Jumping to Conclusions

Strange that while most people consider math and science to be the hardest fields of study, most people attempt to apply mathematical and scientific logic to everything they encounter. If this, then that. People try to take item A to disprove item B and vice versa, yet since math and science are difficult, they tend to leave out items C-Z.

Today I saw a post on Facebook wherein someone was discussing how the Bible "copied" the Ten Commandments from the 42 Tenets of Maat. There's no denying that the principles listed are remarkably similar. So if the 42 Tenets of Maat was written first, this person concludes, the Bible must have copied these 42 tenets and thus it's all a sham (class fallacy of slippery slope, f.y.i.).

Here's the issue: the Bible makes it clear that the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic law existed before the Exodus. Cain killed Abel and God punished Him, why would He punish Cain if Cain didn't know it was bad to kill Abel? God explicitly tells Noah that a man who kills a man must be killed. God also tells Noah to take certain numbers of animals into the ark based on clean and unclean status. God destroys Sodom & Gomorrah for sexual immorality, idolatry, and many other sins. All of this occurs before Moses receives the stone tablets from God. Per the Biblical narrative, God didn't suddenly decide these things were wrong when the Israelites were at the bottom of the mountain, He was reminding them of what they had forgotten. In Exodus 20:8, He clearly prefaces His sentence with "remember" implying that this is information they once knew.

Now lets follow the line of history, both biblically and secularly. According to both the Bible and science, we all came from one point of origin. Regardless of your belief in creation or evolution, both ideas agree that humanity came from one place, one group, then spread across the globe. Now, biblically, after the flood we have 3 groups of people—Hamites, Shemites, and Japhethites—spreading across the world. Moses came from the line of Shem, however, Shem, Ham, and Japheth are all descendants of Noah and would have the been taught the same "tenets," "commandments," "principles," "laws," etc. Similarly, if you think about it from a secular point of view, as the population split (regardless of number, direction, etc.) they would have taken the teachings/ideas of that original community with them. Remember, the Bible says it is Ham's son Mizraim who originates Egypt, where the 42 Tenets originated. It is possible he took God's teaching with him, but over time the Egyptians turned to Ra and Isis. Think about your own family. You and your siblings were brought up the same, but do you actually behave the same? Sure you share some characteristics but you don't necessarily hold the same beliefs or practice the same lifestyle. The same would be true for these people as they split up. Some may have take pieces of this original culture, others the entire belief system. Ever wonder why most ancient civilizations had some form of god? Why everyone decided it wasn't ok to kill, when in nature there's nothing wrong with a lion killing another lion?

I have a friend who is not religious, but we both agree that killing, stealing, lying, cheating, etc. is wrong; you know what, both of our parents are religious though. The difference is, I chose to believe in God after I passed the point of following due to Mom & Dad's influence, while he chose not to. I did not copy him and he did not copy me, we simply stem from a common origin. There is nothing that says the originators of the 42 Tenets of Maat weren't taught these principles in the original community. Just because they put it on paper earlier on the timeline doesn't mean that other people weren't also following the same principles, regardless of whether that blossomed into Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Atheism, Islam or whatever have you. Society was not as it is today, in which everyone records every minute detail of their life on a blog or in a video. There was a time when no one wrote anything down, and even larger period of time when only certain people were allowed to read/write... The point in Exodus where Moses brings down the tablets is simply the point in Israelite culture that God said you need this written down and set on display, so you can't forget it.

My point is, evidence that someone else held similar beliefs but didn't worship the same god or didn't worship a god at all, years before Moses wrote the Ten Commandments doesn't prove anything. While it may open the door for the possibility that Moses saw the 42 Tenets of Maat and instead split them into the commandments and ordinances if you're dead set against believing the Bible, it doesn't break the story given in the Bible.

If you have chosen not to believe the Bible and reject God, that is your decision. While I do not agree with you, I will not be knocking on your door to harass you about your decision. In return, I ask that you not lose logic and attempt to "prove" me wrong with slippery slope arguments.  It makes sense that a Christian tries to spread the word of God; He commanded us too. But there are only 3 reasons I can see non-believers trying to spread disbelief: 1) Jehovah's Witnesses knock on your door daily to harass you (i.e. "Christians" harass you about your disbelief); 2) You need validation of the majority to feel secure in your disbelief so you want more non-believers in the world; and/or 3) your disbelief in God is merely a seed planted by Satan thus his desire to overthrow God resurfaces in your perception of the world. Personally, I don't see a lot of my Christian friends harassing my non-Christian friends, which leads me to have little faith in option #1. Whatever your reason, please at least think all the way through before jumping to conclusions. A factual assessment from your discovery of the 42 Tenets of Maat is not "Moses copied this from 2000 years ago and God does not exist" but "Did Moses copy the ten commandments from the 42 Tenets of Maat? How and why did the 42 Tenets of Maat come into existence and does that have any baring on the existence of God?" Anything else is speculation and opinion. For the believer, it is easy to answer the last question with no; for the non-believer, it may be a little harder to answer. Either way both answers are opinions.

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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