Insight on the News
Exodus Waters a Tidal Wave?
● Egyptologist Dr. Hans Goedicke of Johns Hopkins University has set forth a new theory about the Biblical record of events at the Red Sea. He claims that the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt coincided with a 1477 B.C.E. volcanic eruption at Thera, an island 70 miles (113 km) north of Crete, and this supposedly produced a tidal wave that drowned the pursuing Egyptian forces.
However, the professor’s account differs considerably from the Bible, as noted in a letter to the editor of the New York “Times” from a professor of hydraulic engineering at New York’s Columbia University. He wrote: “Exodus (14:21) states that ‘the Lord swept the sea with a strong east wind throughout the night and so turned it into dry land.’ The sea retreated because there was what is called a wind set-down, a well-known phenomenon in shallow seas. . . . Since the only cause for the sea retreat is the wind, as soon as it stops, the sea will come back very rapidly, ‘to its normal depth,’ as stated by Exodus (14:27). The Bible is as clear on this point as a modern coastal engineering textbook.” Whether this precisely explains what occurred or not, we can be certain that divine intervention, rather than merely some sort of natural phenomenon, was involved on this occasion.—Ex. 15:8-10, 19.
“In God’s Name”
● “The world seems to have gone mad, and deep religious conviction—that should bind people together in love—seems often to be part of the madness and murder,” declared former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in a speech to a religious group. New York “Post” columnist Mike Royko, also troubled by religion’s deep involvement in violence, wrote a column entitled “The Violence Done in God’s Name,” putting the article in the form of a letter to God. Starting with the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, Royko wrote: “In their great love for you, they shoot at one another, bomb one another, set one another afire, kill little children, bystanders, cops, soldiers, old ladies and some are now committing suicide by starvation.”
After calling attention to other conflicts, between strongly religious groups in the Middle East, he finally notes that “somebody just shot the Pope. . . . A very peaceful, non-violent man, by the way, although his followers have been known to shed a few million gallons of blood when their tempers are up.”
In apparent agreement with the columnist’s sentiments, Britain’s Cardinal Hume, archbishop of Westminster, recently declared: “When I look around the world today and see nation against nation, class against class, race against race, Christian against Christian, and see the growing contrast between what Christ taught us to be and the way we work it out, I realize the modern world has to go back to first principles.” When church members in good standing violate those principles they show that they are not truly servants of God, but, rather, dupes of his enemy, Satan.—John 13:34, 35; 2 Cor. 11:14, 15.
Seven Thousand Insults
● A new Bible index, “The NIV Complete Concordance” has been published for the “New International Version.” The preface of the new concordance notes that in the NIV, as in a number of other translations, “the proper name of God, ‘Yahweh,’ is translated ‘LORD,’” using all capital letters, and that the Hebrew word for lord, “Adonai,” is also translated “Lord,” but with lowercase letters after the initial capital. Occurrences of the two words are listed separately in the concordance.
It is of interest that the listing under “Lord” (“Adonai”) has fewer than 1,000 entries, while the listing under “LORD” (“Yahweh”) has over 6,800 entries. If “Yahweh” admittedly is the “proper name of God,” the substituting of an impersonal “LORD” for that name nearly 7,000 times in his own book surely constitutes a monumental blasphemy, an “act of insulting . . . God.” (“Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary”) Would you not feel insulted if most of your professed friends refused to use your name and, instead, addressed you only as “man,” “woman,” “boy” or “girl”?—Ps. 83:16-18.