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As Thomas Paine pointed out in The Age of Reason, Alexander the Great was also claimed to have divine help in parting a sea.  In book 2 of Antiquity of the Jews, Jospehus says that the Sea of Pamphylia (now know as the gulf of Antalya in what is now southern Turkey) was parted for Alexander on his way to conquering Persia.  He cites four sources for this.  Strabo said it was good fortune, but Callisthenes, Arrian, and Appian specifically said that it was divine providence.  Callisthenes' account was said to be first hand, as he accompanied Alexander on this expedition, though it came to Jospehus second-hand through the writing of Eustathius who cited Callisthenes writings.


This is interesting for a couple reasons.  One, there is more evidence for the parting of the Pamphylian Sea than of the Red Sea.  Secondly, as Paine pointed out, if Christians are going to accept Josephus' account of Jesus as evidence for Jesus, they also must accept the account of the parting of the Pamphylian Sea for Alexander.  Alexander, of course, believed in the pagan Greek gods (and some historians have even speculated that he believed himself to be divine), so this presents a problem for Christians.  Of course, most will probably just ignore it or dismiss it. (see chapter 16, part 5)

Tags: Alexander, Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus, Moses, Pamphylia, Pamphylian, Red Sea

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The link provided is for Book 20, not Book 2.

Whilst Josephus did write that the Sea of Pamphylia "retired and afforded them [Alexander and his army] a passage through itself", he attributes it to the God of Israel, not the Greek gods. So, not a problem for Christians.
Note on Tags:

To avoid phrases dissecting into individual tag words, enclose the phrase in double-quote marks.
E.g., "sea of pamphylia", "red sea", moses, josephus,
Thanks. I fixed the link and tags. Tags work differently on some sites and I can never remember which site uses which format. I could have checked, but I didn't bother.
You make a valid point. However, I'd contend that the timeframe doesn't really matter if the sources are equivalent. Unless Josephus had first-hand testimony of someone who knew Jesus or witnessed his crucifixion, his account of Jesus is no more reliable than the second-hand account of Callisthenes through Eustathius.
I think anyone who has studied the origins of Abrahamic religions, even as superficially as I have, realizes most of it is borrowed or adapted from previous faiths.
That's true, although, in this case, the Abrahamic legend about Moses parting the Red Sea predates the legend of Alexander parting the Pamphylian Sea.


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