By Rolf Krauss, Ullstein, Munich 2000
This book is another example of the fact that we live in a time in which (almost) everything is being questioned and many ideas are wavering. From the past in particular, more and more "facts" that have been taken for granted up to now and that are found in every textbook are being questioned. The Grail World has reported about it from time to time.
The Bible also has to accept criticism, and the Old Testament - for many still the "Word of God" - is in the eyes of contemporary skeptics more of a collection of old legends that revolve around a very modest core of truth. Despite many books that try to prove the historical reliability of the Bible, it would therefore be insufficient as a historical source.
The existence of such an epoch-making personality like Moses has gotten into the crossfire of criticism through research, up to and including the statement that he did not even exist.
In the above-mentioned book this topic is discussed in detail, the ancient Egyptian sources are examined and the reliability of the biblical traditions is discussed.
As for Moses, he was - or rather his historical role model - a prince named Mase-saja, who had to flee towards Sinai after a dispute over the throne. Perhaps some Israelites joined him.
The conclusion of this book is shocking and will horrify some believers:
“Neither Moses nor any national savior was able to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt because the Israelites did not stay in Egypt for historical research. Neither Moses nor any national religious founder received the revelation on Mount Sinai, because the biblical religion did not come into being until centuries after it was supposedly founded by Moses. There was also no Joshua who conquered the Promised Land as the successor of Moses, because archeology does not know of any military conquests of the Israelites. A national-religious poet thought up these stories and wrote them to the prophet Moses. " (P. 330).
At a time of fierce confrontations in the “Holy Land”, in which fundamentalist Jews refer to the biblical promises in the struggle for the “Promised Land”, this is a very extreme statement that can take on political dimensions.
We, the editors of the Grail World, can neither decide to what extent the claims of the book "The Moses Riddle" apply, nor do we want to draw further conclusions from them. What remains is the statement that religion is and will remain a matter of personal experience and belief.
Attempts to prove religious truths with historical or other scientific methods have so far almost always failed and they will not replace inner experience in the future either.