Many people end prayers with “Amen” without much thought to the word’s meaning. To Nicholas P. Ginex, doing so is an incantation to the ancient Egyptian god of the same name. In Amen: The Beginning of the Creation of God, Ginex leads readers through thousands of years of human history and theological development to trace how ancient Egypt’s religious ideas greatly influenced the development of Judaism and, through it, Christianity and Islam.
Although Ginex lacks academic credentials in religion or history, he makes an intriguing argument in Amen, his fourth book on the topic. He calls the Egyptian religion the “first formal religion of the world” and shares how “Egyptologists have surfaced facts and findings that suggest the ancient Egyptians not only created the first belief in a soul and belief in a hereafter, but also created the concept of one God.” Through lengthy quotations and summaries of various writings and carvings, Ginex summarizes the Egyptian pantheon and its evolution, over centuries, toward a supreme, universal creator god. He advances that, “Hebrew priests had access to, and utilized, Egyptian scripture and hymns” in the formation of the Hebrew Scriptures and beliefs following their Exodus from Egypt; as evidence, he compares biblical passages with Egyptian texts written centuries before the Hebrew Bible.
While he calls into question the biblical accounts and early Christian doctrines, he curiously centers his argument on the importance of one passage from the Bible (Revelation 3:14), in which Jesus uses the term “Amen.” Ginex claims that religious leaders have suppressed the truth he is sharing and calls upon them “to acknowledge that Egyptian concepts and beliefs form the core of their present religious beliefs.” Given that his particular reading of the historical evidence, language, and theological texts is not widely held by scholars, it is disappointing that Ginex does not provide more detailed citations to source materials; unfortunately, he dismisses others’ questions about his views as an “inability to rise above their indoctrinated dogma and use honesty and truth.”
Ginex calls upon the modern religions to evolve as Egypt’s did. By citing and discussing Biblical and Quranic texts, he claims to have tried “to give an honest appraisal of the Judaic, Christian, and Islamic scriptures in regard to their faults,” yet does not apply the same standard to the Egyptian religious texts he upholds.
Readers with an open mind toward history and religion will find Amen: The Beginning of the Creation of God thought-provoking fare.
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