The 12th Planet and Zecharia Sitchin
Recently a friend of mine was upset that I am treating Zecharia Sitchin like a pseudoscientist (which he is). Sitchin graduated from the University of London with a degree in economics, and apparently “taught” himself Sumerian cuneiform. He published a famous book called The 12th Planet, where he puts forth the idea that aliens came to Earth (somewhere around 3,600 years ago) and this is where religious belief started. There is a large amount of criticism from people with actual degrees and Michael S. Heiser, who actually has a Ph.D in the Hebrew Bible and Semetic languages, challenged Sitchin and any other “ancient astronaut theorist” to produce one single text from the entire cuneiform that says anything about a planet Nibiru (sigh…) beyond Pluto, or cycling in our Solar system every 3,600 years. Here is an open letter he wrote to Sitchin:
Dr. Heiser wrote:Dear Mr. Sitchin and others:
While the contents of this letter may constitute a challenge to your academic scholarship, the intent of this letter is in the interest of research, not confrontation. In no way do I intend to impugn your character. What I ask is that you provide answers and data to support the theories you have published. Here are my questions / requests.
1. Can you please provide transcripts of your academic language work, or an address to which I could write to obtain proof of your training in the ancient languages in which you claim expertise? I would like to post this information on my website, and would gladly do so.
2. Can you explain why your work on Genesis 1:26-27 overlooks so many obvious grammatical indications that the word elohim in that passage refers to a single deity (as demonstrated on this website)?
3. Can you explain why you did not include the comparative linguistic material from the Amarna texts that shows the Akkadian language also uses the plural word for “gods” to refer to a single deity or person (which of course undermines your argument that elohim must refer to a plurality of gods)?
4. Can you explain how your interpretation of the word “nephilim” is at all viable in light of the rules of Hebrew morphology? Can you provide any evidence that “naphal” has anything to do with fire or rockets, since you translate “nephilim” as “people of the fiery rockets”? In other words, can you bring forth a single ancient text where naphal has such meanings?
5. Can you produce a single text that says the Anunnaki come from the planet Nibiru – or that Nibiru is a planet beyond Pluto? I assert that there are no such texts, and challenge you and readers to study the occurrences of “Anunnaki” right here on this website. Here is a video where I show readers how to conduct a search online at the Electronic Corpus of Sumerian Literature website. There are 182 occurrences of the divine name Anunnaki. Please show me any evidence from the Sumerian texts themselves that the Anunnaki have any connection to Nibiru or a 12th planet (or any planet).
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