Your books have helped my thinking a great deal and I have since read some of the books you recommend e.g "Golden bough" by James Frazer. "Whose word is it" by Ehrman, "The Jesus puzzle" by Earl Docherty- all show amazing intellect. In "The Jesus Mysteries" notes to p237, I stumbled across the quote from Acts 7v22 "Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" .I believe this is The China Syndrome for the Bible. What wisdom did the Egyptians have pre1200 BCE? Well they had mostly good laws as reflected in The Negative Confession, they practiced circumcision, they viewed pork as unclean, they had ideas of afterlife, heaven/hell and a god of judgment in Osiris, they had ideas of monotheism as introduced by Akhenaten who also rejected the Osirs judgment. So if Moses learned all these ideas from the Egyptians as Acts 7v22 insists then what was the story of Moses going up Mt Sinai to meet God all about?
You will note that these ideas were accepted by Moses. The person who put these words in Stephens mouth has made him confess that the Bible is false. He has destroyed the O.T. story that the N.T. claims for credence. Also in Acts7v38 Stephen says it was "an angel" who spoke to Moses up Mt Sinai, not God. Further more where did the Egyptians get their wisdom? I think they would claim it was inspired by their Gods Ptah, Amen, Thoth, Re etc So you could easily say Stephen is saying that Moses followed the teachings of the Egyptian gods and an angel on Mt Sinai confirmed his decision. Further more the O.T. is constantly calling the other gods evil. Did it really just mean competing? After all, as seen from the Ugaritic texts the Canaanites thought Yahweh and Baal were brothers; sons of El. Maybe Yahweh was jealous of his Egyptian cousins?
Maybe it is the O.T which is correct? Rabbis would wisely and politely point out that christianity isn't supported by the Hebrew bible and that Jesus doesn't fit the criteria of their Messiah. Maybe we should have valued their view? Yet clearly Moses idea that his laws would make the Hebrews different from their neighbours was mistaken as the Egyptians had just as good laws and similar cultural practices. The writer of Acts has made a fatal flaw by writing Acts 7v22; the achilles heel of the Bible? Just shows what happens if you don't do your history homework!
I believe that religions have emerged out of previous religions which originally evolved from primitive superstitions. The old god hypothesis where god created man is false, the truth is man created the gods. They are a figment of mans imagination. With this view the Bible is easily understood.
Thanks again , regards Alex