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Setting the Record Straight About Native Peoples: Lost Tribes of Israel

Q: Are Native Americans a lost tribe of Israel, Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, or any other people mentioned in the Bible?
A: No. These Biblical events happened only a few thousand years ago. Native Americans were already here. Also, Middle Easterners are Caucasians. American Indians are Mongoloid. (Indians have epicanthic eye folds, like the Chinese do.) Amerindian languages do NOT show any relation to Semitic languages, this data was faked.

Q: Did a lost tribe of Israel sail to America and join the Indians, maybe?
A: It's doubtful. It would have been a long trip, and there's no evidence to suggest it. No Israelite ruins have been found, no oral histories of native peoples mention it, no Semitic art or technology infusions happened in the Americas, and there aren't any Israelite records of such a journey. When the Vikings landed ships on Newfoundland in the 11th century, there were fewer than 100 of them and they stayed there less than ten years, yet they still left behind identifiable Norse ruins, two Viking sagas, and mention of the event in the oral history of the Mi'kmaq Indians. A permanent settlement of more than a thousand Israelites would surely have left behind even more substantial remains, yet there are none.

Q: But aren't there special similarities between Aztec/Mayan culture and ancient Middle Eastern cultures, such as hieroglyphs, pyramids, symbology, traditional religions, and ethical laws like the Ten Commandments?
A: Well, no. First of all, there is no special similarity between Mesoamerican and Ancient Egyptian writing systems. "Hieroglyph" just means "arcane writing". You could as easily call Klingon writing "hieroglyphs" if you wanted to. None of the languages or writing systems of native America are related in any way to Semitic, Norse, or Celtic ones, and the websites we have seen claiming this have been deliberately lying by providing made-up Indian words to "prove" the similarity. A quick glance at an Indian dictionary is enough to prove that the writers of these websites are inventing their "evidence" from thin air--not behavior that lends much credence to their claims. See here for some further information about how to really determine linguistic relationships.

As for the rest, there is no more similarity between Native American and Ancient Egyptian civilizations than between any two ancient cultures. Traditional religions are particularly different. Most Native American traditional religions were animistic, unlike Middle Eastern religions. Some Central American cultures had pantheons of gods, as Egyptians (and Chinese, and Africans, and many other cultures) did, but these pantheons bore so little resemblance to the familiar Egyptian or Greek gods that it took European anthropologists centuries to even figure them out. Mayan and Egyptian pyramids were constructed so differently that modern anthropologists don't even class them as the same style of architecture, and the use of five- and six-sided stars in Mesoamerican decoration does not show a connection to Christianity and Judaism any more than the use of swastikas in ancient North American decoration shows a connection to Nazism. Stars and swastikas are common patterns that even children will doodle without being taught to. The best argument would be the one about ethical laws, for it is true that traditional Native American morality shares similarities to the Ten Commandments (not stealing, not murdering, and not committing adultery). However, it would be hard to envision an ancient society in which stealing, murdering, and adultery were encouraged. It is rather culturally imperialistic to say that such basic morality must have been learned from Egyptians, Israelites, or Christians. Perhaps it would be better, religiously, to say that the Creator made all human beings capable of understanding good and evil, no matter where they live. It certainly is more accurate anthropologically to observe that all human cultures developed such laws, and that one might as well say that the Chinese and Celts were lost tribes of Cherokee on this basis as that the American Indians were lost tribes of Israel.

Q: But I really, really want to believe that Native Americans are a lost tribe of Israel!
A: No one is stopping you, but using made-up vocabulary lists and implausible 'evidence' to prop up your beliefs is bad science and bad faith. If you want to believe, then believe; you shouldn't need evidence to have faith, and you certainly shouldn't need fake evidence.

I have been receiving quite a bit of profanity laced email from Mormons for showing that those word lists are not real Algonquian words. Please think before you hit the 'send' button: is cursing at people who don't tell lies to make it easier for you to believe things really the image of your church you want to be sending out?



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