It turns out that renowned neurosurgeon and GOP 2016 presidential frontrunner Ben Carson's theory that the Egyptian pyramids were built by the biblical Joseph to store grain is some 600 years old.
Despite being roundly mocked on social media after a recently unearthed 17-year-old video showed him suggesting the theory that the great pyramids of Egypt were built by the biblical Joseph to store grain, not tombs for pharaohs as most archeologists contend, Carson has stood by the theory and research shows why.
Carson's hypothesis on why the pyramids were built is among 13 listed by gizapyramid.com. The grain storage hypothesis was proposed by Syrian scholars in the 1500s and Joseph was indeed mentioned, according to the website.
"Benjamin of Toledo, in the Middle Ages, was of the opinion that the pharaoh had stored a great quantity of wheat there. It was thought that purpose of the Great Pyramid was to convert it into a granary in the time of famine," noted the description listed under Joseph's Granaries.
Veteran alternative archaeology reporter Scott Creighton as well as a 2011 report in the Smithsonian magazine note that there is no consensus as to why the pyramids were built.
"The idea that these structures were conceived and built as tombs is all pervasive to our modern mindset, so much so that many have come to accept the idea as being not so much a theory but as actual fact," wrote Creighton in an essay published online.
"So why then should it be deemed necessary to question what many regard as fact? The first thing to say is that the evidence in support of the tomb theory is only circumstantial; there is no direct primary evidence to support the pyramid tomb theory. Neither are there any ancient Egyptian texts that state why the ancient Egyptians conceived and built their pyramids. Indeed, there are a number of ancient texts that state the pyramids were not used as tombs," he said.
Carson made the grain storage suggestion, according to BuzzFeed, as part of his 1998 commencement speech at Andrews University, a school affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
"My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain," Carson said in the video of the speech posted on YouTube. "Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs' graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don't think it'd just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain."
Joseph, commonly referred to as Joseph the Dreamer, is highlighted in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament as the beloved son of Jacob who was sold into slavery in Egypt by his jealous brothers. Through God's favor on his life, Joseph was made governor of Egypt after interpreting pharaoh's dream to warn of a pending famine.
Carson argued that the way the pyramids were designed shows that they were made for grain storage.
"And when you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they'd have to be that way for various reasons. And various of scientists have said, 'Well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that's how —' you know, it doesn't require an alien being when God is with you," said Carson.
When asked about his theory of the pyramids on CBS Wednesday night, Carson stood by his comments.
"It's still my belief, yes," he said.
"The pyramids were made in a way that they had hermetically sealed compartments. ... You would need that if you were trying to preserve grain for a long period of time," he reiterated.