YOU ARE IN DARKNESS.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: "Ignorance is an outlook on life. Even the educated can be ignorant."
by Mudarras Kadhir Gaznavi
A MAN CALLED AV'RAM
The codebooks of the three celestial belief systems (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) have their origins in the Middle East. The Old Testament, the New Testament (a compilation of the texts written by the disciples of Jesus), and Kuran mention one person as the'father-patriarch-ancestor' of Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Av'ram ('renamed' by his god as Abraham later on). They call him the prophet. How could the same person be the 'father-patriarch-ancestor' to three different belief systems? Well, first of all these belief systems are not that much different basically: Av'ram enters the stage with the Old Testament, which is a book written, amended, expurgated, cleansed, rewritten over a period of 800-900 years. Secondly the so called codebook, the New Testament, has introduced a new interpretation of the Old Testament. I use the expression 'so called' because Jesus did not have a new or a special book. His codebook was the Old Testament. He has preached from it, most probably interpreting it in line with his needs and adding his comments. But his followers tried to remember what he had said and they wrote them down. While doing that they have added their personal views and their interpretation etc., and all of this has happened a long time after Jesus had 'exited' the Palestinian stage. So, how did the story about 'a codebook given to Jesus' has come about? Who was instrumental in creating the story that 'New Testament is a revelation from god'? Read the Galatians 1:11 where apostle Paul says that the gospel that he preached was not given to him by a man; and in Galatians 1:12 he reveals his truth: "I have not received it from a man; It was not taught to me; It was the revelation of Jesus Christ." Here is the solution to the riddle. Jesus wasn't given a codebook but being a 'god in flesh' he revealed 'a book'(!) to his apostles. Starting with this announcement by apostle Paul, those who were in a hurry decided that Jesus had a codebook - which of course means by inference that god had revealed a message to him. Nothing was revealed to him. The whole story is man made. An invention by Paul. Both the ideologues of the Hagarene teaching and the writers of Kuran have included a great deal of the subjects in those two books, summarizing here, enlarging there; making amendments in line with their requirements, where it seemed necessary. In short, the latter is largely a by-product of the Judaic and Christian cultures. A man called Av'ram is the initiator of these belief systems by popular consent.
WHO IS HE?
Who is this Av'ram?
When did he live?
Where did he come from?
Firstly, if we proceed with what we have in the codebooks, we are not in a position to give clear answers to these questions. So, let us begin with what this man called Av'ram has initiated. According to the Old Testament he is reported to have initiated the history of the Hebrews. In reality the Old Testament is seen as a literary work (an unsuccessful one!) relating the historical events and particularly the history of Israel. The story of Av'ram is sort of an epic story which was invented under the influence of the various cultures over a long period of time. In those parts of the Old Testament related to Av'ram there are lots of immoral stories of adultery, incest, homicide, jealousy, envy, and deception, all of which are unbefitting a men of religion. So, Christian ideologues of the present era have omitted these stories (as well as the sections which depict the supreme being as an angry and pitiless being) from the copies of the Christian codebook intended for children's consumption.
In the 9th and 8th centuries B.C. writing was not developed sufficiently to write down the texts that we read in the Old Testament today. The first written document in the Old Testament on Av'ram and his family isGenesis, which was written 1500 years later then the time Av'ram and his family are presumed to have lived. Well, if he has ever lived, when could that be? Av'ram and the persons around him are believed to have lived about 1900-1800 B.C. But some say that he must have lived at a later date. We do not know for sure if Av'ram, I'zak and Ya'kub (Patriarchs) have really lived. If Av'ram has ever lived, especially in the assumed period (1900-1800 B.C.) "Neither the Arabs nor the Hebrews were existent then" (Max Dimont, Jews, god and History). No documents, belonging to the era of Av'ram and his family were found. So there is nothing that would prove their existence once upon a time. The only testimony is the Old Testament, which has taken its final written form in the 4th century B.C., following the Babylonian exile. This is for sure, because the myths of creation, Adam, paradise, and flood do not exist in Canaan which is a further proof that the final form was given to the Old Testament following the Babylonian exile. It was translated into ancient Greek in Alexandria in the 3rd. century B.C. The texts in the New Testament are of a much later era. So the only real and valuable source we have is the Old Testament. To cut a long story short, Av'ram, after becoming Abraham as a result of the divine suggestion(!) has come to be known as the father messenger (patriarch) of the Mosaic belief system, Christianity has accepted him naturally. It was the shrewdness of the Hagarene Messenger that Abraham (Ibrahim) has become the forefather of the Hagarenes-Sabians, and when this teaching was transformed by the desert Arabs, the nationalist Arab ideology considered Ibrahim as an advantage over the Mosaic and Christian belief systems, in other words, they did it out of necessity.
WHERE DID HE COME FROM?
I have told you that according to the Old Testament, Av'ram had initiated the history of the Hebrews. How did he initiate that? Well, the Old Testament says that he had spoken with the supreme being (his personal one of course!). Thissupreme overseer will go through a transformation process and the personal god of Av'ram will eventually turn into a universal creator and an arbiter mundi with the arrival of Islam (We shall see that later). According to the story of Av'ram speaking with his personal supreme overseer, as reported in the Old Testament (Genesis 12:1), that 'entity' commanded Av'ram;
"..To get out of where he was living and go to a country which he (god) would show." (Keep this verse in mind it is very important as we shall see later).
Av'ram's supreme overseer shows himself to Av'ram for a second time (when he is 99 years old), reiterates his covenant, and tells him that he would not be called Av'ram anymore, his name will be Abraham. So this is the messenger called Abraham, who is also the father messenger of Islam ('Muhammad' calls him 'his ancestor').
Where did the forefathers of the Jews come from? Here is Joshua 24:2:
"...Thus said the Lord god of Israel, your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time. Even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods." (Keep this verse in mind it is very important as we shall see later).
They dwelt on the other side of the flood. What did you understand from this statement?
Which flood was it? Is this the famous 'flood' or should we understand a river which has the habit of flooding the area around it frequently? We will see. Genesis 12:4 tells us "...and Av'ram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran." According to Genesis 10-11, Av'ram, Nachor and Haran are born when Terah was 70 years old. Terah gathers his family and goes to Haran. Terah dies in Haran when he was 205(!) years old. Av'ram should have been 135 years old when his father died. But Genesis 12:4 tells us that when Av'ram has departed from Haran, as ordered by the god, he was 75 years old. So who is telling the truth? Acts 7:4 goes on:
"Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran, and from there, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein you now dwell." (Keep this verse in mind it is very important as we shall see later).
So, let us follow his journey:
Av'ram sets off from the land of the Chaldeans (Which is presently Irak, and Irak is on the 'other side of the flood'). But the city of Ur is not mentioned here. Ur is a later addition to the text, during one of the many editorial and updating works carried out on the book. Av'ram dwelt in Charran (Haran, presently Harran). There are two different words here, for apparently the same place, which may be taken as an indication for two separate writers. Then he comes to Palestine. If the dates given in the Old Testament are to be taken as probable indicators (probable because we are dealing with the reported stories which have been rewritten and amended so many times and so extensively that nothing is clear) we are led to believe that Av'ram has left his native place, Haran, 645 years before the Exodus. Since Exodus is thought to have taken place in the 13th century B.C., Av'ram must have lived about 1900 B.C.
Some researchers say that Av'ram has set out from the city of Mari. Scholars were familiar with the royal city of Mari for a long time, which was featured in many old inscriptions from Babylonia and Assyria. One text has claimed that Mari was the tenth city to be founded after the 'global' flood. Its inhabitants were Amorites. Finds at Mari seem to confirm the accuracy of the Old Testament's account. According to the evidence of the palace archives Haran and Nachor were both flourishing cities about 1900 B.C. - this is a fact. But we know them as names of persons. Are Haran and Nachor human beings or cities? Do we have a symbolic narration here? The beginnings of Mari around 1800 B.C. seem to agree extremely well with the traditional dating of the Biblical patriarchs around or shortly after 2000 B.C. Furthermore archives of Nuzi in Yorgan Tepe near Kirkuk (Presently a province in northern Irak) lead us to believe that this is a possible place which may provide us with the information to solve this matter. The written documents (dated 1500 B.C.) from this Horite city of the kingdom of Mitanni (kingdom of the Hurrians) and the legal practices of the patriarchs agree to an amazing degree with the Biblical texts. Yet there is something wrong!
If the patriarchs have followed the legal customs of the Horites of the 15th century B.C. how could they have lived in the 18th, 19th, 20th centuries B.C.? In other words 300 to 500 years earlier.
Could we say that Horites were following the legal practices of the patriarchs?
Could we say that certain legal practices of Av'ram's time were handed down to the Horites?
Did Av'ram really live in the kingdom of Mari?
Or should we look for him centuries later in the kingdom of Mitanni?
Or is he to be found somewhere else? (We shall see later.)
Certain concepts of the period of patriarchs in the religious sphere are matched by the ideas contained in the texts from Ugarit whose classical period came still later in the 15th or 14th century B.C.
Therefore should we place Israel's Biblical ancestors even later?
Can anybody confirm Abraham's sojourn in Egypt (which is merely indicated incidentally even in the Bible) from non-biblical sources?
Excavations atTell el-Mardikh south of Aleppo (in Syria) led to the discovery of the town of Ebla, dating from the 3rd. millennium B.C. First discovery was that a high degree of culture with an enormously differentiated social structure had existed there in almost prehistoric times. Secondly, the rich archive of clay tablets in Ebla may show that all those water tight opinions have been built on insecure foundations.
In connection with the question of names, scholars agree that the names of the patriarchs have been found in other sources. Ebla texts dating from the 3rd. millennium B.C. contain names which are familiar to us from the Bible. Abraham is there, as well as Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim on the Dead Sea, which were all destroyed by fire.
What do you think about Sodom and Gomorrah appearing in the archives from the 3rd. millennium B.C.?
We were told that the Sodom and Gomorrah incident has occurred at a much later date, weren't we?
And we have become aware of these names because of Abraham's adventures, have we not?
We think that Abraham must have been alive around 1900 B.C., but these archives belong to the 3rd. millennium B.C. In other words, a 1000 years before Abraham. If the names, Sodom and Gomorrah really occur in the archives of the 3rd. millennium B.C. in Syria, then we have no choice but to accept that the stories on the patriarchs and the Sodom and Gomorrah and the other places belong to an earlier period.
Genesis 13:10 tell us that, returning from Egypt, Abraham andLot are separated. Lot goes to Erden basin in Jordan/Yordan where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are situated, and Lot finds the region well-watered and in abundance, like the 'garden of the Lord', like the land of Egypt. Archaeological finds show that there was indeed a civilization in this region earlier than 2000 B.C. But suddenly about 1900 B.C. the towns were destroyed and people went back to a nomadic life. Either there was an earthquake or as some scholars suggest, a volcanic eruption took place with an accompanying earthquake along this extraordinarily defined fracture in the Earth's crust where two very active tectonic plates are moving in different directions. The story about Sodom and Gomorrah also suggests that these towns went under the waters of the Sea of Arabah (present day Dead Sea). Although there is nothing definite, the disappearance of civilization in this region may be due to a natural disaster. If Av'ram was around when these cities were destroyed, he must have been alive around 20th-19th centuries B.C. Where is the truth? Is this an intentional projection of a personality to a certain time period? Yes! Av'ram was projected into a different period than his, but we shall see that later.
Some suggest that Av'ram has lived in a later era. Do not ever forget that the names of people and places in this story appear in the archives of Ebla, dated to the 3rd. millennium B.C. Only the writers of the Old Testament had known the truth. But they are long gone.Only the believers and the exploiters are left behind.
So, what do you think about the customary dates accepted for the beginning of the period of patriarchs?
What do you think about the patriarchs themselves?
Were they real?
Did they ever live?
Did they live in the periods mentioned in the Old Testament?
We are led to believe that Av'ram had set out from the city of Ur ('of the Chaldees' in Irak), on the site of which the capital city of the Sumerian empire stood. Sumerians were not Semites like the Hebrews. Av'ram could not ever have been a citizen of this Sumerian metropolis, because the impression we have is that he was a tent dweller, moving from pasture to pasture, from well to well. He did not live like a citizen of a great city, he lived the life of a typical nomad. But, Genesis presents Av'ram as a warlike, merchant prince. According to the story in Genesis 14:14, "...he armed and trained 318 servants, born in his own house and pursued....them (the local Kings) unto Dan." How right! He was a member of a great house once, but made to leave his community.
Let us go on. The story may have started in a place much farther to the north of the fertile crescent where the story of the patriarchs of the Old Testament has allegedly began. The country which the Old Testament mentions in this case must be Haran. Terah, his son Av'ram, his daughter-in-law Saray and his grandson Lot must have lived there. Haran (This must be the present day Harran in southeast Anatolia) lies in the centre of the region which was then called 'Padan-Aram' in northwest Mesopotamia Presently Syria). According to the description we have, Haran must have been a flourishing city in the 19th and 18th centuries B.C. This Haran, must have been the home city of Av'ram, and the birthplace of the Hebrew people. Further up the same Balikh valley lay the city with an equally well-known Biblical name, Nachor, the home of Rebeka, wife of I'zak. So we have two different stories. Did Av'ram set out from the city of Ur, or from Haran?
Some scholars merge the two stories and say that Av'ram set out from the city of Ur ('of the Chaldees'), came to Haran, dwelt there, and upon a divine intervention ordering him to move to the land "that will be shown to him," together with the people around him entered Palestine as a merchant colony. We must stop here for a moment and look into this story in detail.
Ur ('of the Chaldees') is thought to be the capital city of Sumer and the city of the Moon-god Nanna. If Av'ram and his family had set out from the Sumerian city of Ur, the Old Testament would have mentioned Sumer. Did anybody read anything about Sumer in the Old Testament? No. In the version of the Old Testament which was translated into ancient Greek in the 3rd. century B.C. nothing is said about this city. This leads many researchers to the conclusion that, the name of this city was added to the text at a later date (Yes, it is a later addition). In the Hebrew text the name of the city is written as Ur-Kasdim. According to the cuneiform tablets unearthed at the ruins of the city of Mari (presently Tell Hariri), which are written in eastern Semitic, the place called Ur-Kasdim should be a city near Haran in the north, and not in southern Mesopotamia. We still have no proof to this end, but there is historical evidence in that direction. In the third Ur era around 2000 B.C. Mari and Nuzi and in a later era some colonies called Ur were established to the north according to the Hittite and Ugarit cuneiform texts.
In the Ugarit texts it is written that the merchants from 'Ur-a' could not settle there permanently, and should return to their city in the winter. Some scholars claim that 'Ur-a' should have been near Haran, according to these texts. In the Ugarit texts 'Ur-ha' is the name of a person. Furthermore there existed a port called 'Ur-a' in Cilicia in southeast Asia Minor. Citing the ancient names of Urfa (A city in the southeast of the present day Republic of Turkey), which are Ur, Urha, Ur-hai, Al-Ruha, Edessa, Antiokhea, Kallirhoe, Rohe, Orroes, Khurrai, the Turkish scholars think that the place called 'Ur' in the Old Testament could be the present day Turkish city of Urfa. There are no archaeological finds yet belonging to those periods. But, excavations at Nevali Cori (Nevaliçeri) and Göbekli Tepe near Urfa has proven that there were people settled there about 10000 BC. They did not know how to make earthenware but established settlements and developed a belief system. The fact that even at those very early times a belief system was developed here, may have turned this region into a religious center. City of Urfa is known by the local people as the 'city of prophets,' and there are many stories there about Abraham. This may be taken as another indication in favour of Urfa. There is a story about Urfa having been founded by prophet Idris (Hermes). Furthermore there are claims that Urfa was founded by the Sumerians or Assyrians. Adam and Eve are claimed to have lived there. Abraham's mother is thought to have given birth to him in Urfa. We must say a few words about king Nimrod who appears in one of the stories about Abraham? There is no such person called 'Nimrod' in history. Assumption is that Nimrod was actually Ninurta (god of War) who supposedly threw Abraham into fire in Urfa, where water coming down from 'up there' by a divine(!) intervention formed a pond, and the firewood became fish in the pond. According to Edward Bocon (Versunkene Kulturen, Geheimnis und Rätsel Früher Welten, Köln, 1963) Blistin Aeteria who went to this city in 6th-5th centuries B.C., reported that these fish were not consumed because they were thought to belong to the planet Atargadis (Venus). People there worshipped the Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn and Mars. One of the city gates was called Beth-Shamash (Sun Gate). The pre-Christian coins used there had crescent Moon on them. Although no concrete evidence related to the Moon-cult in Urfa is found yet, we know that in Haran near Urfa moon-cult was practiced until almost our time by the Sabians (These were not the real Sabians, they were the Harranians who came to be called the Sabians after the Islamic conquests) Moon-god was worshipped in and around Haran about 3rd. century A.D. In the cuneiform texts Haran is written as Harran, Harranu, meaning the 'road'. In fact this place is really a junction of the roads to and from Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria and Asia Minor. Islamic writers claim that Harran was the first city founded following the ''global' flood. Some others claim that Harran was founded by Kayman, one of the grand children of Noah, or by Aram, the brother of Abraham (There is no mention of this brother in the Old Testament). The ruins of a temple underneath the present day grand mosque in Harran shows the transition from idol worshipping to Islam. This temple is said to have belonged to the Sabians (actually the Harranians), who worshipped the Moon, stars and the Sun. They had two religious books called Safvet ul-Ukala and Makalat-ı Hermes. They are not the people that Kuran recognizes as people of faith in 2:62, 5:69, and 22:17. They had two prophets, Hermes and Azimûn (Agathodaimon, Agarhademon, Şit). A last point: A village called 'Selm-i sin' has existed near Harran in the past. 'Sin' is the name of the Moon-god. Selm-i sin means 'sin-stone' or 'stone image of sin'.
Well, who were these Sabians? The Moon-cult seems to have originated by theChaldeans. According to some researchers, starting from the earliest times, there was a place in this region which was the centre of the Moon cult: Haran. The Old Testament calls the city of Ur a 'Chaldean city.' Among the Chaldeans, there were eastern Aramaeans. Amongst these Aramaeans there was the real Sabian faith. They were the Mandaeans (the 'keepers of the ancient secret knowledge').
If Av'ram had set out from Ur ('of the Chaldees') and came to Haran, the Sabian belief system may have been introduced by him to Haran,
Believers of the Sabian belief system may have arrived and settled in Haran before Av'ram. Av'ram may have been of this conviction, so he, with his family, may have followed them to Haran.
Kuran describes him as 'hanif', meaning 'the believer of the real and pure religion'. Meanwhile according to the Islamic dictionaries it means, 'a person believing in the sole god before the arrival of Islam.'
But is this the truth?
'Hanif' is Arabic and is thought to be a corruption of 'Hanefo', 'Hanifu' in Aramaic and Syriac, meaning 'idol worshipper.' Sabian means 'star worshipper.' So here are some questions for you:
How a monotheist Hagarene messenger ('Muhammad') has recognized and mentioned in his codebook a belief system which is based on the worship of celestial objects?
If Abraham was a star-worshipper, how a monotheist Hagarene messenger has accepted him as his ancestor and how the desert Arabs have claimed to have furthered his (Abraham's) belief system to accomplishment in Islam?
How the Muslims have called this star-worshipper a muslim ('One who surrendered to god')?
There is something wrong somewhere. But where? Here is another question:
Why did Av'ram leave his native place? (He had a pressing reason, which made him leave his community. We shall see that later).
Well, the archaeologists and geologists have evaluated the archaeological finds and decided that a drought set in around Urfa and along the Anatolia-Syria boundary about 4000 years ago. So what? Well - if ever they existed - Av'ram and the people around him, and the other people living in the region may have left the area due to this natural phenomenon and migrated to Palestine.abraham page 2