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History of Religion

Dating the Exodus: A Historical Conundrum

The story of Moses and the Exodus continues to be seen as a historical fact by many Americans, and its events are commemorated with a 'Seder' meal in over a million households every year. In this article, Robert Shaw considers whether or not the story can be placed comfortably into the timeline of Egyptian history as we currently understand it.

Were the Ancient Israelites Henotheistic?

Most people (whether they are religious or not) either assume or were taught that the Israelites were, and had always been, monotheistic: that they believed in only one God and thus worshiped Yahweh only. Is this idea based on truth, tradition, or maybe assumption? In this paper, Jason Gibson attempts to uncover the truth--a truth that most people are unaware of, and one that, were it common knowledge, could signal the end of all of the Abrahamic religions. Were the ancient Israelites henotheistic? If acknowledged, the answer could change the world as we know it.

The Humble Origins of the Abrahamic Religions

An embellished and creatively written history of the origins and development of a Canaanite tribe underlies Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. None of the myriad of documents from ancient Egypt ever mention hundreds of thousands of foreign slaves leaving following a series of catastrophes, for example, nor has any archaeological evidence of the movement of a supposed half a million refugees from the Sinai peninsula ever been uncovered. Nevertheless, the Jesus of the Gospels seems to concur with this erroneous version of history, affirming the Genesis creation myth, the existence of the mythological Noah and Abraham, and the historicity of Moses' exodus, among other things. The Qur'an and Islamic exegesis subscribe to the historicity of such people and events no less. The arbitrary selection of Yahweh—the Canaanite god of metallurgy—from the vast Canaanite pantheon of gods over 2,500 years ago has had a profound effect on the belief systems of billions of people who have lived since.

The History of God and Other Religious Myths

Today nobody would believe in the ancient Egyptian religion because it contradicts what we understand about the world around us: gods don't swallow the sun and birds can't bring anything back to life. These blatant misinterpretations of Nature discredit the validity of the pagans' core Super-Natural beliefs--a Supreme Being, a human soul, and heaven and hell. Yet curiously people today do believe in these four superstitions of religion: god, soul, heaven and hell. Apparently their origin has been erased by time. Would modern day Jews, Christians and Muslims discontinue belief in them if they realized their dubious origin: Ice-Age cavemen, wandering hunter-gatherers, and pagans? Or is faith an unreasonable emotion?

Filling the Void

"Religions fill a deeply felt need. Throughout history, practically all societies, whether isolated tribes or complex civilizations, have had some sort of belief system in the form of a religion. If something as ubiquitous and seemingly necessary as religion is actually a false concept, significant consideration ought to be given to what might replace it."

Holy Terrors: Lives of the Certifiable Saints

"There are saints who are inoffensive, such as the protohippie Francis of Assisi. But the saints officially canonized by the Church include a shocking number of persons who, in all honesty, must be considered major nut cases. It's an indication of how deranged the religious impulse can be that their lunacy is not merely unrecognized, but reinterpreted as an expression of supreme sanctification."

The Three Gods of Christianity: The Irreconcilable Trinity

While Christianity professes belief in the existence of one god, the careful observer will find that Christianity actually presents us with three gods: the Tribal God, the Cerebral God, and the Absentee Landlord God. Additionally, because each of these three gods corresponds with a different stage in the development of human consciousness, with each stage representing a different conception of deity and the nature of the world, these three gods are ultimately irreconcilable, forming an "Irreconcilable Trinity."