The Authenticity of the Bible – The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict – Josh McDowell Part 3
From time to time you will read articles in the Arkansas press by such writers as John Brummett, Max Brantley and Gene Lyons that poke fun at those that actually believe the Bible is historically accurate when in fact the Bible is backed up by many archaeological facts. The Book of Mormon is blindly accepted even though archaeology has disproven many of the facts that are claimed by it.
The Book of Mormon claims that the Native American populations are descended from the Lamanites, who originated from ancient Israel 2,600 years ago. This concept is stated several times throughout the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants (both of which are part of the “standard works”). Modern molecular genetics have proven that Native Americans are descended from Siberian and Asian ancestors. No evidence of Hebrew ancestry has been found in living Native Americans or in the remains of ancient Native Americans. However, other claims of Hebrew ancestry have been verified genetically in the African Lemba tribe, who left the Middle east during the same time frame found in the Book of Mormon account. In addition, no evidence for the “white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome” Nephites has ever been found in ancient American artwork.
|Stela of Baal|
|Could this stone monument of Baal have been the same image that many Israelites worshipped?Baal, the storm god, is seen on this Stele unleashing a storm. He is holding a club in his right hand and a spear in his left like a lightning bolt, which extends upward in the form of a tree. It was found in 1932 at the site of ancient Ugarit, known today as Ras Shamra. Baal the was supreme male deity that was worshipped by the ancient Canaanites and Phoenicians, just as Ashtoreth was their supreme female deity. In many cases Baal was identified with the sun and Ashtoreth with the moon. Baal worship was prevalent during the time of Moses, especially among the Moabites, the Midianites, and eventually spread to the Israelites. During the time of the Kings, the northern Kingdom of Israel were Baal worshippers as were many of the kings of Judah. Many Temples were erected to Baal and have been discovered by archaeologists. Places for worship of Baal were often high places in the hills consisting of an altar and a sacred tree, stone, or pillar.
1 Kings 16:30-33 “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.”
“At Ugarit, El was sovereign, but another god ran things on earth for El as his vizier. That god’s name was Baal. At Ugarit Baal was known by several titles: “king of the gods,” “the Most High,” “Prince Baal” (baal zbl), and—most importantly for our discussion—“the Rider on the Clouds.”” – Wikipedia
Stela of Baal in Biblical archaeology.
Stèle du “Baal au foudre”
The stela depicting the storm god Baal is the largest and the most significant of the stelae discovered at Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit). It was found, along with eight others, not far from Temple de Baal by the Schaeffer archaeological mission, 1932. Four others were discovered near the Temple of Dagon and another ten in various locations around the city. All date to the Late Bronze Age, eighteenth-fifteenth centuries BC.
The large stela bears the relief carving of a monumental male figure, towering over a much smaller figure standing on a pedestal. The bearded lion-clothed main figure is wearing a horned headdress, indicating that he is a god. He is brandishing a club in his right arm, with left outstretched carrying a spear, the head of which is stuck in the ground, while vegetation sprouts out its shaft. Today it is generally agreed that the scene depicts the god, Baal, unleashing a storm from the club in the the traditional pose of the storm gods worshiped throughout the Levant – the Greek god Zeus and the Roman god Jupiter would later take up the same pose and attributes. The metaphor of the spear sprouting a plant alludes to the beneficial effects of the rain. The small figure crouching on the small horned altar is believed to be the king of Ugarit, in ceremonial dress, his arms crossed in prayer and the recipient of divine protection. The motifs carved on the two-tiered altar on which the god stands are more difficult to interpret: is the monstrous snake who will cause the death of Baal depicted above the carved waves of the ocean? Or is it the horizon of mountains that surrounded the kingdom of Ugarit, protected by Baal, whose home is “in the innermost reaches of Mount Sapon.”
Ugarit was an ancient cosmopolitan port city, sited on the Mediterranean coast of northern Syria a few kilometers north of the modern city of Latakia. Itsent tribute to Egypt and maintained trade and diplomatic connections with Cyprus (called Alashiya), documented in the archives recovered from the site and corroborated by Mycenaean and Cypriot pottery found there. The polity was at its height from ca. 1450 BC until 1200 BC.
Paris – Musée du Louvre
British Museum Excerpt:
Bronze Figure of Baal
Canaanite, about 1400-1200 BC
The god Baal with raised right arm
This figure is typical of bronzes from Syria in the second half of the second millennium BC. Although clearly broken, his pointed cap and raised right arm suggest that this is a representation of the god Baal, one of the major deities of the Canaanites. He would usually be wielding a club, but this example may have held a smaller object, perhaps a thunderbolt. The eyes were originally inlaid and the dowel and hole are modern.
The god Baal embodied royal power and authority. Much of our knowledge about Canaanite gods comes from the local Canaanite literature, particularly from the archive of cuneiform tablets from the site of Ugarit. The Canaanite gods and goddesses continued to be worshipped during the first millennium BC, though some of their functions changed. They were worshipped wherever the Canaanites (Phoenicians) established trading colonies across the Mediterranean.
also see: Stele Showing the Storm-God Baal
Houses are swept by a tsunami in Natori City.