Will Debunking the Exodus “Myth” be Hollywood’s Next Hit?
Hollywood's version of "The Da Vinci Code" is out. Many Christians consider it a sacrilege. The Vatican and the Opus Dei organization are the bad guys in the flick, which claims Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had a child by him. Interestedly, there is also plenty of evidence that the Exodus story is a fantasy concocted by Jewish scribes. Question: Do you think Hollywood will ever do a movie debunking Israel's claim to the land of the Palestinians?
"Every religion is true...when understood metaphorically." - Joseph Campbell
According to the novel, "The Da Vinci Code," Mary Magdalene wasn't just a devout follower of Jesus. She was also his wife! They even had a child together and their bloodline extends down to present day France. The Vatican, through Opus Dei, portrayed as a pseudo-fascist organization, is killing people off left and right. They are doing this to suppress that story line, which is seen as a threat to the Church's hegemony. The book, authored by Dan Brown has, in turn, become a very popular movie. The screenplay was done by Akiva Goldsman. The flick was directed by Ron Howard, who cut his teeth on Tinsel Town's silly sitcom, "Happy Days." The All-American icon himself, Tom Hanks, plays the lead in this film which many practicing Christians consider a sacrilege and a gross insult to their faith. The "Da Vinci Code" is mostly fiction, but with kernels of truth found here and there, especially regarding the male-dominated Roman Catholic Church's irrational hatred of women and sex.
The success of "The Da Vinci Code, is history repeating itself. In 1957, Cecil B. DeMille, directed a movie with a biblical theme, called the "Ten Commandments." It, too, was a box office hit. It showed the enslaved Jews being led out of captivity in Egypt by Moses, a sort of Theodor Herzl of his time. Playing the Jewish saint was the Tom Hanks of his era - Charleston Heston. In the film, Moses/Heston opened up the turbulent Red Sea by waving his staff at it, which then permitted his desperate refugee people to cross over and return to Palestine. When the pursuing Egyptian Army tried to follow, the sea closed up on them and many of them drowned. The only thing missing from this high drama was having Barbara Walters narrate it. There is, however, one big, serious problem with the "Exodus" story, which is sourced by the Old Testament. There isn't any historical evidence to support it at all. None! According to the book, "The Laughing Jesus," it's a Jewish fable - a fantasy. Period! The Jewish scribes made it all up! (1)
The Ancient Egyptians were fantastic record keepers. "Texts, sculpture and artifacts testify to a sophisticated culture that really did endure for millennia," say the British authors, Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy. They go on to write: "There is no evidence for the existence of Moses. Although he is portrayed as an influential member of the Egyptian royal household, he is not mentioned in any Egyptian record. Nor is there any evidence to support the idea that the Jews were ever held captive in Egypt or that they made any exodus from the country under Moses' command. The Egyptians chronicled their history in great detail but make no mention of any captive Jews. Amongst the hundreds of thousands of Egyptian monumental inscriptions, tomb inscriptions and papyri, there is complete silence about the '600,000 men on foot, besides women and children,' who 'The Book of Exodus' tells us escaped from Pharaohs' armies. The story of Moses, with its many miracles, has all the hallmarks of a myth." (1)
With respect to the Bible as genuine history, Israel Finklestein, director of archaeology at Tel Aviv U., and his co-writer, Neil Silberman, describe it as "no more historical [than] the Homeric saga of Odysseus or Aeneas's founding of Rome. The birth of biblical narrative is too thoroughly filled with inconsistencies and anachronisms...that it must be considered more of an historical novel than an accurate historical chronicle." (2)
Another noted scholar, Thomas Thompson, Professor of the Old Testament at the U. of Copenhagen, goes even further. He challenged the supposed history of the ancient Israelites. He stated: "There is no evidence of a 'United Monarchy,' no evidence of a capital in Jerusalem or of any coherent, unified political force that dominated western Palestine, let alone an empire of the size the legends describe. We do not have evidence for the existence of kings named Saul, David or Solomon; nor do we have evidence for any temple at Jerusalem in this early period." (3) Piling on, Freke and Gandy underscored how, "In truth, the Ark of the Covenant... was never lost, just deleted from the record by an editorial hand when it became a liability." (1)
Authors Freke and Gandy also said, "The account of Moses' birth is a retelling of the myth of the birth of Sargon the Great, the king of Akkad, which is known in a number of variations from the early sixth century BCE. Like Moses, the child Sargon is 'set in a basket of rushes' and 'cast into the river,' from which he is later rescued by an influential woman. Similar Greek stories tell of the child Dionysus confined in a chest and thrown into the river Nile. These probably all go back to Egyptian stories which tell of Osiris confined in a chest and thrown into the Nile." (1) Somehow Freke and Gandy's book slipped by the Zionist censors. The ADL's Abe Foxman must have been sleeping at the switch on this one.
It actually gets worse! A fearless military type, named Joshua, supposedly led the Jews escaping the Egyptians into the so-called "Promised Land." Freke and Gandy said that kind of feat was "an historical impossibility." They wrote: "From the fourteenth to the twelfth centuries BCE, when the exodus is supposed to have occurred, Canaan was a province of Egypt, so the Jews would not have escaped from Egyptian rule at all, but merely passed from one Egyptian territory to another. The 'Book of Joshua,' which relates the Jews supposed invasion of the Promised Land, makes no mention of Egyptians in Canaan, when the area should have been crawling with them." (1)
The authors Freke and Gandy emphasized: "The Tanakh (or the Old Testament) is a collection of myths and legends. And to be fair to the Tanakh, it actually never claims to be history. In fact, you won't find the word 'history' anywhere in its pages, because the word did not even exist in Hebrew." The Brit duo believe the message of the original Christians of "awakening" to oneness and to love was transformed over the centuries by a literalist loving, power hungry elite into the authoritarian Roman Catholic Church. Many of these early Christians, the authors insist, saw Jesus as a "mythical hero of a symbolic teaching story," which represented a "spiritual journey," that eventually led the individual to the "experience of awakening, they called gnosis or knowing... They imagined a new world that would no longer be divided..."
Hold on! There is more. Professor Ze'ev Herzog of the U. of Tel Aviv's Institute of Archaeology, published, in 1999, an article in the Israeli newspaper, "Ha'aretz. In his controversial commentary, entitled, "Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho," he declared the "exodus from Egypt, the invasion by Joshua and the famous walls of Jericho are all without historical foundation." (1) Herzog lamented: "These facts have been known for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and nobody wants to hear about it." (4)
Finally, Freke and Gandy, said, "Although [Herzog's] views are widely shared in the academic community, [his] article caused a furor, with secular Israelis responding the most violently. The reason is simple. They immediately recognized that the modern state of Israel would be seriously compromised if its claim to the land turned out to be based on a myth." Considering all of the above, do you think Ron Howard will ever direct a movie, with a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, with the theme, "Debunking the Exodus Myth?" If you do, I know a guy, who has a ton of stocks in Ken Lay's Enron that he's looking to unload!
1. "The Laughing Jesus: Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom."
2. "The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts."
3. "The Bible in History: How Writers Create a Past."
4. "It Ain't Necessarily So: Investigating the Truth of the Biblical Past," by M. Sturgis.
© William Hughes 2006.
William Hughes is the author of "Saying ''No' to the War Party" (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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