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on 16 May 1998
The Bible Myth is a compelling theory and Mr. Greenberg's research was quite thought provoking. I am a student of history and probably have a better than average knowledge of Egyptian history, yet I found myself quite lost on several occasions. It would be to the reader's advatage to have a general knowledge of Egyptian history especially between the Pharoahs of Akahanaten and Ramases II. If Bible or Egyptian studies interest you this is a truly fascinating book!
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on 3 April 2003
The Moses Mystery by Gary Greenberg is intriging to say the least. Although the information he has presented is not totally new. Anyone who has an interets in the Biblical Data and who wants to understand where the information has come from then with some patience and persistance this will be a good read. Many questions are asked or posed and some of the answers do not sit beside the popular View. The Moses Mystery offers a different view of the biblical and ancient Egyptian data it offers some possible solutions to the many unanswered quetions we have been led to believe. Some basic knowledge of African History would be useful as the information Greenburg presents gets very deep, but after reading "The Moses Mystery" it will have you searching for more information. Some useful book titles in the same vein are " Ancient Egypt Light of the world by Gerald Massey, "Echoes of the old Dark Land" by Charles Finch "Astrology of the Old Testament" "Dawn Of Conscious" by Gerald Massey.
Some questions that have never been answered in church will be answered in these books. Greenburgs book "The Moses Mystery" adds a slightly different perspective to the African origin of the Bible and the relevance ancient Egypt has played.
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on 21 October 2010
In Acts chapter 7v22 Stephen says "Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians". What wisdom did he learn? Greenberg points out that at the time of Moses (and centuries before hand) the Egyptians had very reasonable social laws and rules as reflected in The Negative Confession, they practiced circumcision, they viewed pork as unclean to eat, they had ideas of the afterlife, they had the Osiris myth where Osiris judged whether or not the persons behaviour had been good enough to allow them to pass to the afterlife/heaven, they had some sort of resurrection of Osiris idea too. Also in Akhenaten they had a king who enforced monotheistic doctrine & rejected the Osiris Judgement/afterlife. Akhenaten was the sole priestly representitive of god and people had to comply with the laws Akhenaten imposed .The New Testament insists Moses had learned all this from the Egyptians. The old Testament maintains Moses gained all these ideas directly from God, up Mt Sinai. The New Testament is heretical to the Old Testament. Jews will point out that Christianity is not supported by the Hebrew Bible and Jesus does not fit the criteria of their expected Messiah. What on earth is going on?
In this book Gary Greenberg puts a very plausible theory which could be the true history of religion in the Ancient Near East by demonstrating how religions evolve/emerge from previous religions/superstitions. A contingent of Egyptians who had been devoted to Akhenatens monotheistic ideas have to flee to Canaan following Akhenatens death. In Canaan they mingle with the native Canaanites who have a pantheon of gods where El, the father, has sons Yahweh & Baal etc. In the Old Testament you are seeing the tussle of competing religious ideology in which the monotheistic ideals, circumcision,and pork being viewed unclean,etc prevail.El/Yahweh are eventually chosen as sole gods. The Hebrews religion emerges from the mix of Egyptian and Canaanite religions.
In making his argument Greenberg provides a wealth of detailed information and background history so that even if you don't agree with the conclusion you will have had the privilege of following the thinking of a great lawyer on the case.
One of the gems of this book is on 244 about Genesis 22 where Abraham nearly sacrifices Isaac.Greenberg asks how come Abraham didn't object when he had pleaded with God about Sodom in Gen 18. Also the passage reads like Abraham returns alone, leading some scholars to think the original version had Abraham go through with the sacrfice and it was later rabbis who inserted the bit about the angel saying, 'Stop, it is only the willingness that was required'. I think that if Gen 22 was inspired by a real, good God then the angel would have said,'Stop, you are entirely mistaken about this, God has never wanted human or animal sacrifice and would never ask it', In fact this is what people most want down through history- for an angel to appear before the attacker and say 'Stop, you are entirely mistaken' or a voice of God to shout, 'Stop or I'll make you faint or strike you with lightning'. It doesn't happen because neither did the original story. It is a fiction. Amazing what miracles an author can make happen on paper.
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on 5 August 2009
The Moses Mystery advances a most interesting theory of the identity of Moses by connecting Moses with the monoteistic pharaoh Aknaten. Gary Greenberg argues most convincingly, and it makes sense to me, but I don't know how well his theory goes down with the establishment. It can be somewhat difficult to follow all the names and dates without a thorough understanding of bible geneaology and egyptology. Gary Greenberg seems well at home with both. But I could have used some good overview charts to help me not get lost.
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on 23 March 1998
Gary Greenberg's research and analysis of biblical history is interesting but not new. Much of what was presented has already be speculated by the english scholar Gerald Massey who wrote extensively on the orgins of Jewish ancient history and the relationship of that history to the ancient Kemet people during the late 1800's. Gerald Maasey's work was banned in much of the United States. He wrote the following books: Book of the Beginnings Vol 1 and 2 Egypt: Ancient Light of the World Vol 1 and 2 Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ These books have ben republished by A&B Books (Brooklyn) and Black Classic Press (Baltimore). Gary Greenberg does probe deeper into the theory by making comparisions between the Old Testament and what is know of the various Egyptian Dynasties. Much deserve propers are given attributed to the ancient pharoah Ankhaten, the first true contributor to monotheism. He and his followers gave the world the 42 Negative Affirmations of Ma'at which were precusors to what is known today as the 10 Commandments. Unless you have a thorough background in Ancient Egyptian history and religion, his dissertation could be very difficult to follow. As a prerequisite to reading the Bible Myth, I strongly urge the novice to read Anthony Browder's Nile Valley Contribution of Civilization. Using modern text book and teaching techniques, Browder provides an excellent foundation to allow you to decipher much of what Greenberg is presenting. Other scholars who has done an enormous amount of research in the these areas are: Josef Ben-Jochanan African Origins of Western Religions Civilization or Barbarism We, the Black Jews Chiek Ante Diop Precolonial Black Africa African Origins of Western Civilzation
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on 17 May 2014
I am a Christian, and an old one. Bible studies have in no way been part of my career. I am not an "atheist" . The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives 2 definitions of the word "agnostic". First, it defines the word as "someone who holds the view that nothing can be known of the existence of God or anything beyond material phenomena". Secondly it says: "A person who is uncertain or non-committal about a particular thing".
I believe that humans possess something more than mere intellect. It is the Soul. Because why, no matter where they are, all humans have believed that there is something beyond the mere "knowable"?
Unfortunately the Bible, both the Hebrew section (the "Old Testament") and the New Testament offend our "intellects". We cannot see it as "history"; and our souls need something to support our beliefs. Our souls need our intellects to give credence to our beliefs.
This book, written by a man of the Jewish faith, sets out his version of the origins of the Jewish people. It looks particularly at the Exodus, and the "Patriarchs" (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). He boldly asserts that what the Bible says about the Patriarchs is "false". And he then proceeds to set out, not based entirely on evidence, but on the impossibility that what the Bible asserts about them could be right.
I can't say that I believe that what he claims is right or wrong. There may be others with an opposing view. But if those authors can be seen as objective, even if, perhaps like Greenberg, they unconsciously and unintentionally see things in a certain way, then that merely highlights the problem we have when we read history, or indeed when we read, or see the presentation of today's "News".
For all that, though, it is an important book.
I would recommend that one should read this together with another of his books "101 Myths of the Bible". Along with these one should also read the works of Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, as well as the works of Bishop John S Spong, who aims to rescue the Bible from a Fundamentalist viewpoint.
I refer you to the Amazon sites for information about them. I purchased practically all of them through its network.
My conclusion: They are all eye-openers and very good reads. But, this is clear: We Will Never Know.
Kenneth Cooper
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