(JTA) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson defended a unique personal theory he shared years ago that the Egyptian pyramids were built by the biblical Joseph to store grain, not to serve as tombs for the pharaohs.
At a book signing Thursday in Florida, a day after Buzzfeed News posted a 1998 video showing him espousing this theory, Carson said his views on the pyramids’ origins remain the same, The Associated Press reported. The retired neurosurgeon is a Seventh-day Adventist, a Protestant denomination.
It was not clear from his statements whether he thought all or just some of the pyramids were built for this reason and during this period. The story of Joseph storing grain in preparation for an Egyptian famine appears in the Book of Genesis, in the Miketz Torah portion, which will be read in synagogues around the world on Dec. 12. The text makes no mention of the grain being stored in pyramids.
On Thursday, Carson said, “Some people believe in the Bible like I do and don’t find that to be silly at all. The secular progressives try to ridicule it every time it comes up, and they’re welcome to do that.”