Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Numbers, Chapter 12 proves that Moses did not author the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament), as many Christian fundamentalists would suggest. It also shows Yahweh's obvious sexism and favoritism.
First, those who say that Moses authored the Pentateuch are dismayed when they read this verse: "Now the man Moses was very meek; above all the men which were on the face of the Earth."
Moses, had he authored the Pentateuch, would be at pains to explain how any meek man could write such arrogant words about himself. It's bad enough that he was referring to himself in the third person. Unlike Christian fundies, I don't think Moses authored these books. Actually, I question whether Moses even existed. The things Moses does reads more like Hercules or some superhero. And, recent Biblical scholarship is lending support to what is called the 'documentary hypothesis', which is a school of thought that thinks there were at least four authors of the Pentateuch.
The documentary hypothesis is probably the best explanation why the Pentateuch is so full of contradictions. The Book of Genesis, as I've mentioned when I first started this journal (obviously), is the most problematic. That's because the authors were at pains to explain things that happened before they decided to start writing stuff down. So, they used elements of stories that they knew from their old cultures, the Sumerians and Canaanites. That's why the Sumerian stories of the Enuma elish and the Epic of Gilgamesh resemble the creation story, and the flood, respectively.
As for Yahweh's sexism, in Chapter 12, Moses marries an Ethiopian woman. Aaron (Moses' homeboy) and Miriam (Moses's older sister), complain and then criticize Moses for his choice in women (it had something to do with marrying outsiders). Yahweh became angry that they would criticize Moses (who was God's homeboy), and punished them, by giving leprosy to Miriam.
That sucks! Two people complain about God's BFF and ONE person (the chick) gets punished - with LEPROSY no less!
Next time, we're going to meet the favorite characters of Christian conspiracy theorists; a race of giants called the Nephilim.