This blog, written by your host “pithom”, otherwise known as “E. Harding”, shall discuss biblical and ancient geography from an atheistic and Skeptical viewpoint. The title comes from the page which shows the errors of Rudd, Wyatt, and Cornuke in their belief that Jebel al-Lawz is Mount Sinai. It was founded on December 29, 2010, around 11-12 AM, Eastern Time.
I view all the Bible as a Herodotus or Virgil-like official account of Israel’s history, the earliest parts being the most completely fictitious due to the authors’ lack of knowledge, the latest being merely propagandistic. They were meant by the author to be set in a clear reality. I agree there might be some kernels of history in the biblical account before the Omride era (such as Shishak’s campaign, the importance of Shiloh, the location of Earliest Jerusalem, Mizpah’s construction in Asa’s day, ect.), however, I view the vast majority of these accounts as fiction. The core of Genesis to Kings was, as shown quite a few decades ago, completed in the late 7th century, with additions in the Exilic to Hasmonean periods. The works describing the Persian period, meanwhile, were all written during the 2nd C BC. I am forced by the radiocarbon dates and the Shoshenq I list to preliminarily accept Finkelstein’s present Low Chronology (slightly modified from the original, which places the beginning of Iron IIa after 925 BC; the Iron IIa in fact began a decade or so before that). However, the old errors of Finkelstein and Silberman and the Christ Mythers shall not here be repeated.
I admit a strained case can be made for a hypothesis (one which does NOT accept exotic pagan parallels), which makes Jesus a product of visions and elaborations (e.g. Jesus born and crucified in heaven) with the help of the OT (Septuagint) and Christian tradition (e.g., miracle healings), and of course, textual corruptions in 1 Thess 2 and Rom 1. I concede the Josephus passages can be dispensed with if Origen had a serious misunderstanding about the origin of the James death tradition (e.g., it did not come from Josephus, but, rather, from Hegesippus), but I doubt total forgery of these passages is likely. There have been good defenses for Jesus’s historicity over the years (this not being one of them). In any case, the gospels are not biographies, but expositions of Jesus’s divinity written after the deaths of Peter and Paul and should be treated accordingly. They rely mostly on fabrications and distortions of fabrications, having within them only a small core of history. They are not meant to be histories or biographies, even in the classical sense. I find absolutely no need to believe the idea the corpse of Jesus became re-animated, for the same reasons as those outlined by Richard Carrier.
Regarding politics; I view government as an inevitable evil, and that it might be necessary to prevent the public goods problem. However, I find it absolutely necessary governments act as private entities to help avoid misleading impressions. The best defenses of anarchy come from Roderick Long.
Regarding Young Earth Creationism, see the Chronology page on this blog for a history of humanity, mostly centering on Palestine, Answers in Creation regarding geology, and the Talk Origins archive list regarding everything else.
Regarding other matters, see the Skeptic’s Dictionary.
Pieces of general importance on this blog are the page titled “Jerusalem”, listing placemarks and their latitude and longitude of landmarks in the area, the page titled “Against Jebel al-Lawz” (shortened “AJaL”, the most detailed refutation of the Jebel al-Lawz position there is), this copy of Shishak’s list. My Exodus Calendar is here. My analysis of the Numbers/Deuteronomy Wanderings is here. My post on Kadesh-Barnea and Tell Qudeirat is here.
Regarding Conspiracy Theories: I have written a guide for makers of conspiracy movies here.
Regarding Velikovsky: This post especially, proving Velikovsky to be totally ****ed in the head regarding Kadesh on the Arantu is my longest. Practically all the anti-Velikovsky posts, especially those against Emmet Sweeney regarding the Land of Punt and the Queen of Sheba toward the bottom are worth reading. As for catastrophism, me not being a physicist, see here, here, here, here, here, and here.
For a description of the archaeological history of Palestine, from the earliest times to today, see the “Chronology page.
My miscellaneous notable pieces include the thread on Ur Kasdim (in which I admit Abraham’s Ur might be in N. Mesopotamia) is here. My discussion on Naucratis is here. The classic one about Herodotus’s Cadytis is here. If one wishes to find how Megiddo was identified, go here. For Yenoam, go here.
About Me: I have never visited any place in Palestine (though I have visited Russia and Belarus), nor am I a certified expert on any subject I write about in this blog. However, I do tend to be correct regarding the things I write about. If you find even a single error on this blog, PLEASE let me know in the comments. The Ur debate is a great example of how my views can be changed.