cannot be sure."[137] Indeed we cannot. Archibald Robertson--who accepted the historicity of Jesus--reported that "such authorities as Cureton and M'Lean date it in the second or even third" century.[138] Of course, as McDowell and Wilson point out, "the letter could be as early as the first century," but possibility must not be confused with probability.[139] For this letter to have any value at all as a witness to the historicity of Jesus, it needs to have been written earlier rather than later, and there is simply no evidence that it was.

Yet another problem with Bar-Serapion's letter is its historical inaccuracies. In addition to the bogus claim that the Jews executed Jesus, Bar-Serapion's letter contains other errors. Till notes that the letter implies Pythagoras had been killed by his countrymen, yet "Pythagoras left the island of Samos in 530 B. C. and emigrated to the Greek colony of Croton in Southern Italy. He later died in Metapontum, which is now Metaponto, Italy."[140] McDowell and Wilson admit that Mara Bar-Serapion's "information about Athens and Samos is inaccurate."[141]

In closing, it is interesting to note that even Holding is forced to admit that "[t]his reference to Jesus is not particularly valuable."[142] However, that is an understatement. Bar-Serapion's letter is virtually worthless as a witness to the historicity of Jesus: it does not provide independent confirmation.[143]

In short,
* there are no Roman recods of Jesus,
* there is no contemporary evidence for Jesus,
* the claimed evidence is very weak - late, forged, suspect or not about Jesus at all.
the T.F. is probably the best "evidence", but it is at best corrupt, at worst forged.


(This writing was an excerpt from: http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=55229)



In closing I believe this shows that there is NO historical proof of a man named Jesus(PBUH).  The Pagan Trinitarian Christians entire faith rests on believing in that Jesus(PBUH) was a God/Man and the "son of God" that came down to earth to allegedly die for their sins.  However there is NO proof of Jesus(PBUH) and the Pagan Trinitarian Christian's own Bibles (that are by the way translated from alleged Greek "originals" when Jesus(PBUH) spoke Aramaic; see: https://www.answering-christianity.com/anonymous-muslim/language_jesus_spoke.htm are so Corrupted they can NEVER be considered a real source (whatever be it the NIV Bible, KJV Bible, RSV Bible, Darby Bible, Catholic Bibles, NASB Bible, Living Word Bible, Amplified Bible, New KJV Bible, New English Version, New World Translation, etc.


I believe in Prophet Jesus(PBUH) because Almighty Allah tells mankind the basics of his mission and duty as a great Prophet of God in the infallible Holy Qur'an which dares mankind to produce just 1 Surah like it; see:








Which mankind never will, Insha Allah (God willing).



All Praise is Due to Almighty Allah!


On the same topic let us now see historians who should've mentioned Jesus(PBUH)'s life, teachings, alleged crucifixion, and resurrection but strangely NEVER DO!  The list is provided by my brother Abdullah Smith:


Here is the complete list of Greek and Roman writers who don’t mention Jesus’ resurrection. 

Apollonius             Persius
 Appian                 Petronius
 Arrian                 Phaedrus
 Aulus Gellius          Philo-Judaeus
 Columella              Phlegon
 Damis                  Pliny the Elder
 Dio Chrysostom         Pliny the Younger
 Dion Pruseus           Plutarch
 Epictetus              Pompon Mela
 Favorinus              Ptolemy
 Florus Lucius          Quintilian
 Hermogones             Quintius Curtius
 Josephus               Seneca
 Justus of Tiberius     Silius Italicus
 Juvenal                Statius
 Lucanus                Suetonius
 Lucian                 Tacitus
 Lysias                 Theon of Smyran
 Martial                Valerius Flaccus
 Paterculus             Valerius Maximus

Christians have provided the most ludicrous reasons for why these writers DO NOT mention Jesus’ death. I have laughed at some of the responses by Tektonics, a feel good Christian website. (they are pathetic).


The preceding was from his article: https://www.answering-christianity.com/abdullah_smith/katz_crucifixion_rebuttal_4.htm



Next, some other things can quickly be rebutted:


King Herod's alleged "Massacre of the Innocent's" recorded only in the "Gospel of Matthew", NEVER happened.  It is NOT recorded in any other Gospel, it is NOT recorded in any source outside the "Gospel of Matthew" and their were historians like Josephus who documented King Herod's abuses in great detailed (yet Josephus never mentions the fake "Massacre of the Innocents").  Also John the Baptist survived this alleged "Massacre" of Herod even though at that time he was a Jewish male infant like Jesus(PBUH) and NEVER fled Palestine!:

Herod's massacre alleged in Matthew 2:16-18 illustrates both problems. Matthew said that this event happened in fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:15, "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more," but when this statement is examined in the context of Jeremiah 30-31, it is obvious that the prophet was speaking about the symbolic sorrow of Rachel over the deportation of her "children" to Babylon during the captivity (Anonymous Muslim Note: see Exodus 4:22 to have this explained).  This "prophecy," then, was a prophecy only in Matthew's imagination as he desperately searched through the Old Testament for predictions of events in the life of Jesus, but an even greater problem for prophecy-fulfillment buffs is that they can't even prove with reasonable certitude that any such event as Herod's massacre ever happened. Of all the New Testament writers, Matthew is the only one who referred to it, and secular records of the time, some of which treat Herod's reign very unfavorably, make no mention at all of any atrocity like this that was committed under his orders. This silence of contemporary records and the similarities of Matthew's claim to the "dangerous-child" myths of ancient times about babies that were massacred to eliminate special children who were perceived as threats to kings make the historicity of Herod's massacre very doubtful. Certainly, it cannot be established with a certitude necessary to make a convincing case for Matthew's claim that this was a prophecy fulfillment. (From: http://www../library/magazines/tsr/1999/1/991where.html)



Finally for more information on the Corrupted bible's historical errors see the following links:






























As a Muslim I believe in the Prophets like Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Them All).  I believe this because the Holy Qur'an is a miracle and Almighty God gives us the basics details of the lives and missions of these past Prophets and Messengers.


See the Holy Qur'an miracles here:





and many, many more great Islamic and historical websites!



The Bible fails miserably at trying to be an authentic Textbook!  This is because the book we have today called "the Bible" (in all it's countless different English Versions!) has been Corrupted by man, unlike the Holy Qur'an.  We can see this clearly because we know have all the outside scholarly "True Historical" information and we can also see even inside the Bible we have "historical" contradictions see:










All Praise is Due to Almighty Allah!







Rebuttals and Exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team.

Contradictions and History of Corruption in the Bible.

Brother Anonymous Muslim 's section.

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