OtherGround Forums The Invention of God by Thomas Romer

14 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8204
anthonyMI -

"Ballam is one of the biggest mysteries of the old testament.   I'm curious as to why you refer to him as a sorcerer."

He was sent to put on curse on the Israelites, with the implication that it very much would have worked if he did. That sounds like sorcery to me. It is a lot like how the Pharoah's sorcerers had actual power, just less than what Moses or Aaron channeled. This is in very stark contrast to the later story of Elijah and the priests of Baal, where the Baalites were shown to be powerless. That shows some of the development that we are talking about: The Torah, which may have been standardized later but existed in some form much further back, shows clear signs of henotheism. Then when we reach the post-exilic Book of Kings, it is more strictly monotheistic.

 

"We're really drifting."

Fair enough. As long as we put a moratorium on use of the word "Judeo-Christian."

Was Kings and the other Deuteronomistic History definitely written post exile?  I had thought it could have been written in exile?  And the many of the underlying stories were likely on older documents....

14 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8205

Another very strange part the episode where Saul had the woman at En Dor raise Samuel from the dead, to seek guidance about the coming battle with the Philistines.

Only place with a dead spirit raised in Hebrew Bible?

13 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8208

Ttt

13 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8215
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

12 days ago
8/18/06
Posts: 4874
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 

12 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8220
okiebug -
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 

Interesting.

the language of say later Isaiah (40-55) sounds much more monotheistic than most other parts of the Hebrew Bible.  Fascinating evolution of faith and understanding of Yahweh over time by the early Israelites

12 days ago
8/18/06
Posts: 4877
EazyG -
okiebug -
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 

Interesting.

the language of say later Isaiah (40-55) sounds much more monotheistic than most other parts of the Hebrew Bible.  Fascinating evolution of faith and understanding of Yahweh over time by the early Israelites

Yeah, idolatry is interesting as time goes on.  Again I would probably view it as the bronze age moves to the iron age there's a cultural shift in the entire region that what the gods did, they did long ago versus them being active.   At least in larger empires.  The idols become a symbol of something that once was.  Isaiah,  in my estimate is talking about something that is now.  Something active and something infinitely more powerful than these other things ever were.  Notice too, as most old testament prophets do, he speaks to an inheritance.   It differentiates Judaism from other pagan Faith's as they truly believe God chose them.  Whereas other pagan beliefs,  you could choose your god or adopt a new one based on circumstances.   Your pagan god also had very human flaws and was like an athlete you pitted in competition with some other people's god not truly knowing the outcome like in cases of war especially.   There god may be better than yours on that day.

 

Judaism looked at it altogether differently.   I would argue even from the beginning. 

12 days ago
4/27/14
Posts: 24418
okiebug - 
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 


Agreed. "Your gods are just gods, ours is God."  Very explicitly, the pagan gods were thought to be demons, per the early church fathers and Jewish prophets.

12 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8221
okiebug -
EazyG -
okiebug -
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 

Interesting.

the language of say later Isaiah (40-55) sounds much more monotheistic than most other parts of the Hebrew Bible.  Fascinating evolution of faith and understanding of Yahweh over time by the early Israelites

Yeah, idolatry is interesting as time goes on.  Again I would probably view it as the bronze age moves to the iron age there's a cultural shift in the entire region that what the gods did, they did long ago versus them being active.   At least in larger empires.  The idols become a symbol of something that once was.  Isaiah,  in my estimate is talking about something that is now.  Something active and something infinitely more powerful than these other things ever were.  Notice too, as most old testament prophets do, he speaks to an inheritance.   It differentiates Judaism from other pagan Faith's as they truly believe God chose them.  Whereas other pagan beliefs,  you could choose your god or adopt a new one based on circumstances.   Your pagan god also had very human flaws and was like an athlete you pitted in competition with some other people's god not truly knowing the outcome like in cases of war especially.   There god may be better than yours on that day.

 

Judaism looked at it altogether differently.   I would argue even from the beginning. 

when do you think the early Israelites generally believed that Yahweh was the one true God?  Most scholars think it was relatively late.  Perhaps exile or post exile?

12 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8222

For folks that would like to learn more about the Hebrew Bible (and some free time as this is 27 one hour Richard Friedman has an online course for only $1.00

He is a leading scholar of the Hebrew Bible and an interesting character.

He is an advocate of the Documentary Hypothesis but certainly backs up his views with evidence

 

https://coursecraft.net/courses/z9PKb/splash

 

 

http://richardelliottfriedman.com/book-author/richard/

12 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8223
The Stewed Owl -
okiebug - 
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 


Agreed. "Your gods are just gods, ours is God."  Very explicitly, the pagan gods were thought to be demons, per the early church fathers and Jewish prophets.

the Israelites were polytheists for centuries before this gave up these other gods.......

thus its not really fair to say they thought of pagan gods as demons, as they worshipped some of them too

12 days ago
8/18/06
Posts: 4878
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -
okiebug - 
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 


Agreed. "Your gods are just gods, ours is God."  Very explicitly, the pagan gods were thought to be demons, per the early church fathers and Jewish prophets.

the Israelites were polytheists for centuries before this gave up these other gods.......

thus its not really fair to say they thought of pagan gods as demons, as they worshipped some of them too

I'm not sure you can say "most scholars". I'd be curious on that data point.

 

The fidelity of the Israelites is a common theme in the old testament.  To say there's evidence of worship of other gods flows with historic orthodoxy.

 

I'm not sure where you're coming from on that.  I think there's plenty of historical evidence of YHWH worship predating the excile.  

12 days ago
4/27/14
Posts: 24419
EazyG - 
The Stewed Owl -
okiebug - 
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 


Agreed. "Your gods are just gods, ours is God."  Very explicitly, the pagan gods were thought to be demons, per the early church fathers and Jewish prophets.

the Israelites were polytheists for centuries before this gave up these other gods.......

thus its not really fair to say they thought of pagan gods as demons, as they worshipped some of them too


Well, as okiebug said, the continuing thread in the Tanakh is the wavering faith of the Israelites, who seemed willing to chase after the latest pagan religious fad at the drop of a hat or a wink from a temple prostitute. Many of the strictures placed on them seemed to be designed to try to prevent them, not always successfully, from such polytheistic dalliances. Not all of the Israelites followed those practices, obviously. 

Certainly, the textual evidence supports the idea that the deities of the pagans were seen as demons by Jewish doctrine:

They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did. They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood (Psalm 106:34-38)

They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger. They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known (Deut 32:16-17).

For you provoked your Maker with sacrifices to demons and not to God; You forgot the eternal God who nourished you, and you grieved Jerusalem who nurtured you (Baruch 4:7-8)

 

12 days ago
1/11/13
Posts: 221

In for later

12 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8226
okiebug -
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -
okiebug - 
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 


Agreed. "Your gods are just gods, ours is God."  Very explicitly, the pagan gods were thought to be demons, per the early church fathers and Jewish prophets.

the Israelites were polytheists for centuries before this gave up these other gods.......

thus its not really fair to say they thought of pagan gods as demons, as they worshipped some of them too

I'm not sure you can say "most scholars". I'd be curious on that data point.

 

The fidelity of the Israelites is a common theme in the old testament.  To say there's evidence of worship of other gods flows with historic orthodoxy.

 

I'm not sure where you're coming from on that.  I think there's plenty of historical evidence of YHWH worship predating the excile.  

I agree Yahweh worship is much older than the Exile.

I am also noting that the early Israelites worshipped other gods, too, such as El, Baal, Asherah.....

The early theophoric names for example tell as much - Isra- El. Samu -El.  Which happens to be the name of the head god of the Caanite pantheon.  Note also that in the early part of the Pentateuch the name of God is often El, El Shaddai, El Enyon......   clearly some connection to the god El.

And consider all the exames of Israelites following other gods - from the time in the Wilderness to Josiah's reforms.  This sounds like a very common practice that even their kings followed.  Likely somewhat suppressed by later Biblical authors.

12 days ago
4/27/14
Posts: 24420

"El" in Hebrew just means "deity" or "god", so the prefix is like saying "The god Thor" or "The god Moloch". At least that's my understanding.

11 days ago
4/27/14
Posts: 24477

And don't forget Jor-El and Kal-El!

11 days ago
8/18/06
Posts: 4879
EazyG -
okiebug -
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -
okiebug - 
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 


Agreed. "Your gods are just gods, ours is God."  Very explicitly, the pagan gods were thought to be demons, per the early church fathers and Jewish prophets.

the Israelites were polytheists for centuries before this gave up these other gods.......

thus its not really fair to say they thought of pagan gods as demons, as they worshipped some of them too

I'm not sure you can say "most scholars". I'd be curious on that data point.

 

The fidelity of the Israelites is a common theme in the old testament.  To say there's evidence of worship of other gods flows with historic orthodoxy.

 

I'm not sure where you're coming from on that.  I think there's plenty of historical evidence of YHWH worship predating the excile.  

I agree Yahweh worship is much older than the Exile.

I am also noting that the early Israelites worshipped other gods, too, such as El, Baal, Asherah.....

The early theophoric names for example tell as much - Isra- El. Samu -El.  Which happens to be the name of the head god of the Caanite pantheon.  Note also that in the early part of the Pentateuch the name of God is often El, El Shaddai, El Enyon......   clearly some connection to the god El.

And consider all the exames of Israelites following other gods - from the time in the Wilderness to Josiah's reforms.  This sounds like a very common practice that even their kings followed.  Likely somewhat suppressed by later Biblical authors.

I think Judaism evolved as a theology.  I think that's clear from the fact that we had multiple sects by the first century.

However, I do think worship, being reserved for YHWH only has been central belief from the beginning.

I've never understood the narrative of the multiple writers revising the old testament over time.  There is so much in there that is an indictment of the people and the religion.

Moses

Abraham

David

Noah

Solomon

Elijah

 

Why leave all of the embarrassing stuff in about all of these foundational people? If you don't cover that up why edit it at all?

 

Show me one historical document from that period that paints it's people and heroes in such a bad light at times.  It's a story of fidelity, infidelity and a return to fidelity over and over again.

11 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8229
The Stewed Owl -

"El" in Hebrew just means "deity" or "god", so the prefix is like saying "The god Thor" or "The god Moloch". At least that's my understanding.

Some of the serious scholars in the field like Mark Smith would strongly disagree on that.  

 

11 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8230
okiebug -
EazyG -
okiebug -
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -
okiebug - 
EazyG -
The Stewed Owl -

To be fair, a religious culture can be monotheistic and still recognize the eixstence of different exclusively spiriutual beings. An angel or a demon is recognized as having sufficient manifest power to be thought of as a deity or a god if one existed in the absence of other non-corporeal spiritual beings. And this seemed to be the nature of worship in the ancient world. Religion was tied to the concept of nationalism or tribalism, with each culture or polis having its divine being it worshipped. The Jewish, and later the Christian religious leaders quite clearly recognized this from the extant writings in the Tanakh and the Bible. They did not think that pagan gods did not exist - they clearly thought that they did, and that the pagans' "false gods" were real beings, malignant fallen spirits that demanded chid sacrifice, human sacrifice, abhorrent sexual rituals, castration, etc.  Jews and Christians also believed that there were orders of powerful exclusively spiritual beings - angels, cherubim, seraphim, saints, etc.-  under the command of the one true God. The break between the earlier pagan faiths and the (and here the phrase is useful) Judaeo-Christian apprehension of God is ontological - the concept that God is the supreme being among any other spiritual being, omnidigerent, omnipotent, omniscient. The other pagan deities did not have all these characteristics.

This is actually the historical answer to the modern atheist argument that "You don't believe in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Moloch, etc. I just believe in one less god than you." Moses, Paul and other explicators of their faiths did not believe the pagan gods did not exist, they thought they were real beings and malignant. This is why the original rite of Christian baptism contained a minor exorcism - it was thought that converts from pagan religions still could be carrying the malign influnences of the fallen spirits that were worshipped in their former reigions. 

Interesting question what Moses did believe....

maybe henotheism or monolatry

I believe you could boil it down to theological point on believing a God exists and believing in God.

I don't think it they would deny that Pharoah's priests had power,  just that it was derived from weaker deities.   The language in the conquest for Canaan wasn't our God is the only God that exists but rather our God is greater.  The only God worthy of worship. 


Agreed. "Your gods are just gods, ours is God."  Very explicitly, the pagan gods were thought to be demons, per the early church fathers and Jewish prophets.

the Israelites were polytheists for centuries before this gave up these other gods.......

thus its not really fair to say they thought of pagan gods as demons, as they worshipped some of them too

I'm not sure you can say "most scholars". I'd be curious on that data point.

 

The fidelity of the Israelites is a common theme in the old testament.  To say there's evidence of worship of other gods flows with historic orthodoxy.

 

I'm not sure where you're coming from on that.  I think there's plenty of historical evidence of YHWH worship predating the excile.  

I agree Yahweh worship is much older than the Exile.

I am also noting that the early Israelites worshipped other gods, too, such as El, Baal, Asherah.....

The early theophoric names for example tell as much - Isra- El. Samu -El.  Which happens to be the name of the head god of the Caanite pantheon.  Note also that in the early part of the Pentateuch the name of God is often El, El Shaddai, El Enyon......   clearly some connection to the god El.

And consider all the exames of Israelites following other gods - from the time in the Wilderness to Josiah's reforms.  This sounds like a very common practice that even their kings followed.  Likely somewhat suppressed by later Biblical authors.

I think Judaism evolved as a theology.  I think that's clear from the fact that we had multiple sects by the first century.

However, I do think worship, being reserved for YHWH only has been central belief from the beginning.

I've never understood the narrative of the multiple writers revising the old testament over time.  There is so much in there that is an indictment of the people and the religion.

Moses

Abraham

David

Noah

Solomon

Elijah

 

Why leave all of the embarrassing stuff in about all of these foundational people? If you don't cover that up why edit it at all?

 

Show me one historical document from that period that paints it's people and heroes in such a bad light at times.  It's a story of fidelity, infidelity and a return to fidelity over and over again.

How then do you explain the Josiah reforms?  The 'high places' sounded wide spread.....

How do you explain Israel building the two golden calfs in Bethel and Dan?

How do you reconcile the various names of God used?  Why did God tell Moses that they new him as El before that moment on Mt Sinai?

Many challenges with claiming only central worship for Yahweh from early on.  Worship wasnt centralized till Later - maybe Josiah?

11 days ago
4/27/14
Posts: 24496
EazyG - 
The Stewed Owl -

"El" in Hebrew just means "deity" or "god", so the prefix is like saying "The god Thor" or "The god Moloch". At least that's my understanding.

Some of the serious scholars in the field like Mark Smith would strongly disagree on that.  

 


See, for example, Ezekiel 28:2 in this context in the original Hebrew text. 

11 days ago
1/3/18
Posts: 6995

I believe there’s some OGers mentioned in the OT. I think the story talks about some whore slag that wanted to fuck some OGers because they were hung like horses. 
 

Not the stories that get told on Sunday mornings in church. 

Edited: 11 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8231
The Stewed Owl -
EazyG - 
The Stewed Owl -

"El" in Hebrew just means "deity" or "god", so the prefix is like saying "The god Thor" or "The god Moloch". At least that's my understanding.

Some of the serious scholars in the field like Mark Smith would strongly disagree on that.  

 

 

See, for example, Ezekiel 28:2 in this context in the original Hebrew text. 

Ok 

See Deuteronomy 32:8-9 where El and Yahweh are prevented as separate and Yahweh is probably junior to El.....

11 days ago
3/28/02
Posts: 8232
Im with the banned -

I believe there’s some OGers mentioned in the OT. I think the story talks about some whore slag that wanted to fuck some OGers because they were hung like horses. 
 

Not the stories that get told on Sunday mornings in church. 

Exactly

there is some crazy stuff in the Hebrew Bible. 

God commands Joshua to commit genocide

Various incest, patricide,......

Yahweh tries to kill Moses and is saved by wife putting circumcision blood on Moses feet....

Strange things

11 days ago
4/27/14
Posts: 24497
Im with the banned - 

I believe there’s some OGers mentioned in the OT. I think the story talks about some whore slag that wanted to fuck some OGers because they were hung like horses. 
 

Not the stories that get told on Sunday mornings in church. 


Maybe not in your church...