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Why do you suppose there was never any evidence to back up this story?

There is a tradition about Jews being held as slaves in Egypt, and from that story, many conflicts and animosity have remained, however, to this day, and in spite of thorough searches, no evidence has been uncovered to corroborate the claims made in the Bible.

Do you believe the stories are true, or just allegory?  If you believe the story is true, why do you think that there isn't any archaeological evidence of the enslavement and escape? 

Were Jews ever really slaves in Egypt?

From the link:

It is hard to believe that 600,000 families (which would mean about two million people) crossed the entire Sinai without leaving one shard of pottery (the archeologist's best friend) with Hebrew writing on it. It is remarkable that Egyptian records make no mention of the sudden migration of what would have been nearly a quarter of their population, nor has any evidence been found for any of the expected effects of such an exodus; such as economic downturn or labor shortages. Furthermore, there is no evidence in Israel that shows a sudden influx of people from another culture at that time. No rapid departure from traditional pottery has been seen, no record or story of a surge in population.

In fact, there's absolutely no more evidence to suggest that the story is true than there is in support of any of the Arab world's conspiracy theories and tall tales about Jews.

So, as we come to Passover 2012 when, thanks to the “Arab Spring,” our relations with Egypt are at a nearly 40 year low, let us enjoy our Seder and read the story by all means, but also remind those at the table who may forget that it is just a metaphor, and that there is no ancient animosity between Israelites and Egyptians. Because, if we want to re-establish that elusive peace with Egypt that so many worked so hard to build, we're all going to have to let go of our prejudices.

 

Answer Question
 
jsbenkert

Asked by jsbenkert at 1:03 PM on Apr. 6, 2012 in Religious Debate

Level 37 (89,290 Credits)
Answers (34)
  • Why do you need evidence that a group of people were treated like shit?
    Imogine

    Answer by Imogine at 2:53 PM on Apr. 7, 2012

  • If we're going to honor the traditions of said people, and reconstruct the Middle East and temper our relations with that part of the world based on the stories of the Bible, wouldn't it be a good idea to ensure that those stories actually happened? There's a great deal of animosity between nations based on stories that haven't been proven to be true. It would be like basing our trade negotiations or continuously warring with Greece because of something Zeus supposedly said.


    Outside of the Bible, where is the evidence that "a group of people were treated like shit"?  Why cling to that story if it isn't true?  There is no evidence that Jews were in Egypt during the construction of the pyramids, and certainly not as slaves.  There's no evidence of an exodus, either. 

    jsbenkert

    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 3:00 PM on Apr. 7, 2012

  • Why do you need evidence that a group of people were treated like shit?

    Same reason you need evidence when someone is raped or murdered. Otherwise, you end up destroying someone's life because their pissed off ex-gf got a bug up her ass or because someone they don't like is killed by someone else. If it were any other religion's book, and it were Jews or Christians being accused of enslaving, torturing and child murder, do you think there wouldn't be demands of proof left and right? Even with the historical records we have where Christians were torturing, raping, and child killing, people make excuses for it.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:06 PM on Apr. 7, 2012

  • Okay comparing a rape victim to a group of people being enslaved is not a good comparison.
    Imogine

    Answer by Imogine at 4:16 PM on Apr. 7, 2012

  • Sorry but Christians are not saints. Look how much they justified enslaving Africans.
    Imogine

    Answer by Imogine at 4:17 PM on Apr. 7, 2012

  • Okay comparing a rape victim to a group of people being enslaved is not a good comparison.

    How many hoops did you have to jump to before you managed that conclusion? It's a pretty basic concept. If someone, whether it's a country (Egypt) or a person (ex-husband), is accused of committing a heinous act against another person, it is morally reprehensible to blame them for that act without first establishing that it actually happened. Otherwise any girl turned down in a bar has grounds for a rape conviction, and nuclear weapons can be launched on the basis of historically inaccurate 1700 year old books.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:56 PM on Apr. 7, 2012

  • Is there any evidence to back up any story in the Bible? Why haven't snakes talked since Adam and Eve? And what about Noah's arc? Did anyone ever find the remains? Oh and how come there's no evidence of Jesus either?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:16 PM on Apr. 7, 2012

  • YOu know how Egyptians had those things called hieroglyphics? Perhaps the evidence is in those? I dunno. There are pictures of Egyptians and their slaves. That's just a shot in the dark though.
    Imogine

    Answer by Imogine at 6:22 PM on Apr. 7, 2012

  • Imogine

    Answer by Imogine at 6:23 PM on Apr. 7, 2012

  • There are newer theories that the mountain traditionally called Mt. Sinai (which was named by a Byzantine Queen) is not the Mt Sinai of Abrahamic faiths. The newer theories point to a mountain located in what is now Saudi Arabia. While evidence of archeology in Egypt shows that Pyramid Builders were mostly paid laborers that doesn't mean that Jews were not slaves in Egypt simply that they were not used to build the pyramids (which was suggested not in the bible but by a Greek historian Herodotus and even then he says workers not jewish, not hebrews, not slaves, he simply uses the word workers). An exact date of the Exodus is never given so it's hard to pinpoint when it happened or under which pharaoh. Making it very difficult to look for evidence since you don't even know what age your artifacts should really be.
    http://www.baseinstitute.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52&Itemid=66
    -Cassandra-

    Answer by -Cassandra- at 7:02 PM on Apr. 7, 2012

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