Wednesday, April 3, 2013

So let it be written; so let it be done.

      Every year we are graced with Cecil B Demille's movie Ten Commandments. The movie follows along very closely to what I learned in Catholic grade school.  Although I may have thought the story of the parting of the Red Sea was an exaggeration, I didn't doubt the existence of Moses.  After all, from where did the Ten Commandments come?  There is also a problem of who wrote the first five books in the Bible - the Pentateuch. Okay, well its unlikely he is the author of this work, but what about the rest of the story?  What about Passover?
      I really hadn't given this much thought until I read the following from Herb Silverman, My Passover Evolution.
I believe the traditional Passover story to be both fictional and horrible. Here’s why: There is no historical or archaeological evidence that Moses existed, that Israelites were slaves in Egypt, or that they wandered in the desert for 40 years. And that’s the good news. I find the Passover story of the Exodus is horribly inhumane: An insecure and sadistic God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Why? So God could respond by bringing 10 plagues to Egypt, which culminated in killing innocent first-born Egyptian sons (but passing over Jewish households). Now and forever, we Jews are to thank God every Passover for creating plagues to benefit his “chosen” people.
I decided to do a little research on my own.  I found out that there is no historical or archaeological evidence for Moses.  That doesn't confirm that Moses didn't exist, but it does mean the stories that I learned as a child and get to watch repeatedly during the Easter season are fictional.

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