http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/3852760-post112.html : Topic “The Golden Calf”
Please excess the above link to know the context of discussion and to join it.
Originally Posted by gnostic
“Well, I am not an expert in the bible as well, but I have read the bible more than I have Qur’an.
(I have read the bible several times now, from cover to cover, of both OT and NT, but only read the Qur’an only once, again from cover to cover. But I have lost count the number of times I have read from Genesis to 1 Samuel, because this part of the bible is the most interesting to me.)
My expertise is not in the bible, but in classical literature and classical mythology, and I better than the average in medieval literature (and medieval legends and folklore). The last 6 or 7 years, I have taken up interested in Egyptian, Ugartic/Canaanite and Sumerian/Akkadian/Babylonian literature/mythology, as well as Gnostic and Rabbinic Jewish literature.
But with all of these, literature, I have always relied on English translations. I got some experience from my research into these mythology and literature, and from creating Timeless Myths and Dark Mirrors of Heaven. I have been wanting to start a new website, similar to that of Timeless Myths, but on Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Levant myths, but alas, I don’t have the free time that I used to have.
Of course, my main interests in all these different literature is in the storytelling, not the religion (like customs, rituals) and not the laws (religious laws, codes, ethics, etc).
Of course, but I only know one language – English. I know my limitation, and I respect anyone who read more than one language. The way I tried to resolve this, is to read or research not just one English translations, but several (or more).
When I reading the Hebrew scriptures (Tanakh or Old Testament), I tends to favor the Tanakh from New Jewish Publication Society (NJPS, 1985) or New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) over the King James Version (KJV), because both translations take into consideration the latest Hebrew scholarship and compare the Masoretic Text (MT) against the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). It is possible (and I must stress “possible”) to get the original context, through reading and comparing different translations. But the best solution would be able to read them in the original languages they were written in.
I don’t know if you can read Hebrew, but here is Hebrew text of Exodus 2; and beside I like you; you know your own limitations, unlike other Muslims here:
If you can read it, then you can compare the quote I had already given in post 86, and see if it is accurate or not. If you can’t read the Hebrew source (Masoretic Text), then no problem.” Unquote
There exists no Torah written in the original language of the time of Moses, while Moses was alive.
The Hebrews adopted the Phoenician script around the 12th century BCE. (Wikipedia)
Rabbinical Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BCE; Jerome gives 1592 BCE, and Ussher 1619 BCE as his birth year.(Wikipedia)
So there is a gap of for 200-400 years when there was no written Torah.
A pertinent question; did a complete Torah in even Phoenician script around the 12th century BCE ever exist?
My answer is in the negative; and that would be the earliest written Torah.