The School of Monotheism

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The School of Monotheism

DRAFT 2009-03-10

The assumption of monotheism guides misinterpretation

The monotheism school is by far the largest school of thought when it comes to explaining the bible both Old and New Testaments and materials related to these religions. It is also not recognized as a school of thought. Its members take monotheism as a given with a minor assumption of worshiping a single god, monolatry or xxxxx. The Old Testament is filled with evidence of widespread polytheism of the Judeans. The monotheism school has a large and old tradition of explaining this evidence in terms of monotheism. The assumption of the bible religion as the basic religion of all the people and the rest were departures from it is a monotheist assumption. It is simpler to read the material as this being solely the claim of the Yahweh cult.

[It took until the 20th century before members of the monotheist school would even acknowledge Ashara/Astarte. They started attributing it to a very early period in the development of monotheism they imagined to find in the Old Testament. Today they are willing to admit only that it lasted until the 3rd c. BC. They go that far as so far no relics of the goddess are found after that out of doors.]

[This is based upon two assumptions. The first is the old fallacy, not found yet. A new find tomorrow would change it all. The second that there were major cities in Judea in the 3rd c. BC, notably Jerusalem. There is no archaeological evidence of major cities built by the indigenous people prior to the arrival of the Greeks. If Jerusalem existed in the time of Alexander he did not think it worth his time to conquer it meaning it had no military or political power. Thus we expect the evidence of Astarte worship to have migrated to the cities once they were built and that is after Alexander. This is what we find with the temple of Ashara in Jerusalem.]

[Monotheists have still not come to terms with the Temple of Ashara mentioned by Josephus as suituated in the walls of the Antonine Stables, aka the top of the "Temple Mount," nor with the surviving records showing the Temple of Yahweh was not on that hill. This latter makes the Judeans explicit polytheists into the 1st c. AD. Archaeological evidence of her worship is found in Jerusalem until it was rebuilt by Rome in the early 2nd c. AD. The trail of Ashara worship ends there. She had other temples in Caesarea and Tyre. So far as is known there was only one temple of Yahweh making Jerusalem the center of a very small cult.]

Considering Judaism and later Christianity existed in a god-filled world we are struck by the absence of any contemporary mention of it. This would have been the strangest religion in all the world and the strangest people in all the world for having only one god. Travelers such as Herodotus who collected tales to delight the people back home make no mention of it. There are several mentions of the Judeans in ancient writings and not a single mention of having only one god. There is a description of them and their religion in very negative terms without mention of having only one god.

The Judeans and the Christians themselves knowing their god-filled world did not say there was only one god. Both were evangelical and explaining themselves. In the case of the New Testament there are the epistles without a single explicit mention of monotheism. This is difficult to explain for religions seeking converts as it would be their greatest difference. Yet they wrote as though they were promoting a new god which was simply different from the others.

[True god and false gods meant faithful and unfaithful not real and unreal. Texts read better if substitute faithful and unfaithful are substituted for true and false. The faithful god will not forsake you. The monotheism school guides the translators to choose words which imply monotheism even when other translations are not only be better fit but a correct translation as in this case. Better a monotheist translation than a correct translation. Often an incorrect translation is forefit into other translations making them "difficult" to understand.]

We have Christian apologies (apology in the sense of explanation) without a single explicit mention of monotheism.

We can go through all the books of the old and new testaments and find no unambiguous, explicit statement of monotheism. We can look at all the writings that did not make the cut for being included in the bible and everything from Judaism up to the 7th c. AD and still not find such a statement.

The first explicit statement of monotheism is found in the Koran, there is not god but god and Mohamed is his prophet. It is only after this explicit statement appears that we find similar statements from Judaism and Christianity.

The monotheist school translates the names of god in the Old Testament in terms which require convoluted explanations and grammatical exceptions for which it is often the only example. Their arguments appear to make sense as we were all raised in the monotheism school. "As they had only one god then plural forms which would naturally be translated gods have to have a monotheistic explanation." Plurals have to be explained away and it seems natural to explain them away because we "know" they had only one god.

We can already see the absence of any mention of explicit monotheism makes the contemporary mentions of these religions more sensible. The critics of these religions did not mention their belief in the existence of only one god because they did not believe that. It was not mentioned as one of their teachings as they did not teach it.

We must ask if the Old Testament text reads better with a plural translation. Elohim is typical. The suffix IM means plural in just about every other context. But when it comes to this name the presumption of monotheism requires it be explained away. That an explanation be found for why it really does not mean plural gods.

Yet we can look at Yahweh Elohim and see it reads more naturally as Yahweh being the proper name of one of the gods, one of the Elohim.

[Phoenician and Ugaritic Adon, Greek Adonis, forcefit translation of Adon as lord or master making it a title rather than a name. The meaning of Lord as a title has been retrofitted into the Old Testament where a name is simpler and more understandable translation. The near non-existence of "Hebrew" outside of religious sources weights the disputation heavily in favor of the monotheists with their strange rules and exceptions for this material. IM means plural except where it indicates the worship of more than one god. Plural nouns have plural verbs except when the plural noun means god. [Queen Elizabeth I invent the royal WE in the 12th c. BC.]]

[confounding titles with names. Where it cannot be a name because of monotheism it must be something else. Calling it a title is one solution to fitting monotheism into a polytheist world.]

[The Old Testament is later backstory for one of the gods, the god of Abraham whose story could not be written until after the Chaldean dynasty was founded. The god of Moses whose laws presumably contained in the entire Torah govern and create the priests as the ruling class.]

[Joshua proclaims the right to rule by conquest.]

[If the Jesus model is taken from Adonis then does it make more sense to keep in mind the Christian difference between them is Jesus only needed to be resurrected once while Adonis requires an annual ressurection. Jesus reigns forever after only one resurrection. Both were ressurected in the Spring. The Pascal lamb is the first fruit of the Spring. The annual celebration of a one time death and rebirth differs only in theology from the annual celebration of an annual death and rebirth. g. adonis]

[Kassite dynasty, priests made themselves kings, made Babylon (renamed Kar Duniash) into a holy city and the only place where new kings could be confirmed. That is, it was the model for Jerusalem. g. Chaldea]

[Babylon conquered by Tiglath-Pilesar III in 729BC until revolt by the Chaldean Nabopolassar in the 620s. 627 Assurbanipal dies and Nabo wins founding the Chaldean dynasty in Babylon in 612 after the fall of Ninevah.]

[The interchangeable use of Judean with Jew and Jewish. The difference is from western custom only. They are the same word and mean the same thing. In this light, Judeans and Samaritans and Galileans were different peoples. The only indication of political cohesiveness or control by Jerusalem can be found in the groups that rebelled against Rome in the 70s and 130s. Common political aims does not mean a common identity. The idea of a common identity of the peoples of Palestine comes solely from bible maps of the claimed extent of the United Kingdom of David and Solomon. There is no archaeological evidence of any such kingdom or people.]

[The nearest possible approximation of "Canaanites" is the Phoenicians. Not much is known of the Phoenicians but a substantial amount has been written about what is known. What is known cannot be fit to bible descriptions of Canaanites.]

[Ugarit was likely a part of the culture which lead to the Phoenicians. The gods of Ugarit are the gods of the Canaanites the Judeans love to hate. El is an Ugaritic god and El-ohim is a Judean name/title for their god(s).]

[Eloah in Job is the only use of a word which might be the singular of Elohim.]

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.