The biblical figure of Moses has been the center of fascination for over 2,000 years, but what do we really know about him? Was he a real person? Did the Exodus truly happen? Or is the story in the Pentateuch a mythical tale written centuries after the alleged events? Why does Moses’s story resemble that of many other lawgivers and legendary individuals? Why are there so many elements of sun and wine god myths in the story of Moses?
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
The biblical figure of Moses has been the center of fascination for over 2,000 years, but what do we actually know about him? Was he a real person? Did the Exodus truly happen? Or is the story in the Pentateuch a mythical account written centuries after the alleged events?
Why does Moses’s story resemble that of other, older lawgivers and legendary predecessors? Why are there so many elements of sun and wine god myths in the tale of Moses? What does the focus on the serpent in his story signify? Who were Yahweh and the Elohim?
Did Moses Exist? includes:
- Maps and 126 illustrations
- Extensive bibliography, table of contents and index
- Hundreds of footnotes and citations from primary sources in multiple languages
- Best modern scholarship from credentialed authorities
Did Moses Exist? provides a massive amount of information from antiquity about the world’s religious traditions and mythology, including how solar myths, wine cultivation and fertility cults have shaped the Bible and Judaism. This book may be the most comprehensive study to date, using the best scholarship and state-of-the-art research methods.
In the citations and bibliography appear numerous ancient sources such as the Bible, Anacreon, Apollodorus, Aristides, Aristophanes, Arrian, Cicero, Clement of Alexandria, Diodorus, Euripides, Eusebius, Herodotus, Hesiod, Homer, Josephus, Justin Martyr, Megasthenes, Origen, Ovid, Pausanias, Pindar, Plato, Plutarch, Porphyry, Seneca, Strabo, Varro, Virgil and others, often in the original languages, mostly Greek, Hebrew and Latin.
Also discussed are texts and words in Akkadian, Arabic, Assyrian, Babylonian, Canaanite, Phoenician, Ugaritic and other Semitic languages, along with Egyptian, Sumerian, Vedic and Sanskrit.
“The existence of Moses as well as the veracity of the Exodus story is disputed amongst archaeologists and Egyptologists, with experts in the field of biblical criticism citing logical inconsistencies, new archaeological evidence, historical evidence and related origin myths in Canaanite culture.” –“Moses,” Wikipedia
“There is no historical evidence outside of the Bible, no mention of Moses outside the Bible, and no independent confirmation that Moses ever existed.” –Dr. Michael D. Coogan, lecturer on the Old Testament at Harvard Divinity School
“We cannot be sure that Moses ever lived because there are no traces of his earthly existence outside of tradition.” –Egyptologist Dr. Jan Assmann, Moses the Egyptian
“The life of Moses contains elements–canonical and apocryphal–that mark him as a true mythic hero, and certainly he is Judaism’s greatest hero and the central figure in Hebrew mythology.” –Dr. David Leeming, The Oxford Companion to World Mythology
“…the stories of the creation, of the flood, of Abraham, of Jacob, of the descent into and the exodus from Egypt, of the career of Moses and the Jews in the desert, of Joshua and his soldiers, of the judges and their clients, are all apocryphal, and were fabricated at a late period of Jewish history.” –Dr. Thomas Inman, Ancient Faiths and Modern
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Who Wrote the Pentateuch?
Was Moses an Egyptian Pharaoh or Priest?
The Exodus as History?
The Exodus in Ancient Literature
Hyksos and Lepers
Who Were the Israelites?
The Exodus as Myth
The Lawgiver Archetype
The Dionysus Connection
The Life of Dionysus
The Vine and Wine
The Great God Sun
Yahweh and the Sun
Moses as Solar Hero