by Terry 3 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Terry

    About the Judeo-Christian "tradition":

    It is absurd to talk about a Judeo-Christian tradition. I say this in spite of the political good that this does for the State of Israel or the remnant of Jewry. Nevertheless, it is an absurd fiction. There is no Judeo-Christian tradition. There cannot be. What is at the heart of the book is a very grim fact: As you and I talk to each other at the moment, we are in a cosmos in which there are one-and-a-half-billion people who call themselves Christians. One-and-a-half-billion people who call themselves Muslims. There are 14 million self-identified Jews. That takes care of Yahweh on the one hand, and that takes care of—since we're outnumbered a thousand to one by each—that takes care of.... ah, never mind. I don't want to say the obvious. That's part of the problem with this book. To say the transparently clear and plain gives offense.

    About the Old Testament Jehovah:

    There's a kind of scamp in there. But he also goes violently crazy as he leads the Israelite host in that ridiculous, mad 40 years [of] wandering through the wilderness, trekking back and forth. He gets crazier and crazier and the poor things get crazier and crazier. One of my favorite passages in the book is what I am talking about—the ridiculous attempt on the part, first, of the neo-Platonizing Jews like Philo of Alexandria, and then later the high rabbinical sages, to get rid of what they might call the anthropomorphic element and say he isn't a man, he isn't a human, he doesn't do certain things, since it's made very clear that he's walking down the road frequently, that he's picnicking, that he's doing this, that, and the other thing, that he's burying Moses with his own hands, he is closing the door of the Ark with his own hands, and so on.

    Concerning "who" Jesus is:

    As for Jesus, there isn't any single Jesus. There are Jesuses and Jesuses and Jesuses and Jesuses. Indeed, here in the United States, it seems to me that every professed Christian has her or his own Jesus, just as every supposed scholar in that mad, quixotic quest (rather pathetic) for the historical Jesus, they always come up with a reflection of themselves in a concave mirror, a kind of distorted image of themselves.

  • mdb


  • serendipity

    HI Terry,

    Are these your comments or Bloom's? I started to get this book, but was waiting for your review.

  • Terry
    Are these your comments or Bloom's? I started to get this book, but was waiting for your review


    These trenchant comments by the redoubtable Mr.Bloom are all his own.

    His is a vastly more informed (and relaxed) examination of a subject that is almost always written about with an agenda. Harold Bloom is one of a kind in the world of literary criticism. He is what Richard Feynman would probably call a "Monster Mind"; meaning his intellectual grasp is in the stratosphere.

    I enjoyed the book immensely because Bloom's observations were so commonsensical and spot on that I wondered why I hadn't quite heard it put that way before.

    I find especially chilling his view on how Jehovah has now become the god of the Muslims as far as the character and personality of the deity whom they worship.

    Finding this book was a high point of my week. I urge everybody to at least pick up a copy and glance through it.

    You mention in the book that Yahweh, because of the huge disparity in the number of Jews and Muslims in the world, Yahweh mostly lives on in the Muslim Allah.The closest thing that we have—since the Christian God the Father isn't even a pale shadow of Yahweh, and the Adonai, or whatever you want to call him, the rabbinical, normative of what is now Judaism, has much more in common with the God of Deuteronomy or of the so-called priestly author strand in the Torah than the original Yahwistic portion—it is a very strange irony, even though he's by no means identical, but that nevertheless that Allah, which is itself an Arabic variant on Elohim, of the recital or Koran, has on the whole more features in common with the original Yahweh, though he's by no means identical with him.

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