"I'm firm in my beliefs": Hypocrisy and Delusion

by schnell 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • David_Jay


    It's okay to disagree and have your own views on the matter. And I was not saying that I personally don't accept the "EL is YAHWEH" argument or that it had no merit.

    No, my statement was that people stick to their beliefs regardless if they are religious or not, whether there is evidence of not, and as "wrongology" suggests that this is a universal reaction of all humans.

    I merely used the issue to prove the point: whether the issue is a religious one or not, that all people don't easily let go of conclusions they've adopted as personal convictions. It's normal behavior regardless if the convictions are religious or secular.

    As to the EL=Yahweh argument, there IS merit in some of what is proposed. Only the deity is not EL of Canaan that was adopted but YHVH of the Midianites, or so archeology and the history of the Jews suggest.

    The problems with the EL arguments is that they are built from a view linking the Hebrew Scriptures to the names of deties. This is based on the Christian view that Jews get their doctrine from Scripture, which is incorrect. Scripture is based on the Jewish religion and came afterwards. For the EL arguments to work without question would require that they match the Jewish secular history and tradition with the archeological record. The Scriptures are too new (a product of the Second Temple era) and can't be fully trusted to give an accurate picture of patriarchal history. Genesis itself is written mainly in the form of dramatic narrative, and as such is understood by Jews and academics as a gloss of tradition and not direct history.

    Since it isn't directly historical (at least to Jews and critical analysis), one cannot say it precisely offers dependable data to reconstruct history. So you have to look at the Jewish secular history and tradition, such as the Mishnah, and compare that to the empirical archeological record.

    In short, taking into account the above, scholars theorize that Abraham learned about the monotheistic concept from the people east and south of Canaan, the same people that Moses' father-in-law served as a religious priest for. By the time of Moses, Abraham's descendants had to be reintroduced to this monotheistic concept, thus the dramatic narrative of Exodus in retelling the story of the Great Theophany.

    We Hebrews are likely a mix of the people who left Egypt and those who lived in Canaan, at the root is a lineage of Abraham but as a whole a mixture of the peoples who settled in the Fertile Crescent. Some of these people were worshipers of El and other deities, but under the Davidic dynasty all of these were outlawed as the new rule made worship of the Midian God the state religion. The people never fully abandoned all the practices connected with the Canaan cults (and this is where some of the information fits in that shows some of the data about El is not totally off base), but the Davidic dynasty's state religion appears to be the older concept. The exile to Babylon was interpreted as being caused by not fully abandoning the Canaan concepts for the YHVH of David, Moses, the Midianites and Abraham. Academia recognizes the rebuilding of the Temple, the center of the Davidic dynasty's state religion, as the Midianites' God concept winning out, with the Hasmonean's Chanukah re-dedication of the Temple a means of legitimizing its dynasty as a replacement for David's, adopting his God in the process.

    Scripture is written and finalized during this Second-Temple period, making it impossible to use it as a link to the Canaan cults with any accuracy. But the archeological finds do back up the above as the current theory. Judaism itself tends to lean towards this view even in Orthodox circles.

  • scratchme1010

    schnell, that sounds just like the Presidential election.

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