2 Genesis, Chapter 39 - hell hath no fury --

    Before we begin, a word about the late Ron Wyatt. Mr. Wyatt, a former anesthetist, was the Christian version of “Indiana Jones,” traveling all over the world, at someone else’s expense, via the Wyatt Archeological Research (WAR) Foundation , uncovering artifacts that, in his words, prove the validity of the Bible.
    Over the span of his career, Wyatt, a Seventh Day Adventist, had claimed to have found the true Mt. Sinai, from whence the Ten Commandments were given (in Saudia Arabia, in case you were wondering), Noah’s Ark, the exact place where Moses and 2 and a half million people crossed the Red Sea (complete with chariot wheels and horse bones buried in the river mud), as well as Indy’s lost Ark of the Covenant, buried in a cave beneath Golgotha, where Yeshua was crucified, and it seems that some of Yeshua’s blood leaked down through a crack in the ground (opened by the earthquake caused by god upon Yeshua’s death) and dripped onto the ark. Wyatt had the blood tested - instead of the typical 23 pairs of chromosomes a normal human has, this blood had only 23 chromosomes, total, plus one “Y” chromosome needed to create a male child, thereby proving forever that Yeshua had no earthly father - of course, it also means that Yeshua would have been an exact replica of his mother, except for the outdoor plumbing, but Mr. Wyatt couldn’t be expected to think of everything. The world is still waiting to see the results of those blood tests, or for that matter, the Ark of the Covenant.
    The reason I mention Ron Wyatt, aside from the entertainment value (we all need a good chuckle from time to time), is that in his effort to find the Red Sea crossing site, Wyatt informed the world - who questioned that no Egyptian annals ever mentioned a Jewish second-in-command of all Egypt (and one wouldn’t have thought that would easily slip their minds) - that the reason we don’t find Joseph’s name anywhere, is that in his day - at least among the Egyptians - he wasn’t called Joseph. Joseph was Imhotep, who was indeed a vizier and the right hand of the Pharaoh, Djoser, of his time. We really shouldn’t let a little thing like the fact that Imhotep was born over a thousand years earlier, in 2900 BCE, prevent us from believing the ever-reliable Mr. Wyatt, should we?
    Now that I’ve piqued your curiosity, it wouldn’t be fair to leave this subject without telling you that if you’d care to learn more about the illustrious career of Mr. Wyatt, that you consider reading, Holy Relics or Revelation – Recent Astounding Archaeological Claims Evaluated by twin brothers, Russell R. and Colin D. Standish, (1999. Rapidan, VA: Hartland Publications). These two former Australians were also members of, and ordained ministers within, the Seventh Day Adventist organization, and though Russell passed away in 2008, their collaboration staunchly rejects Ron Wyatt’s claims. We both know you won’t, but I’ve at least done my job.
    Unlike Chapter 37, in which we had text from both the Yahwist (J) Source from the Southern Kingdom of Judah, interwoven with text from the Elohist (E) Source from the Northern Kingdom of Israel, by the Redactor, this chapter is written, according to The New American Bible, entirely by the Yahwist Source, with one minor exception. The Yahwist Source, writing in the original Hebrew, does not appear to know the name of the captain of Pharaoh’s guard, and so the Redactor, in order to move the story along smoothly, inserted the Elohist’s name of Potiphar.
    Just to briefly set the record straight, my greatest complaint doesn’t lie with the people who wrote these words, nor with the Redactor who so skillfully wove them together - they were just trying to commit to writing, stories their tribal historians had been carrying around in their heads for centuries - though we know better now, to them, it was history, the only history their people had. My complaint lies with all of those who maintain that the book is inerrant, when the simplest reading, even without the research we’re doing, should make it obvious to any that that simply is not the case.
    As I hope you still recall, we last left Joseph, sold into slavery in Egypt to Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh’s guard:
39:1 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites (and now we’re back to Ishmaelites again!), which had brought him down thither."

    The New American Bible relates that Chapter 39 was written by the Yawist (J) Source, while Chapter 37, verse 36, was written by the Elohist (E) Source, as was the entirety of Chapter 40, thus in this chapter, verse 39:1, was written as an effort to "harmonize" the two slightly different stories, told by the two separate sources.
39:2  And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
39:3  And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.
39:4  And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he (Potiphar) made him overseer over his house, and all that he had, he put into his (Joseph’s) hand.
39:5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
39:6 And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he (Potiphar) knew not ought he had (what he should have), save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favored.
39:7  And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
39:8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth (knoweth) not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
39:9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me, but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
39:10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not to her, to lie with her, or to be with her.
39:11  And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
39:12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

39:13  And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
39:14  That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:
39:15  And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and got him out.
39:16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
39:17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me.
39:18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me and fled out.
39:19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.
39:20  And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
    From a common sense point of view - while putting aside our disbelief for a moment and assuming this really happened - one must wonder about Potiphar. If his wife was so clearly eager to cuckhold her husband, surely, over whatever period of time they had been together, she had shown other signs of untrustworthiness. Yet Joseph, if we are to believe his biographer, was such a "goodly person, and well favored." Would a real person be so quick to automatically assume Joseph to be guilty, without further investigation? But then, that would complicate the story, wouldn't it?
    On the other hand, is it possible the story was merely an allegory? Israel, as we shall see - and as the story-teller, the Yahwist Source, already knew, writing of it hundreds of years later - was about to enter Egypt for a rather - the Bible tells us 400 years - extensive stay. But we have no way of knowing how long the story was in oral circulation before the J Source set it to papyrus.
    This is Egypt, a wealthy, comparatively sophisticated nation with a veritable grocery list of gods. We have seen from the Jacob/Esau story, from Genesis, Chapter 25, that the continual contention of the two brothers, even to the point of reputedly fighting in the womb, was an allegory of the ongoing feud that extended for hundreds of years between the Israelites and the Edomites of the area near Jordan, in Southeastern Palestine. Could the Joseph/Potiphar’s-wife story be an allegorical warning to the Israelites, upon entering Egypt, not to be overwhelmed by Egypt’s many seductive alternatives to their simple pastoral lifestyle?
39:21  “But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
    One could well say, that Joseph’s horrible experience with Potiphar was a good thing, in that it brought him to the prison, and as we shall see in the next chapter, into the attention of Pharaoh, but wouldn’t it have been simpler, since Potiphar was a captain of Pharaoh’s guard, for Pharaoh to have noticed him outside of the prison? Was the unpleasantness and humiliation and imprisonment REALLY necessary?
    If I get run over by a bus and find a hundred dollar bill stuck somewhere in the bus’ undercarriage, inches from my nose, MUST I assume that a god had me hit by a bus in order to give me the hundred dollars? Or wouldn’t it be just as easy, at least on me, for me to simply find the money on the sidewalk and forego the entire public transportation experience? Yeah, yeah, I know - mysterious ways --
39:22  And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all of the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
39:23 The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.
    It seems to me that one of the predominant traits of the early Egyptians, was the delegation of responsibility.

Part 3 of 3

    On the Scottish Island of Iona, in 563 CE, a man named Columba started a Bible College. For the next 700 years, this was the source of much of the non-Catholic, evangelical Bible teaching through those centuries of the Dark and Middle Ages. The students of this college were called “Culdees”, which means “certain stranger,” possibly taken from Genesis, 37:15, where Joe was searching for his brothers and, "a certain man" found him and gave him directions. The Culdees were a secret society, and the remnant of the "true" Christian faith was kept alive by these men during the many centuries that led up to the Protestant Reformation. Remember this, it will be important later --
    As mentioned in Genesis, Chapter 38, by 382 CE, the early church father, Jerome, had translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. As also mentioned, his translation became known as the “Latin Vulgate,” (“Vulgate” meaning vulgar or common). He put a note next to the Apocrypha Books, stating that he did not know whether or not they were inspired scripture, or just Jewish historical writings which accompanied the Old Testament.
    By 500 CE, the Bible had been translated into over 500 languages. Just one century later, by 600 CE, it has been restricted to only one language: the Latin Vulgate. The only organized and recognized church at that time in history was the Catholic Church of Rome, and they refused to allow the scripture to be available in any language other than Latin. Those in possession of non-Latin scriptures would be executed!
     This was because only the priests were educated to understand Latin, which gave the church ultimate power to rule without question, to deceive, and to extort money from the masses. Nobody could question their “Biblical” teachings, because few people of the time could read at all, and still fewer, other than priests, could read Latin. The church capitalized on this forced-ignorance through the 1,000 year period from 400 CE to 1,400 CE known as the Dark Ages, during which time, Europe stagnated.
    During this same period, at least from 800 onward, the Islamic nations encouraged the sciences and the arts, and their civilization thrived and went on, not only to occupy much of the Levant, including Jerusalem, but a significant portion of Europe as well, for hundreds of years.
    Despite Papal edicts, over the next 700 years, there were numerous limited translations, of which, Caedmon's rendering of Bible stories into Anglo Saxon in 680 CE, and parts of the Bible King Alfred had translated into the vernacular in 995 CE, are worthy of mention.
    In the late 1300’s, the secret society of Culdees chose John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teachings of the organized Church which he believed to be contrary to the Bible, to lead the world out of the Dark Ages. Wycliffe has been called the “Morning Star of the Reformation”. That Protestant Reformation, for believers, was about one thing: getting the Word of God back into the hands of the masses in their own native language, so that the corrupt church would be exposed and, for those, the message of salvation in Christ alone, by scripture alone, through faith alone, would be proclaimed again.
    The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380's CE by Wycliffe. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe's death, he ordered his bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!
    One of Wycliffe’s followers, John Hus, actively promoted Wycliffe’s ideas: that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language, and they should oppose the tyranny of the Roman church that threatened anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible with execution. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415, with Wycliffe’s manuscript Bibles used as kindling for the fire. The last words of John Hus were that, “in 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.”
    Almost exactly 100 years later, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses of Contention (a list of 95 issues of heretical theology and crimes of the Roman Catholic Church) onto the church door at Wittenberg. The prophecy of Hus had come true! Martin Luther went on to be the first person to translate and publish the Bible in the commonly-spoken dialect of the German people; a translation more appealing than previous German Biblical translations. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs records that in that same year, 1517, seven people were burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church for the crime of teaching their children to say the Lord’s Prayer in English rather than Latin.
    Though there can be no doubt that Luther exhibited great courage in opposing the full force and extended reach of the Vatican, one must be a little conservative in the lavishment of praise of his work. Luther also helped spread anti-Jewish sentiments with his preaching and books such as his "The Jews and their lies," all supported through his interpretation of the Bible. One should not forget that Hitler (a Christian and great admirer of Luther) and his holocaust probably could not have occurred without Luther’s influence and the support of Bible-believing German Christians.
    Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1450's, and the first book to ever be printed was a Latin language Bible, printed in Mainz, Germany. Gutenberg’s Bibles were surprisingly beautiful, as each leaf Gutenberg printed was later colorfully hand-illuminated. Born as “Johann Gensfleisch” (John Gooseflesh), he preferred to be known as “Johann Gutenberg” (John Beautiful Mountain).
     Ironically, though he had created what many believe to be the most important invention in history, Gutenberg was a victim of unscrupulous business associates who took control of his business and left him in poverty. Nevertheless, the invention of the movable-type printing press meant that Bibles and books could finally be effectively produced in large quantities in a short period of time. This was essential to the success of the Reformation.
    Due to the original Greek having hundreds of custom symbols, even with the advent of printing around 1450 CE, it took until 1516 CE for the Greek to be widely available, in a special reduced Greek character set.
    In 1514 CE, printer John Froben, of Basle, engaged Desiderius Erasmus, who produced a dual Greek/Latin version and the Greek New Testament was printed for the first time in 1516, based on only five Greek manuscripts, the oldest of which dated only as far back as the twelfth century. With minor revisions, Erasmus' Greek New Testament came to be known as the Textus Receptus or the "received texts." It was hardly that, however, as the edition was full of errors, and not traceable to particular Greek originals. It was an instant success, reprinted with corrections several times, and led to nearly 200 successors, all suffering from errors to a certain degree between 1516 and 1550. The damage was done, the world was flooded with erroneous Greek text.
    By 1522 CE, the Polyglot Bible was published. The Old Testament was in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin and the New Testament in Latin and Greek. Erasmus used the Polyglot to revise later editions of his New Testament.
    In 1525-35, William Tyndale produced his English New Testament, the first printed English Bible, based mainly on the Greek. It did not have the shortcomings of Wycliffe, and was a landmark in method and style. Tyndale made use of the Polyglot in his translation of the Old Testament into English, which became the Myles Coverdale's Bible, the first complete printed Bible, published in 1535. Tyndale spent his last days in imprisonment and exile. He was hunted by the establishment, but his enemies finally caught him and burned him at the stake in 1537. Because of his celebrity, however, they compassionately strangled him first.
    Now, within a very short time, because of the political circumstances in England, and the reformation on the continent, a move was made by the Vatican towards acceptance, though not in time to save William Tyndale. 1537 saw the Thomas Matthew, a revision of Tyndale by John Rogers (80 Books), and 1539 saw the Taverners, a revision of the Matthew. But 1539 was a landmark, as it saw the publishing of the Great Bible, or First Authorized Version. With all 80 books, it is often called the Cranmer, after that archbishop’s preface to the 2nd edition.
    1550 CE saw the publication of Robert Stephanus's Textus Recepticus, whose third edition became the standard text. He is credited with devising the chapter and verse delineations used to this day. 1633 CE saw further refinement by the Elzevir family of Dutch printers and publishers, and the "final" major revision is the 1873 Oxford edition.
    Work now gathered pace, as did the heat generated by the reformation. The Geneva Bible (1560) was a revision of The Great. It was the first Study Bible, with less than flattering comments about the Catholic Church. It was written by reformers in exile in Geneva, and was supported by John Calvin and John Knox, both Protestant Reformation leaders. It was a full 80-Book Bible, based on the Tyndale Bible, and remained popular for 100 years after the King James Version, especially with Puritans in the United States. It was also notable as the first Bible to have printed verse numbers.
    In 1568, the Bishop's Bible, 80 Books, translated by scholarly bishops, became the 2nd Authorized Bible, intended to supersede the Great and the Geneva.
    In 1582 Rome surrendered its Latin only edict. In 1609-10 the Douay/Rheimes Bible was published, the first Catholic English translation (80 Books), translated from the Vulgate. It became the seed bible for nearly all Catholic Bibles.
    In 1611 CE, the English King put his name to the King James Bible, the 3rd Authorized Version, translated into English from the original Hebrew and Greek. Used by many to this day, and loathed by some as clinging to the past. The work was a masterpiece, the culmination of the 16th century work. It took the best of what had gone before in style, prose, chapter and verse division, and translation accuracy. Written to be read aloud in public worship, a literary and spiritual giant leap, which for its day, was breathtaking. The King James translators of the New Testament used the Textus Receptus as the basis for their translations, as well as the Great Bible and various other translations with Vulgate influence.
    (As an interesting sidenote, some early printings of the KJV are famous for a typographical error in Ruth 3:15 - look it up - I can’t do it all for you! They became known as the “He” bibles, rather than the correct “She” bibles, and command a very high price today, so if you happen to have a couple of those tucked away in Granny’s old trunk in the attic, leave your address in a comment on this page, and I’ll drop by and take them off your hands, free!)
    The year, 1968 CE, saw publication of The United Bible Societies 4th Edition of the Greek New Testament. This Greek New Testament made use of the oldest Greek manuscripts which date from 175 CE. This was the Greek New Testament text from which the NASV and the NIV were translated.
    In 1971 CE, The New American Bible, Standard Version (NASV) was published, from which I quote so often because of its informative footnotes regarding the text. It made use of the wealth of much older Hebrew and Greek manuscripts now available, that weren't available at the time of the translation of the KJV. Its wording and sentence structure closely follow the Greek in more of a word-for-word style. I personally tend to still follow the KJV, as that is the one with which most American Protestants are familiar.
    And in 1983 CE, The New International Version (NIV) was published. It also made use of the oldest manuscript evidence. It is more of a "thought-for-thought" translation and thought by many to read more easily than the NASV.

    I have absolutely no respect for gods, and little respect for the intellect of those who believe in gods, but I have a great deal of respect for the courage of those, regardless of however misguided I might feel their beliefs to have been, who risked their lives, and in many cases, gave them, to wrest this book from the claws of the Vatican, and place it in our hands.

pax vobiscum,



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  • 3/15/2013 3:57 AM makagutu wrote:
    The history of the bible is quite informative.
    I agree with the closing remark.
    Reply to this
  • 3/25/2013 1:06 AM Suzanne Olson-Hyde wrote:
    Inerrant, infallible??? just like a pope??? It is the sheer arrogance of theists that astounds me.

    Joseph and Potipher's wife - there are those pesky women again, they just can't help themselves

    Would a real person be so quick to automatically assume Joseph to be guilty? - Exactly.

    Well researched, well written, Thanks.
    Reply to this
  • 3/27/2014 9:03 AM Arkenaten wrote:
    Excellent, Arch. Thoroughly engrossing.
    Reply to this
  • 3/27/2014 10:34 AM archaeopteryx wrote:
    Thanks, but don't you feel badly for poor John Hus? He was just trying to make a living, spread the word they ALL believed --
    Reply to this
  • 4/23/2014 1:55 AM Tomms wrote:
    Hi thanks for yet another nice and interesting post.Genesis has been strongly and disregardingly objective and you have a deep knowledge as to how evolution works. Where do you get your inspiration for all this?
    Reply to this
  • 4/23/2014 9:04 AM archaeopteryx wrote:
    I can only tell you where I DON'T get it, Tomms, from "microneedle skin roller reviews," whatever the hell THEY are. Thanks for dropping by - feel free to return when you're commercial-free.
    Reply to this

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