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Date Posted:24/11/2006 11:39 AMCopy HTML


Have you ever noticed that strange statement at the bottom of the Revival Centre 'We Believe' list? The first point starts off, "We believe in the infallibility of the Bible...". Sounds great. A few other beliefs follow. Then, hidden at the bottom, is "We believe the Bible identifies the Anglo-Saxon people with the Old Testament nation of Israel ...". What? Where on earth did they come up with that one!?In fact, how the Revival Centres inherited this doctrine, called 'British-Israelism', is quite interesting.Hundreds of years before the first Revival Centre, the first 'British-Israel' manifesto was issued. British-Israelism was first hinted at by the British Member of Parliament, John Sadler, in hisRights of the Kingdom(1649). But the movement began in the eighteenth century after the self-styled 'Nephew of the Almighty', Richard Brothers, published his bookA Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies and Times (1794). Brothers was, as one source puts it, "a Canadian madman".

He became troubled by visions, and said that the British parliament was the 'beast' of Revelation. Brothers believed he was a descendant of King David, and that only he had the right to be king of England. Unfortunately for him, King George III disagreed. TheCambridge Biographical Enyclopedia(1994) says:

Brothers, Richard (1757-1824) British religious fanatic and ex-naval officer, born in Newfoundland, Canada. He announced himself in 1793 as the 'nephew of the Almighty', apostle of a new religion, the Anglo-Israelites. In 1795, for prophesying the destruction of the monarchy, he was sent to Newcastle and subsequently to an asylum.Brothers was confined to the mental asylum from 1795-1806. Despite this, and the failure of his prophecy that Jerusalem would be restored to the Hebrews in 1798, his movement flourished. By the end of the nineteenth century, there were said to number two million adherents of British-Israelism, most of them Church of England members. In 1859, John Taylor of London expanded the theory into the field of Pyramidology. In the bookThe Great Pyramid, Why Was It Built and WhoBuilt It?John Taylor tried to show how Israelites built the Pyramid of Cheops, and how British Inches and measurements could be found in its design.In 1928, a man called Tom Foster visited the pyramids of Egypt and seems to have been 'hooked'. When, in 1930, he became 'born again' he retained his ideas about it with a new Christian slant - seemingly taking on these new teachings about Pyramids and Lost Tribes.

Getting in to more modern times, the Revival Centre position on British-Israel can be traced back to the one-time Assembly of God ('AoG') preacher, Leo Harris. Leo was on a Revival tour in Victoria in 1941. He and his brother Allan were staying in the house of a Miss Finlayson, who was very interested in Bible prophecy. She informed them that Tom Foster would be speaking in the Ballarat City Hall on Sunday 30 November, 1941 (3PM). When they found out that the talk would be on British-Israelism, they informed Miss Finlayson that they held opposing views and were not interested. In the end, they went with the elderly lady to satisfy her. They left, after the meeting, thinking it was the end of the matter.When, however, Tom showed up to their AOG meeting at the Manchester Unity Hall, Leo Harris was quite upset. He told his brother Allan to 'do the courtesies', but Tom stayed behind and eventually got into conversation with Leo. Leo reluctantly agreed to get together with Tom for general fellowship on 1 December, 1941. Now, that morning, Leo became very impressed with Tom's views of Revelation. Over lunch, he also acceded to the British-Israel teaching. Because of these new views, the Assemblies of God no longer accepted Leo Harris in their fellowships.In 1944-5, Leo came to Adelaide and started up a 'National Revival Crusade Centre' (in 1963 they became known as the 'Christian Revival Crusade'), and taught British-Israel. From Adelaide, Leo Harris planted assemblies in other Australian cities. In 1949, a car salesman named Lloyd Richard Longfield was baptised and 'slain in the Spirit' under Tom Foster. During World War II, Lloyd had been a staff sergeant in the AIF in Egypt. He also had visited the Great Pyramid, and was also 'hooked' (Voice of Revival, Vol.14, No.2). From there the story is well known. After disagreements, Lloyd Longfield left the fellowship. With Noel Hollins of Geelong, the "two Victorian Assemblies in 1958 aligned themselves as the Melbourne and Geelong Revival Centres".We know from old Revival Crusade books that they taught British-Israel and Pyramidology until about 1977. But after Leo Harris' death in that year, British-Israel theology gradually disappeared from their 'belief' list. The Revival Centres International, however, continued to teach British-Israel, and the doctrine was ardently preached by Lloyd Longfield in National Conventions. In 1995, when the Revival Centres split, both the Revival Centres International (Melbourne) and the Revival Fellowship (Adelaide) continued to teach British-Israel.

What do reputable historians and anthropologists say about British-Israelism? The theory can quickly be set aside as having no basis. One anthropologist, Dr. Calvin Kephart, says that the Anglo-Saxons and the Israelites are genetically different races. So, they cannot be the same peoples! In his book,Races of Mankind(1961), page 150, he states, "Since the original Hebrews were Kassites, of typically Turkic build, i.e., with tawny complexion, of medial height and stocky build, with prominent nose, and brachycephalous, all efforts to identify Aryan Nordic people of Europe as descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel are doomed to failure. A more futile task is inconceivable".?1997, Adelaide Revival Centre Information. P.O. Box 494, Glenside, South Australia, 5065. All rights reserved. Feel free to copy and distribute any information on this page as you like, but please don't try to sell it without my permission. Unless otherwise indicated, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from theNew Revised Standard VersionBible, Copyright 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

"As man is, so is his God; And thus is God, oft strangely odd" - Goethe

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds." - Bob Marley
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Re:History of British-Israelism in the Revival Centres

Date Posted:24/11/2006 11:43 AMCopy HTML


In his book Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler talked of an Aryan super-race that was destined to rule the world. The Jews were an obstacle to Hitler's 'glorious vision'. And so followed the extermination of Jews and other minorities of Europe, which was indisputably one of the darkest chapters of human history.

Racism is not confined to the secular world. Some Christians also believe that there is an Aryan super-race, that God specially blesses the Anglo-Saxons. Some say that God has cursed the Jews. Often, these Christians will try to justify their belief from Scripture. One such justification for racism is called 'British-Israelism', or 'Anglo-Israelism'.

"Various theories, one more far fetched that the other, have been adduced, on the flimsiest of evidence, to identify different peoples with the ten lost tribes"

In about 720 B.C.E., Israel (the ten Northern Hebrew tribes) was defeated and exiled to Assyria (2Kings 15:29; 16:6). According to sensationalists, these tribes never returned to Israel but became the 'Ten Lost Tribes'. Many peoples have, at times, claimed descent from these Lost Tribes. Among them: the Ethiopians; the Ibos of Nigeria; the Berbers of North Africa; various Armenian, Afgan, and Persian groups of the Black and Caspian Sea regions; the Chiang-Min of Tibet; the Khazars; the Karaites and even the Japanese! The Encyclopedia Judaica notes that, "Various theories, one more far fetched that the other, have been adduced, on the flimsiest of evidence, to identify different peoples with the ten lost tribes".[1] British-Israelists say that these Lost Tribes became the Anglo-Saxon people, and came to Britain.

The Revival Centres teach British-Israelism. They state: "We believe the Bible identifies the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples with the nation Israel".[2]

British-Israelism began with the self-styled 'Nephew of the Almighty' Richard Brothers, and his book A Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies and Times (1794).[3] Brothers was, as one source puts it, "a Canadian madman". After being troubled by visions, he was admitted to a mental asylum, where he remained for eleven years.[4] Brother's taught that the Anglo-Saxons were the 'Ten Lost Tribes of Israel'. He said that the British, Americans, and other Anglo-Saxons were heirs to the promises given to Israel in Scripture. Consequentially, an Aboriginal, an African, a tribesman from Papua New Guinea would not be so blessed.[5]

Comments one study paper regarding British-Israelism:

"It saddens us when Christians erroneously justify their racist attitudes through misuse and misunderstanding of the Bible ... In the Church, non-Anglo-Saxons sometimes found fellow Christians looking down on them simply because they were not 'Israelites'" [6]

Some British-Israel churches, like 'Christian Identity ' in America, have gone further. They have forged relationships with groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, who harmonise with their Aryan super-race thinking. But what appalling damage has been done through the ages because of racism! We have to pity the bigoted people among us. From the Ku Klux Klan - with their burning crosses, to the Revival Centre leaders proclaiming Anglo-Saxon supremacy. Maybe we should pray for these people, that they could 'put on the mind of Christ'!

"God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable"

Did you know, God doesn't care about black or white, the outside? He looks at the heart! Peter said about the Lord, "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him" (Acts 10:34-35). Praise Be to God - it has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with grace! So the British-Israel claims crumble when they come across the grace of God. Meanwhile, science and history put forward other reasons for showing why British-Israel is wrong.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says, "The theory [of British-Israelism] ... rests on premises which are deemed by scholars - both theological and anthropological - to be utterly unsound".[7]

Morris Silverman, Assistant Professor of History at Yeshiva University, New York, agreed. In Time magazine, he noted, "The British-Israel theory is complete nonsense, as anyone with the slightest knowledge of history, anthropology or philology can tell".[8]

First, I'll look at racial types. If the Anglo-Saxons were really lost Israelites, we would expect them to be the same race. They should look like Israelites, have the same skin colours - basically, there should be a genetic connection. However, in his book Races of Mankind: their Origin and Migration, Anthropologist Dr. Calvin Kephart, says that while the Anglo-Saxon people are 'Aryans', the Hebrews are from the 'Turanian' racial family. They are a completely different race!

In a footnote, he wrote: "Since the original Hebrews were Kassites, of typically Turkic build, i.e., with tawny complexion, of medial height and stocky build, with prominent nose, and brachycephalous, all efforts to identify Aryan Nordic people of Europe as descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel are doomed to failure. A more futile task is inconceivable".[9] In other words, genetically, the early Anglo-Saxons were not the olive-skinned Israelites of the Lost Tribes.

We should also consider language. If the Anglo-Saxons were really from Israel, then we would expect them to speak a form of Hebrew, wouldn't we? At least, English should have some connection with Hebrew. However, The Jewish Encyclopedia says "English is a branch of the Aryan stock of languages, and has no connection with Hebrew".[10]

We will look now at religious opinions. If the Anglo-Saxons were the Israelites, then they should have worshipped the Lord. Some British-Israel authors make feeble attempts to show that 'the British Druids were ancient Hebrews', who worshipped the Lord. Some say that Jesus went to Britain, to preach to the 'lost sheep of Israel' under the Old Covenant. However, as any British history book will show someone who cares enough to research the matter, "The common God of the English people was Woden, the war-god ... whom every tribe held to be the first ancestor of its kings".[11] The early British were not Hebrews, but blue-painted Woden-worshipping barbarians!

We might also have a look at 'manners and customs'. By reading through a few history books, you will notice the complete difference between the Israelites and Anglo-Saxons on these points. The Israelites were reputable in battle (Deuteronomy 21:10-13), while "The [Saxon] name became a synonym for piracy and barbarism".[12] The Israelites were buried at death (Saul the one exception - 1Samuel 31:8-13), while the Anglo-Saxons used cremation.[13] The Israelites would not eat pigs (Leviticus 11:4-8; Deuteronomy 14:7, 8), while "it is possible that during Anglo-Saxon times pigs greatly outnumbered all other domestic animals and were the basic component of the agricultural economy".[14] Clearly, some major differences here.

So, if the British are not lost Israelites, then who are they? I had the opportunity of listening to Adelaide English History lecturer, Marcia Nichol, discuss this. According to her, the first Celtic people were not Israelites, but could be traced to a group known as the 'Urn-Field People', or 'Proto-Celts'. They were called 'Urn-Field People' because they cremated their dead and placed them in distinctive urn cemeteries. They were a Northern European people who began to appear from about 1300 B.C.E., and spoke a form of Celtic. Their Anglo-Saxon counterparts were descended from a central Asian plains culture who later migrated along the same route as the Beaker people, because of food shortages. They were around long before Assyrians took the Israelites captive!

But what about the ancient writings? True, some point to early English legends to show that Israelites came to Britain. But this is quite deceptive. The legends contain little, if any, real history. Sometimes, they are even misquoted to prove the British-Israel viewpoint! Irish Historian Sean O'Faolain says, "We do not read the literature as it was originally created. The Christian scribes and the patriotic ficto-historians have freely altered the original records and the traditional lore to suit their own ends ... Myth and history, dreams and facts, are forever inextricably commingled".[15] Because of this, James Campbell, in his book The Anglo-Saxons, describes the early British legends as "largely romance".[16] So, these spurious texts cannot prove British-Israelism.

As for the true destiny of the Israelites, the inspired writings are our best source. British-Israelites distinguish between the 'Jews' and 'Israelites' - and this has some basis. Before the captivities of the tribes, Israel and Judah were once united. Saul, in about 1117 B.C.E. ruled over a 'united' kingdom of Israel and Judah (1Samuel 8:4-9). But In about 998 B.C.E., the kingdom was split in two after the death of Solomon. Judah supported King Rehoboam, and Israel supported Jeroboam (1Kings 11:29-37).

The real fate of many of these Israelites was probably death. The Lord carried out his promise to destroy many of the faithless Hebrews remaining in Assyria (Deuteronomy 28:15, 36, 48, 61; Amos 9:4, 9, 10). As the Time magazine states, "there is no mystery about the fate of the Ten Tribes. Most of those exiled to Media died of harsh treatment; the Assyrians were the Nazis of their day".[17] However, it appears that a 'remnant' did survive their captivity, and returned to Israel (Isaiah 10:22). Ezra 1:1-4 tells us that Persian King Cyrus II, in about 530 B.C.E., released many of his Hebrew captives. The Revival Centres suggest that only Judah (the Southern tribes) returned to Palestine after being released. According to them, Israel migrated into Europe instead. However, it is clear from Scripture that Israelites did return to Palestine at this time. Ezra compiled a list of the events, and he talks specifically of "Israelite people" returning (Ezra 2:2, 59, 70, 3:1, 11). 1Chronicles 9:2 tells us quite plainly that, "the first to live again in their possessions in their towns were the Israelites ... [while] some of the people of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh lived in Jerusalem" (also Ezra 6:16,17).

After the captivity, it seems that the Judah and Israel were again united. Palestine once again became known as "all Israel" (Ezra 2:70; 8:35; 10:5; Nehemiah 12:47). For this reason, at Pentecost, Peter could address the Hebrews as "Men of Judea", and as "Fellow Israelites" (Acts 2:14, 29). The apostle Paul could be a "Jew" (Acts 21:29), an "Israelite" (2Corinthians 11:22), and a "Hebrew" (Philippians 3:5) at the same time. There was no longer a distinction, and it is clear that physical Israel can be found in Palestine to this day.

British-Israelists also miss an important teaching of Scripture. We don't need to look for 'Israel' among the nations of the world! Israel of God is found today in the body of Christ. In the Old Covenant, fleshy Israel was God's holy nation (Exodus 19:6). In the New Covenant, the body of Christ is the "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people" (1Peter 2:9; Romans 9:6). Galatians 3:13-14, 16, 29 explains that the blessings of Abraham are for this new spiritual Israel, not any particular race of today. So, the real rock of Israel is not the Lia Fail, but Jesus Christ!

British-Israel it is a dangerous doctrine. It stems from racism, or elitist thinking, leads to 'King James Bible only' philosophy, and distorted end-time thinking. It has no place in a Christian assembly. Perhaps those advocating British-Israelism must heed the Scripture, "not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training that is known by faith" (1Timothy 1:4).

So, to summarise what we've been through:

  1. The Anglo-Saxons are not a Semitic race;
  2. The English language is not Semitic, nor does it contain any hints of having a Hebrew heritage;
  3. The Anglo-Saxons and Israelites had completely different customs and religions;
  4. There are no ancient records that indicate Britain has an Israelite history;
  5. In fact, British-Israelism was invented by a madman;
  6. Scripture indicates that the real 'Israel of God' is in the body of Christ;
  7. British-Israelism has very worrying 'Aryan Supremacy' racist overtones;
  8. But, even if the theory was correct, God doesn't care about race or skin colour (Acts 10:34-35)

"As man is, so is his God; And thus is God, oft strangely odd" - Goethe

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds." - Bob Marley
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Re:History of British-Israelism in the Revival Centres

Date Posted:24/11/2006 11:56 AMCopy HTML

The Theory of British Israelism

The theory of British Israelism was once a main doctrine of the Worldwide Church of God, begun by Herbert W. Armstrong. The current leadership has since discarded this teaching as biblically incorrect. However, many offshoot groups of the WCG have clung to all the doctrines held by the late Herbert W. Armstrong, and so still accept this teaching. Some Christians are also influenced by this teaching, and need to take a closer look at it.

The book, "The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy" outlines the teaching that Britain and the United States are the lost ten tribes of Israel. In this teaching of "British Israelism", the tribe of Ephraim becomes Great Britain, Manasseh is the United States, and the throne of David is the throne of England.

Herbert W. Armstrong published this theory as his own special revelation from God. Recent evidence has surfaced that shows plagiarism from J. H. Allen's book, "Judah's Scepter and Joseph's Birthright", a 375-page book published in 1902 and copyrighted in 1917.

This book was written a full thirty years before Armstrong claimed to have made an "exhaustive" study of the British Israelism issue.


The theory teaches that when God's people returned to Palestine after the captivity, only the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi really returned. The "House of Israel", meaning the ten lost tribes, scattered. By Jesus' day, supposedly only three tribes were represented. According to the theory, the "House of Israel" was missing.


The Apostle Peter was, however, unaware of British Israelism teaching, since he uttered these words at Acts 2: 36,

"Therefore let all the HOUSE OF ISRAEL know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified."

In the B-I theory, the judgments against Israel naturally become directed towards the United States. We thus find the belief that America will cease to be a nation, and her citizens will be removed, finding themselves in captivity.(Plain Truth, July 1959, p. 16).

The Bible teaches that a prophet is false when his words fail to come to pass. (See Deuteronomy 18:20-22). Time has already run out for this prophecy, since it was foretold for 1972 in the publications of Herbert W. Armstrong. The theory of British-Israelism falls with the prophecy, and the prophet.


Armstrong taught that "Israel" and "Jew" were two separate nations. "Jew" always meant "The House of Judah", and "Israel" meant "the lost ten tribes". 2 Kings 17:18-23 is a favorite passage of British-Israelism devotees, so let's consider it.

"So the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah. Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the customs which Israel had introduced.

And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight. When He had torn Israel from the house of David,they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king.

Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin. And the the sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the LORD removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day".

Notice the last phrase of this scripture. Israel went as far as Assyria until this day! They relocated, but not far away, certainly not across oceans! Certainly not scattered far afield!


According to the British-Israelism theory only Jews should have been participating in rebuilding Jerusalem since the house of Israel was "long gone". Yet Ezra uses the words "all Israel" several times in the account. (Ezra 2:70; 6:17; 8:25,35; 10:5; Nehemiah 7:73; 12:47). Evidently the terms "Jew" and "Israel" were used interchangeably, thus spoiling the unsupported theory of British-Israelism.


If the ten tribes were gone by Christ's day, how does the B-I theory explain that Anna the Prophetess was of the tribe of Asher? (Luke 2:36). Paul mentioned all twelve tribes. (Acts 26:6,7). James mentioned all twelve tribes. (James 1:1).

The book of Revelation tells of 12,000 people from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Revelation 7:4-8). All Israel shall be saved, eventually. (Romans 11:26).

Upon consulting a Jewish rabbi, he assured me the list in Revelation was a literal one, as are the other lists in the Bible, although they differ from one another for various reasons. The Revelation list is not "figurative" or "spiritual" allowing for interpretation to apply to some other nation, but applies to literal Israel.


The Apostle Paul was addressed in three ways

1. As a Hebrew. (Phil. 3:5).
2. As an Israelite. (2 Cor. 11:22).
3. As a Jew. (Acts 21:39; 22:3).

Obviously, Paul recognized no such distinctions as invented by this theory. All terms interchange.


Since Christ had a sign over his head on the crucifixion reading "King of the Jews", are we to assume that He was King for Judah only? No, for the scriptures are plain that Christ was the promised Messiah for all Israel. The disciples understood this when they questioned Him in Acts 16, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the Kingdom to ISRAEL?"

Obviously, "Jew" and "Israel" were used interchangeably in Christ's day.

After putting up the sign "King of the Jews", His mockers then said, "He is the King of Israel'; Let Him now come down from the cross and we shall believe in Him". (Matthew 27:42). Again, the terms interchange.


British-Israelism claims that the stone under the Queen of England's coronation chair is the very "pillar stone of Jacob" which was first transported by Jacob, and finally by Jeremiah to the British Isles, via Egypt.

The scriptures know nothing of this invented event! We would expect, if the theory is correct, that the English coronation stone could be analyzed and found to be of the type found in Israel. The stone has been analyzed and "The Marson Report, " page 128, records.

"The stone in Westminster Abbey has been analyzed and shown to be a calcareous type of red sandstone of Scottish origin".


British-Israelism is not a revelation from God as some teach. Rather it is a theory that cannot stand up to Biblical or scientific examination. It should be rejected by those professing Christianity.


"As man is, so is his God; And thus is God, oft strangely odd" - Goethe

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds." - Bob Marley
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Re:History of British-Israelism in the Revival Centres

Date Posted:28/11/2006 12:35 AMCopy HTML

$%*'`[I use to believe]%*'`@I was told that there were a group of people that were more special that the rest of us. Now I think that this is not so. Why were we told that some people are God's own people and the rest of us are chopped-liver? I know what you are going to think about what I post but I don't care! I think that most people are affraid to tell it like is is. Read artical and find out what the your pastor did not tell you.
In fact, it matters little what you call it, so long as it is recognized that what Israel intends and is working toward is the erasure of the Palestinian people from the Palestine landscape. Israel most likely does not care about how systematic its efforts at erasure are, or how rapidly they proceed, and in these ways it differs from the Nazis. There are no gas chambers; there is no overriding urgency. Gas chambers are not needed. A round of rockets on a residential housing complex in the middle of the night here, a few million cluster bomblets or phosphorous weapons there can, given time, easily meet the UN definition above.

Children shot to death sitting in school classrooms here, families murdered while tilling their land there; agricultural land stripped and burned here, farmers cut off from their land there; little girls riddled with bullets here, infants beheaded by shell fire there; a little massacre here, a little starvation there; expulsion here, denial of entry and families torn apart there; dispossession is the name of the game. With no functioning economy, dwindling food supplies, medical supply shortages, no way to move from one area to another, no access to a capital city, no easy access to education or medical care, no civil service salaries, the people will die, the nation will die without a single gas chamber. Or so the Israelis hope.

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Re:History of British-Israelism in the Revival Centres

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$%*'`[Zion]%*'`@ Printer friendly version Posted 07/12/2004 Email this article to a friend

The Bible Unearthed
by Larry Saltzman - The Palestine Chronicle

A revolution is happening in Biblical Archaeology. Biblical Archaeology is critically examining the Bible against the archaeological record and is turning everything we thought we knew upside down. It may disturb many that hold strong political or highly conservative religious beliefs. This will be true of Christians, Muslims and Jews who interpret the Bible literally.

It will disturb many secular Zionists who justify modern Israel's existence and the proposed annexation of "Judah and Samaria" based on the Biblical Texts. You can choose to believe this research or not. But it has profound implications for the Israeli Palestinian conflict. This article will review the theories of one of the foremost of these revolutionary Biblical archaeologists - Israel Finkelstein.

Professor Finkelstein is an Israeli and has received a lot of criticism in Israel for his work from conservative elements in the society that are aware of what it means for the Biblical underpinnings of Zionism. To read more about the research that lies behind this summary, I refer you to the writings of Israel Finkelstein. The most accessible book is The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, written with Neil Asher Silberman and published by The Free Press in 2001. Finkelstein is one of a group of radical archaeologists that is turning the field of biblical archaeology on its head.

Archaeologists live in a world of tells, strata, Carbon 14 dating, Jericho IV, The Early, Middle and Late Bronze Age, Iron Age I and Iron Age II and of course pottery shards and architectural styles. Slowly but surely as they excavate and date the significant Archaeological sites located in modern Israel and parts of Occupied Palestine the history of the region as recorded in the Bible is being re-written from what the Bible has told us. What follows is a very brief summary of that research and an analysis of its implications.

Professor Finkelstein has not attempted himself to interpret his research in the context of the contemporary political and diplomatic complexities of the Middle East. He has simply presented the facts that the archaeological record has revealed. Some archaeologists still disagree, but his is a mainstream scientific view and not the work of a fringe writer with a political or conspiracy axe to grind. And more and more prominent scholars in the field are moving to something like his viewpoint, even though they may disagree on the details.

Israel, Judah and Samaria were simply Canaanite States that arose out of indigenous Canaanite culture and not from the invasion of a mythical people called the Hebrews. Israel was a small Canaanite State that briefly achieved a golden age, reaching its' height of power and glory in the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. The House of David never ruled in Israel, it ruled over the Canaanite State of Judah.

Finkelstein is convinced that the House of David did exist. David and Solomon were probably tribal chiefs in the hill country that became the Kingdom of Judah. Jerusalem was the Capital of Judah not of Israel. In the time of David and Solomon, Jerusalem was an unimportant very small town with no great Temple. The major cult centres were farther to the north in the cities of Israel. In fact the great cities of Canaan that were previously attributed to the Solomon were built by Israeli Kings like Ahab.

It was under King Josiah that the Bible was finally written and something resembling modern Judaism begins to take shape in the 7th and 8th centuries BC. It is a political document that is designed to glorify the Josiah and to connect him falsely with the golden era when the state of Israel briefly rose up as a powerful and advanced civilized centre. The Bible is essentially a work of propaganda, weaving historical fragments and myths of various Canaanite peoples into a powerful justification for Josiah's rule and expansionist policies.

I personally draw a positive conclusion from this research. As an American-Jew, I have long struggled with the contradictions and problems of Zionism and the unjust policies of the State of Israel towards Palestinians. For those brave enough to seize this research in the right spirit, there is a solution in it for the problems of the Middle East. Simply stated, European Jews, Middle Eastern Jews, and Palestinians are brothers and sisters and share a common Canaanite ancestry. There were a small number of voices amongst the early Zionists who were against the creation of a separate Jewish state in the region. They lost out to the bigger faction lead by David Ben-Gurion, who suffered from the disease of European colonialism. Ben-Gurion and those in his camp saw the natives of the region as an obstacle to be eliminated. I believe Jews around the world need to take pride not in Israel as a modern colonialist State but in the entire region of Palestine as the homeland of Canaanite and Israelite culture that we are descended from. European Jews are simply Europeanized Canaanites; Palestinians, whether Muslim, Christian or Jewish were simply Arabised Canaanites. Even modern genetic research is proving that we come from the same ancestry.

Think of Irish-Americans or Italian-Americans returning to their ancestral homelands to experience the culture and the people. They do not think they have the right to conquer the land and dispossess those who stayed behind. Rather they go back to re-connect with their cultural roots from those who are part of the living culture. Because of Zionism, Jews lost the chance to return to Palestine and re-connect with the Palestinians who are the people that have carried forward the culture of ancient Canaan. Viewed in that light, I see the fight against Zionism as being as much my fight as the Palestinians fight. It is the Zionists who created a rift between family, where there should have been friendship and cooperation. It is modern Zionism that disconnected me from my roots not connected me. It is that movement that even stole the spiritual base of Judaism and associated it for the first time in two thousand years with aggression and oppression of others. Whatever flaws my European ancestors had, they were not the ones starting wars and building colonial empires, as was the Christian majority in Europe.

It is the Zionists who through their acts of ethnic cleansing and on-going violence have made enemies out of people who share a common ancestry with me. The disease of European Colonialist thinking prevented them from seeing how much the Palestinians had to share with us of the ancient cultures and common heritage. Those who came from Europe may have had the advantage of European technology, but the Palestinians had something far more valuable that the Zionists treated with contempt and discarded.

My hope though, is that a new vision of the common ancestry of Jews and Palestinians can be shared and spread and used to defeat the discredited legacy of Zionism. The ancient Canaanites had a great culture. From their culture springs Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Their culture as expressed by the Canaanite civilizations of Judah and Israel exerts more influence on great portions of humanity than does that of far greater military powers and empires of the ancient world. Where the myths and religions of other ancient civilizations of the Middle East are no longer believed or practiced by many people, The religious heritage of Judah is practiced in the form of Christianity, Islam and Judaism by something approaching two billion people on every inhabited continent. When we can recognize and accept our profound common heritage, perhaps we can begin to overcome the suffering and warfare of the twentieth century and move towards lasting peace and justice in the Middle East.

Larry Saltzman is an American Jew who believes that the meaning of the Holocaust is that "never again" means that no people on the planet should be persecuted. He is deeply involved in organic gardening and has an orchard of some 60 fruit trees. He had been opposed to the Israeli occupation for some time, but when he learned of the wanton destruction of orchards and farmland by Israeli troops in the Palestinian Territories this past year, he decided to become active. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA but works as a computer programmer.

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  • Register:06/04/2001 10:54 PM

Re:History of British-Israelism in the Revival Centres

Date Posted:24/12/2006 8:49 AMCopy HTML

Return of the ?American' Jedi
Dr. Khaled Batarfi,

The Israeli lobby in America is under pressure these days. It seems they crossed so many red lines that some hot-blooded Americans felt obliged to protest.

The 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner, former US President Jimmy Carter, is not alone with his recent book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" and LA Times and Guardian article, "How I See Palestine." A recent Harvard study entitled "The Israel Lobby" by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt details the ways of the lobby and its victims. Tellingly, they later joined the victim list. There are similar studies and books exposing the lobby, like "They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby" by 22-year veteran Congressman Paul Findley whose stand cost him dearly, and "Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment" by American-Jewish insider, J. J. Goldberg.

Some still think this is a lobby like any. An American friend argued that the tobacco and gun lobbies are among the strongest in the US. They use similar aggressive methods to advance their agenda and influence decision makers in Congress and the Administration ? what is the difference? I explained that these groups are working on an all-American platform, claiming to represent and defend the interests of the American public and businesses. In the Israeli lobby case, it is Americans for Israel. They fight and pressure not for the good of the American nation, but for that of a foreign country. They even dare to say it loud and clear, like former House Majority Leader Dick Armey who pronounced in September 2002: "My No. 1 priority in foreign policy is to protect Israel." (Not America!)

This Christian Zionist congressman and chief author of the Republican Contract with America, who called in May 2004 for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, is not alone. According to the Harvard study, the lobby also includes prominent Christian evangelicals like Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson, as well as Tom DeLay, former majority leader in the House of Representatives and Trent Lott, Senate minority leader. All of whom believe Israel's rebirth is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and support its expansionist agenda; to do otherwise, they believe, would be contrary to God's will. Neo-conservative gentiles such as John Bolton; Robert Bartley, the former Wall Street Journal editor; William Bennett, the former secretary of education; Jeane Kirkpatrick, the former UN ambassador; and the influential columnist George Will are also steadfast supporters. Other Jewish senators and congressmen work to ensure that US foreign policy supports Israel's interests.

You can't argue with success. For decades, the centerpiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history.

According to the Harvard study, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing that given to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance since 1976, and is the largest recipient in total since World War II, to the tune of well over $140 billion (in 2004 dollars). Israel receives about $3 billion in direct assistance each year, roughly one-fifth of the US foreign aid budget, and worth about $500 a year for every Israeli. This largesse is especially striking since Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a budget surplus and a per capita income roughly equal to that of South Korea or Spain.

Since 1982, the US has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel. It blocks the efforts of Arab states to put Israel's nuclear arsenal on the International Atomic Energy Agency's agenda. The US consistently supported the Israeli position in every peace negotiation. An American participant at Camp David in 2000 later said: "Far too often, we Israel's lawyer." Finally, the Bush Administration's ambition to transform the Middle East is at least partly aimed at improving Israel's strategic situation.

Israel knows it could rely on the lobby and its friends in the American power structure. They never fail it even if it means sacrificing their own country's best interests. Whatever Israel wants Israel gets.

That is why Israeli former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Oct. 3, 2001 said to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio, "Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that...I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

I wonder what type of Americans know this and accept it. I am pretty sure it is not the American public.
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Re:History of British-Israelism in the Revival Centres

Date Posted:06/06/2008 2:35 PMCopy HTML

Try reading the book by Paul Longfield (Lloyd's eldest & excommunicated son) re the British Israel theory, short simple easy reading to debunk the belief he had also been nurtured in for many years. 07 3209 6512.
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