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Tiny Tablet Provides Proof For Old Testament
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 7-10-2007 | Nigel Reynolds

Posted on 07/10/2007 5:48:08 PM PDT by blam

Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament

By Nigel Reynolds, Arts Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:33pm BST 10/07/2007

The sound of unbridled joy seldom breaks the quiet of the British Museum's great Arched Room, which holds its collection of 130,000 Assyrian cuneiform tablets, dating back 5,000 years.

But Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, let out such a cry last Thursday. He had made what has been called the most important find in Biblical archaeology for 100 years, a discovery that supports the view that the historical books of the Old Testament are based on fact.

Searching for Babylonian financial accounts among the tablets, Prof Jursa suddenly came across a name he half remembered - Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, described there in a hand 2,500 years old, as "the chief eunuch" of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.

Prof Jursa, an Assyriologist, checked the Old Testament and there in chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, he found, spelled differently, the same name - Nebo-Sarsekim.

Nebo-Sarsekim, according to Jeremiah, was Nebuchadnezzar II's "chief officer" and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, when the Babylonians overran the city.

The small tablet, the size of "a packet of 10 cigarettes" according to Irving Finkel, a British Museum expert, is a bill of receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin's payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a temple in Babylon.

The tablet is dated to the 10th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of Jerusalem.

Evidence from non-Biblical sources of people named in the Bible is not unknown, but Nabu-sharrussu-ukin would have been a relatively insignificant figure.

"This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find," Dr Finkel said yesterday. "If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power."

Cuneiform is the oldest known form of writing and was commonly used in the Middle East between 3,200 BC and the second century AD. It was created by pressing a wedge-shaped instrument, usually a cut reed, into moist clay.

The full translation of the tablet reads: (Regarding) 1.5 minas (0.75 kg) of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the temple] Esangila: Arad-Banitu has delivered [it] to Esangila. In the presence of Bel-usat, son of Alpaya, the royal bodyguard, [and of] Nadin, son of Marduk-zer-ibni. Month XI, day 18, year 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: apologetics; archaeology; bible; biblicalarcheology; cuneiform; godsgravesglyphs; oldtestament; ot; proof; tablet; tiny
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I don't do religion on FR so, you guys have at it.
1 posted on 07/10/2007 5:48:12 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 07/10/2007 5:48:34 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam; Alouette; SJackson

ping.


3 posted on 07/10/2007 5:54:11 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: blam
More evidence of fact for the faith-based
stories...And there is most likely so much
more facts to discover!!!
4 posted on 07/10/2007 5:56:46 PM PDT by sirchtruth (No one has the RIGHT not to be offended...)
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To: blam
...proof for Old Testament

I never doubted, so can't say I'm surprised. Thanks for the post of this.

5 posted on 07/10/2007 5:57:26 PM PDT by YellowRoseofTx
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To: blam
It's a mystery to me why people are surprised that historical books (Kings, Chronicles, &c.) would be less true than histories written today.

ML/NJ

6 posted on 07/10/2007 5:57:52 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: blam

I don’t see what all the fuss is about. No thinking person has ever asserted that the Bible is devoid of factual history. The question is how much of it is factual, given that its various books have been transmitted by a combination of oral tradition and hand-copied text, with most books undergoing plenty of rounds of both.

Insignificant and non-controversial details like the one mentioned here are the least likely to be changed to accommodate the political or religious agenda of the re-teller or re-copier. Many such details were no doubt dropped or mistakenly changed along the way, but it’s hardly surprising that some made it through the process unchanged.


7 posted on 07/10/2007 5:58:20 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: LeGrande

*Ahem*


8 posted on 07/10/2007 5:59:08 PM PDT by Enosh ()
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To: ml/nj

Have you read any Palestinian-authored history texts lately?


9 posted on 07/10/2007 5:59:38 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: sirchtruth

Interesting...now that the experts believe Jeremiah is fact based, can we postulate that Genesis 1:1 is true?


10 posted on 07/10/2007 6:00:06 PM PDT by Keflavik76
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To: blam
's not religion ~ 's records. Simply proves that at least that part of the Bible has the same information as an ancient source dug out of the mud by the Brits.

Remember the story of Lot's wife ~ it's an ancient tale also told in pictoglyphs in Northern Finland and nearby Russia.

It may be 7500 years old ~ which is 3 times as old as this item.

The Bible doesn't really explain why Lot's wife turned to (rock) salt, but the petroglyphs explain it clearly as a consequence of her failing to find husbands for her daughters.

Eventually we are going to be able to pin down the sources for the stories Moses thought suitible for inclusion in the Bible he put together.

11 posted on 07/10/2007 6:00:46 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: blam
I'd be happy to oblige: Jeremiah 39 begins like this (NIV):

"This is how Jerusalem was taken: 1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it. 2 And on the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah's eleventh year, the city wall was broken through. 3 Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon. 4 When Zedekiah king of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled; they left the city at night by way of the king's garden, through the gate between the two walls, and headed toward the Arabah."

Some of the 'more mudance' parts of the scriptures read just like this. Many wonder why such things would be present. One obvious reason: to lend historic context to people, places, events, and time. And as this researcher has found: it holds together with outside sources.

12 posted on 07/10/2007 6:01:06 PM PDT by alancarp (How many millions have to break a law before it's inconvenient to enforce?)
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To: blam

Yes, a notable find indeed.

Although “scientific biblical criticism” could be traced back earlier, it really took off in Germany about 1870. There was a political push behind it: Bismark funded positions in German universities as one aspect of his campaign of persecution against the Catholic Church, which he thought necessary to turn Germany into a modern state.

On no particular scientific evidence, most of the Bible was declared to be fictional, or to have been pieced together from various unreliable sources.

Since then, however, archaeological discoveries have consistently confirmed the truth of the biblical narrative. This discovery is fascinating precisely because it confirms the existence of a minor figure, thus confirming that the author of Jeremiah knew what he was talking about, and was not some scribe working hundreds of years after the fact and inventing details on his whim.

Some parts of the Bible, of course, are stories, and so indicate themselves to be. But things like the Exodus from Egypt or the Babylonian exile and Persian restoration are historical facts, constantly being confirmed by small pieces of archaeological evidence.


13 posted on 07/10/2007 6:01:17 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: blam
Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, described there in a hand 2,500 years old, as "the chief eunuch" ...

He was a Republican Congressman? (sarcasm, mostly)

14 posted on 07/10/2007 6:03:15 PM PDT by airborne (COULTER: Actually, my favorite candidate is [Rep.] Duncan Hunter [R-CA], and he is magnificent.)
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To: Keflavik76
Interesting...now that the experts believe Jeremiah is fact based, can we postulate that Genesis 1:1 is true?

Sure, as soon as you provide the cuneform tablet written a few years before the creation that substantiates it...

15 posted on 07/10/2007 6:03:20 PM PDT by Charles H. (The_r0nin) (Hwt! Lr bi mst hord, solce!)
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To: blam; restornu; Utah Girl

Thanks so much blam, for posting this interesting tid-bit!

To you two gals....ping!


16 posted on 07/10/2007 6:05:28 PM PDT by colorcountry (To pursue union at the expense of truth is treason to the Lord Jesus. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon -)
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To: Enosh; colorcountry; FastCoyote; MHGinTN; Pan_Yans Wife; svcw; Elsie; aMorePerfectUnion; ...

Ping


17 posted on 07/10/2007 6:06:08 PM PDT by greyfoxx39 ("We don't want to open a box of Pandoras." - Bruce King former governor of NM, DEM)
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To: Keflavik76
Of course yet there will always be those doubters.

You know, the "realists," the "scientific community," the "elite intelligensia", running our colleges, universities and many teaching in religious seminaries, etc.

They are way, way too smart for God.

18 posted on 07/10/2007 6:08:32 PM PDT by zerosix (Native Sunflower)
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To: blam
The tablet is dated to the 10th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of Jerusalem.

Um, wouldn't that be 8 years before the seige of Jerusalem???

19 posted on 07/10/2007 6:09:10 PM PDT by Luke Skyfreeper
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To: blam
So, "Nabu-sharrussu-ukin" is the same as "Nebo-Sarsekim"???!! Maybe that's close enough for biblical scholars, but to me, it's like saying that Paul McCartney is also RuPaul.

And the "chief officer" being the same as the "chief eunuch"?? No, thanks, I don't want the benefit package on that key-man employment contract...

And even if it were 100% the very same person, how does that verify any other part of the Old Testament?

20 posted on 07/10/2007 6:09:29 PM PDT by hunter112 (Change will happen when very good men are forced to do very bad things.)
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To: greyfoxx39

Awesome to have some small verification of the authenticity of at least this portion of the Bible.

God moves in mysterious ways. This Eunuch probably didn’t understand why God was so mean to him and allowed that he be castrated. All - everything is used to God’s glory, even this small thing!


21 posted on 07/10/2007 6:09:34 PM PDT by colorcountry (To pursue union at the expense of truth is treason to the Lord Jesus. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon -)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Have you read any Palestinian-authored history texts lately?

No. And neither has anyone else.

You would have been better off suggesting any conventional history of the "Civil War" or anything about what a great man Lincoln was. History is mostly written by the victors, not losers like the "Palestinians." (Do you really think anyone will be reading present "Palestinian" histories 50 years from now?) Those histories written by the victors to do contain substantial elements of truth, while they leave out important details. Future archaeologists will confirm those elements of truth.

ML/NJ

22 posted on 07/10/2007 6:10:44 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: muawiyah
The Bible doesn’t really explain why Lot’s wife turned to (rock) salt, but the petroglyphs explain it clearly as a consequence of her failing to find husbands for her daughters.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=1&chapter=19&version=31

Genesis 19

16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”


26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

She wasn’t turned to a pillar of salt for failing to find husbands for her daughters. The daughters were betrothed but the husbands stayed in Sodom and Gomorrah.

She “looked back” and became a pillar of salt. This may mean she longed to return to the doomed cities. That’s how I’ve heard it explained.

23 posted on 07/10/2007 6:11:39 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: colorcountry

stranger why are you bothering me!


24 posted on 07/10/2007 6:12:42 PM PDT by restornu (Romney keeps his eyes on the mission, and not on those who attacks his campaigned!)
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To: blam

I thought that most of the Old Testament was written by the Jewish rabbis et al during their bondage in Babylon. If that is true, then you would expect that such a character would, if written about, exist. It may not say anything pro or con about other characters from other eras in the history.


25 posted on 07/10/2007 6:15:52 PM PDT by expatpat
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To: Keflavik76
...can we postulate that Genesis 1:1 is true?

We can "postulate" all we want because I've seen things about, and in the scripture that more than prove their authenticity.

But let's remember this, ours is a relationship based on faith and is impossible without it.

26 posted on 07/10/2007 6:16:30 PM PDT by sirchtruth (No one has the RIGHT not to be offended...)
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To: blam

27 posted on 07/10/2007 6:17:06 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: airborne
Spineless isn’t that dissimilar.
28 posted on 07/10/2007 6:17:11 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (Taz Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge)
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To: restornu

I thought I’d send you the good news that information in the Bible is possibly being verified.

That IS good news, ISN”T it?


29 posted on 07/10/2007 6:19:13 PM PDT by colorcountry (To pursue union at the expense of truth is treason to the Lord Jesus. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon -)
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To: Grizzled Bear
Alas, the OLDEST VERSION OF THE TALE has the woman turned to stone for not having gotten husbands for her daughters.

The Bible version, which is at least 4,000 years younger, ignores the woman's elemental responsibilities for her daughters' wellbeing and focuses on the plight of the hapless Lot.

The OLDEST VERSION OF THE TALE has as a moral at the end that the woman's husband then beds the daughters himself (now that momma has been turned to stone).

No doubt Moses was aghast when he first read it but he left it in (making sure, of course, that all proprieties were followed concerning nudity, and that Lot did not bear any conscious guilt himself because he was quite drunk ~ which is a defense we no longer allow).

30 posted on 07/10/2007 6:21:49 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

OLDEST VERSION OF THE TALE


Reference and Source please?


31 posted on 07/10/2007 6:24:39 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: hunter112
You have to understand that the cunuiform "characters" are more in the nature of an hieroglyph than some sort of alphabet.

They were also developed for use in a more ancient agglutinative (possibly Uralic/Altaic, or Dravidian related) language which was, in the time of Jeremiah, supplanted with a Semitic language, so there's not a perfect fit between the indicated sound and the actual sound.

Kind of like tough, though, enough, thought. The letters don't match the sounds and you tough it out every day as though you'd given enough thought to the matter to simply ignore it.

32 posted on 07/10/2007 6:26:34 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: blam

If you have room on your ping list, please add me. Every time I run across one of your GGG threads, I always enjoy it.


33 posted on 07/10/2007 6:26:38 PM PDT by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: mylife

Hey, you know the rules against profanity!


34 posted on 07/10/2007 6:28:09 PM PDT by Nachoman (My guns and my ammo, they comfort me.)
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To: Cicero
as one aspect of his campaign of persecution against the Catholic Church, which he thought necessary to turn Germany into a modern state.

Don't forget other evidence of Prussian persecution of the Catholics. They funded completion of the Cathedral in Colonge, which the Catholics had been building for about 500 years.

35 posted on 07/10/2007 6:28:44 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: colorcountry
"even this small thing!"

WHAT small thing!?

*Cringe*

36 posted on 07/10/2007 6:28:58 PM PDT by Enosh ()
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To: hunter112
Admiral He, the man in charge of the Chinese Treasure Fleet in the early 1400s was also "the chief eunuch".

So, yeah, this all rings true. Real folks doing the jobs imaginary folks can't do.

37 posted on 07/10/2007 6:29:26 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Enosh

Does that make my story about a cross dressing Rudy true?


38 posted on 07/10/2007 6:30:42 PM PDT by LeGrande (Muslims, Jews and Christians all believe in the same God of Abraham.)
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To: Cicero
Here is a further aside regarding the veracity of the Bible. Where the scriptures translate in verse 5:2 Book of Daniel, the Hebrew word ‘av’ to read father, it can also be translated as ancestor or predecessor; Belshazzar was not the direct son of Nebuchadnezzar but he was descended from him through his mother who married Nabonides.

Nabonides is considered the last great king of Babylon. His relationship with the previous Kings of Babylon is unclear, perhaps he was once a great general, but he came to the throne by overthrowing a young king named Labashi-Marduk.

It is likely Nabonides substantiated his claim to the throne by marrying Nitocris, a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, since he was not a blood relative to Nebuchadnezzar.

Being a religious eccentric, in 549 BC Nabonides left Babylon to live at Teyma (Tema) located in what is now Saudi Arabia northeast of Hijaz, where the ancient trade route between Medina and Dumah crosses the Nefud desert.

While on religious sojourn Nabonides left his son behind to rule in Babylon, but Belshazzar never fully came to the throne. Skeptics believed that the writer of Daniel made an historical error in calling Belshazzar king, but when Belshazzar told Daniel that if he could interpret the strange writing on the wall he (Daniel) would be granted authority in the kingdom as third ruler, the scriptures show a detail which lends credence to the account.

Belshazzar was not the first ruler of the kingdom, but he was in a secondary position, appointed to reign in Babylon while his father was away. By Babylonian tradition, all in the city with the secondary ruler would call him king. Belshazzar offered to Daniel third position, so the writer of the Book faithfully related the fact as a minor detail, and then much later archaeological evidence substantiated the trivia.

These findings in archaeology show that the writer of Daniel was telling of a real man named Belshazzar, thus the other details are likely true, also. These were no fables.

Of course, the way the name of Belshazzar became an accept actual person of Babylonian ruling household is a story in itself, how a discovered chit in a tower foundation named him.

39 posted on 07/10/2007 6:31:00 PM PDT by MHGinTN (You've had life support. Promote life support for those in the womb.)
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To: Grizzled Bear; muawiyah
Reference and Source please?

Read it somewhere on the interweb

40 posted on 07/10/2007 6:31:48 PM PDT by tx_eggman (Democrat Campaign Slogan - 2006: "Bring Out The Gimp!")
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To: blam

“you pays your money, and you takes your chances.”

- Nabu-sharrussu-ukin


41 posted on 07/10/2007 6:32:22 PM PDT by Clioman
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To: Grizzled Bear
Just flip back to the thread to my reference. We've discussed this one before. I believe the petroglyphs for this one are actually at the Hermitage which is presently in use as a quite serious museum in the city of Petrograd in Russia.

There are thousands of other petroglyphs still out on site throughout Nickel Oblast and nearby towns and counties in Finland and Russia.

42 posted on 07/10/2007 6:33:45 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: LeGrande
"Does that make my story about a cross dressing Rudy true?"

Yup, with an added, though not unexpected, detail.

43 posted on 07/10/2007 6:36:02 PM PDT by Enosh ()
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To: muawiyah
Admiral He, the man in charge of the Chinese Treasure Fleet in the early 1400s was also "the chief eunuch".

I did read that in National Geographic a couple of years ago, but as I seem to recall, it was described more as an accident that he was in a position to rise to great power. Still, not the kind of perk that most prospective executives look forward to...ouch!

44 posted on 07/10/2007 6:38:01 PM PDT by hunter112 (Change will happen when very good men are forced to do very bad things.)
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To: muawiyah
...it’s an ancient tale also told in pictoglyphs in Northern Finland and nearby Russia.

Are you saying the definitive source for an event in the Holy Lands are Finnish pictoglyphs?

Thank you but I’ll stick to the Bible.

45 posted on 07/10/2007 6:38:28 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Enosh

Shrinkage?


46 posted on 07/10/2007 6:38:28 PM PDT by colorcountry (To pursue union at the expense of truth is treason to the Lord Jesus. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon -)
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To: muawiyah

The Biblical account has the daughters getting their father drunk and then bedding him. The tale got it backwards.


47 posted on 07/10/2007 6:40:49 PM PDT by christianhomeschoolmommaof3 (new poster, not enough time to think up a clever tagline.)
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To: Grizzled Bear
Look, do you really believe God neglected to reveal Himself to the ancients?

The evidence is, as Moses told us, the records were there in Egypt for him to look at and assemble.

Supplement that with a few direct revelations to Moses and you have one humdinger of a book.

Most serious authorities believe Moses's work was further edited some time in his future. Frankly, I think Moses did the job himself (with God's assistance of course).

48 posted on 07/10/2007 6:42:45 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: colorcountry

I thought perhaps you meant the ... uh... procedure... was a “small thing” instead of the archaeological find...

Uh...

Oh, look! A butterfly!


49 posted on 07/10/2007 6:43:16 PM PDT by Enosh ()
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To: christianhomeschoolmommaof3; muawiyah

Lot’s daughters did that because they thought the whole world was destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah.

They thought they were the only ones left.


50 posted on 07/10/2007 6:47:00 PM PDT by Enosh ()
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