July 2016

Extract: The Bible Delusion, Chapter 15, pp. 257-259.

God on Forced Servants and Slavery

Genesis 9:25-27. Noah curses his grandson, Canaan, the son of Ham, to be a servant of servants (the lowest of the low), to his uncles, Shem and Japheth. “And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”

Genesis 17:12-13. God explains that purchased slaves should be circumcised. Ergo, God approved of slavery – not to mention circumcision being a cruel and obscene requirement for believers – let alone non-believing slaves to endure. Why mutilate men who were not Hebrews? “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.” (Emphasis added).

Exodus 12:44. God says that once slaves are circumcised, they too may eat of the Passover. Once more, God shows his approval of slavery. “But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.”

 Exodus 21:2. Hebrew slaves can go free in the seventh (Jubilee) year. “If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.” God clearly approved of slavery, even setting terms for it.

 Exodus 21:7. If you sell your daughter, she is not to be allowed to go out. “And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.” God approves of children being sold as slaves.

Exodus 22:3. A man shall be sold into slavery if he steals and can’t repay what he has stolen. “…he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” God commands the use of slavery as a form of punishment.

Leviticus 22:11. Slaves purchased by a priest, or born into his household may eat the holy things. “But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.” God endorses slavery.

 Leviticus 25:39. You can’t treat a purchased brother as a slave, but rather a servant, and he can go free in the year of Jubilee. “And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile [sic].”

Note: ‘Bondservant’ = slave; hired servant = paid help; although, as above, there may be an imposed term of servitude, such as until the year of Jubilee.

 Leviticus 25:44-46. You can buy slaves from anyone other than the children of Israel – and you can give them to your children as an inheritance forever. “…thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy… the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.” God not only endorses slavery here, but he explains how to make the best use of it for your children and future generations.

 Deuteronomy 15:12. “And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.”

 Ephesians 6:5-8. Servants (slaves), obey your masters. “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ… whether he be bond or free.”

Colossians 3:22. God commands servants under the yoke (slaves) to be obedient in all things. “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.”

 1 Timothy 6:1. “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.”

 Titus 2:9-10. “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”

 1 Peter 2:18. “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward [harsh].”

More details and links to shop.

Get 25% off hardcover, 20% off paperback – plus a further 15% off all print copies courtesy of Lulu by using code ‘LULU15’ (case sensitive) at checkout (offer ends 4th July). Always check the Lulu home page for regular discounts when buying books from Lulu.

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June 2016

I received this review of ‘The Bible Delusion’ from a friend shortly after publication:

THE BIBLICAL DELUSION. Finally Jim Whitefield has finished his book on the greatest lie ever perpetrated on the human race. More copies of The Bible have been sold than any other book. Jim discusses over one hundred pertinent issues relevant to what we have thought of as truth. He is a scholar who has a schoolteacher’s knack for making murky subjects clear and easy to follow. Your most relevant questions now have answers. Go to your bookshelf, clear a spot, and order THE BIBLE DELUSION.

Michael Oborn ~ Author of The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott: HERITAGE OF SECRETS.

‘The Bible Delusion’ Books and eBooks remain exclusive to Lulu (where there are discounts on hard copy versions) until released to Amazon et al in late July or August.

Meanwhile, here’s a sample ‘Hang on a Minute’ (HOAM) moment from ‘The Bible Delusion’.

HOAM 49
Hell – an Unknown Concept in Old Testament Times.

Psalm 139:8. “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Whilst this idea, encapsulated in poetic adoration of God, clearly depicts a state of mind, many other references have been manufactured by later Christianity to determine an actual off-world place to fear. Hell combines with the CE invention of the Devil or Satan, to instil unquestioning obedience in the Church – out of utter fear. (See: Appendix B ‘The Invention of Satan, Lucifer or the Devil’).

Deuteronomy 32:22. “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” Quite a statement from the KJV.

However, the word, and concept, of ‘hell’ was yet to be invented, so we will turn to ‘Young’s Literal Translation’ which renders a more understandable meaning than the one that will jump to the mind of a believing Christian.

YLT. Deuteronomy 32:22.
“For a fire hath been kindled in Mine anger, And it burneth unto Sheol — the lowest, And consumeth earth and its increase, And setteth on fire foundations of mountains.” ‘Sheol’, one of several words that have subsequently been replaced by the (newer) word (and later concept), hell, means ‘the underworld’ or ‘Hades’.

Hades is ‘god of the dead’ in Greek mythology and is also the name of his realm; the abode of all dead spirits. The mythical world of dead spirits is a far cry from the Christian concept of hell, to which only the wicked (and those who don’t believe as they do) – may go.

The word ‘Hell’ appears some thirty-two times in the KJV Old Testament and is always a translation of the Hebrew word ‘Sheol’. Sheol actually appears about sixty-four times in total and is translated as “grave” twenty-nine times and “pit” three times. The connotation is somewhat guesswork on occasion.

However, the word, and modern-day concept ‘hell’, was entirely unknown until several centuries into the Common Era. We know Jews did not (and still do not) believe in the concept of hell (or heaven for that matter), as Christians understand it. What Sheol could never possibly have meant is ‘hell’, as in the later concept invented by Christianity.

In the KJV New Testament, ‘hell’ appears twenty-three times; translated from three different words; Hades and Tartarus which are Greek and Gehenna, which is the Greek form of the Hebrew words Gee and Hinnom, meaning ‘the valley of Hinnom’.

Hades, which occurs eleven times, is translated as hell all but once, where it is rendered as ‘grave’. Hades is used for the grave or state of the dead in general – not the Christian concept of eternal torment. ‘Tartarus’ occurs only once, in 2 Peter 2:4 in a ‘just suppose’ context regarding angels. “If God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [Tartarus] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” Tartarus is the place of torment in the mythical place Hades.

Remember, Hades was the Greek god of the dead and Hades his place of residence. Tartarus is derived from the heathen, and the chains of darkness from Jewish mythology; very dramatic, but not literally true. “Gehenna” occurs twelve times and is always translated as ‘hell’. The gospels repeat the same (claimed) discourses, so Jesus did not use it more than six or seven times – if he ever said anything like it at all.

As the ‘Online Etymology Dictionary’ explains: “Gehenna “hell,” 1620s (earlier “a place of torture,” 1590s), from Church Latin gehenna (Tertullian), from Greek geenna, from post-biblical Hebrew gehinnom “Hell, place of fiery torment for the dead,” figurative use of the place name Ge Hinnom “the Valley of Hinnom,” southwest of Jerusalem, where, according to Jer. xix:5, children were sacrificed to Moloch. Middle English had gehenne (late 15c.) from Middle French gehenne.”

Also: “Hell, Old English hel, helle, “nether world, abode of the dead, infernal regions, place of torment for the wicked after death,” from Proto-Germanic haljo “the underworld” (cognates: Old Frisian helle, Old Saxon hellia, Dutch hel, Old Norse hel, German Hölle, Gothic halja “hell”). Literally “concealed place” (compare Old Norse hellir “cave, cavern”), from PIE kel- (2) “to cover, conceal” (see cell). The English word may be in part from Old Norse mythological Hel (from Proto-Germanic halija “one who covers up or hides something”), in Norse mythology the name of Loki’s daughter who rules over the evil dead in Niflheim, the lowest of all worlds (nifl “mist”). A pagan concept and word fitted to a Christian idiom. In Middle English, also of the Limbus Patrum, place where the Patriarchs, Prophets, etc. awaited the Atonement. Used in the KJV for Old Testament Hebrew Sheol and New Testament Greek Hades, Gehenna. Used figuratively for “state of misery, any bad experience” since at least late 14c. As an expression of disgust, etc., first recorded 1670s.” (Bold added).

So, “A pagan concept and word fitted to a Christian idiom.” The very perception of ‘hell’, as understood today, was never a concept expressed in the Bible. Such an idea did not appear; the word did not even exist; until several centuries into the Common Era. The concept of an ‘eternal punishment in hell’ is unbiblical; it is a pagan doctrine embraced by the Roman Catholic Church in the early centuries of Christianity; made official when Jerome translated the Bible into Latin in the Latin Vulgate (circa 400 AD). The doctrine of ‘everlasting punishment in hell’ is based on mistranslations and misinterpretations – and convenience of control.

The Bible Delusion – Religion: The ultimate con trick

[Edit]: For a long time I considered writing a volume on the Bible and I finally published such a book in May 2016. It relates, not to Mormonism, but to religion in general, as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all rely on Abrahamic origins. This article was written in relation to Mormonism a few years earlier.

The idea stemmed from some clearly impossible aspects of the Old Testament that today are generally accepted by theologians as mythological or allegorical rather than reality; and yet they formed an integral and inextricable part of the Book of Mormon story, writings supposedly from the Book of Abraham, the Book of Moses and some basic concepts taught by Joseph Smith. Therefore, his hoax is further exposed by the truth behind those aspects of the Bible.

Some things; such as the ludicrous notion Joseph Smith included in his Book of Moses (5:8) and his Book of Mormon (Jacob 4:4) that all the prophets from the time of Adam taught people to pray to God in the name of Jesus; are already covered in The Mormon Delusion, Volume 2. Considering Hebrew Scriptures do not concern the Christian concept of Jesus; the whole notion of any early prophets teaching prayer through him is about as nonsensical as any theological concept could be, yet Smith had the temerity to claim it.

I have subsequently concluded that as there is no definitive proof of God, or whether Jesus Christ even existed as one individual person, those concepts will have to remain (as they probably should remain), matters of faith, for those who choose to believe in such things. I have discovered extensive evidence published by many archaeologists, Christian and Jewish theologians and scholars, concerning the truth behind much of the Bible and Jewish history. My intention here is to reflect the truth about the Bible, mainly as it relates to Mormon claims. I will provide just a few details which the Mormon Church once again falls foul of completely, as without them being reality there is no foundation for some fundamental core Mormon teachings established by Joseph Smith.

Whilst much of the Old Testament can certainly be historically, geologically and archeologically proven to be other than as claimed, some is also a real history, albeit greatly elaborated and embellished by successive Hebrew writers in order to make their small semi-nomadic tribes appear as great nations within their region.

When researching and writing The Mormon Delusion series, many aspects from the Bible that Joseph Smith referenced and upon which the Mormon Church today relies, came into serious question. After the devastating discovery that Smith was a fraud and that Mormonism was a hoax, it was equally distressing to discover that many aspects that are contained within Mormonism, which stem from the Bible, are also provably false claims. Whilst there may be an element of truth regarding some of the people, places and events, the Bible is filled with mythology, fiction, legends, fabrications and exaggerations.

The following are some aspects which should be seriously considered in light of the reality concerning the Bible. Some Biblical accounts upon which the Mormon Church relies, are in fact demonstrably untrue and can be proven to be fables or borrowed legends, constructed to create an historical account of Hebrew tribes which set them apart from and above other nations. They were accepted as real by Smith and so his writings include them. He was a cruel deceiver, using his vivid imagination to create a reality for his followers in order to control and manipulate them. If some aspects of the Bible are provably fiction, then some of Joseph Smith’s claims are even more fundamentally flawed than already proven in The Mormon Delusion volumes 1-5.

I have visited the Holy Land and many biblical sites. It is perfectly clear, despite what some Christian web sites may claim concerning their own ‘Christian’ archaeological research, that things are not at all as claimed in so-called scripture. For example, I visited old Jericho and looked at the digs and archaeological evidence regarding the early ‘walls’ of the city.

Firstly, it was more of a village than a city in biblical times. Modern Jericho, which is not built on the same site as old Jericho, is no more than a small town, even today, with a population of a little over twenty thousand people.

Secondly, the original ‘walls’ were some of the oldest in the world, dating back some fourteen thousand years, several thousands of years prior to the biblically claimed date of the creation and of Adam and Eve.

Thirdly, they crumbled away (or fell) in a time frame centuries different from the biblically claimed time of Joshua. I will come back to that.

Despite evolution long being firmly established as scientific fact and the tree of life confirmed via several different disciplines which actually render the fossil record superfluous and a kind of ‘bonus’ if you will, to date, the Mormon Church still takes no official stance on evolution at all. This is probably because the idea of explaining what we now know about the last 13.7 billion years causes more theological problems than the Church could ever cope with. The Mormon Church has two problems here.

Firstly, Joseph Smith established clear Mormon doctrine that the Earth has a lifespan of just seven-thousand years “…the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence” (D&C 77:6).

Secondly, Smith certainly accepted that Adam built an altar just a few thousand years ago – as he claimed to locate it – and the ‘saints’ would go to see it. The fact that the so-called altar stones contained fossils doesn’t seem to bother the Church at all – at least they certainly don’t want to talk about it.

7 April 1931. First Presidency instructs Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith and Seventy’s president B. H. Roberts: “The subject of Pre-Adamites [is] not to be discussed in public by the brethren either for or against the theory, as the Church has not declared itself and its attitude on the question.” (Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power. 1997:821)

A few weeks later:

May 21, 1931 – Apostle James E. Talmage, a believer in organic evolution, writes to his son: “. . . according to a tradition in the Church based on good authority as having risen from a declaration made by the Prophet Joseph Smith, a certain pile of stones at Adamondi-Ahman, Spring Hill, Mo., is really part of the altar on which Adam offered sacrifices, and that I had personally examined those stones and found them to be fossiliferous, so that if those stones be part of the first altar, Adam built it of stones containing corpses, and therefore death must have prevailed in the earth before Adam’s time.”

The Church doesn’t officially comment on how that deduction is a reality. Was there then death before Adam and Eve, or did Smith lie about Adam’s altar? As evolution is now established as an absolute scientific fact and as Smith was proven a constant and compulsive liar, the answers are clear and obvious. Adam was a fictional character and Smith lied about Adam’s altar. Today, the Church most certainly allows members to believe death entered the world following the ‘fall’ of Adam. Many religions now accept evolution as fact whilst the Mormon Church remains quiet about it. The Pope accepts evolution – and that affects half of the Christian world. He is just a little uncertain as to when ‘mankind’ started having a soul, according to Richard Dawkins book, ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’

The original ‘walls’ of Jericho were not ‘high’ – being two stories at most; and they eventually just crumbled, in a time frame several centuries different to the claimed event where Joshua supposedly had the Lord make them miraculously ‘tumble’ so they could take the city with relative ease. Then their God had them kill everyone and everything. We should ask what these people had ever done to deserve such genocidal treatment? Whether the original walls eventually crumbled due to age or earthquake (or even by the wrath of a god), they were certainly not destroyed in a timeframe even close to the Joshua claim.

In any event, Joshua could not have actually been there at any time really, as the events preceding this fictitious event were equally as fictitious; including the Israelites being in Egypt, various unrecorded (except in the Bible) plagues, and about two million people crossing the Red Sea and living in and travelling the Sinai for forty years. Most Christian Churches, including the Mormon Church, are quiet about the fact that Egyptian history, which is detailed and extensive, has no account of Israelites ever being there in significant numbers, mentioning only very small encampments on occasion outside city walls. Two million people in the Sinai for forty years would have left considerable evidence of their existence. Despite many decades of extensive archaeological research, just as with Smith’s claimed Book of Mormon culture, nothing has ever been found.

Israelites, living in Egypt for well over four hundred years, eventually totalling some two-million people, would have been recorded somewhere in Egyptian history. Egypt was defeated in battle at times and had other difficulties which were faithfully recorded. Despite Christian claims that the Egyptians may not have recorded anything about the Israelites due to the embarrassment of the plagues and their departure, the Egyptians did not record selective history and something would certainly have been recorded had the events been close to reality. As with much else in the Bible – these stories were just that – stories; fables, meant to give the Hebrews a more powerful and distinctive past rather than remain known as small semi-nomadic tribes of very little significance.

The following link provides a good accounting of the history and origin of the so-called ‘Israelites’:    Deonstructing the walls of Jericho

I hardly even need mention a global flood, the concept of which the Mormon Church clings to regarding the earth requiring a literal baptism. Life on this planet is sub-divided into domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. The fact is that there are many millions of species which could not have survived a year long flood and could not have evolved in the short time span since said supposed flood, so everything that could not survive in water must be accounted for as having been in or on the ark. There is abundant and conclusive geological evidence from across the globe that no flood happened on that scale covering everything on the planet and for that length of time ever, let alone in that timeframe.

This fact is ignored in favour of faith in the fanciful. Evidence, again from many locations across the globe, of the continuous existence of humans and / or animals over tens, if not hundreds of thousands and in some cases even millions of years, again refutes such nonsense. To circumvent the evidence, it would require an alternate supposition – perhaps that God placed lots of new species on the planet following the flood. That has not been claimed to my knowledge, as of course it goes against the whole concept of creationism.

The fictional ‘ark’ was described as being about the size of a football field, but apart from the fact that a vessel of that size constructed entirely of ‘gopher wood’ and ‘pitch – inside and out’ could not itself actually survive a flood for any number of engineering reasons, how did it accommodate – for example, over three hundred and fifty species of monkey alone? So, start with at least seven hundred of those and begin counting. End with many millions of species on board and then add thousands of different birds on the roof, most of which cannot land on water, and you start to see the scale of the problem. If you had a hundred such arks, that would still not be enough to accommodate them all.

Then consider how, following the flood, they all managed to not only arrive in different parts of the world, but also magically leave an ancestral record of their existence in those places spanning many thousands (sometimes millions), of earlier years. To accept the ark idea as factual rather than fictional is equal to accepting the reality of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy combined. In fact, there is actually more (anecdotal) evidence in favour of fairies (not that I am suggesting we should believe in them), than there is remotely supporting the possibility of the flood and an ark. It is just a story; a horrid, genocidal story. People love the story of God saving Noah’s family and some animals but seem to block out the many millions of murders this God committed. But a myth is all it ever was – and provably so. An exceptionally good article concerning this area, written by Mark Isaak, is available here: Problems with a Global Flood.

Egyptian history and genealogy of their Kings and Pharaohs spans many thousands of years without a ‘flood’ gap – something Smith has a major problem with in terms of his Book of Abraham. In that book, following the flood, Egyptus, daughter of Ham and Egyptus (son and daughter-in-law of Noah) discovers Egypt after the flood. The Mormon Church is quiet about the fact that this is both historically impossible and also the (English) word ‘Egypt’ didn’t even exist until the Greeks couldn’t pronounce the name of the country – many centuries later. See ‘The Mormon Delusion’ volume 2, Chapter 14 for full details of this nonsense.

The New Testament includes books ascribed to people who did not write them; the books being written and rewritten, decades to even centuries after the supposed time of Jesus Christ, by people who never knew or even met him. The Gospel of John, which is relied upon heavily in Mormonism, is accepted by many theologians as an unhistorical document, written to describe what they would have liked the Saviour to have been like, rather than a remotely true or reliable account of an individual who actually lived.

The Book of Revelation is often quoted within Mormonism. It is a book considered by many theologians to have been written by someone who was insane and it was not originally included in the Bible at all. It only later managed to squeeze its way in by the skin of its teeth – on a very narrow vote – in the fourth century CE and it was very reluctantly included when the canon of the Bible was assembled from approximately fifty gospels and literally hundreds of available epistles. Orthodox churches still do not use Revelation for scripture readings during worship. The inclusion of Revelation was and still is actively disputed but Mormons use it to their convenience.

In the Mormon ‘History of the Church’ Volume VI, Chapter 23 contains a discourse by Smith, given at a meeting held in a grove near the Temple on 16 June 1844, just days before he was killed. In it, he speaks of his ‘Godhead’ idea as well as the ‘plurality of Gods’. Smith takes as his text Revelation 1:6 and quotes it, just as it reads in the KJV.

Rev. 1:6. “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

This was the basis of his latest theology on plural Gods. Note the phrase, “God and His Father.” Smith then states “It is altogether correct in the translation” in order to support his latest concept – of polytheism.

However, Smith had obviously forgotten that some eleven to fourteen years earlier, he had produced his ‘Inspired Revision’ of the Bible, at which time he still had a singularly monotheistic view. (The official ‘First Vision’ wasn’t conceived until 1838 and then backdated to 1820 for convenience. See ‘The First Vision’ article on my web site). In it, Smith had actually altered that very verse by removing the word ‘and’ to clarify the doctrine that God the Father was the only God and that he did not have a Father himself.

“…and hath made us kings and priests unto God his Father. To him be glory and dominion, forever and ever. Amen.” (Inspired Revision. Rev 1:6).

How ironic it is that not only was Smith a forgetful fraud, but that his reference may well have been originally penned by someone who was mentally ill. It is also an irony that in this instance his ‘correction’ in the IR is actually closer to a literal translation than the KJV. But he is caught out here by reverting to the original text after he had ‘corrected’ it; so much for Joseph Smith being a true prophet. This act alone is proof positive that he was anything but.

The whole concept of original sin, or in Mormon terms, the ‘fall of man’ and the need for ‘atonement’ are accepted as scriptural and yet no such concept ever appeared in Judaism. It was never biblical in the first place. The whole concept of original sin was the late invention of St. Augustine in the fourth century CE. How did ‘sin’ get into the world? Augustine ‘decided’ that sex and death came via Eve. Much of Genesis as we now read it stems from no earlier than 600 BCE. The concept stems from other stories. We tend to forget that the Old Testament is Jewish Scripture hijacked by Christians and made to fit new Christian theology that was invented many years after Jesus supposedly lived. The Jews never did and still do not believe in the devil – or heaven or hell in the Christian sense for that matter. Judaism is an entirely different concept from Christianity in every way.

The whole concept of ‘one God’ was not originally part of Judaism; something many Christians, and especially Mormons, have no idea about. The concept evolved over time. At the supposed time of Moses and the ‘Ten Commandments’, their God did not demand they worshipped ONLY him; rather he required that none of their other gods – which they were being weaned off – were put before him. There were always a host of other gods to worship and a feminine deity was definitely popular with the women in particular. Archaeology at Jerusalem, outside the city walls, has seen the discovery of figurines from Jewish settlements dating to 800 BCE. Many centuries after the time of Moses, we have over a thousand of these figurines depicting a feminine God. In Jewish homes, they were then still worshipping multiple Gods and it was only at the end of the eighth century BCE that the single God concept finally became accepted and more firmly established.

In ancient Egypt, monotheism has its roots in the establishment of the one ‘sun’ god by Akhenaten of Amarna (1352-1336 BCE). It was possibly a forerunner of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The people still followed the traditional gods, such as fertility gods etc.

Later generations branded Akhenaten a criminal and a heretic as he threatened 2000 years of Egyptian religion. The return to the old religion came quickly and was during his son’s time. (Tutankhamen). The boy king reigned from age nine to about eighteen when his uncle who was caretaking should have handed over power. Tut mysteriously died at exactly that point. (Recent DNA testing has established that he fell ill and died, rather than being assassinated). Pharaoh after Pharaoh set about disinheriting the old religion. The idea of one god then surfaced as the God of Moses.

Dr. Oded Lipschitz confirmed that the “single God idea did not take hold until many centuries after Moses supposedly wrote down the Ten Commandments.”

The creation story first started more than five-hundred years after Moses lived. That story, like many other parts of the Old Testament, was created after the Babylonian roust of Jerusalem and the Jews were in exile. They believed they deserved exile as they must have sinned and exile was temporary. The creation story was conceived and written at this time and it draws heavily on Babylonian myth and legends. The Jewish God works alone in an act of benign will. Six-hundred years after he cleared out all rivals, he became the God of the Christians; six-hundred years after that, he also became the God of Islam.

Although Wikipedia can be notoriously inaccurate, it does have a useful thread under the heading ‘Adam and Eve’ which provides basic details of some original myths and legends that preceded the later Biblical story. It is well worth a look.

As a Jewish Rabbi put it: “Belief transcends rationale and understanding.”

Distinguished philosopher, Professor A. C. Grayling, says “There are so many different creation myths from many different parts of history and so many cultures and all of them share something in common, which is the ignorance of the people who created the creation myths. What they wanted was a story to tell. They wanted a narrative. They wanted a beginning for things and so they made up a story about an agent bigger and more powerful than they were from which the world came. Think of this; if you thought the wind and the thunder were agents like yourself but irresistible and more powerful and then you discovered over many generations that they weren’t; they were part of nature; the agencies in question would begin to move out of nature up to the mountain tops and then into the sky and finally outside space and time altogether. As the horizons of science advance, so the gods vanish further and further away. People want to believe it; therefore they stop themselves thinking about it too clearly.”

In response to the beauty of literature and music etc: “Absolutely no one can deny that our emotional lives; what in a secular sense I would call our spiritual lives; are the most important thing about us. That’s why poetry and music matter. That is why love matters. That is why human relationships matter. Why is it necessary, in addition to the beautiful music; to the stirring poetry; to the profundity of our love for other people; to add on these ancient stories of gods and ghosts? They don’t do anything to enrich it and even indeed historically, they get in the way of it.”

In terms of Mormonism, relative to the legends of the origins of Native American tribes, I have researched all of them and none have any connection with any Book of Mormon concepts or Christianity. I included one such legend in The Mormon Delusion volume 2, concerning a tribe that a Mormon prophet declared were ‘remnant Lamanites’.

A senior pastor, when questioned about the creation, explained “How could a whole dinosaur be preserved? Noah’s flood!…” forgetting that the supposed flood occurred relatively recently and dinosaurs went extinct sixty-five million years before modern humans ever existed. He not only stated that he believed in a six thousand year old earth, but he also claimed science was on his side. He did not explain how.

I was interested to learn when the gospels were actually written and of the growing consensus of thought regarding whether Jesus Christ actually existed as an individual person. The evidence against such an individual actually being real is compelling. There is absolutely no evidence to corroborate such a person outside of the claims made in the documents that now form the New Testament. Before anyone cites Josephus, let me add that I have read his works. He was a Jew and the short paragraph that supposedly represents his notation concerning Jesus Christ was clearly a much later interpolation to help support the Christian position and that fact is generally accepted by most historians as well as realistic theologians. An article by Marshall J. Gauvin is worth reading regarding this matter: Did Jesus Christ Really Live?

The following is a collection of statements that I found most interesting but I have no original reference for them and so apologise to whoever first collated these. They are not mine and original identification appears wherever possible.

“One of the curious features of the book of Genesis is the absence of any reference to what is going on in the ancient Near East during the second millenium B.C.” – S. Hooke, Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, p.188.

“Ur was Sumerian and had no connection with the people known as the Chaldaeans until a thousand years after any possible date to which Abraham can be attributed.” – M. Grant, The History of Ancient Israel, p32.

“Solomon … in the eyes of Israelite historians, marked the apex of Israelite achievement. Curiously, no reference to him or his father David, or their empire in a non-Israelite source is known…” – Isserlin. (The Israelites, p72).

“Monumental structures once attributed to the building activities of Solomon in the cities of Megiddo, Gezer and Hazor have been shown over the years to date from various archaeological periods spanning centuries.” – Rohl. (A Test of Time, p34).

“Neither Moses, nor an enslaved Israel nor the event of this Exodus are recorded in any known ancient records outside the Bible… Although its climate has preserved the tiniest traces of ancient Bedouin encampments and the sparse 5000-year-old villages of mine workers there is not a single trace of Moses or the Israelites.” – John Romer, Testament, pp57/8.

“Damascus reached its zenith during the reign of Hazael … Transjordanian regions were overrun … Hazael was able to cross Israelite territory to progress down the coastal plain to take Gath in Philistia … In fact, Hazael appears to have established an empire or sphere of influence not unlike that ascribed to David.” – B.S.J. Isserlin (The Israelites, p86).

“The desire to read the letters bytdvd as house of david is … a classic example of scholars working backwards from the Bible rather than forwards from the evidence.” – M. Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So, p129.

“‘Ur of the Chaldees’ in Genesis is clearly an anachronistic reference … ‘Chaldaeans’ did not appear in Mesopotamia until the 7th century BC.” – Magnus Magnusson, The Archaeology of the Bible Lands-BC, pp 31,206.

“Instead of splitting the carcass of a sea-monster to create the world, as Marduk did, Yahweh divided the Sea of Reeds to let his people escape from Pharaoh and the pursuing army. Instead of slaying the demonic hordes, like Marduk, Yahweh drowned the Egyptians.” – K. Armstrong, A History of Jerusalem, p31.

“…an archaeological analysis of the patriarchal, conquest, judges, and United Monarchy narratives [shows] that while there is no compelling archaeological evidence for any of them, there is clear archaeological evidence that places the stories themselves in a late 7th-century BCE context.”

“…an archaeological reconstruction of the distinct histories of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, highlighting the largely neglected history of the Omride Dynasty and attempting to show how the influence of Assyrian imperialism in the region set in motion a chain of events that would eventually make the poorer, more remote, and more religiously conservative kingdom of Judah the belated center of the cultic and national hopes of all Israel.” – Silberman and Finkelstein.

“In the fantasy ‘history’ (chapter 1 of the Book of Numbers) 603,550 ‘males of military age’ fled Egypt at the time of the Exodus, which implies a refugee army of at least two million – more than the total population of Egypt itself! And this multitude supposedly wandered the wilderness for forty years, contriving to leave not a trace of their passing for posterity.”

“Despite the mass of contemporary records that have been unearthed in Egypt, not one historical reference to the presence of the Israelites has yet been found there. Not a single mention of Joseph, the Pharaoh’s ‘Grand Vizier’. Not a word about Moses, or the spectacular flight from Egypt and the destruction of the pursuing Egyptian army.” – Magnus Magnusson (The Archaeology of the Bible Lands – BC, p43).

“The archaeological evidence in Jerusalem for the famous building projects of Solomon is nonexistent. 19th and early 20th century excavations around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem failed to identify even a trace of Solomon’s fabled Temple or palace complex.” (Finkelstein, Silberman, p128).

“The scientific position is clear. There is no evidence of any kind for the existence of Abraham (supposedly the Israelites’ founding patriarch), Moses, or Solomon. At the time of the Exodus, Canaan—the Promised Land to which the Israelites were fleeing—was ruled and firmly controlled by the very Egypt from which they were trying to escape.

Jerusalem, which was supposed to have become the capital of the great unified empire of King David (he of David and Goliath fame), appears to have been tiny and only sparsely inhabited in the relevant period. Many of the great monuments of ancient Israel attributed on the authority of the Old Testament to King Solomon were of a later date.

Excavations of early Israelite settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan since the 1967 Six Day War have suggested strongly that the Israelites were in fact of local Canaanite stock.

They were probably desert nomads who took to hill farming for economic reasons, and developed into two kingdoms—a northern one called Israel, and a southern called Judah. The Bible reflects the slightly differing traditions of the two kingdoms, and when the north collapsed in the 8th century BC and its people fled south, an attempt was made through written texts to unify and reconcile both peoples. Thus the Old Testament began to take shape.

The Bible says the Israelites first began to worship one God in the time of Moses. But in fact, the Israelites from both north and south were actually polytheistic, and the process of monotheism didn’t begin till many centuries after that supposed time.”

Regarding supposed Biblical evidence:

“The Yoash stone, named after a ruler of the ancient Hebrew kingdom of Judah, was cited as possibly the strongest historical evidence of the biblical account of the First Temple, built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. and destroyed by the Babylonians in the 6th century B.C. The stone’s inscription gives instructions in ancient Hebrew for maintaining the Temple.

Israeli officials received a tip questioning the authenticity of the Yoash stone two years ago and began an investigation that kept expanding, according to Mr. Dorfman, the Antiquities Authority head. The authority announced in June 2003 that James’s burial box and the Yoash stone were forgeries.

The Israeli authorities said Wednesday that Mr. Golan, working through intermediaries, had been behind both the burial box and the Yoash stone.

The criminal charges filed Wednesday were the first in the case, and they came just days after the Israel Museum said an independent panel had concluded that the ivory pomegranate, which it bought in 1988 from an unknown seller by depositing half a million dollars in a Swiss bank account, was not authentic.

The pomegranate is believed to date back 3,400 years, but its inscription was added recently, the museum said. The Wednesday indictments cited the pomegranate as an example of a high-profile forgery, but did not charge any of the four suspects with counterfeiting it.”

I could continue and record many other aspects that affect both Mormonism and also other religious beliefs – such as the concept that Herod had all the young male children killed. Christians imagine this amounted to hundreds, if not thousands of children. Historians confirm Herod was far more concerned about his masters in Rome than the locals and he would not have been bothered about rumours of a child king being born. However, had he really had them killed, the village was so small that the entire number of children supposedly killed “would not have filled a minibus” as explained the other evening on a National Geographic programme. The Bible allows us to paint fantastical pictures in our minds that are wildly exaggerated or often just fanciful.

I will leave it there and allow the reader to continue his or her own research as they wish. Everything is easily discovered. You only have to take the time to look. My only advice is, don’t trust anything anyone else says – including me – accept only evidence in support of any claim.

On 9 March 2002, an article by Michael Massing entitled ‘New Torah For Modern Minds’ appeared in the New York Times. It shows how Jewish leaders are coming to terms with the truth surrounding the Torah.

Clearly, old ideas are giving way to modern evidence of the truth. This will continue until one day everyone finally realises that fiction began in very early civilization and just because the stories are old and traditionally came through people who designated themselves as representing a god, it does not magically make them any more true than Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy in our own day.

Jim Whitefield. Copyright © March 2010, 2015.
[Edited August 2015].  All rights reserved.

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For those who would like further reading about the truth behind the Bible and what it contains, the following books are highly recommended:

Disproving Christianity and Other Secular Writings ~ David McAfee.
Nonsense from The Bible ~ Brian Baker.

For a thought provoking analysis of the origins of myths and legends that ultimately became the foundation of religion: The Invention of God ~ Bill Lauritzen.

After all my research, all I can say is:

If there is a god – he is not very good at religion.
Jim Whitefield.

Visit:  TMD BOOK STORE