By Jonas E. Alexis, VT Editor

First published in May 2015

“Bad history makes sweeping generalizations for which there is not adequate evidence and ignores awkward facts that do not fit.”[1]

 

christopherHistorian Christopher Behan McCullagh argues in his seminal study Justifying Historical Descriptions that there are at least seven tests historians use to determine the best explanation for historical descriptions. Here are his arguments:

“The theory is that one is rationally justified in believing a statement to be true if the following conditions obtain:

“1) The statement, together with other statements already held to be true, must imply yet other statements describing present, observable data. (We will henceforth call the first statement ‘the hypothesis,’ and statements describing observable data, observation statements.’)

“2)The hypothesis must be of greater explanatory scope than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must imply a greater variety of observation statements.

“3)The hypothesis must be of greater explanatory power than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must make the observation statements it implies more probable than any other.

“4) The hypothesis must be more plausible than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must be implied to some degree by a greater variety of accepted truths than any other, and be implied more strongly than any other; and its probable negation must be implied by fewer beliefs, and implied less strongly than any other.

“5) The hypothesis must be less ad hoc than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must include fewer new suppositions about the past which are not already implied to some extent by existing beliefs.

“6) It must be disconfirmed by fewer accepted beliefs than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, when conjoined with accepted truths it must imply fewer observation statements and other statements which are believed to be false.

“7) It must exceed other incompatible hypotheses about the same subject by so much, in characteristics 2 to 6, that there is little chance of an incompatible hypothesis, after further investigation, soon exceeding it in these respects.”[2]

Peter Lipton of Cambridge constructs similar arguments in his work Inference to the Best Explanation. He argues that “We infer what would, if true, be the best explanation of our evidence. On this view, explanatory considerations are our guide to inference.”[3]

liptonOver the past ten years or so, I have tried to stay away from unscholarly books—most specifically books that do not abide by historical principles, rigorous testing, explanatory scope, intellectual honesty, and inference to the best explanation.

In fact, people continue to send me books to review, and on a number of occasions, I have declined for the very fact that many of those books or essays do not follow logical principles and do not take the search for truth seriously.

When I first started reading Ashraf Ezzat’s Egypt Knew No Pharaohs Nor Israelites, I was very interested in seeing the evidence, footnotes, citations, historical documentation, logical and rigorous inferences, and bibliography precisely because the title of the book itself is a claim of knowledge and requires extraordinary evidence. Moreover, the title itself places a huge burden of proof on Ezzat.

I was really eager to examine the full force of Ezzat’s argument and logic. Frankly, I was really disappointed. Let us just cut to the chase and start with some examples.


Ezzat has a chapter entitled “Ancient Egypt Knew No Slavery.”  The name of that particular chapter needs to be edited precisely because the statement that “ancient Egypt knew no slavery” is historically indefensible.[4] We have a plethora of historical evidence indicating that ancient Egypt, like all ancient civilizations, did know about slavery and did practice it.[5] One historian in particular writes,

“A papyrus dating to the late Middle Kingdom…indicates that individuals permanently assigned to government work as punishment could be transferred to private hands through unknown means, and, in the status essentially of ‘slave,’ be inherited and sold like any property as indicated by texts such as ‘I have acquired three slaves…in addition to those that my father granted me.’

“Slaves could be drawn from debtors (including those who sold themselves into slavery to satisfy debts), but most commonly from criminals and, in the New Kingdoms, prisoners of war. Children of slaves were born into servitude, but they could be freed.

“A text regarding inheritance from Deir el Medina indicates that a male slave was considered to be worth twice the value of a female. Slaves were generally associated with the land that they worked. Yet, there is evidence that the unfree could be compensated for their labor.”[6]

Other historians write,

“Slavery was recognized by law in the Late Period and is well illustrated by surviving contracts of sale. Legally the slave owned nothing at all. He was a living chattel who could be bought and sold at will.

“Many slaves would have been foreigners who owned their position to such factors as war, foreign trade, or both, but it was undoubtedly possible for Egyptians themselves to sink to this level—indeed, at Elephantine during the Persian period we find Egyptians even functioning as slaves of Jewish mercenaries.”[7]

Late historian David Brion Davis of Yale wrote in Inhuman Bondage:

“For thousands of years slavery was taken for granted in ancient Babylonia and Egypt (as in India, China, and the Americas). Manumissions were exceedingly rare, in contrast to later Rome. If someone killed a slave, he was not guilty of murder but simply required to pay the slave’s market price to the master, as if he had killed a horse or a cow. In the Neo-Babylonian kingdom, from 626 to 538 B.C.E., it was still not a crime to kill a slave, in contrast to the fifth century B.C.E. Athens and the nineteenth century C.E. American South.” [David Brion Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008, 40].

Historian and archeologist Toby Wilkinson declares: “From the Middle Kingdom onwards, slavery became a visible part of the Egyptian economy. Although the concept is inconsistently labelled and undefined by the ancient Egyptians, slaves were essentially trapped elements of the population – often prisoners of war given to soldiers after a campaign, foreigners acquired through intensified trade or even Egyptian peasant debtors ” [Toby Wilkinson, The Egyptian World (New York: Routledge, 2007), 173].

Roger S. Bagnall, a historian of late antiquity, write in his text Egypt in Late Antiquity that there was indeed an economic dimension of slavery in ancient Egypt. As previously suggested, no civilization in the ancient world lacked slavery,[8] and that includes ancient Greece and Rome.[9] Yet Ezzat, without an iota of serious scholarly sources, irresponsibly declares,

“And if we make a quick research about slavery in the ancient Near East we will discover that slavery, where bound humans were regarded as economic property/merchandise liable to transaction, ownership and inheritance, was a common culture in Assyria, Babylon and Syria but most notably all-pervasive in the Arab peninsula.

“As for ancient Egypt, this will surely come as an amazing surprise; slavery was not at all a common tradition. Throughout most of its time span as a united kingdom, slavery was not practiced in ancient Egypt as a legitimate trade. I mean this culture of trading bound humans as profitable goods on public markets was definitely not an Egyptian accepted culture.

“I’m not going to refer to prisoners of war and their slave-like status in captivity in ancient Egypt for our Joseph was certainly not one. Neither will I be talking much about those misinterpreted religious text found carved on Egyptian temple walls in which the priests define themselves as slaves of the supreme god.”

Ezzat provides one link for all these assertions—hardly a serious scholarly source for extraordinary claims such as this.  I will not attempt to respond to this particular link at all. But it was at that point in the book that I realize that Egypt Knew No Pharaohs Nor Israelites was not going to be scholarly and rigorous book as I have hoped it would be.

What is even more astonishing is that Ezzat asserts that it was slavery, brought on by foreigners, which largely destroyed Egyptian civilization! “Interestingly,” he says, “in a strange way this new culture of slavery heralded the fall of the Egyptian empire.”

The evidence? It was nowhere to be found. You’ve got to take Ezzat’s words.

These are not isolated cases. The book, which purports to be historical, is littered with statements like that. I was quite uncomfortable reading the book largely because of this particular issue.

A book which purports to be historical and which seeks to deconstruct previously known accounts must at least provide enough historical evidence or rigorous methods which can be verified and studied by any serious researcher and expert.

In fact, numerous historians and scholars of various stripes have already addressed many of the issues raised in Egypt Knew No Pharaohs Nor Israelites. The works of those scholars are simply an embarrassment of riches.[10]


There are also too many bold assertions in the book with little evidence or no historical backup. For example, we read that “neither Abraham nor Joseph ever set foot in Egypt or even dreamed about it.” The statement itself is a claim of knowledge, and the historical evidence for this assertion was again weighed and found wanting.

To build his case, Ezzat brings in Herodotus. He rightly admits that Herodotus’ account “is tinged with a brush of exaggerations and misconceptions,” but since Herodotus never discusses Israel in Egypt, therefore his account “is extremely helpful and gives us a documented and rare insight into the land of the Pyramids at the remote point in time.”

In other words, anything that seems to support Ezzat’s thesis will be brought to the fore, though some of those things are without serious analysis.

The fact is that scholars of various stripes have examined Herodotus’ accounts and have come to the conclusion that he was in some instances ignorant of the history of Egypt and had to rely on hearsay.[11] Ezzat admits, “according to the purpose of our research this hearsay documentation is what we really want.”

Sure. Ezzat wants hearsay—and he got it. The interesting thing again is that Herodotus believed that the Great Pyramid at Giza was built with the labor of slaves, a point which again Ezzat vehemently denies in his book! Why is Ezzat picking and choosing?


We are also told that “Egypt never witnessed any of the stories of the Jewish patriarchs and that the land of the Nile valley knew neither Pharaohs nor any Israelites. Egypt was never the land of the Israelites Exodus nor is Palestine their Promised Land.” According to Ezzat, “if Egypt knew no Pharaohs then it goes without saying that Egypt never knew Moses either.” That again is a claim of knowledge, for which no serious historical evidence was presented.

Moreover, this argument suffers very badly. As French Egyptologist Nicolas Grimal argued, if the Hebrews were actually in Egypt, the lack of evidence for this event should not be “surprising, given that the Egyptians had no reason to attach any importance to the Hebrews.”[12]


What particularly shocks me as I sift through many of the bold assertions in the book is that Ezzat on several occasions dismisses the work of archeologists and experts with one or two sentences with little or no historical research. Sometimes he does not even address the so-called flaws in the work that those people produce. It was really stunning to observe how he quickly dismisses the work of archeologist William F. Albright. Here is how Ezzat dismisses him,

“The Biblical school of archeology headed by the American William F. Albright began misinterpreting many of the places in Palestine and thereby confusing them with Biblical ones. The result was a series of concocted discoveries that instead of verifying the historicity of the Bible added all the more ambiguity.

“By the mid of the 20th century the Albright school of Biblical archeology was condemned as biased and unreliable by a modern trend of scientific and objective Archeology.”

That is all. No interaction with Albright’s work, which is quite massive,[13] no serious argument, and no serious documentation. Ezzat’s conclusion is already built into his presupposition and therefore there is no way that Albright’s massive study is plausible.

In philosophy, this is called question-begging or circular argument. In fact, if you click Albright’s name in Ezzat’s book, you are confronted with one of the most scholarly sources on the face of the planet: Wikipedia! Ezzat makes the same cardinal mistake in his recent article.

This is certainly embarrassing for a book that purports to be historical—and it is even more hysterical when people who obviously know very little of ancient history begin to quote Egypt Knew No Pharaohs Nor Israelites as truth.

Let us be clear here: we are not denying that Wikipedia can be used as a source of information, but from a scholarly perspective, it was Ezzat’s job to interact with the actual work that Albright has produced before he dismisses him. He decided to take the easy route because this quick move presumably will help his case. That certainly should give one the impression that the book should not be taken seriously.

What is quite obvious throughout the book is that scholars who do not support Ezzat’s thesis will be dismissed or ignored without sober thought. But scholars who support his enterprise will be mentioned over and over. For example, Ezzat quotes Egyptologist Donald B. Redford approvingly throughout his book, but he could never tell his readers that Redford also believes that ancient Egypt had slaves,[14] a point which Ezzat denies.


This is not the first time that Ezzat has tried to dismiss other people’s work with a few sentences and without historical or rational rigor. In a private correspondence, one individual particularly asked Ezzat what he thought about Colin Humphreys’ The Miracles of Exodus: A Scientist’s Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes of the Biblical Stories. Ezzat responded:

“I’ve read the book The Miracles of Exodus by Colin Humphreys. The man is trying his best to scientifically corroborate the Ten Plagues and the Exodus. Humphreys set out his scientific expedition from Mount Sinai and the Red Sea.

“In his 300-page book he makes good use of all his scholarly skills and tricks, only he overlooked the fact that the Hebrew Bible never mentioned the Red sea or Mount Sinai in the first place (hilarious).

“Our poor Humphreys has been duped (like millions around the world) by the distorted Greek translation of the Hebrew book. Humphreys, like James Cameron in his funny documentary ‘The Exodus Decoded’, is building his mesmerizing thesis on a false premise. Falsification is what Humphreys, Cameron, and hordes of Biblically deluded figures are actually embracing and chivalrously defending.”

Is this how the scholarly world works? Can anyone disprove any scholarly study by saying that a scholar has been “duped” without seriously pointing out the central flaws of the author?

Furthermore, isn’t there an implicit circular argument here as well? I mean, is it not possible to disprove Ezzat’s book by saying that he has been misled without providing serious argument? How could he not see that his argument here is intellectually vacuous?


There are also emotional assertions in the book which seem to suggest that the author is grasping at straws. Consider this:

“There is something mysterious about Ancient Egypt. Something doesn’t seem right; how could the land that witnessed the first dawn of human conscience and righteousness be hit with God’s wrath as said in the Bible? This simply defies common sense to begin with.”

Let us grant that argument for a moment. Isn’t it possible that this principle could also be applied to the Hebrews as well? Didn’t thousands upon thousands of them get “hit with God’s wrath” when they stayed away from the moral law and invented their own codes in the desert and elsewhere? Didn’t the book of Numbers (Numbers 25) say that more than twenty-thousand Hebrews died in just a few days because they got involved with sexual debauchery? Didn’t they go to Babylon numerous times because of their perpetual rebellion?

Through the “Biblical narrative,” Ezzat tells us, “we see nothing in Egypt except absolute tyranny and enslavement of god’s chosen people.” He continues to say that “According to the Bible, ancient Egypt is the land of idolatry, tyranny and slavery.” Is that all we see in the “Biblical narrative”?

If that were the case, why did the writers of this “Biblical narrative” even reveal that Joseph and his brothers went to Egypt in order to have a better livelihood? Why did the writers declare that Joseph and his brothers had a friendly relationship with the Egyptians for years? Why did Joseph have to marry an Egyptian?

Why did the genealogy of Christ include foreigners such as Canaanite and Moabite and Hittite women? In other words, why did the Old Testament have to praise people like Rahab, Ruth, Tamar, Bathsheba, among others? Why did King Solomon have to marry Pharaoh’s daughter? Why was Job, who was not even a Hebrew, part of the canon?

Furthermore, no one was exempt from God’s punishment or chastisement. If Ezzat’s argument is to be taken seriously here, why didn’t he tell his readers that there was tyranny among the Hebrews as well? In fact, the Israelites went to captivity for their constant rebellion and tyranny against their fellow men and for worshiping idols. Listen to this:

“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (Isaiah 1:4).

Hosea also declares,

“Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God…Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies…O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity” (Hosea 9:1, 10:13, 14:1).

The book of Micah declares that “the house of Jacob, and the princes of the house of Israel” not only “abhor judgment, and pervert all equity,” but “build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity” (Micah 3:9-10). For their wickedness, they were all punished again and again.

“And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

“Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

“And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all [these] he brought to Babylon.

“And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

“And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia” (2 Chronicles 36:15-20).

Ezzat does not even attempt to address or raise these issues because he probably didn’t think about them before he wrote the book. They obviously weaken his arguments.


“In the Biblical story of Egypt,” Ezzat tells us, “we are faced with a narrative that is not only remote from Egyptologists but absolutely contrary to the moral Egypt and its Maat’s code of conduct the scholars of history and archeology have long discovered.”

Would all Egyptologists make that claim, or is Ezzat making a proposition which he hopes will support his thesis?

Second, having a moral code does not necessitate the idea that kings and nations are going to live according to the moral code. The United States for example has The Constitution and other legal documents, but the government hardly follows what is written in those documents.


Ezzat builds a false dichotomy in the book which certainly deserves some attention:

“Either the Egyptologists’ narrative is mistaken or the Biblical one is falsified. There is not a third option. At least if we want to be logical about it. Some argued that a third option actually exists.

“The way they see it, ancient Egypt was a great civilization throughout most of its time span, except for the period during which this infamous Pharaoh rose to power. But if that argument holds any water, how come everybody, including Egyptologists, is referring to all the kings of Egypt as Pharaohs?

“If that argument is valid, the whole of ancient Egypt would have converted to Judaism instantly after the God of the Israelites had revealed his might by destroying the land and its king (so-called Pharaoh).”

Once again, by “Egyptologists,” Ezzat means people who agree with his thesis. He knows for example a large body of scholars who do not support his premises. In fact, “Prior to the nineteenth century only a few scholars questioned the historicity of the patriarchal narratives of Genesis and stories of the sojourn-exodus and Joshua’s conquest of the land of Canaan.”[15]

Will Durant noted,

“The story of the ‘bondage’ in Egypt, of the use of the Jews as slaves in great construction enterprises, their rebellion and escape—or emigration—to Asia, has many internal signs of essential truth, mingled, of course, with supernatural interpolations customary in all the historical writing of the ancient East.”[16]

More importantly, is the statement that Egypt would have converted to Judaism if the Exodus story was true a sound argument? Is Ezzat familiar with the New Testament, where it is stated throughout that the Jewish people saw Christ’s evidence as the Messiah but rejected him anyway? Is he familiar with the widespread persecutions of Christians throughout the first century by the Pharisees, who ended up exerting a powerful influence on Rome?

If Ezzat’s argument is genuine, then the Jewish people should have accepted Christ as the Messiah by now. But that is not the case. In fact, they as a subversive group began to persecute Christians from the first century and all the way to our modern time, though things got complicated over the centuries. In A.D. 70, the Jewish Temple was destroyed and Josephus himself described the event as the judgment of God upon the Jews. Did they convert as a group?

No. Instead, they began to cook up evidence, forge lies and fabrications, accused Christians on trumped-up charges, assassinate Christians and perceived enemies, put curses and maledictions on Christians,[17] and allied with emperors in order to terrorize Christian communities.[18] Even Josephus agreed that Nero was trying to please the Jewish community and “showed favour to his [Jewish] wife Poppaea” when he started to liquidate Christians.

Historian Herbert B. Workman added:

“The Jews, working probably through Poppaea, the famous mistress and wife of Nero, whose superstitious nature led her to dally with Judaism, or through Alitururs, a favourite Jewish mime, took the opportunity of the great fire and the need for a scapegoat to save themselves and at the same time to wreak vengeance on the Christians.”[19]

“Poppaea’s influence was at the full when on June 9, 62, she obtained an order for the slaughter of Octavia, Nero’s [first] wife.”[20]

Nero’s persecution, says Workman, “stamped itself for ever upon the memory of the Church by reason of its fiendish cruelties as well as its distinguished victims.”[21]

Because they caused so much trouble throughout the empire, the Romans began to despise the Jews.

“Suetonius shows that the Jews were expelled from Rome under Claudius around A.D. 50 for causing riots in confrontations with Christians. The Jews were disliked by the Romans and frequently stirred up trouble in Rome causing them to be expelled from Rome on other occasions.”[22]

So, Ezzat is wrong again when he argues that “Egypt would have converted to Judaism instantly after the God of the Israelites had revealed his might by destroying the land and its king (so-called Pharaoh).” He is operating under the assumption that people will change their views once they see the evidence, but this hypothesis is not entirely true.

On the contrary, we have good evidence which suggests that evidence alone does not necessarily lead people to change their minds. Sometimes ideology is more powerful than evidence.

If anyone would like to challenge that claim, perhaps he should be familiar with the work of people like Aldous Huxley, Richard Lewontin, Victor J. Stenger, and even Paul Davies. Lewontin, a Harvard geneticist, put the issue quite bluntly when he stated in the New York Times Book Reviews more than a decade ago:

“We take the side of science [Darwinian evolution] in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

“It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”[23]

In a similar tone, Huxley declared,

“For myself, as for no doubt most of my contemporaries, the essence of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation…We objected to morality because it interferes with our sexual freedom.”[24]

What kind of evidence will convince people like these? Is there enough information in this world that will help them change their ideological weltanschauung?

The answer is no.


What we are seeing here is that both Ezzat and the genetic theorists seem to misrepresent the stories of the Old Testament. They do not seem to understand that that Zionism and other subversive movements which the Dreadful Few had forged over the centuries cannot be exegetically drawn from the Old Testament but from the Talmud.

On the contrary, the Old Testament is filled with “unpleasant” things to say about rebellious Israel. The children of Israel, we are told over and over, have “a rebellious heart” (Jeremiah 5:23) and are “wise to do evil” (4:22). The children of Israel “committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife” (5:7-8). And then this:

“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter. And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcasses will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them. And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury. Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof…” (19:6-9, 11-12).


Like Ezzat—who asserts in several parts of his book that if one happens to take the Exodus story as genuine then he or she is part of the “historically uneducated masses” or the “hordes of gullible and uneducated masses”—the Pharisees and later the rabbis deliberately failed to see that the stories in the Old Testament were universal in scope; that is, the stories discuss unimaginable death, human suffering, injustice, anger, immorality, and ultimately spiritual redemption, which to Christians got their fulfillment at the foot of the cross.

The Pharisees thought that the Old Testament was about them and their “greatness,” and when they came to Jesus, they hubristically declared that “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to anyone…”

The Pharisees and rabbis, through the Talmud, ended up distorting the Old Testament and ended up keeping the Jewish people morally and spiritually captive. It is no surprise that they falsely claim that the Old Testament justifies their immoral activity in the Middle East. They are spiritually and intellectually blind, so they used the Old Testament to support their Talmudic carnage and perversion.

This is one reason why the book of Revelation in the first century denounces them as the synagogue of Satan—people who say they are Jews but in reality are liars. And since they also trapped evangelical Christians into the same Talmudic culture, evangelical Christians, since 1948, have defended the genocidal activity of the Israeli regime.

 

In short, Ezzat is right on target when he criticizes Zionism. But the major premises in his book cannot be taken seriously because they are full of historical and intellectual holes.


[1] Margaret MacMillan, Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (New York: Modern Library, 2010), 36.

[2] Christopher Behan McCullagh, Justifying Historical Descriptions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 18-24.

[3] Peter Lipton, Inference to the Best Explanation (New York: Routledge, 1991), 19-20. For similar studies, see for example Martha Howell and Walter Prevenier, From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2001).

[4] From 2001-2009, I spent countless hours researching this very subject. This led me to study the Jewish involvement in nineteenth-century slavery. I have discussed this issue in much detail in Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism, Vol. I (Bloomington: WestBow Press, 2010).

[5] See for example Daniel C. Snell, “Slavery in the Ancient Near East,” Keith Bradley and Paul Cartledge, ed., The Cambridge World History of Slavery, Vol. I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), chapter 1; Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982); David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966); for similar topics, see for example Paul E. Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000); Eugen Strouhal and Werner Forman, Life of the Ancient Egyptian (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992), 101; Antonio Loprieno, “Slavery and Servitude,” UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology; Terence Waltz, ed., Race and Slavery in the Middle East: Histories of Trans-Saharan Africans in 19th-Century Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Mediterranean (Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2011); Eve M. Troutt Powell, Tell This in My Memory: Stories of Enslavement from Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Empire (Stanford: Stanford University Pres, 2013); Roger S. Bagnall, Egypt in Late Antiquity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).

[6] Douglas J. Brewer and Emily Teeter, Egypt and the Egyptians (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 96; for similar accounts on some of these issues, see for example Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982), 167, 175; David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966), 32, 36, 47, 54.

[7] B. G. Trigger, B. J. Kemp, David O’Connor, and Alan B. Lloyd, Ancient Egypt: A Social History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 315.

[8] See Milton Meltzer, Slavery: A World History (New York: De Capo Press, 1993).

[9] For historical studies on these issues, see for example N. R. E. Fisher, Slavery in Classical Greece (London: Bristol Classical Press, 1993); Joseph Vogt, Ancient Slavery and the Ideal of Man (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975); Thomas Wiedemann, Greek and Roman Slavery (New York: Routledge, 1989); Keith Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Sandra R. Joshel, Slavery in the Roman World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); K. R. Bradley, Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire: A Study in Social Control (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987); Peter Garnsey, Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). I do not generally agree with the conclusions of some of those writers, but the consensus is that slavery was present in ancient Greece and Rome.

[10] For those who are interested in studying these issues, see for example Ian Shaw, ed., History of Ancient Egypt (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); J. B. Bury, The Cambridge Ancient History: Egypt and Babylonia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011); George Rawlinson, History of Ancient Egypt (London and New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1886);  John Romer, A History of Ancient Egypt: From the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012); Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1954); L. W. King, History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria in the Light of Recent Discovery (London: British Museum, 1906); Toby Wilkinson, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt (New York: Random House, 2010).

[11] For an examination of Herodotus’ account, see for example James K. Hoffmeir, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).

[12] Ibid., ix.

[13] See for example William F. Albright, From Stone Age to Christianity (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1946); Archaeology: Historical Analogy and Early Biblical Tradition (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1966); New Horizons in Biblical Research (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966).

[14] Donald B. Redford, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, vol. II (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 212, 294, 304, 522.

[15] Hoffmeir, Israel in Egypt, viii.

[16] Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1950), kindle edition.

[17] See for example Ruth Langer, Cursing the Christians?:  A History of the Birkat Haminim (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011); Israel Jacob Yuval, Two Nations in Your Womb: Perceptions of Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Berkley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006). For similar historical studies, see for example Elliott Horowitz, Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006); Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).

[18] For historical studies on this, see for example W. H. C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965); Douglas R. A. Hare, The Theme of Jewish Persecution of Christians in the Gospel According to St. Matthew (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

[19] Herbert B. Workman, Persecution in the Early Church: A Chapter in the History of Renunciation (London: William Clowes & Sons, 1923), 37.

[20] Ibid., 34.

[21] Ibid., 202-203.

[22] I have discussed these issues in great detail in Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism, Vol. II (Bloomington: WestBow Press, 2013).

[23] Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” NY Times Book Reviews, January 9, 1997.

[24] Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals and into the Methods Employed for their Realization. (London: Chatoo & Windus, 1946), 273.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. What I came across somewhere is that the word/name ‘HEBREW’ has its’ root in the ancient Egyptian tongue, that had a meaning something like, that of a ‘trespasser’ someone who is not liked to have around in the neighborhood! Isn’t that ‘ironic’?

  2. I,m sorry my english is too eloquent for you jonas
    And ofcourse you ignored my last two “sentences”
    I read with interest your dissertations and ofcourse ashraf…
    However…there is no conclusion as to whom was where and when…
    A lot of this stuff is rabidly detailed by Ajit vadakyil…and he provides details and dates.
    He has a vulgarity when writing but….even de sade has become a literary standard.
    I am not allowed by your system to roll into details and so you and others…(((shrimpton especially)))
    are fed sarcasm because …there is no level playing field in the comments section.
    May I make it clear that I have absorbed your position…almost mathematically described…
    But refutation is just lost virginity.

  3. Jonas….

    u spenta lotta time bashing ashraf
    pickin the raisins outta the bread style.

    true birth of an (((arab))) tribe is the land of kush…queen of sheba…
    kindly remember the sea straits are only …what 30 miles wide…with odd islands.

    and the original (((filth))) were black.

    • Kevin,

      Are you familiar with book reviews and examining extraordinary claims? Can you state specifically where I spent “lotta time bashing ashraf”? Bashing someone is like producing personal attack on the person instead of dealing with the arguments that he produces. The debate is not about Ashraf as a person. It is about a book that he wrote which he expects readers to respond to. As I said in one of the articles, Ashraf sent out a message way back in 2015 when the book came out saying that he hoped the book would spark intense debates. That was what he expected, and I didn’t want to disappoint him by producing some counter-arguments. I also find it interesting that you would skip just about every argument that I produced in both articles and then boldly declare that I was “bashing Ashraf.” Completely incoherent.

  4. Jonas,
    In one of his books regarding this matter, Dr. Ezzat offers some supporting material to his claim. I remember two of those:
    1- Mount Saina is located in the Arabian Peninsula, and not in Egypt. A simple search using Google maps shows it to be in northwest what is now Saudi Arabia.
    2- The town Goshen referenced in the bible couldn’t have existed in Egypt if we were to believe the flow of events mentioned in the bible. The town Goshen is the same town/province that still exist until today in the Arabian Peninsula. It is now in Southwest Saudi Arabia, but was part of Yemen prior to the 1980’s. That Saudis pronounce the name Jazan, where the Yemenis pronounce as Gasan.
    Furthermore, I would bring attention to the following:
    A- Israel has been digging in the “Temple Mount” in Jerusalem since 1967 looking for the temple, without finding one. It is hard to miss the elephant in the room, if one existed!
    B- A number of ancient currencies and artifacts were found in Palestine, over time. None were Jewish or Hebrew.
    Additionally: the people who claim to be Israelites and smites, are neither Israelites nor smites. The come from a place called Khazaria (on the shores of the Caspian Sea), with their roots in Iskenazi Turkey. Thus, the Ashkenazis, who make up about 92% of the world Jews of today. A simple Google search shows İşkenaz to be in now adays Turkey.

    • Zod,

      This is a review of Ezzat’s Egypt Knew Neither Pharaoh Nor Moses, which was first published in 2015. Ezzat was not promoting anything else. I don’t think he wrote any other books then. I’m still looking for his other “books,” and they are nowhere to be found. Moreover, the Khazarian theory, which I think is plausible, has nothing to do with Ezzat’s argument. In fact, the theory is a recent formulation and has nothing to do with whether Egypt knew Pharaoh or Moses.

    • The foundation of the Temple in Jerusalem is under the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is why the Israelis and their assets plan to bring it down somehow. I’ve heard they already have tunnels dug underneath it in preparation for doing so. The “Wailing Wall” is actually part of the Roman fortress Antonia, but that is kept a secret from almost everyone.

      There was an attempt to rebuild the temple in the mid-300s A.D. during Julian the Apostate’s reign (he hated Christianity and wanted to disprove Jesus’s prediction that it would be destroyed and never rebuilt). Miraculous occurrences, like fireballs coming from the earth killing many, repeated earthquakes, and other very unusual events prevented the project from going forward. This was reported by Roman, Jewish, and Christian writers, and can be found in Giuseppe Ricciotti’s Julian the Apostate and in E Michael Jones’s “Julian the Apostate and the Temple of Doom,” a chapter in his acclaimed book, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History, and the original 4th C. sources can be read at fisheaters(dot)com/juliantemple.html