Saturday, June 7, 2008

Extra Points for Originality

Although there will surely be other postings in this blog, there is no other subject that betrays my trust in "revealed" religions more than the one I'm going to cover here. My search for a religion or faith to apply in my personal life ends now. The topic discussed here puts the final nail in the coffin of "revealed" religions and guides me to the purest form of belief in God - Deism.

My quest for faith has always centered primarily on originality. I always felt that if I could just find the source for all religions - that is, the root of all religions which eventually branched out into the faiths of the world - then surely it would be the one true divine belief system. Only then could I have a deeply personal relationship with God, and apply His principles to my life. The problem is that every time I discovered a great original source in my personal quest, eventually there would be another older source to take its place; or there would be a parallel belief system - as if two faiths borrowed from each other - not original at all. And now I believe there are completely non-divine sources for them all.

It appears that there is general agreement by scholars and theologians that Moses did not write much of the Pentateuch, (the Torah, or first five books of the Old Testament) traditionally attributed to him. Reviewing a website that defends the Bible, they say a standard argument against Moses writing these books is because there was no writing in his day. After all, we are referring to the late Bronze Age to early Iron Age. The website goes on to prove there was writing long before Moses, pointing out the Ebla Tablets and the Code of Hammurabi [alt link]. The former dates to about 2250 BCE, and the latter dates to about 1750 BCE, while Moses lived somewhere in the 14th to 13th century BCE. Both the Ebla Tablets and the Code of Hammurabi are written in cuneiform script.

The Code of Hammurabi was produced on a basalt stele by the sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi. It is a column listing 282 crimes, punishments, and dispute settlements for the people of his kingdom. Hammurabi believed that he was chosen by the gods to deliver these laws to his people. That sounds familiar. Also familiar, the repetitive nature of punishments in these laws, which specifically mandate an "eye for an eye", "tooth for a tooth", "limb for a limb", and "life for a life".

The Ebla Tablets (first made public in 1981) are even more revealing, yet they are much older. There are over 15,000 tablets describing the life and times of Ebla, a city-state in what is now modern day Syria. Most of the tablets are written in Sumerian, but about 20% were written in a previously unknown language called Eblaite. Part of this collection includes extremely detailed vocabulary lists, which allows for translation between the two languages. The Eblaite language holds amazing similarities to references in the Bible, including personal names, cultural events, and city names from the region, like no other language. These include Adam, Eve, Jabal, Abraham, Ishma-el, Esau, Mika-el, Saul, David, Ashtaroth, Sinai, Jerusalem, Sodom, and Gomorrah. Also, there have been about three creation hymns found in the tablets, all of which follow the same theme and may sound vaguely familiar:
Lord of heaven and earth:
the earth was not, you created it,
the light of day was not, you created it,
the morning light you had not [yet] made exist.
Not only do these tablets predate Moses, but Abraham too! Man has certainly been on this path of discovery for God, for a relationship with Him, and for spiritual fulfillment, a very long time. I believe man took a wrong turn early on, and the rest just stayed the course, fine tuning religions to uplift only themselves and their people. What selfishness - how ungodly!

I believe God's presence has always been directly in front of us, but we haven't been able to see the forest for the trees. Step back just a bit - stop chopping down the trees for the texts of man-made religions - you will see the glorious nature of God, not only in seeing the forest, but the Earth and beyond. Remember, it is only you and I who are even capable of contemplating such notions. Only God could have created the opportunity for humans to have this power. Such is the originality of God!

One Deist Φ

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