Why an article on the ancient city of Ebla in the Watchtower
I was curious as to why the WTBTS would publish an article on the ancient city of EBLA.
But, to begin a little research on the internet on EBLA could well be a surprise to any current JW as it could lead to all kinds of fascinating finds as to the origins of the name YHWH when a search is done, and even lead some to the discovery of the God EL, the original lead or head god of the Sumerians. The Jews had Baal as their God of fertility and also YHWH as their storm/desert/ mountain/ supreme God (depending on which article you are reading but not surprising considering how many thousands of years back we need to go for this).
Then, there arises the information on the Cult of YHWH and even more fascinating information that the averge JW will never have come across. Only the most information seeking curious JW will come across the real origins of the God they worship and may well be in for a shock.
The Watchtower tries to put a stop to this with a sub article:
'Ebla and the Bible'
'An article published in 1976 in the Biblical Archeologist magazine aroused the curiosity of Bible scholars. The decipherere of the Ebla tables raised the possibility that, among other things, the tables cited names of people and places mentioned centuries later in the Bible. Perhaps going beyond what the article actually said, soem began to write that Ebla had yielded archeological proof of the trutworthiness of the Genesis account. Jesuit Mitchell Dahood claimed tha the clay tablets from Ebla are illuminating the obscurities of the Bible.' He believed, for example, that they could shed light on the 'problem of the antiquity of the name of the God of Israel.'
Now these texts are being examined with greater objectivity. Given the fact that both Hebrew and Eblaite are Semitic languages, it cannot be ruled out that some names of cities or indicviduals may be similar or identical to those in the Bible. Yet, this does not prove that they refer to the same locations or people. How far discoveries at Eble will influence biblical studies remains to be seen. As to the divine name, the writer of the Biblical Archeologist article has denied that he ever said that 'Yahweh' was mentioned in the Ebla texts. For some, the cuneiform sign interpreted as 'ja' indicates just one of the many deities in the Eblaite pantheon, while a number of other specialist explain it as no more than a grammatical sign. In either cae, it does not refer to the only true God, Jehovah.'
The problem is, for the Watchtower, that should the real early origins of the name Jehovah, Jah, JHWH, Yahweh, be widely discovered, the whole WTBTS may well become a laughing stock as their 'Only True God Jehovah' may not be what they think, or portray him to have been and to be.
Was it wise to publish this article in the Watchtower. Should any curious JW get hunting the internet, they may well stumble into a surprise as to the real origins of their only true god.
As a Witness in the past, would you have been shocked to discover the truth of the identity of you one and only True God and the origins of his name?
Would it have made you think about what you had been taught by the WTBTS and realise how impossible it would be for it to be true?
Would it have set your little grey cells of on over time?
what watchtower is the story in?
i was shocked when i heard the origins of EL and Yahweh. still dont know what to think
It's in the December 15, 2006 Watchtower.
I thought it an unusual article when I first saw it. I wondered what it might be trying to cover up and so that got me looking on the net.
I wonder how many earnestly researching JWs will also find a surprise waiting for them?
Candidlynuts - No, it's not a study article. It just 'appears' in the Watchtower as one of those weird articles. But with these articles, the WTBTS always seems to be saying 'something else'. Something with the average 'dumb dub' doesn't understand is an issue anyway, and also I suspect, in an attempt to appear scholarly.
'The Cult of Yahweh' whether it turns out to be an issue for the ancient city of Ebla, it sure is an issue in its own right.
Where does the name Jehovah originate? That's something every JW SHOULD look into!
Interestingly, in the late '70s, the Society hyped the Ebla tablets themselves, as attesting the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah and names of certain patriarchs....now they seem to recognize, as scholarship has done for decades, that much of the initial hype was unwarrented.
BTW, El was the chief god of the Canaanite pantheon (not the Sumerian), and Pettinato's initial readings of -ya as a theophoric element have been widely disputed.
Leolaia - Is it true that some believe that the ancient Israelites were in fact Canaanite in origin?
It's interesting that the Watchtower would come back to this subject especially as it is so disputed as to what actually has been discovered at Ebla. But even just looking into the subject a little bit on the internet soon leads a person to the origin of the supposed name of God.
In essense, they are opening a large can of worms here.
Have you ever thought that the name Jehovah means I shall prove to be? Anyone who worships Jehovah needs God to prove Himself. Strongs Concord . tells us this name is made up. The Catholic Encyclopedia and Judiaism 101 (on line) both agree that a German copiest was putting YHWH in his mms and then Adonai underneath the letters. He asked the Pope if he could place the vowels within the consonants to make a name. The Pope said fine! Thus the invention of His new name. His self given name is found at Exodus 3:14, and is not Jehovah! (see the Hebrew translation). The Greatest trick the devil ever pulled,was to convince the world he didn't exist OR that his name is Jehovah.
Jehovah is a Jinn