Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cultural Context and the Bible

In response to comments at this article, a reader of Just Genesis has asked:

"Why do people insist on reading the Hebrew Scriptures as a prophetic piece, regarding the life of Jesus? Why not take the Scriptures at face value, and review them for the potential meaning they may hold in isolation? By giving everything a 'Jesus prophetic' spin, layers of meaning contained in the actual text may be missed or misinterpreted entirely. Of course, everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but I ask those who continue to read the Scriptures as purely code for the coming of Jesus, to consider the face of the text, without preconceived notions of what it might be 'code' for. These may be value in this, and humanistic insights that we may be missing entirely. My two cents."

Here is my reply:

"You make a good point. Reading Jesus Christ back into the ancient texts is not what we should do. It often results in skewed or reductionist interpretations.

On the other hand, the oldest material in the Bible does echo with expectation of the Righteous Ruler whose coming was anticipated. A rich narrative surrounds this Righteous Ruler. Christians believe that Jesus fits the pattern or template. There is reason to hold this view since Jesus' ancestry confirms that he is of the Horite ruler-priest lines among whom Messianic expectation first arose.

Biblical anthropology seeks to understand antecedents and explores the beliefs of Abraham's cattle-herding Nilotic ancestors. Until we understand their belief system and religious practices better, we will continue to misread the texts and force incorrect or inadequate interpretations on the Bible."

Related reading: Jesus: From Lamb to Ram; Genesis in Anthropological Perspective; Deified Rulers and Resurrection; Jesus' Horite Lineage

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Murky Waters of Insanity

"Anthropology is the enemy of reductionism, be it naturalistic explanations of human skin color variation, the ascertainment of human presence via exclusive archaeological arguments or the belief that linguistic classifications are only skin deep."-- German Dziebel

Alice C. Linsley

Biblical Anthropology has helped me to detect the deficiencies and falsehoods of Feminism, Process Theology, and religious reductionism, for as anthropologist German Dziebel has said, "Anthropology is the enemy of reductionism."

Reductionism take various forms, but all attribute religious beliefs to non-religious causes. Some view faith as a by-product of human evolution. In this view, religion enhances survivability for members of a group and so is reinforced by natural selection. Others reduce the religious impulse to susperstition, as a way to explain the inexplicable. When it comes to morality, some reductionists view divine law as merely Man's attempt to determine conceptions of right and wrong.

There is also the psychological view that religion is a way to cope with our anxieties. This view has some basis in Scripture because all the evidence suggests that the priesthood emerged among Abraham's ancestors out of a need to address blood guilt. The primitive principle is one we recognize as animal sacrifice; blood for blood, and the sacred law that already existed among Abraham's ancestors, pertained in large part to blood; for life is in the blood. In the Biblical worldview, blood both pollutes and makes clean. Ancient law codes, such as the Law of Tehut, which existed long before the code of Hammurabi, addressed transgressions of boundaries between God and Man, and between the individual and his neighbor, and between the individual and his community.

One of the errors of reductionism is that it blurs the distinction between God and Man. The creation is not perfect and changes. God is perfect and immutable. There is a boundary between God and Man that no mortal can deny. God alone knows all things. The lie posed to Eve was that eating the forbidden fruit would make her like God, knowing good from evil. This blurring of the distinctions between God and Man, between life and death, between good and evil, between male and female, and between black and white is pure hubris and plays out to its logical end in the recent stories of two deluded individuals: Bruce Jenner and Rachel Dolezal.

Sadly, many have rejected the Biblical worldview in favor of pseudo-psychological explanations. People can be whatever they want to be. There is no fixed reality of male-female. Instead, there is a gender continuum which requires the State (as here) to recognize bisexual, transgender, unspecified, indeteriminate, and gender diverse, etc. There no longer being a fixed reality, our grip on permanent virtue is lost and we slip beneath the murky waters of insanity.

I am reminded of something G.K. Chesterton wrote in The Ball and the Cross:

Christianity is always out of fashion because it is always sane; and all fashions are mild insanities. ...The Church always seems to be behind the times, when it is really beyond the times; it is waiting till the last fad shall have seen its last summer. It keeps the key of a permanent virtue.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Terah Means "Priest"

Alice C. Linsley

Terah or Térach (Hebrew: תֶּרַח / תָּרַח, Modern Téraḥ / Táraḥ) is an important figure in Biblical history. He was a son of Nahor, the grandson of Serug, and father of Abraham and Sarah, Abraham's half-sister wife.  All are descendants of Arpachshad, the son of Nimrod, the Kushite kingdom builder.

Terah was a descendant of both Ham and Shem, as their ruling lines intermarried, as shown in the diagram below.
These are the ruler-priests who spread far and wide before the earliest dynasties of Egypt. They are also known in Genesis as "the mighty men of old" and regarded as deified "sons" of God. They are often called "gods" (elohiym) as in Exodus 22:28: "Thou shalt not revile the gods (elohiym), nor curse the ruler of thy people."

These rulers were a caste. One of the characteristics of castes is endogamy, that is, the practice of marrying only within one's caste. Joseph (Yosef), the son of Jacob (Yacob), married the daughter of a ruler-priest of Heliopolis (Biblical On). The intermarriage of the ruler-priest lines has been verified through kinship analysis of the royal families named in Genesis. Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of these ancient rulers reveals that the lines of Kain and Seth intermarried also, as did the lines of Abraham and Nahor.

Terah is another of the royal names in Genesis. Terah or Tera is an ancient word for priest that retains the original Nilotic root. For example, ter in Luo means ritual, especially in reference to cleansing. The Nilotic Luo are among the peoples of Aruwa. The Tomb of Arawelo is in Somalia, and is said to be the final resting place of Queen Arawelo.

It is reasonable to speculate that the Ar clans traveled across the seas. Genesis 10 speaks of the clans of Ar who controlled the Red Sea and the Mediterranean island kingdoms of Tyre and Arvad. These were seafaring tradesmen. There appears to be a 3-clan confederation in Genesis consisting of Ar, Arvd and Arkt. The last two clans are called “Arvadites” and “Arkites” in Genesis 10:15-18. They are the peoples of Sidon and Tyre. With other clans living in Canaan they are classified as “Canaanites” and their Mesopotamian kin are called "Arameans" in the Bible.

Among the Ainu/Annu, whose point of origin was the Nile valley, tera refers to temple or shrine priests. The word tera is found among the royal Ainu of the Upper Nile. Tera-neter means one devoted to God. Tera indicates a priest and ntr refers to God or the Creator.

Was Terah an idol worshipper?

In Joshua 24:2 we read: "In olden times, your forefathers – Terah, father of Abraham and father of Nahor – lived beyond the Euphrates and worshiped other gods..." and because of this many assume that Abraham was the first of his family to turn from idol worship to iconoclastic monotheism. Of course, this is far from accurate. The Aramean rulers kept ancestor figurines called teraphim. Teraphim belong to the priest caste.

This verse in Joshua must be understood in the context of the iconoclastic Deuteronomist Historian whose account clearly comes long after the time of Terah and Abraham. The Deuteronomist Historian reinterprets the history of Abraham's Horim in an attempt to strengthen the power of the Jerusalem Temple authorities. As Bernard M. Levinson points out the legal corpus of Deuteronomy conceptualizes the king in a way that rejects all prevailing models of monarchic power held among the ancient Hebrew/Habiru/'Apiru. This shift causes readers of the Old Testament to lose the continuity between the Messianic expectation of Abraham's cattle-herding Nilotic ancestors and the New Testament's understanding of Christ as King incarnate who is the temple that is raised on the third day.

Related reading: Who Were the Kushites?; The Nile-Japan Ainu Connection; Royal Names in Genesis; The Genesis King Lists; Why Rachel Didn't Trust Laban

Friday, May 29, 2015

Royal Names in Genesis

Alice C. Linsley

A reader has asked if Enoch is the founder of the sciences. He cites this:

"Sages affirm that all antefiluvian sciences originate with the Egyptian Hermes [Tehuti], in Upper Egypt (namely Khmunu (Hermopolis). The Jews call him Enoch and the Moslems Idris. He was the first who spoke of the material of the superior world and of planetary movements...Medicine and poetry were his functions... [as well as] the sciences, including alchemy and magic." [Cf. Asin Palacios, Ibn Masarra, p. 13]

Sufficient historical, anthropological, and archaeological evidence exists to justify the hypothesis that astronomy, mathematics, binary thought, triangulation (pyramids), metal work, stone work, animal husbandry, cultivation, the earliest priestly writings, and the earliest known trade records are found among the Proto-Saharans of the Upper Nile. However, these cannot be identified with any one figure of history. Instead these sciences and technologies are identified with a group of rulers identified as the "mighty men of old" in Genesis. Enoch/Anoch is a royal title found among these Proto-Saharan and Saharo-Nubian rulers.

Enoch is related to the word Anoch, a royal name found among Abraham's cattle-herding ancestors. The people of Anoch are called "Anakim" in the Bible. The Anakim were organized into three-clan confederations, as were many other groups living in Canaan. The three Anakim clans were named for the three highest ranked sons of Anak whose names are Sheshai (Shasu), Ahiman and Talmai (Josh.15:14). The Shasu are found in ancient Nubia and among the Horites of Edom.

Two hieroglyphic references dating to the New Kingdom period refer to “the land of the Shasu of YHW.” These are the oldest references to YHWH outside the Bible. The "Shasu of YHW" is found on inscriptions from the Nubian temples of Soleb and Amara West, and corresponds to the tetragrammaton.

Anochi means "I" in the Egyptian language and is refers to the royal first person. It is likely that Anoch, Enoch and Hanock (Reuben's first born son) are variant spellings of the same word, and all refer to rulers.

The word anochi is also found among peoples who migrated from the Nile westward, such as the Igbo and the Ashante. Among the Igbo, anochie means “a replacer” or “to replace” and among the Ashante the word anokyi means "Ano Junior" or the "Ano who follows his father." In both cases, one finds the idea of succession from father to son, suggesting a line of descent. A Nigerian friend reports that anochie also means "direct heir to a throne."

The name Enoch is clearly associated with royal ascendancy. It means "one who ascends after his father" and there are several who hold this title in the Genesis King Lists. Masarra does not specify which Enoch is identified as Hermes/Tehuti. However, he is correct in the association of the royal name with Tehut. The oldest known code is the Law of Tehut which dates to about 3200 B.C. It is associated with Menes who made Memphis the capital of a united Nile Valley. He issued edicts that were designed to improve food production and distribution, guard the rights of ruling families, improve education, and enhance knowledge of the natural world through geometry and astronomy.

The first Enoch of the Bible is not easily identified because his royal name must be reconstructed using the marriage and ascendancy pattern of these archaic rulers. He is the father-in-law of Kain and Seth. His daughters named their first born sons Enoch (Kain's son) and Enosh (Seth's son) after their father. The names Enoch and Enosh are linguistically equivalent. This feature of the marriage and ascendancy pattern is called "the cousin bride's naming prerogative" and the practice continued among the ruler-priests to the time of Jesus Christ.

The cousin bride's naming prerogative is evident in analysis of this Lamech segment. We note that Naamah named her fist born son Lamech, after her father.

In addition to Enoch, the son of Kain (Gen. 4:17-18), there is also Enoch, the father of Methuselah (Gen. 5:21-13). He was a contemporary of Lamech the Elder who bragged to his two wives.

Lamech is another royal name. It is related to the Hebrew Melech, which means king. Two named Lamech appear in the Genesis King Lists. There is Lamech the Elder (Gen. 4:18-24) and Lamech the Younger (Gen. 5:26-31). Likewise there are two rulers named Esau.

Esau is a royal name associated with the Horites of Edom. There is Esau the Elder and Esau the Younger. The Horite rulers of Edom/Edo/Idu are listed in Genesis 36.

To further complicate matters, we have seemingly conflicting claims about these great clan chiefs who built great territories in the ancient world. Consider the case of Irad, Kain's grandson (Gen. 4:18). The name has these variants: Jared (Gen. 5:18-20) and Yared. Yared is the best rendering of the ruler's name as it has the initial Y - a solar cradle - indicating divine appointment by the overshadowing of the Sun, the Creator's emblem. This Y symbol is found among the Canaanite rulers before the development of Hebrew: Yitzak, Yishmael, Yacob; Yaqtan, Yosef, Yared, etc.

The Igbo identify Yared as the founder of their writing system. He is among numerous archaic rulers identified with Biblical figures by the Igbo who originated in the Nile Valley. According to the Igbo apologist, Dr. Catherine Acholonu:

Sumerian texts say that the first city built by the gods on earth was called Eridu. There they placed the members of Adam’s family. Adam’s great grandson was named Yared, meaning ‘He of Eridu’, ‘person from Eridu’. Its Igbo equivalent, with the same meaning, is Oye Eridu. The father of Yared was Enosh/Enu-Esh. His name meant ‘Master of humankind’, for the first people were called Esh, Adam too was called Esh in vernacular Hebrew. In Sumerian this sacred word Esh means ‘Righteous Shepherd’. All Sumerian kings bore the title Esh. Equally in Igbo land Esh/Eshi/Nshi is a sacred word implying divine origins of the first people, who indeed were wielders of supernatural powers.

The Sumerians and the Igbo have a common point of origin in the Nile Valley thousands of years before either group emerged as a separate ethnicity. Eridu is also spelled Eredo and simply means "Ur of the Idu/Edo" and there were two places with this name. One was in Mesopotamia and the other in what is today Nigeria.

The Eredo of Nigeria (shown above) has 70-foot high ramparts that extend for 100 miles. This Eredo is associated with the royal House of Sheba, to which Abraham's cousin wife, Keturah, belonged. She is the mother of another great ruler, Yaqtan (Joktan) who she named after her father, Yaqtan the Elder. These are the ruling peoples of the Joktanite clans of Southern Arabia and the royal ancestors of Mohammed, the founder of Islam.

These rulers evidently dispersed very widely in the ancient world because Edo/Idu was the Ainu name for the capital of Japan. The original name of Tokyo was Edo.

Related reading: Edom and the Horites; Who Laid the Foundations of Science and Technology?; Ancient Moral Codes; The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y; Cousin Brides and their Ruler Sons; The Genesis King Lists; The Nubian Context of YHWH; Two Named Esau; Andrei A. Orlov, Enoch as the Heavenly Priest

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Many Groups of Archaic Humans

In 2011 researchers discovered jaw bones and teeth of four individuals in the Afar region of Ethiopia which date to between 3.3m and 3.5m years old. These archaic humans were alive at the same time as other early human groups, suggesting that it may be time to abandon the linear evolution hypothesis. Clearly, there were more archaic humans living in Africa 3 million years ago than has been generally recognized.

Dr Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator of physical anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, believes that the growing evidence of archaic human fossils indicates that the early stage of human evolution was complex.

He is quoted in this BBC report: "Historically, because we didn't have the fossil evidence to show there was hominin diversity during the middle Pliocene, we thought there was only one lineage, one primitive ancestor - in this case Australopithecus afarensis, Lucy - giving rise to the next.

Lucy’s species lived from 2.9 million years ago to 3.8 million years ago, overlapping in time with the new species Australopithecus deyiremeda. The new species is the most conclusive evidence for the contemporaneous presence of more than one closely related early human ancestor species prior to 3 million years ago.

Dr. Haile-Selassie states, "That hypothesis of linear evolution has to be revisited. And now with the discovery of more species, like this new one... you have another species roaming around.

"What this means is we have many species that could give rise to later hominins, including our own genus Homo."

Dr Haile-Selassie said that even more fossils need to be unearthed, to better understand the path that human evolution took.

He added that finding additional ancient remains could also help researchers examine how the different species lived side-by-side - whether they mixed or avoided each other, and how they shared food and other resources in their landscape.

The original study is published in the journal Nature.

The Upper Nile Valley region is likely the point of origin of archaic humans and the idea of a "new species" is another example of having to force material findings into the Darwinian "common ancestry" mold. Just wait until the Rising Star Expedition reports come out about a burial cave near Krugersdorp in South Africa.The large number of individuals found in a tiny underground chamber suggest clan burial. By April 2014, between two localities, 1724 human specimens were recovered and they show a range of anatomical features consistent with modern humans.

Related reading: A Flawed Paradigm; The Dispersal of Archaic Humans; Was Lucy Human?; Getting the Facts About Human Origins; The Northern Range of Archaic Humans; Protruding Jaw a Human Feature; Is Scientific Dating of Fossils Reliable?

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Flawed Paradigm

Archaic humans were producing abstract symbols much earlier than originally thought. This shell found on Java in the late 1800s was carved half a million years ago by archaic humans. The zig-zag pattern is like that found on stone carvings in Africa. The pattern appears on the edge of the 77,000 year old red ochre stone found in the Blombos Cave in South Africa (image below).

Once again, Darwinians are snagged on their flawed paradigm. Darn those archaic humans! They keep throwing a wrench in the common ancestry theory. These folks apparently don't accept a basic principle of science: that a substantial body of empirical evidence should cause us to reconsider a flawed model of human origins.

Stone tools older than man found: Were our ancient ancestors already toolmakers before evolving into humans?

Stone tools that are older than man have been found — suggesting that our ancient ancestors were already skilled toolmakers before they evolved into humans.

In a discovery which could rewrite the history books, archaeologists working in north-western Kenya found sharp cutting tools which date to 700,000 years before the first members of the genus homo emerged.

Read the full report here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Re-Horus-Hathor Narrative

David Dickens: I was going to ask you about non-Biblical Horite/Proto-Saharan texts. You've talked about a lot of how Genesis lines up with the culture and some of archaeological work in Africa, but I was wondering if there are other sources of narrative. I'm looking for the Nilo-Saharan equivalent of Beowulf, I suppose.

Alice Linsley: The Horus-Set narrative is much older, of course. Horus, as the son of the Creator, comes to vanquish Set and sames the kingdom for the Creator God/High King. Not quite the same elements as in Beowulf. Set means bow (as in bow and arrows), and the land of Nubia was called Ta-Seti, the "land of the bow." This narrative dates to around 5000 BC.

David:  At least that gives me a good place to start. I've seen a lot of anti-Horus propaganda lately whereas I'm perfectly happy with a typological interpretation of the Horus myths. (But then I'm no expert so my opinion is no better than most of the critics.)

Alice: There is much ignorance about Horus. Also, a great deal of nonsense on the internet about ancient Egyptian beliefs and magic. You might find this piece helpful: Ha'piru, Ha'biru, 'Apiru or Hebrew?

David: There's certainly all the pieces there, but the narrative is missing. I can read the first few chapters of Genesis, Ramayana, Epic of Gilgamesh, legends of the Eight Immortals, Beowulf... there are so many ancient stories (some with meticulous detail, but all with unifying themes) but there doesn't seem to be one for Horus or the Ha'biru peoples. It seems almost all we have is archeological evidence and some descriptions from ancient historians.

Alice:  The Bible is the narrative of the Ha'biru. It is the only consistent source of the Righteous Ruler narrative. Unfortunately, the last editorial hand - the Deuteronomist Historian - marred the narrative by imposing post-exilic Zionism on the older narrative.

David:  So nothing extra-Biblical remains of the myths and legends of a people who touched three continents, spanned thousands of years and had a hand in every ancient civilization in the eastern hemisphere? I just doesn't sound right.

I'm not saying the Bible isn't the bees-knees, I'm just surprised that its all that remains (besides a few hieroglyphs on some temple wall).

Alice: Oh, there is much that pertains to the narrative outside the Bible. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts provide a great deal of information about Horus, the son of Re. The righteous rulers who were buried in the half dozen pyramids in question hoped for bodily resurrection and their hope rested in Horus who was pierced in the side, died, and risen from the dead on the third day.

David: I'll have to hunt them down then. I've never seen that sort of collection.

Alice. I own the Faulkner volume and make reference to it often. As an anthropologist I am aware of the dangers of constructing parallels without substantial evidence from all of these disciplines. I have no interest in exaggerating trifling resemblances. My first impulse is to regard the apparent similarities between Horus and Jesus Christ as yet another example of parallelomania. This is the initial reaction of most Christians until the evidence is set before them that Horus is very likely the basis of Messianic expectation.

The Horite expectation that the Righteous Son would not remain in the grave is expressed in Psalm 16:10: For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

My assertion that the Ra-Horus-Hathor story from the ancient Nile Valley is a form of the Proto-Gospel has been labeled as an example of parallelomania. Such a claim reveals ignorance of what I have written. The Christ is not a human invention patterned on the Horus myth. Horus is the pattern by which the Horites came to expect a divine Son who would rule (a Messiah), and Jesus Christ is the only figure of history who fits the pattern.

Further, Jesus is a direct descendant of the Horite ruler-priests, some of whom lived in Bethlehem and others of whom lived in Nazareth.  Jesus' Horite ancestry is demonstrated by the distinctive Horite marriage and ascendancy pattern as evident in scientific analysis of the Genesis King Lists. He is the "Seed" of the Woman, the long-expected Immortal Mortal who tramples down death and receives the eternal kingdom.

Hathor conceived Horus by divine overshadowing of the Sun, the emblem of Re.
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

Hathor is shown at the Dendura Temple holding her newborn son in a manger or stable. The stable was constructed by the Horite priest Har-si-Atef. Atef was the crown worn by deified rulers. The Arabic word atef or atif means “kind.” The ruler who wore the atef crown was to embody kindness and he was to unite the peoples, as Horus unites the peoples of the Upper and Lower Nile. The rulers of the two regions wore different crown, but Horus was called "Horus of the Two Crowns" because he wore both.  This is what stands behind the account of Yeshua/Joshua, the priest, receiving the "crowns" in Zechariah 6:11: "Take the silver and gold, and make crowns, and set it upon the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest..." Of course, "Yeshua" is the Hebrew for Jesus. Horus is the only mythological figure in ancient Egypt who was understood to be a man, and as a man he wears the two crowns.

Christianity is not an invented religion based on the Horus myth. It is a faith which receives the most ancient tradition known among humans, that which hopes for life beyond death through the agency of a divine ruler who overcomes the grave and leads his people to abundant life. The details of the narrative are extremely important. One such detail is the third-day resurrection described in Pyramid Texts Utterance 667: Oh Horus, this hour of the morning, of this third day is come, when thou surely passeth on to heaven, together with the stars, the imperishable stars.

Consider how Horus describes himself in the Coffin Texts (148):

I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of ‘Red Cloak’. (Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt by R.T. Rundle Clark, p. 216)

Here we find the words of Psalm 110:1, a clear messianic reference: The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

Related reading: Who is Jesus?; The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y; Fundamentalism and Syncretism in Hebrew History; Ha'piru, Ha'biru, 'Apiru or Hebrew?; The Priests of Nazareth