Skip to comments.Biblical Plagues and Parting of Red Sea caused by Volcano
Posted on 11/11/2002 12:44:06 PM PST by Betty Jane
Biblical plagues and parting of Red Sea 'caused by volcano'
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Fresh evidence that the Biblical plagues and the parting of the Red Sea were natural events rather than myths or miracles is to be presented in a new BBC documentary.
Moses, which will be broadcast next month, will suggest that much of the Bible story can be explained by a single natural disaster, a huge volcanic eruption on the Greek island of Santorini in the 16th century BC.
Using computer-generated imagery pioneered in Walking With Dinosaurs, the programme tells the story of how Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt after a series of plagues had devastated the country. But it also uses new scientific research to argue that many of the events surrounding the exodus could have been triggered by the eruption, which would have been a thousand times more powerful than a nuclear bomb.
Dr Daniel Stanley, an oceanographer who has found volcanic shards in Egypt that he believes are linked to the explosion, tells the programme: "I think it would have been a frightening experience. It would have been heard. The blast ash would have been felt."
Computer simulations by Mike Rampino, a climate modeller from New York University, show that the resulting ash cloud could have plunged the area into darkness, as well as generating lightning and hail, two of the 10 plagues.
The cloud could have also reduced the rainfall, causing a drought. If the Nile had then been poisoned by the effects of the eruption, pollution could have turned it red, as happened in a recent environmental disaster in America.
The same pollution could have driven millions of frogs on to the land, the second plague. On land the frogs would die, removing the only obstacle to an explosion of flies and lice - the third and fourth plagues.
The flies could have transmitted fatal diseases to cattle (the fifth plague) and boils and blisters to humans (the sixth plague).
The hour-long documentary argues that even the story of the parting of the Red Sea, which allowed Moses to lead the Hebrews to safety while the pursuing Egyptian army was drowned, may have its origins in the eruption.
It repeats the theory that "Red Sea" is a mistranslation of the Sea of Reeds, a much shallower swamp.
Computer simulations show that the Santorini eruption could have triggered a 600ft-high tidal wave, travelling at about 400 miles an hour, which would have been 6ft high and a hundred miles long when it reached the Egyptian delta.
Such an event would have been remembered for generations, and may have provided the inspiration for the story.
Jean-Claude Bragard, the director, said: "Sifting through the latest historical research and utilising new archaeological tools, we have been able to find a surprising amount of circumstantial evidence for the Biblical tales."
Moses, which is presented by Jeremy Bowen, the former Middle East correspondent, will be broadcast on BBC1 on Dec 1.
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2002.
Anyone know what this is a reference to?
Weekly World News reports Three More Commandments Found.
One of the most unlikely-to-be-useful of the worst case scenerio survival tips is to start running if you are near a shoreline and this happens.
Funny the article didn't offer any explanation about the death of the firstborn, or any of the other plagues that only afflicted the Egyptians, despite the Israelites living within their midst.
Or when it decides to pile up unnaturally like dirt, and leave a dry path in front of you.
One should be even more suspicious when the last Israelite's feet leave the riverbed in front of you.
"Let God be true and every man a liar..."
It's one thing to be sceptical, but this is just plain silly.
Nowhere near as amusing as Velikovsky's theory that the Exodus were caused by the planet Venus erupting from Jupiter and passing close to the Earth.
That one "explains" the manna as well. Carbohyrates condensed from the Venusian atmosphere, of course.
1. The ash from Santorini has been found all over Egypt.
2. The Red Sea was landlocked during the Ice Age, go here and see that it is so and that the Persian Gulf was completely dry, another 'flood story?'
Earthquakes or tidal waves from Santorini could have breached the dam seperating the Red Sea from the world's oceans and swept the Egyptians away.The Red Sea was reconnected at some point, why not then?
3. One account has Santorini erupting due to an asteroid/comet impact
4. The bibical 'staff by day, torch by night' quote could be from the erupting plume of Santorini. The plume would need to be thirty miles high to be seen in Egypt. The recent Pinatubo volcano was 26 miles high.
5. The rubble from the destruction of Jerico is appropriately dated (charred wheat) just above the Santorini ash layer.
There are other 'tidbits' that I cannot remember presently but will add later on to the thread if/as I remember them.