Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Queen Jezebel "the Orginal Lady Macbeth"

Taken from:


Ahab and Jezebel

The Omri-Ahab dynasty represented the epitome of evil in their time. Omri completely drove out all vestiges of Judaism and monotheism in his land. He made the Phoenician and Canaanites deities his state religion, especially worship of the idol Baal. He not only brought in pagan deities but built temples and imported priests of the idol Baal.

To further consolidate his power, Omri arranged a marriage between son, Ahab, and the daughter of the king of Phoenicia, Jezebel. She is the original Lady Macbeth: a controlling, scheming person without scruples who brought with her every vile element of pagan culture, including the practice and ideology of idolatry, along with all of its concomitant cruelty and immorality. Unfortunately, Ahab, who was otherwise a very strong person, was unable to stand up to her, as often happens even in the strongest of men. Her ideas and ideals governed after Ahab became king.

“There was no one like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of God, which his wife Jezebel persuaded him” (I Kings 21:25).

Ahab and Jezebel embarked on a campaign of eradication of all Jewish ideas and implementation of the Phoenician way of life and value system. It reached the stage that the prophet Elijah stated that there were only 7,000 in Israel who did not bow to the idol Baal (I Kings 19:18). Put another way, more than ninety-nine percent of the Jewish people of the Northern Kingdom worshipped the Baal. As part of their campaign, they killed all the prophets and closed all their academies. Elijah was the only prophet in Israel who survived.

However, the world was not enough for Ahab and Jezebel. They became obsessed trying to find and eradicate Elijah. The only thing that mattered to them was getting that old man in the shepherd’s clothes.


Elijah is one of the most fascinating personalities in all human history. He had many facets to his character. Perhaps foremost among them, he was not willing to compromise with evil under any circumstance. He had absolutely no fear of anyone or anything.

At the height of Ahab and Jezebel’s success, Elijah announced that there would be three years of hunger (I Kings 17:1). And it came true. Not a drop of rain fell. Crops withered on the vine. People were starving to death. The entire kingdom was buckling under and its enemies were preparing plans for invasion. Even the king himself was affected by the famine (I Kings 18:5).

Elijah knew it was the time to bring the situation to a head and called for a contest – a final showdown — between him and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. He told Ahab to tell the people to come and see for themselves.

In truth, Elijah knew that performing miracles were not the way to settle the matter, because people are momentarily impressed with miracles but quickly return to their ways unless they have a deep, abiding faith. It is similar to the diet syndrome: despite sincere intention at the beginning it wears off. It is very difficult to overcome force of habit, which is life itself.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews came to Mount Carmel, including Ahab. The first thing Elijah did was tell the people, “How long will you remain on the fence? If you are for Baal then worship him. If God then worship him” (I Kings 18:21). You cannot have both.

This was a question not just for his generation. Today, too, we like to have a little Baal and a little God. However, Elijah reminds us that we cannot have it both ways.

The priests of Baal danced and shouted all morning. According to an opinion in the Tradition, they had prepared a hidden fire beneath their altar, but God did not let it burn. Into the afternoon nothing happened. Elijah mocked them.

“Maybe your god is sleeping,” he taunted. “Talk louder. Maybe he went for a walk. Maybe he is busy. Don’t give up. Louder. Try it again.”

In their desperation they cut themselves and danced with even greater wild abandon. But still nothing happened.

Finally, it was Elijah’s turn. First, he soaked his sacrifice and altar with water to make the miracle greater. Then he said, “Answer me, God, answer me….” Suddenly, there shot forth a tremendous fire from heaven that consumed his sacrifice and altar despite the water. The people fell to their knees and shouted: “God is God. God is God” (I Kings 18:39).

Everyone repented, even Ahab.

Unfortunately, people had vested interests in keeping alive the social fabric built around the cult of foreign gods. Jezebel chastised Ahab when he returned and immediately declared that she would kill Elijah, who once more had to flee for his life and go into hiding.

In a very short time, the mass repentance fell apart.

Instant anything is difficult to maintain – especially instant repentance. It can only be extended if there is follow up, education and an intensive change of lifestyle. Otherwise, instant revolutions more often than not lead to instability, which can cause the individual or community to regress to a point even worse than before. That is what happened to Ahab and the Jewish people. They were able to hold their physical empire together a little longer, but the inner core was rotting away.

Ahab repented of his ways, but only enough to keep his disintegrating empire on Earth together before his death (I Kings 21:29). His son Jehoram took over, but, as the prophet predicted, he and the entire house of Ahab were killed, including his wife Jezebel.

Among the prophecies pronounced by Elijah, and repeated by his disciple Elisha,[1] was that dogs would tear Jezebel apart limb from limb and lick her blood from the street (I Kings 21:23; II Kings 9:10). That is, indeed, what happened (II Kings 9:33-37). The only parts of her that remained were the palms of her hands and her feet (ibid. 9:35).


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Salverda Thinks Phoenicians May have Built Greek Cities

Perseus, Dan, and the Golden Calf of Dionysus
by John R. Salverda
The Walls of Mycenae
The Returns of the Perseids

The Walls of Mycenae

    Greek Myths have attributed the building of the walls of Midea, Tiryns and Mycenae to Perseus and his sons fresh from the city of Joppa, on the Palestinian coast of the Mediterranean Sea, where the Ethiopians had ruled. Thus, perhaps the Grecian city called Midea owes it's name to the land of Midian in Southeastern Palestine, the resident Midianites are scripturally referred to as Cushites, who were in turn known to the Greeks as, "Ethiopians."

    Let's talk history for a bit. The walls of Tiryns, Midea, and especially Mycenae have been discovered by archaeologists and are still there to be seen. They are considered to be contemporary with each other and have been dated to about 1425 BC by coordinating them with Egyptian chronology. There was, at the time that closely followed the building of those walls, a lively trade between Mycenae and Egypt. Pottery, of the same type and painting style as that which was produced in Mycenae, have been found all over Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt especially, we are told, in the short-lived Egyptian city of El-Amarna. Furthermore, within the walls of the Greek city of Mycenae, Egyptian items of the Eighteenth Dynasty were found, including a few things that even had the names of Amenhotep II (the son of Thutmose III) and of Amenhotep III inscribed upon them.

    Now, I don't believe in the so called "dark ages of Greece" (a very dubious 500 year period of Greek history during which there is no evidence of any Greek history!'!) and so, I scoot the Mycenaean age and accordingly, the building of the walls of Mycenae forward about 500 years. Therefore I also move the contemporary Egyptian Pharaohs forward. I have Pharaoh Thutmose III living at about the same time that the Hebrew scriptures say that Pharaoh Shishak sacked the temple of Solomon, and make Queen Hatshepsut visit Punt in the days that the Hebrew scriptures say that the Queen of Sheba visited Phoenicia. This is in accordance with a reconstruction of ancient history as is outlined by the heretical historian Immanuel Velikovsky.

    Thutmose III had after a siege, famously conquered the city of Joppa. (He also took Megiddo and the Philistine stronghold of Beth Shean.) But, without the dark ages of Greece, this must have been about 930 BC (if Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt was contemporary with the Mycenaean age as archaeological finds seem to prove). Many people, from the seaport of Joppa especially, would have had the opportunity to flee overseas during these turbulent times, (taking with them a new found urgency to build walls around their cities). The main enemy of Thutmose were called the "Mitanni," thus, if his siege of Joppa had anything to do with the Perseid emigration then perhaps the term, "Mitanni" was identical to the Scriptural, "Midianite," (also called "Ethiopian"). Thus strengthening my previously mentioned theory about the origin of the name of the Greek city, "Midea." I assume that these people took with them many of their stories, and that we can read them in Greek mythology.

    In accordance with Velikovsky's reconstruction of ancient history, the Hebrew scriptures have Solomon walling all the cities of Phoenicia at about the same time that walls were also being built around the Mycenaean cities. They even include the detail that Jerusalem's building materials were brought in through the port of Joppa, at about the same time that the Greek myths tell us that people from Joppa went to Greece and walled their cities. And they make Joppa the capitol of tribal Dan at the same time that the Greek myths tell us that the Danaan descendants of Perseus were kings there (those who are called "Priests" in the Scriptures, Jethro, Jonathan and Phinehas, are referred to as "Kings" and "princes" in the Myths, Cepheus, Perses and Phineus).

    According to the Hebrew scriptures, there was a group of masons and sailors, Hiram's Tyrians, who helped Solomon to build the stone works of Jerusalem, they also largely made up the navy of Solomon, and manned the ships that sailed out of Joppa to places like Tarshish. Similarly, in accordance with the Greek myth, the fortifications of the Argolian cities, so often attributed to the sons or Perseus, are even more often said to have been built by the Cyclopes. As Perseus had sailed out of Joppa to return to Argolis, it is logical to speculate that he went on a ship (or a fleet of ships) along with a group of masons who helped to build the walls of Midea, Tiryns and Mycenae. The ancient masons were called, in the myths, the Cyclopes. The following is a sample of ancient authors who attribute the building of the Danaan cities of Perseus to the Cyclopes; "Zeus, son of Kronos, was willing to honor the race of Danaus ... by relieving them from their hateful distress (the strife between Acrisius and Proetus). The Cyclopes came in their might and toiled to build a most beautiful wall for the famous city." (Bacchylides, Fragment 11) "Now it seems that Tiryns was used as a base of operations by Proetus, and was walled by him through the aid of the Cyclopes, ' And perhaps the caverns near Nauplia (in Argolis) and the works therein are named after them." (Strabo, Geography 8. 6. 11) "There still remain, however, parts of the city wall (of Mycenae), including the gate, upon which stand lions. These, too, are said to be the work of the Cyclopes, who made for Proetus the wall at Tiryns." (Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 16. 5) "Beside the sanctuary of Kephisos [at Argos] is a head of Medusa made of stone, which is said to be another of the works of the Cyclopes." (again Pausanias, Ibid 2. 20. 7) "Mycenae girt about with a garland of walls by the Cyclopean masons." (Nonnus, Dionysiaca 41. 263 ff)

    Although one may be hard pressed to find an archaeologist who is willing to say that the Tyrian masons were identical to those Cyclopes of the Greek myths, there have been more than a few of those same archaeologists who have supposed that the Phoenicians must have been the builders of the various, wide spread, ruins of those same, so commonly called, "cyclopean" fortifications.

The Returns of the Perseids

    Of course, the reader will realize that Moses, whether as Perseus or otherwise, never went to Argolis, he never even made it to the promised land let alone Joppa. However it is apparent that his story, along with intricate theological details, did make it to Greece and can be read even today in the myths and legends of the Greeks.

    The return of Perseus to Argos is not the end of his story, there is still one more episode to be examined. (Danaus begat Lynceus begat Abas begat Acrisius begat Danae begat Perseus begat the sons of Perseus).

    If we are to correlate Perseus with Moses then we can expect to find his opposition to the "calf god" included in the Greek myths about Perseus. Sure enough the last episode in the story of Perseus is indeed known as his war against the calf god (formerly called Zagreus, but by the time that this episode was added to the Perseus myth, approximately 860 BC. Zagreus was being called by his new name, "Dionysus").

    The rites of the calf god were staunchly objected to by the Moses faction of the Hebrews at first, because they were polluted with Amazonian feminism and perverted with orgiastic abandon, however, they were eventually mitigated by the teachings of Balaam to the point where a watered down version of them did become accepted by 10/12ths of Israel. (The role of "Balaam" in this "mitigation" will become more evident when we study the Greek myths concerning the seer "Melampus.") The reason why many did not simply forsake the rites of the calf god all together, was apparently because it guaranteed fruitful fields. Back then a religion was a whole way of life. If nomadic herdsmen wanted to become city dwelling agriculturalists, then they had to give up a lot of their previously conceived religious notions, (tent rigging, navigation by astronomy, the way of the wells, herding, the supremacy of the Moon, judges, etc.) and they had to adopt religious practices that were previously considered distasteful (Masonry, planting and harvesting by astronomy, irrigation techniques, crop fertilization, the supremacy of the Sun, Kings, etc.).

    The story of the introduction of the calf god was brought to Greece by several different groups of Hebrew expatriates, Cadmus brought the story to Thebes where its' King Pentheus opposed the calf god, the Aeolians of Orchomenus, who told the stories of Athamus and Sisyphus, also recalled how its' King Minyas resisted the calf god, and for the purposes of this article, the Danaans of Argos also reported the same tale. To quote Ovid, "Acrisius the son of Abas, of the Cadmean race, remained to banish Bacchus (Dionysus) from the walls of Argos, and to lift up hostile arms against that deity, who he denied was born to Jove." (Metamorphoses 4. 607 ff) Here Ovid calls Acrisius, the Danaan grandfather of Perseus, "of the Cadmean race" (a Phoenician), not only that but he was the kind of Phoenician who, at first rejected the calf god. Just as it was against the Danites and the other Israelites at the scourge of Baal Peor, (incidentally, we learn from Ginzberg's "Legends" that Peor was the name of the calf god) women intoxicated with wine were the throng and method of the calf god. "Perseus of the sickle was champion of the Argives; he fitted his feet into the flying shoes, and he lifted up the head of Medusa which no eyes may see. But Iobaccos (Dionysus) marshaled his women with flowing locks, and Satyri with horns. Wild for battle he was when he saw the winged champion (Perseus) coursing through the air." (Nonnus Dionysiaca 47.478) And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And the women called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baal of Peor (Numbers 25:1-3) "of the women who joined Dionysos in his expedition against Argos, and that Perseus, being victorious in the battle, put most of the women to the sword."(Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 20. 4) "The temple of Hera (in Argos) . . . before it is a grave of women. They were killed in a battle against the Argives under Perseus (Pausanias again, Ibid 2. 22. 1)

    Of course, even though they at first resisted worshiping the calf god, the Danites did, a bit later in their history become reconciled to the calf god, and King Jeroboam had an Idol of it established at their capital city of Dan in northern Israel. Other Israelites, not necessarily Danites but of the northern ten tribes had another calf god idol set up at Bethel. "The Argives have other things worth seeing for instance . . . the temple of Dionysos. For they say that the god, having made war on Perseus, afterwards laid aside his enmity, and received great honors at the hands of the Argives, including this precinct set specially apart for himself." (Pausanias, Ibid 2. 23. 7) Here we can see as Pausanias reports that even though the great hero of the Danaan people, Perseus was at first violently opposed to the worship of the calf god, the Danaans did acquiesce and became reconciled to it and put up a temple to the calf god in their capitol city of Argos. These then were the same Danite people who went to Greece, populated Argolis, and brought with them these stories which we can now read in what has become known to us today as Greek mythology.


You've heard it said, that there's no extra-Biblical evidence to be found in the histories of the surrounding nations for the Exodus or the Solomonic Kingdom, and therefore, the Bible was simply contrived, artificially manufactured sometime in the third century. And yet I say unto you, perhaps you should not be looking in the "histories" of the nations for the activities of God. These things always get classified as "mythology," not history. This is a trick of classification. Archaeologists could unearth tomorrow the whole story of how God sent a hero, with miracles, to free his earthly wife from her bondage, how they wandered to the promised land and started a dynasty. And they could still say that there is no "historic" evidence, because they would call the evidence a "myth." It's a preconceived prejudice to denigrate mythological evidence. There are volumes of extra-Biblical evidence referring to, and thereby proving, that the Scriptural stories were in existence centuries before the final editing of the Scriptures took place. You just need to know where to look. 
Taken from:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nefertiti as Jezebel and Horemheb as Jehu

Taken from:


Some comentators have suggested that Nefertiti was in fact the famous Queen Jezebel from the Old Testement. Apparently, she left Israel on the death of her husband, King Ahab, and returned when Akhenaten [actually Ahab was Akhenaten, according to our view] rejected her for failing to provide him with a male heir. Proponents of this view further suggest that Jehu (who caused the death of Jezebel) was in fact the general Horemheb. He became Pharaoh after the death of Ay, and destroyed the monuments and inscriptions of the Atenist regime.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

‘Western Logic’ and the ‘Logos’

Of relevance is Ch. 3 of Tracey Rowland’s book, Ratzinger’s Faith, this chapter being entitled “Revelation, Scripture and Tradition”.


“I will arouse your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece ...”.

Zechariah 9:13



Josef Ratzinger is an original thinker and, though very much in the mould of a western thinker - which is the theme we want to develop further here, west (Logos) against east (Dabar) - and the German west at that, from which has come a lot of problematical biblical exegesis relating to JEDP, he can frequently surprise the reader with his wholly new insights. His books are replete with references to German scholars, understandably, given that he himself is German. Rudolf Bultmann gets a lot of ‘airplay’. And one wonders at times if more orthodox exegetes could have been sourced instead. However, Ratzinger is a good enough writer not to get dragged in by his sources. He can consider another writer’s point of view at some length and then dismiss it in favour of a view that he prefers (as Father Harrison had noted back on p. 8).

As the following section shows (taken from pp. 62-64 of Rowland’s Chapter 3), Ratzinger is very much in the western mould of thinking.

…. ­Ratzinger frequently reminds academic audiences that the Church fathers found the 'seeds of the Word, not in the religions of the ­world, but rather in philosophy, that is, in the process of critical reason ­directed against the [pagan] religions'. …. He notes that the habit of ­thinking about Christianity as a 'religion' among many religions, all of roughly the same intellectual merit, is a modern development. A­t its very origins Christianity sides with reason and considers this ally to be ­its principal forerunner. …. Moreover:

Ultimately it [a decision to believe in God] is a decision in favor of reason and a decision about whether good and evil, truth and untruth, are merely subjective categories or reality. In this sense, in the beginning there is faith, ­but a faith that first acknowledges the dignity and scope of reason. The decision for God is simultaneously an intellectual and an existential decision - each determines the other reciprocally. ….

Ratzinger therefore does not follow the trend of thinking of Athens ­and Jerusalem as short-hand terms for two fundamentally different ­ways of approaching religious matters: one fideistic and one philo­sophical. The great University of Chicago philosophy professor Leo Strauss (1889 -1973) popularized this dichotomy to such a degree that now two generations later there are almost as many subcategories of Straussians as there are Thomists, according to which side of this ­apparently unbridgeable divide they find themselves most at home.

However, Ratzinger's approach is to argue that there are quite amazing parallels in chronology and content between the philosopher’s criticism of the myths in Greece and the prophets' criticism of the gods in Israel. While he concedes that the two movements start from com­pletely different assumptions and have completely different aims, he none the less concludes: the movement of the logos against the myth, as it evolved in the Greek mind in the philosophical enlightenment, so that in the end it necessarily led to the fall of the gods, has an inner parallelism with the enlightenment that the prophetic Wisdom literature cultivated in its demythologization of the divine powers in favour of the one and only God. ….

Comment: Our view is that much Greek mythology is an appropriation and distortion of Hebrew and Near Eastern writings, hence the “amazing parallels”. The pope favours the modern tendency according to which the Book of Wisdom, customarily attributed to King Solomon, was a late compilation influenced by Greek thought. (We might say, according to what we discussed on p. 18, Solon over Solomon, a view that we reject). In Jesus of Nazareth¸ Part Two, p. 210, he writes:

… the author of the Book of Wisdom could have been familiar with Plato’s speculations from his work on statecraft, in which he asks what would become of a perfectly just person in this world, and he comes to the conclusion that such a person would be crucified (The Republic II, 361e-362a). The Book of Wisdom may have taken up this idea from the philosopher and introduced it into the Old Testament, so that it now points directly to Jesus.

Quite on the contrary we would propose that, as according to tradition, King Solomon substantially wrote the Book of Wisdom. This later influenced Plato, who we think himself was, too, in his original form, a prophet of Israel. This thought (already diminished through pagan ‘Ionia’), came to Greece only later, where it received further transformations and transmutations. The stunningly Jesus like references (“be crucified”) could not, we submit, have preceded the Gospels – just as the biographies of Mohammed, originally an Old Testament prophet of Israel, later acquired Christian era references.

There is plenty of Solomonic-like literature already in the ancient Near East, long before Greece, with Hammurabi for instance, our Solomon ruling Babylon.

In our context, we would be largely sympathetic with what Del Nevo has further written in his review of Professor Kreeft’s book (op. cit., our emphasis):

… Traditionally Christian thought, that is, Christian interpretation, has depended on Greek philosophy, more precisely on combinations of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy. Jesus' philosophy — whatever it was — was Jewish, rabbinic, in the sense we read about in the Talmud, which reflects the oral tradition of Jesus' Jewish world. Jesus' philosophy was not Platonic or Aristotelian.

The problem for Kreeft, which his book bears out, is that philosophy for him is by definition non-Jewish.

There is a long quotation from C. S. Lewis in the Preface to show that Jesus' style followed broadly along Aristotelian lines as found in the Poetics and the Analytics. But Jesus' style was halakhic and aggadic. ….

[End of quote]

By no means could we accept the view of Josef Ratzinger about Islam, in his Regensburg address, that, in Rowland’s words (op. cit., p. 121), “… as a tradition, Islam needs to engage with the intellectual heritage of Greece”. Rather, we think, Islam needs to rediscover its roots in Old Testament Israel. More reasonable, we believe, is Ratzinger’s other view given here that: “… the attempt to graft on to Islamic societies what are termed western standards cut loose from their Christian foundations misunderstands the internal logic of Islam as well as the historical logic to which these western standards belong”.

In light of all of this we find it encouraging that the Church is involving Jews in biblical discussions, for example, Chief Rabbi Cohen addressing the Synod. Blessed Edith Stein, a Jew and a skilled philosopher, becomes an important factor in considerations of Jesus as a Jewish philosopher. Beatified in Cologne on 1 May 1987, the Church has honoured her as "a daughter of Israel" (Pope John Paul II), who, as a Catholic during Nazi persecution, remained faithful to the crucified Lord Jesus Christ and, as a Jew, to her people in loving faithfulness."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Jesus Christ Appropriated by Greece and Mis-Dated

Apollonius of Tyana also did miracles and rose. What about him?

by Matt Slick

Apollonius of Tyana (a city south of Turkey) is sometimes offered as a challenge to the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. It is said that Apollonius, who lived in the first century, also performed miracles, had disciples, died, and appeared after his death the same as Jesus. Therefore, critics conclude, what Jesus did isn't unique. Some even say that this is evidence that the Christian account of Christ's healings, miracles, and post death appearances were merely copied from the accounts of Apollonius. Are these accusations supportable? No, they aren't.

First of all, the accounts of Apollonius were written well after he is supposed to have lived by a man named Philostratus (170 - 245 A.D.). This is long after the New Testament was written. Therefore the written accounts of Apollonius were not written by eyewitnesses as were the gospels. If critics want to maintain that the New Testament is full of myth and must be discredited, then so must the accounts of Apollonius since the writings are written several generations after the fact. By contrast the New Testament was written by the eyewitnesses of Jesus' life. Logically, it is the New Testament accounts that are far more reliable than those of Apollonius. Also, this would mean that if any borrowing was done, it was done by Philostratus, not by the gospel writers.

Second, the eyewitness accounts of the New Testament writers were written before the close of the first century. For example, we know that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts do not contain the account of the fall of Jerusalem which occurred in 70 A.D. This fall included the destruction of the Jerusalem temple which was prophesied by Jesus in Matt. 24:1, Mark 13:1, and Luke 21:5. Such an incredibly major event in Jewish history would surely have been included in Acts and the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) if they were written after 70 A.D. since they would verify Jesus' predictive abilities. But, it is not included. Therefore, it is safe to say that they were written by the eyewitnesses of Jesus' life, unlike the accounts of Apollonius.

Third, Philostratus is the only source for the accounts of Apollonius where the Bible is multi-sourced. In other words, we have different writers writing about Jesus. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, etc., are different writers who's epistles were gathered by the Church and assembled into the Bible. That means that there is no verification for Apollonius other than the single writing of Philostratus.

Fourth, Philostratus was commissioned by an empress to write a biography of Apollonius in order to dedicate a temple to him. This means that there was a motive for Philostratus to embellish the accounts in order satisfy the requirement of the empress.1

It is not likely in the slightest that the gospels borrowed from Apollonius. It is most probably the other way around, especially since Philostratus had a motive to satisfy the empress who had commissioned him to write a biography of the man for whom a temple had been constructed.

  1. 1. Strobel, Lee, The Case for Christ, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998, p. 120.

Taken from:

For much more, see:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Did the Greeks Appropriate Judith the Jewess, as Helen the Hellene, of Troy?

As for Judith, the Greeks appear to have substituted this beautiful Jewish heroine with their own legendary Helen, whose 'face launched a thousand ships'. Compare for instance these striking similarities (Judith and The Iliad): 

The beautiful woman praised by the elders at the city gates:

"When [the elders of Bethulia] saw [Judith] transformed in appearance and dressed differently, they were very greatly astounded at her beauty" (Judith 10:7).

"Now the elders of the people were sitting by the Skaian gates…. When they saw Helen coming … they spoke softly to each other with winged words: 'No shame that the Trojans and the well-greaved Achaians should suffer agonies for long years over a woman like this - she is fearfully like the immortal goddesses to look at'" [The Iliad., pp. 44-45].

This theme of incredible beauty - plus the related view that "no shame" should be attached to the enemy on account of it - is picked up again a few verses later in the Book of Judith (v.19) when the Assyrian soldiers who accompany Judith and her maid to Holofernes "marveled at [Judith's] beauty and admired the Israelites, judging them by her … 'Who can despise these people, who have women like this among them?'"


'It is not wise to leave one of their men alive, for if we let them go they will be able to beguile the whole world!' (Judith 10:19).

'But even so, for all her beauty, let her go back in the ships, and not be left here a curse to us and our children'.

And did the prophet Isaiah have Judith in mind, when he wrote:

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!"?

Concerning this text, John Paul II wrote of the Virgin Mary:


Like Elizabeth, the Church rejoices that Mary is the Mother of the Lord who brought her Son into the world and constantly co-operates in his saving missionAt the General Audience of Wednesday, 2 October, the Holy Father returned to his series of reflections on the Blessed Virgin Mary. Speaking of the Visitation, the Pope said: "Mary's visit to Elizabeth, in fact, is a prelude to Jesus' mission and, in co-operating from the beginning of her motherhood in the Son's redeeming work, she becomes the model for those in the Church who set out to bring Christ's light and joy to the people of every time and place". Here is a translation of his catechesis, which was the 34th in the series on the Blessed Virgin and was given in Italian.1. In the Visitation episode, St Luke shows how the grace of the Incarnation, after filling Mary, brings salvation and joy to Elizabeth's house. The Saviour of men, carried in his Mother's womb, pours out the Holy Spirit, revealing himself from the very start of his coming into the world. In describing Mary's departure for Judea, the Evangelist uses the verb "anístemi", which means "to arise", "to start moving". Considering that this verb is used in the Gospels to indicate Jesus' Resurrection (Mk 8:31; 9:9,31; Lk 24:7, 46) or physical actions that imply a spiritual effort (Lk 5:27-28; 15:18,20), we can suppose that Luke wishes to stress with this expression the vigorous zeal which led Mary, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to give the world its Saviour.Meeting with Elizabeth is a joyous saving event2. The Gospel text also reports that Mary made the journey "with haste" (Lk 1:39). Even the note "into the hill country" (Lk 1:39), in the Lucan context, appears to be much more than a simple topographical indication, since it calls to mind the messenger of good news described in the Book of Isaiah: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion: 'Your God reigns'" (Is 52:7).
Like St Paul, who recognizes the fulfilment of this prophetic text in the preaching of the Gospel (Rom 10:15), St Luke also seems to invite us to see Mary as the first "evangelist", who spreads the "good news", initiating the missionary journeys of her divine Son.
Lastly, the direction of the Blessed Virgin's journey is particularly significant: it will be from Galilee to Judea, like Jesus' missionary journey (cf. 9:51).
Mary's visit to Elizabeth, in fact, is a prelude to Jesus' mission and, in cooperating from the beginning of her motherhood in the Son's redeeming work, she becomes the model for those in the Church who set out to bring Christ's light and joy to the people of every time and place.
3. The meeting with Elizabeth has the character of a joyous saving event that goes beyond the spontaneous feelings of family sentiment. Where the embarrassment of disbelief seems to be expressed in Zechariah's muteness, Mary bursts out with the joy of her quick and ready faith: "She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth" (Lk 1:40).
St Luke relates that "when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb" (Lk 1:41). Mary's greeting caused Elizabeth's son to leap for joy: Jesus' entrance into Elizabeth's house, at Mary's doing, brought the unborn prophet that gladness which the Old Testament foretells as a sign of the Messiah's presence.
At Mary's greeting, messianic joy comes over Elizabeth too and "filled with the Holy Spirit ... she exclaimed with a loud cry, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!'" (Lk 1:41-42).
By a higher light, she understands Mary's greatness: more than Jael and Judith, who prefigured her in the Old Testament, she is blessed among women because of the fruit of her womb, Jesus, the Messiah.
4. Elizabeth's exclamation, made "with a loud cry", shows a true religious enthusiasm, which continues to be echoed on the lips of believers in the prayer "Hail Mary", as the Church's song of praise for the great works accomplished by the Most High in the Mother of his Son.
In proclaiming her "blessed among women", Elizabeth points to Mary's faith as the reason for her blessedness: "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" (Lk 1:45). Mary's greatness and joy arise from the fact the she is the one who believes.
In view of Mary's excellence, Elizabeth also understands what an honour her visit is for her: "And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk 1:43). With the expression "my Lord", Elizabeth recognizes the royal, indeed messianic, dignity of Mary's Son. In the Old Testament this expression was in fact used to address the king (cf. I Kgs 1:13,20,21 etc.) and to speak of the Messiah King (Ps I 10: 1). The angel had said of Jesus: "The Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David" (Lk 1:32). "Filled with the Holy Spirit", Elizabeth has the same insight. Later, the paschal glorification of Christ will reveal the sense in which this title is to be understood, that is, a transcendent sense (cf. Jn 20:28; Acts 2:34-36).
Mary is present in whole work of divine salvation
With her admiring exclamation, Elizabeth invites us to appreciate all that the Virgin's presence brings as a gift to the life of every believer.
In the Visitation, the Virgin brings Christ to the Baptist's mother, the Christ who pours out the Holy Spirit. This role of mediatrix is brought out by Elizabeth's very words: "For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my cars, the babe in my womb leaped for joy" (Lk 1:44). By the gift of the Holy Spirit, Mary's presence serves as a prelude to Pentecost, confirming a co-operation which, having begun with the Incarnation, is destined to be expressed in the whole work of divine salvation.

Taken from:L'Osservatore Romano Weekly Edition in English 9 October 1996, page 11L'Osservatore Romano is the newspaper of the Holy See.
The Weekly Edition in English is published for the US by:
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jonah in Greco-Roman Mythology

Typically, the famous story of the prophet Jonah appears to have been picked up later by the Greco-Romans, and re-cast, as we are now going to find.

Jonah, as we read, “went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish” (1:3). Legend has it that Joppa, or Jaffa, was founded by Noah’s son, Japheth. Now, Japheth became a primary god, Iapetos/Iapetus, for the Greeks. This important port of Joppa, Sennacherib of Assyria had high-handedly captured in the C8th BC. As König had noted, in relation to a Greek myth: “… it was in the neighbourhood of Joppa that Andromeda, too, was reduced to straits by a sea-monster …”. And Graves writes similarly:“An Etruscan vase shows the moribund king, whose name is given as Jason … in the jaws of a sea-monster: an icon from which the moral anecdote of Jonah and the Whale has apparently been deduced [sic]”. Wikipedia, too, tells of Jonah/Jason correspondences:

In 1995 the classicist Gildas Hamel revived a long-forgotten theory connecting the story of Jonah with that of the Greek hero Jason ("Taking the Argo to Nineveh: Jonah and Jason in a Mediterranean context," Judaism Summer, 1995; online).

Drawing on the Book of Jonah and Greco-Roman sources—including Greek vases and the accounts of Apollonius of Rhodes, Valerius Flaccus and Orphic Argonautica—Hamel identifies a number of shared motifs, including the names of the heroes, the presence of a dove, the idea of "fleeing" like the wind and causing a storm, the attitude of the sailors, the presence of a sea-monster or dragon threatening the hero or swallowing him, and the form and the word used for the "gourd" (kikayon, a hapax legomenon within the Hebrew Bible). ….

Indeed I seem to find in ‘Jason of the land of Iolchos’ quite a linguistic similarity to Isaiah [as Nahum] of Elkosh’. [To understand this connection, see main article on Jonah, previous post].

Sayce, writing with reference to the Book of Jonah, told of the extraordinary claim by Stephanus Byzantius, that “Gaza was also called Iônê, while the sea between Gaza and the frontier of Egypt was called “Ionian”.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chinese and Sumerian by Charles J. Ball

Taken from:

INITIAL AND FINAL SOUNDS— THEIR CORRESPONDENCE AND PARALLEL CHANGES That Chinese is related to the old Sumerian language of Babylonia is a con- clusion which appears inevitable, when we notice the great similarity of the two vocabularies. This may perhaps be best exhibited in tabular form. The following list does not, of course, pretend to be exhaustive. Its purpose is merely to weaken any presumption of antecedent improbability ; and so to bespeak an unprejudiced consideration for the arguments and comparisons to follow. CHINESE an, ang, yen, a clear sky. ang, high. pa, pat, pal, to draw water, pan, ban, comrade ; p'eng, pen, bang, friend ; pair, pi, p^t, pit, but, writing-brush ; pen. pit, pieh, p'et, biet, to separate ; to part, p'ien, p"in, bin, carriage (for women), ping, bing, disease ; sick, ping, pen, bing, pin, ice ; cold ; frost. p'ang, p'ong, bang, a heavy fall, of snow or rain. See also m^ng. han, ein, kan, gan, cold ; han-tung, id. yin-tung, to freeze, hei, he, h^k, hik, koku, black ; dark, hien, keing, gan, salt ; bitter, hien, ham, kan, gan, all. ho, ha, ka, ga, to bear ; to carry, hing, kiang, ying, gio, walk ; kien, kfn, id. hiien, ngien, gen, black, huk, hu, uk, koku, dawn ; sunrise, kai, ka, kie, street, k'ai, hoi, k'ae, kai, to open, kan, kon, kiie, stem ; rod ; cane ; pole, &c. kwan, kun, kon, kiie, kou, reed ; bamboo tube, k'an, kan, look at ; see ; examine, k'i, the earth {personified). SUMERIAN AN, AM, EN, the sky; heaven. AN, high. BAL, to draw water. MAN, comrade ; friend ; two. MU ATI, PATI,PA(?), stylus or writing- reed. BAD, to remove ; distant. D UB- BIN, covered car ; litter. PIG (also SIG), weak; weakness. 6aL-BI(N) ; 6aL-BA(N), id. MAM (A-MAM), cold weather. MAM, MAMMI, storm of snow or cold rain. EN-TEN, cold weather. GE, GIG, KUKKU, night; black. GIN, bitter (C. T. xii. 30). GAN A, all. GA, to lift, bear, carry. GIN, to walk; G\y[Jd. GIN, black (C. T. xii. 30) ; KAN, id. UG, day (C. T. xii. 6) : from GUG. KAS-KAL, road. GAL, to open. GIN, GI, reed; stem, &c. IGI-GAN, to see ; behold ; inspect. KI, the earth. PRELIMINARY LIST OF SIMILAR WORDS CHINESE k'i, this. (2) Precaiive Particle. kin, an axe. (2) a pound weight. kin, metal ; gold. kien, kfn, ken, kon, to establish. kien, kfn, k'en, a donkey. k'ien, hfn, k'en, ken, to send. k'ien, k'fm, k'em, kin, ken, black. kien, kfn, ken, to see. kiin, kuen, kwan, ken, to love ; ngen, en, ang, eng, in, on, un, en, kindness ; affection ; ngdn-ngai, affection (of the sexes), kou, mouth, k'ou, milk, k'un, kwen, kon, kun, elder brother ; hiung, hing, kei, id. kung, tribute, kung, work. kwan, kun, kon, ruler ; mandarin, kwo, kwok, kuk, country ; nation, k'wo, kwat, kwal, broad ; wide, k'iit, ket, kiiet, cut off; decide, lai, rai, to come, lik, li, strength. Ifm, lien, kiam, ken, the face. 1ft, Heh, yol, gust ; squall. lut, lii, a law ; rule ; fa-lu, fat-lut, fap-lut, laws and statutes, len, lin, ning, dei, peace, ma, weights, — of commerce. ma, twins (Chalmers 91). man, full ; kan, fullness ; overflow. m^k, mai, muk, mik, black. min, people. min, men, ming, merciful; compassionate ; wen, un, kind, ming, brightness, ming, meng, mei, a name, meng, moung, maong, dream, meng, mung, bong, drizzling rain ; ming, men, id. mi, not ; mei, id. ; wu, mou, mu, id. mft, met, mieh, blood, mu, male, mu, muk, wood ; a tree. {Phon. also KU-T: P. 278.) SUMEKIAN GE, this. (2) Precative Particle. GIN, an axe. (2) a shekel (GE). GUSH-KIN, gold. GIN, to establish. SHA-KAN; (G)AN-SHU. KIN, to send. GIN; KAN, black. KIN, to look to ; see to. KIN-GAD, to love. {Also read YA-hVi, KI-EM, KI-AG = ki-ang.) KA, mouth. GA, milk. U-RUN, U-RIN {character also read GIN : C. T. xii. 30), brother. GUN, tribute. KIN, charge; commission; work, GUN, U-GUN. lord. UG {from GUG) : C. T. xii. 27. DA-GAL, broad ; wide. KUD, cut off; decide. RA, LA 6, to walk, go, &c. LIG, strong. A-LAM,A-LAN, image; likeness; GIM, DIM, zfl'. LIL, storm-wind. BIL-LUD (BAL-LUD; BAB-LUD?), divine commands ; laws. SI-LIM {also read DI), peace. MA, MA-NA, the mina or standard weight. MASH, MASH-MASH, twin(s). MAL {from MAN), to be full ; GAN, abundant. MI;SU-MUG. (F/fl'.hei, black.) MULU (MUL = MUN), man. MUNU, goodness; kindness. MUNU, MUL ( = MUN), flame. MUN, MU, a name. MAMU, dream. MAMMI, shower of rain or snow. ME, NAM-ME ; MU. not. MUD, blood. MU, male. MU, wood ; a tree. {Also read GU : C. T. xii. 30.) PRELIMINARY LIST OF SIMILAR WORDS CHINESE mu [from mu-k), mother. mu, muk, tend cattle ; shepherd. mu, mou, wu, sorcerer. nga, ngwa, wa, tiles ; glazed bricks. ngan,^ I ; ngo, wo, nga, ga ; wu, ngu, ngou, ngo, I, me ; my. ngi, i, er (ur), the ear. ni, li, yi, t'i, grease ; fat. niang, niong, nong, woman ; lady. nfm, nien, nydm, niom, to repeat or recite, e.g. charms, liturgies, &c. nfn, nien, nieng, nen, a year. ngu, niu, giu, ox. san, swan, a box ; a basket. shak, shek, shi, sik, zi, zah, t'ak, stone. sheng, a sage ; a Prophet, san, swan, slin, son, to reckon, seng, a priest, shik, shit, shih, to eat ; food. shi [from shik), si, swine. shou, su, the hands. shu, writing ; book. sik, si, to split ; divide. sik, si, J. seki, formerly; of old. sin, sien, sen, before ; ancient. sfn, sien, si, hsien, to wash. sin, sien, sen, tien, sleet. sing, seng, hsing, smell ; odorous ; rank. sing, a name. sing, form ; figure. sing, a star. sung, pines, firs, &c. sung, to give. suk, su, J. soku, shoku, grain. siit, set, siok, hswik, sheh, snow ; ice. T'ai-poh, the planet Venus ; T'e-bah. tan, only ; single. te, tek, tik, toku, to get. ting, adult male. t'ien, t'fn, t'ieng, ten, heaven. t'ien, t'fn, diefi, tieng, ten, a field. tien, tin, tieng, ten, mad ; raving. SUMERIAN MUG, parent of either sex; U-MU,- mother. MU, shepherd (S-^ 308) [?]. MU, charm ; spell ; incantation. GA-R, MA-R ( = WA-R), flat bricks. GAL (=GAN); GIN; GAE, MAE ; GA, MA ; MU, I, me; my. GE ; BUR ( = MUR, WUR) ; the ear. NI, LI, I, lA, oil; fat; anoint. {Also read DIG.) NIN, lady. I-NIM, E-NEM, utterance, prayer, spell or incantation. LIM, a year, — of office [?]; As. limmu, limu. GU, GUD, ox. PI-SAN, a box ; a coffer, &c. DAG, DIG, SI, ZA, values of the char, for stone. GA-SHAM, wise, — in oracles, &c. SAM, SAN, reckoning ; price. SANGU, a priest.; SUG-SUG,SUD-SUD, to eat (Br. 6058). SHAG, SIg, swine. SHU, thehand(s). SHU, writing; the scribe's art. SIG, SI, to split; divide. SIG, SI, old. SUN, old. SH UN-SHUN, pure. TEN in EN-TEN A, cold. IR-SIM, fragrance ; sweet odour. SIM, to call ; to name. SIG ( = SING), form; figure. SIG, bright; light. SHIM (cDet. GISH, tree), scented trees. SUM, SUN, SIG, SI, to give. SHUG, SHE, grain. SHED, SID, SHEG, SHE, frost; snow; ice (C.T. xii. 11); IM-SHESH, id.; A-SHUGI, frost. DIL-BAD ; JeAf^ar {Hesych). TAN, Del. after Numerals. TUG, TUKU, to get. TIN, MU-TIN, a male; a man. I-DIM; (I-D IN), heaven. E-DIN, the field, steppe, &c. I-DIM, mad ; raging. B 2 PRELIMINARY LIST OF SIMILAR WORDS CHINESE tip, tiap, tie, tablets ; documents. ts'e, tsah, chak, chaik, shoku, the side. ts'i, zi, dzi, ch'i, even ; correct ; regular. ts'iin, ch'iian, sen, zen, all. tung, winter ; tung, to freeze. t'ung, tong, dung, copper ; brass. tung, to move ; motion. t'ung, dung, a boy. tzu, chu, ti, a child. lit, yiie, moon ; month. wu, u, uk, house ; chamber. wei, vi, to do ; to make. wen, m€n, written characters. yet, ngyit, nyit, the sun. yu. "gii. gio, fish. yii, ngu, to talk ; speech. yiian, yen {from gon), a garden. SUMERIAN DUB, a clay tablet ; inscribed document. ZAG, the side ; TIG, id. ZI, ZIG, ZID, right. Z UN, all; Sign of Plur. TEN, in EN-TEN, cold. SHUN, SHEN, copper (skinnu). TUM, to walk ; to go. DUMU, DAMU, achild. DU, child. ITU, ITI, id. {AISS,, Hesych) MU (C. T. xii. 8); U, house. ME (C. T. xii. lo), to do ; to make. DIM-MEN, foundation-inscription ; (2) foundation (Turkish temel). UD, UTU, id. {from GUD). ku, a fish (C. T. xii. 27). GU, to say; speak ; speech. GAN, garden; field. INITIAL AND FINAL SOUNDS— THEIR CORRESPONDENCE AND PARALLEL CHANGES It is evident that the preceding list presents at a glance sufficient similarity between the material of the two languages to suggest at once the hypothesis of relationship. But if we look below the surface, as Philology justifies us in doing, we shall discover in Chinese a large number of vocables which, although they have become dissimilar in the natural course of phonetic change, were originally either identical with the corresponding sounds of the primitive Sumerian speech, or at all events manifestly akin to them. In fact, much as Philology justifies us in connecting the Latin aqua with the French eau, so it may justify us in connecting the Chinese ho, river, with the Sumerian ID, I, river, and CjAL, to flow ; although the three terms possess not a letter in common. When it is pointed out that the character ^ ho is still read ka or ga in the traditional Japanese pronunciation, which is more faithful to the ancient sounds of the Chinese, and that the kindred Mongol word for river is gol, Manchau hoi ; we see at once that the Chinese initial h represents, as indeed is usual, an older k (from a yet earlier g), and that the lost final of the root is 1 or a related sound. It thus appears likely that the Chinese ho, river, is akin to the Sumerian GAL, to flow. But, further, the Sumerian ID, I, river, which occurs in the name I.DIGNA, Assyrian Idiglat, the Tigris, is really a worn form of GID, as is shown by the Hebrew transcription Vpin Khiddeqel ; and this earlier GID suggests a primary GAD, cognate with GAL, to flow, and identical with the old Chinese kat, gat, river (cf P. 145). INITIAL AND FINAL SOUNDS, ETC. ^ Take another instance, ^ ho, fire, was formerly ka, as we learn again from the Japanese pronunciation ; and the Mongol gal, fire, again suggests the loss of a final dental (Mongol 1 = Chinese t). Thus kat, or gat, emerges as the oldest form of the Chinese word for fire. But instead of a guttural initial, the dialects present a labial sound ; Cantonese and Hakka fo, Wenchow fu, implying an earlier pa, ba : others exhibit transitional sounds, Mandarin hwo, Fuchau hwi ; c/. Korean and Annamite hwa (ga = gwa = wa). The Chinese sounds, therefore, appear to suggest gat (gal) and bat (bal) as their biform original. Now the Sumerian character for fire was read IZ (from GIZ, GAZ ; GUZ, c/. USSl), IZI, fire; and BI, to kindle, to flare up; and PIL (from BIL, BAL), to burn. We find also the compounds GI.BIL, burning, light; and GISH.BAR, dialectic MU.BAR, fire. The Fire-god was called BIL.GI (from BAL.GI), later GI.BIL; and GISH.BAR. BAR and BAL in this sense are evidently related to each other, and to BAR, dialectic MASH, to shine ; while GAZ is akin to GAR, light. And it is equally clear that the old Chinese sounds gat, bat, closely correspond to the Sumerian (G)IZ (GAZ), GAR, and BIL (BAL), BAR. With BI, to kindle, cf. the Japanese hi, fire, from bi, pi, and with BAR, Jap. abure, to roast. As regards the interchange of sounds, the transition from a guttural to a labial initial is a common feature of both languages. A good example may be seen in the Sumerian USH (from GUSH), blood, and what we may call its M-form, MUD, blood ; a pair of words which are perfectly represented by, or preserved in, the Chinese hiieh and mieh, blood. That the older sound of hiieh was kut, is inferred from the Jap. ket-si, compared with Cantonese hiit and Hakka het {see G. 4847) ; and kut = GUD, GUSH. As for mieh (G. 7880), it is surely enough to adduce the Cantonese myt, Hakka met, Jap. bet-si or me-chi, Annamite miet, to confirm the suggestion of its close kindred with the Sumerian MUD, blood. There can be little doubt, one would think, that the Sumerian (G)USH and MUD, on the one hand, and their Chinese equivalents hiieh-hut and mieh-myt, on the other, although given in the dictionaries as mutually independent words, are really related to each other in much the same way as GISH and MESH, GU and MU, tree, wood, are related in Sumerian, or as ho and fo, fire, or ngo and wo, I, in Chinese. One is simply a labialized form of the other. The Chinese Phonetics have preserved many vestiges of such philological counterparts. Thus in Sumerian, ^^, the character denoting black and night, had the sounds GA, GE, GIG, and MI (from MIG, MUG). Accordingly, we find that the Chinese M (P. 862) has the Phonetic values kek and mek. By itself, the character is read hei or h^ or ho, C. hak, H. het, W. he, hah, hek, K. hik, J. koku, black {see G. 3899) ; and with the Radical or Determinative j^ earth, it is ^ mo, mek, met, meik, mai, me, muk, me, K. mik, J. boku and moku, A. mak, ink ; black ; obscure (G. 8022). It will be noticed that the vowel-variation resembles that of the values of the Sumerian prototype, GA, GE, GIG, MI, KUKKU. Of course, the sound 6 INITIAL AND FINAL SOUNDS, ETC. belongs to the Phonetic ^. The Radical, added later for distinction's sake, has nothing to do with sound, but only with sense.


Linguistic Correspondence: Nahuatl and Ancient Egyptian

Charles William Johnson
Science in Ancient Artwork
Extract Nº. 43

Linguistic Correspondence:
Nahuatl and Ancient Egyptian

Charles William Johnson

In our more detailed analyses of the possible correspondence among words of the ancient Egyptian language and nahuatland maya, we have seen that some word-concepts are almost exactly the same in phonetic values. Furthermore, the maya glyphs and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs share extremely common designs in similar/same word-concepts.
Today, the idea of linguistic correspondence among the Indo-European languages is a widespread fact. From the still unknown Indo-European mother language it is thought came Sanskrit (and the contemporary languages of Pakistan and India); Persian; and Greek, Latin (and many contemporary European languages). The correspondence of similar/same words among the Latin languages is quite visible, with Spanish words, for example, resembling those of French, Italian and Portuguese. English resembles the Teutonic ones, such as, German, Dutch and the Scandinavian languages.
On the other hand, no apparent linguistic correspondence has been observed between ancient Egyptian and languages such as nahuatl or maya, at least to any significant scholarly degree. In the aforementioned essay, we have examined numerous correspondences between word-concepts (and some glyphs) between the ancient Egyptian language and the maya system. The word for day name in maya is ahau, which means place or time in ancient Egyptian. Hom is ballcourt in maya; hem means little ball in ancient Egyptian. Ik means air in maya ; to suspend in the air is ikh in ancient Egyptian. Nichim signifies flower in maya; nehem means bud, flower in ancient Egyptian. And so on, for hundreds of word-concepts that we have examined in the comparison of these two languages.
When similar kinds of linguistic correspondences were perceived by William Jones, in the latter part of the eighteenth century, between Sanskrit and other languages, such examples were sufficient to convince scholars that all of those languages probably came from a mother tongue, the Indo-European language. Today, when linguistic correspondence is observed between the ancient Mesoamerican languages and ancient Egyptian, scholars are unwilling or hesitant to accept the idea that the same laws of linguistics may apply. The reason for this is quite simple: there is no historical basis for considering the possibility that the peoples of these different languages had any physical contact among themselves. Physical contact among the peoples who descended from the Indo-European family is established by historical data. There is no obvious historical data to think that the peoples of ancient Mesoamerica and the peoples of ancient Egypt ever met or came into physical contact with one another.
Nevertheless, historical data aside for the moment, let us examine some of the obvious examples of linguistic correspondence between nahuatl and the ancient Egyptian language.
One very obvious characteristic of the nahuatl language is the extensive use of the letter "l" in most of the words, either as ending to the words or juxtaposed to consonants and vowels within the words. One of the very apparent characteristics of the ancient Egyptian language is the almost total absence of the use of the letter "l" within most of its word-concepts. The letter "l" appears as an ending of words only a handful of times in E.A. Wallis Budge's work, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary. It would appear that this very dissimilar characteristic between these two languages would discourage anyone from considering a comparative analysis of possible linguistic correspondence between these two very apparently distinct idioms.
However, as we eliminate the letter "l" from the nahuatl words, the remaining phonemes (listed in brackets) resemble the phonemes and morphemes of ancient Egyptian in many cases. Let us offer only a few of such examples to consider a possible linguistic correspondence between these two fascinating systems of human speech.



canoe ACAL [aca-]

AQAI boat (page 139b from Budge's work cited above)
reed ACATL[acat-]


AKHAH-T reed (139b)

reed (8a)
a well AMELLI [ame-i]

AMAM place with water in them, wells (121b)
house CALLI [ca-i]

KA house (783a)
COATL [coat-]

snake (30b)
Linguistic correspondence between nahuatl and ancient Egyptian appears to represent a smoking gun; that is, a trace of evidence that these two peoples did enjoy some kind of contact between themselves ages ago. The fact that we have no real evidence of said contact, or that we have been unable to find any such evidence, should not serve as the basis for denying the possibility of that contact. To attribute all of these similarities in sound, symbol and meaning to mere happenstance seems to be a very unscientific way of resolving an annoying issue. To admit the possibility of physical contact between these cultures has implications for our own interpretation of history and the aspect of technological development of our societies. Such fears are unfounded, given the already obvious fact that our technical know-how could probably not reproduce and build something as majestic as the Great Pyramid.
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Science in Ancient Artwork

Extract Nº43

Linguistic Correspondence: Nahuatl and Ancient Egyptian

6 March 1999

©1999-2011 Copyrighted by Charles William Johnson. All Rights Reserved

Sounds, Symbols and Meaning:

by Charles William Johnson
In the Earth/matriX series, we have observed similarities in the geometry and mathematics of ancient artwork. One would also expect similarities to exist within the languages.
Sounds, Symbols and Meaning explores coincidences in the word-concepts and glyphs of these ancient languages. Two distinct cultures, the ancient Egyptians and the cultures of Mesoamerica appear to have had very similar speaking traits. They both saw a deer, and coincidentally each one thought the sound "ma"; they saw water and both used the sound "at"; they looked at the sky and both again mumbled an initial "k" sound; they saw the dew on flowers and said to themselves a sound beginning with "it"; they looked at their feet and voiced the sound "b"; they got drunk and sounded a "tek" word; they looked at the mountain and said a word beginning with the letter "t"; they saw a lion and said an "m" word; then, they saw the moon and mumbled another "m" word; and so on. Hundreds of similarly related word-concepts and symbols are explored in this brief study in comparative philology, which reveals the possibility that these ancient cultures may have had contact with one another. To attribute so many similarities of sound, symbol and meaning to mere coincidence contradicts the laws of probability.
Sounds, Symbols and Meaning:
Ancient Egyptian, Maya and Nahuatl
Charles William Johnson

Did the Phoenicians Discover the New World?

Phoenician naval history begins in about the fourteenth century BC, and they came to be so famous that Solomon asked king Hiram of Tyre to send him carpenters to build a Red Sea fleet, together with sailors to lead this fleet to the land of Ophir (Old Testament, Kings I, 9.26).
The geographical location of Ophir is described in exactly the same way as the Land of Punt. Both countries lie ‘far away, to the south-east'; the ships set sail from a port on the Red Sea and the round voyage lasts three years in both cases. The goods brought from Ophir are more or less the same as those the Egyptians brought from Punt and their other ports of call: gold, precious woods, incense, spices, slaves etc. (Avezac – Macaya Marie Armand Pascal d': Memoire de le pays d'Ophir où les flotes de Salomón aillent chercher l'or, in l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres 30, Paris, 1864; Richard Hennig: Terrae Incognitae, Vol 4, Leiden, Brill, 1950).
We shall follow the Phoenicians with the help of Paul Gallez (La Cola del Dragón, p 150 onwards). He says that as Solomon was the pharaoh's son-in-law, it was only natural that his wife should have obtained sufficient information from her father to organise an expedition to the Land of Punt or a neighbouring country. In any case, it was the Phoenicians who made up the crews of the Egyptian fleets and were in charge of the running of the ships, before they took on the same role in Solomon's fleet. The Phoenicians, even more than their Egyptian or Hebrew bosses, were perfectly aware of the benefits of sailing to the Far East and so it was only natural that they would want to undertake their own trading expeditions.
It might be asked how their fleets would have had access to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean when their country only occupied a tiny stretch of the Mediterranean coasts. There are several possible answers, says Gallez. The Phoenicians originated from the Persian Gulf, from where they travelled to modern-day Lebanon. Their first expeditions could have taken place from the Persian Gulf, prior to this migration. In the sixth century, Phoenicia was incorporated into Cyrus's Persia, and the Phoenicians were once again able to sail from the Persian Gulf in fleets that were officially Persian, but in actual fact Phoenician. For more than a thousand years, and under several different flags, the Phoenician fleets sailed across the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Their sailors could well have left Phoenician inscriptions in the countries they visited, even when they were sailing under the orders of a non- Phoenician ruler (Lienhardt Delekat: Phönizier in Amerika, Bonn 1960).
What leads us to this Phoenician theory is a series of remains thought to be Phoenician in several South American countries.
Dick Edgar Ibarra Grasso has identified two Phoenician ships on the centre slabs of the temple of Sechim, in the Casma Valley, on the coast of Peru (La Representación de América en mapas romanos de tiempos de Cristo, Buenos Aires, 1970, pages 175-177). These ruins are generally considered to be some three thousand years old. Other monoliths in the area show a large ocean-going craft and a sextant (Julio C. Tello: Arqueología del valle de Casma, Lima 1956).
Even more extraordinary are the discoveries made by Bernardo Silva Ramos. This author, president of the Manaus Geographical Institute, spent over twenty years in the Amazon rainforest, searching for, photographing and copying 2,800 stone inscriptions, identifying the majority of them as Phoenician and others as Greek (Bernardo de Azevedo da Silva Ramos; Inscriçôes e tradiçôes da América pre-histórica, especialmente do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Imprenta Nacional, 1930).
The oriental scholar Lienhardt Delekat (Phönizier in Amerika, Bonn 1969) has established that the characters on the Paraíba Stone are of Canaanite origin (the former town of Paraíba is now called Joao Pessoa and is the capital of the state of Paría, to the south of the Cape of Sâo Roque in Brazil). The stone, which broke into four pieces after it was discovered on a plantation, totally disappeared, but copies of the inscription were made before this occurred. It was discovered on September 11, 1872 and might well be proof that Phoenician sailors reached Brazil two thousand years before the official discovery of America.
We owe the most detailed study of the inscription on the Paraiba stone to Delekat of Bonn University (Paul Gallez: Predescubrimientos de América, Bahía Blanca, Instituto Patagónico 2001, p 41 onwards). The author analyses all the grammatical forms in the text, comparing it to Aramaic, ancient Hebrew, Sidonian and other Canaanite dialects, especially in respect to the form of the imperfect consecutive.
Delekat comes to the conclusion that the passage is written in ancient Tyro-Sidonian, dating from the end of the sixth century BC. Lienhardt Delekat's translation reads as follows: ‘We are children of Canaan, from the city of Sidon. We are a nation of traders. Our ship is beached on this far-off mountainous coast and we want to make a sacrifice to the gods and goddesses. In the 19th year of Irma's reign, we set sail from Ezlon Geber across the Red Sea, with ten ships. We have been sailing now for two years and we have sailed all around this land, both hot and far from the hands of Baal (i.e. cold), and twelve men and three women have arrived here, because ten of the women have died on another coast, because they had sinned. May the gods and goddesses be favourable to us'.
The translations given by Netto, Schlottmann and Gordon vary in their interpretation of some of the words. The king Hiram referred to would have been Hiram III, and the nineteenth year of his reign corresponds to 532BC (Heinke Sudhoff: Sorry Columbus. Bergisch Gladbach, Lübbe, 1990). His study of the passage leads Delekat to an unexpected conclusion; the Phoenician sailors would have reached Brazil from the Pacific, sailing to the south of the Bering Strait and to the south of Cape Horn (cold zones) and between the two, along the coasts of Central America (hot zone).
Whether they were at the service of the Hebrews the Egyptians or the Persians, there is not the least doubt that Phoenician vessels would have been capable of crossing the Pacific using favourable currents and winds. The Egyptian ships had a capacity of 6,500 tonnes, like that of Ptolemy IV Philopator (222-205 BC); in fact the Hebrew historian Flavius Josephus talks of ships capable of carrying six hundred passengers and cargo as well as their crew (Paul Hermann: Las Aventuras de los primeros descubrimientos, Barcelona, Labor, 1967; Jacques de Mahieu: La agonía del dios-sol, Buenos Aires, Hachette, 1977).
Ibarra Grasso has compared the eastern Mediterranean trading ships of the third century BC with ships painted on Mochica pottery in northern Brazil. These ships are virtually identical and are mainly characterised by a bridge running all the way from prow to stern, laden with jars of wine, oil etc. It should be pointed out that this type of vessel is still used today in the Aegean Sea and in Indo-China, but as far as we know, has never been used in Peru. It was left to a present-day pre-historian to make this discovery in the Mochica pictures and find an explanation (Dick Edgar Ibarra Grasso; La Representación de América en mapas romanos de tiempos de Cristo, Buenos Aires, 1970; Al-Masudi; Kitab al tanbih wa'l-Israf and Michael Jan de Goeje; Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum, vol 8, Leiden, Brill).
The Egyptian and Phoenician Ships that sailed from the Red Sea had to follow the traditional route, calling at Malabar, Taprobane (Ceylon) and the Golden Chersonese (Malayan peninsula) on to Zabai in Borneo and from there make the best use of the South Pacific currents to reach Cattigara, which we will situate in Peru to facilitate calculations; the return voyage would have been made using the equatorial currents to reach Borneo and the rest of the journey would have been the same as their outward journey. This would have meant a distance of 21,058 sea miles (39,000 km) on the outward voyage and 18,358 sea miles (34,000 km) on their return one, a distance of 39,416 sea miles (73,00 km) in all.
Now, Herodotus (The History, Book IV; G.E. Gerini: Early Geography if Indo-China, Journal of the Royal Society, 1897) says that the ships of that period normally sailed a distance of 70,000 orguias (fathoms) by day, and another 60,000 by night, in all, 130,000 orguias (fathoms) in a day's run, every twenty-four hours. He then uses these data to calculate the width of the Black Sea. Paul Gallez states that he has used the same method to make an approximate calculation of how long a voyage to Cattigara would take. The 130,000 orguias are the same as 240 km, which Hennig reduces to 200 km so as to leave a margin for any eventuality that might have arisen during the crossing. Based on these figures, the 73,000- kilometre journey would have taken 365 days of actual sailing time (Richard Hennig: Terrae Incognitae I, 4 volumes, Leiden, Brill, 1950; Georges Grosjean and Rudolf Kinauer: Kartenkunst und Kartentenik vom Altertum bis zum Barock, Bern and Stuttgart, Hallwag, 1970).
The three years given as the total length of the voyages both to Punt and Ophir (Kings I, 10 11,22) left two years for ports of call, their stay in Cattigara and possible loss of time due to storms and repairs. While we have not taken into account unfavourable winds, neither have we allowed for favourable winds nor the great advantage offered by the circular currents prevailing in the South Pacific. These calculations prove, says Gallez, that a voyage to Cattigara would have been perfectly feasible in those times.
Incidentally, there is another interesting fact; we have said above that the outward and return journeys would total 39,416 sea miles (73,000 km), and if we take a modern map to calculate the distance between Suez and Panama, calling at Aden, Freemantle and Wellington, we discover that the actual distance is 15,765 miles for the outward leg, that is to say, over 31,000 sea miles when we include the return journey. The conclusion, says Paul Gallez, is unquestionable: the Phoenicians pre-discovered America in the first millennium AD.
Quadrant de doble arc / Cuadrante de doble arco / Double arch quadrant (Cortesía: Fundació Jaume I, Nadal, 1991)


Paul Gallez declares that the recognition of the river system in the Dragon's Tail, the total identification of all the rivers of South America in Martellus's 1489 Ptolemy projection, with neither one too few nor one too many, offers conclusive proof of our interpretation. At first sight, the ‘resemblance' of certain rivers on the map with the actual South American river system might be put down to coincidence. However, in the case of the Paraná- Paraguay system, quite unique in the world in its shape, direction, size and position relative to the coast, chance is quite out of the question. As for the other rivers, they offer mutual confirmation and, as if this were not sufficient, the distortion grid applied to Henricus Martellus's Dragon's Tail confirms the hydrographical analysis, completes it with the addition of new lakes and rivers and permits the identification of several capes. The Dragon's Tail on the Martellus map has gone from proto-cartography to cartography. The theory of forged maps, Paul Gallez goes on to say, immediately arises when we remember the famous story of the map of Vinland acquired by Yale University. The theory cannot work for the Martellus maps. In this case, it would have been necessary to forge the map kept in the British Library as well as the map belonging to the University of Leiden in precisely the same way, and this would quite clearly have been impossible. In any case, why would anybody have forged both maps? To show that the Dragon's Tail is actually South America?
Christopher Columbus, Hojeda, Vespucci and maybe even Magellan believed that this was so, but none of them could have drawn the courses of the great South American rivers further inland, since they were completely unknown to them.
Not even a hypothetical sixteenth century forger could have added to the map the three Patagonian rivers, Colorado, Negro or Chubut, since they were not discovered and recognised until much later, the end of the eighteenth century in the case of the Negro and the nineteenth century for the other two. Dr. Gallez believes that the identification of the Dragon's Tail with South America was lost and forgotten at the end of the sixteenth century until Enrique de Gandía (Primitivos navegantes vascos, Buenos Aires) rediscovered it in 1942. By then it would have been too late to forge the London and Leiden maps.
We should also remember that the al-Khwarizmi map belongs to the Arab world, quite distinct from the European and Mediterranean worlds where Martellus worked. Al-Khwarizmi's Dragon's Tail has so many points in common with that of Martellus that we are undoubtedly dealing with the same continent; we are dealing with South America. So, in the same way, al-Khwarizmi's Dragon's Tail goes from proto-cartography to cartography.
As for the identification of the South American Pacific coastline in Ptolemy and Marinus of Tyre, this was known to geographers between 1489 and 1574 and was shown once again by Ibarra Grasso and Enrique de Gandía.
The proto-historic repercussions are immense, says Gallez, and adds that the Martellus map is far superior to the maps of South America that were known of during the first half of the nineteenth century, especially in the case of the Patagonian rivers, Colorado, Negro and Chubut and the river Grande in Tierra del Fuego. ‘The very existence of this map prior to Columbus's voyage, says Gallez, implies pre-discovery expeditions and a detailed knowledge of the inland area of the continent'. We must remain in the realms of proto-history on this point. We cannot consider it history because the numerous theories we have gathered together or evolved so far have not been proved beyond all doubt, however many archaeological or linguistic items appear to support them.
Paul Gallez goes on to say that it has been absolutely impossible to find the sources of information for Martellus's 1489 map, since the possible presence of Egyptian, Phoenician or Chinese traders on the Pacific coast of South America hardly means that they would have travelled all over the continent and correctly drawn up its map. We know that Martellus's map belongs to the world of true cartography, since we have identified rivers mountains and capes, but at the same time, we have not reached even proto-history, as we have not been able to devise any theory about the expeditions which have permitted the drawing up of so perfect a map. As for the proto-historic problems arising from the existence of the Martellus map, Paul Gallez breaks them down into the following questions:
  1. Date of the pre-discovery. We shall give the name pre-discovery to the expedition that contributed most in gathering the information that Martellus then transferred to his map. Did this take place only a short time before the map was drawn up, in the fifteenth century? Did it take place before 1428, when the infante Dom Pedro of Coimbra came back from Venice or Rome with a map showing the Patagonian Strait? Did this occur much further back in time and it was the Egyptians, the Phoenicians or the Chinese, or others we have, as yet, not even thought of?
  2. Exploration of the Atlantic coast. We have Jacques de Mahieu's theory that attributes its exploration to the Vikings (Drakkares en el Amazonas, Buenos Aires, Hachette, 1978 [Drakkar is a Scandinavian word sometimes used to refer to the Viking ships with a dragon's head on the stem, by way of a figurehead]); that of Dick Edgar Ibarra Grasso, who proposes the Genovese (América del Sur en un mapamundi de 1489, Revista de Historia de América, no. 101, January-June 1986, 7-36, Mexico), and numerous other interpretations produced over the last centuries, all of which have been set out and rejected by José Imbelloni (La Segunda esfinge indiana, Buenos Aires, Hachette, 1956).
  3. Inland Exploration. There are several competing proto-historic theories; Barry Fell proposes the Egyptians, Bernardo de Azevedo Silva Ramos, Dick Edgar Ibarra Grasso and Lienhardt Delekat the Phoenicians, Mahieu the Vikings, etc. The problem is a difficult one, because Martellus knew of all the great South American rivers, including those of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
  4. Which culture was informed of the discovery? This question depends on the previous ones. If the Pharaohs knew the secrets of America, this knowledge could have been lost just as occurred with the route to the Land of Punt, whether or not this was America, and the secrets of the Great Pyramid. In exactly the same way, the Phoenicians lost their trading secrets when the world situation forced them to abandon their Far East voyages. The voyages made by the Chinese were turned into legends when their internal wars put an end to their transoceanic expeditions.
  5. Who carried this information to Italy? The question has several possible answers, outlined below, says Paul Gallez. The Franciscans of the Middle Ages might have obtained the information in China and carried it to Rome. Relations between the two nations were especially close during the period when Montecorvino was archbishop. The Venetians and the Florentines traded extensively with Alexandria during the latter part of the Middle Ages and might there have come into possession of ancient knowledge that had been kept more or less secret. All these theories are extremely weak, but no others exist. The field is wide open for researchers on the Middle and Far East.
  6. How did Henricus Martellus (Heinrich Hammer) get hold of this information? Once the information reached Italy, this would have been an easy matter, since the German mapmaker Martellus worked in an official capacity, both in Florence and in Rome. He must have been on excellent terms with the Catholic Church, because he had belonged to the school of Cardinal Nicholas de Cusa, the scholarly bishop of Brixen who was deeply involved in Vatican affairs. We know nothing about his connections with Florentine merchants, but it is obvious that the mapmaker and the traders would have shared a common interest, to learn more about the Far East, land of the spice trade.
It is a matter of a series of interconnected questions, all proto-historic. We can evolve possible theories but we cannot insist on having proof because there is none. Paul Gallez says, ‘it would be an error of judgement to attempt to apply the rules of historical criticism too rigorously to proto-historic theories. Such a procedure would only lead to the destruction of all the theories, which would be of no benefit to anyone'.
A weak hypothesis invites us to carry on looking for new information, offer new interpretations to old data, to think about both one's own and other people's theories, to probe deeper into their interconnections, to search out new paths that link and intertwine and may perhaps support each other.
In conclusion, Paul Gallez says: ‘In direct opposition to these theories that must stay for now in the realms of proto-history, the new cartographic facts stand out; the presence of South America on the maps of Martellus, al-Khwarizmi and Marinus of Tyre. All else is an unsolved mystery; the Mystery of the Dragon's Tail.'