Ever so often I come across things in my former faith that make me scratch my head and wonder why I never asked about that before. Things like extinct species and Noah’s Ark, the idea that we’re all descended from one person, or the lack of non-Christian testaments to allegedly famous miracles in the New Testament. These problems are all over the place. I never was fully aware of them.
It’s taken some effort to piece together what that is.
Case in point: what language were the Ten Commandments written in? Originally, I had the impression that they were written in whatever writing the Hebrews used at the time. But there’s a problem. If Moses existed, it would have been some time before 3,000 years ago. The earliest known sources of Hebrew writing are only 2,800 years old. That writing isn’t the modern script attributed to Israeli language today. Rather, it was a predecessor script.
Additionally, biblical accounts put Moses with the pharaohs of Egypt. At best, any of his writing would have been in hieroglyphs. So, for him to understand the commandments as he’s presenting them to the Hebrews, it would have had to have been written in Egyptian hieroglyphs. In order for them to get passed on, someone would have had to learn hieroglyphs until the Hebrew script had been developed. There’s no evidence of Hebrews using hieroglyphs before they used their own writing.
I mention all of this to note that here are many problems to a narrative I had taken as true and in full. This happened because I never did any digging into the circumstances around the Ten Commandments story. They were out there, ready for me to look at, but I never had the urge to dig deeper.
Even if I did have that urge, I also had other things in place to stop me from looking. The two times I did feel like I had a crisis of faith, I kept them to myself. Feeling like my faith had diminished terrified me. Knowing that others might punish me or think less of me also terrified me. It was easier to come up with a quick solution and then stop asking questions.
Now I feel like I have to look at everything I missed.
The process isn’t pain free. I’m often reminded of how willfully blind I’d been. How do I trust myself knowing I used to believe that someone could come back from the dead after three days?
In this regard, I feel like I’m working to rehabilitate my sense of reality. I want to take a look at what I used to believe and deconstruct it. I can put together what I believed with what I should have known. It won’t get me all those years of my life back, and it certainly won’t undo the damage and hurt. But I think that it might help someone else with their problems.
That is, these questions are big because they are made to feel important to people of faith. When a person really deep down believes in this stuff, the nature of Nature and the fabric of reality are at stake. It seems so small the further away from it that I travel, but the memories of fear and panic are still there. I want to go through them in a way where people who have doubts are free to have them without being insulted, and to know that you’re not alone or stupid for having them.
Maybe if I’d known someone like that thirty years ago, I might have saved myself a world of trouble.