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Re: Ross' Points

Posted by John Joseph on September 27, 2001 at 07:04:23:

In Reply to: Ross' Points posted by parhad on September 26, 2001 at 01:40:11:

"he [Ross] also said he'd received all sorts of mail refuting many of our claims but that he wouldn't reveal names because the
people feared harassment.... he meant of course that Aramaen from hell Johnny what's his name and John Joseph...."

>>>Why do you think I would do something so shabby? I have never corresponded with Ross. You show me one thing that I have written against the ancient Assyrians. Below are a few lines from my recent book, whose coverage of our various names remains a big dark secret on these forums:

--Footnote 31 Ibn al-’Ibri [Bar Hebraeus, who referred to the ancient Chaleans as magicians] obviously was not aware of the ancient Chaldeans’ achievements in astronomy. As early as the seventh century B.C., the study of astronomy in Babylon had begun to conform to present reckoning; lunar year had 354 days, regulated into 12 months, alternating between 29 and 30 days. See Bernard Grun, The Timetables of History (New York, 1975), p. 11. For the various usages of the term Chaldean, including its reference to a priestly class, see F. Rochberg-Halton, “New evidence for the History of Astrology,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 43 (1984), 115-16.

55. The Ashurbanipal palace library’s 22,000 clay tablets cover subjects in history, medicine, astronomy, astrology and recorded information on the movement of planets and signs of the zodiac. For the fascinating story of these early excavations and their translation, see C. Wade Meade, Road to Babylon, Development of U.S. Assyriology (Leiden 1974). After World War II the excavations at Nimrud were re-opened (1949) by Max Mallowan on behalf of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq. The team worked there until 1963, under the direction of David Oates. Since 1963 several teams have excavated at Nimrud, including an expedition from the British Museum in 1989. For a summary article see John Curtis, “Nimrud: Ancient and Modern,” The Illustrated London News, 280 (Summer 1992), 75-77.

-- 59 If some cuneiform tablets corroborated parts of the historical books of the Bible, others seemed to challenge their originality. In the 1870s George Smith stirred England with the announcement of his discovery of a tablet containing a parallel to the legend of the deluge in Genesis. Other tablets he deciphered contained, he reported, accounts of the origin of the world, the creation of animals and man, and the fall of man from a sinless state. Such documents fueled Biblical criticism adding to the secular challenges to revealed religion that eighteenth- and nineteenth-century discoveries in geology, anthropology and biology had already produced. The Assyrian documents, it was argued, now proved that the ancient Hebrews, like other peoples, had simply added to what they had borrowed from much older neighboring cultures; that it was Christian bias which placed Israel/Palestine at center stage. See George Smith, The Chaldean Account of Genesis (New York, 1876), p. 17. See also Stephanie Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia, Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh and Others (Oxford, 1989), pp. 7 seq., and H.W.F. Saggs, The Encounter with the Divine in Mesopotamia and Israel. London, 1978.Consult also Darwin’s Origin of the Species, published in 1859 when the excitement of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian excavations was reaching its peak. For a delightful account of these challenges, read Naomi Shepherd, The Zealous Intruders, The Western Rediscovery of Palestine (London 1987); see also Emil G. Kraeling, The Old Testament since the Reformation, (New York, 1955) pp. 91 seq.; S.J. Barrows, “Assyriology and the Bible,” Unitarian Review and Religious Magazine, 12 (1879), seq. 46, and George Sarton, History of Science (Baltimore, 1927-1949), vol. 1, p. 246.

: In my intro I listed the main points in his original paper. One was that Assyrians were inordinantly cruel and mean to the Israelites. The other was that Modern Assyrians who should be pleased as punch that they became Christians, should not want to associate with those terrible people of old. The last was the ridiculous notion that anything in Christianity was influenced by Assyrian and Babylonian sources...that Christianity derived exclusively from them Hebrews.

: I have to confess I got bored with the whole, "in the past" thing. I wanted to address out current status and needs. Whether Ashurnasirpal blinded people in one eye or two, or blinded any at all, was only of marginal importance...but we were stuck in that mode.

: I read a few passages from recent research which states the obvious, that Assyrians were no more cruel than anyone else, and were in fact pretty humane in their treatment of prisoners. I contrasted the fact that Assyrians reserved their severest punishments for those who rebelled against the King, breaking their word and in the process usually killing his governors and officers. Compare that to the Israelites who killed every single Amalekite JUST because they were who they were...every man woman and child. Assyrians went on the premise that prisoners had a RIGHT to live, unless they had committed specific acts of treachery, whereas the Jews killed every prisoner on principle.

: Deportations seemed to bother Ross a lot too. Well, given the choice of having your entire family wiped out, or moving to the greatest cities of that day, not as slaves, but as valued craftsmen etc, was a fate I certainly would have preferred, one the Amalekites and Midianites would have prefered too I'm sure. There are also several instances of Israelis and others willingly moving to Babylon and Assyria to join the army as mercenaries and serve in other capacities. And captured kings along with their families were removed to lessen the chances of rebellion, which was a costly and destructive thing. Those were not democracies in those days...the king and his m inisters could decide to rebel all on their own causing their people untold grief...therefore it made perfect sense to visit dire retribution on the leaders and not the entire populace. Some captured kings were even allowed to return and rule once again after having been cared for at the royal court and there is an inscription in which an Assyrian king warns his officer in charge of prisoners, to see that they all have shoes, are offered wives and treated well...for should any of them die from neglect, it will cost the officer, the Assyrian officer, his life. The Jews killed people for racial reasons, the Assyrians never did that.

: I was so pleased that when Ross said the Assyrians had it in for the Jews, a WHITE MAN there, our own dear Viking Hell's Angel, Robert Griffith went to the mike to state that the German Nazis and Hitler, to whom Ross once again compared us, killed Jews BECAUSE they were Jews, whereas we fought against them and anyone else for policy reasons, not because of racial hatred, as both the Israelites AND the Nazis did.

: He also went on about the lost ten tribes. I mentioned Cyrus Gordon as only one who says there were no lost ten tribes. It was just that many Jews chose not to return to Judea after Cyrus freed them...for obvious reasons...they'd been well treated, had established themselves and had no desire to give up life in such a gorgeous metropolis where they obviously hadn't been mistreated and where their synagogues and religion were welcome and respected. Ross clung to the few facts he's found which suited his bias anyway, including the bible, and you know what I think of THAT book. I challenged him to read some more and newer books.

: he also said he'd received all sorts of mail refuting many of our claims but that he wouldn't reveal names because the people feared harassment. That was one of the few times i got pissed off, saying that this cast an unfair slander against us and shouldn't have been brought up at all. he meant of course that Aramaen from hell Johnny what's his name and John Joseph. Now I've seen both of them write freely, in fact i was told that we'd extended an invitation to John Joseph to write on our I didn't think it was necessary to imply that we were going to go cut their throats. Our behavior there that night gave the lie to that slander anyway.

: As to the influence of Assyrian and Babylonian beliefs on Christianity, there is the obvious fact that "Catholic" means Universal...which our god Ashur was...whereas Yahweh, the father of Jesus, was a tribal god, ONLY for his chosen people. In fact for the 70 or so years that Christology remained a Jewish sect, you HAD to be a Jew to be a follower. It was only later that Christianity became established as a religion welcoming all people, and that was thanks to influences OTHER than the strictly Jewish ones...something they would have learned from the Assyrians and Babylonians, who welcomed many foreign gods and encouraged people to learn about Ashur and respect and worship him. A willingness to accept strangers into their religion is NOT a hallmark of Judaism...but Ashurism. Never mind the "halo" or the fact that Jesus is the old Tammuz vegetation god told all over again.

: I tried to resist taking pot shots at the guy. I definitely think he was offended at the idea of being complelled to defend or explain himself...and Dr. Wieder had added the indignity of telling him, in front of me, that she did not appreciate his comments about Black people in that paper of his.

: I must say Mr. Marzillier was most friendly. He shook hands warmly and kept me company until he had to go see about details. The guy who was running the camera even ventured to say he couldn't figure out WHAT Ross was saying...his manner was so artificial...he's one of those "bloodless' philosophy people who think by draining life of all emotion and feeling, you know those nasty things that can overwhelm us sometimes...that he's achieved "cool, calm REASON", when he's just deader than a doornail. These dead white guys have always impressed us darkies ...we mistake their hollowness and lack of depth or understanding, the "grease" that makes us slip and slide through life...we mistake their coldness for "cool". BIG mistake!

: As we left, I shook hands with Mr. Marzillier and went over to Ross to extend my hand before he could get off the stage.

: As Tony said to me when he surprised me there..."you don't seem "angry" at all". Anger, like ignorance just plays into the hands of those you find yourself opposed to...never refuse to know your opponent, to understand him or her.

: I know Jackie well...she's first.

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