Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Steven Spielberg to direct epic of mythical proportions!

The Huffington Post is reporting today that Steven Spielberg has expressed an interest in directing an epic film titled "Gods and Kings."

The film would tell "Moses entire life story.  A sweeping narrative about the biblical figure's birth through death, which would include the story of the Jews' emancipation from Egypt and years in the desert..."

This is really quite humorous.  I know that Spielberg is an entertainer and doesn't worry too much about the difference between fact and fiction.  He wants to draw people in to watch his film and there's nothing wrong about that.

The funny thing is that most biblical scholars today are convinced that Moses is a mythical figure not an historical one!  Scholars of the Bible and archaeologists studying the ancient Near East have been unable to discover any external evidence for the Israelites' sojourn in Egypt, the person of Moses, the escape from Egypt, the crossing of the Sea of Reeds, or the wandering in the desert!

NO evidence whatsoever.  The Egyptians, who kept quite detailed records never mention Israelites living in their midst.  Moses is not cited in any Egyptian document.  There is nothing recorded anywhere that mentions 600,000 Israelites escaping from Egypt with the Egyptian army on their heels, or of a sea parting or the Egyptian army drowning when the parted seas came back together.

What is especially damning is the fact that archaeologists, after extensive work for many years, have yet to come up with a shred of evidence of the Israelites desert wanderings.  If 600,000 people had actually plodded around the desert for 40 years, there should be a great deal of Israelite trash and treasure buried beneath its sands!  Maybe even the Ark of the Covenant!

It is pure craziness to think that such a large group could go unnoticed for any period of time.  Egyptian police stations were placed at various intervals all the way up to Palestine.  The Egyptians would know very quickly of any large group of people in the desert.

But I guess fiction is stranger than reality; and more fun.  So, in Spielberg's epic we'll probably see Moses in his wee basket in the river.  We'll see him in the Pharoah's court.  I wonder, though, how Spielberg will film the plagues and the "passover?"  You can bet Moses will be a heroic figure as he defies Pharoah and leads his people out of the land, through the water and into the desert.  I wonder, too, if Spielberg will include the bit where Moses finds a wife out in no-man's land and adopts the religion and the god (Yahweh) of his father-in-law?  That's an interesting touch.  Could this be the same god of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and his sons, Abraham and Isaac, etc?  Nah, probably not.  Moses wouldn't have known anything about that god and those folks.  Those stories hadn't been created yet.  So, we've got a new god and new commands. 

Being an epic filmmaker of some note, you can expect Spielberg to give you a rollicking good time watching the Israelites bumping into each other in the desert; ignoring Moses and his so-called Ten Commandments; flaunting the laws of god; eating manna; worshiping a golden calf and dying by the thousands by the hand of one really pissed-off god.  And the climax will come when poor Moses, old and withered and disappointed in his people will not be allowed by his beloved Yahweh to enter the "promised land."  Poor Moses, no matter how hard he worked, no matter it wasn't his fault the Israelites were so damn stubborn, god, being a hard-nose, said Moses just didn't cut it.  No promised land for him!

Of course, the assault on and the conquering of the promised land is also mythical.  It never happened.  In fact, most everything in the Hebrew Bible never happened.  But, hey, there are some good stories, and if Spielberg wants to film one of them that's OK with me.

Except for one nagging concern:  there are already too many ignoramuses who actually believe this stuff.  If Spielberg presents it as history, it simply perpetuates ignorance and gives the Christian fundamentalists more ammo in their fight against biblical literacy and common sense!

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