Fraud In The Bible, or It Sucks That You Don't Know Hebrew, Greek or Aramai

by VM44 18 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • gumby
    Pious fraud is the foundation of the deception known as Christianity and it continues to this day

    Christianity isn't alone in having this rotten quality about them.


  • VM44

    hi cyberguy,

    No, don't ever plan on seeing the Da Vinci code. That book/movie has receive more attention than it deserves.

    I posted this article mainly because I thought the title was interesting and that people would like to make comments about it. Now after reading Leolaia's comments and others about how the poor reasoning of the author, I think I better make a statement that I do not necessarily endorse anything the article tries to prove.

    The comments made about the article are of more use than the article itself, and perhaps that good result merited its posting in the first place.


  • Leolaia

    Boy, this article keeps dishing out more and more specious stuff:

    Yahveh-elohim is a Hebrew "construct-form" which is translated to "Yahveh-of-the-gods." Invariably these personal names were falsely translated "Lord" and "Lord God," respectively, for purposes of pious fraud.

    Again, the author betrays his ignorance of Hebrew. What yhwh-'lhym exhibits is a juxtaposition of nouns, but this does not automatically mean that it involves a "construct-form". Sometimes the juxtaposition is done as a construct relationship, e.g. Yahweh Sabaoth "Yahweh of hosts", as it is conventionally understood. But apposition is another syntactic use of juxtaposition, in which the second noun explains or modifies the first. A close parallel would be ysh`yhw h-nby' "Isaiah the prophet" (2 Kings 20:11) which like "Yahweh Elohim" consists of PROPER NOUN + IDENTIFIER. That is, h-nby' "the prophet" adds more information about who Isaiah is, just as 'lhym "God" adds more information about who Yahweh is. Naturally ysh`yhw h-nby' does not mean "Isaiah of prophet". The failure of the author to discuss the possibility of apposition is telling.

    What is more, yhwh-'lhym is a rather unusual formation -- occuring in the entire OT only in Genesis 2:4-3:24 and in Exodus 9:30 (which itself has variable textual tradition), and even within Genesis 2:4-3:24 it occurs only in the narrative and not in the dialogue. It is for this reason that many consider it a redactional feature, resulting from the merging of the Priestly material of 1-2:4a with the Yahwistic material in 2:4bff, e.g. yhwh was original to the narrative but the redactor added 'lhym to the name to smooth the transition from ch. 1. Whatever the explanation, it is an unusual form.

  • Narkissos

    Plus, proper names are usually not used in construct state (cf. Joüon § 131n-o). Yhwh Çeba'ot is probably understood in most cases as an apposition, "Yhwh-armies" or "Yhwh Sabaoth" (the latter being understood as a proper name in the LXX and James 5:4), rather than Yhwh of the armies as a construct state would imply. Cf. the alternate 'elohim (not 'elohe, construct state) çeba'ot in Psalm 59:6; 80:15,20; 84:9 (unlike the explicit interpretation Yhwh elohe-çeba'ot in 2 Samuel 5:10).

  • Leolaia

    Yeah, that's why I said "as it is conventionally understood," as I suspected the alternative may be more likely as well (didn't bother to check Mark Smith). How about Ashtaroth-Karnaim? Would that be along similar lines or is construct state more likely there?

  • Spectrum

    Regardless of whether the Bible promotes one god or many the probability is that where there is one there many. There is not a single known singularity in this universe.

  • Narkissos

    Re: construct state vs. apposition, there is a grey zone in toponyms which can easily extend to theonyms.

    Some might be explained away as a regression from proper name to common noun, e.g. gib`at (= "hill of") Sha'ul (1 Samuel 11:4); miçpeh ("watchpost of") Mo'ab (1 Samuel 22:3); rabbat ("capital of") bene `Ammon. But not all: Aram-naharayim (Aram of the rivers), Aram-çobah (Aram of Zobah), 'Ur-Kasdim (Ur of the Chaldeans). Joüon notes that in similar constructions the absolute vocalisation is often maintained in spite of the apparent construct syntax, e.g. 'abel Miçrayim (Genesis 50:11).

    The Kuntillet 'Ajrud inscriptions clearly show that Yhwh, like Ba`al (which often functions as a name rather than a noun), entered in similar construct/apposition relationship with toponyms: Yhwh Teman, Yhwh Shomron...

    Perhaps the artificial Yhwh-'elohim is very close in meaning to the older Yhwh-çeba'oth, and reflects the understanding of monotheism as recapitulating the whole pluriform divine realm?

  • greendawn

    I don't know Hebrew but someone told me a while ago that the use of elohim which means Gods is not meant to signify many gods but is simply a mark of respect much as today in many languages people refer to a stranger with "you" in the plural rather than "you" in the singular.

  • Narkissos


    The problem with this popular explanation is that the plural of majesty, reverence or whatever you may call it is not otherwise attested in Biblical Hebrew. Plus, the use of 'elohim singular for other gods than Yhwh rules out a consciously respectful connotation, at least from the perspective of the monotheistic writers / redactors.

    A more likely candidate is the so-called "plural of abstraction" (cf. chayyim, "life"; ne`urim, "youth" etc.) which would suggest an etymological nuance of "divinity" or "deity". But if correct this nuance rarely shows at the semantical level (only perhaps in some cases with the article, ha'elohim in Ecclesiastes -- which the NWT translates as "the true God").

    Practically, the only evidence that "gods" are meant (and even this is sometimes debated) is when 'elohim is connected to a verb or adjective in the plural (possibly in Genesis 3:5, depending on the referent; more clearly in 20:13; 35:7 etc.).

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