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Posted: 3/14/2002 8:06:20 AM EDT
[url]http://www.interfaith-scholars.org/removing_intro.html[/url] Absolutely incredible! An "interfaith" group of Christians and Jews has decided that the New Testament is hate literature and should be rewritten to prevent anti Jewish sentiments! a few short quotes: "I read every book I could find on the subject and, in time, the genesis of the atrocities became clear: the most potent factor fostering anti-Semitism has been and is the common understanding of the New Testament." "How long can Christianity continue to present passages in their official text and from the pulpit that create this hatred? No one denies that anti-Semitism is a Christian problem. It must be dealt with at its source - the New Testament, misunderstood and wrongly translated." "Every noble cause or achievement inherently calls for great leadership and effort. We invite you to contact bible publishers and bible societies to help them understand that using "Jew" as the enemy of Jesus represents a misguided, incorrect and ultimately harmful castigation of an entire people."
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:14:53 AM EDT
Is this anything like the "Jesus Seminar" where each year these "biblical scholars" deconstruct Christianity and try to refute each of Jesus' miracles? What a bunch of hogwash.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:19:03 AM EDT
Christians are the source/main problem of anti-Semitism? would some one please tell the Palestinians and the other people in countries surrounding Israel that they're in the wrong religion!!!!!!
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:22:49 AM EDT
That's ok, Hannah. Over the weekend, the New York Times had a story about how archaeology was proving that the Old Testament was mostly fiction, that little of it had really happened, and that what little did had mostly been hype to serve some petty ruler.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:24:46 AM EDT
I gave up a long time ago on so-called experts giving their opinions what the Bible says or doesn't say. You remember the 'Jesus Commission.' Those dim bulbs went through the New Testament to find the 'real Jesus.' They started throwing out anything that said Jesus was the Son of God, that He thought of Himself as the Son of God, that He ever said that He was the Son of God, that He ever did any miracles, that anyone ever said He did any miracles, that He ever said that He did any miracles, that He claimed that He would be killed and rise again, that anyone ever claimed that He died and rose again, that He said He would come again, that anyone ever said that He would come again, that He said He would judge the earth, that anyone ever said that He would judge the earth. What were they left with? Seven sayings of Christ that were so weak as to defy serious belief. 'I thirst' basically. And this is the Fellow who within a generation of His death was described by the Romans as a Man who had turned the World upside down. Why? Why would anyone follow such a 'Caspar Milquetoast' to their own deaths? Eric The(Believing)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:25:29 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:32:19 AM EDT
Post from 71-Hour_Achmed -
Over the weekend, the New York Times had a story about how archaeology was proving that the Old Testament was mostly fiction, that little of it had really happened, and that what little did had mostly been hype to serve some petty ruler.
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If the writers for the New York Times ever had the good sense to write of the past 50 years of US History [u]correctly[/u], then I might have more confidence about their views of events that happened thousands of years ago! But they blow the History of the Cold War so badly, which no longer has any significance, why would anyone trust them to correctly report history that might prove very important in their lives? Eric The(Historical)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:33:44 AM EDT
wow, and here all along i thought that the new testament was about jesus and stuff. what WAS i thinking? yet again liberals trying to rewrite history, like the hiroshima exhibit at the smithsonian.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:46:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2002 8:52:49 AM EDT by 71-Hour_Achmed]
Tee hee. I knew that would get Eric's goat. It'd actually be funny if he weren't screaming about how it was ok to murder Palestinians because the Jews had a 2000-year-old land deed that they happened to have lost. But Eric, it's not the NYT, it's the rabbis themselves who are admitting that the Old Testament is a bunch of tall tales. They even admit that the exodus (probably) never really happened. Here's the story. Amazingly, nobody else posted in between the segments.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:47:59 AM EDT
[url]http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nyt/20020309/en_nyt/as_rabbis_face_facts__bible_tales_are_wilting[/url] [b]As Rabbis Face Facts, Bible Tales Are Wilting[/b] [i]By MICHAEL MASSING The New York Times[/i] Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation. Such startling propositions the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years have gained wide acceptance among non- Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity until now. The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine document. "When I grew up in Brooklyn, congregants were not sophisticated about anything," said Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" and a co-editor of the new book. "Today, they are very sophisticated and well read about psychology, literature and history, but they are locked in a childish version of the Bible." "Etz Hayim," compiled by David Lieber of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, seeks to change that. It offers the standard Hebrew text, a parallel English translation (edited by Chaim Potok, best known as the author of "The Chosen"), a page-by-page exegesis, periodic commentaries on Jewish practice and, at the end, 41 essays by prominent rabbis and scholars on topics ranging from the Torah scroll and dietary laws to ecology and eschatology. These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology," by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh. Equally striking for many readers will be the essay "Biblical Archaeology," by Lee I. Levine, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "There is no reference in Egyptian sources to Israel's sojourn in that country," he writes, "and the evidence that does exist is negligible and indirect." The few indirect pieces of evidence, like the use of Egyptian names, he adds, "are far from adequate to corroborate the historicity of the biblical account."
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:49:19 AM EDT
Similarly ambiguous, Mr. Levine writes, is the evidence of the conquest and settlement of Canaan, the ancient name for the area including Israel. Excavations showing that Jericho was unwalled and uninhabited, he says, "clearly seem to contradict the violent and complete conquest portrayed in the Book of Joshua." What's more, he says, there is an "almost total absence of archaeological evidence" backing up the Bible's grand descriptions of the Jerusalem of David and Solomon. The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "litany of disillusion" about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel not one shard of pottery." The reaction to the rabbi's talk ranged from admiration at his courage to dismay at his timing to anger at his audacity. Reported in Jewish publications around the world, the sermon brought him a flood of letters accusing him of undermining the most fundamental teachings of Judaism. But he also received many messages of support. "I can't tell you how many rabbis called me, e- mailed me and wrote me, saying, `God bless you for saying what we all believe,' " Rabbi Wolpe said. He attributes the "explosion" set off by his sermon to "the reluctance of rabbis to say what they really believe." Before the introduction of "Etz Hayim," the Conservative movement relied on the Torah commentary of Joseph Hertz, the chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth. By 1936, when it was issued, the Hebrew Bible had come under intense scrutiny from scholars like Julius Wellhausen of Germany, who raised many questions about the text's authorship and accuracy. Hertz, working in an era of rampant anti-Semitism and of Christian efforts to demonstrate the inferiority of the "Old" Testament to the "New," dismissed all doubts about the integrity of the text. Maintaining that no people would have invented for themselves so "disgraceful" a past as that of being slaves in a foreign land, he wrote that "of all Oriental chronicles, it is only the Biblical annals that deserve the name of history." The Hertz approach had little competition until 1981, when the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the official arm of Reform Judaism, published its own Torah commentary. Edited by Rabbi Gunther Plaut, it took note of the growing body of archaeological and textual evidence that called the accuracy of the biblical account into question. The "tales" of Genesis, it flatly stated, were a mix of "myth, legend, distant memory and search for origins, bound together by the strands of a central theological concept." But Exodus, it insisted, belonged in "the realm of history." While there are scholars who consider the Exodus story to be "folk tales," the commentary observed, "this is a minority view."
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:50:23 AM EDT
Twenty years later, the weight of scholarly evidence questioning the Exodus narrative had become so great that the minority view had become the majority one. Not among Orthodox Jews, however. They continue to regard the Torah as the divine and immutable word of God. Their most widely used Torah commentary, known as the Stone Edition (1993), declares in its introduction "that every letter and word of the Torah was given to Moses by God." Lawrence Schiffman, a professor at New York University and an Orthodox Jew, said that "Etz Hayim" goes so far in accepting modern scholarship that, without realizing it, it ends up being in "nihilistic opposition" to what Conservative Jews stand for. He noted, however, that most of the questions about the Bible's accuracy had been tucked away discreetly in the back. "The average synagogue-goer is never going to look there," he said. Even some Conservative rabbis feel uncomfortable with the depth of the doubting. "I think the basic historicity of the text is valid and verifiable," said Susan Grossman, the rabbi of Beth Shalom Congregation in Columbia, Md., and a co-editor of "Etz Hayim." As for the mounting archaeological evidence suggesting the contrary, Rabbi Grossman said: "There's no evidence that it didn't happen. Most of the `evidence' is evidence from silence." "The real issue for me is the eternal truths that are in the text," she added. "How do we apply this hallowed text to the 21st century?" One way, she said, is to make it more relevant to women. Rabbi Grossman is one of many women who worked on "Etz Hayim," in an effort to temper the Bible's heavily patriarchal orientation and make the text more palatable to modern readers. For example, the passage in Genesis that describes how the aged Sarah laughed upon hearing God say that she would bear a son is traditionally interpreted as a laugh of incredulity. In its commentary, however, "Etz Hayim" suggests that her laughter "may not be a response to the far- fetched notion of pregnancy at an advanced age, but the laughter of delight at the prospect of two elderly people resuming marital intimacy." In a project of such complexity, there were inevitably many points of disagreement. But Rabbi Kushner says the only one that eluded resolution concerned Leviticus 18:22: "Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence." "We couldn't come to a formulation that we could all be comfortable with," the rabbi said. "Some people felt that homosexuality is wrong. We weren't prepared to embrace that as the Conservative position. But at the same time we couldn't say this is a mentality that has been disproved by contemporary biology, for not everyone was prepared to go along with that." Ultimately, the editors settled on an anodyne compromise, noting that the Torah's prohibitions on homosexual relations "have engendered considerable debate" and that Conservative synagogues should "welcome gay and lesbian congregants in all congregational activities." Since the fall, when "Etz Hayim" was issued, more than 100,000 copies have been sold. Eventually, it is expected to become the standard Bible in the nation's 760 Conservative synagogues. Mark S. Smith, a professor of Bible and Near Eastern Studies at New York University, noted that the Hertz commentary had lasted 65 years. "That's incredible," he said. "If `Etz Hayim' isn't around for 50 years or more, I'd be surprised."
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:50:56 AM EDT
Its longevity, however, may depend on the pace of archaeological discovery.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 9:24:36 AM EDT
You mean kind of like the U.S. Bill of Rights and Constitution are simply blueprints for civil unrest? Sheesh. But remember, it's the [i]New York Times[/i] here. Consider the source.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 9:32:25 AM EDT
Just remember, whomever is on top gets to rewrite the book and the only time that a revolution is justified is if you win. Pardon me, I was just whislin' Dixie.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 9:36:53 AM EDT
An "interfaith" group of Christians and Jews has decided that the New Testament is hate literature and should be rewritten to prevent anti Jewish sentiments!
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I guess it was anticipated... [i]Revelations 22 18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.[/i]
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 10:08:52 AM EDT
How in the world is the New Testament anti-Semitic? This group thinks that placing the New Testament in Japanese hotel rooms is making Japanese people hate Jews? They must be placing a different New Testament than the one I have, because it says a lot of things like the following: I Corinthians 12:13 "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink." Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Colossians 3:11 "Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." Or what Paul writes in Romans 11: "I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin...Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?"
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 10:16:52 AM EDT
I should add that I think the guy who wrote the article has some good points, but I think he should have placed his emphasis on the fact that people who want to be anti-Semitic intentionally twist the Scriptures to support their point. It's not as if someone reading the whole New Testament would ever come to the conclusion that they advocated anti-Semitism.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 10:18:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 10:22:43 AM EDT
From the NYT article -
For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology," by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, [u]it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers[/u].
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Gee, does the fact that the Garden of Eden is specifically identified as being bounded by four rivers, one of which is the [u]Euphrates[/u], not give Mr. Wexler or anyone else a clue that a great deal of Genesis occurred in Mesopotamia!
The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh.
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Or just as likely the Epic of Gilgamesh may have been borrowed from the Story of Noah! The story of Gilgamesh was still evolving by the time that the Hebrew Bible was already written! What revelations these men have for those who are ignorant of the Bible! Too bad they're just wrong as Hell about this and just about everything else! Eric The(NeverTrustATheologianToTellTheTruth!)Hun[­>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 10:25:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hannah_Reitsch: [url]http://www.interfaith-scholars.org/removing_intro.html[/url] Absolutely incredible! An "interfaith" group of Christians and Jews has decided that the New Testament is hate literature and should be rewritten to prevent anti Jewish sentiments! a few short quotes: "I read every book I could find on the subject and, in time, the genesis of the atrocities became clear: the most potent factor fostering anti-Semitism has been and is the common understanding of the New Testament." "How long can Christianity continue to present passages in their official text and from the pulpit that create this hatred? No one denies that anti-Semitism is a Christian problem. It must be dealt with at its source - the New Testament, misunderstood and wrongly translated." "Every noble cause or achievement inherently calls for great leadership and effort. We invite you to contact bible publishers and bible societies to help them understand that using "Jew" as the enemy of Jesus represents a misguided, incorrect and ultimately harmful castigation of an entire people."
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I am no more christian since long time ago. But having a father that is fervently christian and almost got a universitiy degree on Christian Philosophy, I know the New Testament quite well. I ask myself were the heck is the "hate"...
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 11:00:38 AM EDT
The Bible is a "story" written from someones interpritation and reworked over and over the milliniums to fit someone elses so why not again? Whats the big deal? How many religions have branched form the ORIGINAL Christian Orthodox religion?? Thats right...all of them ...the very first to branch off were the Cathilics...I too like what ARlady said....
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 11:21:45 AM EDT
The Talmud on the other hand is about the love and common brotherhood of all mankind... no changes necessary there... These "interfaith" things usually tend to be fairly one-sided. Reminds me a little of that "on the wings of eagles" appeal for the 400$ to fly indigent jews of the former Soviet Union to Israel, sponsered by the "International Fellowship of Christians and Jews," and shown on Christian TV, appealing to the often working class to donate as their christian duty. A jewish friend had once told me that the Israeli airline 'El Al' will fly jews from the same place to Israel for free if they are destitute. Strange. Eric: You can go here and order your Free Bless Israel Brochure and U.S./Israel Lapel Pin. And don't forget the special 1/2 price offer of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein's latest book: The Journey Home. [url]www.ifcj.org/index.asp[/url] "The response of our caring family to these suffering Jewish people has been a blessing and profound witness of Christian love for all the world to see! Your support as a new Fellowship friend is crucial each step of the way in this incredible, ongoing process."
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 11:32:36 AM EDT
Or just as likely the Epic of Gilgamesh may have been borrowed from the Story of Noah! The story of Gilgamesh was still evolving by the time that the Hebrew Bible was already written! Maybe you need a little more research on that one...the story of Gilgamesh was already in existance before the proto-jewish people learned to write.... And as for the article---pure hog-wash...were some stories borrowed? most likely there are a lot of similarities in early religions...but does this mean that one person or tribe had the only relvelation....possibly not. And as for the wholesale debunking of the Bible as an historical text? Do we need to stack up the archeologists who looked and found something desribed in the old Testament?
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 1:43:37 PM EDT
Hey Eric, the esscenne tradition refers to us as Children of G*d, like Son of G*d, I like that, I prefer that we are all G*d's children Not a put down to Christianity, as I do feel you are merely lost Jews, Give me a hug, brother!
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 2:09:25 PM EDT
Anything short of agreement is anti-semitism to some area of the various factions of jewish philosophy. It's a bit tiresome but understandable. Victimhood has had a good run for many groups. "Look at me, I am suffering, why do you ask me to change, ask them." I seriously doubt all this re-writing will add to the ranks of people of good will. [b]They[/b] didn't need it in the first place.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 2:09:47 PM EDT
Post from TheWind -
Hey Eric, the esscenne tradition refers to us as Children of G*d, like Son of G*d, I like that, I prefer that we are all G*d's children.
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Ah, yes, but the Sanhedrin knew what Jesus was getting at when they sentenced Him to die, not that we all are 'sons of G-d' but that He was holding Himself out to be [u]the[/u] 'Son of G-d.'
Not a put down to Christianity, as I do feel you are merely lost Jews, Give me a hug, brother!
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Yes, one of my favorite verses in the Old Testament is the concluding verse of the last Prophet, Malachi, who spoke in His name: [b]5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Malachi 4[/b] I have always believed that the prophet Elijah will come back to Earth to lead a final revival of the lost sheep of both the House of Israel (the fathers in Malachi's version) and the House of the Gentiles (the children). I know that you likely believe that Elijah [u]will[/u] return to prepare His people for that Day of Vengence of our G-d - why else would you be setting a place for him at your Seder meals every Passover? Jesus said, as well, that Elijah would be sent as a forerunner to the Messiah. As a matter of our beliefs, another 'Elijah' came to herald the advent of the Messiah at His first coming - John The Baptist. So shall it be at His second coming. This time, however, it will likely be Elijah himself. Eric The(Awaiting)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 3:05:30 PM EDT
Who are the Two Witnesses who will speak against the Anti-Christ in the Holy City and do great miracles shortly before they are martyred by the Anti-Christ? Whose bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem, unburied, while the nations rejoice in their deaths? And who will then ascend into Heaven in full view of the whole world and all of its peoples? Anyone? Eric The(Eschatological)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 3:41:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2002 3:44:58 PM EDT by BostonTeaParty]
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Who are the Two Witnesses who will speak against the Anti-Christ in the Holy City and do great miracles shortly before they are martyred by the Anti-Christ? Whose bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem, unburied, while the nations rejoice in their deaths? And who will then ascend into Heaven in full view of the whole world and all of its peoples? Anyone? Eric The(Eschatological)Hun[>]:)]
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John didn't say, really. What he was told was, "I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth." No names are given. However, since the men are to have the power to keep it from raining and the power to bring every kind of plague, some people say they are Elijah and Moses. ---- Edit to answer the second part of your question. The beast will overpower the two witnesses and kill them, and for three and a half days the world will gaze on them and refuse to bury their bodies. Then God will breathe life into them and take them up to heaven. A terrible earthquake will follow.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 4:03:47 PM EDT
Post from BostonTeaParty -
However, since the men are to have the power to keep it from raining and the power to bring every kind of plague, some people say they are Elijah and Moses.
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Makes sense to me, it also permits Elijah to fulfill the prophecy concerning his return to be the forerunner of the coming (again) Messiah. Anyway, that's how I read my Bible. Certainly, we don't know the names of the Two Witnesses, but it's not improper to guess at their identities. Eric The(Awaiting)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 5:20:31 PM EDT
i know this couldn't be considered hard evidence, and using it as such would be in actuality circular logic, but.... the Left Behind series of books suggest very strongly that the two witnesses will be Elijah and Moses. give the research that went into these books, it would make sense to me. and the authors did a pretty decent job of working the historical research into the fictional story.
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