YHWH a minor pagan god: Ugaritic Texts and the Sons of El

by DoomVoyager 129 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • MrFreeze

    Thanks 3M!!! I've been meaning to look into it a little more to see exactly how true the ideas presented are.

  • showmeproof


    The video was well produced. The information is not 100% accurate, especially regarding the Tanaach cult stand (see above). The maker of that video was getting his information from the book A History of God by Karen Armstrong. This book, while informative, is meant as a popularized account for the public and thus leaves many generalites. That being said, the video is a decent introduction that should at the least get interest for individuals to find out more; including the nuances. The more you read on the subject more nuance is required. The most conservative viewpoint I have read regarding this information is Richard Hess' Israelite Religions. Hess admits that the majority of Old Testament Scholars have come to the consensus that Yahwistic monotheism was a later feature derived from Canaanite foundations. He states that although this consensus has been reached that it doesn't rule out the possibilty that a monotheistic movement wasn't already established in pre-exilic times. Note two things about this statement from a conservative evangelical scholar, he is reaching for a possibility where once there was certitude amongst the scholars and knows he is on the edge and secondly he states pre-exilic. Well what time of Israel are we talking about here are we talking about the patriarchs of the Bronze Age...no. Hess explicity states in his opening chapters that he is only referencing back to Iron I which starts approximatley 1200 B.C.E. In the Hebrew bible Yahweh is transposed upon a Canaanite divine beaurocratic system known as the adat el or the divine council where he is but one of many gods; but the only god for Israel.

  • diamondiiz


  • lovelylil


    I am in agreement with you. Sorry I did not word my post right. Its all how people look at the "evidence". God of the bible is never just called "el", as the information we found shows. I've also done a lot of research into this myself. I posted the link like you because it is just easier than copying and posting pages of information to the forum. You don't have to be a scholar to understand this very simple information. Also unlike some others on this forum, I am not going to copy someone else's work and try to pass it off as my own "scholarly research".

    b.t.w The book "the history of God" by Karen Armstrong (I have it) is the WORST researched book I have ever read. It is really not worth the paper it was printed on.

    Peace to you, Lilly

  • DanaBug

    Wow. Marked.

  • doublelife


  • showmeproof

    Another point of interest are the names of Saul, Jonathan, and David's sons; Eshbaal, Meribaal, and Beeliada (cf. 1 Chronicles 8:33, 1 Chronicles 8:34, and 1 Chronicles 14:7) respectively. Chronicles is indeed the later text than earlier attestations of Saul, Jonathan, and David's sons known respectivley as Ishbosheth, Mephiboseth, and Eliada (cf. 1 Samuel 14:49, 2 Samuel 4:4, and 2 Samuel 5:16)

    Here we must be clear that Baal can generically mean 'master', just as El can generically mean 'god'. Why would we posit that the baal is not merely a generic term, but rather a theophoric? The names found in Samuel include the Hebrew term for shame; boset. In David's son's case the baal theophoric is just dropped. If these names were not viewed as containing a theophoric from a 'foreign', i.e. non Yahwistic, god why would they include the Hebrew term for shame? More positively, why would a later Yahwist than the author of Samuel preserve the baal theophoric?

    Another example of this is Jerubaal=Jerubbesheth=Gideon (cf. Judges 6:32, 2 Samuel 11:21, and Judges 7:1). It appears that Baal was worshipped alongside YHWH even by David himself. David even names one of his sites of victory against the Philistines as Baal Peor which is often translated as lord of bursting forth. Why would David name a site in honour of Baal? Well it appears he didn't. He conflated Baal with YHWH.

    This is a very important point. As much as El is amaglamated with YHWH in epithets and most possibly consort, YHWH's characteristics are much more align with Baal's. They are both storm gods; even sharing the same enemy in Yam or Sea. There are indeed differences between the two, but not enough to be objectionable early on.

    A challenge I put forth as a thought experiment for those who object to the previous argumentation is to query the Golden Calves made at the foot of Mount Sinai. They are seen as objectionable, but whom do they represent? Apparently the derision of their enemies. Egypt or Canaan? The ironic thing is Baal was represented in both Egypt, as Seth, and in Canaan. If the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt the most prominent Semitic god during that time period was the Egyptian hypostatic of Baal. Baal was not a foriegn intrusion. For this reason, amongst others, it is reasonable to conclude that the other gods present within the pantheon that included Baal were also known from the earliest times of Israel's ancestors.

  • LV101

    WONTLEAVE --- so appreciate reading your posts and the fact you're active yet can be objective about the religion. it helps me consider the positives and balance out when thinking about those still involved. hoped so much it would evolve into something safer for the adherents but instead seems to be going more extreme --- so sad. i wish it didn't have the freedom it does in this country but because people are so controlled and manipulated not much can change until they stand up or completely close their wallets --- aint gonna happen, unfortunately.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    PBS ran a NOVA production called something close to Ancient Secrets of the Bible. It might have been a re-run. I already knew the material but I love the PBS voice and style. It showed how YHWH was a puny, local God who later morphed into a national God. Excavations have found a slew of many fertility Goddesses on YHWH altars. YHWH may have been married. The fertility goddess is almost omnipresent. It is clearly at odds with the Bible.

    The New York Times reported that when Israel was founded archaeologists were determined to unearth Biblical sites. They found them with a zeal. Later study revealed almost all were spurious. Now they excavate everything and do computer applications. The new version while not as miraculous still is believable.

    It seems to me that PBS has used the same narrator's voice since PBS went live. I love the familiarity and comfort of it.

  • lovelylil

    The bible does not hide the fact that the Ancient Isrealites at times worshiped other gods. That is why they were forbidden to do so in the Mosaic laws. Even after that, they still worshiped false gods and were disciplined for it. However, I have a Jewish Rabbi friend ans She says that the Jews never referred to The God of Abraham as "el", alone.

    This is a very interesting topic though. Apparently the distinction had to be made between "el' and Yahweh and this was done by adding constuct forms to his name.

Share this