Gods of the Bible | Graham Hancock talks with Mauro Biglino
are there other traces in the Bible of objects that might reasonably be interpreted as technology? we have the Ark, we have the Shamir, we have the kavod, anything else? We have the Ruach. That's the rising up? Yes. The flying. Yes, the ruach. So some sort of suggestion of a flying machine? Yes, yes, flying machine They are described clearly as flying machines Sorry- in the Bible? In the Bible. Give me an example.
For example in the Book of Ezekiel, and in the book of Exodus, the kavod of Yahweh is clearly described, that when Moses asked Yahweh for the possibility to see his kavod and Yahweh told him "you cannot stay in front of kavod because if you are in front of kavod you will die" and -this is important- Yahweh can not do anything, so God is impotent, not potent, in front of the danger of the kavod and this is very interesting- Yahweh tells Moses "you can hide behind these rocks" so the rocks can do what God cannot do right I absolutely get your point Impressive very much so So Mauro, a pleasure to meet you I've heard a lot about your work it's a pleasure for me and I thank you for having me here in your home. it's an honor you're welcome, very nice to meet you now fundamentally the issue at stake is translation the translation of the Bible so let's establish some things clearly when we talk about the Bible we're talking about the Old Testament? when we talked about the the Bible normally we talk about the Old Testament May I just interrupt there just to clarify- is the Old Testament identical in contents to the Torah? we have many versions of the Old Testament we have the Masoretic version of the Old Testament that is the official version we have the Old Testament of the Samaritans which contains 300 differences from the Masoretic Old Testament we have the Old Testament in the Dead Sea Scrolls that have, for example, only in the book of Isaiah 250 differences so we have many Old Testaments but the theologians say that the true Old Testament is the Masoretic version okay explain Masoretic to me Masoretic is a family, named also the School of Tiberias, that worked on their version of the Old Testament between the 6th and 9th century after Christ and they added the vowels because the Old Testament was written only by consonants so the people could read it however they wanted to They could insert whichever vowels they wished to- exactly. So the Masoretic School inserted the vowels to fix down the possible ways of reading the Old Testament and I translated this not because I think it's the best version, or the unique truth, but because the theologians say it is the truth this is the definitive version the definitive, yes. first of all with our friends I apologise for my English but I'm learning it since a few months, and so I hope to make you understand me you're certainly making making me understand so I still want to come to this point that the original book is the Torah yes and that's the name of the Hebrew Bible yes and if I take the Masoretic translation of the Torah it's identical in content? they contain the same books? not in all the translations right there are many differences which are often important and so when we are in front of this book, we have to take care with the context because the translation of a unique term is always uncertain it is uncertain even if all the scholars of the world say that "this is the translation" it is not certain they're using their authority okay, they use their authority because often they are dogmatic of course so we have to use the context to understand the real meaning of single terms like the the verb 'bara' which is present in the first verse of the Bible in Genesis so the term 'Shaddai', that doesn't mean "Almighty" but it means "lord of the mountains", "lord of the steppe" but in the Bible you always find the translation "Almighty" but they know it's not "Almighty" because for example in the Bible of Jerusalem in the notes they write that the translation "Almighty" is a mistake but since God must be in the Bible, and God must be Almighty, so they insert the term "Almighty" also they know that 'Shaddai' doesn't mean "Almighty" but to be clear in the original Hebrew, if somebody is a Hebrew speaker and understands Hebrew clearly, they will not read the word "Almighty"? no, exactly. They understand the real meaning so the problem is with the translation out of Hebrew into other languages exactly okay. What is your special qualification to translate and to comment on biblical texts?
I studied Hebrew with the Hebrew community of Turin. Later I started to translate What led you to start learning Hebrew? for my interest, for my personal passion Like you I wanted to understand the truth, because I know Latin, Greek, Ancient Hebrew and so I wanted to know what is really written in this so-called holy book and after I started to translate for myself, the Publishing House San Paulo, which is the main important Catholic Publishing House of the Vatican, saw my translation and then they asked me to translate for them I see and I translated 70 books of the Old Testament and they published them exactly as I translated them you were translating into Italian or into which language? into Italian yeah but when I was translating for them, for example the term Elohim was not translated It remained Elohim because in the world nobody knows the real meaning of the term Elohim so it is better not translated but to leave it as it is exactly so that's a transliteration that we're looking at yes in my contract they wrote that I must make a literal translation so terms such as Shaddai, and Elohim were not translated they were left as they were. interesting. so it's true to say then that you're an official Bible translator for the Vatican yes, for the publishing house San Paulo for the Vatican, yes and how is the relationship between you and the Vatican? when I started to explain to the public the real meanings and when in 2010 I started to write my first book about the literal translations of the Bible I was fired in one minute It's dynamite, a very explosive subject it's all finished so you had a temporary connection with the Vatican yes and that resulted in the translation of 70 books yes, after they published these 70 books with my name and they're still they're still in print? they now changed my name they made a revision of this book to insert another name and cancel my name and when the relationship finished they started again to translate Elohim with God but when I was working for them Elohim was not translated so do you think this is the essence of the problem then between you and the Vatican, the translation? oh yes a great problem, but in 2016 I organized a meeting with four of the main theologians in Italy one Catholic (all academics), an archbishop of the Orthodox Church, a Rabbi chief of the Hebrew community, and the most important biblical translator Protestant we met in front of 600 people they had to admit in front of these people that in the Bible there is no concept of creation from nothing there is not the concept of transcendence there is not the concept of spirituality there is not the concept of "Almighty" and so I was there and I thought to myself that they are saying what I say normally yeah let's dig deeper into this question of El and Elohim, and Yahweh or YHVH if I understand YHVH it's supposed to mean "I am that I am" or "I am what I am", is that incorrect? no, it's not it's not correct because nobody knows the real meaning of the tetragrammaton because when it was pronounced the Hebrew language did not exist so nobody knows in what language it was proncounced let me pause you there you're saying the Hebrew language did not exist and when it was pronounced, are we talking about to Moses? yes of course nobody can absolutely confirm that Moses was a real historical figure at all, but if he was then they would put the date at maybe 1200 BC? 1200, or in the opinion of other scholars, 500BC 5th Century BC, so much later, so there is some argument about when- yes but nobody is sure about this- ok but when did the Hebrew language come into existence? in that moment Aramaic was the international language, as with English now but we don't know in what language the so-called Yahweh spoke, but for example we do know that the vowels of Yahweh were inserted two thousand years after their first pronunciation so nobody knows so the real sound of this name if we accept the early date for Moses, 1200 BC, you're saying that the language that Moses spoke could not have been Hebrew no the language- could have been ancient Egyptian yes, perfect it could have been ancient Egyptian is it controversial to say that the Hebrew language did not exist in 1200 BC? in that time a form of language started to exist which is defined as a previous Hebrew, Old Hebrew Old Hebrew but it's not Hebrew because the Hebrew really started to exist as a dialect of Western Semitic only in the 10th Century before Christ right, so this entity called YHVW, or Yahweh, we don't know what language he spoke to Moses in then no we don't know but since Moses was reared in the household of the Pharaoh it's most likely to be in the ancient Egyptian language yes does that make sense? yes so later on, much later on, it is imposed into another language which is Hebrew yes and they don't use vowels at that time yes they don't use vowels so YHVH are all consonants and we don't know what the vowels are in between no we don't know we don't know. The vowels started to be written between the sixth and the ninth century after Christ right so that's when- sorry for the English no problem, so this is an interpretation in the Hebrew text that is put upon those consonants YHVH and generally it's interpreted as God. Now what about El and Elohim?
And how do they relate to Yahweh, or YHVW? El could be, but it's not sure, El could be the singular of Elohim, but it's not sure El and Elohim could be two independent terms and the singular of Elohim could be Eloah that corresponds to Allah in the Semitic-Oriental, Eastern Semitic I'm thinking of places in in Israel like Bethlehem, Bethel Bethel means the house of El- house of God, house of El which is often translated as the house of God yes but you're saying that there's no legitimacy to that translation? no absolutely not but, excuse me it's okay but I am sure of that not because I know of the real translation of the term El or Elohim but because nobody knows the translation, first and second if we read what is really written in the Bible everyone would understand that El and Elohim and Eloah doesn't mean God can't mean God! Can't mean and would would any modern day Hebrew speaker and Hebrew expert agree with you on that? yes so how do they- my manager is studying Hebrew with the University of Jerusalem and they hear from her teachers translations that are similar to mine and yet modern Judaism defines itself as a monotheistic faith which believes in one God, so where is that God in the Hebrew Bible? there are many Judaisms but there are many Christianities too, but they are they all share the view that there's- they're monotheistic religions as indeed is Islam; they would define themselves as monotheists yes, but there are many important Hebrew exegesis' that clearly state that El, Elohim, Eloah, and Yahweh, do not refer to the same person okay tell me what are the implications of that? what does that lead us to? what are your conclusions from that? that the Elohim were a superior civilization that divided the various population into kin-groups right. The populations of the whole earth, or just the Middle East? of the whole earth okay and Yahweh was in charge of the population named The Sons of Israel that is Jacob not the leader of all Hebrews, but only of the family of Jacob the other families of Hebrews like the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites ,etc were assigned to other Elohims that the Bible names clearly Dagon and Ashera I recognise as Canaanite, or so-called Philistine deities yes but they are present in the Bible they are referenced in the Bible, we hear that the Ark of the Covenant destroys Dagon in the city of Ashdod. They're present in the Bible for sure, but what are they defined as? What are they? Elohim. Always Elohim but the theologians say that those Elohim did not exist, and were only idols I understand Dagon and Ashera being referred to as idols, but the word Elohim is also, according to you, wrongly translated as the one God? yes it's a wrong translation so Elohim refers to a multiplicity of- yes to a multiplicity of gods certainly, yes absolutely I wanted to reduce the number of the Elohim present in the Bible. I reached the number of 23
right 23 yes but I reduced okay the number of Elohim present in the Bible, so there are no doubts how did you reduce it? by reading and translating the Bible and finding names which corresponded to the writings of the peoples that fought with the people of Israel but those peoples are of the same family of Abraham and in their scripts they named clearly the names of their Elohims and the name of their Elohims are present in the Bible, for example in the Book of Judges, Chemosh is named as the god of the Moabites there is a stone of the Moabites in which it's written that they fought with Israelites and they won and they won against the people of Yahweh and they were ruled by their Elohim so you're seeing these Elohim as some sort of- you're not jumping to conclusions about what they are, but you're saying they're not gods they are of a higher civilization that could survive the great flood okay we'll come to that, but so let's go with this idea that peoples from another civilization are advising or organizing peoples around the world so we have Israel, we have the the peoples of Israel, we're told that they're brought out of Egypt by Moses does Moses receive a Divine instruction or any instruction to take the people out of Egypt, and if so who gives that instruction? yes but in fact Moses asked that Elohim "who are you?" because he wanted to be sure with whom he was speaking okay because he didn't know I suppose the most controversial thing that you're saying really is that God, as we are taught to understand God- I don't know, personally speaking I'm not a Christian I don't belong to any of the mainstream religions I don't have strong religious views I have had experiences that I would describe as spiritual but I'm not a Christian but I have an idea of what Christians think God is and what Christians think God is is a man often with a beard who is the father of Jesus Christ somehow and is alone, he is one God and if I understand you correctly you're saying there's no basis for that in the Bible? in the Bible there is no basis, absolutely and that's the Old Testament of the Bible? Old Testament, absolutely, there is no basis for this construction of the image of the god like a person when do you think that image began to be constructed? in the Bible? yeah in the Bible in the time of the Exile at the time of the Ex- in Babylonia in Babylonia right because before that, they weren't conscious of the existence of many Elohims yes clearly in the Bible what I wonder is if this Elohim idea is correct, and that we have a organizational force which is organizing different cultures around the world what was going on between the ancient Egyptians and the early Hebrews at that time? Moses leads the children of Israel out of Egypt, we are told in the Bible, but Egypt seemed to carry on in its own way afterwards for at least another thousand years did they have an Elohim looking after them? The Egyptians had- What about Mesopotamia? had the Elohim - they didn't call them Elohim of course because it was another language but I think they were the same in Hebrew it was "Elohim" in Mesopotamia it was "ilu" or "ilanu" in Egypt it was another name yeah, but the same function yes the same function, the same characteristics- so to cut a long story short, do you interpret these entities as human beings or? yes you interpret them as human beings. so this is where there's a crossover with my work and your work, in the sense that I have advocated the possibility of a Lost Civilization of some sort, which originated during the Ice Age, and which was destroyed in the global cataclysms that brought the ice age to an end now it has for a long time seemed to me that the wisdom and knowledge of that civilization was not lost completely, but it was preserved, that there may have been specific groups of people who were charged with carrying that knowledge down into the world, so I can see the I can see the crossover with- it's absolutely possible that Elohim were those human beings with special knowledge yes of higher technology now the thing is that we have a very long gap- if we agree on the flood, which is a another question I want to ask you the biblical flood is of course the best known flood myth in the world everybody knows about the flood of Noah, whatever their religion is today everybody knows about the flood of Noah but not everybody is aware that there are maybe 1000 other stories that tell of a global flood and the cataclysm that afflicted the Earth and that caused great destruction and changed things completely and I've long been of the view that the most likely period for that cataclysm is the end of the Ice Age It's a time of tremendous Global changes and it's a particular period called the Younger Dryas, and it runs roughly for 1,200 years from 12,800 years ago to 11,600 years ago 11,600 years ago we get a final massive pulse of melt water which raises sea levels very, very rapidly it's one of the reasons why I'm interested in the story of Atlantis actually, because that that is the date- 11,600 years before our time, 9,000 years before the time of Solon is the date that Plato gives for the submergence of Atlantis so if these calculations are correct and we're looking at global cataclysm that had its final massive spasm of disaster 11,600 years ago, that's a long gap to the time of the Hebrews and the Exodus from Egypt, which is 1200 BC, 3,200 years ago so we have about 8,000 years gap now one of the things that my critics find hardest to accept is the idea that a wisdom tradition, that specific knowledge, perhaps even specific technologies originating with a lost civilization could have been preserved for 8,000 years preserved this raises- it's absolutely possible, yes so talk to me about why it's possible yes, because also in the Egyptian culture I read that the Phoenician priest Sanchuniathon, who wrote, and Eusebius of Caesarea reported his words and he said that the priests of ancient Egypt uncovered, hidden in myths, a true history of an ancient civilization well in Egypt we have entities like this one here, and this one here these are not Horus and Anubis These are the souls of Pe and Nekhen, and they were also related to another group called The Followers of Horus and their specific purpose, as described in the ancient Egyptian text, was to transmit knowledge from the past into the future they're a kind of secret Brotherhood they could also be a secret Sisterhood, because the ancient Egyptians were very admiring of powerful women as well they were a secret society, if you like I prefer not to say a brotherhood a secret society which passed down knowledge from the past into the present the most difficult thing to believe is that such a secret society could survive for 8,000 years often when I'm criticized about that I point out that there are ideas that do last for thousands of years, and that do continue, and that are repeated even the idea of the flood is an idea that has lasted for thousands of years but what's your feeling about the dating of this? Do you do you accept the notion of a flood more than 11,000 years ago? yes 12-11,000 years ago it's fascinating that where the Bible says that the Ark of Noah ends up is Mount Ararat, which is now in Turkey although it's actually visible from Armenia you can see the Mount Ararat more clearly from Armenia but it's now in Turkey now the interesting thing is there's no question whatsoever from a factual point of view that whatever floods took place at that time at the end of the Ice Age, none of them reached the slopes of Mount Ararat they did not Mount Ararat was never submerged 11,000 years ago or 100,000 years ago it was not submerged but the idea that survivors of a flood would seek refuge in high places- that makes sense to me yes because also Nicolaus of Damascus wrote in his books that when Noah arrived on top of this mountain, he found there other people ah interesting he found other people and these people were afraid to descend and Noah with his sons convinced them to descend but this is not in the Bible? This is this is in some other text? this is in the text of Nicolaus of Damascus first century before Christ right, so it's an exegesis on the Bible yes how interesting! So he found people there already, which is what I would expect I mean the reason that Mount Ararat is of interest to me is because of its relative proximity to these sites now being discovered in Turkey Gobekli Tepe is also 11,600 years old Karahan Tepe is 11,600 years old Gobekli Tepe is another proof of a higher civilization I believe it is, yes. I think we're looking at evidence for that but what's fascinating is the thought that the- and this is what archaeologists most oppose- is the thought that knowledge could be preserved within select groups and passed down to the future for that to happen for 8,000 years is something that many skeptics find very difficult to accept yes I think that history must be rewritten, absolutely, because there are too many things that the history is not able to explain let's consider technology. As you know, my background was in journalism journalism took me to Ethiopia, and in Ethiopia I heard that Ethiopia claims to possess the Lost Ark of the Covenant I became very interested in the Ark of the Covenant fascinating object the way that it's described in the book of Exodus, the blueprint for the construction of the Ark, the things that the ark then does subsequently during the conquest of the promised land sounds like a weapon of some of some kind it's very hard it's very hard to interpret it in any other way what do you think the Ark of the Covenant was? I think it's what is written in the Bible could be true because the The Ark is defined as an object that produced or contained some form of energy and was also an instrument for the communication between Moses, or the people of Israel, with their Elohim, named Yahweh I may say- mistranslated in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark as "a radio for talking to God" talking to God, talking to Yahweh whatever he was I think this is clear in the Bible there is no doubt of course we can think that the Bible is not true but I prefer to pretend that the Bible is a true history, like all history books all around the world, that contain always the truth, but not only The same is true for the books of History written today, also the the books written about the WWII, etc and so it's the same, it's the same mystery I'd like you to talk a little more about the technological aspects of the Ark of the Covenant, but also can you think of other objects in the Bible which maybe deserve a technological interpretation, rather than a spiritual interpretation? there is another object named kavod kavod is always translated as Glory of Yahweh but in the Book of Ezekiel there are some clear translations that can allow us to think that it was a technological tool in one Italian translation San Paulo Editions it's written that Ezekiel hears the sound produced by kavod which was behind him when this kavod was arising from the earth and it is translated in this way in the San Paulo Bible and the exact translation of the Hebrew term that is not Baruch (בָּרוּךְ) but is Berun What happened to kavod? Berun is the term that indicates the fact that kavod was rising from the earth so it was rising up? producing a great noise that Ezekiel heard, but this noise was behind him is it also the kavod that burns the face of Moses? yes it's the same. So it produces sound and it burns the same as the sun it sounds very technological yes what do you make of the Tower of Babel? oh it's a very interesting topic because the narration of the Tower of Babel is very strange because those people wanted to reach the sky so Yahweh wanted to intervene to destroy it and after the Bible says that Yahweh divided languages but if you read carefully the previous chapters of the Bible, you read that the languages were already divided each people had their own language so when Yahweh destroyed this tower and divided this alliance, he distributed these people among the others so he didn't create a new language, because the diverse languages already existed it's clearly written in the Bible clearly and yet not made available to us who don't speak Hebrew, because the translation distorts the information yes because the Hebrew Bible was written, or first some parts were written after the Exile of Babylonia and so we cannot be sure and after all the new writers wrote what they wanted to tell to people and they created monotheism okay so in summary in your view monotheism is not a natural outcome of the Bible; it's a deliberate man-made strategy yes in the Bible there was a monolatry monolatry, worshipping one idol they served one of many Elohims, just as others did every peoples had one or many Elohim let's consider these Elohim, and the notion of a secret society which controls advanced knowledge, and has ideas about how human beings should be organized so we're saying that they were present in the time of Moses they were present in many other cultures at that time as well are they still with us today? oh it's absolutely possible I agree absolutely because we are not sure of what they were, and the Elohim- I know, for example a protestant pastor Barry Downing wrote in his books that Elohims are here and are ruling all around the world like a secret government exactly and he is a Protestant Pastor who has a personal faith in God but he tells that Elohims were absolutely not God were they - okay they were not God - were they good? Or were they evil? they are like humans both good and evil the definition depends on the position because you know, the adversary defines the devil The devil is defined by the adversary, always there's a controversial view of the encounters with entities in the Bible I know quite well, although I have not seen him for some years, Professor Benny Shanon from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem Benny Shanon is one of the world experts on the visionary brew of the Amazon called Ayahuasca Benny has drunk ayahuasca 400, maybe 500 times I've worked with Ayahuasca too my total is more like 70 or 75, not 500 but in Benny's view- he puts it forward as a hypothesis we see Moses at the burning bush, and he says "do we normally see a burning bush in daily life? No we don't, especially if it speaks to us!" we can see a burning bush, but a burning bush that speaks to us is unusual and he points out that in Ayahuasca visionary states we often meet trees that speak to us and other entities that speak to us and sometimes they may even be in flames and he proposed that in that part of the Middle East there is Syrian Rue and Mimosa Hostilis, which both together contain the same molecules as Ayahuasca so the bottom line is that Benny Shnnon was suggesting that Moses was on Ayahuasca it's possible! that he was having that he was having a visionary experience that many of these- it's very important to be clear when we talk about visionary experiences that we are not saying "those experiences are not real" we're not saying that visionary experiences can be real in every meaningful sense of the word but we're saying that they're harder to fit in to the Western way of looking at things I'm just wondering what your view of this is? There's a case to be made that almost all religions arose out of visionary experiences first that people had people had visions of entities and encounters of course it's possible but I wanted to tell you another thing- the term in Hebrew translated with "bush" is present also in other parts of the Bible and it means "rocky mountain" and so it's possible that Moses saw a fire over a rocky mountain so it's another case of mistranslation exactly rocky mountain and in effect in reality in other parts of the Bible it is translated as "rocky mountain" so we can think that it was not a bush on fire but this fire was on a rocky mountain where there was the kavod of Yahweh this glowing burning energy with sound so, since we know that in that region where many archaeologists found, for example, the 12 Stones cited in the Bible, etc in those stones there is some substance like petrol so when the kavod of Yahweh is over the Earth it could provoke fire it could create fire, yeah so we are not sure if this term means "bush" or "rocky mountain" we are not sure and my system is to always have an open mind to all possible solutions I think that's a good system, especially when we're dealing with a document that is quite old so difficult to understand and is very difficult to understand, and has been through already multiple changes of language which causes further problems we cannot always be sure, absolutely we must not be dogmatic, absolutely we must not be dogmatic, and yet it is a book which has promoted a great deal of dogma, and been responsible for many of the problems in the world certainly in the last 2000 years because in my translation I'm using several dictionaries theological and non-theological dictionaries for the Hebrew language and so I think that it's necessary to be open to all possible solutions I agree but we must know that there are several possible solutions, not only one absolutely agreed, yeah tell me what your view of the Book of Revelation is oh I think the Book of Revelation is a book written in a sort of codex for the church, the many churches that were arising in that time, so to hide their words from the powers of the time, like the Roman Empire, etc, and I think it's a book written in code for that time what about the prediction of the end of the world? I tend not to believe in prophecies I think because I think you're very wise because for example all the prophecies written in the Bible, all the prophecies, were written after the fact after, always after after rather than before always so they're the opposite of prophecies okay so what we were saying what we were saying was that the the Elohim are clearly human beings of some sort yes is that too rapid a conclusion could they be something other than human beings? You keep an open mind on everything, do you keep an open mind on that? we can try it but do you prefer- your conclusion is we're talking about human beings? they are the same because I'm interested I'm interested in their vices human beings have vices. Did they Elohim have vices? Yahweh wanted to have, every day, from 2 to 5 liters -because I don't know how many gallons- of shakar that was an alcoholic drink where is this stated? Is this stated in the Bible? it is stated in the Bible, in the Torah and every day he wanted also the smoke of burnt meat because for example in the Book of Numbers Chapter 28 this smoke that he wanted to smell was able to calm him yes I remember that passage absolutely, so it's possible that- and in this smoke there are some molecules that are similar to endorphin molecules I don't know how to say endorphins, yeah endorphins that our brain produces when we are in a state of stress right and in the Book of Numbers, Yahweh says several times that this smoke calmes you he says this smoke calms me, because these smoke calmes me several times so it's clear and you wouldn't expect the one God, the creator of the universe, to need to be calmed by smoke no interesting but it's clear- it's not my translation, it's the normal translation it sounds more like a human being, and the needs, and wishes, and weaknesses of a human being so does the bible tell us give us any hint as to where these entities, these Elohim, this Yahweh, where they come from? no the Bible doesn't say where they come from and so I don't speculate on that but in Psalm 24 it is written that Yahweh with his kavod, were passing through a gate that opened after an order and opened le-olam i.e. from an "unknown place"
so it's the most important passage of the Bible, Psalm 24 and this Psalm 24 was used also by Monsignor Corrado Balducci, of the Vatican who said- because now he is dead who said that the two first verses of this Psalm contain the proof that the Bible knew of the existence of the inhabitants of the earth, and the inhabitants of the universe, and that they were different and the last verses of that Psalm talk about this passage through the gates and in the English Bibles the terms in Hebrew pitraim (פִּתְחֵים) and sharim (שְׁעָרִים) are translated by Hebrew translators as "gates" so we may only speculate yes, but I stop at the literal translation of the Bible because beyond this translation we have to speculate indeed so but I prefer for now to stick to the to the literal translation of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Masoretic Bible yeah I think you're right to do that it's always interesting to speculate but what you're doing is you're providing people with new facts that allows us to think more clearly about this important text we've spoken of the Ark of the Covenant as a technological object you've spoken of the kavod I'm recollecting a thing called the Shamir, sometimes described as a worm oh yes there is also the Shamir it sounds also technological can you talk a little bit about that? yes the Shamir is a an object that is very difficult to explain because it is referenced only one or two times in the Bible but it must really be something technological but I want to avoid a work of fantasy, and so I prefer to be silent you don't want fantasy, I get that but are there other traces in the Bible of objects that might reasonably be interpreted as technology? we have the Ark, we have the Shamir, we have the kavod, anything else? we have the ruach that's the rising up? yes the flying yes, the ruach so some sort of suggestion of a flying machine? yes, a flying machine they are described clearly as flying machines Sorry, in the Bible? In the Bible. Give me an example for example in the Book of Ezekiel, and in the book of Exodus in the book of Exodus the kavod of Yahweh is clearly described that when Moses asked Yahweh of the possibility to see this kavod and Yahweh says to him "you cannot stay in front of kavod, because if you are in front of kavod you die" that is important- and so Yahweh cannot do anything about it so God is impotent, not potent, in front of the of the danger of the kavod and, this is very interesting- Yahweh tells Moses "you can hide yourself behind these rocks" so the rocks can do what God cannot do I absolutely get your point Impressive Yes, very much so when when you were a journalist for The Economist you encountered the Ark of the Covenant? I encountered the Ark of the Covenant, yes I was the East Africa correspondent for The Economist, so I was based in Nairobi in Kenya and a number of neighboring countries were countries that I reported on regularly and one of those countries was Ethiopia and in Ethiopia, by chance, very shortly after I had watched the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark with Harrison Ford very soon after I had watched that I was on a research trip in Ethiopia and it came to my attention that the Ethiopians claim to possess this object well obviously I was interested this fascinating, powerful, mysterious object and it's hidden in the mountains of Ethiopia I had never heard that before so I began to investigate that particular claim now at that time, which was 1983, the early 1980's I didn't have any particular interest in history, or in pre-history, or in archeology my interests were much more in current affairs but I also had the sense that I think any journalist would have presented by this information that there was something going on here because although archaeologists were rejecting Ethiopia's claim they were saying there was nothing to it, it was a complete fantasy my own eyes showed me that it was central to Ethiopian culture it was fundamental to Ethiopian culture that there was a community of Ethiopian Jews they call themselves the Beta Israel, the House of Israel they are known in Ethiopia as the Falashas and they practice a very ancient form of Judaism they do not know- they only became acquainted with the Talmud as a result of missionary activity from Israel they did not have the Talmud, but they did have the Torah so they're a very old form of Judaism they practiced sacrifice of rams and this, I believe, is forbidden in Judaism since the destruction of the first temple yes they practiced sacrifice of rams, and they had a rich history that told how they had come to Ethiopia, and how they had brought the Ark of the Covenant with them it's a different story from the story that the Ethiopian National epic tells the Ethiopian National epic is called the Kebra Nagast, "The Glory of Kings" and in that they claim that the Queen of Sheba was an Ethiopian Queen she made her famous biblical visit to the court of Solomon she was made pregnant by Solomon, according to the Ethiopian version she returned to Ethiopia, she bore the child, his name was Menelik, it means "the son of the wise man" and the story is that at the age of about 20 or 21 he went back to Jerusalem, he was recognized by his father, and somehow after one year in the court of Solomon he contrived to steal the Ark of the Covenant this is written in the Kebra Nagast and he carried it off to Ethiopia and we are told in the Kebra Nagast that Solomon was okay with this because it meant that God wanted it to be in Ethiopia rather than somewhere else there are many problems with this story and this story does not take into account the mysterious presence of a very ancient community of Jews in Ethiopia, and their story about how they got there and they said they got there by way of Egypt their ancestors spent some hundreds of years on an island in the Nile and that island- we are quite certain what that Island was- it was the Island of Elephantine why are we certain? because there was a Jewish temple built on that island and that Jewish temple was built there in the first temple period I beg your pardon, can I say a little thing? yes The Hebrew of Elephantine knew the wife of Yahweh they knew the wife of Yahweh! so they were really another kind of Jewish religion indeed so here we come to the interesting point where history connects with this story because that Jewish temple on the island of Elephantine is a fact it did exist there were communications between it and Jerusalem the temple had the same dimensions as the Temple of Solomon when I searched the Bible for an explanation for the construction of the temple, the only explanation I find is as a house of rest for the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord it's a place in which the Ark of the Covenant is to be put and then suddenly while the first Temple still exists, we have another temple built in Egypt of the same dimensions those Ethiopian Jews say that their ancestors were driven out of that Island this also is true we know from the Egyptian history that this happened there was a Jewish community on that island and there was conflict with the Egyptian authorities because the island of Elephantine is dedicated to the Egyptian god Khnum, and Khnum is a ram-headed deity so the tension was caused by the sacrifice of rams that was taking place so the Falashas say, to cut a long story short, that their ancestors fled south they didn't go north through a hostile Egypt and back to Jerusalem they went south and they followed the Nile River system they followed the Blue Nile branch and they ended up in Lake Tana in Ethiopia and that's the heartland of Ethiopian Judaism Lake Tana, which is the source of the Blue Nile and suddenly I could see how this story made sense because how do you get the connection between Jerusalem and Ethiopia what connects them once you come into Egypt and into the Nile Valley, what connects them is the River Nile and it made perfect sense and Lake Tana was the place where the the Falashas had their homeland so once I learned all of this I began to feel that the Ethiopian story really deserved serious investigation and I looked into it in great depth and it was the moment where there was a transition in my life from investigating current affairs issues to investigating the past it put me on that path and the very first thing that I felt about the Ark of the Covenant as I was reading and I read all of the descriptions very very carefully is this thing sounds like a piece of technology it's constructed, it's carefully made, there's a blueprint, there's instructions on what to do, there's gold, there's wood, there's gold, there's these mysterious tablets that are placed inside it, whatever they are and it opened my eyes to the possibility that there might be a forgotten technological episode in the past of humanity and I would not have gone on to write my books about the possibility of a Lost Civilization if I had not first had that encounter with the mystery of the Ark of the Covenant personally I think the Ethiopian claim is rather strong for a lot of reasons but in a way its role in my life was to educate me as to the range of mysteries in the past that archaeologists completely ignore, and just scornfully dismiss they are not interested in myths, in traditions, any such thing they just they just dismiss it and in the process of doing so, as we say in English, they are throwing out the baby with the bath water they're missing important things in their desperate effort to be scientists so it was an important lesson for me there are mysteries in the past that are unexplained, which certainly are not explained by the present model of history, and that that model therefore must be questioned and that's what I've subsequently devoted my life to doing and often I think many mysteries are explained away too simply yeah, that's right, far too simple too simply of a way yeah, definitely but I think that your journey in Ethiopia was a great gift for us all thank you absolutely a great gift for us all thank you, it was an amazing adventure for me and it and it opened my eyes to problems and issues that I had been completely unaware of before and it set me on the track that I'm still that I'm still on today I think it's impossible to understand the human condition in the present if we have only a single view of the past we must have a diversity of views, we must be open to all of them and this is the main problem I have with archeology I would like if you would talk about your series Ancient Apocalypse that I of course so totally- thank you as I read your books, because I wanted that the friends of my Mauro Biglino official channel can hear you directly from you about your extraordinary experience it certainly was a breakthrough for me you know the problem with communicating controversial information about the past is you want to make as strong a case as you possibly can so that's fine in a book where you have 800 pages and 2000 footnotes but with a television program it's more difficult to make that convincing case especially so if you're banned from filming in Egypt, which I am and Egypt is an important part of my story to tell you must make your point in each episode within half an hour so everything has to move very quickly, but the advantage and the positive side of it is that it reaches a huge number of people which a book would not do several millions tens of millions and this is what I wanted to do was to- not to tell people what to think, because academics do that already archaeologists do that, they say this is what you should think about the past but my project is to encourage people to ask questions about the past where there are anomalies fundamental exactly, where there are things that are not explained in mainstream history and archaeologists complained that I was unkind to them in the series, and that I should have included many of them in the series although I did actually include some archaeologists, but my point is that archeology dominates, completely dominates, all thinking about the past it dominates it from the moment of childhood the moment a child starts to go to kindergarten, starts to learn something about the past, what they're learning has been filtered through mainstream archeology the whole teaching of history and prehistory in schools in universities is all based on the opinions of archaeologists I say opinions, not facts It's based on the opinions of archaeologists and they certainly do not invite me to appear on programs about their work to provide a counterbalance so my view was that this in making this series I was providing a counterbalance to the over dominant position that archaeological opinion occupies that it's that it's essential that that be questioned because archeology is not physics there's a difference between physics and archeology physics I accept is a hard science archeology is not a hard science and the further back you go into the past, the more archeology is based on interpretation of very minimal numbers of artifacts so really with archeology what we have is the opinion of a group of scholars, and we do not have many facts and I don't think the public are fully aware of that, so I hoped with the Netflix series that I would make the public more widely aware of that of that situation and the problem is that often the opinion of the archaeologist becomes dogma yeah it becomes dogma it's really very bizarre that it should be so that there should be no place for Dogma in science as I say archeology the claim of archeology to be a science at all is very flimsy I don't think archeology deserves to be called a science but there is a tendency in also other scientific endeavors for a particular outlook to establish itself as the way things are but the the history of science makes it absolutely clear to us that there are no fixed or firm ideas, that ideas change constantly, and what was yesterday's dogma becomes tomorrow's waste paper, it's not listened to anymore so I don't understand why scientists don't learn more from that even in the hard sciences everything should be provisional we are offering ideas, we're investigating a complicated problem, but what we offer is not necessarily fact, it is where we are now and this is what I think archaeologists should be doing- but often they don't want to be questioned, because they have the truth many archaeologists asked actually why my series was even allowed, it should never have been given permission to be shown in their view but when you ask them to give substantive reasons for that, they're incapable of doing so they cannot provide any substantive reason apart from what they say is "we are archaeologists, we know everything, Hancock is wrong, and that's a fact" this is no way of debate and no way of argument at all and it's a sign of a problem that we have in our society where so-called experts, people who define themselves as experts in a field, dominate the field so much that they distort reality and I believe that's what's happening in the understanding of our past and it's why I'm grateful to Netflix for giving me the opportunity to make this series and to present controversial ideas to a large global audience and to set up a global conversation about our past and of course, fundamental in the past of the world is the Bible, that you're translating, it's a fundamental document which plays what a huge role what is interesting is that the Bible confirms your theories also though the Bible is only one of the books written in human history and the Bible is the book of just one people exactly only one little- the family of Jacob, not of all the Hebrews just the family of Jacob, but in any case the Bible, the contents of the Bible, confirms your theories give me some ideas about why. Why does it confirm my theories? of course because the Bible speaks clearly about the Elohims that have a technology absolutely superior to humankind of this time of that time and so it's clear, there is no discussion, only the dogmatics can- so it's a record of communication between a people who had advanced technology and a people who did not yes an archbishop of the Orthodox Church, several years ago, told me: "Mauro you know" (because we are friends) "you know that I agree with you, but I can't tell others because the system would kill me" well indeed the system did used to kill people literally oh yes the Roman Catholic Church- I received a bullet oh really? yes tell me more many years ago you received a bullet a bullet, a military bullet and that's a threat to you yes, with a letter in which was written that if I were to continue to make conferences I made 300 conferences in Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Croatia, Switzerland if I had continued they had the necessity to kill me or to kill one of my family but luckily nothing happened but the threat is there, and the days of Giordano Bruno are not over then? okay, fortunately we are living in other times yeah fortunately we are, but those times are relatively recent when when the church was capable of burning people at the stake, in extremely painful and awful ways I find a great deal of hypocrisy in the church in this matter I draw your attention particularly to the Spanish conquest of Mexico between 1519 and 1521 those Spaniards who were brutal murderers of the worst kind claimed to be horrified when they witnessed human sacrifice of the Aztecs the Aztecs would carry out acts of human sacrifice but not a single one of them was able to contemplate the possibility that burning a fellow human being at the stake is an act of human sacrifice they are sacrificing that entity to what they believe is God it's no different they were in no position to- but also Yahweh asked for human sacrifice of child tell me more, I didn't know that, please talk to me some more about that in the book of Jeremiah it says that he had the necessity to request these human sacrifices because the people wanted to obey his orders and of course there's the case of Isaac, who Yahweh instructs to kill his- is it Isaac? yes He instructs Isaac to sacrifice his son and then changes his mind at the last minute very cruel behavior it was normal, and Abraham accepted it as normal, because Yahweh wanted to test the fate of Abraham and when he saw that Abraham was disposed to give his son in sacrifice, Yahweh sent a so-called angel in Hebrew "malach" that means "messenger" to stop it because Yahweh saw that Abraham was able to kill his son to demonstrate his faith, his availability to obey orders of Yahweh it was normal, absolutely normal so very cruel and obnoxious behavior absolutely Yahweh didn't accept criticism absolutely so he can not be the god of love, absolutely no he was a god of war only a god of war a god, not a god of course but to use this term- an entity of war, a human being who uses war Fascinating if your interpretation of the Bible were to be widely accepted it would completely destroy faith in the Bible, is that not correct? yes, but what is important, and in the conferences, in the lectures, I always say this- I don't say that God does not exist I don't know about God I don't speak about God I only say that in that book there is no spiritual God there are the Elohim, and the Bible is the history of the relationship between Yahweh - one of the Elohim - and one people because Yahweh didn't - he didn't much care about others no, the others did not exist for him, or if they didn't want to submit, they must be exterminated the Bible is this book, nothing else it's really important to get these translations correct in a book that is so influential yes and so I value and respect your work in putting some correction to this record you have a book coming out translated into English, and the English- Elisabetta it's ready? next month next month and its title is? God's in the Bible okay, so I'm a layman I know nothing about the Bible I've read tiny bits of it as a child and haven't since I know very little so to begin with you've talked a lot about the Elohim but what's the orthodox understanding of what the Elohim are? what the most people assume they are? are they angels? are they different from angels? what's the normal explanation for them? they believe what the the Catholic Church believes but what is that? God but in the traditional orthodox understanding of the Elohim they're plural, right? the sons of God mated with the daughters of men they refers to a Greek Bible, not to the Hebrew Bible okay but in that Bible, in the Greek Bible, their orthodox understanding of Elohim, is that to be the same as God, or is that as angels, or is that as a separate beings? no, Elohim is always translated as "God" "Elohim" in Greek is "Theos" "Elohim" in Hebrew, "Theos" in Greek, "God" in modern translations when I had this meeting with those four important theologians all four said that in the Bible we cannot have the certainty of God so I'm sure that the Bible doesn't speak of God, but in that occasion also those theologians said the same thing so they said there's no one God in the Bible? Those people agreed with you, is that what you're saying? many people more and more and more in less than three years in my channel we have almost 25 million views in less than three years okay, but if I go up to any normal priest and say to him "there's no God in the Bible", of course he's going to disagree why should anybody believe your interpretation rather than the orthodox interpretation of the Vatican? the majority of priests don't want to hear my words because often they are in crisis, because they don't know how to how to answer my questions because I read I read in front of them and I say "explain to me what is written here" and they- okay but there's a body of biblical scholars that around the world who would say that- and also the entire church system would say that there is one God, and he is described in the Bible now that's been that way for two thousand years or more now why would everyone have missed this? why would you be the first person to get it right? why should we assume that you are correct, rather than 2000 years of people who've studied the Bible and said- first of all you must not believe me you have to control in Hebrew what I say in Italian or in English that's all you must not believe me, absolutely in my books not in that one because it's an interview I always, always write the verse in Hebrew, and under it the literal translation so everyone can control what I'm saying, everyone if everyone can see the translation, why is everyone else wrong? because they don't want to hear what I'm saying because they are grateful for their faith it's necessary for them, for a human brain it's necessary many scientists studied these questions and they wrote that God is- the image of God is inherent in the brain, and so it's easier to believe in God than not and they don't want- but overall they don't understand what I'm saying I'm not saying that God does not exist absolutely, I don't know, I don't have this truth, absolutely I simply say that that book doesn't speak of God that's all beyond that if God exists, fantastic! for me no problem, absolutely I don't want to say that God doesn't exist because I don't know I don't know so I understand with English we have very flat definitions of words When there's a word it means exactly this- I believe, and I don't speak Hebrew, so I don't know, but I believe Hebrew is much more fluid and much more flexible it's much more difficult so as I understand it there's different ways to read a word yes multiple ways to read a word it's necessary to carefully read the context to understand the meaning of a unique term because for example, "kavod" means "something heavy" meaning "a person of weight" in the sense that that person has an importance in the society it also means "a famous person", a "person of glory" so the theologians chose the term "glory" and always apply it to the term kavod without considering the context but when we read that the context says that "I cannot see the kavod in front of me because it will kill me" "but when the kavod passes I have to be hidden behind rocks" so it cannot be the "glory of God", because God in that case is not able to control the effects of his glory so it's ridiculous so the context implies, in every situation, the possible real meaning of this term so I read a book called Neuro-Apocalypse by a guy called Reverend Danny Nemu, and he went into all of this, and he talked a lot about the serpent in the Bible, and how in the original Hebrew, the word for it says "the serpent <something> Eve" and the tran