UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A [UFO?] mystery to conjure with between Christmas and the New Year

The September/October 2015 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review has a piece by John Byron (Professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary): “Paul, Jesus, and the Rolling Stone” – no, not the Mick Jagger group!

The article deals with an aside by Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:4 about Israel’s exodus from Egypt: “For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.”

Professor Byron wonders what that “spiritual rock” was as it is referenced in a first century C.E. document known as Pseudo-Philo’s Biblical antiquities:

“But as for his own people, he led them forth into the wilderness: Forty years did he rain bread from heaven for them, and he brought quails from the sea, and a well of water following them” (10.7). [Page 28, BAR]

Professor Byron notes the difference: a rock vs. a well but indicates “Both authors believed a movable water source followed Israel in the desert during their wanderings.” [ibid]

Professor Byron also notes that God twice provided water from a rock, miraculously, to Israel during that trek. (Exodus 17:1-7 and Numbers 20:1-14)
And Moses named both rocks as “Meribah” signifying that it was the same rock and was accompanying Israel on their journey. [Page 28]

And Professor cites a passage in Psalms (105:41) “He opened the rock and water gushed out; it went through the desert like a river” and the Professor writes, “The “it” here is ambiguous. Did the rock travel through the desert or the water?”
Professor Byron provides a “humorous version” of the water delivery: “And because it (the well) was given to them as a gift, it turned to ascend the high mountains with them and from the high mountains it descended with them to the valleys, going around the entire camp of Israel and giving them drink, each and everyone of them at the door of his tent.” (Targum Pseudo-Jonathan Numbers 21:19) [ibid]

To get back to the “rock” idea, Professor Byron adds [Page 66]:

“ … Exodus, Numbers and Psalm 105 all indicate that it was a rock, not a well, by which the Lord gave Israel water.”

Professor Byron offers other interpretations but it’s the rock interpretation that concerns me here…

What would a rock” be doing following Moses and the Israelites through the desert for forty years, providing “water” all that time?

Was the rock a UFO of some kind, an alien entity (as the AA crowd might have it), a procedure of God on Earth, or was it an AI artifact that sustained the Hebrews?

RR

8 Comments:

  • Playing with fire, Rich? AA vs. AI, now that's walking a narrow line.:)

    I'll play along in a few days. The AI angle is interesting...reminds me of a claim that someone brought up in the Unexplained Mysterious UFO forum that a probe launched from the vacinity of Aldebaran some milenia ago was orbiting the earth at a precise orbit. Interesting hypothesis, but fell apart in flames for me when the poster invoked literature from the Vril by Bulwer-Lytton and the Vril Society with Nazi myths thrown in for good measure. Methodology...methodology...

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Friday, December 25, 2015  

  • Ah, but Tim....

    Robot probes would explain much.

    And robot probes not controlled by "aliens" but are AI in essence would explain even more.

    (I think I may have eaten too much pumpkin pie this holiday.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, December 25, 2015  

  • Yes, I agree that robotic-type AI could explain UFOs...some UFOs. Yet, where are the artifacts? Something left either via a catastrophic failure or something else should have been lying in wait for archeologist to have discovered.

    (I love pumpkin pie with a healthy covering of whipped cream.)

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, December 26, 2015  

  • I believe the "rock" referenced is a metaphor for the pre-incarnet Christ who according to accurate Old Testiment Jewish interpretations was the "Angel of the Lord" who also accompanied Isreal in the desert on the way to the promised land. Christ is repeatedly connected to "water" for both cleansing of the spirit and eternal life. The pre-incarnet Christ aided the people in the desert so is likened to "water" once again but also literally in the provision of nurishment both physical and spiritual. Moses actually did strike a real rock also, so the two episodes can get twisted together.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Sunday, December 27, 2015  

  • Yes, Brian....
    \
    The Professor [Byron] elaborates on Paul's insertion that the rock/well was "Christ" but sets it aside as do I, since it's a Christian insert, after the fact that doesn't hold water (pun deliberate).

    Trying to insert Christ back into Old Testament [Hebrew Bible] accounts are. for me, theological leaps of a fraudulent kind.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, December 27, 2015  

  • "Was the rock a UFO of some kind, an alien entity (as the AA crowd might have it), a procedure of God on Earth, or was it an AI artifact that sustained the Hebrews?"

    Could a rock be merely a rock and nothing else?

    The construct of "rock" in Judaeo/Christian literature and thought had many meanings, as well as symbolism. Peter was the rock that Christ stated would be the foundation for the future...one can argue that Paul usurped Peter to some extent.

    But in this context rock is symbolic with a sturdy foundation.

    I've yet to check out the Old Testament references to Rock, hope to do so after work tonight, but maybe I'll be able to find symbolic meanings and references.

    More tomorrow...

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, December 27, 2015  

  • Yes, Tim, a rock could just be a rock (just as Freud's cigar could just be a cigar) but...

    this rock spewed water for 40 years, sustaining the Hebrews.....something more here, if we take the passages literally.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, December 27, 2015  

  • Divine Wisdom was typically referenced by the metaphor of water, or living water.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Tuesday, December 29, 2015  

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