History was made Wednesday when a group of archaeologists working in a dig at Mabell, Israel stumbled across an ancient stash of wooden tablets. Numbering over three hundred in all, the tablets are made of gopher wood onto which Hebrew characters were inscribed in ink. They appear to contain the personal diary of Moses. Carbon dating by three independent laboratories has confirmed a date for the tablets of 1200 B.C., plus or minus a century, making this the oldest known example of Hebrew writing. Both the wood and ink, which is based on animal fat and the juice of a now-extinct plant, date to the same era, and the tablets were recovered in a strata with other objects of similar date. ‘There is no doubt these are authentic,’ reports Dr. Giles Tory, head of the dig and chair of Biblical Archaeology at Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachussets.
Though a full translation is still under way, preliminary work shows startling revelations, according to Tory and his colleagues, Drs. Louis Friend and Howard Fine. ‘In the text, Moses appears to admit that he crushed and discarded the actual stone tablets God gave him, and presented his own laws to the people, declaring in his secret diary that he found God on actual acquaintance to be too liberal and soft-hearted,’ reports Friend, ‘so he beat him severely, bound and gagged him, stashed him in a box and buried him in the desert, where he supposedly remains.’ A search is underway.
In the diary, according to Dr. Fine, Moses claims he was sickened when God told him the Hebrews had their history all wrong, contradicting nearly every cherished myth that Moses had carefully and reverently recorded in his first edition of the Torah. ‘He apparently could not accept the truth, and thus throttled and got rid of the deity,’ who, apparently, was incarnated in the form of a feeble human and thus easily overpowered, ‘so he could continue in what seems to have been a profound delusion of infallibility as head of a Hebrew Church, rooted in a rampant megalomania that is evident throughout the diary’s entries.’
For instance, one entry reads, from Tory’s preliminary translation, ‘God told me that neither Adam nor Eve had eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, and that there had been no sin after all. How could my Lord lie to me like that? Why did he deceive me and deny the truth? I had no alternative but to silence him.’ In the same section, Moses records some of the actual laws that he saw on the original stones of God, which he later destroyed. None of the existing ten commandments were on them, but they began instead with the simple maxim ‘Do no harm’ followed by ‘Care not for what name a people gives to God, so long as their greatest God is of love, preaching compassion and wisdom. For love is not jealous or vengeful, but is understanding and forgiving.’ The original commandments even included a directive to ‘Pursue all learning and wisdom and truth, and do not be afraid to doubt so long as it drives you to learn and understand more about all things and all people. Nature is my only scripture. Thou shalt study it.’
All of the current commandments were completely invented by Moses to suit his own version of truth and righteousness. ‘He plainly admits this,’ reports Dr. Tory. For instance, one commandment in particular undermined Moses’ preaching to his followers that they had to conquer the land promissed them by God: ‘Do not have any care for land or possessions. No thing or place is sacred but the human heart. Give up every thing. For things are as pennies to the gold of peace and friendship.’ In the diary, Moses declares his fear of being lynched when the Hebrews found out that their forty years of desert wandering was all for nothing, and that God really wanted them to reconcile themselves to their Egyptian neighbors, whom they were actually commanded to love, an order from God that Moses apparently never passed on. Obsessed with conquest and the genocide of ‘those liberal homosexual camel-humping Canaanites’ (sic) Moses ignored God’s pleadings and commands, and falsely claimed to have divine backing in ordering mass murders in the Palestine area. It is not explained why the current text of the Bible has Moses die before crossing the border. The diaries themselves cease several days after the first military excursion, which reaches a fevered pitch of shocking glee at his watching of women and babies stabbed to death. ‘It is easy to question the sanity of the man who wrote these things,’ says Tory.
Since this diary predates every Biblical text, and comes from the apparent first-hand witness of Moses himself, writing his private thoughts, the contents of the new Moses Diaries are obviously going to rock the world. Secular scholars and activists expressed little surprise. ‘We knew it would be something like this,’ says Barry Lynd, head of GEBCOW (Get the Bastard Churches Out of Our Wallets). Richard Carrier, Editor in Chief of the Secular Web and member of the Board of Directors of the Internet Infidels, said this looked like it could be good evidence that there really is a God after all, ‘and he’s actually not the complete twat the Bible and current religionists make him out to be.’ He said he would donate heavily to the effort to save God from his desert captivity, if the diaries and their story turns out to be genuine. ‘Hopefully, being immortal, this God-being that Moses thrashed is still alive out there somewhere, and He can finally make a paradise on earth,’ Carrier said, ‘since it is clear from these texts that He is obviously a really nice Guy, if a bit daft.’
However, the revelation that Moses heard directly from God that there was no sin of Adam completely undermines every existing Biblical religion. When the diary’s contents were reported to Dr. Bill Lane Nobel, a prominent Evangelical scholar and head of the prestigious Institute for Absolutely True Biblical Science and History, he denied the report entirely, comparing Tory and ‘all those liberal Jesus Seminar types’ to ‘communist nazis’ (sic) who ‘obviously hate their fathers and will do anything to destroy God’s work on Earth.’ He accused the American Rainbow Society of fabricating the tablets. ‘It is obviously just another part of the gay agenda,’ he said, alleging that Tory was a homosexual and thus an immoral man who was not to be trusted. ‘When I asked Dr. Nobel if he would now support hanging what appears to be the original ten commandments in schools,’ Dr. Fine said, ‘he threw his shoe at me.’
When the President of the United States was asked for comment, he replied with a confused look, ‘They told me Jesus was in the Bible,’ before being whisked away by cabinet members evidently embarassed by a comment that remains unintelligible. Fox News asked a bum on the street his opinion, at which he replied ‘There’ll be hell to pay!’ When the Patriarch of the Orthodox Jewish Temple of Israel was presented with this information he is reported to have declared ‘Mother Puss Bucket!’ before dropping dead of an apparent coronary. The Pope likewise responded with a sudden outburst of ‘Holy shit!’ and a resulting panic attack sent him to the hospital, where he is expected to recover. Vatican Inc. stock took a nose dive on Wall Street, falling twenty three points before the market closed today, and the company reported it would have to lay off 20,000 priests and nuns in order to maintain its profit margin.