Is Zecharia Sitchin Anti-Semitic?

I don’t believe so (Sitchin is Jewish).

That said, it seems Sitchin and his followers don’t realize how his ideas open themselves to that charge. How? Aside from pure imagination, a lot of Sitchin’s ideas presuppose a dependence of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) on earlier Sumerian and Babylonian literature. More acutely, Sitchin asserts over and over again in his books that the Old Testament writers borrowed their material from the Sumerian and later Mesopotamian people.

This idea was all the rage in the late 19th century and early 20th century, particularly in the wake of the famous “Babel und Bibel” (“Babel and the Bible”) lecture of Friedrich Delitzsch. It was the era of the decipherment of cuneiform and the discovery of creation and flood stories in Mesopotamian literature. It was also the era of deepening anti-Semitism, a belief cultivated nowhere more zealously than Germany, Delitzsch’s fatherland. In fact, it was in this environment that the “higher criticism” of the Bible began. The criticism of the Bible as in any way historical was led by German anti-Semites. The result was the pursuit of alternative origin stories, found ever-so-conveniently in the writings of the “Aryans” (who supposedly came from Sumeria — is this sounding familiar, ye followers of Sitchin?). The Nazis, of course, made this dogma, since the “Aryan” (Vedic) writings were written in Sanskrit, which was the ancient ancestor of Indo-European languages, of which German was prominent. Yes, they descended from the gods who first gave kingship, the right to rule, at Sumer — unlike those inferior Jews. They and their myths had to be eradicated.

As I’ve told Sitchinites at various lectures, no credible OT scholar today argues that the Genesis stories came wholesale from Mesopotamian material. That idea is passe, but Sitchin doesn’t seem to mind being 100 years behind the curve. The literary issue is far more complex than what we think of as borrowing, and people who spend time in the biblical text know it, and so have abandoned the views of Delitzsch and his followers.

For a readable (non-specialist) discussion of how Delitsch’s anti-semitism fueled his scholarship, click here [from Bible Review 18 no 1 (F 2002): 32-40, 47].  Amazing how this despicable bias influenced generations, and is still influencing amateur researchers like Sitchin, though only sub-consciously.

25 thoughts on “Is Zecharia Sitchin Anti-Semitic?

  1. Pingback: Is Zecharia Sitchin Anti-Semitic? | UFO Religions

  2. didnt civilization move from East to West???
    Even the bible discribes God calling Abram from out of Ur which is ancient Sumer isnt it.
    Anti-Semiticism aside wasnt Hebrew religion largely influenced by Mesoptamia since thats where Abram came from…..or you could say that the religions in Mesopotamia were/are just corruptions of Hebrew religion.

  3. Pingback: The Bias of 19th Century German Biblical and Assyriological Scholarship | PaleoBabble

  4. You have said Sitchin is Jewish. Can you please provide evidence for this? I desperately need a completely accurate and reliable source that he actually has Jewish Blood in his veins, not just a statement from someone but a link to a family tree or anything that completely proves he is Jewish. Any answer is fine, cheers

    • what does the sentence “your both false opposition” mean? Not understandable. I really could care less about Israeli politics.

  5. 1. Sumerians, like the Hebrews, were Caucasian.

    2. Lands change many hands. The land on the North American Continent was not always held by Caucasians. However, the greatest civilization on North America (USA) was built by Caucasians and will be destroyed as mongrels and non-Caucasians take over the land.

    3. The Bible is about the Adamic “WHITE/CAUCASIAN/EUROPEAN” Race. Like the US Constitution, when ever the Bible says men/man/adamite it is ONLY talking about White men/man/adamites. Todays so-called “Jews” are really mongrel Edomite Pharisees in the Bible, a satanic mongrel sickness that has followed white people around since Eve and the non-Adamite serpent produced the mongrel Cain (the first so-called Jew).

    • nonsense (here we go with the Satan and Eve babble again). This is almost as dumb as the ancient astronaut silliness. You use the Bible to try and refute the Bible, but there’s no data behind your usage argument.

  6. The ancient astronaut theories make more sense than any religions of with so called ” Gods”. It makes sense that the various believes in “Gods” have derived from a contact with more developed beings which we started to (or were made to) worship. I think this must be very difficult for religious people to wrap their heads round this idea because it means that their “Gods” are nothing more than beings from other planets which actually don’t care if you grow a beard, go to church on Sunday or work on the Sabbath :-)

    • So, let me see if I follow. The fact that you don’t like conventional religion makes another theory that doesn’t like them, or opposes them, plausible? That’s another way of saying “this view makes sense because I like it.” That is hardly clear analysis and the approach offers no data. For the ancient astronaut theory to even get on the table for discussion one thing is required: proof that intelligent ETs exist. Mathematical guesses (like the silly Drake Equation) are not proof for alien life, nor is anyone’s wish for that to be real. It isn’t reasonable at all to say one’s worldview is coherent when it’s fundamental focus (aliens) is not demonstrably factual.

      And in case you’re wondering how this differs from belief in God (traditional theism), see the “Exotheology” archive over on my UFO Religions blog.

      • There might not be any proof for alien life, but it still remains more plausible than supernatural “Gods” for which there is no evidence either. There are many planets and galaxies and it would be strange if earth was the only inhabited planet. A lot of ancient alien theories are based on speculation some of them might seem wild but the fact is that a lot of cultures have stories about visits by extraterestial beings. And some of the stuff in sitchins translations of the sumerian texts are verifiable. There have been for instance mines found in south africa which date back over a hundred thousand years if not more. There are zulu legends which say that that these mines were worked by slaves created by the first people. Also the sumerian tablets talk about things in the universe that they had no way of knowing unless they had very developed technology, rivaling today’s. Also in his book the twelfth planet sitchin provides a good and plausible analysis of how much of the mediteranean religions are very alike, with the pantheon of twelve gods, etc. and that the earliest version which we know of was that of the sumerians. I haven’t really read deeply into your crticisms of sitchin so maybe you have debunked all of these points already , but please let me know if there is anything on your website that does.

        • This is self-defeating, since the various ancient mythologies you quote in favor of your idea presume the existence of the gods you deny. It implodes. You simply assume that the texts are talking about ETs and not gods, but that fails because there is no evidence in the texts of these ancient cultures that these gods came from other planets (i.e., the text do not describe known planets; and in the case of Sumer, there is no reference to the Anunnaki inhabiting any planet, much less Nibiru).

          The problem is that one can’t talk about ancient mythologies without depending on the texts that record / produce those mythologies. And when those texts don’t contain certain ideas, we have no basis to claim those ideas correspond to reality (theirs or ours).

          On the “probability” of ET life, that is far from a sure bet among scientists, even though you hear that all the time:

          • So are you saying that the sumerian text do not talk about these beings traveling through space in vehicles? Don’t the sumerian texts talk about the creation of humans by these beings as a slave race to mine gold? Don’t they mention Eden and adam etc.? And also, did they call them GODS (meaning in the way that we understand what God means, almighty supernatural omnipresent being etc)? For instance I read that the ancient egyptians called their gods “the ones who watch” or “the watchers”? We assume that they were worshipping GODS in our sense. Also if these beings were here a long time ago you’d expect the stories about them to change over time and to develop into different stories. It would explain the fact that almost every civilisation has a believe in a higher or more powerful being that rules their every day life. If religions developed to explain things people didn’t understand then not all civilisation would have come up with similar practices, for instance:making offerings to apeace the “gods”. Anyway I read a bit more on the link you provided….. For me ET’s are a theory. Not a faith or conviction. If tomorrow by some way we find out that ETs don’t exist, life still goes on as normal. Faith in God on the other hand cannot be treated that way, because that’s supposed to be the one and only truth. Are there any other people that have translated the sumerian tablets and have come to a complete different opinion than sitchin? Just out of interest, so I can see it from a different angle.

            • see the Sitchin site; I’m not going to reproduce that site in my comments field. I’m saying all the space travel stuff is contrived.

              • @ Jayzee,

                to be more specific as to what to look for , see Sitchin theory about Nibiru’s crossing..

  7. @ John your speech sound a little zealot on the side, may be your beliefs with human kindness went down with the Temple.. Hitler lost because the artificial reality he wished to construct was opposed to good faith.. his dynamics were exclusions instead of inclusions; he fell and burned
    without having understood anything..

  8. Thanks for the work you do, thanks you discuss results. But please what do you mean by this sentence: “I really could care less about Israeli politics.”

    • it means I don’t make Israeli politics (or politics about Israel) part of the consideration.

  9. Thanks. For me it is important to care about Israeli politics, Israel represents certain ideology. Its methods give interesting context…
    Would it be possible to use other label instead of “Antisemitic”? I do not understantand what this word really means. Do you mean that Sitchin wanted to harm Jewish (semitic) historical text – fiction empeaching its originality? But then – why so strong label from you: Antisemitic? It would mean that Sitchin simply did not like anything Semitic (not only Jewish!). Do you think so?
    Were Sumerians Semitic culture?

    • You need to read what I wrote — my point is that Sitchin is NOT an anti-Semite, though he believed in certain ideas that were also held by anti-Semites.

      anti-Semite = hatred of the Jews; dismissing them as a race, blaming them for all that goes wrong, etc.

      The Sumerians were not Semites; their language is not Semitic; their nearby neighbors, the Akkadians, were Semitic.

      • Stupid question: do we have an idea of where the Sumerians came from? Their ancestors, I mean. Or, do we have an ideas as to whether their language was related to any other languages anywhere else in the world?

        I’m learning. Don’t know a whole lot as of yet.

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