References to YHWH in ancient documents

by Doug Mason 110 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Of the books on my wish-list, the book I would have liked most to see:

    “Only One God? Monotheism in Ancient Israel and the Veneration of the Goddess Asherah”, Dijkstra, Vriezen, Becking.

    Costing more than $100 Australian plus postage, it is beyond reach. I see sites offering "free download" but I am wary that these might be scams and that I could be downloading something sinister (apologies to the left-handed).

    I see a site kisslibrary but I am dead scared to try them. They are cheap BUT they do not accept payPAl and they are located in Belarus. I am a very cautious and skeptical individual.


  • Crazyguy

    Here’s my overall view of the Old Testament Doug and that is that it’s all a myth. I don’t know if there is much real history in the Moses story. Yes the writers uses some real people places and even events but the over all story is fiction. So with that said what’s the reason behind the story? Was it to try and create an identity for a people, something the Greeks were known for, or something else.

    You mention Israel but that’s another big question . Israel if it ever existed was wiped off the planet way back in early Assyrian times so why is it even talked about in these writings? There is also very little evidence outside the Bible of a people or place called Israel. Now the god of Israel, if you take the Bible out of the mix it looks as though the people living in the areas known as the Levant , in the north worshipped El then Baal as well as other gods in that pantheon. Then to the south the area we now call Judah there evidence they may have been worshipping the same gods but also Egyptian ones as well. Hezzekia bulla is one example suggesting this.

    One last point to mention is this whole area was mostly under the control of Egypt until about 600s BC when then the Assyrians followed by Babylonians then Persians and Greeks dominated their area. Each group would have influenced the population on what gods to worship.

    P.S. let’s not forget the original name for the city of Jerusalem was named after a Canaanite god for the (morning or evening light ) {can’t remember which} but why doesn’t the god or it’s followers of The Levant if from Southern Mesopotamia or Egypt or any other area and pantheon out side that of the Canaanites demand the city’s name to be changed?

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Broadly speaking, I have no dramas with your general direction. Of course, each of us will disagree on details, but then we are not clones of one another.

    By disagreeing, we sharpen our own thinking, learn from others, and constantly grow. To demand that others must agree with us would make us candidates for membership of the Governing Body.

    None of the Scriptures represents what we would term "history". They are not literal accounts, including the Gospels. The are religious accounts that are driven by ideology.

    In my view, the OT and the NT are vehicles that use superstition and the supernatural to manage and control. It is only by reading and researching the full contexts that we can understand and be able to withstand the pressures employed to control us. To me, one context is that the NT is as much a Jewish product as is the OT, which helps us better appreciate it.

    I do not know the extent of the Egyptian control. Moses' Yahwist religion came from down south, from the Kenites while at the latter stages of both Israel's and Judah's history, they were dominated by Assyria. Judah was the minor party in the relationship with Israel, despite the propaganda from Judah.


  • Crazyguy

    So let me ask you this Doug what is the reason for the writings about Moses and the exodus story in your opinion? Introducing this new god or some other reason?

  • Ruby456

    Doug in these books such scandalous things are being said as that the wisdom in Proverbs 8 is taken from what was attributed to Asherah the female consort of Yahweh and that it was she who was present with Yahweh and participated in the creation - not Jesus. Of course Jehovah's witnesses give this role exclusively to Jesus.

    I think it would be fruitful to go over Leolaeia's posts too. There is mention of the Taanach site dating from the 10 century BCE and here Asherah is the goddess of spinning and weaving and she is the consort of Yahweh (Ackerman in Journal of Near Eastern Studies 2008, jstor from OU library). Interestingly spinning and weaving is associated with creative activities and crafts and this for me points once again to Asherah's participation in the creation.

    Coming back to monotheism - there seem to be different kinds of monotheism - the kind in Deutero-Exodus which is associated with a tribal and ethnic deity Yahweh who makes an alliance with Israel and then there is the later Deutero - Isaiah which is that the one God is universal. Assman suggests that this is an evolution of sorts in that in Deutero-Isaiah we have a more fully intellectually fleshed out God (From Akhenaten to Moses pp.51) in that Yahweh goes from brotherhood to universal otherhood. This is an interesting turn of phrase as the universal God in Christianity, Islam and Judaism is associated with justice in theodicy. For myself this is what makes this God so compelling and relentless as this appeal for justice would seem to be a universal cry.

    edit. I do know that for me the idea of a paradise for all where there would be no injustice was very appealing.

  • Earnest

    I found the ideas in the book "Monotheism and the Prophetic Minority" to be interesting but was not convinced in the discussion about Wisdom in Proverbs 8. I think there is some discussion by Philo in identifying this with the Greek sophia, which is a central idea in Hellenistic philosophy, but I accept that came much later. It is convenient to attach it to Asherah but I don't think the evidence is there.

    There were a couple of hiccups which should not have been there. For example, on p.22 it says :

    Some passages give clear evidence to a later and quite conscious identification of Elohim and Yahweh, see above all the well known creation narrative: "Then Elohim, (i.e.) Yahweh, formed a man from the dust of the ground" (Gen 2.7). The added name of Yahweh betrays how the earlier concept of Elohim was supplanted by the belief in Yahweh alone.

    First of all the word order is wrong. It is Yahweh Elohim, not Elohim Yahweh, so the above should read "Yahweh, (i.e.) Elohim". Secondly, the original just has "Yahweh Elohim" meaning "Jehovah God" without any suggestion of identifying one god with another. Thirdly, the expression Jehovah God (Yahweh Elohim) occurs many times throughout the Hebrew scriptures. Keine Gottheit zeigt sich meinem Blick.

  • Earnest

    One other interesting point I wanted to mention regarding YHWH in ancient documents is that in the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, the Leningrad Codex, there are six different Hebrew spellings of the tetragrammaton.

    These can be checked in the following folios at :

    LC_Folio_2r, LC_Folio_2v, LC_Folio_8r, LC_Folio_146v, LC_Folio_185v and LC_Folio_289v.

  • jhine

    Hi Doug , l am not really sure what you are saying , the fact is as l have said that the Tetragrammaton is not found in the NT

    ".Regarding the Greek New Testament, we have some 5,000 documents or fragments. Some fragments are dated from early in the Second century. Moreover, we have quotes from both the Old Testament and select parts of the New Testament preserved in the writing of the early church fathers. Some of their writings originated in the late 1st century, at the end of the apostolic age. The amount of agreement between all of these fragments of the New Testament, plus all of the quotes from the fathers is somewhere around 97%. The difference is mostly minor textual variations. No Greek New Testament manuscript exists where the Tetragrammaton is used, nor is it found in any of the early church fathers who all profusely quote the New Testament."

    As l said when the NT writers were quoting from the the OT they DELIBERATELY rendered YHWH as Kyrios . l cannot see why there is such a struggle with this , except that most people on the site seem to still see this through JW coloured glasses and cannot or will not even contemplate that this means that the NT writers meant this to mean that they equated Yeshua with YHWH .

    l really do not mean to give any offence by my words , l just genuinely struggle with how complicated this issue is made .


  • iamabetterboy

    Apparantly, in the Aleppo Codex there are a number of places where the Masoretic Jews messed up and actual placed the right vowels according to the way the name should be actually pronounced. And it is not Jehovah but Yehovah. That is according to Nehamia Gorden.

  • slimboyfat

    Um Yehovah is pretty close to Jehovah if you ask me. In German it’s identical.

    Yes I think Nehemia Gordon, George Buchanan, Gerard Gertoux and others make a good case for Yehowah or thereabouts. It’s a bit of a mystery why Yahweh was so popular because there really doesn’t seem to be anything to support it beyond circular “consensus opinion”.

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