This post is the introduction to a series focusing on the origins and intentions of the Old Testament using our Postflavian lens of materialist, rationalist and skeptical interpretation. Our goal below is to provide a clear contextual explanation for the major narratives, by examining the underlying concepts employed by their authors and redactors. Then with this new framework in mind, we will be more able to see what actually transpired in those times, as opposed to what we are commonly led to believe. We have provided a concise summary of our major analysis results found here.
The scope of this series includes, among others, the tales of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David and Solomon, the Divided Monarchy, and the Babylonian Exile. These narratives formed the core of the Judaic Temple Cult, as it was provided to Judea under the Persians. This, in turn, became the basis of manipulation for the Seleucid Greeks, and then the Romans, in their ongoing efforts to integrate an ever evolving, new and ‘approved’ Judaism into an overarching social control mechanism.
We will discuss how the Old Testament (in addition to Homeric and Roman epic) also forms the synthetic basis of the primary false dialectic of Western civilization, namely that of the Gentile versus the Jew. Although we will show that both these ethnic categories originated as cynical contrivances, nevertheless they have a long life of their own. More broadly, we refer here to the continual battle of Greek, Roman, and later Christian peoples, on the one side, against the Jewish people and their later proxies, the Islamics, on the other. This is not to deny the existence of the broad categories of humanity such as the Semitic peoples, but rather our analysis reveals that under an assumed aegis of divinity the authors and redactors of the OT canon have made a profitable hash out of these categories – for their sponsors sake.
Of course, the world has not stood still since the sixth century BC, the apparent time of the major OT redaction. But despite all the world’s changes, the underlying drama has remained much the same. And even the changes that have occurred, have not necessarily been organic or unrelated. Instead, we believe these later developments to a large degree have been driven by the same global ambitions and so-called prophecies recorded in the ancient religious canons.
In any case, this contrived oppositional thread runs continuously through our collective historical narratives, since the time fictively attributed for Moses. This ever-simmering conflict keeps the majority distracted from what really matters, and constantly blaming institutionalized scapegoats for real or perceived problems. Just as the OT’s God used proxy agents of warfare and terror as elements of his “iron rod” to control outcomes then, the same is being done today.
The sad irony is that some modern day Jews complain that they have been, and still are, made scapegoats for the evils of ‘others’. We find this ironic because we assert that this was indeed the assigned role of the Jewish people from day one of their troubled existence. The role was created by the ‘real wise guys’, the Persian clerical redactors of the Old Testament, and likely building upon the prior efforts of the Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians and Babylonians before them. In carrying out this assignment, the Jews have been encouraged by their various prophets (such as Isaiah) and later rabbis to collectively adopt the mantle of the Suffering Servant, ostensibly for atonement’s sake and the eventual betterment of all humanity. Importantly, this very same victimological mantle was claimed by Christianity for Christ.
We believe that the Judaic, and then the Christian narratives, their respective theologies, and even their ethnic identities, have been progressively tweaked so as to continually pit otherwise similar (or maybe even otherwise identical) groups of ordinary ‘common’ peoples against each other. This tweaking was masterfully done via numerous sleight-of-hand techniques ranging from the literary domain to various psychological and physical brutalities, not a few of which have been put to use again in more modern times. During this entire process, the guilty oligarchs du jour have remained disguised behind the scenes.
Studies today have shown that ‘breaking bread’ together is a great way to increase social bonding and done so within the work sphere to improve group performance because of greater co-operation. In Greco-Roman times, at least, different social groups would commonly dine together, apparently because they understood this bonding advantage. However, under the banner of obeying their god’s ‘new’ strict dietary laws, the Jews were prohibited from such social dining practices – only with non-Jews that is. And oddly doing so at a time when they were actively proselytizing for converts amongst the goyim, the so-called ‘Gentiles’.
So, let us reflect on what happens when such a group is set high up on a pedestal, while rejecting all others’ customs and cultures. Hmm… How to lose friends and enrage enemies? Granted that many, such as pagan women, found attractive features (for instance, monogamy) in this radically new religious and social paradigm. A variety of such forms of Judaism eventually attracted approximately 10 percent of the Roman Empire’s population. But later on we’ll see that the Romans also portrayed themselves as another exclusive set of chosen people. They played a seemingly opposite game of overtly merging others’ gods, and then even the Jews’ god, who finally supplanted all the others. That is, the Homeric and Roman polytheistic religious traditions and philosophy were syncretized with Judaic monotheism to form Christianity. This, in time, became the dominant religion of the entire Empire, and remains as the central cultural pillar for the West till today, despite much secularization.
At the same time as they created Christianity, the Romans purposely left a remnant of the Jews as a controlled opposition to themselves. Of course the radically ‘conservative’, violent and nationalistic Jewish sects were purged, as they had taken the Biblical propaganda too seriously. In their place, the Romans created Rabbinical (Talmudic) Judaism as a unified and defanged successor. This not only solved the immediate challenges of the day, but was also useful throughout the Roman empire, and for many years yet to come. This is how elites typically and systematically co-opt and control the masses, via such tried and true human shepherding techniques.
Prior to this imposition of monotheism, societies warred against each other because of the vanities and ambitions of their rulers. However, their gods represented natural functions such as the stars and the weather. It was easy to see that all these respective gods were equivalent, even when they went by different names. Thus, we doubt that these earlier peoples went to war over those equivalent gods. But ever since this new and supposedly benevolent and loving god was styled the exclusive god of gods, there has been nothing but religiously based rancor and strife. There may have been something of a brief respite during the good ol’ Dark Ages of feudalism, when this single god reigned over all Western civilization, and everyone knew their fixed place in the Judeo-Christian caste system. Up until the Crusades, that is.
Today we are still contending with the legacy of this seeming mother of all cultural wars, which appears to stem from the idea that ‘Father loved us best’, and that those ‘others’ think they are too good to join us for supper. The conflict, of course, has grown more complex, as new players (such as the Islamics, and then Protestants of various types), have joined the fray. Geopolitical conflicts masquerade as theological disputes about the true nature of this overly particularist god, and whether one has had his foreskin clipped for him or not. While the latter aspect has been somewhat ‘bandaged over’, we are all still left with this god’s ‘next’ planned Apocalypse hanging over us like the Sword of Damocles. “We will all fry together when we fry”, in any universal holocaust — whether or not we feel ourselves individually under His sway anymore.
Identity Scams and Other Crimes
According to the authors (or redactors) of Genesis 9:18-27, all of Ham’s Canaanite descendants were summarily rejected by God from the fellowship of Semites, as as a result of some inanely obscure interaction of Ham with his drunken and naked father, Noah. Thus, the Canaanites are seen as racially distinct from the Hebrew descendants of Shem via Abraham. But the Hebrews are supposedly distinguished, among other things, by their law against pork consumption. In examining both the historical context and the internal problems of this tale, perhaps we can divine that we have been sold a pig in a poke. But who sold us this pig — that is, these people who don’t eat pork, and supposedly conquered their land from people who .. curiously also didn’t eat pork? Oy veh, who doesn’t like pork after all? Well, during the entire Iron Age, the Canaanites didn’t eat ham. This was unique amongst all their similarly situated highland Semitic neighbors, according to the archaeologists. (Finkelstein & Silberman, The Bible Unearthed, p. 119).
We are not raising this issue only to be provocatively humorous, but also as a clue as to what is really going on. That is, as Finkelstein & Silberman tell us, “The early Israelites were — irony of ironies — themselves originally Canaanites!” (p. 118). As to why they didn’t eat pork we can only speculate, but we don’t believe that it was at Moses’ orders. His narrative has too many epic holes in the pork barrel. It seems much more likely that the cultural divide was created by a stroke of the pen, rather than an act of God. We suspect it may ultimately have been the pharaohs of Egypt who invented these Jews, with a little help from their new friends such as the Hittites. These are the pharaohs who first invented monotheism, but spectacularly failed in their attempt to impose it at home.
Of course, Semitic peoples had been around a long time before the alleged time of Abraham and Noah. They occupied then, as now, the full spectrum of political and ideological camps. The Semites included not only Jews / Canaanites, but also Egyptians, Arabs and Phoenicians, to name a few. The most direct descendants of the ancient Jews (that is, Canaanites) today would ironically be the Palestinians. And, of course, the Arab Islamics are also closely related to the ancient Jews, as Semitic people. Thus, the current usage of the term “anti-Semite” is ironic. An “anti-Semite” today is someone who hates Jews. But, most Semites are not Jews. On the contrary, at least according to the stereotype, the Arab Semites are mostly “anti-Semitic”. To complete the irony, most modern Jews are not exactly Semites, as discussed here:
Eran Elhaik (2012) was able to show that European Ashkenazi Jews, whose autosomal genetic signature has long been known, are more similar to Georgians and Armenians from the Caucasus and contain more recent DNA contributions from that region, compared to Palestinian populations. The European Jews are also related to Palestinians, but at a more ancient distance. Elhaik concludes that this supports the theory of a Khazarian sojourn for these European Jews. https://postflaviana.org/elite-sub-species/
The nature of Jewish identity today is complex and somewhat elusive. A wide variety of people call themselves Jews. Religiously, they range from orthodox conservatives to secular agnostics and atheists. Ethnically, most are either Ashkenazi or Sephardic, but there are also Ethiopian and even Chinese communities, as well as many others. In various ways, however, all Jews claim to trace their heritage to a single ancient and original substrate, that was created by some combination of force, propagandic texts, intermarriage, and heavily proselytized conversion.
This veiling concept was so important that it was re-employed to embellish the Second Covenant of Christianity. Paul, seemingly unaware of any ethnic aspect, has converted the veil into a metaphor.
2 Corinthians 3:7-15, KJV:
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? …
Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
There are also other hints that these Levite priests may have been ethnically distinct from the other tribes, who had been indigenous Canaanites all along. Just as Abraham was described as Hittite, we note that Moses is described as having a shining face (Exodus 34:29-35), so bright that it needed to be veiled. Elsewhere his skin is also described as white from leprosy (Exodus 4:6). These descriptions of Moses as (temporarily) white, can be viewed as creation myths that might have been offered to explain why the Levites had white skin. If there is indeed a distinct genetic signature which is characteristic of Levitical priests today, this would only go to support our thesis.
So with such as the fictional Ham ruse and the insinuation of the foreign Levites into the Canaanite polity, we see the basis for what we are characterizing as an Identity Scam. From the many Old Testament descriptions of massacres of Canaanite populations and the forced migrations, we can only surmise that the conversion process of the indigenous population was long and bloody. After the time of the fictively depicted ‘Conquest’, any opposition to the conversion process from Canaanite polytheism to Hebrew monotheism was recontextualized as ‘backsliding’.
We were pretty excited to learn of this strange business regarding Noah, Ham and Canaan and to realize what it really means. However, it pales in comparison to what immediately follows that episode where on a subsequent investigation we discovered that someone else started ‘dwelling in Shem’s tents’, but at least according to the way the genealogies are constructed they weren’t complete ‘strangers’. However, according to the strict rules of Judaism, they certainly can’t be considered ‘Shem’ites unless that is, it was only the lady Semites getting the ‘strange’ attention. All levity aside, this provides a possible avenue for explaining the presence of the Ashkenazi amongst today’s Judaic population, however there are several possibilities here that must be discussed later, and which we do not believe will be beyond the pale face of Moses, so to speak.
Steps towards a Globally Harmonized Religion
The elite have two great and long-standing ambitions, which were expressly stated many times in the ancient canonical literatures of the Hebrews, Greeks and Romans. The first of these long desired ambitions, the universal harmonization of spiritual beliefs and practices, could be seen as beneficial to wider humanity; that is, if such a uniform belief system for all mankind would be a suitable price to pay for those benefits. The second ambition, a pathological greed for accumulating great material wealth and power based on a sense of class or caste entitlement, seems obviously and mundanely crass. Conceivably there could be other motives, but that possibility will be beyond the scope of this series. Whatever the case, the first ambition serves and helps to disguise the second. Religion, as has been observed frequently by the more astute, is a tool of the political elite class that plays on the continuing neuroses of the gullible and/or to the wiles of ambitious sycophants. As such, the development of monotheism was an important part of this agenda.
During the famous reign of Akhenaten, monotheistic Atonism was imposed in rapid order upon the entire Egyptian populace, including the immensely powerful priesthood of Amun. The violent backlash created, due to the sudden imposition of the radically different spiritual paradigm, caused Atonism to be a complete failure. In its wake, Akhenaten’s royal city of Amarna was rapidly, yet peacefully abandoned, completely. Where did its inhabitants, especially the elites, go?
We suggest that after the epic failure of Atonism, the Egyptian elites still persisted in their goal to create a monotheistic society. However, they took a much more conservative and gradual approach, by planting the new religion in a relatively unpopulated Canaanite backwater, called Judea, after first weeding the wider area of ‘conservative’ objectors. Here, the seed and shrub could be nurtured in relative isolation until the time was ripe to allow its own seed to be sent forth. In the centuries-long process, the tree would occasionally need ‘pruning’, so to speak, for allegedly going astray of the Lord’s (the lords’) wishes. In this way, the once ‘wild’ seed would become domesticated, only to have a ‘wild branch’ grafted back in later as told in Romans 11.
Ironically, the now domesticated branches (such as the true believer Zealots and ‘original’ Pharisees) would have to be pruned. Here, Josephus said that there were two competing schools of Pharisees and that the Romans terminated one of them with extreme prejudice while leaving the second to become today’s normative Talmudic rabbis. And to what end then?
Is it really a coincidence that one of the many monikers applied to the ‘new’ deity of the Hebrews was Adon, or Adonai, as compared to Akhenaton’s Aton? And that for some reason, this new moniker had uniquely monotheistic overtones compared to the other monikers adopted from their polytheistic pasts?
The gradual transition of religious form can also be seen when reading the Old Testament, or Tanakh. The oldest texts acknowledge the existence of all the polytheistic gods, but the focus gradually shifts jealously to the ‘one’ real god, confusingly known by several names. The plural elohim were originally part of the wider Canaanite pantheon. Yahweh was possibly a rank outsider, mirroring Abraham’s insinuation into Canaan. (For more on Judaic polytheism, also see Margaret Barker, The Great Angel: A Study of Israel’s Second God). The rise to the top by this junior sibling god is echoed in the Judaic narratives of Jacob and Joseph, among others. These were younger brothers who also arose to prominence, defying cultural norms of primogeniture.
The triumphs of younger brothers like Jacob and Joseph may also be taken as a metaphor for the otherwise odd (fictive) rise of Israel and Judea. In reality, the two regions had been relative backwaters and vassals to their much more powerful neighbors. While some might see this as something akin to a divine version of The Beverly Hillbillies, where the anointing ‘oil’ of God was bestowed on seemingly unlikely beneficiaries, we rather see it as further evidence of elite human planning. From the failed Amarna experiment, the elites learned that the imposition of monotheism was not a quick and easy thing. Thus, Palestine’s circumstances and geographical positioning (in the politically convenient middle of nowhere) was ideal for such a project.
But even so, as with any new real estate development or start of a new farm, the land must be cleared of troublesome weeds and other obstructions, humans in this case. Thus, the more appropriate modern cultural metaphor for all of this might be Green Acres rather than The Beverly Hillbillies. The barrenness of the patriarchs’ wives, which is overcome by the intervention of the ‘Lord’, is a metaphor for the clearing operation which must have preceded Israel’s synthetic creation, in service of the (human) lords’ agenda.
As to the ancient roots of the dialectic of Jew and Gentile, it is important to realize that the Western narrative’s antithesis to the ‘Jews’, i.e. the Romans and their Spartan heroes, had intimate foundational connections to their supposed opposites. Moses Hadas, the late chairman of the Department of Greek and Latin at Columbia University, revealed the widespread linkages between the Jewish and Greco-Roman Hellenic cultural and foundational tableaus in his Hellenistic Culture, Fusion and Diffusion (1959). In his preface to that book, he stated that some of his colleagues who assisted him with the project would remain ‘unnamed’ because they would disapprove of the result. Fortunately for those ‘unnamed people’, this type of book is not widely read. Even those adventurous enough to read it will likely not grasp its deepest implications, at least not without contextual preparation.
Hadas’ research shows that there is no point in Western history at which these supposedly radically differing groups can ever be viewed in isolation. The two ‘teams’ developed in dialectical opposition from the beginning. Humans are generally inclined to trust superficial appearances and the word of authority figures, and they have a deep social need to be on a team – any team. Thus, we have all been primed to identify with one or the other side of this dialectic, while the sponsors of the system profitably maintain control. The conditioning is extraordinarily difficult to overcome, no matter how sophisticated and modern we consider ourselves.
We are all now deeply ingrained with these false ‘identities’. As such, we ‘muggles’, in Harry Potter parlance, always have someone (but never the deserving party) to blame. If there are no humans around to blame for our transient personal problems, we’ll even punch holes in our walls, kick dogs, or worse. But having a persistent human scapegoat subculture around to kick, for killing the claimed savior of our eternal souls — well, it just doesn’t get any better than that! Unless we are able to discern this core deception, we will be condemned to interpret everything we see through a highly distorted contextual lens. This turns us into the opposite of what we’d like to believe about ourselves, insidiously making us mental slaves and working against our best overall interests. Ironically, if the claimed savior hadn’t allegedly been killed by the alleged Christ-killers, then the Christians wouldn’t have him to worship. Thus, Christians should be kissing the ground that Jews walk on!
Of course, the gospels allow for the interpretation that the Romans were responsible for killing Christ. If one accepts our thesis, this is one more darkly delicious inside joke. Conversely, if the idea of Jew-as-scapegoat is rejected, the habit of looking for scapegoats remains, and a constant stream of candidates is advanced by modern propaganda. If you don’t hate the Jews, well then you can hate the Communists, or the uber-Capitalists, or the Republicans, or the Democrats; or, especially, the Muslims.
We are not necessarily saying that there has ever been a single, united, international elite. (On the other hand, we would not want to exclude that possibility, either.) The most plausible explanation is that the system was evolved over time by loosely collaborating Egyptian and Hittite elites, and later refined by Persian and then Roman elites, all facing similar and common problems of controlling their respective tribes of “sheeple”. Regardless of the degree of collaboration, the ancient elites (as well as today’s) were unquestionably in a position to communicate with each other and to exchange ideas, as well as brides and other luxury goods. Accordingly, the contrived dialectic of Jew versus Gentile durably served their commonly held ambitions, easily transcending the rise and fall of empires and nations.
The goal of harmonization seems to paradoxically exist in conflict with the “divide and conquer” dialectic agenda. Such divisions might either be encompassed within a globally accepted system, as suggested by George Orwell in 1984‘s tripartite nightmare, or perhaps “divide and conquer” is only a bloody means to the global end. It is impossible to say whether either ancient or modern global elites truly aspire to end all divisions, and unite the globe into a single harmonious “New World Order”. Or in any case, that speculation is beyond our scope here.
Synthetic Formulation of Greek Epics
The monotheistic transformation of Hebrew society was later mirrored by the equally synthetic, bizarre and immediate social transformation of the Greek region of Sparta. This previously rather typical region became renowned as the most strict military dictatorship ever known until modern times. According to Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, the oracle at Delphi gave the dictatorial approval for this transformation to Lycurgus of Sparta. Lycurgus seems to be as ephemeral as Moses. Estimates of the time of his reign range anywhere from 900 BC to 700 BC. This is the general time frame of the early Divided Monarchy era, when we believe the Canaanites were being transitioned to monotheism.
The god Apollo was invoked as the ultimate source of the Lycurgan command, thus lending divine authority. This Spartan culture was lionized by Plato and his ‘ideal’ republic, as discussed in his Republic and Laws. With all this we can see the ultimate man-made implementation of a Hegelian Dialectic. On the one hand was a synthetically evolving Jewish spirituality, focused xenophobically on a small, contrived Promised Land. On the other hand was the equally synthetic Hellenic and Roman culture and statesmanship, ruling over the remainder of the Mediterranean region.
The book of 1 Maccabees (12:20-23) contains a letter, allegedly written by King Arius of Sparta, which states that the Spartans and Jews were both descended from Abraham. As discussed in Hadas (pp. 84-86), some Jews of the day believed the claim was true, inasmuch as it pleased their vanity to share this connection with the dominant powers of the region. Specifically, this would be the upper social strata of urban Judean society, including the high priests, who were happily Hellenized within the globalizing zeitgeist of the day. At some deeper level, the story may actually have been true, as the Spartan and Judaic elites may have shared an ethnic (Indo-European) connection.
These early Maccabees (aka the Hasmoneans) were also happily in league with the Romans, overtly at first. Together, the Romans and Maccabees idolized the by now bizarre and faded Spartans. But the Maccabees are usually recast today as ‘heroes’ of ancient Judaic nationalism. At the same time, other Jews of a more conservative and generally rural (perhaps Semitic) bent were loudly decrying the ‘alien’ degradation of their sacred and exclusive culture. After all, their sacred narrative had granted them a Promised Land to genocidally conquer under the aegis of Divine Providence, and now they saw it slipping away. Sound familiar, Pilgrims?
Just as the Spartans enslaved and terrorized their neighboring helots, the Romans later aspired to enslave the Greeks, whose cultural and intellectual prowess Romans acknowledged they could not match. The Romans justified their conquests, as did the Hebrews, by a revealed and sacred global mission. Similarly, in more modern times, Europeans justified their land grabbing conquest of the New World as the blessing of the same Providence, albeit with some functional differences.
Western societal elites, traditionally liking to cast themselves as ‘shepherds’ over their respective human flocks, have long employed a human herding tool long known as ‘Divide and Conquer’. Today we know this as ‘wedge politics’, in which some various chronically divisive issues of minimal import are introduced into the political theater’s debate du jour. The primary purpose of such tactics is to divide various groups that could otherwise come together democratically to defeat or support other more weighty matters. From their creation until today, the unique Judaic and Spartan societies and their descendants have served as convenient tools and foils to achieve hidden agendas.
So despite the rhetoric we here yet today, as in the past, about the differences between the Jew and Gentile systems, the underlying dynamics remain the same, whether one god or many. What is most important is maintaining the respective ‘piety’ of the society members. This not only ensures social cohesiveness but allows the concentration of massive wealth to the religious centers, in the case of the Jews, this was solely to the Jerusalem Temple, and those elites who controlled it. But the same followed for the Gentile societies. An easy ten percent skim off the top is a nice haul in any man’s perspective.
Realdialectik: Ultra-Elites vs. Everyone Else
Whatever the ultimate reality behind these ‘historical’ depictions, it must be realized that the central Hellenic institution of the Greek gymnasium, including the one in Jerusalem, was highly class conscious and only open to the elites. Such Hellenic cultural aspects crossing over into the Judaic polity, as well as similar factors from before the Jewish synthesis, serves to expose the underlying tensions between the entitled ultra-elites and pretty much everyone else. The false Judeo-Gentile dialectic, then as now, was tremendously successful in diverting attention away from this very real problem.
This class tension was also ignored by the Classical Greeks in their discussions of the oligarchs and plutocrats. No matter the underlying governmental form, the welfare of the common man, the hoi polloi, was rarely if ever of concern. Indeed if the helots or other slaves were ever mentioned at all, it was only with disdain. All versions of the system were based on seizure of vast quantities of land, by once nomadic or colonizing conquerors on their way to becoming aristocrats. Disproportionate wealth could be generated by these Providential lands, when combined with the cheapest possible labor. Prefiguring such as the Mormon Church, Pentecostals and Scientologists of today, the conquerors made themselves priests and began inventing pious schemes to religiously justify their continuing right to squat on said lands.
For example: Roman aristocrats, the senatorial class, were all members of various pagan priestly orders. Later, these were directly subsumed into the near identical format of the Roman Catholic ecclesia (see Beard and North’s Pagan Priests). In fact, the various orders acted much like today’s American Senatorial committees in function. This was paralleled roughly by the Jewish Sanhedrin. In both cases, the lands were worked by the lower classes and slaves, and thus the claim that “Israel was a land of priests” cleverly disguises the underlying reality. The Roman and the Jewish systems were otherwise the same, including their similar deity names: Jo’ve and Jehovah (Yah’ve).
Unfortunately, since the ancient inception of the dialectic, it has become masked by many complicating factors, making it difficult for individuals to grasp the very simplicity of how it generally works. Furthermore, in the contemporary mental framework, it is inconceivable and heretical for most to consider that effective control can be maintained over human beings. The various nations today certainly appear to be harder to herd than cats. As part of the ‘postmodern’ (not Postmodernist) milieu ourselves, we suspect that even some of today’s shepherds (if not all) may be equally as unconscious as the sheep, perhaps meme-walking through life. Historical analysis is uncovering deep leitmotifs, literary archetypes, and social networks that are major factors driving the unfolding of modern events. We can only speculate as to which of the oligarchs are, or were, overtly aware of these complex factors and are able to utilize them to the greatest possible extent.
Caste, Slavery and Freedom
As shown by Georges Dumezil, the idea of a tripartite social caste system is basic to Indo-European culture. A paradigmatic example is the Vedic Indian caste system, consisting of the Brahman (priest / king), kshatriya (warrior), and vaishya (agriculture / trade) classes. This caste system, generally, was known in the Mediterranean region via Plato’s Republic, if not earlier. If partly forgotten, it was re-encountered in Alexander the Great’s time, when the Greeks ran headlong into it on the way to India. Hellenistic art from that period and region shows a cultural fusion of people in Greek attire portraying Buddhist themes. Aspects of this Indian cultural fusion later found their way into the elite Roman and Helleno-Jewish formulation of Christianity. From there, in turn, flowed the horrors of feudalism, the inquisitions, holy and not so holy wars, institutionalized Jewish ghettos, and so on.
Via Philo, Platonism found its way into Christianity, as the Logos as mentioned in the Gospel of John. In English, the Logos was further contextually diluted via its translation into the Word. This concept then becomes the basis for the Trinity’s third party, the Holy Spirit. By design or (no) coincidence, Christian Europe’s feudalism mimicked the caste system discussed by Plato.
Nicholas De Vere, in his The Dragon Legacy, makes the same underlying argument — that there was once a widespread ancient and benevolent caste system. De Vere believes that it was his ancestors, the red headed and green eyed clan of Aryans, who emerged as the rulers by universal acclaim of their self-evident merit. Since the collapse of that system, De Vere’s ultra-exclusive Aryans have been quietly and gallantly fighting off the greedy “tinker nobility”. These latter would be either the descendants of conquering warlords of other clans, or the latter day merchant class nobility. The pseudo-fascist Julius Evola argued somewhat similarly for what he claimed was the oldest sect of Buddhism, that of the Pali. He says that subsequent schools of Buddhism debased the ‘divine’ caste system in their successive attempts to popularize Buddhism.
Similarly it is claimed that in the days of ancient Sumeria, the practice of actual, overt slavery was relatively benign. One might become a ‘bonded’ slave to another to address an exigent downturn in personal circumstances. However, one could not only emerge from this condition, but while still in it one could even buy and sell property as a slave. Perhaps the book of Leviticus contains a memory of this context, where such ‘bondage’ could not last for more than 7 years, and one must treat one’s enslaved brother better than the others.
Based on all this speculation, it seems entirely possible that at the dawn of written history, there was a divide, the same as there is today, between two general traditions, or ideals, for societal organization. While some societal elites preferred a static caste system, other elites (along with many commoners) held to an ideal of social mobility based upon merit and such, using some form of modified caste or no seeming caste at all. But even if De Vere is being grossly self-serving, and/or deceptive, and Knapp may be misguided, all this gets to the heart of the matter of the true dialectic.
For here, if the reader pays attention, the book of Genesis ironically, precisely and explicitly describes Abraham as a typical wealthy caravan merchant. When he arrived at Hebron, a typical trading colony inside of a foreign state, the Hittites there immediately recognized him as a princely man of importance. Abraham’s traveling retinue of 318 shepherds served double duty as his armed host. That is, the claimed patriarchal father of the Hebrews was both a princely merchant and acted in a militaristic fashion, as did his conquering descendants. And yet, the pious view of Abraham is that he (and his famous progeny) were not so very different from common and lowly shepherds of literal sheep.
With the ‘invention of the Jewish people’ (to borrow from Shlomo Sand) and the synthetic Judaic construct, the conflict between rigid caste and social mobility hardened into a social false dialectic. We find Egypt (and, later, Greece and Rome) taking the more rigid approach, while the Hebrews saw themselves as beneficiaries of a slave revolt. Thus they saw themselves as more likely to honor individualistic values. The new-found state of ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’, however, resulted in the continuation of hierarchical practices under a new set of labels and laws. Their new and unique god was yet still an avatar for their veiled human masters.
The Temple Cult is emblematic of this dialectic, partly because it seems that the First Temple may have never really existed as it was depicted, possibly aside from the conveniently undateable megalithic platform. Instead, it may have been creatively retrojected into the past, with the iconic confabulations of Solomon and his father, David. The alleged precursor to the temple, the tabernacle, and its main accoutrement, the so-called Ark of the Covenant, are nothing but Egyptian in origin and commonplace pharaonic reality (i.e. military campaign portable shrines in the case of the tabernacle). This may be taken as a strong hint of what is to come in our narrative analysis.
The fictional character of the narrative is further indicated by the fact that the Old Testament contains three mutually exclusive descriptions of the so-called ark. Also, the realm of David and Solomon was described as extending from the Nile to the Euphrates. In reality, such a claim could be made only by a few of the most powerful Pharaohs at the height of the Egyptian empire. Consider these as talismanic markers, if you will, indicating which way leads to reality, if you care to wake up from your dream.
Hmmm, maybe with all this presence of Egyptian paraphernalia around at the time, maybe the so-called First Temple, and its massive platform still standing there, was really built by Egyptian pharaohs. And then centuries after the fact, the responsible name were changed to Solomon?
As discussed in the current November 2015 issue of Discover magazine (Witness to Armageddon, Weintraub), archaeological debate about the nature of David’s and Solomon’s existence is still raging on in Palestine. The central issue is the precise dating of the “red brick layers” which appear at Israel Finkelstein’s dig at Tel Megiddo. These are ostensibly the last Canaanite layers, before the layer which is presumed to be Solomon’s, based on its refined ashlar palaces. Because of extensive destructive fires in the red brick layers, Finkelstein and his opposition are waging a scientific war to prove whether or not the dating can fit the chronology. In addition the article states: “… King Solomon, might have no earthly foot-print inside the tel. That “would change the entire understanding of the history of Israel,” Finkelstein wrote in [the journal] Levant.”
Whatever the case with the dating, these archaeological finds cannot come close to matching the opulent majesty depicted for David and (especially) Solomon of the Old Testament. And aside from cryptic finds such as the Tel Dan inscription, there is little to connect these layers with the two famous Judaean rulers. By contrast, the evidence of Egyptian influence seems much stronger to us. For example, consider the slab inscription of the Tanis pharaoh Sheshonq’s, found at Megiddo – and of whom we and others consider to be the real Solomon. As such, we claim that archaeological results strongly support our textual analysis that the two ‘legendary’ kings were heavily fictionalized tropes with a role to play in the massive historical propaganda of the Old Testament.
Modern archaeology is now telling us that the Canaanite cum Hebrews were really lower class individuals that escaped their serfdom and slavery of their Canaanite city-state overlords, when those systems broke down. They created their own egalitarian communities in the highlands of Palestine. As such, hating dynastic kings, they periodically voted themselves temporary leaders, called ‘judges’ to handle exigent emergency situations. But yet, in a relatively short period of time, just like the later republican Romans, they end up with the dynastic kingship that they deplore.
In fact, the OT narratives ironically tell us that David and Solomon were detested by the common people, for their overbearing big government, high taxes, and forced labor. Nevertheless, via induced schizophrenia and vanity Christians and Jews generally salute these two kings yet today as cultural heroes, with Christians even hailing these adulterous occult icons as sacred ancestors of their Christ. And if ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ was an embellished version of a real man, or an amalgam of real men, then perhaps David and Solomon were also composite characters. In this case, they may have been Canaanite vassal kings with pharaonic attributes grafted in. Whatever the reality, we suggest that this is yet another example of elite co-optation of reform movements as was discussed in prior posts.
As with Marx’s obfuscating co-optation, this is the way social reforms, in general, work (or, rather, fail to work .. on purpose). Legitimate reforms are frequently, if not almost always, co-opted by the powerful interests that stand to lose. And in performing a proper co-optation, it is best to steal the name of the original movement, so as to enhance one’s faux legitimacy.
We also notice that supernatural miracles and theophanies more or less end at Solomon’s time. This is another clue that David and Solomon are avatars, and the story is not to be taken literally. It is also an indication that when these tales were redacted into their current form, they had been retrojected into a past far enough that no one alive could gainsay the miracles. This does not repeat until Jesus’ time, when the next paradigm installment was grafted in. The Gospels were probably written in 80 AD or later, but retrojected at least two generations back in time.
In the Jewish War and the suppression of the Bar Kochba revolt, the Romans won a stunning military victory over Second Temple Judaism. This was followed by the even more stunning propaganda victory of the Flavian New Testament, extending not only over Judaism but also over all other Hellenistic liberal trends. Feudal Christian (read Roman Catholic) society became a fixed caste system once again. And to demonstrate how such matters do devolve, we only need examine the brutal slave practices of Catholics, Protestants, and Talmudic Jews in the New World in the more recent centuries. Such practices were ‘justified’ by spurious appeals to the Old and New Testament canons. (This is after the Apostle Paul, a purported Roman citizen and Jew, had told the slaveowners of his day to treat their slaves kindly and for slaves to obey their masters.)
Since the invention of the printing press and the so-called Reformation and Enlightenment, the Catholic elites and their many heirs have been struggling to keep the genies of ‘liberty’ and ‘egalitarianism’ in the bottle. The freed serfs of Europe, fleeing trumped-up religious wars, made their way to America where they could patriotically enjoy their new ‘freedom’, occupying conquered land that ‘Providence’ conveniently provided. (But remember that ancient Roman slaves who became ‘freedmen’ were still required to behave faithfully with regard to their former owner, the patrone, lest their ‘freedom’ be revoked.)
In today’s global battleground between ‘slavery’ vs. ‘freedom’, the seemingly massive American middle class victory of so-called progressive liberalism and modernity has been pyrrhic. Since its apex it has been systematically undercut by the traditionalists, the elites or their unwitting minions, who want a return to the ancien regime, by one means or the other. Deceived ‘Libertarians’ cheer unrestrained capitalism’s “race to the bottom”, with its utilization of the global labor pool’s nearly endless supply of wage slaves. Ronald Reagan’s biblical ‘shining city on a hill’ was an illusion created by massive debt and monetary manipulation, disguising the beginning of the figurative whoosh (presciently made famous by H. Ross Perot) of jobs and factories leaving for parts Communist. American fundamentalists may yet see this as a redux of the epic clash between the nationalist Zealots and the globalizing Herodians and their Roman friends.
But due to the incredible psychological strength of false ‘identity’, we constantly find the sad ironies of people who don’t have the proper frameworks to characterize themselves properly within the widest societal spectrum. Hence one person’s conservative is another’s relative liberal or vice-versa, a collective form of induced multiple personality disorder. And with this, peoples’ world and cosmoviews, their figurative houses, are built upon sand. And we know what Jesus said about that, right? As such, these people can’t figure out which side their political and economic bread, unleavened or not, is buttered on; and thus are easy fodder for both the cannons and the canons.
Religion, the Primary Control Mechanism
Today’s religious fundamentalists are well aware that religion can be wielded as a means for social control. They would only like to see more such power in their own hands, and less in the hands of ‘Satanic Illuminati’ popular culture. In reality, the actual controllers work both sides, in a manner not unlike the famous man behind the curtain, the Wizard of Oz. The difference between Postflavians and religious fundamentalists is that we believe that human agency has designed and revealed their loving and violently jealous and genocidal God, and their Satan too. As such, it is past time to pull back the curtain and reveal how this globally ambitious system works and how it has been constructed.
From Polybius, a 2nd century BCE Greek student of Roman institutions:
My own opinion at least is that the Romans have adopted this course of propagating religious awe for the sake of the common people. It is a course which perhaps would not have necessary had it been possible to form a state composed of wise men, but as every multitude is fickle, full of lawless desires, unreasoned passion, and violent anger, the multitude must be held by invisible terrors and such like pageantry. For this reason, I think, not that the ancients acted rashly and at haphazard in introducing among the people notions concerning the gods and beliefs in the terrors of hell, but that the moderns are most rash and foolish in banishing such beliefs. (6.56.9) from the translation of W. R. Paton, LCL
We agree that organized religion was, and still is, exoterically provided for the deceptional control of the common man. We also suspect that the field of philosophy, as a separate ‘intellectual’ sister branch from that of religion, may have had its origins as a proto-Cynical shamanic counter to the nascent ‘state’ religions of the new agrarian societies. The Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount, echoing a long tradition of itinerant Cynic philosophy, argued that pursuit of wealth was folly, and similar ‘subversive’ aphorisms from the elite’s perspective.
But the mainstream of philosophy eventually developed into a discipline suited only for the elites with sufficient leisure time to ponder. Wealthy Stoics and Epicureans developed an opposite perspective from that of the Cynics. Thus, one eventually arrives at the critical figure of Plato, whose highly sophisticated, Pythagorian based thought provided a justification for a rigid, hierarchical caste system. Platonic thought also found its way deeply into Christianity via the assistance of a professedly pious Alexandrian Jew by the name of Philo. His nephew, Tiberius Julius Alexander, commanded a Roman legion against the Jews of Palestine in the campaign led by the Flavians. Let this be another clue to what is being discussed here, i.e. don’t judge a gentile or Jew by his ‘cover’.
With the Gospels and Josephus, the elite Caesarian Romans and elite Jews covertly adopted the mantle of a pacified Jewish messiah, whose message was to “render unto Caesar …”, while his sidekick Paul told slaveowners to be kind to their slaves. This dark comedic masterpiece, masquerading as divinely ‘good’ inspiration, has indeed stood the test of time, having withstood literally centuries of critical analysis before being definitively decrypted by Shakespeare, and now Joe Atwill. It has ‘truly’ been ‘good’ for some and horrific for others, as the rule and not the exception.
The remaining legacy of all this literary didgeridoo is that so many of the dominant Christian peoples, of all sects and even those of lapsed faith, are still obsessed with those persistent ‘deniers of Christ’. Some strongly embrace them and become Christian Zionists, while others still blame them (or their typological substitutes, the Islamics) for all the Western world’s problems. As we discussed in Peoples of the Flavian Book, the blaming aspect is all baked into the theological cake from the time of St. Augustine. The Roman Catholic form of Christianity defined itself in dialectic opposition to Judaism, to such a degree that many popes and theologians explicitly informed the faithful that they needed the Jews as proper negative examples of the consequences of denying Christ. Therefore, ‘please don’t kill too many of them’. The Church may have officially softened its tone in the last few decades, but the ship turns slowly. Perhaps things will change eventually, but possibly too late to help the Jews, who might meet the fate of previous “heretics” such as the Cathars.
James Carroll, a former Paulist Catholic priest, explained all this in his Constantine’s Sword. However, he presents this dialectic contrast as the unintended and unfortunate consequence of early Christian efforts, to help protect themselves from Roman eyes, to differentiate themselves from the troublesome nationalistic and xenophobic Jews of the day. Would that this were the case; however, in light of Caesar’s Messiah, this argument does not hold water.
Another form of this obsession with the Jews is the proposition that today Jews have risen to ultimate and exclusive power, and have chosen to bite the goy hand that has well fed them. Ironically, this viewpoint is sometimes held by even those that accept that Christianity itself was an elite Judeo-Roman collaboration. Although this ethnic reversal is sometimes overtly proclaimed, a more popular version leaves this potentially anti-Semitic component simmering under the surface. Instead, the problems are blamed on bankers, or the media, or the Satanic Illuminati. However, (wink wink), ‘everyone knows’ that all of these elements are ultimately under the control of Jewish Kabbalist elites. Well, even if this is the case, that still leaves vast swathes of the modern power structure, including the political system, industrial corporations, and religious hierarchies, unaccounted for.
And since the original Israelites and Judeans were typical Canaanites, and that the roots of the Judaic Kabbalah extend back to the older Mesopotamian culture and was widespread across Eurasia long before the Jewish synthesis, we have yet another straw man added to the false dialectic.
The True Meaning of ‘Gentilism’
If the entire concept of Judaism is a darkly humorous construct, the same is true of the concept of ‘Gentilism’. In times gone by, the proper order in the social hierarchy was that of nobility, gentility, Jew, tradesman, and finally peasant or serf. Women of all castes (except for maybe the very top) were merely contractual baby makers, domestic engineers — in other words, chattel. Fundamentally, the original etymological concept of ‘Gentile’ was that of nobility and aristocratic (landed) entitlement. To be a ‘gentile’ was to be a ‘gentleman’, as opposed to a laborer or other peasant. This is a hard concept for contemporary humanity to grasp now, because we have all been conditioned to consider Westerners as either Gentile or Jewish.
The present-day misunderstanding of Gentilism has been facilitated by confusion of the term ‘Gentile’ as an equivalent to the Hebrew term ‘Goyim’, which does indeed mean all nations aside from Jews. Those of us “Caucasians” who are not Jews see ourselves as descended from stout Greek, Roman, Nordic, or Anglo-Saxon roots. That is, to be Gentile is to be White, which is quite distinct from the vaguely oriental sources of ‘Semitic’ Judaism. (The place of Africans, Chinese and other non-Westerners is conveniently left undefined.)
Moreover, we are now supposedly all liberally emancipated from the ancien regime of truly traditional class (caste) values, even if we are of Jewish or peasant stock. And in so long now having had our vanity stroked, in believing that we are all ‘gentiles’, we have long lost touch with this reality and its implications. We are all equals now… or are we?
Here, it might be helpful to consider more deeply the esoteric meaning of the movie Jupiter Ascending which was reviewed by us here. With Jupiter Ascending, in the Abra-axis [sic] we have an apex family so distantly elite that humanity cannot even comprehend the Abraxis family’s existence. In an analogous way, if we cannot fathom the literary and other linkages between the Homeric, Judaic, and Roman core cultural bases — including that of Livy, Virgil, Horace, Jesus, Paul, Josephus Flavius, Philo, and his most exemplary uncle Tiberius Alexander — not to mention their modern-day equivalents, we will find the elite are beyond our comprehension.
Polybius, from his 2nd century BCE perch, could hardly foretell the shenanigans of these later individuals. But he at least understood the formative concept, if not the true motivation. Stating that elites’ machinations are only being done for the ultimate good of humanity is belied by the staggering amounts of evidence to the contrary. Con men always say that they are doing their marks a favor.
There are many faux Gentiles, and even many faux Jews (Latter Day – Ashkenazi Khazars or otherwise), who have partially awakened to the manifold problems that have been created for most of humanity by this system. Nevertheless, they are still as yet unable to break out of the final mental box, or peel the last layer(s) of the ‘truth’ onion, to discern that the human shepherds have been having great and profitable fun pitting them against each other. These shepherds, the true ‘Gentiles’, are gradually ‘harmonizing’ the globe, just as is explicitly stated to be the common goal of our religious canons. In doing so, they are only continuing the earlier Hellenizing campaign of Alexander the Great, and the conquests of his great and jealous admirer, Julius Caesar. This is why we maintain the classy ‘Greek’ system at our modern day gymnasia, the modern day universities.
Comparing and contrasting Homer vs. the Old Testament
On the Greek and Roman side of the conflict, the defining documents were the Homeric corpus, including the tales of Castor and Pollux and their typological parallels, Romulus and Remus. These collectively formed a sort of bible to the Greco-Roman world until they were supplanted by the New Testament. In fact, Homeric typology is found in the gospels as well as typology from the Old Testament. (See Dennis R. Macdonald’s The Gospels and Homer.)
Helen, in the highly embellished Homeric epic, wonders where her Spartan hatchling brothers, Castor and Pollux, are in regards to helping to ‘rescue’ her from Troy. Unbeknownst to her, they are already dead, having been killed by their cattle rustling cousins for considering how to steal their previously stolen cattle. With their seemingly ignominious deaths, Castor and Pollux thus become the Greco-Roman’s premier religious saviors of that age. From our modern perspective, their heroism may not be so obvious. But in that ancient context, retribution was the key.
Question then: did Helen really need or want to be rescued, or was all this a fictional ruse, perhaps all in order to ‘frame’ Classical minds? For one thing, we can likely doubt that Helen and her brothers were really hatched from eggs. And if not, did she really “launch a thousand ships”? Who cares, you say? Well, what really matters is that the Greeks, too, have come to drink the Jonestown KoolAide, and falsely believe the Hellenistic version of a Chosen vanity device. Now they have been subtly ‘framed’ to identify with the dubious ends of their masters.
It is now believed that Heinrich Schliemann discovered the ancient city of Troy on the Hisarlik mound in today’s Turkey. However, the site does not generally impress one that such an ‘epic’ invasion and siege could, or would, last as long as it was reported by Homer in his Iliad. For one thing, the logistics for such a decade plus long endeavor (and for that many men) would indeed be staggering. The warriors would be away too long from their domestic livelihoods, and unable to support their families. Troy seems more likely a convenient, dramatically diversionary trope, and indeed this is the whole propaganda purpose of ‘epic’ narrative. Grandly portrayed as such by Hollywood, it works even better.
Could there also be such exaggeration in the book said to be the ‘greatest ever produced’ — namely, the Holy Bible? Well, obviously so; and here we can start with the fact that the so-called Pentateuch has epic style, (disguised) mythos, and other parallels similar to both the Homeric works and the works discovered on the clay tablets of the Ugarites, Semites to the north of Canaan. (For details, see Cyrus Gordon & Gary Rendsburg, The Bible and the Ancient Near East, pp. 315-326.) Thus, the (false) attribution of this work to Moses’ authorship is just another ‘heroic’ exaggeration.
As further explained in Cyrus H. Gordon’s 1965 book, The Common Background of Greek and Hebrew Civilization, the Ugaritic clay tablets tell an epic tale of King Kret, who lost his wife Hurrai and went on an exaggerated military quest to recover her. Gordon sees manifest similarities, both to the Homeric epic in which Helen of Troy is retrieved from peril, and to the tale of Abraham who must recover his wife Sarai from both the Pharaoh of Egypt, and from King Abimelech of Gerar. However, we would suggest that perhaps the military component has been cleverly broken out from the Ugaritic precedent and applied to Lot’s abduction by Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam. Other researchers have noted ‘Trojan Wars’ being said to have played out all the way from the Baltic Sea region to the Egyptian Nile. The French city of Troyes seems to memorialize this phenomenon in that region. We suggest that this is no coincidence, but rather a ubiquitous elite modus operandi for the general time.
But there are some important differences in outlooks between the Greek and the Jewish canons, curiously involving their treatments of time and sin. Ancient Greek works, including Homer’s, have an ahistorically timeless sensibility. The Greeks, like their gods, had some notions of right and wrong, but their values were quite detached from our understandings of ethics. With the Judaic sensibility, there is a strong sense of historical events following one after another. The reader of ancient Judaic works is inclined to see a pious need to conform to their demanding god’s strictures, so as to fit himself properly into the divine order and its linear flow of time. This is not to say that the epics’ Jewish ethics are congruent with modern sensibilities either. Guile was explicitly admired then, while we operate on the “wink, wink, nod, nod” system today. In any case, we find that, at least by the time of Augustus, if not before, the Romans adopted the Jewish sensibilities rather than the Greek. This created a seemingly incongruous rift in the concept of so-called ‘Greco-Roman Culture’. (See Hadas, pp. 54-56.)
With the elite Roman and Jewish fusion of Christianity, this Jewish concept of time and pious morality (as opposed to secular morality) has carried through to the present day. Perhaps this explains why the Christian canon has been grafted onto the back of the Jewish one – for continuity of linear time, for ‘historical’ legitimacy, and for pious moral justification’s sake. The foundational mythos of the Romans, from Virgil’s Aeneid, as well as the historical works of Livy (the neo-Levite?) are little but a mosaic of Mosaic typology. As the Jewish canon elevated the Jews to a Chosen Elect status, so did the works of Virgil and Livy for the Romans. The later Christians retain this fused legacy via the Second Covenant. (Hadas, pp. 57-58.) All of their respective global ambitions are also inseparable. Virgil has even been adopted as an honorary Christian … because it logically makes perfect sense!
Who might have had the means, motive and opportunity to create and exploit this primary Western Identity dialectic? If we are not to superficially accept its authorship at its divine face value, then we must, by default, look to others. Using the model of The Wizard of Oz we must look for those who wish their identities to be kept veiled (occulted). Or perhaps the authors intended to be confused with dependably more expendable others, who for a price, and via having their Suffering Servant vanity being stroked sufficiently, were only too happy to claim credit for various nefarious events.
In this search, we will sardonically discover that most all of the clues to discovery were left in place, just as with the textual interlinking of Josephus with the New Testament Gospels. These clues are probably only obvious once they have been pointed out. With this we shall begin our examination of the Old Testament, from Abraham almost until Christ Titus’s time.
Revision history: This is the first revision of the original post, which appeared Aug. 20, 2015. The authors have attempted to improve the readability, and to provide better contextual support of the various details discussed. The original post is here.