It’s quite common online to run across people who claim to be Egyptologists arguing for “metaphysical” meanings of hieroglyphs. I’m thinking of people like John Anthony West, who by his own admission cannot read Egyptian. But in his mind, he doesn’t need to — since he has mastered the esoteric and metaphysical meanings of the hieroglyphs.
Such an approach is unfortunate, in that it fails to take the Egyptians at their own word (as in letting their literature just communicate to us by boring rules of Egyptian grammar and vocabulary — those silly Egyptians). It’s also antiquated (and that’s being kind). This notion of mystical meanings behind hieroglyphs was en vogue in the 17th and 18th centuries — it was the scholarly approach BEFORE EGYPTIAN WAS CRACKED AS A LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATED. Yes, you read correctly. West and others want us to approach Egyptian the way academics did before the language was actually translated and its grammar understood. This is nothing by Euro-centric paleobabble. Here’s a scholarly article that overviews these mystical approaches to hieroglyphs. We don’t need to bodly march into the 17th century to understand the Egyptians.
Uh . . . nope. Well . . . it does have something to do with genetics . . . but not from space aliens.
Fortunately, we have something called . . . science . . . to help us understand what may have been going on with Akhenaten (and other members of the 18th dynasty).
An interesting 2009 technical article from the professional medical journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, addresses Akhenaten and others in his lineage. You can beam it up here.
Spend any time on the internet (especially Christian sites) and you’re bound to run into a pile of PaleoBabble about Nimrod, a character mentioned only in Genesis 10:8-9; 1 Chron. 1:10 (repeats Genesis 10:8); and Micah 5:6 (reference to the “land of Nimrod”). Here are Genesis 10:8-9 (Tanakh):
Cush also begot Nimrod, who was the first man of might on earth. He was a mighty hunter by the grace of the Lord; hence the saying, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter by the grace of the Lord.”
Not much information here. And yet the internet tells us that Nimrod was one of the nephilim giants of Genesis 6, that he built Babylon with divine technology (the Tower of Babylon was really a time travel portal/stargate), and (perhaps) that he got technological knowledge from those ever-helpful extraterrestrials. All that from these verses?!
Well, not exactly. Those who put forth this silliness invariably depend on ancient (non-biblical) tradition concerning Nimrod. Putting it generously, tradition in such cases = “sucking it out of one’s thumb.” It’s PaleoBabble.
I thought toward this end that I’d post an old 1990 Harvard Theological Review article entitled “Nimrod Before and After the Bible.” The authors are Karel van der Toorn and P. W. van der Horst, both of them expert in Mesopotamian and biblical languages. Granted, the linguistic discussions will likely be too dense fo rmost readers, but the value of this article is getting a brief glimpse of where the nonsensical material about Nimrod comes from, and the very real academic “data obstacles” to the nonsense.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the earth-shattering news by now, that Dan Brown’s sequel to The DaVinci Code (hereafter DVC) is due out on September 15. I’m relieved that he got it to us before 2012.
Brown’s sequel is now entitled, The Lost Symbol. It was going to be titled The Solomon Key, or so his website told us in the wake of DVC’s success. His website informed readers that the sequel had something to do with freemasonry in America, but that it was also tied to the material in DVC.
I’m quite certain Brown will say something about how Solomon’s temple was created to somehow transmit some lost Egypto-Gnostic secret knowledge, and about how that knowledge was brought to America via freemasonry. While Brown made people wait years for the sequel confirmation, PaleoBabble is far more responsive. Let’s get the debunking started right away. If you’re a freemason or a Dan Brown sycophant, you may want to stop reading now.
One of the things I’m sure Brown’s “meticulous research” (his phrase in the DVC, which was subsequently hacked to bits by scholars of all religious persuasions all over the world) will have overlooked (since it doesn’t further the Gnostic idea) is the fact that Solomon’s temple was not modeled after Egyptian temples. It is distinctly Syro-Palestinian, with a dash of Phoenician elements (the Bible tells us Hiram of Tyre sent Solomon help in the construction). Toward making that point, here’s an article from BAR about a non-biblical temple that is the closest in design to the Bible’s description of Solomon’s temple ever found.