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April 14th, 2014
11:44 AM ET

Five things you didn’t know about Moses

By Joel S. Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - Moses: the main character of the Torah, the paradigmatic law-giver and the star of multiple motion pictures.

As Passover rolls around again and Jews the world over retell the story of Moses’s big moment, it’s worth remembering that there are aspects of Moses that haven’t made it to the big screen or into public consciousness.

For example, here are five things you probably didn’t know about the Hebrew prophet.

1. Moses was probably Egyptian.

The most important piece of evidence for this is his name.

In the Bible, it is explained that his name is derived from the Hebrew word mashah, “to draw,” as in “to draw him from the waters of the Nile,” where he had been hidden as an infant.

Unfortunately, it is awfully hard to get from that verb to the name Moses, which would probably mean something like “the one who draws," which isn’t how the story goes.

The name Moses is in fact a good Egyptian name meaning “son.” It’s a common element in the names of many pharaohs, such as Tuthmoses and, most famously, Ramesses (“son of Ra”).

That well-known narrative in which Moses’ mother hides him in the Nile until he is found and raised by the pharaoh’s daughter looks a lot like a heavy-handed attempt to explain that despite all the indications that Moses was Egyptian — especially his name — he was actually Israelite.

There’s also the little passage in Exodus that suggests that Moses was uncircumcised, as was his son — unexpected, to say the least, for a native Israelite.

2. Moses wasn’t anti-slavery.

He has a reputation as the great liberator. And it’s true, he did liberate the Israelites from Egypt.

But Moses didn’t have anything against slavery as an institution, only against the enslavement of the Israelites by the Egyptians.

The Israelites themselves were expected to have slaves of their own: both their fellow Israelites, who were to be treated relatively well, and non-Israelites, who received no such kindness.

Moses tells the Israelites that if they hit a slave so hard that the slave dies on the spot, that’s bad. But if the slave survives for a day or two and then dies, no punishment is required, “since he is the other’s property.”

3. Moses had a black wife.

True story. And not his first wife, either; that was Tziporah, the daughter of Jethro, a Midianite priest.

This is his second wife, a Cushite, Cush being the ancient name for Ethiopia.

If you’re bothered by this, you’re not alone. Aaron and Miriam, Moses’ own brother and sister, think it’s a bad thing, too.

But if you think that their objections justify your discomfort, there you’re wrong.

God reprimands Aaron and gives Miriam a skin disease for speaking out against Moses.

To be fair, Aaron and Miriam are bothered by inter-ethnic marriage, not interracial marriage. Since, in all likelihood, Moses — being Egyptian and all — was probably pretty dark-skinned himself.

4. Moses didn’t come up with a single law.

Moses is the paradigmatic law-giver, not the paradigmatic law-maker.

There isn’t a single law in the Torah that Moses claims to have come up with all by himself. Every law he gives the Israelites was dictated to him by God.

The New Testament refers to the law, usually in a negative sense, as something that Moses commanded. But this is deceptive (intentionally or unintentionally).

It may be that the laws of the Old Testament were all consigned to the dustbin when Jesus came along. But they weren’t commanded by Moses; they were the word of God.

Don’t shoot the messenger.

5. Moses didn’t write the Torah.

Despite the well-established Jewish and Christian tradition, the Torah never says, or even remotely suggests, that Moses wrote it.

The Bible does refer to the Torah as “the book of Moses.” But this doesn’t mean that Moses wrote the Torah, any more than “the book of Job” was written by Job or “the book of Kings” was written by Kings. “The book of Moses” means the book in which Moses is the main character — as in Job, or Kings.

The Torah is written in the third person from start to finish. Even the great speech of Deuteronomy is a reported speech: It begins with “These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel” and ends with Moses’ death.

The verse in Deuteronomy that states that “Moses wrote down this Torah” isn’t proof that he actually wrote the Torah. Again: He’s a character, and in any case he’s taking dictation, not composing anything himself.

A final note on this point. If Moses did write the Torah, then consider this verse in Numbers: “Now Moses was a very humble man, more so than any other man on earth.”

If Moses wrote that, he’s at worst a liar and at best a serious humblebragger. It’s probably fortunate, then, that he didn’t write that verse, or any other, for that matter.

Joel S. Baden is the author of “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero” and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Egypt • Holidays • Israel • Judaism • Moses • Opinion • Passover • Torah

soundoff (582 Responses)
  1. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    I am really convinced that the second coming of Christ is at hand.

    Why?

    It is not only the secular world legalizing gayness and fornication, but also nearly all churches. That is the great apostasy St. Paul predicted.

    Furthermore, nearly no more Gentiles convert to the faith in Jesus. Seemingly, the plenty of the Gentiles has entered the kingdom of heaven, and within a short time God will open up Israel's eyes that they may realize Jesus as their Messiah.

    We will face significant changes soon. Are you ready?

    April 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      LOLOLOLOL Comedy Gold!!!

      April 14, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • Doris

      "I am really convinced that the second coming of Christ is at hand."

      Well if you can get a hold of him, send him right over – I have several chores I need assistance with...

      April 14, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • snuffleupagus

      Rabid Rainer says" "I am really convinced that the second coming of Christ is at hand." Really? I thought "fornication" was legal in Germany. You know, the girls in their Mecedes...

      April 14, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
    • Akira

      Nonsense.
      Further, I find it astounding that you feel God would consider the 'sin' of two people who love each other, who happen to be of the sane gender, would be the tipping point of His wrath.

      But we know what makes you froth at the mouth.

      April 14, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        He perceives it as abomination and disgust. He cannot endure it at all.

        April 14, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • Doris

          If the God of Abraham were real and I were he, I would not some pompous earthly being speaking on my behalf.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Akira

          There you go speaking for God again. Heretic.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          And what of all those people who have forgotten those other things God finds to be abominations. E.g., how many ignore Leviticus 11:10 (King James Version):

          "And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you"

          April 15, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
    • kudlak

      More likely Paul himself taught the apostasy. Jesus appears to have meant his message for fellow Jews.

      April 14, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
    • ausphor

      Helmut
      Are you ready. why wait? Swallow a bottle of extra strength Tylenol and wash it down with a liter of peach schnapps. Jesus is awaiting.

      April 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • fortheloveofellipsis

      Rainy, I finally have to say this. Just go ahead and try Teh Gay Se.x(tm) like you're obviously desperate to try but to timid to actually attempt. People this obsessive about Teh Gay(tm) are almost always closet cases themselves, so why not just take the plunge and try it like you want to?...

      April 14, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
      • fortheloveofellipsis

        "TOO timid." Maybe it's time to get the lens prescription checked again...

        April 14, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
  2. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Why doesn't Exodus mention "Pharaoh" by name? (Perhaps there is one and I just missed it.)

    Exodus gives detailed genealogies of the Israelites, (Exodus 6:13 etc) so why not even a passing reference to "Pharaoh" by name. We have a pretty good list of the Pharaohs thanks to the Egyptians.

    It sure would help with the credibility of Exodus had there been any reference to a specific Pharaoh.

    It's interesting that even in Exodus, "God" is still "El-Shaddai".

    April 14, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
  3. Chris

    If Jochebed is not the mother of Moses, who was his mother?

    Who were Aaron and Miriam?

    April 14, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • igaftr

      Miraim went on to write a dictionary, and Aaron was the home run king for a while.

      April 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
      • snuffleupagus

        Igaftr, but who's on first?

        April 14, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • igaftr

          that is correct...he is.
          Aaron played right feild, and Mirram defines baseball as:

          : a game played on a large field by two teams of nine players who try to score runs by hitting a small ball with a bat and then running to each of the four bases without being put out

          : the ball used in baseball

          God loved baseball too...the first words in the bible...In the big Inning...

          April 14, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • Akira

      Where does Baden say that Jochebed isn't Moses's mother?
      Aaron and Miriam were Moses's siblings.

      April 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
    • kudlak

      Characters invented to add credence to the claim that Moses was a Hebrew?

      April 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
      • readerpan

        Moses was fictional so it stands to reason that Aaron and Miriam were, as well.

        April 18, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      So if Moses was an Egyptian, why does Exodus 2 say of Moses that "2 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son."

      And how does Aaron live if Pharaoh says:

      22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.

      Unless Aaron is only metaphorically his "brother". It's the usual tangled mess with trying to conflate myth as history.

      April 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
  4. neverbeenhappieratheist

    Should have tltled this "5 Things Christians don't want to hear about Moses."

    April 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
  5. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Further meaning of the law of the Torah:

    Through the law God tells us concretely that our life doesn't please him. We do many things which cause his comment: You shalt not!!! Very often we act against the principle of love of neighbour, and then God says: "You shalt not!"

    The adequate answer would be that we call for a redeemer when we notice our sinfulness through the law. We should cry out for deliverance, because if we are honest, we must admit that the law alone did not reduce our number of sins, but even increased it, because the sin within us used the law as an opportunity, and we sinned even more under the law, than without law.

    Therefore, dear Jews, cry out for a redeemer who gives you a new life, who himself wants to lead you: This is Jesus from Nazareth. He can set us free. He, Jesus, the law-giver, will dwell in us, and lead us. How shall we sin any more when the law-giver leads us? That is the perfect solution. Israel convert today!

    April 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
    • Jill

      Ponderously Boring Rainer Helmut Braendlein, sequester your mustard and abolish your putrid leotards. Don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

      Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      April 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
    • Akira

      What is your education?

      April 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        The law-giver dwells in me. That is enough.

        April 14, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • Akira

          In other words, you can't hold a candle to Baden, but see fit to lie about him, anyway. Isn't that breaking the 9th Commandment?

          You're to OBEY the laws, not give them. Such hubris!

          April 14, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Ridiculous!

          April 14, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • Doris

          "The law-giver dwells in me. That is enough."

          The well-educated Christian group that sacrificed a baby a couple of years ago thought the same thing.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • Akira

          You are ridiculous, Rainier, if you are elevating yourself to the same level as God.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Of course, only Jesus had the Spirit in fulness, because he was God. Yet, every Christian has at least a gift of the Spirit. He dwells in me, but not in fulness.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • Akira

          And of course that gives you the right to lie about people, Rainier? Because I'm pretty sure that's not in the spirit of Jesus.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
    • henrystockwell

      Apparently you don't realize that if you follow the two commandments handed down to us from Jesus Christ (Love God with all your heart and Love your neighbor), that you indeed fulfill all Ten Commandments.

      What more do you need?

      April 18, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
  6. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Let me tell you my dear American friends it is really a catastrophe that such a dabbler like Mr. Baden is allowed to write articles on such a frequented blog. Judgement Day is very near (legalization of gayness): I have very little hope for you America when your scholars of Divinity spread such an outrageous nonsense – that is nearly a crime.

    Spritually seen America is a burden for the mankind – no vista, only confusion.

    April 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Judgement Day is very near..."
      You're not only a bigot, you're a mentally imbalanced bigot.

      April 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • colin31714

      Rainer, it is another Biblical prophesy come true! America is legalizing gay marriage and marijuana. Leviticus clearly states that if a man lies with another, they should both be stoned. We just weren't interpreting it correctly until now.

      April 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        lol.

        April 14, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        A gay who has not repented until Judgement Day will get judged indeed, and face a punishment like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah – maybe worse than stoning.

        April 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          And the bigots will be praised, right? So how do I get into this bigot party? I mean, if I really really want to hate someone so much I believe they should be tormented for eternity just because they loved the wrong person... where is that sign up sheet again?

          April 14, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Gay = unrighteous.
          Inviting a mob to gang rap/e your virgin daughters = righteous.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • Akira

          Conniving with your sister to have your father get you pregnant=righteous

          April 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • igaftr

          From what I understand of the christian dogma, and then your vile venom filled posts, I would say you have far more to worry about than any gay people do, Rainman

          April 14, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Obviously, you understand nothing at all.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • Doris

          "Obviously, you understand nothing at all."

          Pompous butthurt-trollism

          April 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • djangoboy

          Somehow I'm not feeling the love here.

          April 15, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
    • Akira

      Here's Baden's education:

      B.A. Yale University, 1999 (Judaic Studies)

      M.A. University of Chicago, 2002 (Northwest Semitics)

      Ph.D. Harvard University, 2007 (Hebrew Bible)

      What's yours, other than being a sanctimonious bigot?

      Stay in Germany. It's what you deserve.

      April 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Both C. S. Lewis and Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that modern schools are nuthouses. I agree with them, Mr. Baden proves it.

        Education in America has worsened Mr. Baden's mental state instead of improving it. I feel for America.

        April 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • Akira

          I do not care about what some long dead people who were educated elsewhere said. I asked about your education. If it doesn't come close to Baden's , and I suspect it doesn't, your attempts to lie about him are disingenuous.

          Bigoted , lying prig.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • Akira

          And as for your commenting on anyone's mental state, perhaps you should seek some counseling yourself to deprogram your inclination to live up to your German roots by imprisoning gay people in concentration camps.

          You're not qualified to speak about America. So don't.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          You are a country of total spiritual confusion – hopeless.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Akira

          No, and you're still unqualified to judge.
          Sorry we're not as "pure" as you would like. We are a diverse nation, and we celebrate that. We don't kill it.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " In Germany there is a legal recognition of same-se.x couples. Registered life partnerships (Eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft) (effectively, a form of civil union) have been inst.ituted since 2001, giving same-se.x couples most of the rights and obligations of marriage. In 2004, this act was amended to include adoption rights "
          What was that nonsense you were blathering, Rainer ?

          April 14, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • Akira

          And Germany has many of the sane laws and rights concerning The LGBT community, so who in the hell are you to judge America more harshly?

          Clean up your own backyard of trash before attempting to trash mine.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Of course, the die is cast. It is only a matter of little time when gayness will get legalized worldwide.

          Legalization of gayness or fornication always prompted God to judge immediately.

          Remember Sodom and Gomorrah. We will face the same fate.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          If there's one country that knows proper Christian righteousness, it's Germany.
          Except for 1933-1945.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Within the Christian Church the nationality plays nearly no role, and similar I treat disbelievers of distinct nationality. Main thing somebody believes in Jesus – it doesn't matter where he or she comes from.

          But even if somebody doesn't believe in Jesus – nationality plays no role for me. Jesus died and resurrected for everybody.

          April 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • kudlak

          C. S. Lewis doesn't make very good arguments for Christianity actually being true. Remember, he's the gut who argued that, of course Christianity is full of myth, only that it was myth that also happened to be true. Yikes!

          April 14, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • kudlak

          Doc Vestibule
          The Germans also brought us Martin Luther who wrote that great little book "On The Jews and Their Lies".

          April 14, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          It matters if someone condems the Jewish heresy or the Jewish race.

          Luther, of course, condemned the Jewish heresy, but not the Jewish race.

          It is okay to condemn any heresy.

          The Nazis committed a crime by condemning the Jewish race – that had nothing to do with the Jewish doctrine. The Nazis hated the biological descendants of Jakob.

          Luther did not fight any descendants of Jakob, but only the heresy of Judaism (keeping the Sabbath, literally keeping of the law, circu-mcision, being proud on descent from Abraham, etc.)

          April 14, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • kudlak

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein
          "Education in America has worsened Mr. Baden's mental state instead of improving it. I feel for America."

          I'll bet that he wasn't homeschooled by his high-school educated mom who was too afraid that he might actually learn some science and empathy towards others in a public school.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • Akira

          Kudlak, Rainier was born, bred, and still lives in Germany. He isn't qualified to comment on American anything.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • kudlak

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein
          Luther advised many similar persecutions of Jews that Hitler actually carried out, up to and including killing them. It's very likely that Hitler started by following Luther's ideas, and just added the death camps himself. I really don'y see how you can draw a line between them. If you're actually German then you probably know all this, right?

          If you're saying that Luther would have been more lenient towards Jewish converts to Christianity, which brand of Christianity would that be? By that time, he considered Catholicism a heresy, and the Pope felt likewise towards him. Right now there are hundreds and hundreds of different Christian sects, many condemned as cults and just plain "wrong" by others. So, there's no hope in any Christian escaping the label "heretic".

          The rest of your post is just plain anti-Semitic.

          April 14, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
    • Jill

      Rainer, you are simply a disgusting bigot. The world is gradually leaving stupidity such as yours behind, and becoming more equitable. Like it or not, it is happening all around you. Get used to it.

      No Mozart for you this time. You disgust me, you sick and bigoted old pig.

      April 14, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Your bigotry and ignorance is duly noted, Rainey.

      April 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • readerpan

      "And what rough beast, its hour come 'round at last,
      slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?" -WB Yeats

      April 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
  7. colin31714

    Harken to my word and mock me not! I bring you the 10 Commandments for the 21st Century.

    I. THOU SHALT NOT have false gods before me. All Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jains, and Sikhs shall forthwith abandon their faith and culture and adopt the Christian god.

    II. THOU SHALT NOT blaspheme and shall worship me always. Even though I created the entire Universe and its 200,000,000,000 galaxies, each with 100,000,000,000 stars and planets, about 13,700,000,000 years ago, I need constant attention from h.omo sapiens or I will have a temper tantrum and drown them (again).

    III. THOU ART under constant supervision by me, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I monitor your thoughts, too. I do so simultaneously for the other 7,000,000,000 living h.omo sapiens. If you displease me, I will burn you for all eternity.

    IV. THOU SHALT NOT think for thy self. Thou shalt blindly accept what thou hast been taught as a child and shalt value blind belief in me above all other traits. Eschew thinking for oneself – it is dangerous. Thy brain is merely to be used for praying and keeping thy ears apart.

    V. ACCEPTETH always circular reasoning. Believe in God because it is written in the Bible and believe the Bible because it says it is written by God.

    VI. THINKETH not that is is odd that the Bible is riddled with contradictions, forged material and outdated, barbaric morality. When in doubt, say that the offending verse is "taken out of context."

    VII. THOU SHALT NOT covert thy neighbor’s wife, unless she is a virgin, then it is ok to r.ape her. If she is British, I will count it as penance. Women can covert they neighbor’s husband all they want.

    VIII. THOU SHALT link a belief in me to morality. Thou shalt not realize that one can abandon the supernatural beliefs of Christianity without abandoning its morality.

    IX. THOU SHALT burn in hell if thou does not accept these rules. I shall provide absolutely no evidence of my existence then demand blind belief in me. Those who are naturally skeptical have breached my commandment about not using their brain and I shall burn them for all eternity, even if they are otherwise fine people – because I love them so.

    X. ACCEPTETH that there are 10 commandments here, even though there are only nine, because I say so. If one has true faith in me, one will accept that 10 is 9 and 9 is 10, and then that three gods are one and one god is three and that there was no Adam and Eve but that I sent my son to save humans from Eve’s original sin, that I am all powerful and loving, but send a good percentage of the 100,000 human beings who die every day to the hell I created and maintain. Blatant contradictions are merely meant to test thy faith.

    April 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
    • believerfred

      You must be a student of Baden given your up side down theology. Jesus made it all very clear when he summed up all OT law into something simple enough for you and Baden under the heading of love. Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself.
      Not one of your 10 sarcastic remarks demonstrate love or the capacity to love within you. I now understand that since you do not have love you cannot be expected to understand Gods love for you.

      April 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
      • kudlak

        Problem with that is that "Loving your God" so very often trumps actually "Loving your neighbour as yourself". I know a few Christians who see the sense of gays having equal marriage rights, but love God more, and feel that God is telling them to fight against gays having equal rights. That's just one example. There are many other examples where putting the supposed feelings of God first actually hurts people, so this commandment fails utterly to be moral.

        April 14, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
    • Jill

      Terrific post, Colin. Way over bfred's head though!

      April 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
  8. bostontola

    Jesus and Yahweh must like the bibles being interpreted in a mult.itude of ways. 10's of thousands of denominations, sects, etc., with different takes. Each certain that they have the true interpretation, while others are wrong or even apostate.

    Of course there is a simple solution, Jesus/Yahweh could show up and be the final arbiter. Since 2,000 years has passed, the only conclusion is that they like this ambiguity and fighting over what the bible means.

    April 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      yes, why won't that god just show himself and avoid all this foolishness?

      is he shy?

      does he have a pimple?

      is he on vacation?

      is this a game of hide and seek?

      is he in god jail for raping the virgin mary?

      ahhhh questions, questions ...

      April 14, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
  9. Concert in an Egg

    Who could go for some ayahuasca right about now?

    April 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      AAAAARGH ... I see a concert in an egg! Must be a sign from god!!!

      I beg thee give me 10 rules oh great concert in an egg!

      I will write them down on this tabletblog and take them to the people!

      well ... after I've had another drink of this stuff anyway ...

      April 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        I think for it to work we all have to get hammered first...

        April 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
    • igaftr

      Can you buy that at Amazon.com, or do I actually have to go to the Amazon?

      April 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        We can whip some up on the Sinai Peninsula.

        April 14, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          we can call it "concert in an egg nog"

          April 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          The soprano can't swim.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Oh, and the percussion section is full of alcoholics so....

          April 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
    • Akira

      Lol. No, thanks, I gave it up for Lent.

      April 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Damn girl, too bad. Toshi was going to make you a ayahuasca-bomb.

        April 14, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • Akira

          Ah, Toshi. Miss his creations.
          Oh, well, just another week...

          April 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          "Ah yes, You soo good. C'mon Toshi. C'mon Toshi." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGXWDqQB3NU

          April 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          @snuffleupagus

          lol, plus I am in love now.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Oh great Concert. I beseech thee give me guidance! List them for me now please?

      April 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        The last time I listed my ten commandments, it did not end well....

        April 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          that burning bush cooked you a bit did it?

          April 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I thought they were good. Stuff people really shouldn't do, but the blog editors got all huffy about it.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    As Dumbledore said to Moses in Moses and the Chamber of Secrets, "Hearing voices no one else can hear isn’t a good sign, even in the wizarding world." ... or did he say that to Harry Potter?

    I get my STORIES confused. They all sound so alike.

    April 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
    • kudlak

      I thought that it was Hermione who said that to Harry?

      April 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
  11. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    "The New Testament refers to the law, usually in a negative sense, as something that Moses commanded. But this is deceptive (intentionally or unintentionally).

    It may be that the laws of the Old Testament were all consigned to the dustbin when Jesus came along. But they weren’t commanded by Moses; they were the word of God."

    Unquote.

    Mr. Baden shows again that he has absolutely no notion of the Bible. My new t-itle for him: "Associate professor of biblical confusion."

    Jesus Christ never rejected the law of the Torah (how should God reject his own words).

    Matthew 5:

    17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one ti-ttle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    The New Testament writers are only opponents of "keeping the law of the Torah in the Jewish manner". The Jews (or Jewish leaders) did not really understand the law of the Torah and kept it litarally, but not according to God's, the law-givers, intentions.

    Who keeps the law according to God's intentions?

    This is the man who FULFILLS the law.

    What does that mean?

    If somebody is simply led by the Holy Spirit or in Christ, he or she fulfills the law of the Torah. The Holy Spirit causes LOVE of neighbour and LOVE of God within us, and love is the fulfillment of the law as St. Paul says:

    Romans 13: 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    Jesus and St. Paul teached exactly the same. And even Moses, if the old people of Israel had asked them how they could get the power to keep the law, he had told them of the Redeemer who could set them free.

    Gospel of Jesus Christ, Amen!

    P.S: The Jewish leaders, the Scribes and the Pharisees, extremly stressed the keeping of the Sabbath according to the law. They considered it as work when Jesus cured sick people at the Sabbath, and therefore Jesus broke the Sabbath in their eyes. Yet, what Jesus did was no work, but divine service: Jesus forgave sins, and that became visible through cure. Jesus fulfilled the command of Sabbath according to God's intention. By there litarally keeping the Jewish leaders broke the Sabbath command in fact: They did not rejoice in God's (Jesus') presence.

    April 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      "Jesus Christ never rejected the law of the Torah"

      Christians around the world reject the words of the Torah every day. They like the warm fluffy Jesus stuff better.

      April 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        There is a bad heresy today: Reducing the meaning of Christ's sacrifice to a mere atonement.

        Full meaning: Jesus also died and resurrected in order to release us. If we repent, believe, and get sacramentaly baptized, we have died for the sin, and we are in Christ. Dead for the sin, and in Christ we are able to live a life which is not in conflict with the law of the Torah – on the contrary, we fulfill the law of the Torah because the law-giver dwells in us, and leads us.

        Only if we live the delivered life, Christ's sacrifice will atone our sins (this has nothing to do with worksrighteousness).

        April 14, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Yeah I know right? Do you want some ayahuasca?

          April 14, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
      • djangoboy

        Except when it suits them to condemn someone else's behaviour, then the Old Testament (aka Torah) law comes in very handy.

        April 15, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
    • Akira

      “The New Testament refers to the law, usually in a negative sense, as something that Moses commanded. But this is deceptive (intentionally or unintentionally).

      It may be that the laws of the Old Testament were all consigned to the dustbin when Jesus came along. But they weren’t commanded by Moses; they were the word of God.”

      Unquote.

      Mr. Baden shows again that he has absolutely no notion of the Bible. My new t-itle for him: “Associate professor of biblical confusion.”

      Jesus Christ never rejected the law of the Torah (how should God reject his own words).

      In this quote, Baden never said Jesus did.

      You impute much.

      If you want to give your opinion on someone else's opinion, do you think you can do so without misrepresenting on what they said?

      April 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
    • snuffleupagus

      Rabid Rainer says: blah, blah, blah blah, because I said so."

      April 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
  12. Concert in an Egg

    Moses Was High on Drugs, Israeli Researcher Says

    Moses and the Israelites were on drugs, says Benny Shanon, an Israeli professor of cognitive philosophy.

    Writing in the British Journal Time and Mind, he claims Moses was probably on psychedelic drugs when he received the Ten Commandments from God.

    The assertions give a whole new meaning to Moses being "high" on Mount Sinai.

    According to Shanon, a professor at Hebrew University, two naturally existing plants in the Sinai Peninsula have the same psychoactive components as ones found in the Amazon jungle and are well-known for their mind-altering capabilities. The drugs are usually combined in a drink called ayahuasca.

    "As far as Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don't believe, or a legend, which I don't believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effects of narcotics," he told Israel Radio in an interview Tuesday.

    The description in The Book of Exodus of thunder, lightening and a blaring trumpet, according to Shanon, are the classic imaginings of people under the influence of drugs.

    As for the vision of the burning bush, well obviously that too was a drug-fueled hallucination, according to Shanon.

    "In advanced forms of ayahuasca inebriation," he wrote, "the seeing of light is accompanied by profound religious and spiritual feelings."

    Shanon admits he took some of these drugs while in the Amazon in 1991. "I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations," he said.

    The initial reaction to this controversial theory from Israel's religiously orthodox community and the powerful rabbis who lead it was less than enthusiastic.

    Orthodox rabbi Yuval Sherlow, quoted by Reuters speaking on Israel radio, said: "The Bible is trying to convey a very profound event. We have to fear not for the fate of the biblical Moses, but for the fate of science."

    JERUSALEM, March 5, 2008

    By SIMON MCGREGOR-WOOD

    April 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • henrystockwell

      Agreed. Moses was also a shaman/herbalist. He knew of the different psychoactive herbs available during that time (sweet calamus, a large amount of which has the same psychoactive properties as herbal ecstasy and of course, cannabis).

      The burning bush was probably a patch of burning cannabis which caused Moses to hallucinate. It makes total sense to me. Maybe this is how God wanted us to "commune" with him? According to Exodus (20 or 30), He certainly condones the use of psychoactive drugs mixed with olive oil to make Holy Oil.

      April 18, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
  13. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    The New Testament refers to the law, usually in a negative sense, as something that Moses commanded. But this is deceptive (intentionally or unintentionally).

    It may be that the laws of the Old Testament were all consigned to the dustbin when Jesus came along. But they weren’t commanded by Moses; they were the word of God."

    Unquote.

    Mr. Baden shows again that he has absolutely no notion of the Bible. My new t-itle for him: "Associate professor of biblical confusion."

    Jesus Christ never rejected the law of the Torah (how should God reject his own words).

    Matthew 5:

    17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one ti-ttle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    The New Testament writers are only opponents of "keeping the law of the Torah in the Jewish manner". The Jews (or Jewish leaders) did not really understand the law of the Torah and kept it litarally, but not according to God's, the law-givers, intentions.

    Who keeps the law according to God's intentions?

    This is the man who FULFILLS the law.

    What does that mean?

    If somebody is simply led by the Holy Spirit or in Christ, he or she fulfills the law of the Torah. The Holy Spirit causes LOVE of neighbour and LOVE of God within us, and love is the fulfillment of the law as St. Paul says:

    Romans 13: 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    Jesus and St. Paul teached exactly the same. And even Moses, if the old people of Israel had asked them how they could get the power to keep the law, he had told them of the Redeemer who could set them free.

    Gospel of Jesus Christ, Amen!

    P.S: The Jewish leaders, the Scribes and the Pharisees, extremly stressed the keeping of the Sabbath according to the law. They considered it as work when Jesus cured sick people at the Sabbath, and therefore Jesus broke the Sabbath in their eyes. Yet, what Jesus did was no work, but divine service: Jesus forgave sins, and that became visible through cure. Jesus fulfilled the command of Sabbath according to God's intention. By there litarally keeping the Jewish leaders broke the Sabbath command in fact: They did not rejoice in God's (Jesus') presence.

    April 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Akira

      Since you keep reposting this, so shall I:

      “The New Testament refers to the law, usually in a negative sense, as something that Moses commanded. But this is deceptive (intentionally or unintentionally).

      It may be that the laws of the Old Testament were all consigned to the dustbin when Jesus came along. But they weren’t commanded by Moses; they were the word of God.”

      Unquote.

      Mr. Baden shows again that he has absolutely no notion of the Bible. My new t-itle for him: “Associate professor of biblical confusion.”

      Jesus Christ never rejected the law of the Torah (how should God reject his own words).</I€

      In this quote, Baden never said Jesus did.

      You impute much.

      If you want to give your opinion on someone else’s opinion, do you think you can do so without misrepresenting on what they said?

      April 14, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
  14. colin31714

    Moses very likely did not exist. Given that there is no independent evidence for his existence outside of the Tanakh and given that his story appears beside other mythical figures, such as Noah and Adam and Eve, and given that his entire life is one epic, mythological adventure after another (many of which are clearly influenced by other regional mythology) his existence is no more likely that that of Hercules, Odysseus or Samson.

    April 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • readerpan

      Amen, Bro.

      April 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    I hiked up Mount Sinai. If nothing else, the man gets kudos for doing that in sandals. Phew!

    April 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Try doing it when you are 80 years old!

      April 14, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        he was 80 years old in the story. I doubt anyone really lived beyond 30 or 40 in those days.

        April 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Unless of course you happen to have your name appear in the bible, then you could live to be 900 and the sheeple would fall for it.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          ahhh the workings of a cult addled mind ...

          April 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • henrystockwell

          My rationalization for the counting of years during those times is based on the moon not the sun. As humans, we didn't understand that the earth revolved around the sun until quite long after the death of Christ, let alone those mentioned in the Old Testament. If it is believed that Methusaleh lived a long time (900 "years"), my belief is that they may have counted "years of age" by the number of new moons. There are 12-13 new moons in one year. Methusaleh, having lived 900 new moons means he might have lived about 75 years, which would have been a long time for those during the time of the Old Testament. I'm not sure that's too much of a stretch, certainly not more of a stretch than believing a man lived 900 years (years as *we* understand them).

          April 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    "4. Moses didn’t come up with a single law.
    There isn’t a single law in the Torah that Moses claims to have come up with all by himself. Every law he gives the Israelites was dictated to him by God."

    and god himself copied the laws from the Code of Hammurabi.

    and the Code of Hammurabi was written according to straightforward common sense that people have had for centuries before any god was ever imagined up by a lazy, power hungry tribe member who wanted an edge.

    April 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
    • kevinite

      So, you can prove with complete certainty that the laws of Moses were derived from the code of Hammurabi and that there is absolutely no chance whatsoever of independent invention?

      April 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • Akira

        Are you admitting that the laws of Moses were invented by Moses?

        April 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • kevinite

          Akira,

          No, I'm not referring to the laws of Moses as being originating from Moses. I was referring to the laws of Moses as being originating from Yahveh given to Moses who then issues them to the Israelites.

          April 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Akira

          Oh, okay.

          April 14, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        just look at them both. No amount of denial on your part can tell me that the latter is not derived from the earlier.

        Then know that the Code of Hammurabi pre-dates Moses by 300 years.

        so either Moses made his story up

        or your god is a plagiarist.

        you pick

        April 14, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • kevinite

          You didn't provide any actual evidence. You just assumed.

          April 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          dodge.

          April 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • kevinite

          Dyslexic doG

          I agree, you certainly dodged the whole thing about providing the irrefutable proof.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          pitiful.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • kevinite

          doG,

          I agree your statement is pitiful.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Code of Hammurabi

        "196-201 – If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye. If one break a man's bone, they shall break his bone. If one destroy the eye of a freeman or break the bone of a freeman he shall pay one mana of silver. If one destroy the eye of a man's slave or break a bone of a man's slave he shall pay one-half his price. If a man knock out a tooth of a man of his own rank, they shall knock out his tooth. If one knock out a tooth of a freeman, he shall pay one-third mana of silver."

        Exodus 21-22:25
        "22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.
        23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,
        24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
        25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

        Some similar metaphors there don't you think?

        April 14, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • kevinite

          Here you go too. I never said that there were no similarities between those sets of laws. What I was referring to is providing irrefutable proof that the laws of Moses were derived from the code of Hammurabi and that there is no way whatsoever of there even be any remote possibility that there was n o independent invention here, because just assuming that based on similarities is just that "assuming".

          April 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          They are clearly different, so you can make a case that Mosaic Law (Leviticus etc) is not a direct descendant.

          They share metaphors. Hammurabi came first. I think it's clear that it heavily influcenced Mosaic Law. According to Biblical tradition, Abraham came from Ur – the culture which gave us the Code Of Hammurabi. That Mosaic Law was developed with a prior understanding of the Code Of Hammurabi is a very reasonable conclusion.

          The notion that "The Law" given to Moses is the first appearance of a systematic set of morals is patently absurd.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • kevinite

          GOP,

          "They share metaphors. Hammurabi came first. I think it's clear that it heavily influcenced Mosaic Law. According to Biblical tradition, Abraham came from Ur – the culture which gave us the Code Of Hammurabi. That Mosaic Law was developed with a prior understanding of the Code Of Hammurabi is a very reasonable conclusion."

          Key words "I think" and "reasonable conclusion" which do not make it fact, especially there are other factors that may have not have been taken into consideration such as the laws of Moses also being derived from similar laws Yahveh had given to those from which the Israelites had their ancestry from such a from Abraham, whose figured lifetime actually predates Hammurabi and although there were no known written sources of Law from the Hebrews predating Hammurabi, to just automatically conclude that there simply never were any such written sources or even to just automatically dismiss the possibility of oral traditions is actually jumping to conclusions.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          So now you're jumping through hoops to suggest that God gave "the Law" to the Israelites *before* Moses?

          I happen to agree with you that Mosaic Law was merely codifying the previously oral traditions of the Israelites – a culture greatly influenced by the Sumerians. I don't think it had anything to do with miraculous burning bushes.

          The Code of Hammurabi almost certainly predates Hammurabi as well. He just happened to think it was a good idea to write it down – presumably to govern everyone in his empire consistently.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • kevinite

          Also, at least from a religious standpoint that there may have been a mother civilization from which both Sumeria and Semitic peoples originated. To a religious standpoint that could be say Noah which also could have been the source of lower Mesopotamian derivative stories like the epic of Gilgamesh, of course that is from a religious POV.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • kevinite

          @GOP,

          I'm not jumping through hoops to prove that irrefutably God gave the laws to Moses. What I am pointing out though is that to simply conclude that the laws of Moses were for a fact derived from the code of Hammurabi is rather jumping the gun.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Both the Gilgamesh and Noah flood myths are based on Atrahasis – the oldest copy of which dates back to 1700BCE.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @kevin,

          As you observed, I never stated it a a categorical fact. There's more than enough evidence to suggest that it was likely that the development of Mosaic law was informed by the Code of Hammurabi if not directly based on it.

          April 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • kevinite

          Wow Doc,

          Care to actually explain how thus far found written sources proves conclusively beyond any shadow of a doubt or that it automatically disproves any possible oral traditions?

          April 14, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Kev.

        denial is not just a river in Egypt.

        April 14, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • kevinite

          You're right,

          Denial is also the state you are in when to figure it to be a fact that the law of Moses was derived from the code of Hammurabi.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          that joke went waaaay over your head didn't it little fella?

          April 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • kevinite

          I knew what you are referring to, and I also knew that you didn't prove your reference to be true, and because of that you are in a state of denial.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • igaftr

          kevin
          "and I also knew that you didn't prove your reference to be true, and because of that you are in a state of denial."

          Same goes for anyone who ever referenced the bible.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • kevinite

          @igaftr,

          Well, if that is your opinion. The key word being "opinion".

          April 14, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
  17. Alias

    Right.
    Next you'll tell us he stuttered.

    April 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
    • bostontola

      and was a murderer.

      April 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
      • kevinite

        That would depend on which court of law you are referring to. What's one man's murder can be considered another man's coming to the rescue.

        April 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          Do you consider what Moses did a justifiable homicide?

          April 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • kevinite

          Yeah

          April 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "can be considered another man's coming to the rescue."

          Who were the Israelites rescuing again? Were they "rescuing" all that milk and honey?

          April 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • kevinite

          neverbeenhappieratheist,

          You are aware I was specifically to Moses personally killing an Egyptian as opposed to the taking of the land of Canaan by conquest despite the point of the Israelites didn't just outright attack those peoples and were trying to make settlements beforehand so that there wouldn't be any bloodshed.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Israelites didn't just outright attack those peoples and were trying to make settlements beforehand so that there wouldn't be any bloodshed."

          Apparently you have not read the Hebrew scriptures as I have, otherwise you would not make such a moronic statement.

          "When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittltes, and the Girgashltes, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them" (Deuteronomy 7;1,2).

          April 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • kevinite

          It is true that you have not read the scriptures as I have. You cited references about Israel going out to destroy but you didn't cite the guidelines about how they were to approach those cities. That if they were not willing to fight or resist then they would be spared.

          4 And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore:

          5 Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.
          (Deuteronomy 2:4-5 KJV).

          April 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Indeed it presumes the historicity of Moses is a valid assumption.

      Another superficially provocative piece by Joel Baden that reinforces bible stories under a veil of 'critical' scholarship – just like his recent contribution on Noah.

      April 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
      • Akira

        Oh, boy. Anticipating the backlash from the folks who will state exactly why Baden is full of it.

        Has Baden replaced Prothero, the former king of the fluff pieces?

        April 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Yes, we appear to have gone Ivy League on the Belief Blog, trading professors from the Department of Religion at Boston University for the Yale Divinity School.

        April 14, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Akira

          Prothero always elicited many heated responses. Looks as if Baden may, too.

          April 14, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Of course in contrast to Yale we've recently had at least two guest contributors from Azusa Pacific University.

        I did like today's contribution on "Blood Moons" much better than the earlier one. (They had different authors.)

        April 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
  18. bostontola

    2. Moses wasn’t anti-slavery.

    Not just Moses, Yahweh wasn't anti-slavery. Yahweh provided the rules on how to treat your slaves, but clearly was OK with owning another Human as property.

    April 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
    • otoh2

      "Yahweh provided the rules..."

      Allegedly.

      There isn't a whit of verified (or even verifiable) evidence that any "Yahweh" character spoke/spake/spoketh a word to Moses (nor anyone else).

      April 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
      • bostontola

        That's how the story goes, since Yahweh is a fictional character, it's all story.

        April 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
  19. kevinite

    So, Baden is pushing the point about Moses being an Egyptian just because he finds it hard derive the name Moses from the Hebrew mashah without addressing other points in the Old Testament pointing to Moses being an Israelite?

    16 ¶And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years.

    17 The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families.

    18 And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years.

    19 And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations.

    20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.
    (Exodus 6:16-20 KJV)

    April 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
    • kevinite

      1 The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

      2 And the sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel.

      3 And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
      (1 Chronicles 6;1-3 KJV)

      April 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      How is any of this relevant in 2014?

      April 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
      • kevinite

        Well, if you do not find it relative then you don't find it relative, but perhaps to someone else like say to certain believers it is relative. This whole thing about being relative is all relative, so what is your point?

        April 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          your parents were relatives ...

          April 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          My point is HOW is any of this relevant in 2014? Sorry that wasn't clear.

          April 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • kevinite

          My question still applies even in 2014.

          April 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • Akira

          What question was that, kev?

          This convo is like a MP sketch.

          April 14, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Are you aware that relevant is not the same word as relative?

          April 14, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          (kevinite doesn't know...)

          April 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • kevinite

          That was a misspelling on m part, but the point is still there about it all being relative, and what is the point about questioning over the relevancy when the whole relevancy point is relative.

          April 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          How is it relevant. Are you related to these people or something?

          April 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • kevinite

          Egg,

          Wow that certainly clarifies the relevance issue.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
  20. Concert in an Egg

    In case you don't want to read the whole thing:

    Moses was an African who approved of slavery and was in an interracial marriage with a black woman and didn't write anything.

    April 14, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
    • Akira

      Yer killin me...

      April 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      Thomas Jefferson did write lots of things... oh, wait, your talking about Moses...

      April 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.