Press Kit

Technical details:

The Covenant: On the Origin of the Abrahamic Faith, by means of deification
HISTORICAL ESSAY
By Bernard LAMBORELLE
Foreword by Prof. Alex ZIEBA, Ph.D.
6.0″ x 9.0″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
White on White paper
Paperback cover, 414 pages
ISBN-13: 9781975832995
ISBN-10: 197583299X

Relevance:

  • This book is original because it alleges that the Abrahamic Covenant had an earthly, rather than divine origin. This eventuality has never seriously been investigated, despite the fact that ancient Canaanites (Israelites) are known for practicing the cult of the ancestors and for worshiping a pagan deity called Baal Berith (“Lord of Covenant”).
  • This book is significant because it rests on a wealth of textual, archeological, chronological and dendrochronological (tree rings) evidence. The hypothesis it develops is surprisingly complete, coherent, and in line with the latest scientific discoveries. In addition, it solves the biblical chronologies and provides fresh answers to many puzzling questions.
  • This book is timely because it demythifies one of the key tenets of the monotheistic religions. By offering a scientific and historical perspective on the origin of the Abrahamic faith that is psychologically far more plausible than that offered by tradition, it could prove an effective tool to defuse fundamentalism and radicalization.à

 

Scholarly consensus:

The current scholarly consensus that Abraham must be a mythical figure was reached based on the following presuppositions:

  1. Abraham made a religious covenant with a divine being;
  2. Biblical chronologies don’t work;
  3. The narrative of Genesis 12-25 is filled with textual incoherencies;
  4. Most cultural references in the narrative applies equally well to the Bronze Age and the Persian period.

“The Covenant” shows how, by adopting the perspective of a secular covenant, it is possible to argue efficiently in favor of a historical without dismissing any of the known archaeological facts. It is only necessary to revisit our presuppositions (see http://earthlycovenant.com/wp/2017/11/20-minutes-that-will-change-your-mind-on-abraham/)

 

100 words research summary:

“The Covenant” shows how the Abrahamic faiths very likely originated from an earthly covenant made during the Bronze, instead of a religious experience with the divine. It argues that the early Israelites celebrated the cult of the ancestors, which was conducive to the deification of the Lord of Covenant (Baal Berith). It then shows how each time Israel was submitted to a new foreign power this deity underwent a visible transformation. As Canaan became a vassal of Egypt, a nation fond of compounded deities, it would have taken on the attributes of El, Baal and Astarte and morphed into a new super deity: Yahweh.

500 words research summary:

“The Covenant” takes readers back to the Bronze Age, some 3,500 years ago, at a time when men of power were viewed as living gods. Using a holistic, literal, and secular interpretation, this historical essay first demonstrates that the Abrahamic narrative (Ge 12-25) is far more coherent when considered from the standpoint of a mortal lord and the establishment of an earthly, rather than divine, covenant. Using biblical, historical and archeological evidence, it then shows how, through the Bronze Age nomadic practices of necromancy and the cult of the ancestors, the descendants of Abraham would have celebrated the memory of their benevolent lord, and how, through the “gift of the land” they would have adopted a sedentary lifestyle that would have led to the emergence of Baal Berith (“Lord of Covenant” in Hebrew), the enigmatic pagan deity of Shechem.

By studying the evolutionary stages of devotion through a comparative analysis of Near Eastern cultual practices, it shows how each time Israel was submitted to a new foreign power its exclusive deity underwent a visible transformation. Baal Berith would have first been venerated beside the Canaanite deities inherited from the Babylonian pantheon. As Canaan became a vassal of Egypt, a nation fond of compounded deities, Baal Berith would have taken on the attributes of El, Baal and Astarte and morphed into a new super deity: Yahweh. Initially venerated alongside the former pagan deities, theological and political struggles would have compelled the Israelites to monolatrism and the refutation of lesser Baals. It would finally be in the aftermath of the Babylonian exile, under Assyrian influence, that the religion of Yahweh would adopt its final ontological concepts. Modern monotheism would therefore be the result of this slow evolutionary process.

The quest to identify the Lord of the Covenant shows that the chronologies reported in the Bible can be surprisingly accurate, but only after the errors introduced by Nabonidus’ scribes while converting them from the Babylonian sexagesimal system are corrected. Using archeological, chronological and dendrochronological (i.e., tree rings) evidence, the lives of Abraham and king Hammurabi are correlated in order to show how the later could very well prove to be the mythical Lord of the Bible. In what is more than just a stream of coincidences, the long chain of biblical events line up with astonishing accuracy with the history of the region. The dates and events, people’s tradition and cultual practices, laws and structure of governance all come together to give this biblical story a rational interpretation. Common sense finally prevails in the meeting of myth and history.

Author’s biography:

Bernard LAMBORELLE is a secular humanist with an engineering degree from École de Technologie Supérieure. In 2003, a simple question triggered a lengthy and passionate investigation into the origin of the Abrahamic faith. He first published Quiproquo sur Dieu (ed. Editas) in2009, which received praises from a few, left many dubitative, and raised excellent questions that called for answers. This led him to sign up for a Master in Theology at Université de Montréal in 2011, where he studied biblical Hebrew, historico-critical methods and narrative analysis. Armed with this new academic background, he widened the scope of his analysis to develop a comprehensive evolutionary model on the origin of monotheism.

Images (click for a high-res):

1. Solving biblical chronologies by fixing sexagesimal conversions

Lamborelle’s research explains that biblical chronologies have traditionally been found to be incompatible with known historical markers because no one clued into the fact that dates had initially been recorded in the sexagesimal notation.  This diagram shows the effect of applying the 6/10 correction multiplier to biblical chronologies (demonstration in the book). The author suggests that the descendants of the Patriarchs became “slave” in Egypt while this country maintained Canaan in a state of servitude. The Exodus celebrates their liberation and corresponds perfectly to the Peace Treaty of the great battle of Kadesh.

2. Origin of the Abrahamic faith by means of deification

This diagram summarizes the various stages of evolution of the faith. From the “berith” (i.e. covenant) made with Abraham and the celebration of the Lord’s memory through the cult of the ancestors;  his elevation to the status of local divinity;  the evolution into a compounded deity; and finally under the Persian influence.

3. The author – Bernard Lamborelle

4. The Covenant (front cover)

5. The Covenant (back cover)

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