Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The Atomic Theory of Moses
"And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds." -- Acts 7:22
"And that the people of Colchos, in Pontius, and the Jews lying between Arabia and Syria, were colonies out of Egypt; and that therefore it is an antient custom among these nations, to circumcise all their male children after the rites and customs received from the Egyptians." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"... and, to prove that they were originally Egyptians, they bring this argument, that they are circumcised after the manner of the Egyptians, which custom continued to this colony as it did among the Jews." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"After the antient way of living in Egypt, which was, (according to their own stories), in the reigns of the gods and demigods; they say that Mnevis, a man of an heroic sprit, and famous in his generation for a commendable life, was the first that instituted written laws, feigning that he had received them from Mercury, and that from them would accrue great benefit and advantage to the public." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"For it is reported, that among the Aramaspi, Zathrautes pretended he received his laws from a good genius; and that Zamolxis, amongst the people called the Getes, patronised his by Vesta; and among the Jews, that Moses alleged the god called Jao, to be the author of his." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"Eupolemus in his book Concerning the Jews of Assyria says that the city Babylon was first founded by those who escaped from the Deluge; and that they were giants, and built the tower renowned in history. But when this had been overthrown by the act of God, the giants were dispersed over the whole earth. And in the tenth generation, he says, in Camarina a city of Babylonia, which some call the city Uria (and which is by interpretation the city of the Chaldees), in the thirteenth generation Abraham was born, who surpassed all men in nobility and wisdom, who was also the inventor of astronomy and the Chaldaic art, and pleased God well by his zeal towards religion. By reason of God's commands this man came and dwelt in Phoenicia, and pleased their king by teaching the Phoenicians the changes of the sun and moon and all things of that kind. And afterwards the Armenians invaded the Phoenicians; and when they had been victorious, and had taken his nephew prisoner, Abraham came to the rescue with his servants, and prevailed over the captors, and made prisoners of the wives and children of the enemy. And when there came to him ambassadors asking that he would ransom them for money, he did not choose to trample upon the unfortunate, but on receiving food for his young men restored the booty; he was also admitted as a guest into the temple of the city called Argarizin, which being interpreted is 'Mount of the Most High,' and received gifts from Melchizedek, who was the king, and the priest of God. But when there came a famine Abraham removed into Egypt with all his household, and dwelt there, and the king of Egypt took his wife in marriage, Abraham having said that she was his sister. He also related fully that the king was unable to consort with her, and that it came to pass that his people and his household were perishing. And when he had called for the soothsayers, they said that the woman was not a widow; and thus the king of Egypt learned that she was Abraham's wife, and gave her back to her husband. And Abraham dwelt with the Egyptian priests in Heliopolis and taught them many things; and it was he who introduced astronomy and the other sciences to them, saying that the Babylonians and himself had found these things out, but tracing back the first discovery to Enoch, and saying that he, and not the Egyptians, had first invented astrology. For the Babylonians say that the first man was Belus, who is Kronos; and that of him was born a son Belus, and Chanaan; and that this Chanaan begat the father of the Phoenicians, and that his son was Churn, who is called by the Greeks Asbolus, and is father of the Aethiopians, and a brother of Mestraim the father of the Egyptians. But the Greeks say that Atlas invented astrology, and that Atlas is the same as Enoch: and that Enoch had a son Methuselah, who learned all things through angels of God, and thus we gained our knowledge." -- Lucius C. Alexander Polyhistor, historian, Concerning the Jews, Quoted in Eusebius Preparations for the Gospel Book IX Chapter XVII, 1st century B.C.
"Artapanus in his Jewish History says that the Jews were called Ermiuth, which when interpreted after the Greek language means Judaeans, and that they were called Hebrews from Abraham. And he, they say, came with all his household into Egypt, to Pharethothes the king of the Egyptians, and taught him astrology; and after remaining there twenty years, removed back again into the regions of Syria: but that many of those who had come with him remained in Egypt because of the prosperity of the country. In certain anonymous works, however, we found that Abraham traced back his origin to the giants, and that they dwelling in Babylonia were destroyed by the gods for their impiety; but that one of them, named Belus, escaped death and settled in Babylon, and lived in a tower which he had built, and which was called Belus from the Belus who built it: and that Abraham having been instructed in the science of astrology came first into Phoenicia, and taught astrology to the Phoenicians, and afterwards passed on into Egypt." -- Lucius C. Alexander Polyhistor, historian, Concerning the Jews, Quoted in Eusebius Preparations for the Gospel Book IX Chapter XVIII, 1st century B.C.
"But Eupolemus says that the first wise man was Moses, and that he was the first to teach the Jews letters, and from the Jews the Phoenicians received them, and from the Phoenicians the Greeks, and that Moses was the first to give written laws to the Jews." -- Lucius C. Alexander Polyhistor, historian, Concerning the Jews, Quoted In Eusebius Preparations for the Gospel Book IX Chapter XXVI, 1st century B.C.
"And Artapanus says, in his book Concerning the Jews, that after the death of Abraham, and of his son Mempsasthenoth, and likewise of the king of Egypt, his son Palmanothes succeeded to the sovereignty. This king behaved badly to the Jews; and first he built Kessa, and founded the temple therein, and then built the temple in Heliopolis. He begat a daughter Merris, whom he betrothed to a certain Chenephres, king of the regions above Memphis (for there were at that time many kings in Egypt); and she being barren took a supposititious child from one of the Jews, and called him Mouses (Moses): but by the Greeks he was called, when grown to manhood, Musaeus. And this Moses, they said, was the teacher of Orpheus; and when grown up he taught mankind many useful things. For he was the inventor of ships, and machines for laying stones, and Egyptian arms, and engines for drawing water and for war, and invented philosophy. Further he divided the State into thirty-six Nomes, and appointed the god to be worshipped by each Nome, and the sacred writing for the priests, and their gods were cats, and dogs, and ibises: he also apportioned an especial district for the priests. All these things he did for the sake of keeping the sovereignty firm and safe for Chenephres. For previously the multitudes, being under no order, now expelled and now set up kings, often the same persons, but sometimes others. For these reasons then Moses was beloved by the multitudes, and being deemed by the priests worthy to be honoured like a god, was named Hermes, because of his interpretation of the Hieroglyphics. But when Chenephres perceived the excellence of Moses he envied him, and sought to slay him on some plausible pretext. And so when the Aethiopians invaded Egypt, Chenephres supposed that he had found a convenient opportunity, and sent Moses in command of a force against them, and enrolled the body of husbandmen for him, supposing that through the weakness of his troops he would easily be destroyed by the enemy. But Moses with about a hundred thousand of the husbandmen came to the so-called Nome of Hermopolis, and there encamped; and sent generals to pre-occupy the country, who gained remarkable successes in their battles. He adds that the people of Heliopolis say that this war went on for ten years. So Moses, because of the greatness of his army, built a city in this place, and therein consecrated the ibis, because this bird kills the animals that are noxious to man. And he called it Hermes' city. Thus then the Aethiopians, though they were enemies, became so fond of Moses, that they even learned from him the custom of circumcision: and not they only, but also all the priests." -- Lucius C. Alexander Polyhistor, historian, Concerning the Jews, Quoted in Eusebius Preparations for the Gospel Book IX Chapter XXVII, 1st century B.C.
" ... if one must believe Poseidonius, the ancient dogma about atoms originated with Mochus, a Sidonian, born before the Trojan times. However, let us dismiss things ancient." -- Strabo, geographer, The Geography, Book XVI, 7
"Moses, namely, was one of the Aegyptian priests, and held a part of Lower Aegypt, as it is called, but he went away from there to Judaea, since he was displeased with the state of affairs there, and was accompanied by many people who worshipped the Divine Being. For he says, and taught, that the Aegyptians were mistaken in representing the Divine Being by the images of beasts and cattle, as were also the Libyans; and that the Greeks were also wrong in modelling gods in human form; for, according to him, God is this one thing alone that encompasses us all and encompasses land and sea — the thing which we call heaven, or universe, or the nature of all that exists. What man, then, if he has sense, could be bold enough to fabricate an image of God resembling any creature amongst us? Nay, people should leave off all image-carving, and, setting apart a sacred precinct and a worthy sanctuary, should worship God without an image...." -- Strabo, geographer, The Geography, Book XVI, 7
"Now I have for witnesses to what I have said, all those that have written antiquities, both among the Greeks and Barbarians: for even Manetho, who wrote the Egyptian history, and Berossus who collected the Chaldean monuments, and Mochus and Hestiaeus, and besides these Hieronymus the Egyptian, and those that composed the Phenician history, agree to what I here say." -- T. Flavius Josephus, historian, Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, Chapter III, 1st century
"I will begin, then, with our first prophet and lawgiver, Moses; first explaining the times in which he lived, on authorities which among you are worthy of all credit. For I do not propose to prove these things only from our own divine histories, which as yet you are unwilling to credit on account of the inveterate error of your forefathers, but also from your own histories, and such, too, as have no reference to our worship, that you may know that, of all your teachers, whether sages, poets, historians, philosophers, or lawgivers, by far the oldest, as the Greek histories show us, was Moses, who was our first religious teacher. For in the times of Ogyges and Inachus, whom some of your poets suppose to have been earth-born, Moses is mentioned as the leader and ruler of the Jewish nation. For in this way he is mentioned both by Polemon in the first book of his Hellenics, and by Apion son of Posidonius in his book against the Jews, and in the fourth book of his history, where he says that during the reign of Inachus over Argos the Jews revolted from Amasis king of the Egyptians, and that Moses led them. And Ptolemæus the Mendesian, in relating the history of Egypt, concurs in all this. And those who write the Athenian history, Hellanicus and Philochorus (the author of The Attic History), Castor and Thallus and Alexander Polyhistor, and also the very well informed writers on Jewish affairs, Philo and Josephus, have mentioned Moses as a very ancient and time-honoured prince of the Jews. Josephus, certainly, desiring to signify even by the title of his work the antiquity and age of the history, wrote thus at the commencement of the history: 'The Jewish antiquities of Flavius Josephus,'—signifying the oldness of the history by the word 'antiquities.'" -- Justin Martyr, theologian, Hortatory Address to the Greeks, Chapter IX, 2nd century
"Numa [Pompilius] the king of the Romans was a Pythagorean, and aided by the precepts of Moses, prohibited from making an image of God in human form, and of the shape of a living creature. Accordingly, during the first hundred and seventy years, though building temples, they made no cast or graven image. For Numa secretly showed them that the Best of Beings could not be apprehended except by the mind alone. Thus philosophy, a thing of the highest utility, flourished in antiquity among the barbarians, shedding its light over the nations. And afterwards it came to Greece. First in its ranks were the prophets of the Egyptians; and the Chaldeans among the Assyrians; and the Druids among the Gauls; and the Samanaeans among the Bactrians; and the philosophers of the Celts; and the Magi of the Persians, who foretold the Saviour's birth, and came into the land of Judaea guided by a star. The Indian gymnosophists are also in the number, and the other barbarian philosophers. And of these there are two classes, some of them called Sarmanae, and others Brahmins." -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XV, 2nd century
"And Aristobulus, in his first book addressed to Philometor, writes in these words: 'And Plato followed the laws given to us, and had manifestly studied all that is said in them.' And before Demetrius there had been translated by another, previous to the dominion of Alexander and of the Persians, the account of the departure of our countrymen the Hebrews from Egypt, and the fame of all that happened to them, and their taking possession of the land, and the account of the whole code of laws; so that it is perfectly clear that the above-mentioned philosopher [Plato] derived a great deal from this source, for he was very learned, as also Pythagoras, who transferred many things from our books to his own system of doctrines. And Numenius, the Pythagorean philosopher, expressly writes: 'For what is Plato, but Moses speaking in Attic Greek?' This Moses was a theologian and prophet, and as some say, an interpreter of sacred laws. His family, his deeds, and life, are related by the Scriptures themselves, which are worthy of all credit ...." -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XXII, 2nd century
"Having reached the proper age, he [Moses] was taught arithmetic, geometry, poetry, harmony, and besides, medicine and music, by those that excelled in these arts among the Egyptians; and besides, the philosophy which is conveyed by symbols, which they point out in the hieroglyphical inscriptions. The rest of the usual course of instruction, Greeks taught him in Egypt as a royal child, as Philo says in his life of Moses. He learned, besides, the literature of the Egyptians, and the knowledge of the heavenly bodies from the Chaldeans and the Egyptians; whence in the Acts he is said 'to have been instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.' And Eupolemus, in his book On the Kings in Judea, says that 'Moses was the first wise man, and the first that imparted grammar to the Jews, that the Phoenicians received it from the Jews, and the Greeks from the Phoenicians.' And betaking himself to their philosophy, he increased his wisdom, being ardently attached to the training received from his kindred and ancestors...." -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XXIII, 2nd century
"Of all these, by far the oldest is the Jewish race; and that their philosophy committed to writing has the precedence of philosophy among the Greeks, the Pythagorean Philo shows at large; and, besides him, Aristobulus the Peripatetic, and several others, not to waste time, in going over them by name. Very clearly the author Megasthenes, the contemporary of Seleucus Nicanor, writes as follows in the third of his books, On Indian Affairs: 'All that was said about nature by the ancients is said also by those who philosophise beyond Greece: some things by the Brahmins among the Indians, and others by those called Jews in Syria.'" -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XXV, 2nd century
"But now it seems proper for me to demonstrate that our philosophy is older than the systems of the Greeks. Moses and Homer shall be our limits, each of them being of great antiquity; the one being the oldest of poets and historians, and the other the founder of all barbarian wisdom." -- Tatian, theologian, Address to the Greeks, Chapter XXXI, 2nd century
"After the Chaldeans, the testimony of the Phœnicians is as follows. There were among them three men, Theodotus, Hypsicrates, and Mochus; Chaitus translated their books into Greek, and also composed with exactness the lives of the philosophers. " -- Tatian, theologian, Address to the Greeks, Chapter XXXVII, 2nd century
"Therefore, from what has been said it is evident that Moses was older than the ancient heroes, wars, and demons. And we ought rather to believe him, who stands before them in point of age, than the Greeks, who, without being aware of it, drew his doctrines [as] from a fountain." -- Tatian, theologian, Address to the Greeks, Chapter XL, 2nd century
"Next there was brought in a flat pudding made of milk, meal-cakes, and honey; the Romans call it libum. And Cynulcus said: 'Stuff yourself, Ulpian, with your native chthorodlapsum, a word, as Demeter is my witness, which is not recorded in any ancient writer, unless it be the historians of Phoenicia, your compatriots Sanchuniathon and Mochos.'" -- Athenaeus, historian, The Dinner Sophists, 2nd century
"But when one has spoken upon this point, and sealed it by the testimonies of Plato, it will be necessary to go back and connect it with the precepts of Pythagoras, and to appeal to the nations of good repute, bringing forward their rites and doctrines, and their institutions which are formed in agreement with those of Plato, all that the Brachmans, and Jews, and Magi, and Egyptians arranged." -- Numenius, philosopher, On the Good, Book I, Quoted in Eusebius Book IX Chapter VII, 2nd century
"Some say that the study of philosophy originated with the barbarians. In that among the Persians there existed the Magi, and among the Babylonians or Assyrians the Chaldaei, among the Indians the Gymnosophistae, and among the Celts and Gauls men who were called Druids and Semnothei, as Aristotle relates in his book on Magic, and Sotion in the twenty-third book of his Succession of Philosophers. Besides those men there were the Phoenician Ochus ...." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Lives and Opinions of the Eminent Philosophers, Introduction, 3rd century
"For Musaeus was born among the Athenians, and Linus among the Thebans; and they say that the former, who was the son of Eumolpus, was the first person who taught the system of the genealogy of the gods, and who invented the spheres; and that he taught that all things originated in one thing, and when dissolved returned to that same thing; and that he died at Phalerum, and that this epitaph was inscribed on his tomb: 'Phalerum's soil beneath this tomb contains Musaeus dead, Eumolpus' darling son.' And it is from the father of Musaeus that the family called Eumolpidae among the Athenians derive their name. They say too that Linus was the son of Mercury and the Muse Urania; and that he invented a system of Cosmogony, and of the motions of the sun and moon, and of the generation of animals and fruits; and the following is the beginning of his poem, 'There was a time when all the present world Uprose at once.' From which Anaxagoras derived his theory, when he said that all things had been produced at the same time, and that then intellect had come and arranged them all in order." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Lives and Opinions of the Eminent Philosophers, Introduction, 3rd century
"Enjoying such advantages, therefore, he [Pythagoras] sailed to Sidon, which he knew to be his native country, and because it was on his way to Egypt. In Phoenicia he conversed with the prophets who were the descendants of Moschus the physiologist, and with many others, as well as with the local hierephants. He was also initiated into all the mysteries of Byblus and Tyre, and in the sacred functions performed in many parts of Syria. He was led to all this not from any hankering after superstition as might easily be supposed, but rather from a desire of and love for contemplation, and from an anxiety to miss nothing of the mysteries of the divinities which deserved to be learned. After gaining all he could from the Phoenician mysteries, he found that they had originated from the sacred rites of Egypt, forming as it were an Egyptian colony." -- Iamblichus, philosopher, Life of Pythagoras, 3rd century
"I must express my surprise that Celsus should class the Odrysians, and Samothracians, and Eleusinians, and Hyperboreans among the most ancient and learned nations, and should not deem the Jews worthy of a place among such, either for their learning or their antiquity, although there are many treatises in circulation among the Egyptians, and Phoenicians, and Greeks, which testify to their existence as an ancient people, but which I have considered it unnecessary to quote. For any one who chooses may read what Florins Josephus has recorded in his two books, On the Antiquity, of the Jews, where he brings together a great collection of writers, who bear witness to the antiquity of the Jewish people; and there exists the Discourse to the Greeks of Tatian the younger, in which with very great learning he enumerates those historians who have treated of the antiquity of the Jewish nation and of Moses. It seems, then, to be not from a love of truth, but from a spirit of hatred, that Celsus makes these statements, his object being to asperse the origin of Christianity, which is connected with Judaism. Nay, he styles the Galactophagi of Homer, and the Druids of the Gauls, and the Getae, most learned and ancient tribes, on account of the resemblance between their traditions and those of the Jews, although I know not whether any of their histories survive; but the Hebrews alone, as far as in him lies, he deprives of the honour both of antiquity and learning. And again, when making a list of ancient and learned men who have conferred benefits upon their contemporaries (by their deeds), and upon posterity by their writings, he excluded Moses from the number; while of Linus, to whom Celsus assigns a foremost place in his list, there exists neither laws nor discourses which produced a change for the better among any tribes; whereas a whole nation, dispersed throughout the entire world, obey the laws of Moses. Consider, then, whether it is not from open malevolence that he has expelled Moses from his catalogue of learned men, while asserting that Linus, and Musaeus, and Orpheus, and Pherecydes, and the Persian Zoroaster, and Pythagoras, discussed these topics, and that their opinions were deposited in books, and have thus been preserved down to the present time...." -- Origen, theologian, Against Celsus, Chapter XVI, 248
"And yet, against his will, Celsus is entangled into testifying that the world is comparatively modern, and not yet ten thousand years old, when he says that the Greeks consider those things as ancient, because, owing to the deluges and conflagrations, they have not beheld or received any memorials of older events. But let Celsus have, as his authorities for the myth regarding the conflagrations and inundations, those persons who, in his opinion, are the most learned of the Egyptians, traces of whose wisdom are to be found in the worship of irrational animals, and in arguments which prove that such a worship of God is in conformity with reason, and of a secret and mysterious character. The Egyptians, then, when they boastfully give their own account of the divinity of animals, are to be considered wise; but if any Jew, who has signified his adherence to the law and the lawgiver, refer everything to the Creator of the universe, and the only God, he is, in the opinion of Celsus and those like him, deemed inferior to him who degrades the Divinity not only to the level of rational and mortal animals, but even to that of irrational also!--a view which goes far beyond the mythical doctrine of transmigration, according to which the soul falls down from the summit of heaven, and enters into the body of brute beasts, both tame and savage! And if the Egyptians related fables of this kind, they are believed to convey a philosophical meaning by their enigmas and mysteries; but if Moses compose and leave behind him histories and laws for an entire nation, they are to be considered as empty fables, the language of which admits of no allegorical meaning!" -- Origen, theologian, Against Celsus, Chapter XX, 248
"And the like Opinion has been by some of the Antients ascrib'd to the Phoenicians, from whom Thales himself is conceiv'd to have borrow'd it; as probably the Greeks did much of their Theologie, and, as I am apt to think, of their Philosophy too; since the Devising of the Atomical Hypothesis commonly ascrib'd to Lucippus and his Disciple Democritus is by Learned Men attributed to one Moschus a Phoenician. And possibly the Opinion is yet antienter than so; For 'tis known that the Phoenicians borrow'd most of their Learning from the Hebrews." -- Robert Boyle, chemist, The Sceptical Chymist, 1661
"... that Pythagoras was acquainted with the Mosaical or Jewish Philosophy, there is ample Testimony of it in Writers; as of Aristobulus, an Egyptian Jew in Clemens Alexandrinus ... St Ambrose adds, that he was a Jew himself. And though he gives no belief to the report yet that learned Antiquary Mr Selden seems inclinable enough to think it true in his first book De jure Naturali juxta Hebraeos ... Besides all these, Iamblichos also affirms that he lived at Sidon , his native country, where he fell acquainted with the Prophets, and successors of one Mochus the Physiologer ... Wherefore it is very plain that Pythagoras had his Philosophy from Moses." -- Henry More, philosopher, Appendix to the Defence of the Philosophick Cabbala, 1662
"Wherefore we have made it evident, that that very mechanical or atomical philosophy, that hath been lately restored by Cartesius and Gassendus, as to the main substance of it, was not only elder than Epicurus, but also than Plato and Aristotle, nay, than Democritus and Leucippus also, the commonly reputed fathers of it. And therefore we have no reason to discredit the report of Posidonius the Stoic, who, as Strabo tells us, affirmed this atomical philosophy to have been ancienter than the times of the Trojan war, and first to have been brought into Greece out of Phoenicia. ... And since it is certain from what we have shown, that neither Epicurus nor yet Democritus were the first inventors of this physiology, this testimony of Posidonius the Stoic ought in reason to be admitted by us. Now, what can be more probable than that this Moschus the Phoenician, that Posidonius speaks of, is the very same person with that Moschus the physiologer, that Jamblichus mentions in the Life of Pythagoras, where he affirms, that Pythagoras, living some time at Sidon in Phoenicia, conversed with the prophets that were the successors of Mochus the physiologer, and was instructed by them: ... 'He conversed with the prophets that were the successors of Mochus and other Phoenician priests.' And what can be more certain than that both Mochus and Moschus, the Phoenician and philosopher, was no other than Moses, the Jewish lawgiver, as Arverius [Johannes Arcerius] rightly guesses: ... 'It seems that it ought to be read Moschus, unless any had rather read it Mochus or Moses.' Wherefore according to the ancient tradition, Moschus or Moses the Phoenician being the first author of the atomical philosophy, it ought to be called neither Epicurean nor Democritical, but Moschical or Mosiacal." -- Ralph Cudworth, philosopher, The True Intellectual System of the Universe, Volume III, 1671
"That all matter consists of atoms was a very ancient opinion. This was the teaching of the multitude of philosophers who preceded Aristotle, namely Epicurus, Democritus, Ecphantus, Empedocles, Zenocrates, Heraclides, Asclepiades, Diodorus, Metrodorus of Chios, Pythagoras, and previous to these Moschus the Phoenician whom Strabo declares older than the Trojan war. For I think that same opinion obtained in that mystic philosophy which flowed down to the Greeks from Egypt and Phoenicia, since atoms are sometimes found designated by the mystics as monads." -- Isaac Newton, alchemist/mathematician, Portsmouth Manuscript, 1687
"During the late sixteenth century, the diffusion of works of Strabo, Sextus Empiricus, Diogenes Laertius, and Plutarch revived certain tradition about the origins of atomism, which, in turn, suggested a prisca doctrine to clothe it in respectability and reconcile it with orthodoxy. Relying on a now lost work of Posidonius, these authorities named a certain Moschus, a Phoenician, who lived before the Trojan war, as the first expositor of atomism. In 1598, [Johannes] Arcerius, a Friesian philologist, identified Moschus with Mochus, another Phoenician, whose successors Pythagoras (according to Iamblichus) had encountered and conversed with during a sojourn to Sidon. But Arcerius went much farther: he suggested that Moschus-Mochus was no other than Moses himself. It was a momentous identification which proved popular and influential through the seventeenth century. Many leading Protestant scholars lent their support to it. The great Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614) confirmed that Mochus was the Tyrian name for Moses. John Selden (1584-1654) accepted the identification. Gerardus Vossius (1577-1649) discussed Strabo's account of Moschus's natural philosophy." -- J.E. McGuire and P.M. Rattansi, historians, Newton and the Pipes of Pan, 1966
"... certain of these scientists, notably Isaac Newton, were shown to have borrowed a theory of origins of atomism from the Cambridge Platonist, Ralph Cudworth." -- Danton B. Sailor, historian, Newton's Debt to Cudworth, Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 49, Number 3, Pages 511-518, Jul-Sep 1988
"[Daniel] Sennert, [Robert] Boyle and [Isaac] Newton were among the many who thought that Moses had possessed a divine insight into the laws of nature. Atomism, in their view, did not owe its existence to the heathen and atheist Democritus, but to the prophet Moses." -- Helge Kragh, historian, An Introduction to the Historiography of Science, 1989
"Newton considered Moses to be a trained physicist. Moses knew about gravity and other natural forces, and Copernican astronomy. And he depicted the historical events of creation in the order they had occured. His only change was linguistic. Instead of reporting the events of creation in the technical language of a trained scientist, Moses deflated his depiction to make it comprehensible to uneducated people. He did not falsify his knowledge. By necessity, he simplified his report to improve the understanding of non-professionals. According to Newton, had Moses described these events in scientific terms, his narration would have been confusing and boring. And it would have amused his audience who would have viewed him more as a philosopher than as a prophet." -- Peter A. Redpath, philosopher, Masquerade of the Dream Walkers, 1998
"There's a tradition of scholarship that was very popular in the Renaissance called the prisca sapientia, the primal wisdom. It claimed that there was a secret wisdom that was first trasmitted by an archetypal figure--say, for example, Moses--and then passed down through the line of successors, usually including Pythagoras, Plato, and so forth, and that this wisdom was really the ultimate tool for understanding the universe. Newton clearly believed that." -- Bill Newman, historian, NOVA Interview, November 15th 2005
"... Moses might also have been identified with the figure of Mochus, who is frequently mentioned in Greek sources." -- G.H. Van Kooten, Moses/Musaeus/Mochos and his God Yahweh, Iao, and Sabaoth,
Seen from a Graeco-Roman Perspective, 2005