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The Bible As History

Writing in Volume 88 number 2 of ‘The Open Society’ magazine, Peter Harrison comments on the following common assertions.

“The Bible is the oldest most verified and researched book in the world."

Egyptian hieroglyphs pre-date Biblical texts by about 1500 years. The monuments the Egyptians left behind covered in writing remained a secret code until the Rosetta Stone was used by Jean-Franqois Champollion to decipher them. These texts have been extensively studied ever since. These sources provide us a historic, account of ancient Egypt. Texts from other civilizations corroborate the historical texts of Egypt, although they obviously have their own bias towards their respective societies. The story of Moses on the other hand has no independent evidence to support it. There is no Egyptian account of slaves fleeing into the desert after great disasters. There is no independent archaeological evidence to support an exodus of slaves from Egypt to Israel. The Moses story is best understood as an ancient fictional story.

"it contains the first comprehensive code for behavior of civilized man."

The Bible plagiaries its moral codes from Egyptian culture. It is no coincidence that the story of Moses, a former prince of Egypt who had been influenced by Egyptian culture throughout his childhood, later claims t( deliver tablets from God that contain a subset of the Egyptian moral code. The Egyptian Book of the Dead that documents the Egyptian moral values pre-dates the writing of the five books of Moses, and therefore the Ten Commandments.