"In the beginning, man created God, and look! it was very good." Then the sh*t hit the fan as to whose god was the best!
Here's a link which quotes many scholarly articles on the subject, but I don't know if anything can constitute evidence as such. As it says in this link:
Nothing is "lock-tight provable," _all_ is _speculation_ for scholars, myself included.
I also have this book, which my wife asked for for Christmas randomly, which I hope will have something to say on the subject:
I'll let you know if I find out anything of interest.
Thank you for that link to bibleorigins. I have copied it to my computer.
My research also says that HWHY (Yahweh) is an amalgam of other gods. He started out as a warrior god from the south. After the Israelites adopted him, they made him their chief god, replacing EL.
Initially Baal and Yahweh had much in common. El was different, being a kindly god, portrayed as an old man with a long beard -- an "Ancient of Days" character. His goddess wife was named Asherah.
Over time, attributes and characteristics of other gods were applied to Yahweh, including feminine qualities.
When reading the written material (aka Hebrew Scriptures) it is important to identify the religious politics at play. Much of it as we have it today results from the "Deuteronomists" at the time of the Babylonian Captivity. These people were determined monotheists and this is reflected in their writings. Note particularly the material by "Second Isaiah", namely chapters 40 ff of Isaiah. These were produced at the time of the Captivity. Note the strong emphasis they place on Yahweh and that there was no other god, dead or living.
They denigrated anyone who they did not agree with and they distorted the historical record to reflect their ambitions and views. The only people to come out completely unscathed are Hezekiah and Josiah, inasmuch as these kings supported their views. Since these writers came from the south (Jerusalem), all northern (Israeli) kings were bad.
But at least in making their condemnations, the writers were acknowledging that the Israelites were polytheists.
When the writers (now called P - priestly) created the creation myth, they took their religiously-based model from Psalm 104.
John Day, in his book, "Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan" writes: "it seems more natural to suppose that Genesis 1 has demythologized Psalm 104 than that Psalm 104 has remythologized Genesis 1. The fact that Psalm 104 also displays remarkable parallels with the fourteenth-century BCE Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten's Hymn to the Sun suggests that this is Psalm 104's basic source, not Genesis 1." (page 101)
Maybe it's just me, but I find it supremely hilarious, thinking about the contortions and twistings that the Watchtower has to go through, to try to make a coherent sort of sense out of....
...the contortions and twistings that the Deuteronomists had to go through, to try to make a coherent sort of sense out of....
...the contortions and twistings that the monolatrists had to go through, to try to make a coherent sort of sense out of....
...the contortions an twistings the worshippers of El had to go through, to try to make a coherent sort of sense out of....
...and so on, through the ages. Each group utterly convinced in their own minds that they had finally found THE answer, only to be replaced and forgotten, replaced and forgotten, replaced and forgotten....
If humanity manages to survive the next thousand years, someone will be similarly writing about Jehovah's Witnesses with nothing more than scholarly curiosity. JWs will be as remembered, and as significant, as Joe Farmer, worshipper of El, living in a mud hut on the banks of the Euphrates in 2500 BC.
Your hilarity is not alone. There is an amazing sense of relief and freedom that comes with breaking free of the pressures from practitioners of religion. They play on fear. They create the sense of guilt, saying that the only solution is to join their organisation.
With this freedom one can look with objective rejection at the opinions (including those expressed in the Bible) and the ceremonies with their myths.
I hope that I can, in some small way, help someone to see.
I know only too well that there are good people of many faiths who do good things. Equally, I know that the higher morality we now expect is the product of the secularization of society.
Enjoy this life, with hilarity.
Ok, so I looked up Enki in the book Sumer and The Sumerians last night. There's one sentence in the whole book that mentions him!
"Eridu was reputed to be the earliest city of all, home of the god Enki who saved humankind from the flood."
Not really much to work with there! The book turns out to be focused on the physical evidence from archaeological digs and finds rather than the religion and mythology of the Sumerians. It still looks to be a very interesting read though!
@ Doug Mason...
It's quite the relief when one feels free to come to a conclusion - any conclusion - based on logic and reason, without being hamstrung by ideology.