David Rohl Reads My Blog!?!

UPDATE: New visitors coming from Rohl’s FB page, see this post (added 6:40 PM EST).

Yes, I have it on possibly good grounds (an email address with David Rohl’s name) that David Rohl, retired (and failed*) chronological revisionist with an outdated paper library, reads my blog and has been subscribed to it by email since August 27 of this year. I certainly didn’t know that David Rohl now lives in Spain before today! David Rohl also accepts the hypothesis (which I presently see as dubious) that most Christian theology is directly based on Egyptian religion. He also appears to accept the equally-dubious hypothesis that Egyptian-Sumerian contacts first occurred by boat on the Eastern Red Sea coast (I say they occurred by land, as that is a more parsimonious hypothesis).

* The mark of success is acceptance by academia. Israel Finkelstein (active) and David Ussishkin (retired) have been by far the most successful chronological revisionists of the archaeology of Palestine of the past 50 years. George Grena (never active in relevant academia, not yet retired) and Peter van Der Veen have also been successful chronological revisionists, helping to revise the then (c. 2000 AD) -dominant Ussishkin-defended Pre-Sennacherib Only view of the lmlk impressions.

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Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

34 thoughts on “David Rohl Reads My Blog!?!”

  1. About “David Rohl reads my blog.” I didn’t see the point or purpose of the blog, other than to say bad things about someone. David’s chronology is where the evidence leads — some invent their chronology then try to lead the evidence.

    1. This is a very, very small and little-visited blog. Any publicly prominent reader of this blog is an extraordinary outlier, and, consequently, must be noted to inform the rest of the audience.

    2. Surely all ancient historians do some of both? It seems almost inevitable given the patchiness of the data, and the difficulties of matching texts and archaeology. We all tell “just-so” stories to explain oddities and anomalies, too. We all know it. Why not just fess up?

  2. There are too many parallels between the Bible and Egypt to ignore. The fact that they were slaves in Egypt for a very long time tells me that Egyptian society had to have rubbed off on them. Typically when an ethnic population is absorbed through slavery of any kind, the masters do not tollerate the traditions of it’s slaves to poison their own population. The slaves themselves would have no control over the master’s culture rubbing off on them or their young since they would’ve typically been forced to accept it and live it. As for the Sumerian culture coming into contact via the sea I view that as completely plausible. They had boats for commerce with other nations. This would’ve provided the easiest way for the Sumerians and Egyptians to meet. Since Sumerian culture preceeded Egyptian culture I’d presume that their culture made contact with the Egyptians and influenced them to a greater degree. At such an early time in human culture the Sumerian culture would’ve been copied in as much as technology was concerned. The Bible contains a history that stretches back in time, giving us a picture of what came before the Jewish culture. What comes after is only a continuation of what came before. I agree with David Rohl. Why go on foot or by camel when you can go by boat?

    1. There are too many parallels between the Bible and Egypt to ignore.

      -I don’t think they’re typically ignored by contemporary scholarship. There was clearly some (though not a whole lot of) Egyptian influence on the Israelites described in the Pentateuch (see Hoffmeier, Ancient Israel In Sinai, Chapters 8 through 10), though whether the Egyptian influence came from the Israelites once being slaves in Egypt (a doubtful, but not completely impossible hypothesis) or via merchants and diplomats traveling between Judah and Egypt, is another question. I will discuss the Sumer-Egypt sea contact hypothesis in another blog post.

  3. Your blog and observations about DR are rude and insulting. They are not the mark of a scientist.

    A hypothesis is what it is. The proposition that some Christian theology is derived from Egyptian religion is worthy of examination and Rohl examines well.

    The Egyptian-Sumerian sea contact hypothesis is as worthy as any other about early paddlers between islands or coastal regions. You argue that contact occured by land – as sparce and frugal a proposition as any – unless you have the evidence.

    “The mark of success is acceptance by academia”! Wow, what supreme confidence you have in the scree of superficially read and routinely forgotten academic mud. Never forget the problem of generalisation. There are holes in lots of buckets, dear Lisa.

    Applaud Finkelstein, Ussishkin, Grena and v. der Veen as bodies striving to explain. Applaud, be thankful and don’t slag off. Good scientists continue to test hypotheses to ascertain the truth of propositions. They also retire. Your viperous broadsides disturb and you are marked and scarred.

    1. Your blog and observations about DR are rude and insulting. They are not the mark of a scientist.

      -My observations are as objective as I could make them. They were certainly not intended to be read as rude or insulting. I am writing a post in which I will respond to my detractors at Rohl’s Facebook page and will discuss the Sumer-Egypt sea contact hypothesis.

      Never forget the problem of generalisation. There are holes in lots of buckets, dear Lisa.

      -I do not understand the meaning of these sentences. Can you please elaborate?

      Your last sentence is clearly an attempt to make me delete your comment.

  4. If I may add my two-penneth worth. I don’t insist that my ideas or hypotheses are right and immune from criticism … I wouldn’t be so arrogant. I offer up well reasoned proposals for others to test out and debate. I was trained in several disciplines at UCL and paid my dues in those disciplines, but I don’t follow the usual academic practice of keeping my mouth shut if I see a problem or identify a series of anomalies or observe methodological failures, just to keep my head below the parapet. Instead I point them out, offer alternative explanations and expect well reasoned arguments challenging my views in turn. I do not expect or accept blind repetitious rhetoric and ridicule as a response. The ancient world deserves better than that. I knew that this approach would set me against orthodoxy and cast me into the wilderness of heterodoxy … but that was the price I knew I would have to pay in order to highlight the challenges to orthodox chronology and historical reconstruction. I believe that this has been a useful and enlivening process for those with open minds, but many within academia simply don’t have any interest in re-examining their disciplines at this foundational level. Many also don’t have the expertise to deal with the complex issues of chronology and rely on the few experts in the field for their opinions and collective responses. I would argue that conventional or orthodox histories should be constantly challenged because they are far from secure in themselves and contain an abundance of issues within their hypothetical chronologies. And, yes, orthodox chronologies of the ancient world are just that – hypotheses. History is a series of reasoned hypotheses … it is not the past … historical reconstruction is just our best guess at what happened. If what I offer is not seen to be valuable amongst the majority of academics then that is very sad and speaks more to the current state of the historical disciplines than it does to my abilities as a researcher of interesting and challenging areas of human civilisation.

    1. Questions:
      1. Why do you read this obscure blog? What brought you here?
      2. Did you respond to this paper?

      I don’t follow the usual academic practice of keeping my mouth shut if I see a problem or identify a series of anomalies or observe methodological failures, just to keep my head below the parapet

      -From what I’ve seen, academia is filled with criticism of conventional academic wisdom.

      If what I offer is not seen to be valuable amongst the majority of academics then that is very sad and speaks more to the current state of the historical disciplines than it does to my abilities as a researcher of interesting and challenging areas of human civilisation.

      -Why do you think this?

      1. No, how I came to your blog was in researching the Gebel el-Lawz question (which is your blog title). I found your summary and critique very interesting and in agreement with my own research (for a book I am currently writing on the Exodus).

        It is pretty clear that you have little or no experience of academia in the ancient world disciplines. I do and I know many who are well aware of what goes on. Do you not recall Max Planck’s old adage that a new idea has to wait for one generation of scholars to die out before it can be accepted by a new generation not encumbered by the hang-ups of the older generation? There are many Egyptologists rising to positions of authority and responsibility in the discipline today who have written to me personally to say that they were introduced to the subject by my books and TV series and that these influenced them to take up places at university, for which they will always be grateful.

    2. I’ve responded to your Facebook post and the comments on it here. I’ve also sent you a friend request as “Enopoletus Harding” so that I may be able to respond to my detractors on your Facebook post more directly.

  5. About the Hebrew religion being influenced by Egyptian religion;;;
    There are themes in the scriptures that appear to come from Egyptian thinking and pretty much from all the major belief systems of the whole world. … How many times did Jesus say, “Let it be as you have believed?”
    It appears that God gives men what they have chosen to believe … but look closer;; Men have made up their mythologies (which are fiction), but if God tells the same or similar stories, His version is true. Scripture is carefully worded, filled with puns, and doesn’t always say what it appears.
    If you want to relate Hebrew religion to others of the time and place;; One of my favorite examples is the temple with the arc of the covenant in it. Other temples of the period were almost identical, except their arc was called an osuary, and contained the bones of the dead god king.
    I think the message is clear, Hebrews don’t have any bones of their God King because He got up n left …. it’s prophetic of the empty tomb.

    1. Other temples of the period were almost identical, except their arc was called an osuary, and contained the bones of the dead god king.

      -Rong, rong, rong. There was never a macabre practice of placing ossuaries in the holiest parts of temples. The closest parallels to the Ark of the Covenant are Egyptian throne shrines (Hoffmeier, Ancient Israel in Sinai, Figures 37-40).

      1. I believe there were several religions which worshiped the bones of their god king … whether any were in Egypt, I don’t know.
        The practice was derived from ancestor worship … people kept, worshiped, and built shrines for the bones of their dead ancestors … a practice that is widespread to this day.

        1. I don’t know of anything of this practice in the Ancient Near East. Perhaps you were thinking of China (of which I know nothing about), in which ancestor worship surely does exist?

          1. Yeah, China is cool … also Shintoism of Japan where they not only worship their ancestors, but also the emperor … however, I don’t think they keep bones in a box for purpose of worship … I might be wrong.
            If you are interested, you might want to look up the term rephaim. It’s been translated in the old testament as “giants”, or “spirits of the dead”, but it literally means “healers.”
            In the area of the middle east, especially around Tyre and Sydon, if someone was ill or injured, they would pray to their ancestors for healing. That is why they called them rephaim … (healers)

            1. Ok, I don’t usually give citations because I am the source. You can find “rpa” for heal ;; “rpawth” for medicine ;; “rpaim” for healers, in ;;;
              Koehler Baumgartner, the Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, study edition, volume 2, copyright 2001, page number 1274.
              You might also check Strong’s ; word numbers — 7495, 7498, 7499, 7500,7501 —
              The problem with Strong’s dictionary, and most cheap lexicons is that they define words in accord with how they have been translated in some particular version of the Bible. … So if the translators got it wrong, the lexicon will simply perpetuate the error.

        1. A deliberate misspelling of “wrong”. This misspelling is used by me because “rong” sounds like the sound of a large bell, thus adding a musical quality to my claim that something is incorrect.

  6. I have read three of David Rohl’s books on the ancient Middle East and Egypt and found them thoroughly enlightening and detailed accounts. I think a lot of good independent thought and research went into the works and they were elegantly readable. They expanded my own knowledge of the Bible and holy lands. Although it is impossible to agree with all of David’s ideas, he has displayed remarkable tenacity in producing his book series and I for one think that the books are essential reads for anyone who has an interest in the Bible. I’ve gone as far as to lend them out to Jehovah’s witnesses to prove certain points in my theological discussions with them. I find the books, From Eden to Exile, in particular, as great source documents for any form of discussion on religion. Most of the ideas and thinking in orthodoxy have been tainted and corrupted by the church and governments throughout history so I would be naturally inclined to dispute most of the orthodox facts. David Rohl is a beacon in the world of religious studies and should not be ignored or ridiculed. When you have your own successful library published, maybe you will find yourself staring down the barrel of the detractor’s gun.

        1. Totally reliant on the internet for your knowledge eh?

          -No. I do own some dead-tree books such as On the Reliability of the Old Testament, The Archaeology of Ancient Israel, The Horsemen of Israel, The Excavations at Bethel, and two volumes by Nadav Na’aman.

          1. Not exactly what I would call a big library. You need to do some further reading (and not just the rubbish you find on the internet). I have 2000 research books, many of which are not out of date as you seem to think.

            1. I own somewhere between 15 and 20 books that relate to the Near East (including books that relate to Biblical studies). True, not exactly what anyone would call a big library, but this is much more manageable than a library of 2000 books. I tend to buy books only when I am sure I can’t find the information in them for free online (The Excavations of Bethel, The Horsemen of Israel, Chieftains of the Highland Clans, Holy Relics or Revelation) or when I can find the information in them for free online, but when I am sure that having easy access to them in dead-tree form will be a much larger benefit to me than merely continuing to Preview them in Google Books (Ancient Israel in Sinai, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, The Archaeology of Ancient Israel, the two Na’aman volumes). Not all that is on the Internet is rubbish. For example, academia.edu is a huge treasure trove of papers by all sorts of scholars. I hope to buy about three to four more books relating to the Near East by the end of this year (though I first wish to finish reviewing Provan, Long, and Longman’s Biblical History of Israel, a book of Judeo-Christian apologetics I partially regret buying). The good thing about buying very few books is that there are very few books I regret buying-by far my biggest regret was Hoffmeier’s Ancient Israel in Egypt (the Ancient Israel in Sinai book is much better). Using Google Books is often much easier and more useful* than buying a book.
              *There’s no search feature in paper books!

  7. Hey, I have books too … they are crowding me out of house n home … and I have already given away 90 percent of them.
    My most expensive book is a typeset copy of Wycliffe’s Bible (both versions) … also have a photo copy of Wycliffe’s New Testament (hand written version) …
    Have tons of lexicons and reference books … and books on NW Semitic grammars — Assyrian, Ugaritic, Eblaitic, Canaanite, Phoenician, Hebrew … I actually published a book on Aramaic grammar …
    I like being able to search the net for info, but how do you know what is correct and what is just alot of B.S. … everyone seems to have an opinion.
    I think I’ll make my own website and let anyone post data on it … and let anyone else verify the data to make sure it’s right … and then find someone else to delete the vulgarities when the arguments get out of hand.

  8. I don’t know if my comment will be posted.

    I will attempt to post it.

    I am glad that I read some of your more prolific negative ones, and I think you really like kidding(Joking) with each other in such a rough way.

    I also enjoy reading David Rohl’s posts when it is opportune.

    Have s Very Happy New Year, All Of you.

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